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HappyJackWagon

What To Do When Loved Ones Leave the Church

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Just to the OP...love them...remember they are still the same person other than a faith...set boundaries if you want but with kindness.  Let their children feel your acceptance.  In all, on both sides, think before you speak...because church or no church...family is more important.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Yes, this is very challenging and I'm familiar with other situations that are quite similar.  The couple has the opportunity to work this out, but it will take strong communication and negotiation skills on both of their parts.  From my experience, they need to be able to align on common values that they still share.  The reality is that all of us change throughout our lives and to have a healthy relationship there is a constant renegotiation happening, however, I think that a loss of faith can be a very quick and acute change that is difficult to cope with.  

The really unfortunate part of this tragic scenario, is that many church members who typically offer help for other kinds of loss (death, physical sickness) have no tools to help couples in this situation.  From what I've seen the typical lifeline of community support that the church provides in other situations is essentially paralyzed when it comes to productively helping couples work though these kinds of problems.  This is a huge problem in our modern church, and having leaders who don't understand and who offer the wrong counseling and advice only makes things worse.  

 

I'm in a mixed faith relationship and I will concur.  There is no support for abuse victims.  There is very little support for those with marital issues, for those going through divorce, and no support for those going through a faith crisis.  There are "acceptable" problems in the church like health issues, employment, someone passing away etc. ... and then there are "unacceptable" issues like being LGBT, abuse, how to handle pedophiles, how to support broken marriages etc.  I was hit on all sides by all of it all at once - abuse from bishopric member (who is now in jail), followed by others in leadership belittling and denying what happened (the years and years and years of abuse were videotaped - they guy got life in jail without parole - and yet - everyone still denies that their bishopric councilor - who was "called from God"  did anything wrong???)  dealing with the kids who were abused, dealing with a spouse who it turns out was abused and led to multiple dysfunctions, and what support was there??  I was flat out told by my bishop "I'm sorry, I have no experience with that" - last I heard from him.  Two meetings - one where he backed away and clearly showed me he wanted nothing to do with me or any of it - and another meeting where I turned in my TR ad asked to be released from all callings because I no longer recognized any leadership in the church.  I lost my faith, I lost my family, the only support I got was from the ex-mo community, and they were awesome.  

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

...family is more important.

 

it is sad that church policies divide families - makes those who are not "sealed in the temple" feel less-than, and disconnected from one another.  It has taken me a long time to get that teaching out of my head.  The church does not dictate family bonds.  

Edited by changed
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Posted (edited)

An LDS father that is believing asked this question on reddit below: 

Me: Thread name, "Mormon Lies"...

"Hey everyone, a TBM dad here. One thing I hear a lot in this forum is that the church lied to you.

I’m really curious about that—what was said, what was not said, who said it, why it bothered you, etc.
I want to be forthright about my reasons for asking:

I’m trying to understand bc I don’t understand, and I would like to. Many of the things complained of here, I also learned as a young adult, rather than at home. I didn’t feel betrayed. Some I’m still learning. Not to say I’m better than anyone, but to say I lack the tools to come to an understanding without help.

I’d like to avoid creating similar feelings of betrayal in my own kids, if I haven’t already done so.

I’d like to help the church address the betrayal issue better. The facts are what they are, but the church should do better. There’s a real issue here, a conversation that isn’t happening, that needs to happen.

Also, forgive me: I’m slow in learning internet manners. Feel free to let me know if I’m being offensive. I want to know.

After all that, if you’re interested and willing, I would like to hear what happened you, who lied, about what, how it made you feel, etc."

Me: There were so many comments and in a nut shell as to why the once believing members left. I think it's a good read to understand why the ex-LDS crowd or inactive non believing ones, left. It's really hard to deny that they had good reasons. Here is one of many of the replies to the father's question:

"I feel what I was taught in church about the history of the church was a straight up lie from start to finish. You of course might have known all the following - but I wasn't taught this.

Book of Mormon (BOM) translated by JS putting a common rock in his hat and putting his face in the hat.

Rock in hat used to locate the golden plates

Rock found in a well years before Golden Plates, and used to defraud people in a treasure hunting scam with some serious occult roots

Book of Abraham (BOA) papyrus being in churches custody since 1967

BOA papyrus is 2000 years too young to have been written by Abraham

BOA papyrus has been translated 100% incorrectly

BOA containing facsimiles from a dead guy called Hor, but that somehow Abraham referred to them in the text in 1:12 and 1:14 even though Hor wouldnt be born for 2000 years...and that the facsimiles were doctored.

JS married 12-14 women already married to other living men that he was having sex with

JS married 2 14 year old girls and propositioned a 12 year old

JS lied to the women to get them to marry him, ie promising a 14 year old that herself and her entire family would go straight to the celestial kingdom if she said yes, and was given a 24 hour deadline?

That he married mother/daughter pairs and sister/sister pairs making a sealing only argument laughable

That he was caught having sex in a barn with Fanny Alger 1 year before the sealing power was returned to the earth

That there are at least 4 different versions of the first vision and that they contradict badly

That first vision accounts were extremely common back then and 33 other people had them before Joseph in that part of the world, 6 of which are embarrassingly similar to Josephs account.

That the BOM was heavily plagiarized from 3 other books (View of the Hebrews/The Late war between the United States and Great Britain and The First Book of Napoleon)

That the View of The Hebrews was written by Oliver Cowderys pastor.

That at least one of these books was found using plagiarism software (the type they use in college), which compared the Book of Mormon to 110000 other books published before the book of Mormon.

That GA Elder BH Roberts researched the similarities between the View of the Hebrews and the BOM around the 1920s for the first presidency and wrote them a report saying ' “Did Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews furnish structural material for Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon? It has been pointed out in these pages that there are many things in the former book that might well have suggested many major things in the other. Not a few things merely, one or two, or a half dozen, but many; and it is this fact of many things of similarity and the cumulative force of them that makes them so serious a menace to Joseph Smith’s story of the Book of Mormon’s origin.” '

That JS Snr had the Tree of Life dream (yep the same one Lehi had) in 1811?

That Benjamin K Paddock wrote about a revival in 1826 1 mile from Palmyra 15 months before translation began on the BOM that bears an embarrassing resemblance to King Benjamins speech?

That every version of the bible has unique errors in it and that the BOM contains verses from the bible containing errors from the 1769 version of the KJV that JS family owned, along with all the extra KJV words that were added in the 1600's

That the parts of Isaiah that are in the BOM were written after Lehis family left Jerusalem...which makes them impossible to be in the BOM.

That the temple ceremony was created just 7 weeks after Joseph became a mason

That the temple ceremony has zero to do with Solomons temple (which was only about animal sacrifice) and is instead a pagan ritual (nothing to do with christianity) from somewhere around the 16th century to stop apprentice and journeyman stonemasons from going to another town and lying and saying they were master masons (you learn the handshakes in the temple to be a master mason). So you go to the temple and wear a stonemasons apron, and then have a compass and a set square on your breasts forever after.

That JS tried to join the Methodist church after he was told not to join any.

This is just the tip of the iceberg though - this is just the very beginning of the rabbit hole."

Me again: I think if anyone wants to know why members can't leave the church alone or need some huge understanding, read some of the replies, many were such strong members, missionaries etc. I guess the active members who really don't care about these things, seem to last better in some cases in the church. I get the "401 Forbidden" when I try to post the link to the thread over there. But it's quite the thread, and really can't be overlooked. 

My son, who went on his mission etc. has recently told me he resigned from the church. I haven't told anyone yet, it's his job to do that. It was kind of hard to hear that, weird I know. But most of his friends that all served missions and married in the temple are also on their way out. There is a big problem out there with the millennials. 

I have friends, a couple, that have two sons (one of them my son's friend) that served missions and the friend of my son, married and wed in the temple and now is sporting tattoos and drinking coffee. His parents visited them out of state recently and he didn't hide it. Little do they know their other son that served a mission, and away at school is drinking and doesn't believe anymore. This will kill them if she finds out, she lost a brother to suicide after he found out the lies in the church and went on a binge of drinking etc and hating on the church and broke his parent's and sisters' hearts. 

This stuff is no laughing matter. This is serious for those that believe it's no big deal. The church will really have to figure it out, or rely upon those that have had revelation that the church is true and watch as the church dwindles in size.

 

 

 

Edited by Tacenda

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25 minutes ago, changed said:

 

I'm in a mixed faith relationship and I will concur.  There is no support for abuse victims.  There is very little support for those with marital issues, for those going through divorce, and no support for those going through a faith crisis.  There are "acceptable" problems in the church like health issues, employment, someone passing away etc. ... and then there are "unacceptable" issues like being LGBT, abuse, how to handle pedophiles, how to support broken marriages etc.  I was hit on all sides by all of it all at once - abuse from bishopric member (who is now in jail), followed by others in leadership belittling and denying what happened (the years and years and years of abuse were videotaped - they guy got life in jail without parole - and yet - everyone still denies that their bishopric councilor - who was "called from God"  did anything wrong???)  dealing with the kids who were abused, dealing with a spouse who it turns out was abused and led to multiple dysfunctions, and what support was there??  I was flat out told by my bishop "I'm sorry, I have no experience with that" - last I heard from him.  Two meetings - one where he backed away and clearly showed me he wanted nothing to do with me or any of it - and another meeting where I turned in my TR ad asked to be released from all callings because I no longer recognized any leadership in the church.  I lost my faith, I lost my family, the only support I got was from the ex-mo community, and they were awesome.  

Its very sad, such a painful experience for you...

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11 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I read through that list and I think one thing that might need to be understood is that not being taught something in a church setting is not the same thing as being lied to.  I think it's the conflating of 'not being told' and 'being lied to' that causes problems with communication between active members and those struggling or who have left.  Sometimes not being told something is a lie, but not every time.  

I also have problems with lists like this because they themselves are not very truthful, but there is enough in them that few people want to take the time to point out the errors, which the creators of the lists realize and take advantage of.  

For example, JS never joined the Methodist church.  He attended a religious class led by a Methodist minister and the minister was the one who wrote his name down as a member of the class.  One of the other class members found out who he was (this member designated himself as an official member, of which JS wasn't) and told him he could not attend the class unless he confessed and repented of everything he had been teaching and claiming. JS refused and voluntarily removed his name from the role.  His name was on the role for three days.

It also makes sense that he would attend methodist services at that point in his life as Emma's family were methodist (had methodist ministers in the family) and she and Joseph were living with her family at the time.  Plus, he had no church home of his own to attend as the church had not been organized yet.  Also, the Smith's first born child had recently died, so it makes sense that Joseph would seek to attend religious services with family during such a difficult time.

So, knowing all of that, is it truthful to say that JS tried to join the Methodist church?  No, that's not a truthful statement.  It's intentionally misleading.

Is that the only one out of the list you could answer to Bluebell? We're really in trouble then, if so, not asking you to, but that one was pretty minor. Also, so the poster didn't go into full detail, sounds like what the church does exactly, which is definitely misleading. Do you want to see one big one? This meme: https://i.redd.it/o73d3pat6g101.jpg about tithing. The church deleted a couple of important words! 

I don't understand how you are seeing this so calmly, I'm guessing here, but is it because of the spirit of revelation, that so few get that you can overlook the many problems? If so, that is fine with me. But we can't blame those that don't have that revelation, and have to rely on facts. 

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

A lot depends on the way someone leaves, and on why they leave.  Most families tend to be very loving and considerate toward a child who leaves, even if the leaving is accompanied by anger and vilification by the child.  Indeed, that hard break may be followed years later by a pleasant reunion, when tempers have cooled and the child now has a family of his own and realizes how his parents actually feel (because he is now in those very shoes).  On the other hand, if the break was a matter of drug use or other forms of criminality, it may be that the parents don't want to be enablers.  The scenarios are endless and very complex.  One has to imagine how badly that St George family now feels about their son and brother who just went to Southern California and killed a couple of men at random (one an off-duty deputy sheriff).  He'll never get out of prison, of course, and family members will visit him from time to time because they love him.

I'm not sure it's true that most families tend to be very loving and considerate. I have known many people who haven't experienced that kind of love. I haven't even "left the church" and have plenty of stories I can tell about how my parents compare me to Korihor and use me as a cautionary tale when speaking to others. There are many things I could share but won't. I suspect that many people think they are being more loving than they are. I also think many people think that their version of "tough love" is showing love towards the individual. It's not.

Leaving because of drug use or criminal activity is a completely different topic IMO. We're talking about people who leave because of a change of their faith.

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1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Just to the OP...love them...remember they are still the same person other than a faith...set boundaries if you want but with kindness.  Let their children feel your acceptance.  In all, on both sides, think before you speak...because church or no church...family is more important.

Setting boundaries is fair, but it should also be noted that setting boundaries Can be rude, demeaning, and unloving. When boundaries are set to distance a person from other family members or participation in family events, it can be very hurtful. I've seen it and experienced it personally. I've had family members attempt to create boundaries between me and nieces & nephews, not wanting me to talk to them without their parents present because they think I'll say something negative about the church, when I have NEVER said anything negative about the church in family gatherings or to nieces and  nephews privately. They set the boundary and I abide by that, but there is nothing loving about it.

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14 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm not sure it's true that most families tend to be very loving and considerate. I have known many people who haven't experienced that kind of love. I haven't even "left the church" and have plenty of stories I can tell about how my parents compare me to Korihor and use me as a cautionary tale when speaking to others. There are many things I could share but won't. I suspect that many people think they are being more loving than they are. I also think many people think that their version of "tough love" is showing love towards the individual. It's not.

Leaving because of drug use or criminal activity is a completely different topic IMO. We're talking about people who leave because of a change of their faith.

Only rarely do people leave one faith for another.  Most of those who leave just leave whatever faith they were only lightly attached to anyhow, and do not adopt another faith.  Drift is the operative concept, and it is the most common characteristic.  Naturally those who are members of that minority will think that they are the norm.  There are actual intellectuals who feel alienated based on some concrete notion about their native belief system (whatever their parents adhere to), but they are also a small minority.  Prof Bart Ehrman is a good example of a scholar who left his evangelical faith entirely, yet doesn't appear to be angry or vengeful about it.  Indeed, he regularly debates Bible believing scholars, and he has a good sense of humor about it all. I have no idea how his parents or siblings have taken his apostasy.

Most parents are very forgiving and indulgent of the rejection of the parents' faith and other core beliefs.  The notion that all parents are narrow and superficial, rigid and unyielding is an artifact of youthful discontent and anger.  Somebody has to be blamed, so why not the parents?  Establishing objective reality in such instances may require decades of life and reflection on what actually happened -- with perspective, looking back.  Indeed, it is precisely the most rigid and narrow parents who drive their children to leave, and that is only a minority of the overall phenomenon of leaving a faith.  The vast majority of children continue in the faith and political party of their parents.  That's the way they were socialized.  The exceptions prove the rule.  I have cited all the sociological data previously on this board.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

..................................

"I feel what I was taught in church about the history of the church was a straight up lie from start to finish. You of course might have known all the following - but I wasn't taught this.

Book of Mormon (BOM) translated by JS putting a common rock in his hat and putting his face in the hat.

Rock in hat used to locate the golden plates

Rock found in a well years before Golden Plates, and used to defraud people in a treasure hunting scam with some serious occult roots

Book of Abraham (BOA) papyrus being in churches custody since 1967

BOA papyrus is 2000 years too young to have been written by Abraham

BOA papyrus has been translated 100% incorrectly

BOA containing facsimiles from a dead guy called Hor, but that somehow Abraham referred to them in the text in 1:12 and 1:14 even though Hor wouldnt be born for 2000 years...and that the facsimiles were doctored.

JS married 12-14 women already married to other living men that he was having sex with

JS married 2 14 year old girls and propositioned a 12 year old

JS lied to the women to get them to marry him, ie promising a 14 year old that herself and her entire family would go straight to the celestial kingdom if she said yes, and was given a 24 hour deadline?

That he married mother/daughter pairs and sister/sister pairs making a sealing only argument laughable

That he was caught having sex in a barn with Fanny Alger 1 year before the sealing power was returned to the earth

That there are at least 4 different versions of the first vision and that they contradict badly

That first vision accounts were extremely common back then and 33 other people had them before Joseph in that part of the world, 6 of which are embarrassingly similar to Josephs account.

That the BOM was heavily plagiarized from 3 other books (View of the Hebrews/The Late war between the United States and Great Britain and The First Book of Napoleon)

That the View of The Hebrews was written by Oliver Cowderys pastor.

That at least one of these books was found using plagiarism software (the type they use in college), which compared the Book of Mormon to 110000 other books published before the book of Mormon.

That GA Elder BH Roberts researched the similarities between the View of the Hebrews and the BOM around the 1920s for the first presidency and wrote them a report saying ' “Did Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews furnish structural material for Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon? It has been pointed out in these pages that there are many things in the former book that might well have suggested many major things in the other. Not a few things merely, one or two, or a half dozen, but many; and it is this fact of many things of similarity and the cumulative force of them that makes them so serious a menace to Joseph Smith’s story of the Book of Mormon’s origin.” '

That JS Snr had the Tree of Life dream (yep the same one Lehi had) in 1811?

That Benjamin K Paddock wrote about a revival in 1826 1 mile from Palmyra 15 months before translation began on the BOM that bears an embarrassing resemblance to King Benjamins speech?

That every version of the bible has unique errors in it and that the BOM contains verses from the bible containing errors from the 1769 version of the KJV that JS family owned, along with all the extra KJV words that were added in the 1600's

That the parts of Isaiah that are in the BOM were written after Lehis family left Jerusalem...which makes them impossible to be in the BOM.

That the temple ceremony was created just 7 weeks after Joseph became a mason

That the temple ceremony has zero to do with Solomons temple (which was only about animal sacrifice) and is instead a pagan ritual (nothing to do with christianity) from somewhere around the 16th century to stop apprentice and journeyman stonemasons from going to another town and lying and saying they were master masons (you learn the handshakes in the temple to be a master mason). So you go to the temple and wear a stonemasons apron, and then have a compass and a set square on your breasts forever after.

That JS tried to join the Methodist church after he was told not to join any.

This is just the tip of the iceberg though - this is just the very beginning of the rabbit hole."

...........................

What really astonishes me, Tacenda, is that you take any of that claptrap seriously.  Even Bill Reel doesn't accept all those so-called lies.  He tries to be at least a little more sophisticated.  After all these years on this board, and having discussed so many of these fake criticisms, I would have thought you not to be so gullible.  Do you really not see the nonsense in nearly all of these claims that the LDS Church has lied?  Don't you see the huge holes in most of these blatantly false claims?

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Posted (edited)

To the OP:

I think if a family member leaves the church, then you should try to keep showing them love and including them in everything you can so they know that you value them regardless of their beliefs.  If a family member is vocally hostile towards the church then that could be a hard thing to do, especially if we are talking about a spouse.  I think in those situations the person should rely on a lot of prayer, study, and fasting to know how best to respond.

I can't speak from experience though as I don't have any family members who have left the church over issues like this.  I have family members who have gone inactive and it's never been a problem, they are still treated the same and we still hang out and interact the same amount as we did before.  They frequently do or say things that my husband and I wouldn't do but that doesn't stop us from hanging out with them or having our children spend time with them. It's good for kids to see that a person can swear, or drink, or have a partner they live with but aren't married to, and still be a good person that we love very much.  

But these people didn't leave because they feel angry or hostile towards the church so that probably makes a difference.  They treat the church with respect and we treat their beliefs with respect so it all works out.

I have a couple of friends that have left the church because 'the church lied'.  One unfriended me facebook and I interact with the other one on facebook all the time.  

Edited by bluebell
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

What really astonishes me, Tacenda, is that you take any of that claptrap seriously.  Even Bill Reel doesn't accept all those so-called lies.  He tries to be at least a little more sophisticated.  After all these years on this board, and having discussed so many of these fake criticisms, I would have thought you not to be so gullible.  Do you really not see the nonsense in nearly all of these claims that the LDS Church has lied?  Don't you see the huge holes in most of these blatantly false claims?

Which ones are blatantly false, I didn't write them, just skimmed through them and chose just this sample from the comments on the thread at Reddit.

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4 hours ago, changed said:

 

it is sad that church policies divide families - makes those who are not "sealed in the temple" feel less-than, and disconnected from one another.  It has taken me a long time to get that teaching out of my head.  The church does not dictate family bonds.  

I so agree!!

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

To the OP:

I think if a family member leaves the church, then you should try to keep showing them love and including them in everything you can so they know that you value them regardless of their beliefs.  If a family member is vocally hostile towards the church then that could be a hard thing to do, especially if we are talking about a spouse.  I think in those situations the person should rely on a lot of prayer, study, and fasting to know how best to respond.

I can't speak from experience though as I don't have any family members who have left the church over issues like this.  I have family members who have gone inactive and it's never been a problem, they are still treated the same and we still hang out and interact the same amount as we did before.  They frequently do or say things that my husband and I wouldn't do but that doesn't stop us from hanging out with them or having our children spend time with them. It's good for kids to see that a person can swear, or drink, or have a partner they live with but aren't married to, and still be a good person that we love very much.  

But these people didn't leave because they feel angry or hostile towards the church so that probably makes a difference.  They treat the church with respect and we treat their beliefs with respect so it all works out.

I have a couple of friends that have left the church because 'the church lied'.  One unfriended me facebook and I interact with the other one on facebook all the time.  

It took me a long time to realize that friendships had not so much to do with the religion...than the personalities...this is where you find who your true friends are.

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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Which ones are blatantly false, I didn't write them, just skimmed through them and chose just this sample from the comments on the thread at Reddit.

You should be able to see many which are false just by skimming, as I did.  If you are going to simply copy stuff from Reddit, you ought at least to be able to evaluate it.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You should be able to see many which are false just by skimming, as I did.  If you are going to simply copy stuff from Reddit, you ought at least to be able to evaluate it.

You're right about a couple, the way the poster put them. I am out of town and posted hastily.

Edited by Tacenda

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, bluebell said:

I read through that list and I think one thing that might need to be understood is that not being taught something in a church setting is not the same thing as being lied to.  I think it's the conflating of 'not being told' and 'being lied to' that causes problems with communication between active members and those struggling or who have left.  Sometimes not being told something is a lie, but not every time.  

I also have problems with lists like this because they themselves are not very truthful, but there is enough in them that few people want to take the time to point out the errors, which the creators of the lists realize and take advantage of.  

For example, JS never joined the Methodist church.  He attended a religious class led by a Methodist minister and the minister was the one who wrote his name down as a member of the class.  One of the other class members found out who he was (this member designated himself as an official member, of which JS wasn't) and told him he could not attend the class unless he confessed and repented of everything he had been teaching and claiming. JS refused and voluntarily removed his name from the role.  His name was on the role for three days.

It also makes sense that he would attend methodist services at that point in his life as Emma's family were methodist (had methodist ministers in the family) and she and Joseph were living with her family at the time.  Plus, he had no church home of his own to attend as the church had not been organized yet.  Also, the Smith's first born child had recently died, so it makes sense that Joseph would seek to attend religious services with family during such a difficult time.

So, knowing all of that, is it truthful to say that JS tried to join the Methodist church?  No, that's not a truthful statement.  It's intentionally misleading.

I think it would be more accurate to say that some of the items listed are inaccurate. A list like that reflects a person's understanding and likely is put together from memory without going back to find references and cite sources. So will there be inaccuracies. Yeah, I think that's inevitable. But I wouldn't call it "untruthful" as that implies an intent to deceive. Even the example you cite has a lot of nuance and detail to it. In creating a list to respond to a person's question about "what areas do you feel like the church lied to you" it isn't likely someone is going to write an essay on each item. Calling an inaccurate claim "intentionally misleading" only cuts off opportunity for discussion because it assigns negative motive to the person. You are claiming they are intentionally lying instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have a misunderstanding or incomplete knowledge of the issue. How could you possibly know that the person is lying as opposed to being mistaken, or simply being inaccurate with the wording of the claim?

But lets say that 1/2 or even 3/4 of that list is inaccurate, or at least doesn't give full context. That still means there are substantial issues where official church teachings have also been inaccurate and honestly, I feel that there is a higher responsibility for an organization who employs myriads of professionals to write curriculum and research history, to get things right.

So it is inaccurate to say JS "joined" the Methodist church, but calling it untruthful seems a bit harsh. It seems like an incomplete understanding. Also, I don't know how it was in the 1820's but "joining" a church is much more fluid and less official in many other denominations. It's sometimes hard for us to comprehend because baptism and confirmation are integral to formally joining our church, but other church's baptize and it doesn't necessarily mean the person is a member of THAT church. It is more a reflection that they are a member of the Body of Christ as a whole.

In any case, I find some of the responses to the list interesting because there is great defensiveness and willingness to pile on the person who makes a list to share why they think the church hasn't been truthful. That again gets to the point of the article in the OP. Listening for understanding instead of the kneejerk desire to defend can go a ways towards building trust amongst people who have left and those who stay. How likely is someone who has quickly put together a list like that (even with some inaccuracies) to respond well or have any kind of change of mind when they are met with anger and defensiveness. On the other hand, are they more likely to respond well to something like, "I understand how disconcerting some of the inconsistencies can feel. My understanding of JS "joining" the Methodist church is a bit different than what you said. Would you be interested in hearing my understanding?"

It takes a lot more effort and time but if he was shown how his Methodist claim is inaccurate he may be more willing to have discussion about other areas in which you think he's inaccurate. Maybe then trust can be established and goodwill restored.

Edited by HappyJackWagon

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12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You should be able to see many which are false just by skimming, as I did.  If you are going to simply copy stuff from Reddit, you ought at least to be able to evaluate it.

Kind of rude.

If you are making a claim that something is inaccurate, you should be able to say what is inaccurate instead of telling Tacenda she should know. It's condescending and honestly, if we were all aware of  the limitations of our knowledge we would all be certifiable geniuses. Ever hear the phrase, "you don't know what you don't know"? This applies equally to you, Tacenda, and me, and everyone else. I don't know if what you think you know is correct. If you think there's an error, why not point out what the problem is instead of belittling someone? Again, this shows part of the limitation people have in discussing these things. Family, friends also respond with these kinds of responses all while thinking they are being "loving" but really they help to widen the rift.

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If bricks keep falling out of the walls of God’s house, as it were, the responsible thing for a builder to do is to try to understand why.

 

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