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Struggling Mormons


consiglieri

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When a Mormon is out on a ledge, should we:

A. Try to coax him back in?

B. Yell, "Jump"?

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Hello Consiglieri,

A " struggling Mormon " is no different then " Struggling Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, etc, etc "

Along our journeys, there are many, many of us who will indeed " struggle " at some point in our journey.

Under the umbrella of " Christianity ", I believe, we as Christians should have great compassion, Love, and understanding to and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Considering that a human being among us is indeed " struggling ", there is clearly, IMHO, no time that would be more important and urgent for us to extend our loving and supportive hand of fellowship to them.

Any hooo, a very interesting thread.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Supporting, loving, caring, and understanding are good things - essentially Luke 6:31. Coaxing by itself may not work so well.

I speak from the viewpoint of someone who is not struggling, because nobody around here would ever think I'm struggling, right? :P

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By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. ~Proverbs 16:6

mercy: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence

truth: the true or actual state of a matter

fear: reverential awe

We show kindness and compassion while testifying and teaching the truth in such a way to inspire reverential awe for Our Eternal Father, His Son, and the Great Plan of Happiness.

(or you could just apply the words of prophets and apostles as they appear in my signature lines)

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Actually, I need to add a little more.

You have to be careful about this issue because what if his EQ president came over to his house and said, "Brother Johnson, I understand you are on the edge and I want to support you and show love by helping you out."

Then Bro. J says, "I appreciate that. I'm indeed having struggles."

EQ Pres: "What is the problem?"

Bro. J says, "I was reading in Todd Compton's book and saw that X, Y, and Z happened in Nauvoo."

EQ Pres: "I never heard that before. That must be anti-mormon literature."

Bro. J says, "Well, I looked it up on FAIR and confirmed it did indeed happen that way."

EQ Pres: "What is FAIR?"

Bro. J says, "Anyway, it is very troubling to me because I grew up with this view of who Joseph Smith was...."

EQ Pres: "Huh, well I would say just pray about it and everything should be fine. Gotta go. Bye!"

EQ Pres thinks to himself while walking to the car, "I better look into this..."

So I agree with SK - you don't want the struggling person to drag anyone else down.

There was a guy in my EQ who started mentioning right in EQ class how Joseph married many women that were quite young and many were kept secret from Emma. (This was the fateful beginnings of my questioning last November.) I could tell I was not the only shocked person in the room. Next week, while in Bishopric meeting, the Bishop said, "Bro Steven's said some things about Joseph Smith in EQ that caused some concern - and I got a couple phone calls. We need to get this straightened out." The second councilor pointed to me and said, "We need someone who can handle the truth. Let's have Bro Zeezrom talk to this brother."

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There seems to be a difference of opinion on this board as to whether A or B is the correct response.

I hope we can discuss this subject without bringing personalities into this.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

You know the rules: when the question is piercing, either ignore or attack the messenger! Or both!

In order to answer your question, I would to ask myself: What's in it for me? Just kidding. I think you just show them love and compassion if they seem like they want it or you let them do whatever they want. People leave the Church all the time. It's part of doing religion. Any religion. Some people are happy not being Mormon anymore. Some are unhappy and some don't care. Others feel bad and come back to the Church. All Churches are equipped with a turn style door.

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We deal with very sacred and personal issues on this board. Dealing with a loss of faith/struggle of faith and having your concerns from either side of the divide be communicated and understood in the emotional/spiritual context that you want it to be communicted in, is really difficult on a message board where we don't know each other.

If I found out some guy in my Elder's Quorom was struggling, I would likely put a hand on their shoulder and tell them that I'd like to help if they want my help. Some people want to be left alone. Some want you to put your arms around their shoulders and love them through it.

It has to be done on a case by case basis. I'd say the best answer is to figure out what kind of love the person needs and who best they're likely to receive it from, and act accordingly.

I don't bring up the things that bother me to be aired out on this board because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment or failure if someone else doesn't treat my concern the way I feel it needs to be treated. If I was going crazy about Joseph Smith and polygamy (hot random topic), the last place I'd bring it up is this board. I would doubtless search this board and other sites for information, however if I needed human contact and interaction I'd seek it from close friends and family.

I think most of us can tell which of our close loved ones are being sincere, and it is that audience that is best equipped to tell you to buck up and get straight or else to cry through it with you.

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When a Mormon is out on a ledge, should we:

A. Try to coax him back in?

B. Yell, "Jump"?

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

A little salt and pepper might be nice. Let me get the fire turned up.

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We should definitely direct them away from here!

Why?

This is a debate forum. Were we exchange ideas.

Are you saying that those, that have questions shouldn't ask?

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It depends. There are struggling members who are respectful and there are struggling members who try to provoke people. We had a friend who was the latter and we dealt with him by loving him, but we also messed with him when he acted like a turd. Example: We invited him to our ward picnic. He was wanting to come over and we said we were going to the picnic and he was welcome to join us. He accepted and everything was pleasant until he saw our friend and ward member from Africa. He said, "Hey, what do you think that guy over there thinks of the Priesthood ban?"

Without missing a beat, I said, "I don't know. Let's ask him."

I yelled, "HEY, ISAAK!"

Our friend panicked and he said, "No no no! I was just kidding!" I said, "Oh, so you DON'T want to know what Isaak thinks of the Priesthood ban?" "No." "Then shut-up!"

Isaak came over to greet us and I said, "This is our friend J. I wanted you to meet him. J, this is Isaak." They shook hands and J realized I wasn't really going to ask him. He was great at ruining a perfectly good evening during which we never brought up religion. He would be leaving at around midnight and bring up a comment out of the blue like, "Brigham Young sure got a lot of (fill in disgusting term for the female anatomy)." I ignored that comment. He had this weird need to sabotage friendships with Mormons and then claim they were judgmental and never talked to him twice.

I had another friend who was struggling with her testimony in a non-obnoxious way. She simply had questions and I answered them the best I could. I have had quite a few friends leave the church, but I continue to be their friend. A lady I visit taught left the church (already had by the time I met her), but we still became great friends. She appreciates how I respect her beliefs. Another friend of mine who is a pretty new convert has stopped going because of the way her lifelong member husband ended up treating her and the way it was handled. She said she didn't know if she would go to her new ward. I gave her the info in case she decided to go and told her I didn't base our friendship on her being a member of the church. I check on her to see if there is anything she needs and she can decide on her own whether she will remain a member. I have friends of other faiths. I don't see why I couldn't be friends with someone who leaves the church and chooses another.

The issue with this board is that we get people who act like they are struggling when they aren't. They have acutally left at least in their hearts and bring up accusations in the name of doubting. It just seems as though they want to bring up controversial subjects so others will doubt. I have more respect for those who openly oppose the church than people who are just playing mind games with members who have good intentions and sincerely want to help.

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Actually, I need to add a little more.

You have to be careful about this issue because what if his EQ president came over to his house and said, "Brother Johnson, I understand you are on the edge and I want to support you and show love by helping you out."

Then Bro. J says, "I appreciate that. I'm indeed having struggles."

EQ Pres: "What is the problem?"

Bro. J says, "I was reading in Todd Compton's book and saw that X, Y, and Z happened in Nauvoo."

EQ Pres: "I never heard that before. That must be anti-mormon literature."

Bro. J says, "Well, I looked it up on FAIR and confirmed it did indeed happen that way."

EQ Pres: "What is FAIR?"

Bro. J says, "Anyway, it is very troubling to me because I grew up with this view of who Joseph Smith was...."

EQ Pres: "Huh, well I would say just pray about it and everything should be fine. Gotta go. Bye!"

EQ Pres thinks to himself while walking to the car, "I better look into this..."

So I agree with SK - you don't want the struggling person to drag anyone else down.

There was a guy in my EQ who started mentioning right in EQ class how Joseph married many women that were quite young and many were kept secret from Emma. (This was the fateful beginnings of my questioning last November.) I could tell I was not the only shocked person in the room. Next week, while in Bishopric meeting, the Bishop said, "Bro Steven's said some things about Joseph Smith in EQ that caused some concern - and I got a couple phone calls. We need to get this straightened out." The second councilor pointed to me and said, "We need someone who can handle the truth. Let's have Bro Zeezrom talk to this brother."

Great story. I have learned to keep my mouth shut in Elders Quorum. Just read the manual or the Ensign and play along until the bell rings. This avoids all kinds of problems.

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A.

Help them come back with kindness and charity.

If they are intent on jumping, don't let them pull anyone else off the edge with them.

This is pretty much where I would be. My best friend was a struggling member when I joined the Church (she wasn't my best friend at the time). I tried to help her with some of her questions, but you know, she just didn't have the same opinions as I do. It wasn't even anything 'anti' that caused her issues. She just decided she didn't believe in the Priesthood or Temple ordinances. She wasn't even sure she believed in the need for baptism. We talked about it a bit now and again, but eventually she left.

That didn't change our friendship. At first I thought it would change some things. I figured I wouldn't be able to gripe about things (especially callings or what not) because venting to her would be bad now since she didn't believe. But really, it hasn't changed anything except we don't see each other as often.

Again none of my 'best' friends are members aside from my fiance anyway. All my best friends are evangelicals or atheists. It hasn't changed anything there either.

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Steuss, I think you are a good example of a doubter who doesn't tick people off. It's assumed sometimes that Mormons just want to jump all over anyone who doubts. I don't think that's true. I think there's a certain way doubts are presented that get people all upset. You are one of my favorite posters here. :P You've given me many good laughs.

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