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Darned If You Do, Darned If You Don`t


readstoomuch

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So, I decided to launch this on this forum and it can be elevated by the moderators if they feel like it should be. I didn`t see this really covered in another thread.

More than once I have read an active LDS person say "they wish that the Church had not published the essay about polygamy in Kirtland-Nauvoo." They understand that people didn`t or weren`t taught about the issues or if they were it was only that JS had plural wives. Their age and polyandry obviously make it a longer discussion. It seemed like Fawn Brodies book made Joseph Smith`s polygamy a hot topic in the 50s and 60s. I know I was confronted in my teens with her book.

There are explanations about most of the issues with Joseph Smith`s polygamy. I know I came to terms with it and there is so much better information than there used to be. After seeing the articles all over the world and massive discussion on message boards everywhere, would it have been better if the article had not been released? It really seems like the Church is darned if they do or darned if they don`t. For example the postmormon crowd on __________message board are gleeful in all of the negative attention that is happening.

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I commend the church for coming forth and publishing articles, videos, etc on the issues that some consider to be controversial, like polygamy and garments. There's no reason we shouldn't be forthcoming. Of course, that doesn't mean discuss the details of sacred things. I would however, like the church to be forthcoming about blacks in the priesthood. Did not Joseph Smith Jr. bestow (wrong word, it's late) the priesthood to several blacks early in church history? It's sad that, somehow, it got 'taken away' when J.S. Jr approved of it. (and that it's the right thing to do). Sorry, don't want to change the subject :)

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I guess one could bring up any of the articles (someone in my ward keeps bringing up the Book of Abraham article) if it isn`t one they liked.  The Patheos article was useful and I appreciate the comments so far.  I think a single sentence that sums up that polygamy being introduced in secret is going to look different than polygamy practiced out in the open would explain most of the peculiarities about Joseph Smith`s polygamy.

 

Three men in my elders quorum have stopped coming to church because of "problems with their testimony."  I have been underwhelmed by my ability to try and help them with the issues.  One was the brother who has big problems with the BOA and another was with the existence of God.  Two of the three may be end up divorcing at least partly from the belief issues.  It just gets depressing watching people continue to leave the Church.  If you really wanted to be depressed just read a few interchanges on MormonStories (that is where 4 people I know started their exodus out of the Church).

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Readstoomuch, I just don't see any of it where I live, in fact it's as if no one watches the news and I don't think they've seen the essays on LDS.org. Or if they have it's not bothering anyone, atleast from what I've seen.

Edited by Tacenda
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concert, have you seen the Race and the Priesthood article? How would you like that to change to be more forthcoming?

Sorry, I didn't see that article, maybe I'm barking about something that is a non-issue. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, I need to remind myself sometimes that the Prophet and Apostles know better than I. They know what they are doing. :)

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This was a good article, Cal.

 

I am glad we are seeing more of the history presented by the church, though as some of us know it's been available for anyone who cared to find it. I certainly understand why there was no emphasis on it before but then I also was confronted by Brodie's book right after I joined the church at age 14 and as I recall most people back then knew about the polygamy and took it matter-of-factly. After all we were a more parochial church with many of the members descendants of polygamy. And of course at that time we were living through the Priesthood ban. As with all controversy against the church this will soon fade away. I'm sorry so many are having a crisis of faith over these things but honestly it seems like if they were truly converted they would be able to see these things in perspective and not throw out the baby with the bath water to use a cliche. 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeMQtQ3XJWs

 

This couple comes out of the church, because of something from John Dehlin, seems to be the occurrence in many lives.  Which is why I don't get that they haven't ex'd JD.  Not that I necessarily want that to happen.  The couple also mention that they first started with one issue, and go to FairMormon only to see that there are way more issues than the one they started with.  They also speak with a General Authority and go to the BYU archives and personally hold documents etc.  I see why the church feels it necessary to put the essays out ASAP. 

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Cal, it's hard to pinpoint what exactly did it, but it wasn't anti stuff but places like FairMormon, Greg Smith's paper on JD and MS. And they say they saw a Mormonstories podcast with someone they knew and it started them into a rabbit hole, they do mention the essays, but that alone didn't lead them out.

Edited by Tacenda
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Other than blood atonement and the Adam-God theory the essays put out by the Church cover most of the common issues that I have heard from people going through a faith crisis.  The lack of much mention about the issues at Church does make many really question and at some point they don`t trust the Church.   That happened years ago and that is how I felt.  Luckily I found a way through the issues  

 

Leaders that volunteer their time are asked about things they may have never heard of, but usually they know less than the person who is questioning.  The person  has been studying extensively and with the internet they don`t have to go to far.  Unfortunately, whoever gains their trust becomes primary in the dialogue in their head about the Church.  Now, if someone lands on Mormon Stories they hear a number of people they say they are members but rant about the Church.  I have seen this happen on their Facebook group at least 20-30 times.  There are those individuals that try to make positive or balanced comments on Mormon Stories, but they are quickly shot down.  I have tried to be one of those people, but it is very difficult.  I mostly try to avoid their Podcasts and Facebook group  

 

Now take MormonMatters hosted by Dan Wotherspoon.  It is a sister site to Mormon Stories.  Dan seems to pull off being balanced and giving people hope.  Jeff Burton does similar things with his book For Those Who Wonder and the associated website (and Borderlands column in Sunstone).  Unfortunately, MormonMatters and Jeff Burton seem to play to a smaller audience than MormonStories.  I think when a person who is having doubts does a Google search that anti-Mormon sites and MormonStories floats to the top.  FairMormon does also and I realize that occasionally FairMormon does`t work to comfort someone.  Much as the Church`s essays can make people doubt, so can FairMormon.  The same with Rough Stone Rolling or Terryl Givens books.  All of these pro-Mormon sources that I mention are faith-promoting to me and I think they do a good job.  

 

In the end the Church is darned if they do and darned if they don`t discuss controversial topics, but as several have pointed out the essays are a needed step.  I appreciate them.  The squeaky clean, sanitized version of Church history needs to go.  

 

Finally a plug for a book called Help Though My Unbelief by Nancy Phippen Browne and Shaken Faith Syndrome by Mike Ash.  If a doubter can be pointed to these books they can really help.  If it happens soon enough in the doubting process, it can help a soul stay connected to the Church.  

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Other than blood atonement and the Adam-God theory the essays put out by the Church cover most of the common issues that I have heard from people going through a faith crisis. The lack of much mention about the issues at Church does make many really question and at some point they don`t trust the Church. That happened years ago and that is how I felt. Luckily I found a way through the issues

Leaders that volunteer their time are asked about things they may have never heard of, but usually they know less than the person who is questioning. The person has been studying extensively and with the internet they don`t have to go to far. Unfortunately, whoever gains their trust becomes primary in the dialogue in their head about the Church. Now, if someone lands on Mormon Stories they hear a number of people they say they are members but rant about the Church. I have seen this happen on their Facebook group at least 20-30 times. There are those individuals that try to make positive or balanced comments on Mormon Stories, but they are quickly shot down. I have tried to be one of those people, but it is very difficult. I mostly try to avoid their Podcasts and Facebook group

Now take MormonMatters hosted by Dan Wotherspoon. It is a sister site to Mormon Stories. Dan seems to pull off being balanced and giving people hope. Jeff Burton does similar things with his book For Those Who Wonder and the associated website (and Borderlands column in Sunstone). Unfortunately, MormonMatters and Jeff Burton seem to play to a smaller audience than MormonStories. I think when a person who is having doubts does a Google search that anti-Mormon sites and MormonStories floats to the top. FairMormon does also and I realize that occasionally FairMormon does`t work to comfort someone. Much as the Church`s essays can make people doubt, so can FairMormon. The same with Rough Stone Rolling or Terryl Givens books. All of these pro-Mormon sources that I mention are faith-promoting to me and I think they do a good job.

In the end the Church is darned if they do and darned if they don`t discuss controversial topics, but as several have pointed out the essays are a needed step. I appreciate them. The squeaky clean, sanitized version of Church history needs to go.

Finally a plug for a book called Help Though My Unbelief by Nancy Phippen Browne and Shaken Faith Syndrome by Mike Ash. If a doubter can be pointed to these books they can really help. If it happens soon enough in the doubting process, it can help a soul stay connected to the Church.

Bill Reel has a podcast with Nancy Phippen Browne, maybe even Mike Ash also. I can link later.

Wow, it sounds like you know all too well what people like me and others go through. Maybe give some helpful hints or advice??

Btw, I used to be a member of the closed group Mormon Stories when someone invited me, also the "It's a Thoughtful Faith" FB group and was a FB friend of John Dehlin's. But got sick of the same things you have said here and defriended myself from all. It was definitely very negative, or not at all good for someone still in the church, not all in mentally though.

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Tacenda, what kind of advice do you want?

Well, I guess what I need will be a miracle. Just that you had mentioned going through a time that you struggled with some information. I just wondered how you were able to get past it. But there are plenty who do.

Btw, have you listened to Mormon Matters lately? Dan shares things about his past that I would never have believed until it came from the horses mouth. But I guess everyone has something they're not proud of doing.

Edited by Tacenda
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Well, I guess what I need will be a miracle. Just that you had mentioned going through a time that you struggled with some information. I just wondered how you were able to get past it. But there are plenty who do.

Btw, have you listened to Mormon Matters lately? Dan shares things about his past that I would never have believed until it came from the horses mouth. But I guess everyone has something they're not proud of doing.

I was surprised too. Shows the power of grace even more. 

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I think his tales of his past are awesome. He really does balance out MormonStories. I wish MS was for Postmormon and MM was for those who were having their earlier doubts.

Tacenda, when I met with a GA he recommended reading something positive for everything negative and to a break from negative items occasionally. That and plenty of prayer worked.

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I think his tales of his past are awesome. He really does balance out MormonStories. I wish MS was for Postmormon and MM was for those who were having their earlier doubts.

Tacenda, when I met with a GA he recommended reading something positive for everything negative and to a break from negative items occasionally. That and plenty of prayer worked.

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I tried to search mormonduscussions, but didn't figure it out. Maybe someone liked the name. Read my posts here. Never written anything even close to those you brought up. I guess I will either have to live with it or use another name on this board. Heck, I could just stop posting anywhere with the limited time I have. Nevo, I hope you don't have one of those malignant personalities that would do something like that for fun.

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