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Sadness For Apostates


jkwilliams

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I would hope that no one rejoices that there are apostates or even when a child of God resigns their membership from the Church of Jesus Christ.  I do think there are lessons to be learned when we see those who at one time faithful and over time those same individuals fall away.  I firmly believe that this type of result does not happen all at once.  The path to apostasy and abandoning Jesus Christ begins with one, very small step.  The problem is that step gets repeated over and over and eventually we find ourselves completely separated from Christ.  

 

Why do some hold to the iron rod while others appear to easily let go of the word of God?  What do they tell themselves on those first few, small steps away from Christ that makes them think it is okay or even spiritually healthy?

 

I don't have any close friends or family members that appear bothered by this.  I have family members and friends that are either completely inactive or at varying degrees of activity, but this most current issue does not seem to play a role.

 

Of all the terrible things that occur in the world I remain amazed how this single issue seems to be such a major issue.  It is worth spending time studying it and see how it evolved and who was doing what.  This has been engineered for some time.  The frog has been in the pan and heat has been slowly turned up over a few decades.  

 

We leave the church and we deny Christ slowly; very seldom is it all at once.  It is going to be very rough on the saints.  There many will fall away from the Body of Christ and persecutions of those that remain will intensify.  A lot of pain for those that walk away and for those that put their faith in the Savior there will be peace.  Isn't that a rather amazing promise from him? 

Edited by Storm Rider
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Just more signs of prophecy being fulfilled.  It is sad that so many are falling away, very sad, but hardly unexpected in the words of the prophets.

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From what some people tell me, we should be happy and celebrating, but we are all heartbroken. I have not resigned, as I will keep the promise I made to my wife, but for me, these friends have left an empty space in the church, and both they and the church will suffer their loss.

There must needs be opposition, John, and any suffering experienced will simply be part of the experiential test which we must all undergo, both individually and communally.

 

I'm sure there are those who are happy to see apostates walk away. God knows I've had church members tell me folks like me have no place in the kingdom. ......................

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Those who rejoice are hardly worthy of the Kingdom anyhow, as flawed in their own way as those who leave.  We will always have both of those types of people within or on the fringes of the Church, and that should be no surprise.  We need to exhibit a stoic acceptance of the movement to and fro, and into and out of the Church, just as we accepted the ingress and egress of Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and the rest.  It is all part of a neverending continuum -- as natural as the rising and setting of the Sun.  We need to take it in stride.  It is the natural order of things.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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It's sad when anyone leaves.

It may, on the other hand, be a very necessary part of their experience.  I have seen the value of it far too many times.  Perhaps we ought to bid them a hearty "bon voyage," instead of sadly worrying about it.  Many of them will be back someday.  We must not pretend to know the end from the beginning.

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It may, on the other hand, be a very necessary part of their experience.  I have seen the value of it far too many times.  Perhaps we ought to bid them a hearty "bon voyage," instead of sadly worrying about it.  Many of them will be back someday.  We must not pretend to know the end from the beginning.

I tend to agree...but I still miss people, so my 'heartys' are  not always that robust.

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FWIW-One of the most liberal people I know, stopped attending 5 years ago and tough times is causing her maybe to come back, she attended on sunday! hopefully she'll get come out more often, she has some things to get through but time will tell I guess. I don't know if she knows about this baptism thing

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"To make a long story short, about a month later, I ended up in Elder Andersen’s office. I was terrified, because I felt sure that he was going to ‘read me the riot act’ about my choices and behavior to that point. He was going to call me to repentance; I was sure of it. Quite the opposite ended up being true. As I wrote in my journal-blog at the time,

“I think the thing that surprised me most about meeting with him was how clear he made it that this is my decision–whether to stay or to go. I had thought he was going to spend a lot of time trying to reason with me as to why I should stay, but he didn’t. He said that it was my choice to make and he would respect me either way.”

Ever since, I have tried to take that attitude whenever someone is seriously considering leaving the Church or actually does leave. I think it is the Christlike option and wish that more members and leaders would pursue it. Your personal beliefs about what the person is doing or thinking are secondary to the fact they are entitled to do and feel however they like. It is between them and (hopefully) God. I have nothing to do with it. All I can do is offer my witness, and that is what I’m trying to do here."

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2015/11/how-i-choose-to-see-the-revisions/#disqus_thread

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I would never want anyone to leave.  I would wish for them to understand that our ways are not God's ways and to have patience and faith. 

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In the last few days, 6 of my friends have resigned from the church. Some I have known for more than 30 years. One was my zone leader in my mission. Two were people who tried to love me back into church activity for years. Two are a couple who took care of us missionaries when we were sick and far from home. In short, 6 of the finest people I know have left the church we once would have given everything for.

From what some people tell me, we should be happy and celebrating, but we are all heartbroken. I have not resigned, as I will keep the promise I made to my wife, but for me, these friends have left an empty space in the church, and both they and the church will suffer their loss.

I'm sure there are those who are happy to see apostates walk away. God knows I've had church members tell me folks like me have no place in the kingdom. Maybe we don't, but I can't help but grieve tonight.

Peace to you all. God bless you.

 

It is indeed a sad day that such quality people become deceived and become confused between right and wrong.  ". . . if it were possible even the very elect shall be deceived."

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All of us must decide, at some point, whether we're going to hold on to the spiritual witness which led us to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (whether that witness came before baptism or sometime after, whether it came as a single manifestation or a series of them, whether it was dramatic or seemingly more mundane).  All of us must answer Christ's question to His followers afer the reaction of many when He declared "hard doctrines": "Will ye also go away?"  We must choose whether we will answer as did Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life."  

 

All of us must decide if the witness we have received is the immovable homing beacon upon which we must fix our course in order to navigate successfully through life's unremitting storms and torrents. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I believe it is the path back to the presence of God; I am loathe, however, to be provincial in my possession of such truth: while I believe that divine authority is essential, that God is a God of order, and that, hence, there is a pattern to how He bestows such authority, there are many paths that will get one most of the way back to God, and there are many, many paths that will get him at least some of the way there.  There may be things I don't understand about the doctrines and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  There may be things I don't understand about what this leader or that leader (or about what God) has said and done.  My personal commitment may ebb and flow (so I'm certainly not inclined to be too judgmental of others for whom that is also the case).  But if my witness is a beacon in a sea of lights that are of varying brightness and whose guidance and ultimate destinations are less sure, I, personally, cannot imagine totally giving that up, however tenuous my commitment is at any given point in time, or whatever questions might remain.  If the events that led to my conversion, and that have sustained it, are reality for me, I cannot, personally, imagine reinterpreting that reality differently in light of subsequent events.

 

Like Alma, the Younger, many of us have once "felt to sing the song of redeeming love"; but that's not enough: we must continually ask, as he did, "Can ye feel so now?" (See Alma 5).  Like Helaman counseled his sons, we must build our foundation on Christ's sure rock, rather than on the shifting sociological sands what is perceived to be the most (politically?) correct response to this or that policy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I haven't said any of this to be unduly judgmental of someone who, instead, feels what he thought was his foundation moving under his feet.  But, as the Lord asked Oliver Cowdery, I would ask him to cast his mind back to the time he received his witness, and ask (rhetorically; no one owes me any explanation for any decision he might make) why he now feels compelled to reinterpret that witness.

 

As for those of us who remain in the fold (even if we might be on its outer reaches), please accept our continued attempts at ministration in the spirit in which they are intended.  In the spirit of the Good Shepherd, we are commanded to seek who now are outside the fold, even, and perhaps especially, if they affirmatively separated themselves from it.  "Unto such shall ye continue to minister," Christ said (see 3 Nephi 18).  On the other hand, "Not all who wander are lost."  As loathe as I might be to separate myself from the fold, and while I would never tell anyone, "Sure, go see how you like that spot of grass outside the fold that looks greener from here," perhaps (if only in retrospect) some time outside the fold or on a different path is a necessary part of an individual spiritual journey: often, one doesn't know what he's lost until it's gone.  Please don't be offended if we reach out to you from time to time to determine if that's the case for you.  And while I'm not suggesting that a lukewarm commitment is best, perhaps there will come a time when people who might've separated themselves from the fold because of the hard doctrines might say to themselves, "You know what?  I may not be sure about this or about that, and I might've been tempted to undervalue my membership because of that uncertainty, but if the only place I can find spiritual safety is among the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, count me in."

 

My $0.02.  Your mileage may vary.

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I'm not persuaded that it is all about apostasy or about wheat and tares or about becoming confused.   Some people are really hurting and do not understand how or why God would require this, be for this, especially in the sense that they see it playing out in ugly ways against the children.

 

I don't see it playing out that way in most congregations.  And I do suspect that, as with other policies, bishops will be sending off letters to the First Presidency in specific appropriate circumstances asking for waivers. 

 

I think the biggest problem is that His ways are not our ways.  His perspective is not ours. 

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I would never want anyone to leave.  I would wish for them to understand that our ways are not God's ways and to have patience and faith. 

Yes.  We've been counseled (commanded, I would say: the Lord says "shall") to receive the words of the prophets as though they came from the mouth of the Lord Himself "in all patience and faith" (Doctrine and Covenants 21:6).  Why would that be necessary if we always understood everything already?

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Yes.  We've been counseled (commanded, I would say: the Lord says "shall") to receive the words of the prophets as though they came from the mouth of the Lord Himself "in all patience and faith" (Doctrine and Covenants 21:6).  Why would that be necessary if we always understood everything already?

Good point!

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There's a parable in the New Testament that talks about wheat and tares....

 

Yes. There is some dispute over who is the wheat and who is the tares.

 

It is indeed a sad day that such quality people become deceived and become confused between right and wrong.  ". . . if it were possible even the very elect shall be deceived."

 

It may be that those who choose to buy into this new policy are the ones being deceived. Just a thought.

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Yes. There is some dispute over who is the wheat and who is the tares.

 

 

It may be that those who choose to buy into this new policy are the ones being deceived. Just a thought.

 

So the prophet and apostles are the tares?  :unsure:

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So the prophet and apostles are the tares?  :unsure:

 

I would propose that the parable is not about "other" and "me" or whatever. But, clearly there are many who believe such and have the audacity to call people out as tares or being deceived. I would argue that each person carries within themselves wheat and tares. It is up to the individual to pluck out the tares. To think that people are either all bad or all good is to buy into a dichotomy that only exists in fairy tales.

 

But, really, there is nothing uplifting, praiseworthy or of good report in regards to the new policy. It does not draw people to Christ. It does not mesh with how most people view Jesus or the lds gospel.

 

Jesus wasn't a fan of Pharisees. The church is pharisaical.

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Sad that so many people would give the fullness of the gospel up for this. Especially since there hasn't been enough time for serious pondering fasting and prayer

And there hasn't been enough time to see how this policy will be enforced and what some of the exceptions might be. Many are reacting too quickly and making life-changing decisions based on something that hasn't really been activley enforced yet. 

Edited by JAHS
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Yes. There is some dispute over who is the wheat and who is the tares.

This is Social Hall where some of us come to relax, you want a debate or detailed discussion, please take it to the main forum

Edited by Calm
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