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Changing Paradigms- A Must-Read Essay About Faith Crisis


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38 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

That is a return?!?!?!?!

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I'm really not seeing the light through all the sado-masochism. I'm one of those who are no longer active, and I think this author is kidding herself. If the Church is just a support group, there are far better options that don't encourage one to develop such a gluttonous appetite for self-inflicted punishment.
 

Quote

Yes it can be boring, yes it can be oppressive, yes it can be incomprehensibly stupid ...

 

Edited by JeremyOrbe-Smith
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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

She sounds very confused and I really wonder how long her return will last:

Quote

 

At the end of last year I tearfully thrust my Temple Recommend into my Bishop’s hands, I stopped wearing temple garments and I gave myself permission to walk away.

Like many, I’d had years of feeling like the breath was being sucked out of me as I pulled into the meetinghouse car park; years of feeling as though my head would explode every time I went to sacrament meeting or Sunday School. I’d had years of sorting and sifting and manipulating doctrines, policies, mythologies, cultural practices, silences, spiritual abuses, violence and inequalities. I was choked with years of fury and sadness that the religion that had once had my heart was failing me, failing others and failing itself with its increasing insistence on blind obedience to its leadership, its grudging painful slow creep to historical transparency, its poor theology choked with contradiction, and its operations that seemed to treat the organization first and foremost like a business.

 

And now:

Quote

I’ll be at church on Sunday because I have accepted that for most there isn’t a single story of Mormonism. It’s not all good but its not all bad either and in weighing the balance I’m going for the devil I know. All religions have their awful. The LDS Church is no different. 

....

 For the time being I’m an Independent Zion Mormon. Right now I don’t particularly want to go to the Temple mostly because I don’t have positive feelings about the interview – but that might change. 

But hey, there are all kinds of testimonies and reasons for attending and I'm sure she was welcomed back.  I wish her well.

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8 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

I agree. I like the essay and appreciate the work Gina does on the A Thoughtful Faith podcast.

If everyone in Mormonism accepted doctrine as flexible and were permitted to find their own way within the church I think there would be far fewer Faith Crisis'. But for many of us we experience a form of shunning within our congregations and even families if we don't hold to a very specific Mormon creed. Once we are able to feel comfortable in our own skin, with our own testimony (whether it is in or out of the orthodox box), and with the possibility of social shunning, then things become less of a crisis and more of a faith development.

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

That is a return?!?!?!?!

For some.

It is a re-definition of how they see the church, to be sure, but it works.

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8 hours ago, JeremyOrbe-Smith said:

I'm really not seeing the light through all the sado-masochism. I'm one of those who are no longer active, and I think this author is kidding herself. If the Church is just a support group, there are far better options that don't encourage one to develop such a gluttonous appetite for self-inflicted punishment.
 

 

I honestly did not understand that part. or I guess your comment.  Yes I understand the words, but have no problem with Sundays and find them uplifiting. 

People with different paradigms see the world differently, but we are all LDS, with a common core of practices and beliefs.  I find that enriching.  Also there is the service and teaching opportunities which arise.  I live for those.

And you see those as sado-masochistic?  I am sure you have chosen the right path for you then.  I cannot fathom that.

To be in a church which seeks the full potential for mankind, as mankind- I find that a great opportunity for personal growth spiritually and temporally.

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

A buffet restaurant that I love opened in our city last June. I have been there every single month since it opened; it's quality food at a great price, approximately US$12.00 for lunch. It includes a sushi train, salad bar, Asian foods, a couple of roasts with sides, Chinese barbecue, a variety of other hot dishes, and a dessert bar. I love to start with a plate of salad, followed by a plate of sushi. Then I usually get some coconut rice topped with a couple of my favourite Asian dishes (like Thai fishcakes!) and some five-spice pork belly and char siu pork. Then it's time for some roast beef and hot chips with gravy, maybe some corn-on-the-cob, maybe some pizza. If I have room, I'll have a bit more sushi before having a very small slice of cheesecake for dessert. I love it!

I once took one of the young men in our ward as a reward for something good he'd accomplished, and all he ate the entire time we were there were chicken nuggets and jelly. I thought it was a complete waste of a good buffet. It apparently was just what he wanted. I still hope that someday he'll grow up and enjoy the rest of the buffet, but in the meantime I'm happy for him to eat the nuggets and jelly.

EXACTLY!!!  

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I agree. I like the essay and appreciate the work Gina does on the A Thoughtful Faith podcast.

If everyone in Mormonism accepted doctrine as flexible and were permitted to find their own way within the church I think there would be far fewer Faith Crisis'. But for many of us we experience a form of shunning within our congregations and even families if we don't hold to a very specific Mormon creed. Once we are able to feel comfortable in our own skin, with our own testimony (whether it is in or out of the orthodox box), and with the possibility of social shunning, then things become less of a crisis and more of a faith development.

In my experience, there is no need to share with others my particular understanding of the gospel.  They have theirs, I have mine.  I am not out to preach to others which version of Mormonism works for me.  

It is precisely like teaching from the manual, and sticking to it, even though you may have another understanding of those words on the page than others.  The words are out there, objectively.  What I understand about what those words mean may be entirely different than your understanding, and trust me, it is, both in church and on these boards and in publications.  But in church, people are there to worship and be edified, not to have alternative beliefs thrown in their faces.

Perhaps they see the persons Adam and Eve talking to Satan.  I see a play portraying the fall from innocence we all experience.  So what?

Same with my family.  My wife is probably the only member of my family who understands MY understanding of the gospel as I understand it.  Kids think as kids, and then you grow up and put off childish ways.  Some never put off childish ways, and it is not my job to produce conflict in their beliefs.

You teach "from the manuals".  Let each believe as they do. 

We are all "permitted to find their own way within the church" as long as you do not harm the faith of others.  You allow them to eat the nuggets and jelly, as above in Hamba's post, if that is what they like.  No problem.

No shunning, no controversy.  Answer the interview honestly.  Yes I have a testimony of the restoration.  Yes Joseph was a prophet and so are we all to a certain extent, some more than others.  Yes the church needs authorities, and I sustain them.  Yes I live the principles taught by the church regarding honestly and the word of wisdom etc.  Yes I pay an honest tithe, and get immeasurably more out of the church than money will ever buy.

No reason for social shunning- why would there be?  If you have a need to "correct" everyone else, then of course that is obnoxious behavior and of course it would lead to shunning.  I don't get it.  Let them believe as they do- love them

What's the problem?

Edited by mfbukowski
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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

A buffet restaurant that I love opened in our city last June. I have been there every single month since it opened; it's quality food at a great price, approximately US$12.00 for lunch. It includes a sushi train, salad bar, Asian foods, a couple of roasts with sides, Chinese barbecue, a variety of other hot dishes, and a dessert bar. I love to start with a plate of salad, followed by a plate of sushi. Then I usually get some coconut rice topped with a couple of my favourite Asian dishes (like Thai fishcakes!) and some five-spice pork belly and char siu pork. Then it's time for some roast beef and hot chips with gravy, maybe some corn-on-the-cob, maybe some pizza. If I have room, I'll have a bit more sushi before having a very small slice of cheesecake for dessert. I love it!

I once took one of the young men in our ward as a reward for something good he'd accomplished, and all he ate the entire time we were there were chicken nuggets and jelly. I thought it was a complete waste of a good buffet. It apparently was just what he wanted. I still hope that someday he'll grow up and enjoy the rest of the buffet, but in the meantime I'm happy for him to eat the nuggets and jelly.

So you're saying buffet/cafeteria Mormonism is absolutely fine?

I'm sure I've heard otherwise in previous conference talks but I'm glad you feel otherwise if that's the way you feel. 

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10 hours ago, JeremyOrbe-Smith said:

I'm really not seeing the light through all the sado-masochism. I'm one of those who are no longer active, and I think this author is kidding herself. If the Church is just a support group, there are far better options that don't encourage one to develop such a gluttonous appetite for self-inflicted punishment.

We all make our choices, Jeremy, and we shouldn't second-guess the choices of others.  We need to be respectful of their free agency.  I recall reading a Dear Abby (or was it her sister, Ann Landers?) letter many years ago in which the issue was a dominant woman marrying a meek man.  Was there anything wrong with that arrangement?  No, said Abby.  They both wanted the arrangement, perhaps one being a masochist and the other being a sadist.  Suited them fine.  Nobody else's business.

As Starman (Jeff Bridges, 1984) says about humans:  “You are at your very best when things are worst.”  Gina Colvin makes perfect sense to me.

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13 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

Her angst and perplexity seems to be the result of being unsuccessful in finding a way to harmonize the teachings of the Church with the philosophies of men. Never gonna work...

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2 hours ago, canard78 said:

Gina shared her blog in a couple of private Facebook groups and I replied with the following:

Thanks Gina. A great reminder of the very good reasons to stay. Keep it on your terms. 

A few years ago I realised that the ultimate symbol in the temple, the culmination of the endowment, is a sequence that shows that our human religious leaders don't have the answers.

We are symbolically taught in that sequence that after all the other lessons taught by the voice of a man, the biggest, most important lesson is (symbolically) between just ourselves and God. The lesson taught by God is not even known or heard by the priesthood leader.

The church leaders' main purpose in the interactive parable of the endowment is to help us prepare ourselves for spiritual independence and personal interaction with the divine... however we define that. 

It might be that the church continues to be the community where you choose to continue being, on personal terms, a "God girl." The fact that it doesn't have to be can be wonderfully liberating.

Choosing to be part of the broad Mormon tent, or not choosing to, doesn't therefore have to be a choice between good and bad but "good, better, best." What you seem to be discovering is that which is best for you doesn't necessarily match what's best for someone else. That's exciting :)

YES YES YES!!!!!!

That is how I see it and have seen it.  For me, Mormonism provides a "substrate" of belief in private personal revelation, and the quest to become as much like God as we are capable of becoming.. It is the ultimate human potential movement- the goal to become like God himself.  Incredible!

Also there is the idea that God is the Ideal Man- a human like myself who has achieved exactly what I am striving to achieve.  We conceptualize him as our Father- and himself part of an ideal family, of which all mankind participates.  All on earth are our brothers and sisters, and should be treated as such.

The Family is deified and made the ideal source and result of human values.

But we are not perfect, and so we have a mechanism - the atonement- whereby our best best efforts in the long run will be acceptable, through repentance.

It explains how all mankind has the opportunity for achieving this goal, and indeed even a way for us to learn on the other side, and make corrections after we pass on.

We have a rich symbolic library in the temple, the depths of which cannot be fully deciphered by the human mind- so there is no end to the possibilities of learning

We have tales of loss of innocence and regaining it, lessons of what happens when cultures increase in pride and fall.  We have endless opportunities for serving and loving our fellow man.

And then here we have folks worrying about trivia and fault finding the trivia.  

Evolution?  Really?

Seer stones? Who cares where these ideas came from -they are incredible!  

Oh well.

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, canard78 said:

So you're saying buffet/cafeteria Mormonism is absolutely fine?

I'm sure I've heard otherwise in previous conference talks but I'm glad you feel otherwise if that's the way you feel. 

If you can pass a recommend interview, you are as Mormon as anyone.  If you have a quote showing otherwise, I would love to see it

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As a temple recommend holding post faith crisis/faith transition (there were both a crisis followed by a transition) member I also think the article is great and have shared it on other forums. Thanks for sharing it here. The paragraph I most identify with is this one:

Quote

I’ll be there on Sunday because I don’t feel the need to believe anything I choose not to so that puts me under obligation to give others the right to believe what they want to. That means I have few expectations. I don’t feel the need to accept other’s expectations of me, I have no expectations of others. Allowing myself and others to believe how and where and what they may frees me to enjoy Mormonism and its teachings without feeling the fear that my very existence depends on it.

 

Edited by Boanerges
added text
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2 hours ago, canard78 said:

So you're saying buffet/cafeteria Mormonism is absolutely fine?

I'm sure I've heard otherwise in previous conference talks but I'm glad you feel otherwise if that's the way you feel. 

No one really partakes of the whole buffet. As I go through the line I see things I don't care for and don't eat (like raw oysters). I might choose the beef and broccoli over the chicken and cashews. I prefer my roast well done while plenty of others choose the rare sections. When I pick out crab legs I get the ones that have the little claws on them because they're meatier and I like the claw meat.

I'm not sure I've heard otherwise.

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

I thought it was a reasonable essay though some here don't have much use for Colvln.    I relate to much of what she said though I think similar things could be said for or by a Catholic or Baptist or a Muslim who are questioning their faith.   While I agree there is much to value ( and not to valua) within Mormonism I am not convinced it is better or worse than many other religious traditions.   I stay with it and at for likely the same reason Gina Colvin does.  It is what I and she have invested the most time, energy, financial resources, social and family ties into.   When I have considered and explored other options I am hesitant most likely because of the reasons stated.   Likely if I were still not involved with the Mormon church I would not be involved in any.

Also I personally don't use the term faith crisis for what she, I or others have gone through in moving past what many would view as a traditional solid believing testimony.  Rather I would term it a faith journey or transition.  i don't feel in crisis at all at least anymore though I once did.

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I thought this was an excellent essay for those a faith crisis, and goes to the root of what many are learning here, and what many here have not yet learned, but should learn- that Mormonism is highly flexible in terms of acceptable "doctrine" and encourages us to find our own ways within the church.

I have been a member 36 years and have never felt pressured about my perhaps non-traditional views.  Perhaps those raised as children in the church may feel differently, but frankly this essay captures precisely the feelings of those I know who have had a faith crisis and have returned.  It's a gem.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kiwimormon/2016/03/how-i-failed-my-mormon-sabbatical/

Think I'll pass.

I've never been enlightened or edified in reading Gina Colvin's musings, and I don't expect that to change now. 

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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

For some.

It is a re-definition of how they see the church, to be sure, but it works.

I do appreciate your room for such variation.   But I don't think most I the pews on Sunday have such a broad view.  Maybe there are more but we don't talk openly about such things at least at church.  

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5 hours ago, canard78 said:

So you're saying buffet/cafeteria Mormonism is absolutely fine?

I think 'absolutely fine' would negate my hopes that someone someday branches out into other (more healthful) sections of the buffet, but being there eating the nuggets and jelly is a fine place to be right now and for however long it may take ... even if, in the end, it never really takes.

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