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10 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

This morning I was greeted with a Facebook birthday notification for a woman I have known since my days at the BYU Reading/Writing Lab and the English MA program there. Sadly, she passed away almost 2 years ago, leaving a husband and two boys. She died a faithful member of the church.

It struck me that she was always what some around here call a "progressive Mormon" or "progMormon." She definitely was much more politically liberal than I have ever been. She was a feminist who struggled with the role of women in the church, and she once caused a minor uproar in a literary theory class by saying that the only way women could exercise any authority in the church was to "strap on a plastic penis." Reading some of her old Facebook posts, I note that she supported Ordain Women, was pro-choice, and supported equal rights for gays and lesbians. But she loved the church and was a temple worker who repeatedly expressed her joy at doing temple ordinances. Her boys were/are active in Scouting and priesthood activities, and she looked forward to their serving missions someday.

I thought of how some people consider such "progressive Mormons" as pretty much the same as apostates. I find that hard to reconcile with the faith she showed so much and so constantly. I'm not asking for personal judgments of her or me or anyone else, but I'm trying to make sense of why otherwise faithful members are often condemned and ridiculed because they seek change in the church. Either way, she was a wonderful woman, and I miss her.

Well, I think I'm like her at least in spirit.  As it turns out many of my closest friends who have left the church see me more of a threat, more as one who ought to be condemned than many of my fellow church members.  I also have friends who have left who support me, though. 

I'm curious regarding your question too.  I've always expressed a desire to see change in the Church here, and it feels like many condemn the notion that we should seek change because that's not up to us average lowly members.  I think some of the best changes the Church needs to go through lie ahead and I'm not really going to shy away regarding what I think some good steps will be.  I don't see a problem with it. 

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19 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

This morning I was greeted with a Facebook birthday notification for a woman I have known since my days at the BYU Reading/Writing Lab and the English MA program there. Sadly, she passed away almost 2 years ago, leaving a husband and two boys. She died a faithful member of the church.

It struck me that she was always what some around here call a "progressive Mormon" or "progMormon." She definitely was much more politically liberal than I have ever been. She was a feminist who struggled with the role of women in the church, and she once caused a minor uproar in a literary theory class by saying that the only way women could exercise any authority in the church was to "strap on a plastic penis." Reading some of her old Facebook posts, I note that she supported Ordain Women, was pro-choice, and supported equal rights for gays and lesbians. But she loved the church and was a temple worker who repeatedly expressed her joy at doing temple ordinances. Her boys were/are active in Scouting and priesthood activities, and she looked forward to their serving missions someday.

I thought of how some people consider such "progressive Mormons" as pretty much the same as apostates. I find that hard to reconcile with the faith she showed so much and so constantly. I'm not asking for personal judgments of her or me or anyone else, but I'm trying to make sense of why otherwise faithful members are often condemned and ridiculed because they seek change in the church. Either way, she was a wonderful woman, and I miss her.

Thanks for this post, jkwilliams.

I would consider myself to be what some term a progressive Mormon.  Heck, my own Bishop and most likely my Stake President are also progressives (as well as many other leaders in my ward and stake).  I see more and more members who are no longer stuck in the black and white mentality of such letter of the law extremes when it comes to their testimonies of the gospel.  I do think this is a result of so much more transparency from church leaders and how many have still remained in the church with a testimony. There are very few members of my ward who don't respond very positively to the manner in which my Bishop leads our ward and he is very approachable for them to come to with questions and doubts.  They are met with love and understanding, rather than judgmental condemnation or blame.

Your friend above sounds like quite the woman.  She reminds me of one of our most faithful and active sisters in our ward.  She is a devout Democrat and supports all of the groups you mentioned above, but she is also a favorite gospel doctrine teacher and spends at least one day a week in the temple.  Members love to hear her speak and she's quite the character :) 

.

Edited by ALarson
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8 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well, I think I'm like her at least in spirit.  As it turns out many of my closest friends who have left the church see me more of a threat, more as one who ought to be condemned than many of my fellow church members.  I also have friends who have left who support me, though. 

I'm curious regarding your question too.  I've always expressed a desire to see change in the Church here, and it feels like many condemn the notion that we should seek change because that's not up to us average lowly members.  I think some of the best changes the Church needs to go through lie ahead and I'm not really going to shy away regarding what I think some good steps will be.  I don't see a problem with it. 

Thanks for that. It just struck me that some people see no difference between these "progmos" and apostates. To me, there's a huge difference.

I don't see you as a threat, by the way. Not sure why anyone would. To borrow from Rush Limbaugh, you're just a harmless little fuzzball. :)

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16 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Thanks for this post, jkwilliams.

I would consider myself to be what some term a progressive Mormon.  Heck, my own Bishop and most likely my Stake President are also progressives (as well as many other leaders in my ward and stake).  I see more and more members who are no longer stuck in the black and white mentality of such letter of the law extremes when it comes to their testimonies of the gospel.  I do think this is a result of so much more transparency from church leaders and how many have still remained in the church with a testimony. There are very few members of my ward who don't respond very positively to the manner in which my Bishop leads our ward and he is very approachable for them to come to with questions and doubts.  They are met with love and understanding, rather than judgmental condemnation or blame.

Your friend above sounds like quite the woman.  She reminds me of one of our most faithful and active sisters in our ward.  She is a devout Democrat and supports all of the groups you mentioned above, but she is also a favorite gospel doctrine teacher and spends at least one day a week in the temple.  Members love to hear her speak and she's quite the character :) 

It's funny, but one of the thoughts I had this morning was that I often am told that smarter, better educated people than I am believe in Mormonism, and that definitely applies to her (she had a Ph.D from a prestigious university). I felt almost jealous this morning, wondering why she could make it work and I couldn't. Sigh.

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21 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Thanks for that. It just struck me that some people see no difference between these "progmos" and apostates. To me, there's a huge difference.

I don't see you as a threat, by the way. Not sure why anyone would. To borrow from Rush Limbaugh, you're just a harmless little fuzzball. :)

That's what I say. 

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

This morning I was greeted with a Facebook birthday notification for a woman I have known since my days at the BYU Reading/Writing Lab and the English MA program there. Sadly, she passed away almost 2 years ago, leaving a husband and two boys. She died a faithful member of the church.

It struck me that she was always what some around here call a "progressive Mormon" or "progMormon." She definitely was much more politically liberal than I have ever been. She was a feminist who struggled with the role of women in the church, and she once caused a minor uproar in a literary theory class by saying that the only way women could exercise any authority in the church was to "strap on a plastic penis." Reading some of her old Facebook posts, I note that she supported Ordain Women, was pro-choice, and supported equal rights for gays and lesbians. But she loved the church and was a temple worker who repeatedly expressed her joy at doing temple ordinances. Her boys were/are active in Scouting and priesthood activities, and she looked forward to their serving missions someday.

I thought of how some people consider such "progressive Mormons" as pretty much the same as apostates. I find that hard to reconcile with the faith she showed so much and so constantly. I'm not asking for personal judgments of her or me or anyone else, but I'm trying to make sense of why otherwise faithful members are often condemned and ridiculed because they seek change in the church. Either way, she was a wonderful woman, and I miss her.

jk, based solely on what you have shared about this individual I would have no problem seeing her as a wonderful member of the Church of Jesus Christ.  I based this solely on her desire to serve and the obvious enjoyment she received from that service.  I have made the assumption that though she might want the church to change she did not vocally - i.e. through protests at GC, hold signs outside of the temple or conference, etc. 

Whether someone supports OW or other similar organizations is a red flag for me, I also don't see that as a significant problem. At most I see it more as an issue of understanding the gospel than anything else.  Ignorance or a lack of understanding does not affect one's membership or opportunity to serve in various capacities within the church.  

I reject the use of these type of labels - one is either a LDS or not.  I don't label members as anything other than such and I don't see such labels as helpful.

Loving someone has nothing to do with their comprehension of gospel teachings, service in the church, position in the church, or anything else.  They are human and you both must have enjoyed each others company.  It is painful to be separated through death from those we love and appreciate. 

The flip side of what I have said is that I would have fervently taken the position that no one, not even women, have the right to destroy innocent life regardless of how inconvenient the lives of others affects us personally and the misguided efforts of those who desire to change the church to meet their own desires such as those in the OW group.  I see no problems with respectful dialogue between members.  However, the moment a member takes their desire to the media or attempts to disrupt the membership that person has crossed a line that will merit excommunication.

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Thanks for this post, jkwilliams.

I would consider myself to be what some term a progressive Mormon.  Heck, my own Bishop and most likely my Stake President are also progressives (as well as many other leaders in my ward and stake).  I see more and more members who are no longer stuck in the black and white mentality of such letter of the law extremes when it comes to their testimonies of the gospel.  I do think this is a result of so much more transparency from church leaders and how many have still remained in the church with a testimony. There are very few members of my ward who don't respond very positively to the manner in which my Bishop leads our ward and he is very approachable for them to come to with questions and doubts.  They are met with love and understanding, rather than judgmental condemnation or blame.

Your friend above sounds like quite the woman.  She reminds me of one of our most faithful and active sisters in our ward.  She is a devout Democrat and supports all of the groups you mentioned above, but she is also a favorite gospel doctrine teacher and spends at least one day a week in the temple.  Members love to hear her speak and she's quite the character :) 

.

I could have survived in your ward!!  Sounds great!

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25 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

I could have survived in your ward!!  Sounds great!

I'm somehow surviving in my ward and it's the exact opposite of what he describes of his.  Well, okay exact opposite is a bit of an exaggeration. 

Anyway, his ward sounds like that which I hope for.  I sometimes lose hope and wonder if it's ever possible.  But it sounds like it is. 

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15 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

As long as a member has a testimony, and is faithful to their covenants, they are a LDS in my book. It is not wanting a change that is the problem. It is about how we go about seeking that change.

I guess I've never understood why it's so important for members to keep their views to themselves. If everyone just silently goes along "facing the right way" there's not a lot of incentive for anything to change. And I wonder how public is too public. As I noted, my friend (among others) was pretty outspoken in classes and seminars at BYU. Is that acceptable? How about if she had attended a pro-choice rally or OW protest? Where does one draw the line?

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9 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I guess I've never understood why it's so important for members to keep their views to themselves. If everyone just silently goes along "facing the right way" there's not a lot of incentive for anything to change. And I wonder how public is too public. As I noted, my friend (among others) was pretty outspoken in classes and seminars at BYU. Is that acceptable? How about if she had attended a pro-choice rally or OW protest? Where does one draw the line?

I see a difference between a public environment, a classroom, a conference, a seminar and Sunday School class.  In a public environment you expect to have a diverse set of opinions.  However, in Sunday School you don't expect an individual to express their opinion that a woman should be able to have an abortion or be ordained to the priesthood without also having that rejected by the instructor or by other class members.  

To attend a rally, to stand with the crowd is one thing, but to pick up a sign and protest in front of the Conference Center or at BYU is a whole other kettle of fish.  You pick up that sign and you begin down a very slippery path to excommunication.  Others may feel it is acceptable, but I see it as a danger sign that the individual can use that as a stepping stone to a position that is a step too far.  

Where does one draw the line?  If one is cautious then the line is very far from the position of stepping over the line.  Why play with fire constantly? 

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45 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

As long as a member has a testimony, and is faithful to their covenants, they are a LDS in my book. It is not wanting a change that is the problem. It is about how we go about seeking that change.

I concur exactly with what you have said here.

I think the problem starts when people view the church as a democratic, political type of entity, where lobbying and protests can change church policies. It isn't a democracy run by the people. It is run by God. When we petition for change it should be on our knees, in prayer to the one who's plan we are trying to follow. If God doesn't align towards our own views after such petitions to change, then it means we need to re-evaluate if our petition isn't in conflict with God's plan. If on the other hand such changes are warranted, the prophet will gain revelation to change it, in answer to those sincere prayers, just as we will know through our own personal revelation that it follows God's plan. There is no need to judge members based on their feelings, but rather to lovingly redirect their energies towards how to more appropriately affect true change, in the true church. Just my two cents worth anyway.

Edited by waveslider
mispell
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I'm not a ProgMo at all. I'm far removed from being a progressive.

But I have ProgMo's on my Facebook friend's list. Because friendship ain't about sociopolitical ideology. And the personal is NOT political.  

Besides, if I really don't like something they post, I know how to delete it from my timeline. 

And I know how to adjust my friend settings so that any particular individual's "shares" are restricted from my page. 

Edited by flameburns623
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I don't think I'd call them (or her) apostate. I think I'm fairly middle ground. Politically I lean more liberal and democrat. I have no problem calling myself a feminist. I'm very interested in social issues. My job is not your run-of-the-mill career path (sex therapist) and I'm big on wanting to help and change some of our dialogue around that. There are a couple of beliefs in said category that I feel we either oversimplify or get it wrong. 

There are things that I don't fit the progressive bill perfectly. I'm usually in agreement with gay rights but still can't fully get behind gay marriage (though for the rights and protections behind such. It's the label. I'm well informed of the arguments for or against and real life cases...etc.). I'm not super pro-choice but don't like the pro life platforms and don't really care much about abortion in the first trimester. Etc. 

And I'm very active LDS and have no plans to change.

That said, I do get leery when I hear some progressive LDS. It's for a similar reason that I get leery towards some very staunch traditional/conservative mormons. Their personal ideas have a tendency to take an air of certainty and rigidity that I don't like. And I'm more hesitant to assert my personal beliefs and feelings as something the church should or shouldn't do. Some (not all) can also have a tendency to make clear expectations as to the right way the church should move. Plus on some things (OW or Gay marriage accepted in the church) I fundamentally disagree with. It doesn't mean that I think there shouldn't be changes in the church with these issues, but the conclusions as to what that change will look like don't match up for me and feel theologically in conflict or lacking support. Beyond the platform some of the attitudes and outlooks towards the church I also have difficulty with. Sometimes progressive can also move toward more cynical/jaded beliefs about the church that I just can't subscribe to....especially if the church isn't changing fast enough or isn't changing in the direction one expected. Sometime it feels like a number are just switching one set of rigid beliefs for the next set but because the beliefs are different they've "grown" or become "enlightened"....and the tone can be just as patronizing as the more conservative LDS. 

 

I don't think I've condemned anyone though for being progressive  and I'm not planning to begin doing so. . We're all figuring it out and we can't all be right all the time.

 

With luv,

BD

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59 minutes ago, smac97 said:

 We need to give each other some substantial elbow room to allow for principled and respectful disagreement, while remaining brothers and sisters in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I agree, but what do you think of the fact that the least corrupt countries keep religion out of politics? All of them are non-authoritarian and not very religious 

Quote

Here are 10 countries that the index found to be the least corrupt: 1. Denmark 2. Finland 3. Sweden 4. New Zealand 5. Netherlands 5. Norway 7. Switzerland 8. Singapore 9. Canada 10. Germany http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/27/464586586/what-were-the-least-and-most-corrupt-countries-in-2015

 

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9 minutes ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

I agree, but what do you think of the fact that the least corrupt countries keep religion out of politics? All of them are non-authoritarian and not very religious 

 

The US has a different history. While not perfect in our observation of the Separation of Church and State. Most of Europe has a much worse history.

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15 minutes ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

I agree, but what do you think of the fact that the least corrupt countries keep religion out of politics? All of them are non-authoritarian and not very religious 

I'm not sure what you mean by "keep religion out of politics."  

Everyone has their own set of ethics/morals based on various factors.  These can include religious doctrines, nebulous individualized religious belief, a non-religious "in-the-gut"-style sense of right and wrong, political ideology, popular trends, and on and on.  

I reject the notion that of these various factors, one of them - religious belief - is unfit as a mechanism for informing one's sense of ethics/morals.  That is not reasonable in my view.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 hours ago, waveslider said:

I concur exactly with what you have said here.

I think the problem starts when people view the church as a democratic, political type of entity, where lobbying and protests can change church policies. It isn't a democracy run by the people. It is run by God. When we petition for change it should be on our knees, in prayer to the one who's plan we are trying to follow. If God doesn't align towards our own views after such petitions to change, then it means we need to re-evaluate if our petition isn't in conflict with God's plan. If on the other hand such changes are warranted, the prophet will gain revelation to change it, in answer to those sincere prayers, just as we will know through our own personal revelation that it follows God's plan. There is no need to judge members based on their feelings, but rather to lovingly redirect their energies towards how to more appropriately affect true change, in the true church. Just my two cents worth anyway.

 

 

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

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8 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

 I'm trying to make sense of why otherwise faithful members are often condemned and ridiculed because they seek change in the church.

Sorry for the loss of your friend.

But the answer to this question is an easy one.
It is not change in the Church that brings about condemnation, but it is any perceived change in the revealed doctrines that people consider to come directly from God.

OW are not condemned for seeking change through the ordination of women, but they are condemned for insisting that the ordination of men only to ecclesiastical office is a false doctrine.  This naturally goes against the general understanding of doctrine and so condemnation ensues.  Just as if a group arose in the Church favoring baptism by sprinkling.  They would be instantly condemned by anyone who believe immersion to be the only revealed option.

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29 minutes ago, Gray said:

 

 

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

So what are you trying to say? That protests are works?

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