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Well, it has finally happened: Goodbye to theism and my mormon 'opponents' ūüĎč


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9 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

No, despite what you say to the contrary, I am sure that is a big part of why I am not liked by some people who post on this board.  And why some people want to shut me up.  And otherwise try to get rid of me around here.

I don't hate you. I just find you extraordinarily vapid and annoying. 

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10 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

No, despite what you say to the contrary, I am sure that is a big part of why I am not liked by some people who post on this board.  And why some people want to shut me up.  And otherwise try to get rid of me around here.

It has nothing to do with the inflated sense of self importance, lack of tact, ignoring of rules, or disruptive behavior. Nope, couldn't be that at all.

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1 minute ago, ttribe said:

It has nothing to do with the inflated sense of self importance, lack of tact, ignoring of rules, or disruptive behavior. Nope, couldn't be that at all.

We all know the real reason: The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

'Cause they're, ummm, human, just as the rest of us are??? ;) :D

I assume you are really speaking for yourself. I have often thought that I might not really be human but have not had the courage to investigate the idea further. ūüôÉ And then, there is the Nehor.....

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15 hours ago, cksalmon said:

Long-time board participants may remember me as a (mostly) level-headed Evangelical Christian of the Calvinist variety who started studying Mormonism (as a cult) while at a (Southern Baptist) seminary. This farewell post is mostly for them. Others are free to move on to something more interesting. 

Farewell, you say? 

Yes, I think so. I mean, I haven't posted in many, many moons. And since that time, I've left my faith-based worldview behind. I no longer consider myself a Christian in any sense of that word (or even a theist, for that matter), so there's really just no reason for me to "correct" or convert you fine Mormon folks and/or stand up against Mormon attacks on my cherished theological beliefs with the most righteous indignation allowable by law. 

I think that's a win-win scenario for all concerned.¬†ūüėĀ

You know what's interesting, though? When I now consider Mormonism vs EV Christianity vs RCC, etc., purely in terms of manmade mythologies, I actually think Mormonism is the better story (in general, that is; there are parts I don't like at all, too). It very nearly pained me to write that given the emotional muscle memory associated with this discussion board. Ha. 

AMA if there's any interest. Otherwise, to my Internet friends here (if any are still hanging about), happy trails!

Welcome back and farewell!

Is it appropriate to ask how you made the journey from Christian to no longer believing that Jesus Christ was divine?  That seems like it would be a really interesting story.  I'm currently reading a book written by someone who used to be an avid atheist but then had an experience with God that turned him into a Christian instantaneously.  I find this topic fascinating.

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6 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

I assume you are really speaking for yourself. I have often thought that I might not really be human but have not had the courage to investigate the idea further. ūüôÉ And then, there is the Nehor.....

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I remember wondering why it was that I had scars on my body that none of the other kids had, and why I had trouble swallowing certain foods. Being born with a birth defect was too easy an answer, and I remember theorizing that I wasn't human, and whoever or whatever made me had just done a poor job of putting me together. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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30 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

No, despite what you say to the contrary, I am sure that is a big part of why I am not liked by some people who post on this board.  And why some people want to shut me up.  And otherwise try to get rid of me around here.

Don’t be overly concerned or take the criticism of these cranky unbelievers personally. If prophets like Moses, Nephi and Peter were ever to engage these same unbelievers in attempted dialogue, I can assure you that they would be doubly and even triply annoyed. For these former believers who have left the restored Church of Christ but just can’t seem leave it alone, any defense of the faith on a discussion board that’s supposedly devoted to a respectful discussion of the religion of the Latter-day Saints is an outrage and an affront. The arrogance of these would-be destroyers of faith and testimony is only matched by their presumptuousness.

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5 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Don’t be overly concerned or take the criticism of these cranky unbelievers personally. If prophets like Moses, Nephi and Peter were ever to engage these same unbelievers in attempted dialogue, I can assure you that they would be doubly and even triply annoyed. For these former believers who have left the restored Church of Christ but just can’t seem leave it alone, any defense of the faith on a discussion board that’s supposedly devoted to a respectful discussion of the religion of the Latter-day Saints is an outrage and an affront. The arrogance of these would-be destroyers of faith and testimony is only matched by their presumptuousness.

Are you calling @Nemesis an arrogant cranky unbeliever and would be destroyer of faith? Because he/she is the one who is doing the banning.

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Just now, Ishmael said:

While you are one of those who likes to point out that you and others don't like me, there actually are some people who still post on this board who do like me.  Hence, while you and others do NOT like me, there are other people who DO like me. 

I like knowing that some people do like me even though I also know at the same time that there are some people who do not like me.

It's not a matter of disliking you. I'm sure we'd get along fine if we broke bread together in person. It's your posts that I find awful, and your flouting of board rules doesn't help your cause at all.

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21 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Don’t be overly concerned or take the criticism of these cranky unbelievers personally. If prophets like Moses, Nephi and Peter were ever to engage these same unbelievers in attempted dialogue, I can assure you that they would be doubly and even triply annoyed. For these former believers who have left the restored Church of Christ but just can’t seem leave it alone, any defense of the faith on a discussion board that’s supposedly devoted to a respectful discussion of the religion of the Latter-day Saints is an outrage and an affront. The arrogance of these would-be destroyers of faith and testimony is only matched by their presumptuousness.

Oh, good grief.

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

If only this applied to the words of certain self-appointed (and self-important) defenders who so thoroughly butcher scripture to fit their narrative that it is all but unrecognizable.  Alas, it does not...and so I laugh.

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5 minutes ago, ttribe said:

If only this applied to the words of certain self-appointed (and self-important) defenders who so thoroughly butcher scripture to fit their narrative that it is all but unrecognizable.  Alas, it does not...and so I laugh.

Indeed. This makes more sense.
 

 

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1 hour ago, teddyaware said:

Don’t be overly concerned or take the criticism of these cranky unbelievers personally. If prophets like Moses, Nephi and Peter were ever to engage these same unbelievers in attempted dialogue, I can assure you that they would be doubly and even triply annoyed. For these former believers who have left the restored Church of Christ but just can’t seem leave it alone, any defense of the faith on a discussion board that’s supposedly devoted to a respectful discussion of the religion of the Latter-day Saints is an outrage and an affront. The arrogance of these would-be destroyers of faith and testimony is only matched by their presumptuousness.

Like Ahab, it isn't what you are saying that is the problem, it is how you are saying it. 

To butcher an old quote, "I've read Moses and you're no Moses"

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

I just looked at the name and thought¬†‚ÄúOh, Ahab got banned again‚ÄĚ and I was right, lol.

He is his own meme.

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16 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Like Ahab, it isn't what you are saying that is the problem, it is how you are saying it. 

To butcher an old quote, "I've read Moses and you're no Moses"

 

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I wouldn't say it's guaranteed. Very few things in life are. I suspect some people are happier without religion, as others are happier with it. 

I agree with this.

As I see it, "happiness" is generally a confluence of A) choice, B) length of perspective and C) circumstance.

Regarding this confluence I have long valued this quote from Admiral James Stockdale.

Quote

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end‚ÄĒwhich you can never afford to lose‚ÄĒwith the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality,¬†
whatever they might be.

This aphorism, made famous in the book Good to Great, has been called "The Stockdale Paradox."  Some context:

Quote

Every good-to-great company faced significant adversity along the way to greatness, of one sort or another. … In every case, the management team responded with a powerful psychological duality. On the one hand, they stoically accepted the brutal facts of reality. On the other hand, they maintained an unwavering faith in the endgame, and a commitment to prevail as a great company despite the brutal facts. We came to call this duality the Stockdale Paradox.

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest-ranking United States military officer in the ‚ÄúHanoi Hilton‚ÄĚ prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over twenty times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner‚Äôs rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again.¬†‚Ķ

You can understand, then, my anticipation at the prospect of spending part of an afternoon with Stockdale. One of my students had written his paper on Stockdale, who happened to be a senior research fellow studying the Stoic philosophers at the Hoover Institution right across the street from my office, and Stockdale invited the two of us for lunch. In preparation, I read In Love and War, the book Stockdale and his wife had written in alternating chapters, chronicling their experiences during those eight years.

As I moved through the book, I found myself getting depressed. It just seemed so bleak‚ÄĒthe uncertainty of his fate, the brutality of his captors, and so forth. And then, it dawned on me: ‚ÄúHere I am sitting in my warm and comfortable office, looking out over the beautiful Stanford campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I‚Äôm getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus. If it feels depressing for me, how on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and¬†did not know the end of the¬†story?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI never lost faith in the end of the story,‚ÄĚ he said, when I asked him. ‚ÄúI never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not¬†trade.‚ÄĚ

 

My experience as a Latter-day Saint has been a mix of wonderful, mediocre, and pretty bad.  My darkest days were, I think, on my mission.  But even then, I felt I was pursuing "happiness," even if I wasn't feeling it in the moment.  The same goes with my time in the Army, my time in law school and making a career as a lawyer, my efforts as a husband and father, and so on.  In all of these endeavors I have felt happiness alongside struggles and difficulties.  The Book of Mormon encourages us, in such times, to "look forward" to better times:

  • "Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was." Jarom 1:11
  • "And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another."¬† Mosiah 18:21
  • "I trust that ... ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come."¬† Alma 7:6
  • "Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?"¬† Alma 5:15
  • "But behold, the righteous that hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution‚ÄĒbehold, they are they which shall not perish."¬† 2 Nephi 26:8
  • "Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them."¬† Alma 25:15
  • "And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith."¬† Moroni 6:4

I find these exhortations jibe well with Stockdale's Paradox.

I wish CKSalmon the best.  I hope he finds whatever measures of happiness are out there for him.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 hours ago, Calm said:

Is this guaranteed though?  Isn’t it possible their reasoning takes them to a more negative view of life?  Know of any studies that show one way or the other?

Added:  looking for answer to own question and came across an article that might spur some conversation:

https://theconversation.com/why-atheists-are-not-as-rational-as-some-like-to-think-103563

 

Nothing is a guarantee. I expressed an opinion. Also being an active believing Mormon or any other faith does not guarantee happiness.

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2 hours ago, Teancum said:

Nothing is a guarantee. I expressed an opinion.

I am just wary of being told that I am going to be fulfilled, happy, etc. because in many ways I am¬†not at this point in¬†time and for decades in the past and when I compare what I am¬†to what people are telling me to expect, it makes it harder to come to terms with what it is and find meaning and purpose in a new way. ¬†I may not be able to be happy, but I can help others to have better lives and that is¬†the standard that is working for me right now to avoid hopelessness.¬†But when I hear things like ‚Äúbe happy‚ÄĚ, etc. if it is a bad day, it can feel like a slap in the face, like I will never get to a point where my life is seen as acceptable by others if they knew what it was like, so why am I trying to even try. ¬†So I am leery of predictions of future bliss or awesomeness of life for anyone. ¬†Hoping someone has that kind of life...I am at the front of the line there.
 

I hear a lot of people with chronic issues who feel the same way.

Quote

Also being an active believing Mormon or any other faith does not guarantee happiness

If anyone knows that, it’s me.

PS:  I believe I have a good life because of all the help and support and love I receive, but that doesn’t change how my brain and body work and that part of things is very difficult and demeaning at times (anyone who thinks life as a couch potato would be bliss needs to be forced to be one for a year or more, bet they will change their mind).

Edited by Calm
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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

I am just wary of being told that I am going to be¬†going to be fulfilled, happy, etc. because in many ways I am¬†not at this point and time and for decades in the past and when I compare what I am¬†to what people are telling me to expect, it makes it harder to come to terms with what it is and find meaning and purpose in a new way. ¬†I may not be able to be happy, but I can help others to have better lives and that it the standard that is working for me right now to avoid hopelessness.¬†But when I hear things like ‚Äúbe happy‚ÄĚ, etc. if it is a bad day, it can feel like a slap in the face, like I will never get to a point where my life is seen as acceptable by others if they knew what it was like. ¬†So I am leery of predictions of future bliss or awesomeness of life for anyone. ¬†Hoping someone has that kind of life...I am at the front of the line there.
 

I hear a lot of people with chronic issues who feel the same way.

If anyone knows that, it’s me.

As I’ve gotten older, my definition of happiness has changed. At this point when I say I’m happy, I mean that I am ok with who I am, warts and all. I have good days and terrible days and everything in between. But I’m ok with me. That’s the best I can hope for. 

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31 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I agree with this.

As I see it, "happiness" is generally a confluence of A) choice, B) length of perspective and C) circumstance.

Regarding this confluence I have long valued this quote from Admiral James Stockdale.

This aphorism, made famous in the book Good to Great, has been called "The Stockdale Paradox."  Some context:....

I greatly appreciate this post, Smac.

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6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

As I’ve gotten older, my definition of happiness has changed. At this point when I say I’m happy, I mean that I am ok with who I am, warts and all. I have good days and terrible days and everything in between. But I’m ok with me. That’s the best I can hope for. 

Amen.

I only gush about the difficult side of life because it would have been helpful to me in the past to know that life can still be good even when it is bad and it is healthy to accept that and give myself permission to mourn what might have been rather than pretend it doesn’t matter.  Maybe my public moaning will help someone else with permission to be who they need to be or allow someone not to feel guilty or suffer because they can’t help a loved one out of the dark. 

Edited by Calm
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