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Thread: Advice for Helping a New Member Deal with Church History Issues

  1. #1
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Default Advice for Helping a New Member Deal with Church History Issues

    A friend of mine and his wife joined the church a few weeks ago. It has been awesome being a part of their conversion process. I am very excited for them.

    A few days ago, however, he texted me and said he "had something to show me" this week and asked to come over tonight. No other info was given. I'm beginning to think that perhaps he's been given or shown some stuff about Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or about early church history and he wants to talk about it.

    I have no problem with the church's warts, but I've never really been in the position of having to help someone through their first crisis of faith (assuming that's what it is). I really don't now how to handle this. Any advice? I'm thinking plenty of past/present Presidents of the Priests Quorum (as well as others) have been in this spot before.

    TIA
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

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    Royal Rooter Green Monstah's Avatar
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    How do you handle their warts? I'd essentially share your approach/thoughts/philosophy on handling troubling church issues.

    I'd also try to validate his feeling of worry or even hurt, so he feels like you're hearing him.

    Honestly, I'd avoid refuting the issues (unless you're certain the underlying facts are blatantly false). I think that's a losing game. It ultimately drives Mormons to non-denominational Christianity, then atheism.

    When I have been closest to leaving, I've rarely gotten answers to whether something is true. Instead I ask what I should do, and I've usually felt that I needed to stay.

    I wish I could be of more help. It's such a tough set of issues to grapple with.
    Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

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    вот так штука CardiacCoug's Avatar
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    Uh oh maybe he found out about the internet.

    Good to emphasize that the Church is what it is today, the exact history is unknowable and ultimately not that important.

    If the fruits of the gospel are good right here, right now for him and his family then that’s the most important thing, way more important than what our weird religious fanatic ancestors were doing in the 1800s and 1900s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    A friend of mine and his wife joined the church a few weeks ago. It has been awesome being a part of their conversion process. I am very excited for them.

    A few days ago, however, he texted me and said he "had something to show me" this week and asked to come over tonight.
    I think you're reading too much into this. It's probably just an old baseball card collection or something like that.

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    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    I like the idea of imperfect people trying to do impossible things. Church leaders come from people just like you and me - and we're not perfect right? Extrapolating that thought forward - Church leaders don't have magic available to them - they're just normal people trying to do what's right. More often than not - they fail. Goofy stuff is just that - goofy. It's the big picture, not the day-to-day minutia that's the ambition. What is the big picture of the church - and how is that vision of the big picture going to help you be a better person? Is that even the kind of person you want to be? "We" (the church members) actually have to "endure" the imperfection church leaders as they try to help us. Sometimes we follow - sometimes we do what we feel is best - the big picture is the goal - not the single steps of the trail that leads us to death.

    How "the church" got here doesn't matter as much as what can the church do to help you spend a meaningful, happy life, in the odd 100 years you've got on Earth. Is the LDS church path how you want to choose to live and be happy? It's a good one to be sure - but it's not the only option to happiness.

    And then tell your friend about multi-verse play action - and say nothing matters - because you're living out every possible scenario in another dimension anyway. So your question is mute.
    Last edited by clackamascoug; 06-12-2019 at 01:04 PM.

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    I often address issues by making the problem bigger. I think I've posted a similar set of thoughts before. Outline the situation of JS's times and family. The political climate (DoI 1776, JS birth 1805--29 years). Brand new country trying to figure itself out--has to balance a government in a way not previously attempted. The religious climate. One of the things that really stuck out for me in Rough Stone Rolling was JS's constant review of previously received revelations. It wasn't an open conduit, never has been, never will be.

    Communication was extraordinarily difficult. We often forget living in today's connected world how different that would be. No telephones. Months between letters. Letters would be relatively short and lacking of nuance. Not a dialog which is required for clarification. Most new members were culled from already established Christian believers. They came with differing levels of contradictory Christian dogma. With the limited methods of communication and periods of hiding from persecution, the task of correcting even what he knew to be wrong would have been nearly impossible. Martyrdom amidst turmoil and being expelled. The time required to expunge incorrect doctrine was consumed by the need to establish a place to simply exist. Doctrinal clarification took a back seat to the immediacy of survival as a community. The expectation that anything could possibly emerge from that scenario anywhere near coherent or consistent is a mistake--regardless of who has espoused or trumpeted that idea. Not possible.

    Errors that persisted got embedded into community tradition. Such tradition gains the status of doctrine over time, that's human nature. The end result is you have an organization which is a mix of revealed doctrine, traditional Christian doctrine, non-traditional Christian doctrine (from various sects), individual speculation, theoretical suppositions, and who knows what else. We've been straightening it out ever since--and will continue to do so.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    A few days ago, however, he texted me and said he "had something to show me" this week and asked to come over tonight. No other info was given.
    Will anyone else be there? Have you ever noticed him looking at you longingly?

    Quote Originally Posted by YOhio View Post
    I think you're reading too much into this. It's probably just an old baseball card collection or something like that.
    Yeah, sure, baseball cards. That's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    So your question is mute.
    The question did seem pretty quiet.

    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    I often address issues by making the problem bigger. I think I've posted a similar set of thoughts before. Outline the situation of JS's times and family. The political climate (DoI 1776, JS birth 1805--29 years). Brand new country trying to figure itself out--has to balance a government in a way not previously attempted. The religious climate. One of the things that really stuck out for me in Rough Stone Rolling was JS's constant review of previously received revelations. It wasn't an open conduit, never has been, never will be.

    Communication was extraordinarily difficult. We often forget living in today's connected world how different that would be. No telephones. Months between letters. Letters would be relatively short and lacking of nuance. Not a dialog which is required for clarification. Most new members were culled from already established Christian believers. They came with differing levels of contradictory Christian dogma. With the limited methods of communication and periods of hiding from persecution, the task of correcting even what he knew to be wrong would have been nearly impossible. Martyrdom amidst turmoil and being expelled. The time required to expunge incorrect doctrine was consumed by the need to establish a place to simply exist. Doctrinal clarification took a back seat to the immediacy of survival as a community. The expectation that anything could possibly emerge from that scenario anywhere near coherent or consistent is a mistake--regardless of who has espoused or trumpeted that idea. Not possible.

    Errors that persisted got embedded into community tradition. Such tradition gains the status of doctrine over time, that's human nature. The end result is you have an organization which is a mix of revealed doctrine, traditional Christian doctrine, non-traditional Christian doctrine (from various sects), individual speculation, theoretical suppositions, and who knows what else. We've been straightening it out ever since--and will continue to do so.
    Thanks for sharing this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOhio View Post
    I think you're reading too much into this. It's probably just an old baseball card collection or something like that.
    maybe that video of the monkey peeing in its own mouth.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    I like what I'm hearing here.

    For me, all that historical stuff is the side-show, and relatively unimportant. For me, the main event is all about the Atonement, and the healing it can provide. At the end of the day, think about what the Church has enabled for you and your family.

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate your perspectives.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Ultimately, the truth claims of any religion can be refuted, easily, with ample evidence to the contrary. What can't be are the internal spiritual experiences of an individual and their interpretation thereof. Galatians 5:22-23 is pretty good for this kind of thing, as is talking about your own testimony and how it's a shelter for you in moments of doubt when confronted with something troubling. GM gave good advice.
    Last edited by wuapinmon; 06-12-2019 at 06:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate your perspectives.
    even old gregg's?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate your perspectives.
    u r welcome
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate your perspectives.
    I didn't reply as I didn't think you would appreciate my perspective. Although, if he considers you a friend, I saw that he absolutely belongs as a MOTCOJCOLD and we don't want him in the ranks of the Apostates.
    The crux of what has traumatized us about CUF/CG is that we thought they were our friends. And their identity as BYU fans turned out to be the most important thing to them. What empty lives! What a damning indictment of the LDS Church!
    --SeattleUte

    He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.
    --Charles W. Bamforth, Ph.D.

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFunkhouser View Post
    I didn't reply as I didn't think you would appreciate my perspective. Although, if he considers you a friend, I saw that he absolutely belongs as a MOTCOJCOLD and we don't want him in the ranks of the Apostates.
    Ha, I almost said "and thanks to funk for not responding."
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay santos View Post
    even old gregg's?
    It can't all be spiritual and uplifting in here.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Falafel, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Planted by Patrick Mason. It is a great treatise on faith and doubt in an LDS context and one of the main features of the book is dealing with LDS history. Mason is a history prof (formerly at ND, now at Claremont) so he is particularly good at exploring those issues. Also an excellent writer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Falafel, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Planted by Patrick Mason. It is a great treatise on faith and doubt in an LDS context and one of the main features of the book is dealing with LDS history. Mason is a history prof (formerly at ND, now at Claremont) so he is particularly good at exploring those issues. Also an excellent writer.
    I should pick that up too. The title is exactly right. Single word with all kinds of implications in this context.

  19. #19
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    My advice is to find out what he wants to show you before you freak out
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Falafel, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Planted by Patrick Mason. It is a great treatise on faith and doubt in an LDS context and one of the main features of the book is dealing with LDS history. Mason is a history prof (formerly at ND, now at Claremont) so he is particularly good at exploring those issues. Also an excellent writer.
    I might even have a copy of that book. Before we were deemed beyond saving, we would periodically get various LDS books in the mail from my in-laws.
    The crux of what has traumatized us about CUF/CG is that we thought they were our friends. And their identity as BYU fans turned out to be the most important thing to them. What empty lives! What a damning indictment of the LDS Church!
    --SeattleUte

    He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.
    --Charles W. Bamforth, Ph.D.

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFunkhouser View Post
    I might even have a copy of that book. Before we were deemed beyond saving, we would periodically get various LDS books in the mail from my in-laws.
    If you don't want it, I'll take it.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    If you don't want it, I'll take it.
    I didn't say we wanted or didn't want it. We just would periodically get books in the mail. I think it would have been unkind to reject the mail.
    The crux of what has traumatized us about CUF/CG is that we thought they were our friends. And their identity as BYU fans turned out to be the most important thing to them. What empty lives! What a damning indictment of the LDS Church!
    --SeattleUte

    He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.
    --Charles W. Bamforth, Ph.D.

  23. #23
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFunkhouser View Post
    I didn't say we wanted or didn't want it. We just would periodically get books in the mail. I think it would have been unkind to reject the mail.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    I read your post wrong. I thought you said if you don't want it, don't take it. I was expecting a sarcastic remark. I am happy to give most of our various religious books to people who want homes for them. I'll see if this is one we did get.
    The crux of what has traumatized us about CUF/CG is that we thought they were our friends. And their identity as BYU fans turned out to be the most important thing to them. What empty lives! What a damning indictment of the LDS Church!
    --SeattleUte

    He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.
    --Charles W. Bamforth, Ph.D.

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    My advice is to find out what he wants to show you before you freak out
    Who is freaking out?
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Who is freaking out?
    Duh, you started a thread.

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    I just had the thought that this could very well be an MMM kind of thing too.

    Btw, he pushed back the meeting until tonight.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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    Members Only Dwight Schr-ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    I just had the thought that this could very well be an MMM kind of thing too.

    Btw, he pushed back the meeting until tonight.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Schr-ute View Post



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Legal advice.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

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