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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Survey, Mormon Stories, and Uncorrelated/Cultural Mormonism (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Survey, Mormon Stories, and Uncorrelated/Cultural Mormonism
Scott R
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Zalmoxis' pretty-good article on why the Mormon religion needs a Mormon culture.
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advice for robots
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I know that's what the Young Mens and Young Womens organizations in the ward and stake attempt to do--provide the youth with a significant, regular experience that combines cultural and spiritual aspects in an appropriate way. It's not always well-handled, however, and certainly not immersive. I agree that the church doesn't have enough of a culture for its youth to "consume and create via Mormonism rather than apart from it." I wonder if something like that is even possible with the church's no fence sitters philosophy. It's hard to see the church being comfortable being just an environment and not an active force in someone's life.
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Scott R
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quote:
It's hard to see the church being comfortable being just an environment and not an active force in someone's life.
I'm not sure that Zalmoxis was proposing this. What makes you think he was?
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I'm just trying to imagine the church becoming a complete enough cultural environment to replace the outside culture that the church's youth are assimilating. I can't see it happening. The church is too focused. That's just something that popped into my head while reading the article. It's not necessarily what Zalmoxis was saying.
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Occasional
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My problem with the idea of having a "Mormon Culture" outside and apart from faith is that it cheapens the mission and reason for the culture's existence (and yes, there are parts of the culture that are more secular). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Religion with spiritual goals tied to Salvation based on Faith. To try and reduce it, like Mormon Stories does, to a set of shared culture and history is near treasonous. It has doctrines, no matter how loosely developed, that make direct claims about the purpose of life and existence with real world consequences along with eternal ones.

Those like John Dehlin who are trying to change the LDS Church while not even believing in its core faith claims make appeals to "Mormon Culture" as a reason to stay seem undesirable. There are those of us who are making sacrifices of our lives, if you will, in the name of Jesus Christ out of devotion to God and what is seen as His Church. To have those who don't believe push their agendas from the inside is more or less an act of insurgent war. There is nothing wrong with wanting to believe and not, but too many don't believe and are happy in that situation and want others to follow them in the unbelief. There is Mormon scriptures about such a person.

Now for my harsh conclusion:

If you want to feel the Love of God and want to believe, then continue attending. Do all that is asked of you for Jesus said those who do His Will can know the truth. To those who don't believe and do not have the intention of doing so, either attend as a silent ghost or don't attend at all. The idea of "Mormon culture" is killing Mormonism, and those who are pushing that there is such a thing (no matter if there really is) know this and are using it to their advantage.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
To have those who don't believe push their agendas from the inside is more or less an act of insurgent war.
Given the two options, I'd go with "less."
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Scott R
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I wouldn't call it insurgent war, but I would call it apostasy.
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talsmitde
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I can't think about Mormon culture without thinking about Elder Dallin Oaks' talks about gospel culture and how no current culture includes all that is needed in a true gospel culture (April and October 2003 General Conferences). As someone who identifies as orthodox LDS, I find the talks to be helpful reminders.

I'm sad to hear that John no longer believes the Church's claims about the restoration, especially because Mormon Stories has been helpful for many of my friends who had questions and felt out in the cold because they had questions.

I agree with Occasional that cutting out the "roots" of the truth claims fundamentally undermines trying to preserve what the person attempting the cutting sees as the best of Mormonism. With that said, there's a lot of stuff that accumulates in the surrounding culture that's not gospel truth, and insofar as Mormon Stories and this survey help people focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ and actually keeping covenants, I support the work.

To give two contemporary examples: people in the Intermountain West or South who identify as orthodox LDS but pursue harsh measures against illegal migrants and their families despite the Church's statements, or those who support education for boys/men to a greater extent than education for girls/women . . . I don't see them as orthodox, but rather as "Cafeteria" or "Menu" Mormons, all too willing to let local culture and false traditions override their commitment to the gospel. In my experience, many of my friends who are Facebook friends with John Dehlin (I'm not), have been most frustrated by this kind of hypocrisy/apostasy.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I wouldn't call it insurgent war, but I would call it apostasy.
Well, sure. But there's a very important distinction, namely that being an apostate is not a violent act of destruction.
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Occasional
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"helpful for many of my friends who had questions and felt out in the cold because they had questions."

Great for them, but I have the exact opposite experiences related to me by others. Those who get involved with Mormon Matters quickly question their faith and then lose it. This mostly happens not because of the questions, but because of the kind of answers given stand in direct conflict with gospel truths. They minimize the doctrines in a way to make it of less consequence until they don't believe in anything. Those that "pursue harsh measures against illegal migrants and their families despite the Church's statements, or those who support education for boys/men to a greater extent than education for girls/women" remain strong in the faith regardless of what you and they think is hypocrisy. However, those who follow John Dehlin, who considers his role as an un-ordained Apostle even if never claiming the title, are in every instance filled with hypocrisy/apostasy and not just one or two items.

"I wouldn't call it insurgent war, but I would call it apostasy."

Spiritually speaking, they are the same thing. Tom, the definition of "war" doesn't just include physical violence and destruction. Do you believe that "culture wars" as used in the media is not really a war? What words would you use when there is a struggle where one or the other side has serious conflict? Maybe the word "conflict"?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I wouldn't call it insurgent war, but I would call it apostasy.
Well, sure. But there's a very important distinction, namely that being an apostate is not a violent act of destruction.
It can be, did you read Cain and Abel?
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talsmitde
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See, Occasional, the assertion that those who go out of their way to persecute migrant workers or try to minimize women's potential "stay strong in the faith" strikes me as quite wrong. Something about lips drawing close but hearts remaining far. I think we agree about the importance of scripture study, daily prayer, church and temple attendance, tithing, etc., but we may have to agree to disagree about what we consider apostasy and hypocrisy.

Imho, the fact that people turn to sites like Mormon Matters suggests that there's a desire/need for answers that's somehow going unmet. I also think anyone who thinks John Dehlin is some sort of unordained apostle are way out there. He wasn't the first one to raise questions or provide a forum for discussing things. And I think I agree with you on how we balance answers. How much does Joseph Smith's relationship with Fanny Alger matter? Not much, in my view (others, of course, disagree), but to completely deny it, or efforts by well-meaning individuals to portray Joseph Smith as infallible from birth to death (a portrayal he vigorously fought), sets people up to experience great disillusionment when they find out that these false, non-doctrinal portrayals aren't actually true.

For the record, I have nine mutual Facebook friends with John Dehlin. Of those nine, eight have gone through the temple, all of those eight are actively participating, and six (in my not-so-humble, judgmental opinion) do I consider to be living in line with all gospel standards, and other three are all rather good people who care for others and are actively striving to build a better world. Their alienation from the Church stems from growing up amidst the kind of hypocrisy you've asserted is "strong in the faith."

I don't want to re-litigate the culture wars with you, nor will I, but suffice it to say that I don't think either side had/has all of the truth, or all of the Gospel.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Those that "pursue harsh measures against illegal migrants and their families despite the Church's statements, or those who support education for boys/men to a greater extent than education for girls/women" remain strong in the faith regardless of what you and they think is hypocrisy.
I would submit that these people continue to claim to be strong in the faith, and that this claim -- perhaps made falsely, and not contradicted -- might accelerate other people's departure from the church.

quote:
Do you believe that "culture wars" as used in the media is not really a war?
That is precisely what I believe, yes.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
The idea of "Mormon culture" is killing Mormonism, and those who are pushing that there is such a thing (no matter if there really is) know this and are using it to their advantage.

So it doesn't even really have to exist? Merely advancing the idea of mormon culture is a tool purposefully used to aid in 'killing Mormonism?'
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Scott R
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quote:
"I wouldn't call it insurgent war, but I would call it apostasy."

Spiritually speaking, they are the same thing.

There's a difference in the way that we deal with apostates vs. those that seek the destruction of the church. To the Zoramites, we send Alma and his sons; to the king-men, we send Captain Moroni.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. [Smile]

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Occasional
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Yes Samprimary, because many who are advocating there is a Mormon culture are using that as a way to de-value and reject the claims of its divine nature. They are trying desperately to make it into secular Judaism where its supernatural claims and Priesthood authority are easily dismissed, replaced with social tradition and community authority. They want to be atheists in a theist religion and still have influence.
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Rakeesh
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It's fascinating how much insight you have into the minds of the enemies of Mormonism, who seek to kill it. How on Earth do you know all of this with such authority, Occasional? Do you regularly speak with 'secular Mormons'? Have you read papers they've written on the subject? Do you hang around these God-killing secular Mormons so well that you can be expected to know what they're thinking on very complicated topics?

Or are you just...guessing, overreacting, and using inflammatory language in doing so as you're known to do when the topic of religion in general and Mormonism in particular comes up?

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Mucus
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Cool.
I always wanted to be an insurgent warrior and it turns out I don't even have to leave my cushy chair.

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Rakeesh
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It's interesting how when someone does things to promote Mormonism, they're well-intentioned and not trying to destroy anything, except maybe evil and sin in the world or something. But when someone does something that even smacks of weakening the influence of Mormonism (or lots of -isms, for that matter)...well. They're engaged in a culture war-which they started. They're trying to kill the church. Kill it. Such charged language.
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Zalmoxis
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Occasional, I'm interested in something very different from what John Dehlin is doing, and if you can't make that distinction then I'm afraid that we don't have a lot to talk about. I mean when I say they need to be yoked together. And I"m specifically talking about actual cultural production of works for art as opposed to touch feely substitutes for attending the three hour block each week.
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Zalmoxis
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Or to put things another way: interesting discussion, but very little of what's been said here on this page so far actually relates to what I wrote about. I'm talking about Mormon culture for active LDS -- not cultural Mormonism for inactive/semi-active LDS.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
Yes Samprimary, because many who are advocating there is a Mormon culture are using that as a way to de-value and reject the claims of its divine nature.

Are you asserting that this is taking place, for instance, here? And how? Mindreading?

quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
They want to be atheists in a theist religion and still have influence.

A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
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Corwin
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If they have lots of holidays, I'm in.
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Occasional
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"There some atheist religions wandering about?"

No, but there are atheists who have reconciled their religious upbringing as a form of socialization. Since they want to remain part of the tradition they were raised in for any number of reasons (don't want to be alienated by family, see themselves as part of the community, hold some value in parts of the religion, etc.) then they seek to bring it down to a more secular level. This is often done by stressing doctrines as mythical and allegorical, like interpreting a novel. The next step is since the religion is not really divine, but only a way to conceptualize moral or social ideals, then leadership positions are honorary at best and hold no real power. What then follows, to try and make it more secular, is constant pressure to have the Church change its stances to conform to (almost always liberal) worldly political positions. Maybe this is rare, but its been discussed in Mormonism enough to be recognized.

Here are some reading materials to get a handle on what I am talking about when I talk about cultural Mormons:


Ethnic Mormon

Dehlin as critic

What to do with him

Secular Mormon Discussion. Here is the reply by Tommy:

quote:
I often tell people that 'Culturally, I am a Mormon." What this means, is that my entire family is composed of practicing Mormons, descended from pioneers. It means that I was raised with (and am proud of) my Mormon sensibilities. It means that I retain the "seek and ye shall find" attitude instilled within me at a young age. It also means that I grew up with enormous cans of dried beans, rice and flour under my bed and in every empty space [Smile]

The reason that I do not simply identify as either "Mormon" or LDS, is because I am not practicing and have enormous conflicts and quandaries. This does not divide me from my past or upbringing.

I would however, point out that the church's involvement and stance regarding Proposition 8 in California was extremely secular. Aside from being divisive and very mortifying (I felt) This, of all things, made me feel for the very first time distinctly apart from Mormonism. I think that it is ironic that the schism in my reality is born not of conflict with the doctrine or spiritual concepts of the church, but with its involvement in wholly secular matters.


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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
I am considering finding a religious community that is atheist. (Atheism isn't a very interesting religion, but a religion can be atheist)
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Rakeesh
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quote:
No, but there are atheists who have reconciled their religious upbringing as a form of socialization. Since they want to remain part of the tradition they were raised in for any number of reasons (don't want to be alienated by family, see themselves as part of the community, hold some value in parts of the religion, etc.) then they seek to bring it down to a more secular level. This is often done by stressing doctrines as mythical and allegorical, like interpreting a novel. The next step is since the religion is not really divine, but only a way to conceptualize moral or social ideals, then leadership positions are honorary at best and hold no real power. What then follows, to try and make it more secular, is constant pressure to have the Church change its stances to conform to (almost always liberal) worldly political positions. Maybe this is rare, but its been discussed in Mormonism enough to be recognized.


Again, strange how when atheists or even just agnostics or doubters do this, they're making war on religion-trying to kill it, even. For everyone. When religious people do it, especially when they're the right religion, well. Then they're just spreading the faith, doing good work, and they're well-intentioned, too.
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Occasional
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Here is more links if anyone still doubts there are secular Mormons:

The Chosen is a book loved by them. As you see John Dehlin is right in the middle of this discussion:

quote:
There are no self-identified secular Mormons? Really?

There is nothing analogous to Conservative Jews (which I take to mean somewhat progressive and non-literal) within Mormonism? Nothing?

“We still think of Mormon identification as essentially binary.”

Do we? I’m not so sure about that. Not in my experience, anyway.

I see orthodox Mormons….jack Mormons…liberal Mormons…moderate Mormons…secular Mormons….every day. All around me. And they do tend to cluster in groups. Many of them may not have brick and mortar religious homes — but they have online homes, and they have social homes.

It’s true that we’re a young faith — so these groups have yet to gain critical mass. But I see a very wide spectrum in my Mormon associations. Very wide.

Jack Mormons:

quote:
Huntsman “may be living a brand of Mormonism that doesn’t have a name for itself yet - the equivalent of reform Mormonism,’’ said Joanna Brooks, a literature professor at San Diego State University and a Mormon who blogs on religion and culture at religiondispatches.org. That is, she said, “someone who is culturally Mormon, who identifies with the tradition, who has been shaped by Mormon thought in his upbringing, but doesn’t necessarily maintain orthodoxy on doctrinal beliefs.’

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
I am considering finding a religious community that is atheist. (Atheism isn't a very interesting religion, but a religion can be atheist)
I know some atheists who need a religion so desperately that they latch onto some other cause and treat it with religious fervor (and believe in it with unyielding religious faith no matter what). It's... pretty sad.
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AchillesHeel
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That would explain professional sports.
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Scott R
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Occasional:

No doubt there exist people who call themselves secular Mormons.

I'm just saying that such a label is silly.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
I am considering finding a religious community that is atheist. (Atheism isn't a very interesting religion, but a religion can be atheist)
I know some atheists who need a religion so desperately that they latch onto some other cause and treat it with religious fervor (and believe in it with unyielding religious faith no matter what). It's... pretty sad.
Why sad? There are plenty of causes worthy of devotion. Some more worthy than some religions. I would, for example, much prefer a person to be devoted to helping the poor than to be devoted to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
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Occasional
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Scott R, in what way is it silly? That someone would call another person that or a person would call themselves that? Not that I have a positive feeling about the label as noted, but I wouldn't call it silly so much as misguided for those who either self label or live like one.

As one Holly Welker states before listing "Mormon reformers" both in and out of the LDS Church:

quote:
As far as I'm concerned, my activity in the Mormon church is irrelevant to my identity as a Mormon. Mormons call themselves saints; I suppose these days I'm a secular saint rather than a devout one. But that indelible mark made on the collective Mormon psyche by the trek across the plains? It's as vivid and deep on my psyche as on anyone's. What it marks is not my relationship to orthodoxy but to sacrifice, landscape, the unknown, and change.
I really liked this rebuttal to her comments.
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Scott R
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It's silly in that the word Mormon has connotations to the general public which are explicitly not met in the usage of the individual claiming to be a 'secular Mormon.'
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
Scott R, in what way is it silly? That someone would call another person that or a person would call themselves that? Not that I have a positive feeling about the label as noted, but I wouldn't call it silly so much as misguided for those who either self label or live like one.

As one Holly Welker states before listing "Mormon reformers" both in and out of the LDS Church:

quote:
As far as I'm concerned, my activity in the Mormon church is irrelevant to my identity as a Mormon. Mormons call themselves saints; I suppose these days I'm a secular saint rather than a devout one. But that indelible mark made on the collective Mormon psyche by the trek across the plains? It's as vivid and deep on my psyche as on anyone's. What it marks is not my relationship to orthodoxy but to sacrifice, landscape, the unknown, and change.
I really liked this rebuttal to her comments.
It seems to be that the rebuttal makes a rather serious and damning assumption about the writer of the original author. And one for which I found no evidence. Mr. West asserts several times that Ms. Welker and others like her have changed their beliefs for convenience or in order to "seek the praise of the world". I think it every bit as likely that Ms. Welker (and others like her) have simply followed their reason or their conscience.
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Occasional
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kmbboots, maybe your right. The point still stands though as Scott R points out. She is not a Mormon in any meaningful way. In my personal estimation she needs to be called out for faithlessness and lack of proper devotion to the truth claims of Mormonism. Regardless, the point of the rebuttal is that she is defining herself by doubts and not faith.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
I am considering finding a religious community that is atheist. (Atheism isn't a very interesting religion, but a religion can be atheist)
I know some atheists who need a religion so desperately that they latch onto some other cause and treat it with religious fervor (and believe in it with unyielding religious faith no matter what). It's... pretty sad.
Why sad? There are plenty of causes worthy of devotion. Some more worthy than some religions. I would, for example, much prefer a person to be devoted to helping the poor than to be devoted to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
What's sad is when people apply the same blinkered, uncritical, non-skeptical zeal normally associated with religion to their cause of choice. It precludes the possibility that their devotion to that cause is misguided. And so, if their cause is misguided, it can result in them achieving terrible results while fervently believing that they are doing the right thing.

Ideally, atheists should be skeptics who understand fallibility, but in practice they often aren't. They're simply people who don't like religion.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
A 'theist religion' — as opposed to what? There some atheist religions wandering about?
I am considering finding a religious community that is atheist. (Atheism isn't a very interesting religion, but a religion can be atheist)
I know some atheists who need a religion so desperately that they latch onto some other cause and treat it with religious fervor (and believe in it with unyielding religious faith no matter what). It's... pretty sad.
Why sad? There are plenty of causes worthy of devotion. Some more worthy than some religions. I would, for example, much prefer a person to be devoted to helping the poor than to be devoted to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
What's sad is when people apply the same blinkered, uncritical, non-skeptical zeal normally associated with religion to their cause of choice. It precludes the possibility that their devotion to that cause is misguided. And so, if their cause is misguided, it can result in them achieving terrible results while fervently believing that they are doing the right thing.

Ideally, atheists should be skeptics who understand fallibility, but in practice they often aren't. They're simply people who don't like religion.

Blinkered, uncritical, non-skeptical zeal that precludes the possibility that their devotion to that cause is misguided is just as sad when it is religious. And, if their cause is misguided, it can just as easily result in them achieving terrible results while fervently believing that they are doing the right thing.

Added: There are plenty of examples in both of our religions (okay more in mine but we have been at it longer) to support that. Goodness, just look at the fervently believing Catholic bishops who have been enabling child rapists. They were fervently following orders from the Vatican and fervently believing they were protecting the Church.

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Dan_Frank
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Oops, I think we're talking past each other!

So, what I was saying is that I hoped that atheists would be better than religious people in this regard. But often, they aren't. The fact that they aren't makes me sad. I wasn't saying they are worse than religious people, I was saying I was sad they weren't as consistently better as I would like them to be.

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kmbboots
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Ah. I see. Okay. You know, some religious people aren't all that bad and blinkered either. [Wink]
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Dan_Frank
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Heh, I know! [Big Grin] I also think the Judeo-Christian tradition has overall been an overwhelmingly positive force for humanity and moral knowledge. But that doesn't stop me from thinking that moral, skeptical atheism is a step in the direction we should ultimately go.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Oops, I think we're talking past each other!

So, what I was saying is that I hoped that atheists would be better than religious people in this regard. But often, they aren't. The fact that they aren't makes me sad. I wasn't saying they are worse than religious people, I was saying I was sad they weren't as consistently better as I would like them to be.

I see your point, as an atheist I too am disappointed with my own wasted potential. Although honestly, atheism (in my opinion) is less about humanism and reaching potential and more about freeing oneself from the shackles of mythology and regulations set by crazy people in the distant past. There are plenty of atheists who are humanists and activists but their activities have nothing to do with wether or not magic is real, they help their fellow man because they love them and seeing -insert favored bad thing here- hurts their faith in goodness and the value of a human life just the same as a theist in the same situation.

Atheism is a lack of belief in the unbelievable, I have never found it be indicative of potential or willingness to help others.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
kmbboots, maybe your right. The point still stands though as Scott R points out. She is not a Mormon in any meaningful way. In my personal estimation she needs to be called out for faithlessness and lack of proper devotion to the truth claims of Mormonism. Regardless, the point of the rebuttal is that she is defining herself by doubts and not faith.

You didn't even read what she said about herself. *You're* defining her by her doubts-she clearly believes in many things, things she even mentioned in the paragraph you quoted!

But then it's easy to make that sort of mistake when you show up to an issue having long since made up your mind.

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Scott R
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quote:
The point still stands though as Scott R points out.
Scott R said this:

quote:
the word Mormon has connotations to the general public which are explicitly not met in the usage of the individual claiming to be a 'secular Mormon.'
NOT THIS:

quote:
she needs to be called out for faithlessness and lack of proper devotion to the truth claims of Mormonism.
From the Church's standpoint regarding treatment of 'secular Mormons,' I don't believe people who refute the prophets' authority and deny the divinity of the Book of Mormon should be given callings. That's just good sense-- you don't let the Young Earth Creationist teach evolutionary biology, for example. Otherwise, Christ Himself gave us the guidelines for how to treat those who are apostate:

3 Nephi 18
quote:

22 And behold, ye shall ameet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;

23 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name.

24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.

25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.

[...]

28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;

29 For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.

30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.

32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

33 Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth.

Even though Christ is speaking specifically of those who are unbaptized in the latter verses, verses 22-25 are quite clear on how we should conduct ourselves.

If Saul was deemed to be redeemable, even after having helped murder Steven, surely we can do no less for our brothers and sisters.

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Dogbreath
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Though I find reading a discussion about the mechanics of a religion I have never been a member of to be comparable to watching paint dry, I'm in the middle of my first front-to-back reading of the Book of Mormon, and thought perhaps this thread may prove educational.

And I want to say that, having personally seen people kill themselves and other people (and in one case, attempt to blow up an elementary school with female students) due to religious and political feuds, I find the application of the term "insurgent war" to refer to the actions of a few peaceful apostates to be particularly annoying. "Insurgent" has the explicit connotation of violent insurrection, especially when pared with "war." I dislike incendiary language in general. It hampers rationality, inspires anger, and, eventually, can lead to actual violence... and the Church has more than enough of that in it's history. Call a spade a spade, not a backhoe.

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Rakeesh
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Very well put.
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Occasional
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"31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered."

There isn't enough of this going on in the LDS Church. Too much pandering to PR and trying to not look disagreeable. Sin and unbelief are rampant and no one is doing anything about it because a few newspapers and loud voices are screaming and gnashing teeth against the real and very specific teachings of Mormonism and Commandments of the Lord! The only real consolation I have is that a lot of them ex-communicate themselves (go inactive).

"*You're* defining her by her doubts-she clearly believes in many things, things she even mentioned in the paragraph you quoted!"

Fine, but whatever she believes it is NOT Mormonism.

As for war:

There was War in Heaven that continues here on Earth. Its not the "Disagreement in Heaven" that we read about.

It is not uncommon to hear of spritual war that has nothing to do with bloodshed.

This scripture Defines War for the believers:

quote:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

There is warrior imagery in how the faithful are to protect themselves against the evils of this world.

quote:
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Although armed conflict and violence are the main meaning of the word "War," others are recognized. For instance, Mariam Webster defines it also to include:

quote:
2
a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease>

Therefore, there is a war going on. It might not be with bombs and bullets, but it is with ideas and spiritual conflicts.

[ November 09, 2011, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: Occasional ]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
There isn't enough of this going on in the LDS Church. Too much pandering to PR and trying to not look disagreeable. Sin and unbelief are rampant and no one is doing anything about it because a few newspapers and loud voices are screaming and gnashing teeth against the real and very specific teachings of Mormonism and Commandments of the Lord! The only real consolation I have is that a lot of them ex-communicate themselves (go inactive).


*snort* It's illustrative of your thoughts that that's a consolation to you. It's also fascinating that of what Scott said, you seized on the one portion that could be twisted to fit your meaning-excluding the rest.

You're also totally right that no one is doing anything about it! Because the only definition of 'doing something about it!' is to cast them out-excommunicate them, shun them, scorn them, make war on them like they do on you.

Right?

quote:
Fine, but whatever she believes it is NOT Mormonism.
An unsurprising refusal to examine your own thoughts on the subject. "She don't believe in nothin'! She defines herself by doubt and unbelief!" "Umm...no, she doesn't. You're completely wrong." "Fine, but she ain't Mormon!"
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BlackBlade
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Occasional: These are instructions to the elder Alma regarding a very large rift in the church. Believers and unbelievers were contending sharply with each other, fist fights, and there was a significant clique actively going from church to church trying to convince everybody to stop believing.

Why should the church aggressively seek to corner people into fessing up to their unbelief and telling them they are not welcome anymore? That runs contrary to the D&C which instructs,

quote:
3 Nevertheless ye are commanded never to cast any one out from your public meetings, which are held before the world.

4 Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation. (this is in regards to communion)

5 And again I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your sacrament meetings who are earnestly seeking the kingdom—I speak this concerning those who are not of the church.

6 And again I say unto you, concerning your confirmation meetings, that if there be any that are not of the church, that are earnestly seeking after the kingdom, ye shall not cast them out.

Getting those who struggle or no longer possess belief does nothing to somehow improve the quality of church. Fighting against apathy, sloth, and instilling zeal for the gospel is IMHO our single greatest obstacle. Trying to get people enthusiastic about kicking out secular elements is a poor inadequate substitute for persuading people to truly love one another.
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Occasional
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"Trying to get people enthusiastic about kicking out secular elements is a poor inadequate substitute for persuading people to truly love one another."

That is fine and all, but that can be learned without going to Church. If you don't have faith, then what possible reason is there for the existence of a religion?

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
... In my personal estimation she needs to be called out for faithlessness and lack of proper devotion to the truth claims of Mormonism.

If we're still talking about Holly Welker, hasn't she effectively called out herself?

She's called herself a "secular saint" in a public article and as far as I can tell, she's probably not even going to go to parades or concerts that are Mormon-related.

How much more called out could she be?

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