Two Traveling Talkerias: #29 & #30
Coming this weekend to a city near you. Well…maybe. At least, if Phoenix and Las Vegas are cities near you. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Phoenix: Saturday, Sept 9, 3:00pm. At…..a private residence. If you would like to come, send me an email or PM me or make a comment on this blog and I’ll share the address with you. It’s in Scottsdale near the intersection of Shea & 142nd
Las Vegas: Sunday, Sept 10, 1:00pm. At…The Macayo Mexican Restaurant, 1741 E Charleston Blvd, 8245 W Sahara, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104.
Talkeria #28. Wow, it’s been 1 1/2 months since the last Talkeria. Twelve were in attendance. About half were first timers. The stories…the heartache…the light that were shared that night created wonderful bonds of empathetic friendship that will not be forgotten.
Sorry about the late notice in announcing TOMORROW’s talkeria. Thursday, July 20, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford., TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Talkeria #27 had 6 attendees. Two were first timers. I loved the discussion. Especially love the people. I’d really like to list each person’s name and write how amazing each one is. Of course, that would violate a core value of our get togethers. The conversations aren’t secret…they’re sacred.
The two newbies are both active in the church. Love the church. Have no intentions of leaving. Good for them. They received complete support and understanding for their chosen path. The other four are at various stages away from the church. They received complete support and understanding from those still in the church. In this kind of environment, there is such love and connection between all; active & inactive, believer & non, atheists & god-fearing. It is so beautiful.
#27 The Daugher Talkeria
That’s right…one of my TBM daughters plans to attend. She’s terrific. Non-judgmental. She gets where I’m at and what I’m doing. You’ll really like here. The Talkeria will convene Thursday, June 15, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Talkeria #26 was held two weeks ago. Tears well up as I think of the amazing people who were there. Four first time Talkerites. A young couple with their 2 super well behaved children. A prior acquaintance who I hadn’t seen for several years. One year ago he was in a bishopric. Another man who I became FB friends with only a few months ago. Also, recently serving in a bishopric. Such lovely people. The church is truly losing it’s best and brightest.
Recently, the Talkeria has taken a new direction. Click HERE to read about it.
We talk about ANY Mormon issues you’d like to discuss. Especially, those you are afraid to bring up at church. Here are some of the reasons people have come to the Talkeria.
You want to share the story of your faith crisis/journey/transition.
LDS history and doctrine are troubling you, family members or friends.
You have left the church, but still have Mormon issues to discuss.
You have a child who is doubting or has left the church.
You have a parent, sibling or friend who is doubting or has left the church.
Your faith has changed, and you are having difficulty interacting with family or friends .
Your faith has changed and are having difficulty navigating a mixed faith marriage.
The faith of your spouse has changed.
You are LGBT, in or out of the closet.
You have an LGBT child, sibling or friend.
You have left the church, but still want to maintain contact with Mormons.
Talkeria #Twenty Six
Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Five people attended Talkeria #25. Five fabulous people. Three veterans. Two fledgling visitors. One was an amazing woman. Asked why she came, she responded, “To be with other people who have left the church, but can’t leave it alone. Until recently I felt so alone.” Over the past 2 years she has been attempting go get her temple sealing cancelled. It’s been a demeaning, cruel and grueling process. The wringer that the church puts women through, and only women, is misogynous and MUST be changed.
The other newbie flew all the way from North Carolina, just to attend the Talkeria. That’s right. He lives in North Carolina. Flew to Houston in the afternoon. Rented a car. Spent the night in a hotel and flew back home the next day. Obviously, he felt a great need to talk about what he’s facing with his faith transition. And talk he did. It was cathartic for him. Frankly, it was cathartic for all of us.
Talkeria #25–Turning in a New Direction
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. Click HERE for more details.
Talkeria #24–Voting Opposed
Simply amazing. Held in SLC, Saturday evening, April 1. Earlier that day I along with 2 friends voted opposed in the Conference Center.
Eighteen people attended. Lasted 5 hours. I need to make sure the time doesn’t get out of control. Wonderful people. Tender and heart rending stories. Great friendships established.
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
A very special visitor is coming. Click HERE for more details about my honored guest.
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Talkeria Twenty-One. Back to Houston.
Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Sincerity in Sin City. Oh boy, was last week’s Talkeria amazing. 4 1/2 hours of discussion. How in the world did we manage to talk that long? The meeting in Las Vegas was held in a private residence. After about 3 1/2 hours, I tried to wrap it up. The homeowner said, “Just 15 more minutes.” Another hour transpired. Of course, the conversation was poignant and passionate. Here’s the juicy part……Sorry, talk in the Talkeria stays in the Talkeria.
For all those who came out, all I can say is..THANK YOU.
#20: Traveling Talkeria–Las Vegas
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 7:00pm. Location: Private Residence in Las Vegas, NV. Please private message or e-mail me for the address. If you are new to the Talkeria concept, see all the details by scrolling down to “Original Post.”
Last Sunday’s Talkeria in Salt Lake City was totally terrific. Eighteen attendees. Six still active and want to continue so. Two resigned. One gay man. One transgender youth. One pink haired woman. One amazing hostess. And…..my MOM. That right there made it worthwhile for me.
Eighteen new friends as a result of sharing and discussing personal journeys. I’ve come to recognize the recounting of these journeys as sacred stories. Of course, all the narratives were interesting, touching and insightful. There were 2 that I was stunned by…in a good way. I plan to write a short blog about them both. Thanks to all who came. It’s an honor to be counted as your friend and you as mine.
#19: Traveling Talkeria—Salt Lake City
Sunday, January 8, 2017, 2:00. Location: Private residence. Please private message or e-mail me for the address. If you are new to the Talkeria concept, see all the details by scrolling down to “Original Post.”
Embarking on a new adventure. Several friends have expressed a desire to have a Talkeria near them. OK. Here goes nothin! I’ve decided that in the course of business travel, I’ll attempt to schedule something. First up….the world headquarters of Mormondom…Salt Lake City.
BTW, last Thursday’s Talkeria was amazing. Twelve people came. One non-member and her Mormon wife. One resigned. Five active members in various stages of faith, 4 not-active faith transitioned members. Poignant. Fascinating. Four shed tears during the course of their story. All of us FULLY supported the others in the faith choices they have made or are in the process of struggling through. We parted with a hearty hug of friendship, forged in the crucible of trust and openness.
Talkeria Eighteen….the 1st of 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017, 7:00pm, James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
The Tannenbaum Talkeria was terrific. Nine of us gathered to share an intimate dinner at delightful and delicious Fung’s Kitchen. The food was great, but the real highlights were the conversations and personal stories. Five of the attendees were first timers. This gathering had a somewhat a different flavor in that 8 of us are still active members. Amazing and open were the narratives that were shared. Some shocking. Some heart rending. Some topics never discussed before.
#17—O Tannenbaum Talkeria
Special Christmas Talkeria. Dec 21, 2016. For details, click HERE.
Thursday, December 8, 2016, 7:00pm, James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Sorry about the month long hiatus. But, the Talkeria hasn’t stopped. It’s just gone underground this past month. Several ‘individual’ Talkerias were held at lunch or in people’s homes. Some trying to stay in the church. Others who are in the process of leaving. I’m finding that when we open up our deepest concerns to one another, something magical happens. A spiritual connection is established. A bond of love is established. Of course, this beautiful bridge is only built if judgement is totally absent.
Some Personal News. I’ve decided to give up my temple recommend. No one is asking that I relinquish it. I’m worthy to keep it. But, here’s the problem I’m trying to resolve. Over the past 2 years, it has been super difficult to get any attention to the concern of people leaving the church. None. It’s been very weird. So counterintuitive. One of the distractions has been my temple recommend. Members continue to criticize and complain that I have one. In their view, the sin of voting opposed in conference is of such magnitude that my temple privileges should be yanked. OK, I cry uncle. Now, can we just focus on the painful faith struggles that our friends are enduring in excruciating silence.
I have made the sacred temple covenant to live the law of sacrifice. It basically says that I will sacrifice everything to sustain the kingdom of God. Elder McConkie said that includes my good name, reputation, and honor. This past year, I’ve definitely put my good name on the sacrificial altar. To many of my friends, it’s been trashed. At this point, I’m willing to sacrifice my temple privileges in the attempt to draw attention to the cause of sustaining the kingdom of God. What we are doing is not sustainable for so many of our friends, family and children. It’s time to do something different. If not, the steady bleed of church members will start to gush. In England, the activity rate is now 22% and declining. The same trend is emerging in the U.S. Are we going to wait until it’s ‘English’ bad before taking any action?
No temple recommend to distract. So, let’s act.
Sunday Nov. 6, 2016, 3:00pm, 8744 Westpark, Houston, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
To accommodate more people’s schedule, I’m alternating between Thursday and Sunday. If you have a hard time finding the location, send a PM on FB.
Last week a sad, fascinating, and hopeful discussion with a strong woman who drove across state lines to attend the Talkeria. She inspired and heartened me. Thank you, my friend.
Thursday, Oct 27, 2016, 7:00pm, James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
We’ve taken a 2 week hiatus due to travel. The last 2 Talkerias were held on Sunday. At this point, I plan to alternate. So, this time it will be moved back to Thursday.
Over the intervening weeks, lots of great discussions being had, over the phone, by e-mail and in person. If you want to talk about anything Mormon, feel free to come. Groups are usually small. I’m hearing about lots of family issues related to faith transitions.
Sunday Oct. 9, 2016, 3:00pm, 8744 Westpark, Houston, TX. New time & place–my business office. Hopefully, this new day and time will be more convenient for many. If you have a hard time locating it, send a PM on FB.
Last week another amazing discussion was had. At this point, over 30 different individuals have come to talk about Mormon issues. From Mormon atheists to current Relief Society presidents, and all the way in between. No Mormon topic is forbidden.
For more details of what the Mormon Talkeria is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Sunday Oct. 2, 2016, 2:30, 8744 Westpark, Houston, TX. We’ve moved the time and place, this week. This is my business office. Hopefully, this new day and time will be more convenient for many. If you have a hard time locating it, send a PM on FB.
Today’s GC has been very exciting. Many reports of opposing votes, including one at the conference center. My wife and I voted together at home, seated side by side, in front of my laptop. More on all this later.
For more details of what the Mormon Talkeria is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
September 22, 2016, 7:00pm.
James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Last week, four intrepid souls shared intimate concerns and issues. One atheist, one questioning, one transitioned, on traditional believing. No judgmentalism interferred. We shared problems, concerns, compassion, wisdom. When all was said and done one Talkeria attendee had this to say, “We both really enjoyed the evening. This is one of the first times we’ve been able to discuss our situation openly with others. It was very therapeutic.”
Talkeria Times Ten
September 15, 2016, 7:00pm. James Coney Island, 11940 S.W. Frwy., Stafford, TX. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Shocking that 2 1/2 months of Talkeria have already transpired. With the release of the Mormon Stories podcast, there has been a ton of activity.
Talkeria Time #9
September 8, 2016,7:00pm. James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Last Thursay was like Christmas in September. I gained a new perspective on my favorite holiday. It’s going to make a difference on the next Dec. 25th. This week I have a topic submitted by someone out of state. This person is struggling in the church and is looking for input. His wife has no idea that he has doubts. Of course, he can’t discuss anything at church. So, loniness and isolation has set in.
Talkeria Tonight #8
September 1, 2016, 7:00pm. James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas. For more details of what this is all about, scroll down to “Original Post.”
Last Thursday was amazing. 7 people attended. One from Utah, here on business.
Whether you are angry or at peace, at the start of your journey or years into it, whether you don’t have the courage to speak yet or are bursting to speak out, this is a safe space to talk. Whether an active member (like me), inactive, resigned, or never been Mormon, you are welcome.
Next meeting, August 25, 2016, 7:00pm. James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas. If you have any questions or problems regarding Mormon issues, please come. Whether you are angry or at peace, at the start of your journey or years along it, whether you don’t have the courage to speak yet or are bursting to speak out, this is a safe space to talk.
Twenty-two different people have now attended our little Talkeria. People from all across the spectrum:
Non-memeber & members: inactive, active non-believing, active believing, resigned, left to go to other churches, left to become atheist. Current RS Pres, HPGL, Ward mission leader, several former bishops.
P.S. I buy the hot dogs!!!
Next meeting, August 18, 2016. James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas
What an amazing discussion in #5. An active RS president & her husband, in the HP leadership joined us. They sincerely wanted to know how to interact with those who have doubts without offending or pushing away. The 5 other attendees had great feedback for them.
Total run down:
- One in-active
- One non-member spouse.
- One resigned
- One recently left
- One active, transitioned faith
- One active R.S. Pres
- One active HP group leadership
Will be held Aug 4, 2016. Same time. Same place. James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas.
Last week, amazing and amazingly frank discussion. There were four attendees. A pretty perfect number. Two new. Two veterans. Here is the run down.
- One active, traditional believing member
- One active, with very nuanced belief
- One active, non-believer. Has YM calling. Major concern: authenticity
- One ex-member. Left church 20 years ago. Major concern: how to discuss church with adult children who are still active.
At this point, 16 different people have joined in the Talkeria discussions.
July 28, 2016, 7:00pm, James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas.
14 people have now attended. Many more have wanted to come. Today, I received a heartfelt message from a very good friend. I cried through most of it. For the past 3 to 4 years, he has been wrestling with faith issues. As many experience, it has been done in silence and loneliness. His wife is aware of his struggles. But, he doesn’t have the confidence to discuss with his parents, siblings or members of his ward. He has witnessed all the judgmentalism so commonly leveled at those with doubts and questions. Unfortunately, he lives far from Houston. I wish he could visit in on our Talkeria.
If you are anywhere near my home town, & need to talk about Mormon issues, feel free to join us. -All My Best to ya’ll.
July 7, 2016, 7:00pm, James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas.
Talkeria One was terrific. Eight wonderful souls showed up. Much needed talk ensued.
Tomorrow Night, Thursday, June 30, 2016, something new is in the offing. It will be called The Mormon Talkeria. YOU….are invited. 7:00pm at James Coney Island, 11940 Southwest Frwy, Stafford, Texas. Of course, I know most of you can’t make it. There might only be 3 of us in attendance, me, myself and Irene. I’ll be sitting there from 7 to 9, in my gray hair and black, long sleeve shirt. Oh, yeah, I’ll have pants on, too. This is not a one time affair. I plan to be there talking at the Talkeria for the next several Thursdays that I’m in town.
Gut-Wrench in the Closet
For the first 7 months, I thought that I was completely alone in searching out new truths. Little did I know that there were, and are, many treading the same path. But, that was not initially evident. There was a part the LDS culture that I was naively unaware of. Much of the history and doctrine of the Mormondom is forbidden to discuss at church. Asking certain questions in public or in private yields judgment but no answers.
The suppression of honest discussion causes a number of unintended consequences. I have personally experienced several. I have also witnessed the difficult experience of others. 1 1/2 years ago, I started suggesting to my local ecclesiastical leaders that there was a need to find a way to discuss troubling issues. As the months have passed, I have watched as more and more friends and family walk away from the church that they had once been so committed to. All of them had basically grappled in private with their gut-wrenching faith transition.
So, absent any other venue for open & in-person discussion, I’m starting a Talkeria. A casual sit-down to kindly and respectfully talk.
- LDS history and doctrine are troubling you, family members or friends.
- You have a child who is doubting or has left the church.
- You have a parent, sibling or friend who is doubting or has left the church.
- Your faith has changed, and you are having difficulty interacting with family or friends
- Your faith has changed and are having difficulty in your marriage.
- The faith of your spouse has changed and you are having difficulty in you marriage.
- You are gay, in or out of the closet.
- You have a gay child, sibling or friend.
I am not an expert at anything. I’m certainly not a professional counselor. That’s not the purpose of The Talkeria. It’s simply a venue for talking face-to-face and friend-to-friend.
Recently, I was called in for Jury Duty. Four hours at the courthouse. Rounds of questioning by the prosecuting and defense attorneys. Finally, the actually jurors were selected. The judge turned to those of us who didn’t make the cut and said, “Thank you for your service. Being a part of the jury selection process is very important to our system of justice. We have found that the best way to discover the truth is through a jury.” I was kind of blown away. Twelve ordinary, untrained men and women from all walks of live, are the best way to determine truth. Whatever The Mormon Talkeria turns into, it will just be ordinary, untrained men and women trying to ferret out the best course to take at this time in their life.
For the next few weeks, I plan on being at JCI every Thursday. Me, myself, and anyone else.
24 thoughts on “The Mormon Talkeria”
Sam, what a great idea. I do have a concern I would like the group to discuss. As I have watched over the last few years many people, whom I love and admire , leave the church for what’re ever their reasons. I do not understand their need to then bad mouth the leaders or the doctrine. If you no longer believe, leave, and find yourself. But why try to sway the thinking of those within the church who do believe. I have had several periods of inactivity and many crises of faith, but I was never so miserable that I wanted to take others with me. I have studied church history for years and seen the fallibility of men, but until someone shows me another way we got the Book of Mormon, I can not be swayed. I know that book is the word of God to us now. I do not like all of the latest policy changes, however I understand the reasoning in the grand scheme of the eternities. I love all people as being children of a kind and loving Eternal father. I wish I could hang out with y’all at the Coney Island. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a LDS bashing meeting.
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Great question. Whether it’s just me or more, I’ll make sure your question gets some attention and report back.
“I was never so miserable that I wanted to take others with me.”
I have been that miserable.
I was raised a Mormon. I will always be a Mormon. I do not like it when someone who does not understand the culture criticizes it. I feel protective. I understand why you want to protect it. Many of us that leave do so after praying for answers for years. We don’t take it lightly. It is how we were raised. It is who we are. We wanted to change it form the inside. At a certain point we just couldn’t anymore.
There are many, many people in the church who are trying to live up to an impossible and untrue set of standards. We want to be there to tell them that they don’t have to hate themselves anymore. We want to be there for them when they feel the absolute sadness of finding out that Joseph Smith married all those women or that he revised the first vision to make it into a better story. We want to tell them that they are not the only one that cried all night as we discovered that our ancestors were really good people who believed in a man that was only a man.
If you are able to accept all that in as grandfathered into the church is true and it a good place to be then, I am happy for you. That works. For me, I cannot be a party to the institution that marginalizes the most vulnerable in the population. People are hurting. People are dying. The church is WRONG.
I understand that you “do not like all of the latest policy changes.” Let me be clear. I hate the policy changes. If I believed in the devil, I would say it came from him. If that is called bashing the church, then yes I am bashing the church. As a Mormon that is my job. Again, the church is WRONG.
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Im so with you.
I’m out…and I’m anything but miserable. I’m happy and free and living in celebration of life.
But I know by mormon standards mine is a false happiness.
I too used to wonder why people could leave…but couldn’t leave it alone…now I totally get it!
I visit with folks who say they “knew” all these troubling things about the history of the church and it’s just fine with them. First, I don’t usually believe they knew even a fraction of the crap that is accurate about the whitewashed BS the members are fed…and the missionaries continue to teach. Really?
You knew …
There were several accounts of the first vision. None written even remotely near the actual alleged vision? And they don’t correlate?
JS had 30+ wives! some as young as 14, some still married to living men?
Which means the church practiced polygamy AND polyandry? You knew?
You knew the book of Abraham wasn’t written by Abraham at all? The time line doesn’t work, among other things.
You knew they’ve found some of the papyri and JS translation doesn’t jive? Really ? You already knew that?
You knew he didn’t use the urim and thumin…but used a stone and stuck his head in a hat? You knew?
Seriously? You knew? And none of this bothered you? Or caused you to pause and do some critical thinking?
And this is just scratching the surface of the lies and falsehoods that continue to be perpetuated.
I literally know almost no one who studied more than me…but being “obedient” I studied the correlated BS..just like they told me too.
And I’m not even beginning to go into the policies that continue today that harm people.
I remember when my kids dad divorced me to be with “the other woman”. I truly didn’t believe there was another woman. He had never lied to me, we weren’t fighting, I loved him. But ya know what? I was blind to the truth until I wasn’t blind anymore. And it hurt like hell. And I felt angry and betrayed. And I wondered why people saw him with her but didn’t tell me.
The feeling of betrayal is keenly the same. The anger…similar. For some reason pretty much everybody allowed me the space and time to vent and feel what I felt during the divorce, and voice my pain, and feel my anger…but when it’s the church those same feelings are supposed to not exist? It simply doesn’t happen like that.
My eyes are wide open…if members want to continue putting their head in the sand like I did for 45+ years they can…but I LOVE my friends and family too much to sit quietly by while they ignorantly (not meant as a judgement…simply lack of knowledge) continue drinking the koolaid.
So I, for one, feel used as well as betrayed by the church…and I’m ok with the truth being shouted from the mountain tops!
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Janice – would you like to know, or are you merely looking for a venue in which to voice your judgmental displeasure?
I’m guessing the latter, but I’ll respond assuming you fall in the first category.
Let’s assume you’re a female in an abusive relationship. Your husband beats you every night. He berated you emotionally and psychologically. He raises your children to think that you’re a horrible mother. And worst of all, you believe him. You had a spiritual feeling that you should marry him. So the problem must be you.
This goes on for years. Decades.
Then one day a group of family/friends is able to rescue you from your prison. They help you see that you are in an abusive relationship. He is the problem and is not justified.
Now if this poor woman wanted to see a counselor to help process all the emotional pain and abuse, would your advice be: “Shut up and move on. Why are you unable to just leave your husband without leaving him alone. I don’t understand why you have to bash him.”
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i never thought i would find myself wishing to go to Texas, but this event has caused such a response… 😉
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What!?! Never wanted to go to Texas. Doesn’t every dreamer from around the world dream of traveling to the Lone Star State? The latest tourist survey I read ranked the top 3 tourist destinations: #3 Paris, #2 Disney, #1 TEXAS. No matter who shows up, I, or we, will miss you!
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I have a son who served in Houston and another son in Fort Worth. The 2nd son hopes to move back to Texas when he is done with college, so i suppose i will one day visit!
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Last night would have been a good night for your first visit to Texas. Eight souls showed up. Several from far across town. One made a 3 hour round trip drive. The discussion was amazing, heart-rending, honest and open. At this moment, tears come to my eyes thinking of what was shared. It’s obvious people have a need to talk. After 3 hours of conversation, I feel like all are my best friends.
Ridiculous, I’ve pushed every boundary when questioning things at church, all the way up to area authorities, the only time I’ve ever had an issue was in the 70’s and in seminary and I was disrupting the class too much with my questions and they wanted me to stop. Life is filled with assholes and the church has its fair share, especially in Utah, but I’ve never had any issue discussing taboo topics or asking questions, I bring the dead sea scrolls with me to church to read if I’m bored. Of course you got your pearl clutchers that flip out at hearing the word sex, but what are you going to do. Sam, I personally think you are full of crap and aren’t a member of the church, or just incredibly stupid, that you never bothered to study the faith that you belonged to. None of this is hidden, it’s all available, it’s just easier to get to now than it was pre-internet.
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I find your comments rather harsh, Don. I can vouch that Sam is 1) indeed a member of the church, and 2) anything but stupid.
As for stuff being hidden, it is certainly becoming less so all the time, but it’s also always been a matter of semantics. Sure, stuff has been known by some for a long time, but how easy was it for most people to discover? I have known of discontent and inconsistencies for years before the internet was common, but that’s because I was lucky enough to know people who subscribed to non-sanctioned periodicals, and gave me access to authors that weren’t sold at Deseret Books, etc. If I hadn’t chanced to be where and when I was, it would have been easy to live many years before discovering the same. The internet certainly makes them easier to find, but even with this ease of access, the church does a pretty good job of encouraging members to ignore anything but the correlated lessons.
Bully for you if you learned stuff that others haven’t. But it’s not stupidity that keeps others from finding things till they come as a shock, and Sam is certainly not alone in that. Of course, a study of all sides of an argument makes sense if you want to be an authority. But, most people aren’t aiming to be an authority, just to be reasonably educated. In my opinion, the church definitely shares a great deal of blame for defining reasonably educated to mean avoid anything that sounds even the least bit controversial or “anti-Mormon” and study only the approved materials.
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Dear Don, I prefer honest and open discussion. So, thanks for being both honest and open. I AM a member of the LDS Church. However, you are likely right about my incredible stupidity. There are so many things that I don’t remember being taught over my 55 years of membership. Obviously they were available. For example, No Man Knows My History was written when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I was told it was filled with anti-mormon lies. So, I didn’t read it until recently. Today, it’s contents are pretty much considered factual history by credible LDS historians. I really wish that you were in my ward. Perhaps you could stick up for me when I want to discuss something besides the correlated topics we cover over and over and over again every year. Ward and stake leaders have told me that we are not allowed to discuss certain issues at church. That perhaps we shouldn’t discuss them anywhere even outside of church. This includes the CHURCH ESSAYS. Five weeks ago, in priesthood, I started to make a comment about Common Consent. 15 seconds later, I was told we couldn’t talk about it because it’s not in the manual. It was the teachers method to politely say SHUT UP. So, if you are ever in the Houston area, I invite you to sit down to dinner and to come to my quorum meeting. Let’s see if you can help me open up discussions to what seems forbidden today. All my best, Sam
Sorry it has been so long since I replied to those who replied to my concerns. I wrote a long reply here and as I got ready to post, my IPad went blank. I don’t believe in consequences. I just want to say that after 57 years in the LDS Church and a few experiences with inactivity, I believe in the “doubt your doubts, not your faith” philosophy. I also believe in Pres. Hinckley’s “Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything. I have experienced some of the things mentioned by a few of the replies. Although heartbroken, I did not walk away with the idea that I was miserable and therefore everyone that doesn’t think like I do needs to be miserable as well. This is not Christlike in any way, shape or form. If you find yourself happy and fulfilled outside of this church, leave and be happy. It isn’t necessary to write scathing repetitive essays on everything you think you know about the church. The arrogance of thinking your study and prayer is somehow better than anothers study and prayer is just absurd. And to say that you have to tell everyone, both family and friends is terribly selfish. All the information you have available to you, is available to everyone that has the Internet. Whether you choose to believe your interpretation or someone else’s is your Agency. Although I firmly believe in the freedom to ask questions and expect answers, I wonder if this is the right forum. It opens up so many opportunities for those on the edge to get justification for their doubts from others who seem to think they have all the answers. It is sad that their is not someone in every Stake of the Church, that is available to talk to individuals with concerns. I can hope that day comes. In the mean time, we have Satan, who is in his glory as he tears families apart. Mr Wallace, I know Sam to be an amazing man who truly believes in the Plan of Salvation and God the Father and in His Son . You were lucky to have had leaders talk to you, this is not the case all over. We have lived all over the USA and I sure haven’t seen it.
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Janice – How can you criticize those who have left the church and are trying to “warn their neighbors” but continue to support the missionary effort of the Church? Aren’t they both doing the same?
As for “doubting your doubts first”, doubts no longer exist in the presence of evidence and Sally alluded to a few of them. Faith on the other hand, is a different story… You hope for things not seen but are “supposedly” true. Do you continue to hope and believe something to be true even though evidence to the contrary is piling up? When should you start to doubt your faith?
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You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, Sam. However, I have to say while I understand and empathize with most of your statements, I don’t quite understand this stand. If you don’t think the temple is important, or you doubt the truth of the church, or you want to make a protest, then I could see turning in your temple recommend. But why turn it in just because someone else makes a comment that they don’t think you should have one. That’s between you, the bishop, the stake president, and the Lord (if you believe in him.) If you don’t believe anymore, then OK. But, if you *do* believe, and you think you are doing what’s right, then turning in your recommend seems counter productive. IMHO, YMMV.
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Counter productive? I hope it produces results counter to what I’ve seen so far. Zero, zip, nada, nothing.
I have learned to deal with our troubling history, doctrine and policies. Here’s what’s difficult to turn away from. Knowing that people are in pain, seeing them ignored, and then hearing how Christ-like we are every Sunday.
So, yes, I hope my productivity will start to run counter to the infertile and insensitive ground I’ve tried to plow in the past 2 years.
Do I believe in the Lord? I have chosen to put my faith in the teachings and example ascribed to Jesus Christ. Reaching out to those beaten and bruised on the side of the road is one of the most gorgeous tenets of His teachings.
As always, thanks for imparting your wisdom here, Sam
Well said Sam. From Ricky Green
Asking questions are in fact nice thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, but
this post provides good understanding yet.
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