I'm here to listen and learn

If you are new to the board or simply have something new in your life, come let us know in the Introductions forum.
User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:44 am

Hey everyone! I'm new and I joined to listen and learn from y'all. I'm a software consultant, 38 years old, married with 3 kids, living in Dallas.

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 1002
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Linked » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:03 am

Welcome aboard! What brings you to NOM?
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 2670
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Corsair » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:20 am

I'm also interested in what brings you to NOM and also curious how you found out about this site. It's not a secret at all, but it is not advertised and is a bit off the beaten path. We have the benefit of somewhat "owning" the acronym NOM and the understanding of what it means. It's amusing to see NOM used on both faithful and apostate forums with an understanding that neither group is 100% comfortable with the idea of a "New Order Mormon".

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3462
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:32 am

Hi Leo,

Welcome to NOM. Hopefully we'll have some experiences and insights that will be useful to you.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 2381
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:31 am

Welcome Leo!

Let’s jump right in and start some dialogue. I’m seriously interested in understanding how you healed from your faith crisis and what your faith in Mormonism and God looks like today. I read your LDS living article and have a few questions.

http://www.ldsliving.com/How-an-Atheist ... bt/s/90112

What started your faith crisis?

What advice did Dr. Harper give you when you felt inspired to contact him?

How do you reconcile your belief in Joseph Smith today given many of the unsavory facts from his life history that are not openly part of the church narrative today such as his relationship with the Partridge sisters?

Were you compensated by LDS Living for writing your article?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1463
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am

Honest impressions - you are the poster child for one of the few prodigal sons who returned to the fold.
...the Spirit returned, and many good answers arrived
Like all the other recent talks given to youth to try and inoculate or bring folks back, we see a lot of dancing around the issues but no real answers or responses that actually address the issues. You seem to have receive some answers or responses that convinced you to change your mind. If we could get to a specific example, let's say the Pearl of Great Price, translation vs. inspiration and the current appologetic camps of catalyst vs. missing scrolls. If Dr. Harper convinced you to come back, why wouldn't the church be using his knowledge to try and do the same for all the others?

I understand if you don't want to get into specific topics here. Would you at least offer some insight into your faith crisis? I assume you've read the Faith Crisis Report the church has had in it's possession for the past several years? Did you fall into any of the a categories described in that report?

Let's engage!

Image
Last edited by RubinHighlander on Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 2381
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am
Honest impressions - you are the poster child for one of the few prodigal sons who returned to the fold.
...the Spirit returned, and many good answers arrived
Like all the other recent talks given to youth to try and inoculate or bring folks back, we see a lot of dancing around the issues but no real answers or responses that actually address the issues. You seem to have receive some answers or responses that convinced you to change your mind. If we could get to a specific example, let's say the Pearl of Great Price, translation vs. inspiration and the current appologetic camps of catalyst vs. missing scrolls. If Dr. Harper convinced you to come back, why wouldn't the church be using his knowledge to try and do the same for all the others?
See spiritual defibrillator.

Rumor has it that Beehive Clothing and Deseret Book will be selling them in stores starting after the April General Conference and Property Reserve, Inc. will be installing them in all ward buildings come October.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1463
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:45 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am

See spiritual defibrillator.

Rumor has it that Beehive Clothing and Deseret Book will be selling them in stores starting after the April General Conference and Property Reserve, Inc. will be installing them in all ward buildings come October.
LOL! Oh man - I see some new memes in the near future!

Ponderize 2.0?
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

User avatar
slavereeno
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:30 am
Location: QC, AZ

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by slavereeno » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:44 pm

You are Leo of the Uplift Study Group? I have been somewhat fascinated with those who return to faithfulness.

I looked at some of the videos on your youtube channel. The one with Dan Ellsworth was interesting, these stories help me get perspective. I have been a student of Fowler's stages of faith and I have been trying to decide what Stage 5 Mormonism looks like. Sometimes Fowler's framework is a good fit, but often it mis-categorizes those who step into stage 4 then retreat back to a nuanced stage 3 as true stage 5 persons of faith. Stage 5 is difficult to attain in Mormonism because of the strict need to adhere to the creed.

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 2381
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:33 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:44 pm
You are Leo of the Uplift Study Group? I have been somewhat fascinated with those who return to faithfulness.

I looked at some of the videos on your youtube channel. The one with Dan Ellsworth was interesting, these stories help me get perspective. I have been a student of Fowler's stages of faith and I have been trying to decide what Stage 5 Mormonism looks like. Sometimes Fowler's framework is a good fit, but often it mis-categorizes those who step into stage 4 then retreat back to a nuanced stage 3 as true stage 5 persons of faith. Stage 5 is difficult to attain in Mormonism because of the strict need to adhere to the creed.
I watched a few of these last night. I hope Leo comes back to discuss or maybe Dan too?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
slavereeno
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:30 am
Location: QC, AZ

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by slavereeno » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:01 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:33 pm
I watched a few of these last night. I hope Leo comes back to discuss or maybe Dan too?
Likewise, as I see it, when many of us descend into despair as our entire world view is upended there are two ways to relieve the pain. One option is to build an entirely new world view that brings us renewed and possibly greater joy. This can be painful, time consuming and is often not without sacrifice. The other option is to alter our previous world view enough to return to some semblance of where we started. Even though the journey makes it not exactly as it was before, many of the social and emotional rewards can be regained.

I see happiness on both sides, in my current state of mind a whole new world view seems a better path for me personally, because I feel it will be more rewarding, deeper and longer lasting. That being said, I can understand why someone would like to go back and be part of something that was important to them in the past, and that keeps them highly connected to family and friends that are still part of the church.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:30 pm

Linked wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:03 am
Welcome aboard! What brings you to NOM?
Heya, well I saw some comments about Uplift Study Group here, and truthfully, I appreciated the candid feedback. I wanted to join this forum to better understand y'alls worldview, and just hang out as often as I have time. Thanks for having me.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:33 pm

Corsair wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:20 am
I'm also interested in what brings you to NOM and also curious how you found out about this site. It's not a secret at all, but it is not advertised and is a bit off the beaten path. We have the benefit of somewhat "owning" the acronym NOM and the understanding of what it means. It's amusing to see NOM used on both faithful and apostate forums with an understanding that neither group is 100% comfortable with the idea of a "New Order Mormon".
Hey, I mentioned above, but I saw some post about Uplift, and I wanted to let y'all know that I appreciate the feedback. I'm also wanting to listen and learn, as previously mentioned. As far as your comments about NOM go, I hear ya. It's always fascinating to get to know more people along the wide-ranging Mormon spectrum. Do NOM's have a specific set of beliefs, or some kind of unifying position? Great to be here.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:34 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:32 am
Hi Leo,

Welcome to NOM. Hopefully we'll have some experiences and insights that will be useful to you.
I hope so too. Thanks for the warm welcome.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:48 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:31 am
Welcome Leo!

Let’s jump right in and start some dialogue. I’m seriously interested in understanding how you healed from your faith crisis and what your faith in Mormonism and God looks like today. I read your LDS living article and have a few questions.

http://www.ldsliving.com/How-an-Atheist ... bt/s/90112

What started your faith crisis?

What advice did Dr. Harper give you when you felt inspired to contact him?

How do you reconcile your belief in Joseph Smith today given many of the unsavory facts from his life history that are not openly part of the church narrative today such as his relationship with the Partridge sisters?

Were you compensated by LDS Living for writing your article?
Q1: How I healed?
A2: The healing process took years, with many strange stages that I walked mostly alone.

Q2: What started your faith crisis?
A2: YouTube. One of the first things I remember researching is Joseph's polygamy. My shelf crashed pretty fast.

Q3: What advice did Dr. Harper give you when you felt inspired to contact him?
A3: He was brutally honest in his reply regarding the facts. The gist of his email was to encourage me to re-examine the new assumptions I had been making about Joseph. The facts are just facts, and he encouraged me to explore a few new ways to look at the data. The biggest factor for me, was how loved I felt by him, and how honest he was.

Q4: How do you reconcile your belief in Joseph Smith today given many of the unsavory facts from his life history that are not openly part of the church narrative today such as his relationship with the Partridge sisters?
A4: As I began to think deeply about the humanity (aka fallibility) of prophets, and I began to study prophetic opinion vs inspiration vs revelation, my view on Joseph softened. He began to feel less like a monster, and more like the person Bushman describes in RSR. I have also appreciated Brian Hales' work. Understanding how interested everyone around Joseph was in being sealed to the prophet's family, really softened my heart. Joseph being adoption-sealed to men, and his sealings to older women, started to change my perspective. I started to realize what a fragmented mess the history is, and so learned how to control my imagination, and stopped assuming the worst about Joseph. Understanding my historical thinking errors (like presentism) also helped. Most of all, I felt like when I prayed that God heard me, and that seemed to bring my heart and mind back to center, as reasonable answers started to roll in.

Q5: Were you compensated by LDS Living for writing your article?
A5: No, and I have a personal goal to never receive any money, through any means (payment or donation) to help people navigate faith crisis.

Great questions and thanks for asking. Take care.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:08 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am
Honest impressions - you are the poster child for one of the few prodigal sons who returned to the fold.
...the Spirit returned, and many good answers arrived
Like all the other recent talks given to youth to try and inoculate or bring folks back, we see a lot of dancing around the issues but no real answers or responses that actually address the issues. You seem to have receive some answers or responses that convinced you to change your mind. If we could get to a specific example, let's say the Pearl of Great Price, translation vs. inspiration and the current appologetic camps of catalyst vs. missing scrolls. If Dr. Harper convinced you to come back, why wouldn't the church be using his knowledge to try and do the same for all the others?

I understand if you don't want to get into specific topics here. Would you at least offer some insight into your faith crisis? I assume you've read the Faith Crisis Report the church has had in it's possession for the past several years? Did you fall into any of the a categories described in that report?

Let's engage!

Image
Hey, thanks for your comments and questions. I'll first comment about the new, more nuanced view I have of our church/leaders. I spoke a bit about the humanity (fallibility) of prophets above, and some of my newer, more resilient views. I'm now fairly aligned with people like Patrick Mason (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dJhU_UvRF4). Ultra-orthodoxy isn't sustainable, and its on the way out. I'm open to both catalyst and long/missing scroll on BoA. I still believe in a historical BoM, but have a greater understanding about scripture genre (see here: http://www.ldsperspectives.com/2017/07/19/genre-bible/).

I believe the church is using Dr. Harper's knowledge to help people stay in the church. The new Saints volume is a great example. He's the Managing Historian on the project, and he also helped with the Gospel Topics Essays. He's also planning to attend our annual Uplift gathering in April.

Yes, I read and loved the faith crisis report. It didn't really cover my exact journey, but I was definitely headed down the top path toward leaving the church. Without a belief in our truth claims, and without a belief in God, I felt tremendous pain. I kept my secret from everyone, because I didn't want to hurt anyone. Fowler and some of the other faith stage models also don't really describe the path that I (and others like me) have taken. So, we developed a new, more dynamic Uplift model. You can review that here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GceCr ... UcRn8N7rAG

In the Uplift model, I went from "Reserved" to "Detached" because of my severe doubt. But before I started moving heavily into the "Detractor" stage, I contacted Steve Harper.

Thanks again. Talk again soon.

User avatar
FiveFingerMnemonic
Posts: 1296
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:50 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:10 pm

Leo did you watch the mormon channel interview with Dr. Harper? What are your thoughts on his analogy comparing learning church history being like learning Santa Claus isn't real? I felt he used a large amount of uncomfortable doublespeak throughout the interview which made it somewhat uncomfortable. I understand that he probably couldn't be as honest and forthright on camera as he was with you given the threat to his career.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:10 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am
RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am
Honest impressions - you are the poster child for one of the few prodigal sons who returned to the fold.
...the Spirit returned, and many good answers arrived
Like all the other recent talks given to youth to try and inoculate or bring folks back, we see a lot of dancing around the issues but no real answers or responses that actually address the issues. You seem to have receive some answers or responses that convinced you to change your mind. If we could get to a specific example, let's say the Pearl of Great Price, translation vs. inspiration and the current appologetic camps of catalyst vs. missing scrolls. If Dr. Harper convinced you to come back, why wouldn't the church be using his knowledge to try and do the same for all the others?
See spiritual defibrillator.

Rumor has it that Beehive Clothing and Deseret Book will be selling them in stores starting after the April General Conference and Property Reserve, Inc. will be installing them in all ward buildings come October.
"Spiritual defibrillator" haha. Yeah I know, it's cheesy. :) But, that's honestly how I felt after working with Brother Harper. His kind and honest words of encouragement lit me up, and started me back on the path toward faith. I love the man with all my heart. :)

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:16 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:44 pm
You are Leo of the Uplift Study Group? I have been somewhat fascinated with those who return to faithfulness.

I looked at some of the videos on your youtube channel. The one with Dan Ellsworth was interesting, these stories help me get perspective. I have been a student of Fowler's stages of faith and I have been trying to decide what Stage 5 Mormonism looks like. Sometimes Fowler's framework is a good fit, but often it mis-categorizes those who step into stage 4 then retreat back to a nuanced stage 3 as true stage 5 persons of faith. Stage 5 is difficult to attain in Mormonism because of the strict need to adhere to the creed.
Hey, yes, that's me. I run Uplift and y'all are welcome to join any time. I agree with you about Fowler. It seems to pedestalize a secular-religious position, where progression through the stages is ideal. But, when you look at the type of lives that the example stage sixers led (e.g. Mother Teresa) you begin to wonder why people are adhering to Fowler in the first place. In Uplift, we actually developed a more dynamic model that you can review here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GceCr ... UcRn8N7rAG

I'd be interested in hearing your feedback. I don't want to ever box someone into a particular group, but this model has been quite helpful for self-reflection among many.

Take care and thanks for the conversation.

User avatar
LeoWinegar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Re: I'm here to listen and learn

Post by LeoWinegar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:18 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:01 pm
Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:33 pm
I watched a few of these last night. I hope Leo comes back to discuss or maybe Dan too?
Likewise, as I see it, when many of us descend into despair as our entire world view is upended there are two ways to relieve the pain. One option is to build an entirely new world view that brings us renewed and possibly greater joy. This can be painful, time consuming and is often not without sacrifice. The other option is to alter our previous world view enough to return to some semblance of where we started. Even though the journey makes it not exactly as it was before, many of the social and emotional rewards can be regained.

I see happiness on both sides, in my current state of mind a whole new world view seems a better path for me personally, because I feel it will be more rewarding, deeper and longer lasting. That being said, I can understand why someone would like to go back and be part of something that was important to them in the past, and that keeps them highly connected to family and friends that are still part of the church.
Amen. Thanks for that excellent insight. I'm trying to respect everyone's journey too. Good on ya brother. :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests