RS Visiting Teaching message for October

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crossmyheart
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RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by crossmyheart » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am

I just received an e-mail with the RS newsletter. It had the VT message on the front. The title is "Enfolding With Love Those Who Stray". It goes on to have some decent quotes from DFU, and even Joseph F. Smith and a few others.

But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"

This question just doesn't sit right with me. It insinuates that we are choosing to sin, not choosing to no longer believe. It puts the TBM on a pedestal above us, as though they have to stoop down to grace us with their pity disguised as charity.

With questions like that, there is no way we can truly co-exist.

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Corsair
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Corsair » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:24 am

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"
It's the LDS version of the gospel they are talking about. The Mormon definition of sin certainly overlaps most of the Christian world, but a lot of the cultural restrictions are indefensible outside of a temple recommend interview. For example, I can only imagine millions of awkward conversations where an LDS missionary tried to convince Japanese, Chinese, or British people that drinking tea will keep them from the Grace of Jesus Christ. Sabbath day restrictions are also widely varying among Christian denominations.

My Lesbian daughter married her delightful girlfriend in August and I have been very happy to see my dear, believing wife treat her new daughter-in-law with kindness and acceptance. Lessons like these are bound to generate a lot of emotional pain and I know it has already taken a toll on my wife. The LDS church has not figured out a way to live within this new paradigm and this VT message is probably not going to solve it.

Thoughtful
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:37 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I just received an e-mail with the RS newsletter. It had the VT message on the front. The title is "Enfolding With Love Those Who Stray". It goes on to have some decent quotes from DFU, and even Joseph F. Smith and a few others.

But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"

This question just doesn't sit right with me. It insinuates that we are choosing to sin, not choosing to no longer believe. It puts the TBM on a pedestal above us, as though they have to stoop down to grace us with their pity disguised as charity.

With questions like that, there is no way we can truly co-exist.
Gah!

Also, no one cares. People don't sit down and say, "meh. I want to sin today. " They are just living their lives being mostly good people, just like anyone else. I can't tell you how much I hate this. Plus it being sent out in the letter route to the "less actives"...

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alas
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by alas » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:01 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I just received an e-mail with the RS newsletter. It had the VT message on the front. The title is "Enfolding With Love Those Who Stray". It goes on to have some decent quotes from DFU, and even Joseph F. Smith and a few others.

But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"

This question just doesn't sit right with me. It insinuates that we are choosing to sin, not choosing to no longer believe. It puts the TBM on a pedestal above us, as though they have to stoop down to grace us with their pity disguised as charity.

With questions like that, there is no way we can truly co-exist.
Fixed it for them.
How can we continue to show charity to those we disagree with?
First by deciding not to be so judgemental that we assume they don't want to live the principles of the gospel. Then, stop treating them as if they need our "charity" and realize that they are just people, like us, who are doing the best they can to live a good moral life. Third, realize that we do not have a monopoly on "gospel principles", morality, or goodness. Fourth, reject the leadership of anyone that tells you that those who have left the church want to sin.

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wtfluff
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by wtfluff » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:23 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"
The self-righteousness and judgement in that question is astounding.


Actual quote from my neighbor: "We've left the church, not the gospel." (I guess that would be a great way to reply to the question... :mrgreen: )
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who Cares If One More Light Goes Out?

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Give It Time
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Give It Time » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:56 pm

Listen to the question, very politely, and then excuse yourself to go rake their leaves or shovel their snow or aerate their lawn or mow their lawn or something.

Silly statement. Not worth wasting time discussing it with people who will refuse to see how it's untrue, unfair and demeaning.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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SaidNobody
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by SaidNobody » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:03 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am

But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"
--------------
With questions like that, there is no way we can truly co-exist.
Self-righteousness is a human thing, not restricted to religious or socialites.

You can fight or ignore it, but it doesn't go away.

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Newme
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Newme » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:43 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:23 pm
crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
But here is the clincher- at the bottom is the question: "How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"
The self-righteousness and judgement in that question is astounding.


Actual quote from my neighbor: "We've left the church, not the gospel." (I guess that would be a great way to reply to the question... :mrgreen: )
Nice reply. Especially if you think of the gospel as truth or "good news" (always learning new things).
To me, I think God is more about finding truth wherever than clinging to false gods as if you've arrived & learned all there is to know.

It's inconsiderate in other contexts - but because it's such a habit/tradition in the church - it just seems normal to subtly put down anyone who doesn't think as they do.

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deacon blues
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by deacon blues » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:33 pm

It appears as if they may be confusing the Gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) with the law and/or the commandments. I'd have to see the whole thing to judge better. This happens commonly in the LDS church, where the organization itself is confused with the message. Where's Ronald Poelman when we need him?
God is Love. God is Truth

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nibbler
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by nibbler » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:39 am

crossmyheart wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
"How can we continue to show charity to those who do not want to live the principles of the gospel?"
I know many people that left the church so that they could more fully live the principles of the gospel as they understand them.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Corsair
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Corsair » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:42 am

nibbler wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:39 am
I know many people that left the church so that they could more fully live the principles of the gospel as they understand them.
This is the big fear of the institutional LDS church. The conservatives leave to be with Denver Snuffer. Fundamentalists still head towards the polygamists. And the liberals are following John Dehlin and Kate Kelley out the door.

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Give It Time
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Give It Time » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:40 pm

Okay, my VT is coming. I'm probably getting this lesson. First of all, I don't think this question applies to me. To paraphrase someone upthread, no one wakes up some morning and says, "I'm tired if being righteous. I think I'll take up sinning and leave the church, today."

However, I do know someone who did something very similar to this. He needs no introduction, but we were watching a show about a famous con artist and on the commercial break, my infamous movie watching partner said that, given the lightness of the sentence, committing fraud almost seemed worth it. So, that's exactly what he did.

How to show charity to the sinner?

Short and snarky answer:
give him a temple recommend, because, you know, bishops are frequently flexible on that requirement. Then, when he's deadbeat and abandoned his family, be sure to greet him like a long lost brother and don't hold his feet to the fire. Make sure his ex-wife to be and his children see this so they can well and truly think to themselves, "what the Hell?!" Then be sure to shame his abandoned family. I'm not joking, this shiz actually happened.

Nice girl who is truly trying to work things out with these people for reasons that currently evade me answer:
I think that we can look to the Savior for our example in all this. With whom did the Savior spend his time during His mortal ministry? People who weren't living gospel principles. The Savior doesn't say a whole lot about this. All we can do is pick up clues. First of all, it's pretty clear he shuns the Pharisees aka the rule followers. Second of all, all the accounts either report him being in the company of sinners or leaving after having spent the evening with them. That's a very important clue, right there. It looks like the Savior had no dwelling to call His own, so His enjoying the company and hospitality of those who aren't living the principles of the Gospel indicate that He was an invited guest.

That means he was a friend to them. He would have been polite and respectful to them. He would have spent time with them, possibly did work for them in exchange for the hospitality. In other words, the Savior of the world, in doing what it took to spend an evening enjoying the hospitality of those not living the principles of the gospel probably didn't communicate that He was the one in the power position. He not only met them on their level, but below their level.

It wasn't a one-off, drop-by that He did. What He did took time, effort and leaving any judgementalism at the door. That way, He was aware of the issues they faced. He understood why they made the choices they did. By doing so, He won their trust, but also He gained understanding that I believe would have strengthened His resolve to finish the atonement.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by nibbler » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:17 am

Give It Time,

This is going to be off-topic but since it came up...

In your short and snarky answer it sounds like you have some history. I've got some too. I'm not the spouse in your story, I'm one of the children.

One thing that really pushed my FC to the tipping point was trying to sort out this concept of justice. I know if I talked about this at church I'd end up at the receiving end of well meaning lectures about god's love that rang hollow; I reached the point where it felt like one of the fruits of the atonement was making victims out of the victims all over again.

Victims endure the pain of their abuse... and much later they endure the pain of watching the abuser be absolved.

I've since come to some measure of peace on that particular subject but it's not easy. I'll leave that story to some other thread for some time in the future.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Give It Time
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Give It Time » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 pm

nibbler wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:17 am
Give It Time,

This is going to be off-topic but since it came up...

In your short and snarky answer it sounds like you have some history. I've got some too. I'm not the spouse in your story, I'm one of the children.

One thing that really pushed my FC to the tipping point was trying to sort out this concept of justice. I know if I talked about this at church I'd end up at the receiving end of well meaning lectures about god's love that rang hollow; I reached the point where it felt like one of the fruits of the atonement was making victims out of the victims all over again.

Victims endure the pain of their abuse... and much later they endure the pain of watching the abuser be absolved.

I've since come to some measure of peace on that particular subject but it's not easy. I'll leave that story to some other thread for some time in the future.
nibbler, my younger son has, I think, pretty much lost his testimony and I think this is why. I've tried to be supportive and encouraging of his having a testimony, because losing mine was so horrible.

I've been thinking about this. I've been thinking about starting a thread, but I don't want to put the energy into managing a thread on this subject at this time. The church is a hospital for sinners, so I'm told. Well, abusers are sinners. However, giving a temple recommend to an abuser as some sort of means of offering support during the repentance process isn't making the church a hospital for the abuser, it's making the church an all inclusive resort for the abuser.

So, I've been wondering. How do they shepherd the abuser through the repentance process in a manner that doesn't reward the abuser--such as giving them a temple recommend or having them bless the sacrament (another thing that happened)?

How does the church extend spiritual triage to the victims? First of all, I think separate wards are in order, but we know that will never happen in this family church. So, how what would this actually look like?
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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nibbler
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by nibbler » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:07 pm

I don't think you'd like my answers.

People are fallen, in many ways I see the abuser as yet another victim.

It's one thing to watch society forgive an abuser while ignoring the victim, it's easy to lose faith in humanity; after all, we're all flawed. It's another thing to believe that god, the ideal humanity has placed on a pedestal, as not being all that different.

Unwittingly, my faith crisis pushed me towards a belief in a more universal salvation, which in turn sparked off the thoughts I mention here. Temple recommends and status in society aside, it's difficult to maintain the ideal when you begin to see its flaws.

God made man in his own image, and man returned the favor. I began to recognize that my god was no different than the monster that plagued me in this life, I needed to trade up in order to survive.

.
Give It Time wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 pm
How does the church extend spiritual triage to the victims?
Lectures that you are required to forgive. Probably make you watch that 80s/90s video The Prodigal Son or something. :P Implying, once again, that the victim shoulders some blame. Don't get me wrong, I believe that letting go can help but the lectures to let go don't help much. Plus, the community can go out of its way to win back the sinner and yet do very little to heal the wounds of the people that were negatively impacted by them. We take for granted that people's wounds will heal on their own. If you're wounded sometimes you're left to bleed alone in the garden while the disciples sleep.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Give It Time
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Re: RS Visiting Teaching message for October

Post by Give It Time » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:26 pm

nibbler wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:07 pm
I don't think you'd like my answers.

People are fallen, in many ways I see the abuser as yet another victim.

It's one thing to watch society forgive an abuser while ignoring the victim, it's easy to lose faith in humanity; after all, we're all flawed. It's another thing to believe that god, the ideal humanity has placed on a pedestal, as not being all that different.

Unwittingly, my faith crisis pushed me towards a belief in a more universal salvation, which in turn sparked off the thoughts I mention here. Temple recommends and status in society aside, it's difficult to maintain the ideal when you begin to see its flaws.

God made man in his own image, and man returned the favor. I began to recognize that my god was no different than the monster that plagued me in this life, I needed to trade up in order to survive.

.
Give It Time wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 pm
How does the church extend spiritual triage to the victims?
Lectures that you are required to forgive. Probably make you watch that 80s/90s video The Prodigal Son or something. :P Implying, once again, that the victim shoulders some blame. Don't get me wrong, I believe that letting go can help but the lectures to let go don't help much. Plus, the community can go out of its way to win back the sinner and yet do very little to heal the wounds of the people that were negatively impacted by them. We take for granted that people's wounds will heal on their own. If you're wounded sometimes you're left to bleed alone in the garden while the disciples sleep.
You're right. I don't, but that's not your fault.

I'm starting a new thread. Not about this, but similar.

Developments

This discussion can carry over and this thread can get back to it's usual business.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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