What if....

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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2bizE
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What if....

Post by 2bizE » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:24 am

Add your what if statements.

What if my ancestors in 1830 had not lived anywhere near Joseph Smith?
I might not be Mormon. I might be catholic, Adventist, JW or in another cult. Maybe I would have had a completely different childhood....
~2bizE

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Red Ryder
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Re: What if....

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:53 am

What if Sheri Dew and Wendy were truly lesbian lovers and take over the church?

A guy can dream, right?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Not Buying It
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Re: What if....

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:11 am

You probably wouldn't have been born. Haven't you watched enough movies to know to not screw with the space/time continuum?

I mean really, the whole reason you were born was because two particular people got together at a particular time and created you. Without Mormonism to bring them together, some of those people would never have even met, and you would never have happened.

It's a huge conundrum for me - I wish my ancestors had never encountered Mormonism, but yet I know if that had happened neither I or my children would have ever been born.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

Anon70
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Re: What if....

Post by Anon70 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:24 am

What if...my mom hadn’t converted in order to marry my dad?

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Palerider
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Re: What if....

Post by Palerider » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:28 am

If my paternal British ancestors hadn't joined the church and emigrated, I might have been born in England.

So glad/thankful to live in the Western United States. :)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Corsair
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Re: What if....

Post by Corsair » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:35 am

The "What If" scenarios can go way back in history. I'm still kind of salty that Emperor Aurelian was betrayed and killed by his personal secretary in 275 AD. He was doing great for those 5 years of his reign.

As others have noted, I would not exist if Joseph Smith had kept to purely financial schemes rather than religious schemes. Half of my family was here before the American Revolution, but my father's line did not arrive until the 1860s when they joined the LDS church in England and Denmark and then emigrated.

There is also the entirely chaotic world of what new and ridiculous ideas Joseph Smith might have produced if he had avoided his lynching in Carthage. I have heard the plausible and unproveable hypothesis that Joseph was killed at the perfect time to have his wacky ideas survive, but not too wacky where it would have screwed up the longevity of his religious movement. Some thinking is that Joseph was about to add in a formal female priesthood. Who can image what "King Follet Discourse Part 2" might have contained. The Council of 50 might have invited more political and legal pressure against the church.

It's a mad conjecture to think how Joseph's plural marriage harem would have grown over the next 50 years. The whole "polygamy cult" might have eaten itself alive if Brigham had not taken the most fervent believers in an isolated incubator in Utah. I suspect that the bulk of Joseph's Restoration Movement would look mostly like the Community of Christ today. It would simply be a minor, unassuming, American-style Protestant religion. Whatever version of me that exists would have Anglican or Lutheran roots.

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wtfluff
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Re: What if....

Post by wtfluff » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:35 am

What if questions... There are so many of them, if I spend too much time thinking about them, my fluffy brain would become even crazier than it already is. Not that they don't cross my mind constantly, but I really do try not to fixate on them.


This "I wouldn't exist without MORmONism/polygamy" that always comes up in these situations brings out the nihilist in me: I'm perfectly fine with "not existing" if that means there would have been less suffering in the world because MORmONism never existed. My fluffy little person means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of the universe.

Besides: If I never existed, would I know it? :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

Brilliant.

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2bizE
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Re: What if....

Post by 2bizE » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:46 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:11 am
You probably wouldn't have been born. Haven't you watched enough movies to know to not screw with the space/time continuum?

I mean really, the whole reason you were born was because two particular people got together at a particular time and created you. Without Mormonism to bring them together, some of those people would never have even met, and you would never have happened.

It's a huge conundrum for me - I wish my ancestors had never encountered Mormonism, but yet I know if that had happened neither I or my children would have ever been born.
Ahh, like in Back to the Future. If Mormonism didn’t happen, I might not be a living organism.
Hard to think of it that way, that Mormonism actually gave me life.
Last edited by 2bizE on Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~2bizE

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Ghost
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Re: What if....

Post by Ghost » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:08 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:35 am
I'm perfectly fine with "not existing" if that means there would have been less suffering in the world because MORmONism never existed. My fluffy little person means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of the universe.
If life had never existed at all, then there would not be suffering of any kind. But I guess we can't say whether that's better or worse than the actual universe because there would also be no one to decide what's good or bad.

I watched a documentary about the history of Christianity a few years ago, and it made me think about how much influence that movement had on the world. The documentary also covered some details such as when and why music became part of worship services, and so on.

It would be fun if we had the technology to simulate alternate histories and introduce different variables to see what would happen. An interesting side-effect of that would be all the different inventions and art that would result from the simulations.

Keewon
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Re: What if....

Post by Keewon » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:16 pm

Deep question.

Given that "I" am largely a function of my genes, and that a particular egg and sperm needed to come together to produce my complete genome, and in addition that particular sperm had to out-compete 100,000,000 other sperm for the same honor- it seems to make no sense to say that "I" would exist at all if any detail of my genetic past were altered in the least (e.g. mom had a headache that night). Another person, another point of view, another personal history perhaps; just not "me". In terms of poker hands- well, there's not even a comparison to be made. The odds against "me" against all the other potential "non-me"s is astronomical.

And yet, here I am. That's one reason the subject of probability can be confusing- the prior likelihood of any particular outcome is often vanishingly small, and yet somehow reality happens. I have a dollar in my wallet (trust me)- when that dollar was being printed at the US Treasury, what were the odds it would come to me out of all the other possible recipients? And I have it!!! And more importantly, "I" have it. Pretty cool eh?

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blazerb
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Re: What if....

Post by blazerb » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:30 pm

What if Uchtdorf convinced a couple other apostles to come clean, admit they've never seen a vision, and open up the financial books? What if they opened up the vaults and posted pictures of all the old journals in the church's vaults? What if they apologized for hurtful teachings about women, LGBT+ issues, masturbation, etc.?

While I'm at it, what if Isildur had tossed the ring into Mount Doom right after cutting off Sauron's finger? I think that's about as realistic.

Thoughtful
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Re: What if....

Post by Thoughtful » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:52 pm

My ancestors left Sweden when it was dire. Depression, famine, oppressive government. They went to the midwest and piled on with the LDS... and suffered, suffered, suffered. Would they have suffered less staying in Sweden? If I exist, I'd have a great country and I'd be, most likely, a secular humanist with Lutheran roots. It sounds appealing, frankly.

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blazerb
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Re: What if....

Post by blazerb » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:58 am

Something I find interesting. In the last conference Christofferson said:
I haven’t met anyone who found the gospel later in life who didn’t wish it could have been earlier. “Oh, the poor choices and mistakes I could have avoided,” they will say.
To the contrary, this thread and a lot of stories I have heard indicate that many people wish they and their ancestors had never encountered the church because of the pain it caused. I think the "Brethren" need to meet people with a wider variety of experiences.

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: What if....

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:45 am

Here's my perspective.

I didn't grow up in the church; I grew up in a terribly dysfunctional family and made a lot of self-destructive choices before joining the church at 21. For many years the church was a positive influence in my life -- going on a mission, going to BYU, and doing my best to follow the prescribed Mormon template gave my life a structure and momentum that had been previously missing. It's possible that this would have arrived in a different form without the church, but it's also possible that I would have spiraled into even more chaos. I can't possibly know.

It's ironic to witness the musings of ex-mos and NOMs who ponder their what-ifs and wish it might have been different. I did the same for nearly all of my 30 years as a member, but wishing that I could have experienced a faithful, loving, Christ-centered family growing up.

I think it may be a common human thing to look back with regret, especially when we're not aware of how it looks/feels from the other side. Now that I've left the church, I have reconnected with my non LDS extended family and feel very fortunate to have those connections. I know for those raised in the church, it's often the opposite. I think all I want to point out is that when we long for different pasts we don't take into account that they could have been different in really ugly ways.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: What if....

Post by MerrieMiss » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:23 am

blazerb wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:58 am
Something I find interesting. In the last conference Christofferson said:
I haven’t met anyone who found the gospel later in life who didn’t wish it could have been earlier. “Oh, the poor choices and mistakes I could have avoided,” they will say.
To the contrary, this thread and a lot of stories I have heard indicate that many people wish they and their ancestors had never encountered the church because of the pain it caused. I think the "Brethren" need to meet people with a wider variety of experiences.
I haven't met anyone who apostatized later in life who didn't wish it could have been earlier. "Oh, the poor choices and mistakes I could have avoided," they will say.

What if I had left when I was twenty? Looking back, there were so many times I almost could have left, almost saw the church for what it was, but conditions weren't right. So here I am.

But we can't know. And a lot of paths and decisions we didn't take advantage of will always look better, because with them, the hypothetical possibilities are endless and not grounded in reality.

Keewon
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Re: What if....

Post by Keewon » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:44 pm

Keewon wrote:Given that "I" am largely a function of my genes ... it seems to make no sense to say that "I" would exist at all if any detail of my genetic past were altered in the least
I just realized I left out the question... How would life have been different for me if anything at all about my prehistory, up to the moment of my conception, had been different? I was just arguing that any difference at all, even down to the microscopic level, and "I" would not even exist. Everything that actually happens in reality, including the appearance of a particular human being at a particular time, is so apriori unlikely that it becomes unrealistic to ask how things would have been "other things being equal".

Sorry I forgot to ask the question. Had this been Jeopardy I would have lost the points. :)

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blazerb
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Re: What if....

Post by blazerb » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:30 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:23 am
I haven't met anyone who apostatized later in life who didn't wish it could have been earlier. "Oh, the poor choices and mistakes I could have avoided," they will say.

What if I had left when I was twenty? Looking back, there were so many times I almost could have left, almost saw the church for what it was, but conditions weren't right. So here I am.

But we can't know. And a lot of paths and decisions we didn't take advantage of will always look better, because with them, the hypothetical possibilities are endless and not grounded in reality.
To quote Aslan, "No one gets to know what would have happened."

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jfro18
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Re: What if....

Post by jfro18 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:50 am

I didn't join until I was a teenager after I had been dating my now wife for years - I think I started the missionary discussions about a year in but didn't join until I was in college just because I thought it would be more respectful to my parents.

So the what if here would 100% be that I would almost certainly not have met my wife. Her ancestors were early pioneers, so you'd have to think if Joseph didn't invent the BoM that our paths wouldn't have crossed... I guess you could also have it happen some other way, but super unlikely.

Such a weird thought experiment, and I guess that's why I would not completely 100% hate Mormonism if my wife could somehow break free of its hold. I don't wish it never happened, but I do hope it dies a quick death as the info continues to be more available and indefensible.

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Hagoth
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Re: What if....

Post by Hagoth » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:45 pm

What if the papyri actually contained the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand?
“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."

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Brent
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Re: What if....

Post by Brent » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:46 pm

What if:

In April conference all references to "same sex attraction" disappear? And the word "Gay" becomes universally used by GAs?

Then in a statement to "clarify" the Church's position the following is released: "Gay members are required to live the same moral standards as heterosexual members"?

Then to clarify the clarification a statement is put out that "Gay members are expected to follow the covenant path, and participate in all rites and ordinances"?

Then to clarify the clarification of the clarification the church announces "you're either living on the covenant path and accept God's plan for all his children or you're not."

Then what?

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