New message about choosing to believe

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.
User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3394
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

New message about choosing to believe

Post by Hagoth » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:58 am

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/ins ... 0319_CTA2a

This video equates questioning with darkness and switching off your brain with letting the light come back in. The bigger problem, however, is that they are conflating God with Mormonism. This guy was doubting the existence of God, but when he just chooses to believe in God it apparently makes Russell Nelson a prophet too. Joined at the hip.
“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."

Anon70
Posts: 581
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:56 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Anon70 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:26 am

Religion is the only place in my life where I was warned that I was in constant danger of losing what I “knew”. I was warned to constantly share what I knew and to constantly shore up what I knew with more prayer, more study, more *you name it* and was still as risk to lose my testimony. When I asked about this of my Mormon friends during my faith crisis—I got blank stares. No one has to constantly reaffirm their belief in things that are demonstrably true-ex: gravity. You just know it and that’s it.

I think this is one reason why I was always uncomfortable with Fast & Testimony meeting - it felt so silly for everyone to go up and cry about what they knew and how hard they have to work maintain that knowledge.

Once I decided I didn’t know if god was real either, a lot of angst and worry went away for me. But I lost belief in prophets first. So not sure their new plan works either of just believing in God and it probably is really at risk if they continue to conflate god and prophets. But who knows. I’m surrounded by people that insist this is the only. True. Church. With the only. Living. Prophet. on the earth today.

User avatar
Linked
Posts: 994
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Linked » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:10 pm

The tone of the description really doesn't want people to think that there could be a good reason for wondering about God (and by extension God's prophet, even R. Marion Nelson).
Have you been so focused on poking holes in your faith that you’ve started to disbelieve?
He searched for every negative form of information about God, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Christianity in general—all in the name of being intellectually honest.
But if Adam was to be completely honest, he had to acknowledge evidences that supported the existence of God.
God can take the biggest train wrecks in our lives, and He can make something beautiful out of them.
Don't be a hole-poker. Intellectual honesty is just a cover for Satan to lead you away. Don't forget to prime yourself for confirmation bias! Without the church your life will be a train wreck!! Where will you go!?
"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
Palerider
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:44 am

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Palerider » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:32 pm

The church creates a strawman to support their contention that you can choose to believe by having this young man essentially state that, " he read so much bad stuff about the church that he almost WANTED to disbelieve."

I think this is a phony setup. All the time I was doing my research I was hoping there were good answers that would keep me believing. Hoping that the church was true. Hoping that the inevitable conclusions I was reaching were wrong.

If an individual finds themselves wanting to disbelieve that's a different kind of problem. That's like hoping that the church is phony so you don't have to be a part of it anymore. And that would be sinful. So by implication those who research too deeply are looking for a way out. They need to repent. After all, no one would consciously and in good heart, reject the wonderfulness of the church and the Brethren and Joseph.

The other THING I noticed was how many times this guy used the term "things" or "something".

He would never deal in specifics. It was always these "things". As I recall this is a ploy that Joseph Smith used A LOT in the BoM and in the D&C.

If one uses the term "these things" or "those things" often enough, you never have to be specific and you force the listened/reader to fill in the blanks with their own imagination or thoughts. So the presentation becomes whatever the listener/reader wants it to be.

It's a dodge and a slight of hand. I'm surprised the church uses it. A truthful organization would come out and say, "These are the specific issues. This is what we know about them." Just the facts...no spin.
"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

User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:40 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Ghost » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:08 pm

Parts of this video resonate with me and come across as authentic, though I can't sympathize with the part that Palerider mentioned where he says that he found himself wanting to disbelieve and investigating further for that reason. That sure isn't a phase that I went through. (I also can't help being skeptical that he used the full name of the church when talking with his bishop.)

I can absolutely understand why and to some degree how someone would rebuild their faith in the way he describes. I'd almost be jealous in a way of someone who could do that. Regaining that sense of purpose, confidence in an afterlife, and all the other benefits that faith brings.

I've realized that I have to choose to believe all kinds of things, even things that have nothing to do with religion. I can't always totally convince myself, though, so it's probably closer to being in denial than belief. Or I simply go through the motions to maintain relationships and function in society. I guess I still even do this with Mormonism itself in a way, even if the aspects that I "choose to believe" (or that I don't abandon, at least) aren't the truth claims.

User avatar
jfro18
Posts: 1215
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by jfro18 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:58 pm

Palerider wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:32 pm
If one uses the term "these things" or "those things" often enough, you never have to be specific and you force the listened/reader to fill in the blanks with their own imagination or thoughts. So the presentation becomes whatever the listener/reader wants it to be.

It's a dodge and a slight of hand. I'm surprised the church uses it. A truthful organization would come out and say, "These are the specific issues. This is what we know about them." Just the facts...no spin.
This is what the church has done all year - they put out these talks/videos/etc where they demonize doubts but they never tell you what the problems are.

It's always about overcoming these generic doubts/questions which usually have ties to God as opposed to specific problems with Mormonism.

It doesn't surprise me because they is just an extension of their current roadmap to curtail doubts - the church is trying to *force* the viewer to think if you leave the church, God leaves with it. Add to that some inspirational music and cut scenes, and what a manipulative little piece of art they created.

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1456
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:41 am

“God can take the biggest train wrecks in our lives, and He can make something beautiful out of them.”
I hate placating statements like this. Sure, even a belief in God as a placebo can help you turn your situation around if you get after it. But I can say from experience that no amount of blessings or prayers statistically changed my crappy situations; time passage reduced the pain but I've been knocked down a lot in life with marriage and financial situations. And as far as worthy pleadings, like just trying to pick out a stupid set of counselors as a new EQP...silence. So I blamed myself of not being worthy in some way and gave God a break, over and over again.
Have you had a faith crisis? What did you do during that time?
At first I pleaded for tender mercies, something, anything to help me hang on to my testimony. But taking advice from past prophets that the church's truth claims could stand up to any scrutiny, I let my integrity get the best of me and I went looking for the truth. And in this case, taking God and Satan out of the picture and focusing on the facts, I'm quite pleased with the outcome!
“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
Not Buying It
Posts: 1010
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:20 am

I'm not bothering to watch this video. Waste of time. Until one of the Brethren comes right out and gives me a convincing reason why I should still believe in Joseph Smith even though he was a sexual predator instead of hiding behind anonymous hidden essays, they are wasting their breath. I don't need their stupid propaganda about dealing with vague and unspecified doubts.
"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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by nibbler » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:45 am

Making sure to say "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" instead of simply saying "the church," quoting LDS scripture, a fixation with having a "testimony," echoing elements of a talk that Bednar gave... for someone that has had a faith crisis he sure likes to frame his journey entirely within the confines of correlated Mormonism. So much so that I wonder whether it's an actor hitting all the talking points or whether it's a genuine guy with a genuine experience. I suppose it could still be a guy with a genuine experience but what you don't see is the correlation department holding a gun just off camera.
Last edited by nibbler on Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

User avatar
Palerider
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:44 am

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Palerider » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:11 pm

nibbler wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:45 am
.....I wonder whether it's an actor hitting all the talking points or whether it's a genuine guy with a genuine experience. I suppose it could still be a guy with a genuine experience but what you don't see is the correlation department holding a gun just off camera.
:D

Oh, I think this whole thing was scripted and acted. I don't think we're seeing the actual person who may have had the faith crisis. I don't think the church has any problem whatsoever saying to themselves. "Well, we've got so and so over here who's had a faith crisis and has partially come back to the church but we need his story to reflect more closely the narrative we're pushing, so we'll just ask him if it's alright to put a few words in his mouth to make things line up better. And then we'll ask if it's alright to use a handsome actor to portray him in order to preserve his anonymity. (And besides he's as homely as a cow and doesn't enunciate very well.) It's in his best interest after all."

I'd wager if someone really wanted to delve into it, this is what they would find.
"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

User avatar
2bizE
Posts: 1431
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:33 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by 2bizE » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:48 pm

What annoyed me most was him saying The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints like 15 times....
~2bizE

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 2615
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by moksha » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:58 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:58 am
The bigger problem, however, is that they are conflating God with Mormonism.
Hence the transition of ex-Mormon believers to atheism.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3394
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Hagoth » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:35 am

Palerider wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:11 pm
I'd wager if someone really wanted to delve into it, this is what they would find.
Too bad they don't use his name. We could see if he has an IMDB page.
“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
Newme
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:43 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Newme » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:13 pm

Ghost wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:08 pm
Parts of this video resonate with me and come across as authentic, though I can't sympathize with the part that Palerider mentioned where he says that he found himself wanting to disbelieve and investigating further for that reason. That sure isn't a phase that I went through. (I also can't help being skeptical that he used the full name of the church when talking with his bishop.)

I can absolutely understand why and to some degree how someone would rebuild their faith in the way he describes. I'd almost be jealous in a way of someone who could do that. Regaining that sense of purpose, confidence in an afterlife, and all the other benefits that faith brings.

I've realized that I have to choose to believe all kinds of things, even things that have nothing to do with religion. I can't always totally convince myself, though, so it's probably closer to being in denial than belief. Or I simply go through the motions to maintain relationships and function in society. I guess I still even do this with Mormonism itself in a way, even if the aspects that I "choose to believe" (or that I don't abandon, at least) aren't the truth claims.
Good points.

Cult members who are taught that doubt and feeling wrong, betrayed or other natural negative reaction are “the adversary” are not really in a position to choose. Once I realized it was all subjectively in my mind - it was both freeing & terrifying. Beliefs are like good memories and people you love - they can give you a sense of a structure and well-being. Now, my beliefs are up to me. If I don’t take the mental reins, then it automatically resorts back to previous habit and programming, which involved some good but a lot of bad.

User avatar
glass shelf
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:27 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by glass shelf » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:52 pm

I look forward to ignoring all mentions of this on social media or from my mil. :D

The longer I'm not Mormon, the more I can't believe that I ever was.

User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 1143
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by deacon blues » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:19 pm

The video is an example, almost a definition, of sophistry. Whatever happened to humbly seeking truth, and following where it leads? For example, simply answering questions such as: "Was God or men the source of the priesthood ban?" instead of carefully balancing the essay "Race and the Priesthood" to let readers believe whatever they want, as long as they still give Church leaders the glory/control.

I sometimes wonder if Joseph Smith really just wanted the glory, but knew he would be more successful if he invented scriptures, rituals, and the Church, in order to sneak some of the glory. I think I'm right, but I know could be wrong. ;).... I hope God will have mercy on someone humble enough to know he could be wrong. See Luke 18.
God is Love. God is Truth

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3394
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Hagoth » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:29 am

deacon blues wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:19 pm
Whatever happened to humbly seeking truth, and following where it leads?
Great question. I suppose the answer is: BECAUSE of where it leads.

p.s. I woke up with Steely Dan playing in my head and thought of 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
Hermey
Posts: 355
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:32 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Hermey » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 am

glass shelf wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:52 pm
The longer I'm not Mormon, the more I can't believe that I ever was.
My newest favorite quote. It sums things up perfectly for me.

User avatar
Hermey
Posts: 355
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:32 pm

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Hermey » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:33 am

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:29 am
deacon blues wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:19 pm
Whatever happened to humbly seeking truth, and following where it leads?
Great question. I suppose the answer is: BECAUSE of where it leads.

Yup. Right out of the church - from a world of black and white to one filled with color.

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 2645
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: New message about choosing to believe

Post by Corsair » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:40 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:58 am
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/ins ... 0319_CTA2a

This video equates questioning with darkness and switching off your brain with letting the light come back in. The bigger problem, however, is that they are conflating God with Mormonism. This guy was doubting the existence of God, but when he just chooses to believe in God it apparently makes Russell Nelson a prophet too. Joined at the hip.
I think that is the biggest unfounded assumption we hear from the pulpit, particularly when a prophet, seer, and/or revelator stands there. "Follow the Prophet" always means following Jesus. Not following the Prophet means fast-track to serving as Satan's pool boy.

Believing in Jesus does not lead logically to having Russell Nelson be a prophet. I expect that the April 2020 conference will put Joseph Smith front and center in a consistent, unbroken line of apostolic succession. This is going to be annoying and and continue to be rather sketchy on details. I eagerly await whatever new, silly meme that Russell imparts to your believing family and friends and will be inflicted on the skeptics that gather here and on other forums.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests