The Lord Knows Us

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Linked
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The Lord Knows Us

Post by Linked » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:42 pm

The BP counselor texted asking if I would speak at church. The topic is "The Lord knows us. How does that impact us in our faith and actions?" I enjoy public speaking, but I'm not sure I can speak on that topic as an agnostic atheist. I'm thinking I should turn him down. Or maybe I could focus on the idea that Jesus has infinite love and empathy for us and that we should do our best to be our best and not beat ourselves up when we come short, and we should try to extend that same love and empathy to those around us. Hmmm.
"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

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jfro18
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:19 pm

You could tell a bunch of stories of members struggling who asked for a priesthood blessing, die anyway, and then say that the Lord knows us enough to know it was time and no amount of consecrated oil can change that.

But I think your second idea is probably a bit more crowd pleasing.

Reuben
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Reuben » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:00 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:19 pm
You could tell a bunch of stories of members struggling who asked for a priesthood blessing, die anyway, and then say that the Lord knows us enough to know it was time and no amount of consecrated oil can change that.

But I think your second idea is probably a bit more crowd pleasing.
Not only that, it can lighten the burdens members often place on each other with unrealistic expectations and moralizing.

Personally, I identify as agnostic atheist, but I have no trouble at all preaching the Jesus I find in the New Testament.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

Keewon
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Keewon » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:02 pm

jfro18 wrote:You could tell a bunch of stories of members struggling who asked for a priesthood blessing, die anyway, and then say that the Lord knows us enough to know it was time and no amount of consecrated oil can change that.
You could also throw in some observation like: Anyone can be healed if they have sufficient faith. Unless, that is, they have a missing limb or eye, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, male pattern baldness, etc-- then it doesn't work. Only if there was some non-negligible chance beforehand the patient would get better anyways.

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Palerider
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Palerider » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:03 pm

Linked wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:42 pm
...... I'm not sure I can speak on that topic as an agnostic atheist. I'm thinking I should turn him down.
This.

I realize I'm in the minority here.
"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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Red Ryder
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:32 pm

Palerider wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:03 pm
Linked wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:42 pm
...... I'm not sure I can speak on that topic as an agnostic atheist. I'm thinking I should turn him down.
This.

I realize I'm in the minority here.
I’m with you here cuz!

You’ll never fully cut ties if you keep doing things even in the name of NOM.

Saying no helps to disconnect. At some point they just stop asking.

One more thought worth typing out but I always struggled with this idea that God, Jesus, the Lord, who ever really knows and loves us.

I always felt like that was an invisible band-aid to help us cope with our trials. Like, yeah dude your really struggling but God knows you can handle it so keep smiling.

It didn’t help feeling alone and isolated. Just a platitude of sorts.

What kind of sick Lord sees you emotionally or physically struggling but keeps feeding you the things that make you struggle?

Oh yeah, a drug Lord.

Maybe you can speak about how the spiritual drug Lords know their customer tendencies and continue to provide drugs to enrich themselves. There’s a real close parallel there to the LDS church.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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græy
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by græy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:37 pm

Ive been asked to speak this coming weekend too! My topic is on remaining vigilant to ward off complacency in doing everything we're supposed to do... Or something like that. The actual topic had a lot of words.

I accepted the assignment, but my talk will likely turn into the laundry list of expectations members are given and how we can't possibly do them all anyway, so don't feel bad when you fall short.

FWIW, I do like the positive note from your reinterpretation of your topic.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Red Ryder
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:42 am

græy wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:37 pm
Ive been asked to speak this coming weekend too! My topic is on remaining vigilant to ward off complacency in doing everything we're supposed to do... Or something like that. The actual topic had a lot of words.

I accepted the assignment, but my talk will likely turn into the laundry list of expectations members are given and how we can't possibly do them all anyway, so don't feel bad when you fall short.

FWIW, I do like the positive note from your reinterpretation of your topic.
A laundry list of expectations? Remember, church is only two hours now. You’ll never make it through half the list in the allotted SM time.

Maybe you can start a laundry list post and we can narrow it down for you. :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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græy
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by græy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:22 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:42 am
A laundry list of expectations? Remember, church is only two hours now. You’ll never make it through half the list in the allotted SM time.

Maybe you can start a laundry list post and we can narrow it down for you. :lol:
:lol: All too true! And a very good idea.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Linked
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Linked » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:35 pm

I brought up my speaking assignment with my TBM dad to get his opinion. He said that he wouldn't think to be offended that someone with my beliefs gave a talk about Jesus knowing us if he found out later, but that he would be more focused on the spirit he felt listening to the talk. So maybe I will go ahead with it. We will see.

Then he told me his thoughts on Jesus knowing us. My mom is going through some chronic pain she will likely have to deal with for the rest of her life, which has had my dad thinking about if Jesus knows my mom then He knows that she is suffering. And Jesus has the power to fix it but doesn't, so he must be cool with her suffering. Therefore my mom's chronic suffering is a gift from Jesus, and he needs to get over it and she needs to learn from it.

I protested a bit on the idea that all suffering is good saying that in the wrong hands that is a dangerous idea, but that I agree that we should all do the best we can with whatever life throws at us, including learning things from suffering. My mom jumped in and said that she takes comfort in the how short this life is in the grand scheme of her eternal life. I responded again with my concern that if this life is all there is then that is a dangerous idea. And then she said that there is evil in the world too, and so lots of suffering comes from that. And I asked, is the world really filled with evil? And she said yes.

The further I get from belief the more harmful these ideas seem to me.
"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

Reuben
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Reuben » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:47 pm

Linked wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:35 pm
The further I get from belief the more harmful these ideas seem to me.
These ideas can be used for comfort in difficult times and to make it easier to accept suffering. The second is helpful because not accepting suffering makes it worse.

(In the mornings, I greet chronic pain with "Hello, old friend." Takes most of the teeth out of it.)

These ideas can also be used to demand that others accept suffering that you inflict on them, and to avoid the responsibility to comfort others. Is that how you find them dangerous?
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Linked
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Linked » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:56 pm

Reuben wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:47 pm
Linked wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:35 pm
The further I get from belief the more harmful these ideas seem to me.
These ideas can be used for comfort in difficult times and to make it easier to accept suffering. The second is helpful because not accepting suffering makes it worse.

(In the mornings, I greet chronic pain with "Hello, old friend." Takes most of the teeth out of it.)

These ideas can also be used to demand that others accept suffering that you inflict on them, and to avoid the responsibility to comfort others. Is that how you find them dangerous?
Good question, sorry I wasn't more clear. I have a few reasons I find the ideas harmful and dangerous. I will list the ideas and the reasons below:

1 - There is good in suffering for suffering's sake. God wants people to suffer. There is a cosmic reason for suffering.
A - Could lead to someone actively causing suffering as an attempt to help others.
B - Could lead to accepting suffering rather than solving suffering if possible, causing unnecessary pain, possibly death, to the believer in good suffering.
C - Could lead to tone-deaf support for those who are suffering.
D - The dogmatic logic my dad used prevents him from understanding more. It keeps him in a constrained loop of thought. But he dearly loves his thinking, and his loop.

As for the acceptance of suffering, I agree, some suffering is inescapable. But people don't need the idea that "suffering = good" to accept suffering. Accepting reality doesn't require these ideas.

2 - Our mortal life is so short compared with our eternal life.
A - Eternity is so long that it makes our happiness now completely inconsequential. It's like an infinitely long lever; it trumps anything in this life. People have died for eternity. If it is not there then they died for nothing. People also live for eternity, doing everything for the afterlife. It hurts me to think of these people throwing their lives away for nothing. The scriptures include many examples of killing for eternity (see Joshua and the Israelites and Nephi). And my TBMs refuse to even consider the possibility that their often largely unfounded beliefs could be wrong.

3 - The evil in the world causes suffering.
A - Could lead to attributing suffering to a mystic evil rather than find the actual root cause and fixing it. In many ancient cases this lead to now-foolish solutions, including human sacrifice. Today this likely has many faces, from rituals to inaction to unnecessary fear.

I am not saying people don't do immoral things and cause much pain. But I am saying those actions are just people acting out of human anger, pain, or desire. I am saying that it is not a devil or a cosmic evil.
"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

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wtfluff
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:48 am

Linked wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:35 pm
And then she said that there is evil in the world too, and so lots of suffering comes from that. And I asked, is the world really filled with evil? And she said yes.

The further I get from belief the more harmful these ideas seem to me.
Here's the thing that gets my Fluff in a wad when it comes to the "world is evil" adage that I hear way too often from many of my relatives: They are literally parroting what they have heard from LD$-Inc. their entire lives. If you call them out, and ask "How is the world evil?" Or: "Give me an example" they will likely be overcome by a "stupor of thought," or make something up out of whole cloth.

The truth is: There has never been a better time in human history to be alive. Plagiarizing a bit from another recent thread, there are many, many Key Performance Indicators that statistically show that the world is in fact getting better: Life expectancy is on the rise, literacy is increasing, poverty is on the decline, violent crime is declining, and many other "indicators." Are those statistics evil? Or are those statistics things that MORmONs should celebrate? In my experience, they are incapable of celebrating such things, because they are too busy running around telling each other how "evil" the world is. One more thing that LD$-Inc. uses to keep their adherents living in fear, and selling those adherents a "solution" to a non-existent "problem."

The last time I heard "the world is evil" from a believer in my life, I didn't call them out or ask for examples, I literally said: "I'm sorry you feel that way, the world is a wonderful and beautiful place." And I went on to name some of the things mentioned in the previous paragraph. The subject of the conversation changed quickly. I hope I got them to think rationally for an instant, instead of spewing useless platitudes constantly. I'm also highly skeptical they will stop using that same useless platitude. At least maybe they won't use it around me...
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

The Beauty of Gray

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Not Buying It
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:17 am

Personally I think you should just say no. Consider it a healthy exercise in learning to say no and setting boundaries with the Church.

But if for whatever reason that isn't something you want to do, just give a talk on whatever the hell you feel like talking about. What are they going to do, stop you mid-talk for talking about something other than what they wanted you to? The worst thing they can possibly do is never ask you to speak again. I will never understand why people feel like they have to stick to the subject they are given when there is literally no consequence whatsoever if they don't.
"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

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græy
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by græy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:09 pm

Good luck tomorrow, Linked! Ganbatte!
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Linked
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by Linked » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:04 pm

Well, I gave my talk on Sunday. I thought it went really well, I got several laughs from a good portion of the audience and a number of seemingly sincere compliments afterwards.

I may have copied your talk Graey. I used your list, then the Holland quote on loving one another instead of a long list. Shared some stories about how I've seen non-leadership ward members share love. Talked about improving where we are weak without needing guilt trips. And added a bit about self care.

I'm glad I did it.
"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

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græy
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Re: The Lord Knows Us

Post by græy » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:57 pm

Well done and congrats, Linked! It sounds like a successful talk, and hopefully at least a few people were paying attention enough to understand your healing messages.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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