Connecting to middle way Mormonism

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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slavereeno
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Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:00 am

Even though this is NOM, it seems that most of no longer believe in the original foundational story.

I have a good friend and a BIL that are both very middle way. By that I mean they can't make everything work in Mormonism so they have an altered "cafeteria" view of Mormonism.

For both of them I am perhaps the only person they can reach out to because many of their ideas would not be accepted by anyone else they know. I want to be a listening ear and a safe place for them to work some of this out.

The problem I have is that I don't believe in any of it really. I consider myself agnostic at this point. They want there to still be a connection between God and Joseph Smith. They want the priesthood to still have some actual supernatural power. They want being in the church to still make them a little bit better than everyone else. They want the BoM to be inspired if not historical. But they are happy to toss any prophet under the bus for almost anything else.

I don't know how to respond. I am loosing interest a little bit, with Mormonism, but I don't want to just turn my back on people who don't have somewhere else to turn to.

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alas
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by alas » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:52 am

Basically just listen. You you lead them toward unbelief, then you become unsafe for them to talk to. So just listen to how they feel and give them time to work out what they want to believe. If they ask specific questions, then you can answer honestly, or maybe ask them if they really want to know.

Have you ever heard of reflective listening. Basically, it is listening and reflecting back to them what they are saying, maybe identifying emotions you hear, and asking questions to clarify what they mean. It is 90% of what professional counselors do. You listen to them and keep your opinions, beliefs, values out of it as much as possible. You have already recognized that it is important to them to keep believing some things. So, you would reflect that back to them. “It sounds to me like you really want to keep believing in the priesthood. Why do you think that is important to you?” Other questions you could ask would be things like, “what might it mean to you if that isn’t true?“

Anyway, I think you are probably doing it right already or they would not have opened up to you as much as they have. The trick is for you to let them find what they believe without pushing them toward what you believe. Most people are too self centered to do that, so people like you are special.

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moksha
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by moksha » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:11 am

alas wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:52 am
Have you ever heard of reflective listening. Basically, it is listening and reflecting back to them what they are saying, maybe identifying emotions you hear, and asking questions to clarify what they mean.
If you try this with Mormon apologists, they think you are mocking them. This phenomenon definitely needs some further psychological examination.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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jfro18
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:34 am

I think Alas' answer is the winner as always here.

From listening to podcasts and reading here and elsewhere, middle way just doesn't last forever. The problem with middle way is that you know it's not true, but you're just hoping it is.

If you've ever watched the show Scrubs, there's a great episode with Brendan Fraser and they're testing him for leukemia, and in the episode the main doctor asks to have the lab work redone. The doctor then asks something like "Are you asking me to redo this because you think I'm wrong, or because you hope I am" and the main doctor (JD) responds "because I hope you are."

I think middle way mormonism is that scene... people are rechecking things and trying to find something to grip on to, because they know it's not true but they still want to hope that they are the ones who got it wrong.

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2bizE
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by 2bizE » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am

I’m trying to navigate the middle way. I don’t know anyone stuck in the middle that I can help out. I really like the cafeteria analogy. I think about it often. I think of a huge cafeteria of Mormonism. I’m walking down the line with my tray sliding in the tray shelf. I’m looking for food (mormonisms) to place on my tray. Salmon or Steak = BOM translation. No salmon or stake for me. Mashed potatoes and gravy = priesthood restoration. Nope. Root vegetables = Joseph Smith BoA translation. Nope.
Water= do unto others and you would have them do unto you. It’s not Mormonism specific but I will take a large glass of water. None of the Mormonism food works for me.
~2bizE

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slavereeno
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:17 pm

alas wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:52 am
Basically just listen. You you lead them toward unbelief, then you become unsafe for them to talk to. So just listen to how they feel and give them time to work out what they want to believe. If they ask specific questions, then you can answer honestly, or maybe ask them if they really want to know.

Have you ever heard of reflective listening. Basically, it is listening and reflecting back to them what they are saying, maybe identifying emotions you hear, and asking questions to clarify what they mean. It is 90% of what professional counselors do. You listen to them and keep your opinions, beliefs, values out of it as much as possible. You have already recognized that it is important to them to keep believing some things. So, you would reflect that back to them. “It sounds to me like you really want to keep believing in the priesthood. Why do you think that is important to you?” Other questions you could ask would be things like, “what might it mean to you if that isn’t true?“

Anyway, I think you are probably doing it right already or they would not have opened up to you as much as they have. The trick is for you to let them find what they believe without pushing them toward what you believe. Most people are too self centered to do that, so people like you are special.
Thanks Alas, this is good advice. I am working on understanding those who need or want to hold on to what the church presents as truth. Listening is good. I will be doing a lot of biting of my tongue, its going to hurt. I am also trying to be better about asking questions rather than spewing facts.

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slavereeno
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:19 pm

moksha wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:11 am
alas wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:52 am
Have you ever heard of reflective listening. Basically, it is listening and reflecting back to them what they are saying, maybe identifying emotions you hear, and asking questions to clarify what they mean.
If you try this with Mormon apologists, they think you are mocking them. This phenomenon definitely needs some further psychological examination.
I am somewhat impressed and amused by the profundity of this statement Moksha.

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slavereeno
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:20 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:19 pm
moksha wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:11 am
alas wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:52 am
Have you ever heard of reflective listening. Basically, it is listening and reflecting back to them what they are saying, maybe identifying emotions you hear, and asking questions to clarify what they mean.
If you try this with Mormon apologists, they think you are mocking them. This phenomenon definitely needs some further psychological examination.
I am simultaneously impressed and amused by the profundity of this statement Moksha.

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slavereeno
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:22 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:34 am
I think Alas' answer is the winner as always here.

From listening to podcasts and reading here and elsewhere, middle way just doesn't last forever. The problem with middle way is that you know it's not true, but you're just hoping it is.

If you've ever watched the show Scrubs, there's a great episode with Brendan Fraser and they're testing him for leukemia, and in the episode the main doctor asks to have the lab work redone. The doctor then asks something like "Are you asking me to redo this because you think I'm wrong, or because you hope I am" and the main doctor (JD) responds "because I hope you are."

I think middle way mormonism is that scene... people are rechecking things and trying to find something to grip on to, because they know it's not true but they still want to hope that they are the ones who got it wrong.
I have thought about this as well. The friend I spoke of seems perfectly content with his cafeteria middle Mormonism, at least he's been at the middle longer than my whole process. BiL is changing still quite a bit though, I would not be terribly surprised if he looses the middle way.

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slavereeno
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:23 pm

2bizE wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am
I’m trying to navigate the middle way. I don’t know anyone stuck in the middle that I can help out. I really like the cafeteria analogy. I think about it often. I think of a huge cafeteria of Mormonism. I’m walking down the line with my tray sliding in the tray shelf. I’m looking for food (mormonisms) to place on my tray. Salmon or Steak = BOM translation. No salmon or stake for me. Mashed potatoes and gravy = priesthood restoration. Nope. Root vegetables = Joseph Smith BoA translation. Nope.
Water= do unto others and you would have them do unto you. It’s not Mormonism specific but I will take a large glass of water. None of the Mormonism food works for me.
:lol: Yes, lately I think even the water tastes a little tainted and I would just as soon go elsewhere.

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Random
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Re: Connecting to middle way Mormonism

Post by Random » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:40 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:00 am
They want there to still be a connection between God and Joseph Smith. They want the priesthood to still have some actual supernatural power. They want being in the church to still make them a little bit better than everyone else. They want the BoM to be inspired if not historical. But they are happy to toss any prophet under the bus for almost anything else.

I don't know how to respond. I am loosing interest a little bit, with Mormonism, but I don't want to just turn my back on people who don't have somewhere else to turn to.
Sounds like they'd do well to have a few friends who listen to Denver Snuffer.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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