Love

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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Linked
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Love

Post by Linked » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:58 pm

My county recently reinstated an indoor mask mandate so the bishop emailed the ward requesting people wear masks. He mentioned that he was reaching out in a spirit of love. That seemed weird on an email simply sharing information. Of course, he's probably heard a lot from ward members who are against mask requirements/requests, so he was probably trying to tamp down on their anger by invoking love.

This seems manipulative. Weird, I know, for church leaders to be manipulative.

Is the entire mormon concept of love meant to manipulate us into being less resistant and more accepting of whatever they teach?

If so, what should love be?

Rather than trying to love everyone all the time, maybe love should be earned. Maybe it's ok to not love those that hurt you and to be ambivalent about those you don't know. Maybe I can save my love for those who love me back.

On the other hand, love seems kind of like gratitude. Being ungrateful hurts the ungrateful person more than the people around them. Is it the same with being unloving? Maybe start with love and if you get burned by someone give yourself permission to stop.

With love,
Linked
"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

hmb
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Re: Love

Post by hmb » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:51 am

I think we are commanded to love everyone. It doesn't mean you have to like them. It's often easy to love those we don't know, and harder to love those we do. I feel bad for the messenger that has to let people know they have to wear a mask in church or any public place that requires such. The angry, anti maskers are not likely to see it as the spirit of love, but hate and control.

I don't know the answer to your question. Respect and toleration maybe? But then I do not respect the weird conspiracy theories that exist. Forgiveness? How do you forgive stupidity? For example, am I expected to forgive those leaders who lie, a "news" station that lies? Maybe it's more about being willing to look at your own self and really trying to believe and do the right things for others. Just because I think I'M right, doesn't mean I am. Being willing to stand in anothers' shoes--is that love? Beats me.

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moksha
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Re: Love

Post by moksha » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:15 am

Linked wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:58 pm
Of course, he's probably heard a lot from ward members who are against mask requirements/requests, so he was probably trying to tamp down on their anger by invoking love.

This seems manipulative. Weird, I know, for church leaders to be manipulative.
Knowing that the wearing of masks is one of those red flag issues for the Ezra Taft end of the Mormon gene pool, soothing the savage breast with a modicum of love seems wise. Would you want them grabbing their assault rifles and seventy-two-hour kits to storm the county building and wreak holy Mormon vengeance?

Jesus said his ministry was all about love, as opposed to the current Mormon redaction of it being all about obedience.
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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wtfluff
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Re: Love

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:24 am

hmb wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:51 am
I think we are commanded to love everyone. It doesn't mean you have to like them.
This is almost an exact quote from someone close to me.
Someone Close To Fluffy wrote:I love everyone. I just don like everyone.
(The saying definitely popped into my head while reading Linked's OP.)



ETA:
Linked wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:58 pm
If so, what should love be?
I have similar questions run through my apostate head quite often.

Is the "MORmON" version of love that I had brainwashed into my head even love, or is it something else? Do I even have any idea what love is after being raised in such a high-control "religion?" What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow???
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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Hagoth
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Re: Love

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:15 pm

I think it was your bishop's way of saying, "don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger." My former SP just got back from serving as a mission president in Asia. We met for lunch and his first question to me was, "what happened while I was away? Our ward has become so divided."

My answer: "Trump."
“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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blazerb
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Re: Love

Post by blazerb » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:25 pm

I think that God wants us to love others and ourselves. I think the Mormon church has always had some very punitive notions of love that don't match any god I want to worship. We have courts of love. Everyone should look up how the Toscano's describe those. I'm embarrassed to copy it. And there's always Brigham's view of love:
Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin they cannot atone for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?

I agree with Hagoth. Your bishop was just trying to state that this was not his decision.

Cnsl1
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Re: Love

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:02 am

As Paul Thorn sings, "I don't like half the folks I love."

I've heard "love" used manipulatively but not as often as "the spirit", which is used to justify all kinds of manipulative and hurtful behaviors. I was just following the spirit.

Yeah right.. and we love you too.

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Linked
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Re: Love

Post by Linked » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:15 pm

Thank you for all the great replies, lots to consider.

For what it's worth, I support mask wearing at church right now and agree that the Bishop's should [ETA "not"] have to deal with aggressive anti-mask folks. This was just the situation I saw the use of love as a shield. But the love shield could be used for anything, like "I'm speaking to you in a spirit of love that you need to repent from your apostate ways of posting to NOM and return to full adherence to the gospel." I think it is an attempt to induce shame if the hearer gets angry at something they find offensive, shame at their own lack of love and shame that they would be angry at someone who is trying to share their love. I think that appeal should be ignored and the heart of the issue should be the focus.

[rambling]

Seeing love invoked in this manner got me thinking about my relationship with the word and with the idea it meant to me. My understanding of the word hasn't changed much from what I understood as a TBM. So it's probably time for an update.

So what does following the 2 great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbors actually do to/for us and them? It gets us to view them in a positive light. This could lead to a skewed response to what they say and do, more forgiveness and less harsh judgement for them. This could prevent real issues from being addressed and remedied because in our love we can't see the bad properly. But holding love for others also means that we are seeing the world in a more positive light which may be a good thing for us, increase our happiness.

In game theory there is a game called the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma which gets at reasons for and against human cooperation. Basically, you have 2 people and if they cooperate it is best overall, but if one player defects and the other cooperates then the defector gets a better outcome and the cooperator gets a much worse outcome. If they both defect then it is a middling outcome for both. The "iterated" part means it is repeated a number of times. In a study performed by Robert Axelrod and subsequent studies show that a tit-for-tat strategy generally achieves the best outcome. And several key conditions were identified: Nice, Retaliating, Forgiving, and Non-envious.

Nice means that you don't defect before your opponent does.
Retaliating means that you DO defect IF your opponent does.
Forgiving means that if your opponent stops defecting, you follow suit.
Non-envious means that you don't care if your opponent does better than you.

There are plenty of analogs to human cooperation beyond a game here. Pretty much any interaction can fit a little bit. I think in this framework that love helps get people to be Nice, Forgiving, and Non-envious. But it can prevent someone from Retaliating which can lead to being taken advantage of. So when the Bishop invokes love to tamp down on a negative response, Retaliation, he could be invoking love at the expense of some of those he is speaking to.

But generally everyone loving each other is probably a good thing for ourselves and society. We just need a way to protect ourselves from those who would take advantage.

[/rambling]

Thanks for being on this journey together with me.
Last edited by Linked on Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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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2bizE
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Re: Love

Post by 2bizE » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:07 pm

I’m showing love to myself and fellow beings by not going to church :)
~2bizE

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deacon blues
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Re: Love

Post by deacon blues » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:47 pm

Our ability to love may be part nature and part nurture. Some of us grew up in homes where love was demonstrated constantly, others experienced much less love. I would say that love is a gift of grace, from God, Nature, or what parts of your brain are well developed. See:
https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/201 ... -activated
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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2bizE
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Re: Love

Post by 2bizE » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:26 pm

God’s love for us is conditional- RMN a few years ago.
Last edited by 2bizE on Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~2bizE

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moksha
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Re: Love

Post by moksha » Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:51 am

2bizE wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:26 pm
God’s live for us is conditional- RMN a few years ago.
Having a god whose love is dependent upon obedience to Mormon leaders is a stroke of Machiavellian genius.
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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deacon blues
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Re: Love

Post by deacon blues » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:04 am

2bizE wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:26 pm
God’s live for us is conditional- RMN a few years ago.
I remember that talk. :( I don't think it has ever gained much traction among TBM's. :) I could be wrong. :roll: We'll have to see if Pres. Nelson brings it up again. :o
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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