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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Post by Linked » Tue May 09, 2023 1:36 pm

I attend sacrament meeting with my wife and kids regularly and often find myself reacting to the services. Something in a talk or song will strike a nerve and elicit an eyeroll or comment to DW. I started writing some of these things down and found that they were just the opposite of what was said, mostly just that it's not that way. I've started trying to reframe it to a positive view of the world instead of a negative reaction. Here's one:

Message at church: You are inherently broken and need fixing.

Negative reaction: You aren't broken and don't need redemption. That message is a tool to control.

Positive Reframe: You have the strength to do much good or bad, the thoughtfulness to define those, and freedom to explore and choose. Choose to be a creator of goodness.

Anyone else reject their inherent brokenness and have a positive reframe?
"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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deacon blues
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Re: Reframing

Post by deacon blues » Tue May 09, 2023 5:08 pm

That makes a lot of sense. Making lemonade out lemons. 8-)
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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Re: Reframing

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed May 10, 2023 8:57 am

I do think I've been making some progress on this. I still do a lot of eye rolling when I come up against the culty cultural angst. But I try to follow it up with "Remember, you were there once."

It's not just the former church life, but trying to keep my attitude toward it now in a place of empathy for those still in it, a reminder of where my mind used to be. I'm also trying to prioritize my energy and attention to things closer to home that really matter, staying out of all the monkey business across the world that I have no or very little control over.

I'm finding that I can use my past experience to try to guide my current attitudes and methods to a better place. Just recently I've been passing through the stages of grief over the loss of a close friend my age. In the past when I've been in the throngs of grief from a loss like this I've felt guilt if I would experience a moment of joy, like I had no right be out of the pit of despair. Part of this is the overall cultural norm of the process of grieving a lost loved one, like wearing black clothing for some period of time. But this time I'm allowing myself, without guilt, to jump out of the grief, find moments of joy, even seek more of them. I've also tried to direct myself more to a place of gratitude rather than self loathing and sadness. Gratitude for the friendship I had and for the life I have that didn't end in a similar earlier tragic end. The grief is still there, comes and goes in waves. I don't try to push the sadness off when it comes rushing back, but I do take a breather between the sets and tides, try not to let the undertow drag me out and under too far.

I'm also helping my son through a divorce and child custody case right now. I went through my divorce in my 30s a TBM, my X was a harlot and I spent way too much money on lawyers and litigation trying to seek some justice, feeling like I had moral high ground and Jebus on my side. I learned the hard way that courts don't give a F about emotional and moral issues between the spouses, they are focused on the welfare of the kids in the break up of the family unit. My perspective now is to avoid the emotional/moral issues between the adults with a focus on an amicable agreement; a faster and much less expensive outcome.

I've also found it's important to maintain some contact with my good TBM friends and try to stay respectful to their current world view. Many of those friends start to look to DW and I as a guide or trusted source. Recently a TBM friend reached out to me with questions on medical cannabis. Some of these friends are getting heavy shelves and will need friends like us to help them when it crashes. It's like the old cliché to be an example, let your freak flag fly (or Xmo light so shine), without being too much of a poster child for mormon Satan :D
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Re: Reframing

Post by Ghost » Wed May 10, 2023 11:56 am

I'm almost totally inactive at this point, but I still interact with Mormon family and friends somewhat routinely (family especially). And
RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 8:57 am
"Remember, you were there once."
is what I keep in mind when someone is obviously looking for an opportunity to steer any interaction toward an appeal to return to church. I can't really get annoyed at such efforts because I know where it comes from.

I imagine that many see me as having stopped attending out of laziness or bad priorities, since I'm not open at all about what's really behind my changed behavior except with people who have already made a similar transition. Maybe I go too far in this regard because I don't know whether a questioning friend would know that I'm someone they could talk to about things.

That said, I did have a close friend who was just beginning to question approach me a while back and I had to say clearly that I'm not the best person to talk to if your goal is to remain faithful, but I'm happy to discuss any topic related to Mormonism. I suspect that friend has since been attempting to shove everything back onto the shelf for long-term storage.

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Re: Reframing

Post by moksha » Wed May 10, 2023 1:38 pm

Linked wrote:
Tue May 09, 2023 1:36 pm
Message at church: You are inherently broken and need fixing.

Negative reaction: You aren't broken and don't need redemption. That message is a tool to control.

Positive Reframe: You have the strength to do much good or bad, the thoughtfulness to define those, and freedom to explore and choose. Choose to be a creator of goodness.
This seems to be the point of divergence between talks given in the LDS Church and sermons given in other churches. It can be nice leaving the service with a message to bolster you throughout the week. Can you imagine how much nicer it would be if the LDS Church took this approach?
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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Red Ryder
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Re: Reframing

Post by Red Ryder » Wed May 10, 2023 4:08 pm

Removal is so much better than reframing!

But it’s taken me 15+ years to get there.

Ruben’s post is spot on. At some point Link, you may be there to catch your wife when she falls. It will be beautiful.
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Re: Reframing

Post by Gatorbait » Sun May 21, 2023 10:52 am

Thought provoking post this.

Trust a lot of us have gone through the same experience upon attending church, uninteresting or talks about nonsense. Notable difference between attending in places where church membership is more dense. My experience has been that people further out of Utah and Eastern Idaho are a lot more inclusive.

It is a bitter pill to swallow once you feel that people who were once near and dear to you seem to be holding back their friendship, trust and love. They want you to buy into the rubbish that is mainstream Mormon orthodoxy- same as they do. They expect you to not say that parts of their religion are silly nonsense. They won't hear of any talk about Jos. Smith's wives, murdering innocent people at Mountain Meadows. They would rather you just go along and "look for the good" in their church. (sigh)

I've learned through experience Linked, that it just gets worse with time. They just won't consider your point of view if you wish to sin in a different way than them. They stay on the "covenant path", whatever the hell that means. Another Mormon buzz saying like "follow the geezer" who they refer to as a prophet. Profit maybe, as we see by all the moola the church rakes in on a daily basis now.

We are in this lot together and NOM is sort of a sounding board. Thanks again for a meaningful and interesting post, and those that followed.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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