FAIR's how-to-study guide

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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Hagoth
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FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 01, 2023 4:18 pm

From today's FAIR newsletter about the Letter For My Wife:
The antidote for getting stung by a document such as this sounds trite and simple, but it isn’t. We need to pray, and we need to study. It’s easier said than done, but it works. When you first encounter material like the Letter For My Wife, you’ll most likely encounter a “gloom” that denotes the absence of the Spirit. The Holy Ghost flees from documents like this one. When that happens, the best recourse is to take a step back and pray to Heavenly Father. Pray for peace, pray for the Spirit, pray for help, strength, and guidance, pray for reassurance, and pray for understanding of why events in Church history happened the way they did. It’s important to pray while you study, too. Heavenly Father will lead you to the sources you’re seeking, and He’ll open your heart and mind as you start to find answers. He’ll help you cut through the noise of conflicting sources to find the truth.
Interestingly, their 3 steps for responding to such documents are very similar to what I would suggest when encountering LDS apologetics:
The top three things to remember about countering anti-LDS material like the Letter For My Wife:

1-These documents are dishonest and manipulative by design to destroy your testimony as systematically as possible.

2-None of these accusations are new, and they all have a plausible answer.

3- Studying with the Spirit by your side and praying for guidance while you study are the best ways to combat this misinformation. The Spirit speaks to our hearts and our minds, so be sure to exercise both muscles while you search for answers.
The only changes I would make would be to replace "the Sprit" with "common sense," and "praying for guidance" with "thinking critically."
“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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jfro18
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 01, 2023 6:00 pm

My favorite is when they keep yelling "None of these accusations are new, and they all have a plausible answer." even though most people encountering LFMY or CES Letter have not heard of the problems before.

But yeah from an outside perspective this is just absolute nonsense.

I'm also surprised they're still bringing up Letter For My Wife in 2023 although that's a testament to how impactful it still is years later.

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moksha
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by moksha » Sun Jul 02, 2023 7:27 am

Could this be summed up in the admonition, Pretend Harder?
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: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by wtfluff » Sun Jul 02, 2023 1:39 pm

Holy The Ghost flees from cognitive dissonance.

(That's the way I read in that first quote. That ghost is such a wimp.)


That line about "plausible answers" is hilarious also. Please provide the plausible answers given by the top 15 in the board of directors. I'll wait...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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deacon blues
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by deacon blues » Tue Jul 04, 2023 2:58 pm

This is interesting and important. Telling people they will feel a "gloom" when they study critical literature is almost priming the pump.
I remember feeling relief when I read B.H. Roberts book about how the Book of Mormon seemed filled with "...these absurdities in expression; these miraculous incidents in warfare; those almost mock--and certainly extravagant-- heroics.... are certainly just such absurdities and lapses as as would be looked for if a person of such limitations as bounded Joseph Smith undertook to put forth a book dealing with the history and civlization of ancient peoples."
I was feeling relief that there was somebody else who got the same "feeling" that the Book of Mormon might possibly be made up. :)
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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Angel
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Angel » Fri Jul 07, 2023 6:55 am

This is why it's so important to understand what "the spirit", aka "elevation emotion", really is.

What times has everyone felt gloom - perhaps when reading a newspaper article, or the bad feeling that comes when someone is in pain - perhaps a car accident, or news someone has cancer, or lost a job, or troubled marriage. - to not feel gloom is to not care.

Gloom means you care about others, it doesn't mean you should avoid something.

"gloom" isn't something generated by Satan, or by god - feeling gloom around someone with cancer or other situation doesn'tmean God's spirit has left. "why has God abandoned me?" Gloom doesn't mean something is evil, person with cancer isn't evil, a person who has lost a job, or lost home to natural disaster, or is refugee- these people are not evil, and the gloom that can surround these circumstances isn't an indication of wrongdoing. Religion teaches the bad feelings that are created from painful circumstances = God doesn't love you anymore, god has abandoned you, it is victim blaming at its worst. To take whatever bad situation is happening, and add on -

Avoid anything/anyone that doesn't make you feel the elevation emotion often adds increased pain to those who need support the most.

Teaching people to shun others in pain - "excommunicate", just don't communicate with them anymore. Bishopric abused their kids? Shun the kids, shun the kids mom, avoid any downers. This is so destructive and sad.
Last edited by Angel on Fri Jul 07, 2023 9:56 am, edited 7 times in total.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Angel
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Angel » Fri Jul 07, 2023 7:48 am

In the spirit of filling unhealthy voids with new beliefs and ancient wisdom…. What those from other parts of the world might say…

Study with your feelings and the feels of others at your side.
Within pain we can find both ourselves and others - we can experience interconnectedness. Within the depth of being present - both individually and collectively – we can cultivate rich understanding and compassion towards both ourselves and others. Shared pain, shared joy – if we allow ourselves to be present with it creates bonds and wisdom which allow compassion, understanding, growth, and healing. Our survival instincts within traumatic experiences can reveal inner strengths and new perspectives. We evolve. We change. Within isolation we find our own inner strength. Healthy boundaries allow others to find their own strength too. Time apart, and time together.

Face suffering directly. Embrace it with awareness and compassion. It is part of the human experience. It is the gateway to deeper understanding. Zazen. Sit with pain and suffering. Observe the discomfort. All is impermanent – this too will pass. All is connected. Within impermanence and interconnectedness, we find solace amid pain.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ghost
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Ghost » Fri Jul 07, 2023 10:08 am

I don't remember when I got on this mailing list, but I also looked at this one and I liked the gloom line. The part about the Holy Ghost fleeing from a document I found amusing and quaint, though there was a time years ago when I probably would have taken it seriously.

Gatorbait
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Jul 07, 2023 12:33 pm

Good responses, but I'm pretty sure the gloomy part for me when I started uncovering lies from the church was the same as other times I got suckered into a bad deal, or lied to by someone you trusted who stole your money.

The real gloom for me was knowing I got conned. The hair on the back of your neck sticking up feeling. The waking up at 3:00 AM and not being able to sleep because you know that thieves have broken in and stolen from me feeling. Knowing that the ones you trusted most are the same ones who spoon fed you the lies as it was done to them feeling. That's gloom. That is real rubber meets the road gloom, right there.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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blazerb
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by blazerb » Mon Jul 10, 2023 10:35 am

One of the worst parts of their "answers" is that you are not allowed to discuss the answer to see if it's reasonable or if it fits in with other data that we have. I read a few of the responses that FAIR has made to the CES Letter. On one of them, the author of the response linked to an article to support a statement. I clicked on the link and saw nothing that dealt with the statement. (I wish I could remember the details. I think the statement had something to do with polygamy in JS's time being in 3 varieties. The link did not discuss this at all. Sorry for the lack of information.)

I went to the bottom of the page where people are allowed to comment. I asked for clarification about the statement and the link. I think I was polite, but why should that matter? In any case, my comment was promptly deleted.

The moral of my story is that FAIR will write responses claiming a good many things. If you read the footnotes and follow the hyperlinks you will find a very different story. Their assertions about disingenuous exmos are only intended to calm the fears of members too occupied with work, family, and callings to spend time searching out answers.

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DPRoberts
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by DPRoberts » Mon Jul 10, 2023 11:17 am

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2023 1:39 pm
Holy The Ghost flees from cognitive dissonance.

(That's the way I read in that first quote. That ghost is such a wimp.)
If only I could draw, there are so many good cartoon ideas . . .

Image
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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RubinHighlander
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Jul 13, 2023 1:11 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2023 12:33 pm
Good responses, but I'm pretty sure the gloomy part for me when I started uncovering lies from the church was the same as other times I got suckered into a bad deal, or lied to by someone you trusted who stole your money.

The real gloom for me was knowing I got conned. The hair on the back of your neck sticking up feeling. The waking up at 3:00 AM and not being able to sleep because you know that thieves have broken in and stolen from me feeling. Knowing that the ones you trusted most are the same ones who spoon fed you the lies as it was done to them feeling. That's gloom. That is real rubber meets the road gloom, right there.
+1

As for the Holy Ghost; he was one of the things weighing my shelf down. I had called upon this 3rd godhead member many times for help, guidance and inspiration but it was anything but a solid answer or any type of response, mostly just me feeling guilt because I wasn't worthy enough to dial in the right frequency. So you pull up some document and the ghost flees away when you need him the most? Constant companion? Not much of a gift, but just another trope among many to keep you running on TSCC's treadmill.
“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

Gatorbait
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Re: FAIR's how-to-study guide

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Jul 14, 2023 2:45 pm

Just re-read your posts, mostly because, believe it or not, I don't remember having heard of the Letter to My Wife. I read it now, and it is a lot like the CES letter, so not much new there. Not much there to bring the blood close to boilage. Those days are past.

This paragraph that angel wrote is really powerful. Really well put.

"Study with your feelings and the feels of others at your side.
Within pain we can find both ourselves and others - we can experience interconnectedness. Within the depth of being present - both individually and collectively – we can cultivate rich understanding and compassion towards both ourselves and others. Shared pain, shared joy – if we allow ourselves to be present with it creates bonds and wisdom which allow compassion, understanding, growth, and healing. Our survival instincts within traumatic experiences can reveal inner strengths and new perspectives. We evolve. We change. Within isolation we find our own inner strength. Healthy boundaries allow others to find their own strength too. Time apart, and time together."

Really beautifully put. I like this so very much. Keeping this one.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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