What's up with the "countenance" concept?

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BlackMormon
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What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by BlackMormon » Mon Oct 30, 2023 4:01 pm

Do you guys remember any GAs that got excommunicated? What they looked like while active versus after their excommunication?
I was thinking about George P. Lee for example:
Image

Does the countenance really change to sadness and darkness? Buffetings of Satan or just lost income and privileges once enjoyed? Everyone I met who left or got exed looked run down but that could my own personal observation so I don't want to generalize. But they looked like they had lost their shine or had been through tough times.
Is there a real light of Christ when we follow the program? I know when I was active I got fat. Went inactive and got fit. Then went active again and now I look better but not as fit. My countenance isn't that great when compared to older TBM photos but it's not depressing like George's.
Just a thought. :mrgreen:

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Just This Guy
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Oct 31, 2023 4:49 am

How much of judging "countenance" is just a matter of cherry picking photos to fit a narrative? In the case of George P. Lee provided, you have a obviously staged portrait shot. Staging isn't a bad thing here, just a photo shoot where they set it up to get a good photo. Then you have a candid photo of someone having a bad day. Add some unflattering lighting and wild hair and they will appear to be a totally different person. There is obviously going to be a difference. It's like comparing a year book photo to a mug shot.

If you were to take that 2nd picture and tame the hair, have better lighting and maybe a bit of make up to easy some of the wrinkles, then you could have a head shot worthy of a boardroom.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Red Ryder
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:47 am

I love this question BM!

Story time.

My father was child number 7 of 10. Nearly all of his brothers and sisters (my aunts and uncles) were inactive or had left the church completely. The circumstances were that his parents had left the church and come back so thr younger kids were raised in the church while the older kids were not. Growing up, I could visually see a difference between my dad and our immediate family compared to my aunts and uncles and cousins. We seemed to be happier, dress better, have more resources etc. I could see a similar comparison with his younger brothers that were active too.

I think if the countenance theory were to hold true, there would be some way to measure it. Perhaps it’s as simple as Just this Guy says, that we are cherry picking to support our bias. Or perhaps, time and life stresses are the real culprit. Perhaps it’s simple but things like dress code, longer hair, a sun tan from hiking on Sundays. Or moderate alcohol use? Or new tattoos? The church held our name, image, and likeness hostage. It also held our time hostage. So once we leave, we are in control and destiny is ours to choose.

Here’s an idea. Someone google pics of Kate Kelly before her excommunication and after. The one where she’s in a sleeveless dress? Let’s compare countenance with a day or two in between Mormon and not a Mormon and measure that? Sam Young? Johnny D? Natasha HP?

Kate before:
Image

Kate after:
Image

Damn! You’re right! Her smile in the sleeveless outfit is a bit less. Her countenance is less bright! The sunshine in her soul today is cloudy with a 37% chance of rain!
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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Red Ryder
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:57 am

Let’s try another!

Elder Hamula before excommunication:

Image

After excommunication:

Image
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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Jeffret
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Jeffret » Tue Oct 31, 2023 7:08 am

meme-mckjggrmtchmcnlsxdrgsrckrllsep23-600x312.jpg
meme-mckjggrmtchmcnlsxdrgsrckrllsep23-600x312.jpg (28.32 KiB) Viewed 7683 times
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And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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wtfluff
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Oct 31, 2023 7:51 am

The entire "countenance" concept has got to be one of the best examples of confirmation bias that there is.

How many of us found out the truth about LDS-Inc. and quit, yet stayed "under cover" and didn't tell our believing family members for extended periods of time? How many of us were told our "countenance" had changed once those family members found out about our apostate ways? Yet they didn't notice any change for YEARS before?

Yep. Confirmation Bias™ through-and-through.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

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Bonfire
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Bonfire » Wed Nov 01, 2023 9:40 am

There is something to be said regarding countenances. When a person sins their behavior changes, or rather their spirit that moves them was distracted elsewhere since the last time you observed them so they are not interacting with you on the same conscious level.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; “For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him” (D&C 18:10–11).

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Jeffret
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Jeffret » Wed Nov 01, 2023 12:27 pm

Bonfire wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 9:40 am
There is something to be said regarding countenances. When a person sins their behavior changes, or rather their spirit that moves them was distracted elsewhere since the last time you observed them so they are not interacting with you on the same conscious level.
This concept, or something very similar to it, is amped up to 11 in "Visions of Glory". It's a very core concept. It's probably intimately connected with the mindset that led to the killing of Lori Vallow's children.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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deacon blues
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by deacon blues » Wed Nov 01, 2023 2:53 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2023 7:51 am
The entire "countenance" concept has got to be one of the best examples of confirmation bias that there is.

How many of us found out the truth about LDS-Inc. and quit, yet stayed "under cover" and didn't tell our believing family members for extended periods of time? How many of us were told our "countenance" had changed once those family members found out about our apostate ways? Yet they didn't notice any change for YEARS before?

Yep. Confirmation Bias™ through-and-through.
Yes. One of my objectives being post-Mormon is to show I'm pretty much the same guy, minus the shelf.
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.

Cnsl1
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Cnsl1 » Thu Nov 02, 2023 12:02 am

I'm not sure about my countenance, but I'm a better guy... without the church.

I'm a happier guy... without the church.

But I understand that others may need the church for happiness or comfort.

I feel it's more about neurology and maybe personality than spirituality. People who are more open to new experiences may experience less cortisol thus have a less active amygdala and more active hippocampus, so rather than feeling the frequent unnecessary ersatz fears that press one towards the social comfort of a familiar congregation, they are better able to learn and remember without the emotions getting in the way as much.

The world becomes bright, beautiful, and fascinating, not a scary place we sojourn while hoping for someplace better.

It has been said that Knowledge is the priceless key.

Is it the key to truth?

Truth may be slippery and prone to readjustment over time, but the open minded search for truth feels like freedom.

Religion feels like mind prison.

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Hagoth
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:17 am

People put on a mask when they go to church. Sometimes you see them outside of church dealing with real life and they have forgotten to put on their countenance. Does that mean they are sinning?

I have many friends whose countenance brightened noticeably when they were freed from the need to put on that mask and decided to just be themselves. A TBM looking for signs that they were still fully orthodox might interpret changes in their clothing, hair length, facial hair, etc. as darkened countenance, whereas someone who is sincerely interested in their wellbeing, and who is willing to interact with an open mind will discover that they are genuinely more happy.

People often misinterpret disapproval of behaviors of church leaders, distorted history, and gaslighting as a darkened countenance. If you are pissed off to learn that your leaders are committing massive SEC and IRS fraud, you are likely to not wear a happy face when the topic comes up. That is perceived as a darkened countenance. When you learn that they are siding with the perpetrators of child sexual abuse rather than victims your countenance when their names are mentioned may not look bright. When you hear stories about Joseph Smith's loving devotion to Emma you might do this :cry: instead of this :D. Darkened countenance. When you hear these things about your leaders, history, and doctrine you are supposed to just keep doing this :D so your everyone knows your countenance remains undimmed.

I just saw an entire movie about bright countenances.

Image
“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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Hagoth
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:50 am

Bill Reel:

Before
Image

After
Image
“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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wtfluff
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by wtfluff » Thu Nov 02, 2023 8:33 am

Jeffret wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 12:27 pm
Bonfire wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 9:40 am
There is something to be said regarding countenances. When a person sins their behavior changes, or rather their spirit that moves them was distracted elsewhere since the last time you observed them so they are not interacting with you on the same conscious level.
This concept, or something very similar to it, is amped up to 11 in "Visions of Glory". It's a very core concept. It's probably intimately connected with the mindset that led to the killing of Lori Vallow's children.
Dear Gods, I've never made that connection. Sadly, it makes way too much sense.

[SHUDDER]
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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Red Ryder
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Nov 02, 2023 10:25 am

wtfluff wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2023 8:33 am
Jeffret wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 12:27 pm
Bonfire wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 9:40 am
There is something to be said regarding countenances. When a person sins their behavior changes, or rather their spirit that moves them was distracted elsewhere since the last time you observed them so they are not interacting with you on the same conscious level.
This concept, or something very similar to it, is amped up to 11 in "Visions of Glory". It's a very core concept. It's probably intimately connected with the mindset that led to the killing of Lori Vallow's children.
Dear Gods, I've never made that connection. Sadly, it makes way too much sense.

[SHUDDER]
And don’t forget the kidnapping of 16 year old Blaze Thibaudeau.

Spring’s countenance is concerning. Seems a little too happy after kidnapping her own kid.

Image

Image
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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moksha
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by moksha » Fri Nov 03, 2023 3:23 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:50 am
Bill Reel:

Before
Image

After
Image
Well, that makes a powerful case for a 2D existence.
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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BlackMormon
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by BlackMormon » Sat Nov 04, 2023 4:29 am

Just This Guy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2023 4:49 am
How much of judging "countenance" is just a matter of cherry picking photos to fit a narrative? In the case of George P. Lee provided, you have a obviously staged portrait shot. Staging isn't a bad thing here, just a photo shoot where they set it up to get a good photo. Then you have a candid photo of someone having a bad day. Add some unflattering lighting and wild hair and they will appear to be a totally different person. There is obviously going to be a difference. It's like comparing a year book photo to a mug shot.

If you were to take that 2nd picture and tame the hair, have better lighting and maybe a bit of make up to easy some of the wrinkles, then you could have a head shot worthy of a boardroom.
These were the only photos available online. I had nothing to do with the photoshoot or the subsequent looks of George P. Lee.

Image (The Portrait Of Dorian Gray)

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Just This Guy
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Just This Guy » Sat Nov 04, 2023 3:20 pm

BlackMormon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2023 4:01 pm
Do you guys remember any GAs that got excommunicated? What they looked like while active versus after their excommunication?
I was thinking about George P. Lee for example:
Image

Does the countenance really change to sadness and darkness? Buffetings of Satan or just lost income and privileges once enjoyed? Everyone I met who left or got exed looked run down but that could my own personal observation so I don't want to generalize. But they looked like they had lost their shine or had been through tough times.
Is there a real light of Christ when we follow the program? I know when I was active I got fat. Went inactive and got fit. Then went active again and now I look better but not as fit. My countenance isn't that great when compared to older TBM photos but it's not depressing like George's.
Just a thought. :mrgreen:
So you are basically saying that people who leave the church look miserable. Your words. While the pictures you post are what is publicly available, there is a whole lot of assumptions going into you view here. Again, you are comparing a posed portage to a candid picture and filling in the blanks from there. Can you see the logical errors here?

That is the problem with the whole idea of countenance. Everything is based on looks with no actual regard to what the people really think. What make sit worse is how much the Mormon church bases things on looks. Missionaries are told to push on a smile and pretend to happy to sell the church. members who are financially successful are considered to be more righteous than those that are not. As such people will run up huge credit dept so they can put on the appearance of having money. How often do you hear about how righteous someone is based on how happy they look.

The church is more than willing to use appearances to their advantage when it comes to ex members as well. Look at how happy they looked while a member, even if it was staged. Now look at them when they left. The fact they look rough in a candid photo is seen as proof that their life must be miserable post church. Don't bother actually asking them what their life is like and if it is better or not. There is one unflattering photo, therefore they must be unhappy and therefore evil.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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BlackMormon
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by BlackMormon » Mon Nov 20, 2023 7:39 pm

I am not making any judgments about people based on their appearance. I am well aware that my own appearance is not particularly attractive. I understand that some people may have left the Church and found happiness, either permanently or temporarily, and that their outward expressions may reflect this newfound sense of freedom from the obligations of active membership. However, I have also observed some individuals who seem less happy after leaving the Church compared to their previous state. My question was about the concept of countenance, not about judging people by their looks. I have seen members who outwardly appeared successful but later revealed their true character through their actions. Conversely, I have witnessed non-Mormons exhibiting more Christlike behavior than some active Mormons. So, I am not under any illusions about appearances.

Countenance
The general appearance of a person’s face, which often reflects spiritual attitude and state of mind. (LDS.org)

Their countenance witnessed against them, Isa. 3:9.


Have ye received God’s image in your countenance, Alma 5:14, 19.

Ammon saw that the countenance of the king was changed, Alma 18:12.

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wtfluff
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by wtfluff » Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:49 pm

BlackMormon wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2023 7:39 pm
...
My question was about the concept of countenance, not about judging people by their looks.
...
How does one discern the difference between countenance, appearance, looks, expressions, apparent happiness, apparent success?
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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Just This Guy
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Re: What's up with the "countenance" concept?

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Nov 21, 2023 7:15 am

BlackMormon wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2023 7:39 pm
The general appearance of a person’s face, which often reflects spiritual attitude and state of mind. (LDS.org)
[emphasis added]


From dictionary.com

COUNTENANCE
noun
1. appearance, especially the look or expression of the face: a sad countenance.
2. the face; visage.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/countenance

The very definition of countenance is how someone looks. How do you tell a countenance without appearance being a part of it? You can't. You can't have a "countenance" without looks. So if you are judging countenance, but definition, it is a judgement on appearance.

That is the whole problem with the churches use of countenance. In LDS circle, the church weaponizes appearances. They slap the label "countenance" on it to justify the behavior, but really, all it is just judging a person purely based on how they look. If someone looks happy, it much be god (i.e. the church). If they look anything other than happy, it must be the devil at play. LDSinc. teaches this from the very beginning. It is core to LDS doctrine. How many stories are there of people who leave the early church, only to comeback looking miserable. They don't mention the people who leave and are happy they did. Like you cited, there are plenty of examples in the scriptures. The church teaches people to judge people based on looks. To be fair, that can be a very hard habit to break when you leave.

You state that you know appearances don't mean anything. Neither does the whole idea of "countenance". Understand the two are just different words for the same thing.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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