Who's the Lazy Learner?

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 5832
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Who's the Lazy Learner?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 01, 2021 10:35 am

Consider 2 kinds of learners:

L1 is a devout lifelong member of a church who has always been obedient and faithful. For most of her life she only read church-approved materials and was often called upon to teach them because of her broad knowledge and faith-affirming insights. Because she is so excited by the teachings of the church, L1 dives deep into church history and doctrine, but becomes troubled when she finds incongruities and even apparent deceptions. She tries to bring her questions and concerns to leaders but is constantly chastised and shamed for showing a potential for coloring outside of the lines. So she takes it upon herself to read everything she can on the topics of concern. She spends years, or even decades studying, cross-referencing, proofing, and sincerely praying to discover a way to make all the pieces fit. Eventually, after years of painful cognitive dissonance and countless long dark nights of the intellectual and spiritual soul, L1 is left with no other option but to apply inductive reasoning, update her belief system, and continue moving in a direction that is more intellectually and spiritually satisfying though divergent from her original worldview.

L2, despite being a top leader in the same church as L1, is not a theologian and has never seriously studied religion beyond the same church-approved materials that were available to L1. L2 is a retired corporate lawyer, car salesman, or airline pilot who has devoted most of his spare time to serving in lower level leadership positions in his church. He has slowly risen up through the ranks precisely because he did NOT look under the hood. Any sign of unorthodox thought would have marked him as a potential timebomb and knocked him out of the running long ago. He may have even publicly targeted intellectuals as "enemies" to him and his fellow leaders. He is well versed in surface-level official history and doctrine but he has made himself unavailable to people like L1 who are paradoxically told that they should look to him for deeper answers. In fact, he has repeatedly scolded and demonized people like L1 for looking for answers beyond the same approved sources upon which he relies, and has commanded them over the pulpit to NOT look for answers. He hasn't had much time for deep study himself; all of his time has been spent organizing committees, reviewing budgets, writing milk-before-meat talks and traveling to deliver them. A lot of his time has been spent interviewing people like L1 to determine if they are maintaining a low enough level of learning to qualify as "worthy" regarding the level of their belief in church leaders and policies. When enough L1s start asking questions that L2's ignorance and/or obfuscation become an embarrassment to him, L2 pays church-employed scholars to write scholarly-sounding documents for him to hide his own ignorance. He approves them but without enough commitment to actually attach his name to them or publicly promote them because he is not capable of determining whether or not they are good scholarship.

One of these people is a lazy learner. Can you spot them?
“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."

Red Ryder
Posts: 3460
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Who's the Lazy Learner?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:46 pm

Hmmm… this is tough.

There seems to be an equal level of disillusionment between both L1 and L2. The first on a very personal emotional level. The second on a professional level.

I’m conflicted to say that L2 is the lazy learner when they’ve been bound to the organization with thicker ropes.

Is it easier to leave as a normal member or a higher authority where your paycheck, ego, and livelihood are all directly tied.

No wonder they pick the church broke pilot, lawyer, and business magnate over the carpenters, care givers, and meek!
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 5832
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Who's the Lazy Learner?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:59 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:46 pm
Is it easier to leave as a normal member or a higher authority where your paycheck, ego, and livelihood are all directly tied.
And imagine the emotional devastation and loss of status and benefits, both tangible and intangible to your children, grandchildren, in-laws and their offspring, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and their offspring... a vast empire of people who look to you as the center around which they orbit and stake their claim in The Kingdom.
“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."

User avatar
Palerider
Posts: 2098
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:44 am

Re: Who's the Lazy Learner?

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 01, 2021 11:09 pm

From Graey's post in Support:

(Listening to Renlund)

"We have been instructed to come prepared with "inspired questions." But! These questions can't be on topics that might actually be helpful or inspire sincere discussion. No, these questions should "pertain to how leaders can live and teach the principles ... taught in the recent general conference." Very strong vibes of "You're free to ask questions! Here is the list of approved questions...."

..... One brave bishop asked the golden question. "How do we help members who have concerns or are leaving over historical concerns?" Elder Renlund, in his intimate knowledge of the Savior and the restoration of the gospel (TM) answered with much resolve, "Brethren, we have not been deceived." And that was it. That was as close as I got to an answer to my dark night of the soul."

Lazy learners fear the truth. They really don't want to discuss the hard issues because although they may be convinced they aren't deceived, the real problem is they don't have any satisfactory answers for the hard questions. Otherwise they would be bravely proclaiming those answers. So let's all just stick our heads in the sand, keep believing and talk about something else.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests