It's YOUR fault!

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Palerider
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It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:55 am

So here's the set up. This author doesn't know whether it's "church culture" or maybe American culture that has "programmed" her to always think she needs to do more. Maybe it's both, she says.

I doubt it's both...but I agree, she definitely has been programmed.

"....every time I am asked to give a talk, prepare a lesson, hold a calling, or deliver a meal to someone in the ward, what frustrates and fixates me is the thought that I have to somehow do and bring and be more."

She goes on to explain how the scriptures and the modern prophets have explained that we really need to simplify our beliefs and just trust in the Savior and do good and we'll be fine basically.

So all those conference and sacrament meeting talks over the last 188 years telling us that:

If you don't do your...

home teaching
Attend church
Accept and fulfill every calling
Have family home evening
Read scripture every day as a family
Do geneology
Attend the temple regularly
Do service projects

And as the temple says, "even give your life if necessary". If you don't do all this and more... you're going to hell....

All those talks were "church culture"??

That wasn't church leadership saying that stuff....that was church culture beating that into us.

I think I have discovered the Q15's new whipping boy.

http://www.ldsliving.com/Are-We-Overcom ... dium=email
"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

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alas
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by alas » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:52 am

The trouble with this “simplify down to basic gospel message” message is that the basic gospel message doesn’t say we have to avoid coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol. It says nothing about the number of ear rings you wear, or guys wearing earrings for that matter. It says nothing about facial hair, white shirts, women wearing pants, R rated movies, modesty, women working outside the home, attending meetings, having callings, obeying church authority, paying 10% of gross income, accepting a church president as prophet or any of the five thousand or so rules the general authorities have made up for us.

Now that was all fine with Jesus. He didn’t think much of the Pharisees or the five thousand or so rules they made up for the Jews. But if I went into my bishop for a temple recommend and I was violating some of those rules, like the dietary rules that are in place for Mormons, then I would not be good enough to get the absolutely necessary for salvation temple rituals.

The church terribly violates that idea about requiring more than just faith in Jesus. In fact the church mocks those simpler Christian religions that claim that all that is necessary if faith, baptism, repentance. The GAs themselves say those other churches fall way below the mark. It is like we pay zero attention to that scripture and keep adding more and more to the to do list for salvation.

But then turn around when anyone complains about the to do list and tell them they are aiming beyond the mark. But if you only do those things that Jesus mentioned, well you are so so not good enough.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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nibbler
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by nibbler » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:07 pm

One contributing factor is that we focus on works at church. We don't typically state it overtly by saying things like, "Salvation comes through works." but it permeates quite a lot of the dialog that goes on at church. I can't go one Sunday without hearing some variant of, "We have to be obedient to receive blessings." a half dozen times. Church culture, teachings, and doctrines present salvation as if it were something that must be earned. It only comes after all we can do, and if you look hard enough at your behavior you'll find that there is always something more that we could be doing.

I struggled with this concept in my more orthodox days. I may have been doing okay with sins of commission but it was the sins of omission that broke my spirit.

Not getting 100% home teaching. Feeling the guilt when we'd dedicate the entire hour of PH talking about the importance of doing HT. A meeting that happened every 3 months.
Not signing up to go on exchanges or to feed the missionaries.
Not going to every ward temple night.
Not cleaning the building one Saturday.
Forgetting to fast on F&T Sunday.
Feeling like I wasn't doing a good enough job with my callings. Plural.
Staying home one Sunday instead of going to church.
I haven't made much progress with the stake goal of reading the Book of Mormon.
I haven't done enough genealogy or taken many names to the temple.
The list goes on.

The expectations placed on members are systemic. Try simplifying by not attending church for a few months. People's interactions with you will focus on an attempt to get you to attend. Try simplifying by opting out of the ministering program. People's interactions with you will focus on an attempt to get you to do ministering. Try saying, "No thanks, genealogy just doesn't interest me." when someone in a class tries to get everyone to commit to submitting a name to the temple.

It would be one thing if the church offered a variety of programs and let people pick and choose which programs to participate in, or not participate in any for that matter, but participation in programs is presented as an expectation. Pickers and choosers are often labeled "cafeteria Mormons," which is a big no-no.

More. More is always more at church because we need to earn that trip to the CK.

Take the move from the three hour block to the two hour block. It couldn't be perceived as requiring less, we can't have that, so there's now a big focus on guilting members to do home church. See, it's not less!

Now, no one has to do all these things and if someone doesn't do them all there's no real trouble you can get in... other than guilt and shame, and being considered a second class member. I think the kind of member that doesn't do everything expected (no one can) but simply doesn't feel guilt about it is the kind that can thrive in the current climate. They don't internalize all the calls to action at church, they just ignore them.

Heck, I don't know how it is in other wards but most of the time the theme of the entire PH hour could best be summed up as, "You need to be doing more [fill in the blank]."

I think we do over-complicate our membership. A part of that over-complication comes from within, a large part of that over-complication comes from external forces. We can say, "You shouldn't be over-complicating things." all day but we also need voices that say, "Quit over-complicating things for me."
Last edited by nibbler on Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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nibbler
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by nibbler » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:17 pm

Second post, the other was getting too long.

The author also talks about "more" in the sense that people find church boring and want more, and how they should be content with the simple lessons.

I get it, but at the same time it feels lazy. Bottom line, if I want more out of my church experience that means that the church isn't providing me with something I need.

I appreciate how I can't passively expect others to make my experience better for me, I have to take an active role. The problem is that when I do there's typically someone that reminds me that I'm stepping over some line that shouldn't be crossed. My needs aren't met and being told that I shouldn't expect more effectively communicates that the church is not interested in fulfilling my needs.

Attend church. Because not attending would be on the "or less than these" side of the equation. Funny how that works out, "you shall do more or less than these." Person A will say that it's more, person B will say that it's less, and we're right back in the thick of it, increasing that cultural to do list.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

dogbite
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by dogbite » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:15 pm

you are only saved by grace after all you can do. If you are not operating at full capacity, there is more you can do. More is built into the path to salvation.

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Hagoth
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Hagoth » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:09 pm

The author's problem is that she is basing her thoughts on the Book of Mormon. The Nephite religion has little in common with the Brighamite religion.
“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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Palerider
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:04 pm

I think before long we will see this "church culture" as a reccuring theme for all of the past error that, as Nelson put it, has crept into the church under the guise of doctrine.

Church culture lays blame on no one but allows for at least some of the correction that needs to be made. Of course all of the new stuff will be "revelation" such as the ministering program, 2 hour church, temple changes, and the emphasis on the church name.

Thank goodness we FINALLY have a prophet with the clarity of vision to see the cultural errors and do God's will in eradicating them.

We won't mention why past prophets had no such vision and allowed such things to remain. I'm sure God tried to tell them but they were probably busy building malls and buying up real estate.

Brows of brass....??? It's a cultural thing. :|
"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

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wtfluff
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by wtfluff » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:05 pm

I used to use this "church culture" excuse when my 'testimony' was hanging by a thread. I hated the "social" aspects of the church, and blamed that on "church culture." You know: "The church is true, the people are not" useless platitude.

Here's the thing: "church culture" doesn't exist without "the church." They are essentially one and the same. They cannot be separated.

So the Q15 can spew all they want about "church culture" causing problems, they can use it as their whipping boy all the want, but it won't change the fact that the Q15 are patently dishonest, and they and their predecessors have been since the beginning.
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

Brilliant.

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Palerider
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:45 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:05 pm
I used to use this "church culture" excuse when my 'testimony' was hanging by a thread. I hated the "social" aspects of the church, and blamed that on "church culture." You know: "The church is true, the people are not" useless platitude.

Here's the thing: "church culture" doesn't exist without "the church." They are essentially one and the same. They cannot be separated.

So the Q15 can spew all they want about "church culture" causing problems, they can use it as their whipping boy all the want, but it won't change the fact that the Q15 are patently dishonest, and they and their predecessors have been since the beginning.
Right.

The reality is that "church culture" grows out of or is a product of church doctrine.

It's impossible to truncate one from the other.

Oh it's possible for error to creep in, no doubt, but that would mean you have a stupid "prophet" who isn't paying attention.

Because isn't that the great promise of Mormonism!?!? We are the only ones who worship God in truth (and only truth) because we have prophets, seers and revelators! :roll:
"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

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moksha
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by moksha » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:04 am

alas wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:52 am
The trouble with this “simplify down to basic gospel message” message is that the basic gospel message doesn’t say we have to avoid coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol. It says nothing about the number of earrings you wear, or guys wearing earrings for that matter. It says nothing about facial hair, white shirts, women wearing pants, R rated movies, modesty, women working outside the home, attending meetings, having callings, obeying church authority, paying 10% of gross income, ...
Wow, less really is more!

The two messages of the Great Commandments really are simple, but do so much.
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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RubinHighlander
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:26 am

Palerider wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:55 am

home teaching
Attend church
Accept and fulfill every calling
Have family home evening
Read scripture every day as a family
Do geneology
Attend the temple regularly
Do service projects
AND, after you do all of that most of your life, even on some Monsonite stalwart level, visiting all the widows, serving as much as you could, right up to the end of your life...if you are so lucky as to know one of the COB 15 personally, they will visit you in the hospital when you have a terminal illness on your deathbed. But instead of giving you a healing blessing to take up your bed and walk, like one of the 12 or Jesus would do, you will be a laugh line in a GC talk. You'll get a pat on the head and told you endured well to the end and have unknown hidden treasures in a made up life in a magical kingdom to come. So it's good you invested all that time in and energy in most often worthless pursuits, running on a fruitless treadmill of TSCC, having spent much of your time, energy and money to support the upper class white guy COB 15 corp and all their extended families. They thank you for your life long support as they continue to purchase real estate and other investments to ensure the prosperity of their families for generations. And through most of this, you still felt guilty for not doing more. Nice work thou good and faithful SERVANT!
Last edited by RubinHighlander on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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1smartdodog
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by 1smartdodog » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:51 am

In a country where so many are looking to do less, a dose of compulsion to do more is not always bad. Just make sure the more has meaning, which probably has little to do with the church. But if you channel that compulsion in productive areas it could be a good thing.
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
― Thomas A. Edison

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Palerider
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:26 am
So it's good you invested all that time in and energy is often worthless pursuits, running on a fruitless treadmill of TSCC...
Speaking of worthless pursuits, don't forget all of those critical leadership meetings that you just couldn't afford to miss if you happened to be in a leadership position.

They were always telling us how important the information was going to be. A really BIG deal was coming down! And it was always the same old "rah rah" stuff.... :roll:

Same, same, same, same.....might as well have gone to a high school football rally. At least there would have been better looking cheerleaders.

But I'm sure all those meetings were created by "church culture". That's why they were so time consuming and uninspiring.

Church culture..... :|
"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

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alas
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by alas » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:53 am

This “it s only church culture, not the gospel” argument has always made me crazy. As if the culture and doctrine are unrelated. I can give many examples of when a doctrine *causes* a problem that the problem gets blamed on culture. It couldn’t possibly be the doctrine that causes problems because the gospel is perfect. So, when doctrine causes hurt, dysfunction, abuse, suddenly we blame it all on culture because the leadership is too damned chicken to look at the doctrine they promote to actually fix the problem.

Girls treated as less than an after thought to the “Youth” who are “our future priesthood” is just the culture being sexist. But the fact that the church *doctrine* dictates that men are needed to even have a church organization, while women are totally irrelevant has nothing at all to do with why women are second class. Missionaries are told not to even bother teaching or converting women, unless they come attached to a MAN who is also willing to be taught. Because the fact is, females ARE second class according to doctrine. So the general authorities spend 1/4 of every general conference telling women how valuable and needed they are. Yeah, sure, my husband as a missionary functioned as the branch relief society president, conducting the meetings, teaching the lesson, delivering welfare help, setting up meals for after the funeral. Men can apparently fill any position a woman can fill, but a branch cannot exist without priesthood=men. That is all doctrine and the doctrine drives the culture.

Over focus on modesty, to the point where YW leaders take a permanent marker and draw lines on the girls bodies about what parts need to be covered, and those lines exactly equal where their adult garments cover...but that has nothing to do with temple garments. Only an example of the cultural reaction to Hollywood and the blatant sexualization of the female body.

Mormon doctrine drives Mormon culture. So, when Mormon culture goes off the rails, you need to look to the driver. The problem is usually the nut behind the steering wheel and in Mormonism’s case, that is the doctrine that drives the culture.

Utah has a higher than average child abuse statistic. It is BECAUSE of the church encouraging girls to marry young and pop out babies as fast as they can. Which leaves the 25 year old mother of four exhausted, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough support, not getting enough adult company, not enough money, struggling, frustrated and unhappy, and when she snaps as anyone would under those circumstances, the children get abused. Duh. Look at what the church teaches.

High teen suicide rate in Utah? Look at the perfectionistic pressure put on teens by the church, look at the shaming, look at the homophobia, look at the transphobia. Look at the doctrine to see what is driving the culture.

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Palerider
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:28 am

alas wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:53 am
Missionaries are told not to even bother teaching or converting women, unless they come attached to a MAN who is also willing to be taught. Because the fact is, females ARE second class according to doctrine.
This actually grows out of the pre-world war ll idea that a woman's place was in the home. Which grew out of the development of agrarian societies anciently. And church doctrine, policy and culture, reflected that belief.

To convert an unattached woman, especially one that might have children and be divorced or deserted by her husband meant she was going to be a drain on church resources rather than a contributor as are wage earning men.

That's the reason the church wants men. They are (or were) seen as money makers who pay tithing instead of constantly using up fast offerings. Pure economics.

If they were truly interested in helping women they would make the short term sacrifice of helping to educate the mother so that she could become self sufficient.

But self-sufficiency in women isn't always desirable in the eyes of the church. Women become independent thinkers. And men have no leverage over a self-sufficient woman. They actually have to work at the relationship in a complimentary way. Self-sufficient women are less afraid to speak up when they see inequity. Or when they see just stupid stuff coming down from on high.

That doesn't suit the 15 Suits.....

Better to just avoid teaching and converting unmarried women....unless you just can't find any men to teach. And then teaching women is better than nothing, because we need the numbers to look good. :|
"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

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RubinHighlander
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Palerider wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 am

Speaking of worthless pursuits, don't forget all of those critical leadership meetings that you just couldn't afford to miss if you happened to be in a leadership position.

Church culture..... :|
Dude!
[sarcasm
Thanks for reminding me!
/sarcasm]

I tried to forget about all that BS over two tours as an EQP and over a decade as a stake clerk/technology specialist.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Palerider
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Palerider » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:45 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Dude!
[sarcasm
Thanks for reminding me!
/sarcasm]

I tried to forget about all that BS over two tours as an EQP and over a decade as a stake clerk/technology specialist.
Sorry....

Didn't mean to trigger any latent painful memories. :)
"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

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Newme
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Re: It's YOUR fault!

Post by Newme » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:47 pm

1smartdodog wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:51 am
In a country where so many are looking to do less, a dose of compulsion to do more is not always bad. Just make sure the more has meaning, which probably has little to do with the church. But if you channel that compulsion in productive areas it could be a good thing.
Good point.
If you’re too extreme one way or the other - going the opposite would be good.
Religion - especially lds - seems to take the roll as getting people to do and act in ways they wouldn’t on their own. Some would do it anyway - but many seemed to need/want the push.

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