Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

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_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Kishkumen »

Greetings, fellow MDBers:

I am glad the board is back up. For a time I needed a break, and it was ironically the fact that the board was broken that rekindled my interest. To an extent. There are certain things regarding which my interest will probably forever remain dormant. Well, forever is a long time, so perhaps I shouldn't go that far. But, I want to write just a few words about this anyway. This is the irony of expending energy on something that one claims to have no interest in--a source of mild entertainment for apologists.

First, let me mention something that I do remain interested in--Mormonism. OK, it's still interesting. There is a lot in it of historical, sociological, and anthropological interest to chew on here. I doubt I will ever leave that interest behind. Oh, and I still feel like I am a Mormon, in that I was raised Mormon and it continues to be an indispensable element of my identity. I am one of those people who does not ever think of leaving behind completely something that has been so important to my origins and development.

But, my interest in the LDS Church is declining precipitously. In the past there was a natural need to argue against the LDS Church to establish my new framework. I had to decide, at some point, that I would not be LDS and then see where my new place would be. That took me a long time. I had to work out where it was that I had been, what I thought of it, where the Church was, where it was going, where I was going . . . so many questions. Sometimes I thought that there might be a future intersection again. My path just might rejoin the LDS path. Certainly it would not be on the same terms as before. Definitely it would have to be for reasons quite different from the original ones. But, could there be, I wondered, a benefit to going back?

The answer is never a flat negative, but there is also a cost-benefit analysis to be done. There are always some benefits to having a community and remaining connected to the culture of one's upbringing in some form. But the costs . . . .

The costs started to pile higher and higher. It is not just a matter of whether I 'believe' in the 'Gospel', but what believing and following within a community configured in this way and heading in this trajectory means for me and others. Time after time, I saw the Church going further away from where I felt I wanted to be. Where I would like to see my family. Where I would hope my relatives, friends, and fellow humans would be. If our religious community ideally speaks to our highest aspirations, what happens to our desire to commune when it consistently does not?

I have come to a place where I do not see the LDS Church inspiring my highest aspirations in the foreseeable future. I am not so arrogant as to think that I get to dictate to any organization that it must, but I still have the choice of not participating in a community that does not inspire me to be my best self. This is a personal decision, and I know that. The LDS Church does not inspire me to be my best self. I am not willing to overlook my perception of its many flaws to feel like there is something to reform (quixotic impulse) or even to cling to in some way.

This is a big spiritual divorce. An alienation of affection. This ain't moving me. It's not even really catching my eye that much. Of course I sympathize with those who are still struggling, and I want each to arrive at their own best outcome. My best outcome is not an LDS outcome. It will always be some flavor of Mormon outcome because I am who I am, but not LDS. I am lucky to have that freedom. I feel for those who are in a place where they are prevented from achieving that level of freedom from the LDS Church. A job, a spouse, a situation may be holding them in. I know it is not easy.

Mormonism was always flawed. Polygamy made the flaws much worse. Brigham Young made it much, much worse. And the LDSism of late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is the nail in the coffin for me. The Proclamation to the World on the Family is single biggest cause in my mind. It is a fundamentally anti-gay document. It articulates LDS doctrine in a certain way specifically to exclude gay identity from Mormon theology. As such, it is repugnant, disgusting. It does not taste good. It tastes like crap. Important recent developments have flowed from that sewer. The poisonous nature of the views that gave rise to it should be clear in the toll it has had on innocent members everywhere.

What really clinches my conclusions, however, is my realization that a better Mormonism was/is possible. So why go to this LDS one? Even if you really believe in the value of Joseph Smith's ministry, nothing obliges you, in the final analysis, to be LDS. No doubt one can choose to do so, and one may have reasons that make sense for one's self, but I can't see any reason why everyone/anyone should feel persuaded or compelled to be LDS. Not even a spiritual testimony of Joseph Smith's prophethood and the Book of Mormon. Once the links between Joseph Smith and the LDS Church are recognized as being contingent upon certain accidents of history--once one realizes that Brigham Young was not the "only true" option moving forward, then why remain saddled with the baggage of today's LDS Church?

As Lindsay Hansen Park says, "More than one way to Mormon." And I add, "Or not." I continue to Mormon in my own way. I will not be LDSing anymore.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Gadianton
_Emeritus
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Gadianton »

Thanks for your reflections, Reverend. If you ever do intersect with the Church again, I hope it's in a "fifth columnist" capacity.
his is a personal decision, and I know that. The LDS Church does not inspire me to be my best self.
Neither does it inspire the leaders or the apologists to be their best selves. At least I hope it doesn't.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.
_Nomomo
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Nomomo »

Out of curiosity Kish, do you still believe in the invisible Sky Daddy, or have you accepted the reality that the Sky Daddy does not exist?
The Universe is stranger than we can imagine.
_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Kishkumen »

Gadianton wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:38 am
Thanks for your reflections, Reverend. If you ever do intersect with the Church again, I hope it's in a "fifth columnist" capacity.
Taking up Lindsay Hansen Park's mantra is about as much of a fifth columnist as I can be. I find it more productive to broaden people's concept of what it means to be Mormon. To try to stick it out within the church itself is too much for me.
Neither does it inspire the leaders or the apologists to be their best selves. At least I hope it doesn't.
I have seen some people who definitely do seem to elevate themselves through it, or perhaps in it but at times in spite of it.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Holy Ghost
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Holy Ghost »

Hey, old Seedy Academician, do you yet believe that Joseph Smith communed with God and/or that the Book of Mormon is the result of Godly influence?
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." Isaac Asimov
_Analytics
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Analytics »

Here is a possible soundtrack for this thread:

https://youtu.be/kLD5Q1-OaBQ
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

-Yuval Noah Harari
_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Kishkumen »

Holy Ghost wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:12 pm
Hey, old Seedy Academician, do you yet believe that Joseph Smith communed with God and/or that the Book of Mormon is the result of Godly influence?
Greetings, HG. So, I understand that such questions as yours and the one above about the "Sky Daddy" are to be expected. I recognize that they come from a genuine place and real curiosity, whether casual or serious. That said, I am wholly uninterested in them, not because they aren't legitimate questions for most people. They just don't really apply to my framework. The simplest answers I can give are: 1) I have no idea; and 2) I find the concept of belief as it is understood within the usual discourse of Christian faith to be empty (for me).

Each of us will be born into a certain pre-existing cultural way of interacting with the world. It is a human framework designed through trial and error over time to try to help us get along as groups and individuals. You don't choose the one you are born into, but you can choose to depart from it to a certain extent. At the same time, human beings are fundamentally structurally incapable of apprehending absolute reality in its totality, so they do the best they can. Everything we devise will be a poor, incomplete, and inadequate reflection of what is.

That is what I believe. I know that the framework I was born into was an American one and a Mormon one. I will doubtless continue on in that framework, even if I should try very hard to depart from it. Many here choose to depart from it by calling themselves "ex-Mormons" or "post-Mormons" or what have you. I do not. I call myself Mormon because I can't get away from that. I also, however, choose to "think with" my Mormonism instead of simply against it. That is where I differ from a number of people here. My thinking with Mormonism can be satirical, imaginative, or even serious. I think of it as serious play and spoudogeloion.

I consider this way of approaching the world sacred (to me), and yet I feel it is important to remain always flexible, light, and here for the fun. There is nothing so awful (to me) as the rigidly somber demand for consistency and an inflexible sense of one's self and the world. I want to see more storytelling and less canonizing. That is the space that I want to occupy. The Mormon story should be a broad generic category, or a theme that runs across generic categories. I will continue to write within that framework, while magpie-like collecting and integrating other things as I go along.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Tchild
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Tchild »

Very thoughtful and thought provoking post Kish,

I spent years, a decade actually, on the various Mormon boards while harboring different levels of frustration, loss and anger at the LDS church and myself. Now, today, I don't even remember when the inner acceptance and peace became overriding and complete, but it has been years now. I love and appreciate everything that Mormonism and its people embody, but like yourself, I know that I am just exponentially (infinitely even?) more at peace with myself and my life outside of Mormonism.

My realization about life is that "not knowing" is the greater freedom and offers the deeper wisdom. "Knowing", or better, "belief" is mental stagnation and postponement of self realization. "Not knowing" is anathema in Mormonism, thus an impossible contradiction for reconciliation.

Carry on all and God speed towards your freedom and joy.
Last edited by Guest on Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_Dr Exiled
_Emeritus
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _Dr Exiled »

I think progressively, fully leaving mormonism is a must if we are to continue to develop as human beings. The church is so infantalizing with its obedience to parental figures for obedience sake that it becomes a deterrent to further growth.

Too bad, Reverend, you don't have your deer jesus avatar any longer. I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to find the true first vision picture and only found this:

https://featured-cdn.9gag.com/images/th ... RyMa_n.jpg

This site won't let me paste it as a viewable picture and there used to be many of these pictures on the internet. The above now seems to be the only one. Also, the link won't allow you to even see the picture now. It's as if someone or some group scrubbed the internet of the glorious deer jesus and deer god appearing to the boy Joseph Smith .....

Here is another picture, though, that captures what the good Reverend does for our community. He is as one crying in the wilderness:

Image
"Religion is about providing human community in the guise of solving problems that don’t exist or failing to solve problems that do and seeking to reconcile these contradictions and conceal the failures in bogus explanations otherwise known as theology." - Kishkumen 
_msnobody
_Emeritus
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Re: Increasing Detachment from LDS Church

Post by _msnobody »

Thank you for sharing that, Kishkumen.

for what it's worth, I’m going to throw a Scripture out from Acts17:26-27,
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find
him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”
"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:18-19 ESV
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