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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: November 29, 2017 11:42PM

I just read one more leaving story, and it struck me how different things are now than when I was young. Back then nobody wanted to leave. The church was vibrant, quirky and fun. It has, as we are all aware, an empty shell of its former self. People are leaving as never before,and nobody wants to join any more. I know all the reasons- internet, takeover by right-wing demagogues, SCMC, correlation, the failure of Jesus to return as expected in the the year 2000. Do you think that the leadership (I use the term loosely- straw bosses is more accurate) will ever figure out that in order for the LDS church to thrive again somebody needs to put their foot down and say that business as usual simply is not working any more?

I realize that the LDS church will never be able to deliver on its most distinctive promise, which is easy access to heavenly messengers. But surely something can be done to stop its slide into total irrelevance for those looking for spiritual events in their lives.

I don't know if a return to the old days (David O. McKay, the King Sisters TV shows, trying to connect with the non-Mormon world and so on) can ever be recovered. It would need to be a new style of Mormonism, and it would need to be much more of a bottom-up organization. I repeat: can it ever happen? Thanks.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: November 29, 2017 11:55PM

The extroverts will have to organize the make-over. I just don't see introverts over the age of 25 wanting or needing to have the fun that we had back in the 60s & 70s, as kids. Extroverts were in charge and they had a lot to work with and they really did a bang up job of it. They could make the church *fun* again for the kids, but once you finish school, get a job and settle down, we introverts just want to be left alone to do our various things.

So yeah, I guess I'm saying it could happen, but it's not likely. There are too many things competing for kids' time and attention, and some of it is even good for them, as opposed to the drag that being in a church can be, no matter how much fun some...some... of the activities are. There's still the obligatory religious folderol to content with. I'd rather be online, doing what I want to do, not what I'm being told to do.

that's my musing...

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Posted by: Heretic 2 ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 01:11AM

The three hours of Sunday meetings are just so boring!

When I first read the post, I was thinking about how the non-Sunday activities are not fun enough to attract and keep people. But then I realized that the problem is much deeper. The Sunday meetings themselves ought to be fun, interesting, and fulfilling. People ought to look forward to going to church rather than having it be a dreary chore.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 07:39AM

So what happens during those 3 hours ?

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Posted by: paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 03:26AM

its possible when you were young you weren't hauled to teach primary in a start up branch 30 miles at age 14. getting a calling designs your adult life &its very demoralizing to have someone else designate your time (despite the temple vow.) & the guilt from the temple vow is brutal forcing compliance with authoritarian distributed callings.

whats sad is having a religious dogma that makes being an adult so grueling its cruel. Other church just go eat donuts and coffee after a meeting someone else runs. They pay a donation and folks even hire musicians. Its sad the Mormon experience brutalizes adults it shreds their talents and lives with excessive trivial duties instead of serving them in their search for spirituality & family time.

it is sad that your local ward have to dissolve or transfer boundaries, so that you can't quite ever go back. Were you visiting them from out of town you may say they are quirky and funny or fun for a little while. Just like when you were young.

Its sad you can't go back or enjoy them like a lake woebegone moment or some local quirky entourage.

I think the correlation committees did them in. or the gathering of tithing redistribution of budget broke the local quirky joys somehow. Somewhere the rich private donor may be steering a local ward just like a private school. It is sad. You cannot go back into a quirky or carefree youth or recreate it

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 04:28AM

I don't think it can be reconstructed.

There was doctrine back in the day, and confidence; so much confidence that people were free to discuss wacky ideas in church without fear of retribution. The missionary program was faring well and the members were not only joining, but joining with increasing speed. There was also local dynamism, a degree of decentralization that SLC did not view as a threat.

The church cannot go back to that halcyon period. The history and doctrine has been discredited, so it is no longer acceptable even to teach the contents of the modern scriptures let alone crazy fringe ideas. Do that and you are shown the door, even punished. The missionary program is in the tank and, due to social and political changes it will not recover. Now missionaries are basically inactive, like so may idling vehicles in a big and smelly parking lot. And today the rest of the world a much better appreciation of Mormonism, its real history, its racism and misogyny, and its political extremism.

The problem is not merely the bitter old men in the Church Office Building. Even if those corrupt bureaucrats were replaced by younger progressives, the doctrine could not be revitalized nor the old confidence restored. The world is different now, different and incompatible with anything resembling the Mormonism of the Golden Age.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 06:29AM

Fun? There were a few fun times, but overall, it was abusive and scary and often boring.

Everyone had to be chirpy and outgoing which meant faking it around mormons and lying to everyone.

I don't think we owe it to anyone to pretend we used to like it.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 07:33AM

The spiritual life of the church exists in a vacuum. It is virtually non-existent for anyone seeking to develop their spirituality.

It did used to be fun, for us as children growing up in what I now consider was an 'age of innocence' for ourselves and our parents, to a point. The spiritual void and vacuum was still there, we didn't recognize it for what it was due to years of brainwashing by the cult that sought to own us by completely controlling our every thought, actions, and words.

Once it's lost that control over its members who discovered it's far better to think for themselves rather than the cult doing it for them; games over. The church lacks the capacity to change where some would find it relevant to still belong. It's a repressive cult that doesn't want to give up its control, so long as it has the core support of its hardliners.

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Posted by: canadianfriend ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 08:10AM

It's good to see that this fake church is still largely at odds with current social (logical) thinking, and rather than chiming in with ways to improve, or save, the so-called-church, I would rather see it shrivel up to a small back-woods cult, which is exactly what it is.

I was just reading some hateful comments from Mormons regarding what "Heavenly Father" intended for humanity and it is this flawed 19th century thinking that will ultimately put this corporation on ice.

Mormonism, with its multiple gods, fictitious books, and closed-minded "leadership" is doomed to failure. They've made enough changes to keep it alive, but at a certain point, which I hope is now, the members will need to wake up, smell the forbidden coffee, and get out.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 10:50AM

What exactly is wrong with multiple gods? Eight hundred million Hindus can't be wrong! :)

Seriously, why is a belief in multiple gods any more or less supported by evidence than belief in one god?

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 09:12AM

> Back then nobody wanted to leave. The church was vibrant,
> quirky and fun.

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. We tend to remember the 'good,' and forget the 'bad.'

'Cause, see, back then the church may have been "vibrant, quirky, and fun."

It was also abjectly racist, utterly controlling, and the "fun" made the nefarious indoctrination into outright obedience and unquestioning compliance even more effective.

The base truth claims were just as false then as they are now. The money-grubbing was just as disgusting then as it is now. The cover-ups of and outright support of abuse were just as egregious then as now.

None of that was any better because there were more "fun" things to keep people in. All that did was provide a ready excuse to stay *despite* all the bad stuff -- to quote Thomas Ferguson (who figured out the BoM is a pile of crap):

"Perhaps you and I have been spoofed by Joseph Smith. Now that we have the inside dope - why not spoof a little back and stay aboard? Please consider this letter confidential - for obvious reasons. I want to stay aboard the good ship, Mormonism - for various reasons that I think valid. First, several of my dearly loved family members want desperately to believe and do believe it and they each need it. It does them far more good than harm. Belonging, with my eyes wide open is actually fun, less expensive than formerly, and no strain at all…I never get up and bear testimony…You might give my suggestions a trial run - and if you find you have to burn all the bridges between yourselves and the Church, then go ahead and ask for excommunication. (The day will probably come - but it is far off - when the leadership of the Church will change the excommunication rules and delete as grounds non-belief in the 2 books mentioned and in Joseph Smith as a prophet etc…but if you wait for that day, you probably will have died. It is a long way off - tithing would drop too much for one thing…"

"...far more good than harm."
Maybe that was true at some point (though I honestly doubt it, and I think Ferguson was employing the same nostalgic filter you were).
It's not true any more. This is a good thing.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 09:45AM

Thank you, Thank you.

" . . .far more good than harm." How many people having a good time at the dances and road shows and hayrides does it take to wipe out the extreme harm done to some of us?

The church wasn't better then, the rotten cake just had a heap more frosting. Are we really suggesting to re-decorate in order to help those who fit feel better about what they represent?

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Posted by: commongentile ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 10:18AM

slskipper Wrote:
> People are leaving as never before,and nobody
> wants to join any more. I know all the reasons-
> ... the failure of Jesus to return as
> expected in the the year 2000.

This is the first time I've seen the failure of Jesus to return in the year 2000 given as a reason why more people are leaving the Mormon Church. Were a lot of Mormons strongly believing that Jesus would return then? Did any Mormon scriptures or prophets predict that? Why would the failure of Jesus to return in 2000 contribute to people leaving?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 10:24AM

At its most basic:

6,000 years of 'time' followed by a 1,000 millennium...

2000 AD was supposed to be the end of 'time'. But then nothing!

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Posted by: commongentile ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 10:44AM

Thank you for this information, elderolddog.

I am also interested if anyone currently participating on this forum seriously anticipated Jesus returning in the year 2000.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 11:08AM

commongentile Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am also interested if anyone currently
> participating on this forum seriously anticipated
> Jesus returning in the year 2000.

I didn't...but my TBM mom/stepdad did.
They even sold their main business in mid-1999 in preparation. So they'd have resources (cash) for the walk to Missouri.

When it didn't happen, TBM mom started making all sorts of excuses about ancient bible manuscripts being corrupted so the years were off a bit, the church hadn't managed to yet preach the gospel to all the world, etc. She's still convinced it'll happen "any day now" -- not only because of the church's longstanding teachings, but because her patriarchal blessing says she'll make the trip to Missouri while alive, and be a "leader." She'll be 79 in a few weeks, time is running out for *that* to come "true."

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 04:09PM


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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 11:09AM

A minority of Mormons, but a minority big enough to notice, heavily stocked up on survival supplies in anticipation of a collapse of society to usher in the Millennium, anticipated by the Cleon Skousen wing of Mormonism around the year 2,000. That has always been a theme in Mormonism, but it got a boost in the late 1990s. I knew a well off Mormon in L.A. who had a car-size generator and buried fuel tank installed in his backyard. That cost serious money.

Not a lot of Mormons have thrown in the towel because Jeebus didn't return on cue, but it was one more brick on the shelf. It's always difficult to say which brick made the shelf break. All the bricks contribute. For the Skousen wing, it was a big deal.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2017 11:10AM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 11:14AM

commongentile Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you for this information, elderolddog.
>
> I am also interested if anyone currently
> participating on this forum seriously anticipated
> Jesus returning in the year 2000.

I didn't expect Jesus to return necessarily in the year 2000ad.

However, the man who the myth was based on would be 'reincarnating' regularly ---- whether that be approximately every 150-200 years I am not sure. So, I believe he has reincarnated a number of different times since his death ---- however that may have occurred as I don't believe it was on a cross.

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Posted by: a nonny mouse ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 10:51AM

um, what is SCMC?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 11:14AM

Strengthening Church Members Committee. Compare to STASI.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 11:37AM

This has been an interesting read. Many good replies.

If it were possible, a change would have to begin at the very top. It was under the Hinkster and the Monsoon that the church painted itself into a corner. I remember all these "edicts" about stupid things that started flowing down from Salt Lake in the mid-90s. I clearly remember the directive from Salt Lake that re-shaped missionary farewells and homecomings: No special music ensembles, assigned speakers and topics, limited family participation and so on. There was another one about restricting primary SM programs to focus more on scripture reading and less on "silly" primary songs.

I became ward clerk and spent a good Sunday mornings at 6am meetings with the bishopric. It seemed like there was one or two "church directives" a month that had to be addressed and followed. One year, the bishop worried that we didn't have the funds to have the traditional Christmas dinner. He improvised by having a potluck dinner. It was not well received by the more prominent members. He was under tremendous pressure from the SP about declining SM attendance (this was just before the internet came to life).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2017 11:40AM by messygoop.

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Posted by: MeM ( )
Date: November 30, 2017 07:10PM

"church directives" never "revelations". That about sums up the whole corporate mess that tries to pass as the only true church.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 01, 2017 02:13AM

People were friendly, activities were fun, ward members were "there" for each other when things got rough.

But as Messy has noted, things started getting tiresome in the 90's. As a newbie, I was popular on the speaking circuit because I could give good talks that made people laugh, although I always made clear "Gospel" points.

After moving to NM, the ward I attended here was severely infected with a case of tiresomeness. While the ward in general seemed to enjoy my talks, the bishop told me that some of my talks bordered on "light-mindedness." Funny, nobody had ever accused me of that before.

When I started focusing on people whose talks did NOT seem to be "light-minded," I realized that they seemed to be narrow-minded and judgemental.

That's when I started losing interest. If people want to be excessively straitlaced and boring, that's their problem. I chose not to be a part of it any more.

And you lot of light-minded exmos made me feel very welcome!

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 01, 2017 03:34AM

I sort of get your nostalgia, but either the angel really did visit Joseph Smith and deliver plates, which he translated to the Book of Mormon, and one line or another of the many secessions branching from one of the versions of that story truly traces its lines directly to that authority (in your perfect world, it would be the mainline LDS church, I presume) or it's based on a foundation of lies.

If you truly believe the story and that the church traces its authority legitimately back to those happenings, I suppose I understand your feelings, though it's still little more than longing for the good old days. It would be wonderful sometimes if things were like they were in the days of "Happy Days," but keep in mind that not many people beat cancer back then. My own wife would almost certainly wouldn't have survived cystic fibrosis to the age of 30 if it were 1962.

If you acknowledge the church as the sham that it is yet still long for the good old days of the King Family Singers and all, all I can say is that I enjoyed believing in the Tooth Fairy while my belief lasted, but the time came when I had to face reality. Time moves on. With progress comes both good and bad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2017 04:03AM by scmd.

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