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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:48PM

Just thinking about the thread by SEcular Priest, in which he described the new church lessons being re-hashed Ensign articles, with no use of scriptures, etc. It reminds me of an experience I had several decades ago:

I was talked into attending a Jehovah's Witnesses meeting, and was surprised that all they did in their meeting--or in this case, their lesson--was read out loud from an article in the Watchtower. It was boring as hell, of course. I had thought I might take away some knowledge about their view of the Bible, etc. But it was just going through some person's prattling view of something ad nausaeum, complete with guilt-inducing object lessons. Sound familiar in any way?

So, in that vein, and in view of what SEcular Priest related, I'm wondering if the new LDS lessons are reducing Mormons to mere Jehovah's Witnesses. How much fun can that be? Answer--not very. True adherents of the Jehovah's Witnesses are considered to be very dim people who have few original thoughts in their heads. Witnesses, I am told, have problems retaining their more intelligent members. It seems that may have already begun in earnest in the LDS church. Am I given to understand that this is church-wide, or just in this one stake?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:25PM

I've always maintained that religion, in particular the Mormons is based on hearsay taken as fact and then reinterpreted to suit one's desires. Isn't quoting the Ensign and adding your own two cents the height of hearsay? Basically gossip? "So and so said that so and so said in an article that so and so said . . ."

Hell. I used to get some of my 2 1/2 minute talks from the Reader's Digest. I could put a Mormon spin on anything. Just always bring it back to obeying church leaders and you win every time.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 03:36PM

I voiced the opinion years ago that the time was coming that the only way talks from the members would be allowed was if the church handed them a typed talk to read from the pulpit.

In essence this is what has occurred as topics and sources are assigned to members to follow in giving their talks....even for missionaries leaving and returning.

Control/obey, obey/control, DO NOT think out of the LDS Church box and DO NOT speak out of turn or say what you want to say. If you do, you will be told to step away from the pulpit. Now.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 05:26PM

Not to mention the oft repeated injunction to "not stray from the
lesson manual."

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Posted by: want2bx ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 05:06PM

Up to this point, the church has been using the "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church" manuals. My guess is that the church wants to move away from what past prophets taught. Many prophets said and taught a lot of questionable things and it's a way to create some distance between current teachings and past teachings. Even if none of the uglier things were printed in the manual, church members may have accidentally found them on their own with a little help from Google when they prepared lessons.

Church members will only be getting the new, updated Mormon doctrine and teachings. I think the church is trying to clean house.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 05:22PM by want2bx.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 05:24PM

There is too much in past Mormon history and teachings that the Big 15 would like to forget, but it is hard to ignore it when it is in the lesson manual. So now members will only get what the current leadership wants them to hear.

I think that is also why the new plan states that members won't need to refer to their scriptures any more. They will no longer have to wonder about things like the BoA and Lamanites being cursed with dark skin and similar things. Those troubling passages won't be taught anymore. All the TBMs will hear is what the what the leaders want to emphasize now.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:11PM

The Church's past is going the 1984 memory-hole route. The hope is that in another two generations the inconvenient old teachings won't matter because they will have been completely forgotten.

Bad news for curelom lovers.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:32PM

IN ~ on curelom thred ~

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:27PM

Given that when I was teaching R.S. for 4 years and everyone loved my lessons. I worked REALLY HARD on them. They gave us about 1-1/2 pages of lesson to work with and I always used Ensigns and I had people contribute.

Every single time I gave a lesson, one of the R.S. presidency would talk to me about ONLY USING THE LESSON MANUAL. I wasn't allowed to use Ensigns and I wasn't allowed to let people state their own feelings. They were supposed to use scriptures if they participated. I kept on using Ensigns. I had to have SOMETHING to fill up the lesson time.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 07:27PM by cl2.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:40PM

Sister you were CORRELATED!

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:19AM

We have had a number of parallel experiences.

I taught in RS, also. Like you, I would start with the dry-as-dust manual lesson, and then supplement it with material from back issues of the Ensign, other LDS material, and even use stuff from religious people in other faiths: Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, Sir Thomas More, etc.

I do remember struggling not to giggle when an old ewe who had married into LDS royalty (and NEVER let anyone forget it) bleated "Who's THAT??" when I mentioned Sir Thomas More. I said that he was the central character in the movie "A Man for All Seasons," and that he had been executed by order of King Henry VIII. Most of the sisters knew who he was, and got the point. (Sir Thomas is one of my heroes.)

But every one of the examples I used - LDS or not - reinforced the point of the lesson I was teaching, and I always felt that I delivered a good product. Those were the days when I was still a believer, but I thought that Mormons were too insular, and needed to be exposed to outside thinkers. I genuinely believed that I was exposing them to a larger world, one that they needed to hear about. And I tried very hard.

After one of the best lessons I ever wrote, the RS president came to my house and basically ripped me a new one for failing to keep my lesson reduced to the pitifully tepid material in the manual.

I can remember defending my lesson: "But don't you see, I got their attention! I got them to ask questions, to discuss things, to THINK!"

She gave me a steely glare and said, "They aren't there to question. They aren't there to discuss. They aren't there to think. They are there to learn the Gospel."

Until then, I hadn't realized that "the Gospel" and "thinking" were mutually exclusive.

Something very cold slithered into my heart, and I realized later that my "testimony" had just died. After that day, my journey "out" took about two weeks.

I am sorry now that I never told that woman that she was the main reason I left. She broke the shelf. The rest is history.

I stumbled across RfM at about that time, and I can't tell you all how much you have done for me, over the years.

And C12, my sister, I think you have been here at least as long as I have. (As have many others.)

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:47PM

I always enjoy your posts, too.

I came here in August 2005. My therapist suggested I check it out since I was having problems with not wearing garments and anything temple related. I searched and read posts on these things and laughed until I cried.

Those RS lessons were so horrible. I'd read them and think, "Hell, what am I going to do with this one." I was the lucky one who taught the lessons on teaching our kids about sex. One time I had the audacity to suggest that maybe they should teach sex education in schools as most of us certainly weren't doing it. The R.S. president called me out in front of everyone and told me how wrong I was. We had been friends before that. I despised her after that even if she kept trying in her stupid insincere condescending ways. What I loved is one lady in the ward commented after the R.S. president and said she taught middle school before she had kids and that I was right, we ewre failing to teach our kids about sex.

I agree with you on bringing things in from outside sources. I mean the GAs use quotes from well know historic and public figures. I felt like just standing up in front of the class and reading the lesson and sitting down.

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Posted by: Atari ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 02:11PM

catnip and cl2,

Since you are sharing. You two really helped me when I first came here with questions. That was probably 10 years ago and I posted under a different name (I changed it because it was too close to my real name. It was a long time ago). I am a gay man and it was good to get your perspectives and encouragement. Thank you.

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Posted by: jstone ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 08:05PM

The last sacrament meeting I went to was about 6 years ago. At the meeting one of the Sister missionaries gave a "talk" it was just reading an Ensign story. She had a very bad readind aloud style that was way off normal diction, in only a minute or so I had no idea what was happening in the story and it became unfollowable, but the poor thing just went on and on - it was a strange thing where everyone else seemed in rapt attention, like the kings new clothes, I kept thinking am I in another dimension or something? I think its a bit of group think, do what you're told, dont cause trouble, do what is expected - when people have stopped thinking cults have a hold of you. If you can do this at local level you are totally set up for the higher level mind f**k.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:20PM

I think the #1 issue is compartmentalization.

Just as their are competent LDS professionals in most every field, I have no evidence suggesting that isn't true for JWs.

Compartmentalization allows intelligent people to believe in myths and miracles without evidence; add socialization & other forms of influence, intimidation and Puff!
We have a believer!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 09:21PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: CrispingPin ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:27PM

When I was Gospel Doctrine teacher 20+ years ago, I went off script every Sunday. I only used the lesson manual to get the basic topic, and I searched on my own (which was much harder in the pre-internet days). Nobody objected, and most people seemed to really enjoy my teaching. The stake patriarch was in my class, and he even gave me an Old Testament book that helped me do even more research outside of the prepared lessons (the O.T. was the course of study that year).

I actually enjoyed that calling. I think that teaching in the LDS church now would be so stifling that it would be a miserable experience.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:45PM

The clamp down on lessons hit every level.

I was teaching nursery. A new nursery manual came out and I was told to throw the old manual away.

The old manual had age appropriate lessons like, Sun, Moon, and Stars or Plants, trees, and flowers.

The new manual had, Joseph Smith was a profit, and I have a spirit.

I'm trying to teach an 18 month old about a spirit--ridiculous.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 10:43PM

I remember when correlation came down, the church replaced all the teaching materials and COLLECTED your old Family Home Evening manuals and any SS lesson material you had. If you did not turn in something, the home teachers grilled us on what we had done with them.

I came to understand that people had been donating the old materials to the Deseret Industries where apostates were picking up the old scriptures and manuals to point out the differences in doctrine.

It reminded me of the Book of MOrmon buy-back where you donated Books of Mormon and then paid to buy them back so you could write your testimony inside and "donate" them. Biggest scam ever--I will vouch that I found stacks of these important missionary messaged BOM's in the religious section of Deseret Industries.

Get it? THey SOLD you the obsolete Book of Mormons that had the flyleaf that said the American Indians were the descendants, etc, etc. Then the ruse was that these were going to convey your powerful words to influence third world peoples to read the Holy Book.

When in fact, they just did not want to eat their warehouse full of outdated BOM's.

Shaking my head- there is just no way they don't get revelation on how to milk yet more money from the threadbare overworked faithful.


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Posted by: sparty ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 10:17AM

I got so sick of the constant plugs for the Ensign when I was a TBM. All of the sacrament talks were constantly "in the X Date Ensign, President What S. Face said..." and so on and so forth. It got old. There was never anything from the scripture, and no independent thought put into it. Now they are using them for their lessons, too? Good night.

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Posted by: MeM ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 08:25PM

Agree. When I was attending, and they started assigning talks from the Ensign, I always thought "If I really cared what Bednar or Dieter had to say I would have stayed awake during conference or read the damn Ensign myself."

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Posted by: eternal1 ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 02:32PM

Is the Ensign now the source of all doctrine? I always thought it was just talks given by people "speaking as men".

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Posted by: might log in later ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 10:25PM

Even with these restrictions, you can still teach about the rock in the hat. A *living* Q12 taught this (Nelson), and it was printed in the Ensign (July 1993, "A Treasured Testament")

(Only valid until Nelson dies. After that happens, he was speaking as a man.)

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 07:49PM

I tell you when to say something - if you get to - what to say, and how to say it... AND, it's always what I say anyway. AND it's truth 99% of the time. IF ONLY the mormons followed me. They might get somewhere.

I say-

No way!

I decide what I'll say when the time comes. The time is always coming. Come with it (and be in the flow) [and always in the know]. You have time. Do what you want with it, if you can. Invent. Be extraordinary. Trip out (if you have to) [if you can]!

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Posted by: weedo ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 08:05PM

What drove me nutz, as in all GA Conference talks and the Ensign and New Era, was the "platitude of ranking church officials!" The continual gushing of what this or that colleague said, one whom was always higher up on the food chain.

Holland, whom I used to really respect, like the all do eventually when they are in the club...just recycles 50 year old church talks.

On tithing, Hollard quotes Packer, whom quoted Hinckley, whom quoted Lee, whom quoted, who cares...then you get back to Talmadge or BH Roberts and find the exact same talk, now edited to present the shining light example. No original thought, no doctrine, just platitudes to the prior leader, even more so if still alive.

And the 70's are terrible on the brown carpet, looking to move up or make points....

I quit

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 08:10PM

The lards ass - not mouth - piece.

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