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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 02:07AM

I was baptized in 1955. I didn't "wake up" about the Church
until 1978. So I have a lot of experience in the Church as it
was long ago. But something has changed significantly. The
members are becoming organized.

The internet has allowed the members of the Mormon Church to
contact one another across the globe (sorry, flat-earthers) and
join together based on various concerns.

Previously all the organization in the Church was vertical: it
flowed up and down with authority going from leaders to those
under them and obedience going in the other direction. Reports
etc. went up and directives went down the chain of command.

The only people who were organized "horizontally" were the
polygamists who either were excommunicated already or were
secretly under the radar.

But now there are organized groups (RFM is one) of members of
the Church who question, in an organized way, the actions and
policies of the leadership. Groups like Ordain Women is one of
the higher profile ones. Various NOM forums and facebook groups
are others.

Catholics have had members talking to each other and making
public statements about the leadership for decades. Now the the
phenomena is happening in Mormonism. This signals a loss of
control. The fact that there is this site (and a whole slew of
others) where people critical of the status quo can join
together and discuss, and, in some cases, organize action (OW,
for example) means that the leaders have lost control over the
narrative. "Faithful" members can now question the leaders
without being totally isolated in the process. People will see
that asking hard questions is common and that having doubts
about things is common. Even push-back against policies is
becoming a group process (the "policy" on children of gays, for
example).

This will change the Church profoundly. And RFM was in the
vanguard of the process.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 03:09AM

"Previously all the organization in the Church was vertical: it flowed up and down with authority going from leaders to those
under them and obedience going in the other direction."

True. Except 'obedience' isn't organizing, or organized.

And we aren't morMons. We discuss, criticize, laugh at, lambast and call-out TMC (The [so-called] Mormon [LDS] 'church'.

You are right about today's communications/ organizing. Changes ARE taking place because people are realizing they aren't alone (SGLBTs, for one) - and are more genuine, helpful, concerned and committed - than the (leaders)/ "church" will ever be.

M@t



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2018 04:22AM by moremany.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 03:52AM

I'm technically still a Mormon. My only "problem" is that I'm
convinced the claims of Mormonism are totally bogus. Therefore
I don't attend and gladly share my viewpoint with anyone who
asks. Nobody ever does because I don't live in a Mormon area.

However exmos are a thing. People like me (and a gazillion
others) who have turned their back on Mormonism for reasons of
conscience are now known to most Mormons. It used to be that
they knew "brother Jones" was "inactive" and assumed he really
believed but just had a "word of wisdom problem." Well now the
average TBM knows more than one person who left for reasons of
truth. I knew nobody that fit into that category until after I
stopped believing in '78, and I was the first one I knew of.

Without others around one assumes everyone else either believes
and is active, or still believes but has a "problem" (wow etc.).
The fact that every TBM knows at least one of us makes our
position no longer "way out there."

But the thing that I'm noticing that I didn't notice even 10
years ago is faithful TBMs who are critical of Church
leadership. I ran into an argument on FB where one TBM was
accusing another of being "anti-Mormon." The supposed "anti-
Mormon" was a Gospel Doctrine teacher who was asking tough
questions and accepting "nuanced" answers that diminished the
shiny, spotless narrative that the Church goes to great pains to
engender in the membership.

Because of this things that used to be heretical are now being
openly discussed among members who consider themselves faithful
believers. For example I know of a faithful TBM who is totally
convinced that Abraham did not write the Book of Abraham. I
know of a TBM who is just fine with the idea that the Book of
Mormon is not historical--including the idea that Joseph Smith
may have made up the whole Moroni-gold-plates story.

When the Membership is this willing to ignore what the leaders
are saying, and to "nuance" it to that extent, then Mormonism
has been profoundly changed. And unlike the previous changes in
Mormonism's long history, this one is coming from the bottom up.

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Posted by: ProvoX ( )
Date: February 14, 2018 01:13AM

"Just because he made it up, doesn't mean it isn't true!"

From SalamanderSociety (or was it The First Presidency?)

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Posted by: Josephina ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 03:35AM

I am so glad this is happening. The Church will be forced to change! However, no matter what they do--I'm never, ever going back. They lied about so many things that I can never trust them ever again.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 02:08PM

When you watch one of those leaked videos of the so-called "most righteous men on earth" discuss pirates or debate the sexuality of a soldier; their PH authority sails out the window. They act more juvenile than a group of 10 year old blazers.

How can you respect any of them when they're so full of hate and bigotry?

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 03:00PM

The open horizontal discussion seems to have a polarizing effect. Many like the ones of us here have chosen to use the information we now have on the church and leaving it in the dust seems to be the only acceptable option.

On the other hand, many Mormons, like my family, feel like because they have looked at the "problems" of the church from different angles, that seems to strengthen their testimonies rather than weaken. It seems that their goal is not to base their lives on truth, but their real goal is to prove they can be the most faithful no matter what the truth is. So the ugly history of Joseph and all he wrought becomes a strengthening factor of their testimonies. Their Mormon ego needs to be the last one standing, the ones who will get the biggest mansions. They aren't going to give up on that. Does that make sense?

I do think as horizontal time goes on though, there will be less like the latter, like my family, and more like the RFMer's who want to act on truth and to hell with this faith in things unseen crappola.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 07:14PM

Many of the ones "who have seen all the problems" and still
believe have modified exactly what they believe--they've moved
some goalposts. Two examples of this are Terryl Givens and
Richard Bushman.

Givens actually goes around answering "tough" questions that
Mormons may have. My brother, the Institute director, gave me a
copy of his book "The Crucible of Doubt." Many of the things he
says in the book would have been anti-Mormon heresy back in the
50s or 60s. He talks about prophets being human and making
mistakes EVEN IN THEIR PROPHESYING. He talks about how
scripture can have mistakes (and not just "translated
incorrectly.")

Bushman caused a minor furor when he said that the Church has to
change the "standard narrative" because the one they're saying
is not true. Basically he said the Church got it wrong in
telling their own founding story.

Both of these are variations on "you can't trust the official
Church line." That's quite a statement coming from faithful
TBMs. Nobody was saying this kind of things in the olden days
except "bitter apostates." Now the faithful are saying it to
each other. This is a game changer. The Church has lost its
infallibility.

So, even though the information makes a lot of them firm in
their "faith," their faith is in something different than what
it used to be in.

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Posted by: StillAnon ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 07:39PM

"So, even though the information makes a lot of them firm in
their "faith," their faith is in something different than what
it used to be in."

Yes, but, while they may be talking more freely (many have probably thought these things and stay silent) they've got to move further. In Utah, where your entire life is wrapped up in the church, that doesn't happen much (so far). But in every other state where they're not a huge segment of the population and your job, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc, doesn't revolve and depend of your belonging, I see a huge potential for inactivity. If it leads to resignations, great. But, I see it more of a slink away and never come back kind of movement.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 13, 2018 07:47PM

" . . . they've moved some goal posts."

That's it. That is what is going on. And moving the goal posts is making a lot of Mormons comfortable again. And then somebody goes around claiming to answer the "tough questions," and no matter what the ridiculous answer is, the fact that it was addressed is enough---for some, but not for all anymore.

So, yes. "Their faith is in something different than it used to be."

What you say makes me see what is happening in my family a little clearer when it is so hard for me to fathom why they just dig in deeper and don't finally admit what so many others are seeing. So the Givens and the Bushmans have changed the rules in the middle of the game to up their odds of winning. Which of course, is cheating. But the Big 15 are okay with that because they are clueless as to what to do with the mess they find themselves in.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: February 14, 2018 01:17AM

Joe Mormon: "I always was aware of these issues, why weren't you? Don't blame the brethren for your previous misunderstanding. Choco rations are up, always have been."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2018 01:18AM by donbagley.

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Posted by: Felix ( )
Date: February 14, 2018 01:20AM

Truth is baura that most tbm's know very little of their history other than that which has been carefully selected and deemed faith promoting by their correlation committees. I have often asked members questions about Mormon history that isn't in their manuals and they generally don't know any of it.

The internet is a real game changer for many as they turn to goole for answers to all sorts of things or encounter things formerly unknown in social media.

I'm curious what tipped you off that the church wasn't all it claimed it was in 1978? For me it was a friend who was a philosophy major who taught me to think out of the box and question things. For me it was the early 90's.

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Posted by: Justin ( )
Date: February 14, 2018 09:22AM

The answer I always get is the LDS Church is true and if any of the leaders of the Church sinned in what they did in the past God will judge them for it, but we have to hold to the Iron Rod of our testimonies of Priesthood Restoration, etc.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 14, 2018 09:31AM

I thought when all of the weirdness of Mormonism was exposed it would collapse. It hasn't. The conservative Christian camouflage works very well and there are just too few Mormons for the outside world to care. It has changed but I think as more people leave those who remain will become more entrenched in their belief.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2018 09:34AM by anybody.

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