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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 05:39PM

I was speaking to our high council dude yesterday about an assignment that I have and how the program does not work. I thought it was futile for the stake to continue to ask dozens of people to participate three times a year for months at a time when 90% of participants were not benefiting.

He offered a couple of thoughts to try to help me stay enthused.

1.) The program was worth the cost even if it only helped one person. (This is essentially the "how great will be your joy" justification.)

2.) Our willingness to continue working with the failing program says more about our faith and obedience than it does about the program. (I realized later this was the Zion's camp justification.)

3.) He trusts the leadership of the church. (This was an obvious appeal to authority.)

4.) Sometimes there are blessings that we don't understand now or that will not become apparent until later. (This is basically an argument from ignorance, or maybe even an argument for ignorance.)

5.) He cannot beleive that the prophet would authorize a program that would not work, so we must not be doing it correctly. (Authority?)

6.) What else can we do? The program is the most comprehensive, thorough and inspired attempt to help members yet. (I am not even sure what this equates except maybe abdication of thought.)

He could have kept going, but I had to leave.

I am so ready to walk away from this mess but my otherwise good marriage will hit the skids when I do.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:00PM

Regarding your #2: "Our willingness to continue working with the failing program says more about our faith and obedience than it does about the program."

This is one of the prime indicators of a cult (or, alternatively, a business which is headed for failure).

Starting as young as is possible (children differ in their individual abilities, and in their individual levels of maturity, regardless of their chronological age), every person is tasked with learning how to gauge FOR THEMSELVES whether a given directive is, by itself, good and wise--for themselves, for their families, for their communities, and for their companies or whatever.

Sometimes (as in the military) you do whatever it is regardless (though even in the military, legal limits exist about what you can be ordered to do), but in most of daily life, people often have some sort of obligation to make their reservations known. (As you did, Lowpriest.)

In civilian life, if "faith" and "obedience" are cited as THE reasons, regardless of your own, and expressed, inner wisdom, it may be indicative of a cult.

I know you know this, Lowpriest.

Obviously, your high council dude does not.

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Posted by: pettigrew ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:08PM

Is there a program that the Church hasn't stopped/replaced/changed?

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Posted by: Snickers ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:10PM

Been there, done that.

I simply just delegated everything that I could... and then dropped the ball on everything else.

There was one time we would plan all year for a program, and then only invite ourselves... it was useless, and I was put in charge. I simply created a 15 person committee and delegated everything away.

My job was done, and I didn't even show up to the event. Let the youth clean up.

Everyone was more than ready to EARN their 'blessings'.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:20PM


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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 07:51PM

I was sitting in a work meeting this week discussing strategies to improve [fill in the blank.] I insisted on two things: a) strategies that had been proven by research to work, and b) low-demand strategies that our colleagues might actually DO as opposed to promising to do and then ignoring.

Needless to say the meeting didn't go as well as I'd hoped. lol

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2019 07:53PM by summer.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 08:05PM


This is germane to an article I read today. It was about institutional and managerial decisions -- or lack thereof -- and what they lead to. The title is:

"The Difference Between a SNAFU, a Shitshow, and a Clusterfuck"

I immediately thought of various experiences in the church.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 10:13PM

He's right about #4.

Sometimes there are blessings that we don't understand now or that will not become apparent until later.

How I truly feel since leaving the church. A very happy person am I.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 12:15AM

What "program"? Could you be more specific? You're anonymous, here. I know you are talking in theory, but I'm curious about the new non-Mormonism "programs."

Are "programs" the same as "activities"?

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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 08:42AM

It is the LDS self reliance program.

However, it is not non-mormon as you said. Just like everything else with the church, it teaches that the key to education, employment, business, or personal finance is to pay your tithing, say your prayers, go to the temple, etc.

It is a huge LDS cross-marketing campaign. People from each ward are invited/assigned to attend. Individual groups are formed and then meet once a week to go through a self-study manual for 12 weeks.

Each group focuses on one of the areas that I mentioned.

Many of the actual skills taught make sense. Plan. Budget. Track. Set goals. Support others. It's not a bad idea, but it does not work in our area. If 100 people are invited, 20 will complete. The finishers are from the ranks of the "same 10 people".

The committee responsible for operating the program is supposed to keep tabs on the progress of each group and report back to the bishops and stake president about people who drop out or miss too many meetings. Nothing creepy or intrusive about that, right?

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 09:00PM

Thank you, Low Priest.

I had never heard about this. It seems pretty lame. Is it to help members become more successful (affording more tithing)?

Our old ward had classes in day-planning and using the Franklin Planner, a class in budgeting, a class in how to direct a road show (presented by a former Miss California), how to wave your arm and lead the singing, how to make a terrarium out of a 2-liter plastic pop bottle, and how to build furniture around your 2-year's supply storage containers, among many other subjects.

The idea of being accountable for attending class is invasive, like you said.

I'm afraid that the Mormon cult will somehow make families accountable for teaching their children the "Come Follow Me" stuff, in their own homes. They might assign "ministers" to preside over at-home Sunday school sessions, or something like that.


No wonder you quit that calling!

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Posted by: anono this week ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 08:35AM

"Because our prophet is inspired, isn't it great isn't it marvelous?"

This is the basic logic when the church instigates a program without explaining the why. It apparently works, because obedience is the 1st law of Heaven. A relative of mine couldn't quite understand the Gabies doctrine and kept asking-- why take it out on the children? Shouldn't every innocent child be included in the social programs and not be shunned? His response time and time again was-- because the bretheren said so.

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Posted by: laughing in provo ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 11:03AM

i was once called to teach people how to do name extraction. the bishop then proceeded to not call one person for me to teach. i dont think i was a failure because he was not willing to help make me successful.

i was called to teach people how to do family history. i taught a class and the students all told me they loved the class but since i was not a clone of the high priest group leader ( a guy who loves to hear his own voice ) he thought i was failing at my calling. most of the people in the class knew more about family history than i did but hated going to sunday school and most of them wondered why they were not teaching the class instead of me.

the wife and i were called once to be in charge of the food for a stake youth conference (budget was 13,000.00 dollars for the food for three days and 50,000.00 total. they wanted to recreate the book of mormon) the high councilman was a doctor who had no clue who we were. he had someone else in mind and when we had planning meetings he would never let us speak. he was in charge. we finally were released when i told him i would not dress up like a book of mormon character and push a cart around handing out treats.

i could go on and on but what would be the point. most of the things they do at church is just a waste of time.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 11:18AM

"most of the things they do at church is just a waste of time."

Truer words were never said.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 11:38AM

Thanks for some great laughs here...

had I followed snickers guidelines here I might not have felt so pressured by the calling:

"delegated everything that I could... and then dropped the ball on everything else....plan all year for a program, and then only invite ourselves..."

I love this!

:) :) :)

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Posted by: Lowpriest ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 07:25PM

has been difficult for me. You think it wouldn't matter, but I still feel loyalty and obligation even on things that I beleive are not good. Weird.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 11:44AM

Towards the end of my time in LDS, Inc. I started to notice a pattern.

Someone would get their garmies all in a bunch over an "inspired" new program or initiative. We were asked to get excited and gain a testimony of the inspired program. As these things usually do, the new idea doesn't catch on or fizzles. That's ok sometimes new ideas just don't work out. Okay.

But then there's a new idea that has been inspired by the Holy Spirit. You need to get on board and get your witness that this new inspired program is the bees knees.

Now look, if it's just people going along doing the best they can that's fine if things don't work out. But people are saying this...stuff...comes straight from God. I could only take so much of it!

We see the same pattern in more serious matters with the "prophets." Joseph Fielding Smith was super duper certain that God cursed people with black African ancestry. A few years later, Spencer W. Kimball receives a revelation, which at a minimum reversed the effects of said curse. Now the LDS Church basically admits (if you press them) that the doctrine of Fielding Smith et al was essentially wrong.

Brigham Young would equate monogamy with all manner of nasty sinfulness, but Wilford Woodruff sets in motion the undoing of that teaching. A couple generations later LDS leaders are helping government authorities crack down on polygamy.

Here's the real upshot of all this stuff. As an LDS Member, one is constantly being told to accept what leaders say at any one moment as God's truth. What is true in the past or future may differ, but for that instant what is being said is true. If you are a serious person, who pays attention to trends over time such an environment is maddening. The level of contradiction drives up the cognitive dissonance meter to the point that one must seek consonance outside the Mormon way of thinking--because it's not to be found there.

That does not mean that you have discovered the great key to truth in the universe or know everything--far from it. It just means acknowledging that this jumble mash of contradictory revelations is junk and not helpful in making sense of life.

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