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Posted by: Godzilla ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 12:32PM

Has anyone here ended up becoming christian after mormonism?
I left the LDS church years ago and after all this time, I think I find value on the belief system. Please don't judge me, I am not here to change anyone's mind, I just want to know if someone else has done it and how it went. Thank you!

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 12:47PM

I became what I've always been: me

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 01:09PM

Yes, many do, in fact. You may not find many here, as RfM often leans agnostic/atheistic, but yes, many do.

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Posted by: Justin ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 01:55PM

I have, but I was a Christian before becoming Mormon. It has been really easy to return to a Christ-centered church. Non-Mormon Christian churches generally are happy to have you without demanding your time and money. You can just settle in and do what you want to do.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: February 13, 2019 11:37AM

Justin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Non-Mormon Christian churches generally are happy to have you without demanding your time and money [and intelligence]. You can just settle in and do what you want to do.

There is an ABYSS between Christianity and LDSain'tHOOD.

Christianity - be yourself!
LDS - DON'T be yourself.

Natural Man is an enemy to LDS.

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Posted by: frankie ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 01:59PM

I've always been a Christian, I believe evolution is gods creation. but unfortunately I was born into a Mormon family. but by the time I was 3 I knew I wasn't going to be Mormon. if Mormons want to say I lost the gospel then they are truly mistaken

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 02:04PM

You've been on this board a long time, Godzilla, and have certainly noticed that there's a heavy tilt towards atheism in general, and "New (aggressive, somewhat evangelistic) Atheism" in particular. Atheists post at considerable length, often with a prideful "I'm so much more enlightened now" tone, and will argue at great length that Jesus never said, or meant, that, or that there's no way way we can ascertain what Christ actually preached certain things or that Christ even existed. (BTW, they have no problems with Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, or Mohammed.)

Christianity is tolerated when it's qualified with "This personally works for me, I dare not say it's absolutely true for everybody."

Christ was, of course, was an absolutist: "Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."(John 14:5,6)

Christians are accused of (and sometimes deleted for) "proselytizing." I gather Christians tend to drift off to other forums.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:02PM

I'm not sure I agree with some of the details you present.


> Atheists post at considerable length . . .
> that there's no way way we can ascertain what
> Christ actually preached certain things or that
> Christ even existed. (BTW, they have no problems
> with Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, or Mohammed.)

Jesus was a peasant in the poorest part of a poor land. He engaged with peasants, and neither he nor they left any written accounts. Literally everything attributed to him was written decades later, and most if not all of it was from people who never interacted with him. Buddha, Confucius, and Socrates were all elite and educated and either wrote themselves or were written about by their direct interlocutors. Moreover they all appear in contemporaneous historical accounts. There is no way the literary record of Jesus could compare with the records of the others. Mohamed was different; his background and social network were similar to Jesus's, and there is little direct evidence of what he said/wrote although the historical record of that phase of Islam is extensive. So in all these cases the factual record is more solid than that of Jesus.

The other distinguishing factor is that none of the Buddha-Confucius-Socrates stories involve supernatural interventions in this world. Confucius and Socrates were either fully secular or deistic; Buddha stated that by definition there is no evidence of his teachings available on earth. So once again, only Jesus and Mohamed require massive leaps of faith.

I am an agnostic, meaning that I am confident I can't determine the truth of the Jesus/Mohamed stories. But I can say that at the present level of historical information, no one else can establish the veracity of those stories either. It may be that Jesus existed and that he taught roughly what is attributed to him, but the question is one of faith. It is a choice made despite big gaps in the historical record.


-------------------
> Christianity is tolerated when it's qualified with
> "This personally works for me, I dare not say it's
> absolutely true for everybody."

The only way one can say Christianity works for everyone is if the Biblical and early Christian traditions are factually true. But since they are actually matters of faith, a degree of tolerance for others who aren't comfortable reaching universal conclusions seems reasonable. Personal faith is one thing, faith that requires that others agree with you is quite another--as I'm sure you would agree if confronted by fully committed Moslems.


------------------------
> Christ was, of course, was an absolutist: "Thomas
> said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are
> going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to
> him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
> No one comes to the Father except through
> me."(John 14:5,6)

Yea, Christ was an absolutist if the stories in the Christian traditions are true. But his existence and teachings are not historically established facts: they are questions of belief. So too is the existence of "the Father." Again, I doubt you would grant such absolute certainty to Mohamed or Thor or any other deity who doesn't fit your beliefs. Perhaps some humility is in order.


---------------
> I gather Christians tend to
> drift off to other forums.

That may be true. It may be particularly difficult for ex-Mormons to move to other formal religions given that they have had to dismantle complex belief systems already. I don't mind Christians being here and posting what they believe, but confident assertions of the truth of any religion, and the consequent obligations incumbent on others, are likely to invite criticism when the basis of that religion is faith and not documented history.

Saying that others will be damned if they don't act like me isn't a very generous attitude to assume.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 02:01AM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 06:40AM

I’m a bit agnostic on Christ. I can really stretch my credulity, but I have to wonder about a prophet who calls himself a prophet. On the other hand are the apocrypha, which show a more human Jesus. But all of these could be fables cooked up by a group whose religious practice was to create this ideal character. It’s rather suspicious that all of the attributes of Christ can be found in writings about earlier characters. It smells like fables. There’s also a political angle. A ruler can pay writers to do this, to achieve domestic stability without using force. It seems awfully convenient that it gave rise to such a control structure.

The writing is very good at times. Some of it is the best we have. Perhaps the creative act is divine. Then the fact that it’s made up doesn’t matter so much. It’s the reason it exists at all.

There is the magical thinking, but that may be a feature rather than a bug. Life is, after all, somewhat magical.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 11:32AM

Your post makes me think of three things.

First, the various gospels. There are so many of them, and they say so many contradictory things that I don't see a master plan or a conspiracy. They bespeak chaos: a bunch of stories told in wildly different ways by wildly different groups. There was no consistency in early Christianity until many decades later one faction imposed some consistency.

Second, some of the writing really is good. I presume that is true of the original texts, but depending on the quality of the translations some Biblical books read like epic literature.

Third, the miraculous element in the Bible is also epic. If read that way, the Bible becomes a very cool book, comparable in scale and complexity to perhaps some of Homer's work or some of the early Indian greats. In other words, the Bible makes more sense to me as grand literature than as the word of a vengeful and capricious God.

I prefer some other epics to the Bible, but it is nonetheless good literature.

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Posted by: John Hope ( )
Date: February 14, 2019 05:21AM

I was nominally a Buddhist,the became a catholic,then a Later Day Saint ha ha now now I am back to a practicing Buddhist/Spiritual Yoga practices looking for a church !

I just want to briefly mention that ,Buddhism/Spiritual yoga talks about enlightenment,karma,rebirth,mukthi. Yes they do talk about what is beyond logic "the supernatural".I believe both Buddhism and Spiritual Yoga recognize the limitations of a logical mind and one needs to go beyond it to achieve enlightenment.So you know,its deep stuff.Yes Buddha achieve enlightenment on earth and so did others but Buddha is well known and his unique contribution is to put it in the form of formulas and methods.


My story with LDS is,it started of really well.Then later i just find that the local branch leadership seems to just boss me around and a lot of them is very conditional.You do something they like,they approve of you.If you don't do something they like they don't approve of you.Nothing to do with what the manuals or scriptures say.So i wasted 2-3 years of my time and i stumble back into Buddhism and yoga which bought me peace ."Happiness does not depend on anybody,its all within you".


However i still believe there is god,what is different in Buddhism or spiritual yoga is the role he plays

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:03PM

Christians do just fine here. Nightingale, case on point. Proselytizers and general chip-on-shoulder types fare less well.

Mormonism is of course a variant of Christianity, and the far and away the principal reason people leave Mormonism and join some other Christian denomination is because that is what they were raised in, and are still surrounded by. While it must have happened somewhere, I have never heard on RFM of anybody leaving Mormonism and becoming Islamic or Hindu. A few have adopted Judaism and Buddhism. Buddhism in particular is a boutique religion in N America with a New Age appeal.

[ETA: Buddhism is not a boutique religion to most Asians outside India, it is their natural home. It is a boutique religion to other N Americans, especially white middle class. ]

By far the best predictor of a person's religion is the religion of their parents.

That is even true of Mormon converts. LDS Inc does better in devoutly Christian nations (Central and S America, Philippines) than in less devout Christian nations (anywhere in Europe) or in any non-Christian nation. Switching from Protestant or Catholic to Mormon is not that huge a cultural leap. If you've had any experience in critical thinking, it is a pretty big intellectual leap, but that is a whole other thread.

Mormons get converts from other Christian traditions. People who leave Mormonism return to those same traditions, or dump the entire enterprise. They almost never adopt other world religions.

Personally, I always though Ganesha statues were cuter than the Buddha statues. People should be a little more adventurous and give Hinduism a whirl. There is even a major Hindu temple in....wait for it...Utah County.

Like that's going to happen.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 03:13PM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:30PM

caffiend Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Christianity is tolerated when it's qualified with
> "This personally works for me, I dare not say it's
> absolutely true for everybody."

caffiend: This is because it's one of the main purposes of this board that it is a preaching-free zone. So many have been badly hurt by Mormonism (as well as other faith groups) and don't come here looking for yet more religion (especially not if it's the in-your-face kind). I know it can be difficult for believers (especially nevermos) to get why religious assertions are so exceptionally unwelcome to exmos and others who aren't interested but the one fact alone that the board founder set up RfM specifically to be free of proselytizing is the basic and simplest explanation in this case. If a poster keeps it at the personal level, in 'I' terms, it's fine to mention one's faith. It's not acceptable or desired (by board owner/s or many other posters) that every utterance and issue and problem and question be answered in religious terms. As a (still) Christian, it doesn't bother me at all. I understand it perfectly and myself have zero need of "sermons" regarding anything I choose to post about.

Too, I have found that many exmo posters know more about the history and evolution and beliefs and practices of Christianity than I, or other believers here, do. It's not a case of them needing to just 'hear the word', as all too many believers think. They've heard it. They're not interested. That fact should be fairly clear and easy to understand and not difficult to accept. It's not a case either of believers saying they're not preaching or proselytizing. If it comes across that way to others, especially Admin, then it is preaching/proselytizing. It's about how one's approach makes people feel and how they perceive our purpose. It's about the other person, not about us. It's permitted, as you note, to speak of one's own beliefs. So our basic needs/desires in that way are met here but so are those of others who don't want to be preached at.


> Christians are accused of (and sometimes deleted
> for) "proselytizing." I gather Christians tend to
> drift off to other forums.

Pretty much *always* deleted for proselytizing. Eric did not set up RfM to provide fodder for preachers. If that was happening, the vast body of RfM posters would "drift off". Depending on what a Christian wants to get out of their RfM experience they may stay or find somewhere else that better meets their needs. That is not a weakness or failure of RfM; it's merely that Eric/CZ/Admin/Mods keep Eric's basic purpose clear and moderate the board accordingly. No preaching.

I think there are a lot of believers here, of various faiths, who still get something out of RfM without succumbing to the preaching impulse that some have displayed through the years.

Eric has explained in his usual gentle manner why the no preaching rule was central to his vision for RfM when he set it up and nothing has changed his mind over the years. He mentions the location where he lives (in the "Bible Belt") and that it's a relief to have an oasis here and there that is preacher-free. I can totally understand that. From some of my negative experiences in churches, despite being an enthusiastic Christian in the past and, against all odds, still a believer now, I have often felt sermon-weary myself and have enjoyed time away from regular church-going. Totally understandable that people who have chosen to leave religion behind don't want to hear about it incessantly and intrusively.

I don't see it as a failure of RfM or a huge negative that preaching is not allowed and that proselytizing, especially of people at vulnerable times, is absolutely verboten and is rapidly deleted.

I think it's too bad that some Christians seem to hold the opinion that they have a right to 'equal time'. Keeping in mind the main purposes of this board, as expressed by Eric K often through the years, helps to understand and remember the reasons for his few and basic posting guidelines. He never set up a pulpit and called it RfM.

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Posted by: Godzilla ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 04:21PM

Thank you for noticing my activity in the board. I absolutely notice and respect everyone who has professed himself an atheist, but I also noticed some who sound like christians. I am definitely in a ride. It is a process that has been developing for years. I am just happy of how my life has changed since I left the LDS church. I am doing way better now than ever before.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: February 14, 2019 10:48AM

Happy for/ with you Godzilla.
Freedom is Life without ldsBS!

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: February 18, 2019 12:14AM

On these subjects...
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9ff15w4ufviWfv9UfIuByA

Dr. Wes Cecil speaks eloquently on such subjects as philosophy... Lao Tsu, Taoism, Confusianism, Buddhism, Siddharth, Plato, Aristotle, William James, Epicurus, Neitzsche, Bertrand Russell, John-Paul Sartre, Karl Marx, Greek, Egyptian, Russian, Chinese and Persian languages, The Humane Arts (letter writing, walking, conversation...), The Transvaluation Of All Values (Joy Not Fear, Work Not Play, The Individual and the Community...), Myths Of The American Mind, and other great subjects.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 02:29PM

Yes, many do. They go to all sorts of churches -- mainstream Protestant, independent, Catholic, and IIRC, Eastern Orthodox. Many of the mainstream churches are what I would call "low demand" (as opposed to a high-demand church such as the Mormon church,) where you can go, listen to the service, donate what you wish, and go home after an hour or two. No one will interrogate you, chase you down, give you callings, or demand 10% of your income.

I think one of the hardest points for exmos to grapple with in approaching the mainstream Christian churches is to give up the black-and-white thinking that is a hallmark of Mormonism. It is not unusual for mainstream Christians to take a cafeteria approach to their faith. In the churches that are on the moderate to liberal end of the spectrum, this is seen as a normal and healthy approach to religion. But IMO exmos often have a difficult time adjusting to an approach to religion that is not "all in."

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:37PM

Lot's Wife (as she usually does) explained things well.

I couldn't do another religion after mormonism.
Simply because to get out of mormonism meant I had to stop taking things on "faith," and start using facts instead.

Once I began doing that, taking things on "faith" again simply wasn't going to work. And all religions require taking things on "faith."

If that works for you, great. Enjoy.
I can't do it. Nor would I want to.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 03:57PM

I think summer is on the right track here.

I've joined a church that is...well...very different from Mormonism.

I'm not going to say I'm absolutely certain about any assertion of religious belief. Getting out of the black white thinking is important.

If one joins a church thinking it has to be what Mormonism should have been, the following results seem to be most likely:

1. Disappointment
2. Another high pressure religion with many cult-like characteristics.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 07:02AM

I can walk into an LDS chapel and tell I’m not imagining things. The place really does feel sanctified. It’s group belief that does that, whether founded in hogwash or not. So there is a temptation to do Mormonism again but there are good reasons not to. There are too many turds floating in the punch bowl. Plus it’s like going to a magic show where you know how all the tricks are done. It kind of ruins it.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 05:24PM

I'm old. I am from the time priesthood lessons were meaningful and scholastic.

The old pre correlation lessons taught lessons on not only mormonism, but early Christian history, the reformation and religous beliefs of other denominations.

Of course their eye was on the great apostacy, but the scholarship was sound. My own research has confirmed the old lessons.

After leaving Mormonism, I attended a few other churches but found them just as hollow. The doctrine of men mingled with scripture.

So now I have been free from the bonds of any religion for almost 35 years.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 05:52PM

I am younger than you, Heartless, but what you say resonates.

I always took the doctrines seriously and, a bookish sort, read a lot of the old Mormon classics. Even the Relief Society manuals of my grandmother's generations treated historical facts and cultural realities as part of the Restored Gospel. Correlation killed that. Mormonism went from an expansive faith that encouraged learning to a narrow religion that required obedience and nothing more. Always a dictatorship, it became a banal dictatorship.

And like you, I tried a number of other religions. Some of these I pursued, frankly, while still Mormon in the belief that God would talk to all people everywhere and hence that there must be value in other faiths. Among those were Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto, bits and pieces of Native American and Central Asian shamanism, Sufi Islam, parts of Judaism, the later and more secular ancient Greek philosophies, some of which enriched my life.

But when I left Mormonism and explored alternative forms of Christianity, I found them less than satisfying. The RCC had intellectual depth but was, like Mormonism, a form of spiritual tyranny underscored by an appalling history and a continuing tradition of child molestation. Protestant Christianity was not particularly dictatorial, but it was banal, offering little more than diluted biblicism and mediocre Rock bands.

My atavistic Mormonism set a high standard: truth as manifest in doctrine and history and the world. It seemed a reasonable criterion since religion should be about truth. My dabblings in other forms of Christianity, however, did not meet that standard.

So much for organized Christianity.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 06:02PM

(Not to be confused with Episcopalians.)

I'll get to the longer posts later (have to go out--stay tuned). But a quick response to our profound philosophe, HieTooKKabob.

Yes, all religions involve taking things on faith. We do that in many fields of endeavor. You vote for a candidate on faith. You take on faith that your wife will stay with you when you're old and frail. You mix evidence you've accumulated with a certain amount of faith.

Faith, by its very nature, involves accepting things which cannot be empirically established 100%. It's a matter of connecting the dots, which we do in all sorts of fields, whether it's reconstructing an establishment scene to establish culpability, or understanding am anomaly in cosmic data. And isn't this what you do, to varying degrees, in your job--organize data, make assumptions, posit hypotheses, and draw conclusions? A superior or a client strongly disagrees with you--are either of you being irrational?

I accept the ancient documents as valid. (More on that later, Lottie.) Perhaps what you mean, Hie, is that "I find the evidence insufficient." At a certain point, you may change your mind, although I propose that, should that happen, it will involve your heart and something you don't currently accept-God.

Secularists often take pride in being open-minded, so..."never say never!"

PS: you don't "have" to put words in quotes unless you're employing them in significantly different way than commonly used. I suspect you're trying to disparage the word, and concept of, "faith."

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 08:40PM

caffiend Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, all religions involve taking things on faith.
> We do that in many fields of endeavor. You vote
> for a candidate on faith.

No, I don't. I vote for them based on their record, their policies, their stated goals. I don't have faith that they'll continue as their past record indicates -- in fact I expect them NOT to. No faith involved. Ever.

> You take on faith that
> your wife will stay with you when you're old and
> frail.

No, I don't. It's likely she will, based on 25+ years of her actions, but I don't consider it a guarantee and I don't exhibit faith (though the longer we're together, the more likely that becomes).

> You mix evidence you've accumulated with a
> certain amount of faith.

Not in any way, shape, or form. Ever.
This is a common canard from those who indulge in religious faith, and it's completely off-base.

Deciding things based on facts and then assessing a probability for future outcomes is not faith.

> Faith, by its very nature, involves accepting
> things which cannot be empirically established
> 100%.

I disagree. Faith involves *believing* in things that can't be established empirically at all.

If you reasonably assess probabilities, you're using reason. You're not deciding to fully believe something despite no evidence, you're specifically not espousing a belief, but deciding to act on probability -- fully accepting that there's also a probability contrary to your chosen action, and that your probability might not occur.

That's not faith at all. Your own bible defines faith as "...the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." My assessment of probability isn't a conviction. And if nothing is seen, then the assessment is that there's no way to decide something. Faith is deciding when there's no way to decide something. I don't indulge.

> Perhaps what you mean, Hie,
> is that "I find the evidence insufficient." At a
> certain point, you may change your mind, although
> I propose that, should that happen, it will
> involve your heart and something you don't
> currently accept-God.

I personally find no valid evidence for nearly all of christianity's claims. So, yes, that's insufficient -- completely.
If I do change my mind (I never rule out that possibility), though, it won't involve an organ that pumps blood and has nothing whatsoever to do with thinking or reasoning -- it will be because some evidence came out that was compelling. And factually verifiable. Feelings aren't ever going to substitute for facts in my book. :)

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Posted by: brotherofjared ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 01:24AM

Caffiend, I enjoyed your post. I agree with you about faith keeping you on a path. I think before you have faith in your wife, you fall in love. Before you have faith in a candidate, you respond to his charisma. And before you have faith in God and/or Christ, you receive a calling. I'm not talking about the phony bologna church calling to be a Sunday School teacher, but a calling similar to what Saul received on the road to Damascus.

In my experience, before my mission (in the 70's), church leadership bypassed the calling part and said I could rely on their testimony until I got my own. Several years after my mission I had still not received a calling. My job changed over to working two Sundays out of three and leaving the church was less traumatic than most people here seem to experience.

As many others have written, I dreamed about being recalled to another mission for many years. But then again, I also dreamed for many years about being recalled to the military. I don't think I was getting supernatural revelation or a calling back to either. It is just something that happens to humans when they leave a cult.

I don't know is God exists or if Jesus Christ is my savior. With the greatest respect to people like C.S. Lewis, I don't think religion is a logical, rational exercise to start with. I believe personal religion for an independent thinking person starts with a calling.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 06:50PM

I remained a Christian after leaving Mormonism. One of my first denominations out was the Unitarian Universalist. It was there I realized I was still a Christian. It was while attending there I made the decision and commitment that I was and would continue on in a Christian walk. So we left UU and started attending Christian churches - hit and miss because they are not all the same.

Currently I've been worshiping as a practicing Jew at synagogue. Yet I still believe as a Christian but I do not proselytize. I cannot stand missionaries trying to sway me to convert me to some other religion, and I accept the Jewish practice and custom of not proselytizing because it's against their beliefs. It is against mine too.

Christ was a Jew, not a Christian. I see Christianity as having distorted much of what he came to the world to teach. I don't believe for example that most people are damned for not being Christian. I don't believe that was Christ's teaching either. Christianity hijacked the real mission of Christ. He came to redeem the lost, heal the sick, and teach about love and compassion for others. That's Jewish.

So I still believe in Jesus Christ as an ex-Mo. He didn't condemn people. He loved them. Christians condemn people. They judge them. And so do Mormons. I have issues with both.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 07:30PM

Yes, Jesus was a Jew. There is nothing, furthermore, in his words as recounted in the gospels indicating a desire to expand the ambit of his movement beyond Judaism. The appeal to the gentiles was something that came later, among Jesus's followers.

Jesus was, from start to finish, a Jew.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 07:39PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 07:57PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remained a Christian after leaving Mormonism.
> One of my first denominations out was the
> Unitarian Universalist. It was there I realized I
> was still a Christian. It was while attending
> there I made the decision and commitment that I
> was and would continue on in a Christian walk. So
> we left UU and started attending Christian
> churches - hit and miss because they are not all
> the same.
>
> Currently I've been worshiping as a practicing Jew
> at synagogue. Yet I still believe as a Christian
> but I do not proselytize. I cannot stand
> missionaries trying to sway me to convert me to
> some other religion, and I accept the Jewish
> practice and custom of not proselytizing because
> it's against their beliefs. It is against mine
> too.
>
> Christ was a Jew, not a Christian. I see
> Christianity as having distorted much of what he
> came to the world to teach. I don't believe for
> example that most people are damned for not being
> Christian. I don't believe that was Christ's
> teaching either. Christianity hijacked the real
> mission of Christ. He came to redeem the lost,
> heal the sick, and teach about love and compassion
> for others. That's Jewish.
>
> So I still believe in Jesus Christ as an ex-Mo. He
> didn't condemn people. He loved them. Christians
> condemn people. They judge them. And so do
> Mormons. I have issues with both.

Serious question here, AmyJo (and Tevai, too, if she wants to chime in).

Why were some Jews so angry with Jesus that they would have wanted him crucified? That he called God his father? Made himself equal? What was it that Jesus spoke that got him into such a big bruhaha with Jewish leaders of his time?

TIA

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 09:14PM

In Judaism it is idolatry to worship anything other than God Jehovah. Jesus being the 'son' of God in flesh as the Messiah was not accepted by the Jewish people as prophecy fulfilled.

In fact though, Jesus did not ask anyone to worship him. He never did claim he was God or deity. He always deferred to God. But because he was considered by his followers as the one proclaimed in Isaiah as the Messiah that was to come and redeem the Jewish people he was reviled by the Jews. The Jews reject a savior as Messiah. They do not believe in a plan of salvation or a need for atonement.

To them the concept of Christianity is a counterfeit monotheism. And some Christian denominations consider Christianity to be a replacement theology to Judaism. Hence the religious persecution for centuries by Christians and crusaders using religion as a weapon to commit atrocities against the Jews who just want to be left alone to worship as they see fit.

Messianic Jews are perceived among Jews as traitors of their faith. The Messianic Jews that have infiltrated into Israel are there to try and convert other Jews to their faith in an effort to save them before Armageddon. That is one more reason for Jews to consider them traitors of their religion because they represent everything Jews find reprehensible. They're as zealous as Mormons or Evangelical Christians, maybe moreso in their efforts to save the Jews before the second coming of Christ. Whereas the Jews don't believe in that nor do they believe they need to be saved.

It probably made the Jews angry that someone would call himself the son of God and believed it. Even if he was who the bible had prophecied. The Jews did not accept him as the messiah they were waiting for. They're still waiting for their messiah but he isn't what Jesus represents to mankind in Christian understanding.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 09:44PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 05:08PM

>>Why were some Jews so angry with Jesus that they would have wanted him crucified?

By his words and his actions, Jesus represented a challenge and even a threat to the power structure and mores of the Jewish priestly class, and by extension, the Romans. The Romans executed people for far less than that.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 08:45PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So I still believe in Jesus Christ as an ex-Mo. He
> didn't condemn people. He loved them.


(Matthew 23 -- the chapter is even labeled "Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees!)

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

19 Ye fools and blind...!

(note that in other places, Jesus is quoted as saying that anyone who calls someone else a fool is damned. And there he is calling someone a fool...)

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 08:52PM

Many scholars think that Christ was killed by the Romans for political reasons with the Jews playing a very small part. The blame shifted to the Jews when they mostly rejected Christian proselytizing. Paul changed the focus to the gentiles. Blaming them for the crucifixion was counterproductive.

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Posted by: frankie ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 07:28PM

I believe in god but I certainly don't try and persuade anyone else to believe in god, actually I only know one person who is an atheist, he believes and ghosts and the after life though, and he certainly acts like a Christian person even though he claims he doesn't believe. he is always there making an honest living paying taxes and helping his neighbors. not trying to say atheist don't do those things either.

I guess even though you don't subscribe to a Christian belief, it's still very easy to live a life that most people would perceive as Christian ethics

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 08:22PM

frankie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>...it's still very easy to live a
> life that most people would perceive as Christian
> ethics

Or you could say that Christians have to at least subscribe to the same level of ethics as non-Christians. :)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 08:46PM

An important point. As shown by great people, and terrible people, on both sides of the religious divide, ethics are not dependent on faith or mythology.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 09:06PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ...ethics are not dependent on faith or
> mythology.

An important point. :)

Somebody wrote today that getting rid of the inculcated black/white thinking is an important part of moving forward. I've read quite a bit here today and now can't remember which post/thread that was. For me, this has indeed proven true, starting with a fairly strict upbringing (where obedience was taught as an absolute), the JWs (where obedience was a crucial part of the all-encompassing doctrine), the EVs (of the more fundy sort, where obedience was pretty much included as an article of faith), the Mormons (where obedience - well, you know...).

Yes, I was lucky to get the chance to clear my head. To this day though I fight against the mindless obedience streak. The programming started early and runs deep.

Never would I cross a street on a red light, for instance, even if all traffic had ceased to exist. Not that it's a good idea to carelessly choose one's own laws. But some common sense can't go amiss.

I did accidentally drive through a red light on a main street the other day. Can't blame the snow for it - it hadn't fallen yet. No clue how I came to do that - loss of focus I guess. To this minute I'm still expecting to receive a big fat ticket through the mail.

So maybe I'm not so much firmly committed to obedience as afraid of punishment!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 09:11PM

That's the beauty of religion. You don't have to worry about obedience versus fear of punishment: with most religions, you get them both wrapped up in a single little package.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 09:20PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: February 11, 2019 11:35PM

My experience is that the idea of obedience can have different meanings. As a general principle of Christianity obedience in general terms of following one's understanding of God's will for your life is one thing. I think it quite different when the idea of obedience takes on the more pointed and controlling concept of obeying a leader, the group think, or even a church or denomination with its own rules and regulations peculiar to itself. Other than Mormonism I have not experienced, nor would I, obedience as some kind of control mechanism. Perhaps that is why I was never fully comfortable within Mormonism even when in leadership positions.

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 12:23AM

What does it mean to be Christian?

If it means following some teachings ascribed to him, okay with me. After 20+ years an exmo, I'm gaining greater appreciation for those. Like being peacemakers, not warmongers, like most self-proclaimed Christians I know.

Of course, the golden rule is nice - not unique to Christianity, but good.

Jesus didn't seem to like organized religion much - too much show, and he didn't like hypocrites. Too much faking to impress others in groups - status seeking.

So one might ask - would Jesus want to be a Christian?

Now if being a Christian means worshipping him as god, that's a problem. If I was all-knowing and all-powerful, there's no way I would allow so many horrific things to happen to children and others. There is no excuse. If parents here did that, they'd be jailed.

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Posted by: TempeX ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 02:45AM

I don’t equate leaving the church as leaving Christ. I left the church, and re-discovered Christ

Didn’t throw the Baby Jesus out with the baptismal water

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Posted by: 6 iron ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 12:37PM

Christian here. What I find weird about this board is that it's about people leaving a specific religion, and yet religious discussion is outlawed but athiests here preach and preach and ridicule.

It makes no sense to me.

Mormons and exmos, by my observation, know very little of the Bible. We've been lied to, and mainly taught Frome made up books like the book of Mormon and book of Abraham. Theses are made up books, fiction.

We've been told that the 15 old white guys are prophets, seers, and revelators, just because they call themselves that. They have no track history of actually being prophetic.

Having said that...Mormons, and other spiritual people can and have had many spiritual experiences. To connect to the heavens requires faith and humility, and as some athiests on this board have clearly shown that they are full of pride and devoid of faith.

I've connected to the heavens many many times, and some experiences very very strong. In fact, you probably wouldn't want Jesus to come to earth in his glory because it is so overwhelmingly powerful, you would run and hide.

Back to the Bible that Mormons look down on. The whole premise of the OT from Moses to Malachi is that there is a covenant people that is supposed to worship the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob by the sacrificing of first born unblemished animals. That is what it is all about. Hundreds of thousands of animals sacrificed for hundreds and hundreds of years. Every morning and every evening a burnt offering, and also peace offerings. It had to be done by the Levites.

This was all in anticipation of the only begotten unblemished son of God. The most important event in history, being symbolically performed by animal sacrifice. Hundreds of thousands of animals sacrificed every morning and every evening.

One could even say that it was a Levite religion, with prophets from various tribes. The religion history of the planet is animal sacrifice, celebrating the Passover, and now the sacrament of bread and red wine.

That is the Earth's history. Everything thing else is secondary.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 02:33PM

>>some athiests on this board have clearly shown that they are full of pride

6 iron, I respect you and have always enjoyed your posts. But this statement just seems so...Mormon, i.e. someone doesn't accept Mormonism because they are too prideful. How many times have we heard that? Maybe atheists and others just don't accept certain beliefs because they don't make sense to them just as Mormonism no longer makes sense to you. Or maybe they have the same powerful experiences but interpret them in a different way.

I have had some powerful experiences in my life that I choose to interpret as spiritual experiences. But those experiences have been so widely spaced as to almost be lacking in relevance to my day-to-day life. So I have made the conscious choice to live as I am in this world instead of endlessly yearning for something more. "Chop wood, carry water," as the expression goes. I figure when the something more is ready for me, it will come. Until then I try to live a good life in appreciation for all of life's wonders and gifts. I can't imagine why that wouldn't be enough.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 02:36PM by summer.

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Posted by: 6 iron ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 05:21PM

First of all, I thought my post would be deleted so I kinda went for it, lol.

So... For the book of Mormon to be realistic, fictional Nephi would have needed to take some Levites with him. And there would be much recorded of animal sacrifices from 600 bc when the BofM supposedly started until 1AD. But there isn't. Also there was no baptism before Jesus. The basin on the 12 oxen in Solomon's temple was for the officiating Levites to bath in, maybe before or after, not sure.

The BofM fails because it doesn't center around animal sacrifices. It only mentions it in passing a couple of times. It mentions Baptism pre Jesus but that is wrong. The animal sacrifices were extremely specific, for instance the peace offerings were such that the fat around the liver, the liver and the kidneys were burnt on an altar of brass in Solomon's temple. The Levites took a piece of the animal for personal consumption, and the family that brought the animal would cook and eat it somewhere in the temple courtyard.

That was religion pre Jesus, burnt, peace and sin offerings performed in very specific ways, that also had a meal offering. Moses did them in his Tabernacle of cloth until Solomon's temple. Solomon's temple was a huge huge undertaking, that started with king David and took massive resources, time and manpower. The BofM says that Nephi built a temple like Solomon's without so many precious things, yet it was like Solomon's. That is a complete joke because Solomon's temple took something like 180,000 ? Men years and years to build.

So if we think we are descendants of the house of Israel, our ancestors sacrificed hundreds of thousands of animals in a symbolic representation of a human sacrifice that was to come in the future. That is the history of the earth. All the surrounding nation's of Isrealites worshiped false gods that seemed to involve sacrificing their our children to false gods.

The fact that the book of Abraham has pictures of Osiris and Anubis, Egyptian false gods, is totally alarming, the most grievous sin of the God of the OT. It is a massive, huge, terrible inclusion in Mormon "scriptures" It is in direct opposition to the religious practices of the OT. To say that the Book if Abraham is holy scriptures is hypocrisy of the highest order.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 03:35PM

6 iron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Christian here. What I find weird about this board
> is that it's about people leaving a specific
> religion, and yet religious discussion is outlawed
> but athiests here preach and preach and ridicule.

Hi 6 iron. From what I've read from Admin posts and Eric's statement of purpose for founding this board, it is not "religious discussion" that is "outlawed" here. Rather, it is *preaching* of religion. As in trying to convert other posters. Trying to persuade exmos that they shouldn't "throw out the baby with the bathwater". If you want to talk about your personal beliefs and experiences after Mormonism to include a new or continuing Christian belief, that *is* allowed. I've often mentioned that I am a Christian. I have even quoted scriptures, in contexts I think are appropriate, and I have never been deleted for that. Way back when the board was younger there were quite a few hard core preacher types. It did make obvious sense then that that kind of posting would not be welcome when the board's emphasis was on helping newly exited ex-Mormons to find their feet. When people are in the midst of crisis and/or have been very hurt by religion it is usually not the best medicine to try and direct them immediately into another faith group. Preaching is the last thing they need. Even as a Christian, at moments of faith crisis, hearing scriptures quoted over and over has often not been helpful to me, even counterproductive. Especially scriptures calling one to repentance or those designed by the preacher to point out the error of one's ways. Especially as a Christian, I have often wondered why His people cannot "let go and let God" as my EV friends often say. Meaning to back off and relax and let things fall where they may, not needing to try and be in charge of the universe or the faith walk of others. Trust in Him iow. "All things work together for good..." etc.

Many Christians through the years have expressed similar frustration to yours in that to them they see discussions by non-Christian posters (especially re atheism) as "preaching". The meaning of the term preaching in Eric's guidelines, as I understand it, is preaching religion, i.e., quite a literal definition of it. Yes, some atheists do ridicule (more so in the past, in my view). Too, if we don't have easy answers to their comments it can *feel* like ridicule. We can also feel constrained by the injunction against preaching, ironically, as it can be difficult to respond without giving our scriptural or spiritual reasoning.

I am fortunate, I guess, in that I do not feel a need to defend or preach, pretty much no matter what another poster may say about religion. Too, I find that many questions and conclusions and non-Christian points of view make some sense and I can see why people have reached the positions they express. That is not to say that some types of comments don't jab me. I just don't usually engage, mostly due to the board rules, somewhat due to having read countless futile debates through the years between hard core believers and confirmed atheists, and also because it takes time and energy I don't want to expend in that way.

If we can comprehend and accept that Eric's board is not about debating the merits of religion then it is likely easier to enjoy beneficial participation. If I want to take in a sermon I attend a church service. If I desire to see the latest R-rated movie I go to the theatre. The venue is all-important. Church = preaching. R Movie = theatre. And never the twain shall meet. :) (For the record, I've never seen an R-rated movie, ha!)


> Mormons and exmos, by my observation, know very
> little of the Bible.

True enough for some Mormons and exmos, but also true of many Christians! However, I have seen many examples on this board of exmos who know a LOT about the Bible as well as history and other related academic subjects.


> To connect to the heavens requires
> faith and humility, and as some athiests on this
> board have clearly shown that they are full of
> pride and devoid of faith.

See - this type of comment can come across as preachy as well as being judgemental of other posters. It's the kind of thing many have heard ad infinitum in their Mormon and exmo lives and the very thing they need a break from, which Eric tries to provide with his guideline against preachifying here. I would note too that atheists have rejected faith, many after much thought and study, so by definition they *are* "devoid of faith", deliberately so on their part! However, as a believer expressing it in those terms, it comes across as criticism and judgement, again what the board guidelines are designed to avoid.


> I've connected to the heavens many many times, and
> some experiences very very strong. In fact, you
> probably wouldn't want Jesus to come to earth in
> his glory because it is so overwhelmingly
> powerful, you would run and hide.

This is a personal opinion that could be expressed as such, which would be allowed within the board guidelines as I understand Eric's purpose, but making it about other posters rather than about oneself takes it too close to contravening the rules and the board's purpose and desired environment. If you make 'I', not 'you' statements you can avoid sounding judgemental or preachy.


> That is the Earth's history [animal sacrifice]. Everything thing else is secondary.

I would say that many, many, many other events occurred pre- and post-sacrifices being offered in light of certain beliefs. If you mean that to a Christian the primary point of history is God and the Christian beliefs around Him, OK, I get that. To Christians, everything *is* secondary next to their beliefs around God. But non-Christians don't see it that way.

Simple as that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 03:41PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 04:55PM

I think the board went through a number of years where the atheists were shouting down the believers. IMO it made a lot of believers feel unwelcome here. But the board has been more balanced for a long time now.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 05:10PM

Yes, I was here then, summer. You are much more succinct than I on that point. I can understand how believers would have felt that things were hostile towards them. I came to realize at the time that maybe there's no one size fits all or everything for every person, as some of us were taught and came to expect from our religious institution's black and white all-encompassing set of beliefs. It can be a lesson we have to teach ourselves that all our needs and desires are unlikely to be met by one source but we have to get a little of each from a variety of places. If I want Christian fellowship I don't look for it at RfM, for instance (although it could arise incidentally). If I want to know about Mormonism and the experiences, thoughts and conclusions of exmos then RfM is perfect for that. Other times I just want a Lassie movie and so I curl up in my own living room with the classic movie channel. Etc.

I regret it very much if exmo Christians or seekers felt/feel they couldn't/can't get anything out of RfM. It's too bad that the possibility of having different sub-boards for various topics here didn't work out (it was tried but didn't work well for Admin, as I understand it - social board anyone?!). We could have asked for a board for people to discuss their exits from Mormonism and entries into other faiths, etc.

If people didn't feel they had to convince others of their point of view some of these types of discussions could be welcome and helpful.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 07:28PM

Yes, it is much better today, but still a few atheists often post as if they have the truth and there are no consequences. Christians get deleted for the same thing.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 08:14PM

bona dea Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... a few
> atheists often post as if they have the truth and
> there are no consequences. Christians get deleted
> for the same thing.

The injunction against preaching relates to content. Preaching religion - zap. Discussing general beliefs about life - OK. People with zero God belief - OK to discuss.

Maybe it's more about how the reader takes the opinion expressed? True enough that sometimes forcefully expressed words against a religion we adhere to can hurt or evoke strong reactions and feelings. It can be tricky for believers to try and reply within guidelines. Still, if we can phrase it such that it's our belief, keeping it personal ("I") and not make "you" statements and certainly avoid stating that our way is the only truth, we should be OK.

Again, I see it as simply that Eric had a set purpose that non-believers could have a space where they didn't get preached at. So many have had a bellyful of that. I just try not to take personally any strongly expressed views that can seem "anti" to believers. And I don't try to respond most of the time. No energy for that. And not enough knowledge, to be frank.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 08:20PM

I couldn't disagree more.. Preaching atheism is no different than preaching religion as far as I am concerned. We all have a right to our beliefs without other posters acting as if they have the ultimate truth and those of us who disagree are stupid. Again it is just a few, but they get away with a lot. This isn't my board and I don't make the rules,but I feel strongly about it. I don't want preaching by anyone, thank you. Discussion is another matter entirely.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 09:56PM

Again, it seems for some folks it's a matter of definitions. What constitutes preaching as opposed to merely stating one's position.

I'm just trying to explain my understanding of how I've seen Eric explain it over the years. I'm not intending to state an opinion about the rule itself or my feelings about the decisions behind it.

So, to be clear, I'm not stating my opinion about how it SHOULD be, just how I have observed that it IS.

I can see that some people disagree with the rule (but they don't get a vote as it's Eric's - oops - now CZ's - board) and others don't seem to understand it. That's when I sometimes try to step in and explain it as I see it.

I don't see any point in disagreeing with the rule, unless the board owner asks for input subject to perhaps changing things.

It's just the way it was designed to be.

'Preaching' to me generally means sharing one's faith, not stating one's opinion.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 14, 2019 11:20AM

To me preaching often has the feeling of, "I'm right and you're wrong."

I've been thinking lately that preaching can take many forms. A very dear friend of mine posts up to six times a day on FB on the topic of global warming. I happen to agree with the concept of global warming, but I don't want to hear about it six times a day. To me, that's preaching. It's constantly shoving your views down someone else's throat like their time, their interests, and even other friends of theirs don't matter. (And yes, I will most likely have to put her on periodic snoozes. But as I said, she's a dear friend.)

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 14, 2019 11:35AM

That makes sense, summer. I tend to be quite literal, which can be a handicap. But, of course, preaching is not necessarily confined to the religious arena.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: February 14, 2019 06:19PM

That was my point, Summer. Preaching isn't the same as strong opinions either. Preaching is thinking you have the ultimate truth. I am also fully aware of the fact that this is not my board and that Eric makes the rules. However, I still have a right to my own opinion. Others can agree or disagree, but I will not stop expressing myself.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2019 06:22PM by bona dea.

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Posted by: Happy_Heretic ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 12:40PM

I just can not fathom that there are people who see "reason" to abondon the LDS Faith... yet, turn around and abandon reason to join another "faith" entity. Seems like epistemological capriciousness to me.

HH =)

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 11:32PM

Au contraire. When you've had prayers answered it makes all the sense in the world. It's the difference between gold and fool's gold discerning between what's spiritual and what's a cult.

It's my seed of mustard analogy for faith. It started that small when I was filled with doubt as an agnostic barely able to utter my prayer asking if God was real, and to hear my feeble prayer.

It was answered beyond anything I could have "mustered" in my wildest dreams. But it was real. And that is reason enough for me to believe.

"Just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist."

“If it can be verified, we don't need faith... Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”

"It takes a lot of intellect to have faith, which is why so many people only have religiosity.... I'm against people taking the Bible absolutely literally, rather than letting some of it be real fantasy, like Jonah... Faith is best expressed in story."
~ Madeleine l'Engle

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Posted by: You Too? ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 05:09PM

Sometime Episcopalian.

Swing some incense, hit me with some holy water, chant the gospel and I'm good to go.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 09:14PM

I don't make any claims about how representative it is.

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/02/12/commentary-four-myths/



>Within orthodox Latter-day Saint circles, there’s a general impression that people who leave the church abandon faith in God altogether, but this isn’t quite accurate, especially outside of Utah.

The NMS shows that very few former Latter-day Saints do not believe in God at all. Only 6 percent fall into this category, with another 8 percent choosing the agnostic option of “I don’t know whether there is a personal God and I don’t believe there is any way to find out.”

This means that 86 percent of former Latter-day Saints say they believe in God, though they may have doubts at times or feel God is more like a “higher power” than a personal deity.

It’s inaccurate to characterize former members as having rejected all religious belief. For most, the reality is far more nuanced and complicated.

Many actually hold on to not just a belief in God but also to basic Christian teachings about Jesus and the afterlife. They do not, however, tend to still believe in specifically Mormon teachings about church founder Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon (the faith’s signature scripture) or contemporary prophets and apostles.


>More people are leaving Mormonism — but not so they can join another church.

A third of former Latter-day Saints now identify with another organized religion, including mainline Protestant (7 percent), evangelical Protestant (10 percent), Catholic (6 percent), and all other religions (11 percent combined).

The other two-thirds say they identify as “nothing in particular” (27 percent), “just Christian” (21 percent), agnostic (12 percent), or atheist (6 percent). Broadly speaking, they would be characterized as “nones” in today’s religious landscape.

This is similar to what Pew found in 2014 about former Latter-day Saints: about six in 10 ex-member did not affiliate with something else.

And because the Pew study is comparative, we can look at people who left other religions and see patterns in whether they joined another religious tradition. For “mainstream” religions like Catholicism, mainline Protestantism, and Orthodoxy, about half joined other faiths and half did not. For Islam, two-thirds did not, and for Judaism, nearly three-quarters did not.

What this seems to show is that Mormonism is (once again) somewhere in between a mainstream religion and a minority faith. Like Catholicism, mainline Protestantism, and Orthodoxy, Mormonism is a Christian religion, which may facilitate religious switching in a predominantly Christian country like the United States. But like Judaism and Islam, Mormonism is also a tiny minority (less than 2 percent of the U.S. population in each case), and it is religiously distinctive. Both of those things make religious switching harder.

There’s also a Utah factor. In the NMS, former Latter-day Saints in Utah were less likely to affiliate with another religion. In fact, they tended to have significantly lower Christian beliefs overall than ex-Latter-day Saints who lived elsewhere in the U.S. It’s worth asking: What is it about former members’ experience in Utah that seems to turn them off religion altogether?

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: February 12, 2019 10:39PM

Thanks for the info.

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