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  1. Dan, your a lucky guy to be in the midst of 3 wonderful, intelligent, and important women. Great discussion!

    Thank each one of you for your comments.

  2. I loved loved hearing these super thoughtful, honest, intelligent people share these bigger perspectives. I have a billion thoughts about all this and I get frustrated trying to word them. My thoughts are mixed in with comments from the podcast…very poor documentation here. Also, I’m in a bit of an angry phase right now.

    Doe’s excellent comment: “Seekers don’t stop seeking.” Yet people that gather into a group want you to stay in the group.

    Divisiveness: We push the family thing. And it needs to be the right kind of family because we have to preach to the ideal. And then if you don’t measure up, no temple recommend and you’re excluded from the weddings. The consequence for dissent. Seriously – UGH. I very strongly get the fact that so much is not literally from God – but this is so harsh. I have to believe it is not inspired but coercive. Like telling people they can’t take the sacrament.

    We are divisive in our world view. “We have it all.” How many times I have to hear that very sentence in RS. We are the best. We have to get everyone to be like us. It’s us and them. Either or. If you’re not like us, you’re them. This is why I like the middle path, the third eye, the gray, the color. BUT all my extended family, my neighbors, follow the institutional controls of black and white. Many of them will never understand. We have to deal with this inevitably. So angry about this situation.

    I’m so glad you addressed this: We are led to believe that everything is divine. Christ is guiding his Church. Your bishop is inspired. EVERYTHING is inspired of God. Well that breaks down pretty quickly when you start thinking, see doctrinal changes, policies, church courts, and consider all the leadership-roulette. That’s why we feel betrayed. We keep being told Jesus is behind everything. Now it’s like, I rely on the hope that he’s not.

    But Dan asked, “How do we have boundary maintenance with the larger culture? Can the church admit not everything is inspired?” So REALLY – if the institutional church got more loving, more accepting, less exclusive, more honest: “We are people trying to tap into the divine wherever we can, respecting that we’re all complex individuals working on navigating this life together. We all go through seasons of this and seasons of that and we try to help each other through without freaking out.” Can that work? I would stay in that church. But you said liberal churches aren’t growing, because of course, the boundaries aren’t set in stone. I think it was Dan who said if we become too liberal, where is our special mission? We have to be special or we cease to exist. A church wants to be unique. Our saving ordinances are exclusive and it causes judgment and condecension everywhere. If this exclusivity is typical of other churches too, then that makes us just like them in that sense. But we’re taught no REALLY, this is Jesus’ restored gospel, we’re the ones with the most of Jesus’ help, the only true authority. So we expect more.

    I loved the mentions of other 19th century writing “scriptures” claiming spiritual authority, etc. at the time and culture. Medieval women mystics claimed revelation from God. Visionary experiences from God gave you authority. In their cultural context that wasn’t crazy, that was normal. Same with JS. These bigger contexts are fabulous. Can’t we talk about this at church?

    Always negotiating and renegotiating. Agree.

    Salt Lake has very little control. Hard to agree with that…:( They have layered so much onto the gospel of Jesus Christ that people finally have to shake the whole thing off and breathe for a while. Then try to summon strength to reassemble some working theology, which ties back in with this great comment:
    “Some Mormons go from naive belief to naive disbelief. Accept anything they’re told in Mormonism, then reject it because it’s Mormonism, rather than putting in the work and the study to think about the complexity of truth, what is truth, what is reality, these really hard human questions.”

    We don’t have to believe everything for it to be valuable. I totally agree but it’s so hard to sit in church and conferences and hear SO MUCH fear, shame, and control, however subtle. So often it feels like our personified “Satan” is at the reigns trying to institute more physical and emotional and intellectual controls. That culture is what is driving me out, but like I’ve heard said, that can end up being a great thing if we can center ourselves in a better place. I will be as honest and sensitive and inclusive and patient as I can, and if there’s no room for me, that will decide it. Great conversations guys. Thanks so much. It really is helpful on this exhausting journey.

  3. Pingback: Losing my religion: identitity, bipolar, and religion | this bipolar mom

  4. Pingback: That’s me in the corner…losing my religion: identitity, bipolar, and religion | the beautifully free

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