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  1. I had a long phone conversation with my parents on Sunday regarding my faith shift. I worked on trying to build on common beliefs with my end desire being their acceptance of me and the amazing new beliefs that I’ve found. It took a conversation with my wife to realize that from their traditional believing Mormon perspective, its not that they won’t or don’t understand me, its that their paradigm doesn’t permit it AND THAT’S OKAY. It simply isn’t fair or good or healthy for them if I try to force my new paradigm on them. It hurts, but I need to be vulnerable, accept the hurt see it for what it is and accept Christ’s comfort when I allow myself to mourn.

    Thanks Wendy for the reminder that this change is spiritually, mentally, socially and emotionally taxing. Meditation has been a huge lifeline for me (“The Power of Now” – Eckhart Tolle – Click on Dan’s amazon link above to buy it 😉

    Thanks again for the work you do with this Podcast Dan!

  2. Thanks much, Dan, John and Wendy for this. All the best to you and your families as we grapple with these difficult issues.
    My sister and her husband were the first to detach from the church over its history. Coincidentally, though I lived on the other side of the country, and we never discussed the church, quite accidentally I stumbled across and read the book, “Mormon Enigma” which caused the foundation of my relationship with the church to shift significantly–10+ yrs ago. Another stalwart sibling has recently began grappling with the “new” history on her own.

    I decided long ago it wouldn’t be fair for me to “blow-up” other’s view of reality in regards to the church, and have kept it largely to myself, remaining mostly “active” in the church. But I will defend my sister’s detachment from the church.

    At least as disturbing and more damaging than the church history revelations was the despicable Prop 8 campaign. My husband resigned from his church calling as a result of that campaign. I have no problem voicing disagreement if ever the topic comes up. Wendy, I read your article in Huff Post. Wow. I am shocked people–fellow ward members–could be so cruel and that local leaders did little to combat it? Disturbing and shameful. We have a long, long way to go. We simply never seem to learn from past mistakes!

  3. This was a nice conversation. Thank you to each of you. My mom and I have had a good relationship; I’ve been sharing w/ her the positives and mostly leaving out the negatives. But yesterday I got a call from her wherein my sister had called her and read to her some stuff I’ve said on Facebook, and it was like being a punching bag. It’s so hurtful to realize how fast this stuff can turn a relationship upside down. Like you said, Wendy, in one minute it seems like you go from being respected, trusted, loved and ever-faithful . . . to viewed as deceived, on Satan’s side, blasphemous, fighting the Church, prideful, WRONG, etc. It was upsetting. I first felt like maybe I was going yo need to skip this summer’s family reunion, but then I remembered to love my mom and family, and feel their pain, and care more about their feelings than about needing to defend myself or convince. Very true that we need to have respect and empathy, and let God work with each person according to their own time table. — So nice to hear this. Thanks again!

  4. A great conversation on a very important topic–I could listen to an entire series just on this! I want to make a point about the short conversation on “apostasy” versus “heresy.” Dan, you threw the question to the panelists whether your characterization of these was fair, and I want to suggest that it wasn’t. Here’s why. In your description, I heard you identifying as the primary mark of differentiation between the two groups not the choice of how much engagement with the church one would have, whether one retained active status or not, or the degree to which one’s own opinions aligns with pervasive views of doctrine held among institutional members, but the relative amount of love or concern one has for the tradition and institution. Surely a love for the faith and its people is a strong driver–perhaps the strongest–for many who make the difficult decision to stay actively engaged with the institutional church after a shift in beliefs. I also have an intense love for the faith / ancestry / family and church traditions / upbringing / etc., but have made the difficult decision to spend less time affiliating with the institutional church. Perhaps if we did a statistical analysis on the correlation between “love for the church/faith/tradition” and “decision whether to stay engaged with the institutional church or not” on the pool of folks who have experienced large faith shifts, I theoretically may be an outlier, but my sense of the matter is otherwise. I think all of us who find ourselves in the pool of faith-shifters and who may find ourselves frequently countering the simplifying (and in effect dehumanizing assumptions) of more orthodox believers–need to be careful not to perpetuate this same dynamic among faith-shifters who have made different decisions about “staying” or “leaving” (and everything in between) than we have. Another burden that is ours. Another interesting dynamic at play in all of this.

  5. Thanks Dan for creating this and for enticing, encouraging, and providing frameworks for all of us to be our best selves—to seek to respond as Jesus taught and encouraged. Thanks to Wendy and John for your helpful and honest input. I wish you both the best.

  6. Pingback: Social Psychology and Religious Behavior - Rational Faiths | Mormon Blog

  7. Pingback: Experten-Tipps zum Thema „Mit Familie und Freunden über Glaubensveränderungen sprechen“ | openfaith.de

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