Sorry to Bother You

As someone who has posted things to FB that have raised the concerns of our wonderful bishop, I thought a little explanation/clarification for others who may have found these things concerning might be in order.
I am less-good than many when it comes to being sensitive to the comfort-zones of others.  This is intentional.  I don’t value comfort-zones, generally.  I have been involved in areas of recovery and healing for a long time, and have found that the desire to remain comfortable leads to many, many problems.  So I share information that can be challenging, disconcerting and painful, if I find it interesting or valuable. Recently, the Church has been releasing essays on various gospel topics that people find uncomfortable.  I haven’t really pushed these, but they’re worth looking over. It’s surprising how many times the reflexive defensiveness about any challenging statement about the Church can leave you on the provably wrong side of the argument.  As a small example, those who I’ve heard recently bashing the idea of evolution of species, apparently believing the Church is opposed to evolution, who are not aware that the Church is officially neutral on the question.

These things I like to talk about that are challenging for Mormons who regularly attend meetings (aka TBM or True, Believing Mormons,) can be quite comforting for Mormons who don’t feel comfortable regularly attending meetings when they find there’s someone they can talk to about their concerns.  I feel more need to try to help those who aren’t comfortable showing up every week than those who are — those who are comfortable with the way things are have the way things are, and, as far as I can tell, don’t need my help to keep coming back.  I see it as reaching out to the lost sheep.  The ninety and nine are okay.  A little challenge here and there isn’t really going to hurt them/you.  And, if it does drive them/you to some inquiry into matters that they/you thought were settled, then that’s just the “studying it out in your mind” that D&C 9 directs us to do.  Truth doesn’t become more or less true if it is believed or not.  Exploring questions is part of the path to greater knowledge and understanding.

So, if you see me post something you find challenging or disturbing, feel free to make a comment about it and engage in a conversation with me about it.  Things will go more smoothly if you leave your assumptions at the door, and are open to new information — a very difficult thing for Mormons who tend to pride themselves on knowing more about everything than anybody else does.  Artifacts of Mormon Culture, including folk-doctrine and out-dated understandings of policy and practice are things I have little respect for, and when I see the harm they do in our wards and families, I can be quite critical of them.  We are here to follow God through his living servants, not some interpretation of what they’ve said that makes us feel better than someone else.  I don’t believe that anyone is “better than” anybody else, and I don’t believe being Mormon makes me better than anybody else, particularly.  Nor you.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

4 thoughts on “Sorry to Bother You

  1. I enjoy reading your comments and insights. dont always agree but isn’t that the fun of agency? LOL.

    I get slammed sometimes for the thing i say or believe. Or told what I believe… this one drives me crazy. how do others think they know what i believe?

    keep sharing.

  2. I find it funny that you titled this post “sorry to bother you” when in reality you are not sorry at all! 🙂 I agree with you, though: confronting our differing point of views can only do us good, when done with mutual respect and civility. What if something makes us uncomfortable? What if what is said challenges our testimony? Maybe it could be a sign of our testimony needing to be strengthened in some areas…. I see nothing but the possibility of growth coming from a discussion.

  3. Nilla — I am sorry if I’m bothering people, but not sorry enough to do differently. I want them to understand that I’m not just doing this to make them mad/uncomfortable/whatever, or to get attention, or some such. I don’t say anything I don’t mean, and, thus far, the Church hasn’t told me that I have to. If that day should come, it will be a very bad day. I’ve asked for and been assured that any movement through official channels toward that outcome will bring me a warning. I’m hearing of people having TRs held for OW profiles or supporting SSM, and not getting them released until they’ve deleted their “offensive” opinions. That would be a big problem for me.

    Kathy — Yes. Been there and done that and it’s very annoying. Kinda like last week when I was told I was this big supporter of Ordain Women. And when I posted a link to my post from a few months ago where I talked about that, the group admin deleted it. No allowing for evidence that gets in the way of the party line, apparently.

  4. I also draw a line at people telling me what I believe. If they want to ask, I’ll talk about what I believe, but if they want to tell me, they’d better have a direct quote from me that starts with “I believe….”

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