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How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected John P. Dehlin & Friends August 8, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected John P. Dehlin & Friends August 8, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected John P. Dehlin & Friends August 8, 2007

2 2 Disclaimers

3 We are not advocating disobedience This is oriented towards those who need radical solutions to keep from leaving the church completely

4 “I am not a role model”

5 My Story

6 Potential Topics to Cover Why leave? Why stay? Truth behind the myths Go slowly How the church IS true Understanding Moving beyond the binary world view On organizations Faith is A-OK Unplugging Being a buffet Mormon Temple recommend It’s about the people Raising children Physician, heal thyself Coping w/ Sundays Supplementing spirituality Fowler’s “Stages of Faith” Final thoughts Places for support

7 Why Leave? Never received a satisfactory witness Emotion vs. spirit Inspirational non-Mormons Doing the numbers LDS church history The marginalized Abused in some way Not being edified / bored

8 “Religion is a realization, not talk, not doctrine, nor theories. However beautiful these may be. Religion is being and becoming, not hearing and acknowledging. It is not an intellectual ascent; But the transformation of one’s whole life.” Swami Vivekandanda

9 You’re not alone

10 Hot, Cold or Spew (even self-spew)

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12 Why Stay? The baby and bathwater analogy

13 Why Stay? The “evolution” argument Reinforcement of spirituality Culture/identity Community Family Children Clean living Undeniable good Best there is? Much of the doctrine Make it better -- much pain to assuage A place to serve The hymns ROCK!!!!

14 Why Stay? The home schooling analogy

15 What I’m not saying…. That you can’t find this stuff outside, or that Mormons have a monopoly on any of this stuff

16 What I’m not saying…. No one should leave, and all will find misery

17 “Myth is what possibly never was, but always will be.” Joseph Campbell?

18 The truth behind the “myths” “You are a child of God with divine worth” Prayer Faith Baptism Repentance Revelation Service Priesthood power Authority/hierarchy “Traditional families” Gender-based roles Genealogy Personal purity Scripture study Lay clergy Tithing Family Home Evening Home teaching Even if you were a 100% non-believer, consider the value behind messages like….

19 The truth behind the warnings about leaving Many do find sadness on the other end

20 Go slowly Don’t burn bridges Be careful who you talk to Don’t try to “shock” or “enlighten” people Where will go you? Is another church, or no church really the solution? Many regret having left, or ultimately come back

21 Accepting Imperfection You Your family Your work Your country The world “Is it a Mormon problem, or a human problem?”

22 Lower your expectations The church Church leadership Members Ward experience History

23 Understanding the “One True Church” Position Successful, growing churches make absolute truth claims The brethren sincerely believe this Follow the Reorganized LDS Church’s model? Learn to move past the binary world view. This is dangerous in or out of the church.

24 Anger is a cancer

25 Avoid negative, critical, intolerant people

26 Seek to understand Why are people acting the way they are acting?

27 Understanding the brethren’s dilemma Raised devout Mission, early marriage, work Little time to dig deep Sincerely believe Past attempts at openness backfired Undermining their own authority Managing for the many, not the few

28 Understanding the root causes of orthodoxy in family/friends Fear Death of family Depression Addiction Divorce The santa claus analagy

29 Common Courtesy, Good Manners “Treat devout LDS members at least as courteous as you would members of other faiths”

30 “Why the church is as true as the gospel” Eugene England

31 “That I would be good” Alanis Morissette

32 “That I would be good” That I would be good even if I did nothing That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down That I would be good if I got and stayed sick That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

33 “That I would be good” That I would be fine even even if I went bankrupt That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth That I would be great if I was no longer queen That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

34 “That I would be good” That I would be loved even when I numb myself That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed That I would be loved even when I was fuming That I would be good even if I was clingy

35 “That I would be good” That I would be good even if I lost sanity That I would be good Whether with or without you

36 Unplug from caring about what others think of you religiously

37 On being a “Buffet Mormon” Everyone falls short. Everyone. Instead of get depressed, embrace this moniker. I’m NOT encouraging this approach. However, if push comes to shove….

38 If you are at the end of your rope… Tithing Sunday meetings Callings Temple Doctrine Temple attendance Scripture reading

39 Temple Recommend Never lie or deceive There will always be some disconnect between what the questioner and the answerer mean Understanding the setup: – Intentionally vague questions – No additional questions allowed – You are the judge – Nobody’s perfect – Results may vary

40 Dealing with the main questions God Jesus Restoration Gordon B. Hinckley as prophet Affiliation with anti-Mormon groups Word of wisdom Tithing

41 It’s all about the people “one one one” relationships

42 Focus on the “average” member, not the most vocal

43 Seek out like-minded folk Inactives, Quiet

44 Sometimes it’s the culture, not the leadership 5,000,000 active members International church, multi-language Hard to steer a very large ship Focus on the sensible, reasonable folks Ignore the more vocal, dogmatic ones Better yet, learn to love them

45 Raising Children Be specific about why you go De-program as necessary (but constructively) – Vengeful God – “One trueness” – Infallibility of leaders – “Better than non-LDS” – Bigoted God Connections between race and cursings, homosexuality – Science and religion Focus on the positive

46 Always protect yourself and your loved ones (Not just a church thing)

47 Physician…heal thyself. Whatever weakness or anger you retain, will only follow you

48 Supplement for spirituality Good books Nature Family time Meaningful friends Exercise Small groups

49 A place to serve, not to be served

50 Fowler’s Stages of Faith Seek to become a “Level 5”

51 Holy Now by, Peter Mayer

52 Holy Now, by Peter Mayer When I was a boy, each week On Sunday, we would go to church And pay attention to the priest As he would read the Holy Word. And consecrate the holy bread And everyone would kneel and bow Today the only difference is Everything is holy now. Everything, everything, Everything is holy now...

53 Holy Now When I was in Sunday school We would learn about the time Moses split the sea in two Jesus made the water wine And I remember feeling sad that miracles don’t happen still But now I can’t keep track ‘Cause everything’s a miracle Everything, everything Everything’s a miracle...

54 Holy Now Wine from water is not so small, but an even better magic trick is that anything is here at all. So, the challenging thing becomes not to look for miracles, but finding where there isn’t one.

55 Holy Now When holy water was rare at best I barely wet my finger tips. Now I have to hold my breath ’cause I’m swimming in a sea of it. It used to be a world half there heaven’s second rate hand me down but I’m walking with a reverent air cause everything’s holy now.

56 Holy Now Read a questioning child’s face, to say it’s not a testament, that’d be very hard to say. See another new morning come, say it’s not a sacrament, I tell you that it can’t be done.

57 Holy Now This morning outside I stood I saw a little red-winged bird Shining like a burning bush Singing like a scripture verse It made me want to bow my head I remember when church let out how things have changed since then, everything is holy now.

58 Holy Now It used to be a world half there, heaven’s second rate hand me down Now I walk it with a reverent air cause everything’s holy now.

59 Inspired, and Maybe Even True God Jesus Book of Mormon Joseph Smith President Hickley The Church This is what “faith” and “the Holy Ghost” are really all about

60 Keep going to church. Keep praying. Keep reading the scriptures.

61 Stay Open An example: Ted Lyon

62 Making a difference by staying Build credit – Serve, server, serve Spend it judiciously Change hearts and minds one at a time

63 Not for everyone Lots of work Usually must really love people “Fasten your seatbelts!!!!!”

64 Valuable Resources “Why the church is as true as the gospel” -- Eugene England “What the church means to people like me” -- Richard Poll “For those who wonder” --Jeff Burton --Ann Porter “How to stay in the LDS church after becoming disaffected” --John Dehlin “Why people leave the LDS church, and what we can do about it”--John Dehlin Sunstone & Dialogue James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith”

65 “It’s almost time” David Wilcox

66 “It’s almost time” Just across the sea on this world so round the sun's shining hot right now. And even though the winter still surrounds this town I can still feel that sun somehow.

67 “It’s almost time” When I know that my sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin,I can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that sun to come 'round again.

68 “It’s almost time” So I'll walk beside the sea on this frozen ground where there once was a warm weather crowd. Even though that summer's been a long time gone,I can still feel that sun somehow.

69 “It’s almost time” When I know that my sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin,I can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that sun to come 'round again.

70 “It’s almost time” When your love grows cold and your heart grows dark and the blame seems to fall on you. Well look how seasons must change and don't think it so strange that your love goes in circles too.

71 “It’s almost time” And just know that your sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin, and I know you'll find, that it's almost time, for that love to come 'round again. We can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that love to come 'round again.

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