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NOM/Take best leave rest

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:03 pm
by Amore
A while back I mentioned how some on NOM years ago helped me through some tough times in my faith crisis. Someone asked if I had any quotes from then... so I’ll share some of what I can find. But let’s just add any good thoughts about basically taking the best from church and leaving the rest.

The best thing that’s helped me through faith crisis is redefining gospel terms in healthier ways.

Re: NOM/Take best leave rest

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:12 pm
by Amore
Quotes from NOM (some odd years ago). Sorry, not sure who wrote some of these... Nom

I'm so glad I have all you other NOMs to be a sounding board as I continue to navigate my situation. My thanks to all who take the time to read and respond to this.

I'm struggling with whether I should try instilling some of my own philosophical and spiritual views on my children. After some initial fallout after my disaffection, my wife and I are doing really well now. There is peace in the marriage, and our love life is good. I feel like my wife respects me and my beliefs, and I respect hers. I don't attend church anymore at all. I participate in family prayer once an evening and at the dinner table, but that is about the extent of it. I'm hesitant to rock the boat right now.

My kids are 10, 7, and 3. They attend church every Sunday with my wife. They read from the Book of Mormon every morning before school. And on Monday afternoons before I get home from work, my wife holds a traditional "family home evening" with the kids, complete with singing and a lesson. Recently I asked my 10 year old whether he believes everything that he is taught at church is "true." He replied "yes" with a confidence that took me back a bit. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and I've always had confidence that he would eventually be able to figure things out. But they way he so strongly said he believed it all kind of shook me. I realize that he is on a trajectory to complete indoctrination. I was the same at his age. I was the kid who had a "strong testimony." I never doubted growing up.

My question for you all is, should I speak with my wife and let her know that I want the chance to balance some of the teachings the kids are receiving at church and home? Could I insist on certain boundaries with what we teach our kids? For example, it kind of bothers me the idea that she might be telling the kids, "I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God," or "I know this church is the only true church on the earth." In my ideal world, we would both let our kids navigate their personal spiritual journeys without undue coercion from us. I would prefer to limit the instruction at home to the general principles of love your neighbor, honesty, integrity, charity, etc. I would prefer to keep the dogmatic LDS stuff out of our home. The kids are getting plenty of it at church. I would also like to be able to introduce my kids to some secular ideas on morality, as well as critical thinking, science, etc.

I'm certain that I wife would not like it if I told my kids, "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joseph Smith was not a prophet." But that is the level of indoctrination that I am being expected to tolerate. Is there a middle way that would allow me to share what I believe, without causing my kids to feel like they are being asked to choose between mom's and dad's beliefs? Is it better to just keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat?

I would love to hear how you NOMs in mixed-faith marriages with kids make it work.

I personally think that the common LDS practice of telling children "I know that _____ is true" when it comes to metaphysical beliefs is crossing the line. But how do you convince someone of that when they are in the system and can't see that? My mother had the best of intentions but I can't look back at her fervent testimony-bearing to us as children without feeling sick inside. It was just so wrong and I think it is abusive. But how do you make someone see that who is in that mind-frame? I don't know.

Here is what has helped me navigate this minefield a little bit:

1) A few years ago I had a conversation with my wife about how bad it felt to find out all of the weird historical stuff at the age of 32. My wife responded that she already knew all of this stuff and was surprised I hadn't learned it growing up. (Her dad was an avid reader and owned an LDS bookstore.) I then told her that I didn't want our kids to grow up and be surprised like I was. She agreed. This has been a gateway to us having a series of church history FHEs. We just covered polygamy a couple of weeks ago and the priesthood ban will be covered soon. I doubt my kids have any clue about the ban at this point. They are very bothered by historical racial discrimination in the US, so I would be willing to bet that this will be where they start adding some significant weight to the shelf, especially when I read them some of Brigham Young's pro-slavery quotes and contrast them with the disavowal statement in the new essay.

2) I try to take one of my kids out one night a week. I have four so they get one night a month to choose a place to go eat with Dad. I get to have some very good conversations on these nights. Of course, it also helps that my wife realizes that I have just as much right to share my thoughts with my kids as she does, so if she finds out that we discussed religion she doesn't freak out or anything. I'm not sure what I did to get to that point or if I just lucked out having a reasonable wife.

At this point, all of my kids normally attend church but are allowed to come home with me if they want after sacrament. One of my kids (9yo) chose to do that on Sunday. We went to the grocery store and bought ingredients to make a Margarita cake. She's the one who usually passes on saying the prayer when she is asked if she wants to. Probably too early to tell what direction she will go as a teen. I'm just focusing on letting them all know how I feel and that whatever they believe will not affect my love for them.

One thing I read recently was an article on "Sad heaven" in the Trib: ... aven-hurts Do you think that your wife believes in sad heaven? My wife has explicitly stated that she does not. Basically she just copes with Mormon doctrine by rejecting a lot of the restrictive theology. She's an odd duck as far as TBMs go. If you take the church's teachings seriously, it leads to a pretty grim outlook for eternity.

Thanks for posting this; really good topic. I've kept my disaffection pretty quiet, and I still attend, so I'm in a bit of a different situation but this issue has really been on my mind lately. My daughter just turned 12, so we are really getting into the YW modesty/follow the leaders/etc. indoctrination stuff. What I decided is to focus on making sure that she understands that leaders are fallible and that she is to trust herself and her instincts/knowledge/reason over their authority. My wife is on board with this, as she sees it as following the holy ghost over anything else. I am thinking that if I can get her to look for the source of truth in something other than what a leader says, whatever doctrine or rules or thing they teach her will be seen with a critical eye. She can absorb the good lessons and reject the bad instead of blindly following whatever comes out of a leader's mouth. By focusing on this one thing, I am not causing conflict by individually refuting every dumb thing she is taught, and I am hopefully giving her the tools she needs to reason for herself.

Red Ryder
Post subject: Re: What to teach kids in a mixed-faith marriage
Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:47 pm 
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:20 am
Posts: 3326
Location: Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later.
Corsair had a post a while back about teaching kids to think critically.
I've focused my efforts from this direction and coupled with a deep sense of apathy, it seems to cut down on the crazy indoctrination. My kids are normal. However looking back, once your kids cross the 12 year old line in the sand, they become sucked in deep. Ordinations, interviews, temple recommends, and group testimony meetings start to invade and the peer pressure to believe kicks in hard. Especially when the Molly's and Peter's are making Moroni look bad tooting their horns!

Re: NOM/Take best leave rest

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:25 pm
by Amore
 Post subject: Finding a New Tribe

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:02 pm
Posts: 2402
Location: Eastern Washington
Evolution has given us a very strong emotional response to being kicked out of our tribe. During human evolution, this meant certain death, so we are programmed to do all we can to "fit in" and be accepted by our tribe and once accepted to go further and work to gain prestige within that tribe.

The church is a very cohesive and supportive tribe that is very all-encompassing. I believe this is why people WANT to believe the church is true regardless of what the evidence shows, and why it is so emotionally difficult for us to leave the church. It's tribalism.

From the limited observations that I have made, I have seen that leaving the church without finding a replacement tribe is going to be very emotionally painful. Likely this pain will manifest itself as anger towards the church. The more pain, the more anger.

Anger and attacks by us against the church, however, are not productive since it results in our tribe members (TBM friends and family) having to choose between you and your logical arguments, or their tribe. Depending on the strength of your relationship and how much they need their tribe, most will choose their tribe. They will reject us, even though they may not want to, in order for them to maintain their own position and influence in their tribe, which they are similarly strongly motivated to maintain. So it is almost impossible for them to give your well-thought-out arguments an unbiased review. We are left baffled as to why WE believed such silly things in the past, and why others refuse to consider the truth regardless of how glaring the evidence is. But it happens because it is the glue that defines your inclusion in the tribe.

So, if you want to be able to move on to better things in your life peacefully and happily, and without destroying all of your relationships, I recommend:

* Don't attack the church. Keep your snarky comments to yourself. Your intended TBM audience will never be receptive, and you will just damage your relationships. If you want to change opinions about women, etc. make an emotional appeal by sharing stories of the hurt that these policies do to these good people and to you personally. Be sad, not angry.

* Find a new tribe to replace the church with before you leave the church. You need a supportive tribe to be happy, even though you wish you didn't need one. Finding a new tribe will probably require you to leave your comfort zone, to reach out, and to be willing to be the humble newby at least for a while. However, once you are settled and happy in your new tribe, you won't feel the emotional need for the old tribe as strongly, and can then step gently away from the church with much less impact to you or others.

Always been the good kid. However, I wanted to know more, and to find and test truth...

Unitarian church
in my yoga instructor training course. During my transition, my Toastmaster's group was a great community too.

only reason I suggested UU was because one's beliefs don't have to conform, but there are also many non-denominational Christian churches where the same is true.
Exmo groups can be good to aid in the transitions. But I've found some of them to be raw, with everyone processing their anger. For me, I'm looking to develop relationships with interesting people who are interested in me for who I am rather than what I used to be.

Re: NOM/Take best leave rest

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:36 pm
by Amore
Tonight was my turn for Family Home Evening & I wanted to do a NOM (take the best leave the rest) kind of lesson. Feel free to use it - probably won’t see this in a church manual, though I tried to keep it TBM friendly for the hubbie.

“...Study it out in your mind: then you must ask me if it be right, & if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” -D&C 9:8

Wrote on our little white board:
1) Study & think
2) Pray & Spirit

I explained my teen experience of running away & being at a family drug dealers when there was a knock at the the door & their child peeked & yelled, “It’s the cops!” Paranoid and freaking out, we flushed the drugs down the toilet as someone else said, “It’s just the Mormon missionaries.” That and some other experiences reminded me I knew better so when asked to make changes to my life, I thought it through & prayed & felt good so I made the changes - including moving to a new life. But after that, I was very careful not to get sucked into groups that weren’t doing good. So, even though I felt alone, the good that came out of it was I became more of an independent thinker and stronger in standing for what I saw was good even when others around me weren’t.

I emphasized the importance of really studying things out and thinking for ourselves along with spiritual guidance. Either by themselves doesn’t work - both are needed. It’s so tempting to go along with what others are saying or doing, but we need to think and act for ourselves.

I read these quotes:

J. Reuben Clark said, "If we have the truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed."

"I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent—if you are informed. . . Only error needs to fear freedom of expression. Seek truth in all fields, and in that search you will need at least three virtues; courage, zest, and modesty.” -Hugh B. Brown

“...we are free to think and express our opinions. Fear will not stifle thought, as is the case in some areas which have not yet emerged from the dark ages. God himself refuses to trammel man's free agency even though its exercise sometimes teaches painful lessons. Both creative science and revealed religion find their fullest and truest expression in the climate of freedom.

“I admire men and women who have developed the questioning spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas and stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent – if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression… This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence nor any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.(Hugh B. Brown, counselor in First Presidency, Speech at BYU, March 29, 1958) -Hugh B. Brown

“Do not, brethren, put your trust in a man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone...”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, v. 53

And... it was received pretty well. One dirty look of my husband but he contributed comments how humility & faith are also important in studying & praying. One of my kids hugged me & said thanks. I hope they find their way through this crazy maze of a life.

Re: NOM/Take best leave rest

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:53 pm
by Amore
These posts encouraged me...

“Unfulfilled expectations usually arise when we misjudge the capability of something/someone we've invested in and only now see that the results aren't what we thought they would be.

A quick analogy. Most folks here know I'm a horseman. If I were an naïve amateur who wanted to get involved in racing and I went out on bought a mule thinking I could turn him into a competitive Thoroughbred I would be sorely disappointed no matter how much I trained him or how well he was fed and vetted. In the end he can only perform up to his genetic best....

(Church prioritizes leaders & uniformity)

That doesn't mean giving up on your family and current friends. Don't burn your bridges. They're all good mules that can be helpful within their own limitations. But don't expect from them what they are currently unable to give. It wouldn't be fair really.
You can do this.”

Alas: “I agree with Palerider, you are suffering from dashed expectations. You expected Mormons to be authentic, to act according to their genuine self. But Mormons are the biggest fakers I have ever met. I realized early on that the church teaches people to pretend to be perfect Mormons...

Things like being genuine, having integrity, being authentic, having self worth, are not valued by the church. Really, who cares if anyone has self worth, in fact I think the church tries to beat “self worth” out of people until they think they are only good people BECAUSE of the church...

And you are right that everyone would be reaching out in love if you were some big sinner trying (or pretending) to repent. They are taught what to do with repent sinners. They are not taught what to do with someone who is confidant they are still a good person when they don’t conform to Mormon standards. So, you are this big puzzle because you are not guilty and ashamed for being an unbeliever. In their thinking you should feel terrible and guilty and ashamed for doubting Mormonism. The fact that you don’t confuses them.”

Wtf: “If you look into it a bit, one of the goals of high-demand (cult-like) organizations like LD$-Inc. is to beat down individuality, and remove identity. Whether the "organization" realizes it or not, they truly do want all adherents to basically be obedient clones who just sit down, shut up, and do what they are told.”

FInally Free: “ sound like a pretty cool apostle to I mean apostate. Funny how those words have the same root. Maybe the apostates are supposed to be the ones leading??”

Macman: “If this church were true it wouldn't leave a trail of broken families in its wake !!! Prophets, seers and revelatory my ass !!!!!”