Comments about ‘Why I'm staying: replying to CNN's 'Why millennials are leaving the church'’

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Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

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atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

"5. Our doctrine is not a laundry list of what we can and cannot do."

Then why do I always see posts from members saying that people who leave the church generally just couldn't/wouldn't deal with following the commandments that comes with being part of a church with higher standards for living than other churches?

I'd accept the argument that the doctrine is about much more than that but then that would apply to just about every other church as well.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

I can answer CNN's question in three sentences.

Going to church means holding one's self to a higher standard, taking on more voluntary responsibility, and giving one's self more work do to while getting nothing in return (in the worldly sense). Going to church is harder than not going to church. And speaking in general, millennials (of which I am one) are lazy and tend to look for the easiest path through life.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Brave Sir Robin
The CNN post actually gave the answer to that based on survey results. The issues they found included...
1. too political
2. too exclusive
3. old-fashioned
4. unconcerned with social justice
5. hostile towards the LGBT community

Or you know, we could just call them lazy and dismiss their concerns. Either/or.

milojthatch
Sandy, UT

I fully agree with Brave Sir Robin. Truly being religious means holding yourself to a higher standard, and that is something society is not ok with.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

I really enjoyed reading this article. I do have to disagree with point #4 in the article though. When I was questioning the church I would often ask hard and difficult questions, both in church and to my family members. I was told many times to not question and to just have more faith. I don't think the church creates a good environment to ask difficult questions. But that might just be my experience. Good article though.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

I read the CNN article a couple of days ago and I agree with many of this article's points in response - at least in principle.

In practice, where the rubber meets the road in the everyday experience of Mormons, I'm less confident. I know too many people who didn't feel like "brothers" or "sisters" because of unrighteous assumptions and judging by ward members. I know some who felt that their sincere questions made others suspicious of their motives. There are others who did feel a stringent list of do's and don't's, and who felt condemned for not living up to the ideals imposed on them.

Most of all, I feel we're complacent about the challenges to faith in today's world, especially for "Millenials" - our lessons and classes aren't geared to meet some of today's spiritual needs.

We often fall short of the ideals espoused by the article. My confidence in Mormonism is heavily driven by its optimism for who we are, and what we are capable of achieving. I believe that Mormonism contains a framework for meeting the challenges to belief - but only if we rise to embrace its potential.

iheartcupcakeslc
Draper, UT

@Brave Sir Robin-the idea that I don't hold myself to a high standard, just because I don't believe in an organized religion is insulting. I am very active in my community, donate money to charities that need it for things other than building shopping malls. I volunteer and donate because I WANT to, not because I believe I will be rewarded for it in an imaginary afterlife.

I get the sense of community that religion provides. It can be difficult to find people who have similar beliefs. I am so happy I've been able to find a wonderful support system of people with similar beliefs as my own. People who aren't assigned by someone else to be my friend, but people who actually choose to associate with me. It's incredibly refreshing.

WI_Member
Appleton, WI

Local clergy are unpaid. General Authorities of the LDS church receive stipends (compensation, salaries.) Please do not use that point to elevate the LDS church over other denominations. Many other churches rely heavily on volunteers as well.

wilson756
Utah, UT

Within your reasons I find #4 and #5 to be completely false.
#4 states that mormon's are taught to ask questions. Which is completely false to anything I was told or taught in my 20 years of activeness and pure dedication to the church. I was always told to rely on faith, and to never question any of the doctrine. I always thought of myself as a sinner because I questioned things too much. It wasn't until I decided to find the answers to my many questions that I found factual evidence that the foundational beliefs of the church are false.
#5 I also find to be completely false. When simply explaining the churches beliefs, you cant help but find yourself listing off the hundreds of things you can and cant do. Yes, you can define the beliefs by telling someone to be more "christ like", but that still doesn't mean there Isn't an enormous list of do and do not.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I'm not LDS but I think the lay clergy of the Mormons has a lot of benefits. I also find that churches that give a lot of people an opportunity to have a "ministry" (Mormons use the phrase "calling") also makes going to Church more meaningful.

I think a lot of people believe "not going to Church" is the same as not having a religious faith. Those who seem to hold onto their membership do a good job of encouraging involvement, not just showing up.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ milo and Robin: You have both stated that religious people hold themselves to a higher standard.

If that is true, there are not very many religious people - whether they attend church or not.

Either that, or, on a comparative basis, they have really low standards to begin with.

How many religious people on these comment boards show by their words and actions that they are following Jesus' admonition to love one another? How many show they judge not?

How many individuals in prisons claim to be religious versus claim to be atheist?

How many religious leaders or fellow church members have been found guilty of committing fraud or sexually molesting children in their care?

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Atl134: Without Christ at the center of your life, one is left with 'Social Justice', a poor substitute for genuine Christian living. Social Justice is a code word for delegating Christian living to government, a pathetic hypocritical and cynical view of humanity. Sorry, I'll take neighborly 'social justice' over a liberal's government delegatory 'social justice' anytime.

Eastern girl
New Haven, CT

Good points!

JSB
Sugar City, ID

Wilson 756: I am over 70 years old, raised in the LDS church and have asked questions all my life. I have disagreed with some LDS about evolution, blacks and the priesthood, questioned some mission practices, and many, many other issues. I have never been discouraged from asking questions. I have been in many classes where hard questions were asked and answered--and, sometimes not answered. What I have been told is to strive to live a worthy life, honor the priesthood, serve your fellow man and someday these issues will be sorted out. To me, the association with the saints, in spite of our imperfections and differences of opinion, make the LDS church the most wonderful organization in the world. I love it.

Markhorse
DENAIR, CA

JSB Thanks for articulating what I was thinking.Very sincere

Wilson756 The Do's and Don'ts are mere recommendations to protect us from things that will hurt our body and spirit.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

I think that we run into difficulties when we start to claim to have "factually" proved the validity or falseness of a religion. The whole point of religion is that it is higher than we are. I think that people tend to get what they seek. If you seek for nothing higher than yourself, you end up obtaining exactly that. If you seek for something higher, you tend to get it. How much power does mankind have over death or sorrow? That should tell you how much power man has in the realm of asserting the factuality of religion.

George
New York, NY

@milo and robin

"Higher standards?" The standard that reinforces a false sense of supuriotry for a group of people that must turn to a outside source to manage their behaviors for them?

milojthatch
Sandy, UT

@Kalindra - I said "Truly being". I will fully agree that many people alive now and historically have used religion for devious purposes, and those people possibly need religion the most. The point however is that if you are truly religious (and actually "get" the point of your religion), you admit that you are not perfect and that you need help from a higher power to better yourself.

My argument with most of the World, (not just atheist) is this trends we find where we are told that there is no need to better yourself because you're perfect just the way you are right now. No sense of a need to become something more or turn to a higher power for help, and I find that view flawed. It's like a baby sitting in their dirty diaper and not wanting it to be changed, or a student being ok with not learning the lesson the teacher is teaching and being satisfied with their limited knowledge. The fact is, REAL religion means work, and that is something many people today don't want to do.

ENDavis
Lehi, UT

Just for the record, in case anyone is keeping score...

The local leadership of the church (i.e. Ward Bishoprics, Priesthood Quorum leaders, Relief Society leaders, Sunday School teachers, etc.) are a lay clergy, and do not receive any financial benefit from service in the church.

Upper levels of church leadership (i.e. General Authorities, Area Authorities, Mission Presidents, etc.) each receive a monthly reimbursement of all living expenses, including but not limited to: housing, groceries, vehicles, utilities, and education (including college) for dependent children.

maclouie
Falconer, NY

Item #4 is so true contrary to another post.

While one definition of "church" are the people and not the organization, one could say the "church" does not make for a place to ask questions because so many members don't have the answers and the only fall back is to increase one's faith. However, the "organization", or leaders of our Church, always encourage us members not to take the word of the messenger but to ask God if these things are true. Just read the 13th Article of Faith. We need to be seeking all the time which means asking questions and moving forward.

This article is written by someone mature in the Gospel and understands true religion.

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