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Comments about ‘Panelists discuss leaving and returning to the LDS Church at FAIR conference’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 9 2013 12:10 p.m. MDT

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Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

One of the panelists, Don Bradley, has a podcast named "Seeing with an Eye of Faith." It's fairly long but immensely interesting, even if you are not LDS. I've listened to the whole thing twice and found it fascinating.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The panel included currently active members "who previously left the faith for various reasons but eventually found their way back."

You have to love that: Those who are not in the Church, or who left the Church, are "lost", and those who are in the Church again "found their way back".

Consider this alternative perspective: I know many former Mormons who were lost IN the Mormon Church and found their way OUT into the daylight, sanity, reason, and joy! Some abandoned belief altogether. Others "found their way" into another Christian religion.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Mormon temple ceremony had a mystique because it was not to be spoken of outside the temple. I can’t think of surer way to arouse public curiosity about a ceremony that once you’ve experienced it you see for yourself that there's nothing about it that's in any way sensational or controversial. Perplexing to some but that's all.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

I am curious about this comment:

“I missed opportunities for service," she said. "I lost the chance to have children. There were many sins of omission.”

Is she saying God punished her for leaving the church by not allowing her to have children?

I don't know if she is aware but many people outside the LDS Church have children and serve their fellow man.

Can someone help me understand?

grandmagreat
Lake Havasu City, AZ

to this young Sister, I say Welcome Back. I have always been an actve member, and are grateful for a wonderful mothrr who taught me the importance of the Gospel, even we often lived where there were no members, or vrry few members. I have served many callings in the church and am grateful for each one. However, one that has brought me great Joy was at the age of 72 I was able to Serve a Stake Mission, and in that calling i worked with the young Elders when they visited a home where there was no man present. After my release, I had the greatest experience I could have had, went to Church, and one of the Sisters Came up to me,and wanted a hug, and thanked me for helping them find their way back. Needless to say this was one of the Greatest moments of my life. They were later married in the Temple, had thier family sealed to them forever, and shortly after he suddencly died with an unexpected heart Attack. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? that is taught at at the LDS Church True yes I can testify to that.

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

I am puzzled by people who ask the kinds of questions here that are most easily addressed 1:1 with someone, not on a blog e.g. Chris B. and Sid 6.7. If I were Chris' neighbor, I would love to talk to him about his questions and I get the feeling (by the repeated questions) that he never gets a satisfying answer through this channel.

Find a Mormon friend and ask them...

Sports Are Great
Salt Lake City, UT

sid 6.7, she just says she lost the chance and that there were sins of omission. Nowhere does she say God didn't allow her to have kids. She just made choices that weren't the choices needed to establish a family. Those choices could be as simple as deciding not to form a relationship with a single person which could then be followed by marriage and kids. There is no insinuation that God had anything to do with that. I don't see the issue with her statement. I think you're trying to find something that just isn't there, at all.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

I was born into an anti-Mormon family, joined the Church at a very early age, left the Church not long after, then came back in time to serve a mission.

I relate to what Sister Eyring said about what happens in sacrament meeting after one has been away.

@ "The Scientist": You use your idiomatic expressions, we'll use ours.

@ sid 6.7: Yours is an interesting question, but it clearly comes from the point of view of a faith tradition outside Mormonism.

A natural consequence for doing or not doing something is what you are considering punishment. She is saying that her life choices (including leaving the Church apparently) put her in the position of not being able to have children.

It is common in the Church to recognize that one may forfeit blessings (including the blessing of guidance by the Holy Ghost), one may have bad things happen (even for reasons other than one's personal choices--for reasons that have nothing to do with righteousness or unrighteousness), and one need not assume that God is inflicting any particular direct punishment.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

Sports:

I am not trying to find any thing other than a educated answer. Unfortunately, you weren't able to give me one.

To the other person who thought I was not Mormon you are incorrect. Non Practicing but I am still LDS.

I guess I should have known better than to ask people who are supposedly upstanding Mormons, in an LDS Newspaper Forum, a question about Mormonism. I think I would have to go to a convert for that. They actually know what they believe. Yet another missionary opportunity missed by Utah Mormons.

Oh yea, Ute Alumni, you really should refrain from trying to represent the LDS Church. I think they can do without your brand of help. People like you in the Church are a big part of what drives people like me away. You sir, and your Ilk, are the reason outside of Utah and Idaho the LDS church for the most part has a negative image.

gcrobmd
GADSDEN, AL

“Lost opportunities for service.” Well said. Anyone wanting to be involved in rendering service to his or her neighbor could not find a better place than in Relief Society or LDS Priesthood quorums every Sunday. Non-members are as welcome as members. Non-members do not even have to come. Just let the leaders know you are willing to help. The calls will come. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

When people do not live the commandments, they bring upon themselves the consequences of misery and missed opportunity. God weeps for the misery people bring on themselves by not following His counsel.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

sid 6.7,

I think the comments regarding lost opportunities for service or children are likely related to choices made that turned her away from those avenues. Certainly folks in many circumstances serve or have children. The LDS have no corner on that market.

In many instances, God has no need (or desire) to punish us. But our choices come attendant with consequences. At the time we make them, the results of our choices may seem fine or limited. Later, perhaps less so.

In my experience we (younger folks especially) seldom give full consideration to the results of our actions. We follow a path toward a mission and college and later reap benefits we did not fully understand would be ours. Or, we follow a path away from college, or toward drugs, or into promiscuity. These choices may seem benign at the time but later prove to be less so.

My mother (not LDS) smoked for decades. She died of cancer fairly young - denying her opportunities with her grandchildren. I doubt at 19 she thought that was the choice she was making.

These are just my thoughts. The full answer would have to be from her.

Peace.

sharrona
layton, UT

Jeff: I left the church 26 years ago, I became born again(anōthen,from above).

One reason I left,The BoM has a "Familiar Spirit",2Nephi 26:16:

Compare poor KJV translation to( Latin vulgate,Isaiah 29:4), and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. and thy voice shall be from the earth like that of the “*pythonis=(familiar spirit)”, and out of the earth thy speech shall mutter.

(Latin Vulgate 1 Sam 28:7) And Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that hath a divining spirit=( *pythonem/familiar spirit), and I will go to her, and enquire by her. And his servants said to him: There is a woman that hath a divining spirit=(*pythonem)[witch]at Endor.

From, Acts 16:16 And it came to pass , as we went to prayer a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination= (*python/Grk,=4436) met us which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.
.
In Greek mythology, Pythian a serpent dwelt in the region of Pytho at Parnassus in Phocis, said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain by Apollo. 2. a spirit of divination.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Which ever way the tables turn, there is much more leaving than there is returning. The concern should be: is there a good reason for it, and is there something positive that can be done about it.

MarkMAN
West Columbia, TX

For me anyway,the most interesting statement was her comment about her uncle thinking he could not he is just... My experience and observations remind me how we seem to think less of ourselves than we really are. To understand he was seeming so ordinary helps us understand how elevated we really all are.

Mark

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Jeff wrote:

"@ 'The Scientist': You use your idiomatic expressions, we'll use ours."

Typical of LDS to dismiss and minimize those who see things differently than them, and especially those who are denigrated by their thoughtless "idiomatic expressions".

Is it any wonder more are leaving ("in droves", according to former Elder Jensen) than are returning?

Jeff
Temple City, CA

@ Sharrona: I was "born again" 37 years ago and came into the Church.

@ "The Scientist": You criticize Mormons for saying that those who leave the Church are "lost" and those who come back are "found." Then you criticize me for suggesting that Mormons are free to use whatever idiomatic expressions they want. In the process, you criticize me for being "dismissive" of people who have a different view from me, and suggest that because I am "typical" of Mormons, I am driving people away from the Church. I have more power than I thought.

@ sid 6.7: I did not suggest you were not a Mormon. I only said that your suggestion that God punishes people for leaving the Church comes from a faith system (read that "belief" also) outside orthodox Mormonism. It is not a teaching or tenet of the Church that God automatically or immediately punishes people for anything. If anything, the Church teaches that we are often punished by our sins themselves, and that whatever punishment we may deserve is often reserved for the next life; and though we are subject to natural consequences on earth, we may repent and have our sins forgiven.

Piret
Clifton, NJ

To Sid 6.7: the speaker was NOT saying the negative things she experienced after leaving the Church were a "punishment from God" - if you are active LDS I am astonished you write of this idea. I am quite sure that her negative experiences were as a result of the choices she made after leaving the Church -natural effects from wrong choices. If you choose the believe that a red light does not apply to you as a driver, the natural consequence can be death, injury or a police citation - not God's punishment. The same with other choices in our lives.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

"Leaving the church in droves"? Please send me a quotation, in context please. Scientist, you are constantly on these boards with a contrary opinion of everything LDS. Makes me wonder what your motivation is. You say you know lots of people who have left the church and made their way into "daylight" and "sanity". Do you not comprehend how patronizing your comments are? The very thing you and your fellow non-believers claim holds us apart you are guilty of also.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Great article! I think nearly everyone has their faith challenged sometimes in their lives. For me, an expression Peter offered has helped me on a few occasion. That powerful, thoughtful expression happened when the Lord gave a difficult to understand teaching to his followers, the scripture records, "many walked no more with Jesus saying it was a hard saying (Jesus) gave them". Jesus turned to his apostles and asked, "will ye also go away"? To which Peter replied, "Where shall we go, Lord, thou has the words of eternal life". Some people may leave the LDS church for a variety of reasons but where will they go?

J.D.
Aurora, CO

@Mountanman,

That is a very interesting quote from scripture. The Jehovah's Witnesses also like to use that verse to try to retain their membership. "If you leave the Watchtower" they claim "you will be just like Peter and asking yourself where shall we go". That verse in context is speaking specifically about following Christ and not an organized religion. Do you really think you need the LDS Church or the Watchtower to have Christ?

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