Guest Post: What kind of fold is this?

Cheryl (aka “Bored in Vernal) recently sent us this inquiry.


The other day I had a rude comment on my blog by an anonymous poster. This poster berated me for my opinions and urged me to “come back to the fold.” I continue to be surprised that the perspectives I present on my blog and in my comments on other blogs are perceived to be so apostate. I realize that my viewpoint is probably not mainstream, but I don’t know why bloggers reading my posts immediately assume that I am not a member in good standing.

As far as I can ascertain, the following opinions of mine are those which have drawn the most acrimony:

1. I don’t believe Church leaders are infallible.
This is something I taught to people on my mission. I don’t believe I’m doctrinally incorrect here. I see leaders as people much like myself who are doing the best they can and will occasionally make mistakes. When mistakes are made, I see no problem discussing them in a respectful manner, without covering them up or pretending they don’t exist.

2. Faithful endowed women hold some type of “priestesshood” which we do not understand completely at this time. Latter-day revelation goes so far as to tell us that we have a Heavenly Mother, but goes no farther. Perhaps we will not be able to increase our understanding very much by discussing the matter, but we can harm no one by our speculations, hopes, dreams, poetry, or attempts to move toward a theological understanding of the feminine.

3. The Church’s official stand in regards to politics is strict neutrality. We are reminded of this over the pulpit on each and every election day. Members are free to hold any political position that they deem righteous and in accord with their personal integrity. As members of the Church, we should be able to maintain any political position, and though others certainly may disagree heatedly, they should not call into question our Church standing due to our political views.

4. Certain practices in the Church are “policy” related rather than doctrinal. An example of this might be that we don’t allow guitars in the chapel. Withholding the priesthood from blacks is a policy which is no longer practiced today. Who we give welfare help to or who should be excommunicated are both policy related issues and may vary in different wards throughout the Church. It is usually a mistake to attempt to attach doctrine to those things which are policy related.

After receiving criticism from the anonymous poster, I responded by outlining my level of activity in the Church. But I felt angry that I needed to justify myself on my own blog. What kind of “fold” ostracizes good members who may be pied, spotted, straked or just a little different? How do people who actually are less active ever gain the courage to come back to a “fold” which is so intolerant of diversity, or for that matter, sin?

I address this to you who consider themselves part of “the fold.” Do you think these opinions place me outside of the pale of true Mormonism? Are my opinions simply diverse, or are they dangerous and subversive? (You are welcome to browse my blog)

Deborah

Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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  1. Justin says:

    I do not think your opinions and ideas are outside of the fold of generic mormonism, however, after reading your blog I have noticed one thing. You almost never have anything good to say. 95% of what you talk about – especially regarding the church – is negative. Your blog is the equivalent of the critical in-laws that no one ever wants to spend much time with.

    I do not view you as not active in the church, but by reading your blog I can see how some people would wonder.

    It is a perception thing. While a minority of readers that think the way you do may not see the negative critisizing undertones (whether they are imagined or not) I believe most people would.

    If you are writing a blog for a small audiance, no big deal. If you are writing for a wide audiance, you have to change your tone a bit to get your message across.

  2. Caroline says:

    I didn’t get the same impression as Justin at all.

    I enjoyed what I saw of your blog – you are thoughtfully dealing with and addressing difficult issues. I suppose some hyper orthodox people may interpret that as “negative” and “critical” but I really appreciate people who are willing to tackle the tough issues. Since we are unable to talk about stuff like that in Church sponsored sectors, I think it’s important that there are spaces for people like us to work these things out.

    I absolutely agree with all of your points, and I don’t see how anyone who has studied Mormon religion/history at all could infer that you are apostate because of these beliefs. We could easily go back into the talks of former Church leaders to find statements to support every single one of these four points.

  3. AmyB says:

    I’m with Caroline. In perusing your blog I saw thoughtful discussion of tough issues. I also saw a few very rude commenters that just blew me away (and many more with interesting and helpful things to say). I think it is easy to forget that we are dealing with real people in this format. I’ve been guilty of this myself and have been trying to be more careful.

    Somewhere in the ‘nacle recently someone made mention of Emmeline Wells debating B.H. Roberts. There was a time in the church when there were public debates among the leadership, and the membership could hold more heterodox views. I’m not sure if it’s a result of correlation, or the phenomena that happens when institutions become rigid and ossified, or some other condition. But it feels to me like we have a culture of silence in which doubt and struggle is unspeakable. Many people get very uncomfortable when we speak about the tough issues and they have large reactions. It can be hard to be sympathetic to these reactions when they come accross as personal attacks.

    I, for one, appreciate your voice, Bored in Vernal, and I hope that you continue to speak it.

  4. Caroline says:

    Amy, I think one explanation for the lack of tolerance for heterodoxy may be because the Church is now so big. In the Utah days, it was a very close knit society. And when one person had an alternative opinion, it was like a member of the family disagreeing with another member of the family. I think more benefit of the doubt was given since everyone knew everyone else’s background.

    Now when someone unknown says something alternative it seems like an automatic response by a lot of LDS to question the person’s loyalty to the Church.

  5. Deborah says:

    I think that, when people newly stumble upon LDS blogs, there may be some “I can criticize my mother but you better keep your mouth shut!” dynamic in place: e.g. we may kvetch about this or that in private, but we are fiercely protective of the church in public. A persecution complex? The missionary ethic? Our “fold/family” ideal? Over-protectiveness?

    But (as another permablogger wrote when I showed the gals your guest post), “She’s in the same fold I’m in, for whatever that’s worth.” I love your blog.

  6. Mary B says:

    Nope. I don’t consider those opinions outside the pale of truth. I am up to my eyeballs immersed in the fold and hold the same ones.

    I think that there are always people who, anxious about their own rightness, fearing that the fact that there are others who think differently might mean that they are less worthy, and seeking to reassure themselves, try to create that reassurance by attacking or putting down those who think differently than they do. It’s a phase almost all of us go through in middle school. Sadly some of us never outgrow it.

    Also, many members of the church live in areas where people have a hard time differentiating between many layers of local cultural norms that are infused into their lives and the gospel they are trying to live. That makes them more likely to question your understanding of the gospel when your differences of opinion are outside their local cultural comfort zone.

    I find that when I see such behavior (when it is aimed at me) with compassion and clarity and goodwill, for what it is, it is less unsettling.

    But it still annoys the heck out of me when such unkindness and intolerance is perceived as appropriate behavior and creates disharmony among my sisters. That will always cause me to charge in, “sword of truth” in hand and throw everything into fierce healing efforts.

  7. Bored in Vernal says:

    Thank you for your comments…Justin, it would be really helpful to me if you would tell me specifically what you view as negative or critical of the Church. Because I just can’t see how 95% of my blog is negative.

    When I first joined the Church at age 19, I was urged to question, search and ponder. I continue to use these valuable tools to learn and to grow in the Church. Questioning need not be viewed as dangerous, subversive, or negative.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think Justin is responding to the fact that most of your blogs speak to controversial issues or doctrinal differences. I don’t find the blogs themselves especially negative but I do find myself wondering sometimes if too much time is spent searching out the things we disagree with or find disagreeable and not enough time on the positive aspects of gospel living. It’s kind of like the news, I get tired of hearing about all the terrible things happening in the world but when I think about it, I wouldn’t really like the good to be so unusual as to be newsworthy. (I hope that made sense) I do think it’s important to remember that we find what we look for and for some that means finding fault. I’m sorry you receive comments which hurt you, I’m sure they do nothing to help. How much better if the commenter had tried to present their reason for disagreeing with you without being disagreeable in the process, that is when real learning can take place.
    p.s. I am anonymous because for some reason I can’t register on this sight.

  9. Matt Thurston says:

    Well said, B.I.V. Your posts and comments around the bloggernaccle have always been a model of class and respect. How anyone could criticize your thoughtful and sensitive expressions of faith and doubt is beyond me.

  10. madhousewife says:

    People blog about “negative,” i.e. controversial topics because they can’t discuss them in church. And people view those discussions as a step toward apostasy since those discussions aren’t allowed in church.

    I consider myself about as orthodox and in the fold as one can get. You don’t strike me as dangerous and subversive. But then, I haven’t been to one of your gospel doctrine classes. 😀

  11. Mike Kessler says:

    My husband’s brother (both LDS) told him he is an apostate on our blog — not because he is gay, but because he’s talked openly of what you’ve said in points 1, 2, 3 and 4. His brother’s said much worse to me, but then, since I’m not LDS he thinks my existence is immaterial to G-d’s plan, so why bother being nice?

  12. Anonymous says:

    What kind of “fold” ostracizes good members who may be pied, spotted, straked or just a little different? How do people who actually are less active ever gain the courage to come back to a “fold” which is so intolerant of diversity, or for that matter, sin?

    BiV, the comment you received was not appropriate, and yet it doesn’t seem fair to generalize one comment to the whole “fold” in such a broad, sweeping way. Is everyone in the Church so intolerant? If you are making such an assertion, then don’t you set yourself apart from the Church in some way by this post? We all make up the Church and what the culture is like.

    I’m into this idea that we should try to remove “us-and-them” mentality within the Church because such a mentality makes what you dealt with worse. But it isn’t just those in the mainstream who add to this problem. Tolerance, patience, understanding, the benefit of the doubt, etc. are needed by everyone. Aren’t we all supposed to be part of the same fold?

    I think you have lots of interesting ideas to share (even if I don’t always agree with everything you say), but it’s posts like this that probably get people’s defenses up a bit, ya know? 🙂

  13. Bored in Vernal says:

    M&M, I don’t know why I have such bad experiences in the Church. I feel like I am trying to straddle two worlds and I can’t choose either one to the exclusion of the other and remain true to myself. I really like my persona here in Vernal as a faithful temple going GD teacher and now I have to remove my blog for a while because I was “outed” in the newspaper. It feels like a betrayal of myself. It is also my birthday. Happy Birthday to me.

  14. AmyB says:

    Happy Birthday, BiV!

    I’m intrigued by your blog being in the newspaper, and why that means you have to remove it. There seems to be a lot more to that story.

    I have the impression that you are really struggling. If I lived anywhere near Vernal, I’d invite you over for some (herbal) tea and sympathy.

  15. Deborah says:

    Happy Birthday!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday! I, too, wish I could bring you something or do something to show some love and support in this time of struggle. I don’t know what else to say except that I’m sending cyberhugs!

  17. Kaimi says:

    Cheryl,

    I didn’t see the news story you mention, but I had noticed that your blog is down again. I hope that you’re okay. Happy Birthday.

  18. Anonymous says:

    “we don’t allow guitars in the chapel.”

    I’ve played my classical guitar in the chapel, during sacrament meeting, numerous times and in many wards in the mission field and in Zion. That rule has changed you apostate, now come back to the fold 😉

  19. Caroline says:

    BIV,
    I hope you are doing ok. I know the stress of having your blog outed. My bish has found my blogs and is reading them, so I have to be a bit careful. though I talked to him recently and he assured me that blogs were a space where I could safely describe my faith journey (and its attendant doubt and questions) without fear of recrimination. thank goodness.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to check in again and say hope to hear from you soon! Clearly people here are concerned about you. Wish there was a better way to communicate that at this point, but this is all I can do. (I have been checking back, hoping to hear more from you, hoping that you are OK. I know you have had some rough bumps on the ‘nacle and now with the paper…. I just wanted to add that if there is every anything I have said to add to that, I am truly so sorry.)

  21. Eve says:

    Bored in Vernal, so much of what you say resonates with me, especially your comment about trying to straddle two worlds and the struggle not to beray yourself in the inevitable whiplish of moving back and forth between multiple lives. That’s where I’ve felt for most of my adolescent and adult life. In my experience anyway, it can be so hard and lonely. (And I imagine it’s particularly lonely in Vernal.)

    Like AmyB, I really wish right now that I didn’t live on the other side of the country from you. One of my lifelong best friends in Utah just took out a restraining order against her soon-to-be ex-husband, and I’d give anything to be there to walk into court with her tomorrow. In the same way I wish I could swing by Vernal and have a long conversation with you and AmyB while I’m at it.

    And blogging can be a lonely affair, especially when you get snarked. Honestly I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t have my sisters, brother, and friends blogging with me, and sometimes getting my back. Drop us an email at ZDs if you’d ever be interested in guest-posting and/or hanging out with us for a while. We’d be honored to have your company.

    (And all of the very best people have birthdays in November…;) ).

  22. Eve says:

    Whoops, Bored in Vernal, I hope I didn’t really put my foot in my mouth there–I wasn’t meaning to try to poach you from your stint at ExII! (We love you, ExII, and we wholeheartedly honor your right of imminent domain) [insert red face] Just offering options to keep in mind for the future. Absolutely no pressure. If you end up finding a home here, of course we’d be nothing but delighted.

    In short, we’re not trying to steal you.

  23. Kaimi says:

    Um . . .

    (In best law professor tone)

    It’s _eminent_ domain, Eve. And it doesn’t apply here, anyway, given the nature of the parties. 🙂

    Eminent domain is a government power. It applies in instances such as where the government takes your land to put a freeway through — generally speaking, it’s a right of government to take your property for certain public purposes (whether or not you consent), but it’s limited in the U.S. by the Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment, which requires that the government compensate you for any taking.

    Now why is everybody snoring all of a sudden . . . ?

    In any case, if you’re interested, there are weird wrinkles and complications depending on whether it’s a federal or a state taking. I’ll leave those out for now, though. 😉

  24. Kaimi says:

    I am so setting myself up for retaliation, aren’t I? One of these days, I’m going to misuse a term like post-structuralism or second-wave feminism, and Eve will be ready to pounce.

    Well, that does it. From now on, I’m going to try to get Lynnette, Kiskilili, or Seraphine vet my comments ahead of time to make sure I don’t make any obvious missteps.

    At least Eve isn’t around to hear my mispronunciation of names. Like that French deconstructionist dude (or was he a post-structuralist?). I think you pronounce his name FOE-cult — right?

    Shoot. Where is Lynnette when you need her?

  25. Eve says:

    Kaimi, you’re so nice about mistakes, you can correct me anytime.

    So, uh, Mr. Law Professor, what would be the legal term for poaching a blogger to whom another site had a prior claim?

  26. Bored in Vernal says:

    Thank you all for your interest. I know you don’t want to hear my whole long boring story. It’s hard to tell because there are so many different problems involved. I think the biggest problems are marital ones. My husband is extremely conservative regarding the Church and deals with his discomfort with our different views in a hurtful way.

    So we will move into a ward (we’ve moved around a lot) and everyone will see this wonderful Mormon family with seven little girls dressed in homemade matching Easter dresses (and one little boy). And soon I will get a calling like seminary teacher or Primary President. And I will feel valued in the ward–but the schizophrenic part of me is still reading Sunstone and thinking unconventional thoughts. Then DH will try to win people to his point of view by telling them all about my liberal activities. And I start feeling a lot of fear because there are always people in the ward like “Anonymous” who see me as a threat to their tender youth. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, as it were.

    This time it is actually DH who wrote the article for the newspaper on blogging. (Uintah Basin Standard, Nov 21, 2006) The article seems very neutral toward blogging but is actually his way of outing me to the community. I felt I had to hide my blog so my bishop, the parents of the kids I coach, the ladies I teach aerobics to, and all the people in the Basin who have come to know me as a nice Mormon lady won’t suddenly start treating me like an apostate.

    Maybe I am being too dramatic or sensitive about it all. Maybe they will be able to accept me the way I am. But I have been in fear of my membership too many times to have that faith.

    I often feel quite torn and without a lot of personal integrity. If I was honest with the world about how I feel about certain issues, I would lose something that is quite valuable to me and also an integral part of my life.

  27. Eve says:

    Bored in Vernal, thanks for adding a bit more to your story. I don’t find it boring in the least. But it does sound like a really tough situation. I wish I had any comforting words.

    Although in some ways my situation is really different (husband turned into an agnostic shortly into our marriage and if anything is wondering why I’m still active in this repressive church)–at the moment I really relate to the schizophrenia of having a prominent calling and a secret life of questioning and dissent. For some absolutely inexplicable reason, I got plucked out of the nursery this fall, where I was perfectly happy, and put into the stake Relief Society presidency (as enrichment counselor, and let me assure you I couldn’t enrich my way out of a paper bag). It’s been a huge struggle for me in many ways. I know that if people knew some of the things I think, they would completely flip out. Sometimes I feel really duplicitious, leading this double life. But I also can’t even begin to summon the emotional energy to completely out myself and face the consequences. Instead I just push at the edges.

    Am I complete and total chicken? Do I have any integrity at all? SHould I just out myself and hope I get released? Is it wrong to out myself WITH the hope of getting released? Are my questions anybody’s business?

    I have no idea what to do.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to take over your thread with my own problems. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. I hope…well, I don’t know what to hope exactly, and I don’t want to presume to hope for you. I just care.

  28. Anonymous says:

    BiV,
    I am sorry to hear about your hard situation. I hesitate to share any thoughts because I know what feels like advice always comes out wrong. So, again, I guess I am left sending a cyberhug. If you ever feel like chatting via email, you can find me at mulling_and_musing at hotmail d’ com.

  29. John says:

    Eve and BiV, the personal integrity issue is one that many ‘straddlers’ seems to deal with. The Church environment sets up a no-win situation: we are condemned or, at best, marginalized for being open about our concerns and doubts; when we remain silent, we question our own integrity. It’s a not a happy place to be.

    When I recently revealed the extent of my discomfort (by leaving the Church), I was accused of dishonesty when I was motivated by a desire not to threaten the faith of others. Some members would have us silent or out.

    Fortunately there are members who can understand and value your situation, though they may be hard to find.

    FWIW, I recognize the complexity of your struggles and sympathize with you both, and don’t think that there is any one ‘right’ answer. I admire you for continuing to confront and wrestle with these questions in spite of the pain involved.

  30. Seraphine says:

    I’ve struggled with the whole integrity thing too (being one person on my blog and another at church, though I’ve been lucky to be in a ward where I’ve been able to be relatively about who I am and what I think).

    One reason why I posted at T&S was because if there are people in my ward who read the bloggernacle, they can probably figure out who I am, and I decided that might not be such a bad thing.

    And Kaimi, “FOE-cult” is not a deconstructionist, though you could label him a poststructuralist.

  31. Seraphine says:

    p.s. I meant to add that I’m thinking about you, too, BiV, and I’m sorry to hear about how rough things have been for you.

  32. older singer says:

    BIV–your post rings so familiar to me, because I remember having exactly the same thoughts. This was before blogging days, but some of my fiction had caused more than a ripple in communities I valued. I have stories on my computer which I’ve never published because I know how they might be perceived. But the thing which concerns me most is that your husband has been an adversary rather than a support. He needs to be released (with a vote of thanks) from his sense of needing to call to repentence. That’s not his calling, never was. And you, my dear sister, need to transcribe this scripture someplace where you’ll see it often: “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
    Husbands and wives will be always be on individual spiritual journeys, as well as on the hand-in-hand ones. Consider the Banyon tree as a symbol: our roots entwine, but our branches grow in different directions and reach independently towards Heaven.
    I have found myself boycotted, written up, chastised, accused of accusing (an interesting irony), and, most recently, described as a liar in somebody’s hateful website.
    I have also taught Institute, Sunday School, worked in the temple (I still do), and given firesides.
    Here’s my gut feeling: Somebody needs you to be exactly who you are and who you are becoming. They need you to be strong because, for now, they rely on your strength. Your peace will help diminish their fears. Your courage to speak the truth in love (and that last part is so essential) will empower them. In the sisterhood of those who wonder and sometimes wander, we need strong mothers of lots of little girls in matching outfits (and one boy). We need Molly Mormon to reveal who she really is, and to even glory in it herself. We need others are honest about their struggles and questions, and who speak freely. How else do we build something beyond the facade?
    The power is in you. You can transcend this fear.

  33. Bored in Vernal says:

    ohh, you dear, dear ones. Eve, I can’t tell you how much it means to hear that someone else has some of the same questions. M&M, you are such a sweetheart for refraining from quoting a GA to solve my problems (you know you wanted to!) Hee hee. Older singer: Thank you for your words. I promise that one day I will find the strength to be more like your vision of what is possible. I know I have it in me. But right now I’m just a lonely middle aged woman with a bad haircut hiding in her darkened bedroom. Thank you all for being little sunbeams!

  34. Anonymous says:

    BiV,
    “Do unto others as you know they would want to be treated.” 🙂
    I hope you know that I am sincere in my concern.

  35. Eve says:

    If you ever feel like emailing, further discussion of these or any other issues, BinV, my address is wallace_stevens at fastmail dot fm.

    For what it’s worth, I’m an intermittently lonely woman approaching middle age hiding behind the stacks of books I should be reading before finals. And my haircuts are aways terrible because I hate going to the beauty shop and having to make small talk, so I go for months without deaing with my galloping split ends.

  36. Eve says:

    I guess what I’m trying to say, in my clumsy way, BinV, is that I hope you know you’re not alone, even in Vernal. Many of us out here in cyberspace struggle with some of the same issues you describe here. I certainly do.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Coach Bruno (or should I say, “Bored in Vernal) I love Google! I thought you had given up. I thought you didn’t want to answers the questions I asked you on your blog site and had went into hiding. Come to find out (thanks to Google)… You just “Guest posted” on another bloggers site.

    Thanks for your answers and motives. Thanks also for sharing more about your personal life and marital problems. Looks like your husband and I share the same thoughts re: your blog site. But we do differ in a few ways… First, If my wife had the same doctrinal and faith issues you did, I wouldn’t “out” her to the whole Uintah Basin by writing a newspaper article and exposing my wifes blog site. Second, I would encourage her to search (question), ponder and pray for truth and the strength to believe (and have faith) in things she didn’t fully understand. If my wife still struggled I would love her no matter what and hope she would eventually see the light.

    You have me all wrong. I don’t hate you or your blogs. My heart just goes out for you and I feel some sort of duty to help you back into the “fold”. I just wish you wouldn’t take such positions of authority on such inflammatory topics. These posts are going to eventually get you into trouble…. I wish you wouldn’t get so defensive when someone calls you out on the carpet. I think you are reading the wrong books and attending the wrong conferences to find answers to your prayers. I promise you that if you ask God (not tell Him) He will give you answers.

    I hope you don’t close down your blog site. But, if you are feeling guilty or like you need to lay-low and hide for a while… then you should shut it down. Those feelings of guilt and secrecy only come from one source…

    Hang in there…. The Fold is waiting…

    -your brother in Vernal

  38. AmyB says:

    Dear Brother in Vernal,

    I am going to assume that you are well-intentioned. And since your intentions are good, perhaps you could try on another perspective. What if you viewed Cheryl as an equal, a friend, a sister, a fellow human being on this grand life journey who is valiantly and nobly trying the very best she can (which I believe she is and I believe you are). What if you expanded your definition of “the fold” to include people who think and feel differently than you do? What if you could listen to her concerns without judgment, acknowledge them rather than telling her that they are “wrong”, and accept her as worthwhile and worthy human regardless of your differences in belief?

    I’d also like to mention that feelings of guilt or secrecy are only one possibility of many reasons for shutting down a blog. Another possible reason is that the church community isn’t as good at showing love as it could be and can be hostile to heterodox thinkers. Shutting down the blog could be self-protection when one doesn’t have the emotional energy to withstand an unkind community response.

    And if you are still reading, I’d like to gently point out #4 on our comment policy: This is not the place to question another’s personal righteousness, to call people to repentence, or to disprespectfully refute people’s personal religious beliefs.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thank you AmyB. I hope Mrs Bruno takes your advice. Thanks for pointing out rule #4 of your comment policy. I tried my best to stay within those guidelines.

    AmyB I hope you feel welcome in our “fold” as well. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help…

    Your brother in Vernal.

  40. older singer says:

    Please, please, somebody give “Your Brother in Vernal” a copy of Terry Warner’s _Bonds that Set Us Free_ for Christmas.
    I have rarely read such a sad post as his.
    We are all capable of self-deception, certain that we are right and righteous and in a position to judge others–even our spouses. We all can do better in focusing on whatever is “virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy” in our spouse, rather than clinging to the particularities of how they don’t quite meet up to our expectations.
    The problem with many of us is that we are very eager for our SPOUSE to recognize our goodness (and even to repent), but not at all willing see our own need of repentence. (After all, we’re RIGHT, aren’t we?)
    A good scripture for the fridge:
    Alma 38: 14
    “Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy—yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.”

  41. Bored in Vernal says:

    Anonymous,
    I have a few questions for you.
    1. What in the sam hill is so important about boring little me that you would hound me all over the internet, googling my name, and trying to persuade me I am not of this fold?
    2. If you don’t “get” my blog and don’t agree with it, why do you continue to visit there?
    3. Why do you want everyone to know who I am and yet you won’t say who you are?

    As in my original post, I continue to be amazed that people see me as “struggling” in my faith. Although I struggle with other personal issues, I see my faith as rather strong. I have never doubted that God exists, that Jesus is my Savior, or that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I actually believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon. I totally get into apologetics on the Book of Abraham. I attend Church 100% of the time, have never turned down a calling, and have maintained a current temple recommend for 26 years. I love this Church more than anything. I am obsessed with this Church. I love the fascinating questions, the interesting history, I love doctrinal debate. I want to talk about it all the time. I want to discuss how cool it is that Joseph was a prophet and also a man. I want to dig into the motivations of some of his actions. I want to talk about the symbolism in the temple. I want to learn Hebrew and read Isaiah in the original language.

    I like to read all kinds of Church books and attend all kinds of Church conferences. But I especially like ones where I learn things I don’t already know. I confess to being slightly bored with hearing the same thing 100,000 times.

    I don’t plan on leaving the fold for anything. I think you can safely turn your attention to someone else.

  42. Anonymous says:

    It is just your tone BiV. I bet you’re really not “bored” in Vernal. Sounds like you have plenty to do.

    So say your strong and believe in Prophets, yet you question basic beliefs and theology spelled out in modern day revelations.

    I feel like you are all over the board and very confused. That is why I care. I don’t think it was an accident I stumbled across your blog (when I was looking for directions to the LDS cannery in Vernal). Now that I have read your blog I can’t let it go. I didn’t seek you out… your blog found me. Hang in there, you are making progress. This Church is true and there is a place waiting for you…

    Your Brother in Vernal

  43. Kiskilili says:

    Brother in Vernal,

    I don’t think it was an accident I stumbled across your comment. You sound confused, but I think you’re making progress. Civility and respecting the choices of others even when you disagree are worthwhile endeavors. Hang in there. 🙂

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