Is it right to try to influence others in the Church?

This is an interesting debate I continually have with myself.

As a relatively new ‘non-believer’ I am still struggling with the aftermath of the painful realisation. From adjustments to relationships with TBM family and friends etc, to trying to come to understand my own thought processes.

I saw/see myself as a campaigner for truth, & have wanted, in fact still want, those I love to understand why I no longer believe, & if possible to open their eyes to the truth as well.

I shudder to think of how some people, particularly young gays in the Church are suffering & in some cases dying as a result of their faith in the Church.

I try to consider all the different aspects of what faith means to people & look at the different ways to approach the post-Mormon part of my life & how to interact with TBMs.

I’m still debating in my own head the best approach to achieve a positive outcome for all.

I desperately wish the best for all those I love, & in fact I desire all humans should have the best opportunity to flourish & be given the chance to achieve their potentials.

But I’m not sure how. I also don’t claim to know everything about achieving that goal myself, but strongly believe that the Church, in fact any superstitious belief system, but particularly authoritarian orthodoxy, is not the best way to achieve human physical & psychological wellbeing.

Maybe it’s better to ‘live & let live’ & respect other people’s rights to continue to believe what they believe without my interference. Let them discover things by themselves? Or should I try to influence that process?

Should I try to raise awareness of the potential problems with their belief system?

Does my attempt at raising awareness actually achieve anything? Or does it create a feeling of being threatened & create fear in my TBM friends and family? In the end is my attempt futile or counter-productive?

Does my attitude towards others increase their likelihood of discovering truth which for them is beneficial, or does it push them further into the Mormon delusion?

Am I being arrogant in even thinking about this?

Does my approach to this increase my own happiness & wellbeing, or does it cause me angst & emotional fatigue?

I do strongly believe that rational reasoning rather than irrational superstitious beliefs is in the longterm interest of mankind.

That basing our lives on scientific naturalism will be more useful than any supernatural religious beliefs.

But I want my efforts to be effective in this objective rather than driving people further into their superstitious bubbles.

I love the fiery enthusiasm of some post-Mormons, but I also appreciate other ex-members concerns for the best approach to living harmoniously with our TBM friends and family.

I don’t think I should pre-judge how another person will react to the truth about the Church. But I want my message, or it’s means of transmission, to be as effective as possible.

A compassionate ex-Mormon friend introduced me to this recently, ‘Karpman Drama Triangle’.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle#section_1

It made me think about my involvement in the triangle & whether my approach produces more victims or persecutors?

I would love to hear your opinions.

I sometimes think trying to use reason with religious people is like talking a different language.

Like trying to teach the congenitally blind what colour is! (No offense intended)

But I don’t want to give up trying to wake them up & give them a chance to discover the truth.

No-one would have ever thought I would become a non-believer. Not even myself.

My point is, we just never know who & when they’ll realise the truth & break out of the Mormon Matrix or bubble!

As my brother David says, “Information is the key! The brain needs information to process. With certain information the brain can only come to certain decisions, but give the brain more & different information and our brains can come to different decisions.”

As a certain desert preacher once said, “Truth will set you free!”

This entry was posted in Mormon Issues, Religious Epiphany, TRUTH. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Is it right to try to influence others in the Church?

  1. Great post. I posted your blog on my Facebook profile. Know that you’re not alone in this struggle. I am experiencing and chronicling it too:

    theantianti.blogspot.com

  2. Mary says:

    Steve, I think that it is right, absolutely right, to try and present a fuller picture of the history of the church to members. I think that even the LDS apologists feel that this should be done. If people know the fuller history and still believe, then all power to them, but the hurt for many I think is in the feeling of having been deceived. Like buying a car with manufacturers faults which you weren’t told about, but which could potentially threaten your life and safety. It is in seeing the imperfection of others in particular leaders, that one can then fully work out things for oneself rather than giving blind obedience.

    I think that maybe there is comfort in uncertainty in terms of life’s ultimate truths. There is a joy and freedom in saying that ‘I don’t know’ on many things pertaining to this life and a possibility of the next. I just don’t know. I can hope, I can live my life as best as I can, but I don’t have all the answers.

    • Marc says:

      I’m just like this too Mary, I feel as we all do, that I have worked everything out for myself – I don’t feel that I have been deceived, because I was never a TBM. My family are happy in the church, and I’m happy for them – they are leading the lives that they choose. So, we are all practising our free agancy!

      I understand Steve’s position too. Steve was in lots of leadership positions where he was constantly bearing his testimony to others, I can only begin to imagine his horror when the penny dropped, and he realised the horrible truth about how the church began. I think I might be blogging against the church if I were him, and had had his church experiences!

  3. ScottC says:

    Steve,

    How are you going to influence me by telling me everything that is wrong about what I believe? I find that I influence others when I allow them to see what I believe and how it would be beneficial to them, no matter what the subject is.

    If you actually had something to offer of worth, you’d be shouting that from the rooftops. However, since it seems your purpose is to point out what you perceive are inaccuracies in the LDS church, you’ll never be someone to look up to except for those who are in your same boat.

    What do you have to offer Steve? What do you believe? Why is your belief correct? How do you know your belief is correct?

    Negativity will get you a few friends but someone who has something of worth to offer others finds many.

    • stevebloor says:

      Short answer: I’m not!

      Trying to influence you.

      Unless you are open to truth.

      The eyes cannot see, what the mind cannot comprehend.

    • Marc says:

      “Negativity will get you a few friends but someone who has something of worth to offer others finds many”

      ScottC – there are now many more Ex Mormons than there are active Mormons in the world, your argument does not stand up! Nice try.

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