A time and a place for everything

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This relates to the discussion over on this thread.

A problem that I’ve observed, when speaking with the LDS, is that deep doctrine is never discussed in the arenas where is should be discussed.

Most times it is spoken of in the living room, Internet, dorm room or around the kitchen table, and not the GD class or in the temple.

Am I out to lunch here?

When do you find yourself discussing doctrine?

10 thoughts on “A time and a place for everything

  1. I find myself most commonly discussing doctrine with a small group of friends, usually after a rather disappointing gospel doctrine lesson. Which is most of them.

    One of my major frustrations with CES and the Sunday School program of the church is that these sites could be excellent places to discuss problematic issues in a supportive way and show how one can reconcile them. Instead, we get the same lame readings of the same scriptures every four years.

  2. One of my best friends growing up is now a seminary teacher and recently moved back into our old neighborhood shortly after I did. We like to hang out occasionally and discuss the “finer points” of doctrine.

  3. Deep Doctrine is not allowed to be discussed for fear that “newbies” might not understand and leave the church. The second reason is that active members might start asking questions about answers that make no sense and the third reason is the church is changing the doctrine to make the religion more main stream and they need a generation of members who have only been taught the simple items of the religion.

    It would be nice to be able to discuss things of interest without being considered an apostate for taking a view that is different than the approved version.

  4. Just for clarification, there really is no “deep doctrine”. The real problem is that no one seems to really want to study, ponder, and pray. To most it seems that they would rather be spoon fed, challenge, and then intellectualize about doctrine. That is why we constantly spin our wheels.

    Everything in the Gospel must tie back into the atonement (meaning Jesus Christ) or it is not true. Try looking for that connection in everything you study and you might discover some interesting truths.

    Gospel Doctrine teachers are not called to be purveyors of all knowledge, nor should we expect them to be. They are as much in a developmental stage as are the members of their class. Gospel Doctrine class should raise many more questions in our minds than it answers, and in that way encourage us to go and search the scriptures for ourselves.

    It is true that no one can learn in a vacuum, and therefore it is very useful to have a few friends with whom you can bounce your thoughts and impressions off of. Again, be careful of the attitude of your friends. Skeptics are okay, because they can cause us to really think, but those who are hostile to any degree have nothing to offer.

  5. …there really is no “deep doctrine”

    There certainly is secret doctrine — you say potato…

    I have yet to talk to any member who describes their gospel doctrine class as an environment where a questioning attitude was welcomed. Your experience may have been different than those I’ve talked to, but I think my perception is the rule rather than the exception.

    Skeptics are okay, because they can cause us to really think, but those who are hostile to any degree have nothing to offer.

    …and how would you differentiate the skeptics from those who are hostile? Am I hostile? Are you even bothering to read this? ;)

    I would humbly state that learning can take place regardless of the state of belief of the other parties in the conversation. Most LDS blogs being a good example.

  6. Even after reading through the linked thread, I can’t figure out what rick means by “deep doctrine.” Can he offer some examples of doctrines that are deeper than others? Which doctrines are deep and which are shallow?

  7. The problem with gospel doctrine class, is the teacher is often anxious to finish all the material. There is rarely a chance to discuss anything in depth.

    I find most of my discussion regarding in-depth gospel analysis is on the Bloggernacle. On the occasion I do try discussing things with friends (beside on my mission), I am usually met with blank stares.

  8. Portions of the temple ceremony would be one good example of ‘deep doctrine’, as would issues related to the church’s official stance on organic evolution.

    Also, specific studies of portions of the scripture that have not been explicitly examined, yet are referenced in other teachings.

    I think most members would agree that they get the gist of many of the scriptures passages but have not done any in-depth analysis – rather, they have accepted how their teachers summarized the scripture.

    The basic tenets of LDS beliefs are already separated into shallow and deep – I recall a couplet about milk before meat….

  9. >I find most of my discussion regarding in-depth gospel analysis is on the Bloggernacle. On the occasion I do try discussing things with friends (beside on my mission), I am usually met with blank stares.

    Kim,

    I’m currently the instructor in EQ. For my first lesson, I started out by saying that this time was their time to discuss the gospel and the lesson material that they had read the previous week. I said that we will not be spending time reading the manual in class unless someone wanted to do that as part of the discussion.

    Out of about 20 that attend, I have maybe 3-4 that make any effort to read the lesson before hand. Any discussion we have is best described as weaksauce.

    These brethren are given at least a weekly chance to open up and discuss. Again, the blank stares or the predictable primary answers to questions.

    Rick,

    you are not out to lunch. The general membership of the church has no interest in discussing the gospel. They want to show up and be spoonfed their Pablum.

    I pray daily for my release…

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