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 Post subject: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:41 am 
God

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To preface, I think we've all missed something important here.

Dan is a Bishop of a young adult ward (Comprising members of roughly 18 to 29 years old). Among other things, Bishops have legal obligations to those that step into his office. Other than a legal mandate that he must inform law enforcement of his knowledge of alleged crimes such as rape, insest and murder, he has a sacred obligation to keep confidences.

Dan,

Let's suppose we were friends and my son was in your ward and he had confessed to you that he had lost his faith. What if he was also masterbating or even having sex with another member, could you give me a call? Even if I threatened you?

What if you were counseling a rape victim? You would certainly be required by law to report the tragic incident to the authorities (via the COB), but would you contact her parents or even her fiance if she happened to be engaged? Why not?

How many justifications could you come up with that would trump your sacred and even legal obligations to those you have been called to counsel (and receive confessions from)? I'm holding up a zero, here, Dan, and I see you are sporting one too.

These are hypotheticals, of course.

This is my point:

What kind of message are you sending to the sheep you have been called to minister to in your ward? When they see you kicking over someone's laundry basket on a public forum, what does that tell them about the respect you have for their confidences, the covenants you've made and the office you hold?

I shouldn't be the one asking you these questions, your stake president and (because you are a public figure and represent BYU in a small capacity) the board of trusties ought to be asking them (to those unaware, the board is comprised of general authorities of the church).

From a concerned (non-mormon) father with TBM children that currently attend a young adult ward, I have grave concerns about what you are doing to the office that I have always deeply respected (and still do).

I'm posting my letter to you on a public forum because you have made yourself a public figure. Otherwise I would have been respectfully discreet and PM'd you. This isn't about me, Dan, but this is the reason I'm am not particularly fond of you or the founders you attempt to apologise for.

Ultimately, it's up to your leaders (many of them I still respect) as to what they ought to do about you.

yours anonymously,

Inc.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:54 am 
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I maintain the confidentiality of the bishop's office absolutely.

I don't believe that internet message boards qualify for priest/penitent protection.

Inconceivable wrote:
What kind of message are you sending to the sheep you have been called to minister to in your ward? When they see you kicking over someone's laundry basket on a public forum, what does that tell them about the respect you have for their confidences, the covenants you've made and the office you hold?

I've violated no confidences here.

Inconceivable wrote:
Ultimately, it's up to your leaders (many of them I still respect) as to what they ought to do about you.

You write as if I've committed some sort of crime. I haven't.

I sent a link to GoodK's stepdad so that, if he chose, he could read something posted about himself on a public message board.

You're entirely free to disagree with my action, but it's simply ridiculous to suggest that it was equivalent to publishing confidential information told to a priesthood leader during a private ecclesiastical confession.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:08 am 
God

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Dan,

No doubt, important people who have your number on speed dial will be calling you for an explanation.

Damage control on your behalf is not their primary concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:11 am 
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Undergirding the specifications that pertain to everything we've said is a close approximation to reality.

But only if the consistency that you seek can be maintained.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:41 am 
God

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Daniel Peterson wrote:
I maintain the confidentiality of the bishop's office absolutely.


Then you are one of a very small minority. I've heard enough horror stories about BYU bishops (I know your ward isn't a BYU ward, so don't go picking at that minor detail) to never advise a student there to willingly see one.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:22 pm 
God
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since LDS leaders give a lot of talks they need subject matter and unfortunatley things spoken in confidence can be used as a talk at the next week meeting. I already posted many times about the time I went into to see the stake president about twenty years ago and asked for a blessing because I wanted to be better and be like anyone else. The only problem was I needed medication real bad not a blessing but the stories about people being healed I had heard all my life sounded too good to pass up. I told the stake president about what was going on in my life and the things I was facing. The next sunday was stake conference and I heard he got up and talked about a young man who came into see him and told him the problems this young man was facing. He gave enough information that my mom came home laid on the bed and started crying. Later that a week a man at work explained to me that the Stake President got up and talked about a young man that had recently come into his office, asked for a blessing, which he could not figure out why the young man had come in and asked for one. I figured out he gave enough information for my mom to put things together and knew it was me who went in.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:43 pm 
God

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karl61 wrote:
since LDS leaders give a lot of talks they need subject matter and unfortunatley things spoken in confidence can be used as a talk at the next week meeting. I already posted many times about the time I went into to see the stake president about twenty years ago and asked for a blessing because I wanted to be better and be like anyone else. The only problem was I needed medication real bad not a blessing but the stories about people being healed I had heard all my life sounded too good to pass up. I told the stake president about what was going on in my life and the things I was facing. The next sunday was stake conference and I heard he got up and talked about a young man who came into see him and told him the problems this young man was facing. He gave enough information that my mom came home laid on the bed and started crying. Later that a week a man at work explained to me that the Stake President got up and talked about a young man that had recently come into his office, asked for a blessing, which he could not figure out why the young man had come in and asked for one. I figured out he gave enough information for my mom to put things together and knew it was me who went in.


Or how about the mother who told her bishop she'd booted her High Councilman husband out of the house for nonsupport... and got a call from her daughter who was at BYU Idaho, who had first heard about it before the night was out from the bishop's daughter.

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(Nevo, Jan 23) And the Melchizedek Priesthood may not have been restored until the summer of 1830, several months after the organization of the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:13 pm 
harmony wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:
I maintain the confidentiality of the bishop's office absolutely.


Then you are one of a very small minority. I've heard enough horror stories about BYU bishops (I know your ward isn't a BYU ward, so don't go picking at that minor detail) to never advise a student there to willingly see one.


Unfortunately, this is the case with certain student ward bishops.

From what I know of Dan, I see him as an honorable man, who would honor his calling, and respect the confidentiality that the office requires.

There ARE good bishops out there. Jason Bourne here also comes to mind.

My brothers in law, and my father in law were all excellent bishops. My father also served in the bishopric, and kept many confidences in that capacity. There ARE good men who really do exemplify their calling.

The key word, however, is men. Men aren't perfect. And, unfortunately, anyone can fall short.

I will reiterate that although I disagree with Dan's actions concerning telling GoodK's father about GoodK posting here, I understand his reasoning in doing so, and I think that Dan is an honorable man and bishop.

The comparison that Inc raises is apples to oranges.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:25 pm 
As I have plainly stated this week, I will be departing this board. The consequences of participation (a complaint to the state bar by one of you about my debate practices) makes it too costly to be here.


Last edited by rcrocket on Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:31 pm 
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rcrocket wrote:
It's kind of like wondering if it would be right or wrong for your best friend to tell you that you husband is having an affair. Right or wrong?

If you equate an anonymous post with an extramarital affair, it's little wonder you don't see the problem (not to mention the fact that you have serious issues).

:rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:34 pm 
As I have plainly stated this week, I will be departing this board. The consequences of participation (a complaint to the state bar by one of you about my debate practices) makes it too costly to be here.


Last edited by rcrocket on Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:52 pm 
God

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rcrocket wrote:
liz3564 wrote:
I will reiterate that although I disagree with Dan's actions concerning telling GoodK's father about GoodK posting here, I understand his reasoning in doing so, and I think that Dan is an honorable man and bishop.


So, I guess if your daughter was on a public board -- let's say, your local high school's board --
and posting negative or humiliating things about your family in such a way that some or many people would be able to figure out who she's talking about, you would think it bad form for your Pilates instructor, whom you see once a week, to point it out to you.

It's kind of like wondering if it would be right or wrong for your best friend to tell you that you husband is having an affair. Right or wrong?

Contrast what GoodK has done to me. Lots of fun pointed out about my physical appearance (thinking erroneously that I am short). Lots of vuglar references to my daughter. Name-calling and such. Exposure of personal information about me. (I have never -- once -- exposed or insinuated in a public format anything personal about him.) You are a mod. Nary a criticism from you. Do you wonder why pro-LDS posters have a difficulty staying on this board?


1. This isn't a local board. This is an international board, and one or two people figured it out. I think you and Dan are the only ones who did. So... not the same as your example.

2. I've done my share of editing and deleting GoodK's attacks on you. So has Liz. GoodK called me names six ways to Sunday, and I still dinged his posts about your personal information. Your statement is both unfair and incorrect.

3. Pro-LDS posters. When you say that, I'm assuming you mean you, and Nehor, and Daniel, and bcspace, and assorted others. I'm assuming you aren't referring to Liz or Jason Bourne. Heaven knows you aren't referring to me.

Do you find this place difficult? Are we "trailer trash", for you too (like William)? Do you see yourself as not part of this community (as Daniel does not)? Have you elevated yourself so high above us that you don't see your own position here?

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:55 pm 
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rcrocket wrote:
Not wanting to back you into a corner (actually, I am), what do you think about my first example? Right or wrong for that Pilates instructor to point out the posts?


The example in question:
Quote:
So, I guess if your daughter was on a public board -- let's say, your local high school's board -- and posting negative or humiliating things about your family in such a way that some or many people would be able to figure out who she's talking about, you would think it bad form for your Pilates instructor, whom you see once a week, to point it out to you.

Well, before I answer your question, I have to point out that this isn't a representative analog of what GoodK did. GoodK isn't a teenager (like I'm assuming my daughter would be if she were posting on a high school board), and there aren't many people here who would have figured out whom GoodK was talking about. Also, GoodK wasn't posting humiliating things about his family (unless you think believing in priesthood blessings is humiliating - I do, but I don't think GoodK's family does).

If my daughter, who was still living at home, started posting humiliating things about her family on a board where many people knew us... Well, quite frankly, I'd still not think very highly of someone who tattled on her, unless it was someone who was directly responsible for her, like one of her teachers. What happens in my family is among us.

Besides, I'm pretty aware of what's going on with my daughter at all times, because I speak with her regularly, spend a lot of time with her, and have made it abundantly clear to her that she can tell me anything. My wife and I are also in regular contact with her teachers so if there were any problems with her, there'd be early warning. We also don't foist any ridiculous, unsubstantiated beliefs on her with the expectation she believe it. We encourage her to think for herself, and to have evidence for what she believes. And we would never in a million years send her to some institution for troubled kids so they could do our job of raising her.

I get the feeling GoodK's step father isn't quite the same way.

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"You get to have your own beliefs, and your own wishes, and dreams, and imaginations. What you don't get to have is your own reality." - Sethbag

"Salt Lake, we have a problem." - Fence Sitter


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:07 pm 
Bob wrote:
So, I guess if your daughter was on a public board -- let's say, your local high school's board --
and posting negative or humiliating things about your family in such a way that some or many people would be able to figure out who she's talking about, you would think it bad form for your Pilates instructor, whom you see once a week, to point it out to you.

It's kind of like wondering if it would be right or wrong for your best friend to tell you that you husband is having an affair. Right or wrong?

Contrast what GoodK has done to me. Lots of fun pointed out about my physical appearance (thinking erroneously that I am short). Lots of vuglar references to my daughter. Name-calling and such. Exposure of personal information about me. (I have never -- once -- exposed or insinuated in a public format anything personal about him.) You are a mod. Nary a criticism from you. Do you wonder why pro-LDS posters have a difficulty staying on this board?




If my daughter was posting on a message board anonymously, venting about frustrations she might have with her family, I would have no problem with it. Heaven knows, I'm not a perfect parent. It's pretty normal for kids to be frustrated and speak out occasionally, especially with their peers. Your example is that the message board is a High School board. That, to me, indicates that it is other High School'ers engaging each other on the board.

Edited to add--My daughter has a My Space and a Facebook account. I know she participates in conversations via her page on these sites, and also participates in chats and message boards. I respect her privacy to do so. I am not a "friend" on either her My Space or her Facebook. She has, however, showed me her My Space and Facebook pages...but it's HER choice to do so.

Similarly, GoodK was venting to those he considered peers, in an anonymous fashion. I certainly didn't know who he was. Actually, when GoodK started posting here, I thought he was female, due to his avatar. It was YOU who revealed he was male. You made it very clear that you knew who GoodK was, and you later let it slip that he was male because I had made a comment about thinking it rather unseemly that a married man, and a bishop, would invite a single woman to his office and/or to have lunch to discuss what was happening on the board at the time.

As far as your claim that I have been unfair to you about your personal information....that is the most absurd claim yet. Not only did I edit posts GoodK made involving personal information of both you and your daughter, but I also corresponded with GoodK privately, warning him that if the practice continued, he would lose posting privileges.

The information GoodK posted regarding the city you lived in was not edited by me because you had previously included a link to your resume on this board which revealed that information. You have also off-handedly mentioned on several occasions that you practice law in Southern California. I don't feel obliged to edit information that you, yourself, have previously revealed.

As far as the comment about being short.....buck up. If you're posting here, you're going to receive some pot shots. We all have, myself included. It's part of posting in the wild west.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:29 pm 
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liz3564 wrote:
If you're posting here, you're going to receive some pot shots. We all have, myself included. It's part of posting in the wild west.

I can't think of anyone less deserving of pot shots than you, liz.

(Just thought I'd mention it).

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"Salt Lake, we have a problem." - Fence Sitter


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:31 pm 
Some Schmo wrote:
liz3564 wrote:
If you're posting here, you're going to receive some pot shots. We all have, myself included. It's part of posting in the wild west.

I can't think of anyone less deserving of pot shots than you, liz.

(Just thought I'd mention it).


Aww, shucks! :redface:

Thanks, Schmo! :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:02 pm 
Bob, let me also add that I find it interesting that you were so antsy to pounce on me that you missed the point of my post that you quoted.

Let me refresh your memory, and see if you can maybe learn a lesson in reading comprehension.

Here is my post that you quoted before going into your little tirade and example:

Liz wrote:
I will reiterate that although I disagree with Dan's actions concerning telling GoodK's father about GoodK posting here, I understand his reasoning in doing so, and I think that Dan is an honorable man and bishop.


I stated that although I disagree with Dan's actions, I understood them. He was acting as a friend, and as a fellow parent, doing what he honestly thought was the right thing to do. I don't believe that he intended malice in what he did. I still disagree with his decision to do it, and respectfully told him so. My thoughts are not anything new to him. We respectfully discussed it. It has not impacted our friendship that we disagree. I just think that Dan should have left it alone. GoodK was venting. He said nothing disparaging about his sick sister in that post. His comments were related to how he felt about Mormon doctrine in general, his personal lack of faith in priesthood blessings, and a general disgruntlement with his stepfather. It was a vent. If it had been left alone, the whole situation would have been forgotten by now. As it is, it is a central topic of conversation in about ten threads on the board over a year after the incident occurred!

The major point in my post was that I respect and admire Dan Peterson. I think he is an honorable man and, although I am not a member of his Ward, I think that he is a good bishop, and would have no problem being a member of his Ward, were that ever the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:13 pm 
God
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Inconceivable wrote:
Let's suppose we were friends and my son was in your ward and he had confessed to you that he had lost his faith. What if he was also masterbating or even having sex with another member, could you give me a call? Even if I threatened you?

You are in no position to ask such questions.
Because you are a fraud. You represent "The Wizard of Oz", pulling pseudo levers, using fake name, hide behind a Mask.
What does DCP do, when he posts?
He uses his real NAME.
In the past I almost never agreed with DCP, mocked him, but you acting like a coward, while hiding your identity, asking a lot.
If I was DCP, I'd ask you in turn;
Suck my what?
Reveal your identity first, if you want personal answers.

PS: Postscricpt
Inconceivable, why don't you reveal when did you start first to jack off?
Why don't you come to terms with your own inadequacies and write here?
Do you work in 7/11 for minimum wage?
You're a teenager?
You can confess here.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:20 am 
God

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liz3564 wrote:
There ARE good bishops out there. Jason Bourne here also comes to mind.

My brothers in law, and my father in law were all excellent bishops. My father also served in the bishopric, and kept many confidences in that capacity. There ARE good men who really do exemplify their calling.


Liz, I appreciate your thoughts. I have known some very honorable bishops as well. Most of them I have a deep love and respect for.

Even if I am now unwilling to recognize the authority their church claims to bestow upon them, many of them countenance charity by their peaceable walk all 7 days a week - self sacrificing Followers of Christ.


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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:55 am 
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I think that one should treat the idea of bishop confidentiality as a good idea that often fails in practice. I'm sure that some bishops/SP practice it scrupulously, and others far less so. At one point, in my old ward, it was fairly well known that anything told to the bishop would be repeated to his wife, who at times would share that information with others. I personally had the experience of being behind in my tithing at tithing settlement. I was about 200 dollars behind, and intended to pay it in full at my next paycheck, and did. Yet since this occurred at tithing settlement, I was still listed as a "partial tithe payer". Of course I assumed this was confidential information, and I wasn't proud of being late on my tithing, but was under considerable financial stress. Imagine my surprise and distress when the next time I visited my parents (who live in a nearby city, same stake) and my father asked me why I was having difficulty paying my tithing. Someone apparently felt it was appropriate to let my father know that I, an adult married woman with children, was late paying my tithing.

As I've stated before, I think Mormons often have problems respecting personal boundaries with other adults. In particular, LDS parents seem to want to control many aspects of their adult children's lives. All of this originates with good intentions - the parents feeling responsible and anxious for their children's eternal welfare, even after the children are adults. The emphasis on the possibility of losing family members in the next life, IMO, causes this anxiety, which results in over-intrusiveness.

In response to Bob's question, which of course still missed the mark as an apt comparison in ways already pointed out - I would absolutely think it was inappropriate for someone to "tattle" on my daughter, unless issues of personal safety were involved. Appparently this is such a fundamental difference in worldviews that some LDS simply cannot fathom that some parents do not want to be informed if and when their adult children may complain about their adult parents. All relationships can be stressful at times, and it is normal to want to vent in safety. Venting can help one determine which reactions and thoughts are legitimate, and which may not be, among other things. Venting can also be a way to just express frustration now and then without causing unnecessary disruption to the relationship.

This reminds me of the way middle school teenage girls often act. They form cliques, and then start "tattling" on each other within the clique. "Did you hear what X said about you?" they will eagerly ask - and, of course, if the party did not happen to hear what X said about them, they will promptly inform them. Teenage girls often protest that they are doing this in the party's best interest: "I would want to know if someone said that about ME." But their behavior tells another story - they like the uproar, and they hope the uproar will result in a more favorable social setting for them, personally. It also just appeals to the instinct to gossip.

So if someone "tattled" on my daughter to me, I would think far less of the tattler than I would of my daughter. I know that my daughter loves me, and any venting she would have to do would be a way of analyzing her emotions and maybe letting off steam in a nonthreatening way. But the tattler doesn't have our relationship as the primary interest, otherwise the tattler would not be so presumptious as to insert him or herself in the middle of it, so the tattler's goal is to gratify him or herself in some way, no matter the possible risk to my relationship with my daughter.

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 Post subject: Re: Of Bishops and Confidences - Letter to Dan Peterson
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:47 am 
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beastie wrote:
I think that one should treat the idea of bishop confidentiality as a good idea that often fails in practice. I'm sure that some bishops/SP practice it scrupulously, and others far less so. At one point, in my old ward, it was fairly well known that anything told to the bishop would be repeated to his wife, who at times would share that information with others. I personally had the experience of being behind in my tithing at tithing settlement. I was about 200 dollars behind, and intended to pay it in full at my next paycheck, and did. Yet since this occurred at tithing settlement, I was still listed as a "partial tithe payer". Of course I assumed this was confidential information, and I wasn't proud of being late on my tithing, but was under considerable financial stress. Imagine my surprise and distress when the next time I visited my parents (who live in a nearby city, same stake) and my father asked me why I was having difficulty paying my tithing. Someone apparently felt it was appropriate to let my father know that I, an adult married woman with children, was late paying my tithing.

As I've stated before, I think Mormons often have problems respecting personal boundaries with other adults. In particular, LDS parents seem to want to control many aspects of their adult children's lives. All of this originates with good intentions - the parents feeling responsible and anxious for their children's eternal welfare, even after the children are adults. The emphasis on the possibility of losing family members in the next life, IMO, causes this anxiety, which results in over-intrusiveness.

In response to Bob's question, which of course still missed the mark as an apt comparison in ways already pointed out - I would absolutely think it was inappropriate for someone to "tattle" on my daughter, unless issues of personal safety were involved. Appparently this is such a fundamental difference in worldviews that some LDS simply cannot fathom that some parents do not want to be informed if and when their adult children may complain about their adult parents. All relationships can be stressful at times, and it is normal to want to vent in safety. Venting can help one determine which reactions and thoughts are legitimate, and which may not be, among other things. Venting can also be a way to just express frustration now and then without causing unnecessary disruption to the relationship.

This reminds me of the way middle school teenage girls often act. They form cliques, and then start "tattling" on each other within the clique. "Did you hear what X said about you?" they will eagerly ask - and, of course, if the party did not happen to hear what X said about them, they will promptly inform them. Teenage girls often protest that they are doing this in the party's best interest: "I would want to know if someone said that about ME." But their behavior tells another story - they like the uproar, and they hope the uproar will result in a more favorable social setting for them, personally. It also just appeals to the instinct to gossip.

So if someone "tattled" on my daughter to me, I would think far less of the tattler than I would of my daughter. I know that my daughter loves me, and any venting she would have to do would be a way of analyzing her emotions and maybe letting off steam in a nonthreatening way. But the tattler doesn't have our relationship as the primary interest, otherwise the tattler would not be so presumptious as to insert him or herself in the middle of it, so the tattler's goal is to gratify him or herself in some way, no matter the possible risk to my relationship with my daughter.

I've concluded that you are probably the most resentment-riddled individual with whom I have ever come in contact on these LDS-related message boards. You have a long-held grudge/offense for just about every occasion. It's as though, while you were "in" the church, you carefully squirreled away these things for years and years and years, until one day you just exploded. And even then you didn't let them go. No, you cling to them with a continuing purpose and resolve to ultimately bring all of the offenders to account, no matter how long it takes.

_________________
... every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol ...


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