7 Comments
May 20Liked by Roger Pimentel

Another good article. Thanks Roger. I think that you are right about drifting from one stage to another, depending on the topic.

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May 19Liked by Roger Pimentel

Thank you for helping us see examples of faith stages in this discussion. Practicing seeing others stage is much more useful than dismissing or getting angry with their perspective! I need more practice!

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I was familiar with these faith stages and have even used the terms, but I really appreciate this in-depth tackle and explication. This section in particular stood out to me:

“In my experience in the Church, there is a cultural expectation that we are all at Simplicity, the first stage of faith. Most talks and lessons present topics in a Simplicity way—we treat questions as settled, and the gospel as completely restored. When someone gives a talk they often talk about how they’ve mastered that topic in their own life; if they had an issue or a struggle with it, that’s certainly all in the past.”

It can be difficult, disorienting and quite lonely to attend and participate in a church where this impression is strong, particularly where I live. It can be easy to question myself and my convictions, to come away feeling "wrong" or heretical. But I am an active and vocal participant--in part to help myself feel less invisible, to carve out a space for myself and stay true to my integrity, and, perhaps, in part to be a voice for a certain POV, from a certain depth (stage?) that often goes unspoken and unexplored. My goal has been to create bridges in every little comment, interaction, and shared space with people of a "shared" faith I can easily feel so different from. To phrase things in a way that communicates as well as connects & invites-- not simply taking a stand, alone. It's really difficult. I do not want to be a poster-child for dissent which I may have a reputation of. But the articulation from this article will be helpful for me, I know it. Thanks again.

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author

Thanks for sharing this—I can relate. Glad the article was helpful.

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately and had a moment of personal "harmony" in a Gospel Doctrine class discussion when I could see the simplicity stage teacher discussion, and a perplexity comment, and see where everyone was coming from. It's tricky when the leadership is so rigid in their simplicity and so many members are struggling in perplexity...

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Regarding the post on empowered women, equality is not a feeling. It's measurable and the church does not have it. As far as existing in harmony with your own values and not struggling with cognitive dissonance, that stops when you stop trying to force false things to be true and good when they are just not. ❤️

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I found Fowler years ago and in general like the stages, I think human complexity isn't completely accounted for in them, but in general they are pretty good. I have come to understand that a person is never in a 'stage' of their life, but often in categories they'll be in different stages. I may treat the WOW as Stage 1 while challenging something like Polygamy in Stage 3/4, etc.. So as long as we're allowing for this complexity I really like it as a template.

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