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Mormon Awakenings: Episode 039: Zach Derr, Andre the Giant, and WWE Insights.

Jack Naneek and Zach Derr discuss WWE, Andre the Giant and stagecraft.  Are outward performances worth much in insolation? And can we find inspiration by viewing staged wrestling events? Guest Zach Derr has some views about these things and more.


7 thoughts on “Mormon Awakenings: Episode 039: Zach Derr, Andre the Giant, and WWE Insights.”

  1. Genius, another analogy to use beside comparing it to Christmas. Although the stage craft of the church has most of it’s members unaware of the theatrics that happen within it.

    I guess the real question is, would I have bought into the church and become committed to the whole 9 yards under the presumption that it wasn’t what it purported to be?

    I mean I went on a mission because I thought it was true stuff. Now, I keep going just for fun. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing. I like it now for sure… but what experience should we be providing to newcomers? Should we just let them figure it out on their own, or should we fast track them so they can’t be disappointed and ruin the magic for them?

    I mean should we go around awakening others or let them come to on their own? Do you like being woken up?

    1. Once one has experience, the words one was hearing that described the experience before it happened take on new meaning. We often get mad at the ways people have described things once we experience those things ourselves. We complain those descriptions were inaccurate. But of course, experience changes everything.

      But, the facts are that other people like WWE MORE once they know its scripted, because then they see the deeper messages of conquering fears/bogeymen buried in the staged matches. They see the deeper layers.

      God is the great waker in chief. I don’t think we need to go around waking people up for no other reason than we might not be awake ourselves. But there may be specific questions that we might be able to answer, if we’re asked.

  2. I’m wrestling with this episode, and I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    I’m trying to figure out where stagecraft ends and falsehood begins. Perhaps that betrays the fact that my approach isn’t yet as Zen-like as yours, Jack.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about my friends who have left the church because of their surprise that mortal prophets don’t live up to the unreasonably high expectations that our culture seems to set for them. Is talking about difficult topics like prophetic fallibility something that inappropriately destroys the illusion of the stagecraft for people who need it? Does pointing it out make me like the older brother? Or can it, in fact, moderate our expectations so we aren’t shocked by our history? Is approaching difficult topics with charity enough? I don’t know.

    In your response to the previous comment, you write that you don’t think we need to go around waking people. That’s probably true, but my missionary zeal, my desire to bear testimony of what I’m learning, and my hope that others can avoid unnecessary struggle make me want to share.

    All this leaves me wondering how others approach difficult topics with the people in their lives who perhaps haven’t yet awakened in the same ways.

    1. I’m like you Nathan.

      I ain’t going down this rabbit hole alone, I will drag as many people as I can with me. Although I find people are not appreciating the ride with me. *Sigh*

    2. nathan, you said, “I’m trying to figure out where stagecraft ends and falsehood begins.” the falsehood begins where the bullying and abuse begins. Christ does not need bullies (zealots) to enforce goodness and save us, for extra credit in heaven, the glory to them (the other brother’s plan anyway).

      So, the Word of Wisdom has become an abusive joke. Jesus does not need a bogus standard to be used as the mighty Sentinel to His kingdom on earth and heaven. Only Bullies and zealots need that.

      The WoW has become judgmental, abusive (verse 2) and false. Do we even think for a minute that Jesus is overjoyed that we never drink coffee so we can be with Him again? do you think He would oust us for not eating and healing ourselves using his wholesome herbs (they do work better) as He actually advised in His own Words of Wisdom unedited, unrefined, untoxified? No!

      The refined 4 don’t WoW robs us of health, wisdom, compassion and Christlike kindness and goodness toward His other beloved children. We have become so busy judging others (verse 2) and worshiping 4 Sacred Trees (4-Don’ts) that we can’t see God’s vast forest of health and wisdom (verses 10,11), and Not bullying others over doing it right or wrong (verse 2). #followtheJesuswemade!

      We have also become blind to the central warning (verse 4 – thus saith the Lord…) of thousands of counterfeit and poison medicines and foods (and the horse they rode up on) coming our way in our day, to take away our true health and wisdom if we lack eyes to see and ears to hear. Why are we so Surprised that so many are sick and dying around us who are religiously “living the WoW?” Though they are willfully blind and deaf, in need of a guide and master, we still must not judge them for their poor health and wisdom choices in worshipping 4 Holy Trees (verse 2).

      We are thus blind to Christ’s wholesome WoW admonition (11,12) to use all wholesome herbs/foods for health and healing (stay away from all fakes/counterfeits worshipped by church leaders we are also supposed to worship?). We become blind and also sacrifice our health and wisdom as the ultimate test, to follow a judgmental and damning leader of the club of Saint’nism?

  3. I thInk it’s like having a baby. You want someone there to help. But, the baby comes when the baby comes.

  4. Jack, you are one of the better apologists and I enjoy listening to your podcasts. A few of my own thoughts: worthiness- I groan when I hear that word used so easily to judge another. I believe ALL are worthy, no matter the behavior. I believe it is used egoically to separate and divide one another. Behaviors aren’t sins, they are symptoms of our awakening progress. The core sin is separation and exclusion. And the more ignorant we are of our True Selves the greater our “sin.”
    My problem with the Church is its unspoken use of manipulation and power to get people to behave in a certain way in order for them to be worthy in God’s eyes. That is abusive. I don’t have a problem with all the requirements to be a Mormon in good standing; there are lots of good stuff to help the ego be more disciplined, but to use those to tell someone that they need to do them or they lose a future with God and family is fear-mongering and frankly, abusive. The mature role of a church would be to strengthen the people with inspiring wisdom so that they may prepare them for their own awakening experience which I believe is what we are here to experience. But the Church isn’t doing that. They’re making those preparatory behaviors the end all with the Church as the end all, and that is idolatry. They are not showing those who are ready a higher, deeper way. They are keeping them in Primary, and there is my problem with just joyfully playing along with that. But I will acknowledge that I think the leadership is ignorant to a deeper way. They are doing the best they know, which is why I continue to let go of resentment.

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