Religiosity vs. Spirituality

missionNot too long ago, I was surveyed over the phone about a number of things. One question was particularly striking: I was asked if I considered myself to be “religious” or “spiritual.”

I didn’t even have to hesitate on that one, as I immediately answered “spiritual.”

So, what’s the difference?

It’s an interesting question because I do go to church on the regular and engage in Bible-reading whenever I visit my mom, who makes it devotional reading each morning. I believe in the main tenets of my religion but have found myself taking issue with scriptural interpretations concerning women’s roles, same-sex, and ethnic isolationism. I can pray before going to bed and still engage in yoga lessons (no matter how “satanic” Virginia’s lieutenant governor thinks it is).

In other words, the difference to me between being “religious” and being “spiritual” has everything to do with how independent-minded one feels in approaching the divine. Being “religious” has always seemed to me to require a dependent-oriented approach to the divine – a reliance on religious leaders and doctrines to interpret one’s relationship with the divine – whereas being “spiritual” has meant to me the ability to come to the divine on one’s own, using religious teachings as a guide but never letting those teachings limit one’s capacity for spiritual awakenings.

Perhaps many others understand those two terms in similar ways, which is why I believe some fans – especially those who don’t subscribe to the specific teachings of the Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter Day Saints – get so anxious about David and what he will be like once he’s completed his Mission.  I’ve always detected David’s “spirituality” in his Voice and his approach to music, but until he made his “announcement,” I hadn’t really detected his “religiosity.” You know: specific religious worldviews as dictated by his specific church.

If David had decided to take a two-year absence traveling the world and reaching out to the poor, or visiting Tibet for spiritual awakening, would we be so skeptical about the kind of “journey” David is embarking on?

Somehow, knowing that a two-year “mission” (even if it’s a coming-of-age ritual for most LDS youth) is essentially a proselytizing mission, does that make the difference? Does having  a “religious” outlook expand on one’s artistry or does it limit it? Which seems a fair question, as I believe most of us would automatically view a “spiritual” outlook as only ever expanding one’s artistry, not limiting it.

What musical direction is David headed once he’s completed his mission? What is the impact? I still have faith (no pun intended) that David is going to be the same fair-minded and careful person he is, in which he may keep his “religiosity” to himself while letting his “spiritual” side shine through. There’s no reason to jump to conclusions simply because of what Mormon youth are expected to do as their rite-of-passage or what their church doctrines teach.

Just last week, when watching the Romneys (both Mitt and Ann) make the rounds on cable news, I was absolutely struck by how utterly petty and small-minded they came off – still bitching about how they lost the presidential election! Just to put their behavior in perspective, imagine David Archuleta spending his first year post-Idol bitching about coming in second, just barely winning American Idol.

You can’t picture that, right? Why? Because David’s character is not petty and small-minded!

So, there you have it: very different individuals, who were obviously raised in the same church, going through the same rites-of-passages, and yet their reactions are so different, that we couldn’t possibly define one’s character through the church they belong to.

These people may be “religious” and devoted to their church, but it’s the “spirituality” of the individual that makes the man and really sets the moral compass. I’ve long decided not to get caught up in the details of what David’s church preaches because it would be unfair to judge him just on those principles when his very actions have always pointed to a different understanding of the divine – especially when divinity intersects with his music.

What say you, Soul Davidians? Please take this latest poll:


Posted on June 10, 2013, in David on Mission, polls. Bookmark the permalink. 108 Comments.

  1. Great post hg. Very thought provoking. I am just “not sure” how David’s missionary experience will effect his music. Time will tell on that one. I would have more confidence of a positive effect if David went to a college specializing in music and mingling with other students that have a passion for music. JMHO. Regarding the Romneys I think they might mean well but seem a bit out of touch with the way things are now in this country. I did notice that Mitt did admit in an interview that they did not connect with minorities. You think. lol. I would add women and many others to that list.

    • Excellent Post HG. Excellent comment Marie. I agree with everything you said as I also voted not sure.

      Yes, we now know David to be uber religious but how do you live your faith to the nth degree for 2 years and just pull back when you return. There will arguably be some period of adjustment but no one knows how long this will be. It also remains to be seen what impact this period in his life will have even in his songwriting – topics of interest and actual lyrics. I believe David will be back but perhaps with a stronger conviction of what he wants out of his career. It may not be what most fans envision with the AI heyday rush of success or even radio play so I am keeping my expectations low.

      I think his team will meed to focus on alternate means of reintroducing David to the public, perhaps with more small acting roles, releasing music collaborating with other artists, appearing on mainstay shows as musical guest, and other clever marketing strategies. David should also IMHO, strengthen his own music skills – better piano, guitar, and theory mastery by however means. Please no more plunk-a-dunks with oopsies that will no longer be cute, or limited, repetitive songs of only what he can play. Like the old bionic man voiceover – David needs to go better, faster, stronger.

      • “Please no more plunk-a-dunks with oopsies…” – LOL 😆

      • I agree no plunk-a-dunks with oopsies. It was sort of cute the first couple of times, but then, not so much. To me, if he doesn’t feel completely comfortable accompanying himself, I think he just needs some one with kick ass skills to accompany him. But who knows, maybe he took a keyboard and a guitar with him to practice in his spare time.

      • Not passing judgment on his music skills because I’m pretty much happy with anything he does, just was laughing at the phrase.

  2. WOW, my thoughts exactly, but of course, you stated it so eloquently, thank you Hg.
    I ‘m “not sure” how this mission will effect his music, but I’m hoping he has experience outside of mission bubble, but not optimist that is happening.
    As Marie said, I too would have move confidence of positive effect to his music if he had gone off to college, or even just taken a break to do humanitarian work, but on his own, without such restrictions.
    What I think he will get from this mission that will help will be the business side of it. He’s getting a boat load of salesmanship, rejection, and I guess team work. So I guess it might not help his music, but it will help with the business side of music.

  3. Shanny in Australia

    I was literally just reading these articles about the up and coming band Imagine Dragons before I read your write up HG. Two of the band members are LDS and one of them at least has served a mission. These 2 articles might add something…?

    ” We’re not a religious band,” Reynolds told the site. “Dan and I are religious people and the other members are agnostic, so I think we come out somewhere in the middle. I like to think that we connect with people on a spiritual level with our music in some way, but we do our best to keep religion as separate as we can. We’re not ashamed of it, but we just don’t want to alienate anybody.” (Personally, I think this is what David has gone for in the past.)

    And another article with Dan Reynolds commenting on how his mission affected him:

  4. That was a wonderful article, and yes, very informative. Thanks for bringing it here, Shanny.

  5. Shanny,
    The article was a great informative read and very relevant to the topic. Thanks again.

  6. HG, I haven’t taken the poll because I’m not sure how to respond. I guess I just don’t know how the mission will impact his music. I would hope for the better, but even that’s tough to say because what’s better for me may not be better for anyone else. I guess I’d say I’d hope that it would help him gain whatever success is necessary to stay the happy person he is while also succeeding in the music biz to the degree he wishes. Is that convoluted enough?

    My view of religion vs. spirituality is the same as yours, although you defined it better than I had. Religion takes on a negative tone, even to many religious folk, while spirituality does not, that I can determine. Maybe that’s why his announcement had such a huge impact on people. It was the first time he did something so openly religious.

  7. Sorry for the length.

    I think it’s a matter of semantics and the fact that being ‘religious’ is non-pc these days. All religions have had their bad and repressive moments, but how the person practices the religion they belong to will determine whether they are spiritual or merely dogmatic. And how tolerant a person is to all other religions will determine whether they are truly ‘spiritual’ or just anti-church in general. Being ‘spiritual’ can encompass a wide variety of behaviors, ranging from ethical and moral to what used to be called immoral or very unethical, while belonging to a religion means you do subscribe to a more specific set of beliefs and doctrines that will govern your behavior.

    Besides codes of conduct, religions have ordinances and sacraments and rituals that are the basis of what should be their ‘religious’ life. These ordinances are powerful vehicles for spiritual communion that cannot be replicated in any other way. I don’t know about other churches, but in the LDS church, the community is also the place where much opportunity for service and love to those we might not necessarily choose to serve and love, can take place. We are asked to serve to people in general and to people specifically. It’s powerful and takes your ‘spirituality’ to another level. The Mormon religion is also the only religion that I know of that is adamant about each person seeking and receiving personal revelation from God for their life in all areas of their life, constantly and on a daily basis. In effect, their main goal is to increase each person’s spirituality and closeness to God.

    As HG has pointed out, a person can be very religious and also be very spiritual and vice versa. I’m not sure that’s a really startling revelation. But I appreciated it because I’ve noticed among David’s supporters an attempt to ‘take sides’ on the mission issue and paint Mormonism and what he is doing as either good or bad with nothing in between. Which is really a tragedy for people who claim to respect and love him as a person. Reading about what we believe, often from anti-Mormon sites, reading about what happens in church, studying colorful church history and looking at statistics will only get you so far. But what cannot very often be put into words are the profound experiences with God, with others, because of our doctrines, that give many a deep, deep peace and motivate thousands to sacrifice all to share the joy they have found. I think that’s what was trying to be conveyed with the “I’m a Mormon” videos. They succeed on some level, but really, each person’s spiritual path and the experiences they have with God are personal and often inexpressible, so merely studying the outline, the outer shell, will never get you to a place of understanding. Without understanding that or understanding the quest to maintain a spirit that will invite revelation, it’s all dismissed as ‘brainwashing.’

    I can only guess at what a devout Catholic feels when they take communion or what a Jewish boy feels on his Bar Mitzvah. I would never presume to know. Yet I’ve seen many on this site and others try to do just that with Mormonism and then reject missionary service out of hand, without once ever really getting to know a Mormon or even talking to a missionary or reading our sacred scripture. I don’t mean to be negative, but so many misperceptions are perpetuated almost daily about missions and missionaries that it’s puzzling to me how people can compartmentalize David’s service and pronounce judgments the way they do. Here is a great article about the myths about missionary service. It echoes exactly what the Imagine Dragons guy was saying. David is not in an insular bubble. He isn’t just learning salesmanship skills. He isn’t all about intolerance and proselytizing. I don’t get how anyone that admires him and his ‘spirituality’ could think that of him – another tragedy. What a missionary learns on a mission cannot be learned by going to music school or seeking enlightenment in Tibet.

    As for what direction he will take when he returns, who knows. I don’t think any of us really knows who or what David really is. But going on a mission was never about his music career, obviously. If I were to guess, I would say it was about the very things mentioned in that article, which can only be good.

    And on a side note – the Romney’s bitching about losing the election? And then making a judgment about their ‘spirituality’ because of it? Really? Is that fair to say when what they were asked was precisely their feelings about losing, in relentless, minute detail? LOL. Just listen to Chris Wallace in the first link! Just goes to show what a pre-determined mindset will do -which is sort of exactly what we’ve been talking about. I’m looking and looking for the bitchiness here, but honestly I don’t see it.

    • You know I totally respect your point of view, but please have respect for other perspective.
      In no way did I get at all that Hg was attacking the LDS church.

    • Another thing that really bothers me is, from what I understand, you question how can a person be a fan and not respect him as a person and not get abroad with what he is doing?

    • The Mormon religion is also the only religion that I know of that is adamant about each person seeking and receiving personal revelation from God for their life in all areas of their life, constantly and on a daily basis. In effect, their main goal is to increase each person’s spirituality and closeness to God.

      …..I beg your pardon? Most religions, if not all, have that very objective.

      • Freo: that’s great news! i have been raked over the coals my whole life for believing God still speaks to man, so I would question your “All” religions. But for the purpose of this blog post, it emphasizes what I was trying to say. The moderator was trying to point out the differences between spirituality and religiosity and I was trying to say there really should be no difference in faiths where there is a reliance on personal revelation and communion with God vs. strictly following doctrine without finding out for yourself if it’s right or not.

      • I would say that any religion that believes in prayer, believes that God communicates with man. Nothing exclusive about that.

      • I talk to God everyday and I know he listens and I don’t belong to any church.

    • My guess is that all religions believe that the divine speaks to humans in some capacity (prayer).

  8. thank you lds this,i don,t get how anyone that admires him and his spirtuality could think that of him

  9. Wow HG! THank you for not being afraid to go there. I loved this blog and I look forward to reading the other comments, which I haven’t read yet, and commenting myself. An earlier paragraph you wrote struck a chord with me as well as the last one. I don’t have time to comment now, but I want to leave a song that I’m loving right now. A Christian freind of mine shared the link with me:

  10. I was going to post the same link LDS did, on myths about Mormons and missions. The one difficulty I have, is that none of the missionaries from Chile whose blogs I’ve read, seem to have gotten the memo. They frequently use terms like “confused” or “not having the fullness of the gospel” when talking about other religions and philosophies. I’m hopeful that David is more like the people from Imagine Dragons than the boys and girls he is serving with. His non-original inspirational music is almost all from non-Mormon artists, especially “Imagine” which is by atheist John Lennon, so I assume that he doesn’t think that truth and spirituality is exclusive to Mormons.

    When David was in Asia, after the beautiful, heartfelt thank you event that the fans gave him, he said something I might not have really noticed, if I hadn’t been wondering about his 2-year proselytizing effort. I don’t remember the exact terminology, but the point was that the kindness of the people there reminded him of his own community in Utah. Huh, I thought, so it surprises him that the world outside of Utah is kind and giving?

    From this LDS blog on the “In the world, but not of the world” Mormon philosophy:

    “I think our leaders sincerely want us to embrace all God’s children (some leaders more than others, some of his children more than others). But I fear they are trying to maintain an infeasible position. Since they all believe the core theology, they cannot stop talking about this being the one sole Church founded and lead by God. It is, to them, an inescapable and crucial fact, and the compelling factor that drives people to be willing to make the commitments and pay the prices which the Church demands. Yet it seems impossible for a community which makes such claims of exclusivity to be able to engage with other communities and individuals as equals deserving of equal respect. And so, while we are far more alike than we are different, we are as a group unable to embrace nonmembers as the sisters and brothers we declare them to be. And I find that to be a tragic irony in a faith which takes upon itself the name of the God of Love.”

    And from the comments section:

    “I think the LDS church specifically, and traditional religious cultures generally, are in an interesting spot from a historical standpoint.They have the legacy of violent, patriarchal, exclusionary traditions, but live in a culture that increasingly values peace, equality, and inclusion. They have to play to both sets of values, in what Steven Pinker put was “benevolent hypocrisy.” LDS leaders, Rick Warren, and all sorts of conservative religious leaders today have to appeal to ideas like tolerance and inclusion, even while preaching intolerant and exclusive teachings. (I have to say, though, that I do think Mormonism has enough doctrinal basis for a universalist theology, which would be cool.)

    I thought this tension played out nicely over the last few years over marriage equality. I have several friends who didn’t support marriage equality, but didn’t want to be branded as a close-minded bigot. Many posted that Rick Warren quote (“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”) which I thought was an interesting way of saying, just because I don’t support equality doesn’t mean I don’t support equality. There is dissonance that occurs when you hold modern values in one hand and traditional values in the other.”

    • P.S. I voted “not sure”. I think his request for privacy on his mission reflects his desire to keep religion separate from his career. OTOH, I hope he loses things like his old “task of the day” and other efforts to teach little lessons and “be a good role model”, in favor of a more sophisticated message like the IDs.

      • Hey, I liked the task of the day! lol. I think it’s one of those funny little quirky things that makes David different. I know some people really chafed at the thought that David was telling them what to do but I just saw it as David being David. Did I run out and perform his tasks? No. But it made me smile to read them. Just as I didn’t always listen to the music he recommended but it made me smile to see too. Just David being himself and sharing things that he thinks might be interesting or lead to new experiences. I appreciate the thought behind it. I appreciate his spirit. I appreciate the fact that he’s genuine.

        Idk I guess I’m just trying to say that I hope that David doesn’t feel like he needs to try to be something he’s not. Too cool to be earnest. I think that’s one of the saddest things about our culture of cool.

      • He will be nearly 24 by the time he resumes his career, so I hope a little more sophistication IS genuine to him, lol. We all see things differently–what you saw as quirky and cute, I saw as preachy.

      • I agree with you cc halo regarding David losing some of things like task of the day when he returns. I did however really like the music he recommended to listen to. I liked that David was into listening and supporting to a wide variety of music artists. I thought that was cool.

      • Pretty much everything we perceive is a reflection our own personal life experience, not necessarily that of the person we are perceiving it from. Because of that, I cannot tell anyone else what David meant by his task of the day. If you chose to perceive it as preaching then that’s clearly your prerogative.

        I know people who lived their entire lives never being sophisticated. I don’t find them any less inspirational or intelligent for their lack of sophistication. But they grew up in a world where people didn’t judge them on their sophistication and David is not. So perhaps you are right. It’s not necessary or really wanted from me but I do have the ability to see that it’s what seems to fly in the entertainment world today. Maybe my viewpoint of being from a more rural area where sophistication is often seen as a put-on air (in a negative light) is what causes me to feel differently. But that’s just me.

  11. My bringing up the Romneys was in no way about drawing a conclusion about their “spirituality” but just to make the point that we have some high-profile Mormons in the public (the Romneys, David Archuleta) and their public behavior strikes me as so very different that I was hoping people noticed that we CAN’T draw conclusions about people’s character just because they belong to a specific church.

    Yet, people want to draw conclusions about David’s character because he belongs to LDS. I thought the comparison was a way to show how this is faulty logic since obviously people can grow up in the same faith and behave so differently (at least in public).

    • i got that,didn,t think you were dissing the lds church ,i mean i got what you were saying about the diff. between the two

  12. I’ve not read all the comments. Just the last few. I appreciate the topic Hg. My perspective may be different then yours and others that read. I’m not sure I’ll even be able to artticulate it correctly, but here’s trying.

    I would also answer “spiritual” if asked the question you were Hg. However, for me spirituality doesn’t just happen, nor can it be found within ourselves, no matter how “enlightened” we think we’ve become. I was going to say it starts with love for me, but let me back up a little. It really starts with the Word of God for me, which is the Bible. So, if you want to call belief in the Bible “religion” than ok, it starts with religion. I won’t go into a thesis on why I believe the Bible truly is the inspired Word of God and is verifiable . I will say It’s where the basis of my faith, not religion, begins and ends. The Bible tells us of this “higher power” or “divine being” that others talk about. That’s where love comes in.

    Before my spirituality began for me, I came face to face with love. The love of God. A God who would give His only Son as a sacrifice for me. When you read the Bible, you will come to know the true God. You’ll come to know who Jesus really is. You’ll understand human sin and our need for a Savior as the only way to come into a relationship and communion with God.

    It’s not a bunch of rules or ordinances you have to follow. It’s coming to realize what Jesus did for you no matter who you are, what lifestyle you’ve chosen, or what you’ve done, all because He loves you. He created you. He knows you and He wants you to know Him and accept Him. This is where spirituality is born. In John 3, Jesus talks to a religious leader about being “born again” something this righteous religious leader didn’t seem to quite understand. Jesus tells him that this means
    being born of the Spirit. This rebirth comes through believing in Him. The kind of belief He’s talking about here is faith and trust in Him for our salvation, not just a head knowledge of Him.

    He is the way, not a church, church leader(s), our own good works, following rules/regulations, or becoming enlightened. My spirituality is about a relationship I have with Jesus. He’s my Lord and a freind that sticks closer than a brother. I have no right to judge others. I am ever conscious of the fact that I’m a sinner. I struggle with it. What I am though is bought with with a price. It cost me nothing. It cost Him everything. It’s a free gift for all those who will take it.

    Ok, so that sounded real preachy didn’t it?! So, about David, as I said, I have no right to judge others. I do however have the responsibility to test every philosophy, doctrine, idea, spirit and thought with the Word of God. If it doesn’t measure up, I reject it. I reject the idea, the doctrine, etc., NOT the person. I don’t judge David. He’s the biggest sweetheart. I like him a lot!! Probably more than I should. That’s the only judgement I have for him. I have studied his religion because I care about him though, and it has caused me to be concerned for Him.

    sorry so long. This is one of my favorite subjects as you can see.

  13. Every religion/church thinks THEIRS is the ONE TRUE CHURCH inspired & favored by HIM. Which I have always found almost hilarious if it were not so out of the realm of probability. They can’t all be the ONE TRUE CHURCH. I think we all have to reach in our hearts & decide for ourselves. Most people I know who are active members of a church do so mostly for the camaraderie & friendships they have with other members.

    What I have never liked about certain beliefs or religion is the fear factor. Why instill fear of eternal damnation if one does not “believe” in their particular doctrines?

    Also, not every religion believes Jesus is the Savior & the ONLY way to salvation. So which religion is right & true & which ones are not.

    I know Atheists who are some of the most honest, loving & compassionate HUMAN BEINGS I have ever known. I know others who go to church every Sunday but who are all about being self-righteous & judgemental.

    Me, I would call myself an Agnostic now as an adult having been raised in a religion which brought me much pain & fear growing up to the point I have many doubts & questions so I research. Many people really don’t want to know the true history of their church because some histories are not pretty and some are downright ridiculous to the point that I find it hard to believe members actually believe the garbage they have been fed all their lives.

    I have found music is what feeds my soul & which may be why I became a fan of David. And why music is a big part of my own life & profession.

  14. Great comment a lurker 2. I agree with you.

  15. Me too, A Lurker. I appreciate your comment and my world includes plenty of wonderfully good-hearted agnostics, atheists and followers of different Christian and non-Chistian faiths. One thing I’ve noticed is that a larger worldview, based on travel to different places and experiences with people who live incredibly different lives, seems to increase compassion and love in those who are open-minded. I have faith that David will soak things in and process them in a way that makes him better. It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure. Glad to be among those still invested.

  16. I have noticed that people who say they are “open-minded” aren’t actually as “open-minded” as they think. We all have our beliefs and it seems like some people who say they are open minded don’t seem to be that open to people who don’t believe as they do. Think about it.

    • I believe that any one has the right to believe anyway they wish, but does it make me closed minded if I don’t agree with their beliefs?

      • For example, say a group of people say that in a rock they say a vision that told them that is a higher being was said rock and should be worshipped and all other forms of worship is wrong. I say these people have the right to their beliefs, but am I being closed minded to feel that is wacky? Hmmm!!

    • I will say that I believe there are degrees and forms and variations of open-mindedness, and I know some with all kinds of values and beliefs that are both open and closed-minded. I hope you didn’t find my post, just above yours, to be judgmental. Basically I meant to end by saying that I perceive David to be enough of a student of life (which is my idealized definition of open-mindedness) to learn and grow from his experiences as a missionary, regardless of reasons that he is there that trip so many people up.

  17. cq~ i agree. just because i respect david as a person doesn’t mean i have to respect the beliefs of the mormon church.

  18. Maybe I need to stop commenting. Can’t help but feel hurt and I know better, but there it is.

    • Please don’t stop, love your point of view and always enjoy reading your comments as well as everyone else’s too. In fact I’m hoping more lurkers will start commenting to get the party started for David’s come back excitement, lol.

    • Shanny in Australia

      KH, i’m sad that you feel hurt, especially to the point of not wanting to comment anymore.
      (Following comments are in general and not to you KH.)

      I’ve noticed very few LDS people comment on fansites anymore. Think they feel the same as KH. Know I do and have been told personally by several LDS people that they have decided to stop commenting because of it too.

      Relating that to open mindedness….i don’t care how much a person is open minded or close minded, if they hate something or love something, if their opinion is based in fact or myth….they can have their opinion and enjoy it for all I care as long as they don’t keep pushing it in my face constantly. Unfortunately, it’s been 18 months of that. Gets REAL old.

      And I’m not saying everyone has done that. Some have been very tolerant and understanding, some have respectfully shared their disagreements, some have continuously jumped at the chance to voice their grievances. For the most part, it has been the overall effect of a constant slightly negative discussion of things some hold most dear to them. In my mind I have often likened it to hanging out somewhere online where David is constantly disparaged, wouldn’t be a pleasant place for an Archie to hang out would it, in fact they would probably move on from that site eventually. No wonder things are so quiet in Archuletaland.

      • Shanny not all who disagree on the subject do that.. for me I feel to each their own what they believe and that includes David. think I would speak up though if someone I knew felt the need to push their beliefs on me in a way I felt that was negative or not going anywhere. one thing though I think it is quiet in Archuletaland because David is not around, hasn’t been for a while and does not communicate with his fans. plus also the fact that there is nothing in the immediate future to look forward to.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Kim, I thought of you when I said some have been respectful and tolerant.
        I don’t think it is no coincidence there are no LDS peeps around anymore.
        It all adds to the big picture. (including no new david news)

      • Ahhhh! Two years for over 60,000 missionaries is a LOT of belief-pushing. I don’t think the mild complaining that some do here is in any way comparable.

      • Of my goodness Shanney, are you saying that the reason we aren’t getting any David news is because of our conversations? And Shanney with do respect, I think things are slow in Archuletaland because David is not here working on his career. How can a discussion about religiosity vs spirituality be negative. It really wasn’t until a comment was made @4:20 that it got heated.

  19. Well, I didn’t want to start that, CQ. (Making people ask me to stay.) Thank you for the support though. Online communication is tricky, always, and sometimes breaks are needed. Always makes me think about how tough that whole push and pull of fan wishes and desires and opinions must feel to David, who is at the center of everything on blogs devoted to him.

    • Yes, it does get crazy sometimes, but still worth sticking around for David.

      • This convo is for David? Not sure about that. He probably would much rather we talk about his music than his religion.

      • Of course, I would rather talk about David’s music and we will. And no not everything that is discussed on sites would makes David happy, What I meant was that he needs us and really us discussing what we have been discussing is, imo, not out of line.

      • Your right, this discussion would probably be an example of a discussion that would make him unhappy. And I really don’t think he “needs” us to get on sites and discuss what might hurt people feelings. I think it actually drives fans away. But if you feel you need to do this, feel free.

      • I think it’s perfectly fine for us to have a conversation on this topic, on this thread. The thing that bugs me is when people try to shut it down. If you disagree with a point that someone makes, state your specific disagreement, or ignore it. People have made long pitches for their own religious-spiritual philosophies here, including LDS, which is great. Why are people commenting like someone has said something wrong?

      • Jmo, if fans are driven away because of uncomfortable conversation and stop being a fan because of it, I really don’t think they are that strong of a fan.
        I have been personally attached for some comments that I had made about my feelings about some things, but that is not going to drive me away and stop me from being a diehard fan for this absolutely phenomenal artist.

    • Shanny in Australia

      And i’ve heard that Jeff told someone once that yes, David definitely takes the criticisms to heart. I guess that’s why he wanted to go ‘Somewhere only (he) knows’. His pain is clear to hear all through the first half of the songs on Begin.

      • Love BEGIN, but do you really think David wanted to convey pain? Do you think he was so hurt that he had to leave because his fans trashed him?

      • Shanny I believe unless you personally heard David say that it was the fans criticisms that drove him to leave and do a mission that there is no way for you to KNOW this. I don’t think any of us can speak for David.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Ram, this is what I do know:
        1. David is a tender hearted person.
        2. There would be very few people in this world who could read all that the fans have said over the years and not be hurt by it, if it was about them.
        3. David said the Begin album explained why he chose to go on a mission. The first half of the album is all about pain and the second half is all about God.

        Then there is what Jeff said about David taking things to heart.

        I’m not saying that the fans criticisms are the sole cause of David’s pain but given the facts I think they are a big contributor. Painful to consider I know. Words are powerful things. There is life and death in the tongue.

      • I realize that we’re all just offering our own opinions here since David is the only one that can answer as to why he went but I just honestly don’t believe that he went on a mission because he got his feelings hurt by fan comments. I mean, really??

        If that were the actual reason he went though, I’d think it was the worst reason ever to go on any sort of religious mission.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Ali, i’m not saying he went away just because of fans comments. Clearly he is doing it for personal/religious reasons among other things as evidenced by his song selections on Begin but what I am saying is that the fans comments have hurt david over the years and certainly seem to me to have their place in his decision. A person must just get utterly exhausted by it. And he always did say he wished he get away to a deserted island.

        Anyway that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. lol

      • David left out the phrase “I am beautiful” and substituted “You are beautiful” in “Beautiful”. I think it shows that his mission is about saving people, not necessarily about pain of his own. I don’t see the point in trying to lay a guilt trip on fans for having their own opinions and stating them.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Yes that is what I first thought when I heard Beautiful too. But really….that song is all about how people say hurtful things. And when you look at it in the bigger picture of what the other songs are talking about, I don’t think we can dismiss david’s pain.

        Anyway, my whole conversation here today has simply been to make the point…..Yes, we have a right to voice our opinions but they do have consequences.

        And with that, I think i’ve said enough for today. Take care folks. 🙂

  20. I dislike religious discussion and for the most part avoid participating. Nothing good ever comes of it, feelings get hurt, fans take sides…but I do have to say I found HG post to be interesting in that her comparisons werent “religious” but an invitation to discuss the difference between two words. But unfortunately that took a back seat to…well no need to say to what…the comments speak for themselves!

  21. shanny~ i don’t think his pain is from those of us who don’t worship the mormon church.

    • Shanny in Australia

      I didn’t say it was cotton candy. He gets criticized for all sorts of things. People can voice their opinions but our words have consequences.

  22. I also appreciate a lurker 2 and KH’s comments.

    I definitely agree about being exposed to different people and beliefs, but I worry that the missionary culture is so controlled, that they dismiss different ideas and constantly reinforce the one-true-church mentality that keeps them focused on “saving” the people they meet rather than learning from them. This is based on my reading of the blogs and mission website. I hope David is different, but as I mentioned in my too-long comment above, he seemed a little TOO amazed that the people in the Philippines were good people like the Utahns.

    I have one little quibble with lurker 2’s last comment, and that is that I’ve been affiliated with several religions, and fear wasn’t an element at all. Maybe it was because none of my churches were super traditional. However, I am also very glad to have moved past my long and very committed religious life.

    For me, the problem was the teachings on the supernatural–which is most religions. I just can’t buy it anymore. I’ve had so many deeply spiritual experiences–even miraculous ones, but as I’ve had more life experience, I’ve realized that it was just my own mind making connections. I’ve had just as much of a “spiritual” life since I gave up belief in the supernatural.

  23. with David having such a diverse fanbase isn’t this all is to be expected? if you think about it isn’t this what all goes on when a missionary and yes would expect David too comes across? way I figure it you have to get past all that and move toward the light or the glass half full kind of thing as David seems to have done since I first saw him. know I expected worse and kind of think for the most part things are ok and already planning when I can put up my Christmas tree cause we will almost be there.

  24. how can the mormons demand respect when they don’t give it? when they go to other countries and try to convert catholics to mormon?in essence, they are saying, our religion is right and yours is wrong.

  25. I certainly did not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings and I was not directing my comment at anyone in particular when I made the comment about being “open minded”. I clearly did not express myself very well. I made the comment quickly on my lunch break and went back to work. I guess what I like about this blog is sometimes it makes me think about what I believe and why. I certainly don’t expect the people that comment to believe as I do.

    What I have admired about David is that he seems to live out his beliefs by example not by being preachy. My guess is that he will continue to do that when he returns.

    • All your comments have always be very good and in no way were hurtful, imo.

    • Shanny in Australia

      Grammyj, I referred to open mindedness earlier on…. so I hope you didn’t think I was offended by your comment. Because I wasn’t. I thought what you said was true actually and I just used the discussion about open mindedness as a spring board to what I was saying. 🙂

      • Shanny, I’m just curious. I’ve never heard of Jeff say this about David:

        “I’m not saying that the fans criticisms are the sole cause of David’s pain but given the facts I think they are a big contributor. Painful to consider I know. Words are powerful things. There is life and death in the tongue.”

        Could you tell me when he said this?
        Why was David’s pain even a topic of conversation for Jeff to say such a thing?

      • Shanny in Australia

        ALC, what you quoted there are my words. Not Jeffs.
        For clarification of your question please go back and read my comment at 5:10pm.

      • ok, Shanny, got it. Thanks for answering so quickly. I thought we had confirmation from Jeff that David is in pain.

  26. Shanny, if David is in pain because people say unfavorable things about his religion, he is in for a lot of pain. I’ve been a religious, or now non-religious, minority all of my life. If I wanted to avoid people’s opinions about it, I’d have to become a hermit. I don’t get trying to make people feel as if they’ve caused bad “consequences” for David by having open discussions on the topic.

    • P.S. I believe that the act of proselytizing–questioning other people’s beliefs–for two years, is what opens the discussion. In light of that, I’m completely flabbergasted that this discussion would be considered off-limits.

    • Shanny in Australia

      I am talking about criticism of david in general.

      KH said ” Always makes me think about how tough that whole push and pull of fan wishes and desires and opinions must feel to David, who is at the center of everything on blogs devoted to him.”

      I was elaborating on that point and the discussion just took off.
      But as I said, i’ve made my point – our words have consequences – and I don’t think it’s productive for me to go on saying more now.

    • There are two subjects which have caused friends to go their separate ways & families members to stop speaking to each other. Religion & politics.

      Wouldn’t it be glorious if we lived in a world like the lyrics of Imagine? And isn’t it ironic that Imagine was the song which made David the front runner on AI? David chose to sing it because the song, especially the last verse he said, had a great message but never thought singing Imagine would be THE defining moment for him on AI and for a long, long time after. How many times since that first time has he performed the complete song with so much emotion that we can’t help but believe HE believed it? All of it, not only “the last verse”? This beautiful song written by an idealist who had dreams of a perfect world and who also happened to be an Atheist performed so beautifully decades later by another idealist.

      Imagine there’s no heaven
      It’s easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky
      Imagine all the people
      Living for today…

      Imagine there’s no countries
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people
      Living life in peace…

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope someday you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one

      Imagine no possessions
      I wonder if you can
      No need for greed or hunger
      A brotherhood of man
      Imagine all the people
      Sharing all the world…

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope someday you’ll join us
      And the world will live as one

      • Those are beautiful lyrics that were performed by an amazing artist on AI S7.

      • Agree with you Marie 1000%. Can’t wait for our David to get back to his music career.

      • Yes, John Lennon was an idealist, but think of all of the controversial things he said and did. I enjoy hashing out ideas and philosophies. I don’t think ALL of David fan sites need to be nothing but rainbows, sunshine, and Paul Anka.

      • Actually it so great that all of David’s sites are so different, something for everybody.

  27. OK very off topic but this is about music. Michelle just made it to the final 3 on The Voice. Yes. Go Michelle! Usher really has made an awesome coach . I can almost forgive him for helping create JB’s popularity.

    • I’ve been very sporadic about watching “The Voice”, so I didn’t get Michelle’s appeal until I listened last night. Sometimes it helps me to decide by only listening, and she totally sold me.

  28. Shanny, thanks for your comments. Yes, little to no LDS commenters left. The frustration level is too high. For example, as someone said, there are 60,000 plus missionaries out right now. How many people posting on this thread have been converted, coerced , cajoled, annoyed or pushed into joining the LDS church by any of them? I doubt any. You don’t have to open the door to these young people. They aren’t going to stalk your house night and day and yell at you that your religion is ‘false.’ Yet people still think David and others are out there forcing people to join against their will and are constantly in their faces about it, despite being told over and over again that this is not the case. Believe it or not there are people of all religions and no religions that are looking for something else in their life and find it in mormonism. how is that wrong or bad?

  29. Although I do think I need a little time-out from commenting, I want to say a couple of things:

    CQ: I am a big David fan and that won’t change whether I read/comment on blogs (for a while) or not. I love that guy and I love his fans — we’ve become family, in a way. Trust me. I’ll be around and I’m going to be celebrating upon his return.

    GrammyJ: although it was your comment that stung a bit, it was my reaction that I realized was odd, not your comment. I was apparently looking for some sort of validation and that’s not the way I want to be. A healthier reaction in a disagreement, especially about an abstract concept such as open mindedness, would be to state where I disagree, rather than feeling hurt. So it’s time for some pondering on my part. Please know that I respect your opinion.

    Sorry to have started a lil fire with my comment sympathizing with David.

    Imagine. Such a gorgeous, brilliant song. People interpret the lyrics differently and can be passionate about defending their view. Is it any wonder that by singing that song, David stole a lot of hearts, and caused us to spend so much time fussing over every little thing about him?

    • So true, ” Is it any wonder that by singing that song, David stole a lot of hearts, and caused us to spend so much time fussing over every little thing about him?”
      Totally understand about stepping back and not commenting.

    • I’ve been thinking it would be good to step back and “get a life”, but then HG introduces the topic of “religion vs. spirituality” and I’m a goner, lol. It’s just something I’ve been wrestling with for the last few years. And my interest in David has added a different dimension to it.

  30. I like Paul Anka.. especially if it gets David on Broadway. as for puppy dogs and unicorns I hear you but there is so much to be said for sweet wholesome folks too. why I love David so much he is one of them.

  31. Not to totally change the topic (ok, in a total change of topic) — for those who haven’t already seen this in the flurry tonight, how about a recent pic of that guy so many of our convos stem from??

  32. Ali that pic got me BAD! he looks gorgeous and older.. can’t get back soon enough for me!

  33. Ahhhh! That picture is a breath of fresh air.

  34. According to the post on FB, that pic was taken today. It was posted by the little girl’s grandmother, who seemed quite amused that now her granddaughter is “famous” lol. Too cute.

    • The little girl is so cute. I’m trying to figure out where the picture was taken – a bus depot? What do you think? He is definitely meeting people and is out with them.

  35. If David is in pain due to hurtful comments about his religion, he is going to be one scarred dude by the time he gets back from Chile.

    • no kidding Candy.

    • I recently watched an interview of David where he talked about what his mission would probably be like and he mentioned that he would probably get doors slammed in his face and might be chased by wild dogs. He knew what he was getting into. I think David is stronger than we think.

  36. Thanks Ali-Love that picure!!! So handsome.

  37. Ali thanks.. love that he stopped to take the pic with her too.

  38. Lol, proof that he CAN take a bad picture (jmo): (scroll down)

  39. When I see recent photos of David as his life is now, it strikes me how difficult it will be for David to make the switch to the David we used to know, the David we have seen transform into a bigger than life beautiful & yes, sensual performer? When I see recent photos of David, I wonder if we will ever see THAT David again? Will he be comfortable growing his hair longer or wear the famous “tight pants” ever again? OR will he stay with the more “conservative” look he has now? Because to me, he may “look” happy & all, but he doesn’t “look” like the David I used to know. I miss THAT David and I hope I see THAT David again.

    I think it’s not gonna be an easy transition for him to revert back to real life. Wait! Now is his REAL life. The life he had before for a mere 4-5 years was his past never to come again. It’s going to be VERY interesting to see the NEW EVOLUTION of David Archuleta. I can’t wait!

  40. I agree with cq#DA2014, the picnic picture is not bad and I really think he looks great in the picture with the little girl. The hair it is all about the hair!

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