So this last weekend was The Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Having recently decided to “take a break” from Mormonism, I mostly dismissed the event.
While most of my Mormon friends were watching conference I was having a marvelous time at a friends house hanging with coworkers carving pumpkins and watching the Razorback game.
Anyway, while I was at this party I received a text from a good friend who shall remain unnamed but you know who you are! This text said, “You might be getting a lot of this but, Uchtdorf’s talk, Uchtdorf’s talk.” This text came from someone who has been very supportive of my decision to take a break from the church and go in search of truth, so I filed it in the back of my brain that I might look into it at some point even though the more negative side of me was a little annoyed at the same time. (If I wanted to listen to these talks I would be listening to them and not at this party!) Also, now I was worried I was going to start getting repeated suggestions from family and friends which thankfully didn’t come. I don’t respond well to that kind of thing, it just fuels my hate-fire (quote from PitchPerfect! :-D)!!!
Well, a day or two went by and I’d all but completely forgotten about the text when I was browsing through some blogs. I stumbled across this post by Jana Reiss. I recently purchased her book “Flunking Sainthood” not even knowing she was Mormon, the title just hit me like a ton of bricks because I feel like I have always been a huge failure in all things spiritual. I actually just started the book today. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Anyway, if you read her article you can see that she discusses President Uchtdorf’s talk and I remembered! That text! Now I see why she wanted me to hear it!
Well, today I finally watched his talk on Youtube. Just as Jana states, the 1st part was kinda bleh, I was like yah ok 15 million members….ok…..but how many are active??? No one ever talks about how many are ACTIVE!!! Because to me that is what matters. Anyway, mini-rant over, once he got to the part I knew was coming, IF THE CHURCH IS SO GREAT, WHY WOULD ANYONE LEAVE? Finally, I felt a breath of fresh air coming from that pulpit for the first time in a while. Finally, I was feeling at least somewhat validated. Also feeling grateful that a member of the first presidency was acknowledging that “we respect those who honestly search for truth” and “we honor their right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, just as we claim that privilege for ourselves.”
THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS PRESIDENT UCHTDORF!
Now, the rest of the talk was a sweet invitation to come back and join with them once again. That there is a place in the church for everyone. I wish it was that simple, but it was sweet.
Unfortunately, I have MULTIPLE problems with the religion or it would be easy to go back, because I actually have awesome friends I could cling to. As Pres Uchtdorf said himself, “It’s not that simple”.
Now for his quote that has probably already gone viral, “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”. Here is my response. That is easier said than done. It is hard to doubt doubts that are based on facts, especially when I have such a weak faith in even the most basic principles of the gospel. Now, I know he mentions this as well. That some people can interpret the same facts and strengthen faith and for others cause doubt. For me, I am exhausted trying to figure out how to interpret this historical event, or that prophet’s quote. As a wise friend told me. Forget all that, just get back to the basics.
So, now I am trying to rebuild my faith. I started with God. Do I believe or not? I can honestly say that I do. Why? Have I seen him? No. But I can see Him everyday in this beautiful world. Do I believe he answers prayers? I HOPE so. I am not for sure on that one yet. That is about as far as I have made it. For now, that HOPE is enough, even though I have very little personal evidence supporting the practice of prayer, it is what I am trying to experiment with.
I wish I could believe that attending the LDS church could help strengthen my faith, but I have so little personal evidence for that, that I just can’t bring myself to go. While I have many happy memories with friends, I can’t say honestly that I have had many experiences in church that have actually increased my faith. Happy memories do not equal absolute truth. Warm fuzzies are NOT enough. I get warm fuzzies reading Harry Potter.
All I have left to say is, If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is REALLY the one true church, I believe that an honest search for truth could eventually lead me back to it. But know this! It is going to take time! Lots and lots of TIME! I’m still trying to forgive the MANY MANY MANY people who have caused me to get a really bad taste in my mouth when I think of the church, or ANY organized religion for that matter. So for now I am doing this without a church. Right now it’s just God and me.