So, as some people know, I showed up at institute recently. I felt an overwhelming need to do so. I even cancelled on a friend in order to go. The feeling came out of nowhere. I have been trying to listen to my heart more lately, and I felt a need to try to reconnect. So, I showed up, late as always, and sat down.
I realized quickly I had made a mistake. I had so many walls up around me I felt like a statue. I also realized I wasn’t ready for that kind of re-connection. It was too much. It was all still too raw. My heart is still too hard. I even made the comment out of frustration “I don’t even know why I’m here!” Well, I got what I should have expected. The response to my statement was, “WELL, I DO!” This I interpreted as meaning….. “It was the spirit SILLY, because the church is true SILLY!!!!!! “
OF COURSE!!! The SPIRIT wanted me here! HOW COULD I NOT SEE THAT??!?!!…..Sigh….
It is these kind of answers that irritate me. Responses that come from a place of superiority. I know more than you do. I have the answer and you don’t. Bah! Clearly, I need more time to soften my heart before I can try to be involved in the religion again with regard to spiritual discussion. I am still figuring out how to not let things like this bother me, because, let’s face it, this kind of thing will not go away anytime soon. It is an attitude that permeates the entire church from my perspective. (I should say that this comment came from someone I still really like and admire, he really is a good person doing his best, and I honestly don’t blame him for saying this, and I was definitely asking for it!)
Still, despite my numerous doubts, I really want to maintain a connection to the LDS Church. Sometimes, despite everything I’ve been through, I cannot understand why I even have this desire. Right now, the best way I can think to explain this desire is out of a feeling of sentiment toward the church,and a love for my family and friends within the church. I have A LOT of good memories and I absolutely treasure them.
I wish to be clear, however, that I don’t feel that it is because deep down I know it’s true. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Seriously, I have very little personal evidence that the LDS church could be the one true church. In fact, I have quite a lot of evidence that is is not.
Now, the object of my blog isn’t to try to convince anyone that they should also believe this. I have thought long and hard about just how detailed I should get on a public forum about what caused me to loose my faith. But if you really want some idea about what I’m dealing with, watch this VIDEO made by John Dehlin, an active LDS member and founder of Mormon Stories podcast. It’s kinda long but it is a really well done presentation.
When I was first being bombarded with questionable facts about the church I was afraid to tell anyone. People at church could obviously tell something was wrong when I would literally RUN from the building during/after sacrament meeting, but I didn’t want to divulge my concerns for fear of bringing them down into hell with me. Because I was in HELL. Everything I was raised to trust and believe was thrown into question and I felt betrayed by the church I had been growing to really love. This all happened in the wake of my recently making a personal commitment to really try to live the gospel. I went to the temple, got endowed, and almost immediately started as a temple worker. I was in the relief society presidency. I was on cloud flippin’ nine. I felt like I was really starting to get it together. This was the first time in my life I really felt like I was making some progress.
In retrospect, I think I was actually just proud. Proud in the negative sense of the word. I was acting like the poster child for Ephesians 2:8-9. I wasn’t actually making any great spiritual discoveries or strengthening my testimony of the things I was doing, I was just doing them because that is what I was told I should do. Plus, I thought that is what I needed to do in order to be marriagable. I was like, LOOK AT ME! I’M A TEMPLE WORKER!!! DATE ME!!! PLEASE!!! Also, YES, I had good feelings and warm fuzzies while I was doing all of them, but as I have previously stated, warm fuzzies are not enough, and the happy memories do not equal that the church is true.
Now, having said all that, I still maintain that I have gratitude for my LDS upbringing in many respects. I want to maintain a connection to that. I am lucky enough to have some very special LDS and non-LDS friends that have been very supportive of me through all this. For now, they are my church. I see my God in them. They are, to me, the most Christlike people I have known. When people still want to be my friend despite my doubts it gives me hope that this connection is maintainable. I have no desire to attend church right now, but I do value my friendships, and I want to do my part to maintain those relationships, even though lately I have been doing a really bad job at that, and for that I want to apologize to anyone I have hurt or possibly offended. I am really sorry, this has been a really weird time for me, but I want to work on it. Let’s work on it together! Maybe I can help you as well!!! Just let me know!!!