1st Christmas as an Agnostic Theist

Yes, it’s a real thing, you can look it up, and it’s the closest label I can come up with to describe my current belief system. It has been an interesting year…..and I’m telling you, the mood swings I’ve been experiencing are so intense. I go from feeling on top of the world one minute, to bottom of the barrel the next. Christmas is usually my favorite holiday. In years past I have always gone all out with the decorating and getting or making gifts for people. I have thrown parties both at my place and been in charge of church Christmas activities. This time last year I was really busy. I was still really new at my job and I was mostly in charge of the ward Christmas party. I had no idea that it would be my last Christmas before my  faith would be effectively obliterated and my life turned upside down. Which has, obviously, been a difficult process.

It was shortly after New Years that life finally slowed down enough for me to really start pondering everything I experienced in 2012….being called to Relief Society Presidency, getting endowed, becoming a temple worker…. pretty big stuff to Mormons. I started getting curious about the deeper doctrines of the church, much of it still confusing to me, stuff I had shelved in the past. Stuff that was to be understood “later”. Well, the more I studied, the more I realized that there were answers out there, answers that made sense to me. Unfortunately, they were not faith promoting answers, but answers that made sense to me intellectually. I discovered many problems within both Mormonism and by extension of the same new found logic….Christianity as well.
I still have a basic belief in a higher power of some kind, but I do not define it beyond that at this time. I do maintain a hope that God is somehow involved, but do not have any kind of explicit evidence of such involvement, nothing that couldn’t be explained in other ways. I do feel that I am quite spiritual, I am easily touched deeply by witnessing acts of kindness or compassion. I am especially inspired and uplifted by many kinds of music, particularly Christmas music, by both the traditional as well as the more secular types.Certain songs I feel penetrate my soul and bring me peace and comfort. I cannot in good conscience deny that there may be an eternal part of me that lives within my mortal person that resonates with familiar themes. I just feel there is so much corruption in much of organized religion that the thought of joining with any of them repulses me.
Having faith in God relies on confirmations received by getting certain “feelings” that confirm the truth of whatever it is you are trying to have faith or belief in. But any “feelings” I had about the truthfulness of Mormonism, Christ, or God were easily obliterated by cold hard facts and the application of reason. I cannot live according to superstitions. Just as it is no longer believable that diseases and illnesses are caused by sinning or displeasing God or other gods, all because we have discovered the microbe, I also cannot believe that mankind originated from one man and one woman that were plopped down onto the planet 6,000 years ago. It just isn’t logical. Neither is a worldwide flood. Sorry, but there isn’t any evidence of such a planet-wide event. The stories have good lessons that can be applied, but they are stories.
My same thinking applies to the Christmas story. I don’t think I can believe in a virgin birth. I know Christ existed as a real person, but I don’t know about a lot of the rest of it. I still have some soul searching to do about that whole thing.
Still, despite my doubts in the literal story, it does not diminish for me the meaning and moral of the story. The message is great. One of peace on earth and good will for men. One of the importance of family and friends. These are things I can really believe in and things worth celebrating.
So, even though I am still grieving the loss of my beliefs, I try to remind myself that there is still much to be celebrated this Christmastime.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I love you all. Truly. No matter who you are or what you believe.
-Samantha Lynn

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