Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

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SilentDawning
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Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Apr 2017, 06:26

Often I pray in the morning while waking up.

Have you ever had an honest prayer with God about your feelings about the church? Indicating the problems you see, how it impacts your faith?

I have been doing that lately and I come away from the prayer feeling supported in my current path. I no longer feel that dread that I'm crossing a line in my current approach, which is not the textbook path of the church.

It leads me to wonder if those feelings of discomfort, when you first face your crisis, are simply due to the super-ego (conscience) that parents, talks at church, etcetera inject into our morality. Once free of those influences, I actually feel happier and more spiritual than I did when praying within the context of being a TR-holding member. And that freedom from those influences seems to come from elevating my own conscience above all other advice, while considering church-related advice at the same time. So, I don't throw out the church advice, but don't make it the final authority in my decision making -- my conscience is the final decision-maker.

All borne from a statement that Brian Johnson made years ago that "the sooner you can get onto your own clock, the happier you'll be".

In fact, the thought occurred to me as I prayed that I feel more supported and spiritual than I did all those years I was pushing against the rock, doing the church's textbook plan, but being miserable at the same time....

Have you ever experienced spiritual support in your current path, even though it's not orthodox? And has your new path yet produced the happiness that tends to breed spirituality?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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DarkJedi
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Apr 2017, 07:20

I don't pray much or often, but when I do pray it's much different than my orthodox days. I can't say I have felt spiritual support, but I will say that I have experienced a feeling of peace and I think that is significant.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by nibbler » 25 Apr 2017, 07:25

It sounds like a part of the process is developing self confidence in becoming an "adult of god" or "agent unto ourselves."

This may necessitate a thread of its own but what does spirituality mean to you?
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. - Sydney J. Harris

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Apr 2017, 07:40

nibbler wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 07:25
It sounds like a part of the process is developing self confidence in becoming an "adult of god" or "agent unto ourselves."

This may necessitate a thread of its own but what does spirituality mean to you?
In this case, it's a feeling of peace. So, I think @DarkJedi is experiencing it based on his post above. A feeling of support, a feeling of fulfilment...it's a sense that you are OK.

At church, I still feel the spirit. When I do teacher's council, and I'm firing on all cylinders, or have designed a class experience that fires on all cylinders, I feel it. I feel it when I am with my band and we are all getting along well. I felt it in a MAJOR way in one of my classes last week. After 8 weeks of them trying and not succeeding at a disciplined approach to looking at real life problems through the lens of theory, they FINALLY, en masse, were able to do it. I felt this OVERWHELMING spirituality that all my hard work in grading, teaching, giving feedback, while being supportive at the same time, had paid off.

I considered THAT spirituality, and it was probably the most powerful spiritual experience I've had in the last few months. I am at the point where I am calling these "peak experiences" rather than spiritual experiences...

And this underscores the fact that spirituality is not a commodity only to be found in LDS orthodoxy. It's to be found in the world at large...

Here's the other thing -- I reduced prayer significantly when I hit my commitment crisis. It was as if I thought I was praying to a TBM God who didn't accept me. That made prayer difficult. Perhaps because the church conscience led me to believe that I was at odds with God, after years of conditioning.

It seems that now that I have accepted myself, I feel accepted by God, and supported by Him. It's liberating...
Last edited by SilentDawning on 25 Apr 2017, 11:42, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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DarkJedi
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Apr 2017, 11:15

Yeah, except I'm not at all sure the peace I feel is validation for my point of view or where I'm at or that I am on the right path (if there is a right path). It's more of a "it'll be OK" feeling. I get the same feelings when I am experiencing a difficulty. No assurance of anything, no new job, no whatever - just peace. I have commented here before about how I don't think that peace is enough sometimes.

But like you, SD, I don't only get that feeling during or after prayer. I do feel it at church sometimes, and interestingly (to me) in meetings like high council. I feel it sometimes during hymns, sometimes when I ponder things, sometimes when I read scriptures, and sometimes seemingly for no reason at all - it just comes (often this is outside and by myself).

I also reduced prayer significantly (altogether for awhile) when my crisis hit and for the same reason. My view of God has changed significantly since then and so have my prayers. Likewise, so has what I perceive to be the Spirit - and I'm still not sure what I feel is actually the Spirit. The peace thing has some significance in that respect because it's not what I'm asking for.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Apr 2017, 11:43

DarkJedi wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 11:15
Yeah, except I'm not at all sure the peace I feel is validation for my point of view or where I'm at or that I am on the right path (if there is a right path). It's more of a "it'll be OK" feeling.
As I mature I realize that I know less and less about what spiritual impressions mean. They are just "good". Perhaps indicative of being generally on the right path, perhaps not. But at least I'm not feeling dark inside, or that my prayer was wrong...I have felt that way in other contexts (like when I prayed about whether I should marry a particular woman)...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Stayforthedip
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by Stayforthedip » 25 Apr 2017, 11:57

Have you ever had an honest prayer with God about your feelings about the church? Indicating the problems you see, how it impacts your faith?
I stopped praying(privately, I still pray when called on at church or home) about 2 years ago. A large reason why is because I felt abandoned by God. I had a very difficult family situation that I prayed for resolution and help with for a couple of years. It ended in heart break and seemingly without any intervention by God. At some point, maybe about a year ago, I thought that maybe Heavenly Father had left me, but surely if there was a Heavenly Mother she would comfort me. I prayed to her several times and expressed my hurt and anger and sought Her wisdom. But I still felt nothing. I don't know if the problem is me--maybe my heart is too hard--or not. But either way, it lead me to feel much more agnostic. I wouldn't say I am atheist, because I am indecisive and non-committal :) and I want to leave room for change. So yes, I have called out to the heavens about my feelings with the church and my faith issues, but for me, all I heard was an echo.

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Heber13
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by Heber13 » 25 Apr 2017, 13:06

I find God approves of the process and direction of things, not as much the details about how to do it, like home teaching or temple work.

As long as I'm moving towards good, wherever and however I can find it, I'm doing alright.

Orthodoxy is not for everyone.
Elder Holland wrote:On those days when we feel a little out of tune, a little less than what we think we see or hear in others, I would ask us, especially the youth of the Church, to remember it is by divine design that not all the voices in God’s choir are the same. It takes variety—sopranos and altos, baritones and basses—to make rich music. To borrow a line quoted in the cheery correspondence of two remarkable Latter-day Saint women, “All God’s critters got a place in the choir.” When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes—stereotypes driven by an insatiable consumer culture and idealized beyond any possible realization by social media—we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when He created a world of diversity.

Now, this is not to say that everyone in this divine chorus can simply start shouting his or her own personal oratorio! Diversity is not cacophony, and choirs do require discipline—for our purpose today, Elder Hales, I would say discipleship—but once we have accepted divinely revealed lyrics and harmonious orchestration composed before the world was, then our Heavenly Father delights to have us sing in our own voice, not someone else’s. Believe in yourself, and believe in Him. Don’t demean your worth or denigrate your contribution. Above all, don’t abandon your role in the chorus. Why? Because you are unique; you are irreplaceable. The loss of even one voice diminishes every other singer in this great mortal choir of ours, including the loss of those who feel they are on the margins of society or the margins of the Church.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

DoubtingTom
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by DoubtingTom » 25 Apr 2017, 14:19

Have you ever had an honest prayer with God about your feelings about the church? Indicating the problems you see, how it impacts your faith?
I, like others in this thread, have changed the way I approach prayer. I no longer value the formulaic 4 step prayer program as I no longer connect to that. Other than when called on to pray or when praying vocally in my family, I don't apply that pattern to my personal prayers.

In fact, to an orthodox believer I probably no longer pray at all. But I do a lot of meditation, pondering, thinking deeply, and dialoguing with myself about my feelings, thoughts, and desires. If there is a God, he can hear those thoughts just as well as when I followed a more formal approach.

But I feel more now than I ever did before. Sometimes when I think deeply about unorthodox positions, such as the Book of Mormon not being a literal historical record, I start to see puzzle pieces fit together in ways that never really made sense to me as a TBM. And it is in those moments of things clicking and making sense that I feel powerful emotions of clarity, understanding, and peace.

Now whether those feelings are from God, or just the human emotion that comes from understanding, from epiphany, I don't know. But I do not believe I am being deceived because things are clearer now to me than they've ever been and I feel more at peace with my current path than I ever did as a TBM. Furthermore, I feel generally happier and more excited about life. That's not to say that everything is roses and butterflies, but it is exciting to feel this way. It's like my eyes have been opened in a new way. And I don't want to go back. Maybe things were simpler, but not nearly as exciting or beautiful as when I look at the world as not just black and white. There are way more colors this way, even if they don't all make perfect sense.

Have you ever struggled and struggled to understand something and finally it clicked in a way that made total sense? Kind of like what SD described with his class. When that happens to me in my professional life or in my spiritual, the feelings of clarity, light, and excitement ("burning in the bosom?") are the same. And that has often been my feelings as I've come to unorthodox conclusions for myself, through thoughtful study, pondering, and my own personal version of "prayer."

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Heber13
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Re: Spiritual Support during Unorthodoxy

Post by Heber13 » 26 Apr 2017, 10:59

DoubtingTom wrote:
25 Apr 2017, 14:19
I feel generally happier and more excited about life.
:thumbup: I like reading others' experiences. It seems like a good thing to move towards clarity and more excitement about life.

Thanks for sharing.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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