Feeling I Can't Go On

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
User avatar
Ilovechrist77
Posts: 632
Joined: 08 Nov 2011, 21:42

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 14 Mar 2013, 01:09

My pleasure, Shawn. If you need to talk, please email me.

User avatar
mackay11
Posts: 2045
Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by mackay11 » 15 Mar 2013, 00:26

Shawn wrote: Thanks for the support. When I said that stuff about Brother Brigham, my wife actually told me the Gospel is simple. Like you say, there is still much to learn about the basics, though.
The gospel is simple (be excellent to each other). The church just seems to do a good job of complicating it. And as for church history... Most certainly not simple! To reference Alice: Curiouser and curiouser... Ever wish you'd ignored the rabbit hole?

User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 706
Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by Shawn » 15 Mar 2013, 11:38

DBMormon wrote:Shawn,
For me the angst stopped the moment I realized there is no smoking gun. In otherwords you will never be able to prove belief vs atheism, Christianity versus Muslim, Mormonism versus Baptist. No matter what you choose you have to step into the darkness before the peace comes. I never understood that until about a year ago, once I did. I have been at peace since. Faith as Paul says is to hope for things the evidence of which not seen.

Is mormonism True? Heck if I know, but I think it is, I have had spiritual manifestations that have led me to believe God wants me to think it is, I believe it is, hope it is.... and I live by faith. An expectation of knowledge goes right out the door. I am ok with never knowing absolute truth.
I really like your podcast with Brian Whitney where you discuss this. There is evidence on both sides and it comes down to faith. Thanks for your podcasts!

User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 706
Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by Shawn » 15 Mar 2013, 11:47

Roy wrote:...I have a couple of thoughts on this -
1) I agree that many things are a matter of perspective - but that is not the same thing as saying that we choose our perspective. For exampe, I would have a really hard time declaring that the grass is blue and believing it to be blue because my past experience tells me that it is green. I do believe that we can influence our perspective, but our ability to do so is limited and varies between individuals.
2) I think of the faith crisis process as similar to the steps of grief. You don't get to just opt out. I know for me, in my process that I like to call "assumptive world collapse," I felt like I was being propelled forward through the process. As though my psyche was reverting to some type of hardwired back-up programming that was rooted below the consiousness. I did have some choices along the way but my choices seemed to either help smooth the process or complicate the process - there was no excape hatch - it had to be lived through.

My hope for you is that you cut yourself (and others) some slack. Life is messy and there isn't any way to "fix" it.
I reckon my overall perspective of a thing is warped by focusing on only a part of it. For example, I will have an inaccurate view of Joseph Smith if I only listen to Truman G. Madsen's lectures that paint the prophet as the best darn guy who ever lived. On the other side of that, focusing only on the perceived scandals causes me to have an overly negative view of him. Perspective. You are right, though. Our ability to influence perspective is limited.

I agree that I can't opt out of this crisis. I could ignore it, but that would jut be delaying it.

User avatar
DBMormon
Posts: 806
Joined: 18 Aug 2012, 04:42
Location: Ohio near Kirtland
Contact:

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by DBMormon » 16 Mar 2013, 12:13

You also have to recognize that many smart, informed people have come through this information and have fallen on both sides. IT is tough, dang tough, and I feel for you. My faith crisis only lasted in the real bad part that sucked, about 6-8 months. I went from knowing almost everything to knowing 1 or 2 things and hoping some things and yet I would never want to go back... this is way more beautiful here. I actually appreciate not knowing. It is a blessing to not know and still act. I love it. In the crisis, you want to go back... in reality, you can't nor if you understood, would you want to. IMHO Anybody who wishes they could go back, hasn't exited their crisis completely yet.

User avatar
mackay11
Posts: 2045
Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by mackay11 » 16 Mar 2013, 18:11

Shawn wrote: I agree that I can't opt out of this crisis. I could ignore it, but that would jut be delaying it.
That's my issue... I keep putting stuff on the mental shelf and life goes on ok... but then I discover something else to put on the shelf and the whole shelf is sat there, staring at me.

User avatar
mackay11
Posts: 2045
Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by mackay11 » 16 Mar 2013, 18:16

DBMormon wrote:You also have to recognize that many smart, informed people have come through this information and have fallen on both sides. IT is tough, dang tough, and I feel for you. My faith crisis only lasted in the real bad part that sucked, about 6-8 months. I went from knowing almost everything to knowing 1 or 2 things and hoping some things and yet I would never want to go back... this is way more beautiful here. I actually appreciate not knowing. It is a blessing to not know and still act. I love it. In the crisis, you want to go back... in reality, you can't nor if you understood, would you want to. IMHO Anybody who wishes they could go back, hasn't exited their crisis completely yet.
I try to take solace in the first sentence. But I wonder how honest they are being with themselves. But I don't know how I could go back to being 'in full faith' with the information I now know.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15826
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Mar 2013, 19:39

I'm being totally honest with myself, and I consider my faith to be full. It's just different than many others.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
mackay11
Posts: 2045
Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by mackay11 » 16 Mar 2013, 21:59

Ray Degraw wrote:I'm being totally honest with myself, and I consider my faith to be full. It's just different than many others.
I understand that and take solace in it. But today mine isn't. I'm running on empty.

User avatar
Shawn
Posts: 706
Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 14:22
Location: Utah

Re: Feeling I Can't Go On

Post by Shawn » 16 Mar 2013, 23:06

I want to tell every one about the last three days and then I will divert the attention from myself.

I skipped work on Thursday because I was a bit sick. I moped around all day. That evening, my wife asked if anything is going on. I was just silent for a few seconds and then said "I'll tell you later" because I was going in the house from the garage. I later told her "I've been preoccupied with faith issues." She said "What, you don't have faith?" I said "No, that's not it." Surprisingly, she didn't press the issue and we just let it go, but she remarked a little later that there has been darkness about me and I have been detached.

Later she asked, "Are you feeling better? Does it last long?" And I just said "WHAT!?!" How could she think I was getting over my issues in a matter of hours? But then she said "I'm asking about your cold. I am feeling sick too and I wonder how long it lasts." Haha!

On Friday I told her "I don't think you understand. I have been going through a faith crisis." I let her know I have concerns regarding church history and I have doubts. She said I could benefit from rereading the Book of Mormon and I snickered. "It's not that simple" I thought.

She took it very well - it wasn't like our intense interaction last summer. I told her it was hard to learn about some things regarding Joseph Smith and that I didn't know he had multiple wives when I was serving a mission. She disagreed with me and said that I did know. I was stumped, but thought about it for a few minutes, and then I remembered that I had learned some things about it before my mission. My wife knew that because we were in the same ward and dated as teenagers. Good grief, how had I believed that I didn't know about Joseph's polygamy until a few years ago?! I may have even heard about polyandry as a teenager, but I'm not sure. My wife said a woman visited her seminary class to teach about Joseph's wives. Interesting.

Anyway, my wife is totally aware of the issues, but never had a crisis over them. Here's the gist of what she told me Friday night:
You know, plural marriage exists in some form on the other side. I don't worry about it because I trust Heavenly Father. If I have to be a part of it, I won't care because I will be celestialized and it will make sense then, even though it doesn't make sense now.

The more I learned about Joseph Smith, the more I actually sympathized with him. The poor guy was persecuted and then he was commanded to start plural marriages. I don't think he handled everything well. He was trying to be obedient and trying to please Emma, and he just bungled it and hid it from her. And it was not mainly about sex. The world now is so sexed up and people automatically turn to sex as the main issue. It was really about sealings. And the poor guy is not here to defend himself - to tell us what he was thinking and why he did some things. I am not going to judge him harshly. There was a lot going on and we don't know everything.

And poor Brigham Young. I have sympathy for him because I like to talk - I like to speak my mind and talk about ideas and explore things like he did. And people listened to him and recorded his words according to their perception, and now people drag him through the mud and he's not here to defend himself.
Whoa, that blew my mind. Years ago, she was quite negative about polygamy, which is understandable. Anyway, she totally understands that prophets are sinners like the rest of us, but chooses to see the good.

I feel a lot better now. It was good to talk to her. She has awesome insights - she said other things that I can't remember now.

Tonight we went to the temple, which is a rare thing. I go maybe once a year. On the way home, I told her I had a epiphany. It has to do with Joseph and Brigham's faults and the church covering them up. I said "The current brethren talk about the good stuff Joseph and Brigham did. They don't talk about the faults of dead men. Aren't we all taught to look for the good in people? Is it such a crime to accentuate the positive? Yes, the brethren are guilty of talking positively about dead prophets."

And then I was thinking about how I had forgotten what I had learned about Joseph's marriages as a teenager and said "I bet there's more instances of stuff being taught and I'm just not aware of them." I have heard the seer stones were mentioned in an old New Era article. Does anyone know about that? Maybe I should dig around and see what has been published. However, I still think some historical stuff should be mentioned in church so fewer people get shocked when they find things on the internet.

I've also been thinking of a black man I taught on my mission. Brother W graduated summa cum laude and was in medical school when I met him. He's smart. Thankfully, I did not have to talk to him about the priesthood ban. He sorted it out with God on his own. He told me that the Spirit told him that God is in charge and the priesthood was extended to all men according to His timetable. I personally do not agree with that sentiment right now - I think the stupidity and stubbornness of man caused the restriction and delayed the removal of it - but the point is that Brother W moved on! He got baptized and moved on. If a black man can get over it, why should I stew over it?

After all, maybe I should do what my wife says - read the scriptures and pray and follow the Spirit. Her faith is awesome. I hope no one is offended by any of this. I'm just relating what has been going on. I feel I am making good progress, but I understand others will not see things as I do now. I hope we can all make some kind of progress, though.

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone who has supported me here.

Post Reply