Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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nibbler
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by nibbler » 10 Jun 2014, 18:19

jhp33 wrote:Frankly, I'm a bit frustrated by the reactions I'm getting here. Usually, this forum is about accepting the conclusions/interpretations that people come to here, because we all know that we can see the same exact things and come to different conclusions.
Yeah, I do find it a bit odd that people gravitated toward dispelling that, especially how you explicitly said that it wasn't the real issue on page 1. :cry:
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
— Henry David Thoreau

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 11 Jun 2014, 05:24

jhp33 wrote:
DarkJedi wrote:You brought up meeting with your bishop, that's good. Don't be too hard on the guy
Thanks, DJ. My intentions are actually quite the opposite. I want people to know that it's precisely because I don't want to become a bitter ex-mormon that I'm taking these steps. I love the people in my ward. So much. I know they want the best for me. But a lack of clear communication is exactly what leads to some of the problems I'm facing. Lack of communication causes people to jump to conclusions and assume things. I need it to be crystal clear to the people who are in charge that I'm choosing this and it doesn't mean that I don't love them. It doesn't mean I want to go sin. It doesn't mean I hate the church. It just means I need space from the structure of the church so my head doesn't explode.

I want to go to church. But I want to go when I really want to, not because I have a job to do. I want to go to ward activities and interact with my fellow saints. I want to visit people in the ward I care about and do service, but not because it's my duty. Because I want to.

I know there are a lot of people who are able to do both at the same time, but something in me is fundamentally broken right now that does not allow me to fulfill my duty and do it because I want to at the same time.
Err, people have experiences that change and cause a life shift and view all the time. It doesn't make them "broken". Especially when it comes to a topic of supposed obliged "duty". What a persons "duty" in life is comes from within, never should it come from the outside. And what convictions someone has changes over time through their knowledge and experience gained. If your duty and convictions are your own sense that just happens to be that of those in the church great. If it happens to be different in past or present also ok. But changing from experience and knowledge overtime is normal and expected, not broken. It's something that morally can't be taught from the outside in, but something that happens genially from the inside out. No one has the moral right to tell someone else what their duty in life is. Only to help people people for-fill their own sense of duty. It's up to you to examine yourself and find out what comes from within and what's coming from the outside as a sense of "duty". But please try to keep one thing in mind, no one is broken because they have a different or changing sense of "duty" including yourself. Because being broken sibs sense of shame, shame is as dark as bad or evil gets.

What ever it is that drives you you need to take a long hard look at it. What drives people changes over time I'm yogurt lives. But in living life you have to love to true to yourself or it is a failed life full of guilt you can't escape. Sometimes it runs parallel with those we love and it is great. Sometimes though it is different and people genially can't spend a lot of time with those that it does not. Many times people convince themselves of things by telling themselves over and over again of what they are or need to do instead of excepting who they are and what they genuinely feel they Need to do.

Best wishes in finding yourself, but please don't think that you are broken because things don't align with others you love or what they believe. Or because it changes over time. Just be take time to find where you stand from within first before making big decisions.

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 11 Jun 2014, 05:31

nibbler wrote:
jhp33 wrote:Frankly, I'm a bit frustrated by the reactions I'm getting here. Usually, this forum is about accepting the conclusions/interpretations that people come to here, because we all know that we can see the same exact things and come to different conclusions.
Yeah, I do find it a bit odd that people gravitated toward dispelling that, especially how you explicitly said that it wasn't the real issue on page 1. :cry:
Ya, it's not really conspiracy to think in this way. It's well studied and known especially among presidents and top officials that handshakes are given and taught to them as well as how to greet others in establishing trust. Most take classes for this with a kind of PR department. I had a friend you used to teach such people In California about it. And another around San Francisco to CEOs about how to greet people they find and screen on dates and how to conduct themselves on that date(it includes the opening greeting as well). It's not a conspiracy theory. The interpretation that it happens to be a temple handshake is open to interpretation. But the fact that there is taught handshakes and postures and sizing up to establish trust between public officials, esker silly between various clubs is well known and taught in various PR university courses.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Jun 2014, 05:46

I don't think you're broken, jhp. Sometimes people here say we're on the island of misfit toys. Misfit - maybe, broken - no. FWIW, on my return to church I did a very similar thing as well. Obviously I had a calling which somewhat precipitated my return (there were other factors), but I did make it clear to the bishop (very nicely, of course) that things were still on my terms. As I expected, he has been supportive and it sounds like yours might be as well. He even gave me some tips on dealing with the overzealous/overexcited but well meaning members who might approach and ask why I'm leaving early or other nonsense.
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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MockingJay
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by MockingJay » 11 Jun 2014, 08:10

Jph33 wrote:
It doesn't mean I hate the church. It just means I need space from the structure of the church so my head doesn't explode.

I want to go to church. But I want to go when I really want to, not because I have a job to do. I want to go to ward activities and interact with my fellow saints. I want to visit people in the ward I care about and do service, but not because it's my duty. Because I want to.

I know there are a lot of people who are able to do both at the same time, but something in me is fundamentally broken right now that does not allow me to fulfill my duty and do it because I want to at the same time.
THIS, except I don't think it's about being broken at all. Many of us feel the same way, as do many very orthodox members, they just don't understand why or won't admit it to themselves. Our RS is a wonderful person and my friend, but she's also a hardliner. My husband commented the other day that she looks like she's aged a lot in the last 18 months and that she doesn't seem happy. I told him how she's confided in me a few times that she doesn't ever feel like she's doing a good job as RS pres. or that she's ever doing enough. She's doing a great job, but it's that guilt that so many TBM's feel and that I used to feel.

One difference between our church and other churches is that in other churches if you don't want to contribute anything, no one cares or says anything. You can just go to church once a week and then go home. In our church, it's so often all or nothing. It's a major ordeal if we want to do things on our own terms.

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nibbler
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by nibbler » 11 Jun 2014, 09:05

writer63 wrote:Jph33 wrote:
It doesn't mean I hate the church. It just means I need space from the structure of the church so my head doesn't explode.

I want to go to church. But I want to go when I really want to, not because I have a job to do. I want to go to ward activities and interact with my fellow saints. I want to visit people in the ward I care about and do service, but not because it's my duty. Because I want to.

I know there are a lot of people who are able to do both at the same time, but something in me is fundamentally broken right now that does not allow me to fulfill my duty and do it because I want to at the same time.
THIS, except I don't think it's about being broken at all. Many of us feel the same way, as do many very orthodox members, they just don't understand why or won't admit it to themselves. Our RS is a wonderful person and my friend, but she's also a hardliner. My husband commented the other day that she looks like she's aged a lot in the last 18 months and that she doesn't seem happy. I told him how she's confided in me a few times that she doesn't ever feel like she's doing a good job as RS pres. or that she's ever doing enough. She's doing a great job, but it's that guilt that so many TBM's feel and that I used to feel.

One difference between our church and other churches is that in other churches if you don't want to contribute anything, no one cares or says anything. You can just go to church once a week and then go home. In our church, it's so often all or nothing. It's a major ordeal if we want to do things on our own terms.
THESE ;)

I feel so compelled in all things at church that I often don't feel much of a benefit from the service I render there. That and I'm often so burnt out from church responsibilities, meetings, etc. that I'm too exhausted to render service of my own free will and in ways that I want to render it. At church leaders direct my service opportunities at every turn but I want to be free to render service in ways that are born from within and in ways that are wholly unique to me. I can go against the grain and ask to be released from a calling that's a bad fit but the culture is such that there's an imbalance that creates disquiet until I have a calling... which is just some other call to serve that's dictated by someone else. I often feel that the only way to take back control is to divorce myself from the church.

I understand the need to share the load and to organize to make sure needs are met, at the same time I feel like I've completely lost my ability to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of my own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness in my own unique way. I'm just a cog to be moved, compelled in all things.

It's a sticking point. I also know it's an opportunity to develop humility. I do wonder how much/little service I would give with the church out of the picture. It's a doubt I'd like to dispel.
Last edited by nibbler on 11 Jun 2014, 09:47, edited 1 time in total.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
— Henry David Thoreau

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nibbler
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Re: Where I'm at...not sure what to do next

Post by nibbler » 11 Jun 2014, 09:40

jhp33 wrote:I know there are a lot of people who are able to do both at the same time, but something in me is fundamentally broken right now that does not allow me to fulfill my duty and do it because I want to at the same time.
I get where you are coming from. After my FC/FT I saw a new reason to be obedient to the commandments, I added a new reason to the list:

Obey out of fear.
Obey out of expectation for promised blessings.
Obey out of love.
Do things because I want to do them.

Notice I dropped "obey" from that last reason. It just so happens that I keep church standards but now it is because I truly want to, not because I feel that I have to... and to me there's a difference. Part of that is removing an authority figure from the equation, hence dropping "obey" from the new reason.

Looking at the reasons again:
Fear - you're almost certainly doing something you don't want to do (or in some cases can't help doing). Clean your room or I'll spank you.

Blessings - perhaps you're sacrificing something you'd like to do for something you'd like to receive. You still might doing things you don't want to do in that context. Clean your room and I'll take you out for ice cream.

Love - that's a tough one. That's often given as the highest or noblest reason to obey. I clean my room because it makes mom happy. I may not like it but it makes mom happy. Side note: I might have become trapped by oppressive guilt at this stage, wanting to please and forever falling short.

Because I want to - I've moved out and no longer have a mom to please but I still clean my room. I now see the merits in it, recognizing that obedience because of the previously mentioned motivators helped me form a habit until I recognized the merits. This is probably how it is supposed to work, principle by principle.

That "because I want to" applied across the board after my FT. Because I want to can be difficult when it comes to individual callings. The nature of the beast is that an authority figure returns to the equation to tell you what you should be doing while you've moved on to a place where you no longer want an authority figure to be your motivator, it cheapens the experience and retards growth.

If you're broken we're both broken. Funny, that's a phrase I often use to describe myself to others. "broken"
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
— Henry David Thoreau

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