I need of advice (Atheism and being LDS)

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Re: I need of advice (Atheism and being LDS)

Post by Jorsen » 08 Jan 2015, 12:39

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.

In some ways i feel out of place even here but I think that may be incorrect.

Being a convert, I have no family in the church outside of my soon to be exwife and stepson (who doesn't believe anymore).

I went to the temple in Orlando (I am from Tampa) and only stayed in the lobby as I didn't have a recommend.

I felt so happy and at peace there...

I have such fears sometimes...I miss the spirituality of my youth and I miss how the LDS seemed to bring a fusion of spirituality and reason.

I am separated and bracing for divorce. I know that the divorce is the right thing. Do I have to be a sinner saved by grace? Do I have to proclaim myself worthless and without hope if I have no atonement? Do I have to lose myself only to be built up in the image of another's desires?

Even though I have never received my endowment or been married for time and all eternity, I still wish I could have a temple marriage.

I went to a bar recently...there was so much craziness there! Just not my thing. An atheist who is a prude? An atheist with morals and a desire to be virtuous? Am I am atheist at all?

I go home and read The God Delusion or god is not Great, and then read the Book of Mormon another day and the Bible. I listen to conference talks and read fairmormon blogs and listen to podcasts.

I know I wasn't born Mormon, but I love its people and I wanted...so badly for its culture to be my culture.

Now I am afraid of never fitting in. The soon to be divorced man who doesn't even have the higher priesthood yet as I am only a priest.

I have two girls of my own along with one boy and girl step child.

I love them all so much!

I want to be a good example. I fear venturing into any church for fear of being wrong and giving my children wrong ideas.

Thank You for welcoming me here!

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Re: I need of advice (Atheism and being LDS)

Post by MockingJay » 09 Jan 2015, 07:00

It sounds to me like you're exactly the kind of person who fits in here. Most of us have very conflicting ideas swirling around in our heads. I'm not in the middle of a divorce, but many here have been through that. Being divorced and being a member don't have to be mutually exclusive. You can be both if you choose.

As far as swinging back and forth about your feelings on God, I can totally relate. Some days I'm pretty sure there's no God and then another day something happens, and I feel like I've had something of a spiritual experience. Some days at church I'm fine and I enjoy it. Others times I want to run for the door every other minute.

I think what we're trying to tell you here is that you can be a member on your own terms. Go slow as you work to figure it all out. You don't have to make a decision today. I would also recommend getting some counseling if you aren't already. What you're going through would be very difficult for anyone. It helps to have an objective listener.

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Re: I need of advice (Atheism and being LDS)

Post by Heber13 » 09 Jan 2015, 10:07

Jorsen wrote: I fear venturing into any church for fear of being wrong and giving my children wrong ideas.
I understand fears.

But while they are sometimes helping us make sure we are being smart or careful...they shouldn't run our lives. Make choices out of love for your kids, not fears you'll do something wrong.

I do stuff wrong all the time as a parent. But my kids know I keep trying. They will find you are their hero...despite your missteps. They just want to be loved. That's most important. The other stuff gets taken care of.
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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Re: I need of advice (Atheism and being LDS)

Post by turinturambar » 12 Jan 2015, 22:10

Welcome Jorsen.

I second the idea of compartmentalizing the different parts of you current mess, so that they don't get mixed up in the deliberations and choices you'll have to make in the next little while.

I am currently a hopeful agnostic/deist. But I recognize a real spiritual component in my reality. Are you spiritual as well as atheist? Does a Mormon sacrament meeting fill you spiritually? Do you value the comraderie there in the Church? Keep going if it helps bring you peace.

I've been reading Carl Sagan lately, and I have come to find his approach to the universe helpful to me. He seems to be skeptical but agnostic about God. But he has this real hope for mankind that appeals to me. I think there is (or should be) room for Atheist or Agnostic Mormons to participate in the blessing of all mankind along with all of our brothers and sisters in the Church. Keep us posted.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

(New Testament | 1 Corinthians 13:2‎)‎

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