A Farewell & Thank You

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
university
Posts: 150
Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 17:19

A Farewell & Thank You

Post by university » 02 Oct 2016, 14:05

I believe that it's been over 2 years since I joined this site, although I was a lurker for much, much longer. It provided me a soft place to land when I felt like the ground had dropped out from under me. I really cannot thank everyone here enough. Thank you to everyone who posts, and especially Ray, who've I've watched be a guardian for keeping this place civil and respectful and a welcoming home to people in the midst of a faith crisis without letting it turn into an anti-Church site. I see now that for the past five years I've been going through the stages of mourning: denial, anger, etc. Although I wasn't a frequent poster, StayLDS played host to some of my most dramatic moments. Even though most people in my personal life would consider me a calm and rational person, this site was one of the few places where I could let out all of my emotions. It provided me comfort when I was in tears over the reality of my situation. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I was a young girl working on her degree and feeling like her foundation and even identity had been crushed. This place provided me some comfort during all of that.

I think a while ago I mentioned on here that I believed I was on my way out of the Church. Now I'm even further along in my "acceptance" phase of mourning. Nothing will ever change the peace, joy, and purpose the Church gave me in my life. So much of who I am is influenced by Mormonism. So much of it is a part of who I am. So much of me still likes so many aspects of this faith and that's why I sometimes get frustrated with the parts that no longer resonate with me. But part of me will always feel at home in the LDS faith. I'm grateful for the wonderful experiences I had and the peace my beliefs in the church once gave to me. I'm grateful for the community and shared values I had with others. In many ways, I truly had a remarkable experience. But after years of mourning, and deliberating questions and options, and allowing myself to take it slow, I understand myself enough to know I need to exit the chapel. I don't want to be a card-carrying member of the "Mormon club" anymore. Maybe one day I'll come back--to visit or even stay. But not now.

This time of the year is emotional for me. Even being in a good place--being content and accepting where I'm at---conference spurs up a lot of emotions in me because it taps into many of the reasons I feel I need to say goodbye to something that once brought me so much joy, and has influenced so much of who I am, and is so sacred to so many people I respect and love, but I no longer want to be apart of. I suppose that's why I'm here. I listened to a bit of conference today. Forgive me, I can't remember which general authority it was, but I rather enjoyed a talk that encouraged members to stay in the church. It wasn't that I personally am heeding the message, but I liked its tone and it gave me hope for future members who struggle. Perhaps they can find a friendlier community while they sort out their own questions and don't feel the shame I once did. In one part, the speaker talked about staying on the path. It was an interesting analogy for me. I imagine myself following along 'the Path" of the Church---enjoying it and loving it and feeling so much connection to the people who journeyed with me. But for years now I have realized that this is no longer the path for me. I am not being lazy. I'm not being selfish. But I can't say I *know* that I should leave the way I used to think I *knew* I should continue on the path. But something inside me--my heart and mind---feels I need to breakaway. Maybe I am being "led away." But for my own spiritual health, staying on this path is not an option for me anymore. Neither are some of the other enticing ones I see off in the distance---it's time for me to make my own path, one that will take me through scenery and new destinations which will no doubt change me even more. But what I like most about my path is that I can still come back and say hello to some people I'll leave behind. I won't be walking the same path with them but I'll be there to listen and cheer them on.

I don't know if I'll come back to post. Maybe I'll surprise myself and will. I might continue to lurk. But I think it's fitting after graduating and moving into a new profession, and a new religious identity that "University" is clocking out. Thanks again to everyone. I wish you all peace and fortune in your own journeys.

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mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by mom3 » 02 Oct 2016, 14:09

University,

Thank you for the courteous update. So many people who have posted over the years fade away with us ever knowing for sure what the outcome was. Good luck on the journey ahead. May joy, peace, and goodness find you. Drop by if you just want to say hi. Thanks for making us part of your experience.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16832
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Oct 2016, 14:11

God bless you, friend. Thank you for your kind words. I am happy that you are at peace with yourself.

May there be a road.
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

Ann
Posts: 2576
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by Ann » 02 Oct 2016, 15:18

I am not being lazy. I'm not being selfish.
You don't give that impression at all.

I don't want to burden you, but if you could come back occasionally I for one would love it. I want to hear from people who are answering the question, "Where would you go?" I would love to know how it all comes together for you. Best wishes.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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LookingHard
Posts: 2950
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by LookingHard » 02 Oct 2016, 16:21

Thanks for the update and good luck. Do look for places to "belong". Being a hermit is bad.

Big virtual hug. Trust yourself!

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dtrom34
Posts: 44
Joined: 27 Apr 2015, 15:53

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by dtrom34 » 03 Oct 2016, 06:58

Thanks for sharing University! This is definitely an emotional time of year. I thought of a quote i'd like to share with you.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go... “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.”

― Dr. Seuss. Oh The Places You'll Go

Good luck, and I hope to "see" you around here once in awhile.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7225
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Oct 2016, 07:14

So long and thanks for all the fish. May you find the peace you seek.
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."

My Introduction

amateurparent
Posts: 953
Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by amateurparent » 03 Oct 2016, 09:41

University:

Maybe check out one of the Mormons in Transition groups in your area through Mormon Spectrum. Personally, I have found them very helpful. As a group, they understand my journey and cultural background. Our local group is a social bunch that hosts everything from family camping trips and mudder events to happy hours and beer fests. Truly a full spectrum of acceptance.

Best wishes on your journey.

-- AP
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

Roy
Posts: 6151
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by Roy » 03 Oct 2016, 16:49

university wrote:But for years now I have realized that this is no longer the path for me. I am not being lazy. I'm not being selfish. But I can't say I *know* that I should leave the way I used to think I *knew* I should continue on the path. But something inside me--my heart and mind---feels I need to breakaway. Maybe I am being "led away." But for my own spiritual health, staying on this path is not an option for me anymore. Neither are some of the other enticing ones I see off in the distance---it's time for me to make my own path, one that will take me through scenery and new destinations which will no doubt change me even more. But what I like most about my path is that I can still come back and say hello to some people I'll leave behind. I won't be walking the same path with them but I'll be there to listen and cheer them on.
Please allow me to expand upon the path metaphor. It has always been your own path. We are born alone and we die alone. In the middle, each of us experiences life in a unique way. Your path may intersect with the path of others. It might even intertwine with a few (such is the case of spouses and family), but it is still your own path. I believe that much that is meaningful in life is about human connection. Reaching across the void that separates us to understand and to be understood in some limited capacity. So in that sense, you are still on the life path that you began on in the beginning - you just did not know at that first step where the path would take you. May you touch and bless the lives of others on your journey.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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nibbler
Posts: 4453
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: A Farewell & Thank You

Post by nibbler » 03 Oct 2016, 18:10

Thank you, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspectives here. You've added to the richness of what I find here at StayLDS.

Best wishes to you as you journey along your path.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
— Rumi

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