Reasons to stay?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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FaithfulSkeptic
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Joined: 06 Jun 2014, 09:04

Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 01 Nov 2016, 16:16

Vincent,

I feel for you, brother, and I'm right there with you. I don't know if the Church is "true" (whatever that means) and I don't know that it is "untrue." I'm also struggling with reasons to stay and often feel like I'm in a speedo at church drinking a margarita (or something like that) :crazy:

I really don't care that much anymore about what is true. What helps me stay now is treating the Church as if it is completely a secular organization and not inspired at all. Just ordinary people getting together to try to become better and help each other.

I also asked to be released from a calling in the bishopric just over a year ago. Don't feel bad about that at all. Sometimes you need to do what is best for you.

One thing that has helped me a lot is Jon Ogden's writings on truth, beauty, and goodness, and how to find a balance between these that works for you. See this thread for more info:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7719&p=107922&hili ... ss#p107922
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Nov 2016, 15:58

This is from Joni. It was posted in the wrong thread.
I stay because if I didn't, my husband would divorce me. I mean he would have to. If I left the church and he stayed married to me, his parents would disinherit him.

At least one of my children is probably going to leave. But his parents will be dead by then.
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

girlygirl
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Joined: 19 Jul 2011, 10:34

Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by girlygirl » 04 Nov 2016, 21:04

Thanks for sharing your post, as I often struggled with not being an extrovert like yourself, and found church very draining even when I believed. I feel in social situations where I am forced to do things such as say prayers, talks, and the like it almost made me retrench even further into being quiet as it would peak my anxiety. Do you find you are like that in situations out of the church too? When I leaned on so much of my social network through church I almost felt like it destroyed my self worth in a way because my personality doesn't thrive on say having to do a spontaneous prayer at an enrichment activity, it would make me want to run out of the room, and even worse when I was questioning, it felt fake which was even harder! Surprisingly enough, since focusing more on developing friendships and networking outside of the church when I tell people I am an introvert they look puzzled. Its almost like by being able to choose what social situations I'm getting myself into I'v been able to thrive and grow. I'm now on committees and groups I'v chosen to be apart of and have to do public speaking but because I'm interested and engaged in what I'm talking about and theres not strict "script" of what I am expecting to say exactly, I feel I have left that shell behind completely that I seemed to have at church. I was seriously questioning if my personality just didn't click with people, when in fact it did, I just needed to go out and find them. I can't help but feel others who are the same at church either stop going or leave after sacrament meeting because they feel the same resulting in only outgoing members to make up most of the congregation.

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Reuben
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Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Reuben » 06 Nov 2016, 12:47

You don't have to be disillusioned or even questioning to turn down a calling or ask to be released because it wouldn't or doesn't work out. My TBM DW, who is an introvert, recently turned down a calling that would have required cold-calling because it would have put significant strain on her. She even managed to not feel guilty about it.

Why do I stay? For my family. I felt it wasn't possible at first. We're trained into thinking that knowing and doing are inseparable: that knowing without doing is always a sin, and doing without knowing is always nonsense. (My 2nd counselor gave a lesson about testimony to just this effect today.) But that's just wrong. It leaves no room for faith.

I've found myself exercising more faith lately than ever before, in the sense that I act as if it's all true based on less evidence than I've ever had. I'd like to think there's something noble about that.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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Vincent53
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Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Vincent53 » 06 Nov 2016, 19:10

I want to thank everyone for your kindness and support! Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. I feel strength from you and I feel hope in dealing with what I'm going through.

Today I conducted Fast and Testimony meeting. I was helped by all the suggestions you gave me in my introductory post a couple weeks ago. I didn't use any of the usual TBM phraseology like "I know ". I began with quoting Alma 32:21 "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things ". I expressed the value of belief, hope and faith, that it was okay not to know. It all felt a bit awkward though, probably because it was so different from all my testimonies in the past. The Stake President was there and it made me a bit more nervous than I already was. Before the meeting he asked if we could meet directly afterward. When we met he expressed how much he appreciated my honest heartfelt testimony, that it would be a help to those who struggle with not knowing. So I guess I did okay. He extended a release from my calling in the bishopric and said they would make the change next Sunday. I feel relief and hope with this happening. My scrupulous self tells me I should be feeling guilt, but I'm feeling confident in taking charge of my life and being my own authority as to what's best for me. My bishop has been very understanding and supports my decision.


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For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
-Vincent van Gogh

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DarkJedi
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Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Nov 2016, 20:06

I'm glad you have had a good experience with this. May you find the peace you seek. Please don't be a stranger, come back and continue to share.
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

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Ann » 07 Nov 2016, 00:04

Vincent53 wrote:I want to thank everyone for your kindness and support! Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. I feel strength from you and I feel hope in dealing with what I'm going through.

Today I conducted Fast and Testimony meeting. I was helped by all the suggestions you gave me in my introductory post a couple weeks ago. I didn't use any of the usual TBM phraseology like "I know ". I began with quoting Alma 32:21 "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things ". I expressed the value of belief, hope and faith, that it was okay not to know. It all felt a bit awkward though, probably because it was so different from all my testimonies in the past. The Stake President was there and it made me a bit more nervous than I already was. Before the meeting he asked if we could meet directly afterward. When we met he expressed how much he appreciated my honest heartfelt testimony, that it would be a help to those who struggle with not knowing. So I guess I did okay. He extended a release from my calling in the bishopric and said they would make the change next Sunday. I feel relief and hope with this happening. My scrupulous self tells me I should be feeling guilt, but I'm feeling confident in taking charge of my life and being my own authority as to what's best for me. My bishop has been very understanding and supports my decision.
I'm glad it went so well today. I wonder if introverted, scrupulous souls who can't function - "perform" the way church culture seems to want us to - could actually consider that we're helping by drawing new personal boundaries like you just did. It's the introvert's way of making a point and maybe it nudges the big ship in a different direction.
"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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Reuben
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Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Reuben » 07 Nov 2016, 00:52

I'm so glad that it went well, Vincent.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Reasons to stay?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2016, 07:40

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Most leaders really are good people doing the best they can. It sounds like your Stake President is in that group.
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

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