I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Joni
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 08:36

I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by Joni » 03 Mar 2017, 05:05

I've mentioned before that I've had personal revelation, in the celestial room of the temple, that God doesn't love me. (It's okay that you don't believe me. My husband doesn't believe me, either. But I know what I experienced and I can't deny it.)

Well, last Friday God saw fit to take my husband's job away. Again. For the fifth time (so far) since 2008. Despite us paying a full tithe this entire time. Despite every member of my family, including innocent children, praying for this exact thing NOT to happen.

This goes beyond God merely being indifferent. One layoff, you can chalk up to the bad economy. Two is supremely bad luck. But five? This sure feels a lot like God ACTIVELY HATING me and my family.

I find that I simply can't pray anymore. I have nothing more to say to Him. It feels a lot like prayer is how we tell God what He should take away from us next. (For the last several years, my children's prayers have also included the phrase 'please bless that our house won't catch fire.' I fully expect that God will burn our house down any day now, just to teach me a lesson.)

This also puts all of the Church's many many demands into perspective. They don't come out and say it, but it's at least IMPLIED that if you pay tithing/wear ugly underwear/serve in callings whether you like it or not/sit through boring meeting after boring , God will at least like you better than if you DON'T do those things. But I've found that there is nothing I can do to earn the least bit of favor in His eyes, so what the heck is my motivation for doing all these things?

I did tell my husband that I'm not praying anymore and to be fair, he hasn't asked me to say the dinner prayers or anything. (But I'm fully prepared to make a hypocrite of myself, to avoid making a scene in front of the kids.) But I somehow have to go through the rest of my life like this and I've probably got forty years left.

One more thing that really galls me? God took away my husband's job, despite hundreds of prayers to the contrary - yet He demands that we pay tithing on our unemployment checks. Ugh. :evil:

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Reuben
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Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by Reuben » 03 Mar 2017, 05:54

I'm so sorry, Joni. If I could sit in the ashes with you to mourn, I would.
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Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before sanctity or certainty.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Mar 2017, 06:08

I hear you Joni. My situation is surprisingly similar. Losing a job had a significant part in my faith crisis, despite all the faith and belief I had that it was a test, that God could fix it,that we'd be OK in the end. All of these years and it's still not fixed and I'm not OK. I have since been unemployed several times, and in fact I am currently unemployed. I also gave up on prayer long ago, and interestingly I have also thought frequently about our house burning down.

Part of the problem is that many in the church believe and preach the prosperity gospel. It just isn't true. Giving up that idea helped me. Also a recognition that God rarely if ever intervenes in our lives has also helped - and that's scripturally sound despite all the testimonies that are going to be borne across pulpits this Sunday about the God of the Lost Car Keys.

When I speak of the pain and grief of a faith crisis this is the pain that I refer to - that God (the Father) is not what I had believed He was. I thought I had given up being angry at God but I was recently shown that I have not.

Honestly I have not always believed that God told you he doesn't love you. I do believe you because I don't really believe God loves any of us personally. At the same time, I don't believe God gives the kind of revelation that gives us direction or anything similar.

I will mourn with you while you mourn.
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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Reuben
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Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by Reuben » 03 Mar 2017, 07:31

I apologize in advance for the following ramble. Maybe you can treat it like a koan...
Joni wrote:This also puts all of the Church's many many demands into perspective. They don't come out and say it, but it's at least IMPLIED that if you pay tithing/wear ugly underwear/serve in callings whether you like it or not/sit through boring meeting after boring , God will at least like you better than if you DON'T do those things. But I've found that there is nothing I can do to earn the least bit of favor in His eyes, so what the heck is my motivation for doing all these things?
That's a really, really good question. One of the greatest things to come out of my faith crisis, in which I lost belief in God altogether, is being forced to answer that same question honestly. When I could no longer think of myself as a battered child seeking gifts from an unpredictable father figure, or as a mercenary in God's employ, I had to do some soul-searching to figure out why I do anything at all. (Seriously: "Why don't I kill people?" actually came up, and thankfully I had a good answer.) I own my moral compass now. My reasons are mine, not those of people I thought knew better than I do.

I got to that point partly by trying to follow the demanding formulas you bring up. They all have the same form: "if A, then Z." The most maddening ones look like "if A and B and C and D and E and if it's God's will, then Z, eventually, maybe even after you die." I started to see all those extra conditions and qualifiers as excuses for God's inaction. Before I knew where those thoughts and my anger would lead, my subconscious mind had chucked belief in both the formulas and God. It was terrifying at first.

Recently, I've started to see all those extra conditions and qualifiers as excuses for the failure of the formulas themselves. I think most of the formulas were just made up by fallible humans desperately trying to bring order to life's chaos and give believers reasons to remain faithful. They were then expanded with more conditions and qualifiers when they obviously failed.

The time-tested formulas seem to work the best: "if you forgive others, then you will have more peace." Some are plain nonsense: "if you wear garments, then God might stop a bullet for you." Some harm people who try to meet the conditions: "if you stay faithful, then your mixed-orientation marriage will work." Some cause judgment and self-blame when they fail: "if you ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, then God will give you answers."

The second best part of chucking the formulas (after owning my own moral compass) is not having to justify them anymore. I don't feel like I know what life is about anymore, and that can be frightening. But that's been more than made up for by not having to jump through mental hoops all the time to defend the failures of what someone told me is The Law of Heaven. (Others find the trade-off to be worse, though.)

I sometimes miss believing there's a being out there that cares for me. I do think it's possible, but I can't bring myself to worship it or devote myself to it. If it exists and is intervening in my life, it's guiding me toward more love, respect and understanding, and away from believing in universal formulas that crush as easily as they lift.

I wonder sometimes if there was a path that would have led me to the same beliefs about the formulas but still believing in God, the atonement, and the restoration. Some people seem to follow a path like that.
My intro

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

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Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Mar 2017, 09:34

Joni, I too understand how you feel. I've been there. It's not a pleasant place to be. In my situation, I knew that we can't always be protected by the bad things that
happen to us. I wanted the feeling that God knew & understood what I was going through. All I seemed to get was silence. I would go to church & feel depressed afterwards.
Members could bear their testimony about losing car keys & God seemed to help them find them. I wanted to feel that He at least knew me & understood what I was going
through. All I seemed to get in return was silence, darkness & depression. It took along thing to work through it.

I recently saw an old movie called: Oh God. With George Burns (God) & John Denver (an ordinary man). The premise of the movie is that God appears to an ordinary man to deliver
a message to the rest of the world. At the end of the movie the ordinary man is saying goodbye to God & asks when will I see you again. How will we talk again?
God answers by saying "you talk & I'll listen". That is basically my philosophy of my relationship with God. It isn't always personal. So, I develop relationships with people I trust.
We talk & I sometimes get answers. Sometimes I give them answers in return. Most of the time I listen & wait.

I feel God's presence is some of the most ordinary situations. Talking with my children. They are adults, out of school, married & raising children of their own. Sometimes it is a
warm summer afternoon, walking with my dog in the woods. Sometimes it's playing with my grandchildren. Sometimes it's doing family history & getting to know my ancestors.
It is rare that God personally intervenes. It is more the natural things that occur around me & I give God credit. I don't take the silence as personally anymore.

For what it's worth: This whole life of ours is a personal journey. I wish you the best on yours. If we can help, contact us.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Mar 2017, 09:35

Reuben wrote:Recently, I've started to see all those extra conditions and qualifiers as excuses for the failure of the formulas themselves. I think most of the formulas were just made up by fallible humans desperately trying to bring order to life's chaos and give believers reasons to remain faithful. They were then expanded with more conditions and qualifiers when they obviously failed.
I have come to a similar conclusion myself and likewise have chucked the formulas. For me there is freedom and peace in doing so.
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

GBSmith
Posts: 945
Joined: 24 Apr 2010, 08:51

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by GBSmith » 03 Mar 2017, 10:23

One of the worst things that Joseph Smith came up with is the "there is a law irrevocably decreed..." (D&C 130:20-21). What I've come to believe is a hindu proverb that Lowell Bennion liked, "to action only do you have a right but not to the results thereof". I'm sorry for your trouble and I'm sorry that we're in a church that teaches that if we can just figure out the cost, we can get what we want and if we can't, it's our own damn fault.

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Heber13
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Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by Heber13 » 03 Mar 2017, 10:35

Sorry, Joni.

There is a time and place for an angry phase. Then you can move on to bargaining on your way to acceptance of the way God and the universe runs.

I only offer that as a vision...that the future can be better. It is survivable.

Right now...however...we sit with you. For many things in life, there is no answer to "why did this happen". It simply does, and we find ways to survive. And it defines us.
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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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by mom3 » 03 Mar 2017, 11:56

Sitting with you, too.
"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

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: I can't anymore. I'm done with God.

Post by hawkgrrrl » 03 Mar 2017, 13:12

Hang in there.

It seems to me that if we believe in an interventionist God, that's problematic. And if we believe in one who doesn't intervene, that's problematic. No matter which perspective we have on God, it's going to cause problems down the line.

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