Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Lovemylife17
Posts: 9
Joined: 18 Aug 2017, 09:23

Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by Lovemylife17 » 29 Aug 2017, 14:30

I guess I didn't realize how much of a "crisis" I was in until I tried to start planning my RS lesson for Sunday. . . ya, I'm in trouble. I have so many feelings in my heart that my head is spinning and I honestly can't concentrate. My thoughts range from the usual, "You are just being tried by Satan because there is something that the sisters need to hear and he doesn't want you to deliver it," to I don't feel "worthy" to ask the Lord for guidance because of my recent questioning, to everything I am readying I'm not sure how I feel about teaching that I believe it.

These feelings are SO foreign to me, I am seriously freaking out right now. I am in the RS pres., LOVE my Pres. and feel so guilty because of all the things she has on her plate, she doesn't have time for me, doubting . . . I've looked for fluffy, feel good, vague talks . . . nothing.

I had to drive a couple of hours last night and prayed the whole way home, asking, "what is going on? Why am I having these feelings? You know I still love you right?" My mom gave me the CDs "Believing Christ" to listen to on the way home . . . She's worried I can tell and I just want to shout from the roof tops, I'M FINE, COULDN'T BE BETTER! Then, I feel weird, haha, because I seriously feel okay with feeling this way, but everyone I'm surrounded by wouldn't understand, I feel like I've living in a foreign country! Thankfully my husband understands! My two kids who aren't active are going, "FINALLY mom!" and my one son who is married in the temple and active would probably say, "You're okay, everything will work out."

Guys!! I KNOW God lives and I KNOW Jesus is my Savior and I feel his love for me! I DO NOT feel like I'm being "deceived". Then why after all these years . . . have I lost interest in the "Mormon" church? I read posts from others who say they're exploring other things WHILE staying active in the LDS church, how do you do that?? Like Buddhism, etc.

I mentioned in my introduction, I think, that I'm really close to my biological father who has practiced Buddhism and has actually recently come around to acknowledging that there IS a God in Heaven and Son who died for us . . . and when I approached him with my "crisis" a year ago, he told me to read The Shack. LOVED IT! I can't remember the last time I felt so close to the Lord and felt unconditionally loved by him! My dad, he is SOOOOO happy, so balanced, so "OKAY" with life . . . I just want that. Do I need to step away from the gospel for a while and see if the confusion subsides???

And, what the heck do I do about my lesson!! :)
P.S. Should probably mention, I absolutely love teaching! So not "feeling it" is such a drag! I usually have so many thoughts flowing that I can hardly contain them all !
Shae

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3989
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by mom3 » 29 Aug 2017, 16:02

Teach!!!

Do you get to pick the topic since you are in the Presidency? I want this job. Just for lessons.

Does your Presidency have guidelines? I can think of a million great topics for you (Everyone else on this board will, too).

The equanimity you are looking for takes time. Don't get discouraged or rush the process. It can be very beautiful however you end up. You get to choose that desire.

Buddhism is a great philosophy that can be applied and practiced by any religious or non-religious person. You don't have to give up your religion to practice it. It is a mind bender at first but let the ideas just float and see what happens.

Chieko Okazaki, Councilor in the General Relief Society Presidency said in a Dialogue Magazine interview, she kept her Buddhism with her. It was her native religion. If she can do it. You can too. P.S. She would be a great resource for lessons.
"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

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by dande48 » 29 Aug 2017, 16:04

So sorry to hear all the stress this is giving you. I hope you find peace in this difficult time.

If you're feeling emotionally/spiritually drained, there is no shame in turning down an assignment. If you feel up to it, there are ways to teach, while still being honest and true to what you feel is right (depending on the lesson). What were you asked to teach on?

In my own spiritual transition, there was a hump, where I disbelieved in the Church, and yet stil firmly held to the dichotomy of true vs false, good vs evil. If the Church wasn't true, then it was evil. But once I got over my anger and disappointment, I was faced with the question, "What do I do now?". If the LDS Church isn't "true", is there another religion out there which is? How would I recognize it?

I explored other religions a bit; I read the Quaran, and think Muhammad is a pretty swell guy. I also think they've greatly 1-uped us on prayer; pork is a dirty, unhealthy meat we'd all be better off giving up. I was suprised how much else they have in common with us, including this book which "couldn't have been come but by God", or so it is said. But since both the LDS Church and Islam has the "pray and God will tell you" test, and different peoples prayers lead them in different religious paths... I'm not sure the "feelings of the spirit" are great indicators of absolute truth.

Then I came across the eastern religions. They are of a very different kind, with different perspectives on spirit, spirits, the creation, the first humans, and the purpose of life. Buddhism specifically spoke out to me. We define it as a "religion", but it really isn't. It all started with a prince named Siddhartha. He grew up in an isolated palace, where he knew nothing of the outside world. One day, he ventured forth and discovered that there was aging, disease, and death. He saw all this human suffering, and it deeply troubled him. So he renounced his wealth and priviledge, and meditated for six years. It was here that he found "The Path", which was the answer to freedom from human pain and suffering.

Buddihsm does not teach about God, "spirits", or the afterlife. To Buddha, questions on these matters are irrelevant and distracting. It's all about how to find true, lasting peace and happiness. You keep the Five Precepts (their "commandments"), not out fear or desire for a reward, but because the precepts are the reward themselves. Have you ever heard the Dalai Lama speak, or read any of his writings? He is a truly peaceful, happy man. He's also not afraid to admit he was wrong, and correct his beliefs as better information arises. You can be Buddhist, and also belong to any other religion out there. It's about practical application. "Here is what has worked." "Let us all come closer to the truth." The LDS Church may or may not be true. But Buddhism will always be true.

It helped me to develop a greater amount of empathy for members of the Church. Is misinformation spread? Of course! Do the Church leaders sometimes bend/distort the objective truth? You bet! But that doesn't mean they aren't well intentioned. They believe it, and it brings them peace and happiness. They are trying hard to do what they feel is right. Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have the power to seal families forever? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, members of the Church are going to do all they can to buid up family relationships which can last forever. I think that is a very noble goal.

I'm not sure if there is an anthropomorphic God out there, or a life after this one. But whether there is or no, good will still be good. Life is still worth living, and has purpose. If there is a God, I hope that he is happy with me. When I error (not if), it was with the best of intentions. I have done the best I can with what I know, and I'm sure he will sort out the details. Heaven or Hell, I will still be happy and continue to do what I can to bring peace and joy to those around me. If there is no God, I will still be at peace.
Last edited by dande48 on 29 Aug 2017, 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Lovemylife17
Posts: 9
Joined: 18 Aug 2017, 09:23

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by Lovemylife17 » 29 Aug 2017, 16:07

SEEEEE, I knew the Lord was listening! I was just reading through "Spiritual Stuff" and read the post from Doubting Tom entitled, "Inspiring Music" and had the greatest idea to do my lesson on INSPIRING MUSIC! I have and will always have a testimony of MUSIC and no matter what, music always invites the spirit where ever it's played! My President wants me to "involve the sisters" in my talk, so I could contact a few a head of time and have them bring their favorite song and share why it's special to them! Then, I could look up talks, etc about music and the importance of it in our lives! I love music so much that I can hardly sing in sacrament because I get a huge lump in my throat and I just can't sing!

What do you think? Think I can pull this off??

Roy
Posts: 5779
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by Roy » 29 Aug 2017, 16:11

I think there are lots of topics that could be great! I love when presenters give us permission to adapt a principle to our individual circumstances.

Believing Christ: I loved that book! it was such a different understanding of Jesus and the atonement than what I had been taught and so many scriptures used were from the BoM. I believe that we LDS have become so works based as an alternative or foil to the faith based grace of modern Christianity. So much so that we actually discount and twist the meaning of some of these more grace filled scriptures from our own founding scripture.

Part of Staying LDS for me is realizing that my version of being Mormon is not necessarily the same as my bishop, or SP, or GA. There is enough in our scriptures and history that I can (and have) cobbled together enough bits of Mormonism that uplift me and speak to my soul. That is my Mormonism. That is not the same thing as the dominant narrative of Mormonism. I do not ask anyone permission to live and love my version of Mormonism.
Lovemylife17 wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 14:30
I read posts from others who say they're exploring other things WHILE staying active in the LDS church, how do you do that?? Like Buddhism, etc.
Part of it is in the things you read. Think of it as personal study. You are already reading/have read Believing Christ and The Shack, what other books might add light to your journey. I participate in other Christian churches but I do so mainly through seeking out good children's activities for my kids. We get to know the people and find that we have a more diversified social circle. We are more enmeshed with the community.

The Shack: I also read and enjoyed the shack. The novel format allows for you to become invested in the journey and then explore the various Christian concepts presented. I remember that it challenged my concept of free will. All the inputs in my life the make me who I am - everything from national origin, to birth order, to socio economic status, to genetics, to brain chemistry - many of those, especially in my formative years, are outside of my control. How can there be accountability without choice? 10% accountable? 20%? Are different people more accountable than others? Great questions.

Just take things slow, focus on what you do believe, and trade up. Your RS might really need someone like you that can empathize with the non-black and white thinkers of the world.
"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

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 3989
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by mom3 » 29 Aug 2017, 17:30

SEEEEE, I knew the Lord was listening! I was just reading through "Spiritual Stuff" and read the post from Doubting Tom entitled, "Inspiring Music" and had the greatest idea to do my lesson on INSPIRING MUSIC! I have and will always have a testimony of MUSIC and no matter what, music always invites the spirit where ever it's played! My President wants me to "involve the sisters" in my talk, so I could contact a few a head of time and have them bring their favorite song and share why it's special to them! Then, I could look up talks, etc about music and the importance of it in our lives! I love music so much that I can hardly sing in sacrament because I get a huge lump in my throat and I just can't sing!

What do you think? Think I can pull this off??
Perfect. Everyone will love it. Music is universal. Tell us how it goes. :clap: :clap: :clap:
"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

Lovemylife17
Posts: 9
Joined: 18 Aug 2017, 09:23

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by Lovemylife17 » 29 Aug 2017, 18:29

My eyes fill with tears of relief as I read your responses. Thank you, so so much! I am realizing very quickly that I may be over thinking, and the confusion inside is all about taking ALL that I've experienced, heard, learned and felt and trying to make it all work together, and more importantly, realizing that THAT IS OK . . . So thankful I've found StayLDS. These are truly the ones who are living the way Christ would have us live; enjoying all that he has given us and giving back in return by serving and sharing his light! End of story! Well, the beginning for me, YAY!!!

nibbler
Posts: 4151
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by nibbler » 29 Aug 2017, 18:36

Lovemylife17 wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 14:30
Guys!! I KNOW God lives and I KNOW Jesus is my Savior and I feel his love for me! I DO NOT feel like I'm being "deceived". Then why after all these years . . . have I lost interest in the "Mormon" church? I read posts from others who say they're exploring other things WHILE staying active in the LDS church, how do you do that?? Like Buddhism, etc.
There's the famous Dali Lama quote, "Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are."

I don't know anything about the language but I've heard that in Chinese you don't say I am a Buddhist, you say I study Buddhism. The language itself shows a separation between the person and the object, whereas with English we tend to incorporate the object as a part of our identity. e.g. I'm Mormon. The way our language is constructed can shape thoughts and belief.

I started exploring other things by reading other religious texts. I figured I had read the BoM enough times, I could skip it in favor of reading the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist Sutras, the Tao Te Ching, the Tao of Pooh, etc. Reading is perhaps the easiest because I can do that anywhere.

After some reading I went exploring. I visit a Buddhist temple once a week on a day that doesn't interfere with my LDS meetings.

Most religions I want to visit have services on Sunday so every once in a while I'll take a Sunday off from going to the LDS church to visit a church that I'm interested in. I realize that isn't always an option.

My goal isn't to find some other church or religion to join, I'm just hoping to learn from new experiences, incorporate everyone's good into my good... because as you say, to some degree I've lost interest in the Mormon church. From a purely pragmatic approach I could attend my ward and listen to a general conference talk that I've already heard a few times or visit some other faith and maybe learn something new.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2915
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by LookingHard » 29 Aug 2017, 20:08

I once gave a talk by Ronald Poelman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_E._Poelman, but I gave the ORIGINAL talk that I liked much better. You can see both at

http://www.lds-mormon.com/poelman.shtml

User avatar
gospeltangents
Posts: 156
Joined: 10 Jul 2017, 22:50
Location: Utah
Contact:

Re: Should I teach or should I pass for now . . .?

Post by gospeltangents » 29 Aug 2017, 20:41

Being in the presidency, you have the advantage to pick the topics you want to talk about. Definitely utilize it.
See my latest interviews on Mormon History, Science & Theology at www.gospeltangents.com

Post Reply