I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

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Beefster
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I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by Beefster » 24 Mar 2018, 13:36

I drafted a long email I will be sending him tomorrow after church. It touches on some of my core issues and where I'm at in my own beliefs. I understand this may not go well, but after hearing John Dehlin's interview with Gina Something-or-another (the one who does A Thoughtful Faith) and my conversation with my sister, I feel it's what I need to do.

I'm pretty much already on my way out of the church anyway, so I don't really have anything to lose.

I'll be "coming out" to my parents next week when I visit them for Easter... Ugh. The timing is horrible. Maybe I'll wait a bit.

Wish me luck.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

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dande48
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by dande48 » 24 Mar 2018, 15:43

If you tell her during Easter, your mother will have plenty of chocolate on hand. Would you rather tell her WITHOUT all that chocolate? I think not.

As for the luck...
Image

Best wishes, Beefster.
"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

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SilentDawning
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by SilentDawning » 24 Mar 2018, 15:45

Good luck, but remember, what you are doing is likely irreversible. If you go in talking about doubts, or aspects of the church you have trouble with, you expose yourself to leadership roulette. Results could range from help and empathy, to discipline and offence taken by the leaders. You are expose to the full vagaries, incompetence, or competence of local leadership. And that, for me, is scary.

And this could follow you for as long as you're in the stake, and for the rest of your life in your family. You may seem like you don't need or want the church now, but circumstances change. I leave myself open to a road to damascus experience like Paul had, and have great doubt in my own rationality and beliefs at any point in time.

I hope I don't sound TBM, as I am not, by any means.

Now, you could go in on the approach that you don't deny testimony experiences you've had, but you are tired, lacking fulfilment in the church, etcetera. Keep it vague and focused on some objective, like getting out of a calling. But for simply "coming out", think carefully before you do as the outcome is likely hard to reverse, at least in the short term.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

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Beefster
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by Beefster » 24 Mar 2018, 16:03

I appreciate the concern, SD, but I feel I've been letting fear control me. If they apply disciplinary action, so be it. If my coming out makes it hard for me to return should I decide to do so, it rests on their shoulders, not mine. A couple of other members of the ward have opened up about their faith crises in the past, so I have my hopes that everything is going to be okay.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

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SilentDawning
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by SilentDawning » 24 Mar 2018, 16:30

Beefster wrote:
24 Mar 2018, 16:03
I appreciate the concern, SD, but I feel I've been letting fear control me. If they apply disciplinary action, so be it. If my coming out makes it hard for me to return should I decide to do so, it rests on their shoulders, not mine. A couple of other members of the ward have opened up about their faith crises in the past, so I have my hopes that everything is going to be okay.
I think most of us here are supportive of whatever you decide. The object, in my view, is what brings you the greatest personal peace. So, if this results in personal peace, we are happy for you! If it creates more problems, we are also here for you!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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dande48
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by dande48 » 25 Mar 2018, 08:12

Beefster wrote:
24 Mar 2018, 16:03
If they apply disciplinary action, so be it.
It's not going to happen. While the Church holds "lack of belief" to be unofficially the worst sin, it's not on the books. There's really not much they can charge you with.
"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

Roy
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by Roy » 25 Mar 2018, 09:54

I too support whatever you decide. It is not what I would do but it does not seem to be destructive or malicious. Maybe that is what you need in order to move forward.

I do have a few thoughts.

1) The poor bishop is just some guy that got an administrative calling. For me, he does not come between me and God. Also, I do not particularly see him as representing the church organization. I just do not see him as having any sort of real influence. (DW and I once went to our bishop for marriage counseling. We really did see him as a type of "father" of the ward. My views have changed.)

2) Decide what you want to happen and then move towards that goal.
Beefster wrote:
24 Mar 2018, 16:03
If my coming out makes it hard for me to return should I decide to do so, it rests on their shoulders, not mine.
I would like to see you be proactive in doing what is best for you. I feel that will yield better more purposeful results that you own... rather than just throwing the ball into "their" court and letting the chips fall where they may.

3) As a follow-up to #2, I would like for you to have a next step. What happens after you share with bishop and parents?

You are the captain of your ship. Good luck and God bless in your unique 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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DarkJedi
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Mar 2018, 12:08

Roy wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 09:54
1) The poor bishop is just some guy that got an administrative calling. For me, he does not come between me and God. Also, I do not particularly see him as representing the church organization. I just do not see him as having any sort of real influence. (DW and I once went to our bishop for marriage counseling. We really did see him as a type of "father" of the ward. My views have changed.)
I actually do see bishops, etc. as representing the church organization. I do not see them representing the gospel or God. Either way, as you say I don't see them as having any real influence. I once shocked a bishop by telling him he only had as much influence as I let him have - just like Satan.

I also support you in what you feel you must do, Beefster, even though Like Roy I wouldn't do it myself. I think you've been here long enough to know there are possible consequences which you may not regret now but may regret later - but it's still your choice.
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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DancingCarrot
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by DancingCarrot » 25 Mar 2018, 12:29

I think Roy makes valid points. My biggest regret in “coming out” to my parents was my focus was transparency in my feelings as opposed to mutual understanding and respect between us. They handled it as best they could, but I wish I had been more clear on my purpose for it. Someone said it on here recently, and it’s been repeating in my head since, but authenticity is not equivalent to transparency. Since I’ve been going to church this past while some of that tension has eased between us, but I mostly attribute it to my parents feeling better about my choices. The lack of communication and true understanding and respect for each other’s thoughts and beliefs is still there because that was a skill and habit my family has always lacked, regardless of church attendance. The similarity of life decisions was able to hide it well for so many years, though. I would echo Roy’s suggestion as to getting more clear on what you expect this to accomplish and what your next steps are; realizing that your spirituality is your own and your decisions are fully up to you.

As I’ve said before, I simply stopped attending church and didn’t have any reveals or fallouts with church leadership, but know that it can happen. Also working in my favor is how much I tend to move, so neither the leadership or membership was ever an issue for me. Your experience may be different.

Essentially I echo Roy and DJ: I support you as you do what you decide, even though I would choose differently/wish I had chosen differently.


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mom3
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Re: I've decided I will be opening up to my bishop

Post by mom3 » 25 Mar 2018, 14:55

For What It's Worth Beefster - Everyone of these that I have heard of go wrong. In my 12 years of this process, it's a can of worms you can not close. Some leaders and family are more mellow about it - but it changes dynamics that can't be undone. No amount of effort or explanation or apology will change it.

Every person who has been certain it would work has come out with the opposite opinion.

If you need to go inactive. Do it. Don't explain it.

The Bishop can't fix anything, even if he agree's. The only people who understand your struggle are those who have already crossed that bridge. This is one of those places where someone else can't walk in your moccasins.
"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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