How I came back

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
REBEL2
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 08:57

How I came back

Post by REBEL2 » 13 Jun 2019, 15:35

To tell the short version of my story much will left out. I was baptized into the church with my wife in 1981. We were young and dirt poor. Time went on , three kids a military career many wards and branches later I was a hard chargin LDS man. Left the military came home worked at making a living still struggled financially. Many years go bye served many callings including in the bishopric. I came across a book that hit acord with me called how we found our way out of the mormon church by lynn wilder. I agreed with most of the book investigation followed finally a full blown faith crisis. I couldnt agree with the church anymore struggled with it for four years finally left the church resigned etc etc Still attendee church as a non member. Almost two years later I was rebaptized and am now waiting for a year to have all priesthood and temple ordinances restored. I was able to come to terms with it all.

Roy
Posts: 5640
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How I came back

Post by Roy » 13 Jun 2019, 16:19

Hi Rebel,

What a journey! How did your wife and kids respond to your leaving the church. It sounds like you may have continued attending even after your resignation in support of them.
You mention coming "to terms with it all" and being rebaptized. Congratulations! How fascinating! Historically when two warring parties sign a peace treaty the "terms" are the points or negotiated provisions by which each party will abide going forward. What does coming "to terms" mean for you individually? Do you feel that the information that led you to distrust the church was wrong? Were you wrong to have left? Or have you just been able to reprioritize so that all that information about the church or even being able to trust the church with your heart and soul just isn't all that important anymore? Do you have new boundaries with the church that make being a member more tenable than it was before your resignation?
I would love to hear more about 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

REBEL2
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 08:57

Re: How I came back

Post by REBEL2 » 13 Jun 2019, 18:22

Well I discovered that belief is not binary as I was always taught and we are in different parts of our faith journey. For example I do not believe in the book of mormon as historicly true but I simply say I do not know for sure and may never have the blessing of knowing in this life. I do however believe the Bom is divinely inspired and exists to help us in this life. Alma 32 had a huge impact on me. I have many other untesolved issues with the church but have come to terms with them as each of us must do. I still believe the church is good and as are the members in fact I love the church !! My wife and kids really disliked my leaving the church and I see it as a huge mistake looking back on it. The prophet/President is the prophet of the LDS church. I think much good can be found in other Christian churches. I dont know if their is the one true church !! I think our Temples are among the holiest places on earth . I could go on forever but Im not sure what else you would want to read so I can try and answer specific questions in the coming days. Suffice to say it has been a tough journey and I was in a very dark place for a while contemplating suicide as I lost my job almost my family and everything I had worked all my life for. Last Dec. Was the lowest of low points and thats when I decided to return. I know without a doubt Jesus is there for us but I also know the adversary is ever present we must be on guard at all times. God Bless.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 6613
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: How I came back

Post by DarkJedi » 14 Jun 2019, 04:49

I also joined the church in 1981 while in the military but I was single. The thing that struck me about your return story was the realization that things aren't binary. When I came to myself (using the term in the story of the prodigal son) I also recognized that and it makes all the difference. There's a lot more "and" than there is "or."

I never resigned from the church but I did have a long period of inactivity while my wife and children remained active. What prompted you to change course and return? For me, I can't point to one thing, but there were a few little things that sort of converged. These things included recognizing that things were not black and white and either/or, recognizing that I was mad at the wrong entity (God), recognizing that God was different than I had believed, Pres. Uchtdorf's "Come Join With Us," and a stake president who was very likely inspired.
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

Roy
Posts: 5640
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How I came back

Post by Roy » 14 Jun 2019, 08:59

I am so glad that you are in a better place of relative peace now. I have come to many of the same "terms" as you have. Sometimes in a church lesson the discussion will take a turn and I will think to myself, "This is nutty!" Then I will remind myself of how good all these people are, what they have done and are doing for my family, and how the church is helping them to improve and develop purpose and meaning in their lives.

A big part for me is boundaries and sustainability. I am no longer convinced that my heavenly reward hinges on how committed I am at church. That changes the equation for me. There are some things that I won't do for the church because I have limited resources and to do those things would cause me to feel resentment that might eventually turn to bitterness against the church. I establish boundaries to help me participate at church at a pace that I feel that I can maintain indefinately. It is not wise that a man run faster than he has strength.

Welcome to StayLDS. I hope for lasting happiness for you and your family.
"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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LookingHard
Posts: 2905
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: How I came back

Post by LookingHard » 14 Jun 2019, 11:59

REBEL2 wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 15:35
... finally left the church resigned etc etc Still attendee church as a non member. Almost two years later I was rebaptized and am now waiting for a year to have all priesthood and temple ordinances restored. I was able to come to terms with it all.
Thanks so much for sharing. I do feel like I am crossing a bit of a line, but we are all antonymous here. I would really like to know a bit more about how "you came to terms". It seems that for people that go down the rabbit hole, the vast majority end up leaving, a few are forced to keep playing the part (family, business, etc.), and a very small number become very nuanced and stay. As far as those that have left, it is nearly unheard of to join back to the church. I have heard of one that was really touted by the church a few years ago. I know someone close to that and they seemed to indicate there were some real ego's involved and wanting attention. I have never meet anyone that I know of that really went down the rabbit hole, left, and then joyously returned. I am quite intrigued.

I still attend, but just because my wife wants me to and she wants me to wait until the kids are out of the house before I "come out" (so I don't "influence them" as much. I am very ready to be more out and stop attending. So I am even more intrigued that you resigned, but kept attending!

REBEL2
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 08:57

Re: How I came back

Post by REBEL2 » 14 Jun 2019, 16:13

My coming to terms with the church also means I set boundaries for myself and the church. For me the church is true because of the members that are true believers!!! I also believe other churches can be good and god speaks to his children in a way they are willing to hear i.e. other churches. The church is a good community and I am better for being part of it. I am the person I want to be or at least closer to it by being a member. The church helps me be a better person. I only have to believe what I am willing to as I am the captain of my own ship. A good example is polygamy , I do not believe God wanted polygamy but it was man messing it up. I also believe other prophets were flawed men. The brethren today are just doing the best they can to guide the church. I support them.

Roy
Posts: 5640
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How I came back

Post by Roy » 18 Jun 2019, 08:41

What kind of steps did you have to take for rebaptism. I imagine local church leadership might have some concerns regarding what has changed from the resignation until now that you can now fully recommit to the church. Was that a difficult process or were your local leaders just happy to see you return (like in the parable of the prodigal son). Do you retake the missionary discussions? do you just have the normal baptism interview? Is there a higher authority that has to sign off?
"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

REBEL2
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 08:57

Re: How I came back

Post by REBEL2 » 18 Jun 2019, 12:10

Yes, I first had to wait for 1year, then permission from the 1st Presidency had to be granted, then a regular baptism interview with the stake pres. Then baptism interview with the branch pres. Baptism, now waiting 1 year for all Temple and priesthood blessings to be restored by a general authority. So yea its kind of a long process.

Roy
Posts: 5640
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How I came back

Post by Roy » 19 Jun 2019, 09:53

The baptism questions are similar to, but also much more open ended that the TR questions.
Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?
You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?

The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman?
The law of tithing.
The Word of Wisdom.
The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.
When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?
How did that go with your somewhat more nuanced faith and personal boundaries? Was there discussion on what made you decide to leave the church and how had things changed? Or did they just stick to the questions as outlined? How did you approach answering the questions?
"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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