I tried

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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angel333
Posts: 17
Joined: 12 Nov 2013, 04:06

I tried

Post by angel333 » 27 Jan 2020, 04:18

I have been an inactive member for 7 years.Never had my name removed.Im just trying to hang on by a thread. I recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.I wanted to go back and feel hear about Jesus,to feel the Holy Ghost to be with my ward family. I was born and raised in this ward. I went to church yesterday and all I heard about was Joseph Smith andTemple recommend questions. My heart was shattered. No talk of Jesus or hope. Next week is testimony meeting but I just know I will only hear testimonies about Joseph Smith. So scared and don't know where to turn.

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Gerald
Posts: 429
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 04:57

Re: I tried

Post by Gerald » 27 Jan 2020, 04:56

What an incredibly difficult (and frightening) time for you!

You might be surprised what you will hear at sacrament meeting (no guarantees though!) I think many members have very profound and tender testimonies of Christ. Some will share them and some will not. Whatever the Church curriculum or program may focus on, for many, the focus is still Christ (I know it is for me). If you feel you can, you could even bear your own testimony of Christ (sometimes, it takes one person to focus on one topic to spark other similar testimonies).

You might also try and reach out to someone in your ward that you know. Again no guarantees. Different wards have different flavors. But I truly believe that most members (even most people), really want to do the right thing and try hard to respond with compassion to people who have difficulties. Again, you might be surprised at the response. The Church (the institution) is not the church (its members). I have found profound disparities between the two and much prefer the church to the "Church."

But whatever you choose to do, know that my prayers are with you. And if it helps, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His ability to heal our bodies and spirits. And if healing is not to be, I have a testimony of His ability to comfort us in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.

God bless.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Minyan Man
Posts: 1949
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I tried

Post by Minyan Man » 27 Jan 2020, 06:53

If this didn't work, try something else. I agree with Gerald
Gerald wrote:
27 Jan 2020, 04:56
...You might also try and reach out to someone in your ward that you know. Again no guarantees. Different wards have different flavors. But I truly believe that most members (even most people), really want to do the right thing and try hard to respond with compassion to people who have difficulties. Again, you might be surprised at the response. The Church (the institution) is not the church (its members). I have found profound disparities between the two and much prefer the church to the "Church."
I started going back to church because of a good Home Teacher. He helped me with my FC & encouraged us to try church again.
Recently we went to lunch & I found out that he is going through a family crisis. I want to believe that I helped him in a small way by being
available & listening.

Maybe that's the way life is supposed to work, we make personal connections, we offer strength & hope to each other.
If it doesn't work at church, we make connections somewhere else.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7161
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: I tried

Post by DarkJedi » 27 Jan 2020, 07:55

I was inactive for many years and returned about 6 years ago. I also feared and struggled with messages I don't particularly care about (such as Joseph Smith). I still do. I am however fortunate in that I live in a ward and stake where the focus is more on Jesus Christ and the fundamentals of the gospel. That's not to say every Sunday is all Jesus and testimony meetings can still be an issue. I've gotten pretty good at tuning out when it's stuff that doesn't interest me.

Like Gerald, I am also Christ focused. I echo his testimony that Jesus Christ is able to heal our spirits and our minds as well as our bodies, but that doesn't always happen in the here and now.

I share this quote fairly often. It's a favorite of mine from a favorite apostle (J. Wirtlin).
I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... e?lang=eng
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: 6112
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I tried

Post by Roy » 27 Jan 2020, 17:27

Hi angel,

I am sorry for your bad experience yesterday and especially sorry for your diagnosis.

Unfortunately, we are not a very inspiration, upliftment, hope, and worship church.

Part of this comes down to our doctrine - where we lean on works and covenants to extract divine blessings from God. Part of this comes down to our meeting formats - where lay members with often limited public speaking skills are assigned the speaking parts. This can often lead to talks, speeches, or sermons that are more instructive than uplifting and hopeful.

If it is an uplifting sermon you are after, you may want to visit another church. Other Christian churches vary in the quality of their worship service and pastor. If you have some kind of mega-church in your area, that might be what you are looking for. They tend to be able to afford the better pastors and the better worship band leaders.

You can visit another church and still be Mormon. I have referred to this practice as "supplementing my spirituality."
"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

Rebelman
Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Jan 2020, 14:04

Re: I tried

Post by Rebelman » 28 Jan 2020, 05:31

Good idea Roy, I do kind of the same thing I grew up listening to Billy Graham so now sometimes when I need inspiration I go to you tube and listen to one of his old sermons. It works well for me in my opinion no one can deliver a sermon like Billy Graham!!!!

nibbler
Posts: 4450
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: I tried

Post by nibbler » 28 Jan 2020, 12:44

That sounds like a really bad day. I'm sorry about your diagnosis and that you didn't find the comfort you needed.

I know what you're saying about a lack of Jesus in our meetings. Locally it's gotten better of late but we do hit dry spells that can last weeks or even months where Jesus is only mentioned at the close of prayers.

Last Sunday sacrament meeting started out with, "Joseph..." and that was my cue to break out my cellphone. :(

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mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: I tried

Post by mom3 » 28 Jan 2020, 13:56

angel333 - Your name alone means a lot. Nice choice.

I echo everyone here. First - I am so sorry. This year is going to be a rough Joseph Smith year for all of us. I can't imagine what South Africa thinks of this year.

I also add that spirituality and access to the Divine has no corner market. I work with another church through their homeless ministry. Last week I heard a congregant from that church (Lutherans) berating Catholics for their failure to be proper Christians and how Martin Luther saved "the True Church". I swear if we just flipped the names, the story would sound the same. - My point is - Every church has a mortal who started it. Whether it's Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Joseph Smith, Martin Luther or Peter the Apostle.

You can reach beyond all of them and find God. He loves so much and would love to be front and center in your journey right now. He may even invite you back to the religion of your upbringing. Not as a punishment but as an opportunity.

We have a guy who is going through cancer, pancreatic. A fast and testimony meeting doesn't go by when he or his wife aren't using the time to count their blessings, share their fears, etc. To be honest, I am enjoying their stories. I am sorry that Cancer is the reason we are getting the stories, but I appreciate them bringing real humanity to our meetings.

Maybe you are supposed to be a light in that way. I don't know. But here's a huge hug for you and your body.

Hang here as long as you like. We can't bring casseroles, but we can listen and discuss.
"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

Roy
Posts: 6112
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I tried

Post by Roy » 29 Jan 2020, 10:17

I just had an additional thought. A church with a great worship band might do wonders for a quick fix. However, the LDS church does have those parts that we tend to do better than others. If your diagnosis leads to surgery and a period of convalescence the RS compassionate service team can get a food train going. Having a pair of ministering brothers and sisters could also be helpful in the sense of having someone regularly visit you in the home. It certainly is not perfect and I would recommend being rather assertive in asking for what you want but the LDS church does have some strengths for people going through medical hardships that shouldn't be discounted.
"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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