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The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 10 Jun 2010, 21:36
by SilentDawning
I think a number of you already know me now given the highly personal things I've already shared at this forum.

However, some things you might not know...I I have a combination of spirituality and criticality that makes me feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to Church matters. I love the Church, and I also don't love it. I love it because out the outpourings of the Spirit which have attended me throughout my life. I love it because it makes more sense on the surface than any other religion I've ever considered. I love the Book of Mormon far more than the Bible. I have trouble with the Church given some extreme situations related to getting on a mission, adopting children, staying temple married in tough circumstances, as well as trouble getting over the behavior of many members and leaders of the Church. And I've struggled with semi-activity at one point in my life, for several years... and, get this, still did my hometeaching through that whole period. I really frustrated my priesthood leaders who wanted me to do more.

I have a really hard time with routines -- doing the same thing in the same way over and over again, and therefore, find many non-spiritual Church policies a source of frustration when they contribute to monotony, or never seem to produce the desired results. Life needs to be different every day or I get worn out.

Now I'm an outwardly semi-active to active, member, and have served in a wide variety of positions in the Ward and the Stake, usually leadership. When I'm cool about the Church I get parked in non-leadership callings until I'm ready to come out again.

As I read this, I realize what a paradox my life in the Church is -- continued spiritual experiences yet also constant pulling away from the things that I find disconcerting about the Church.

Active, but less-active, spiritual, but not spiritual, Hot and cold, yes and no, in and out, up and down -- all at the same time. When I look at the list of contradictions that I am, I feel like a spiritual unicorn. I've never met anyone like myself.

I thought about my avatar. I like how cWald and Cadence have avatars which clearly describe their orientation toward the Church. I think Cwald's alien describes his feelings of being different in the Church.

And so, my current avatar will be a unicorn. At least for now...

...until it gets monotonous.

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 02:49
by Cnsl1
Dude, thanks for explaining the unicorn. I was getting worried, heh.

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 07:59
by Heber13
Thanks for the post, SD. For me, it is one of the most rewarding parts of coming to this site, is reading others' stories and their thoughts and experiences. Thanks for sharing yours.
SilentDawning wrote:I have a really hard time with routines -- doing the same thing in the same way over and over again, and therefore, find many non-spiritual Church policies a source of frustration when they contribute to monotony, or never seem to produce the desired results. Life needs to be different every day or I get worn out.
This particularly struck me...I am very much the same way. My wife is not. I find different ways to drive home from work, and love to see different parts of the city...my wife thinks that is a waste of time. I like trying different things on the menu when we go out to eat...my wife knows what she wants and doesn't want to risk ordering something she doesn't like, since we don't go out too often, so she always orders the same thing because its her "favorite". I don't know what my favorite is until I try all the things that aren't my favorite.

My point is...I think people are programmed differently...some like variety, some like security.

Perhaps that is why I accept TBMs in my ward with respect and don't think they must go through what I went through...to each his/her own...right?

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 11:06
by Curt Sunshine
I've never met anyone like myself.


Sure you have. It's just that they either are here online or they haven't explained openly to you that they are like you.

I was traveling to a training session a while ago with a very active, solidly believing member in a leadership position in their ward. I mentioned something about seeing lots of things just like most members but other things quite differently - and this person looked at me and said:
Doesn't that describe all of us - just to different degrees and with regard to different things?


I've never forgotten that, and it's incredibly important to recognize and accept.

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 13:27
by cwald
SilentDawning wrote:I thought about my avatar. I like how cWald and Cadence have avatars which clearly describe their orientation toward the Church. I think Cwald's alien describes his feelings of being different in the Church.
Yeah, I certainly feel like an "Alien" most sundays. At one point in my life I thought I was the only normal person left on the planet.

Good story Ray. I'm starting to think there are lot more of us than I originally thought. Maybe I'm not an "alien" after all? :D

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 13:40
by SilentDawning
cwald wrote:
SilentDawning wrote:I thought about my avatar. I like how cWald and Cadence have avatars which clearly describe their orientation toward the Church. I think Cwald's alien describes his feelings of being different in the Church.
Yeah, I certainly feel like an "Alien" most sundays. At one point in my life I thought I was the only normal person left on the planet.

Good story Ray. I'm starting to think there are lot more of us than I originally thought. Maybe I'm not an "alien" after all? :D
Yes, we're all alients Cwald -- but aliens from different planets. That way we can all be alien. yet be still be unique all at the same time....

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 14:50
by Brian Johnston
I soooooo totally connect with what you are saying SD. Lately, I really have enjoyed attending Church, more so than maybe any time in my life. Yet ... I know mentally that I see things radically different than I think most people around me are experiencing them. I really love watching people experience and express their religion when we are having heartfelt conversations in classes I am in. I feel uplifted most all of the time.

It really is a paradox. I continue to have deep spiritual experiences, even while I feel like I "know" less and less for sure. I think I fell in love with the questions ... and forgot to care so much about the answers.

Re: The Dawn of a New Way of Looking at Church

Posted: 23 Jan 2015, 18:46
by LDS_Scoutmaster
Thanks for sharing SD, life in the church is a mix of all the good and bad for me as well. Life is perfectly balanced between faith and doubt. They can exist in the same mind at the same time.