New here, a bit about me

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
conflicted testimony
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Aug 2013, 15:34

New here, a bit about me

Post by conflicted testimony » 05 Aug 2013, 18:10

Firstly - I am really thankful that this forum exists, I have felt alone with my thoughts for a long time, whilst I am not glad that others are also conflicted, I am happy that I am not alone!

About me: I married an inactive member, didn’t even know what that meant at the time. I had a church-ish upbringing ie my parents sent us kids to whichever church was closest so they could have personal time on a Sunday morning! Religion was not something we talked about or considered. I had a few personal experiences, nothing to do with my husband, that led me to join the church, and I also take my now teen children (they were babies when I joined).

I have a strong testimony of most parts of the gospel. I have often felt the spirit – and for me it doesn’t seem to be a still small voice – it is very loud and direct. Maybe because I am a quiet person? I don't know.

Which brings me to my problem.... For a while, my husband reactivated, which was great! We went to the temple together and were sealed as a family. I had no negative expectations of the temple and was looking forward to a wonderful experience. That was not my experience. Throughout the initiatories and endowments I had the feeling to get away as quick as I could, that it was all so wrong. It wasn’t a small voice – it was just about screaming at me. I experienced physical distress as well – I became overheated, felt claustrophobic and went blind – I needed my friend to lead me through the ceremony. I couldn't understand what was going on, I couldn't remember any of the signs, it was like a barrier in my mind. I continued on as I didn’t feel that I had an escape route :(

Essentially, I felt I was getting an answer to a question that I hadn’t asked. Over the years, I have wondered if I was not worthy to go to the temple, and in my heart I knew that it wasn’t true. I had made a full conversion in 2001 when I was baptised, it was 2006 that I went to the temple, so I don’t feel I was rushed and un-prepared.
When we came out and did the sealing, I was back to normal and it felt right again.

I had never told anyone about this experience, not even my husband, but I never went back to the temple again. He never really questioned why as I always had an excuse. It has all come up again lately as I am being encouraged to get my temple recommend for my own benefit and be an example to my children.

I told husband about it last week, he was very surprised and didn’t know what to say. What is there to say when your beliefs are totally different and experiences so different? I think he was a little hurt that I hadn't confided in him before, but I explained that I didn't want to cause him to think or react negatively and taint his own testimony.

So now I need to reconcile my strong belief in the gospel, the atonement and that the church is good and right, with my stronger belief that the temple is wrong.

I am tempted to try and go back to the temple and see if the experience changes, but that would mean getting a temple recommend by being dishonest.

One of my children is doing baptisms this weekend at the temple, I feel good about that, I just don’t know how I will feel or what I will say when it comes time to go through the temple for themselves.

I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater – I believe that the church is invaluable in our lives, I believe that attaining the celestial kingdom is important. But ...
can you still remain a member without believing in one of the biggest steps towards the end goal - so in effect not aiming for the big goal?

I hope that makes sense - it is the first time I have tried to organise my thoughts around this.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16675
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Aug 2013, 19:12

Welcome. I'm glad you are here to communicate with us.

Just so you know, when someone posts for the first time, it is held before publishing until an admin approves it. It's a way to avoid trolls and spammers. We all are volunteers checking in whenever we can, so sometimes it takes a bit for one of us to read new posts and comments and approve them.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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cwald
Posts: 3628
Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 06:39

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by cwald » 05 Aug 2013, 19:45

Glad to have you.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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On Own Now
Posts: 1736
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by On Own Now » 05 Aug 2013, 19:54

conflicted_testimony,

Welcome. I look forward to your added voice in this community.

The temple is a shock to many the first time. It was for me. I did grow to love it and then later to leave it. If you never return, that's entirely up to you. Doctrinally, it's not necessary for you ever to return... You've now received your endowment and have been sealed. That's the highest rite in the common church. You don't have to keep going back to validate it.

As for believing in part, but not all, that's what this community is all about. Beliefs here vary wildly. All I can say for myself is that the Church and its people are 'good' and that's good enough for me at present. One thing I've come to understand through my involvement here is that faith is better defined by what we do believe than what we don't.

I wish you well in your search for happiness.

conflicted testimony
Posts: 46
Joined: 05 Aug 2013, 15:34

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by conflicted testimony » 05 Aug 2013, 20:49

Thanks for the welcome! Plus the explanation of my 1st post delay :) Sorry for the follow up post.

The biggest challenge I face with my experience, combined with an inactive husband is remaining active myself. It seems like a lot of hard work. I have to admit that if it weren't for my kids, and desire for them to learn about the church and develop good values and friendships, I would probably fall away.

My husband said last night that I was becoming cynical. I was reading a book by Elder Ballard "One drop at a Time" - a message for women - and I was commenting out loud how ridiculous some of the statements were, not thinking that the kids were listening!

His statements were about only women being able to nurture and have sensitivity. That is a slap in the face for men, especially those that take on the prime nurturing role, as my husband did when they were small, and I went to work.

I have a lot of conflicting views that I need to keep to myself at home!

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16675
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Aug 2013, 20:51

Just as white people ought not suppose they are experts on being black, men ought not suppose they are experts on being a woman.

Just saying. :shh:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mackay11
Posts: 2045
Joined: 01 Nov 2012, 18:01

New here, a bit about me

Post by mackay11 » 05 Aug 2013, 21:23

Welcome to the forum.

On Own Now made a really good point. The ordinance has been done.

There are many other ways you can serve in the church. The person who is a regular temple attendee might be awful at compassionate service (or whatever). No one 'does' everything.

And believing in endowment isn't a requirement for a temple recommend. If you enjoyed the sealing maybe you can get a recommend and just go straight up to so those. You have to put the temple clothes on there, but it's all a lot simpler.

Ann
Posts: 2573
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by Ann » 05 Aug 2013, 22:11

Hi, conflicted - I identify with your relief at finding this site!

There's a lot of social pressure to "love to see the temple." I think the internet has freed people to respectfully say that they haven't always (or ever) loved being there. Why do you feel getting a recommend would be dishonest? For better or worse, the questions don't ask us how we liked it, and you don't necessarily need to discuss that you didn't.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16675
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Aug 2013, 23:22

Loving the temple or liking to attend is NOT a requirement of having a recommend. Period.

Nobody has to claim they love or like it in a recommend interview. Period.

The questions are the questions, and they can be interpreted and understood according to the dictates of one's own conscience - and answered with a simple "yes" or "no". Period.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

church0333
Posts: 589
Joined: 26 Aug 2012, 17:41
Location: Springfield OR

Re: New here, a bit about me

Post by church0333 » 05 Aug 2013, 23:35

Welcome and yes we understand. Many people have had the same feelings. I just found out today that David O Mackay had a real hard time with the temple the first time he went. Do you enjoy church or just go for the kids? It has to bring something to your table to make it work in the long run. Please feel free to express anything here to help you. We are a pretty understanding bunch.

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