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Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 28 Aug 2013, 18:17
by DarkJedi
Ruthiechan wrote:I recommend you consider studying Buddhist mindfulness practice and trying meditation. Find a local Buddhist temple to get started or if you're with Kaiser some facilities have a meditation class. I have found that meditation and mindfulness practice (meditation is a part of this btw) has really helped me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The beautiful thing is that it's a practice not a religious belief system so you don't have to believe in any particular religious creed to make it a part of your life.
I do live in a rather rural and homogenous area of upstate NY, the closest Buddhist temple appears to be quite some distance from here. I am familiar with basic Buddhist ideals, however, and often make reference to how you can be a Buddhist and a Christian, Muslim, or whatever. Perhaps I can do some online research and discover some techniques.... Thanks for the thought.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 28 Aug 2013, 18:24
by Ilovechrist77
Welcome, Dark Jedi. I will be looking forward to hearing more from you.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 28 Aug 2013, 18:25
by DarkJedi
SilentDawning wrote:I also frequented regularly with thousands of posts, I believe, at one point. I left over the same black and white issues a year or two ago. I found the mods let the judgmental people reign free but were highly intolerant of unorthodox believers -- they were very harsh with me personally, although I never got written up.

It was a valuable experience because it helped me see what I once was -- a black and white judgmentalist, "company man" (read, "Church man"). I actually reached out there in a crisis but found they made my crisis even worse.

Here at StayLDS, there was acceptance and an opportunity to grow into a different relationship with church.

Here are a few of my coping strategies with church.

1. Set limits on what you will and will not do. For you, it'll be Sacrament meeting only when ready. For me, it's no more moving or chapel cleaning and no calling while I'm committing my time to other selfless causes.
2. Recognize people are in different levels of development -- along different paths even. Accept them for those beliefs. Remember, Black and White thinking serves many people very well and helps them feel at peace.
3. I hate to sound paranoid, but to quote the X-files "Trust no one"...with your unorthodox beliefs. Most are highly intolerant of doubters or unorthodoxtarians like myself.
4. Continue with your plan of keeping options open to return, and that means keeping to yourself about the things you don't believe.
5. Find additional ways of feeding your spirit. Through service to causes you believe in is one.
6. Learn to distinguish between administrative doctrine and the true gospel principles. I find this sorting mechanism really helps me filter what is important. Administrative doctrine is aimed at conditioning our attitudes to be good Mormons or following administrative procedures, and not necessarily aimed at helping us be good people. BKP's "Unwritten Order of Things" is a very good example of administrative doctrine --and I use the term doctrine tongue in cheek, because I seriously question if it's doctrine.
7. Recognize there is a big, broad world outside of the church that needs you, and you can be happy without full community or acceptance within the LDS church. You can have a bright family culture without the church too based on timeless values.
8. Be very discerning about how you let church people use your time. I personally will not go to a meeting unless I know the agenda. I have wasted too many litres of gas and too many hours listening to talks that do not meet my needs.

I am about your age, and I have decided I want to enjoy my life, and that means serving in ways that are meaningful to me, not in ways that are simply "expected". After 30 years of forced missionary service (I forced myself), forced home teaching, forced church attendance, forced tithing, I feel liberated.

Some thoughts...
I wondered if you were going to check in. I like your cautious (read paranoid) attitude (meant very nicely) and probably should make clear that outside these forums which allow some degree of anonymity, I do not share my views unless asked and then only to those I deem "worthy" (basically the need to know, not just being nosey, and/or truly concerned or interested).

That said, I pretty much do all the rest you suggested already - many of them just to remain sane. I am especially sensitive to #6, as this is a sticking point for me. Figuring out what is and isn't doctrine can be tough, or it can be easy. Frankly, I don't care what age missionaries serve at, and I think it's up to people to decide how much tithing to pay - the whole idea is based on a few obscure scriptures to begin with and was instituted in the church to get it out of debt (although now I believe it is the main business of the church).

But thanks for chiming in.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 29 Aug 2013, 16:17
by Ruthiechan
It's easy for people to know who I am. I'm Ruthiechan, but my real name is on my website too. So if people really wanna know they can put two and two together or perhaps I did that for them. ;)

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 03 Sep 2013, 09:43
by Heber13
Welcome DarkJedi. Its great to read your story, although sad that you felt betrayed and it has been hard for you.

I think we have moments in our life we just get tripped up, sometimes by others offending us, or tragic circumstance, or learning church may be different for different people. But whatever the catalyst causes us to seriously think about what we truly believe and how it meshes with our experience in life and what makes logical sense. The Dark Night (which lasts much longer than a night).

I don't always contribute these experiences to God causing it to happen to test us or get us out of our comfort zone. I just think we handle and pass through the struggles that we are comfortable with, until one day something trips us up that is our test (even if random circumstance or agency of others cause it).

It can become a blessing if we learn from it, or choose to do something to persevere it and expand our point of view or perception on the world from it. Perhaps that can be attributed to God, or perhaps it is just the world we live in and stuff happens.
DarkJedi wrote:How do all of you who are in my situation deal with going to church?
For me, I have thought of what I like about being a part of the church group. While I generally don't enjoy church services for myself (I rarely feel uplifted), I do find it a place to connect with others. I often think..."Can I disagree with what is being said, but still conduct myself in a way that is loving and kind with others?"

I find that I can. I find that when I am focusing on the things I disagree with, church is very painful. I have even stopped going for some time. But I also have found I can ALWAYS find the common ground of nice people who believe in true gospel teachings, and people I share values with, especially around teaching children and serving each other.

So, the way I deal with it is to focus on the good, and take the cafeteria approach to choose to let go of the rest. I also find church on Sunday is less about recharging my batteries, and more about exercising my patience and spirituality, despite what I experience at church. And I find there is benefit for me in doing that. Just like when I exercise at the gym or go for a 3 mile can be painful and make me sweat, but that effort is helping me feel better about myself. And it feels good...or else I'd stop going entirely.

In other words, I look at it as a Venn diagram...and recognize that if I leave completely, I'd be leaving the parts that overlap with my beliefs, and I don't want to lose those. So I keep trying. And I like the people. And when it gets too painful...I take a break so I can stay balanced and I can stay honest to my inner feelings.

That is how it works for me.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 03 Sep 2013, 13:29
by Forgotten_Charity
Hi dark_jedi. Nice to meet you. Although the church history is a partial
Problem for me it never was the real problem as well.
Mostly because I don't begrudge the past but have my mind in the present and look to the future.
That being said, I love helping people find happiness. But have long felt like I don't really belong anywhere, church, country, community, family etc. I bear a string portion from each religion and each culture and each nation and family. Probably never more then 50% feeling comfortable and aligning with at most in best cases.
Love the theology in the church but dislike most of the body of the talks and focus.
I am interested how it works for you. As I try against my better judgement to stick around through all the requirements and expectations to make my wife happy and hopefully bring a positive change inside.
My fairy crisis is only similar to yours in that I have been harmed many times by following the teachings and by others directing the following the teachings at me. It continues to this day but I try to indure.
The mind is a curious place and can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.
It's not as clear as it is taught. Watching brain analysis as people think and believe certain things lead to me being even more unsure. I hope I can help you in any way, as well as look into any undead or insights you have or will have.
Hope things are inproving for you.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 17:45
by Jazernorth
DarkJedi wrote:Just over 10 years ago I had what I call a crisis of faith. I found myself in a situation where I was questioning everything I believe about the church, religion in general, and even the existence of God. I was truly shaken to the core. I stopped going to church and have not returned since, although I think I may in the somewhat near future. Over the past couple of years I have partially "rebuilt" my faith, after having gone through pendulum swings from the extremes of God loving us and being intricately involved in our daily lives to God exists and is the creator but that's all (a diest view). Many other gospel principles and religious beliefs have had similar pendulum swings (prayer, scriptures, etc.). I still lean toward the diest side of things (God does exist and does care about us, but is not involved in our daily lives), prayers are a form of worship but are not usually answered, and so forth. I still struggle with many LDS beliefs and have not reached my own middle ground on some principles yet. I don't go to church because I have a hard time dealing with people who "know" many things that they really don't know anything about. I don't doubt their sincerity and I don't doubt that they really think they know those things - I also "knew" many things to be true that I now doubt. I believe my thinking has matured to the point where I can ignore, if you will, these ideas just as I would anyone who believes differently than I on any host of subjects.

Part of the problem is that I live in a small ward in the eastern U.S., and while I'm sure the bishop will be accepting, I know I will still be struggling each day inside myself. If and when I do return (and do note that I have considered having my name removed in the past), it will be for sacrament meeting only.

So, all of that said, this place appears to be my kind of place. Other sites one finds while doing Google searches turn out to actually be anti-Mormon. I am not anti-Mormon, and believe in the basic principles of the gospel as taught by the LDS church - I just happen to believe they teach some things as gospel that aren't gospel. How do all of you who are in my situation deal with going to church?
I finally read your intro and, yes, we have very similar feelings and issues. I almost stopped going to Sacrament meeting about a year ago because of my conflicts with the feelings in my intro. I forced myself to go because of my child and only because of her. I do not get dressed up, I go in my levi pants and carhartt shirt (button down, but definitely work shirt). I even sometimes forget to take off my hat and sun glasses until I walk into the building, whatever I say. Interestingly enough, people leave me alone. I get one every now and again who ask who I am and such, I'm cordial and talk to them, but then they realize I'm not there for them and they leave. I do "occasionally" have the missionaries stop and talk to me, but that is only when they are new and my wife is not with me. If my wife is with me, I have never ever been approached by the missionaries. There were two occasions where the missionaries then the EQP asked if we would help the missionaries "practice" their lessons, I said no. Not, nah, or hemmed hawed about it. Just "no". That is it. Not one person has said anything about my attire, my lack of attendance, nothing. I live in the "mission field" (I hate that term, ergh how else do you say you're not from the normal mormon states) and really no one has bothered me about just Sacrament meeting. When I lived in Utah, I was approached my one moron, but my brother, bless his heart, berated the guy. Thinking about this, I do have a great family! Anyway, this long post was just to let you know that I do attend, dressed casual, sit in the back, arrive early enough to get that back seat, and leave right after the last prayer is said. Gone. Like the wind. Out the door so fast that sometimes I forget to say bye to my wife.

There is my scenario, maybe it will help, maybe it won't.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 23 Oct 2014, 20:49
by Rsbenson
dark jedi:
Why are you reconsidering joining the Church?

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 26 Oct 2014, 13:11
by DarkJedi
Rsbenson wrote:dark jedi:
Why are you reconsidering joining the Church?
Welcome Rsbenson. Interesting you dug up this old post today (I know it's linked on all my posts). What's most interesting about it and your question is that I spoke in stake conference today - partly about my return to church.

Trying to think back, why did I want to return? I don't know. It was certainly partly because of my family. It was partly because I had come to a place where I felt I had gained a new understanding of the Gospel/Church relationship and actually believed in God (just not in the same way I perceive most Mormons do). It was partly because I did have some yearning for social interaction with people I know and like.

I don't know that you have read more recent posts, RSB. Since that original post, Pres. Uchtdorf gave his landmark "Come, Join With Us" talk. I returned to church in May, and I serve on the high council. Pres. Uchtdorf is right - here I have found good people who want to serve, just like me, and here I do find the pure doctrine of Christ (mixed with a bunch that isn't that I can now ignore). I also recognize that not everyone has the same perspective I do and in fact, very few - if any - do. I also recognize that one needs to be ready to return, and I was.

I'd love to know more about you. If you don't feel comfortable sharing here on the open forum, feel free to PM me.

Re: Hello, I'm new here but hope to be a regular participant

Posted: 27 Oct 2014, 09:32
by Heber13
Great response, DJ. Thanks for sharing.