Twenty-two years later

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
convert1992
Posts: 63
Joined: 11 Feb 2014, 11:26

Twenty-two years later

Post by convert1992 » 14 Feb 2014, 14:51

Hi everyone--my name is Tom. I joined the Church in 1992 at the age of 24. My 22-year spiritual journey has been nothing short of incredible. For the first few years, I was a literal believer, accepting the Book of Mormon at face value and absorbing all sorts of LDS teachings that in 1992 were still considered doctrine by many members. By 1995, I was already going through a process of deconstruction, questioning the validity of claims of the Church. In 1998 I asked to have my name removed from membership (it wasn't) and spent a short time in inactivity attending other churches. Around 2002, my attendance at the Temple began to really pay off in the form of spiritual epiphanies. Other things came together as well: being in a liberal ward full of graduate students, and really becoming acquainted for the first time with active Latter-Day Saints who were comfortable with questioning the Church.

Today, 22 years after baptism, my spiritual journey has led me to a much deeper and broader understanding of what I think spiritual Truth is and what the Church's role in that is. I have not been angry at the Church for many years now, but I also have learned to be realistic about the limitations of the Church as a hierarchical institution, as social organization, and as a unique cultural phenomenon in American society. My beliefs are not outside what the leaders of the Church would consider acceptable, but they are definitely unconventional by anyone's standards. I do believe the Church is "true" in a specific and very important sense, but I have long gotten over the need to rationalize all of its teachings as if they are all necessary.

So my purpose in joining StayLDS is to help others who are struggling with the teachings of the Church and the experience of being LDS. I hope that my background as a convert brings a degree of objectivity. My family background is Chinese-American, so I feel I am well-qualified to empathize with those who feel they do not fit in with the Church socially or culturally. I already do fellowship people in my ward who are unconventional, but I want to try reaching out to others out there who may benefit from talking to me.

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

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by church0333 » 15 Feb 2014, 02:04

Thank you for sharing and welcome. I hope that we can hear more from you. Many of us regulars are finding it hard to make it work (at least I am) so it will be good to hear how you make it work for you. Please feel free to add your 2 cents.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Feb 2014, 02:06

Welcome, Tom. You have had an interesting journey, and I hope this can be a place where we can learn from each other.
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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Thoreau
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Joined: 12 Apr 2011, 16:51

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by Thoreau » 15 Feb 2014, 19:00

Welcome,

I hope to hear more of your insight. I'm one of those who's finding it harder everyday.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

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Orson
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Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by Orson » 15 Feb 2014, 20:33

Welcome! I look forward to hearing more of your experiences.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by DarkJedi » 16 Feb 2014, 08:15

Welcome, and thank you for your willingness to share. I hope we can all mutually benefit from your participation.
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."

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

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by Roy » 16 Feb 2014, 09:02

I'm looking forward to hearing more from you! :thumbup:
"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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mercyngrace
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Joined: 18 Jan 2011, 12:26

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by mercyngrace » 16 Feb 2014, 10:07

I'm interested in your definition of "true" and how the church meets that definition. Would you explain?
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

convert1992
Posts: 63
Joined: 11 Feb 2014, 11:26

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by convert1992 » 16 Feb 2014, 19:49

mercyngrace wrote:I'm interested in your definition of "true" and how the church meets that definition. Would you explain?
Thanks for asking. Basically it has to do with the Temple. Truman Madsen said the Temple is a catalyst (his word). I believe there is a potential for very powerful experiences coming out of Temple attendance. Why, I am not absolutely sure but I think it has to do with the unique environment in there. We in the Church appear to be unique in having access to this catalyst. That is why I have no problem with the Mormon mantra "the Church is true" although I am sure my home teachers have a very different understanding of that every time I say it.

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Twenty-two years later

Post by Ann » 17 Feb 2014, 00:21

convert1992 wrote:
In 1998 I asked to have my name removed from membership (it wasn't) and spent a short time in inactivity attending other churches. Around 2002, my attendance at the Temple began to really pay off in the form of spiritual epiphanies.
Hi, Tom - If you're comfortable, I would love to hear more about both of these things.
"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

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