Page 1 of 2

Twenty-two years later

Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 14:51
by convert1992
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.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 02:04
by church0333
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.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 02:06
by Curt Sunshine
Welcome, Tom. You have had an interesting journey, and I hope this can be a place where we can learn from each other.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 19:00
by Thoreau
Welcome,

I hope to hear more of your insight. I'm one of those who's finding it harder everyday.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 20:33
by Orson
Welcome! I look forward to hearing more of your experiences.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 16 Feb 2014, 08:15
by DarkJedi
Welcome, and thank you for your willingness to share. I hope we can all mutually benefit from your participation.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 16 Feb 2014, 09:02
by Roy
I'm looking forward to hearing more from you! :thumbup:

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 16 Feb 2014, 10:07
by mercyngrace
I'm interested in your definition of "true" and how the church meets that definition. Would you explain?

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 16 Feb 2014, 19:49
by convert1992
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.

Re: Twenty-two years later

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 00:21
by Ann
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.