Really new to this.

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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SunbeltRed
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Joined: 20 Jun 2014, 11:07

Re: Really new to this.

Post by SunbeltRed » 28 Aug 2014, 18:18

hi West!

As other have echoed, I'm glad that you found us. I am also very appreciative that this community exists. I don't know what I would have done had I not found it; I think I would have made some hasty decisions.

I appreciate the thoughts you have shared...I empathize and have felt your pain as you have embarked on this scary yet exhilarating journey. Some days are awesome, some days I feel very sad about what I have lost, some days are ok. Luckily I have been able to find friends where I live who are attempting the "middle way" within Mormonism. It makes the journey a bit easier to have some friends along for the ride and that is what this community provides.

Looking forward to getting to know you.

-SBRed

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DarkJedi
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Aug 2014, 20:17

West wrote:
My son serves in a South American mission and his mission does share a nurse and a doctor with other nearby missions (he's in a large metro area). The nurse is a young woman, the doctor is a retired guy. Beyond that I'm not sure of many of the details, I do know the nurse has a little section of the newsletter where she addresses common health issues, and they do things like flu shots in addition to caring for missionaries who are ill or injured.
Do you know if the nurse lives in the area already, or if she is a full-time missionary? I know they have positions open where nurses already living in the mission area volunteer some of their time every week to help the missionaries, and I wonder if that is the case here. However, that sounds exactly what I've been told about those types of positions, and it sounds exactly what I would like to do. :) Thank you for sharing that!

Also, I don't think I can accurately express how much I appreciate that this community exists.
She and the doctor are both from North America.

And, I cannot fully express the value of this site, either.
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."

My Introduction

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West
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by West » 28 Aug 2014, 21:34

@Orson

Thank you! The time thing is what I have always had problems with -- I am not a patient person, and I stress myself out when I can't see the clear picture and end goal. But it's working out.
...you will find some of the things that you need to start building a new house that will serve you much better than the old one ever could have.
Even through both my bad day yesterday and definitely during my good day today, I definitely noticed that I'm more spiritual and more calm and more patient than I have been in many, many years, and today, the patience and calm helped other people who needed it. The new house is still not entirely functional, but the base foundation and the bits I've salvaged were the things that I'd lost beneath all the stuff in the old house. It looks like this new one will definitely be better. :)

@SunbeltRed

Hi SBRed! We are definitely alike in the respect that, without this place, we probably would have done something we would have regretted. And I definitely relate to the feeling that we have lost something very dear. I am glad you have found good people around you in real life to support you on your journey! Indeed, just having the people here has been such a blessing.

@DarkJedi
She and the doctor are both from North America.

And, I cannot fully express the value of this site, either.
Hmm, they still may very well be doing the health mission system then. :) Thank you!



Side entry (sorry, I think a lot of my posts in this thread are going to be like mini journal entries, because I guess I want to make sure there's something documented here for other people who might come here at the start of their own FC and need it) -- I took the "trade up advice" and made it my own; I told my friend I wanted to go "on an adventure or something" tonight, and she recognized that I was restless and invited me to try out her martial arts class with her this evening. By far the best choice was saying yes. I love the feeling of working out but rarely get the chance or motivation to do so, and the martial arts class was SO positive. It is a small class, and everyone in that class plus the teacher is always complimenting and encouraging one another. Everyone is at all different belt levels, but they all worked together and were all so positive and focused on building one another's confidence and pushing one another just enough to improve but not too far so as to risk safety. I kept thinking that it was a lot like this group. And that if the church and, really, the rest of the world was like this, it would be such a wonderful place. Just like how I would imagine heaven.

Definitely not a coincidence that I ended up there.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

Roy
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by Roy » 31 Aug 2014, 10:05

West wrote:I love the feeling of working out but rarely get the chance or motivation to do so, and the martial arts class was SO positive. It is a small class, and everyone in that class plus the teacher is always complimenting and encouraging one another. Everyone is at all different belt levels, but they all worked together and were all so positive and focused on building one another's confidence and pushing one another just enough to improve but not too far so as to risk safety. I kept thinking that it was a lot like this group. And that if the church and, really, the rest of the world was like this, it would be such a wonderful place. Just like how I would imagine heaven.
I am smiling as I imagine everyone in heaven wearing a Gi and black belt practicing martial arts. Nice mental picture!
"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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West
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by West » 02 Sep 2014, 09:06

That would be a very awesome heaven. :) I could definitely get behind that.

On another note sort of pertaining to an update, I still have lots of highs and lows, but not nearly as bad as before. It's not really affecting my appetite anymore, at any rate. :) It helped that over the weekend I had another little "coincidence" that helped out. I had time to read a fun little fantasy book I randomly selected off of Amazon for a quick, mindless read, because it was one of the free book offers part of Amazon Prime for August, and the premise sounded like something I generally enjoyed (weird magical systems). The book on a whole isn't all that great, and really the only reason I kept reading was the premise was just interesting enough to me that I figured I might as well finish it. However, about two-thirds through, there was a full page and a half of the two main characters talking about faith while in the middle of a church while in a memory living in a guy's heart. They talked about looking for a religion that was "right" for you; about how faith was a very personal thing, and that you pick and choose beliefs to make faith your own. The author, weirdly enough, is from Salt Lake City, which I learned after finishing it.

It was nice, actually to read something like that in one of the places I would definitely least expect it. It wasn't the big, hopeful sign I've been half-hoping for, as I'm sure many do, but combined with all the other coincidences going on my life both before and post-FC, it's been nice. I'm still not certain of the majority of beliefs in the LDS Church or even in Christianity in general, but like you guys have recommended, I've determined what I -do- still believe in. It's not a lot. But I feel 100% better about them than any other belief I can remember, and that's nice.

Also, I went to my friend's mission farewell on Sunday, and while I didn't really pay attention and instead read the book I mentioned above, since I'm still coming to terms with the FC, I'm learning to respect other people's beliefs and try to find the good.

Update over. Thanks, everyone! :)
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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Daeruin
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Location: Utah

Re: Really new to this.

Post by Daeruin » 04 Sep 2014, 21:28

Thanks for the update!

Just curious—what was the book? Sounds like something I might enjoy.
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

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West
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by West » 06 Sep 2014, 23:33

It's called "The Paper Magician." I'll state right now that I very much disliked the romance; didn't feel like it was built up well enough, and it felt like it was forced to fit the book into the typical fantasy trends going strong currently. Sort of read like a modern YA, really, although I believe I'm biased, because the last few recreational books I read were really terrible YA fantasy novels. But the magic system is intriguing, although I've seen elements of it before in other books.

The bit I came across that seemed really out of left field for me but was exactly what I wanted (paraphrased a bit):
"I think life would be much...simpler...if a man could believe in one solid thing," he answered, still not looking at her. "Bits and pieces here and there do no good for a man's soul. Thinking all of it is right or all of it is wrong does no good, either. Just as a magician cannot work all materials. He must choose one. But how does he know? How do these people believe in this faith, but not the others? Yet they are happy."

[...]"You just have to learn, I suppose," she said. "Explore until you know which one's right for you."

[...]"Do you believe in one thing, Ceony?"

[...]She considered the question. "I've never given it a great deal of thought. I suppose I don't. I think I understand what you mean, about there being good in all faiths. In all gods, in all beliefs. When I think about it...I guess I've just taken what bits and pieces I felt were right for me and made my own faith with them. Faith is a very personal thing, really. Just because you don't meet with a group of people once a week who believe everything exactly the way you do doesn't mean you don't believe in something."
Weird and interesting things you can find in recreational reading. :)
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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SilentDawning
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Sep 2014, 03:30

West wrote:Welcome -- for me, the main issue on the table for your situation is whether to serve a mission as an unorthodox Mormon with some faith/testimony issues
I want to share both sides of going or not going on a mission in this situation. It'a ultimately a personal decision, and I think the most someone can do in an advisory situation is help share angles of the decision to consider, so you can make up your own mind.

Pros
1. You end up developing sales ability that will serve you well the rest of your life when you serve a mission. You'll learn to build relationships with people, invite them to make commitments, and see them through to baptism. I use these skills a lot throughout my life, even though I detest sales without relationships. But the skill is useful and I learned it on my mission.

2. There's a window when you get to serve a mission, which closes until you retire if you don't take it as a Young Adult. And in our culture the higher up leaders have done a "good job" making serving a mission part of the social culture and acceptabilty of being a Mormon. If you stay home, you'll have to live with the fact you didn't do it, when you might have wished you did decide to go on the mission.

3. You might gain a testimony on you mission. With all the study, teaching, and motivational meetings in your mission, there are many opportunities for spiritual experiences. These can strengthen commitment and testimony for many,many years after the mission is over with, as it did with myself. Many people have commented they are suprised I'm still active given the outright "abuse" we've suffered in the church. Part of what sustained me through those times is my journal writings about missionary experiences.

Cons
1. You're going to have to confront your doubts every single day if you serve a mission. You'll be pretty much expected to bear your testimony of JS and all kinds of church things. Some people do it, but it can cause a lot of emotional tension when you have to do that day in day out, when you don't really have a testimony of core doctrine.

2. There is a lot of rejection on a mission. People will slam doors in your face, throw things at your when you are on your bicycle, and even members can be frustrating when they won't refer you friends to teach. To do that 70 hours a week without a testimony can be very challenging.

2. If you are expected to pay for it yourself, it can feel really expensive to a young single adult. I had to pay for almost all of mine out of my own pocket, and it set me back four years (2 to save, 2 to serve), ending when I was 23. I had to work two jobs and live in an unheated attic for over a year in order to finally get the money together, spinning my wheels the first year due to low income and having to pay full living experiences. There are times i wished the money had gone toward savings, advancing in my career, etcetera.

Anyway, you have some decisions to make - this is my perspective.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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West
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Re: Really new to this.

Post by West » 07 Sep 2014, 23:00

Thank you, SilentDawning. It's definitely a decision I've been thinking a lot about, and I very much appreciate different perspectives, so thank you! :) If anything, the main reasons I'm still driving forward is the knowledge that a lot of the missions are now focusing more on service rather than straight proselyting, and I have a very likely chance that I'll end up having an assignment that focuses much more on helping people with their physical health. I've also seriously weighed those pros you mentioned. A lot of things going on in my life have led me to believe that going away for 18 months on a religious health mission would actually do me a lot of good for various reasons.

However, cons one and two are what I've been thinking a lot about, particularly con one. I think, though, that I'll just have to rely on the bare foundation testimony I have with me now. For some reason, that feels like the right decision, although that may be my confidence with my long-standing ability to talk my way out of most situations, hahaha. I was initially worried about con three...but after speaking with my bishop and my family, I don't have to be worried about that anymore, and that's a definite relief. There are many things working in my favor for this financially-wise, and for that I am very grateful to whatever high powers lined up the dominoes for me just so.

I'm not anticipating a warm fuzzy feeling to be a confirmation on whether I should or shouldn't go, and to be honest, that sort of makes the decision much, much easier than pre-FC, because it feels more like a choice in tune with my love of using logic and planning and intelligence to make important decisions. The God of my personal faith does not work the warm fuzzy feeling way with my life. But throughout my life, the higher powers I believe in have consistently worked the same way. I do have some decisions to make. And bit by bit, I'm making them. Thank you most sincerely for your perspective. I need to definitely think longer on cons one and two. I'll certainly be reading a lot more in this forum, as well! :)
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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