Feeling defeated

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Eternity4me
Posts: 76
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 10:21

Feeling defeated

Post by Eternity4me » 02 Sep 2014, 21:35

I find it interesting that so many on here figured it “would never happen” to them. I suppose we all embrace something as defining as our religion with everything we have. I honestly am not sure how to define my FC, or even whether to call it a crisis, but my faith has definitely changed over the last several years, and most rapidly since I found this site. Maybe I have just finally faced what has been simmering inside me.

For me I think my questions began when I was released from a calling I loved because one of the members was upset with me. Mind you, she was wrong, I never said what she claimed, and the bishopric told me she was wrong. And they released me. She had threatened to keep her three children from attending any meeting where I would be serving, and that was 2/3’rds of our group. We are small. I was devastated and wondered how these men could possibly be acting on revelation since I had been put in the calling not even 6 weeks earlier. I knew then for sure it had nothing to do with revelation, but with fear. The bishop was afraid she would carry out her threat, so for the good of these children and their testimony, I had to go. Never mind that the other children loved me, and I literally had done nothing wrong, I was out. I was angry and hurt and spent the next two years serving in a place where I couldn’t offend anyone. It was a calling I despised and I would sit numbly through SM just dreading what came next. When I admitted to my friend in the bishopric how I felt, I was finally released.

I have reached the point I don’t know if prayer is worth it anymore. I have a business that is struggling. I have prayed, fasted, and pleaded with the Lord to know what to do to help the business. I have spent money from my savings, I have brainstormed, come up with creative ad campaigns, and today was informed by an employee we were just scammed out of $5000. He had not followed proper procedure and it came back to bite us. To bite me actually, since it’s my company. Many would suggest I fire the employee, or just shut down the business. I employ a family member. If I shut it down, they will lose their house. No guilt there. And so I have prayed. And gotten nothing back. No inspiration, no warm feelings, no definitive answers, nothing. Today just confirmed that I do indeed suffer from a FC. I admit I am tired of waiting for answers that never seem to come. I too believe that God lets life happen, good and bad, and if that’s the case, what is the point of fasting and praying? Why are we beating our heads against a wall getting no answers, and then telling ourselves that we aren’t faithful or strong enough? What is the point?

I know God loves me, but I no longer believe that he answers prayers in the way I have been taught. That realization has been devastating.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5855
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Sep 2014, 07:45

First, welcome to the site. I am glad you found us. I am sorry for the things that have happened to you.

I can relate to some of your story - I had a very similar experience to your thoughts about prayer, mine dealt with employment. I view your questions as rhetorical, but nevertheless I don't know the answers. I don't bother to pray anymore, I do not believe they are answered. Like you, I do believe God loves us (I don't think I have the same testimony of individual love you seem to have) but that He just lets temporal things happen as they will. Part of my faith crisis was dealing with the anger and bitterness of being taught falsities about God for so long by so many. Yes, I still harbor some bitterness and resentment, but I am in a much better place now with my view of a Deist God - I find that I often have to remind myself what I believe about God because the false teachings are so prevalent. You are absolutely correct - the realization that God is not what we are taught is devastating, and that's how I relate to those who are devastated by historical inaccuracies.

Hang in there, figure out what you believe about God (and the gospel and the church) and let go of what you have been taught that you can no longer believe. Let go of the guilt. You will be happier in the long run.
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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Minyan Man
Posts: 1448
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Sep 2014, 12:18

Welcome, I'm glad your here. Your story is very familiar to many of us.
I believe that most of us can handle one or two challenges at the same time.
The problem for me is when then seem to pile on.
God seemed to withdraw & when I prayed, it seemed like all I got was darkness.
After that came anger & a lot of it.

Recovery took time. For me, God started to reveal himself again in small ways.
Usually outside of Church. The most profound ways were usually during walks with my dog in the woods.
It started small and grew over time. I still find it difficult to pray. So, I try to listen & let God talk.

Keep coming back. I would like to hear more from you.

Roy
Posts: 4889
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Roy » 03 Sep 2014, 14:24

Welcome!
Eternity4me wrote:I have prayed. And gotten nothing back. No inspiration, no warm feelings, no definitive answers, nothing. Today just confirmed that I do indeed suffer from a FC. I admit I am tired of waiting for answers that never seem to come. I too believe that God lets life happen, good and bad, and if that’s the case, what is the point of fasting and praying? Why are we beating our heads against a wall getting no answers, and then telling ourselves that we aren’t faithful or strong enough? What is the point?
I approach prayer as though it isn't being heard by anyone outside the room. That doesn't make it pointless but does change the focus of prayer. Perhaps I find prayer helpful to put myself in a positive state of mind - like meditation. Perhaps group prayer is a way to express things to others in the group indirectly - to let them know that you are concerned for them, proud of them, connected to them.

I hope you find a measure of peace.
"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

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15939
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Sep 2014, 16:33

I have almost no time right now, but I want to welcome you to this site.

I hope we can help in some way.
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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SilentDawning
Posts: 6729
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Sep 2014, 20:06

I no longer expect God to do anything for me. There have been times when I have asked for support, but I find it tends to be limited to emotional comfort. Comfort during prayer mostly. He may intervene in my life, but I'm completely agnostic about whether it is Him, my own actions, or random clockwork. There is no way of knowing for sure what caused the "blessing" to happen.

As I've said in other threads, one of my greatest life's lessons is from Saturday Night live. Live life with Low Expectations, then your job looks good, your girlfriend looks good, your life looks good...and if I may add to this ...God looks good.

I also like what the great Canadian humorist once said -- "The harder I work, the luckier I get".

Is this "relying on the arm of flesh"? I don't think so, I acknowledge that God may be intervening in my life, but He doesn't leave his business card behind when He does, so I'm left guessing.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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West
Posts: 213
Joined: 26 Aug 2014, 14:42

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by West » 06 Sep 2014, 23:45

Hello, welcome to the site! I am several weeks into my own FC, and I've stopped praying like I used to as a result; that doesn't mean I don't pray at all, it's just that it's a much more personal and private thing that I have adapted to fit the beliefs I have thought about and considered to be the truth for my own faith. It has caused me to step out of some really hard-ground habits, but I believe it's only helped.

Really, I can only repeat what has already been said -- take a step back, and determine what beliefs you still hold true for yourself. You may find it brings you a lot of anger and frustration, maybe even fear as it did in my case. However, the goal is to find a personal belief system in which you can find peace. I don't have answers for you. But I do have advice stemming from my own experiences and my currently limited interactions with this group, and I do have time to listen and reply. You aren't alone.
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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Holy Cow
Posts: 270
Joined: 10 Nov 2014, 17:07
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Holy Cow » 27 Jan 2015, 11:38

Eternity,
After reading one of your recent posts in the General Topics section, I had to come back and see your Intro. It helped me to remember where you were coming from with everything. My marriage has seen some ups and downs from my FC as well, and I haven't been a big fan of formal prayer either. In my mind, I'd prefer to keep a prayer in my heart. That's more important to me than getting on my knees, saying an official prayer with all of the 'thee's', 'thou's' and 'thy's'. Like you, I believe that God loves us, but allows life to unfold as it will. We're in an imperfect world, and he doesn't step in as much as we'd like (if at all) to straighten things out. When I pray (in my heart) it's typically for peace or patience. I don't ask for help solving problems, because I haven't found that to work out. I like the prayer in this old Jimmy Stewart movie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzzyZ1M-kVU
We get out of life what we put into it. If we work hard and things work out well, we can be thankful for it, but still recognize that it was our hard work that got us there. If we work hard, and our business fails anyway, we can learn from it and figure out what we're going to do next. I don't think God will step in to save our jobs, our marriages, or anything else. But I also don't think he'll cause our business to fail, wreck our marriages, or do anything else to harm us either. I think he just lets things happen, and sometimes he can comfort us when we really need it.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

Eternity4me
Posts: 76
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 10:21

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Eternity4me » 28 Jan 2015, 23:18

Holy Cow!!
That felt good :lol: I have come to the same conclusion. I rarely pray on my knees anymore. We pray in the morning with my daughter before she leaves for school, but that was a habit started a long time ago. I'm not going to let my FC change that for her. I don't pray for specific things, like you, mostly for patience and comfort. Although I will admit tonight to praying about my marriage. I don't really expect an answer on that, because honestly I would like it to just be over. But I can't do that because of my daughter. And so I go through my day talking to God, telling him that I love him and I know He loves me. I express gratitude for my children and my other blessings, but as far as asking for things? That seems pointless now. It hurts less now to admit that, I guess you begin to accept the new normal. Whatever that is.

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Orson
Site Admin
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Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 14:44

Re: Feeling defeated

Post by Orson » 29 Jan 2015, 08:15

I am open to the idea that we may be able to tap into some divine wavelength, that inspiration may be accessible to us in times of need. I don't view God as a being sitting in heaven watching his screen, pulling strings and pushing buttons making choices to rescue someone or prevent selected tragedies while letting others happen as part as a minutely detailed grand plan. I think the randomness of life is what serves the divine plan, and our learning to overcome and be resourceful helps us grow toward our potential. I feel like I pray constantly, but I find little use for formalities in my personal prayers.
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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