Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

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Roadrunner
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by Roadrunner » 31 Mar 2015, 13:29

Edit added a couple of hours after my first reply:

Uncertain - I have to admit that I relate to a small extent to your mother who engaged in destructive behavior after leaving. One of my biggest hang-ups (and it speaks to my level of immaturity) is that I feel I didn't get to fully live as a teenager and college student. I don't think I would have done anything outrageous but I still wish I would have experimented a little more as a youth. Instead I felt overwhelmed by guilt for even the slightest infraction and I lived in fear of God from the age of 12 onward until my faith transition. I still won't try alcohol etc but it's because my wife would *freak out* and not because I'm afraid of God.

I wonder how many people leave because they are simply exhaused from all the rules.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by DarkJedi » 31 Mar 2015, 13:40

Roadrunner wrote:Edit added a couple of hours after my first reply:

Uncertain - I have to admit that I relate to a small extent to your mother who engaged in destructive behavior after leaving. One of my biggest hang-ups (and it speaks to my level of immaturity) is that I feel I didn't get to fully live as a teenager and college student. I don't think I would have done anything outrageous but I still wish I would have experimented a little more as a youth. Instead I felt overwhelmed by guilt for even the slightest infraction and I lived in fear of God from the age of 12 onward until my faith transition. I still won't try alcohol etc but it's because my wife would *freak out* and not because I'm afraid of God.

I wonder how many people leave because they are simply exhaused from all the rules.
Maybe we should have rumspringa, like the Amish. Almost all of them return.
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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Roadrunner
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by Roadrunner » 31 Mar 2015, 14:18

DarkJedi wrote: Maybe we should have rumspringa, like the Amish. Almost all of them return.
I don't know a lot about the Amish and had never heard of rumspringa. Interesting idea although I don't think it would fly (although I suspect you're partially joking). LDS leadership doesn't do well with the idea of premeditated repentance.

On a tangent - during my time at graduate business school on the east coast one of the most interesting people I met called himself Mennonite. He dressed and mostly behaved like everyone else except he never swore, didn't drink, and was well liked by everyone. We met because we were both at a bar drinking sprite. He's literally the most intelligent person I've ever met and I believe he's a bond analyst on Wall Street now. He probably makes a substantial amount of money and lives in a humble apartment in NYC.

Maybe he "left" but still has a lot of Mennonite in him.

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LookingHard
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by LookingHard » 31 Mar 2015, 14:19

SilentDawning wrote:that threshold where you no longer care what the church. GA's and Apostles and Prophet might think of you. You have to march to your own drum, acting on what you truly believe, and feel is right, placing the pursuit of happiness at the top of the list.
I agree with this, but I wouldn't say "no longer care" and change it for me to "much less important than the relationship of me to my God". I think the church pushes that a relationship with God is not possible outside of the church - the church is a MUST. I still care about the church, but it's importance is DRASTICALLY lower. I listen to conference, but if I hear something I don't agree with, I talk it over with God and think about it and if it still makes no sense - I don't believe it / do it.

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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Mar 2015, 14:37

I think the church pushes that a relationship with God is not possible outside of the church - the church is a MUST.


No, it doesn't. I don't even know any hardcore, orthodox, traditionalist members who would say that. There are some who would come to close to that, but most wouldn't come anywhere near it.

Being critical is fine, but we need to try to be fair, at least.
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
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by SilentDawning » 31 Mar 2015, 17:53

Although many would not say that, there has been cultural values in certain wards that postulate or even declare negative outcomes such as job loss, degenerating spirituality, marriage breakups simply bcuz people left the church.

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"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."

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Ann
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by Ann » 31 Mar 2015, 21:49

Hi, Uncertain - I'm glad you're here. :wave:
Uncertain wrote: This has led me to feel the need to remove my garments (except for once-in-a-while when I feel really guilty and shameful and decide to put them back on, or when I go to an extended family function and just don't want to deal with any questions as I'm not ready to be approached in that way yet.) Wearing them part of the time makes me feel further tormented. One day I won't wear them because I want to gauge how I feel doing so and then the next day I wear them because I feel like without them I'm losing some kind of emotional security blanket even though they represent covenants made in a religion I no longer believe is fully true or right. I am sorely conflicted.
There are several threads here about garments and you might want to read through them. I have my feelings and conclusions about it all, but this is something that everyone needs to decide for themselves.
The details of thinking about the temple, though, make me feel sick to my stomach. I don't want to go and uphold covenants to a Church I am so deeply doubting; I feel like it would be difficult to have integrity in doing so, and yet I yearn for the naïveté of the days when I'd go to the temple for "peace." I want it to be that refuge again (even though much of the time I felt I had to force myself to feel that way about the temple because I thought it was the "right" thing to think.) I don't know what to do when it comes to attending the temple.
I have always struggled with it, and sometimes people need to take breaks to sort things out, but I like the idea of refuge, the high mountain, the place set apart. You're not going to go back to the old days, but that doesn't mean you'll never like the temple again. My rose colored glasses came off and sometimes I am almost sick, especially when I'm in historic temples that early leaders attended, but I haven't sworn off going.
I don't want to be pushed or pulled.
That's what I love about this site. When I first landed here I was very distressed and on several different topics the discussion boiled down to, Well, that's up to you. I started to see myself as an individual. Now I'm more willing to make choices, take risks, be true to myself and speak up. But we all care very deeply about our families and our ward families. There's lots of discussion here about the nuts and bolts of staying LDS.
"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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Heber13
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by Heber13 » 01 Apr 2015, 02:24

Thanks for posting your story and reaching out for support.

I hear some very positive things in your intro. Things you have learned, such as your mother's path and actions and how she stopped wearing garments, are NOT your path...they are different, even if the garment topic is a similar theme around the story. That is so HUGE that you recognize that, and likely things you learned through therapy, which you should always be grateful for bishops who used their discernment to help you through that.

The Church has been a parent to you in many ways. It has taught you things to believe in, have hope in, have faith that you can rise above your situations and be accepted and loved as you are by God and by others. That is one of the most powerful things about religion...helping us rise above our situations with hope.
Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.

Bruce Barton
You should also believe that things don't just randomly happen. The church gave you a framework for faith...but you chose it. You need to recognize the strength you have by choosing to believe and recognize the power it has given you in your life up until now. It may be hard to fully understand how this works, especially if some beliefs were based on some incorrect teachings or your ignorance, but you can't erase the fact that helping you believe that your life wasn't random circumstance has gotten you far and helps bring peace and happiness in life. It does. It is the beauty of religion.

All that you have learned and the blessings the church have been for you are not all for nothing and waste because the history is problematic or because the imperfect mortals repeat white washed stories.

But there are growing up periods where the stories don't resonate with our internal conscience or experience any longer, because we have grown past the need for a literal black/white story. We need and desire more meat than milk. It is simply a stage of faith growth in us all.

Your childhood circumstances were pretty unique. But many of us still go through similar maturation cycles in life. And your relationship with the church shows you are going through new phases in life, as you see the church differently than when you were younger and needed the vision the church gave you to get to where you are today.

You don't need to throw it all away because your needs are changing or you are learning more about true history. But as others have said, your path forward is yours now to decide. There is not right or wrong...just your path that will lead to things in your life you want to have or not want to have. And don't fear it. If you find you start giving away things (like garments or the temple) and you miss it, the church is always gonna be there and allow you to reinsert those into your life again.

The things that bother you the most, are the things that you need to start with understanding why they bother you. Garments and what they mean to you, and why it matters if you wear them or not...because in some ways, they are just underwear. Just cloth. The meaning we put on the cloth is our faith and belief and choice to place that power on them. That is all in your head, regardless of the outside world.

I recommend you read Wendy Ulrich's Cognitive Dissonance talk from years ago...because the changing phases you are going through sound to me like they are explained in Wendy's talk...which should also validate to you that other people have gone through these things for decades and decades...you're not alone.

It should also help you see there are ways to rebuild and reconnect with the church, even after you start to see them differently than you did when you were younger.

Keep posting here...keep asking questions...and maybe by helping others who struggle also...you find yourself telling others things you need to hear yourself.

Welcome to the Forum. I look forward to learning from your posts.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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LookingHard
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by LookingHard » 01 Apr 2015, 04:28

Ray DeGraw wrote:
I think the church pushes that a relationship with God is not possible outside of the church - the church is a MUST.


No, it doesn't. I don't even know any hardcore, orthodox, traditionalist members who would say that. There are some who would come to close to that, but most wouldn't come anywhere near it.

Being critical is fine, but we need to try to be fair, at least.
Thanks for calling me out when I made an absolute statement and that is not what I meant. After thinking about it a bit more, I would state it this way:

I think many in the church have come to believe that the primary and nearly exclusive way to be in tune with God is to be in good standing with the church and it's leaders. In other words, if you are in disagreement with any leader and/or not following all the commandments that God is very displeased and you have withdrawn yourself away from God and his influences.
Last edited by LookingHard on 01 Apr 2015, 05:57, edited 1 time in total.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Uncertain and Unsettled and New to this Forum

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Apr 2015, 04:46

LookingHard wrote:
Ray DeGraw wrote:
I think the church pushes that a relationship with God is not possible outside of the church - the church is a MUST.


No, it doesn't. I don't even know any hardcore, orthodox, traditionalist members who would say that. There are some who would come to close to that, but most wouldn't come anywhere near it.

Being critical is fine, but we need to try to be fair, at least.
Thanks for calling me out when I made an absolute statement and that is not what I meant. After thinking about it a bit more, I would state it this way:

I think many in the church have come to believe that the primary and nearly exclusive way to be in tune with God is to be in good standing with the church and it's leaders. In other words, if you are in disagreement with any leader and/or not following all the commandments that God is very displeased and you have withdrawn yourself away from God and his influences?
I would agree with that, LH, and go as far as saying that there are some who believe (and "preach") that anything bad that happens to us in life is the result of these poor choices, not not praying enough/hard enough/right, or not studying the scriptures, etc.
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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