Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
nednickerson
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Apr 2015, 12:10

Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by nednickerson » 02 May 2015, 13:44

Hi Everyone,

It's a pleasure to be here as I have been seeking a community of like minded individuals.

BIC to parents who both served missions, raised in California, served a mission in Vina del Mar, Chile from 1997-1999-came home from said mission 6 months early, met my wife in 2002 in a BYU singles ward, married May 2003, daughter was born 2007, son was born 2012.

My faith was shaken (so to speak) when my Mom died one week after a diagnosis of liver and pancreatic cancer in March of 2012. A little over a year from my mother's death found my brother and his wife having their names removed from the records of the church, my younger brother and his family moving to Germany with the Air Force, and my Dad remarrying a woman markedly different from my Mom (2 failed temple marriages, inactive, bi-polar).

I had struggled before and after my mission with addictive behaviors and held on to my sobriety until May of 2013-my 2nd semester of graduate school (MBA), when the stress of everything going on in my life gave way and I slipped back into addictive behaviors again.

We have had a lot of changes lately with selling our home of 10 years last summer and downsizing by selling 60% of our stuff. We now rent a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment.

Currently, I am back in AA, SA, and the LDS ARP program, which is helping me a lot.

I am seeking for a God of my own understanding and feel that my foundations have been ripped completely away. I don't know who this Mormon God is and the one that I have been taught about all my life is not a person I care to associate with.

I have been angry at God for taking my Mom. She was my first best friend, I was very codependent on her. She was my confidante. She was a kindred spirit.

Currently, I don't believe the LDS church or any church for that matter to be the "true" church. I believe churches are a vehicle to help us become more like Jesus Christ and God.

I am still active. I have never been inactive. I have volunteered in the Provo Temple for a year as an ordinance worker, have served as a family history consultant (six years), ward mission leader, 2nd counselor in the elders quorum presidency, etc. I currently serve as a ward missionary (after reading this over, I thought-I might want to be asked to be released from my calling ;) ) and was just recommended by my bishop to serve in the Provo Temple.

What the bishop doesn't know is that I am having a severe struggle with my faith. He does know that I have a lot of questions about the church and its practices and teachings. Due to addictive behaviors as well as severe body dysmorphia, I removed my garments. I feel much better without them. I am not engaging in any miscreant behavior at all, I just don't feel comfortable wearing my garments at the present time. I hope to wear them again in the future.

I am hoping that I will be welcomed here with open arms and understanding. I feel as though I need a community like this with people who can share their experience, faith, and hope. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I always have. I don't understand the church. I live in Utah, which probably compounds the issue.

Thank you for reading this. I look forward to associating with each of you.

Ned

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5762
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by DarkJedi » 02 May 2015, 14:01

Welcome, this is a safe place to discuss your questions. I struggled with the LDS version of God for a long time because things just quit adding up for me. I have come to understand that much of what is taught or espoused by church members is not really doctrine or even the official stance of the church. Hence, I realized it was not God I should have been mad at and I am no longer mad at God.

I'm curious. You said your bishop knows you have questions and recommended you as a temple worker. I don't have a problem with that, I think my bishop might do the same thing for a worthy individual. But you also said you don't wear garments (apparently for good reason). How can you work in the temple and not wear garments? How did you answer the garment question?
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

nednickerson
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Apr 2015, 12:10

Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by nednickerson » 02 May 2015, 14:14

Hi Dark Jedi,

The Bishop recommended me to work in the temple before I removed my garments. In fact, he doesn't know that I have removed them. I am not accepting the calling to work in the temple at this time.

I appreciate what you said about not being angry at God. In my prayers recently, I have heard a distinct voice say, "It's okay. You are okay just where you are at right now." God knows that I have a long way to go and that I am sincerely trying to rebuild a relationship with Him. I am learning to listen to my heart and soul, not what others tell me. It's not an easy process.

Thank you again for the welcome and your reply. I appreciate it. I believe each of us have our own paths to walk and journeys to embark upon. For now, this is part of my journey.

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2015, 16:41

Welcome -- good place here to discuss concerns. No one will judge you. I don't know much about addiction, unfortunately, but I do understand about being disappointed with God.

My advice -- low expectations -- don't expect anything from him, but ask for what you need, and be grateful if it comes. Ignore the noise about how we wants you to be healthy, happy, all that stuff -- that may be true, but it doesn't mean he will necessarily intervene, although I believe he sometimes does.

Look at divine intervention as a bonus, not an expectation. You might be happier.....looking forward to reading your posts.
"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

Minyan Man
Posts: 1423
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by Minyan Man » 02 May 2015, 16:49

Welcome nick, I can relate to a lot of things you've said. Especially:
I am back in AA, SA, and the LDS ARP program, which is helping me a lot.

I am seeking for a God of my own understanding and feel that my foundations have been ripped completely away. I don't know who this Mormon God is and the one that I have been taught about all my life is not a person I care to associate with.

I have been angry at God for taking my Mom. She was my first best friend, I was very codependent on her. She was my confidante. She was a kindred spirit.

Currently, I don't believe the LDS church or any church for that matter to be the "true" church. I believe churches are a vehicle to help us become more like Jesus Christ and God.
After going inactive, I became Alcoholic, went through treatment & still go to AA. I believe that AA saved my life & gave me a 2nd chance at life. It is now 24+ years later. I too was angry with God. After treatment, I believe that God told me, that what ever anger I felt, He could take it. I was totally inactive of 15 years. After treatment, it took me another 8 years before I could even consider going to church again. I joined this group & went back to church again on my own terms. I personally keep a low profile & have a group of close friends that I can talk to. I know they will keep my confidence.

This is a good place to start. You have many choices to make. You will make them on your own terms.
If you stay in the LDS church, great. If you want to try something different that's fine too.
Take it at your own pace.

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 May 2015, 18:43

We have multiple threads here about the garment, and at least one has a good discussion about body dysmorphia. Search for that word; you should find the thread(s) quite easily.

Welcome. I hope we can help you find peace and construct your own faith within the LDS Church.
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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Heber13
Posts: 6692
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by Heber13 » 02 May 2015, 21:27

Welcome Ned.
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."

Roy
Posts: 4816
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by Roy » 03 May 2015, 10:44

Welcome Ned!

I feel that there are some uncanny similarities between us. 1) I served a mission to Chile (concepcion) during the same time period. 2) We have two living children - an older daughter and a younger son. 3) I was actually serving as WML when I had my faith crisis. 4) My FC was brought on by the death of someone close to me. In my case it was the stillbirth of our third child Emory. It made me really analyze and question the assumption that God is bound to bless us as long as we are doing our part in the church, honoring the priesthood, etc. 5) I currently do not wear my garmet top to work. I sweat alot and have found that the added layer of clothing just traps the sweat and does not allow it to evaporate causing a permanent wet sponge effect in my armpits. I have been open with DW about this and promptly put the top back on when I get back home.

Are these coincidences? Probably. :mrgreen: But I hope they go to show that you are not alone. There are many people that have gone through similar experiences. The entire faith crisis process follows a pretty predictable path and is a normal part of human development.

Again welcome!

P.S. I have read some interesting things about alcohol addiction being well controlled by medication. I know the prospect of controlling substance abuse with another substance is controversial. I only mention it because the addiction may be something physiological in your brain. I imagine comparing succumbing to the addiction as similar to having a mental breakdown or some other collapse under a disorder. Perhaps this can help with feelings of guilt or that perhaps you should have been able to overcome with willpower alone - as it seems to often not be the case. Just a thought. :shifty:
"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

whathappenedtome
Posts: 5
Joined: 25 May 2015, 22:54

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by whathappenedtome » 05 Jul 2015, 22:50

I think we all struggle at some point and I wish everyone could just be open about it. This is a really hard religion and while I do believe you will be blessed, it is very hard to see blessings at the end of some pretty serious trials. I think we all just get soo tired of the fight and struggle. I believe it all, but I feel worn down and tired of the constant struggle. I am glad you are still praying. I do believe that is more important than anything. It's not between us and the members, but us and God. Unfortunately I also struggle with prayer and feeling like anyone is really listening. You are doing so much better than many of us. We are all just trying to figure it out and do the best with what we've got. No judgement ever. Just empathy for everyone's struggles.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5762
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Wanting to Stay but Very Confused

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Jul 2015, 04:36

whathappenedtome wrote:I think we all struggle at some point and I wish everyone could just be open about it. This is a really hard religion and while I do believe you will be blessed, it is very hard to see blessings at the end of some pretty serious trials. I think we all just get soo tired of the fight and struggle. I believe it all, but I feel worn down and tired of the constant struggle. I am glad you are still praying. I do believe that is more important than anything. It's not between us and the members, but us and God. Unfortunately I also struggle with prayer and feeling like anyone is really listening. You are doing so much better than many of us. We are all just trying to figure it out and do the best with what we've got. No judgement ever. Just empathy for everyone's struggles.
I couldn't agree more.
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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