I didn't go to church today

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SnowEyes
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Jun 2016, 19:11

I didn't go to church today

Post by SnowEyes » 05 Jun 2016, 07:15

I didn't go to church today. I needed a Sunday to think, though I've been doing a lot of that lately. I've been through a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from ticked off to relieved (mostly when thinking about not going to church anymore, unfortunately).

If I'm being honest with myself, my doubts began when I finally learned of the dark story of a relative of mine. She is someone I have often been compared to through out my life, both in appearance and demeanor. I had known for a while that she'd been married twice and the first marriage was to a non-member, physically abusive man. What my family didn't know was that her current husband, a "faithful" church member, was abusive too. Not only to her, but their children, and abusive in a way that didn't leave visible marks like her first husband.

I, being a teenager while this was all going down, only got bits and pieces of it and I still don't know the full story to this day. What I do know is there were instances after my family learned of the abuse, where they still shook the hand of that man and smiled at him. Now, my family didn't smile through all of it. I know this because we no longer know where they live. Her husband cut her off from our family. The second to last time I saw her, at her daughter's baby shower, she looked like a skeleton. The last time we saw her at a funeral, she didn't speak to anyone, not even her own mother. Her children were angry, and have now completely written her off.

While I understand their anger, I'm also standing in the view point of someone who's been told she's "so much like her". And that scares me to death. I'm the only one not married out of my siblings, and can you really blame me?! Every time I go on more than 2 dates with a respectable Mormon boy, that fear pops up. What if he's like HIM? What if I really am like HER? What if I can't get away, and my children are harmed, and they hate me, and church members around me do nothing?

And then I think of this man, this controlling man who seemed like the greatest, Mormon husband. And then I think of one year at a family Halloween party, where one of his daughters hesitantly sat and watched some of an episode of Buffy with us, until her father popped his head in and I should have known something was off, but no one did.

It just all frightens me and ticks me off. And then I went to the temple, and I got to see more of what this man did to keep my relative under his thumb. I felt claustrophobic and panicky in the temple, thinking "I didn't agree to this in my heart, so it can't be valid". I went back again, starting googling the crap out of every keyword i could come up with, and eventually found some empowerment within what I was experiencing.

Then, I moved away from home (whole other country). It gave me a buffer, as well as motivation to find online sources to keep me connected to church news back home. Without that, I might not have known the church essays existed or that there were members currently struggling with many of the things I had first thought were just rumors. Then, the policy leak happened, and things have just built up and up until something crashed.

So, here I am, not sure where to go from here. I know I'll be at church next week, but how much of my heart will be in it? I'm afraid to express much of what I'm feeling to others, especially my family. My mother's siblings all left the church, and even though she continually reaches out to them I think of how she'd react if I even wavered. I've always been the "emotional" child. The one they don't necessarily take seriously, though since I've moved to another country that has changed things a bit.

Sorry, this is getting long. I'd like to explain it all in this intro, but it might turn into something much longer if I do. I'm just going to leave it with this. I would like to stay, I really would. But I see how much pain has been caused by the church, through actions of leaders or the lack thereof (my relative), and I wonder how I can stay. I want to stay and be one of those people who defend the defenseless, but staying would also mean a lot of pretending and is that really much better?

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LookingHard
Posts: 2448
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by LookingHard » 05 Jun 2016, 09:42

Welcome snow. Don't have time to write much, but I am glad you have come here. I think his site will help.


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Ann
Posts: 2547
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by Ann » 05 Jun 2016, 17:56

Hi, SnowEyes - I'm glad you're here and hope you enjoy it. I only have two thoughts.

As a general rule, I'm not high on family resemblances being played up. If you're in one of those families with a lot of talk about who looks like who, who has the "________ chin" or the "_______ nose" or whatever, I feel for you and hope you can wriggle out of the conversation and the mindset that goes along with it. I especially don't like it in the way you're describing - as a sort of prophecy. Shake that one off as best you can! You're you. I hope you won't be afraid to strike out, live your life, and trust.

It's hard coming to grips with what the essays cover, but that's what we do here. And, increasingly, that's what we'll do closer to church. My daughter recently spent several months with YSA LDS kids out of the country, and was surprised at how much they discussed things like the policy change. And how, despite their attachment and commitment to the church, they were unafraid, at least among themselves, to talk about their disagreement with it. She is feeling more hopeful about her future in the church.

Looking forward to hearing more and hope being here helps you.
"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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Minyan Man
Posts: 1388
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by Minyan Man » 05 Jun 2016, 20:22

Welcome SnowEyes, this is a good place to work through your issues with church, family & everything else.
You said:
I didn't go to church today. I needed a Sunday to think, though I've been doing a lot of that lately. I've been through a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from ticked off to relieved (mostly when thinking about not going to church anymore, unfortunately).
A number of us have had to do the same. Meaning: taking time off & sort things out.
This is a great place to sort things out.
Keep coming back.

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DarkJedi
Posts: 5174
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Jun 2016, 06:13

Welcome, I'm glad you found us. The help this site has been to me cannot be measured because of the immensity of it. I hope you can also find peace.

I wanted to comment on something you said. I'm not sure I really pretend anything. I don't agree with everything at church and I focus on the core principles of the gospel. I also don't find it necessary to speak up or make known everything I disagree with. I don't agree with everything I see on the news or hear in a regular classroom setting - that doesn't mean I have to make a ruckus or write letters to the editor because I can just quietly disagree inside. Focus on what you do believe and find peace with the rest.
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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nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by nibbler » 06 Jun 2016, 06:29

SnowEyes wrote:While I understand their anger, I'm also standing in the view point of someone who's been told she's "so much like her". And that scares me to death. I'm the only one not married out of my siblings, and can you really blame me?! Every time I go on more than 2 dates with a respectable Mormon boy, that fear pops up. What if he's like HIM? What if I really am like HER? What if I can't get away, and my children are harmed, and they hate me, and church members around me do nothing?
I understand that fear. Sometimes when our lives are touched in certain ways we can become hypersensitive to things. It can be hard to distinguish the difference between behaviors that everyone exhibits from what we perceive as red flags. I'll echo Ann, you're you. We wary of self fulfilled prophecies.

I don't see anything wrong with taking a break from church. Even as a very orthodox member there were a few times where I needed to take a Sunday off. The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.
I hereby place an order for one cheese pizza. -nibbler

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SnowEyes
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Jun 2016, 19:11

Re: I didn't go to church today

Post by SnowEyes » 07 Jun 2016, 00:02

Thank you for the welcomes!

I'm trying my best to work through stuff in my head, but I'm sure glad I found a site like this one.

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