Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
Lovebugmom
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Dec 2016, 13:43

Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Lovebugmom » 08 Feb 2017, 11:20

First off, thank you for having a site like this one. I've read many stories on here and they have helped give me some perspective on my own situation.

I was raised LDS and active since I was 10. Went to church, married in the temple, husband was a RM, the usual. Our first daughter passed away at almost age 4 following a bone marrow transplant. She would be 16 now. We also have twin girls who are almost 11 and twin boys who are 6. Girls were baptized by Dad, all were blessed by Dad.

A little over two years ago, we moved to Bogota, Colombia for my husband's job. We thought it would be a great opportunity in many ways, including bringing us closer and stronger in the church. Boy, were we wrong. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had been struggling with some of the teachings of the church for a couple years. It all started with his seeing how the FLDS follow so blindly like sheep and he wondered if we were that way, too. Then he began reading and researching all sorts of materials about church history, Joseph Smith, the BOM, etc. Back in about September, he approached me and told me that he no longer believed. He sent me a link to the CES letter and asked me to read it while he was on a business trip. I was floored. My faith began to waver. I began finding more and more things to contradict everything I'd ever been taught. Do people know about this stuff? If so, why do they still go to church? These were just a few things going through my mind.

Well, my husband stopped wearing garments and stopped going to church. I don't love going to church here anyway because it's all in Spanish and I don't understand all of it, just some. I'm only going to church to fulfill my duty of helping in Primary, although half the time my kids don't want to go with me either. I occasionally wear my garments and sometimes don't. I'm not sure if I believe in all the temple things either. It's really hard because I still don't know what to believe. I realized that I never truly had a testimony of JS and the BOM. Shamefully, I've started and stopped it so many times that I've never even read it cover to cover. I know, bad Mormon. LOL.

What I do believe for myself: I believe in God and Jesus Christ and their love for us. I believe that Jesus died for us. I believe in serving others and love.

One of my daughters came to me yesterday and was upset because we don't wear our garments, drink coffee, and Daddy doesn't go to church. She wants it to be like when we lived in Utah. We will be moving back to Utah in the summer. I'm scared as well because our families don't even know. I don't know whether or not to go to church. My daughter definitely wants to, but mostly to fit in. I don't want my kids to be ostracized because they don't go to church. WoW aside, I don't know that I could ever truthfully answer the temple recommend questions because I don't know that I believe in JS. I don't know that I could go to the temple anymore because there are things about it I don't agree with and I'm not sure it wasn't stolen from the Masons. So, do I wear garments if I can't go to the temple anyway? It's all so confusing.

I feel like I'm living a lie and I don't know which way to turn. I'm terrified of people finding out (which they will). I'm also terrified of being the apostate, inactive family in the neighborhood where no one lets their kids play. I know, silly, huh?

Thanks for reading. I know it's a novel. I could go on and on. I'm just so lost. I almost wish I were still in the dark and things could just go back to being the way they were before my shelf started breaking. Boo.

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 6179
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Feb 2017, 12:16

Welcome to the forum...and thank you for sharing your story. It is a difficult thing to go through a transition like you're describing...and I think it is natural to wonder how to navigate it, because it isn't really anything at church that will be supported or discussed as a natural path, it is warned against as dangerous, especially for the children.
Lovebugmom wrote: I know, silly, huh?
I don't think it is. It is pretty serious and very important actually...when you've had a paradigm your whole life...and then you wake up and realize how much of it doesn't seem to be matching up with what you're seeing now, when your eyes have been opened.

The advice we often give people is to take this transition slowly. Don't over-react and say or do things you can't take back later. That isn't to live duplicitous, or fake...simply...allow yourself to figure things out, filter thoughts and feelings, and to think differently than others, and to let go of caring too much about what others think. Allow yourself to be you...and your family to be your family...and it is OK to be on the path you're on as you figure it out.

I believe there are many people in the church that have become familiar with friends and family with the same thoughts as you...so you won't be such an alien, but they won't support it or agree with it when it goes against their understanding of the gospel.

So...the best thing is to go slow. Peel back the onion layers of your testimony...holding on to core values, but discarding the things that are not useful (like coffee...I mean, really...why does that matter?? Anyone who freaks out about that is simply not prioritizing proper values in life).

The quote I used for my son recently is from Bruce Lee who said:
Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely yours.
I think you can do this at church.

You can find ways to StayLDS if you want to, and allow your children to have their experiences, even if their family narrative will be different than what they see on the covers of the New Era or the Friend. But...the important thing is that you have the chance to parent them and teach them that it is OK. Your family is OK the way it is, and they can learn empathy, pride in who they are, reducing the comparisons with others, and focusing on true gospel principles besides just "fitting in".

When you shed those onion layers...you can still embrace the important gospel things that really matter to you and your kids and your family. And God knows that. It is why he allows the church to be imperfect. It allows us to figure out what we want to do with the paradox of the church being true...and yet...deeply flawed.

Welcome. Post here lots and join the discussion. Search the past posts on temple recommend questions and other topics about the temple.

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."

User avatar
Minyan Man
Posts: 1376
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Minyan Man » 08 Feb 2017, 12:25

Lovebugmom (I love the name), Welcome to our little group. Your story is very familiar. You said:
What I do believe for myself: I believe in God and Jesus Christ and their love for us. I believe that Jesus died for us. I believe in serving others and love.
That's a great start. Continue to add to the list over time.
My only advice is:
-don't do anything drastic that you can't take back.
-Communicate with your children & husband about what you're going through. (At a level they understand.)
-Develop a program that you're comfortable with. In church or outside of church.

This is a good place to start. Keep coming back & contribute when you can.

ydeve
Posts: 176
Joined: 30 May 2016, 21:38

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by ydeve » 08 Feb 2017, 12:34

Lovebugmom wrote: Do people know about this stuff? If so, why do they still go to church?
I don't actively attend church because I believe it's all true; I'm active because there's enough good things there that it helps me grow spiritually. Whether or not there's an afterlife, or even a literal god, being religious has made me a better person and helped me to live a happier life. The same goes with priesthood ordinances and the temple. Yes, there are things that are troubling, but there are also aspects that are very meaningful to me and help me better love those around me. If I wasn't LGBT, I'd be happy to stay in the church, even though I don't believe that it's "true".

There's opposition in all things. Good things come along with evil. You'd be hard pressed to find any person or organization that doesn't come in some shade of grey. The question is whether or not the good that it brings you is worth dealing with the bad. Don't decide right away. Take some time to see where things are. The answer may even change as time goes on.

And like Heber said, don't feel like you have to "fit the mold". Take the good, leave aside the bad. Make it your own faith.
Last edited by ydeve on 08 Feb 2017, 12:38, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 6179
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Feb 2017, 12:37

ydeve wrote:I don't actively attend church because I believe it's all true; I'm active because there's enough good things there that it helps me grow spiritually. Whether or not there's an afterlife, or even a literal god, being religious has made me a better person and helped me to live a happier life.
Yes :thumbup: ...very good answer to this important question. Thanks!
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."

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 5018
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Feb 2017, 12:37

Welcome. Many of us here can relate to what you're going through. Most of us have gone through it or are still going through it. As Heber said, it is not silly at all. I heard a talk recently where the guy, who I don't think has had a faith crisis but may have, used the word pain in place of doubt. He absolutely nailed it. I'm not sure if that resonated with the majority of the people present, but it sure hit home with me. It is painful, like no other pain most of have experienced. If you find nothing else here, please do recognize that we mourn with those who mourn.

Moving back to Utah is going to be tough. Is there somewhere else you can move? Seriously, it is different "in the mission field" (i.e. outside the Corridor). But even in the Corridor there are more who understand than you think.
What I do believe for myself: I believe in God and Jesus Christ and their love for us. I believe that Jesus died for us. I believe in serving others and love.
Like MM said, that's a great start. I believe those things as well. Little else matters.

BTW, the TR questions don't ask about Joseph Smith so you needn't worry about that and the key line in the garment statement is the part about deciding for ourselves.

Come back and share, poke in the corners, ask questions. I look forward to learning from you.

May you find the peace you seek.
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

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 6179
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Feb 2017, 12:52

DarkJedi wrote: I don't think has had a faith crisis but may have, used the word pain in place of doubt. He absolutely nailed it. I'm not sure if that resonated with the majority of the people present, but it sure hit home with me. It is painful, like no other pain most of have experienced. If you find nothing else here, please do recognize that we mourn with those who mourn.
Well said.

I recently spoke in church about disappointments in life, the kind we thought the church would protect us against and the world experienced because they didn't have the church...only to find it doesn't escape any of us...just comes in different flavors.
I said:(to quote myself...what an ass I am!? :wtf: )
How many of us in our lives have felt similar things to this? When we look at our life…did we really expect it to turn out this way? Why do I feel alone? Where is God in my hardest moments?
Interestingly, as I prepared this talk I came across some interesting things by many of the Spanish Reformers in the 1500s and 1600s.
One of which was Saint Joseph of the Cross, who penned a famous poem that has been come to known as “The Dark Night of the Soul”
In his years of dedication to serve the poor and needy…his poem expressed the struggle we go through to find God at times in our lives.
But there is Hope. There is always hope.
And the journey is to find our way back to God again. To be with him and have his Love with us.
My wife sat in the back of the chapel, and she told me that as I went through that part of the talk, how many people were nodding their heads...identifying with these feelings. Those who were going through divorce, had children not in church, were part-member families, were struggling with their faith and participation at church.

I think more people in our congregations feel this way than we think. Probably because the ones that share testimonies and teach lessons and are the loudest are usually the ones trying to share uplifting and faithful words of encouragement. Those that struggle stay silent. We mostly compare ourselves to the ones that look so faithful and devoted and engaged.

Perhaps, Lovebugmom, there may even be other youth or other neighbors you interact with that need to hear your message, to feel OK about themselves too. Maybe there are ways to still find hope and light and be an example of God's love...even if being unorthodox in belief...and that is needed. The analogy Ray often uses is from Elder Wirthlin's talk "Concern for the One" and the orchestra sounds better with all the different instruments, not just violins.
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."

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 2890
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by nibbler » 08 Feb 2017, 16:13

Lovebugmom wrote:I don't know that I could go to the temple anymore because there are things about it I don't agree with and I'm not sure it wasn't stolen from the Masons. So, do I wear garments if I can't go to the temple anyway? It's all so confusing.
Do like most members, don't go to the temple because you're busy living life. ;) There are plenty of people that love going to the temple and can pass a TR interview but don't go to the temple for whatever reason. Even in my most orthodox days I'd only make it to the temple a few times a year. Life got in the way. Given my sparse attendance it would be easy for me to cut off attending altogether, not announce it publicly, and no one but me would know any difference.

Living in Bogotá, do you and your children have much of a social life outside of the church? Could moving back to the states, getting back to English, open up your family's social life a little? Wait, Utah. Maybe there's not much room to reduce church attendance if you plan on preserving a social life. :P :(
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. - Sydney J. Harris

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

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by Ann » 08 Feb 2017, 21:53

Hi, Lovebugmom - I'm glad you're here and hope it helps. If I only got one sentence, I'd say, Don't be afraid! So much of this has come down to redrawing boundaries between me and the church, and me and church members. I'm so much happier with the new ones, and, coincidentally, I feel all the redrawing has brought me closer to God.

I wear garments the way I choose to, I read the scriptures and books that interest and inspire me, I trust my gut in matters of church history, etc.

Have you and your husband had an actual talk about church attendance/activity? Do you feel like you're on the same page with core beliefs?
"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

User avatar
On Own Now
Posts: 1416
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: Confused, sad, disappointed. Where to go from here?

Post by On Own Now » 09 Feb 2017, 18:42

Welcome Luvbugmom, I'm glad you're here and I hope you stay. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Your story is familiar here. I just want you to know that you are not alone. I feel it is important not to hide from others. That doesn't mean you post an open letter of facebook, but start to work towards telling people that your faith is transitioning. It doesn't have to be now or this year or on any specific timeline. But feeling trapped is 'no bueno' (hope you can understand that much Spanish). So, my advise is to visualize a life where everyone knows about your faith and start toward that eventuality, not with fear and trembling, but with anticipation of release and contentment. That's a long-range goal. But for the short-run, figure out what you believe and what you believe in. The fact that you've written down here what you do believe is incredibly important. Go with that. I know that for me, I finally started to find peace when I started to see myself for what I am rather than what I am not. Finding what you believe and what you believe in helps to alleviate the burden of not believing everything in Church. In other words, don't let your faith be a hole in the ground, but a hill that you stand upon.

I look forward to hearing your voice here.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users