Scared, lonely, and confused

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
lucysmack
Posts: 7
Joined: 08 Feb 2017, 13:42

Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by lucysmack » 22 Feb 2017, 10:45

I've been a member my whole life. I was a dyed in the wool 100%. I went to BYU, married in the temple for over 30 years. I have many children and grandchildren all in the church. My husband has always held high positions in the church. The church has said that all callings are equal in the church. Ha! We all know thats a lie! I have many stories of dealing with arrogant priesthood holders and women who feel they are above those they serve. I've known Joseph Smith was a polygamist ever since I can remember and it has always bothered me. I wanted to believe that he was just sealed to other women but not sleeping with them. I was so naive! I remember the first time I saw a discrepancy in my mormon indoctrination. We were on a family trip to Kirtland Ohio and visited the temple. We drove on towards another town, and to my amazement, we saw another church not far from Kirtland that looked just like the kirtland temple. There was a sign out front that said when it was built, which happened to be before the kirtland temple. How could that be? I had remembered a lesson in Sunday school, Joesph Smith was inspired to build the Kirtland temple and there were no other buildings like it. God had given him specific instructions in a revelation on how it should be built. I brought this up with my husband and he said he remembered having the same lesson. Over the years, I have heard and seen many contradictions in the church that have bothered me.
Several years ago, I became ill and knew God would heal me, my faith would make me whole. I had many blessings that told me I would be healed. Well as you can imagine that didn't happen, but It did give me a lot of time to think. The church is so good about keeping us so busy we don't have time to analyze our own lives. The internet validated my heavy shelf and opened my eyes to new truths. I still want to stay in the church, I think healthy living, service, loving God and our neighbor are important. I still believe in God and that Jesus is our Savior. My family is especially important to me, I don't want to hurt anyone in my family, so I stay. Sundays are extremely difficult. Hearing the misinformation is like hearing finger nails screeching on a chalk board. I'm happy to find others on the internet who are having similar struggles, I don't feel so alone. Although, I wouldn't wish this conflict on anyone. I'm not sure why this feels so scary to write this.
Last edited by lucysmack on 22 Feb 2017, 12:37, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2634
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by LookingHard » 22 Feb 2017, 11:22

Lucy - you are among like-minded friends here. I am a bit of a newbie here still and the great accepting folks on this site

Reading your words I get the sense that you are not in the middle of a tornado of a faith crisis, but more on the huge letdown of finding out the church is not what you feel you have been told it is. It hurts and can cut to your soul as that is how deep your Mormonism is a part of you.

I need to get back to work, but do love yourself. Take care of yourself. It already sounds like you have found the essence of what you need to do - love others. This site can help with the "staying LDS" even when you are no longer a TBM.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 5359
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Feb 2017, 12:01

Welcome to the forum. You story will resonate with many here, and even to those with whom it does not resonate it will be understood. Some of us are very good at listening and mourning with those who mourn.
I think healthy living, service, loving God and our neighbor are important. I still believe in God and that Jesus is our Savior. My family is especially important to me, I don't want to hurt anyone in my family, so I stay.
This is pretty much why I stay, too. Focus on those things you do believe and let the rest go. It's not all or nothing.
Sundays are extremely difficult. Hearing the disinformation is like hearing finger nails screeching on a chalk board.
Been there, done that. I don't have a solution. I have just been able to let it go. I admit I do tune out and that I don't know what I would do without my phone/tablet as distractions. Nevertheless I still get those chalkboard willies sometimes. My RM son at BYU told me this week a guy in Sunday School argued with the teacher when the teacher presented the facts about John Taylor's watch (specifically that it likely didn't save his life). In this young man's view, it had to be true because prophets have taught it from the pulpit. How very sad. (Side note: I don't understand why the watch needs to be such an important part of that story for some when it was really quite miraculous that Taylor survived at all at that time with multiple gunshot wounds.)

Don't be a stranger. I hope 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

Roy
Posts: 4416
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by Roy » 22 Feb 2017, 14:18

Hi Lucy,

I love your user name. I have been fascinated by Lucy Mack for a long time (particularly her penchant for giving matriarchal blessings in her later years).

I feel your pain.
lucysmack wrote: I remember the first time I saw a discrepancy in my mormon indoctrination. We were on a family trip to Kirtland Ohio and visited the temple. We drove on towards another town, and to my amazement, we saw another church not far from Kirtland that looked just like the kirtland temple.
I am not sure that any of the ideas of JS are 100% original. The idea that native Americans are descendants of a lost tribe of Israel, the temple ceremonies, the first 4 principles and ordinances of the gospel, spirit paradise/prison and the 3 degrees of glory, all have their roots in contemporary sources. I frankly would find it strange if JS came up with a brand new way to build a church building out of nothing. To be fair to Joseph we expect way too much from prophets. Unfortunately, it is our own church that grooms us to have these high expectations.
lucysmack wrote:Several years ago, I became ill and knew God would heal me, my faith would make me whole. I had many blessings that told me I would be healed. Well as you can imagine that didn't happen, but It did give me a lot of time to think.
We are a church with living prophets and an active interventionist God. We enter into covenants/contracts where we bind God to bless us. What happens when things go south and God does not step in? Then it seems that the small print reveals that actually God is somewhat capricious and will only fulfill his end of the deal in his own way and time. I get the concept of living through hardship and waiting on the Lord. However that is not what my church raised me to expect. This became a problem when my expectations did not match my reality.

Once again I find that it is the bewilderment of the dashed expectations that adds the insult to injury.
lucysmack wrote:Sundays are extremely difficult. Hearing the misinformation is like hearing finger nails screeching on a chalk board.
Yes, I agree with that too. Are certain meeting less painful than others? I currently have a very good SS teacher...good for others but not for me. He does a good job with inoculation (giving members a taste of controversial information to lessen the shock value when they discover it later on). He will say something like "did you know that there is some amount of controversy surrounding xyz?" and then he will selectively present information that makes it sound like the "controversy" is overblown and people are just making mountains out of molehills. This has a jarring effect on me. I personally find that it is better for my health to go home early or hang out in the foyer during this time.

Welcome to the forum Lucy. You are definitely not alone.
"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

User avatar
Orson
Site Admin
Posts: 2252
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 14:44

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by Orson » 22 Feb 2017, 19:20

Welcome Lucysmack!
lucysmack wrote: I had remembered a lesson in Sunday school, Joesph Smith was inspired to build the Kirtland temple and there were no other buildings like it. God had given him specific instructions in a revelation on how it should be built. I brought this up with my husband and he said he remembered having the same lesson. Over the years, I have heard and seen many contradictions in the church that have bothered me.


I agree. We are taught many things that introduce needless contradictions. I think it is well meaning members and leaders who are telling stories that they personally find to be faith promoting. They just don't understand that by not fact checking they are building false expectations in others. Or in the case of "I saw a miraculous healing so I believe if you have the faith you will too" they simply miss or have not experienced the broader reality.

I too wish we could see growth and greater maturity in the church in these areas, but before we hold our breath I think it pays to acknowledge that we are dealing with humans - and as Elder Holland said it must be terribly frustrating even to God. (I'll skip the tangent but simply note I believe God is above frustration, but I agree with the spirit of his comment.)
lucysmack wrote:I'm not sure why this feels so scary to write this.
Likely because we can hear the judgments of others all too well.
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.

Ann
Posts: 2551
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by Ann » 23 Feb 2017, 10:27

lucysmack wrote:I've been a member my whole life. I was a dyed in the wool 100%. I went to BYU, married in the temple for over 30 years. .............................................. Over the years, I have heard and seen many contradictions in the church that have bothered me.
I can look back now and see things, too. But they were kept as pilot lights; it takes something else to turn them on.
Several years ago, I became ill and knew God would heal me, my faith would make me whole. I had many blessings that told me I would be healed. Well as you can imagine that didn't happen, but It did give me a lot of time to think.
I'm sorry for the health problems. I've had some, too, that brought me up short. I love what happened during that time. My inner life is so much better.
I still want to stay in the church, I think healthy living, service, loving God and our neighbor are important. I still believe in God and that Jesus is our Savior. My family is especially important to me, I don't want to hurt anyone in my family, so I stay. Sundays are extremely difficult. Hearing the misinformation is like hearing finger nails screeching on a chalk board.I'm happy to find others on the internet who are having similar struggles, I don't feel so alone. Although, I wouldn't wish this conflict on anyone.
It's this outer life that's so much worse now, but I've found a lot of help here. I hope you do, too.
I'm not sure why this feels so scary to write this.
After a lifetime of ignoring or downgrading my own thoughts, it was scary to type them out. It gets easier.

I hope you're feeling well physically and can enjoy this second chance to live and learn. Me? I wish this had happened long ago, but we have to play it as it lies. Maintaining all that family love has been Job One for me. And it's amazing how easy it is when I keep that straight in my mind.

I highly recommend Thomas Mc Conkie's "Navigating a Mormon Faith Crisis," because it's not so much about staying LDS as it is about becoming an adult child of God. I'll take it as a good sign when Deseret Book sells it, but last I looked it's only available from Amazon. Let us become, and then we'll stay!

I'm really glad you're here. All those things you're thinking? Someone here is probably thinking them, too. And then someone else has a different take. And then we talk, like we wish we could at church.
"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
dande48
Posts: 433
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by dande48 » 23 Feb 2017, 16:19

Hi Lucy,

Welcome to the group! I am very grateful you have decided to join us. Many of us, including myself, are at the point where we realize many of the "truths" the Church teaches are false. But there is still so much good the church can do. Going to church is very painful for me. Much of my extended family doesn't know. And I don't want to detract from any of the "goodness" that the Church brings them. It's a tough situation to be in. Most in our situation, I think, become 100% antagonistic towards the Church. We're the minority who decide, for whatever reason, to stay.

Thanks for fellowshipping with us. I look forward to hearing your insights.
"Sir, it's quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable." - C-3PO

lucysmack
Posts: 7
Joined: 08 Feb 2017, 13:42

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by lucysmack » 25 Feb 2017, 05:10

Thank you for your kind words. I think it's scary for me to write about this stuff is because I'm a bishop's wife. Going to church is hard for me, but I want to support my husband. He really is a wonderful man.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2634
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by LookingHard » 25 Feb 2017, 05:38

lucysmack wrote:Thank you for your kind words. I think it's scary for me to write about this stuff is because I'm a bishop's wife. Going to church is hard for me, but I want to support my husband. He really is a wonderful man.
It happens to all of us. My first faith crisis I was in the bishopric. I feel for people like Bill Reel that was a bishop when his faith crisis occurred http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/
Don't let that stop you - nor stop you in any way from working to love your hubby even if you can't understand him sometimes.

Does he know where you are at as far as your beliefs?

lucysmack
Posts: 7
Joined: 08 Feb 2017, 13:42

Re: Scared, lonely, and confused

Post by lucysmack » 25 Feb 2017, 06:17

He's always known that I hate polygamy, that I have problems with the way they treat women, Inspiration isn't what the church says it is, and a lot of stupid rules that have nothing to do with salvation. He knows I have problem with the history but not to the extent that it truly is. I give him little bits at a time so he has time to think about it. I believe if I told him every thing right now, it would scare him. I'm afraid he wouldn't feel supported while he's the bishop. He's so busy, he doesn't have time to investigate the problems. He would just think it's anti-mormon.

Post Reply