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Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 25 Mar 2017, 15:13
by dande48
Hi Tom,

Thank you so much for sharing. This is a wonderful place. I relate to much of what you said, from the TBM wife, to having to "come out" for the first time when extended a calling in the EQ Presidency. It's a lonely place to be in; not wanting to take away from the good, but not willing to lie.

There is still much good religion can offer. After arriving at my own conclusions, the next question I needed to ask myself is, "If it isn't true, does it matter?". There are many LDS who are inifinitely happier staying LDS, even if it isn't true, than to stop believing in it. StayLDS to me, means taking out what good I can, and ignoring the rest. To use the General Authority analogy, "The buffet approach".

Something that really helped me, was listening to the lecture from Alain De Botton, "Religion for Atheists" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br8m2S98HU4&t=1548s). It is based on the book he wrote by the same name. When he was doing his book tour, he decided to skip over "Utah", thinking it much too religious, and not having much market. To his suprise, Utah sold substancially more copies than any other state. I guess a lot more members struggle, than are openly willing to admit.

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 25 Mar 2017, 17:44
by DarkJedi
Curt Sunshine wrote:
25 Mar 2017, 12:03
Being authentic is radically different than being totally open.

Being totally open almost always is a negative thing. Seriously, it causes much more heartache in nearly all settings than it helps. We bite our tongues in every conceivable situation. Doing so in church is no different, since, at the core, it's a matter of inter-personal relationships.
I tend to think of it this way. When my wife says "Does this dress make me look fat?" how do I answer? Hint: I tell her the truth, but there's no way I'm going to ever tell her she looks fat even if I think she does.

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 26 Mar 2017, 06:24
by FaithfulSkeptic
Welcome! Your story sounds a lot like mine. I've been skeptical about a lot of what I've been taught growing up along the Wasatch Front, but never really allowed myself to really question things until recently (the last 5 years or so). I'm still actively attending, but I'm not very believing (mostly agnostic now) and I don't enjoy most things about being a member. I stay now primarily for my wife, although it's really eating me up inside. I have a lot of anger toward the corporate church and the damage it has caused to my own mental health and my family.

I do still see a lot of good in the Church among the thorns, and I try to focus on that. I'm not sure what I know or believe anymore. Truth has always been a focus of mine, but it just isn't that important anymore. I've found it to be much more productive to focus on beauty and goodness instead.

Welcome again and I hope you will find this community to be helpful!

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 27 Mar 2017, 06:24
by SunbeltRed
Welcome!

You're story sounds similar to mine. Cerebral, didn't really have much of a connection to God and Jesus, and I distinctly remember the moment I asked myself "What if it's not true"?

I don't post here much any longer but I found this space to be a lifeline in the early part of my faith transition. Lots of great folks on the board.

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 27 Mar 2017, 10:58
by Heber13
Welcome DT. Thanks for sharing part of your story and your thoughts. It is good to meet you.

I echo dande...
dande48 wrote:
25 Mar 2017, 15:13
StayLDS to me, means taking out what good I can, and ignoring the rest. To use the General Authority analogy, "The buffet approach".
Do you do a lot of studying on your own, or do you use websites and podcasts and into many online forums? Just curious.

I don't have anything to back this up but my own feelings...but it feels to me like your position is more and more common in church nowadays. It seems to be what leadership is considering and praying about. From their perspective...it is looked at as "a need to strengthen the faith of the members" or perhaps "rescue the lost"...for various reasons.

But as more and more people understand, experience, and even feel like you do, and still find a place in church...well...it does seem like the church can accept it and stop coming up with alternative stories on how to describe it...and just realize some people believe what they believe...and it is OK.

I look forward to learning more from your posts. Thanks for sharing.

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 27 Mar 2017, 16:43
by DoubtingTom
Heber13 wrote:
27 Mar 2017, 10:58

Do you do a lot of studying on your own, or do you use websites and podcasts and into many online forums? Just curious.
I do try to do a lot of studying when I can between a busy job, 4 kids, and a smoking hot wife that I love spending quality time with haha.

Right now I'm reading through BH Roberts Studies and it's enlightening. I read Rough Stone Rolling many years ago when it first came out and plan to read again with a new faith viewpoint now. I have a fairly small library of books including JS first vision accounts, a history of the temple changes, and other such books that i was somehow able to read with a faithful persepctive. Now that my shelf has crashed down, it's hard for me to imagine really how I could have clung to my belief with everything I knew about the church. I guess the mental gymnastics required finally came to a head.

I used to spend a lot of time reading through critics online (CES Letter, MormonThink, etc), fact checking the sources, and reading apologetic responses (FAIR and FARMS), but I tend to spend less time doing that now. I think I'm settling into my current faith and less exploring, although church history continues to fascinate me and I will continue studying I'm sure.

Now I spend a lot of time catching up on Mormon Stories podcasts during my commute and runs. I also started listening to MyBookofMormon podcast (hilarious and refreshing viewpoint) and want to tackle the Year of Polygamy podcast as well.

Any recommedations are certainly welcome. I am still a little hesitant to purchase some of the books I'd like to read as I fear how my wife will react to me having them in the home. Even though I already have a number of books that bring up questionable history, I had those before I lost my faith so it seems different somehow. Maybe she'd be fine with it so I should just do it. Some books I'd like to read are Grant Palmer, Fawn Brodie, Leonard Arrington biography, Mormon Enigma, In Sacred Loneliness, among many others.

I am only active so far on this forum. I sometimes browse some of the reddit forums, but don't feel like joining those right now. This seems like more of the community I'm looking for.

So that's a long answer but the short answer is yes, I love to study and learn more and any recommendations are more than welcome!

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 08:14
by Heber13
DoubtingTom wrote:
27 Mar 2017, 16:43
I do try to do a lot of studying when I can between a busy job, 4 kids, and a smoking hot wife that I love spending quality time with haha.
:thumbup: Sounds like you are keeping your priorities!! :D

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 08:27
by LookingHard
DoubtingTom wrote:
27 Mar 2017, 16:43
Do you do a lot of studying on your own, or do you use websites and podcasts and into many online forums? Just curious.
I do try to do a lot of studying when I can between a busy job, 4 kids, and a smoking hot wife that I love spending quality time with haha.
DoubtingTom wrote:Now that my shelf has crashed down, it's hard for me to imagine really how I could have clung to my belief with everything I knew about the church. I guess the mental gymnastics required finally came to a head.

You are not alone. I have tried to stop saying, "how could you????" and I have studied more about how the brain works and it explains much of it and I find it all fascinating now ("Hidden Brain" and "You are not that smart" podcasts are :thumbup: ) I also draw upon that to have patience and understanding with those that are still "fully in." Don't assume you are going to be able to change others thinking by throwing the CES letter at them or something.
DoubtingTom wrote:I used to spend a lot of time reading through critics online (CES Letter, MormonThink, etc), fact checking the sources, and reading apologetic responses (FAIR and FARMS), but I tend to spend less time doing that now. I think I'm settling into my current faith and less exploring, although church history continues to fascinate me and I will continue studying I'm sure.
I had my FC 4+ years ago. I have noticed a common progression. Shock, emotional turmoil, insatiable desire to learn more (books, podcasts, blogs, etc.), figuring out what they want to do, and most then move on - either find a way that they are OK saying LDS or they move on. Most people then stop spending so much time studying church history and related stuff. They just lose interest in it. There are some that don't fit the pattern, but it seems fairly consistent.
DoubtingTom wrote:Now I spend a lot of time catching up on Mormon Stories podcasts during my commute and runs. I also started listening to MyBookofMormon podcast (hilarious and refreshing viewpoint) and want to tackle the Year of Polygamy podcast as well.
I would certainly recommend mormondiscussionpodcast.org, A Thoughtful Faith, Faith Transitions, Mormon Mental health, Rational Faiths, and Mormon Matters.
If in a mixed faith marriage, "Healthy MoJo Podcast"
DoubtingTom wrote:Any recommedations are certainly welcome. I am still a little hesitant to purchase some of the books I'd like to read as I fear how my wife will react to me having them in the home. Even though I already have a number of books that bring up questionable history, I had those before I lost my faith so it seems different somehow. Maybe she'd be fine with it so I should just do it. Some books I'd like to read are Grant Palmer, Fawn Brodie, Leonard Arrington biography, Mormon Enigma, In Sacred Loneliness, among many others.
These are on my list also and I have the same reservation, but I have such an unread stack of books I have a self-imposed "don't buy any more books until the stack of unread books is less than 6 inches."
DoubtingTom wrote:I am only active so far on this forum. I sometimes browse some of the reddit forums, but don't feel like joining those right now. This seems like more of the community I'm looking for.
I have also had this site as my "home" the last few years. Just lately I have branched out into some of the facebook groups (I held off until I at least came clean with my wife). I like these groups Former Mormons with Believing Spouses, A Deeper understanding of LDS History, Mormon Stories Podcast Community, A Thoughtful Faith Support Group. I read reddit/r/exmormon and I get info, but I just don't relate to it that much. Still too many "burn the church down" angry exmo's. Sometimes the point they make is good, but they just seem to be making it with giving the finger in both hands. I think I want more thoughtful commentary. Having said that, when I go on a walk in my neighborhood and listen to some of the Infants on Thrones podcasts, I get looks as I am very literally LOL'ing and it just looks funny. BTW - Infants on Thrones is quite vulgar and the hosts really get into it (but usually they have some deeper thoughts between the plethora of f-bombs and making fun of anything they can - even themselves).

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 09:58
by DarkJedi
Book wise, I'd suggest Crucible of Doubt.

Re: A scary awakening

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 16:18
by Curt Sunshine
Amen to Crucible of Doubt. I just finished reading it again. If your vocabulary isn't a strength, you might need a dictionary handy, but it is worth it.