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Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 08:18
by Opalsky
I never expected myself to search for a Mormon support group but I have been struggling so here I am. I thought I'd give it a shot.
So here's some of the things I am struggling with.
Dating: I find it very hard to find any people who I am compatible with who are also mormon.
Culture: there's a lot of things I can't stand about the culture of the church. For example I feel like if you are a convert or don't fit into a cookie cutter mold for whatever reason you're treated like a project.
Politics: culture bleeds over into politics and I feel like an outsider who has differing political views than the vast majority of church members
Connections: I feel like I have almost no Mormon connections. At institute and at my ward I have nobody who I am close to. I have been in my ward my whole life and people are friendly, but I still feel like genuine friendships are missing.
Repentance: I have some things I need to repent for and I've been working on improving those things personally, but I've never talked to my bishop about it. my previous bishop and current bishop are people I know and I feel too embarrassed because I don't have an established level of trust with these people.
Faith: I have a testimony of the gospel but there's things I have doubts about like the afterlife, and even though I have faith I can't help doubts like this to permeate my mind.
These might be small things to affect my feelings about the church but they impact me deeply and they cause me to sometimes go to church late or miss relief society or avoid having a calling with any heavy level of responsibility. I have social anxiety and it's hard. But I don't think it's only my fault that I am not blending in with the crowd. I feel like me and my mom are treated sort of like outsiders. I still believe the church is true and I try to obey the commandments and be a good example and try to live like the savior does. I haven't let it affect how I live my life. But it's still difficult.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 10:28
by LookingHard
Welcome Opalsky,

Thanks for sharing. This site is a "Tinder" replacement for those that are Mormon, but not average Mormons :D

Having said that I do hope that we can help. I don't have time to write much as I have to leave for church in 5 minutes and I need to get ready.

But welcome!

Re: Introduction

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 13:39
by DarkJedi
Welcome to the forum. I had approved you post but didn't have time right then to respond. This is a safe place full of people who practice true charity. I hope you find peace and solace here - we'll do our best!

I certainly can't answer all your questions, but I can give you my two cents (for free even!) - but remember what you get may not be worth any more than you paid for it.

Dating: I married when I was almost 31. I get it. I was much more orthodox there back then, but I do believe this: there are people out there with the qualities and attributes seek. The trick is finding them. (They're probably quietly sitting in the back like you are, or maybe not there at all.)
Culture: Yeah, I have problems with the culture, but not the same ones you mention. I am a convert but I also live in the "mission field" (in other words where the church is actually true). I dislike being a project and I'm not ashamed to tell people so. Some here like to "pretend" we're observers of the culture (including me). I like it from that point of view - it makes me laugh sometimes and makes me cry sometimes. I also step out of the observer role as necessary and gently point out the differences between this culture/tradition and the gospel.
Politics: I am a newshound. But I do try to follow the rule of not socially discussing religion or politics. Of course we talk religion at church, but I am fairly adamant about not dissing other churches/religions and not discussing politics. Again, I live in the "mission field" in a liberal state, so not everybody in my ward is a Republican or Trump lover (there are hardly any of the latter). Just move on if politics creeps in.
Connections: If you want o know who your friends are at church, stop going - but don't be surprised. Maybe you should consider moving to a different ward and make some new friends or try a YSA/singles ward (you don't say your age and that's OK). Making friends at church is just like making friends anywhere else.
Repentance: Repentance actually means change or a change of direction (toward God). It's not generally what many members seem to think it is and it's generally much easier than we think. Everyone - every - single - one - of the people who asked Jesus for forgiveness in the New testament was forgiven on the spot. Never underestimate mercy and grace. You may not need to see your bishop.
Faith: One of our mantras is "Take it slow, focus on what you do believe, and don't dump all at once." This is good advice for you. It's not all or nothing, you can not believe in polygamy (and lots of other things) and still have a temple recommend. My own recommendation is to focus on your testimony of Christ (and recognize there is a difference in the gospel, "this gospel" - a term I dislike - and the church).
Finally none of these things are little. If they're big to you, they're big.
Don't be a stranger, come back and share your thoughts.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 16:28
by Beefster
Hey! Another single person!



*high five* if you would rather

Dating: Yup. There are like 4 girls in my ward who I'm attracted to. I have my doubts on compatibility, especially considering my current status of belief.

Culture: Totally with you there. My best friend and I both poked fun at it on a wiki. He's pretty TBM, but he hates a lot of aspects of Mormon culture.

Politics: My political views differ from most Americans. I think both Republicans and Democrats are wrong. :P

Connections: I got ridiculously lucky my first year after my mission. Haven't made friends like them since. I have social anxiety myself, so I can relate.

Repentance: I'm pretty open about sexual stuff if that's what you struggle with. Just PM me if you feel uncomfortable talking about it in the open. If that feels iffy for you, I respect that.

Faith: I love the essence of the gospel- a model for self-improvement. I personally think it's most productive to live as if there is no afterlife because it helps you to focus on what matters most right now, not in the eternities nobody is certain about. In all my time going through counseling for depression, I realized that the here and the now is what matters most for your own wellbeing and happiness. If you're always thinking about the future, you never give yourself permission to be satisfied with the present. If there is an afterlife, great. You'll most likely be rewarded if you were a good person who lived a good life.

Take all the time you need here. This community will support you no matter where your questioning takes you.

If you're in Colorado, we should meet up. :D

Re: Introduction

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 16:51
by Curt Sunshine
I have very little time right now, but I want to welcome you to our Island of Misfit Toys.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 20:41
by dande48
Hi Opalsky!

I'm glad you find us. I remember googling for the first time, "How to stay LDS when you don't really believe". Lots of good folks here, with a lot of perspectives.

Dating: I feel you. I think it's hard, both inside and outside of the Church. Have you met someone outside the Church you'd be interested in?

Culture/politics: It's very hard for most people to seperate culture and politics from religious doctrine. I'm not sure there is a distinction anymore, as it seems every age and every belief system can cherry-pick the scriptures to support their political agenda. As far as being treated like a project, it's hard for people to empathize with those who are different from them. We've got such a strong focus on saving people (which is good in its proper place), that we end up trying to fix what's not broken.

Connections: My wife cried on the way home from church today, because she felt like she had no friends. We've got no home teachers, no visiting teachers, no one reaching out to us... especailly when you need help and support, it's rough to feel sidelined. But I think this is more of a human problem. People are shy, preoccupied with their own affairs, oblivious to what's going on around them...

Repentance: Two suggestions. If you can afford it, talk to a therapist. Also, there is REMARKABLE value in the Catholic confessional. IMHO, they do it better than we do. You can spill whatever you need to, to a priest who has devoted himself to God. Yet he'll look you in the eye with infinite kindness, sympathy and compassion, and say, "I understand".

Faith: I had those anxieties too, even back in my younger days when I was a TBM. I even had a YSA Bishop give me explicit permission to only stay in Church as long as I could stand it. I had a very hard time enduring even through Sacrament Meeting. Buddhism is something that has given me a lot of peace about the more supernatural/metaphysical aspects of our religion. He likened those questions to a man who was shot with a poison arrow. The man's family brought the local physician, but before he was allowed to operate, the wounded man insisted to know who had shot him. And the Buddha said, "The man would die, and still not know these things". He insisted what was most important was the problem at hand. Focusing on far off questions will only distract us. There is pain and suffering here and now, and a means to overcome it.

You're a good person, Opalsky. Everything is going to be okay.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 01 Apr 2018, 08:05
by Opalsky
Thanks for the replies and welcome everyone. Sorry I don't have time to reply all of you individually. Https:// this talk is geared towards women but I think it's a good talk for everyone. :)

Re: Introduction

Posted: 04 Apr 2018, 09:21
by Roy
Opalsky wrote:
01 Apr 2018, 08:05
Thanks for the replies and welcome everyone. Sorry I don't have time to reply all of you individually. Https:// this talk is geared towards women but I think it's a good talk for everyone. :)
Cheiko Okazaki is timeless. Thank you for the uplifting message.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 04 Apr 2018, 12:15
by Curt Sunshine
Chieko Okazaki was one of my favorite General Authorities - and I can't help but think of her in those terms.

Re: Introduction

Posted: 07 Apr 2018, 16:52
by nibbler
Opalsky wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 08:18
I have social anxiety and it's hard. But I don't think it's only my fault that I am not blending in with the crowd.
I have social anxiety also and boy oh boy does church culture try to get people with social anxieties out of their comfort zones. People act like your very salvation depends on your ability to extrovert like a pro.

Welcome to StayLDS.