Attempting equilibrium

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Rumin8
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 Mar 2018, 14:00

Attempting equilibrium

Post by Rumin8 » 17 Apr 2018, 17:01

Hello Friends. I know it's likely presumptuous to call you that, but I've lurked on this site for a long time. Too long, really. I've never registered to post before now because I didn't feel like I had anything to contribute from the haze of my own challenges and confusion. In an attempt to write my "story" to publish here, I ended up writing over 20 pages of my own "church history." I'll not subject you to that (I can barely read it).

The short version is this: I'm firmly mired in stage 4. I've been here in this stage, forever.

The less short version:

I'm in my mid 40s, and have lived in Zion (Utah :lol:) my whole life. I've spent nearly 30 years wanting to get out of the bubble. Now, I think I've found ways to stay, and even enjoy this great place. My wife is a borderline TBM who is nevertheless very giving and loving, even though she is scared and threatened by what I'm going through. I can't say whether she's supportive or not, since we don't talk about my status very often (it's almost like she's afraid to ask). Charitably I can say that she is trying to be supportive. That said, I made some commitments and promises to her when I started to act on my long-running faith crisis. I've painted myself in a bit of a corner. And that's the biggest issue I'm trying to navigate now. I may share more on that down the road a bit.

I have experienced a sustained crisis of faith since before my mission, maybe even back to my early primary days. It has ebbed and flowed, until it reached a point several years ago that I could not ignore. I'm a very, very private person. On top of that, I have set firm rules with my friends, family, and acquaintances that I strenuously avoid the topics of religion and politics. I now have a few confidants (not my wife) that I can share and be 100% authentic with. One day I hope I can do this with my wife, but we have a ways to go. What has literally SAVED me, and helped me try to navigate to some form of equilibrium are those confidants. I gained the courage to confide in others from the people on this site. THANK YOU. Between these confidants, and you guys, I have been able to chart a course. Like all courses, from time to time a storm pushes me this way or that, or I have to make a course correction to avoid obstacles. But I'm finally learning about how to use to the tools to do so. Again, mostly from you people.

If I had not been willing to reach out and share my doubts and challenges with a select few people, I would not have learned that I am far from alone. We don't have to be "all-in" all the time. The members of the church are not as monochromatic as I have feared. All of us, even the black-and white TBMs are just trying to do their best.

I've learned to set boundaries and my own rules on what I am willing to accept, believe, and act upon. This philosophy relies on a number of keystones:
1) I am my own agent.
2) What happens between me and God stays between me and God (I call this my Vegas principal). :shh:
3) I am the judge of my own worthiness. This includes my thoughts and actions regarding whitewashed/non-authentic church history, tithing, WoW, and temple recommends.
4) I have never, nor will I ever, confide in a bishop or other ward or stake officer.
5) I do not ever plan to "come out" to my parents or extended family members.
6) I have to separate what I call the "corporate church" and the "gospel church." I try to ignore the things that really bother me about the former for the sake of the latter.
7) I am willing to "go with the flow" with church attendance and other "corporate church" things more than I would care to do for the sake of my marriage and children.

Today is a good day. I'm feeling upbeat about things. I'm having a moment of equilibrium. We'll see how long it lasts. I have a child going on a mission this summer. I will have to attend the temple (which makes my teeth hurt to think about) and all the other things that go with sending a child on a mission, with the added challenge that it is for a church I'm struggling to believe in. Breath. Deep breath. I can do this. :|

Thanks for listening. Hopefully I'll find ways to contribute to this great group of people in the future.
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

Minyan Man
Posts: 1489
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by Minyan Man » 17 Apr 2018, 20:35

Welcome Rumin8. Your introduction sounds very familiar. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone.
Keep coming back & Keep posting.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16061
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Apr 2018, 23:09

It is really late, so I just want to welcome you and thank you for your introduction.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
Posts: 5002
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by Roy » 19 Apr 2018, 10:19

Welcome Rumin,

This is not an easy road for any of us to travel but it sounds like you are preceding in thoughtful, measured steps. That is all any body can ask for.

Roy
"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

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nibbler
Posts: 3702
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by nibbler » 19 Apr 2018, 18:35

It sounds like you've got an excellent handle on things. :thumbup:

Welcome to StayLDS.
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold
-Jesus

Ann
Posts: 2572
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by Ann » 19 Apr 2018, 20:11

I now have a few confidants (not my wife) that I can share and be 100% authentic with. One day I hope I can do this with my wife, but we have a ways to go. What has literally SAVED me, and helped me try to navigate to some form of equilibrium are those confidants.
You’re really fortunate, but I can tell you already know that :-) Until you can speak as freely as you’d like with your wife, I hope being here helps.
"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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SilentDawning
Posts: 6798
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Apr 2018, 16:04

Rumin8 wrote:
17 Apr 2018, 17:01
I've learned to set boundaries and my own rules on what I am willing to accept, believe, and act upon. This philosophy relies on a number of keystones:
1) I am my own agent.
2) What happens between me and God stays between me and God (I call this my Vegas principal). :shh:
3) I am the judge of my own worthiness. This includes my thoughts and actions regarding whitewashed/non-authentic church history, tithing, WoW, and temple recommends.
4) I have never, nor will I ever, confide in a bishop or other ward or stake officer.
5) I do not ever plan to "come out" to my parents or extended family members.
6) I have to separate what I call the "corporate church" and the "gospel church." I try to ignore the things that really bother me about the former for the sake of the latter.
7) I am willing to "go with the flow" with church attendance and other "corporate church" things more than I would care to do for the sake of my marriage and children.
This is great! I could have written it! I believe very part of it pretty much the way you've written it. Great synthesis of my own strategy. I think you will do well.

Although being a fringe player is a challenge, which often disturbs the equilibrium -- normally when the leaders want a bigger piece of you than your boundaries have allowed -- TBM's have their challenges too -- the stress of their callings, having to be corporate and managerial when the bad stuff happens (been there, done that). I also think putting in a lot of commitment can weaken your reslience when leaders and members don't "behave". If I am not putting in a lot, and someone misbehaves, even badly, it's not so much of a big deal to me anymore because I no longer have a big stake. And I'm no longer offended by people who don't like the church because I no longer have the same admiration for it that I once did. I still "like" it, but not the way a TBM does.

Anyway, welcome, thanks for letting us know your story. Glad to think others consider my own strategy viable, and it seems to be working.

If you're like me, after a while the church is just "there", a sideline thing in your life, getting most of its attention on StayLDS in a way that is acceptable to me.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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LDS_Scoutmaster
Posts: 210
Joined: 21 Jan 2015, 23:30
Location: SoCal

Re: Attempting equilibrium

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 23 Apr 2018, 14:17

I agree you have a good handle on your faith evolution. I'm sure you've had your dark moments and those are dreary, but it sounds like you have a balanced mindset which will continue to help you navigate. Welcome friend!
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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