Been holding cards very close to vest.

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Codependent
Posts: 4
Joined: 29 Aug 2018, 10:25

Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by Codependent » 08 Dec 2018, 18:17

So, where has this forum been hiding? Well, I am glad I have found you guys (and gals) at last. You see my faith crises (I like that phrase, often used in this forum, for describing the event that shifted my world) happened about 30 years ago. Then the only place to explore Mormon issues in a non-orthodox and logical way was to go to the library and read Sunstone Magazine or Dialogue, A Journal of Mormon Thought, which I was doing doing one day when one of my Ward member friends (was soon to be HC) saw me and told me I was going to become inactive if I kept reading this anti-Mormon stuff. That is what happened to his brother he said. On the other hand I struck up a conversation with a co-worker one day, he was on his way out of the church, figuratively, and after having several long discussions with him on the bus commute to and from work, I tired of his constant anti attitude, but found I could never change the subject with him. If I saw him at work he would immediately start his diatribe all over again, I mean it was really weird as he would not say "Hi, how your doing," or any pleasantries, he would just start in on how the church did this thing or that thing that he disapproved of, and would actually follow me if I tried to dodge him. So yea, I learned not to talk much about my thoughts and feelings. I knew how my wife felt. When I expressed my doubts to her she went through the roof. I wasn't ready to get a divorce over my doubts, or lose my children. I actually did talk to my bishop early on, and he did his best to help, even volunteering to study with me week-day mornings, but I didn't see that as being a conversation between equals or where my point of view would be seriously considered. HIs best advice was, "if you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and sit on it." So the internet and forums and blogs and all kinds of info eventually did come along. Of course there were only two flavors, essentially, orthodox or anti (or whatever synonym best applies). Which has kept me in a state of agitation for much of the past thirty years, "if I were any kind of man", I would say to myself," I would just quit the church. But you know I still want to keep my wife and children (all grown now, but now I have grandchildren to consider), and the church is not all bad. But I have been carrying around this weight of feeling like a hypocrite, which has caused me to mumble through HT lessons and any other lessons I have been involved in (primary mostly). I have always suspected others have felt as disenfranchised as me, but no way was I ever going to make myself vulnerable by expressing anything that sounded like doubt again.
So anyway thanks, thanks a lot. I went to tithing settlement last week and kind of enjoyed it. I feel I am OK at church, just the way I am. I am not saying there are still a lot of things I would like to see change, but for now I am OK.

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dande48
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Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by dande48 » 08 Dec 2018, 19:53

Hi Codependent!

Glad you found us. We always enjoy "seeing new faces" around here.

It's tough to be "Stay LDS", as you might call it, where you choose to remain a member (to whatever extent), despite having doubts, unorthodox beliefs, and/or strongly disagreeing with certain Church teachings, policies, or practices. I think many of us wonder, "What do we do now?", and it's a decision some of us have to make time and time again. And it's a choice no one can make for us... as well as one with no right answer. For me, at least, it's a balancing act between my wife, my kids, my spirituality, my sanity, and my friends, and it's not always cut and dry as to what's the best for any of them.

A few thoughts I had reading through your story:
-People will suprise you. My wife was particularly kind towards me when I "came out of the closet". It's tough, but she's still committed to me and I am committed to her. In some ways, we're closer. I don't know your family situation, but I'd be willing to bet they wouldn't reject you for it.
-I figure it's better to be hated for who I am, than loved as someone I'm not.
-I personally don't have a temple recommend, because I don't feel I can honestly answer those first belief questions they ask in the interview. I've never "failed" one, just decided not to show up. I also don't hold a calling... and well, after a few years they stopped asking me. It's really not as bad as it seems to most active members. I'd rather be a member of the Church on my own terms, and set my own boundaries. I tried faking it for a long time, but I feel more happy being open and authentic with what I believe.
Codependent wrote:
08 Dec 2018, 18:17
I feel I am OK at church, just the way I am. I am not saying there are still a lot of things I would like to see change, but for now I am OK.
I am so happy to hear this. Being "OK" at Church is a pretty great place to be. :thumbup:
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Dec 2018, 05:31

Welcome to the forum and I'm glad you found us. Thirty years is a long time to have learned how to cope and it sounds lie you have learned quite a bit. As dande said, being OK at church is a good place to be, as is being OK with the church. You probably have a good amount of wisdom to share here. Please don't be a stranger.
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."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Dec 2018, 20:46

Welcome! I am glad you found us.

We don't have "the answer" to anything, but I think we are a good, safe place to share "our current answers" and learn from each other.
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
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by Roy » 10 Dec 2018, 10:43

Welcome Codependent.
Codependent wrote:
08 Dec 2018, 18:17
On the other hand I struck up a conversation with a co-worker one day, he was on his way out of the church, figuratively, and after having several long discussions with him on the bus commute to and from work, I tired of his constant anti attitude, but found I could never change the subject with him. If I saw him at work he would immediately start his diatribe all over again, I mean it was really weird as he would not say "Hi, how your doing," or any pleasantries, he would just start in on how the church did this thing or that thing that he disapproved of, and would actually follow me if I tried to dodge him.
I think I can understand this. We StayLDSers sometimes live in an environment where we feel that we see something that nobody around us sees and that nobody wants to talk about. That can make us hungry for validation and when we find somebody who can be an outlet for us the built up pressure may be overwhelming for that person to handle. One of the "best practices" that we talk about around here are to "avoid emotionally vomiting on someone" and to not "dump all at once". I too may have been guilty of this more times than I would like.
Codependent wrote:
08 Dec 2018, 18:17
"if I were any kind of man", I would say to myself," I would just quit the church.
Church is not very validating for me. Mostly because I do not pay tithing and attend only sporadically (due to work) I feel that I am perceived as someone who is weak or struggling. Admittedly I prefer this to the alternative as someone who is seen as a obstinate threat "wolf in sheep's clothing". I deal with this partly because I minimize the footprint of the LDS church in my life. I do not need the approval of the ward, they are just people I go to church with. They are good people. I like most of them and try to treat them and their beliefs with respect - but I do not need their approval.

Again welcome. I am sure that after 30 years you have developed some best practices of your own.
"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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PazamaManX
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Nov 2018, 03:21

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by PazamaManX » 10 Dec 2018, 17:51

Hi Codependent :wave:

You have found a great place to be. I haven't been here long, but I've greatly enjoyed and benefited from getting everyone's thoughts and experiences. People here really seem to be honest, helpful and understanding.
Roy wrote:
10 Dec 2018, 10:43
Codependent wrote:
08 Dec 2018, 18:17
On the other hand I struck up a conversation with a co-worker one day, he was on his way out of the church, figuratively, and after having several long discussions with him on the bus commute to and from work, I tired of his constant anti attitude, but found I could never change the subject with him. If I saw him at work he would immediately start his diatribe all over again, I mean it was really weird as he would not say "Hi, how your doing," or any pleasantries, he would just start in on how the church did this thing or that thing that he disapproved of, and would actually follow me if I tried to dodge him.
I think I can understand this. We StayLDSers sometimes live in an environment where we feel that we see something that nobody around us sees and that nobody wants to talk about. That can make us hungry for validation and when we find somebody who can be an outlet for us the built up pressure may be overwhelming for that person to handle. One of the "best practices" that we talk about around here are to "avoid emotionally vomiting on someone" and to not "dump all at once". I too may have been guilty of this more times than I would like.

I know I am guilty of this in my own life. Whenever I visit my dad, at least an hour seems to get dedicated to both of us mutually complaining about our less than positive church experiences. I do this with another friend of mine also. Of course it's never anything "anti". Just the kind of discussion you'd find on here. I think it's healthy for people to do, as long both sides are honest and open to truth. Once it gets into the more bitter "anti" stuff, it just feeds on it's own distaste (I'm guessing this might've been how it was for your coworker?).

Anyways, welcome! Glad to have you here :thumbup:
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 12 Dec 2018, 16:15

Welcome to the forum, it's great to find people where it's safe to express doubts and frustrations, get some advice, etc.

We're all icebergs here in a sense that we only see these little bits of each other's views, but I can say it's helped me tremendously to have a sounding board. Thanks to everyone for their input.

Welcome again looking forward to your views.
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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West
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Joined: 26 Aug 2014, 14:42

Re: Been holding cards very close to vest.

Post by West » 30 Dec 2018, 00:39

Hey there! I'm late to the party, but welcome to the forum! You're certainly not alone in feeling disenfranchised about the church; just the other day, one of my still-active friends who actually works at the Church Office Building went on a rant about all the issues with the current church culture and leadership, and she isn't alone among my friend group. I've since made peace with where I stand in believe (or rather not believing or practicing) this particular religion, but I greatly respect the folks on this board, since they helped me out through my really rough faith crises and transition, and I hope this place can be just as helpful for you! :)
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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