I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
magicmusician
Posts: 76
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 04:40

I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by magicmusician » 16 Mar 2009, 02:36

I cant bring myself to start going back to services on sundays
there is so much that I am having troubles with surrounding the church that its crazy

parts of it is historical yes and I know that people say not to focus on the history BUT imho it is our history that brings us to who we are
we learn from it and it forms parts of our identity

i had a really strange dream in which I was at the fromt row of GC and Pres. Monson was speaking - I got up and said
"ok maybe the church wasnt ready to treat blacks as equals until the 70's so maybe thats why God chose to wait 80 odd years, dont you think its a good job that Christ DIDNT wait 80 years to hang out with lepers?"

and this really told me something - no matter how "ready" the church's people are for something so BASIC so FUNDAMENTAL as all people are equal regardless of the colour of their skin, we should still have been taught it from day 1

this is just one part of it and my issues are so long and complex that no matter what I do i cant seem to resolve them
I have prayed, studied scriptures, read all sorts of other LDS based books (deseret books distributed stuff so not ANTI in any way)
and no matter what I do - I cant seem to feel how I did
I am not looking for an excuse to have a drink or enjoy a cup of tea
This is really hard for me - I feel like I am cutting off a limb. I am cutting off a major part of my community and social circle. I feel like I cant communicate all of my issues to the missionarries or other people in the church because I dont want to bring them down with me

I really WANT to beleive the church is what I was taught it was as an investigator at the moment I cant
All of the basics I was taught - they are sugar coating the real nitty gritty of the Church

The first vision - how many versions are there of that now?

I know that some people on here say that they are happy to keep going to church and not go to the temple because they feel uneasy in the temple
I also felt REAL bad in the temple
and for me personally - I cant keep going to church while thinking "the temple isnt a good place for me to be"

so many issues
so little time
*sigh*

User avatar
Brian Johnston
Site Admin
Posts: 3490
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 06:17
Location: Washington DC

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Brian Johnston » 16 Mar 2009, 10:43

magicmusician wrote:I cant bring myself to start going back to services on sundays
there is so much that I am having troubles with surrounding the church that its crazy
There is never going to be a way to go back to that point. I don't think so at least. I could be wrong, but I don't see it. You have to redefine your relationship, if it ends up working for you.

Our history brought us to where we are now, but our history is in the past. Things change. People change. Institutions change. Hopefully we personally change in our lives as we go through and live them. I am different than I was 20 years ago. I am glad. Maybe try to think of the Church as a person like that?

I know it's tough.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16536
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Mar 2009, 13:51

magicmusician, first, try not to beat yourself up over this. It's not easy, and one of the core problems of mortality is that we tend to want things to be easy. "Life is pain, Highness."

Second, one of the things that helped me find a way to frame how I view the Church's early history was an epiphany I had years ago while reading the allegory of the Olive Tree in Jacob 5. Verses 64-66 talk about "the last time" the vineyard will be pruned, and they phrase it this way:
64 Wherefore, dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more, for the last time, for the end draweth nigh. And if it be so that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow.
65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.
If you read these verses carefully, it is obvious that "The Church" will contain LOTS of bitter fruit that will need to be pruned and burned - and that this process will occur gradually so that the church can survive and continue to be pruned. That is incredibly profound, imo, because it says very clearly that "The Apostasy" (at the very least its effects) will live on in the Church after the Restoration - that there will be a lot of crap that has to be worked out before the Church is pure and presentable to God.

I look at the history of the Church, and I see quite clearly the effects or The Apostasy on the early members, on Joseph and Brigham and others. I see those effects still in the Church today - but I'm OK with them specifically because I can see how the Lord said it would be that way over 2000 years ago when Jacob had his vision.

I don't have any practical advice, other than to pursue a spiritual relationship with God outside the Church, but the foundation of my ability to remain an active part of the Church consists of two things: 1) my spiritual experiences that are related directly to the Church; 2) my understanding of the PROCESS of restoration that I explained above. I don't expect perfection, and I actually expect messiness, so I'm not crushed when I see imperfection and messiness.

I hope that helps somehow, but, most of all, no matter how, I hope you find a degree of peace - even if it requires stepping away from active involvement for a while until you find a way to create a peaceful foundation.
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

User avatar
Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Tom Haws » 18 Mar 2009, 12:21

magicmusician wrote:so many issues
so little time
*sigh*
Indeed.
magicmusician wrote:no matter how "ready" the church's people are for something so BASIC so FUNDAMENTAL as all people are equal regardless of the colour of their skin, we should still have been taught it from day 1
True. But we weren't. And it wasn't right. And that reflects the vision of our leaders and members. And that is a weakness of the LDS tradition. But it's still my church, and I believe I can love it.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

magicmusician
Posts: 76
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 04:40

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by magicmusician » 26 Mar 2009, 03:09

But if the leaders are weak - making their teachings weak- then it makes the whole thing weak

you know I LOVE the stuff about family
plan of slavation
and all that stuff

(tithing is an issue for me now because of everything else but thats another story)

but take away all those "bricks"
and i feel that I am left with a really rotten foundation built on sand

i am NOT trying to take away what anyone else beleives or thinks
i am just really frustrated right now

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16536
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 Mar 2009, 11:44

but take away all those bricks and you're dealing with a totally different organization.

Sure, the nature of mortal leaders brings plenty of sand into the picture, but those leaders also are what bring us the bricks. Ultimately, I think the issue for each of us to reconcile is how to make the bricks more important to us than the sand. We can work to sweep the sand out of our own private perspectives, but when it comes to "The Church", that sand gets swept much more slowly. Somehow, we have to reconcile the difference in sand removal speed.
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

User avatar
Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Tom Haws » 27 Mar 2009, 11:07

magicmusician wrote:But if the leaders are weak - making their teachings weak- then it makes the whole thing weak
For some reason this brings tears to my eyes. Maybe it's because I have just spent a year studying the Arbinger Institute books: The Peacegiver, Bonds that Make Us Free, The Anatomy of Peace, Leadership and Self-deception, The Choice, Angels Among Us, etc. There is something about the vision of the church as weak that awakens my compassion.

Thank you for using that word, Gabe. I needed it. If you need more about Arbinger, let me know.
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

User avatar
hawkgrrrl
Site Admin
Posts: 3507
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by hawkgrrrl » 27 Mar 2009, 14:47

But if the leaders are weak - making their teachings weak- then it makes the whole thing weak
Weakness is an interesting concept. The leaders are not, for example, feeble-minded; they are not adulterous womanizers. Weakness implies a comparison to something stronger. If you compare your strong points (your higher moral ground on racism, for instance) to their weak points (the racism of leaders past), you will always come out on top. Doubtless, leaders are better than me in many ways and not as good as me in others. They aren't leaders because they were the "best" person on the planet. Everyone has flaws. Maybe their flaws qualify them at a given time as much as their strengths do.

Rodh
Posts: 16
Joined: 07 Mar 2009, 17:45

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Rodh » 29 Mar 2009, 16:33

Re: Blacks and the priesthood

Ecclesiastes 3
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16536
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: I cant bring myself to do it.... (long post)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Mar 2009, 22:19

I've believed something for a long time that just hit me in a slightly different way than ever before. It's not profound, but it did come to me in a little different wording. I hope it helps somehow.

I think (nearly?) all of us pine naturally for a time that never has existed - a time when dissonance and struggle and pain and paradox didn't exist - when leaders spoke complete truth in purity and power and simply following them guaranteed success and peace. When you look at the unique Mormon contributions to Christian theology, however, one of the bedrock principles is phrased within Buddhism (and Princess Bride) thus:
Life is pain.


I can understand intellectually and emotionally why what we view as Lucifer's alternate plan would be enticing enough to pull 1/3 of the host of heaven to its side. After all, it would have eliminated much of what tears at our hearts and minds and makes us wish for a better time. I also can understand intellectually and emotionally the almost fanatical emphasis on "enduring to the end".

I wish I had a better "answer", but I don't. All I can say is that I know personally it is possible to reconcile any issue - IF that is what you decide you want to do. It's easier for some than for others, and perhaps I am one for whom it is easier, but I know for myself that it can be done.
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

Post Reply