SilentDawning wrote: ↑
20 May 2017, 06:52
I don't even think fully living the gospel brings happiness. [Emphasis added by H13]
Heber13 wrote: ↑
19 May 2017, 10:23
They see the church as the vehicle to get them to that destination [edit: Happiness?], and so they talk about it that way. They aren't necessarily wrong.
But I have the same frustrations you seem to be expressing...it can seem to resort to "church activity" is all that matters...as in...church activity will translate to happiness, instead of living the gospel will translate to happiness.
Sometimes the things they ask you to do cause untold stress and unhappiness. I know that staying in my marriage due to the temple covenant and promise I'd made was a massive source of unhappiness for many years until I learned to cope. Staying in my calling when I was burnt out caused misery. Exposure to toxic personalities in the church -- moreso than any other place in my service realms -- that plunged me into the depths of misery.
I just cannot disagree enough with the underlined statement above. I think it is because this point has become the center of MY journey, although I realize it does not makes sense or is not meaningful to other people, and I sound like an idiot to others.
Based on your experiences you've shared SD...you are not wrong in your view of how the church and church service shape your feelings. I just want to try to make that as clear as possible...you are completely 100% valid in feeling like you do...and so many others reading your posts identify with the feelings your express so well...and I learn a lot from your posts, so thanks for sharing your view.
But I think we both agree it is not the only valid view of things. From my own personal experiences, I do not see it that way at all, and actually see that living the gospel fully, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (if we can find out what that is separate and apart from church itself) is exactly the very thing that leads to complete and total happiness. It is the only way. Jesus is the only way. It is the very thing that gives us the strength and perspectives to know how to deal with pain and suffering that sometimes comes with church service, or our personal situations. It is the difference between Pharisees handling a situation, and Jesus Christ showing a better way to handle it. It is the difference between stress, and love. It is the paradox that I will suffer and have stress by doing the things asked of me at church while also at the same time have capacity to love. That is the gospel to me.
The root cause of my pain and suffering was NOT the gospel. While I had many frustrations and pains come from things at church, including burn out and how church people treated me or judged me...the GOSPEL or the gospel culture was not the source of any of that. At some point when I needed to be released from callings...I asked for it. Church culture may discourage that...or give me stress or give me pressures to try harder to take more on...but the gospel teaches me to handle those stresses and pressures in the most healthy and spiritual way. And I had loving church leaders who also understood the gospel enough to support me. And some didn't. But some did.
I think it is important for me to share that, so that readers on this forum can know that there are multiple experiences. Even if mine differ from yours. That is OK. StayingLDS is not about tolerating the church so we don't offend our families. StayingLDS (according to Heber13) is that I embrace the paradox and find meaning and value in the mormonism that has so many flaws but is pointing many people towards truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that makes it worth it to stay and engage in it and have faith in it.
The Gospel may even help you stay long enough you are surprised at how well the church does in so many situations, despite itself.