Joining Other Churches - My Experience

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Heavy_Laden
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Joined: 27 Jul 2013, 19:51

Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by Heavy_Laden » 17 Sep 2019, 10:17

I had two Facebook friends decide to join other churches, one is still a member of the church (on the books) and one that used Quit Mormon. I have also joined Community of Christ through confirmation, not by baptism. I'm still technically on the books as well at the LDS church (I suppose).

My friends joining other churches got me thinking about why I joined another church. I did it through confirmation, mainly because I didn't think baptism was not required as I am already baptized. At the time, I was confirmed, I had a lot of reasons why I wanted to formally join another church. I mainly wanted to give a friend and mentor, who is very advanced in age, a chance to confirm me and I was unhappy with the LDS Utah culture. It felt right at the time, but after a year and half, I made a mistake.

I asked one of my friends about his pending church membership. Some of his reasons were familiar (he wants to help, feels at home, kids like it there, ect). As someone who has joined another church, I think he is making a mistake. I have since learned that the Gospel is an adventure, full of inspired discovery and awesome experiences. When I joined Community of Christ, my adventure was over. I turned into "one of them" and was just doing tasks and not learning anything. I got involved in church politics, started to see that the "leaders" were not all their cracked up to be and the social media organization of the church is not for me. My friend might have another experience, but the I am familiar with the church he is choosing and don't think it will be much different than Community of Christ. Maybe I am judging, but it is really something to hear reasons that were the same as when I took the plunge.

While I still go to Community of Christ many Sundays during the month, I have refound my home in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not because it is the one-true-church, has the exclusive rights to God, interesting meetings on Sunday and all those resources.. it is home. I value my membership in the church, maybe for the first time in a long time. I don't have a testimony of a lot of things TBM members have, but I do have a testimony of second, third or 100th chances in life. I have a long way to go until I am healed, but I think it is possible. I don't need support from the church, special meetings with leaders or anything other than to be left alone. There is no fixing me, I carry my cross everywhere. Real friendship and kindness will make my cross lighter but nothing else.

My advice, in case someone is thinking about joining another organization (or resigning) is to wait a bit longer. Your experiences can change your mind quickly. I had my Quit Mormon app filled out but I never sent it. I now participate full knowing that the church is not perfect, has bad PR, toxic Utah culture, leadership doesn't understand today's problems, unfortunate attitudes in the individual members, ect.. There is still many reasons to participate in Sunday church at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, even if it is all on your own terms. I'm hoping that God is patient with me and give me protection against distractions and people who want to interfere.
I'm an Independent Mormon and it's okay.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1696
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by Minyan Man » 19 Sep 2019, 17:24

Heavy_Laden wrote:
17 Sep 2019, 10:17
...My advice, in case someone is thinking about joining another organization (or resigning) is to wait a bit longer. Your experiences can change your mind quickly. I had my Quit Mormon app filled out but I never sent it. I now participate full knowing that the church is not perfect, has bad PR, toxic Utah culture, leadership doesn't understand today's problems, unfortunate attitudes in the individual members, ect.. There is still many reasons to participate in Sunday church at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, even if it is all on your own terms. I'm hoping that God is patient with me and give me protection against distractions and people who want to interfere.
During my FC, I did the same thing that you're talking about. My attempt at coming back was my final chance (in my mind). If it didn't work, I
probably would of left. When I joined the LDS church, I was a member of the Methodist church. The thought never occurred to me to remove
my name from the rolls of that church. I find it interesting that others feel it important to remove their names from the LDS church.
I my opinion, it is up to everyone's own conscience. I'm sure there are people who left, joined another church or organization and now are glad they made that decision and never looked back. More power to them. I hope they are happy.
Personally, I'm glad I waited, came back and tried it again in a new way.

This forum really help me to make that decision.

Thanks everyone. You all have been very supportive & non-judgemental. Even when I was sarcastic, rude & belligerent.

Roy
Posts: 5684
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by Roy » 23 Sep 2019, 16:38

For many years we visited and participated at other Christian churches. Part of the reason for this is that we liked the sermons and enjoyed hearing the scriptures from a different perspective. A bigger part was that many of these churches offered children's programs and activities that were far superior to the LDS primary program (Seriously, we employ a small army of volunteers to produce a very lackluster children's experience).

I told interested LDS people that we visited and participated at many churches but we attend the LDS church.

I would tell interested non-LDS people that we visited and participated in many churches and enjoyed supplementing our spirituality but the LDS church is our home church.

The LDS church youth program (11+) has been somewhat more engaging for the kids and we have tappered off participation at other churches.

My general advice for others. Take it slow. Do your homework to get a feel for life in another church. Recognize that there is likely a honeymoon period. Keep your options open as long as possible.

Also, leaving the LDS church may have a significant impact on relationships with family and extended family. Have your eyes open to this possible consequence.
"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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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Sep 2019, 21:13

This is my experience -- every organization has its problems. Ours has doctrinal, historical and cultural problems galore -- but other organizations do to. We can get myopic having only one experience -- the LDS one. Get out into the world and see that other organizations have the same imperatives -- temporal concerns, organizational egocentricity, treating volunteers like full time employees, etcetera. In fact, the LDS church has nicer people than what I saw when I joined community organizations.

I do think it's rewarding to immerse yourself in other organizations though. It expands your mind, and helps you see that for all its warts, the LDS church also has some virtues.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
Posts: 5684
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by Roy » 26 Sep 2019, 09:59

SilentDawning wrote:
25 Sep 2019, 21:13
This is my experience -- every organization has its problems. Ours has doctrinal, historical and cultural problems galore -- but other organizations do to. We can get myopic having only one experience -- the LDS one. Get out into the world and see that other organizations have the same imperatives -- temporal concerns, organizational egocentricity, treating volunteers like full time employees, etcetera. In fact, the LDS church has nicer people than what I saw when I joined community organizations.
It can be somewhat like a restaurant. Maybe there was a time when you loved McDonalds and at there every day. Over time maybe you got sick of the menu. Maybe they removed the playplace so your kids had nothing to do. Maybe they raised their prices. Maybe they discontinued a favorite item. Maybe the ice cream machine was always broken. :lol:
At any rate, one day you go to a different restaurant. Maybe it is familiar like Burger King or Wendy's. Maybe it is exotic and exiting like Chinese or Thai food. Hypothetically, if you converted to only eating at this new restaurant you would eventually get sick of this food too.

That is why I sometimes refer to visiting or participating at other churches as supplementing my spirituality. Not looking for a new home. Just window shopping thanks! :thumbup:
"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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SamBee
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Joining Other Churches - My Experience

Post by SamBee » 01 Oct 2019, 05:28

I've written on this subject many times before. It isn't even a matter of which denomination, but which individual chapel/church you go to, who is in it and so on. I used to go to a church many years ago, which was really good, until the pastor changed, and then everything seemed to fall apart. A lot of my friends also left around that time, not just from fights with the new pastor, but also because life moved on.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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