Swinging

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
university
Posts: 150
Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 17:19

Swinging

Post by university » 16 Feb 2015, 22:20

Recently I found myself yearning for the comfort of the church and everything it used to be for me. I found myself wanting to attend church to try and get some peace. Turn to God. Make sense of something. And then I found myself hoping that somehow it would all work out and I could "find my way back" into the church enough so that I can marry in the temple.

But I mostly just wanted some peace and hungered for whatever the church used to give me. I was feeling really good about it and even thought to myself, "I'm not scared to read the Book of Mormon anymore."

Then I got on facebook today (ah...the dreaded facebook). Someone I don't even know made a post about the "true doctrine" of the gospel and how God doesn't change based on our desires quoting scriptures and quotes about men trying to make God in their own image and blah blah blah. It basically had to do with despairing church reforms that I agree with.

It hurt. And now I'm back to thinking I can't do this. If I had the right personality maybe I could stick it out. But I feel so hopeless as is. I don't have it in me to leave right now, beyond family pressures, I love this church too much and there's something special keeping me close.

So basically I feel like I'm swinging between having hope I can stay and really wanting it and then feeling despair and utter hopelessness that I can be happy in this church. I haven't experienced this swinging in a while. Are there ways that you guys have coped with this?

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Swinging

Post by LookingHard » 17 Feb 2015, 04:49

On my more "in" days I can look at the days that I want to throw my hands up and say, "I am using more faith to stay IN now than I ever did as a TBM". On my "bad days" I probably thinking more about what a mess it would be for me to leave and I just don't want to go there. And I also remember one spiritual experience that I can't explain away with my scientific / engineering mind.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Swinging

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Feb 2015, 05:35

I have had that yearning to return to the way things were, where I was all in and the church was all it cracked up to be, without questions or doubts. Others here have expressed that yearning as well. In a way I suppose it was ignorant bliss.The trouble is I'm no longer ignorant. I can't go back to the way I was before because of what I know and what I have experienced. I'm OK with that, though, because I recognize it. It's hard for me to put a finger on how I cope. It's partly that I now recognize that the gospel and the church are two different (but related) things, and it's partly because I can recognize that all of us are in different places in our faith journeys. Deluded as they might be (and I say that tongue in cheek), there are people who need to believe God helps them find their car keys. I sometimes find myself viewing certain members as if they are members of some other church, with different beliefs than I have. At my worst times I focus on what I do believe.
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: Swinging

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Feb 2015, 06:22

All I can say right now is,
"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."


Embrace that - and realize there are NO exceptions as written. We members tend to focus on "them" but forget it also applies to "us".

Don't let one person's view or a million people's views dictate what is acceptable in the Church. When you dig down and look closely (and, even more so, if you could see inside every member's mind and heart), you will see that each and every one of us picks and chooses what we can accept, what we choose to set aside for now and what we choose to dismiss. EVERYONE does it, since there is no way whatsoever anyone can accept and believe everything all leaders have taught over the years. It just isn't, so everyone makes their decisions based on their own heart and mind. In that sense, all of us are cafeteria Mormons - even the most orthodox member you know.
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

nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Swinging

Post by nibbler » 17 Feb 2015, 06:23

I've got a few FB friends that do that. At first I debated on unfriending them or blocking them from my feed but I later decided to keep them on as a type of litmus test to measure my ability to tolerate or look past viewpoints that (inadvertently) press my buttons. Now I read their posts just to see what kind of reaction it elicits in me.

I've even got a few friends that only seem to post to pass judgment.

You get all kinds of FB. There's the people that only post about churchy stuff, usually uplifting but what I'd call an unhealthy fixation. There's people that like to share what I'll call militant religious posts (the litmus paper friends ;)). They are out to tell the world exactly how they are wrong. :?: Both those types of posts come from people in all walks of life, I see the churchy and militant posts from members and non members alike.

Strange as it sounds the balance only comes when taking all the posts from all friends as one big whole. There are, or have been, elements in my life where one subject became all consuming. There are, or have been, elements in my life where I've been militant about a certain subject, perhaps without even realizing it. I think it's what we get when we apply human nature to religion.

If my FB feed is any indication, I'd say that these militant posts make up about 1% or less of the whole. That's about as much presence as I can tolerate to maintain that balance so I haven't taken much action to unfriend or block.

I've seen a few of the militant member types get challenged from other members of the church. I'm sure many people think they are out of line as well and I suspect that for every one that challenges them there are several, like me, that never raise their voice. In other words I think the militant attitudes are in the minority.

P.S. The latest thing in my FB feed that relates to the thread is about 50 Shades. The only people posting about the movie are the people that want to let everyone know how bad the movie is and to pass judgment on the world in the process. I may agree with some points but it's the "in your face about it" attitude that I find off-putting.

Heck, if it weren't for my church friends I wouldn't even know the movie was out. The militants are the best (and only) advertizing 50 Shades needs. ;)

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DarkJedi
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Re: Swinging

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Feb 2015, 08:03

nibbler wrote:P.S. The latest thing in my FB feed that relates to the thread is about 50 Shades. The only people posting about the movie are the people that want to let everyone know how bad the movie is and to pass judgment on the world in the process. I may agree with some points but it's the "in your face about it" attitude that I find off-putting.

Heck, if it weren't for my church friends I wouldn't even know the movie was out. The militants are the best (and only) advertizing 50 Shades needs. ;)
The irony in all this is that those people probably have not actually seen the movie (what good Mormon would? :twisted: ). What if the tables were turned and people who have never read the Book of Mormon were badmouthing it? What would their reaction be then?
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."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16831
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Swinging

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Feb 2015, 09:28

I posted one short thing on Facebook about that book and movie. I have read enough about it, including actual quotes, to condemn it NOT for being about BDSM (about which I don't care at all in a consentual relationship) but for glamorizing coercive manipulation. Those two things are incredibly different things. Everyone I know personally who is into BDSM condemns the book - usually vociferously. They HATE the way it stereotypes them, and they LOATHE the main, male character. As to any irony in posting what I did without having read the book or watched the movie, I don't need to experience cocaine or heroin to be confident that others shouldn't use them and to say so. (and, again, that is not comparing those things to BDSM)

Plus, I have heard from people I respect that the writing is horrible - that it makes Twilight seem like classic literature. That alone makes me shudder. :wtf:

[Admin Note]: This ends that threadjack. General rants and comments about Facebook are fine, if they focus on the issue mentioned in the post. Let's stay on point and address the post itself.
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

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Heber13
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Location: In the Middle

Re: Swinging

Post by Heber13 » 17 Feb 2015, 10:26

university wrote:Are there ways that you guys have coped with this?
Have you actually written down (journal or word document on your computer) the things you really love about the church, those things that you think keep pulling you in?

Sometimes I find it helpful to make a list, and be grateful.

Chances are you won't feel these same emotions forever about it being hard to stay or all the other fixations that you grapple with now. Keeping an eye on the things that make you happy is a good way to get through the phases you're going through.

Study and read about paradox and start thinking how you can accept that the church is true, but not everything you hear is. How can those things exist simultaneously? While you're working on the new thoughts, you can keep going to church while figuring it out, taking breaks as needed.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Swinging

Post by Roy » 17 Feb 2015, 10:35

DW wanted to go to 50 shades on opening night but she worried about seeing other people she knew and instead opted for a sunday afternoon matinee. I agree with what has been said about the book/movie being an unrealistic fantasyland but I enjoy dumb action movies so I can't be overly critical.

Ironic how quickly a post titled "swinging" got around to 50 shades! :mrgreen:

The middle way is the harder road. It is easy for some to stay with the crowd at church. It is relatively easy for some to leave the church and despise everything about it. It is harder to walk in between. Partly because of loneliness. Even among other middle wayers the path you take and how you personally interpret the issues is unique to you. Neither of the groups at the extremes will fully accept you. Where I believe that this is most limiting is in developing close friendships or dating. Religious affiliation became an easy shorthand for agreement on a whole host of issues.

The advantage is that you get to carve your own path and analyse and decide how you personally feel about different items. You get to be more comfortable in your own skin because you define what it means to be you.
"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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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Swinging

Post by LookingHard » 17 Feb 2015, 11:00

Heber13 wrote:Have you actually written down (journal or word document on your computer) the things you really love about the church, those things that you think keep pulling you in?
Interesting that I have started more of my "what bothers me" list. It is helpful to get it out. But on the other hand, I also have my gratitude list - not specific to my FC or religion at all. Just reminders to myself of how blessed I am.
Roy wrote:The middle way is the harder road. It is easy for some to stay with the crowd at church. It is relatively easy for some to leave the church and despise everything about it. It is harder to walk in between. Partly because of loneliness. Even among other middle wayers the path you take and how you personally interpret the issues is unique to you. Neither of the groups at the extremes will fully accept you. Where I believe that this is most limiting is in developing close friendships or dating. Religious affiliation became an easy shorthand for agreement on a whole host of issues.
Dang - that is so true. Thanks for expressing this in such a good way.

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