I can’t believe in anything anymore

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
AmyJ
Posts: 990
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by AmyJ » 02 Nov 2018, 13:09

DoubtingTom wrote:
02 Nov 2018, 12:51
I love this perspective. Thank you!! Yes, I guess I struggled for a while with some of those existential issues and sometimes still do, but no longer feel the need to satisfy them with religious explanations. I am content and at peace (or at least striving to become so) with the possibility that when I die, the lights may simply go out. If I’m wrong, what a wonderful surprise!
That is a tough one. My step-grandmother died last year (great lady), and for the first time that I could recall, hearing the platitudes about her and the next life caused a lot of grief and loneliness that I did not expect.

I quoted her as "returning to the God who gave her life" a lot - even if it isn't the literal truth (I don't know what my beliefs are in this area), it's what I would want to think happened - that she exists elsewhere - and it provided concealment that I may not be socially acceptable by not believing in a next life.

That's my .02 cents - take it for what it is:)

AmyJ
Posts: 990
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by AmyJ » 02 Nov 2018, 13:17

DoubtingTom wrote:
02 Nov 2018, 13:08
I have a harder time with the ideas thrust upon me at church about how the spiritual realm interacts with our physical realm on a regular basis and with those in leadership who deny me the opportunity to participate because I can’t profess a belief in that realm anymore. So I don’t participate. For now. But sometimes I miss the community and wonder if I can regain the community without the belief and without feeling like I’m faking it when I do participate.
It is hard when the church perception of the way the universe works does not appear to come close to your personal perception of the way the universe works - and there really isn't a platform (except for here) to poke at the divergence.

I figure "ignorance is bliss" sometimes. Sometimes the greater mercy is keeping everyone else in the dark while you figure out what is important to believe right now. Roy is also a master at re-framing statements into honest belief statements - that a lot of leadership bullets are redirected by being honest and sincere in what you do believe. That is a good resource to look into for finding the right words.

This Talk:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... e?lang=eng

"When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."

I recited this statement under my breath as a mantra for the times when a belief in God was what I was shakily holding onto. In many aspects, the things I "know" are: a) Don't do something hasty, stupid, or rash - (OK that includes telling everyone everything, spewing my anger, alcohol, and adultery), b) Be charitable whenever realistically possible - in possessions, in setting up spaces with people, and with yourself.

I belief in God. I belief in Charity (humanist version). I believe in imperfection (especially mine). Everything else is negociatable right now.

DoubtingTom
Posts: 269
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 12:13

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by DoubtingTom » 02 Nov 2018, 13:21

AmyJ wrote:
02 Nov 2018, 13:09
That is a tough one. My step-grandmother died last year (great lady), and for the first time that I could recall, hearing the platitudes about her and the next life caused a lot of grief and loneliness that I did not expect.

I quoted her as "returning to the God who gave her life" a lot - even if it isn't the literal truth (I don't know what my beliefs are in this area), it's what I would want to think happened - that she exists elsewhere - and it provided concealment that I may not be socially acceptable by not believing in a next life.

That's my .02 cents - take it for what it is:)
My new favorite song, even though it’s an old one:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jP9LT5HuzrE

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Reuben
Posts: 466
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by Reuben » 02 Nov 2018, 15:30

DoubtingTom wrote:
02 Nov 2018, 09:01
Have others felt this way? Are some still in this space? Is there value in believing in the supernatural without good evidence for it, other than emotional/spiritual experiences? Should I strive to exit this space just because others like Richard Rohr say I should?
Nine levels! Wow!

Here's my hot take on defining stages of faith development, whether there are five, nine or fifty of them. If someone defines them using God-language, it's because that's the language they speak, or that's the language their listeners speak, or both. (Probably. It could be that neither is true, and they're talking about things they don't understand yet.)

Stages of faith aren't just a Christian or even just a monotheistic thing. I've heard an atheist and a spiritualist talk in ways that struck me as being very much like Fowler's stage 5, both using their own language. What they said was full of care and generosity, and frankly a lot of uncertainty.

Stages of growth aren't confined to metaphysical belief or unbelief, either. I recently realized that I hit stage 5 in politics first, and then in academia. To be honest, stage 4 in both was mostly just unsettling, and a lot less painful than in religion, where it seems I'm pushing on 4.7 or so... anyway..

The best part of stage 5 is that nobody gets to pin you down on what you believe in.

The worst part of stage 5 is trying to belong without fitting in.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Nov 2018, 20:30

I replace "believe" with "hope" in many cases.

It helps a lot.
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

IT_Veteran
Posts: 42
Joined: 31 Oct 2018, 11:15

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by IT_Veteran » 04 Nov 2018, 08:38

Your questions describe much of how I feel now and through my faith crisis. I’d say I have no more belief in supernatural things either. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m comfortable with my place, but I’m still figuring out how that works with the believers in my life.

Like you, I don’t believe that a God exists, or an afterlife, but I can still hope that maybe I’m wrong. I try to remain open to evidence to the contrary, I think the evidence I’m willing to accept just has a much higher standard than it did previously.

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I can’t believe in anything anymore

Post by Roy » 04 Nov 2018, 15:11

dande48 wrote:
02 Nov 2018, 12:20
I would change this question to "Why do people believe in the supernatural without there being good evidence for it?". Because There are a number needs it meets, which are very hard to find elsewhere. Coping with the fact that they are unavoidably going to die (maybe today) is one of them. Coping with the fact that every facet of their life, their family, their hard work, their home is going to crumble to dust as well. Confidence in the face of uncertainty, finding the strength to go on, dealing with the utter lack of justice in the world, the inability of all of us to undo our past "sins" and mistakes...
I consider this as the "anthropologist method" and sometimes it can be very appropriate and effective. Last Sunday there was some discussion of a recent temple trip. Two newish families went for the very first time.
One father was a longtime inactive member who recently reactivated after his wife was baptized. He has bad health, is unable to work, and lives off SSI and sometimes his wife's income. This man was able to go to the temple and be baptized for deceased persons. He was able to go to a place that is reserved for the spiritually and morally worthy and he was able to provide a service for people that might otherwise be locked into a state of stagnant waiting forever. The pride in his recent convert wife's eyes was clearly evident.
The other father is from a family that had joined the church a few years ago. He has progressed in the church from the assistant scout master - to scout master (he wasn't very good in this role but partly because he was never properly trained) - to counselor in the EQ presidency. He was able to perform baptisms for the dead and do confirmations. I feel like he is progressing in the church and the sense of accomplishment and self-respect is valuable.
With my anthropologist hat, I could see that these men's participation in these temple rituals had deep significance for themselves, their families, and their community. I see many families that really could benefit from something similar. I belief in the goodness that I see happening in their lives.
"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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