At Last!

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
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On Own Now
Posts: 1762
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

At Last!

Post by On Own Now » 19 Jan 2012, 08:20

Hi everyone. I'm very glad to have found this community. I went through my spiritual de-birth in about '97. It was really tough and lonely, as so many of you understand. Born in the Church, Eagle Scout, served a mission, married in the Temple, BYU grad.

I lost my faith in the Joseph Smith experiment, but still tried to find Christianity... but I couldn't think of any Christian denomination that was suitable. After all, I still believed in the Great Apostasy, and that any religion without divine authority would be hollow. So, after a time, I just stuck with the idea that I would be Christian without Mormon beliefs on the inside and Mormon on the outside.

At this time, I probably would have separated from the Church entirely, but my wife was, and has remained a faithful member. That's created a never-ending quandary: how to position my own beliefs in a way so as not to tear down the beliefs of my wife and children. I decided early on that I didn't want to become anti-Mormon, or attack the Church, its teachings or its people. I think for me, I came to this because losing my faith was a terrible experience, and has left me numb, even all these years later. I can't imagine intentionally forcing that on anyone else... I've often thought to myself: "Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill." So, when it comes to my kids, I am constantly left with the question of whether to contribute more to saving them from the Church or saving them from loss of faith. I decided, for right or wrong, that since my wife was still all-in, that there was really only one option, and that was to support the Church as a family institution, and one that would provide a strong basis for happiness. When the kids got older, I told them about my story. That was tough. Since then, I've missed a couple of sealings in the temple. But, I also feel much better having talked to them. Now I don't feel so hypocritical. They know I'm not a believer, and I leave it at that. If they someday separate from their prior beliefs or the Church, so be it, but it will be their decision, not mine. Actually, if I could chose for another person, I would hope that they would keep their faith (whatever faith it is) for all their life. My Dad went to his grave as a believer, and it gives me comfort to know that he felt there would be an afterlife.

But over time, I have also gone down the road farther. I'm no longer a Christian. In fact, now I'm an atheist. I still do attend church, though my interest has slowly waned over the last, what 14 years? What I love about the Church, though, is that it has a lot of really good people that are capable of great good. I believe the Church provides a great environment to grow up and then to raise one's own family.

Thank you for creating and maintaining this site. In those early years, I used to try to find people on the net to talk to about this, but all I could find were people that disparaged the Church and its people at every turn, mocking, really. I found that too distasteful, because I had loved the Church and the gospel, and it wasn't so simple as that for me. I also have maintained friends and family in the Church, so blogging about how stupid they are wasn't my thing. So, I've largely stayed silent, and have had discourse with precious few people during this long struggle.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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Brian Johnston
Site Admin
Posts: 3500
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 06:17
Location: Washington DC

Re: At Last!

Post by Brian Johnston » 19 Jan 2012, 13:01

Hey there,

So glad to welcome you into our community. It sounds like you have probably collected a lot of wisdom over the years in your journey. I really love your orientation towards allowing others to take their own journey. I resonate a lot with that. I know it can be tough too. I like how you seem at peace with taking the good and letting go of the bad (or what doesn't work for you).

I think you will find this a comfortable home here. You are among kindred spirits.
"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: 16842
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: At Last!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jan 2012, 14:51

Welcome! I am rushing a bit, but I want to thank you for your introduction. I'm sure it will be familiar to many here.
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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Tom Haws
Posts: 1245
Joined: 13 Jan 2009, 06:57
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
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Re: At Last!

Post by Tom Haws » 19 Jan 2012, 15:08

Thankfully, things have changed a lot. In 2012 there is a large community of positive Mormons of all stripes. I look forward to meeting you.

Tom
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

Zelph
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 09:11

Re: At Last!

Post by Zelph » 19 Jan 2012, 16:16

There are so many roads you have crossed that I have yet to even see in the distance. Thanks for your story.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1991
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: At Last!

Post by Minyan Man » 19 Jan 2012, 16:37

On Own Now, welcome to the "group". I can relate to a lot of things you wrote about.
Especially:
I think for me, I came to this because losing my faith was a terrible experience, and has left me numb, even all these years later.
I think it's important to be honest about what you believe & how you feel. It's not always easy to do.
This is a good place to do that.

I have had the "talk" with all (3) of my children. They are not active in the lds church. They have all found their own spiritual path.
I have no regrets about that. (Maybe I should.)
Iam proud of them & will support them in everything they do. And, they know that.

Life is very interesting process.
Stay positive.

Mike from Milton.

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hawkgrrrl
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Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: At Last!

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Jan 2012, 20:33

On Own Now, welcome to the site. It's a familiar journey. Glad you have found a good place to be that is positive.
So, when it comes to my kids, I am constantly left with the question of whether to contribute more to saving them from the Church or saving them from loss of faith. I decided, for right or wrong, that since my wife was still all-in, that there was really only one option, and that was to support the Church as a family institution, and one that would provide a strong basis for happiness. When the kids got older, I told them about my story. That was tough. Since then, I've missed a couple of sealings in the temple. But, I also feel much better having talked to them. Now I don't feel so hypocritical. They know I'm not a believer, and I leave it at that.
How does your wife feel about all that after all this time? Everything copascetic?

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On Own Now
Posts: 1762
Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: At Last!

Post by On Own Now » 20 Jan 2012, 08:07

hawkgrrrl said:

"How does your wife feel about all that after all this time? Everything copascetic?"

Yep, everything is fine. There was a time, early on, when we didn't know what this would do to our marriage. But, it has all worked out. I didn't try to bring her to the dark side; she didn't treat me like an apostate.

[This is Ray. I don't know why the "quote" option didn't work in this comment. I tried to fix it, but it still wouldn't work - so I added the quotation marks. Just want everyone to know, in case the same thing happens again.]

Featherina

Re: At Last!

Post by Featherina » 20 Jan 2012, 13:09

Welcome, OnOwnNow.
You're lucky to have been able to work it out with your wife.
I admire how you've taken the "middle way"... instead of it's either all true or all false.

afterall
Posts: 331
Joined: 09 Jan 2012, 09:57

Re: At Last!

Post by afterall » 22 Jan 2012, 10:32

On Own Now, I just want to say how much I admire you. The path you have been on has had to be very lonely for you and I can certainly understand the numbness. I see a person who is trying to do good in all directions. I am sure your family loves you so much because you have taken the course you have versus the other directions you could have gone in. I am looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts/perspectives on things as I feel you have a lot to share with us.

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