In need of hope.

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pentium3
Posts: 33
Joined: 20 May 2013, 12:44

In need of hope.

Post by pentium3 » 20 May 2013, 16:38

I'm a happily married 32 year old mother of 3. I'm a life long member who married an RM in the temple. I did everything within my power to ensure my " happily ever after", but now I find that my faith is a source of sorrow rather than light and hope. My husband struggled with his faith for years before finally putting a stop to the struggle and going inactive. I maintained my faith and devotion and continued on without him. I found this website a few years back hoping I would find ways to help him. But what I found were new ways of looking at the church that tested my faith. I now feel I'm more unorthodox and much more open minded than I was a few years ago. But the teachings of the church are taught in black and white, and my marriage & life is full of many different shades gray. This is what has caused my current conflict, I want to remain active in the church..but I find that actually going to church makes me terribly unhappy, anxious and stressed. I come home with what feels like a boulder in my chest weighing me down. The actual cause for this is fear. I had always believed that God's love was unconditional, I still really want to believe that it is...but when I am at church ( and most recently a sealing) I am reminded of how many conditions there really are placed on God's willingness to let us live with him again. I have a strong, loving marriage...nothing causes me more anguish than the prospect of not having my husband by my side for eternity. But the messages I constantly receive, while reading my scriptures, attending the temple or going to church are just that...he isn't keeping his covenants, paying tithes etc. so he is disqualified unless he changes...which I've lost hope that he ever will. I keep looking for a more hope, from conference and church leaders...but it doesn't seem that anyone is willing to tell me that everything will be ok. I need hope right now or I'm not sure how I can keep subjecting myself to the pain I feel every Sunday. Does anyone have a scripture they've found or a quote from a church leader that speaks of hope for a marriage like mine?

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

Re: In need of hope.

Post by On Own Now » 21 May 2013, 10:55

pentium3,

Welcome to activity on this board. I can't quote you a scripture or a GA, but I can quote you:
pentium3 wrote:happily married
If that is true, don't let your religion weigh down on you. Spirituality either lifts you up or it isn't worthwhile. If you are happily married, then you already have something that eludes many (most?) people. That's something to celebrate, not lament. If there is a God, and he cares about you the way a father cares about his children, I doubt you have anything to worry about.

My advice is to make your marriage to your good husband and your being a mom to 3 kids, the central aspect of your life. Remember that work, church, your house, your 401K all pale in comparison. Then, if you want to have a spiritual side of your life, fill it with the good things that you find in the church and scriptures.

In my own case, I feel that in many ways, I love my wife even more now than when I was fully in with the church, because I feel dependence only on her for my happiness. Our love is the most important and most potent power on earth.

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: In need of hope.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 May 2013, 11:14

If you are interested, I have written more than one post on my personal blog about marriage that apply to your situation:

"Temple Sealing as a Shadow of Practical Sealing" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2013 ... tical.html)

"Celestial Marriage Is Not Exclusive to Mormons" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2011 ... ve-to.html)

There are 34 posts under the category of "Marriage", so feel free to click on that link on the bottom right side of my blog if you want to read more.
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

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: In need of hope.

Post by Ann » 21 May 2013, 12:12

pentium3 wrote:but when I am at church ( and most recently a sealing) I am reminded of how many conditions there really are placed on God's willingness to let us live with him again. I have a strong, loving marriage...nothing causes me more anguish than the prospect of not having my husband by my side for eternity. But the messages I constantly receive, while reading my scriptures, attending the temple or going to church are just that...he isn't keeping his covenants, paying tithes etc. so he is disqualified unless he changes
I'm strengthening the part of my brain that says, "I don't believe that." When you don't believe it, and you consciously acknowledge it, it's interesting how the dread, judgment and threats lose their grip.

I hope you and your husband will be truly happy.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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

Re: In need of hope.

Post by Roy » 21 May 2013, 12:16

First, I really like what Ray said and linked to.

Second, we have collected some really great quotes at the following link: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4042

Third, I am going to project a little of my own experience onto you.

Our third child (a daughter, Emory) was stillborn. As I grappled with this, one of my challenges was that the church has no doctrine on whether she will be part of our eternal family or even if she qualifies as a living soul (she never took a breath). The strange thing is that I have come to believe in an eternal relationship with her that is built on the power of love and love alone. When the church could give me no assurances, I had to approach God utterly exposed and vulnerable. What I found there has become my "Pearl of Great Price."
"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

pentium3
Posts: 33
Joined: 20 May 2013, 12:44

Re: In need of hope.

Post by pentium3 » 21 May 2013, 13:47

Thank you all for taking time to respond. I felt uplifted while reading the links provided. I don't believe God is in the business of breaking up happy marriages...that is what I feel in my heart ( what I wish was taught at church). This weekend just took a toll on me, watching a loved one be sealed should have been a happier experience but sitting in the temple with my DH outside and listening to all the if's and's and but's...caused my biggest concerns to resurface. I feel a little more hopeful, I still need to find a way to believe what feels right, and not let teachings that don't ring true upset me. The all or nothing way of Mormonism is hard to shake, but I have to or I can't stay Mormon and happy and I want to be both. Thank you all again for your support!
Last edited by pentium3 on 02 Jun 2013, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: In need of hope.

Post by On Own Now » 21 May 2013, 14:34

pentium3,

I think you are on to something important that can help you if you let it. The church is very black & white; something we all know. But one thing I've observed, not-infrequently, when individuals go through a faith crisis, is a re-vectoring of black & white thinking... they still think in black & white terms, they simply adjust what is black and what is white. Just as I think there would be value in the moderation of thought within the church, I think many disaffected members could benefit from some moderation... I don't mean anyone on this site, btw. The church has many good aspects that get trampled if a person runs too quickly for the exit. I love the optimism and us-centered LDS doctrines. I think it is perfectly valid to find the ones that ring true to you and absolve yourself of the others. I believe the church membership has started to self-moderate. It'll take some time, but I find, for example, that a lot of people below, say 50, are starting to ask themselves about the efficacy of keeping no place at the table for gay members. But regardless of whether OTHERS get away from B & W thinking, we as individuals can do it, and IMO, it can be very satisfying. I've learned a lot from people here at stayLDS about it, and it's making a palpable difference in my life.

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Ilovechrist77
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Joined: 08 Nov 2011, 21:42

Re: In need of hope.

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 21 May 2013, 18:23

Welcome. pentium3. I had get released from my callings because of problems with anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and other issues, so I know how you feel. Do what you feel is best for you.

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Orson
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Re: In need of hope.

Post by Orson » 21 May 2013, 20:17

pentium3 wrote:I had always believed that God's love was unconditional, I still really want to believe that it is...but when I am at church (and most recently a sealing) I am reminded of how many conditions there really are placed on God's willingness to let us live with him again.

Welcome! Regarding the above comment it has helped me to remember that everything we hear as humans can be boiled down to "the philosophies of men mingled with scripture." Our best efforts to understand scripture and interpret the spirit will still come up short of divine understanding -- so when you hear things in church that don't fit with the kind of perfect love that God would possess, have confidence that divine love is greater than doctrine.
My avatar - both physical and spiritual.

I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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cwald
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 06:39

Re: In need of hope.

Post by cwald » 21 May 2013, 21:28

Find peace.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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