Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by Ann » 27 May 2014, 22:09

I stay because I have a lot invested and a debt of gratitude to pay. I'll choose the temple as just one example of why it's hard. It's always been difficult for me to find beauty there, and my reading over the last 2-3 years has only heightened my terribly conflicted feelings, new film notwithstanding. Going to church every Sunday with the drumbeat of temple, temple, temple - never with any expansion or discussion of its history and doctrinal underpinnings is distressing and boring at the same time.

Thanks for inquiring. I think it will be great to have your perspective here.
"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

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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by Daeruin » 27 May 2014, 23:10

My views are evolving and sometimes fluctuate from day to day, or hour to hour, so I reserve the right to change my answers at any time.

It's hard for me to stay because I'm agnostic about the existence of God and therefore don't see great value in a big portion of what goes on at church. I don't relate to the worldview of most members and don't feel like I can be authentically me when I'm at church. Being authentically me makes me a second class citizen at church and makes my life harder in a lot of ways—and it's kind of screwed up to feel the need to be inauthentic in order to make my life easier.

I like the parts of church that teach about service, kindness, honesty, and other basic human values—those parts make me a better person, and the church is a pretty good vehicle for self improvement in those areas. I also think it's good for me to keep challenging my natural belief tendencies so I don't get complacent—I always try remain open to further knowledge and experience, and staying LDS helps keep my mind open to the faithful side of the spectrum. But I stay mainly for my wife. Without her, it's highly likely that I would be completely inactive right now (and I recognize that that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing).
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by Roy » 28 May 2014, 16:36

Thanks for asking!

My introduction is here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1937

I had lived my religion with the idea of being blessed for it in mortality and ultimately in heaven. I also wanted to call those same blessings down upon my family.

When my daughter was stillborn a few days before her delivery date I was hit with a double disappointment. 1) What expectation do I have a right to have about my family being blessed or protected? 2) As a stillborn there is no doctrinal assurance as to the eternal fate of my daughter. We simply don't know. This led to a long journey of reevaluation of what we actually do know and how we know it.

Early on in this journey I had a spiritual experience of love and acceptance for my daughter and myself. An important element was that this love and acceptance was not based on accomplishments – it was “I love and accept you and always will” rather than “I accept your sacrifices.” It surprised me.

So staying in the church is hard because I feel that sooooo much of it is based upon assumptions about what we must do in order to be loved, accepted, blessed, and eternally rewarded by our Heavenly Father. This is compounded by people looking at you with suspicion if you don’t see the gospel quite the way that it is commonly understood in the church.

I want to stay because this is my community and community has value. My ancestors have left me an inheritance of faith that spans back on both sides of my family tree. How could I hope to replace that support structure for my kids or my kid’s kids as they grow up? Just because my “family” has some quirks doesn’t mean that I want to disown them. To continue the comparison – my family shouldn’t run my life or abuse me either. There needs to be some balance there.
"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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Re: Why do you want to stay, and why is that hard?

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 28 May 2014, 19:05

It's hard to articulate in such few sentences why I stay and why it's hard. First being a INFJ is hard enough in itself. But to compound outside judgement and policing of thoughts and control don't sit well in me in any setting. Particularly when others try to emhart control over others, thoughts, feelings in church(quite common). I'm the other hand there is nothing I love lure them help help people find meaning and happiness in their lives. Nothing brings me joy then to see others happy and with meaning being free to be themselves. Like the movie pay it forward could by my life moto. I think church is a great place to do it at times. At other times it can also be the worst. I like the idea of GC, the execution is rather business like though and impersonal and tonsure talks focus on the least important things on my mind and goals, while some are destructive and against my moral values. On the other hand some talks are truly magnificent and speak highly to my moral values and more importantly to those I know that share and help them.

It is a paradox, fixed systems, administration, closed though, judgmental talks, lack or authentic self expression(it feels and reads like a marketing book to me in manual), trying to change and work on people without their consent, pressure, lots of pressure. To quote feria Bueller....
If anybody needs a day off it's Cameron. He's got a lotta things to sort out before he graduates. He can't be wound up this tight and go to college. His roommate'll kill him. Pardon my French, but Cameron is so uptight, if you stuck a lump of coal up his butt, in 2 weeks, you'd have a diamond.
small tent syndrome, lack of talks speaking to real positive world change and much more talks on theological change in the afterlife(things you do now that don't change anything in this life according to research study and history but theologically make you a better person in the afterlife and are more important then the here and now good of this earth).

On the other hand friendly people, place of services(although extremely limited), hopefully a chance to work as a team)Co-operation(hopefully), chance to bring meaning and joy to others lives, occasionally feel the spirit(hard to in a repetitive business like environment with dogma:3 things that make the spirit flee fast). Connection to others in a meaningful way(hopefully). Altruism(my life moto) it's. Huge plus and to big to ignore since it's one of the core Motivators of life(to me). Occasionally beautiful music(extremely limited and monotone though and lacking authentic expression(to me).

Long story short it's hard on any introvert or person with a intellectual or value process internally. It's a very strongly administration, policy and principles that don't correlate well and in fact can be very destructive to certain personality types. Of the person stays at all in that situation it's because they care deeply about something one way or another. To stay in spite of that. Those people unfortunately are the easiest ones for strong extroverts to push out. But if they are there, they are fighting back a lot of internal conflict and trying to help. It's exhausting though if you are A NF type. Where you will spend 10 times the energy to accomplish the same things extroverts do. Without replenishment they will disappear without notice even if they do care.

There's a lot to like, including the people. But it's outright taxing on the senses or and brain for nF and NT types. Like redlining a engine, it won't hold up for long. Unless there is a way to take out out of redline which is hard to find for most in that category.

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