Thanks for your help and I am signing off

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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby JustGettingBy » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks for the nice words Lovely.

And don't be sad for me. I am happier than I have been in decades. And I am still a Christian, but I can't make the Mormon version of the puzzle make any sense. And I am not making the change as a quick reaction. I have spent the last two years trying to make it work, but the more I tried and dug deeper the worse it got. I wish I could have as I love most all the Mormons I know. Once I let go I felt peace for the first time in decades.
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby cmfray » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:19 am

Relief from finally making a decision and being free from being torn can feel like peace. But is it long lasting soul satisfying peace? I have questioned that about my peaceful feeling after making my decision. You (and I) will figure out if it is really long lasting peace or just short term relief.

My doubts and questions concerning the church and its past history have not been resolved and I don't know that they ever will be in this life. For me, leaving the church was not my solution, because I could find nothing in the world better and in line with the things i strongly believe and do not question.. And while I still have problems with the history and sometimes question the administration of the current church organization, I don't have problems with the core doctrines and teachings which center around Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, working to be a better person, and the existence of eternal families, to name a few. The answer to my prayers concerning the chhrch has not been answers to my questions and the calming of my doubts - but instead, the answer I received to my prayers was to stop looking for the church to be perfect. It's just an organization run by imperfect human beings who are not any less fallible than I am. BUT, they have been and are good hunan beings who are striving to do what they believe is right.

When I switched my line of thinking fron my former thinking that the church and its leaders had to be perfect and make total sense to me, it allowed me to look at it more objectively to see if it had any value for my life. Compared to the alternatives in the world, including rejecting organized religions completely and following my own path - this church, with all of its imperfections, its leaders (past and present), with their human imperfections - still came out on top in offering more of what I need and want spiritually than everything else I investigated.

Not looking for perfection in the church and its leaders has put the responsibility of my spiritual growth back on my shoulders, where it always belonged in the first place I view the church as one of many tools available to help me. I no longer view it as my only tool. There are also tools outside the church, and wonderful people with so much more spirituality than I will ever have who also motivate me to become better and to look to God for my answers - for He IS the only One that is perfect and should be our main go to for help!

We all have our own journeys and paths in life. For whatever reason or purpose my life's journey has included the LDS church, and I feel that the church is still suppose to be a part of my journey now. Until that feeling leaves me, I will remain a member and partake of the good it has to offer me - and try to be patient and forgiving of its imperfections and human leaders.

The one thing about continuous journeys, we can always switch paths, try new ones, or even revisit old paths if we choose to or feel led too.

JgB, I hope that your journey continues to bring you happiness, joy, and long lasting peace wherever it takes you. Good Luck!
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby JustGettingBy » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:48 am

Thanks cmfray.

We all are trying to find peace and I am 100% supportive of anybody that finds peace within the church. I do not feel at peace at church. I am glad you were able to find some peace with the church's history and imperfect leaders.
I don't see that as my main issue. Sure the church's history is mind blowingly crazy when you dig into it, but I could live with much of that. I do have a significant issue with how I feel the church will not recognize and work on issues. There seems to be a real feeling if anything is wrong, don't say it outloud (sure there are some exceptions, but to me it seems the prevailing culture and practice and shaming of anybody that violates this norm).

But my real issue is that I have not had a witness that it is true. I have checked all the boxes and served in tons of ward callings and I still can't say I have been told it is true. There are certainly good things about the church, but many other churches and even atheist groups that do lots of good. If I go by "their fruits you shall know them" just one example - I have real issues with the effects today of polygamy (see "the ghost of eternal polygamy" book for what I mean).

Not saying that there are not good fruits from the church as I see MANY, but I am frustrated that there is a feeling that we have the perfect doctrine and policies. So I am reading the BOM one more time with an honest prayer to my God telling him I really need to know. So far I can't say it is going good.
I guess the best way I can explain it is to ask about what I see is the same question. What if I were raised as a jehovah's witness and I had always done what I was taught. Always followed what the teachings and leaders asked. But I just felt empty and never feel like God has confirmed my path even after decades of asking. This person worries if they really are flowing the path that God wants them to and given they are way over 50 they know they are just a few decades from meeting their maker. Would your advice to this person be, "just have faith and keep doing what you are doing"? The logical side of me tells me if you would tell a Mormon to "just keep going" then your answer would have to be the same. Or would you tell him "ask God with sincerity and follow what you feel you get as an answer"?
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby be64 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:54 pm

JustGettingBy I understand your comment on quotes from prophets. I have said myself that I believe that someone in the curriculum department writes the lesson manuals then searches for quotes to back up what they have written. Using the same method one could write any number of lessons with a completely opposite viewpoint. For example it would be easy to write a lesson on why the blacks will never have the priesthood and why the races should never mix and why non whites are inferior races to American whites with just as many prophetic and apostolic quotes to back up the position.

Truth be told I think all gospel study should be based soley on the scriptures with quotes only from current apostles and prophets. In other words how are we to decide which quotes of the earlier prophet are prophetic and and which are personal opinion with the church recently disavowing much of church history.

I will say however that I believe there are two entities here. The perfect unchanging and eternal gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ which changes and evolves and is implemented by imperfect human beings. While the Gospel is perfect the leadership of the church here upon the earth at all levels remain imperfect human beings trying to do their best but like all of us here still making mistakes from time to time. I don't let the fact than church leaders are not infallible weaken my testimony. In fact I'm encouraged by the fact that they like me are not perfect yet still acceptable to The Lord.

As far as unanswered prayer goes, I could pray night and day to become a billionaire but I don't think that prayer will be answered. If I want to become a billionaire it will likely have to come from my own hard work. Likewise I don't believe one can rely soley on prayer for a marriage to improve, rather I believe it will take a lot of personal effort. I'm not saying you haven't tried, only that just because it hasn't happened as you wish it to does not mean the church is not true.

I'm no marriage councilor but it seems to me that in the case of a non sexual spouse at some point there needs to be an ultimatum. No sex, no marriage. I see no point in living a miserable sexless life. Something in your life needs to change in order to have happiness but I don't think that leaving the church is the change that needs to be made.
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby cmfray » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:21 am

I would tell them and anyone else to ask God and then follow what they felt they were told. But what if that person doesn't get an answer either way? Then what would I tell him? I would tell them to keep praying until they did get an answer and in the mean time - do what they feel is best for their life that is in accordance with their moral beliefs. If that means leaving the church - do that, if it means staying - do that. And remember you can always change or adjust your choice if you find you are not where you feel you should be at a latter time.

I have a friend who struggles with the church, actually I have many friends and relatives that struggle with the church. But this one in particular, asks me regularly - is the church still true? I usually give him a smart alack answer back. But, I have often wondered what does that statement really mean, "the church is true. So I looked up the word true - and here are definitions from the Webster dictionary online:

1
a : steadfast, loyal
b : honest, just
c archaic : truthful
2
a (1) : being in accordance with the actual state of affairs <true description> (2) : conformable to an essential reality (3) : fully realized or fulfilled <dreams come true>
b : ideal, essential
c : being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed <the true dimension of the problem>
d : consistent <true to character>
3
a : properly so called <true love> <the true faith> <the true stomach of ruminant mammals>
b (1) : possessing the basic characters of and belonging to the same natural group as <a whale is a true but not a typical mammal> (2) : typical <the true cats>
4
: legitimate, rightful <our true and lawful king>
5
a : that is fitted or formed or that functions accurately
b : conformable to a standard or pattern : accurate
6
: determined with reference to the earth's axis rather than the magnetic poles <true north>
7
: logically necessary
8
: narrow, strict <in the truest sense>
9
: corrected for error

Many would argue by these definitions that the church is not true. Many would argue it is. Personally, I think "the church is true" or "the book of Mormon is true" are trite statements - and I wouldn't mind it if people would stop saying them. I would rather hear the church helps me in life by... or I feel closer to God when I read the Book of Mormon or the Bible because... or when I read the Book of Mormon or Bible one particular day these scriptures gave me this insight that helped me in this way... Now these statements I would have no problem saying with all honesty. So maybe instead of praying and asking God if the Book of Mormon is true - or is the church true - one could ask if the church can help them with their spiritual goals, or if the Book of Mormon can help them learn about Christ and become a better follower of His example, etc.

What is truth and what is not? Are their different paths for different people, different truths for different situations? Are there inconsistencies in the church, in the gospel, in the scriptures, in the things we are taught about Jesus and God, in the behaviors and beliefs of every human being? Why do some people get the strong witness of the book of Mormon or of the church when they pray and others don't? The only thing I can count on in life, other than my bread will always land with the buttered side down, is that we all will die sometime. I am amazed that the longer I live, the less I "know" and the dumber I feel. Most of my "older" friends say the same thing. When we were young it seemed like there were a lot of black and white areas - and now it feels like everything is gray. Why is this? My questions of "why" just seem to keep multiplying the more I try to figure it all out. Is there a reason for that - is there a reason that I have tons of questions and very few answers? Are doubts and questions a bad thing?

The one thing that I have always held onto even in my darkest moments of doubts and despair is that there is a God, that he loves me, he knows me, and he answers my prayers - just not always in ways that I can recognize, at least right away. Like you, I have never had the earth shattering undeniable witness of the "truthfulness" of the church that many LDS members talk about. And like you that has bothered me - especially when my doubts and questions were at the peak of plaguing me deeply. But - I HAVE HAD undeniable witnesses to certain principles plus a few warnings concerning certain events or decisions I was contemplating. Witnesses and warnings that I have tried to find logical answers for or explain away as being caught up in my emotions at the time - but I have not been able to shake the strong feeling that these things that happened to me came from God. Which is why I have been able to hold on to my belief in God and his love for me in spite of the dark times of feeling there can not possibly be a God. And when I was really ready to be done with the church - something inside of me told me that was the wrong decision for MY life as I have explained before.

MY experiences and MY answers to prayers may not be the same ones YOU get. However, I personally believe God will guide you to the best path for you and your life if you ask him to and then allow him to.
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby JustGettingBy » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:03 am

Be64 - I agree on their being THE GOSPEL and the church and they are not one in the same. I am great full for the church raising me up, but it feels like it isn't helping me now and it feels just to far away from THE GOSPEL. My ward is great and I have kept most of this to myself for fear of losing the friends I have. I hope I am not shamed by them, but if they do - so be it and I learn they were conditional friends.
I agree with your example of praying to be a millionaire. The last decade of me trying to work on my marriage my prayers were "help me to know what to pray for for my marriage as the previous decades of praying has not worked so I must have been praying for the wrong thing." And let me be clear. I am not stepping back from the church over this issue. This unanswered prayer decreased my faith in what I had been taught to step back and question. It is much more that makes me want to distance myself from the church.

I still love my wife and enjoy being around her. I don't have a sexless marriage but just nothing close to what I expected or want and my wife refuses to change in any way. I have looked at the options before me and I think at this point the negative aspects of divorce are likely much more than staying together. But I agree with your point. The few times the last few years I have come on the site I am preaching to those with issues to confront them head on so you either find out if the two of you can work it out or not while you still have good options before you. I was taught that divorce was terrible and only acceptable in cases of abuse and "and 2 good people can work it out". By the time I decided that teaching was not quite right, the options had significant complications (i.e. Kids and significant financial issues)

Cmfray - you and I see things quite alike. Where we differ is that it does not fell to me the church is bringing me closer to God. Instread I feel frustrated. Reading the BOM just raises question after question and I don't feel God. I do feel God when I read the 4 gospels.

I hope members of the ward describe me as "he is a member that says he does not believe and does not attend every meeting, but you sure wouldn't know it by how nice and loving he is and how much he encourages others to follow the church teachings of it brings them closer to God"
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby cmfray » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:38 am

JGB, keep that focus and you can't go wrong. In my opinion, this life is all about learning to love - learning to love God, learning to love others, and learning to love ourselves. AND I believe there has to be a balance between these three loves and that the three loves are entwined and go hand in hand. I am talking about the kind of love that motivates us to be a benefit to the world, to be actively engaged in making the world a better place as much as we can, and to be actively engaged in helping others have a better life.

Again, I can only speak about myself and my life experiences. When I lose my focus on being loving and kind to God, others, and myself - or concentrate my focus on only one of these loves too much or too little, that is where I go astray and my life feels out of whack.

It sounds so simple and easy to do, but it is definitely not easy for me - and unfortunately my life is out if whack quite often. But I keep trying. That's all we can do - right?
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby HighDriveMormon » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:28 pm

I just checked back in and saw this post. JGB, your story sounds so familiar. After struggling for over 7 years with mental gymnastics to stay active, and trying to work through anxiety, depression and even some level of guilt, it was an amazing transformation once I concluded the church wasn't true and I didn't have to try to be something I wasn't. It has been two years since this happened and we have never been happier or better people. We can focus on being genuine, loving others and family instead of all the checklist requirements of the church. We are much closer as a couple/family now and Sunday's are amazing, as we actually spend the whole day together having fun together.

The research, the culture, the history, the foundation of the church, etc. are all out there now due to the internet and there is no way the church is true. Read the cesletter.com for a very thorough analysis of all of these points. I figure those that stay in the church do so because they are either naive, refuse to look at the negative facets of the church, don't allow themselves to dive into their doubts, need the church or the culture for value/hope/purpose or all of the above.

Since leaving, we have explored more of the world, including drinking and realizing some of our sexual fantasies, and unlike it is taught by the church, it has been nothing short of amazing, incredible, edifying, fun, enjoyable, uplifting and an overall extremely net positive gain in our lives.

For any of you really struggling with doubt, guilt, depression, or any other difficult feelings as a result of the church, feel free to reach out to me. There is hope outside of the church and there is a very good chance that life will get much better once you are true to yourselves and your feelings (doubts and desires and concerns are all feelings, and feelings are supposed to be manifestations of the Holy Ghost according to Mormon doctrine). You are not alone and you are probably in the majority. The cesletter.com is a great place to start.

Good luck to you JGB on your journey and transition out of the church!
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby be64 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:38 pm

HighDriveMormon wrote:I just checked back in and saw this post. JGB, your story sounds so familiar. After struggling for over 7 years with mental gymnastics to stay active, and trying to work through anxiety, depression and even some level of guilt, it was an amazing transformation once I concluded the church wasn't true and I didn't have to try to be something I wasn't. It has been two years since this happened and we have never been happier or better people. We can focus on being genuine, loving others and family instead of all the checklist requirements of the church. We are much closer as a couple/family now and Sunday's are amazing, as we actually spend the whole day together having fun together.

The research, the culture, the history, the foundation of the church, etc. are all out there now due to the internet and there is no way the church is true. Read the cesletter.com for a very thorough analysis of all of these points. I figure those that stay in the church do so because they are either naive, refuse to look at the negative facets of the church, don't allow themselves to dive into their doubts, need the church or the culture for value/hope/purpose or all of the above.

Since leaving, we have explored more of the world, including drinking and realizing some of our sexual fantasies, and unlike it is taught by the church, it has been nothing short of amazing, incredible, edifying, fun, enjoyable, uplifting and an overall extremely net positive gain in our lives.

For any of you really struggling with doubt, guilt, depression, or any other difficult feelings as a result of the church, feel free to reach out to me. There is hope outside of the church and there is a very good chance that life will get much better once you are true to yourselves and your feelings (doubts and desires and concerns are all feelings, and feelings are supposed to be manifestations of the Holy Ghost according to Mormon doctrine). You are not alone and you are probably in the majority. The cesletter.com is a great place to start.

Good luck to you JGB on your journey and transition out of the church!


Well, nobody ever said that those in the "great and spacious building" weren't having a good time while poking fun at those who were steadfastly holding to the iron rod, but eating, drinking and being merry isn't going to get anyone to the "tree of life".
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Re: Thanks for your help and I am signing off

Postby HighDriveMormon » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:01 pm

be64 wrote:
HighDriveMormon wrote:I just checked back in and saw this post. JGB, your story sounds so familiar. After struggling for over 7 years with mental gymnastics to stay active, and trying to work through anxiety, depression and even some level of guilt, it was an amazing transformation once I concluded the church wasn't true and I didn't have to try to be something I wasn't. It has been two years since this happened and we have never been happier or better people. We can focus on being genuine, loving others and family instead of all the checklist requirements of the church. We are much closer as a couple/family now and Sunday's are amazing, as we actually spend the whole day together having fun together.

The research, the culture, the history, the foundation of the church, etc. are all out there now due to the internet and there is no way the church is true. Read the cesletter.com for a very thorough analysis of all of these points. I figure those that stay in the church do so because they are either naive, refuse to look at the negative facets of the church, don't allow themselves to dive into their doubts, need the church or the culture for value/hope/purpose or all of the above.

Since leaving, we have explored more of the world, including drinking and realizing some of our sexual fantasies, and unlike it is taught by the church, it has been nothing short of amazing, incredible, edifying, fun, enjoyable, uplifting and an overall extremely net positive gain in our lives.

For any of you really struggling with doubt, guilt, depression, or any other difficult feelings as a result of the church, feel free to reach out to me. There is hope outside of the church and there is a very good chance that life will get much better once you are true to yourselves and your feelings (doubts and desires and concerns are all feelings, and feelings are supposed to be manifestations of the Holy Ghost according to Mormon doctrine). You are not alone and you are probably in the majority. The cesletter.com is a great place to start.

Good luck to you JGB on your journey and transition out of the church!


Well, nobody ever said that those in the "great and spacious building" weren't having a good time while poking fun at those who were steadfastly holding to the iron rod, but eating, drinking and being merry isn't going to get anyone to the "tree of life".


26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this sound like a Utah temple open house, to show off their $100 million or $200 million or more building?! "Come see our great and am amazing building and how righteous and spiritual and blessed we are! Wear your nicest apparel as it is a sacred building." And towards those who don't want to attend "How can you not want to walk through the temple and partake of it's goodness. You sinners need to come join our ranks and feast on the blessings. Look at how much happier, and successful and blessed we are. You can have what we have if you just come and join us!"

Trust me, an LDS Utah Temple House is much more like a great and spacious building than anything I have found outside of the church. I have also found that there is also so much more genuine and sincere goodness, kindness and love outside of the church than there is within. Some of my favorite people are still LDS members. But there is so much happiness and goodness outside of it!
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