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A Word Of Thanks


thatjimguy

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Hey all. With all the debates happening here, I'd figure I'd thrown in something hopefully uplifting.

I almost left the church this summer.

I was beyond frustrated and done. My personal life didn't feel very good and I was in despair and became numb to the gospel, praying, God...the whole nine yards. I threw away my rose colored glasses, choosing to look at everything negatively, which I not the best thing to do when one is in despair. I started looking at flaws at LDS society and blaming it on the gospel. I guess you could say I was looking for a fight, regardless if I was in the right about what I was mad at or not. I already lost faith because of my situation, I just needed extra fuel to justify my lack of will to keep going and just finally say the heck with it. If you were here in July, you might have noticed the tone of my posts, questioning faith, hope, and such.

So I went home and got away from Utah and Idaho and did my classes online this semester. Along the way, I noticed slowly that although that things were not working out for me, that if I truly left, I would be void of any hope at all. I'd live, but I would be just a different kind of miserable. Intermittently, I would look up a church video when they popped up, or through classes. I refused to feel too good about them. I really didn't want to try again. I wanted to be left alone.

Although I was taking classes online at BYU-I, there was always a good feeling associated with it. Every class this semester, and I mean every class. Was heavier in including the gospel and applying it than in any other time. I tried to separate the church and the good morals being taught. I just wanted the morals. "Leave the superstitious weakening nonsense to some other guy. I'm sick of falling for it. All that is going to do is let me down again." is what I would say.

Slowly the influence started to come back as wounds healed by a mixture of being with family and friends along with being in my home ward where I started this journey. A mixture of things happened while being here. First off, as much as LDS society isn't perfect, people have it worse here. I'm not talking about money and such really, I am just talking about noticing the dread. People are people and everyone sins differently so I not saying that we are scumbags and Mormons are better. I am saying however, there is a lack of hope in the way they act.

I could almost see my life at a crossroads. I had seen where I wanted my life to be and now I wonder where it would go. I know there are no guarantees and just because I stay or leave the church does not mean I will or will not get a good job, a nice car and a loving wife. The hope to go after those things, however, was drastically different in each scenario.

Little by little, the truthfulness started coming back, then the willingness to act upon the feeling of truthfulness did. I started praying again and going out of my way to make it to church. I feel like I am back to where I was before, maybe a big stronger.

The help came in all different directions. From running into hometown missionaries accidentally, all the classes at BYU-Idaho, people at my ward, friends that would pop up from back "out there" on facebook or texting, and of course, you guys helped to.

I vented a lot before I left. But I would read and reread posts that you gave, even when the posts of a similar vein were made longer ago. I know that I said thank you before, but I don't think you knew how close I was to chucking it at the time. Also, I think my thanks run a little deeper now. At the time is was "Thanks for trying." now it's more like "Thanks for helping."

Jim

I wasn't any help, that's for sure, but I relate to your post of fighting off any good influence of the church. On the outside anyone would think I was a TBM, everything the same as it's been for decades, but inside I let the anti mormon stuff work on me. I keep fighting the good in the church over historical truths that happened before I was born. Kind of like a scorned lover, who doesn't want to get hurt again. But unlike you I haven't been able to break free of it, and love the church again. I'm happy for you. Mormonism for many, can be a good way to live
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For those struggling to live the gospel, I encourage them to consider all that the church brings into their lives.  It is a place that strengthens families and helps immensely in parents raising children.  I am very thankful for the gospel in helping me raise my children. I also think the church is a very important  influence for good in their lives.  I encourage them to be actively involved in the church.  So rather than worrying about historical issues or troublesome doctrinal issues, focus on the positives the church brings into your life.  If there are beliefs or teachings in the church that you feel are not Christ-like, then disregard those beliefs, but don't disregard the entire gospel. It is a wonderful way of life if you are straight.  Not so much if you are gay.

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I'm glad you are in a good place and have found peace in the church. Everyone has to find their own way in life, and the LDS church is a good path for a lot of people. If it makes you happy, that's where you should be, IMO.

 

Merry Christmas, and may 2014 be a year of happiness and personal growth.

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http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/61235-does-hope-work/?p=1209277341

 

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/61235-does-hope-work/?p=1209277342

 

These? :D  (If so, I’m glad to have aided (in however small a way) a change in your thinking that improved your outlook.  I wish you well! :)

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For those struggling to live the gospel, I encourage them to consider all that the church brings into their lives.  It is a place that strengthens families and helps immensely in parents raising children.  I am very thankful for the gospel in helping me raise my children. I also think the church is a very important  influence for good in their lives.  I encourage them to be actively involved in the church.  So rather than worrying about historical issues or troublesome doctrinal issues, focus on the positives the church brings into your life.  If there are beliefs or teachings in the church that you feel are not Christ-like, then disregard those beliefs, but don't disregard the entire gospel. It is a wonderful way of life if you are straight.  Not so much if you are gay.

I doubt it will come as a surprise to you that I (along with many others here) agree with this post ... until the last clause of your penultimate sentence and your final sentence.  To the extent that you were mistreated in the Church of Jesus Christ because of your sexuality while still part of the fold, I'm sorry.  You may disagree (which wouldn't surprise me) but the Church has gotten better at cultivating within its members the ability to separate what it regards as the sin from their treatment of the sinner.  A not-inconsiderable minority of the membership now is benefiting from that.  As for what happens to people whose orientation differs from the majority, perhaps the best approach for those who wish to remain faithful is to say, along with Nephi, "I know not the meaning of all things; nevertheless, I know that God loveth his children," and to trust that, whatever their ultimate fate, a God who loves them won't consign them to unhappiness.

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Glad to hear about your experience, Jim. The amazing thing about it is that you're not alone; your same story has played out with others that I've known. Something draws and guides them back to the church and the gospel with increased understanding and perspective.

 

Thanks for sharing!

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I doubt it will come as a surprise to you that I (along with many others here) agree with this post ... until the last clause of your penultimate sentence and your final sentence.  To the extent that you were mistreated in the Church of Jesus Christ because of your sexuality while still part of the fold, I'm sorry.  You may disagree (which wouldn't surprise me) but the Church has gotten better at cultivating within its members the ability to separate what it regards as the sin from their treatment of the sinner.  A not-inconsiderable minority of the membership now is benefiting from that.  As for what happens to people whose orientation differs from the majority, perhaps the best approach for those who wish to remain faithful is to say, along with Nephi, "I know not the meaning of all things; nevertheless, I know that God loveth his children," and to trust that, whatever their ultimate fate, a God who loves them won't consign them to unhappiness.

 

The church is a more welcoming place for gays then when I first came out.  I hold no ill will against anyone in the church.  I feel like I was treated fairly and with love.  I don't expect any member to understand what it is like to be gay.  It took me a very long time for me to deal with this issue.  How could I expect others to understand easily.

 

Living a life alone, without anyone to share it with or even being allowed any social contact with other gays was a life that just didn't appeal to me.  Since leaving the church, I have found someone that I love very deeply.  We are like soulmates.  He is as much a part of me as I am of him.  We have a wonderful life together.  I could never have that while being a member of the church.  And I don't honestly think that what the church asks of me is not what God wants of me.  I often think of the scripture "Wickedness never was happiness,"  If being gay and spending my life with another man brings me such peace and happiness, then how wicked can it be?  I am sure those in the church look at my relationship and can easily condemn it as being wicked.  But in the end, this is between me and God.  I feel at peace with Him.  So while others find a relationship with the Savior through the church, I find one outside the structure of the church.  

 

It is true, "I know not the meaning of all things; nevertheless, I know that God loveth his children"  And He loveth me.  One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

I am on a path, it is just not the path that the church follows.  Thanks for your concern.  I am deeply touched.

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The church is a more welcoming place for gays then when I first came out.  I hold no ill will against anyone in the church.  I feel like I was treated fairly and with love.  I don't expect any member to understand what it is like to be gay.  It took me a very long time for me to deal with this issue.  How could I expect others to understand easily.

 

Living a life alone, without anyone to share it with or even being allowed any social contact with other gays was a life that just didn't appeal to me.  Since leaving the church, I have found someone that I love very deeply.  We are like soulmates.  He is as much a part of me as I am of him.  We have a wonderful life together.  I could never have that while being a member of the church.  And I don't honestly think that what the church asks of me is not what God wants of me.  I often think of the scripture "Wickedness never was happiness,"  If being gay and spending my life with another man brings me such peace and happiness, then how wicked can it be?  I am sure those in the church look at my relationship and can easily condemn it as being wicked.  But in the end, this is between me and God.  I feel at peace with Him.  So while others find a relationship with the Savior through the church, I find one outside the structure of the church.  

 

It is true, "I know not the meaning of all things; nevertheless, I know that God loveth his children"  And He loveth me.  One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

I am on a path, it is just not the path that the church follows. 

 

Fair enough.  While we may disagree as to the degree to which "the path" the Church of Jesus Christ advocates is "The Path" which He, Himself, advocates, I appreciate your perspective.  I'm envious of you in one respect for having found someone with whom to share your life. I, meanwhile, appear to have "attracted" the collective indifference of my opposite gender in its entirety.  (No small feat, that!  It takes a special "talent" to be that repellent! :D)

 

 

Thanks for your concern.  I am deeply touched.

 

 

You're most welcome.  Whatever our other disagreements, you may rest full well assured that it is genuine. :)   I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year! :D  (And Brother Reel, if you should read this, I know you're always deeply offended by my liberal use of emoticons.  I apologize :(, but I simply can't help it! :huh::unknw:)

 

;)

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Fair enough. While we may disagree as to the degree to which "the path" the Church of Jesus Christ advocates is "The Path" which He, Himself, advocates, I appreciate your perspective. I'm envious of you in one respect for having found someone with whom to share your life. I, meanwhile, appear to have "attracted" the collective indifference of my opposite gender in its entirety. (No small feat, that! It takes a special "talent" to be that repellent! :D)

You're most welcome. Whatever our other disagreements, you may rest full well assured that it is genuine. :) I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year! :D (And Brother Reel, if you should read this, I know you're always deeply offended by my liberal use of emoticons. I apologize :(, but I simply can't help it! :huh::unknw:)

;)

Awww, don't make me cry it's my birthday. How very kind of you to say what you did. :):):)

Kenngo, don't think it's you, the girl thing. My brother in law is very actively seeking someone but the right girl is apparently very hard to find. And they don't appreciate him for who he is. Very picky. He's 51 but not giving up.

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Awww, don't make me cry it's my birthday. How very kind of you to say what you did. :) :) :)

Kenngo, don't think it's you, the girl thing. My brother in law is very actively seeking someone but the right girl is apparently very hard to find. And they don't appreciate him for who he is. Very picky. He's 51 but not giving up.

 

You don't think I should revel in my repellence?! ;):D Oh, and ...

 

Happy, happy birthday, Tacenda Dear!

Happy days'll come to you all year!

If I had a wish, then it would be

A happy, happy birthday to you from me!

 

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Hey all. With all the debates happening here, I'd figure I'd thrown in something hopefully uplifting.

 

I almost left the church this summer.

 

 

Jim

There is a strength of testimony that only lies on the peak found on the other side of the "valley of the shadow of death"...this from someone who knows. Also there be more valleys and it is these memories of when you are now that will give you the ability to forge ahead.
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