Jump to content

Is Mormonism Unlucky?


Dion

Recommended Posts

When I joined the Church I felt like I had it all. A great family, two thriving businesses, and a wonderful lifestyle that taught things I had always believed. I got to the temple and became a member of the Elders Quorum Presidency. And then it all fell apart. My wife divorced me, I lost my businesses and my home, my mother died. I became inactive in the Church.

 

Several years later I tried again to be part of the LDS community. This time I lost another business, my home, and my car.

 

Through it all, I have continued to read the scriptures and pray. Recently I have thought about getting involved once more. Almost immediately I was notified that I would be evicted from my apartment because the house was being sold and that the city wanted to take my car because of unpaid tickets from long ago.

 

So I ask: Is Mormonism Unlucky? Is it just me, or has anyone else experienced this? Is God trying to tell me that the LDS Church is just not for me?

 

I would appreciate some honest feedback.

Link to comment

First, let me say that you have my complete sympathy for your trials.

But I have to say I don't believe it's unlucky.  I believe it's by design.  God isn't telling you Mormonism isn't for you.  He is telling you that since you have the faith to pursue his gospel he is going to teach you to grow.

 

My honest feedback is you probably weren't taught one of the key principles of Mormonism.  I have read this so many times, and I still am working on fully understanding this principle.  I consider this one of the most inspired statements in Mormonism:

 

Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.

 

The gospel is specifically designed to teach us faith and to provide comfort during mortal life.  It was never designed to make everything rainbows and sprinkles.  People with perfect lives never need to turn to God.  Fortunately, very few have perfect lives, and that is by design.

The gospel is designed to provide joy despite our trials, not to make our lives bump free.

Link to comment

Remember Job.

I'm on a portable device, or I would insert some links for you to consider. For now, as much as I wish devotion to the gospel shielded us from trials, it isn't necessarily so. I, too, wish many things were different about my life; one of the few things I'm sure of is that God loves me, trials notwithstanding. If I give that up, what else do I have?

Link to comment

Thanks for the honest feedback.

 

To: JLHPROF

 

I really like your quote. Where is it from? (I couldn't figure out how to quote your quote, so just pasted it here.)

 

"Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith  necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man,  the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life."

Link to comment

It is from the Lectures on Faith - 6th lecture. The only one of the lectures I think Joseph may have written personally (as it reads so differently from the others which are usually attributed to Sidney Rigdon). It has some truly deep doctrine which reads so inspired (and far less "academic" than the others).

Link to comment

Bad things happening is a part of mortality.  I suspect the timing of these events is coincidence, but certainly would give me pause.  An alternate interpretation to "unlucky" is that the adversary is trying very hard to associate these bad things with your membership, in order to keep you from blessings.

 

We recently had a family talk about re-committing to attendance and activity in our Ward, then shortly after my son-in-law died after nine weeks of marriage to my daughter.  Sometimes I identify with Job.  Family illness, depression, deaths, job loss, etc. come with the territory in mortality.  

 

However, the gifts and comfort of the Holy Spirit, along with the support of our friends in the church have carried us through many hard times.  Keep an eternal perspective - bringing our family back to our Father in Heaven is the end goal.  That helps me keep sane when all mortal things about me are falling apart.

Link to comment

Bad things happening is a part of mortality.  I suspect the timing of these events is coincidence, but certainly would give me pause.  An alternate interpretation to "unlucky" is that the adversary is trying very hard to associate these bad things with your membership, in order to keep you from blessings.

 

This also crossed my mind. Again, thanks everyone for the honesty.

Link to comment

Hello Dion...

Welcome to the board...

I do have to say... it seems like you've had more than your share of serious trials... my observation has been that usually when a person joins the Church their life becomes better... so all I can do here is encourage you to not give up... to become active again and let the chips fall where they may... 

I've told numerous times on this board about my own years of being inactive (over 30) and my journey back to full fellowship at age 55 (that was 19 years ago)... during those inactive years, the Spirit would tug at me and, like you, I'd feel the desire to start again... finally I did heed the Spirit and told my husband I really felt the need to return to Church and he was very supportive... so I started all over again at square one and I've never looked back... I don't know that my dear one was quite prepared for the TBM (true blue Mormon) that I quickly blossomed into... the only thing he ever said was that I wasn't as much fun :) ... though my husband did not join the Church and passed away unexpectedly 3 years after I reactivated, he was leaning that way... so his temple ordinances have been completed and we are sealed as eternal companions... I'm now going on 75, and I feel he is waiting for me, perhaps somewhat impatiently...

So... Dion... let me encourage you to heed the Spirit that keeps tugging at you, and go ahead and try again... come what may...  and to turn this all over to the Savior as you proceed.  I send you all good wishes...

 

GG

Link to comment

As promised, here are some links:

 

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/reflections-on-the-book-of-job/

 

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/of-doubt-faith-questions-and-choices/ (See the January 23 and February 8, 2014 updates, respectively, which discuss our motivations for our obedience and how God is not Santa Claus.)

 

I should also note that, while I have made every effort accurately to reflect the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, these thoughts are mine alone.

 

I also like Elder Holland's "Cast Not Away, Therefore, Your Confidence": In it, he suggests that making a good or right decision does not necessarily shield us from opposition precisely because there is an Adversary who wishes to deter us from pursuing that course.  He points out that before Joseph Smith had his epiphany/theophany, his tongue was bound and he was about to give himself up to destruction; right after Moses had his, Satan appeared and ranted on the earth; and so on.

 

I carried this excerpt on a laminated card throughout my very tumultuous legal education:

 

With any decision, there are cautions and considerations to make.  But once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing: if it was right when you prayed for it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now.  Don't give up when the pressure mounts.  Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness.  Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you,

 

Elder Holland's address can be found, in its entirety, here:  https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/jeffrey-r-holland_cast-not-away-therefore-your-confidence/

 

I wish you well. :)

Link to comment

Whenever I see good people continually enduring to the end, or having so much hardship, I think of this song.  I don't know why, but always do and I'm pretty shallow I'm thinking.  But I hope your luck will change, and hope it has nothing to do with being active in the church.      

 

 

Link to comment

I say return to fellowship, push through anything thrown at you, and see what God does at the end of the tunnel. I have a feeling you might like what he has in store.

Link to comment

I wonder what will happen if you return to the faith, and stick with it,no matter the storms that follow.   

 

Sometimes real freedom only comes when we no longer have THINGS.

 

And sometimes things just don't work out the way we hope and plan and expect them to do.   When this happens, it is so helpful to know that we have been where the Lord wanted us, doing what the Lord wanted us to do.   When we have that knowledge, we can know that something good will come of it all.

 

Sometimes the things we think of as unbearable burdens, are blessings we just having recognized yet.

Link to comment

From my own experience and observation, I would make a couple comments that may apply to anyone who feels like everything is going wrong and very little is going right over a long period of time.

Dion mentioned that he began to again read the scriptures and pray. Absolutely the right first step. But the help and blessing some when you act on what your reading and praying about.

Heavenly Father is a tough parent. He will absolutely bless you, but you have to fully and consistently obey the commandments related to the desired blessings. No obedience, or slack obedience = no blessings.

Link to comment

From my own experience and observation, I would make a couple comments that may apply to anyone who feels like everything is going wrong and very little is going right over a long period of time.

Dion mentioned that he began to again read the scriptures and pray. Absolutely the right first step. But the help and blessing some when you act on what your reading and praying about.

Heavenly Father is a tough parent. He will absolutely bless you, but you have to fully and consistently obey the commandments related to the desired blessings. No obedience, or slack obedience = no blessings.

Wow...Broker. Do you do things only to get blessings or do them because it's the right thing to do? Maybe I'm trying to read between the lines here but I think you're setting yourself up for a fall. If I may be so bold or rude to say. I wonder what it'd be like in your shoes. I can only imagine. Personally, I like the analogy of going by the first two commandments, if you follow those, everything falls into place.
Link to comment

From my own experience and observation, I would make a couple comments that may apply to anyone who feels like everything is going wrong and very little is going right over a long period of time.

Dion mentioned that he began to again read the scriptures and pray. Absolutely the right first step. But the help and blessing some when you act on what your reading and praying about.

Heavenly Father is a tough parent. He will absolutely bless you, but you have to fully and consistently obey the commandments related to the desired blessings. No obedience, or slack obedience = no blessings.

I agree with Broker that obedience brings blessings, but, as one of the links I posted earlier mentioned, I don't think God's like Santa Claus, blessing us when we're "good" and giving us "lumps of coal" when we're not.  The scriptures are replete with examples of people who faced stiff opposition despite their efforts to do the right thing: Nephi, Job, Paul, Joseph Smith, and on and on.

 

See also:

 

Here - http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/65698-why-pray-thy-will-be-done/?p=1209517367

 

And here -  http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/65698-why-pray-thy-will-be-done/?p=1209517533

Edited by Kenngo1969
Link to comment

Bad things happening is a part of mortality.

 

 

 

 

Hap crappening? ;)  I also like what Rabbi Harold Kushner once said: Expecting to have a trouble-free life because you're a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge you because you're a vegetarian.

 

 

We recently had a family talk about re-committing to attendance and activity in our Ward, then shortly after my son-in-law died after nine weeks of marriage to my daughter.  Sometimes I identify with Job.  Family illness, depression, deaths, job loss, etc. come with the territory in mortality.  

 

 

I'm very sorry for your loss.  May you find peace. :)
Link to comment

I say return to fellowship, push through anything thrown at you, and see what God does at the end of the tunnel. I have a feeling you might like what he has in store.

Good advice.  Perhaps you should prepare yourself to traverse a long tunnel, however. :)

Link to comment

Perhaps Heavenly Father inspired you to join the church and get active again because He knew the hard times were coming and wanted you to get help when you most needed it. Maybe if you stick around long enough you will see the good things swing back while you are active...

Link to comment

I watched this last night.  Made me ashamed how I think I have it bad sometimes and don't do much to change my situation a lot of the time.  This awesome guy didn't let things get him down.  

 

Sorry if this derailed the OP.  I am amazed at the OP's tenacity to get through all he did.  Just like this young man!

 

  

Edited by Tacenda
Link to comment

While hope is important and I hold much hope for this life I do not know how to hold out hope for good things to happen in this life. God may mourn with me as life smashes my hopes, ambitions, and dreams for this life he still allows them to be smashed.

Link to comment

I was baptized and joined the church in April of this year.

Then in May found some medical issues that now look like bone or blood cancer.  So it looks like I may have at most a year to go, or less.

But I certainly don't look at that as unlucky, but at a minimum luck that I finally did get into the church and start learning the gospel.

I have outlived my mother by 14 years and my brother by 12 years.  So I'm not young.

And I knew I would die anyway, whether I joined the church or not. 

I do regret not joining the church long ago, but at least I did make it at all.

I didn't make a conscious knowing effort to join the church, I was just drawn in.  And maybe I was informed subconsciously by the spirit that there was now good reason to do so.

Thanks for that quote of Joseph Smith from the 6th Lecture.  That was directed exactly for me, and as I started to read it, I knew it was from Joseph Smith.

It fits my situation perfectly.

I feel very lucky.

dc

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...