Saturday, January 24, 2015

Staying is easy!

Coming to the realization that the Church isn't what it claims to be, is a difficult and painful process for most people.  Almost inevitably you are surrounded by family and friends who are active members, and STAYING is the easy option.  Please know, wherever you are in this process or whichever "side" you are on, believing or non-believing, please know that STAYING is the easier option, initially anyway.   Not necessarily the right option, but the easier one.  So if you are having difficulty leaving, or someone you love is leaving the Church, please at least give them or yourself the respect that they deserve in knowing that they are choosing the harder option, Not the easy way out. 

When I first discovered things about the Church, that led to my leaving, I remember I would read so many alarming things about the history of the Church, or quotes from leaders, from well documented primary sources, not anti-Mormon literature, that left me feeling distant from it and its teachings.  Then I would go to Church on Sunday, see my friends, do my calling, I was the Young Women's leader at the time, and I would get so caught up in the familiarity of it all, the comfortableness of it all, that I would forget for the moment the lies and deception.  I liked my world, it was easy to walk in those shoes, it was easy to talk the talk and walk the walk.  EASY!!

Staying would have been the easier choice.  Just brush aside the truth and remain in the illusion.  Let the illusion fill my world, suppress the things I learned back into some dark closet in my mind, never to be opened again.  I could pat myself on the back for being triumphant to this "trial of my faith" and go on with my life, just the way it was. No Big Deal.

But here's the catch, integrity would not allow that. When I could plainly see the lies, how could I push it all aside just to make my life easy?  Knowing that staying is perpetuating the lies,  we (my husband and I) could not stay.  We could not in good conscience be used by the Church to promote their illusion of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  That's how we began to view it.  Staying is saying we believe it and it is true, and we could no longer say that.  So we had to go, as difficult and unsettling as that is. 

And there was another reason we had to go. We have a thirteen year old daughter, we could not continue to teach her that this Church is Christ's restored gospel, with a prophet that leads by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.  How could we teach that to her, to have her discover someday that it is not true and then she has to have her world fall apart too.  No, we love her too much to do that.  So for her and for integrity's sake we walked away, when staying would have been easier.  Much easier!

But here's the beauty of it all, it is worth it!  Being free to think on your own, not tied down by religion.  Free to make your choices, see the world through new eyes.  EVERYONE should try that once in their life, let go of the things you have believed your entire life, if just for a minute to see what may be out there that you have never seen before.  It will change you forever, for the better.  Even if you go back to your beliefs, at least you got to see the world from a different view.  How refreshing, how invigorating, how freeing.  Now I let God lead me, I ask God to reveal himself to me on his terms, not mine, and not through some manmade religion, which they all are in my opinion.  Oh, and Sunday what a beautiful day it has become, truly a day of rest, pleasure, relaxation, discovery, nature, food, family, peace, no restrictions, no meetings, no things that I have to do, no lessons to teach, just a day of absolute joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Into the Mind of a Mormon

I would say that there are two great pillars of the Mormon faith:  Truth and God. 

We are taught that we have the truth because we are the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have a living prophet that receives direct revelation (truth) from God. Because we are the restored Church of Christ, we have God.  The Church and God are the same in essence, and God and the truth are the same, so these two great pillars Truth and God, not only do we own them, they are basically one in the same. 

As a Mormon you value the truth, and always want to be faithful to the truth.  As a Mormon you value the Church, and always want to be faithful to the Church.  Since they are one in the same, being faithful to both is easy and not in conflict with each other, and because they are one in the same you don't have to value one over the other... they are equal and the same.  Christ is the author of truth, this is his Church, they are tied together, you cannot separate them.   

This concept of the truth and the Church being one is reinforced by everything in your life.  As a Mormon you may have many spiritual experiences, these reinforce for you the truthfulness of Christ's Church, that you are in the true Church and you have the truth.  All of the Church's teachings reinforce this.  Most Mormons have many Mormon friends and family members, who all reinforce this to each other.  They all believe it and it's their walk and their talk. It has been reinforced by your family, friends, and the Church how important it is to be faithful to Christ, (which is his church) and to the truth (which is his church). 

So... when you stumble upon something or learn something about the Church, that exposes it to be false, I believe in a brief millisecond you have to choose between these two great pillars, the truth and God (the church). I believe it happens so quickly that you are not even aware of the choice that you are making, or that you are even making a choice.  I believe in our subconscious one of these is more weightier to us than the other, and whichever the one is, determines your path. 

For me it was the truth. The truth raised up, and I saw it more clearly, and the truth set me free.  For others, being faithful to Christ, (which in their eyes is the church) is most important, and anything that says the Church isn't true, or threatens the Church will be cast away immediately and quickly forgotten, while the joy of staying faithful to Christ is reinforced by everyone you associate with, and in everything you do.  For the truth to dominate, you have to want to know the truth more then you want the Church to be true.  It's that simple and it's that complex. 

So two people, one that held to the truth and the other that held to the Church, who once held these two beliefs so strongly in common will become separated.  Each one believing they are holding to the most important thing. 

This is where Mormon Faith Crisis Help comes in. Until you are in this situation, you don't know that this world view you hold can be separated, and you might find yourself at odds with your spouse or family member.  If you can see that the person is holding to the one that they have placed more value in, it is easier to understand where they are coming from, and to be less judgmental. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Randon thoughts

Awhile back I was asked to do a workshop in Relief Society.  I don't recall what the subject was, but I put together this list of Random Thoughts that I have had over the years and presented them.  For the New Year, I thought I would share them.  I think they still remain true to the things that I believe;  maybe you will find something helpful here. 

  • Patience is not just waiting things out.  It's moving on with your life and finding happiness in your current situation.  It's more than just letting time pass.

  • Gratitude is powerful.  It's at the center of our happiness.

  • You determine the experiences that you have in your life.  That's very powerful! We don't pick all the incidences that happen; but how we act, react, and our attitude we do pick.  Therefore we determine our experiences.  They can be filled with fear, anxiety, and anger, OR they can be filled with love, patience, faith, gratitude, and forgiveness.  It is our choice. 

  • When you are not controlled by emotions or circumstances, you have power.  When you let yourself be controlled by emotions or circumstances, you give all your power away.

  • Anger---when you get angry, you loose control of the situation.  It feels like the opposite, like you are taking control---but in reality you have lost control.  We sometimes get angry when something is amiss and needs to be resolved, but what we want is an effective outcome, not a loss of the situation. 

  • We do not know as much as we think we do.  Thinking that we know a lot does not bring peace of mind.  When we realize that we don't have all the answers, not even close, then you can put value and merit in the beliefs of others.  You will grow closer to them.  And by acknowledging that in reality we don't know much, it's easier to turn things over to God, or the powers that be. 

  • As a wife and mother I need to have a vision of what I want my family to be.  We are all part of each other.  If I attack, criticize, complain against, or judge any member of my family, I am attacking myself,  who I am.  Your family is who you are.
The following are from my Mormon faith, or I should say things that I learned for myself  when I was a practicing Mormon.  But I think I still believe in them today.  You decide for yourself.

  • When it seems that God is not answering your prayers for help---He's wanting to give you something.  Calm down, humble yourself and learn what it is He's trying to give you, you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Pride, fear, and selfishness are enmity with God.  Love is the antidote to fear.  Did you know that?  Perfect love casteth out all fear.  Love is the antidote to all three: pride, selfishness, and fear.  Humility takes that enmity away with God.  Humility is power.  Power to do what? To tap into God's power.  To do what? To change us.

  • Christ is the author of our liberty.  He has unconditional love for us.  His never ending desire is to lead us to freedom and deliver us from bondage.  He is full of truth and his truth will make us free in every aspect of our life.  It is the adversary's goal to harden our heart so we no longer are receptive or guided by the Spirit, separating us from God.  How do we win this great battle for our freedom?  The word of God is the healing power.  It is sharp and piercing and can conquer all things.  Jesus said, "Whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me...I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world."  Christ offers us freedom and eternal life through his atonement.  All we have to do is believe Him, have faith in Him, believe the truths and freedom that He offers.