I've been wanting to put up more posts so bad, but haven't had time to finish any of them. School's been pretty busy lately, and I still haven't found time, so I thought I might try something. I'm hoping to get some responses in order to increase my understanding of why people believe in what they do (particularly beliefs related to the Mormon church). I understand that not everyone wants their responses posted on a public blog, so feel free to shoot me an email and I'll keep your response completely confidential (email@example.com).
I hope this doesn't sound silly....but I really need some information to put some perspective on some things that have been really racking my brain lately.
These questions are specifically for members of the church, who have grown up in the church (since these people are the ones I can most closely relate to), however, this can extend to anyone who has believed in God their whole life. Heck, anyone can respond....just as long as it's related somehow.
As a true believing member, have you ever put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never heard the gospel or believed in God? Just for a minute, let's say you've never heard anything about TheBook of Mormon, nothing about TheBible, maybe even nothing about God. What would it take to convince you that those things were true? What would it take to convince you that Joseph Smith was a prophet? I'm talking from a completely blank slate, here. Pretend you know nothing about Moroni's challenge....what if these were things you have heard for the very first time?
Would you be convinced? ...and why?
This is something I thought about a lot when preparing for a mission. I ended up not being able to find really good reasons why people should listen to what I had to say, which is why I ended up cancelling my plans to be a missionary for the LDS church. This was one of the first times I had ever REALLY questioned whether or not the Mormon Church was true. I could come up with many reasons why people should join the church....but I couldn't find any possible explanations (or evidence) to convince people that it was true. There was no way I could go on a mission and tell people to believe in those things without knowing them, myself.
However, I realize that people DO convert....but I need to hear what they have to say about this situation as well. What kinds of things went through your minds? I'm super curious...
Anyways, I apologize for those who aren't or ever have been Mormon or religious....It's probably a boring post for y'all. I'm not really here to entertain...just to vent my frustrations and set some things straight. Thanks for understanding :)
Peace and Love,
or for those of you who are my facebook friends, feel free to keep sending me facebook messages :)
It's not easy being an exmormon. I know I'm diving right into this blog without any initial explanation, but time and time again I thought of how to 'come out' as a non-believer to my friends and family. I could never figure out an appropriate time or place to do it. There is no simple explanation. I always felt it would take at least a week or two of speaking, from dawn until dusk, each day before I felt I could adequately express the reasons why I decided to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have also been afraid of the judgements coming from other members of the church. I remember what it was like to be a true believing member and how judgemental I was of others who did not appear to be on the 'straight-and-narrow'. I guess this is what they mean by karma...
Anyways, the reason why I finally decided to let it all out is because I'm sick of sweeping everything under the rug. I have told a few individuals face-to-face about my resignation from the church, such as my mom, sister, brother, and my brother's wife. I broke the news to them just under a year ago, shortly after sending my official resignation letter to LDS headquarters in Salt Lake. Since then, besides the initial conversation, no one has ever brought it up. No one asks me why, or is even curious about my views. The situation has been treated as if I had never said anything and I could never figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I could never figure out if they actually don't think about it and it's not a big deal (which is what I'm hoping for, actually) or if the concept of me being a non-member is such an uncomfortable thought that they don't want to bring it up. It could be something completely different, but who knows? Whatever it is, the silence is really killing me. I hate that no one tries to understand. The less we talk about it, the more I just feel like they are thinking, "That girl is just crazy, end of story."
I feel like it's time to say something, if only to make myself feel better. I can't possibly understand why people don't have a desire to explore what's beyond their own noses...perhaps it's the scientist in me that drives me to ask, "why?" and maybe I have to just accept the fact that people are content with doing only what they're told and believing what they 'ought' to believe without really being critical of their sources. I certainly don't feel true to myself when I conform to fit the expectations of others without asking questions. ...my throat sinks down to my gut when I think about people who live their lives this way. And all I want to do is reach out and help....but if I did, I would only appear to them as the devil's sidekick. This is so unfair.
I finally decided to write about my experiences and reasons for being a non-member because I wanted to put everything on the table. No one will bring it up, so I will. And anyone who wants to learn more can read about it, and those who don't can just continue to ignore. I deserve to discuss how I feel after all the years I spent blinded by the church. I was inhibited as a person (but I'm sure I'll write more about that later), lacked true happiness (that's right, you heard me), and could not think for myself (which could have had a lot with my age, I admit).
It really hit me when I sat at the dinner table with my mom and her boyfriend's parents (all LDS) and her boyfriend's father said (referring to my mother), "So, I assume your girls are also members of the church?" I awkwardly glanced at my mom (who I wasn't sure remembered that I left the church, since we never talked about it!) and said, "I'm not."
There was an uncomfortable amount of silence.
It sickened me that the conversation ended there. No one wanted to know more. It was swept under the rug. No one was curious. In retrospect, I should have taken the opportunity to elaborate; however, explaining myself always seems in vain. It's as if I have to keep my mouth shut in order to prevent the assumption that I'm trying to 'seduce them to the dark side'. Hence, the blog. I need to get it out...but I don't want to force my thoughts and experiences on anyone. It's here for people to read. It's here for people to ignore...but I hope it sheds some light on why I resigned for those who are afraid to bring it up (if those people even exist).
Anyways, I also exist beyond virtual space, so if you know me and want to talk to me in person, please don't hesitate - we can even go for coffee (or hot chocolate, rather!). On the other hand, if you want to bombard me with scriptural references, prophetic quotes, and prayers....well, it's not going to do much, and please, I ask that we skip the yelling and cheap put-downs.
Expect more related blog entries from yours truly...my ultimate goal is to get my feelings out once and for all so I can just let go of it all and move on in life. I thank those who have read this entry from start to finish! Congrats, that wasn't so hard, was it?! ...sorry, I'll try not to be so cheeky.