I'm just repeating myself anymore.
At times I wish for nothing more than to...not necessarily deconvert anyone (this is hardly a fun thing. I wish it on nobody), but to help someone understand. A commenter here stated not too long ago that she just wanted to understand. But I've realized something: she won't be able to. The ability to understand where I am doesn't exist for faithful, unwavering members like her, because when I'm not preaching to the choir, I'm preaching to a people who are so indoctrinated with absolute authority in fallible men and faith in circular logic that there is no way out unless something clicks despite me.
And I am here for those who are in-between because, dammit, misery loves company :D
The original intent of this blog was to show "TBMs" their way of thinking wasn't the only way. I wanted to show many liberal views are grounded in scripture and are every bit of good as the conservative views. I wanted to help the many conservative Mormons know it's possible to be something other than a neo-conservative bot and still be a faithful member in good standing (which I wanted so much to be). So much for that.
I also wanted to help people see that the world isn't in black and white and that indeed the Church didn't teach that (even though I've only one GA quote to that extent). I wanted to reconcile my own issues, and I wanted to do it in a journalistic, non-biased sort of way.
That journalistic thing (as far as keeping my own views to myself) didn't last long. That's because it was all a lie: I was just scared to voice my opinion.
After completing a post, I'd have my husband read it. He'd suck in air through his teeth and say something like "That's a strong statement."
More often than not, I'd either return to sugar coat, over-explain, or retract the statement all together. At first I thought his reactions reflected personal problems with my words, though later I'd learn he agreed with me but wasn't sure I was ready or completely aware of the possible ramifications of my words. To an extent this was true.
With time comes courage, however, and we're both gaining it. Though he, I think, wants to remain as NOMish as possible, he knows our time in the closet is limited. Our daughter is turning six next month - two more years until that magical LDS age of accountability. My husband also has three brothers and one sister who are "of age" to marry in the temple sometime in the near future (though there are no immediate prospects to our knowledge). We're looking at a home which would place us in a ward which has produced more than a few stake presidents and other stake leaders. His grandmother is in that ward, too, and it wouldn't be a surprise if someone asked us to help her get to church every week (which we'd totally do, but still).
We want the impossible and we know it. It really is saddening. I am still trying to figure out how to make it work because I do want it to work. So much.
Anyway. Back to the blog. I'm tired of all the head spinning. I'm tired of writing entries before realizing "Damn. I know exactly how this will be answered."
For example, one cannot quote from the Journal of Discourses without having someone stop by to say "But that's unauthorized."
Me: "Not unauthorized enough for the General Authorities to refrain from referencing."
Them: "Well not all of it is wrong" (or something equally annoying)
If I quote from an official letter on official letterhead from the official First Presidency something we now know or at least believe to be wrong, we hear this:
"That was just his opinion."
"That was then, this is now. We listen to our current prophet" (who haven't, by the way, recanted all of which we now consider "opinion.")
I'm so *#&^%# tired of hearing that. It's far too convenient. All of the answers are. It doesn't matter what quotes I post because my backup is never enough. No matter what I say there's an answer. Even when I explain that "I've prayed about it" or "I know in my heart this is true" I get some BS about how my prayers are somehow flawed or my personal hopes get in the way or that my testimony in the Prophet isn't complete enough. Or my portrait of the Church is but a caricature (I still disagree here) when I live in the second most populated LDS state in the nation. I'm also fed some quote (more than once) about how the Prophet won't always tell us what we want to hear or what we will agree with and so I should suck it up and be faithful.
The latter really pisses me off because Eric and I felt as if we'd had just short of a face-to-face encounter with God himself when we felt beyond impressed to have our youngest about four years ago, at exactly the same time we first had our "oh man, this church may not be true" thoughts. At the exact...well, it's more personal than I wish it was. Suffice it to say: You want to talk to me about faith and sacrifice despite personal feelings? Let's start there.
But I digress.
I'm tired of it. There's really nothing more I can say on the subject of gay marriage because the Prophet hath spoken. Doctrine or not, the general membership understands through various talks that when the Prophet speaks through official channels it is as if God Himself were speaking and we are to follow the prophet because the Lord would never permit His prophet to lead his church astray.
I could show quotes to the contrary, even in the official Sunday School manual which makes it clear, but dammit: nobody teaches this. Nobody wants to believe it. We want to believe that what the Prophet says in official settings is what God says without exception. It's so much easier to just do what we're told. To believe it's all any of our business. That, if nothing else, gay marriage is immoral to the tune of murder, pedophilia, and drug addictions. And when I throw our polygamous history back in their faces, that the government came in and legislated morality on us - on "God's Eternal Law" - and why that's different if not completely okay now, I hear "That's different. Polygamy was between men and women."
I started this blog because I tired of hearing my very smart friends and family believe and preach stupid things. At least it makes for a fun tag.
But seriously, this otherwise quiet girl wanted to speak up. In time I learned that those of us who choose to look at official words of past and present are viewed with skeptical, dismissive, and even disapproving eyes. That there's a chance for excommunication. There's no room for context. There's no room for critiquing the words of men - however well-intentioned they or we are. Everyone has an answer and very few stop to analyze their own answers because it's safer that way. I get that. I do that still.
The majority of TBMs of the Church, those with their noses brown of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck tout their patriotism without even seeing that we exist in a microcosm which stifles (if not completely forbids) free speech and discourages dissension even to the smallest degree.
Does anyone else see the disconnect? Or has my rant completely gone off base?
Before someone tells me I'm wrong about my dissension statement, let me refer them (again) to Lesson 27 of our current Relief Society/Priesthood manual. The gateway drug to apostasy is in purportedly in the most minute of actions and thoughts.
I can't figure myself out. Why I wanted to go to church Sunday (couldn't, saw family), why I'm not totally against donating some money and time to good causes supported by the Church but only to however much we can. If I miss the temple it is only (and I cannot emphasize this enough) only because it's a beautiful peaceful place devoid of screaming children.
The problem is it's either all or nothing. If we were to attend, I'd have to deal with my children having culture preached as doctrine (or doctrine I find harmful) pounded into their heads and having otherwise well-intentioned leaders screw with their heads and hearts. But there are good things to be had for them as well. The frustration level is reaching its peak.
Though I understand it probably can't work, I can't help but try to fit this square peg in that round hole. It's what I do.
As for attempting to convince anyone of anything, I feel done today. Knowing me, I'll probably rant about it again in persuasive essay form the next time something pisses me off enough - but I need to get off the feeling of needing to convince good members they're wrong. In the end I'm just trying to convince myself I'm right which means I'm not ready to make any decision yet. Unless it's made for me, which would admittedly suck.
And one question I continually come to is this: am I too angry? To I have anything to be sorry for by way of tone? Should I just keep quiet until I figure this out to play it safe?
All I know is this will never leave me. The culture, the people, the teachings. It's been in me for nearly a decade now and we've too much family that I love and respect. This isn't going away no matter what I do, so I have to try to make it work somehow. I have to find my peace within the variables both known and unknown.
I'm just tired of hearing everyone pay far too much lip service to the idea that leaders are fallible when we are taught to act as if they are infallible.
At least when speaking officially.
Which really doesn't mean anything when one can't determine what is official anymore.
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