Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Masochist Mormon

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."

or

"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."

Bullshit!

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.

But.

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.

31 comments:

Grégoire said...

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?I think it might be more difficult for a convert (like yourself) who bought into it as an adult. I guess you have as much right to be angry as anyone who gets taken for a ride. Not that Mormonism itself is a con-game, but I think the missionary process is something like that.

I can look back and realize that I was never very superstitious. I remember as a little boy getting fed those stories about people raising themselves from the dead, Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus, etc. etc. I sat quietly while laughing inside, just assuming that nobody else *really* believed any of this stuff either.

I guess those of us who were born into this tradition were more likely to take the stories with the proverbial grain of salt. I'm still surprised that anyone actually takes the doctrine of the church 100% literally. At some level, I assume people see the mythology of it all (patriarchal blessings, the book of abraham) as symbolic literature rather than actual history.

So, no, you're not *too angry*. You read metaphor literally, and while that might be partly your fault, it's worth being upset about.

Maren said...

You know, at church this past (Easter) Sunday, I sat there very disturbed. I couldn't figure out what was bothering me. I was antsy. Finally, my 6 yr. old son was getting too restless for me and it was a perfect opportunity for me to get up and leave. Once I took care of him, I stood outside in the foyer looking out at the fields and trees (our bldg is kind of in the middle of nowhere).

The wind was blowing, and it was "nice" outside. I felt angry that I was cooped up in the building for 3 hours, doing nothing but babysitting in Primary, when I feel the closest to God, His Son, and all they created when I'm OUTSIDE!!!! Dang, I wanted to be out there. So I left during Primary. I drove around and just watched birds (my obsession anyway) at a ramada and then went back.

I guess my point is that while I can't pinpoint all my problems I'm feeling with the church, I read your post and I feel like giving you a big hug because I DO understand what you feel. I understand how ridiculous most of it sounds when you hear the "standard" answers of faith, trust, and obedience. I understand the confusion (for me this is a biggie, having been born into all this) of whether these thoughts and feelings are "of Satan" or my own feelings and thoughts. How can someone like myself, who can still abstain from profanity, the W.of W. baddies, etc., still show great love, service, and attention to kindness, AND have quite the deep spiritual connections I feel, BE EVIL and influenced by SATAN!?!?!

yeah, there's anger and confusion. That's why I get you;)

While my husband isn't quite so much where I am, he's annoyed by some of it. But when I told him I was done with my Primary pres. calling after this next week (because I am doing Sharing time...can't let them down), he was "surprised". Not sure why...he's heard me mention it before. He asked why and I told him that I won't stand up there anymore and tell those kids that tatoos are bad and desecrating to their bodies because I happen to like tatoos and don't think they're bad! That's just one of many reasons, but he thought it was funny.

shannon j said...

Ugggg. I understand your frustration. All I can say is good luck with coming out of the closet. We recently told my in-laws and it turned into lots of drama. I honestly don’t think we’ll ever tell my family because it caused so much distress with my in-laws. But I guess if you live close to the family members or have wedding coming up, then it has to come out.

I just struggle with the fact that I am constantly judged because of the things I don’t do (like temple attendance, tithing, etc) but nobody gives a crap about what I do (like service). I’m not trying to make myself all high and mighty but I’m honestly trying to be a good person and help others. Nobody cares about that because I’m not being the perfect little obedient Mormon.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

As one who was raised in the church, I disagree with Grégoire's view that those born in the church are more likely to understand the church's teachings to be metaphorical. While some do, I think that most (more than 50%) of active Mormons are very literal. I was taughgt and grew up in a nearly totally literal Mormonism, where questioning authority wasn't even an option, ever, and people believed that pretty much everything (the Book of Abraham, and indeed all scripture, Patriarchal blessings, etc) was completely, literally true. I think the church wants its members to be literal, because to me metaphorical is to have more control over your own life, instead of the church having control.

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?No. Never, ever. You have every right to be angry, and I hope you don't ever keep quiet. The church needs more people like you who question and challenge and refuse to be placated by meaningless platitudes.

Soxy Pirate said...
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[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

@Soxy

Are you disupting that "many conservative Mormons" don't actually believe that if you're not a neocon, you're not righteous? Because I find that, well impossible to believe, based on my and many, many others' experiences with "many conservative Mormons".

Soxy Pirate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

How?

Forgive me if I'm not understanding you correctly, but that sounds pretty offensive. It sounds like you're (no matter how lightly) condemning her for being herself and having differing opinions and beliefs which reinforce conservative Mormons' views that if you're not just like them, you're unrighteous. It almost sounds like you're blaming people like her (and me) because we don't hold to orthodox Mormon religious views, for being part of the problem that conservative Mormons have with their unreasonable rejection of anything deemed "liberal".

Lisa said...

Greg: Well. Hm. I'm unsure at the moment what I do believe. That said, those who I am in contact with take the stories from the BoM and D&C to be literal. The Bible is a different issue all together, but the belief in literal supernatural experiences and situations are totally eaten up by many members.

Maren: Are you on facebook? Friend me if you are. Seriously.

Shannon: Eehhh, I'm sorry. Drama sucks, and I get your frustration as well. The focus is skewed and before we know it our guilt is on what we're not doing rather than what we are doing (or at least SHOULD be)

Craig: No, no, no. Soxy was referencing something else.

He feels, I believe, my general portrait of Church teachings to be a caricature, but not this particular aspect of the neo-con.

Right?

But thank you. I still haven't had my "ah-ha" moment as to why I'm angry exactly, but I am and I hope to work through it with as little casualties as possible. Many of the feelings I'm experiencing are rather familiar to be, reminicent of my initial investigation/conversion to the church. Strikes me as slightly ironic.

I would hope working through my feelings on a blog would be a safe enough place, but I'm unconvinced. All I know is the simmer of silence makes for one hell of an eruption.

Lisa said...

Well, damn. To think I read your comment in a nice light, Soxy. I was ready to defend you.

I'm sorry it's come to this, but I honestly cannot figure out why you insist on coming here and picking at most everything I say to the point of being an ass.

Your comment was not only offensive but totally unnecessary. Again, nobody is forcing you to come here and if you insist on continuing with your inflammatory comments know you're no longer welcome here.

Just because our experiences differ does not for one moment mean I'm living in the back hills. I've refrained from debating with you on this to the extent I'd like and will continue to do so because it's a stupid debate that will go absolutely nowhere.

Seriously, Soxy. You're alone on your soapbox around here. Your comments are hardly helpful and I invite you to reconsider posting them.

Thank you, Craig.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

:) no problem. That's what I'm here for. To call people on their bullshit.

Grégoire said...

@craig: i guess when i was a kid (and i haven't been active since seventeen) i indulged in a bit of solipsism. in my defense, it was really the only way i could explain intelligent people believing such fantastic stories with no basis in reality.

for the first time in over fifteen years i attended an lds service last sunday. it was an astounding experience, much more bizarre than i ever could have scripted. i'm still trying to wrap my mind around what happened, but that's an article for my own site.

in any event, that's a long way of telling you i don't disagree with you. i did a lousy job of putting my own ideas across.

Soxy Pirate said...

K and Lisa,

Well...both.

I do believe that conservative Mormons often target the caricature of the "liberal Mormon" that very much resembles some of the things Lisa mentions in this post, and in that sense she (and presumably K) reinforces a stereotype.

At the same time, I think it's good that she voices these particular concerns and shows that the very notion of "a good Mormon" is misleading, as many of us have fundamental disagreements with some church doctrines/practices/cultural norms, and that our unwillingness to conform is not indicative of a "lesser" Mormon, only a different brand of Mormonism.

She doesn't go about it the way I would, and I certainly don't want my brand of Mormonism (or liberalism) bunched up with hers, but I credit her for the courage come out and speak her mind in the face of so much adversity. I can't really imagine myself sticking around in a community/organization that brought me so much grief.

Soxy Pirate said...

da da da damn...a lot happened since I started writing that last post!

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Well I know I wouldn't want your brand of liberalism conflated with mine either.

Soxy Pirate said...

Lisa, I deleted the first two comments as I discovered that while posting and simultaneously watching American Idol (and wanting to smother kittens because of how annoying Paula and Kara are) I said something that I had absolutely no intention of saying in response to K's post. The question I thought I saw and answered turned out to be very different from the question he asked.

The post that remains is a more accurate representation of what I was trying to say. I do not blame you for being upset about that.

Oh, and K: Was that a "I know you are but what am I?"

Haha. Ouch.

Lisa said...

Soxy: We obviously differ in how we see and experience the Church and how we respond to it.

That's fine. I've no issue with that.

The thing is, I don't need anyone pointing out the obvious (stuff I've already admitted to with much reluctance). It doesn't help.

I very much believe there are good, strong liberal LDS members out there and my unwavering support goes out to them. I started this to attempt a dialogue for TBMs like those I know in my own area. Some of the BS I hear almost every time I get together with a TBM friend...It's irritating.

I very much reject the notion that I can't be a "good Mormon" (and by extension, a good Christian) even without the liberal label. It's ridiculous and I would hope more would see that. There is a reason, though I'm still searching for it, that I hold on to whatever threads are left. Perhaps some of it is due to my propensity to masochism (haha) and perhaps some of it is because I do want so much to believe your brand is the true brand and everything I've ever heard/seen/read/been taught is but a farce.

Anyway, thank you for taking care of the earlier comments and clarifying. Obviously we disagree - fine. I just want to keep the snarky insults out of here because we've gotten along well enough before. There's no reason for us not to.

Soxy Pirate said...

I very much reject the notion that I can't be a "good Mormon" (and by extension, a good Christian) even without the liberal label.
......................
I agree 100%. It seemed as if I was saying that because I read K's question wrong. You are absolutely correct about this.
......................

I do want so much to believe your brand is the true brand and everything I've ever heard/seen/read/been taught is but a farce.......................
But my brand doesn't really believe in a "true brand"...ironically enough. That's what I was trying to say in my other response. Though "your brand" reinforces a stereotype of liberal Mormonism that I'm not comfortable being branded with, I don't see any reason why my beliefs AND your beliefs (which are not too different, imo), my lifestyle AND your lifestyle (which are probably more different than our beliefs) and the beliefs and lifestyles of a million other brands of Mormonism can't all be considered legitimate and equally "good". If anything, I'm not criticizing you for your concerns, doubts, or anger (much of which, like I said, we share) but rather the notion that you're so sold on the fact that you can't be a "good mormon" or that you don't belong so "to hell with it."

T.J. Shelby said...

All I can say is: Ditto.

Mark said...

I just wanted to say that it's very possible to be a liberal and be a Mormon. Harry Reid gave an interesting 'devotional' last year at BYU, I'm sure you can find it, about his political views and his religion. I grew up in an very conservative, but educated, Mormon family and since going to college, have found my views drifting much further to the left on the political spectrum. I get some heat for it from my mom and dad, but I just argue it out with them (in a good-natured way). I guess the biggest help for me is that I realize why they think the way they do (because I used to think that way), and I realize why I believe what I do. I respect them as people even if I don't feel their minds are open enough when it comes to politics. My older brother has turned more liberal as well. I guess I just don't let it interfere with my religion. (there definitely are some tough choices to make when they directly clash, but I feel for the most part, the teachings of the Church (even if not the culture) allows for a lot of latitude).

Lori Ann said...

Lisa,

I admire you for being brave.

Maybe there is something wrong with me- I think I am a little spiritually shallow:) I never have had much spiritual angst.

You can't live your life to please family or to hedge your bets on exaltation.

That is what makes the LDS church unique amongst other Christian churches. You can't be half in and half out.

That is not to say that you can't question doctrine or authority or whatever. Question away..

However, I feel like your writing conveys a sort of sense of resentment and anger. (or is it frustration? I dont read people well!)

It seems all that is holding you to the church is what other people would say if you left, and the pressure you would feel from TBMs, and the social issues, family disapproval etc.

To be truthful, you are being a little bit of a martyr/masochist.

You are an adult. Yes, we are all influenced by our need for the love and approval of others, but you can't hold them responsible for your decisions.

Aerin said...

Best of luck to you Lisa. This is a hard road. I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you and your family.

From my understanding, there WAS a time when church doctrine and culture were different. Before the WOW was a temple recommend question, for example.

From my perspective, it is not the case that the Utah LDS church is the same yesterday, today and forever. I think we can all come up with multiple examples of that.

And there might have been a time when it was more acceptable to share different opinions/political philosphies than church leaders - to study and publish history without being ex-communicated. That hasn't been the case in recent history, however.

I guess what I'm saying is, what
you're looking for may be possible. It may not be possible. I can't say.

The truth is, many LDS will not publically admit it, but the LDS church is NOT the best place for everyone or the only place of truth. It certainly was not the best place for me.

Perhaps I fall into a category of former mormon. I'm comfortable with that. But if you say that the LDS church isn't right for everyone, you run into issues with the missionary culture.

Just my .04 and I'm happy to agree to disagree with others here. I believe some things will have to change with church doctrine and history for the LDS church to remain strong and vibrant.

Lisa said...

Soxy: I'm one of those annoying folk who truly has never felt she belonged much anywhere, so my not belonging within the culture of the Church is hardly a new issue. It's just same ol' same ol'. I can deal with it because I've dealt with it before.

Anyway. I don't know what else to say without repeating myself. I wish I was as confident in what you say as you are, though. That doesn't mean I'm dismissing your beliefs, just coveting them.

Mark: True, however there are different ways of being a liberal Mormon - not just politically. When my bishop and fellow members take my testimony and loyalty to both my covenants and the leadership of the church into question because I disagree with a core doctrine/directive, I have to wonder just how free I am and just how much latitude there is. Truth, I can believe whatever I want but I am to refrain from talking about it. There are numerous quotes from the Quorum and First Presidency to attest to this.

Lori: I don't want to seem rude or offensive as you've been a respectful commenter and reader, and I appreciate that. That said, you must really be new here.

I don't think strong members quite understand the dichotomy people like me go through, and that's frustrating. I wish they did.

I've been through this before when I joined the church. Same exact shit. What makes this more difficult is that then I was gaining a spiritual/social network. Now I'm losing one (I'm afraid). Add in other factors such as in-laws I adore and children who will be affected by what I do, well...

If you're at all aware of the reactions some members have received when they express sincere doubt or plain disbelief in one or all doctrines you'll understand "difficult" is the understatement of the year.

Also, you'll look at the title of the entry, you'll find I do consider myself rather masochistic - but not for no reason at all.

Hell, there's a whole community of NOMs (New Order Mormons) out there who are far more masochistic than I.

I am holding nobody responsible for my actions. I am considering the consequences of them and hardly look forward to them. I would think most people would consider close family and friends and possible eternal damnnation when making such a decision. That doesn't mean I'm placing my decision on their shoulders; I'm just considering them as I would hope any decent person would.

I did the same thing for my Protestant and decidedly anti-Mormon family when I joined the Church.

Annette said...

Lisa,

I'll keep this brief, though there's so much in my heart. Thank you for being brave enough to post your thoughts. I live in Idaho (gulp) and was raised in the church. The past 5 years (I'm 43), I've been inactive. I feel oppressed when I walk through the doors. I am not happy being there.

Recently (with much angst), I started attending the Methodist church with my boyfriend. When I walked in last week, I felt the peace and love that I've NEVER felt in the LDS church. I still love the people--I have many close friends and family, including my children who are very active--but the LDS church taught me to listen to the spirit. I haven't often felt it there - or even in the temple.

I am so grateful to have been given a strong religious background and the Church has done and does a lot of good in the world. I am SOOOO not against the church or anti-anything. I just don't feel good when I'm there. I never really did. I tried and tried. I have been Primary President, Relief Society President, in the Young Women's Presidency, and I held a temple recommend for years.

Still I never felt "at home". I thought is was me. I was somehow "bad" or not praying enough.

I've come to realize (as obvious as this sounds to many) that God isn't Mormon - GASP. And that He doesn't have only "one true church".

There are certainly laws that should be obeyed, but living by one set of cultural rules isn't one of them. Idaho is a rough place if you're not Mormon, don't attend the temple and are GASP AGAIN a democrat that thinks for yourself.

In the end, I'm not an angry, bitter woman (just trying to head off the "active member's" obvious argument--I've heard that used against others who "stray" for years.

I just know to listen to the Spirit. I personally don't feel it and never have in the LDS church. Some do, and that works for them. It doesn't for me anymore.

OK...so this is NOT brief as I promised, but I was so relieved to hear your story Lisa. I don't feel so alone. I think there are so many of us out there, that feel the same way, but we are apostate if we don't feel what we are told to feel.

God loves me (and YOU) as much as those that comply with the church. I know that, and I will happily go to church in the warm, humble chapel of the Methodist Church. I remember what it feels like to feel GOOD in church!

Thank you again for your bravery, and for letting me ramble!

Annette

Annette said...

Wow. I just reread my previous comment, and see that I rambled and gave incomplete thoughts!

I'm just chalking it up to the fact that I was giddy to find your blog, and my fingers ran away before my brain caught up.

My thoughts are sincere, nonetheless. Thank you again!

Lisa said...

Annette: It's totally fine!

Glad to have you around :D

Lori Ann said...

Wow..

I think I wrote that last comment during a particularly contentious staff meeting at work. (I am so dedicated to my job) and some of my hostility spilled over into my comments.

I am sorry for coming across as ignorant or off base.

There are alot of things in your post I wanted to comment on..I actually wrote a different comment first but it was WAY too long.

Bottom line: I love your blog. I wish I were as brave as you. This second comment is evidence of my lack of bravery: If I sense someone is upset or doesnt agree with me, I backtrack and apoligize so fast it makes my head spin.

Anyway, keep posting, I may; at times, disagree, but you make me think about things in a different way. Which I think is one of the reasons you have this blog, right?

Lisa said...

Lori: If it helps, I've been feeling rather hostile the last few days too.

It's okay :)

Thank you, and yeah: that is one of the points of the blog. I'm glad you noticed.

Seagulljaap said...

I feel your pain. I have been criticized, attacked, and hurt while at BYU. Apparently if you don't support Prop 8, you hate Mormonism. Yeah. Right.

Granted, I am a little less theologically liberal than some. And I have developed IMMENSELY this past year.

But I stick out the Church because I personally have found happiness here. And I embrace the doctrine for the most part. I am serving a mission here soon and I couldn't be more excited to tell the people of Bangkok about Christ. But I still have doubts. And for me that's worked out as I have come to realize that I can deal with the criticism because I am standing up for what I believe to be right.

And I know for some it doesn't. But I pray that for your sake you can find peace whether it is in or out of the LDS Church.

Sending prayers and blessings on your behalf.

The Silent Observer said...
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Vanessa said...

The fact that your post is considered 'brave' in the context of the church is an indicator that something is wrong with this institution. There are so many things that I love about the church, but the black and white, us vs. them, mentality is driving me insane. I am on the edge, reeling toward leaving, mostly because they don't want someone like me. I am toxic for questioning. It sucks. it just sucks. For the record, I agree with you 100% and the more that we are able to be "brave" and discuss it, we will find that there are so many of us out there that feel the same way. Thanks you.