I'm Staying

I haven't much been in the mood to read blogs for the past ten days or so. Reading a computer screen while laying on a bed is a sore for sight eyes anyway. But since I've dropped out of school, I've slowly come to realize that you can only do nothing for so long before you start feeling like there's nothing to do.

So I caught up on the blogs tonight and found myself rather sad at the state of the Mohos. Out of the 45 blogs I read regularly, like... three or four of them are written by people who still like the Church at all. Okay, that may be exaggerating, but it seems like the leaving-the-Church stuff is all I hear and see around me.

I guess I'm just sad for everyone. They'll tell me that they're actually happy with their new, easier, "authentic" paths. They'll even tell me that they feel sad for me. But I'll just keep on being sad, wishing that they could have held on longer and wishing that we all could have some answers that would make things easier.

I don't stay in the Church because it makes perfect sense. I don't stay in the Church because the leaders are perfect. I don't stay because I agree with everything my ward members say at the pulpit. I don't stay in the Church because it's easy. I don't stay because I'm never sad or depressed or lonely.

I stay in the Church because it's true.

If Jesus reads the blogs, I just want him to know that I'm still on his team.

17 comments:

Charlie said...

I know I've already talked with you but, you're amazing and I love you. Keep it up..

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

Just because some of us have distanced ourselves from the church doesn't mean we're not still on Jesus' "team", or that we don't still have a strong faith in God and the gospel. I respect your decision to stay, and a part of me wishes that I could have, but it wasn't right for me.

I didn't leave the Church because it doesn't makes perfect sense. I didn't leave the Church because the leaders aren't perfect. I didn't leave because I disagree with what my ward members say at the pulpit. I didn't leave the Church because it's too hard. I didn't leave because I was sad or depressed or lonely.

I prayed about it, I agonised over the decision, and eventually came to the conclusion that pursuing a relationship and distancing myself from the church (for the time being at least) was the right thing to do.

epadavito said...

The church will always be true. It is hard at times, but I'll never stop going. I finally have a couple callings and that is awesome to be able to help the work of the Lord move forward.

One of So Many said...

What blogs are you reading? Most of those I read aren't like that at all. I guess it depends on who you are reading.

Peter said...

Jesus and I are on the same team too. I feel His love and His acceptance and His support and guidance in my choices. I believe that the Savior reads my blog, understands what I write deeply, and wants nothing but the best for me-- what ever that is for me.

Why do you wish we would have held out longer? Deciding that there is more to ones wellbeing than the LDS Church later would have been just as significant of a change as doing it now. In fact, it would be harder later. When I look at these men who are divorced from their wives and raising their children in two households, I wish they wouldn't have held out so long. I wish they would have decided sooner- before they hurt so many people.

This whole comment is against my better judgment (I'm sure it isn't uplifting you nor changing your mind), but I have to get this last thing off my chest. Do you really think it is ethical to broadcast to the world what you think the people next door are doing when you know that people who read your blog know who lives next door to you? How is that Christlike?

Calvin said...

I wish you would have held out longer because if you had made it all the way, the eternal rewards would probably have been vastly different. I don't believe that your choice was really between leaving the Church and destroying the lives of a wife and children.

I think pretty much everyone who knows who lives next door to me already knows what's going on. Except for BYU; I'm still figuring out if or when that will happen.

And I'm pretty sure that leaving the Church of Jesus Christ kind of tops the list of un-Christlike things a person can do. But, point taken. I'm probably imperfect.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

I wish you would have held out longer because if you had made it all the way, the eternal rewards would probably have been vastly different.

You must have a very different concept of God than Peter and I appear to have. I don't think that either of us believes for a second that God wants us to be perpetually unhappy just so we can say "well I stayed in the church, so reward me now!" God wants us to be happy, healthy, and productive, and if the church makes that impossible for some (and it does), then doesn't it make sense that there is a good life to be had outside of the church, but within the Gospel and within God and Christ? The church is a temporary, earthly organisation, it is imperfect and here to help us, but is not the end goal, or the point of this existence. The church is here to help people come closer to Christ, but in a situation where the church is doing the opposite because of it's imperfect policies and well-meaning but imperfect leaders, don't you think it might be good to be open to the possibility that God may have a place for someone outside of the church? That the church isn't right for absolutely everyone in this life? The vast, vast majority of people never will be nor will have been members of this church, yet they may be as close if not closer to God than most members are. Happiness, righteousness, and Godliness, and most of all, a true Chrsitlike life all are things that exist independent of, and outside of the church.

And I'm pretty sure that leaving the Church of Jesus Christ kind of tops the list of un-Christlike things a person can do. But, point taken. I'm probably imperfect.

Are you serious? The most un-Christlike thing that can be done is to leave the church? That's probably one of the most disturbing things I've ever heard!

Is it more un-Christlike than murder, adultery, rape, molesting of a child, etc.? I know many mormons have the tendency to think very one-dimensionally, but this is insane! No wonder you're so conflicted and miserable. You really believe that if you were to leave the church you would be eternally punished for doing so, don't you? You think that simply by staying the church you'll be better off, no matter what?

Have we not made it clear enough that the answers we got from God through the Holy Ghost about this matter were clear and told us that this (distancing ourselves from the church - most of us still are members, and pursuing relationships) was the RIGHT thing to do. Are you saying God can't tell us that? It really seems that you, and lots of others in the church, are in the business of telling others what God can and cannot say. That's just beyond weird. How can you know what God has and hasn't told me? How can you purport to know that it was the right decision FOR ME, or anyone else? Have you gotten revelation for me? Oh wait, you can't, it doesn't work like that! You only get revelation for yourself, not others. Do you really believe in continuing revelation, and that every individual has the right to revelation about his or her own life?

I wouldn't be surprised if you deleted this comment, but you really need to wake up and realise that there is more going on than just your narrow view of God and the church.

To decree that the most un-Christlike thing anyone can do is to leave the church, is a phenomenally arrogant thing to do. I think that you are trying to do what is right, and I don't fault you for that, but I cannot help but believe that if you continue to think in such limited, black and white terms, you are going to have an extremely rough and miserable time of it.

No where in mormon theology is the doctrine that the right decision has to be the hardest, most painful, most miserable one, the one that tests you the most and makes you the most unhappy - and yet so many in the church believe in it wholeheartedly. God wants us, wants you, wants me to be happy. He wants us to be good, Christlike people. I realise that you may never believe that it would be good for you to leave the church, and I'm not even arguing that point. All I'm arguing is that you cannot possibly know what God really thinks about my or Peter's situation. However, I am in a position to know what he thinks about me, as is Peter in a position to know what he thinks about him. Cannot you be open to the possibility that we are telling the truth? That we are doing what is right, and that we may even be closer to God and Christ than we were before? That we are trying to live our lives the best that we can, being open to any and all assistance, and that we reached the point where we were ready to throw out all our preconceived notions about what God would or would not, could or could not tell us?

I really hope that this helps you re-think that statement you made, and how offensive it is, and how it cannot possibly be true.

I only hope for the best for you. I have no wish to antagonise you or insult you, and I hope I didn't; however, it is statements like that that are the biggest problem in the church right now. So many mormons think they understand their doctrine, but so much of our beliefs are based on our own biased and coloured interpretations of scriptures and our own flawed understanding. It is a provable fact that even General Authorities don't understand our own doctrines anywhere close to fully, and make mistakes in policy and even in their interpretations. God, however, doesn't make mistakes. He tells us only the truth. So, when it comes down to believing and following what God has told me and what I feel in my heart to be true, the same way I feel that Jesus is the Saviour and the Christ, the same way I have any belief in God whatsoever, (and likely the same way that you do too), I will follow that over what any man says.

Like I said, I don't expect you to agree with me, but please don't say things like "leaving the Church of Jesus Christ kind of tops the list of un-Christlike things a person can do." You cannot possibly know any such thing, and while it may be wrong for you to leave the church, and you may have received revelation to that effect, in no way does that make that true for everyone.

I know that God loves me, that he is there for me, and that he is leading me. I don't pretend to know why my path has become the way it is, but I do know that God's love is so much greater than we can possibly understand, and his understanding for our individual situations is perfect. He wants us all to be happy, in this life, as well as the next, and the two aren't diametrically opposed.

I think it clear that God does not want us to be judging one another, feeling we are better than one another, or trying to best one another. We are all terribly imperfect, and have all got a long ways to go. I would hope that rather than trying to tear each other down, we'd simply accept each other, support each other, respect the differences in each other, and then just do the best we can.

Sean said...

I love you... (I hope that causes you to grin again)

I personally don't get why people say that they are unhappy, lonely, and depressed in the church. Yeah, it is a hard path, but if you notice the things that you are blessed with and if you are truly grateful for your blessings, I think that you can be truly happy. It is something that I have been working on lately and my life has never been better!

I was just diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, I deal with SSA, I have problems getting girlfriends (they become my best friends), and many other problems. These are things that I don't focus on. I focus on my blessings and truly thank God for them and I am truly happy. I also know that if I continue this, I can be truly happy in the church for the rest of my life.

Happiness, loneliness, depression, and many other feelings are a lot of the times a choice, not just something that happens.

Calvin said...

kɹeɪ̯g̊,

I appreciate your comment. I don't deny that you are doing what you truly believe is best for you; I can't. But I still believe it's wrong. I'm not about to become a relativist just because it would be the polite thing to do.

I don't know where you got the idea that I'm miserable, but I'm actually doing quite well.

Shades of Gay said...

"...wishing that they could have held on longer and wishing that we all could have some answers that would make things easier." Profound, I absolutely love it.

draco said...

I am up late writing an essay- well I was...

I decided that I have some choice words to post here:

Do people really need to push the crosswalk button more than once? (Oh yeah, I said it!) I mean seriously! Someone walks up to the corner and starts pushing that button like there's no tomorrow- and trust me, it doesn't make the little walking man pop up any faster. And you're standing across the street, watching all this button pushing business- the dude who just finished pushing the button a bajillion times looks up at you and give you this stupid little nod, as if to say "Don't worry- I pushed the button really good- the little walking man will be popping up any minute now."

And don't even think about pushing the button on your side after he's pushed his button! You'll get the nastiest glare when you pass him on the crosswalk! "What!? Didn't you see me push the button!? Was my button pushing not good enough for you!?" he'll be thinking as you pass him.

Another thing I learned about crosswalks- When the little red hand pops up, it doesn't mean to jump up and give it a high five, cause it's not a very friendly feeling.

Christopher said...

Hey, Calvin.

You have a gift for inviting opposition on what I thought was a very staightforward, mild post! I think you're doing great.

Everything that has ever really made me happy has come from the church. The spirit still whispers to me that it is true, just like it did when I had decided to leave it. I'm so glad I didn't.

Adjusting my attitude and will to fit the church has made me much more happy than adjusting the church, prophets, apostles, and doctrine to fit me.

Neal said...

Calvin,

You're doing the right thing. No apologies needed.

You said some profound things I think we all needed to hear. I think its interesting that those who say they've moved on feel a need to hang around and throw darts at those who stay.

One thing I think needs to be cleared up tho - a big excuse for leaving the Church being put forth in the Blogshere is that the Church is just an earthly organization, with warts and imperfections, and therefore an optional accessory. The Gospel is what's true, they say, and you don't really need the Church. Well, this is NOT just a Church, its the Kingdom of God on the earth. HUGE difference! Those who have been to the Temple have been taught this doctrine with utmost clarity. Yes, imperfect mortals may run its earthly accoutrements for the time being, but it is NOT just an earthly insitution. Not in the slightest!


Take care,

Neal

-J- said...

Calvin,

Thanks for your post and for the simple clarity that you provide in your blog. There will always be those (who are entitled to their own opinions) who would tell you that they are genuinely happier outside the church than in it. I might have said the same thing a year ago when I was living in opposition to church principles under the banner of "temporary organization" and "God loves me and wants me to be happy MY way, not His." As you have already pointed out, this can never be the case. Others may really believe they are happier out of the church only because there is a certain release of pent-up emotion and feeling when one enters into a forbidden path with full purpose. Still, in time each will come to the realization that he is indeed not his happiest out of the church. Happier, that may be true. When you have not decided to commit to the church 100% and instead vacillate between living an LDS and a homosexual lifestyle (and are constantly trying to force the two to coexist) you are very unhappy. So choosing one (a homosexual lifestyle) over the other provides some clarity and some happiness. So yes, they may be happier...but I can promise from years of experience, that happiEST only comes from a life lived in accordance with the truths of the restored Gospel.

-J-

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

I truly don't understand why some feel the need to tear others down.

I realise that many have different opinions and beliefs about the church than I do, and I respect that. I don't feel they are wrong for their beliefs, nor do I try to make them change their minds about what they should do.

So when people keep insisting on saying how wrong I am, it gets a little annoying. I realise that I am not doing what you believe is right for you. I just don't understand why you feel the need to denigrate my choices.

-j-, you said,
I might have said the same thing a year ago when I was living in opposition to church principles under the banner of "temporary organization" and "God loves me and wants me to be happy MY way, not His"

And while I have no problem that you have decided to make some changes in your life and feel that they are positive ones, I feel I must point out that I don't have the same feeling you do about what God wants. Yes, I do believe he wants me to be happy, but I believe that I am doing it His way. I don't believe I am contradicting that which He wants me to be doing I simply believe that the particular path He has for each of us is different, sometimes significantly. However, that doesn't mean that either way is better than the other, just that it is better for that individual. This probably sounds like so much "justification" on my part, but everyone justifies why they believe they are right (or wrong).

Anyways, I know I have said all this before, and likely will again. It just bothers me when people attack my life and my decisions and tell me unequivocally that I am wrong. I honestly don't see how someone else can know that I am wrong. I don't pretend to know whether anyone else is, because I haven't any sort of authority over anyone else, and I receive revelations and answers to prayer just for myself, not anyone else. I believe that is something that applies to everyone else as well.

So yes, they may be happier...but I can promise from years of experience, that happiEST only comes from a life lived in accordance with the truths of the restored Gospel.

You have years of experience being yourself and living your life, not mine. You are happier in the church, and for that I am glad for you. I am not. And I know from years of experience that I will not be. My answer is just as valid as yours.

Anonymous said...

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] - Thou doest protest too much. If you are so confident with your choices then don't worry about what other people say. You are changing their minds just as much as they are changing yours.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] - Thou doest protest too much.

Perhaps. Its not so much that I want to change anyone's mind, but that I feel it important to ensure that there is more than one opinion being spread around about these things. I feel that the most dangerous and harmful thing is the belief that we all have to believe the same thing or else we're evil. That's what I'm combating.