Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introduction of a Heretic

So I'm back. Couldn't stay away, I guess.

(dunno what I'm talking about? catch up on the tabs up there)

I stopped my last blog because I'd had enough of bitching about the church and its doctrines and doing whatever I could to convince someone, anyone, to take off their rose colored glasses and stop being so goddamn blind (willing or not) or at least so goddamn closed-minded.

It doesn't work.

Well, not for the most part.

Even if you're just trying to convince them that the world ain't black and white.

But this time I'm not here to convince anyone of anything--period. This is just me doing my best to make sense of mental chaos in the hopes that others will join the discussion (and not try to convince me I'm wrong--not because I think I'm right, but because I don't care to debate whether I'm right or wrong).

I haven't been to church--well, not to my own ward--in a little over a year. I go through periods where I don't care about this. I go through periods where I think I'm just fine being one of teh inactives. Times where I'm quite comfortable stating there might not be a god and that Christ may not be divine or even real, for that matter.

But then there are times when I really do care. Nobody has really made any effort to contact us since going completely inactive, which, while somewhat nice is also a little offensive.

There are also times when I don't want to be inactive. I want to resign. The most recent time being this past month with the overturning of Prop 8 and the church's misleading reaction of the judge who overruled the will of people who voted not once but twice to "keep marriage traditional." Seriously, guys? There are so many lawyers in the church to make this reaction un-be-fucking-lievable. They know how the system works, but they want what they want no matter how they can get it. The end justifies the means. They lied. They think their members are stupid. They don't want them to know the truth, that although the system worked as it should they didn't get the outcome they wanted. No. By saying what they did they encouraged the sentiment shared by many of their conservative members that this was the action of an activist judge turning our country into a dictatorship. The world is coming to an end. Dwindling in sin and unbelief. Proof that Satan rules this world and WE MUST STAND FIRM ON WHAT IS RIGHT.

And yet, frustratingly, there are times I want to go back.

There are also times when I can't, for whatever reason, be comfortable with the idea of the nonexistence of a god and moreso about Christ. I imagine this is largely because I grew up with this teaching. Brimstone and fire and the like.

These are the times I forget. These are the times I'm ruled by emotion. I want to be ruled not necessarily by logic, but honesty and peace. Not easy.

But I know I may never totally shed the Christian or Mormon from me. It's a recovery effort. If I am a believer in god, it is a belief not satisfied by any religion I've come across. Though I feel most at home in an LDS chapel, it is not because of the doctrine. It is not because I believe it to be true. I can, however, honestly say I reject the Bible and the Book of Mormon as a whole, though I do love some of their teachings.

But it's hard to remember these things. It's hard to feel so alone and uncertain. It's hard to remember that strong commitment and belief in The True Church was a big reason I was initially interested in my husband--hotness and incredible, otherworldly connection aside. While his confident disbelief or rather non-belief is certainly no dealbreaker, it puts us on different pages and I'm so not used to that. It's rather scary.

It's also difficult to be surrounded by people who, while kind, can't understand and feel I am destined to something less than they are. That I'm immoral, have sub-par values, that I'm not strong enough. People who might feel the need to stay away from me because I refuse to get in line with them like a good god-fearing girl should. Because it might be contagious.

It's difficult to convince myself that it's okay to feel whatever I feel, even if that feeling is anger.

It's difficult to convince myself that I'm moral enough, worthy enough, and good enough for any god that might have created me and put me here.

And that pisses me off.


  1. Glad to see you back, Lisa. I've missed you and always looked forward to your posts.

    I can relate to a lot of what you've written here. I'm in a slightly different place than you -- but only slightly.

    Ironically, after delving into the maze of Church history and hanging on by a thread for years, the straw that broke my camel's back was when I started to get involved in service among refugees and discovered some interesting and disconcering parallels between Mormonism and other religions -- especially Islam. Not only did I discover many parallels between the religions themselves, but between myself and some of these people I've gotten to know personally. It's ironic that this shift came at a time when I was perhaps being more "Christlike" than I ever had been before, and was determined to "endure to the end." I didn't foresee the shift coming in the way that it did.

    I'm not atheist and I'm still technically Mormon, but these past few months I've been propelled into a much more universalistic view and have found myself sometimes even attending the state Lutheran church simply for a change of scenery -- the same church that I almost despised when I first came to Norway. And low and behold, the spirit -- or whatever it is -- is just as present there as it ever was for me in the LDS Church.

    So what am I now? Nothing, really. My lifestyle is still virtually the same as it's always been, but my mind and spirit have been totally gutted. I still have this on-going love-hate affair/facination with Mormonism and religion in general. The journey is difficult, but fascinating and full of meaningful spiritual experiences ripe for the picking. They just haven't been at all how or where I'd expected even just a year ago.

    Welcome back, girl. ;)

  2. FD! it's so good to see you! I've had the same sorts of revelations about other religions and the spirit and whatnot.

    Gutted is a good description for how i feel after, too.

    And finally! someone put what is obvious into a graph. That was great, thanks for sharing


  3. Good to hear from you again. I can relate to some of your struggle in this regard. I'm still active and still believe in the core of the LDS Church, but I continue to grow more heterodox, and don't rule out abandoning the faith at some point. I respect those whose consciences lead them out. Look forward to what you have to say.

    (BTW, I can't seem to see the link to the graph).

  4. Thanks, Derek :) It's good to have you here.

    I feel like this is a reunion of sorts--one I'm actually excited to attend, haha.

    As for the graph, click on this link

  5. Oh, yes, a friend of mine (GreenMormonArchitect ) posted that on FB the other day. Yep, exactly what I've said again and again to my associates, but so few people can see what is so obvious.

  6. Lol, a reunion. Perfect description! Nice to read your thoughts on this again Lisa. I feel like I've come full circle...I happened to stumble upon your blog back in 2008, fell in love with your ideas, thoughts, beliefs, writing, etc. and it propelled me forward into my own journey. I felt confident after reading your blog that I, too, should try to brave myself up and start standing up for what I believed in.

    And here I am, 2 years later, feeling more and more comfortable in my own life, still unsure of where this is going to lead me, but I have enjoyed the journey thus far...hard or not. All thanks to you and your Blog Part 1 :)