Something I'm learning:
I don't have a grudge or a hatred or severe disappointment (etc) toward individual members of the church, per se. I get where they're coming from and understand that they are a product of--for lack of a better word, and i know it's a sticky one--brainwashing. They've been told all their lives or, in the convert's case, many years what is what to the point they cannot see anything else. The church could come out right now and declare something obviously immoral or obviously ridiculous and they will still have members who will bow their heads and say yes.
For me, it was being told the answer to my prayer wasn't as good as the answer the prophet got. WTF?
I know what these people have been told. I know people love to be right (i do). I know people like to feel like martyrs for a righteous cause. They like to feel better than others. To judge and criticise. Religion feeds and caters to all of this, no matter what Jesus or whomever else may teach.
Of course not every follower of any religion is this way, but I'm not loathe to submit that the majority are.
And yes, I've had some serious problems with self-righteous and self-effacing members who get up on their highest horse to tell me that I'm wrong and in how many ways. Their favorite saying seems to be that "you can tell me the sky is green all you want, but it doesn't change that it's blue"
(which is a ridiculous saying)
Or they like to tell me that I'm going to hell, breaking certain covenants (or all of them), going against teh prophet of god, ignoring what i deep down know to be true, etc. etc. etc.
So while I've had issue with certain members and will probably continue to have issue with certain members (can't avoid this and let's face it, though their judgments may bother me less now it can still be fucking annoying), my biggest beef is with the church that pulls these good people's strings. The church that puts words in these people's mouths. The church that lies and manipulates and ignores fact in order to press its own agenda, justifying the means to the end.
And it's made me think a lot. My last blog became a means for me to find my courage to unofficially leave the church. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But I did find that courage. I think I started this blog to work to and find the courage to resign because it just seems stupid and disingenuous to remain an official member of a church I cannot stand.
And it hurts for me to say I can't stand it. It was there for me when I did need something like it the most. I do think--though I hate to say it--that I did need to join. But I don't think I ever believed in the purported literal history of the Book of Mormon. I might've thought it was a divinely inspired book, but hardly history. The church catered to some very important needs for the first four years (and that might be generous), but beyond that it broke me down.
Yet in leaving I'm finding a confidence I haven't had, I think, ever. So maybe it's good that way.
But it's not about the individual people. I may feel sorry for them much like they may feel sorry for me, but it's not my place to really say so. They think I'm unhappy just like I think they may not be as happy as they're told they are. But I'm not above thinking some of them are truly happier in the church.
I just can't stand by much longer and be a part of this. I don't know what it'll mean for this blog once I resign, but I'll discuss those thoughts later.
It's all very complicated, my feelings toward the members--but they're humans, too, with needs and whatnot. The church is, for some, all they know. For others it was a saving grace (like for me). For others, they can't fathom anything else.
The church does that. It has progressed and evolved in such a way as to guarantee its growth. They convince the people they speak for God and are thus always right. They tell them if they don't listen, certain things will happen. They say "nonono, we don't pull our members' strings. but we do expect loyalty." They then ensure they are their members' world so leaving is the most frightening prospect of all. So they stay and pay and obey.
And let's not forget their studious PR department that tells them and the rest of the world that they're not really robots.
It makes perfect business sense, and as I was once a girl who bought it all I can't blame current members for believing. I can be annoyed to all hell, but it's probably a projection of my own embarrassment of ever being that way.