Married to my Religion
As I’ve stated in my comment on Open thread for faithful Mormons!, I’m a 2nd time convert to the CoJCoL-ds. My wife is a Mormon. I promised her that I would support her goals to bring the kids up in the Church, but didn’t promise that I would convert. Then I had the missionary discussions and ended up converting anyway. I was drawn to the “family first” culture and the additions to the gospel, which gave me the opportunity to learn more about my savior.
However, I’ve always been what I consider a ‘truth seeker’, so I haven’t been resting on the laurels of the “One True Church”. In my opinion, if a church, or organization, or any idea for that matter, claims to be True, then it should have no problems under scrutiny. If it is to be True, then I should be able to investigate every aspect of it and after I’m done, it should come out unscathed.
Over the past couple years, I have gone through each of the phases of Mormonism that I know of (nazi, orthodox, conservative, liberal, and genuine, see: Robert Kirby’s classification of Mormons). I slowly started to learn that the what really happened may not have been what the Church put out as what it would prefer that you believe (official doctrine).
More recently, I’ve been hanging out at MSP and Mormonthink. It is at Mormonthink where I discovered a lot of the truth. The information there is enough to send all but the most devoted (close minded?) followers into a tailspin of faith. Many have left the church, and some have dropped all of their faith entirely. I can certainly see how people have labeled the church a cult.
Even with all that, I am not ready to leave. You can call me a NOM, or you might even call me stupid or delusional, but I believe that there are truths that have been revealed, and even though from now on, while in church, I may cringe inwardly whenever someone makes a reference to the some things, I will just grin and bear it. Why?
It could have something to do with not wanting to create waves in my family. It could have something to do with not wanting the disowning that I’ve heard about from the entire Ward. I think that it is a feeling that I get that the church is where I should be. I’m not the kind of person to give in to fear, especially when it means that I would have to pretend to be someone that I’m not in order to give in to that fear.
My relationship with the Church is my like my marriage. My wife has done things in her past that she isn’t proud of, but that isn’t what I married her for. She often does things that drive me completely crazy, but I will always love her beyond my ability to express it. So even though I’ve found that there are more holes in the CoJCoL-ds story than a sieve, I will continue to attend, and even enjoy the services. As long as my local Ward or Stake doesn’t have some political or business “call to arms”, I will continue to be a part of my Ward family.
To take a page from your book, I haven’t responded to your earlier point because it was pointless. How do you have a discussion with someone who says on the one hand the song is praising Joseph because he “communed with God,” but it really doesn’t praise Joseph, and even if it did, it doesn’t mean the Church is founded on Joseph Smith, otherwise known as the founder of Mormonism. So go off and sing Praise to the Man and all the while tell yourself that this is a hymn in praise of prayer and doesn’t have a thing to do with Joseph Smith. But if you will sing it multiple times you may have a breakthrough and discover exactly who it is that kings will extol. (A hint: it isn’t Jesus.)
On the one hand, the LDS church is patently founded on Joseph Smith and his claims. On the other hand, it has changed or ignored everything about his legacy that they don’t care for (at least as far as they can get away with). But yeah, Seth, saying that Mormonism isn’t really founded on Joseph Smith needs some explanation because it seems pretty self-evident.
When I was a wee mormon girl, I kinda wanted to be a Catholic.
Holy week beat Pioneer Day. Cathedrals were way cooler than boring meetinghouses. (I did like the Logan temple. I imagined it under siege by barbarian hordes.)
And then I read some of the history, and, boy was it Fun. Who could beat the Cadaver Synod. And I was rather fond of John Xll.
So Joesph’s antics didn’t faze me.
But then I’m so jaundiced about religious leaders, I have to photoshop the yellow out. I keep expecting ancient business records to turn up that show that Siddhartha Gautama owned several brothels and slaughterhouses, as well as a lumber mill specializing in 2×4 from the Bodhi tree.
“I keep expecting ancient business records to turn up that show that Siddhartha Gautama owned several brothels and slaughterhouses, as well as a lumber mill specializing in 24 from the Bodhi tree.”
That is awesome! lol