Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why I Hate the Church –

I want it to either be true or not true. I hate being stuck in the middle, where some of the time it seems true and some of the time it doesn’t.

I spend much of my day being kind of disaffected. I study the scriptures at least 30 minutes a day after getting my son up for seminary. Most mornings I try to have a short devotional and prayer time. (Some apostate I am). During the day I take short snatches to surf the DAMU, just to keep up on the topics du jour. This week it’s been the high teenage suicide rate in UT, the existence of a “second anointing” in the temple, making people’s calling election sure if you’re high up in the church or well-connected. This tends to bolster my faith in God and Christ in general and make me wonder in specific how I ever got myself involved with the LDS church.

Then I have to go and read the latest Ensign this morning, and there were three wonderful faith-promoting articles reminding me of what I love best about the church.

Family Proclamation

I Needed to Know

Finding What Was Lost

It truly does teach a connection to our spiritual origins as children of God and our ultimate destiny as heirs of all that God has for us in a way I seldom find elsewhere. It teaches those concepts of “forever family” that I believe are more universally true than we appreciate most of the time. The temple ordinances suggest a connection with our extended families that are extremely powerful and comforting in time of need. The cultural connections with friends and family are extremely powerful.

I found myself thinking about what an idiot I am for considering throwing all this away over the doctrinal and historical concerns I have. I thought about my son’s eventual endowment and temple marriage, and I envisioned myself sitting out in the waiting room while some other more “worthy” male was there with him.
I wanted to coordinate with my wife and make a temple session appointment right away.

Then I realized that the things I was thinking about were all about me and what I want. I had to remind myself that I didn’t “think” and “study” myself into the place I am now. I prayed myself here. I’m here because the spirit led me here. The spirit that bears witness to me of the truth of those family connections the temple helps us focus on. That same spirit also bears witness to me that while the example of Christ leads us out into the world to bear the burdens of the afflicted, the church leads us into the family history center and behind a microfilm reader to focus on the dead, who are largely beyond our help.

And I found myself stuck in the middle again, remembering why I hate the church.


TexasGuy said...

I understand these fears. The concept of lasting relationships, but is the answer as neat and tidy as the church would have us believe. I don' think so. I also don't want to miss out on marriages of my children, but that is a long time away. Very thought provoking. Keep being the "best apostate you can be." You are way too hard on yourself.

wife of bath said...

texasguy is right, DH, you are too hard on yourself.
As I've said before, just because the church isn't "true" doesn't mean it's false, either. It doesn't have the corner on the truth market, but there are some great truths to be learned in the church. There are also some disturbing things, but that doesn't make the true ones any less true. It's not black and white, and it would be SO MUCH EASIER if it WAS.