Aloneness and Community --
I found this quote in a book I am reading by Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity. For some years he was the ringmaster for a website named http://www.internetmonk.com/. He died of cancer this year, but I think this book sums up his philosophy pretty well. Mine also.
A lot of the journey I'm on is described by this quote:
"I want to be one who values relationships and community, but who is not defined by them. I want to have the certainty, confidence, and contentment that come from knowing who I am in the eyes and heart of God, not just who I am in relation to people.
"At the foundation of the Christian life, there is a kind of sacred individuality, a sort of holy aloneness that cries out to be left alone with God. This isn't all of the Christian life. It doesn't erase those parts of a Christian's experience that happen in the context of relationships, but this sacred solitude nees to be discovered, respected, and protected".
Possibly this is a major area the LDS church falls short. So much of the LDS experience is defined by the group that there is really not much structure for establishing a personal relationship with God. Certainly the necessary practices are described, which would be foundational and sincere prayer and scripture study. Yet maybe the end goal isn't laid out very well, nor is a sense of spiritual individualism really valued. Your primary value in the LDS church is your value and relationship to the group, rather than your own intrinsic value. It's not possible to sit in an LDS meeting for more than five minutes without receiving a list of ways to "lengthen your stride" to conform more to the goals of the group.
Alas this is just not who I am as a person, nor is this the Jesus I see in the Bible. The true gospel is about earnestly seeking out the desires of God and conforming to those, as imperfectly as we understand them, and not merely conforming to a group.