Sunday, December 2, 2007

figuring it out II

I bet that in my journal almost as much ink is used to record the words of other people as is used to record my own ideas and thoughts. It stems from my lack of skill with the written language; everyday I come across something written (or said) by someone else that neatly sums up a concept that I was struggling to put in plain English. I used a good amount of ink to copy down some of the things Sara Miles wrote in this book. Not only is this a beautiful account of her conversion and finding of her life’s mission to feed the poor, in this book she also puts into words some of the feelings and ideas that I have been having regarding organized religion (especially the Mormon religion, the faith I was raised in). Here are a few passages from the book:

“Any church was going to be disappointing. Wherever I went, I’d have problems as well as glorious epiphanies. Wherever I went I’d have to meet myself, and other people, if I wanted to get closer to God.”

“Everything I yearned for… was never going to be found neatly wrapped up inside the comfortable rituals of Religion… I was going to have to hunt in what the Bible called ‘the rough places,’ ‘the lonely places,’ ‘the desert”; among the people who had been cast out, in one way or another from the church.”

"[I reflected] on all the ways religion tried to manage and tame God; through compulsive rule-making, magical rituals, good behavior, [and] the sheer weight of church tradition."


Sara still chose to work from within from within a church and congregation to pursue her calling from the Lord. I keep wondering if I could not do the same. However, the small liberal Episcopal Church that Sara found God in is a far cry from Mormondom, particularly the brand I was raised with. There are so many things that I think, but cannot say to my LDS friends and family. I have become hidden, underground. Am I DAMU?

5 comments:

mr. pink's mom said...

g.

your post are so personal and so deep, i am finding it difficult to respond. i think that's a good thing. it's just sad that I can't offer you more.

are you DAMU? no. you are like many others i know who are ashamed to ask or to think a certain way

please do ask. please do think.

the doubt is a byproduct of living by faith. without one you don't have the other. and those that would have you feel that your impressions,thoughts, ideas are inappropriate are actually responding to their own insecurities.

how else do one expect to get get to know the god they believe in? it's by talking to him (prayer) and trusting that he talk back or at least provide you with individuals/experiences to gain answers.

don't read that last para to mean that if you just prayed then everything will work itself out, because that's not how I think. but I do believe that keeping an open line with the man above is the real key in getting to know him.

it's like trying to get to know your spouse with out ever have a conversation with him orspending time with him. wouldn't work.

G said...

"your post are so personal and so deep, i am finding it difficult to respond."

sorry about that, and thank-you for your kind words.

I really don't think I am DAMU either... I just don't have the level of angst and hostility towards the church as an organization that many that claim that title have...

there was a link in a comment in of the of fMh posts to an article about being disbelieving but active in the LDS church, and it was quite good. I've tried to find it again but haven't been successful. If I find it I will link to it.

I'm not sure that is really what defines who I am either, but since I don't believe much of what the church teaches I found it helpful.

mr. pink's mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mr. pink's mom said...

honest question here:

is it necessary to believe everything the church teaches to believe in the god that you grew up with?

also, is it necessary to know everything about the church to believe?

i've been working on something with those questions.

I can't help but come back with "if I knew everything about everything, i wouldn't believe in anyone/anything. perhaps, I am just rationalizing myself into happiness ( i know, poor choice of words)

but I've been able to "dismiss" a lot of the hoopla surrounding the history of the church and the unwritten rules that are seemingly applied at random as fuck ups by mortal men.

G said...

yep, I have also been thinking alot about that stuff...

I wonder if alot is circumstantial (depending on the individual's personality, background, friends, family, experiences, etc...)

it seems like when faced with the same information different people react differently. obviously some individuals know an extraordinary amount about the church and all it's flaws and are still faithful. Others become outraged and leave.

And in other instances I wonder if it is mostly semantics that separates the believer from the non-believer: ie. the believer says "I know he is a prophet. But he is also human and so makes alot of mistakes." the non-believer says "I am sure he is a very good man, striving to be in-tune with the spirit. But he is also human and so makes alot of mistakes."

just how different are the two statements? one "believes in the church" the other "doesn't believe in the church"

(a true believing member would say the difference between the two is that one is able to hear the spirit, the other isn't. the distinction is less cut and dried for me.)

I am not sure I am making sense here... still working alot of this out in my mind.