Not sure why I feel the need to comment... I suppose this will just make me one of your "bitter sinners"... and I guess I'm willing to stand up and be hated.
I don't really care if Joseph Smith was a prophet or insane. I don't really care if Thomas Monson has spoken to God or not. I have prayed (and prayed and prayed) to understand and to know and to be who I need to be.
I was born in the church. I was married in the temple. Unfortunately, then I was treated with violence. I sought help from the "men of God" I was surrounded by, and they used similar rhetoric to what you just used... I was not happy in my marriage because I was sinning.
In the book, The 4 Agreements, Miguel Ruiz defines sin as any time we go against ourselves. I like that definition. I believe it acknowledge the Godliness within me, and I can do what is best for ME. I don't need a prophet to tell me what to do, it is within me.
Yes, I have a lot of guilt. I was taught by church leaders and parents alike to "be nice", "be selfless", "be quiet". I was taught that to think about myself AT ALL was selfish and shouldn't be done. I believed those teachings completely. I bought into them and repeated them to myself. Its hard to let go of the guilt when its constantly being rammed down my throat.
So I left. Not in the "remove my name" sense, but in the I can't go to church. I can't talk about it with you. Its not good for me.
And then all of my family, and all of the people that told me not to be selfish, so that they could be. All of the self-serving, self-righteous, abusive people in my life began telling me why I shouldn't do what I knew I HAD to.
I have been many abusive relationships, but the most abusive relationship is the one I have had with the church. I don't know how other people are. I suppose if a person is healthy in mind and spirit, the church wouldn't be able to hurt them. Does that justify what they do? Does it make it okay to abuse those who AREN'T healthy? And when it starts in childhood, how does one ever learn that it is okay to protect themselves?
If it makes any difference, I have had two different bishops tell me not to come to church. They heard ME and decided to guide ME.
I don't expect anyone else to follow my path. Its MY path. I do expect people to respect my path. And I expect everyone to know enough about who they are to travel their own path.
One of my favorite quotes is, "You're lost. One often gets lost when they use someone else's map."
Joseph Smith believed in personal revelation. The Book of Mormon challenges people to know for themselves. Just because you have proven it true for you, does that mean it MUST be true for everyone?
I don't believe lashing out in anger will help anyone... however, I also believe that sharing the darkest parts of ourselves gives us the best chance for healing.
Please come down off your high horse. Don't dismiss us all in the same way. You belong to a church that values agency beyond anything else.
SHOW ME that I can be loved for who I am, and I might just want to hang around.
Friday, October 1, 2010
They say its healthy to share, but...
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