I love the books by Don Miguel Ruiz. (Four Agreements, The Fifth Agreement, The Voice of Knowledge, and Mastery of Love.)
One of the big foundations for the books is the idea that we are all storytellers. We are all writing our own stories. None of our stories are true, but they are true for us. Even as he says this, he says this is HIS story. He believes his story and he still knows its just a story.
I have had questions about the church my whole life. I have always wanted more than the explanations I got. There were many things that just didn't fit for me. Three years ago, I started writing about it. I started talking about it all. I started this blog. I prayed about it. I stopped forcing myself to believe there was only one answer.
Somewhere I realized, Joseph Smith was just a kid trying to make sense of his world. He found a story that rang true to him, but that didn't make it true for me. And all of the prophets since... just men saying the things that rang true to them. Saying the things that brought them comfort. Or the things that made sense in their life. Possibly even inspired, but just because someone is inspired to say something, does not make it true for everyone.
When Monson gives a talk, he uses the words that help and comfort HIM. When some dude stands up and gives a talk in church, he uses the words that help HIM. Everyone in church. Everyone, everywhere, say the things that help THEM. Most people don't talk from any place other than their own experiences. (I have found the rare person that sees and cares about things outside of their own experience. To me these people are heroes!)
MY words. The stories I tell. The things I share help ME, (well, except for when they don't, but that's another story). I want to help others. All I wanted three years ago was to know that someone else had been through this process and survived. I HOPE I can help someone else, but I don't think for a second that every word I write is for every person out there. How arrogant would a person have to be?
If the Bible and BOM are actual historical documents, then they are several men's stories. The solutions and explanations that worked for them. To say that their solutions and explanations should ALWAYS work for me is false. They won't. They can't. Do those men know what it was like to live with a husband that raped me every day? Can they really offer a solution for that? No. (I KNOW. Many people will say that they can, but they don't... At least I couldn't find a solution or explanation that worked for me.)
I have found peace and comfort from books. The Four Agreements, Tao of Equus, the writings of Thich Nhat Hahn, Time to Break Free, and the books by Wyatt Webb, all of these books have changed my life. I found solutions and explanations that made sense to me. I found ways to understand my dissociation, my body memories, my fears, my thoughts, and a lot more from these books. Still, I don't expect everyone will find the same things I found. Does that take away from my experience? Do my stories make other people's stories any less true to them?
I realize I am all over the place... I was going to say that I wish I could write a beautiful essay that would make perfect sense to everyone reading it. And then I realized I really don't wish that. I want to write my thoughts as raw as possible, and hope that people can still understand.