Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Moving Forward

I've been feeling a little saucy lately and so I've been reading the personal blogs of those I've become familiar with on fMh. I typically try to stay away from personal blogs because (I'm a snob?) it's just so much to read. Like standing the in the deodorant isle at the sprawl-mart...it's a bit overwhelming.

I'm drawn to stories of those that have left the Church or are struggling to stay in the Church. I think I like reading about the conflict and how lives are shaped by this curious thing we call The Gospel. AND, if I wanted my teeth to ache, I would read the Ensign.

I will be the first to admit that there are things about my religion that bother me. There are times when I think I just don't want to play anymore (and turn of the lights and pretend I'm not home) and times when I just roll my eyes and think my god people...pull your head out of your asses! But the positives far outweigh the negatives for me so I stay, despite the imperfection I find .

So as I've been reading the blogs, I've had an opportunity to ask myself: where do I fit in on the scale? Am I a super duper star saint? Or am I on my way out? Have I lost my faith? Or do I believe what I want to believe?

Sure, I have doubts and I should--I live by faith. I believe in a God that I cannot see. I worship a God who cannot speak to me in a way that I can literally hear. And I belong to an ultra conservative organization that requires so much of who I am that I am often at odds with the institution.

But why am I still wanting to be active in this church? Rather than working through the reasons why I should stay, perhaps I can work backwards and consider the reasons why I don't have to stay.

I don't have to be a Mormon because:

My spouse isn't LDS, never has been, probably never will be. In fact, he's not religious. So our marriage will not be affected by my decision to leave.

I'm a convert, so I don't have to worry about "disappointing" family, friends, mission companions. My family associations are just the way they were before I joined the church.

My daughter is a convert too. Although I understand my responsibility of a parent to teach my child about God, I refuse to indoctrinate hear and tell her what she believes. (she was 10 when she joined the church. It was her decision based on her reasons. All i did was ask if it was something she wanted to do.

I don't need religion to keep me honest, chaste, virtuous. I am those things because I love my God and it's his example I wish to live by.

I don't need to participate in a religion to keep my mind turned towards God. I don't need religion to teach me how to be a Christian. I have the words of the saviour in the New Testament to do that.

I don't need the ward to fulfill friendship needs, perform charitable acts, or act as a place to pay my tithes and offerings to God. My community provides ample opportunity.

Despite all of that, my heart and mind want to stay.

Listen folks, I've never stuck to anything in my life. I'm lazy and flippant and flighty. If I could have gotten out of the mommy gig, I would have done that years ago. Let's just say that sticktoituvness is not a quality I possess, and yet, I'm still here.

I made a choice years ago based on something more powerful than logic or history to be a part of LDS Church. My decision wasn't based on a perception of an organization. I didn't join the Church because I had a friend...or I like the missionaries...or because I thought Mormons were really great people... or because they had all the answers I was looking for.

I joined this church because a very still and small voice, one that I remembered hearing and feeling when I was nine years old and again at the birth of my daughter said, "yes Melanie, it's is true."


  1. mfranti, I don't know you at all, 'though I've appreciated your presence in the 'nacle for a really long time. I just want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post. You'll never know how much I needed this today.
    -sarah l

  2. wow! and... you are welcome.

    do you blog under saral or do you use another name?

  3. yup, i had that, too. :)

    i hope that "i had a friend..." comment wasn't about me. i hope it's clear that i joined for honest reasons and not because "i had a friend."

  4. "yup, i had that, too. :)"

    what? you had what too?

    oh chandelle, my examples were not directed at anyone (especially not you. It didn't even occur to me that you were introduced by a friend. I was too, btw)

    i just used the reasons that seemed common to me. reasons that came to my mind as i was writing.

  5. i just meant that i had that "witness," that the church is true. not any big specific event, like it sounds like it was for you, but an ongoing, perpetual thing.

  6. my real name is sarah, but I comment under a pseudonym. the thing is, although I have been reading the bloggernaccle daily for about two and a half years, I've commented maybe six times total. so my name is not a recognizable one, despite the fact that in my introverted head, all the normal players/commenters are familiar. but yeah, you're a favorite.

  7. I'm glad this post made it back to the top again so I could have the chance to read it again (though I do hope cat poop makes it back up)

    "So as I've been reading the blogs, I've had an opportunity to ask myself: where do I fit in on the scale? Am I a super duper star saint? Or am I on my way out? Have I lost my faith? Or do I believe what I want to believe?"

    ditto. as to reading all the blogs and seeing the scale and wondering where I fit.

    it helps to know "I'm not the only one"

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