- If the tone of this publication feels negative it is because although I do love the church (why would I stay in it if I did not love it very much? Nobody forces me to stay … my husband would support me 100% if I wanted to leave. I stay for a reason) because my work is such that I am exposed to MANY opinions, to so many people who have access to me and can tell me what they want to say, I PERSONALLY, have had a very different experience than the of many of you. I understand that many of you have grown up in the LDS church without problems. While my experience brought many good things, there were also many things that I had to work on. I understand that many of you do not meet these critical and immature people, but I do so on a daily basis. I think many people assume that influencers are exaggerating when we say how bad the messages we receive are, but I tell them that it is bad. So I’m not going to change the way I talk about my experience just because it hurts that it’s not similar to yours? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.
If you feel that this post reflects poorly on the church, I am sorry, but this is the truth for me. It bothers me that so many people are more concerned with what the church looks like and how they look in response to that, more than they care about hearing the stories of people who have left, who are considering leaving, or who have questions. Once again, we preach missionary work and a big part of that is letting go of our ego and listening to members’ concerns … not just bringing in NEW people.
I am not doing this to “justify” my life choices, so please stop saying that. I am 31 years old and have not worn my clothes in YEARS. So did I take all this time to get a justification? No. I never needed it and I never need it now. I’m also not at all “rehearsing my doubts” (quoting her comments referring to a talk at a conference) and I think that particular quote from the conference could potentially be very toxic. Why shouldn’t people voice their doubts? I think that if you are going to express your doubts, not only do it with people who agree, try also to have a different perspective so that you can seek answers and new perspectives, but I absolutely disagree that people should not “rehearse doubts” . I will not blindly follow and ask questions or express concerns just because I am told not to.
Please do not disrespect the temple garment – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just one of many religions that wear religious garments and it is highly inappropriate to mock or mock any garment worn by any religion. I’ve talked about my stance on them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have incredible respect for anyone of any religion who wears these garments that are incredibly special, symbolic, and powerful to them.
As I said in my first church post, I realize that these issues are by no means unique to the LDS church. I realize that these problems are found in communities and other religions. However, I can only speak to the religion I know. This applies to all of humanity.
“But the garments represent a commitment to the Lord and people can judge your commitment” (quoting a comment below) let’s say yes. What I’m saying is that people are less “your version of committed” than you and can you agree with that? They agree with that. So can they still be a part of the church and you let them do that and they care about yourself? Commitment is different for everyone and many people are happy with the level of commitment they have to the version of God they believe in.
It seems like a lot of us are at this tipping point where we’ve been a part of something, and we’ve really dedicated a large part, if not our entire lives, to this religion … and you become an adult and you really start to wondering if much of the instilled shame perhaps stemmed from some of the teachings. Of course, a lot of good things came out as well … but you can’t help but start wondering how you can teach your children within that church without them having those same shameful feelings. Shame is so great in the church, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. The first therapist I went to joked that “you never see a Mormon show up who doesn’t have a problem with shame.” So I guess the question for many of us is, how can we make that dramatic cultural change within the church? It’s possible? If not, where is it located? These are all the questions I currently have.