I have been off the blogger radar for about 10 months but today I attended the LDS church. Am I returning home or walking back into the storm by doing this? I don't know. I feel like the LDS church should be my "home" church even though I have no major family ties to it. I've tried various churches and I can't find a home that feels like what the LDS church has felt like many times in my life.
I've spent the last two months reviewing the mormon stories podcasts (thank you for coming back, John!) and I came across Brian Johnston who talked about reconciliation with the church and some of the ways to do that. I do miss the LDS church. I had a great discussion with the Branch President who was not pushy but understanding and appreciative of what I shared with him. I remembered what bloggers have said about being careful what you share to avoid negative consequences. I didn't share all my grievances with him but what I did share is relevent to my life at this time and I think that I can trust him. He was a great listener and let me guide the support that I might need from him. He didn't tell me what to do or give me the typical "read your scriptures and pray". I don't have much more to say than that. That in itself is a blessing. I don't want to have any grand experiences with the spirit or at church. I just want to be still and be able to exercise faith in quiet and peace. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. While I don't have any race to win I use this expression to say that I just want to enjoy the pace and feel some peace. At least now I'm don't have to be alone. I think I was right to speak with the Branch President. He won't judge me. He won't condemn me. He is open to share my journey with me as I will it. If I never say another word to him regarding my concerns I know that he understands me better and that is for the good.
Thank you to John Dehlin, his guests on mormons stories, Brian Johnston on staylds.com, and as always The Faithful Dissident. It is good for me to know that you are all out there and I am not alone. Without you I might never consider going back to the church. You have validated me; that once I return, knowing what I know now, my faith will never be the same...and that's ok. The Branch President said something interesting during our visit. My experiences are like Adam and Eve, taking from the knowledge of the tree of life or knowledge of good and evil. He seemed to understand my journey. As I reflect on that I am able to accept that we are never the same afterwards and that's ok. Adam and Eve were never the same afterwards either. Even their roles around reproduction and lifestyle changed. They had no knowledge of bearing and raising children or of their nakedness. That all changed after they took from the tree. It makes sense that the more we learn the more we change and so does our faith walk...and that's ok. The atonement is the most important matter and that was emphasized in our discussion. If the Branch President was reading this blog I would thank him for the good, thoughtful, and kind moments we had today.
Until next time,
Letters to a Beleaguered SCMC Member
2 days ago