Sunday, April 25, 2010

Returning home?

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,
SimplyMe

6 comments:

  1. SimplyMe, so great to see a new post from you! It's fascinating to follow each other's journeys, isn't it? As always, I wish you all the best wherever you end up and a spiritual place that feels like home. :)

    Last I heard, you were attending CofC. How did that play out for you? Did you end up not feeling at home there?

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  2. FD, yes, it is fascinating to follow our journeys. We are forever living eventful lives!

    I had a great time with CofC and I will continue to visit often, maybe even once a month (during Highcouncil Sundays b/c I am easily triggered by those meetings):)...and I really want to survive in this church. Re: CofC, it took me four travel hours every Sunday plus an hour at Sunday School, an hour and a half of the Service, and we stopped for lunch (another 1.5 hours) and sometimes we'd stop at Chapters and browse around there. I've gotten alot of great books over the time that I spent going to and from Edmonton each week! So it was a full day, which becomes taxing, especially in the winter when the roads could be scary. My friend would go whether she was sick or in barely fair weather so I never felt really confident re: the conditions of the highways.

    I also have been visiting mormon stories and started to feel nostalgic. Also, about three months ago, my former missionary companion sent me a book called "A Heart Like His" (it was good). With the book came a catalogue of books available at Deseret Books and I ordered "The Infinite Atonement" by Callister and "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage. I've been studying the atonement this past year and still, the LDS church is the church that I feel is highly resourced on this topic.

    I had an experience while reading "The Infinate Atonement" that took me back to a period during my childhood that was difficult, before I knew about the church. A piece of the atonement came to my mind (although at the time I didn't know that it was called Atonement) and it gave me alot of peace. To this day the pain of that issue is still resolved. It could have broken me but it hasn't and because of that I am the only one in my family who is in contact with my father and feeling peace about that connection. I'm grateful for that. It's too complex to be able to write about here but I'm glad that I came across that piece of the atonment in this book that reminded me that God was there for me during the darkest times in my life. This church and the discussions and readings helped me to understand what that experience was all about.

    At least I feel like I am not running away from anything but moving forward. I will continue to access whatever resources are good to build on my current understanding whether in or out of the church so CofC is not completely out of the picture. It will be good to visit and I enjoy the day with my friends. But it will be nice to know that I have a church home in my community too.

    This past Saturday the RS put together a service project that collected contributions to the women's shelter in a nearby community. That issue is right up my alley-I hope to secure employment as a Program Coordinator regarding relationship abuse. I have an interview next week...cross your fingers!! So this service project was a great icebreaker to help me feel better about showing my face once again on Sunday! I hope I can make this last. Again, on Sunday, I thought of the blogger community and knew that I would have your support. One day I hope that I can be that same support to someone else. I hope you know that you are important to my faith journey. Thanks for catching sight of my post!

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  3. Be well, SimplyMe. I'm sorry my people are too scattered to be nearby for you. I look forward to hearing more of your journey. May you, and FD, both find safe spiritual harbor.

    FireTag

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  4. 如果,人類也像鼠輩一般,花很多時間來吃飯和睡覺,一定會改善健康。 .............................................

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