Monday, June 19, 2006

Leaving the church when you're born into it

I suppose this is my first post for the Carnival of the Veil. I'd like to thank Gunner for inviting me to participate and if you're new to my blog to take a look around and see what I write about.

I've mentioned several times that I was a BIC Mormon. You'll also get the general idea just from reading the header that I have other issues. But for the moment, I'd like to compare the difference between a BIC Mormon leaving and someone who is a convert.

I think in many ways it is harder for the BIC to leave the church since his or her identity will be firmly wrapped in Mormonism by the time he or she is old enough to make the decision. It will also be a harder break. You have to remember they were trained to trust the leadership of this church without question. (How well that indoctrination takes is another matter entirely.) They probably also value at least some of their experiences. A convert will know there are other things out there and in some cases will realize that he or she had valid spiritual experiences elsewhere.

When the BIC realize that he or she's been lied to for a long time and more importantly lying done with the official sanction of the church, there will come anger and confusion and depending on how deeply they're indoctrinated a concern that they may be being tempted by Satan.

Well, you get the idea. My first break with the church came in a moment of insomnia, I realized I didn't believe in the afterlife scheme and thought it was highly unlikely that I'd ever be the god in charge of my own world. Now if you don't believe that, there isn't really any point in being a Mormon is there?

But it was reading the actual history of the church that really got to me. A deliberate cover-up was going on to keep the members in the dark. I was angry that the church expected honesty from me but was under no obligation to return it.

At the time I wanted not to be a part of any such organization and sent my resignation letter in. As anyone familiar with the practices of the Mormon church will tell you they make sending a resignation letter in an exercise in frustration, do not respect your wishes not to be contacted, and send you a nice little letter with the smiling heads of the church inviting you to return. Eventually you get confirmation from Salt Lake that you're no longer a member. And then futility sets in because you realize no matter what you do they'll just baptize you posthumously again in one of their temples.

Then there are always those times of self-doubt and second guessing you go through. In my case they happen because I realized that at times the historical accuracy of the religion doesn't matter, of course, if this is the case, I should join the Community of Christ instead which acknowledges there is likely almost nothing that is historically accurate in the Book of Mormon. (Well, while that may be an option moving to an area where there actually is a CoC building is not.)

At times I think I've lost something by leaving Mormonism, but as I try to entangle the harmful aspects of Mormonism from my psyche from those that are beneficial I find there are other areas where my anger at the church is renewed. I want to be able to leave the church behind me, but it invaded into so many areas of my life and unfortunately will always be a part of me whether I want it to be or not. How can I leave the church alone when even though I'm no longer a member it's still affecting me? Not to mention it's fascinatingly bizarre history and theology.

4 Comments:

At Mon Jun 19, 09:59:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Gunner said...

they'll just baptize you posthumously again in one of their temples

This is an issue that has always bothered me.

 
At Wed Jun 21, 04:44:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Brittany Sue said...

I can't say that would apply to me as I was born out of any church and raised rather heathen.

My mom was the one that taught me a little about Jesus and told me if I trusted him he would never fail me.

Every church I went to throughout my life was instumental in helping my faith to grow. Kind of line upon line and precept upon precept.

Most churches did some good and helped me along but in time couldn't answer the questions I needed answered. The result was that I moved on.

It was hard for a season after leaving each one but the next soon eased the pain and lonliness as they helped take my faith a step further.

What I found out along this journey was that it was the Spirit of God and not the doctrine, denomination or building that helped. As he word of God says, not by might, not by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord.

It was the leading of our Lord's precious Spirit and his leading step by step farther into his word that revealed the vanity of doctrines of man making the word of none effect.

As the limitations of each doctrine was reached and our Lord revealed something a little farther he strengthened my faith and set my mind at ease.

I believe that it was this working of his Spirit that taught me the most and eventually freed me from the bonds of self condemnation in being transgender.

The words and doctrines hurt long after man/woman has spoken but where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. And in the Son of God we are free indeed.

Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little and we find that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength for good things come to those who wait, by his Spirit.

I didn't mean to ramble on so much. I don't know what it's like to leave a church being born into it.

All I know is that our precious Lord Jesus can make that journey easy in his own sweet precious way.

May God bless you.
Brittany Sue

 
At Sun Jun 25, 10:12:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious as to what got u into catholocism. No offense but to me it seems u only traded masters: a prophet for a pope which who are both only human. BUt i understand that every catholic believes differently since catholocism is everywhere. just curious.
god bless. IM in tx as well H-town.

m.

 
At Mon Jun 26, 02:59:00 AM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

I think you're reading someone else's site...

 

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