As a Mormon my life seemed to always revolve around my eternal salvation and the ebbs and flows of life that seemed to affect my eternal salvation. After attending a “spiritual” meeting or hearing my favorite hymn, I felt at peace with my goals and my soul seemed nurtured and my goals seemed achievable. Conversely, after giving in to the temptations to visit a strip club, I would berate myself for being weak and felt my soul was in jeopardy. My goals of eternal salvation at those moments seemed unachievable and the guilt would be at times almost overwhelming. I hope I’m not misquoting, but I believe Joseph Smith said that the natural man was an enemy to God. I took that to heart and realized that I had to be at odds with myself to be in tune with God.
Many years later I am no longer a Mormon and feeling the freedom of being a natural man in tune with myself and without a belief in a supreme being. Everyone’s experience is different, but for me it was and is an incredible freedom that I will always cherish. It led me to think about my lost soul. I had one as a Mormon, but given my new belief system I don’t believe a soul ever existed in me. This realization has led me to realize that I truly did have a soul when I was a Mormon. The soul was created by the Mormon church complete with instruction for it’s care and feeding. All my attempts to nurture the soul were ultimately in vain. In the end I gave them back the thing they created in me, with the realization that it was always a fiction. It is religion who gives us the soul and tricks us into believing that they have the power and knowledge to guide our soul to the after-life as long as we pay them with money made here on earth and change our natural lives to match their view of how we should live. I did not lose my soul, I found my salvation by living in this moment at this time and not trading my common sense for the promise of a blissful fiction which will exist in another dimension, time and place.
Oh, yes and I am back and in the spirit of fair play and my own moral compass, I do forgive all those who wronged me.
The natural man is simply an enemy to himself and fear is the root of what keeps man from experiencing his ultimate progress. RIght and wrong is quite subjective. Welcome back to LAM!
I agree SM, and it's nice to see you again.
I tend to believe something similar to the Native belief system. Everything living has a soul. If my children hurt a tree by pulling a branch off, they literally have to apologize to it. To me a soul in a human, or even a pet, like my cat Oreo, is the personality. So, did you lose your personality by leaving a religion?
Thank you for finally putting my thoughts into words. I have been struggling with this same issue of trying to find my salvation. It is a huge weight lifted from me to know that once I'm done here on this earth, I'm just done. I don't have to worry about my every action, opinion, and thought is going to send me to the celestial kingdom or to eternal darkness. I can be honest with myself for the first time in my life. I have gained my peace in letting go of that thought pattern. However, I am still working on the forgiving all those who wronged me. I'd love some advice on that. Gwen
Thanks for your comments, and it is nice to find someone who understands that feeling. As far as giving advice on working on forgiving all those who wronged you, I do have some thoughts. I wonder if it is possible that your need to forgive them, is a shadow from the cloud that follows for a while when leaving Mormonism.
I don't think you need to forgive everyone. Obviously I don't know the details, but maybe those people who wronged you are just bad people to be around and they should only be tolerated and not forgiven. Move towards something more positive and something that serves your needs in the here and now. Put your time into giving to those who will give back and travel forward. Take the anger you have towards them and turn into love for others.
I have a lot of people I will never forgive. It doesn't mean I'm keeping it all bottled up inside, it just means that I'm on to them, I know who they really are and I need to be wary of them. Happiness isn't the only emotion to be enjoyed. I truly enjoy being sad at times, why not take the power away from them and own who you are now, regardless of what they think or feel. Don't forgive them, just take away their power over you.
Just a thought