I joined the LDS Church in April 2008, becoming a member in a small singles' branch in the midwest. I really appreciated what the Church had to offer and the positive changes that it brought to my life. Members, for the most part, offered insight into my life and offered me ways of changing. For a while, I had the naive notion that members of the Church perfectly adhered to what was taught. After a while, I began to realize, that like me, members of the Church were human beings. Human beings, like myself, who have made mistakes and learned from them.
When I came to Utah, I was a member of an enormous YSA ward in Salt Lake City. Here, I saw and experienced things that bothered me. The gossip was the worst thing. I also did not appreciate how members could treat others if they were different in any way shape or form. I was never quite sure why I didn't fit in. Was it because I was not yet married at my age? Every conversation started out "Where did you serve your mission at?" It's always awkward when you have to explain that you never had the opportunity to serve a mission. The didactic nature of that always confused me. To be a worthy member, many people behave as if you have to have gone on a mission to be considered worthy. It's interesting to me though that there are many members who have gone on missions who were not necessarily worthy.
I hit rock bottom when I took an assignment through school that required me to teach on Sundays. I was working with troubled youth. Many people had a hard time understanding why I was choosing to do this. I tried going to a different ward. I interviewed with one of the counselors of the Bishopric. I asked what I could do to contribute to the Church community. I was told that I didn't belong in the ward because I was outside of the boundaries. I went to a few nights and interacted with members for a while afterwards, but then gave up when no one ever followed up on my records. Many members go to wards outside of their boundaries at the discretion of their respective leaders. Why couldn't the same exception be made for me regarding going to a ward where I felt welcome?
There are a lot of other issues that I have. For example, I have a problem with how tithing is handled. I was really upset when I found out that the Church had donated to Proposition 8. The Church does say that they have the right to use tithing money as they see fit. That being said, the Church also says that members should feel free to vote and voice politics in a manner that best conforms with their conscience. I would not want my money to go to Proposition 8. I would not want to legislate somebody's right to be happy. Fundamentally, the Proposition 8 issue is more than just being happy. It's legislating someone's ability to choose freely. By impeding someone's ability to share marriage or union with their partner, Proposition 8 denied agency, the very ability our Creator gave us to choose.
The worst thing that happened involved an exchange on a social networking site about when Proposition 8 got tossed and some disagreements that I had with President Packer's talk on the October 2010 General Conference. I was told that if I was just "angry at the Church and bent on vilifying" its leaders. Hearing something like that was extremely hurtful. Not a lot of people understand what it is like to alienate your family because of your decision to join a new religion. Also, a lot of members do not understand what it is like to sever old friendships. Some of those old friendships were not ever restored, or to their fullest extent.
I feel lied to to a certain extent. I've lost a family member during my time with the Church and I've lost precious time with others. I feel like I became a number, and my individuality was not important to leaders or other members of my ward. It's nice to have a place to discuss my feelings and some people who feel the same way I do.
The absolutism is beyond belief. Until they get backed into a corner and then, surprised to know, they pull the God and revelation card. God revealed it...yea, right, ...it was probobly a Federal Court Case they lost.
I have a recipe book. I know it is the true recipe book. I prayed about it. :)
At least Salt Lake is not hiding 15 foot tall chickens that weight 800 pounds in Area 51 like the Gov't is here in Nevada. Salt Lake has their secrets. 800 pound bags of theological crap....
Brigham was so full of fertilizer. he described the men on he moon in great detail. You coulod grow some great vegies in what he shared.:)
The 800# 15 foot chicken thing is real tho. It is run by the super secret Department of Agriculture Black Helicopter guys. I know its true. I prayed about it. They keep them underground in huge pens so no one will know. Just wait till I tell you about the Buffalo as big as a t-rex! I know its true. I prayed about it. ROTFLMAO!