So, I've started to feel a little torn about my involvement in this and other ex-Mormon communities. On one hand, this community was vital in helping me get through the months following my decision to stop going to church. People have been amazing as far as offering advice and talking out issues with me. It has been a good place to vent and to connect with people now that I don't have church anymore. And I have talked with so many completely amazing people and made friends, and I love the great conversations I have with the people on this site and want to continue making those connections.
On the other hand, there is one thing that makes my constant involvement difficult for me. It's that this community is all about being not something. As a result I feel like I am constantly bombarded with negativity - understandable, justifiable, and sometimes necessary negativity, yes. But still. Every day now I'm looking at another post or comment tearing someone or something down. Disproving religion, mocking Mormon culture, criticizing religious people. Let me be clear right now: I am not suggesting that anyone on this site or anywhere else is too negative or that you need to be or feel anything other than you are! It's not you, it's me. It makes my whole mindset and the way I look at people different...more cynical.
You see, I'm an idealist by nature. I can be critical and analytical, but at the end of the day I just want to make the world a better place and people to get along and be happy, however that works for them. When I was LDS, I was about something, I wasn't against something. I deeply connected to Christ's message of charity and love. I made my life about it. About giving to people where I can and trying to look past my initial impressions of people to see them the way I believed God saw them. And that belief and that purpose truly made me better. I never met a single person that when I looked closer, I didn't learn to understand and love. There have been plenty of people I've disliked in my life, but when I lived up to my ideals and really got to know them, I couldn't hate them. I had friends that I wouldn't otherwise who truly made my life better. This belief was so powerful that it was actually the biggest factor in helping me overcome years of painful and debilitating depression. Along with my faith, I've lost some of that focus and peace. And I really want to get back to a place that is more loving, more generous, gives people more room to disagree with me. I would say it was that motivation that actually influenced me to leave the church. The treatment of women and gays was not in line with my perception of God's love.
I don't want to define my life by not believing in something or not being something. I want to find ideas to connect to that inspire me that aren't about bringing someone else's ideas down.
So this isn't a post to get advice about how involved to be in this community. I'll figure that out. What I want to know is what your life is about since leaving Mormonism? How has it changed? How is it the same? What inspires you? Really interested to hear your insights. :)
Even though you left the Mormon church, the Christian message is still a very good one and some of the mormon way of life focusing on good and healty community living, healthy and clean lifestyles are still good ways of leading your life.
Just because there are aspects of the mormon church or any church for that matter, you might very offensive and counter productive or counter human, and truly are, does not mean that all of them are and that you should give them up ..... i would, on the contrary, still keep these good, wise and safe principles in my life, because they bring security, safety, and stability in your life. Even those who dont believe in God know the consequences of destructive habits and behavious and stay away from them or turn around from them and know the benefits of healthy, wise and cautious lifestyle and abide by them.
So just because we dont agree with certains aspects of a church, just does not mean we discard religions altogether or cannot find some good in them.. And religions are not God, so you can still pray to God if you so desire ..... i do .. even if have some qualims when it comes to the extreme and damaging teachings of some religions ...
It is like human beings ...... we are all faulty in some ways, and to a lesser or greater degree .... but there is still good in each of us which only begs to be expressed ....
BlueEyesBrittany, I couldn't have said it better myself. Good post.
Turning point, by your post you seem to be 3/4 of the way there. Peace, contentment with who you and your family members are, and a journey to have empathy on others without the constraints of tithing seems to be in place.
Turning Point, There is no reason to feel pressured to remove your name from the records. It's not necessary. You can live your life very happily and productively and still be on the rolls. It may even subconsciously bring you some support knowing you may have help should you need it. That's the situation my son's girlfriend is in, and I've encouraged her to follow her own heart concerning this. You are already free mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Enjoy.