Based on your current knowledge, if you were given ten minutes to pick a mainstream religion for the rest of your life or horrible things would happen to you and your family, which would you choose?
I don't know enough about any religion, but I'd probably go with Budhism. Thankfully I can be a full time Heathen instead.
I like stories like yours that basically have a happy ending. The truth is that many people don't transition well out of Mormonism. It's nice to know that you have found a religion that fits your belief system and that is fun.
By the way, I was always very uncomfortable when attending non-mormon meetings. Sadly in one meeting my girlfriend and I erupted in uncontrollabe laughter every time someone jumped up and said "Praise the Lord" The more we tried to stifle the laughter the worse it was. We did apologize to the Minister and explained that our meetings were quite different.
Devil Bar, My husband took me to a Pentacostal meeting once. He was well versed in that church, having attended for some time in his late teens. The really bad rock music was so loud I couldn't hear my own thoughts, and within 5 minutes people were being "slain" in the spirit, falling on the floor, calling out to Jesus in mumbo jumbo, and all I could do was tell my husband to get me the hell out of there. He remembered a time, around age 17, when his minister had told the youth to find their own prayer language, to go into their closet and start screaming mumbo jumbo, and that eventually God would bless them with their own special gift of tongues. Well, and I know this makes him look really stupid, he tried it once, and realized he was never going to feel the spirit of God yelling in his closet. That and his mother hollered at him to shut the hell up. So my trip to finding what works for me has been a long one, not always pleasant, sometimes mean spirited, sometimes hilarious, and I would suggest to others that if they don't want to go through all of that they don't have to. If they want to believe in God and go to the movies on Sunday, go for it. But if they want a very liberal experience, with believers of all kinds, the universalists are tailored for that, and I find that people who accept all others who come to their group very special indeed. Accepting atheists who like to belong with groups of friends on Sunday, Buddhists who are more comfortable there, Christians who, like myself, are ridiculously liberal, people with judaism in their past, but not comfortable living that way anymore, and my lineage suggests I am Jewish, Wiccans who get tired of being put down for being pagans, terribly benign pagans, I might add. I think Jesus would welcome all at his table. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Anybody seen any good movies on Sunday lately?
Bar, your story about laughing during a charismatic meeting reminded me of the first time my husband attended fast and testimony meeting. He laughed so hard from our back row seat that it almost shook. You know the drill, people talk about every thing from orthodontic work to changing tires downtown.
On the other hand, one of the great freedoms of leaving mormondum is being free! It is so lovely to wake up on a Saturday, Sunday, have a nice cup of coffee, freshly-ground, read a book, go outside, walk, sleep some more, no pressures, no obligations. To me, this is a good path to feeling peaceful which to me equals spirit.
Except for the coffee, I feel the same way as you. I think because of my upbringing I now appreciate every Sunday spent doing exactly what I want to do. In the case of Pollypinks, she gets to choose what she did with her Sundays as well. I was born with the imposition and once I was free with it, like you I could see the value of a relaxing stress free Sunday.
I might also mention that my former tbm wife was hell to live with on Saturdays when she was preparing a Sunday lesson, so my Saturdays are much more enjoyable as well.
I grew up one block from a catholic church, and all my friends were of the catholic faith. Dad called it "Vatican City." I was always allowed to play with them, go to their houses, even though most of the parents smoked and I wreaked of smoke when I went home. Dad felt we should socialize with all faiths, and that our faith should be an example of being good friends and give good encouragement to other faiths, and when my friends would go through their first communion, I was to congratulate them. I thought all mormons lived like that. The only real difference was that on Sunday I could go anywhere and play with anyone, but if they were going somewhere that cost money, like the public pool down the street, I couldn't go. I never disallowed my children from such activities when they were young. Dad is now 90, the most liberal democrat you'll ever meet, and the darling of his ward. They just gush all over him. Still mows laws for others, shovels snow, does his home teaching the 1st day of every month, if possible, and is married to a bitch 6 years older than me who won't allow me in their house because of my radical politics. He really blew it that time, marrying her after mom died, and has it set up so that she gets as little of his retirement money as possible when he dies. Really good, loving, mormons, they are. If she knew my brother and I were the recipients of a life insurance policy, only worth 5 grand, she'd buy a gun and kill him, since her real love affair is with Rush Limbaugh, but cannot totally reconcile that with what the prophet usually says in election year about neutrality, and, providing info for the census. Sorry I've babbled too long. I may have babbled myself out of church. OOHHHHHHH!!!!!!
paganism, get all the major holidays that way ^_^
lol, nothing would change that way, we would still get Christmas and Halloween for sure.
I actually am a member of a very liberal presbyterian church, within walking distance, even though my beliefs are universalist in nature, and many at church agree with me. It's more of a come as you are church, questioning encouraged, any type of attire accepted, social justice the key element of the worship service, and headed by a female pastor who has been pounding the pavement at their yearly PCUSA conventions for homosexuals to be allowed to be pastors and head churches as well. She got me onto an excellent book about homosexualism in the bible, and how it's greek context has been screwed up in a huge way. Anyhow, I like a more liberal church that doesn't consider radio slamming of people in order to blame hurricanes a daily statement.
Well in light of my current understanding and study of the universe, Buddhism seems to fit very well indeed.
My partner's family is devout Catholic, as is my best friend in all the world. During the roughest times these past years I found more comfort from Mass than I ever did in a Mormon meeting. I figure nobody's got it right, but Catholicism at least originated with an Apostle, so you could do worse.
I can't tell you how good it feels to just go in, sit and soak up the beauty and the music and the spirit without having to worry about all things I'm supposed to get done on Sundays and then oh, crap, on to the coming week of Primary, Scouts, lugging food all over, babysitting and genealogy. I love the rituals, they sure don't seem as silly to me as LDS temple ceremonies were.
If you really want God, you can find Him or Her anywhere.
Exellant choice might I add. The world needs more pacifists and less fighters, and the degrees to which one can achieve this within the religion blow my mind. I always told my son if they ever enacted the draft, which he' s too old for anyway, join the Quakers, or Amish, or Buddhist, the latter making him the happiest I'm sure.