Conditioned to fear the change

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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græy
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Conditioned to fear the change

Post by græy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:11 am

I came across this comment on Facebook. I would credit the individual, but I do not have permission to name them.
The transition phase can be very scary, because we learned from an early age that losing faith is one of the most dangerous things we could do in this life. We've been taught horror stories about apostates, listened to or event taught lessons on how The Gospel is the only path of happiness, the only safe thing to do. We heard how homes without The Priesthood are weak, and how only a worthy mother can hope to provide safety for her children. We've even heard stories of how God will inflict tragedies like death or illness to "humble" people back to belief. Ships and storms, mists of darkness, broken hearts, shattered lives.

So our human brains soaked in those warnings, and we get terrified. Terrified of losing belief. Terrified our loved ones will lose belief.
And we learned that belief was a simple choice, an inevitable outcome if you were a good, honest, humble person. There were supposed to be no real threats to faith (plenty of lies and deception and temptation, but that's just Satan) Just pray! Just go to the temple! Just read approved sources! Just attend your meetings! It's Moroni's promise, it's James 1:5. Your faith is in your hands, just keep the commandments and God WILL confirm everything is true.

So we learned that losing faith was a terrible disaster worse than death, but 100% avoidable.

So we feel terrible fear and anxiety, because we're supposed to be able to prevent this horrible disaster. It's not supposed to happen like this. We're supposed to be in control, but now we're not. We feel ourselves our our spouse spiraling towards an inevitability, and we keep wanting to say it's not inevitable, we can still fix this, we were promised we could still fix it...

The most peculiar irony is that we have to have faith. Not faith in what we used to believe in, not faith the way we learned in primary. Faith that if there is a God, he won't punish us for doing the right thing. Faith that if you lose faith in God, He would understand. Faith that He would prefer an honest you to an obedient shell. Faith that if you are wrong, you are wrong for the right reasons.

Now that I'm six years past my broken shelf, now that I've walked with my spouse through those moments of terror, we would never go back to where we were. I have less belief in God, and yet more faith that my actions and beliefs are moral and worthy; I am actually more morally clean because I did what I believed I had to do.

I am the polar opposite of what they said I would turn out to be. And no, I didn't break my wife's heart - the unrealistic fear mongering tried to, but that wasn't me, and in the end it failed.

You and your spouse can beat the fear. It may take time and therapy, but fear is not the Truth. If the church wants to say it's leaders are imperfect and make mistakes, well, the fear mongering over apostasy is certainly one of their big mistakes!
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

stuck
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Conditioned to fear the change

Post by stuck » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:44 am

That's a great post!

Mankhoj
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Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:06 pm

Re: Conditioned to fear the change

Post by Mankhoj » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:11 pm

Well said. Saving this.

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DPRoberts
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Re: Conditioned to fear the change

Post by DPRoberts » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:23 am

This is brilliant and beautifully stated. Any chance your Facebook friend might join us here? This post puts them among the best I have read on the subject.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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crossmyheart
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Location: Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain

Re: Conditioned to fear the change

Post by crossmyheart » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:27 am

I love this part:

Now that I'm six years past my broken shelf, now that I've walked with my spouse through those moments of terror, we would never go back to where we were. I have less belief in God, and yet more faith that my actions and beliefs are moral and worthy; I am actually more morally clean because I did what I believed I had to do.
Eloquent-thanks for sharing.

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