New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

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Boozer
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New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Boozer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:59 pm

Hi All,
As I am sure many of you have felt this is not somewhere I ever imagined that I would find myself. I will try to keep this introduction succinct but there is so much going on in my life that it will be hard. so I guess I will start at the beginning. I was born and raised in happy valley, Utah but currently live in the midwest. I was always a TBM and went through every rite of passage on the way. Full-time mission (where I met the girl who would later become my wife), Temple marriage, callings, full tithe, etc. etc. I read the first half of RSR and found accounts of JS's polygamy but just kind of disregarded it at the time about 4 years ago. I pushed on through thick and thin when going through depression and anxiety and the support I found through members may have even saved my life. I went through the addiction recovery program successfully and have come out the other end of a 3-year recovery process better than ever although the fallout has been devastating on my marriage, which we are working on. The Marital bliss we once shared is not a teeter-totter where I think one day that we're going to make it and then the next I just can't see it getting better (the latest whammy was that my wife through feeling neglected by me had an emotional affair). About a month or two ago it surfaced that my brother (also an RM) was quitting the church. After some talking, I read the CES letter and the Fatih Crisis report as well as all sorts of other materials along the way and I am now questioning EVERYTHING. My wife is being very supportive and caring even tho she thinks that I trust lying, false internet sources that can't be checked. I've read every statement and essay by the church as well. I'm giving carte blanche to both sides of my mind right now. I am currently still active and I don't want to leave the community because I've made some valuable friendships and have good memories of the church, but after this weeks conference, I don't know if that will be possible. I just asked to be released as a ward missionary because I don't feel comfortable going into a strangers home and trying to hook them on this all, which is the first time I have ever done that and while I feel like its the right decision for me I feel unreliable and guilty. I have not been wearing the g's for about a week now and the one time I put them on to go to the priesthood session I just felt UNCOMFORTABLE. Prior to conference, I was telling my wife that I am unsure about anything right now and don't want to move in any direction quickly (although I will admit I would like to drink coffee and try alcohol) but after conference I was crushed by the messages I heard. She saw it on my face after RMN's talk that made me furious, I told her that it made me feel as if I should quit immediately and playing the part of an active doubter would not be possible. I have been dealing with the feelings for a long time that there is the gospel of Jesus Christ and then a whole bunch of other stuff we have just put on top of it for who knows what reason. I am having a very hard time swallowing the line about how we are the only way to a higher heaven. I feel that I am hearing with increasing intensity that Jesus Christ's blood and atonement are secondary to me making promises to behave in certain ways which are conflicting greatly with my thoughts and feelings about the matter. Can he forgive me of my sins or can't he?

As I have been reading through this forum, I think I have found a place (besides my bishop) that I can work through things. Y'all seem ok.

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Lucidity
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Lucidity » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:51 pm

Welcome. I’m glad you reached out and shared with us your situation. First off you are not alone. Most of us have gone through a similar place of conflict and uncertainty. I can remember how straight up frightening and alone it felt having the foundations of my life put into question was. It takes time, but it gets easier and it will be ok. Give yourself time and permission to search and explore. You’ll figure out what will be best for you and your situation.
I’d advise against letting your frustration and pain get expressed too openly to your loved ones that are still believers. It will be very hard for them to know how to respond and they will likely pull back in order to protect their beliefs. Intime you’ll be able to talk more openly in a less threatening way and it will be easier to do so without risking too much damage to those meaningful relationships. So rant away here. We love questions and the thoughts of those trying to figure it all out.
Many here are no longer believers and they will express their opinions. Don’t feel pressure to hold the same views or come to the same conclusions. We all have to come to our own conclusions in the end and this community is supportive regardless of what that ends up being for you.

Welcome!

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Red Ryder
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:39 am

Welcome!

What were you in the addiction recovery program for? I'm assuming porn based on losing your testimony? :lol:

Mixed faith marriages aren't easy but many of us here are surviving day to day.

You can make it too.

PS. I know paragraphs are true. :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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wtfluff
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by wtfluff » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:50 am

Image

Pull up a (folding) chair and hang out for a while.

One of the Eternal Mantras of NOM is: Take it slow.

There are a lot of good folks around here to help us untangle years of programmed thinking. It's not easy, but it's worth it? :mrgreen:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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Hagoth
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Hagoth » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:59 am

Welcome Boozer! Your name is Boozer and you haven't tried alcohol? (pause while scratching head). I think you've come to a good place to find fellowship and support.

A lot of people lose all religious belief when they experience faith crisis but it sounds like you have managed to maintain a belief in Jesus Christ. That might be a good place to put your focus when talking to believers. I don't believe in the supernatural elements of the Jesus story anymore, but I like a lot of the teachings. One thing we know for certain is that the Jesus in the New Testament likes sinners and the poor much more than he likes anyone who makes claims of religious authority, hierarchical superiority or who make demands (especially financial) of others in the name of God. When you talk to your wife and local leaders/members you might frame things in terms of seeking a direct personal relationship to Jesus rather than putting your trust in middle-men.

Just a thought.

Good luck, and I'm glad you found us!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Boozer
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Boozer » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:42 pm

@ Hagoth
The name is Boozer as in Carlos Boozer who when he used to play for the Utah Jazz I named a pet after him, I can see how that can cause the head scratching. I am having doubts about pretty much everything I've ever believed in which is hard to just breathe and stay calm about it but I think I'm doing an ok job for now.

@wtfluff
I like that attitude. I'm trying to take it slow while reminding my DW to allow me to do so. She is rushing to have me talk to this person or that person and the bishop. I have had to put the brakes on and say I'm still digesting everything and formulating how I feel and think so gimme a dang second.

@Red Ryder
Yeah, I was a porn addict. It happened a lot like most of the other guys I made friends with in the group, curious boy with low self-esteem and no one to ask taboo questions found stuff on the internet to fill in the holes (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!). Talking about sex was just so taboo that I didn't feel comfortable talking to anyone in my family about it, but that was really as much my fault as anyone else.

@Lucidity
I was a little less afraid of the whole situation until General Conference... I don't feel that it was helpful at all and I didn't hear the same messages of love and peace that my wife says that she heard. I am working on time and permission to explore and make choices of my own. It is interesting that at least having deep honest discussions about this seems to be helping us reconnect. Besides my Wife and Brother who quit the church, I have not opened up to anyone else about this, mostly because it has only been like 2 weeks and also because I know how it will make my parents feel.

Thanks all for the welcome to the group.

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Ghost
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Ghost » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:15 pm

Welcome to the site.
I am having doubts about pretty much everything I've ever believed in which is hard to just breathe and stay calm about it but I think I'm doing an ok job for now.
A funny thing about this, in my experience, is that every time you think that surely you've reached the bottom of things to question, there is yet another layer. It can be disorienting, disappointing, frightening, and exciting all at the same time.

One thing that I've found it helpful to remind myself of at times is that nothing fundamental about the universe has changed. Whatever was true or false yesterday remains so today. It's just your perspective that has changed, so there's no big rush to act in any particular way based on what you are discovering.

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Linked
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Linked » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:54 pm

Welcome Boozer! The first thing I thought of was Carlos Boozer, good name. Too bad the Jazz are getting the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. Hopefully the Jazz can get past them.

I'm glad you found NOM, it has been a haven of sanity for me over the past few years dealing with the feelings of betrayal by the church, working through my new worldview, and dealing with being an evil apostate in a family of TBMs. I look forward to your posts!
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

misterfake371
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by misterfake371 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:32 pm

Boozer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:59 pm
I am currently still active and I don't want to leave the community because I've made some valuable friendships and have good memories of the church, but after this weeks conference, I don't know if that will be possible.
Yes, it is possible. I'm an active Mormon. I go every Sunday, teach Primary, pay tithing, wear garments, and I haven't believed a lot of what the Church teaches in 7 years. 7 years! That's a long time, dude. But I don't go to the temple much and I didn't watch much of general conference.

I hope you don't lose faith in Jesus Christ. Read Christian books! Right now I'm reading 2 Christian books: Gray Matter by David Levy and The Rational Bible: Exodus by Dennis Prager. Oh wait, technically the book by Prager is a Jewish book... sort of. But they are both EXCELLENT!!! Oh, and I remember reading The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens. That book was fantastic, and it strengthened my faith. And of course, read the Bible.

Anyway... God is real and He loves you and He loves everyone. He's aware of your current struggles and he will support you in your trials. I have a testimony that God loves all His children and He wants the best for them.

I've thought and I've thought and I've thought, and... I visited a few other churches, but, for me, the bottom line is Ecclesiastes 12:13.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

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IT_Veteran
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:19 pm

I know some will encourage you to keep faith in God or Jesus. Quite frankly, don’t worry about what others tell you what you need to keep believing. That goes for those that would tell you not to believe too.

After living such a high demand religion, take time for yourself to figure out what you believe. Don’t worry about what other people think of your belief.

I came out the other side as an atheist. It’s a lot less scary than I assumed it would be. That said, I’m not here to convince anyone, just to let you know that you’re welcome here regardless.

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Hagoth
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Hagoth » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:24 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:19 pm
I know some will encourage you to keep faith in God or Jesus. Quite frankly, don’t worry about what others tell you what you need to keep believing. That goes for those that would tell you not to believe too.

After living such a high demand religion, take time for yourself to figure out what you believe. Don’t worry about what other people think of your belief.

I came out the other side as an atheist. It’s a lot less scary than I assumed it would be. That said, I’m not here to convince anyone, just to let you know that you’re welcome here regardless.
There's a lot of peeling away of layers that has to go on, which sets the stage for the point where you can eventually start to rebuild a new worldview. You have to get past the worst roller coaster hills for that to happen. Some of the peeling is painful but much of it is thrilling and enlightening. I tried to hang on to Jesus, then settled into agnosticism, then pantheism (which is still agnosticism). I lost Jesus as a supernatural being but found him again, or at least some of the teachings attributed to him, as a teacher. If you would like to read an story about a Christian who had a faith crisis, became an atheist, and then found a way to reframe Christianity within a science-centered worldview you might enjoy Mike McHargue's Finding Jesus in the Waves. He came out it cherishing his relationship with God even if God dwells inside his own head.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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MoPag
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by MoPag » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:32 am

Welcome to our ward family!! :D

We are glad you found us!
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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IT_Veteran
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by IT_Veteran » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:17 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:24 am
IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:19 pm
I know some will encourage you to keep faith in God or Jesus. Quite frankly, don’t worry about what others tell you what you need to keep believing. That goes for those that would tell you not to believe too.

After living such a high demand religion, take time for yourself to figure out what you believe. Don’t worry about what other people think of your belief.

I came out the other side as an atheist. It’s a lot less scary than I assumed it would be. That said, I’m not here to convince anyone, just to let you know that you’re welcome here regardless.
There's a lot of peeling away of layers that has to go on, which sets the stage for the point where you can eventually start to rebuild a new worldview. You have to get past the worst roller coaster hills for that to happen. Some of the peeling is painful but much of it is thrilling and enlightening. I tried to hang on to Jesus, then settled into agnosticism, then pantheism (which is still agnosticism). I lost Jesus as a supernatural being but found him again, or at least some of the teachings attributed to him, as a teacher. If you would like to read an story about a Christian who had a faith crisis, became an atheist, and then found a way to reframe Christianity within a science-centered worldview you might enjoy Mike McHargue's Finding Jesus in the Waves. He came out it cherishing his relationship with God even if God dwells inside his own head.
Not sure if you meant that for me or not. I’m okay with where I ended up tbh. That said, I still like some of Jesus’s teachings - radical love being chief among them.

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Hagoth
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:54 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:17 pm
Not sure if you meant that for me or not. I’m okay with where I ended up tbh. That said, I still like some of Jesus’s teachings - radical love being chief among them.
Not specifically for you, IT, but it sounds like you're in a good place and with an understanding of Jesus similar to mine. The book recommendation was for Boozer. It's a good source for someone in faith crisis who wants to find a new way to keep Jesus in their life. Someone who identifies as atheist would enjoy some of the science in the book but would find their eyes rolling uncontrollably at some points.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:57 am

Boozer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:42 pm
Yeah, I was a porn addict.
I have to ask. Were you a porn addict, or a "porn addict?" A genuine addict is unable to maintain a functional life because of uncontrollable obsessive behavior that makes it impossible to maintain a livelihood and relationships. A "porn addict," as defined by the church is a guy who looks at porn.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Boozer
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Boozer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:22 pm

I am going to go ahead and say I was a true addict. As a behavior, it covered up my feelings of loneliness (while an adolescent) and lack of self-worth. As an adult, it was getting in the way of my relationship and it began following me to work even (which was a red flag that I needed help). It was something that I wanted to purge from my life but it had interwoven into my thoughts in unhealthy ways. I count myself lucky to have gotten out.

Today was my first time in church since beginning this FC and man what a perspective flip. I actually felt creeped out with all the little kids going up and saying the usual things "I know the church is true". And then there was my favorite line of the day by an adult "If you are wondering if the book of mormon is true.....it is". The DW and I are continuing the dialogue, which is mostly good. But she keeps coming back to don't you feel good or didn't you feel good about this or that and now all I can say is aren't there more people outside of the church that doesn't feel good about it? That doesn't equate to truth especially when I am choking on the documented facts that JS lied about polygamy, practiced plural marriage before the restoration of the priesthood. I can accept that he could have been a prophet and as a mortal had major flaws and screwups but that swings around to just further eroding the claims of all the rest of his work, and then the whole succession into what we have as a church today.

I have half of me that is terrified to step out because it's been the most constant thing in my life, and the other half of me that is ready to be heard and say out loud that so much of this is pure invented garbage that doesn't really do anything. Its really conflicting and I have DW who is so concerned that I am making a wrong choice and will end up on hardcore drugs.

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Red Ryder
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:56 pm

No judgement here Boozer.

I've personally known a man or two that have been caught up in the false label of porn addiction from the LDS viewpoint. 2 times a month viewing porn doesn't qualify as an addiction not does having a strong healthy libido. Yet many LDS find that the combination of the two equates to porn addiction.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

Boozer
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Boozer » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:58 pm

Well along with the LDS viewpoint being super extreme comes the shame that isn't helpful and drives people further into their cycles. At some point, I had to accept myself without perpetuating any shame which was difficult with DW's hurt feelings. I own up to it, because looking back I can see how it was hurtful for me and I went way past the line of a casual observer, and also I'm 100% for taking responsibility for myself and not blaming others.

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Hagoth
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Hagoth » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:41 pm

Boozer wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:22 pm
I count myself lucky to have gotten out.
Good for you!
I think the best treatment for a porn addition is probably to remove the person from the shaming religion that got them stuck in that loop.
Boozer wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:22 pm
I have half of me that is terrified to step out because it's been the most constant thing in my life, and the other half of me that is ready to be heard and say out loud that so much of this is pure invented garbage that doesn't really do anything. Its really conflicting and I have DW who is so concerned that I am making a wrong choice and will end up on hardcore drugs.
Does it help to realize that 90% of the planet also bases their lives on invented garbage, but seem to derive some meaning and usefulness from it anyway? My attitude toward the church has softened a bit since I've been able to step back and see it as just another blind man feeling up the elephant through heavy welding gloves. My attitude toward the top leaders as Pharisees and hypocrites hasn't evolved much, but most of the members are just doing the best they can with the information they have.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Boozer
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Re: New and Confused (so long its not true, one little woman...)

Post by Boozer » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:13 pm

@Hagoth
Actually, yes it does help to think that 90% of the world does just that exact same thing. And I have thought for some time that Mormons as a people had become modern-day pharisee's but it wasn't until now that I've started thinking about the church as that which to me now makes total sense. You get into heaven by following our rules 100% and not stepping out of line. Right now as we deal with all of our stuff I wish I could get my DW to relax just a little. She is a 100% tow the line TBM. IF Mormons had nuns, she would be one. And her heart is in the right place so it's really actually admirable. We're having a really tough time now and in talking I was able to sum it up as basically you don't accept me as a person. I have to be doing everything you think is right or don't love me. Not sure where we are headed from here and right now but we are in a place where she was hurt and now even my most sincere attempts to connect are met with contempt. She had an emotional affair and I know she feels guilty but she has the mindset of "why did I have these feelings then" and "I can't just unfeel things". Very attached to the feel if its right mentality that we get from the church.

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