Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sin is Comfortable

We had our small group again last night and we were discussing our pastor's "Shadow Sermon" and if we had "30 Days to Live" changes. Our leader, Wojo, asked the question, why don't people make these changes in their lives now instead of later. It dawned on me - the consequences. If we know that we have 30 days to live and we know we'll only have to live with the consequences for 5 days as opposed to an unknown amount of days then we'll be more able to live with that.

I've had on my heart for a long time that I should tell my family that Steve and I left the LDS church, but I always shy away from it - always with an excuse. With a little probing, I realize how much deeper it goes than just sharing the truth with my family. I realize that I'm a fence sitter, lukewarm. Secretly, I desire to still be a Mormon - I miss the comfort, the culture, the doctrine, my friends, so many things - even the apologetics at times. I have wondered if I was doubting the decision I made to leave the LDS church and I realize that I'm not doubting that because everyday I am more sure that the it is a false and untrue church. I just long for the comfort of the memories of the past. Almost my entire marriage is wrapped up in the LDS church, almost every memory is wrapped up in a ward building, preparing for the temple, a Relief Society acitivity, a potluck, or something of the sort. And so, when nostaligia washes over me - more times than not, it's connected with the LDS church. And it's hard for me to disconnect from it. At the same time, I keep telling myself that once I plug in where I'm at, I'll make new memories, new friends, and most importantly will be serving God and fellowshipping within His church. But it's so hard for me when I keep feeling this overwhelming tug from the past.

I haven't told my parents yet because I don't want to leave yet. I know the LDS church isn't true. I know all the head knowledge and I know God doesn't want me at the LDS church and hasn't for awhile, but right now - I sort of don't care what He wants and that makes me feel really ashamed. I've been supressing that for awhile, so it feels really good to finally admitt. My husband has been calling me a "closet Mormon" for awhile.

I miss being Mormon. When I was growing up in this tiny branch, I can remember every first Sunday of the month breaking the fast with a ward potluck. You just don't find fellowship and bonding like you do inside LDS churches. Between Visiting Teaching, Compassionate Service, and Relief Society - inside one maybe two months, you know people and make friends. You serve. And you're happy to be doing it. You fellowship. You slide right on in. And I miss it terribly. Even while writing this I'm remembering my first ward - the South Valley Ranch ward. I was a drinker, smoker, energy drink addict and work workaholic. I came in thinking I would never fit in, and was oddly shy. But I fit in right away. I could not cook or bake to save my life and almost killed the missionaries my first time cooking for them, but I improved with the help of my sisters - and when I decided to stay home with my son my Relief Society sisters were so supportive and helpful. I've never experienced anything like that anywhere else.

But that's the thing - while that sort of fellowship is so desirable and nice, it doesn't make the church or the beliefs true. The temple has been the hardest for me to let go. I still have my recommend, and it's been the hardest temptation to not use it. Not to "steal" from the temple by putting the ceremonies online via recordings or anything else ex-Mormons are accused of doing, but because the temple has always been a soothing, calming places aside from the world for me to retreat to. I've missed it. However, it doesn't make it real or true. I can create a similar atmosphere within my own home if I simply try and put in the effort.

I think what I've missed throughout my whole life is the effort. The effort that is put in. Putting together a branch potluck every month is not done without effort, helping sisters feel loved and needed requires effort, building and maintaining a holy atmosphere requires effort.

Sin is comfortable. Longing and missing what I've left has required no effort on my part and has done nothing for me except kept me from putting in effort that I could have. However, putting in effort in the past has shown results and fellowship. I think I have this vision in my mind that holiness cannot be achieved outside the LDS church - I know this is not true, but for some reason I cannot put it into practice. I know that through faith in Jesus Christ of the scriptures comes justification and holiness, but at times I simply forget.

Sin is comfortable and I think I've been comfortable in a state of fogginess for far too long.

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