Friday, August 1, 2008

Dust Bunnies-warning this wont be inspirational or thought provoking so please dont bother with it!

DISCLAIMER: I know this may hurt some beautiful LDS people I know so in some ways I hope they don't read it. In some ways it hurt to even write this for the sake of them, but I have be true to myself. I love all you beautiful people regardless though and I have no hard feelings towards LDS members.
I have had writer's block lately, you know that stupid little fog that clouds your brain from putting thoughts together eloquently? I am just lost. Plain and simple. I am clear and focused, but lost. I am so sure, but unsure. I am ready and willing, but for what? I am choosing the straight and narrow and doing all the "right" things, but I am falling short. I am working hard, but people are all hypocrites, including myself. I am not looking for responses here. I am just typing to empty my brain of its fuzz bunnies. I went to McDonalds play place today with a friend and she sat and complained about being lonely or sorta of lost and I swear I have felt this same thing lately. My life is very lonely. No one could begin to think it could be because well, I have 5 little humans I interact with all day. The truth is though, I am meatier than the kids. My conversations have way more depth than a child can or should understand. The adult things I want to say all get trapped away because I am alone so often. With Nate working, I feel like a starved child who fiends on adult interaction at the park for an hour. Its my drink, it my high for the week, its RIDICULOUS. Problem being, in my ward there are only 4 other younger moms and 3 work so its impossible to get together with them, they are juggling a hectic life. The one who doesn't, I just found out is moving soon so really what I am I left with???? Myself or my old friends. Sure my old friends do Non-LDS things and say non-LDS things, but I am lonely. I feel like I don't know where I fit in. Well, I know where I fit in, but the place I am trying to mold in is making it very hard. Its not easy dropping everything and flipping a switch overnight. We have held up well thus far, but I think we are both like 2 Atkins's dieters, we are getting sick of protein. We want some carbs. Our lives are out of balance. Everything is being thrown out of balance. Its hard. Well I know what "they" would say, "go to your bishop" or "do what is right even if you are completely miserable" or, "that's Satan." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I am given this one life to live and I was living in complete whacked out, sinful, destructive misery and fun. I am now living in a hell of perfection that I can't possibly maintain. I don't believe if there even is a God, that he would want someone to waste their life in that fashion. No one should. Being born into something makes it easy and normal so those people I discredit because they would never begin to understand another lifestyle. I feel like one of those Hispanics that, when they get mad, they start yelling in Spanish(their native language). When stress hits, I get tired, mad, whatever, I am wanting to go crawling to my native language----old friends, a beer, a night on the town with a miniskirt. Its a hard thing to unprogram a programmed person. I know what is right, but what if none of it is real or even exists. What if I do just head to the store one day and grab a 6 pack. I will have raised my children up to be mr and mrs Molly Mormon supremes and they will HATE me, shun me and call me a hypocrite. Now maybe this is me reasoning with myself knowing that I will eventually crack and start speaking my native language. Its hard because I have done good until the stress of life lately which has me feeling like a jack in the box, ready to crack open at the slightest cranking. In all honesty I have completely had to shut ME out. I have shut down and suppressed and closed all doors to my soul in the hopes of saving it and living in Heaven someday. I just hate how wishy washy I look, but really, I want to know what is out there and every experience has made me me. I don't care who thinks what about me, this was part of where I had to go, it was my journey and I learned. I don't know whether I will be going back to that particular church, I would prefer to go where I am accepted regardless of whether I had a drink yesterday or whether I wear perfectly covering clothes at every moment. I want to live well of course. I wont regress back that person, but I also have to let me be me. I refuse to become some wild heathen, but there is a balance and I have learned this balance only by living both extremes. Its been such an eye opener, a great experience. I will leave this post with the testimony that I DON'T know what is really true, but I am searching, pondering and going to live as a good mommy(my #1 goal) and not some retched hypocrite. I may not be a hypocrite yet, but I will be, I just know me and one day, I will crack and I will do something against one of the legalistic teachings and that will be it, my kids will hate me. I cant give "them" that control of my children. My entire family has a drink on a holiday or BBQ so it isn't as easy as so many say......their families are the same as they are. I am who I am and that is all that I am and that's all that I want to be. I CAN be anyone, but I don't want to. I am me. I am me......I know right from wrong, but by my own standards, not by the standards of a church who has many beliefs that are not even back by the Holy Bible itself. We will live with morals and values, but I cannot and will not continue to measure myself against an impossible perfection of righteousness that isn't even attainable. By His grace or mercy or in your own works, it isn't attainable. I do now realize why depression rates are so high in this group(3 of my 4 friends my age from church are on antidepressants), its because you are made to feel like you aren't good enough every week that you sit there. Its too hard. I also know that torturing my children and myself to sit for an hour and a half every week alone(since Nate is always working) isn't good for any of our emotional well being. You have all heard the religiously raised children talk about how wild they go at 18, its because they suppressed and feel shame every week. Granted the kids love the 1.5 hours after 1st meeting because they have a fun kids class, but they have those classes anywhere you go or you can do crafts at home. Anyhow, I am now nursing my sweet Kenna so typing is getting strenuous under the weight of her little head so I will stop here. Maybe I am having a bad day, maybe I am having a good day, maybe its all a load of crap, maybe its not, maybe the dust bunnies just had to get out.

38 comments:

Jan said...

Janis,
Everything you are saying are REAL emotions that most people feel. I am a Catholic so I do not know all the rules of the LDS religion. I think that we are all people who make mistakes though. There is no way that any of us could ever be perfect - we are not Christ:-) You have gone from one lifestyle to another of extremes in a very short transition period so it is very understandable that you would have mixed feelings at some point. I can so easily relate to you for some reason - I guess that's why I enjoy your blog:-)
Anyways - there are some other thoughts I would like to share with you about my faith if you are interested. My e-mail is clickable.
Blessings,
Jan

kdw said...

Janis
I have so many things to say you, but can't get my thoughts together! I would encourage you to read Mark 13, Mathew 24 and Luke 6. Jesus warns many times to beware of false prophets. I know that you were shocked to find that the LDS do not consider the Bible the unerring word of God and that Joseph Smith and the current "prophet" speak for him. These feelings that you are having is your conscience telling you to keep looking. Keep asking, Janis and know that this journey is continuous, but there is peace in Christ. Please email if you would like. Kristin

Crikett said...

Janis, It's Crystal. This is exactly what I was trying to explain to you when you first joined the church. The LDS approach on life is not what Jesus meant for us. If it were, he wouldn't have had to give his life for us. We are not perfect, we can not get into heaven on our own good works/behavior. WE ARE HUMAN. Bound to make mistakes, and far from perfect. You are a child of God, and he loves you for YOU! He knows we can't make it on our own and that is why He sent his Son to die in our place. So much of the Old Testament laws were in place because Jesus had not come to die for our sins. The Bible says we are no longer under most of those laws. Listen, I can go out on a friday night, have a couple beers, and God is not going to send me to hell. The LDS church is so legalistic and phony. You can't even be human in their book. You are a perfect example! Jesus loves you. He does not expect perfection. He doesn't care if you wear pants or a skirt.Yes there are things in life we should do to glorify him, but as Christians we live that way because we want to, because it's easy to do it since it's for the right reasons.
I can honestly say I've been waiting for this blog. That night we met are starbucks for coffee was great! And we as moms need that, and you need to feel not so suffocated. You can waste a lot of life worrying about things that in the end mean nothing. In the end, God wants us to show our love for him. I would love it if you would meet us at church this sunday. We've been going to the little church on the corner of Date and Bryant. The people there are so great. It's really really small, but there is just something about it that makes me feel at home. Service is at 10:00, I'd love it if you came and sat with us... If you don't hate me by now!!!

Chelsea said...

Do you go back and re-read over you blog? cause about 4/5 months ago, you were a really different person, in a really different place. I've read a lot of what you say on this blog, and a lot of what you've said on BBC, and I have to say I'm not surprised at all by this decision to quit.
We are given trials to be refined, sadly some are left behind.

Whitney said...

I read and enjoy your blog often. You are a lovely lady with adorable children and I love that you are such a great mom. You have every right to question things. I have several LDS friends and am constantly amazed at the hold the church has on their lives. God loves you just the way you are. You are special to him. Follow your beautiful heart and do what you feel is best for you and your family. Your children will love you for your strength. God bless you.

Sandy said...

I'm with the others Janis. I consider you a friend...even 'just online'
Christ loves you. Christ died for you. You do not have to be perfect.
I'd love to talk more. You already have my email..please email me anytime. You can vent as much as you like, ask questions, or just chat.

TheMFamily said...

Hello. You don't know me, but I came across your post and felt the need to comment. You said you don't want any replies, but I want to and you can take or leave what I have to say. I am LDS and both my husband and I come from mothers who were converts who know just what it was like to leave friends and the things they knew for they joined the church. It is very hard and I commend you for the courage to do it. I am sorry you have had a difficult time. It is hard to be a mother no matter what church you belong to. Finding connections and adult conversations with others is a challenge all mothers face. And no one would wish for you to be miserable. "Men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25. We don't believe in being miserable. And we don't believe that you by yourself have to be perfect. I am FAR from perfect, so is every member of the human family. No one is perfect without Jesus. It doesn't matter how much you do, without Him you cannot be saved. We do believe that he has asked us to keep commandments, if it weren't the case the Bible wouldn't be full of calls to repentance also. I once heard a wonderful talk by Dr. Lund called The Myth We Call Perfection. Sometimes we forget that perfection isn't possible without God. I used to think I would never make it until I really understood that, it doesn't matter if I am perfect today, tomorrow or ever. What matters is that I do my best and that God will make up the rest. Have you ever heard the parable of the bicycle? Where the child only has a few cents towards the purchase of a bicycle. There is no way, EVER that she will be able to buy it, but she gives what she has to her father, he makes up the rest. That is what we have to do with God. I give him my very best and He makes up the rest.
I think everyone understands what you mean by speaking in a native tongue. But think of it this way. Your native tongue is really what God would have you speak since you are His daughter. What is foreign is the natural man or woman. What is trying to get out is the real you, the you that knows your God better than you think you do. "We are not physical beings having spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience." That is a big difference. Trying to deprogram what life on earth has programmed and remember what the real program is. You say you know what is right, but then you don't. Even I ask often. I need to pray and remind myself if the feelings I have had about the truth of the gospel of Christ are true. Everyone living in or out of the church needs to continuously have moments of conversion. It is easy for anyone regardless of being raised in or out of the church to turn astray from the gospel because "the natural man is an enemy to God." The best way to know if it is real or exists is to ask. "What better witness can you have than from God?"
And also, "the church is not a place for perfect people to go and do and say perfect things. It is a place for imperfect people..." to help one another reach perfection through Christ. There are only 2 extremes in this world. There is God and there is Satan. There is no in between. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." Matt 6:24.
There are guidelines and commandments in the church for a reason. The best way to gain a testimony of a commandment is to truly live it in your heart and actions. I know what it is like to have others drinking around me, family that I love. But I know that I am happiest when I am keeping the commandments. I have seen people I love when they were in the church and out of the church the difference in their happiness and their countenance, in everything about them is night and day. The standards that are set, were set by God because of continuous revelation. That is backed by the Holy Bible, that God speaks to His children through prophets. He did it back in the time of the Bible and He does it today for our time. Standards that were set in the Bible (such as the law of Moses) were given from God to the prophets of that time. Standards are given today from God, to the prophets in THIS time. "God is the same yesterday, today and forever."
Depression is a hard thing to deal with, something I have dealt with also. But not because of the gospel. Depression is because we are human. Perhaps we feel it more in the church because we do not dull it out with numb ourselves with substances, but all people feel depression at one point or another. I have learned, as many people do, to come to God when I was depressed, not to beat myself down for my imperfections. And for me, I never feel that I am not good enough in church. I only feel the need to continually try with God's help. In fact all the songs we sing like "I am a Child of God", tell me just how important I am, instead of making me feel like a wretch or a sinner. I love this church. I would not be who I am without my constant falling away and coming back. My constant conversion and prayer on my knees to know what is true. I feel rejuvenated through General Conference especially when I feel down. We all feel that way. But Elder Holland said these two quotes that help me realize that nothing makes me feel more than "enough" like the gospel. "When He says to the poor in Spirit, "Come unto me," He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He IS the way." If you want to know once again if it is true, ask Him because He knows. If you are feeling down, He has been there.
And the 2nd quote. "Even if you cannot see the silver lining in your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek." Hugs to you! You are a great mom! I have read other posts on your blog and you are a strong anchor for them and they love you I can tell. I hope you give it another try and don't abandon it yet. Sometimes we "receive no witness until after the trial of (our) faith." Ether 12:6

A said...

Janis,
Nothing but hugs and lots of love. If I lived closer I'd come sit with you every week at church so you could have a break. But, you are not alone, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and who knows where you are and what you are doing and what you need. I know he answers your prayers. I've read your blog :). Tell him the things you need and then leave the rest up to Him. Don't be so hard on yourself. We absolutely love you on the LDS BBC board .. you have more prayers and love and support than you even know. All good things are hard (exercise - spiritual or physical, eating healthy, dieting, getting out of debt, learning something new, etc.) no one faults you for saying that. You've made lots of changes in your life this year, those things would be hard no matter what church you worshipped at. You don't have to do it all alone... turn all that stuff you are worried about over to God and let Him carry your load. Hugs and love.

My Random Things said...

chelsea, i would like to direct this comment at you: sadly, you are the reason there is such hypocrisy in churches. "We are given trials to be refined, sadly some are left behind."
And you know that some are left behind, and you know WHO will left behind.... how.....by looking at them? Or by listening to them speak? How dare you come on a blog where there is someone already down, and you proceed to kick them down even more!! Is that the way YOUR "PROPHET" would like you to treat a fellow LDS, aren't you brothers and sisters in christ??? Or is it to each their own? Niiice, glad to know where your heart really is.


Janice, don't let anyone make you feel less than worthy for GOD, Jesus died for our sins, we don't have to wear garments, cook from scratch, hold a temple reccomend, VT, hold FHE, hold callings: to get into heaven!!! Christ already died for our sins, he's not legalistic, he's not going to condemn you if you don't attend a 3 hour church session every single week.

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

Thanks for all your comments, I am reading along. I do appreciate them a lot, both good and bad. I didnt write this to commented though, I wrote this for me so nothing any LDS member says is likely to make sparks fly and magic change my mind. The only thing doing that is Nate. He is wanting the best of both worlds, but with LDS church's you cant have an occassional drink or whatnot, the whole church will know, council you and leave you unworthy. Its just like he doesnt get it because he hasnt been to church in months because of his work schedule. We of course have more talking to do.

Sweet Charity said...

Well I am not LDS and don't know much at all about them so I can't say much there. These feelings you are having are either 1 of 2 things: they are the Lord trying to gear you towards a new church or it is the devil trying to gear you away from church. Pray without ceasing that the Lord makes it clear where he wants you to be and couple this with reading the Bible and searching out your answers. Talk with you husband about it and see what he says too (not implying you don't already do these things, I am sure you probably have and are).

But I must agree with the others. Jesus already died for our sins for a reason, we are not and can not be perfect. We just don't have that capacity, we are humans and not the Father and not the Son. If you try to do everything perfectly, you will fail every time plain and simple. We are saved by grace, not by works. Yes it is true when we are saved our works will shine through showing how much we want to be obedient to our Father in Heaven, but it is much like little children with their own parents; you will stray and disobey every now and then, you will make mistakes. Our Father loves us eternally and will always forgive us for these mistakes or imperfections. You still love your children when they misbehave and you still want to give them what's best when they aren't perfect right? Well our Father is 1000 times better than any parent at loving His children unconditionally. All this is a round about way of saying you don't need to try to be perfect. We are saved with our acceptance in Jesus Christ through faith and grace not though our works. Yes we are called to worship our Father on Sundays, but if you have your hands full and you can't make it every Sunday, the Lord will understand. If you feel guilty about that, read some of the Bible to you and your children. Maybe do a craft after telling them a Bible story. Buy a CD of hymns and listen to them/sing along. He is our Father, our perfect and loving Father in Heaven, and just like any Father He loves us, His children, unconditionally and eternally no matter how many times we mess up.

I hope and pray everything gets better and clearer for you soon and that your husband can have weekends off to be with you and your family soon.

In His Love,
Kelly

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

Janis, AMEN! I was happy to see so many supportive comments and the common sentiment that Jesus already died for our sins and we cannot be perfect. I wanted to tell you that your analogy on Atkins dieters is perfect! For Heaven's sakes go have some carbs! Just don't go carb-loading, KWIM? There is a middle ground between the extremes, find it and you will have peace and happiness.

TheMFamily said...

Ultimately yours and your husband's decisions are your own. And I hope you will include the Lord in your decisions through prayer. And I hope that you will want to "give away all (your) sins to know" Him. Alma 22:18 The only thing you have to give God is your will. God gives up everything for us, can you give up an occasional drink for Him? And you are right, nothing any LDS member or non-member will say will make sparks with you. That has to come from the Spirit and you have to let it come. If you don't nothing, I or anyone can say will make a difference. Change comes with you. But my thoughts and prayers with you and your family. If you ever want to talk, I know I and many others are here for you.

sheri said...

Janis, I've read a lot of your comments on bbc over the past year or so. You seem to be very "extreme", meaning, you don't do anything half way. It's all or nothing. That, in and of itself, is not healthy, imo. Being LDS doesn't mean being a Molly Mormon. Trust me on that. It means choosing to follow the Lord's commandments because you personally have a testimony of Him. You don't have to only hang out with LDS women. There are millions of GREAT non-LDS moms out there. Being LDS doesn't mean shutting out the rest of the world and secluding yourself to your family and other LDS members. That would be ridiculous. It doesn't mean wearing a long dress every single day in order to be considered modest. If having a drink of alcohol is that important to you, go for it. Only you can make that decision. But I think you need to cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to live more in the middle of the road. I'm an active LDS member and there are MANY things I do/don't do that I know could be done differently. Everyone is at a different place in their lives. Stop worrying about being perfect and just be the best you can be at that moment. This is going to sound so Mormony, but Satan wants you to be down on yourself and think less of your abilities. He wants you to doubt your potential and decisions. In the past, you've talked about how incredibly happy and at peace you've been w/your life changes. And now you just want to go have a drink and wear a mini skirt? Really? That's worth it all to you? I worry that you have a very skewed perception of how most LDS women live on a day-to-day basis. We are striving to be our best, but that doesn't mean we ARE our best at all times. Christ died for our sins. What a wonderful gift that was/is. Don't belittle that incredible gift by allowing Satan to undermine your choices. But mostly, try to find a middle ground you can be happy with. You don't need to go to extremes to be "the best" in any area.

Sheri (SoCalMom2kk)

The Kyser Family said...

It started out sounding like you're just lonely and tired of the SAHM life. Which totally makes sense. I'm not sure how you got from that to not belieiving the LDS church is true. You can be friends with anyone- you don't have to be exactly like them to be friends.

A said...

Your blog reminded me of a conversation I had with my son. He was so mad at me because I told him he couldn't have rootbeer for breakfast. He hated me and complained about me and found all my faults, wanted a new mom, told me all of his friends mom's would let him have rootbeer for breakfast, and that I must not love him or think that he is good enough, etc, etc. The truth of the matter is, I love him with all my heart and he is more than enough for me. I am soooo happy he is in my life. I can not imagine my life without all of his little quirks. I didn't want him to have rootbeer for breakfast not because of the reasons he gave me but because I knew what rootbeer did to this little guy that I love so much. It wasn't good for him. What kind of parent would I be if I said that was ok even though I knew how much he wanted it? I was protecting him from what the rootbeer would do to him not judging him. How could I ever judge him? Rootbeer does taste good. I knew why he wanted it. It was never about the rootbeer. It was about my loving him just the way he was and wanting the very very very best for him because I loved him so much. But, still he wants another mom. Go figure? Aghh Parenting. And I'm not even Heavenly Father! He must love us an awful lot. 'Cause sometimes I feel like my kid does about things. But in the end, deep down I know it's not about me being worthy of his love, I have that completely. Like any parent, it's about Him wanting the very best for me. The rootbeer incident was never about pleasing me (the parent), it was about what was best for him (the child). My child was more than enough for me, but rootbeer for breakfast just was not in my child's best interests. That's why I told him no. Not because he had to prove something to me or I wanted to punish him somehow. That would be silly. You are a parent too, you know how you feel about your kids. That's how your Father in Heaven feels about you. May he give you lots of hugs and help in all the areas of your life where you need him. It's ok to ask him for help.
Lots of love and prayers.

Chelsea said...

My Random Things
I am not a hypocrite. I just call it as I see it. I used to have an all or nothing personality and I went from one extreme to the other. Janis and I are not dissimilar in that regard. I really didn't like myself when I was trying so hard to be "perfect" so I stopped trying at all, and then I wanted to kill myself because I was so depressed by the horrible sinful life I was leading.
And then I had the most wonderful conversation with an awesome Priesthood leader who also happens to be a brilliant business man. We talked about perception and point of view, and my life changed completely. I stopped trying to fit someone elses version of perfect and started trying to live my own. MY version of perfect is very different from yours and Janis'

Its very arrogant of you to think that you know where my heart is. I'm not surprised by her decision because I made the same decision, not because I'm judging her as being a failure. I didn't say she was failing the trial, because the only way she will ever fail is if she stops being who the Lord wants her to be, and I honestly believe that its a trial to find the place where you're happiest, because I've struggled with it! Some people are left behind, and some people do fail, but you only really fail if you quit trying! I found a place where I can stand and be who I know where the Lord wants me to be, all I had to do was look at myself from His point of view, and I knew I still had a chance.

Janis, my heart breaks for you that you are going thru this trial. I know how heart wrenching it can be to cut yourself off from one thing entirely and then cut yourself off from the other. I hope you can find peace. I did.

~Emily~ said...

Hi Janis! I've lurked on your blog for quite sometime. I have been inactive for 10 years. I really don't know if I'll ever go back or not. All I can do and all you can do is to be a good wife & mother and be a good person. In my opinion that is all HF really wants. Good luck with your decisions!!

Jennifer said...

I have been reading for a long time. And tonight I am praying for you. I am a Christian. And Christians (except LDS people who call themselves Christians) believe the LDS religion to be a cult. You can find all you need to know about that if you google it so I won't make a long post here. But as a follower of Christ I have an amazing love relationship with the Lord. I talk to him everday. I feel his love for me every day as he uses circumstances, people, and the church to reveal himself, his purpose, and his word in my life. Having a relationship with him is FREEING. Not stiffling or binding feeling. You are feeling the effects of being caught in a cult. God certainly does not care if I have a beer in the evening! These rules and legalism that is part of the LDS church has NOTHING to do with God. Nothing to do with how Jesus loves you and died for you. If you choose to follow Jesus (and not some religion that has other rules and ideas besides what is in the bible) then you are forgiven. You don't need to worry about all these rules of things like drinking and skirts etc. I am a Christian and I am FREE. And at peace. COMPLETELY. Perhaps you should go to a Christian church on Sunday (not LDS) and talk to the pastor there about what you have recently been through. It may be too hard for you to really trust people you can't see and don't know like me. But I feel like maybe you are starting to see the LDS for what it is. You know God exists- I think you were just lured down the wrong path by something that looks right and appealing at first but isn't- like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Jesus loves you and your family. He wants you to choose just Him. And in Him you will find peace and rest.

Lauren said...

Jennifer - Are you serious?? Your post was so full of hatred and judgmental comments that I'm honestly surprised that you claim to have such a loving relationship with the Savior.

Adrienne said...

One thing I do know is that Christ's love is unconditional, regardless of where you worship, or even if you have the occasional cup of coffee. Good luck with your spiritual journey no matter which church you join.

Jennifer said...

Lauren-
I am honestly confused. What has been "hateful" or "judgemental" about my comments? If you are going to say that you should at least clarify what you meant. I imagine that Janis knows what I meant. And if she doesn't I'd love to clarify it for her if she has been offended because I certainly never meant to. Although I am not sure what could have been taken that way. I would never bother taking the time to write out something to someone like I did if I didn't truely care. I went to bed PRAYING for her last night for real and my heart has never felt hatred or judgement for her- just the opposite. You are obviously coming from a position different than mine-LDS?, perhaps an atheist? I don't know since you just blasted out a short retort and never clarified what you meant. Janis- there are many people here with differing opinions. I know you believe in God. He is all you need. You don't even need "religion". Jesus died for you and loves you. Like I said before- He gives FREEDOM and PEACE. HE is where you will find it.

Jennifer said...

And Lauren- as I think more I am guessing now that you are thinking that my judgementalness (is that a word?!) is in the fact that I believe the LDS church is a cult. But I cannot take that back. I think we use the word "judgemental" too much. Some people are judgemental and mean and say mean things and are just mean-spirited. But when I say something i believe out care and concern it is just an opinion that is different than yours. If you then get mad at me and condemn ME for being judgemental because you don't agree with my beliefs then arent you then beign "judgemental" too? I was not mean spirited at all.
I am not ashamed to stand up for the Living God. To stand up against the false prophets that that have added to the one unerring book that is the word of God-the Bible.

Lauren said...

Jennifer, I'll leave it up to God whether or not I belong to a cult. You should do the same. But until then, I know that I am doing as much as I can to live my life in a way that draws me closer to Him. It bothers me that everyone keeps throwing around the words "legalism" and "rules." I don't see it that way, and I wish that people would stop thinking that members of the church are "brainwashed." I go to church on Sunday, I study the scriptures, I abstain from alcohol, I don't drink coffee... NOT because someone else told me I have to do that or I'll go to hell (because frankly, no one HAS ever told me that), but because that is MY way to draw closer to the Savior. I've been given a testimony by the Holy Spirit that these "rules" come straight from God, and I obey these rules to the best of my ability as my way to honor Him and show my love for him. It is okay if not everyone thinks this is necessary. That's none of my business. I will NEVER EVER tell someone of another faith (or anyone within my own, for that matter) that they are going to hell, or judge them as a Christian or not because they haven't done such and such. Only God knows our hearts, and only He knows whether or not we have submitted our lives to Him. For you to say I'm not a Christian is a judgmental comment. And don't tell me that the Bible "clearly" says I'm not because of the things I do. You simply cannot know what I do and what is in my heart. I don't claim to know those things of you, so I wish.... no, I beg of you the same respect.

I wanted to address your feelings on being free. I'm surprised that you think the "rules" of my religion bind me. Do you know how many heartbreaks, how many trials, how much evil I have missed out on because of my "rules"? I have an addictive personality. Had someone once upon a time placed a glass of alcohol in front of me and invited me to drink it... had I done that, who knows where I would be today. Had someone given me $100 to blow at a casino, I'd probably be homeless right now. But because of my personal beliefs on alcohol and gambling, because I've never given in to those temptations, I am FREE! I am free from the trials that come from alcoholism, I am free from worrying about wasting my money. Some people are lucky enough not to form addictions - more power to them. But had I not been a member of this church, had I not had the gospel of Christ in my life, I would be bound by addictions of every kind. I would not be free.

Jennifer, I realize that the LDS church may not be for everyone. Our Heavenly Father knows where we are at in our spiritual journey and will place us in the circumstances that He knows will best suit us. I found your comments disrespectful and hurtful towards something I hold very sacred. Once again, my beliefs have helped me form a close relationship with my Savior, who died on the cross for me. If not for Him, I would live a life of sin. Am I perfect? Of course not!! But I can strive to become more Christlike by doing those things which I, personally believe will bring me closer to Him.

You may not accept my religion, and that is fine. But please don't assume that just because it doesn't work for you means it won't work for me too. Logic and the Spirit tell me that the path I'm on is good and righteous. If I die and find out I'm wrong, at least I know that I lived my life the best I knew how. God will work out the details.

Janis, your Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to be happy. Maybe the LDS church isn't right for you at this point in your life, but perhaps you have taken away some valuable life lessons. I honestly wish you the best, and that you will allow His will to guide you where He may. I've never felt like the church has made me feel "not good enough." I've come to terms with the fact that I am far from perfect, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying. I'll never actually be perfect on this earth, but by trying, my relationship with Christ has grown immensely.

Cyndi said...

Oo Oo! Sounds like it's time for what my sisters and I call a crapout! (don't tell the perfect lds ladies that I just said the word crap 'cause I'm lds and I don't want them to know, but just 'tween you and me I swear sometimes, and right now, my house stinks from dishes in the sink! Shh! Anyway, here's what a crapout is. You get a sitter (or sometimes I just let the kids run wild and distroy the house for a while) and go the the local grocery store, and go straight to the candy isle and LOAD UP! Make sure to get some chocolate! Sometimes I get microwave popcorn, chips and some expensive cheeses too. Then you find a sappy romantic comedy like "When Harry met Sally" (don't tell the other lds ladies I watch movies with someone doing a fake orgasim in a cafe) and preferably you do this with a sister or other grown up, but sometimes I don't have a choice so I just sit by myself and imagine Janis is with me:) Watch the movie and munch on crap. Blow off the housework for a few hours or a whole day! It fees to good! I almost forgot, when you go to the store, crank up the stereo with something wild like "Killer Queen" from Queen, or Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks. You get the idea. (If you can't possably get away from the kids long enough to do this, you will have to be like me for now, typing madly to a cyber friend in hopes of relieving stress for a while, but as soooon as you can, go for a great big loud sticky crap out night with a girlfriend! It works wonders and you can get up the next day and try to be good and make important decisions. You need a break! Lots of LOVE sister! -Cyndi (you should be laughing a little right now, or at least smiling a little. . . come on a litte grinny grin won't hurt)

rubyjade said...

Janis, I'm sorry to hear this, and of course you need to do what your heart is telling you. But, I just think you've missed the point completely. No one can be perfect.

I quit drinking. For months, for the church, because I knew it was the right thing to do. Recently I had a setback, and "overloaded on on carbs". I realize it was a huge mistake but it's not going to stop my progression. Sometimes we have these setbacks, and cave under pressure. But that doesn't mean we just give up altogether because we can never attain perfection. Nephi said "Endure to the end", and anytime I feel like I'm loosing it, I remember his words.

Anyway, I hope the best for you Janis, I am sad you are leaving the church, but I admire your openess and honesty. I truely hope you find the peace you are searching for. I'd love to keep reading you!

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

Cyndi, I am laughing my head off!

Jennifer said...

Lauren- I read through your comment and there are so many points I could argue with. So many points where I think you are flat out wrong or inconsistant (this based on the one and ONLY unerring source of truth-the Bible)but to be honest I do not want to put out the energy to go through them all. I had even copied it into Word to try to do it faster but I am a slow typer and my comments were originally for Janis anyway. (for instance like about being free- SHE clearly does not feel free although you may.) She now has my view and she has yours. The one thing we do agree on is where you said that only God knows our hearts. And at the same time He tells us clearly how to spend eternity with Him. Matthew 7:13-14 says "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." It doesn't sound pretty but it is the truth. So while I know only God knows our hearts I do not believe there are mulitple ways to get to heaven. If you do not believe the Bible as the one and only word of God as it says it is and choose to beleive other "prophet's" ideas and ad-ons along with it then yes only God knows your heart but it is not hard to see that you are going against what God has originally said in the Bible.

Sorry to hog your blog comments Janis. :)

Lauren said...

Jennifer, the only thing I'm going to say (and then I'll be done hogging your blog Janis - sorry!) is that I'm truly sorry you don't have the same view of a merciful God that I do. I'm sorry that you don't leave the Bible up to more interpretations than your own. Finally I'm sorry you think I'm going to hell. I have much more to say, but honestly, I've had this discussion a hundred times and nothing ever gets accomplished, so I'm going to stop wasting my time. Obviously it won't get you to see things from a different viewpoint and open up your mind a little bit.

I am curious on one thing - what is so ludicrous about the idea that we have a modern-day prophet? God spoke through prophets in the Bible... why can't He now?

TheMFamily said...

Jennifer, the point Lauren is making is that NO ONE can say who is going to hell but God. It is very arrogant, hypocritical and blasphemous to say it to anyone since the only one who has that right is the Lord himself. Which is why Lauren and me and YOU cannot and SHOULD not condemn them because that is NOT your place. You can judge between actions that YOU feel are not correct and follow what you feel is right to the best of your knowledge. But never in the Bible or anywhere is it believed that the final judgment is yours- but God's alone.

Jennifer said...

Ahhh! Ok I am done but I will answer your one question Lauren- "What is so ludicrous about the idea that we have a modern-day prophet? God spoke through prophets in the Bible... why can't He now?" - Because your particular "prophet" and the book of Mormon CONTRADICTS THE BIBLE a million times over! And themfamily- THAT is what is BLASPHEMOUS, ARROGANT, and HYPOCRITICAL.

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

Okay Jennifer & Lauren, don't make Janis have to pull this blog over to separate you two! ;-)

Sankat said...

Janis, i have been thinking about you...i just wanted to let you know. I feel so sad for you that you are going through this.
I also wanted to second something that someone said...that these mormon woman really do care about you! If your ward is that inviting and supportive...you are lucky! most wards don't have a LOT of people like that!

Jennifer B said...

Janis, I'm not sure if you remember me but I "know" you from the LF and homeschooling boards from BBC. I don't know a lot about LDS but I had to post after reading this blog today. It seems to me it is so much WORK to be LDS just from what I've read of your blogs. I know that if I were in your place right now I would feel the EXACT same way you do right now. I am a Christian and FREE because Jesus died for my sins. I did absolutely nothing to deserve this yet He did this because He loves me so much. I am still a sinner even though I am saved. I try very hard to do the right thing but not because my church tells me I have to and not because I want to go to Heaven. I am already going to Heaven no matter what I do on this earth. I try to do the right thing to please my Lord. The right thing won't get me any closer to Heaven because I am already guaranteed that. And let me say I fail miserably at doing the right thing. We all do. That is exactly why we need Christ. Church should be a place of rest, of revival, a chance to worship our Lord because he loves us sooo much and gives us so much. It is not a place of rules to hang over our heads. The church you speak of feels like a BURDEN. No one can live up to that. So anyways, if you want to go out with your dh and have a drink or 2, by all means DO IT! Everything we need to know is written in the one and only Bible. That's it. The one written by God, not humans. Any other rules are from PEOPLE not God. God very simply tells us it is okay to have a couple of drinks. Just don't get drunk is all He asks. If anyone tells you different, well that is THEIR rule.

So anyways, I'm probably rambling but you seem to be really struggling and you just seem to feel so weighed down by human rules so I had to write of the freedom in Christ. He is all we need. So open your bible and just read. I promise He will lead you in the right direction. I just really want to stress the love and freedom in Christ.

If you want to talk more I can give you my email address. :)

~Jennifer

Brits said...

Hey, this is kind of random, but I stumbled across your blog and I wanted to comment. I'm mormon, too. I grew up mormon and was married in the temple. However, I don't go to church very often, I don't hold any callings, I don't pay tithing, etc. etc. I feel the same way you do. I don't get anything out of church when I'm struggling with kids the entire time. And I am a happier/better person when I'm not going to church and doing all those extra things. I'm still a good person though and if I died today I know that I could meet my Heavenly Father without guilt. I think the church teaches wonderful things (about family, morals, etc),and my children will grow up with those values, but not with the "holier than thou" attitude that is so prevalent in the church.

Sorry my thoughts kept jumping around, hopefully you made some sense of it though. :)

Missy said...

I can tell you that it isn't just you. I also come from the other side. I was blessed as a baby but had really no other interaction with the church until I was 18 when I was baptized. I will tell you, it is hard to get used to certain things but it is so worth it. I have been on both sides, my family is not active. All of them don't mind having a beer once in a while. I don't, they know that. I have no desire to drink it anymore.
I go to church every week without my husband because he is inactive and fight with my boys every Sunday. But in the long run I know that I am doing the right thing for them. I pray that one day my husband will take me to the temple and be sealed as a family. I pray that one day my boys will grow up and find a wonderful LDS girl and marry in the temple and raise their kids in the church.
I hope that you find what you need. I can understand whatever you choose to do. I just wanted to let you know you aren't the only one who has seen both sides and has had struggles. I fell away too but am so glad I have come back. Good luck in finding your balance.

Hillary said...

Janis--

I'm a convert, and I'm the only member in my family. My dad all but legally disowned me when he found out I'd joined the church, and I've only spoken to him a handful of times in the last 6 years since my baptism. So I know a GREAT deal about having to sacrifice things for your beliefs.

First of all, YOU are the one imposing such strict rules on yourself, not the church. Nobody will condemn you for struggling and making mistakes because we are ALL struggling and ALL make mistakes. Every single day! That is pressure you are putting on yourself.

Being LDS doesn't mean you can only surround yourself with totally boring things and not have any fun. Again, that is a perception you have put on yourself and isn't how it really is. Back when I was first baptized, I didn't have a single LDS friend. And that was just fine! You don't have to confine yourself to only hanging out with church members.

I'm going to be very honest here. I think you need to take a long, hard look at your reasoning for wanting to leave the church. Are you leaving because you really don't believe the teachings are true? Or are you leaving because you want to take the easy way out?

It's easier to give in to the temptation to have a glass of wine or to wear the provocative clothing that everyone else in the world is wearing. The high road isn't the easier road by any stretch of the imagination. But it is the high road that sets us apart from everyone else.

Take care, Janis.
~Pink~

~*Celeste*~ said...

Pink, I LOVE what you said! It is so true! Being LDS doesn't mean you cannot have any fun. I agree with what Pink had to say about the self imposed restrictions. I really hope you prayed about your decision, sincerely, and that someday you will reconsider. Best of Luck to you.