Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thoughts before bed

I'm sitting here in my bed thinking about some blogs I've recently come across.

Recently, I learned another friend of mine has left the church. Correction: As my father says, he has left the church but cannot leave it alone. Its similar of all the blogs I come across from ex-Mormons or out-gay inactive Mormons or whatever. Their blog posts are filled with the same stuff of the "I hate what the church says..." and "I cannot BE ME in the church..." So they gradually go inactive. And then preach the whole "You can live a good life without the church!" philosophy.

Sure, anyone can live a good life whether or not they're LDS. I know some born-again Christians who live very moral lives. I know Jewish people. Catholics. Mormons, etc.

However, did Heavenly Father intend for us to live our lives as inactive members of the church fighting against the church? I don't think so.

A friend of mine said to me today "What would you do if I stopped going to church? Would you still be my friend?" To which I of course replied I would. However, it would not stop me from being saddened by his decision.

Another argument they have is that "Parts of the church are good and parts are bad." So they stick to the things they like, which fit their own agenda, and decide not to follow all the commandments? Seems a little like "Well, I will be on a new health plan... but I insist on eating a gallon of double fudge brownie chocolate ice cream every night before bed!" Kind of ruins the whole diet-exercise routine if you pick the parts of the diet that are convenient to follow while keeping other habits not in accordance with the diet.

To me, it is quite simple.

The Gospel is true! I cannot stress it enough. No matter how conflicted you might feel or how unhappy you might be at times with church leaders for their supposed homophobia... The Gospel is still true. And if that Gospel is true, then ALL of it is true.

Do not talk to me about how the Blacks changed the church by getting the Priesthood and how someday gay temple marriage will happen! It is not logical to follow that same line of thinking with this situation. The church's position, officially, is that we are unsure of the reasons behind the Priesthood issue. However, the church is quite clear about its position on homosexual marriage.

If I hear another person complaining about how they "cannot be themselves" because of the church, I might scream. WHAT about yourself cannot be expressed? Is your identity so tied up with being gay that nothing else matters? Give me a break and find something ELSE about your life which you can use as a cultural identity marker besides which genitalia you're more attracted to.

The church doesn't require marriage in this life. If you cannot tolerate living in a Singles Ward because of the pressure, find another ward! And just because you're in a Singles Ward doesn't mean you have to date. I have been in Singles Wards for years. I have never gone on one date at BYU and I don't think its that big of a deal.

One closing remark... IF the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, then the Plan of Happiness is true. And wouldn't you want to do anything you could to reach those Blessings? Even if it meant changing your focus on what is important in your life, and maybe finding newfound strength inside of yourself to continue on and BE HAPPY in this life? (And trust me, it is possible to be happy and SSA in this church without marriage... I've never been happier and marriage is the farthest from my mind.)

To me, the Gospel is True. And I want to return to my Heavenly Father. So I will respect his teachings and those appointed leaders. Without questioning. Without attacking. I will go to church and live a good life while going to church. Because I believe that the Gospel is true. I cannot sit and pick apart the things I like while ignoring the doctrine I dislike.


MoHoHawaii said...

And trust me, it is possible to be happy and SSA in this church without marriage... I've never been happier and marriage is the farthest from my mind.)

I'd be interested in reading any blog posts you might write about how you've made celibacy work for you.

I'm not a fan of mixed-orientation marriages (having been in one myself and having seen the damage they cause). I think celibacy is preferable but most people I know can't make celibacy work. It seems to be working for you-- I'd like to know why.

Felicity said...

Thank you SO much for this post. I couldn't agree more.

Danish Boy said...

I loved this post!!! Wow! Can I just say you hit the nail on the head. It drives me nuts when they say they can't be themselves. Ssa isn't such a huge part of who we are. There is so much more to us than that. Thanks again!

Calvin said...

I also completely agree; you have my full respect! It seems crazy to me that people with testimonies somehow conclude that the Church isn't true because of certain things they disagree with. And it's true-- those who are leaving seem only able to continue complaining.

If a friend of mine were to stop going to Church, I'd still be friends with him. But if his continued criticism of my beliefs was damaging, something would have to change.

One of So Many said...

For me: The gospel is of God, the church is of man, and the culture...that's of the devil.