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I am questioning my religion for the first time in my life. Help me figure this out.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I was raised a very strict mormon all my life.  I married in a mormon temple and did everything I was supposed to do.  But after I married my dh and he isn't so crazy about scripture reading and going to church all the time, I am slacking on those things.  I try to do the right thing but it is so hard especially without support.  Lately I have been feeling like it isn't right as I was following our health code and we my kids and I are sick on it.  So then I wonder if that is wrong.  It is the little things that are bothering me and I feel shaken in my faith.  I am doubting the truthfullness of it.  And I feel like God has left me in the dust a long time ago as I needed him so many times in my life and I feel like he isn't always there.   As I have been less and less spiritual, my gift of dream has taken toll.  I mean that I have been having terrible dreams now and 3 yr dd had a terrible evil experience.  I feel like I have to stay with my religion or I will go to hell and also my family will turn away from me and judge me.   And I don't want an evilness in my home.  Oh I just need so advice/support.

post #2 of 31

I'm sorry you are having such a rough time in your faith, especially your fears of evil/hell and judgment from your family. I couldn't read without offering a hug.gif.

 

I'm sure others here will have good advice for you. I lost my faith. It was a very long, slow process that took years (I was raised evangelical).

 

I hope you find the peace of mind you are craving. hug2.gif

post #3 of 31
I don't know much about mormonism, like the health code you mentioned and everything. But it sounds like two things are happening: you have fallen away from your faith because you feel unsupported and you are starting to question the doctrines of your faith. Maybe these two lead into each other, but I'm wondering what kind of support you are looking for.

If you have questions for people who have questioned the Mormon faith and stayed or questioned and left, I'm sure there are a few posters around here who could give you their perspective. If you are looking for ways to get back in the spiritual habit, that's something that many people of all faiths can relate to. If you want to strengthen your faith, have you tried talking to your pastor/reverend? (Not sure what the term is for Mormons, sorry!) Or even your doubts, do you have a spiritual advisor of some kind that you can bring your concerns to?

In my experience questioning my faith, I found it very helpful to read a lot by people who criticize it (ex-members or people of other sects who speak out against it) as well as going to the orthodox teachings and writers to read the official Church position on things and especially reading stuff written by new converts to the faith. I got a really broad perspective, from people who ended up HATING the religion to people who absolutely love it and found so much peace there. Plus I learned so much about the theology and reasons WHY my religion does the things they do. My experience with that led me back to my faith and strengthened it a lot, but I know many people end up taking a different path. hug.gif it is a very hard place to be in, especially when you feel like you are going against your family, your salvation, what you are familiar with.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thank you, thank you for the replies.  I am not sure what I am looking for with this thread, but am open to any kind of insite/prespective.  I feel like I don't know who I am anymore in a way so I am kind of searching for myself too.

 

I need to talk to my bishop, but he is so busy and when I am free of children for an hour, it seems he is busy.  Hopefully I can meet with him soon.

post #5 of 31

I've BTDT.  I was raised very Mormon but have since left the church.   I can't tell you whether or not to keep your faith, but I can tell you that you are a wonderful person, no matter what.  Don't let anyone tell you any differently. 

post #6 of 31

Hugs Mama.

 

I'm not Mormon but I do have LDS friends. I don't think that following the health guidelines is any guarantee of avoiding sickness.. just as I don't believe following God's directions in any way guarantees us prosperity or anything material.  From what I remember about the health guidelines in LDS circles, there is a lot there that have proven over time to be very beneficial; however, were not known at the time to be so... such as avoiding tobacco.  Utah has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country--and many contribute that to the LDS population.  So while they might not be a guarantee that you will never get sick, I do believe they have benefits. :)

 

As for spiritual support, it can be very hard when you can't find spiritual support with your husband.  I wonder, does your Ward have any sort of women's groups you could join? Weekly Bible study or something like that?  If you can't see the Bishop, could you perhaps meet with his wife?

 

I don't get the idea from your post that you're truly looking to leave the LDS church, but instead, you need more support on your spiritual path.  However, if I'm misreading that, then I agree with the above posters--and encourage you to check out some ex-Mormon websites.

 

I wish you peace in your journey.  

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the support!

 

I finally met with my Bishop and he helped me in many ways.  He was very supportive and didn't push me to get to church more either but encouraged me to invite God into my life more.  So now I am starting trying to find who I am.  I am going to spend time with my kids and teach them about Jesus and take some time for myself to really feel it as I cant keep living numb. 

post #8 of 31

that sounds wonderful.  I wish you all the best and hope you find peace.  I know it's not the same thing at all, but I found great peace in returning to the church and viewing our health issues from a new perspective-within the context of religion.  That's one of the ways in which things fell into place for me.  I know that doesn't help you, but I guess the point is you never really know when and how things are going to come together.  Holding out hope that you experience it sooner rather than later, but I trust it will be in perfect timing.

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjorne View Post

that sounds wonderful.  I wish you all the best and hope you find peace.  I know it's not the same thing at all, but I found great peace in returning to the church and viewing our health issues from a new perspective-within the context of religion.  That's one of the ways in which things fell into place for me.  I know that doesn't help you, but I guess the point is you never really know when and how things are going to come together.  Holding out hope that you experience it sooner rather than later, but I trust it will be in perfect timing.



How did you go about this?

post #10 of 31

Hmmm, I'm not sure there's a concrete how and given that we're not talking apples to apples I'm not sure what my specific journey has to offer.  I'm Lutheran and given that I don't know a ton about LDS I just don't if there's crossover.

 

What I can say is that I spend the vast majority of my life feeling abandoned by God.    I was chronically ill, and have had more surgeries/procedures than most folks out there.  I was also in and out of hospitals with documentable things that never got diagnosed until after I had kids.  The fact that my kids had the issues they did, and my dd was so sick from birth, just sort of reinforced that feeling.   I was sort of feeling like I was in God's blind spot, as one friend put it.  I was able to use all I knew about religion to bolster my case.  Until my understanding of religion changed.

 

At some point I had what I guess I'd call an awakening...though that sounds odd.  It was more of an opening.  You know that moment when something clicks?  When you realize your perception is off and if you just step a little to the left you see the whole picture and it finally makes sense?  It was like that.  My brain processed something differently and as a result my heart opened.  It wasn't that I was heavily reading scripture or attending services, or surrounding myself with religious-minded folks.  It was totally just an "a-ha" moment in everyday life.  It is undefinable, and I guess it didn't really change anything except my experience.

 

All of a sudden the challenges didn't read that way.  They were no longer evidence of God ignoring or punishing me, they were parts of my journey-things I was supposed to experience.  Same with my kids.  I won't say I necessarily felt they were gifts, they just no longer factored in as evidence I could wield against the existence of a higher power.  (and yes...parts were certainly gifts and we can talk about that too if you like.)

 

In terms of following the doctrine and the health code, do you want to talk about that specifically?  If that's a big area of struggle I don't know if I can help at all, but I'm certainly willing to try.  Perhaps some of the scholars can jump in too. 

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing PB.  I don't really know what I am looking to hear but I do know of that blind spot feeling.  It is amazing that you can see your illnesses as something positive.  I am still no where near that.  I do feel angry at God all the time for our health as in our religion we are promised good health if we do what it says.  That is where my doubt in my religion comes in.  I sometimes want to become budhist or something just to say HA HA to God.  Crazy I know.  I was abandoned by my mother as a kid and now it is like God has abandoned me.  I have decided now that I am not making any denials in my religion now but just focusing on Christs mission in the new testament.  At the moment that is the only thing that brings me peace.   

 

My other goal is to try to count my blessing more.  The glass half full.

post #12 of 31

ah.  I see.  for me there is nothing definitive like that within the text.  I don't read there being any promises so that part isn't a conflict for me.  I'm sorry.  Is it that black and white in LDS?  Is that how it's interpreted by everyone?  I mean no disrespect, I'm just not familiar at all.

 

In terms of the feeling of abandonment-have you ever talked to someone about that?  I know you use energy medicine too, have you ever addressed that?  It's a pretty significant issue for you, from what you are saying.  Perhaps starting there will help lead to more peace?  I had abandonment issues as well, not the same but that's the feeling I had-the message was that I didn't matter.

 

I understand completely focusing on the NT.  It's what I'm doing now.  In fact, that's part of what helped me open.  It was from a place of love that things started to make sense.  I couldn't get on board with the doom and gloom but realized it was largely my issue because of where I was focusing my energy.  There is a necessary duality, but the fear based stuff really bothered me.  Until I realized that it doesn't at all need to be fear based, that that's not the message.  I mean, I was never even taught that it was-I just jumped there myself as a child and couldn't let it go.

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

Our health code is pretty cut and dry but not all even focus on it and say it is just a vague code, but for some they take it word for word.  When I talked to my Bishop he said there are exception for people like me, but that is what gives me doubt.  Not only did I not feel well following the health code, but I got very very sick.  I am still trying to figure things out.

 

I have gone to couseling when I was very depressed years ago, but I am not depressed now.  Homeopathy helped a ton too.  I think it would proabaly do good to see someone now as I just came to realize that it was not normal what happened to me.  I couldn't even talk about what happened until about 6 months ago.  I used to think that God got me through it.  I am trying to not loose that feeling.

post #14 of 31

Something I would like to add is that I have noticed sometimes feel that if they have a problem with a doctrine or practice of their particular faith, if they question that one thing (or one set of things) they have to either accept it all blindly or dump religion/faith entirely.  My family spent time in a cult.  Many of my peers who left the cult did exactly this--the cult teaches X.  The cult resulted in emotional (and sometimes physical) suffering.  Therefore anything remotely resembling X must be rejected, angrily.  I think what was different for me was that my family left the cult together, and I had watched my parents maintaining the essentials of the Christian faith while questioning doctrine/practice in a couple of different churches.  Doctrine is important, and so is true teaching, but God is bigger than doctrine, and sometimes true teaching gets mixed up and messed up by fallible human teachers.

post #15 of 31

Bluebird - first, *hugs*. It is really not easy to try to maintain a good spiritual environment at home if you if your dh is not really on board, and it is hard to struggle alone.

I'm curious... exactly what parts of following the Word of Wisdom are causing you trouble? Is it eating mainly grains? That's the only part I could think of that would probably cause serious health problems, but there could be other things. As I'm sure you know, most LDS people stick more to the don'ts (coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco) than to the dos (grains, little meat, plants in season), and I guess I don't see negatives coming from following the 'don't' part.

For me, I have come to accept that the promised blessings of health and strength may not come immediately, or when I want them. I am at peace that God will fulfill all of His promises in His own time and His own way. Other people, of course, will tell you that this is a load of garbage. All I can say is that my personal experiences with God lead me to continue believing.

One last thought - you mentioned wanting to become Buddhist or something as a sort of in-your-face to God. That alone tells me that, somewhere inside, you still believe in Him. Because otherwise, there would be no one to be in-your-face to. I definitely went through a period of my life like that - I was very angry with God, and I wanted Him to know it. But I found that although I could disbelieve in His love and care for me, I could never disbelieve in His existence. Slowly, over time, my belief in His love and care came back, along with my belief in the church. I think it's great that you're working on studying the New Testament. If faith is going to return, it will return with faith in Christ, since that's really the heart of what the church is all about. I know that's the way it happened for me.

post #16 of 31

I am so hoping you find answers to questions you have and put to rest any doubts that God has abandoned you. My understanding is that Mormons use the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Is that right? I dont know what the ratio of consideration is (50-50?). As a suggestion, would you consider having a bible study by an ordained minister? Jehovah's Witnesses offer free home bible studies at your convenience and they dont expect you to become a Jehovah's Witness... it's just about learning important info like what God's personal name is, what his purpose is for the Earth and why he allows badness to continue, what is the condition of the dead and lots of other amazing things. It is NOT a conversion process. Dont stop searching or questioning. hugs.

post #17 of 31

Hi Bluebirdie,

Sounds like you are going through a rough spot.  All I can say is to focus on Christ and your relationship with Him.  All things come into being through Him and all things cohere in Him.  You may know that I am not a fan of religion from my other posts.  I think that people try to live up to God's standard because their religion tells them to do this, but it has to be done by the Spirit who indwells you.  If you are using your natural strength to live up to a religious standard, well, your strength will run out.  But this is a good thing!  Once your strength runs out then you will turn to God for strength, and let Him do it.  Be dependent on Him.  Focus on Christ and not the do's and don'ts in your religion.  If you are struggling to contact the Lord, there are some simple practices you can try.  Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus, mingling your Bible reading with prayer (pray reading), declaring spiritual facts like Jesus is Lord, Christ died for me, Praise the Lord...

 

These practices are usually best  done out loud and over and over until you sense the presence of the Lord.  He's there, but you have to exercise your spirit to get the flow going.  It's like priming a water pump.  The first few pumps you won't see water but eventually water will gush out. hth!

post #18 of 31
I, too, was raised in the Church and married in the temple. I lived with doubt and fear and guilt for years because Mormonism wasn't working for me. I thought there must be something wrong with me, that I must be in some way unworthy that God wouldn't speak to me and remove my doubts. I could never do enough. I wish I had listened to myself and seen how unhappy Mormonism was making me instead of keeping with it, unfulfilled, for years. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Mormonism wasn't what it claimed and I quit. It was very scary. I thought bad things would happen to my family. That didn't happen. Instead I was happier--I never realized how much guilt I had been living with and how afraid I had been of thinking differently. You may not come to the same conclusion, and that's ok. But you should really trust yourself. It's ok to have doubts. It's ok to look into other religions. It's ok to find out what makes you happy. God will absolutely not punish you for asking honest questions. A religion that sews fear instead of peace cannot be true.
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for all you wonderful comments. I am taking everything into consideration. The other day some women from a different church showed up and I did the bold thing and asked if they would come by again for bible study and told them I wasn't interested in joining their church. They said they would love to come over!! I have been feeling more peace lately as I am trying to not feel bad about my lack of conviction with my church. My children have been feeling it too as last night my LO's actually slept through the night after we read bible stories together.

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

Spring Babies, thanks for sharing as I do have the greatest fear of leaving my church.  But if I do leave, I don't think I would join another church.  I still feel some great things of my church ring true.  I think I have just gotten away from just feel good Jesus teaching and too much into the specifics of it.   Oh I still don't know what is right...

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