Monday, July 23, 2012 1 comments

Not Sleeping Well Tonight...Let's Blog!

I've had a lot on my mind recently and more especially tonight. I have not been able to sleep this evening and therefore I am looking to unload my thoughts and try to get some sleep afterwards. First of all, my wife and I are still together, hooray! Things seem to be going alright with our relationship. I don't say much about the church anymore with her and she doesn't say much for the church to me anymore. We kind of took that portion out for now. I don't know if it's because it is a sore spot or what. All I know is we don't do much with that. I do wish we would. I believe that talking about things really helps clear the mind of negative vibes and also helps individuals think through thoughts. I'll be honest, a lot of times I believe it'd be better for my wife to find another TBM LDS guy and therefore have a temple marriage to help with her comfort level. Let me explain...

I am one that has always liked changed. I do not like to stay too comfortable for too long. Blame it on the growing up and learning that if I am ever comfortable, something bad was about to happen. It meant I was being lazy and not doing more with my life. It's hard to get de-programmed out of that. I am doing my best at this point to stay active in my life with other things. My wife on the other hand does like to be comfortable with her life decisions. Meaning she doesn't like change much. I think I drive her nuts with how much I like change. When I was selling automobiles, I think the change with vehicles happened nearly every 6 months to a year. I don't like feeling comfortable in that way. I guess my comfort comes from learning new things or sitting on new ground. It makes sense with how I studied the church out the way I did. I had a hunger for it and looked everywhere it was possible. I went to my church leaders that had already studied most of the subjects I was interested in. I went to past prophets and apostles, present ones too and what they have to say on specific topics on my mind. I look at how things work in the structure of the LDS church and how things have changed over the years and realize then that something isn't quite right. Eventually I began to question what the church had given me for information.

The information that is given from TSCC (the so called church), is very syphoned down to better fit current views it holds. It is almost as if the current church is almost completely different from the original church. I will say that is a good thing, but not quite enough to keep me in it. You see, we are taught from an early age that TSCC is the ONLY true church out there and that everyone else is following a false church. We are also taught that every bit of the beginning had to happen (Joseph Smith, the BoM translation, restoration of keys, etc) or it is false. President Gordon Hinckley (previous prophet from the current), stated that either this church is all true or it is the greatest hoax of all time (not exact quote, but close). When I was in the MTC I was taught that when you pick up one end of the stick, the other follows with it. The analogy works for having a testimony in Joseph Smith and him being a prophet, which automatically makes the BoM divine. That enables members to have a testimony of one thing and therefore making the rest true with it. With President Hinckley's quote, that is still true if one sees it that same way. Here's the problem...

There are situations in my family that are happening/happened (extended family) in which they are grieving because of misdeeds that happened to them while they were growing up. I will not divulge any details or even mention who they are, but sufficeth to say, the law is involved. With this being said, I see a lot of similarities with what happened to them and what happened in the early days of the church and yet they do not see the similarities. I used to be looked up to as a beacon of knowledge when it came to church because I was able to quote scripture and other sources on the spot. While I can still do that, I refrain from doing so because I do not see it in the same light as I did before. Since I came out as an agnostic leaning atheist, those who used to look up to me (some of the ones I love most), do not anymore. They almost see me as an individual who has lost their way and anything I have to say on the matter does not take the same ground it used to. It doesn't hold well anymore. This saddens me because it is almost as if I am accepted if I see things as they do (and can add more depth to their interests) and therefore I have lost my place among them. I would think this would stir them up a bit to try to understand why I have gone the direction I have. It hasn't been because of any misdeed or "transgression" I have committed. Technically I am still a member of TSCC. I haven't resigned as of yet and therefore the only way I could be forced out is through excommunication through apostasy. I digress...

The problem continues... if you study the life of Joseph Smith, you find out he was far from perfect. Does this bar him from his misdeeds and make him less of a prophet? I say yes and no. If he was merely following what God had instructed him to do, then we could see it for what it was, a commandment. When he was doing something that only afterwards received revelation about, then one must wonder what he really was trying to accomplish. For example, polygamy is a big topic within TSCC and therefore it becomes pushed under the rug when the public speaks of it. Let me make myself clear here, if the adults are consenting, then I am okay with it. The issue lies within what started polygamy in Joseph Smith's time. Remind you, marriage age was not much different than it is now and under the age of 18 was still illegal in most areas of the country (so it was not the norm). Joseph Smith was caught when Emma returned from home and glanced up the stairway and saw Joseph passionately kissing their adopted daughter Fannie Alger (who at the time was 16 years old) and later married others in their teenage years, the youngest being 14. Polyandry also comes to mind when you talk about the polygamy in those days with Joseph Smith, but for the sake of time I will not dive into that topic. After Joseph was caught with Fannie, literally just days after, God revealed to Joseph that polygamy was to become a part of the restoration of all things in these the latter-days. Seem a little backwards there? Wouldn't God reveal it to Joseph through revelation prior to engaging in the act and being caught? I mean I can think of a better story than that, but Emma bought it at the time. Even if she had a difficult time accepting it (after Joseph's death, she denied polygamy was practiced in their marriage). Another example is when Joseph joined the masons, after Hyrum had tried to get him to join several times prior. When we had gone through and become a mason, Joseph only weeks later had a revelation about the temple ceremony. The original ceremony had all of the same tokens, threats, etc. as the masons had in their script with few words changed to fit TSCC better. Over the years the ceremony has changed drastically (which goes against some scriptures in the D&C). Seems convenient that Joseph joins a brotherhood group and has a revelation that almost mirrors it word for word weeks later in a saving ordinance. By the way, if you study the Bible and old times in the Bible, you can see there was no such ceremony in Solomon's temple or others. Heck you can't even find it in the BoM. Things with Joseph seemed backwards. Let's find something cool, have a revelation about it, and claim it ours. Rather than let's have a revelation about something, find something out there that is just like it (cool) and still claim it ours. I am not trying to fight against TSCC, I am trying to recover from the initial shock one faces when it's cover is peeled back to reveal what it is on the inside.

What I am trying to explain here is the fact that I have not left because of a transgression or anything TSCC would see as horrible. I am merely leaving because it doesn't have consistency and anything different to offer from other churches. With this being said, it is difficult to follow it when its past doesn't live up to what the prior prophet proclaims. You cannot say it has lasted these past 180 years or so without being proven wrong, because it has. For example, study up on the Book of Abraham and how it turned up after the great fire of Chicago. I won't go into detail with it. Just know there are non-bias views out there. is a great place to start because it gives every stand point on the issue and leaves the conclusion up to the reader (it was set up by active LDS members for those to go to find sources for specific topics like that). TSCC isn't what it lived up to prior in my life and also many others out there. Yes, it has power today more-so than it has in prior years because of its massive wealth. It's a corporation and a well run one at best (another topic I won't touch). Ends just keep coming undone and therefore can't keep one such as myself in it.

Yes, I would love for my wife to see things the way I do, but I will honestly say I am glad she is doing something on her own with her belief. I hope she continues to live her own because I think that makes one stronger. I just wish that when we spoke about TSCC, it wouldn't be like pins and needles below our feet. I wish it could be open and understanding dialogue about things. My wife does not study the church and its history because I think it honestly scares her that she will find something. I do not look down on her for that. It is merely a way for her to remain comfortable and I respect that. Although it would be nice to fully decipher what happened rather than she automatically questioning my source or understanding on the matter when prior to my lack of belief she wouldn't even question my information. She took it whole-heartedly. She is a great person and full of love and compassion. I do look up to her for what she is able to do in her life. I am not going to lie and say I do not feel alone, because I do when it comes to this aspect of my life. I do not feel I have anyone to turn to and talk to about this matter but my blog. So I continue to spill my thoughts towards this only to gain some support. It allows me to cope with my alone feelings to hope towards more acceptance later. Here's to the future!