Can’t Live With it, Can’t Live Without it

So, two things.

The sister missionaries came over to visit with me today. I have been visiting occasionally with missionaries for about a year now, which is funny, since I am already a member. Mostly I have just ranted to them about how confused I am–probably super fun for them, I’m sure. But anyhow, today they came by. They are really nice girls.

So, first thing. I get frustrated around Mormons now because the things that everyone just kind of accepts as fact, are things that I am not sure about. As an example, this is what happened today. Sister Smith said, “we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience, obviously when we do something good our spirit feels happy.” This is no longer obvious to me–I consider it a possibility, but not obvious, and very possibly false. Hence the frustration. And this happens constantly when I am with Mormons now (even though a short time ago I was the one talking like this). Mormons always assume that it is obvious to me that there is a God, that I care a lot about modesty, etc. I’m not offended when members make these comments, because I understand where they are coming from. I just find it frustrating that the whole foundation of things Mormon’s are certain about and don’t even question, are things I question–makes it hard for me to relate to them, and then I get frustrated because I feel different (and I feel like I can’t/ shouldn’t say how I actually feel).

Second thing, we read some scriptures from Alma 32 that really touched me and gave me that warm feeling inside that I miss so much–they would call it the spirit. I don’t know what to call it presently, but it felt nice, so I was a fan. Now, I have read these scriptures many times (though, I haven’t done a lot of scripture reading the last couple years), but it hit home today. The scripture we read was talking about how when “the word (of God)” enters your heart, how if it is good it will start to grow and become delicious to you, and then you will want more of the word (so long as you don’t cast it out with doubt). I was thinking about how this process has worked for me in the distant past. I would be sitting in church, or at home, or with a friend, or wherever, and someone would say something–like families can be together forever, for example–and that sounded good. Then I would read scriptures about this and talk to more people about this, and over time, this idea would grow in me and become something that I had faith in, believed, and eventually felt pretty much certain of. Now, I am a skeptic now that I never was before, so as I am feeling these good feelings about this scripture in Alma 32, I am also wary. You see, just because I feel good about something, does not necessarily make that thing true. Someone could be told they are superior because they have white skin, and feel good about that inside, and that doesn’t mean they are actually superior. I could read a verse from the Qur’an or a page from 50 Shades of Gray and feel good, and that does not make those books true–in fact there are things in all of these books mentioned in this post that would make me feel very bad inside. Having said that, I really enjoyed these scriptures from Alma 32 today. I felt a type of happy I rarely feel happy these days. Maybe I am just the kind of person that is broken without religion. I guess I don’t know that is true either. I’m just speculating.

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2 Responses to Can’t Live With it, Can’t Live Without it

  1. jennifer says:

    It’s a confusing time huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you Alicia. I don’t know if I’m as skeptical as you, but certainly I’m more skeptical than I was so I can relate a little. But I don’t regret that bit of skepticism I gained by questioning things. It’s easy to take beliefs for granted which is something you will no longer do. It’s easy to keep believing in something harmful that is not really doctrinal and doesn’t really help. No matter what you will be more empathetic. And certainly as imperfect humans we are susceptible to false beliefs, and I believe most of us would be served well by at least some skepticism. Of course in my opinion it’s the extremes that pose danger. I was talking to someone recently about how I get cautious when I’m in a highly emotional environment. I think that comes from my skepticism. Often what I feel in those situations is the empathy and love that others have towards each other as they share their hearts with each other, but I’m afraid that sometimes that is construed as truth. But when I feel what I interpret as The Spirit, it is both a mind/heart deal, like a huge aha moment mentally (light pouring in after I’ve worried/pondered/agonized over something for sometimes years at a time), combined with a feeling like I’m communicating with a being who understands me and loves me which is emotional too. For what it’s worth….I’m just speculating.

  2. crooks14 says:

    Thanks Jenny ๐Ÿ™‚ You always have such wonderful ways of seeing things! I like that you feel like you can differentiate between emotions and the Spirit. That’s interesting.

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