Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Lowest Ebb and the Highest Tide

It seems to me there are many dissatisfied members of the Church in the world. Lately, I have been feeling a little disgruntled also, and I don't like feeling that way because of dire consequences (eternal damnation?) I have imagined for myself. It seems to come at this time every year for me, and I associate these feelings with a seasonal type of depression. I'm not at all trying to minimalize these feelings because they are very real to me. However, I think my sadness has bottomed out for this time. The only way to go is up...now back to the Church issue.
I learn something everytime I cycle through this. What I take from this episode is this: my testimony is rock solid. Solid like my head (har har har). It has taken me a while to do this, but through the input from various sources I have deduced there are two contexts involved in Church, as it is with every other church or organization in the world. Ethesis writes there are three: Religious, Spiritual, and Social contexts. I agree with that but I combine religious and spiritual experiences together; I don't see how a Member can dissociate a religious experience from a spiritual experience. To me it is an impossiblity. So that leaves Social and Spiritual experiences in my point of view. It is the nature of individuals in a society to aggregate with those of similar tastes, mannerisms, outlooks, etc. This is evident in the many subcultures we see. This occurs in Church, jobs, hobbies, music, everywhere there is a "group-fostering". I think, and I feel pretty positive about this, I don't have a problem with Church so much as I have (or had) a problem of defining myself within the context of Church culture. So you may say 'Keine Sheisse, Herr Gardner' but remember I am a slow learner...In my youth I always saw the Elders, High Priests, and other leaders as the end-all of true worship. I always thought to be a 'good Member', or 'Mormon', you had to be serious, stoic, hellfire and brimstone, Thou Shalt Not... and so on...non-smiling, etc. I am not that way and to be honest I can't see myself ever being that way. Ask a misguided man (ha ha ha) named Joseph Butler...nah, Joseph's the man in all the seriousness I can muster. I recognize the fact the outlook on 'good Mormondom' was my own reasoning and I do not blame anyone for that. The Gospel is not about outward experiences; it is getting to know the Saviour, Jesus Christ, and by doing so getting to know yourself. I think there is the pinnacle of mortality. Getting to know who we are as individuals...everything the Church (the org, not the culture) fosters that: Temple worship and marriage, home teaching, personal worthiness, everything. So anyways...I feel out-of-place at Church and it shook me up a little bit but I think I got my head on straight now. So there. Make of this what you will. It's ok to be stoic, but it is also ok to smile!

2 Comments:

Blogger Gloria Glo said...

We all have our moments. What matters is how we respond. It wouldn't be a test if all the answers were easy.

1:09 PM  
Blogger elasticwaistbandlady said...

If you read some of my earlier posts you will recognize the commonality between your sentiments and mine.

I have felt like people in the Church think of me as that weird convert chick for 7 years now.

7:28 PM  

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