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!


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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