Monday, April 12, 2021

Returning to Church - or not....

An email drafted for my Bishop and EQ President that I'm not sure if I should send. Comments?

I just got my second Covid shot and I'm feeling pretty good about that.

I posted on Facebook that I'm looking forward to meeting with friends again in a couple of weeks as long as they were also vaccinated and still wear a mask in public places (-pretty much the standard of my mission to be in the Church History Library). But if I were to apply that standard to meeting with the ward how long would it be? Am I wrong to assume that it's probably never?

It's fine to teach correct principles and let people govern themselves but if they still make decisions that negatively impact the well-being of others, where does that leave us?

I am still devastated by the poor response to the pandemic by many in the Church along with the horrible attack on our Constitutional government on Jan 6. I can't help but feel that the anti-government and anti-liberal sentiments of some even in the Church helped lead to this (or why would Pres. Oaks have said what he did) and I know I must forgive and forget but it is so hard to trust my brothers and sisters who oppose the things that I so strongly believe in. I don't know what to do. We have a good ward overall that mostly avoids politics. But I am broken and I don't know if I can be fixed.

I have honestly been relieved not to attend church. I am by nature not a very social person. I don't like crowds. I don't like groups. People sometimes find that surprising because I perform well when I have to but it sucks the energy from my soul.

I don't want to know who at church holds strong feelings against the things that I strongly believe in. I have learned it often enough and it breaks my heart a little more each time to know that someone I admire and like feels that way.

I used to be a very conservative person politically. Then I learned that they had been dishonest with me on race, economics, war and so much more. That didn't happen in the age of the internet. It was gradually at BYU in Provo, Utah in the late 1970s and on into the mid-80s in Washington, DC.

I am suspicious that my feelings are why a lot of people leave the church. They don't feel that they belong there and they are tired of fighting a losing battle to fit in. As we all know, those who take offense have only themselves to blame (insert sarcastic emoji here).

And, yes, I did hear every session of conference. So did many others that I am still unable to trust. 

I know the Lord is the answer to this. But I still feel lost. And please don't ask me to be righteousness and pray and read the scriptures. I've been trying that all my life and I probably won't even stop now.

Don't ask me to speak or teach either because I might be tempted to say some things I really feel. My mission in the Church History Library is good because I mostly work with dead people.


  1. As before, I don't think you're alone. I have no idea if you should send it. I've seen this a month late anyway, so it probably doesn't matter if I weigh in at this point.

    I feel like your concerns are in most ways legitimate, and yet I can also see that you seem to be weighed down, and I'm guessing you know as well as I do that a gloomy state of mind does not always make for clarity of thought. If I knew how to add clarity I would, but I am having quite a bit of trouble myself today. But I couldn't find it in me to let this pass by without saying how not-alone I think you are.

    I hope I didn't say this before, but I somehow always find it comforting that the apostles didn't believe Mary Magdalene and whoever else it was who let them know on that first Easter morning that the resurrection had happened. I mean, they're still the apostles and they remained at the head of the church, but did Mary maybe feel a little bit vindicated when she was the first one Jesus appeared to? I hope so. Because, if it had been me, I think I would have fallen apart shortly after that. I tend to keep it together during the bad stuff, and then lose it once all danger has passed.

    Please don't give up. One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me is when my older sister told me that she thought Jesus spent most of his life being misunderstood. To me, this was her acknowledging that she doesn't necessarily understand my life. As a never-married woman, I am sometimes reviled outside of the church for my commitment to children and family, and sometimes scorned inside the church for not having had the opportunity for my own. And my immediate family contains both those outside and those inside the church, with correspondingly negative attitudes towards me. Being the person on the in-between can mean that you are less trusted, and yet you also -- sometimes-- see things that people who spend all their time inside of silos cannot see.

    I hope you don't give up. I hope you figure it out. I don't think you're crazy to want basic human decency and respect for life to prevail at church meetings. I think we're used to having a "live and let live" attitude at church (man in a dress? Welcome!) but when it comes to safety measures, being lax means NOT letting others live, and it really feels like that fact hasn't clicked through all the way. I, too, find this very very very stressful.

    But yes-- again you're right-- Jesus is the answer. And no, I don't know exactly how. I do love dead people, though! I found a single-adult great aunt just this morning on Family Search, who has given me quite a bit of comfort this lonely Mother's day. Her niece loved her so! I also loved the story you told on this blog about a single adult female relative of yours-- I'm hoping I remember this correctly, and that it really was on this blog that I read it-- who let someone have it when he told her how great it was that she was so devoted to her career. I sometimes hear women in the church criticized for being more devoted to careers than to family, and I suppose that this must be true somewhere. But in my Relief Society, where I frequently feel I must walk gingerly because I'm among a company of goddesses, we are devoted to our careers because we didn't get first pick of the one we really wanted, and we have to put all that disappointed energy somewhere. You've never heard a group of aunties talk so lovingly or devotedly of neeflings.

    Well, now I at least am feeling better. I might have said this before, but I'll say it again: your blog definitely makes me feel not-alone, whether my comments help you feel that way or not. Thank you for writing it.


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