My life has taken an interesting turn over the past few months. I've begun to see some things more clearly, but I've also become more confused, frustrated, lonely and alienated. I've been coming out to more people and have met a few MOHOS from this blog world and others here in Salt Lake. I've also been connecting more with them on Facebook. Overall, it hasn't been that great of an experience (with a few exceptions). It's just made my life more complex and confusing. I'm not sure who to turn to and who to trust anymore. I know I haven't made the best effort to connect with others, but for me, just making the effort is a huge step. I know I offended a few of you with the over 40 only comment. There are actually many of you who I would like to meet who are over 40 (Beck and Bravone to name two).
Lately, (actually, for quite some time now) I've been struggling with the culture of the church. It really bothers me how many perceive what the church is and really have little clue of what it is. The teachings of the church have been so watered down over my lifetime that nobody addresses the tough issues anymore, and when they actually do, the conjecture, misunderstandings and sterilized knowledge of the doctrine totally turns me off. Nobody seems to question anything. How can anyone expect us to progress individually and as a church without taking a hard look at the way we do things. Lets get rid of the cultural "teachings" and focus on the real doctrine of the church. Lets stop focusing on numbers (do you do your hometeaching every month, we need six people to fulfill this assignment at the mill, at the temple), stop making the EQ the cheap labor. Why doesn't anyone pay for movers? It's really not that expensive. Forced service is not the way to go. Guilting us into doing things is not the way to go. Lets revamp the three hour block. Have you been to primary lately? It's not the primary I grew up with and the changes have not been for the better (most of the changes have been socially and culturally based, not doctrinally based). I could go on and on. I know that nobody is perfect and that most are doing their best. I don't necessarily blame individuals for the way things have gotten. I blame the culture.
It's not my intent to bash the church, just the opposite. I have an incredible testimony of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, temple work, and all the other incredible things about the church. I just feel so alienated. I know a lot of it is my own fault, I admit that. But I'm tired of being judged because I don't do all, or even most of the things that others "think" I should be doing. Maybe it's just because I'm not a social person and the programs in the church all seem to be socially oriented. We have to participate in this, and participate in that. I would prefer to do things on my own. I know that most need these social aspects of the church, but for those of us who don't, it doesn't make us bad people. Social activities drain the hell out of me - including church Sunday meetings. I don't feel rejuvinated in the least. I'm made to feel guilty and not worthy. After teaching primary I feel totally wiped out (and not in a good way). Maybe I just need a break. I feel bad for those who have to do so much each Sunday (especially the Bishop and auxiliary leaders). I'm really beginning to question the whole lay leadership thing. I would like to go and be able to just sit and learn, feel at peace and focus without having to do anything. I know that contradicts what we have been taught in the church. We're supposed to serve each other and help each other. But there's got to be a better way.