Thursday, February 21, 2008

So a few weeks ago, a member of my wife's ward asked her where I had been and why he hasn't seen me at church. My wife simply said "He doesn't feel like coming to church anymore". I was very proud of her for not making up an answer like I was working or traveling a lot, or perhaps sick, which would have all been an easier answer that required no follow up questions. This member told my wife that he wanted to talk to me. One day he came over to our house and came in my office (I work from home). He, very straight forward, asked me why I wasn't coming to church, to which I responded I wasn't really sure whether this is something he wanted to get into. He said it indeed was, and so I told him that I did not believe anymore and didn't feel like going. His response to me was interesting, not like most members I have told of my loss of faith. He said that he too didn't believe in the church and that there were several other members in the ward that were in the same boat. He then encouraged me to continue going to church for my kids, to which I responded by saying that I feel more honest telling my kids what I really believe then pretending to be a believer only for them to find out later that I don't believe. We parted ways on good terms, but it was interesting to hear from another member who didn't believe and to learn that I am not alone, even in my own ward.

11 Comments:

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kat said...

My parents followed the advice of your ward member, taking us to church throughout our formative years, supposedly for our sake. In my experience, you won't be gifting your children anything worthwhile with deceit and hypocricy. I suspect that mingled in with the "for the good of the children" rationale is good old-fashioned laziness and selfishness, as opening up an honest dialogue about faith (or a lack thereof) requires strength, introspection, and makes you vulnerable to the scorn of your own children who may perceive your faithlessness as weakness (or, of course, SINFULNESS). I suspect there are closet disbelievers in every ward who lack the courage to come out and simply say, "I don't feel like coming to church anymore."

 
At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have become the dreaded "less than active." However, my local church leaders couldn't seem to care less. Things first started to unravel when we moved into a new ward. We were nothing more than warm bodoes to fill pews and callings. And then I started to see thing differently after watching the PBS special on the Mormons. What really struck and bothered me was the comment by Dalin Oakes that you couldn't criticize church leaders even if that criticism was justified. I obsessed over that for days. what is the use of my having a fully functional mind if I'm not allowed to use it. Blind obedience has never been for me. Looking back on some the questions I'd pose in Sunday School and Preiesthood, I think they are relveived to have me gone.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Dieta said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger [kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

That's quite interesting. I've never had anyone active say that to me before. I wonder how many just go because of others' expectations. I did for a while, but very quickly I abandoned that.

As for doing it for the good of the children, why would you want to encourage your children to believe in something you don't yourself?

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I actually use the name Agnostic Mormon on a site i frequent! By the way, I'm Mormon, go to church most sundays, and don't believe the chruch is true, AT ALL. I live in Salt Lake City and have found a secret sub-culture of people who are CULTURALLY mormon and go becuase they enjoy the quality of people and the comraderie. I am one of these people, and i glaly live this way without shame, breaking or following church rules as I personally see fit.

I share this veiwpoint with my father, best-friend, and cousin, as well as many others.

Good luck!

 
At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Jared S said...

Rob,
I came across your blog while trying to learn about what it means to be an agnostic. I was talking to someone a while back and they told me that I was agnostic. I had never heard of it before.

Over the past few years, I too have come to share many of the same opinions you have shared on your blog site. In fact, as I read many of you posts, it was amazing how many things you wrote that I have written almost word for word. While I have talked w/ some friends of mine who have similar thoughts, I am still the "poor lost/confused" soul to most of my friends and family.

I came to my current thoughts w/ little to no influence from friends, books, internet, ect. For a long time, I thought that maybe I was the only person who thought as I did about the LDS church. Only now am I finding that there truly are more people who are really able to stop and think for themselves. Your thoughts and even many experiences are so similar to mine that I'm even thinking about sending my friends and family to read your blog if they better want to understand my thoughts.

Anyways, it was pleasure to come across your site. I see that you haven't written in a while. I hope all is well and that you continue on your path of spiritual growth and personal awakening and continue to find ever increasing happiness.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks Jared, That is the reason I started this, just to let others know that there are other people out there that share your same feelings and thoughts.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Dude,

Your religion is a scam and you know it. There are plenty of people out here that have your back if you don't want any part of their lies. Trust me, you are not going to hell, but only making this earth a better place to live for everyone.

Eric

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I had a similar discussion in 98 in Gainesville Fl when I left and they didn't respond like your guy did. They invalidated me because they couldn't answer my questions. I sent them packing.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger eskeptique said...

sweet blog

I find that since I'm single in Utah, and I wish to have a non-freaky girlfriend, I must pretend to believe strongly in the LDS tradition.

Girls are really into religion, love, and rigid stable structure. I have no problem with the love part.

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog! I am grateful to see that their are other former LDS who have dared to listen to their own thoughts. My journey away from the church has been, just that, a journey. I feel free as I felt so bound about what I could believe. At 25 years of age, I have grown so much as I left the church after my 2 year honorable mission. I love wisdom and philosophy. And I have learned you can still have values and morals but without religion. Through my studies I've found religion poisons everything and I grieve at times that my family and friends are still enthralled in the church. But I remind myself they have a choice, as I did. Thanks again for your strength and courage and to all others who have escaped the binding cords of religion. Keep moving forward showing the world that you don't need religion to be an amazing person!

Jer

 

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