@JeffinOCYou're right, the path isn't straight. The word
in the scriptures is "strait", which means strict or rigorous.
It is not the family of the former faith that does the abandoning. I think this
is more a problem in the US than in other countries. In other countries marriage
and sealings are different events. In the US because the gov allows the sealing
to serve as the ceremony for marriage there is not a ceremony for all friends
and family to attend. The ring ceremony just feels like a fancier reception. The
year wait makes the decision more difficult. In another country they could hold
a civil ceremony and then shortly after marry for eternity. In past generations
when there were less temples the practice was a wedding first and sealing
second, but as soon as possible. Add to this the time expected. Three hours on
Sunday. Callings. Home teaching. Where most churches are two or three hours a
week the LDS church is easily 3 times that. That means less time for family who
isn't a member.
People must inevitably follow their own paths and while some would state the
path is straight and narrow, it rarely is. Often it is circular as we test
ourselves and our faith against what the world teaches us. Some will indeed
spiral away feeling they cannot find what it is they seek, others find it and
stay. As a convert my conversion was strong and fast, as a member, I still had
questions and as I sought answers my remaining in place was confirmed at my pace
through my own efforts to understand. I have children now, and a son on a
mission, a daughter that questions her faith, and another daughter that loves
her faith. Even as I grapple with my children's understanding, firmly in
place with my beliefs, I also have come to realize that their destinies are
their own to find. I hope they see things as I do, but I cannot make them see
what I see. Their choice, their eyes, and in the end, their path. I will
encourage but not detract the love I have for them. All in all a good article.
Although the path in search of truth is not easy, it is worth the climb.
Nonetheless, many of us come scratched and bruised as a result. Interestingly,
the empathy or support is not always there to greet us at the Church doors. It
leaves one to question did I break my Baptist mother's heart, become the
brunt of ridicule and jokes by family, have my intelligence questioned by
professional peers,apparently lose any chance of marrying at this late date(only
non-LDS interested in me) only to be underestimated among the LDS culture? So I
encourage members to grasp the concept of our sacrifice of change, as our full
reward does not always come as expected. I recognize the reward, thus I remain
a member as I see the power for good, yet I feel lonely in the mortal sense at
I agree with the Givens' in their statement, "It is the only summons,
issued under the only conditions, which can allow us to fully reveal who we are,
what we love and what we most devoutly desire." I celebrate the conditions
that allow us to find and reveal who we truly are or wish to be. When Judgment
Day comes, it will be an acknowledgment of what we have become, with the rewards
and punishments being not capricious or arbitrary, but rather a natural
consequence of our choices and the path we've taken in mortality.If you hang with people who shun you if you should change, maybe you're
hanging around the wrong people.
It takes hard work and effort to maintain and endure to the end. Surely worth
It may be costly to switch, but it can be liberating to abandon.
Re: ". . . it should be considered shameful that his/her former
co-religionist family would shun them simply for this change of
conscience."It is considered shameful -- if we're talking
strictly about the change of conscience.I have friends and relatives
that have retreated from or abandoned faith, to one degree or another, who
remain close and beloved -- as well as an object of my evangelistic pursuits, to
whatever degree they'll permit.It is, rather, the insistent
heretical evangelism that typically drives family and friends away.It never ceases to amaze how quick people are to doubt their faith, while
being curiously uncritical of their doubts. And how, once doubts are embraced,
they often become much more central to a person's existence than their
faith ever was.
@ordinary folksAs someone who was raised LDS, served a mission,
married in the temple I can tell you that it was extremely hard to leave the
church after discovering it and all religions were wrong. Atheism is still very
much ostracized in America. Even in the Dnews comment sections atheism looked
down on and derided. My family had a very difficult time with my decision and I
still am asked to never talk about atheism around any of my family members.
There was a great deal of anger thrown my way, many of my family members tried
to make me feel ashamed or guilty by telling me I'd never be with them in
the next life. The process of leaving faith for non faith is not an easy one.
I wonder if the same sympathies would be shown to someone who abandons his/her
faith for non-faith? Or abandons Mormonism for Judaism? Or .....For whatever reason a person abandons the "faith of his fathers (and
mothers)", it should be considered shameful that his/her former
co-religionist family would shun them simply for this change of conscience. Yet
this happens daily. Just when did "faith" become more important than
"blood"? Why would anyone shun and abandon children because they
"lose' their faith for another one, be it for intellectual or marital,
or any other reasons?
Jerry you always makes me think deeply about things I didn't even realize I
need to think about. Thanks,