Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spiritual House Cleaning: On the brink of Atheism

Many years ago after my mission when I decided I needed to get away from Mormonism I made an active decision to "see how far the rabbit hole really goes." It's been 8 years since that choice and I have yet to find the end of that rabbit hole.  I'm starting to doubt there is an end.  The deeper I dig in to the claims and proclamations that the LDS church has made since its inception the more I find myself digging in to my own beliefs.  I can see why so many that leave the church want nothing more to do with any sort of faith community after the fact.  An obvious fruit of Mormonism - to poison the spiritual well.

But as I have done the searching out trying to get to the bottom of why (as I see it) the falsehoods masquerading around as "the one true restored church" continue to be perpetuated, I find myself questioning even further the basic tenants of faith.  The old axiom of "the more I learn the less I know" seems to be completely applicable.  The more I learn about the white lies Joseph Smith and his supporters told, the more contempt I find for Mormonism and those that ardently defend it.  Being able to prove within logic and reason that Mormonism is not what it claims to be has only caused me to question my own stance within Christianity in general.

The digger I deep in to the Bible usually in an effort to respond to the many LDS apologists running around, the closer to the edge of Atheism I find myself.  While before I could previously justify my lack of receiving answers to prayers as unworthiness (as you are taught as a member) as being the cause for not getting confirmations and guidance while a member of the church, I no longer have that as an excuse.

I find myself pleading with the almighty on a rather consistent and annoyingly regular basis, but to little avail and no response I feel I dare trust.  Mormonism has corrupted my relationship with God if such a deity exists, and has soiled my understanding and awe of Christ and his saving grace.  It would take more than a government super-fund site to even put a dent in cleaning up the hazardous waste from this spiritual fall out.  My feelings are up to their old tricks of trying to pretend to be the Spirit in an answer to prayer when their is nothing to justify such sensations.  Is God no more than wishful thinking-a human construct meant to soften an otherwise crushing blow of existence?

It was a rather powerful sermon in church yesterday given by a guest pastor who is in regional ELCA leadership.  She also happens to be a member of the church I work for.  'We like to put up walls.  Walls that keep us from changing include how we worship or progressing in our walk of faith.  We want to keep the world of change out, because it keeps us safe. But that's not what Jesus did. He tore down walls and destroyed veils in temples.  He brought us together as the body of Christ.' She went on to say 'it is in that place of complete and utter doubt and faith where we find ourselves meeting God. Where there are no walls to block out the world or change.'  To be Christian is to always be changing was the implication.

I find myself wanting to know there is a God as much as I want to fall in love.  Only my other friends here can even remotely fathom what that means having grown up LDS and done all the things expected of you to only find out both you and your world were not what they appeared or were supposed to be.  Even those in the most unlikely of circumstances have managed to find themselves after realizing the fraud of Mormonism only later to discover their own fraud with their sexuality. Why aren't things getting easier yet? The more I learn the less I know.  And, frankly, it pisses me off.

"Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears; from death into life." Meet me in my chasm of utter brokenness and emptiness. Fill my soul and life in your grace and mercy.


  1. I hope it doesn't sound patronizing for me to say I've been where you are now. It's not to say I can presume to know where you'll end up. Just that I empathize with the pain and anger and disappointment.

    I had a religion professor at BYU who used to respond to my anguished questioning not by shaming me or implying that I was going down the path of heresy, but simply by encouraging me not to give up until I had found answers to my questions that fully satisfied me.

    In other words, keep on down the rabbit hole. It's probably much deeper than you think.

  2. At this point, my spirituality has been stripped down to the point in which I hope there is a god out there, if only so that there's hope for existence after death (rotting in the ground is not appealing to me).

  3. Your post is all too familiar with me. I feel I have been forever spiritually broken by Mormonism. I'm not agnostic/atheist and find that the major classes of problems I find in Mormonism are also in other religions, Christian and non-Christian. I can't decide if I should blame Mormonism for my inability to believe and trust another religious claim, or if I should thank it for leading me to a place where I can accept the truth of God's non-existence.

    And it was definitely my loss of faith that finally allowed me to accept that I am gay. So ironic . . .

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Interesting post. I've been thinking about my own relationship with God a lot over the last few months and have come to a few conclusions:

    1. I recognize the fact that God might be nothing more than a human construct used to make us feel better. If this is true, I don't really care. I have decided that I like the idea of a God, it makes me feel better, and so I will believe in him.

    2. I feel like God has left me to navigate life on my own. This is actually a feeling I can trace back several years, even before I started to deal with my homosexuality. Church leaders talk about how sometimes we each have to experience our own personal Gethsemane. It's certainly possible that this could apply to the last several years of my life. I'm not saying I have been living some kind of nightmare, just that I haven't had a real connection with God like I used to. It's certainly frustrating, but I have just decided to plug along on my own and he'll come back whenever he wants to.