I was born a Mormon. I have always been a Mormon. I have never ever doubted my Mormon Church. I consider myself educated and well-rounded. I’ve had many friends of different denominations. I have researched medieval history (which of course, church and religion is a huge part of). I do my scripture reading. I’ve read about esoteric history. And my testimony that the Mormon church is a true church of God has never diminished.
That all changed earlier this year. I had joined a group of female Christian bloggers. I loved it. I loved feeling the Spirit through them and the example they were setting for me. However, they made me realize that, no matter what church you are a part of, sometimes you lose sight of the core doctrines. This could be because of church responsibilities, other sermons on other moral aspects or rituals of church, life becomes super busy, or trials are heaped upon you. But, I didn’t see that coming from these Christian women. The light of Christ shined through them so transparently and so brightly. I was jealous of that because I was beginning to feel like I was taking my church and my faith in Christ for granted.
Then, one of them posted about how Mormons aren’t Christian. I was taken aback. We worship Christ as Mormons; it’s even in the proper title of our church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even in our scriptures: The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ. He is the center and cornerstone of our religion. All of a sudden, everywhere on the internet, I started seeing anti-Mormon stuff. Half-truths, rants from ex-Mormons, bad publicity, rumors exaggerated. My church published some historic essays that revealed that some uncertain things some of us grew up hearing was anti-Mormon was actual truth and fact. It rocked my world. Wrongdoings, mistakes, and errors of the church were becoming evident to me. All of a sudden, I was searching out negative things about the Church. When you begin to intentionally or worriedly search out negative things about your church, no matter what church, a wedge is pushed further and further between you and Christ.
I was starting to wonder if the Mormon Church was any more true than any of the other Christian branches. I was wondering if there were truths and deeper doctrines of the Church that I wasn’t aware of. I wasn’t trusting of the authority of the Church and was ashamed or disagreed with past and present decisions and actions of the church. I was wondering what I truly believed. I was losing faith in myself. What wasn’t helping were a few friends going through the same issues as me, their own personal trials of faith with the Mormon church. One of them even decided to leave the Church wholly.
After a lot of praying, thinking out loud, and listing my issues, I realized that I wasn’t losing my believe in my church, but I was becoming disenchanted with the Church as an organization. However, my dad gave me some good advice: 1) Does the church say anything contrary to making you a good wife, mother, or person? No. So it is a good church. 2) This is the Church of God being run by mortal men. That really caught my mind. There have always been issues in God’s church. Peter and Paul fought a lot about interpretation God’s doctrine, especially when it came to Jew vs Gentile. The early Catholic Popes had their own issues. Every religion has made mistakes. It’s just that our religion is peculiar because of the Book of Mormon and we are a relatively new religion. This Church hasn’t had as long as others to rectify it’s mistakes or overcome adversity. We are Christ’s Church, but who are we, as mortal men destined to mistake and sin, to run His church? How are we to 100% correctly interpret His intentions and commandments every single time? I began to realize that the Gospel is perfect, even if His church is not.
With more and more praying, talking with my parents, husband, and even my Bishop, I decided to start over. I decided to focus on the center of my religion, which is Christ. I decided that if I got to know Him better, rather than just take Him for granted, if I purposefully sought Him out and tried to intentionally change myself and put more faith in Him and His ways, I might get back to my strong testimony with more understanding and intention.
So, that is where I am at. I have been released from being the 3-4 year old (Sunbeams) teacher so that I can return to adult Sunday School and Relief Society and be edified with the meat I desire of His Gospel. I am staying strong in my personal and couple scripture study. I’m being more intentional with my prayers. I’m reading books on Christ by Mormons and other Christians. I am following General Authorities on Twitter and feeling inspired by their words. I am listening more purposefully in church. I want to be proud of my church and I want to have a strong testimony again and I want to be an inspiring Mormon mother.
I’m not really sure how to end this post. I guess this is a big deal for me since I have never once doubted until recently and am honestly, a little embarrassed by it. But, I feel that I have made some good progress as I have studied more on eucharisteo (giving thanks to God in everything) and tried to better understand the Mormon philosophy on His grace. I still may not have perfect faith in the Church organization. But what really is the Church of God? An organization and the decisions and policies they make, or the hearts and souls of the Christians? That is what Zion truly is. And that is what I am working towards. So, I will always be a Mormon. I will never leave my religion. But, I will always be trying to improve my relationship and understanding of Christ my brother, my Redeemer, my Lord, my Savior.
I am really loving reading Mormon and Christian books…do you have any recommendations for me?