Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Commenting in Church

So, in church last Sunday I definitely had too much to say. I think the ladies in Relief Society got pretty sick of me. Maybe I say too much, however I just can't sit back and enjoy a sugary sweet lesson anymore. Life is not sugary sweet. I am sorry. I hate playing it safe, and bringing up little examples of the perfect life, the perfect prayer, etc. I understand that some people pray so that they will not think negative thoughts while driving. I have never prayed for that. Not that I do not think negative thoughts while driving. It is just that I have so many real sins and problems in my life, that the day I graduate to "Please bless me to be kind to the stranger who cut me off" will be the day I expect a ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom. I look at a room full of women from different walks of life, and I think "You can't all be thinking these things! Don't any of you still struggle to know the truth of the gospel? Doesn't anyone have serious family problems? What about addictions? Doesn't anyone hover on inactivity? What about depression? What about financial problems? School? Career?" These are the things I imagine people pray about. Am I wrong? Or are we all just so set on looking the Mormon part that we cannot be honest with ourselves about our struggles? I really wish Relief Society could be a place that women could truly express their worries and needs without judgment. I am not saying we should reveal every little sin, but can we be real? Can we discuss real issues.
I feel so sad to admit that we can't. I know for a fact that a woman would be looked down upon if she raised her hand and said she prays to overcome sexual desires, addiction, or other things that are just not mentioned at church. Why not? When a person is trying to live the gospel, they should be supported, no matter what the sin. I wish, hope, and pray for that world.


Todd said...

One important thing to remember is that many people believe that certain things are between them and the Lord. I have some issues that I wouldn't bring up in Church for the simple fact that I feel it is between me and the Lord and therefore is VERY personal. Even many of my close friends do not know some things I battle. Its for the same reason. Though some may have attained the point of praying for things that seem pointless, it would be just as unfair to judge them for praying for things of that nature. To them, that may be terribly important. President Hunter once sought a blessing from one of the other brethren for having had bad thoughts about another person. He simply could not be content with himself. Is that wrong? The key to remember is that EVERYONE is at a different place in life and maintains a different relationship with our Father in Heaven. Its not always about the Mormon image. Sometimes its a matter of sacredness and other times personality. All of us are on different parts of the path back. Some may need to seek the support of others, I fully agree. But some of us simply keep things on a different level. I think it will always be this way for the simple fact we are ALL unique and maintain a unique relationship with our Father.

Maren said...

No, I do not think it is wrong to seek a blessing for having bad thoughts about a person. I do think it can be a big trial, especially if it is someone you work closely with. I just feel that sometimes people say such things in order to cover up other things. I am not saying we should share every little detail of our lives. I guess what I am saying is that a lot of people do come across as being so perfect that their only sin is having a bad thought during traffic. Which makes other people feel unworthy just going to church. It reminds me of a girl I knew in high school. She worked very hard to keep her weight under control, and lost 100 pounds. She looked great, but was not the popular version of "skinny". One day in class, a cheerleader was discussing how fat she felt now that she had hit 100 pounds. This made my friend sob, feeling that she would never be skinny and good enough. I was very upset, and confronted this cheerleader. There is a difference between petty concerns and real concerns. I would not look down on a person who sincerely did not want to feel bad about others, or felt that their road rage was a danger to themselves or others. I love that Pres Hunter had to have a blessing, meaning he was human enough to make mistakes. I just feel that sometimes we give answers to look good, get attention, or stay safe. I do it too. I would not share some of my own trials. My complaint is that it is not always because those trials are personal. Sometimes I need the help and support of others, but sharing may instead bring judgment rather than support.

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog via your recent comment at FMH, and I just wanted to let you know that NO ONE has the right to question YOUR personal revelation. ARGH! I hate it when people do that.

I don't know what else to say. I am not particularly deep or eloquent (which is why I seldom comment on blogs), but I thought you might like to hear from at least one supportive Mormon.


(Sorry this comment has nothing to do with this post. I thought I would "threadjack" here rather than at FMH.)

Raising California said...

I was in Provo on vacation and the Gospel Doctrine teacher went on and on about how when his family went to Disneyland the wickedness there was so shocking to them, and how grateful they were to live here in safe Provo away from all the wickedness out there.

I wonder what was so wicked that shocked him and his family. My guess is tatooes on Disneyland visitors, and spaghetti-straps. What I might call socioeconomic sins.

But I didn't say anything. I've had enough being the commenting visitor to Utah, and feeling outraged when they start saying people are wicked in my home town, any town unfamiliar to them.

Maren said...

Thanks anonymous.
Raising California, I know exactly what you mean. When I first moved to NYC, I was told that the city would burn, be destroyed, I would loose my testimony, marry a non member, etc. All because it was not Utah. I had the most spiritual experiences of my life in NYC and in DC, and now feel a void in my life because of the lack of spirit I feel, which is I am sure partially my fault, but I must say that church does not feel like the warm, welcoming place I came to love in the East.