Why I don’t attend church anymore. My own search for happiness.

This is a tough subject to talk about for myself. I have a hard time speaking some of these things out loud as I get very emotional about them. There was a time when I was quite content and fully active at Church. But as for now and most of the past four years I haven’t been to and don’t plan on going anytime soon.

Let me start by saying that most of what the LDS church does is wonderful. I especially love its emphasis on family and service. It teaches of the truest joy that comes from the love within families. It teaches of the joys of living a clear and haze free life of sobriety, being truly conscious and connected to those around us.  It teaches of service and selflessness. Charity and long suffering. It provides a community of people you can meet all over the world who are all striving for the same goal of growing their relationship with God. Its message is truly a safe haven of light.
It’s a common thing for people who believe something so fiercely to feel a potent mix of being let down and betrayed by the God and institution that meant so much to them. NOTE: These are valid feelings, even if you disagree with them. 

We are hard-wired to want to fit in and terrified at our very core of being different. However being different is also a good thing. 
We have a tendency in the Church to feel a hard-earned sense of moral superiority when it comes to leading life right. Most Mormons I know (myself included), have clocked a lot of hours on knees in prayer, searching for guidance from God as well as at church, in fellow church-members’ homes, in service, etc. We aren’t willy-nilly about our beliefs and that can feel a little bit like we deserve to sit up on a high horse in self-righteousness. The way we talk about our faith is peppered with strong words like KNOW and TRUTH and AGENCY. We don’t realize we do this, I think (I hope), but even when we are trying to be understanding that someone else may have the gall (or lack of discipline/faith/respect/pick your derisive explanation of choice) to come to different conclusions about what they use their agency to know to be true, it is often cloaked in a sweetly smug, ‘Oh, you’ll figure it out eventually. I had doubts once too. And if you don’t get the answer I got, just keep trying. You’ll agree with me eventually…’

Have you ever felt like you have been let down by Heavenly Father (God)? Have you ever felt like God doesn’t love you or show you his love? I most definitely have. Here is what I find so frustrating, for the past 15 or so years, I have been on my knees begging, pleading, making supplications to God. I would do anything and everything I could to receive an answer I have been asking for. I have been asking the same question In many different ways and any kind of way I could think of. But all I receive is silence.
I’ve been so concerned that maybe I was being called upon to wait for answers because I’m somehow too sinful or lack enough faith to receive revelation. I have tried my best to try and be patient and humble. I wrote this in a journal posting a while back:
June 28, 2007
I see others who live and prosper,
And yet here am I, stuck in this dark prison cell.
Please hear my prayer.
Please set in motion Your answer, Your solution.
Why have You abandoned me?
Why do You remain silent?
I’ve waited and waited, yet I am met with silence.
It hard to keep my feelings inward. So this blog post and the other blog posts I’ve written is myself trying to let my inward feelings out, to try and let go of pain. As tears roll down my face it is hard to even write these words as I am truly emotional.

As I attended church I felt like I was there but not really there. I felt for the longest time that I was going for other people and not myself. When I knew while I was there I was truly miserable. I know that most people attend to feel joy and happiness. I haven’t felt that at church in a really long time.
For those that are devout LDS, Christians and other worshippers I fully support you and will continue to support you. My beliefs have not changed as I still believe in the doctrine of the church. I believe that each and everyone of us is on a personal journey, I am trying to find my own path. I am always searching for my own true happiness.

If anyone out there in internetland is going through something like this and wants to talk about it with me, I’m be happy to.


4 thoughts on “Why I don’t attend church anymore. My own search for happiness.”

  1. Hey buddy. Its been a long time since the last time I saw you. Crazy how things change. My wife and I have gone through the same thing and made the same choices you did. Glad to see you think for yourself and had the courage to stand up and do whats best for you. One thing that completely changed our minds about the church is the “letter to a CES director” you can find it if you google it. Crazy crazy stuff.
    Hope all is well.


  2. Hello Seth
    I’m a cousin of yours, our moms are sisters. I just wanted to tell you I think you are very brave.
    Many people have a difficult time discussing things that actually matter, especially if these topics are emotional and certainly it’s even harder when you don’t know what the response will be.
    I’m having a rough time myself right now deciding how to deal with some of life’s big decisions.
    You are an inspiration to me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s