Sunday, April 28, 2019

Withdraw and Mourn (?)

So I guess I'm kinda back from the dead.
Honestly, it's crossed my mind a few times to post something in the 2+ years since I last posted something here.  But life got in the way . . . and to be sure, there's been no clamor for new content.
But yesterday I logged in to his blog see if Rock Waterman had anything new (and non-political) to say after April General Conference (he did NOT). And decided to use his blog roll to find my way back here.  Then I spent a couple hours reading through past entries, and decided to give anyone still out there a status update.
So, Rock got Ex-ed, moved to an echo chamber in BFE Idaho, and now seems to devote the time he used to spend on “The Church™” to  politics.  I've unfollowed him on FaceBook as his political garbage is of no worth to me, and I just kinda feel bad for him now.  John Dehlin got Ex-ed, moved to Holladay, and now seems to devote most of his time to LGBT stuff.  While I see some value in that, it's honestly not my issue or the issue of anyone I really know.  But he seems to be doing well, and I'm glad to see that.  Sam Young got Ex-ed and is still fighting “The Church™” over ex parte "worthiness" interviews with minors.  Again I see some value in that, but it's not my issue anymore since none of my girls are minors, and while potentially leading to horrible outcomes, there are many worse things about “The Church™” in my estimation.  Bill Reel got Ex-ed, and seems to be still fighting the good fight by addressing actual doctrinal issues with “The Church™”.  I have a ton of respect for him for calling out Jeff Holland, and sticking to his guns, but I honestly don't take the time to listen to much of his stuff.  (I did buy some BoA papyrus reproductions from him for my office). :D
I have got the wife to sit through most of Leah Remini's Scientology shows and most of the Escaping Polygamy shows that aren't just re-cuts of the prior episodes.
I've also been fairly active in r/exmormon Reddit in the last few months, but my interest there is (like my interest in most things “The Church™”) waning.
Also both my current bishop and my current Stake President (former bishop) are likely to be released this year.  I promised my wife that I'd never "leave" the church (by resigning/ QuitMormon.org) but told her I can't stop them from kicking me out. And that I won't deny what I actually know, or follow men and not God.  So the leadership roulette wheel is gonna spin soon, and who knows what the future holds.
Anyway, back to re-reading comments here.  One of the comments I read was from back in Nov of 2016, when the notorious "Log" commented to me:

"Brother Dence,
If you have been visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost and have received a remission of your sins, ever, you are in a minority among current Church members. I predict you will begin to find it difficult to stay in the Church and maintain fidelity to that which you have received. Your first allegiance is not to men, but to God, and they will not tolerate dual loyalties. You're either with them, or against them, and there is no middle ground unless you shut up."

To which I would say, I'm not only "in a minority among current Church members" but a minute minority.
I'm not saying Brother Log is a prophet, but in the past couple years his prediction is becoming more and more "true."  While I still attend sacrament meeting fairly regularly, I rarely stick around for the 2nd hour.  In part because former TBM EQ Pres (the moron for whom I have less than no respect - the guy who once proudly proclaimed in an EQ lesson, I don't like the atonement, because I don't really understand it) is the "Gospel Doctrine" teacher (apparently the gospel has nothing to do with the "good news" of the atonement - and policy=doctrine now). So clearly, I'm not wasting my time every other week there.  And since the HP/EQ merger, EQ has become an echo chamber for the out of touch old farts of the ward to espouse whatever they remember hearing on Faux News that week, coupled with the fact that the new EQ pres has decided that every lesson will be a conference talk.  I usually last 10-15 minutes before someone says something so stupid, or offensive that I just get up and leave.  I've been through the middle ground of just sitting there and shutting up, but I can't do that anymore.  I'll not be seen as being OK with the utter rubbish that gets spewed in these "meetings."  So as in times of old, I'll just withdraw and mourn (Ether 11:13).
To be honest, I'd just stop attending all together if it weren't for the wife.
And that's the big issue now.
We've had a handful of discussions about “The Church™” and she doesn't know enough to challenge anything I tell her (not that I've ever told her something that isn't factual - or that I tell her very much, as I know what effect it could potentially have, and I'm not doing something like that TO her.  I'd love to share it WITH her, but she's not there yet).  She admits to seeing some of the problems I see (but goes out of her way to look for the good in all of it, rather than seeing it for what it is - but as I told her, when you wear rose colored glasses, red flags just look like flags). However, she won't look into it further, because she doesn't want to know.
In fact, that's the problem!
I asked her a couple months ago whether she'd want to know if “The Church™” wasn't true.  She said she'd have to think about it.  Then I asked her again a few weeks ago.  I told her, as difficult as it might be for her, I've already been through it, so (unlike me) she wouldn't have to go through it alone. But she said NO. Even if it isn't true, she doesn't want to know.
I'm finding that really difficult to be OK with.
It seems spineless and foolish.  It's definitely a position I could never take.  Yet I understand why, as I understand her.  She is VERY anxious about not having control of things.  She'll stress about anything new until she "figures it out" in her mind.  Once she's able to place something in an order that she feels she can control, then she can relax.  And “The Church™” gives her an order to believe in.  Plus all of her family are TBM, so she's deathly afraid of how they'll react.
I get it.
I'm just finding it difficult respecting someone who really thinks this way.  Someone who doesn't care what's true, as long as it's comfortable.
I'm not suggesting I want to leave her.  But I can feel the distance between us growing. And I don't know what I can do about that.
We appear to be at an impasse, and again all I can think to do is just withdraw and mourn (Ether 11:13).
But as you know, I'm Dence.

2 comments:

  1. Followed the link from Rock's blog. I don't think I've ever been here before so I'm not familiar with anything you've written beyond this single post.

    We share concern over where the church is and where it is going. I just wanted to suggest that perhaps we ought to learn to love and serve others--family, friends, neighbors, church people, rather than trying to respect them? You know, charity is the greatest of all? That's the lesson I am learning as I continue to attend church. Not quite enjoyable, but I care about these people and still consider them "my people." I pray never to be exed. It would hurt so many people who love me and just wouldn't understand.

    Maybe also consider sharing your thoughts and testimony at church, if you haven't already. Ya never know who might be actually listening. I also don't believe in giving up on anyone until they tell me to shut up. Though I confess my heart is weak, so I get where you are coming from.

    I'm not fussing here. Just wanted to encourage you to keep believing in your wife and the folks in your ward. I wouldn't want anyone to give up on me no matter how slow I am to hear.

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  2. Lori:
    Welcome. And thanks for the comment.
    Please read my original posts from 2015 if you want a sense of who I am, and how I think about stuff.
    You'll also know that I've tried the attempt to participate and thereby influence. It doesn't work. I've tried the middle-road of just sit there and shut up. I can no longer do that either. But I can withdraw and mourn, and feel that is what I have been called to do.
    I appreciate your suggestion to serve others, but as my Christmas talk (https://imdence.blogspot.com/2017/02/christmas-talk.html) made clear (at least to those who listened or read it) “If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? ” Matt 5:47.
    I honestly prefer focusing my time/attention/resources elsewhere. “The Church™” has only ever used me, and everyone I know, to its selfish benefit, and I've never felt I fit in, or they were my people/tribe. In fact, apart from my family (who I'll not comment on) I can count on 1 hand the number of "members" that I think are actually "good people." And I've known thousands of "members" in my over half-century in “The Church™.” Those you would have me serve, are modern Pharisees, those who have scriptures that they refuse to study, preferring instead to abdicate their agency (THE gift of God to us in mortality) to trust in the arm of flesh, and "leaders" who don't even bother to mingle scripture with their philosophies of men any more.
    I don't think you are "fussing." In fact I appreciate the fact that you reached out, and had a concrete suggestion.
    However, I've wasted too much of my life with them, with no good fruit to show for it, to think your suggestion is more than well intentioned, but misinformed.
    To be clear, I believe in (and love) my wife, I am just finding it hard that she doesn't appear to value truth over comfort. (Especially since I have personally suffered greatly for truth.)
    The folks in my ward/stake are another story. In the scriptures the Lord appears to give up on lots of folks. I bear them no ill will (well, except maybe former TBM EQ Pres - read some of my "most popular" blog entries to see why) but due to their iniquity, neither do I have any "hope" that they can be saved.
    Perhaps I'm just weary of the pride, the priestcraft and the polyandry, the rest of the unsettling history, the hypocrisy and the hysterical homophobia.
    Or maybe I'm just Dence

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