I have decided to go talk to my Bishop about the difficulties I’m having with my testimony of the LDS faith. I’m not sure how this will turn out, but I need to do it anyway. I am the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum for my ward and have been largely ineffective because of my weakened testimony. This week I finally decided that it is not fair to the EQ to have someone in a leadership calling wrestling with his testimony. That is what made me call and make an appointment with the Bishop yesterday.
This is a little scary for several reasons. I don’t know if the Bishop will try to answer my concerns or just tell me to pray and fast. I don’t even know if he has struggled with the same issues or not and therefore I worry that I may be introducing doubt into his mind. Of course there is always the possibility he will remove me from my calling (I’m not opposed to that). I have considered just asking to be released from my calling instead of going into the fact that my testimony has taken a severe blow, but I know that will come up anyway. Finally, my son turned 7 this month and I would like to baptize him when he turns 8 next year, but I’m not sure the Bishop will let me do that if he knows exactly how I feel.
I have not rejected Mormonism. My testimony has just changed. Some of the things I used to consider doctrine have now become only rumors to me. My view of what a prophet is has changed dramatically from what I used to think. I question things that are spoken by local leaders and even current and past prophets. On some issues I am critical of what has been said or done.
I hold on to Mormonism because I do believe I received answer to prayer that it is true. I also have had other confirming experiences during my lifetime. Some say that this should be enough, but somehow it is not. Most of the problems I’m having with the LDS Church are problems of logic, not spirit. Although admittedly, my attempt to understand the illogical has affected the spiritual aspect of my faith. It is much harder for me to feel the spirit when I am constantly evaluating what my leaders have said and are saying. However, I don’t feel like I have a choice.
It appears that past prophets have given declarations that have been taken by LDS members in general as doctrine from God. Later it is revealed that it was in fact not doctrine, but one man’s opinion. Such ambiguity has lead me to believe I have the duty to evaluate statements on my own and then choose to accept or reject them base on my judgment and comparison to scripture. I feel inadequate to do this and I think this is where my frustrations come from.
So this Sunday I will enter into the office of the Bishop and explain my concerns to him. I do not do this lightly or without much thought. As I prepare myself for this meeting I would like to ask for advise from others that may be going through the same thing or have already experienced this. I am also open to advise from those that are not member of the LDS faith. Next week I will write a post about my meeting with the Bishop for those interested in the outcome.