Posted by: Jay | April 21, 2007

Spiritual experiences

Throughout the religious spectrum millions of people claim to have spiritual experiences that change their lives. I claim to be one of those people. It is what I base my belief in God on and what motivates me to seek after him. I want to hear what spiritual experiences you have had that drive you. What keeps you believing in God? Have you felt a specific feeling, been led to a certain place, seen a vision? This is not limited to any particular religion. I would like to hear from anyone of any religion (Buddhism, Islam, Mormon, Catholic, Evangelist, Baptist, Episcopal, you get the idea). Feel free to share your true experiences without being judged (any mocking comments will be deleted).

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I know that the LDS church is the true church and I am saddened by the way that apostates and people struggling with their believes have used the Internet to vent their feelings. Just about everytime I am searching for information posted by ACTIVE and BELEIVING members of the church, like today I wanted to find a good way to teach the song, “I’m trying to be Like Jesus” in primary, I come accross blogs and postings by apostates, the Internet is infested with them. It saddens me because I wonder, “why are these people who are leaving the church typing so much on the net about their experiences?” I think it’s because you are having such a difficult time leaving the church because you know that it’s true and so you want strangers, who know nothing about the church to validate your decision. Or other apostates. How will you feel when you are in heaven and it’s pretty clear that the church is true and you meet people whose testimonies were shaken or who were investigating the church but chose not to based upon your online blog, how will you live with yourself? I just could never never fathom leaving the church, I never could, because it’s true. You were saying that this has causes friction with your wife, my husband’s testimony is his best quality in my eyes, if his testimony faltered and he couldn’t fix it so many things would change for me, it would be a ripple affect on my life and I just don’t know if I could sit down and watch those ripples spread outward and sit around waiting to see how that changed everything, I don’t know if I could and kudos for your wife for sticking it out with you, that would be one of the most difficult things I could ever imagine going through.

  2. icerasta,

    Thank you for you comment. I can understand where you are coming from. However, truth is a hard thing, it doesn’t always make people come out smelling like roses, the LDS Church is no exception. It really pains me to say that because I really want to have black and white belief I used to, but I can’t.

    I can write what I do (which is far more LDS friendly than many other blogs and sites) because what I write is my understanding of historical fact. I engage others in conversation about the “warts” because it helps me to gain perspective. I think without these conversations I would be more likely to leave the LDS Church because the only people I could talk to would be anti-Mormons.

    The reasons why some disaffected members chose to work out their struggles on the Internet differ. However, in many cases it is simply because the LDS Church (as with most churches) provides no outlet for these discussions. We are left to feel that we cannot talk about difficult issues for fear of disciplinary action, judgment of other members or that someone else’s testimony will be negatively affected. Many of the issues that once brought me close to leaving have been alleviated by conversations I have had on the Internet with those of other faiths and with other Mormons. It is helpful for me to be able to talk openly about doubts and convictions that I have.

    Everyone is responsible for their own testimony and should not let anything I or anyone else says alone be a determining factor in their testimony failing. If an individual chooses not to investigate the LDS faith based on hearsay and the experience of a few individuals then that is a result of their own laziness and not the fault of those that are struggling with their faith. If the Mormon Church is true, then nothing I do can sway seekers of the truth.

    There are so many things I love about the LDS Church. There is definitely more good than bad found here. However, my testimony has changed. This happened because my perception of the church that I gained growing up as a member was not entirely accurate. This was and is one of the most painful realities I’ve had to deal with in my adult life.

    I’m sorry that my blog saddens you. To be truthful it saddens me too. I really have no desire to offend anyone. I only want to understand truth. I don’t pretend that the LDS Church is the only one that has made mistakes, but when you believe that it is the one true church you hold it to a higher standard. When it falls short you begin to question.

    It is difficult for my wife. I am very grateful for her understanding and love. I would hope that you would have the same compassion for a family member if they began to doubt the church. It doesn’t help to shun or get angry with them. That kind of behavior can only serve to further push them away. My wife has been patient with me. She has allowed me to look for answers, to try to understand. She is a great woman! I love her very much. If she was not supportive I don’t know what I would do. In fact, her strong testimony has been an iron rod for me during this time.

    Please don’t think to poorly of those that question and doubt. Remember that even Peter doubted. I believe the God knows truth and that he will share it with us. If I am supposed to accept the things I’m dealing with on faith alone then I believe that ultimately God will bring me to that point and allow me to have peace. I admit that some disaffected Mormons are angry at the LDS Church and do not hide this fact from others. I do not agree with this approach, though I understand their frustration. I hope you do not go away with the thought that I am anti-Mormon. I certainly do not claim to be one and have no hopes of becoming one. However, I do not think that it is wrong to question what we believe to be in error. Blind faith is not always a good thing (i.e. Mountains Meadows Massacre). It can sometimes have disastrous results.

    I want to know that the LDS Church is the only true Church. I want to believe in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Much of the LDS doctrine makes so much sense. So much of the Mormon faith is beautiful and lovely. I hope that people you fear are negatively affected by my blog and others like it will examine those parts as well.

  3. nice job Jay.

  4. I agree with you Jay, that there seems to be little room for doubt or talk about tough issues in the LDS Church. I remain anonymous because of the experience that I have had, but thought it appropriate to share. I have had several friends, mission companions and acquaintances leave the LDS Church based on conversations and questions they have had. Since I am of a very similar mind that they are, they wonder when I will leave or why I haven’t left. The fact remains that I stay in the Church because of several spiritual experiences I have had before I became a member of the Church and after. The most important one occurred as I prayed to thank Heavenly Father for particular blessings I was experiencing at the time. In the midst of the prayer I was given the blessing of having a vision of the Celestial Kingdom. I know several members and anti-mormons will mock that, but the fact of the matter is that it happened. I won’t go into details about the vision (no I wasn’t called as a prophet/apostle or to correct the church), just simply given a small window into that wonderful world we all aspire to. I don’t think I am any different from any member or person in the world because of it, only in the fact that I now have a more sure knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel. Now take it how you want, but I am a mentally healthy individual, who has a Masters degree and a family I care for. I teach primary in my ward and don’t expect much higher callings than a teacher. I hope this will help someone out there struggling in their faith in the LDS Church. I understand the reasoning behind why some leave, and if I hadn’t experienced what I have I would likely leave as well, but I choose not to because despite all of the questions I have about the Church, I have one sure answer. Thanks to you all for letting me comment. Check out Doctrine and Covenants 76: 114-119.

  5. Robert,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Sometimes I wonder why certain people have experiences like yours and others don’t. I think of Saul who was so against the Church and his miraculous conversion. Why doesn’t God help all his children who earnestly want to know the truth? For now the LDS faith holds enough good to help me overlook the negative things I have learned, but not enough to make me the full believer I once was. I respect those that have chosen a different route and am glad they have found peace and happiness in their life.

  6. I read about a girl who was trying to find a shortcut home around 11 on a Saturday night and she decided to go through an alley that would cut through to her neighborhood. As she was creeping through, she saw the outline of a man that didn’t look very friendly. She silently prayed that she would be safe. At the end of her prayer, she had reached the end of the alley and rushed into her house.
    The next day on the news they talked about a girl who went through the same alley alone not 30 minutes after the girl had and had gotten raped. The girl helped the police find the man and when they did, they let her ask him this: Why didn’t you rape me?
    And he said, ” Because you weren’t alone. You had two people walking on your sides.”

  7. Im from Brazil..and Im suffering this same problem. I had many espiritual experience on mission, dreams and the book of mormon answered my dreams question, I felt the spirit about that. Today Im 28 years, I spent much time studiyng the church history and it puzzled me, I realizes that a lot wrong things in the church history, but I cant deny my priesthood and mission experiences I had in my life. I dont want to lose my family and friends, I decided to keep this faith even with this doubts about the church, but I will look for espiritual experiencies, so I have to be faithfull and patient, better to give up and one day if its true, meet God….

  8. Bernardo,
    I feel your pain. I don’t blame you for not wanting to deny your Mormon faith. I still am careful with how I share my questioning. Many of those in my family still are unaware of my doubts. It is difficult after a lifetime of membership to just simply walk away. Even now I continue to attend though I don’t believe in much of what is taught.


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: