Saturday, February 24, 2007

History

I just realized the other day that I haven't really mentioned my background that much, so I thought I would introduce myself. Hi, my name is Lemon Blossom and I am a mormonholic.

I grew up in a very TBM family. I was the third of four children, 3 girls and one boy. My dad has been in the Bishopric 3 or 4 times. He was just released as bishop this last October. Going to church on Sundays was a given, as was every church activity we could go to. I remember giving Books of Mormon away to our neighbors, inviting them to Primary activities, highlighting scriptures as a family, and FHE almost every Monday. One of my favorite memories is playing softball as a family for FHE. I also remember getting up early to read scriptures and pray as a family. I think doing all of these activities did bring us closer together after we all grew up, but now it is the reason I don't want to talk to them, and why I have such a heavy heart and anxiety. I don't know, maybe putting it off is making it worse?

Anway, I went to four years of seminary, every EFY event I could go to, church dances, I wrote in my journal, I played piano in RS, Primary, YW, sacrament, and while on my mission. I was as Mormon as I could possibly be. I wasn't perfect at doing everything right, as is expected, but I put as much of myself into it as I could. Which leads me to Paul H. Dunn.

I remember hearing about Paul H. Dunn (though I didn't know the GA's name at the time, I had heard about his talks not being exactly truthful) when I was younger and subconsciously decided to believe everything to a certain extent, but I always left room for doubt. One day I was pondering this truthfulness in talks after a nice day at church hearing inspiring talks. I decided that it was possible they weren't completely true, so I would leave room for doubt. They were probably mostly true anyway. Then I remember thinking, "I'll even leave room for doubt about the church. That way, if it's false, I won't be so broken up about it. But, of course, it is true, so I don't need to really, but just in case..." Then I stopped thinking about it and went about my day. Dang I'm good at compartmentalizing.

I was/am a people pleaser and didn't like confrontation. I didn't want attention unless I specifically asked for it, so, growing up, I didn't ever really participate in gospel discussions unless I didn't have to "debate" them. I think this part of myself is part of my problem today. I don't know how to stand on my own because I haven't ever really had to do it. And I don't want to close any options. I picture myself sitting on cement, surrounded by several pools of water unable to swim or even dip my toes into any of them because I might find out too late that I chose wrong. Or that it closes me off to other options. So, I just sit having lots of options, but never choosing.

9 comments:

C.L. Hanson said...

Our family gave Books of Mormon to neighbors too. Did you do that thing where you glue a picture of your family to the inside cover with a testimony written beside it?

T. Wanker said...

One of the worst things about having a family of believers is that sense of being isolated from them. I know each family is different, but my hunch is that like your kernel of disbelief you allowed yourself to carry around about the church, there is a small kernel of belief that your family will still love and accept you. I think both feelings will prove to be correct.

Granted it will be a rocky road realizing both, but hey, what else is life for?

As for me, I'm sitting here trying to right inspiring shit so I don't feel guilty for not being in Church on Sunday morning -- old, old, old habits die hard.

Lemon Blossom said...

C Hanson - Yes, we did. We did them as a family, and we did them individually. I remember specifically sitting around our dining room table with red pencils trying underline the passage perfectly hoping it would help their conversion.

T - I agree with you here. I am pretty sure they will still love me, but it will be hard to accept the "new" me, and give up their old perceptions and dreams of the me they once knew.

I agree that old habits do die hard!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

We are kindred spirits. It's official.

Freckle Face Girl said...

Our families are very similar, except I was always completely embarrassed by the whole Mormon thing. It takes a brave person to give out Books of Mormon & go on a mission. I think you are tougher than you think.

Hellmut said...

Your attitude about da=oubt was magnificent. What a great thing to figure out for a little girl.

I wish I would have made room for doubt. It would have set me free right after my mission. May be, I would have even left in the middle of it.

Beulah said...

I dread any conversation with my family that involved the church. It isn't even worth the trouble for me (because really, having a conversation with a brick wall is a waste of time.) I just avoid the subject all together.

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Cele said...

Lemony, I entered the world of the Exmomo several worlds ago through Natalie Collins, a friend of mine, and by sitting on the fringe looking in I have been boggled to see how beliefs became the prisoner.

Every person has to find their truth, their comfort level, their own way. I hope you find a reconsiliation with your faith and freedom from your religion. It is true, the truth will set you free. Be at peace.
Sith
Cele