Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm "Coming Out"

This week has been rough. Work has been going great. Life has been going great. I've been eating too much, but that happens.          

I'm still having a rough week.     

I'm having a rough church week. Okay, it's more like a rough church lifetime.     

I haven't been wanting to stay for all 3 hours of church lately. Let's be honest, I haven't been staying for all 3 hours. I just haven't been into it. I've just been wondering what's the point? What does it do for me? 

Truth:     


I came out on my facebook profile with my religious views. And now I'm coming out here on my blog. This makes me so nervous. I told my mother last night. I told my brother when I was in Utah. I've told some of my friends. This is how I truly feel. I want to believe in the Mormon religion. I've tried. But it's just never been the way I want it to be.

At this time, I'm still going to go to church. Unfortunately, the whole testimony thing just hasn't been working for me. I feel nothing. I used to want to feel SOMETHING. I used to want it desperately. I used to pray for it every night. I wanted it so badly. 

Now? I don't.

This link says everything I've ever felt.

A little ray of hope was given to me by Tori. Alma 32: verses 26 and up.

37 comments:

cassey said...

I'm glad you could admit it to your family. I'm agnostic as well, and it's hard for my very religious family.

The Boob Nazi said...

Also, I apologize if your comment doesn't show up on here. Comments are being deleted by blogger somehow.

jenn said...

I grew up LDS, graduated from BYU a couple years ago, and now count myself as agnostic also. It's really hard explaining to people, but I feel so comfortable and confident in not 'knowing.' I don't feel like I'm lacking anything. I am quite hopeful that God exists, but that's as much as I'm going to claim. Really, I think everyone is agnostic in a sense. Like it or not, NO ONE knows anything. They like to think they do-- it's comforting to feel like you know. Oh well. Good luck..hopefully your family & friends are understanding!

Amanda said...

I hope this doesn't count as unsolicited advice, but as one who is LDS with a complex relationship to the religion, I just hope you don't give up and stop going. I had a big crisis of faith about 8 years ago, decided to go back to church, and it's been the best decision of my life.

ChloƩ said...

i still love you just the same julie :) you will always be amazing to me :) if you ever need anyone to talk to, i am always here!

Kristina P. said...

I am not surprised by this at all. :) I also don't think there is anything wrong with still attending church, while not fulling knowing if or what you believe.

Kami said...

I went through a phase where I even went to church and felt like an agnostic. My visiting and home teachers never came and I felt very isolated and I stopped reading my scriptures and stopped praying. I felt so empty. It took like 2 years of struggling and feeling empty and alone to feel good again. Alma 32 really helped me.

(I hope this doesn't sound like a "Come baaaack!" sort of comment. It's an, "I've felt that way too!" comment.)

Raevyn said...

I totally understand. I was raised in a combination of Lutheran & Methodist churches, and while I find the most sense of "home" in the Methodist Church, my faith path encompasses a variety of belief systems, which, in all honesty, I belief to be intertwined and ultimately a path leading to ONE God, simply called by different names and imaged in different ways. I think that everyone has to follow the path that works best for them, and that paths different from mine are not wrong in general, they are simply wrong FOR ME.

Jessica said...

It's hard to admit to those around you that you don't believe or feel the same way they do. But I think it's important to your own sanity to be true to yourself. I go through times where I really believe and am really committeed and times I question why I even bother with church. I think it's all part of the learning that is life.

Hizzeather said...

Well I'm surprised! But I'm glad that you feel comfortable enough to be honest with yourself and others. I don't really "get" what agnostic is (even though I read the wikipedia link), but I've never really looked into it.

Now I have Diana Ross stuck in my head..."I'm coming out, I want the world to know, gotta let it show..."

:)

samnhal said...

You have to do whatever works for you. One thing that I've noticed, is that it's so easy to not feel something. It's so easy to not want to go to church when your ward is crappy and you'd rather be sleeping. It's something I've really struggled with over the past 2 years while we've lived in a crappy ward. The one thing that always brings that feeling of "I know" back is going to the temple, it's so easy to feel it after going to the temple. It's important to be honest with yourself though, and comfortable in what you believe, and not worry about other people, because if they don't love you, for who you are, then you don't need them in your life.

lilcis said...

I think it's really easy to become agnostic when you're in a singles' ward. There just seems to be so much focus on marriage and socializing, and not enough on faith. Plus, it's hard to find your place as a single girl in a religion that focuses so much on marriage & family. Even after I got married (to another mormon, but not in the temple) my husband and I were pretty relaxed in our testimonies. In fact, there's still a lot of things about the church that I disagree with. I cringe whenever I hear someone say "I know this church is true". The church is not true. The gospel may be true, but the church is a living, growing organization made up of fallible people.

Brandi said...

Good for you for coming out! I hope your family is supportive.

You know, Alma 32 is what got me to join the church. I DID have a desire to believe, and I DID want to nurture that seed and let it grow. But what I've realized 15 years later (as my own church membership hangs by a thread) is that it doesn't matter how good the soil you plant the seed in is, or how much you nurture the seed or how much you WANT the seed to grow, if the seed isn't a true seed, it's not going to grow. The scripture even says that. "If it be a true seed..." And I am coming to the conclusion that it is not a true seed.

Rachel said...

okay, I just wanted to say that I'm really impressed you were able to be honest about this. I had a few years in my life where I struggled with what I believed and had a hard time going to church (for so many reasons) but always felt it was difficult to articulate why I was having trouble. Anyway, no matter what, I just wanted to say I admired how honest you were (well-you always are-which makes your blog really great to read) in writing this.

Amander said...

Religion and faith are complicated. I think it's great you are still trying to figure out what you believe.

Laurie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacob said...

And I thought this post was going to be about your date last weekend...

Jacob said...

Oh, and religion is what you put into it.

Erin said...

Awesome, Boob Nazi. Don't know how much you read on my blog, but I'm sure you know how I feel about this. I also had a DESPERATE desire to believe. It's comforting when you find you're not the only one. I also love the idea of being an agnostic theist (which, if everyone is being honest, no one really "knows"). I also love the idea of being an agnostic theist humanist...if there is such a thing. I really believe in humanity :) Proud of you for coming out (oh gosh. Sorry. That sounds MUCH more patronizing than I expected). BUT, I know it's a hard thing to admit. Especially when expecting the repercussions.

Sue said...

Oh, Julie. I love you. Keep on growing up.

Shewi128 said...

I'm glad you're being honest with yourself on such a difficult topic. I'm always here for ya..

And what did they say about agnostics on Community? That It's the lazy man's atheist?

Rachel said...

Hey, I support you! Just want to let you know :)
I hope nobody hates on you for being real about your beliefs. Mormons can be jerks sometimes. I totally believe in the gospel, but I hate the culture...and it seems like the culture is harder to escape in single's wards because, like lilcis said before me, all they focus on is marriage. Bleh.
Good luck figuring things out!! I hope you feel something, either way, and can find peace in the religious aspect of your life :)

Traci said...

Thank you for being so honest. I can relate to how you feel about church but I'm not Mormon, I'm Christian. I also do believe in God but what I don't believe in is other people expecting me to believe in God the way they see fit. I sit in church and roll my eyes and get really annoyed. But then I will also like somethings the preacher says. It's frustrating. My prayers and thoughts are with you during this uncertain time.

Stephanie Faris said...

We all have to find our own way...we're each on individual journeys. I think it's great that people get to an age where they question their values. I've seen far too many people just blindly follow what they've always been told. Whatever a person's beliefs...it needs to be HER beliefs. Not her parents', not her husband's, not her friends.

Kindros said...

I'm the same way (agnostic). Don't worry to much about it. We still love you.

noura. said...

it's understandable.
this sort of thing happens to everyone.

Jacob said...

Okay, let's bring some humor to this:

Ever hear about the agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac?
He stayed up late at night wondering if there really was a dog.

Katie said...

I am glad that your family has been so supportive of you. That's exactly how it should be. I believe that everyone has got to figure out what is right for them in their own way and in their own time.

Angela said...

though we say it's for everyone, religion is a very individual endeavor. i think it's easy to expect to know all the time. but sometimes we don't. and that's really ok. i believe in a God that knows our hearts. thinking of ya always! love you

Melanie Jacobson said...

I went through this in my late twenties. I finally decided I had to make a decision after years of dithering. Am I in or out? I was only able to make that decision because in my heart of hearts, I really thought I could accept there was no God. So I made a good faith effort to read the Book of Mormon and pray every day and put everything to the test like we're taught to. And after three weeks, nothing was really happening. I was sad, for some reason. Sad that Moroni didn't come talk to me too, I guess. Instead of knowing it was true or that it wasn't, I discovered I didn't know if it was true but I wanted it to be. I went to my dad with it all. He was a branch president at the time. He was shocked. He was like, "You've been inactive for years and you start with 'Is the Book of Mormon true?' Stop asking that. Keep reading the Book of Mormon, but the only thing you should ask in your prayers at night is, 'Heavenly Father, do you love me?' Ask that until you get an answer and then ask if everything is true. Don't talk about anything else with Him. Just that one question every day."

I felt like an idiot, but for two weeks or so that's all I did. It was a little awkward, but I did it. Then I bumped into that very same chapter in Alma, and I realized it spoke exactly to me. Someone without faith but the desire to have faith. And then one night I was about to pray and ask, "Heavenly Father, do you love me?" But I realized I didn't have to. Because I knew. And then I started working on a testimony of the other stuff.

It takes courage to live fully either way. Good luck.

P.S. Longest comment I have ever written, sorry. And do you know a Dan and Maggie Fechner?

BlueCodeRed said...

Know you're not the only one. My faith goes back and forth. Sometimes my testimony is stronger then others. I have to say that I'm on the declining end at the moment. I get too hung up on the imperfections of man and that what they do/ say (or don't do/say) reflecting on the Church. It's hard at times because in the ward I am in now they aren't really stepping up to support me while my hubby is gone. I know that's not how it's supposed to work, and that it's kind of unfair to hold the Church accountable for the inaction of the membership, but that is how I feel.

Dani said...

Whoops, read this one after the last one I commented on. So that answers my question about longing for faith. I still say life would be better with faith, but wanting it is different from having it. Though alma does tell us it's a step in the right direction.

Alexandra said...

I'm not a hugger, but I'd totally give you a hug right now if we were, like, friends in real life. Haha.
I know you might feel totally alone about this, but you're not. And I'm glad you're able to talk to people about this. It's more than a lot of us have, no matter which way we're going.

Becca said...

I have all the faith in the world, but I still hate going to church and haven't been to RS for at least 6 months. For me, it's a laziness/social anxiety thing. I know it's different from your situation, but at least you know that others struggle too.

I'm trying to be better.

JustMe said...

I struggle everyday and I am beginning to think I always will. But, having said that, I've been a member for over 30 years, raised my children in the church, was sealed to my husband last year, and I strongly believe that staying active in church, even with all my struggles, was the best decision I ever made. It really is much harder for some people than it is others.

Hate RS and skip it 90% of the time - don't feel like I'm missing a thing.

Hollie said...

I'm the daughter of a preacher, and I tried so hard for years to believe in god, religion, church, something. It never happened. Kudos to you for admitting it.. so many people are bullied into believing things that don't make sense to them.

Nathan said...

Tori's ray of hope relates quite a bit, in my mind, to talks given by Elder Oaks Saturday afternoon and by President Uchtdorf Sunday morning.

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