Monday, April 20, 2009

Some more explanations

I was just reading through my last 3 posts and realize I should explain a couple of things.

In the first one I mentioned that I have been feeling stressed out about church lately and have been struggling with some stuff. Let me explain what that is.

Our church "services" last 3 hours on Sundays. The first hour is our sacrament meeting(which in other churches would be like mass or the worship service). The second hour is a Sunday School where we study the scriptures or if you are new, learn the principles of the gospel or what we believe. The 3rd is a meeting time. The men have one meeting and the women have another.

Lately, going to church for 3 hours has felt like a chore. I work 9 hour days and the weekends are "sacred" to me(for lack of a better word)and a 3 hour block of time seems like an awful lot. Especially if i am out late the night before. I have been trying to figure out ways to change my mindset about this block of time and be motivated to go to church. I have missed a lot of Sundays. I finally came up with the idea that if I view as a time where I can be spititually fed and learn and if I give that time then the rest of the day is mine and I can just rest and veg out. Then you know what happened next!! But that was where part of the stress and struggle was coming from.

The other part is the expectations that I perceive are being placed upon me. In our church the women do visiting teaching where we are assigned people and we are supposed to go visit them and see how they are doing and share a spiritual message. It is a truly wonderful concept. However, I am not comfortable going and talking to people I do not know. Also, time is a problem for me. As I have metioned numerous times, I work 9 hours a day. On the weekends I spend time with my husband and I rest. I know that there are people in this church who are probably busier than I am and they make the time, but I am just not like that. I know my capabilites and limitations. Right now I do not even know if I am assigned to visit teach anyone, but I do not want to be.

I guess I feel that I am being measured against other people and I don't like that. However, I do not know if this is actually the case or just something I am imagining. I like to think I am just imagining it.

Another thing that really did not sit well with me is "goals' that are being set forth for me and my husband as a family. In addition to visiting teaching we have home teaching. This is when the men of the church visit memebers to check on them and share a spiritual message. Again, awesome concept. However, in our ward, it seems as if with this someone or someones are deciding that they need to set goals for each family that is home taught. I have an issue with this. This is why... Our family's goal for last month was scripture study and temple attendance. This is a goal that was not discussed or made with us. It was "assigned" to us. I don't think that is right. Also, it showed me that whoever made that goal really had no clue about what my spiritual need in this church is at this time. Yes, we need to do better at scripture study, but I feel that was a generic goal assigned to us. The temple attendance? I barely even go to church and you are trying to get me to go to the temple????? Yes, my husband is there practically every Sunday and is worthy to go, but me? Not even close!! I certainly do not feel like I am worthy to go to the temple if I cant even make it to church most Sundays. That is like putting the cart before the horse. Don't you think that maybe you should try to be getting me to attend church regularly before going to the temple? That is what I am trying to work on, anyway.

I forgot to mention that all these goals are written down on a chart with the familys' names.

Would it surprise you to know that the person in charge of all the home teachers(who they report to), who is supposed to make sure everyone is doing their visiting teaching and is in possesion of this chart and is one of the people who made these goals in the first place is also the person my husband talked to yesterday to try to get me some help???

Does it make more sense now why I am having so many issues?

I am not struggling with my faith or my relationship with God. I am struggling with ward politics. And the Mormon "culture".

Sooooooo, I am getting back to basics and focusing on the spititual side of my faith, not the cultural side, by praying and reading scriptures and just working on my relationship with God and the Savior and eventually attending church regularly again.

Thank you, too, to Jessica from church, who reached out yesterday to ask why I was feeling like I did about church(she is on Myspace and saw my comments. She did not read my blog)and then also checking in with me again today.


Kim said...

Wow. I agree with you that this is truly not right. Do they even know where you are at spiritually to make these ridiculous goals? (And I am sorry, it sounds ridiculous.) My opinion is that if you are feeling like church is a chore that you really need to have prayer time and truly listen to Him. Something is happening in your life to get God to speak to you.

Simply Heather said...

Hi Robyn :o)

In reading this post, a few of my thoughts are...

~ Stretching - yes, God stretches us while we are growing in Him. I've been through those times before and sure to go through them again. Girl, you should read some of my past blogs while Coordinating the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group at my church. On the other hand - HE WILL NOT stretch us so much that it affects our relationship with Him in a negative way. Inevitably, we're in His Hands and our relationship is personal. In the end - it's only between God and ourselves, right? If you know that you're following Him - THAT'S ALL that matters.

~ Change - there are times when He calls us away from what we've known. Maybe He is calling you away to a different Church (pray on that). There is a reason that you're uncomfortable to the point of not wanting to go and from what I'm reading, even though it may seem that it is the long hours - I think it goes deeper. It is not a selfish reason, Robyn - I think it's Spiritual, within you and something that He is impressing upon you.

Robyn, reading what you've written brings me into the similar thoughts I once had about our church. Many times I find "service" to "stress" out the congregation, to the point of frustration, anger, exhaustion...and I've seen in my mind the compassion of The Lord. AS though He looks at us to say..."Oh, Children...don't you see that it is Love that I ask of you..not stumbling, proving service?"

Breath in deeply, His Peace and breath out strongly this frustration - keep breathing, Robyn. I'm sure He'll lead you and I can see that you desire to follow :o)

Anonymous said...

I apologize for the long winded comment you deleted of mine on your other post.

Short summary is:
- without Christ, we have no opportunity for salvation
- without Joseph Smith, nothing changes

I pray that helps.

Anonymous said...

Just to make my last comment clear, "without Joseph Smith, nothing changes" was meant to indicate: Joseph Smith is irrelevant in the scheme of salvation.

- Without Christ, salvation is non-existent
- With or without Joseph Smith, Christ's sacrifice and salvation, do not change; hence Joseph Smith is irrelevant.

If one were to say, "without Joseph Smith, one cannot receive salvation" one can immediately see the blasphemy therein. Who wants to blaspheme Christ and God?

Think about it.

Robyn :) said...

Socrates1, the reason I "deleted"(it is actually just hidden, I don't know how to delete!!) ytour last comment was because I felt like you were attacking my church and faith(and yes, my post kind of sounded like I was, too!!) and I did not want some of what you wrote there for others who read my blog to see.
Your comments on this post, however, I feel are more respectful even though you are still disagreeing with me and my faith. But that is okay!! A difference of opinion and views is always welcome!!

Anonymous said...

It was never intended to attack your faith, it was meant to focus on the reasons why 'you are questioning your own faith'.

I have a great deal of family who are mormons, I am not one however because I understand what God's plan is, based upon the only truth He left for us - His word and His son.

If you feel that my line of reasoning is "attacking" then you are being overly sensitive about the matter.

Let's put it this way, mormonism is either true or false. Christianity is either true or false; mormonism is dependent upon Christianity being true; without Christ, mormonism would be meaningless.

The crux of the mormon faith hinges upon "The Church that Christ established being destroyed/corrupted by humankind. Subsequently Joseph Smith, being 'the chosen mere mortal' to re-establish what Christ first established".

Doesn't it seem odd to you, that if Jesus Christ was God come in the flesh, that what He established would be corrupted? In fact, based upon this reasoning, it's easy to conclude that Jesus never died for our sins, because perhaps that message was corrupted too.

I will say nothing more on the matter, unless you ask me, with the exception of this:
1) If Jesus didn't die on the cross for the sins of man, nobody would be able to come to the Father
2) If Joseph Smith never existed, we would still have our salvation through Christ

This begs the question, what purpose does Joseph Smith and his lineage of "authorized clergy" establish, that Christ Himself could not have?

I care about your eternal future, and apparently you do enough to consider faith. I hope these words will stir your heart. "I" cannot lead you to Christ, Christ has already given "you" the power to come to Him. You don't need approval from another imperfect man or imperfect church to say, "Robyn, you are going to Heaven". Your approval is in being faithful and obedient to God's word and His word is Christ Jesus - that is clear in the New Testament. God/His Word(Jesus)/Holy Spirit are one.

If it was possible for a person to get to Heaven through works, Christ would not be necessary.

Without Christ, works are dead. With Christ, the work was already done, all that's left is to glorify God.

Robyn :) said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you that if Christ did not die for our sins on the cross then we would not be saved. I agree that in order to be saved we must accept Jesus Christ as our savior.

I appreciate that you are trying to help as well. I was amused by the comment that you made that I was overly sensitive. I think that is obvious from the first post i made on this whole subject LOL!!

So, yes, I am very sensitive, sometimes a little too much :)

Robyn :) said...

Holy Cow, Socrates, I just realized you are Jen's husband!!

Anonymous said...

:) I am happy in acknowledging that Jenny is my wife ;)

I'm extraordinarily happy that we are on the same relative frequency.