Baby Steps

I hadn’t been to church in a while.

It’s the best

I initially stopped going because of some family stuff, but the truth is also that I have had a very hard time with some of the church’s decisions since I’ve stopped going (Hello POX and Kate Kelly). But I also miss the church, love the church really, and I feel the lack of it. But going back is hard.

I’ve never been someone who can sit still for long periods of time during boring meetings. I either fall asleep, which these days means snoring, or I fidget. Sometimes I can sit through a talk; sometimes I have to go out and wander the halls. It wasn’t a content thing per se; I just needed to move again after a while. Getting back into church means redeveloping my “sit still and know that God is in here somewhere” muscles.

Additionally, I can’t really be a part of this ward. I’m leaving in a few weeks. So I come late and leave early to avoid conversations with ward members. The few people who notice me probably think that’s weird (and it is weird), but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up (including, possibly, mine). When I get to my new digs, I’ll be more consistent, but for now I’m in this weird middle place.

I’ve started listening to conference talks and the scriptures on audio. Not consistently yet, but I hadn’t been doing it at all. Finding the time used to be natural, but now it feels almost impossible. Too much happening, too many important things. It is hard to justify setting time aside for silent contemplation, when I’ve got to clean house and prepare for a move.

I don’t really know what this means. I don’t even really know if I want to be Mormon anymore (there are big problems with the church as I understand it right now). But yesterday, while I was lost in thought during the sacrament, the guy passing the sacrament gently touched my shoulder to let me know he was there, I was included, and a covenant was available to me. That’s a start.

Who’s steering this thing?

Comments

  1. Hope Wiltfong says:

    Seems like a good start. Something inside of you is looking for something. Best wishes.

  2. Lovely. Thank you.

  3. That last image is so real. thanks for this.

  4. Love you, John. Thanks for this beautiful candor.

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    A start indeed.

  6. Decades ago, I stopped thinking of myself as or using the label “Mormon.”

    The word (when used to peg someone and not for the character in the Book of Mormon) makes me think of a culture, with holdovers from 1960s America…stuff I don’t care for.

    But I do think of myself as a believer. Going to church, allowing people to see my vulnerabilty when I made a comment during a lesson…got me through a period of self-loathing. It showed me God cared and had not abandoned me in my shame. That’s the real church. Not the “Mormon Church” that denied privileges based on race or whatever other backward thing the Church has done. But Christ’s Church that brings healing and clarity for you to find the things you want.

  7. Lovely. I remember feeling a little wary when I wandered back from a sabbatical of sorts some years ago.

  8. I love this, John. Especially that last line.

  9. Thanks, John.

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