January 30, 2011

Reasons I Haven't Gone To Church

FYI - Writing for me is hard. I can not get the thoughts in my head to flow through my fingers and type. I find speaking much more free and true to my thoughts. So Im sorry for those who like to read blogs, but, with all due respect and love, this is for me, not for you.


  1. For some reason I really relate to almost all of your posts. About three years ago I was going a lot of the feelings that you are describing. I wanted to go to church, and I believed that it was true, but I did not want to talk to anyone. I did not want to participate. I wanted to simply go to take away what I needed and leave.

    If the church were built for that kind of attendance I think I could have stayed but as you said this church tends to demand time and a high level of participation.

    Even now after resigning and becoming pretty much agnostic I find that I want to go sometimes, but just to be an anonymous face in the audience listening to the talks... I can't even imagine showing up and explaining that I am a resigned member, don't want to talk about it, and just wants to hang out...

    The branch you are talking about sound interesting.

    Thank you for your posts.

  2. I attended a Ward like that (inner-city) and I loved it. The people were more humble and down to earth really. A lot of them had serious problems of all sorts, and they seemed to be far less judegemental.

    As far as participation - dude, its optional. If someone asks you to participate and you don't want to, just politely say "no". Interview? Just say "no". No is one of the most powerful words in the English language, we just have to learn not to be afraid to use it...

  3. @Kiley - You could always show up 5 minuets late and leave when the last hymn starts?! Then no one could talk to you!

    @Neal - You're right, but I was a little "can-do" boy and that can-do-attitude has always stuck with me.

  4. You hit on some of the reasons for why I don't believe in the LDS faith anymore. The obsession with updating records, the invasive interviews, declaring members worthy or unworthy and active or inactive, asking them to do the impossible or the morally irresponsible (such as changing ones sexual orientation), the "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" mentality, keeping a file for each member and updating it with personal information and history--these are things that aren't normal. It is hard to recognize them for what they are when you grow up in the Church, as I did, but once I stepped back and started to look at them more objectively they started to feel cultish and made me very uncomfortable. Organizations that behave that way are usually extreme, exclusive, and in my opinion aren't good. It is hard for me to imagine that a Church that was true would behave that way.

    When I stopped attending church, I was very upset with how I felt during the meetings (especially Elder's Quorum), and so it was 2 years before I started missing church attendance. At that point I decided to try out a new Church, so I went to the United Church of Christ one Sunday. I found their services were so similar to the LDS service that I was reminded why I didn't like church. It took another year for me to miss is again.

    Recently I attended some services at the Unitarian Universalist Church, and I loved it. I think I will go back. I have realized that what I really missed was having a place to go on Sunday and a community of people to belong to. I missed the social aspects that I was familiar with, which I can get at the UU church without the other things that bothered me.

  5. Trevor & Daniel, I can relate to the desire to attend and simply worship. I've been a bishop, and done the 6 am to 6 pm gig before. Right now I can't do it. I teach Sunday School to the 16-18 year-olds and love it, but they tried to give me an additional missionary calling a few weeks ago. If felt so overwhelmed and heavy that I declined. I've decided that for me now, I can't give any more and keep my spiritual balance. I think we are all entitled to worship "how, where and what we may," and that includes within the Church.