As I shared recently, because of unfortunate and frustrating circumstances I am having to move home with my parents while I finish college. This is presenting me with new situations of choice. Since I have been in Portland, I have pretty much gone inactive from the church. Now that I am moving home, I will face a new choice of my church attendance. What's a guy to do.
When I first moved to Portland for college, I attended the singles ward nearby and met some nice people, some of whom I spent time with outside of church. When I moved into my new apartment three months later, I withdrew from socializing with the new singles ward. They seemed a little stuck up, aloof and I really just wasn't that interested. It was two months after being in the new singles ward that the guilt came over me (again) and I confessed to the Bishop I hardly knew that I had been engaging in "homosexual activity".
I was thus disfellowshipped from the church and almost instantly became less active, progressing fast into inactivity. I have been happy with my current relation to the church. I believed, but was able to pursue as much interaction as I wanted, which interestingly was close to none. I did however desire sometimes to just be able to go to church and enjoy non-committing attendance.
Now I face moving back home with my parents at the end of this month. I move to the ward I spent the my last few teenage years, and the ward that sent me off and welcomed me home from my mission. People I respect and care for, and visa versa. I also automatically move into the same singles ward that I loved, where I served as an active member in influential callings and with friends from high school years (though I think most of them are married or moved now).
I still believe in the church and do enjoy going to sacrament when I visit my parents. However, it is the fact that I was visiting the ward that made me feel comfortable not taking the sacrament and having no responsibilities in the ward. Now I will be a person on the records, who will be checked up on. I will be living in the stake my father is president of. Living with active parents who are well known in the ward. And I am left filling the role of wayward child (not in their eyes, but eyes of others).
I really don't care to much of what others will think. Members in my parents ward can assume I'm at the singles ward and the singles ward can assume I'm at my parents ward.
I experienced similar guilt when I first was restricted from taking the sacrament. I felt like everyone was watching me pass the bread and water on. I felt people would ask why, or be confused that the good boy they knew growing up was now a sinner. It took time, and training of my own self conscience thoughts to not care. Now I pass on the sacrament without much thought to what others are thinking (mainly because I know others aren't even paying attention to me or if they are they don't care, they have their own issues). I have learned most of the uncomfortable feelings I had being in church as a disfellowshipped member was of my own making. Those awkward people in the ward that did make it into a issue, are the crazy people anyways, and they don't matter.
So I plan on going occasionally to sacrament with my mother, and father when he is visiting that ward. I will most likely walk home (since the chapel is only blocks from my home, and I don't even live in Utah!) Or drive home, and come back to pick up my mother. We shall see how this goes. I will report back.