Friday, February 18, 2011

I’m struggling with my faith…

Throughout my life I have tried to be a man of faith. I have always believed in the personal nature of God, that he is there to hear and answer my prayers, to guide my footsteps and in the end fill my life with purpose. I know he loves me, that he hears me and that his greatest desire and ambition is that I might have joy.

This faith has always been tied inextricably to the Gospel of the Restoration. The Gospel’s principles ring true in my core; its precepts provide me direction and ultimately, comfort. They help me understand God’s nature, his purpose, and my divine inheritance. Through this understanding, my faith has been a tremendous source of strength and insight.

But now I am separated from the Church. My bishop doesn’t know what to do with me. My LDS neighbors feel uncomfortable around me. Unfortunately, when I’m involved in Church activities, I feel utterly alone.

This leads to the central issue with which I’m struggling.

How do I maintain a spiritual connection with Heavenly Father while feeling estranged from his Church?

In my effort to find a way, I’ve considered attending other churches, congregations more accepting of homosexuality. While those groups have shown themselves to be kind and supportive examples of the Savior and his love, they fail to offer me the spiritual foundation and support to which I am accustomed.

Perhaps my dilemma is insoluble. Only time will tell. But I will continue to have confidence in God’s love and my divine nature.

Ultimately, I have to continue to believe that he will guide my path step by step and provide me strength to do that which is right in his sight. I have to have faith that in the end, this struggle and my sense of isolation will be resolved.


  1. Do you know John G-W, Maybe you could talk with him. He is an excommunicated man, but has aligned himself with the Church. Perhaps he can give you some of the answers for which you seek? Or, Cody, from, I believe, He is in the same position.

    Hope this information is helpful.

    love, always.

  2. Hey there! I have never been LDS, but I am a Christian - - and I can relate to the struggle to find acceptance within my faith community. First, let me recommend a truly life changing book: "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It is seriously awesome - - and really helped me to see afresh the vastness (and grace) that our Father has toward us.

    Second, and I know that this will be a tougher one for you, but you need to realize that it is not about any religion, or about any church. It is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Once I truly understood that, no one can say to me that "you don't belong." "there is no place for you at this table."

    I am praying for you every day my friend! I pray the grace and the mercy and the everlasting peace of the Savior rain down on you! Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks for the advice. You are a good man and a precious friend!

  4. My best of friends--it is hard to have your testimony of the "church" rocked to its core. Mine was shattered, and really hasn't recovered. I've reached the point where I just seek to enjoy what I can from the church, and allow myself to feel God and his influence in all circumstances. You were so accustomed to feeling it in that circumstance, that it may just seem hard to reconnect outside of those circumstances....

    As far as the neighbors--how much have you reached out? Taken any fresh loaves of bread or plates of cookies over? Planted any flowers in someone's flowerbeds? Sometimes, we have to offer that which we seek to receive.

    The church is a beautiful provider of place within a community. It seeks to provide community with a higher purpose. But, it has no idea how to deal with those of us whose lives just don't conform to the community. All religions throughout history face this, and 90% fail.

    God is bigger than any one religion, and works through all of them. Your personal spirituality and joy need not be connected to any one of them, or it may be connected to any of them.

    You know I love you like my brother.

  5. I've found a way to build my realtionship with God and not feel anxiety about; "the church", "the people", etc. I have adopted a "don't give a damn" policy. I want to have a relationship with God. It's our relationship...on our terms, and I don't give a damn what other people think about me, or what the church is trying to "do" with me. As a Son of God, I have right to a relationship with him. I know the restored gospel is the place where I can do who gives a damn what some people think. They won't have to stand with me before God. When that time comes, its Him and Me...nobody else. That is the only relationship that matters. It won't matter that your Bishop "doesn't know what to do with you"....and it won't matter that your neighbors are uncomfortable around you. How do you feel about your Heavenly Father, and how does he feel about you?! Don't run away to some church that is more "accepting". Stay where you know the truth is....and say to yourself....I don't give a damn. I'm where I'm supposed to be.

  6. Thanks so much for your comments. They're just what I needed. Tomorrow is church and I'm going and I'm going to have a positive, spiritual communion with God. That's what it's all about.

  7. Clive, having not walked in your shoes, I don't know what to say, other than to mention an insight I've had this week while reading through the scriptural material for this week's Sunday School lesson. I refer specifically to Matt 5:43-48. Now usually in church we only skip to just vs. 48, but I think that leap circumvents the whole lesson the Savior was teaching here--look at it from the entirety of those five verses! It's a great how-to with practical examples, and unfortunately, one that we generally gloss over, getting hung up on that philosphical black hole of perfection.

    So when you're at Church tomorrow, what kind of love are you throwing out there? Only the best vibes to those who are sending much of the same to you? I think we have a great opportunity to act with the kind of 'perfect' love that Christ and our FIH have for all men and women, one that exceeds and supersedes LDS Correlation standards.

  8. Thanks for your comment. You are a very perceptive man. I'm sure I send out negative vibes, which is entirely unlike me. And what causes this negativism? It could be the residual anger and fear that was triggered by an unpleasant experience with my former bishop last year. Somehow I've got to step through all of this.