There are several aspects of Mormonism (both cultural and theological) that I do not find faith affirming or comforting. In fact, it is true that my personal theological leanings differ from correlated church theology in significant ways. I choose to remain an active member of the church and participate in meaningful ways because the church continues to play a meaningful role in my life. Although the differences between my beliefs and the teachings of the LDS church are significant, theologically I have more commonalities with the other members than I have differences.

The Church does not always make cultural and social decisions I agree with, and the Church does not always teach doctrines I find appealing or have policies I can support. Despite its faults, the LDS community remains my home and I’m willing to put differences aside and embrace the aspects we have in common. The church doesn’t need me, and to be frank, I probably don’t need it, either. I can relate to Ann at The Cultural Hall, “I might make a pretty decent Christian in another church, but I’m a crappy Mormon.” But I don’t want another church. I am proud to be a Mormon. It is a part of me, and I’m a part of it. While I do not find comfort in the teachings of my youth, I would find no comfort in abandoning them, either. I find great meaning in the words of John G-W at Young Stranger: “We remain committed to a community not because the community is perfect, but because perfection requires community.”

2 comments to Community

  • Thanks for posting this. I love that you are willing to explore and express your feelings about the LDS church and religion in general. Sometimes it seems the most complicated relationships we have are the ones we are most drawn to and interested in developing and keeping strong.

  • curtis

    I agree. A good ward offers the kind of community that is hard to find anywhere else. The degree to which mormons depend on each other and help each other is part of what many outsiders find admirable about the church. The downside is that to be part of that community means giving up some freedom to express doubts or beliefs that run contrary to mormon doctrine. It seems that you have done a good job of finding a balance between being a part of the community while also remaining true to yourself.