Religiosity and Spirituality

Ray posted something profound over at Mormon Matters.  The post is a little wordy, I think (yea, like I’m one to talk…), but the message rang true.  Here are my favorite parts:
Those who leave the Church simply have not married (and perhaps cannot marry) their own spirituality to the institution’s religiosity in a way that produces empowering righteousness, while those who stay often have done so – or are still in pursuit of that goal.  I believe too many members rely on the Church to provide their spirituality, and when they realize that the Church is incapable of doing what they need to do themselves, they leave – to find outside of the Church what they failed to find inside it….  

Many people take a much more active role in their own spirituality once they leave the Church (especially those who leave with the express purpose of seeking spirituality), and, not surprisingly, they then become more spiritual than they had been as members.  Many are constricted by the particular religiosity of Mormonism and must leave in order to pursue a combination of spirituality and religiosity that can bring them a measure of righteousness… Once they become spiritually independent of their religiosity, they are able to return to their former religiosity as new beings and find righteousness in a new manifestation of their former faith.  
A while back I posted a bit about my own struggles within the LDS church.  Turns out, I’m a text book case study for exactly what Ray is talking about.  I was unable to find the Lord within the LDS church.  I had allowed God to become entirely eclipsed by religiosity.  Although my feet never strayed from the Church, my heart wandered far.  It wasn’t until I declared spiritual independence from the LDS church that I finally found God.
But the magnificent part of it all is how the Lord has allowed me to return to the religiosity of the LDS church that has provided the foundation for my personal theology – my “new manifestation of [my] former faith.”

7 comments to Religiosity and Spirituality

  • Agreed… I think that no matter what religion we are, we all have to come to terms with our own spirituality and how it is manifested for us. Sometimes I get so caught up in theology that I will never be able to understand that I allow it to (as you said) eclipse my own faith in God and my inherent spirituality. All it takes sometimes is to take a step back from all of this and see what REALLY does matter: God is our Father. He loves us and sent His son to die for us so that we might return pure to Him again. There is no more pure love than that. This doctrine is what matters. The church isn't perfect and it never will be. God is and always will be.

  • I think that I am still finding my way back to my old "religiosity." Sometimes going back seems like the right thing to do, other times, not as much. Not that I ever really left. I'm sure you understand.

    So do you just ignore the parts that don't fit with your own personal theology?

  • Alex, yea, I guess I more or less just ignore the parts that don't fit in. That doesn't really feel like the right word, though. No matter how much I try to ignore something, I'm always reminded that my personal theology is based heavily on Mormon teachings. In a church that usually teaches in absolutes, it's hard to just ignore something… if possible, I replace it with something else. if not, then yes, I just ignore it. What do you do?

  • Currently, I am pretty much ignoring the parts I have serious trouble with. I'm finding that isn't too great of a long term solution. It'll probably need to turn it into blind belief, then blind faith, and maybe some day actual faith. I'm not sure though, I'm not at that point yet.

    I'll admit that I should look into some issues more in depth, actually research them out.

    But for some, there isn't too much available, like the almost complete absence of feminine divinity. I bring that one up a lot, probably because it is so mystifying to me. And it deals mostly with doctrine, not policy. And it is basic, very basic doctrine.

    I hope Sarah doesn't mind and I don't intend to or want to offend her in any way. I agree with her comment. She breaks it down nicely to our most basic doctrine. That is God is our Father and He sent His Son to save us. I would add, God is also our Mother and She loves us and sent Her Son to die for us so that we might return pure to Her again.

  • I like your blog. I love the gospel of Christ, and I especially love that it doesn't all just click perfectly into place all the time. I love how Heavenly Father knows our hearts, and allows us to struggle. Hooray for our individual, wandering, and sometimes wavering paths towards faith.

  • Alex, I've been kicking around a few ideas for a post about HM.

    SimplySarah, welcome to the blog. I look forward to your future comments.

  • I would love to read that post about HM. I've really only talked about Her with Jo. Another perspective would be interesting.