Monday, October 6, 2008

Progress?

Last week my wife and I had a very long talk about where I stand on the church. I haven't really come across anything in the last few years to make me think its claims of moral and authoritative superiority are true, and she, despite disagreeing with the recent actions against homosexuals and other issues, continues to fall back on "but it's true." We're both even-tempered, so while these can be animated, passionate discussions, they're (happily) not real fights.

Nonetheless, this one left me particularly frustrated. Perhaps because it's been such a long time since our last one.

The next night she said, "If you don't want to go to church you don't have to."

Wow. I never thought that that day would come. My mind raced--was this my one chance at "freedom?". Was I looking at a once-in-a-lifetime chance to escape from endless, mind-numbing Sundays? The door to my prison left ajar by a thoughtless guard?

"Really?"

"Yes. I don't want to be a controlling wife or anything."

I took one last look out of the prison door and turned back.

"I want to be where my family is. I'll keep coming with you."

What can I say? I know my attendance makes her happy, even though I complain to her about all the crap that gets taught. And I see so little of my kids, I'd rather play quietly with them in Sacrament Meeting (or in the foyer!) than stay at home.

Strange, really. I feel like some progress has been made, even though nothing's changing outwardly. One never knows what to expect, here on the middle way. But I was careful not to lock the door when I closed it behind me.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shadow Spawn said...

Yes, but what kind of progress is a prison door left ajar, but the prisoner refuses to leave his cell? Maybe just like real prisoners, you have become institutionalized. You've spent all this time longing for freedom, and then when it's offered to you, maybe you are afraid of the world waiting for you beyond your cell and the guard towers. What will become of you beyond the big prison gate if you actually take that step?

Are you that sure that watching you agonize week after week in "mind numbing" church meetings and hearing you complain about the "Crap" being taught is bringing your wife happiness? Why would she be happy about that?

Maybe she's tired of all of it too and want's it all to just end. Maybe that was her way of saying; If you hate it so much then just don't bother coming anymore, otherwise stop the griping.

On kind of a facitious note: As a life-long female member of the sexist LDS Church, where in the world does your wife get the idea that she has a say at all in whether you go to church or not? = )

November 6, 2008 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger S.Faux said...

I don't know anything in the LDS Church that says that everyone has to be at the same stages of development. Further, I don't know anything that says we cannot be "line upon line" Mormons, believing some things and "working on" believing others.

As for me, I have definitely wanted to be a 21st century Mormon, not beholden to every 19th century pioneer way. I have wanted to be an evolutionist (I am) and a hard scientist. Yet, I have come to understand that I cannot use science as a means to learn about God and morality, just as I cannot use religion to learn about nature.

So, believe me, as I listen to Church talks on Sunday, I have to listen with a filter. On the other hand, I also have come to learn I do not need the filter so much for Conference talks.

Over the years, I have stubbornly refused to go inactive. This is one instance where my stubborn character has paid off. My entire family has been greatly blessed by Church attendance. Just one example is given in my essay We Are All Prodigal Sons.

So, I hope you keep attending Church, even if you are a little grumpy about it. I see nothing wrong in that. I've been there.

Thanks for your blog.

January 5, 2009 at 6:00 AM  

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