If you are struggling w/ the LDS Church….

John Dehlin Mormon 10 Comments

If any of you are struggling in your relationship with the church, and resonate with some or all of the bullets below…

  • Your study of LDS church history is causing you to question your testimony and/or commitment to the church
  • Recent current events (like the FLDS thing in Texas, the Mitt Romney thing, or the Gay Marriage ballot initiative in California) have awakened in you discomfort w/ the church
  • You find yourself bored and/or frustrated in church — because you do not feel as though you are able to have honest/candid discussions, or that the conversations/lessons are meaningful/relevant to you
  • You have begun to doubt your testimony in the LDS Church, but feel as though you have no one to talk to about it
  • You are somewhat uncomfortable saying “I know this church is true” — but you still are comfortable saying “I know this church is good”
  • AND….you retain a desire to try to maintain your membership and activity in the church….

….if these bullets describe you, please email me with your story at mormonstories@gmail.com.   I may have some resources that could prove helpful to you.

John Dehlin

Comments 10

  1. Hi John,
    I imagine you’ve gotten a lot of replies to this post – I’m going to write as well. All of these bullet points apply to me. I’m guessing my story is pretty standard. I grew up in a large Mormon family with deep roots in the Church. I’m from Southern Alberta – an area where the Church is very strong. I always had good feelings about the Church, but maybe those feelings were more connected to my love for my family than an actual testimony of the Church. Although I always had conflicted feelings about all the main controversial things (Blacks and the Priesthood, polygamy, lack of equality for women, stance on homosexuality), for most of my life I’ve assumed I had to somehow overcome my doubts and get in line with what the Church was teaching – and I’ve never really done anything contrary to the Church. I’ve always been active, I’m married in the temple, I serve in the Primary… Since I became pregnant 2.5 years ago, my thinking has gradually changed. I began to really evaluate my testimony – I had to ask myself, “can I honestly tell my daughter that these things are true?”. I’ve also examined many of the issues I’ve felt uncomfortable with and realized that there is much more human error in the Church than I ever would have believed previously. There’s so much good in the gospel that I want my children to learn and benefit from. There are also things in the Church that I’m not comfortable passing on to my kids – even a few beliefs that I think are harmful. I’m trying to come to a place of peace within the Church, if I can, but I’m finding it hard to do this when my doubts about the restoration are proving very hard to overcome. How can I be part of this Church when I have serious doubts about its’ divine origins? Although I think the vast majority of GA’s are good, intelligent men who give inspiring counsel, I no longer really believe that they are speaking for God. And I worry about subtle, negative messages that my daughter might pick up as a female member of the church…anyways, I could go on and on. I’m finding your podcasts really useful though, and reassuring. Any resources you might recommend would be wonderful.

    Thank you,
    Jesse

  2. Um…my post above should have been e-mailed privately to you, not posted! My mistake. Would you mind removing my comment? I didn’t mean for it to be public. Thank you.

  3. I have been active in the church my
    entire life. Been in 9 Elders presidencies. Ward
    clerk in 2 Bishoprics High Priest Group Leader.

    I am recently divorced with 4 young kids.I also
    struggling with health issues. I believe came
    out because off the stress I am in. I am now
    disabled and cant ever go back to work.

    I am living in the same stake as my kids and
    there mother but different wards.

    I have been to my bishop months ago for little
    support. He has told me 3 times the church
    does not support divorced men.

    I have been in the hospital for 11 out of 12 weeks
    the Bishop has not visited me or called me once.

    He has relied on my home teacher to keep him
    informed of me. My home teacher has informed
    me the ward is tired of helping me out. All I have
    asked has been 2 rides to dr appointments because
    I was so highly drugged that I didnt think I coulld
    drive. Even my High Priest group leader has not
    contacted me either. Went to church last Sunday
    1/2 the High Priests did not know what happened
    to me. The Elders President did not know. He
    told me they did not bring me up in welfare
    meetings etc. The bishop walked by me did not
    say anything to me. Went to 2 church activities
    hardly anybody spoke to me.

    Right now I am perinoid asking for anything even
    a priesthood blessing. Even my oldest child who
    is almost 11 does not like going to my ward
    since he said he feels like he is treated terrible.
    It seems like the church stands behind and
    supports single mothers all the time but they
    treat single fathers different.

    I know my Bishop has talked to my X Bishop
    and has gotten a totally different story.

    Since I cannot work anymore I just want
    emotional support and a few phonecalls. My
    only support are people I knew over 20 years
    ago. When my kid said he doesnt feel wanted in
    my ward. I almost said I dont either and lets just
    dont go back. I know the church is true but some
    of the leaders has problems. Days like this when I
    dont have my kids I really dont want to go to
    church. But I go because I know I am suppose to.

    I have a meeting with my Bishop next Sunday
    where I am going to tell him how I feel.

    my email address is eshewy@gmail.com

    1. Sending hugs, and prayers and love your way. I too have been in a place
      where church leaders said, “We are tired of helping you,” and it hurts. I
      wasn’t asking for money… or anything really… a friend would have
      been nice, and where does a member of the church go if they can’t go to
      the church?

      There are others out there who will care. Who do
      care. Who will willingly give a ride to the dr, sit with you when you
      need a friend, check in to make sure you have enough food to eat.

      Hugs to you!!

    2. Sending hugs, and prayers and love your way. I too have been in a place
      where church leaders said, “We are tired of helping you,” and it hurts. I
      wasn’t asking for money… or anything really… a friend would have
      been nice, and where does a member of the church go if they can’t go to
      the church?

      There are others out there who will care. Who do
      care. Who will willingly give a ride to the dr, sit with you when you
      need a friend, check in to make sure you have enough food to eat.

      Hugs to you!!

    3. I’m so sorry to hear about how life has been treating you.  Sometimes the arbitrary nature of our existence means that good-hearted people like you find themselves in a situation without support, love and hope.  My father and mother are divorced, and I know that both my parents have felt a stinging lack of sympathy at various times after their separation.  Best wishes with your Bishop meeting next week.  

  4. Sending hugs, and prayers and love your way. I too have been in a place where church leaders said, “We are tired of helping you,” and it hurts. I wasn’t asking for money… or anything really… a friend would have been nice, and where does a member of the church go if they can’t go to the church?

    There are others out there who will care. Who do care. Who will willingly give a ride to the dr, sit with you when you need a friend, check in to make sure you have enough food to eat.

    Hugs to you!!

  5. Sending hugs, and prayers and love your way. I too have been in a place where church leaders said, “We are tired of helping you,” and it hurts. I wasn’t asking for money… or anything really… a friend would have been nice, and where does a member of the church go if they can’t go to the church?

    There are others out there who will care. Who do care. Who will willingly give a ride to the dr, sit with you when you need a friend, check in to make sure you have enough food to eat.

    Hugs to you!!

  6. Service and love isn’t about convenience or length of time.  I’m sorry for your abandonment from your church community.

  7. I’m really sorry for the way things have worked out for you.  It’s so sad to see any casualty of a system which, in theory, is supposed to be Christ’s church on Earth. 

    Unfortunately it’s not unusual for the disadvantaged and the needy (and those who ‘don’t fit in’) to be bypassed in the midst of all the hectic activity happening from week to week in a ward.  It depressed me no end, and after 25 years  I just walked out one Sunday and never came back.  I was serving as EQP at the time and was very active and faithful in all things, especially temple attendance.  I had served for three years as a BP also.

    Like yourself I was not pursued and never visited.  Fortunately I’m a very independent and capable guy so neither sought or required any attention from the ward.  My life has been peaceful and unstressed since then.  Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of the people in the church and sympathise with the burdens placed upon their backs.  I just have difficulty with the template they have to exist with.

    “Players only love you when you’re playing”.  – Fleetwood Mac (Dreams)

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