Church was, as usual lately, ridiculously unspiritual, cold, callous, demeaning, and unpleasant. Two weeks ago I didn’t go to church. On purpose. Actually I went, but left after 10 mins. Elder’s quorum is first, and that’s the worst part.
What was good and spiritual was some experiences I had last night and this morning. My spirituality is based in God, not in a church. I started a fast with a desperate prayer that was answered by the most beautiful feelings of divine love- I felt God tell me that he was proud of me. Then during the sacrament, I felt strong feelings of divine acceptance as I prayed. I have finally allowed myself to feel accepted by God. It’s not that He didn’t accept me before, it’s that I didn’t allow myself to feel it.
I confronted my Bishop and told him why Church was so challenging for me. His answer shocked me. He said the Church (referring to the people and organization, not doctrine or principle) needed to change and was changing, but that it would take time. He told me I was a pioneer. Like the sacrifices of the Mormon pioneers who crossed the plains and the sacrifices of black Mormons who faithfully waited for the Church to extend priesthood offices to them, my suffering will allow future people to live healthy lives.
On a slightly different note, I just watched Batman Begins. Perhaps my “coming out” to four good friends this week has been messing with my mind, but I swear there was a great scene in the movie. After saving her life again, Batman- Bruce- “comes out” to Rachael when he echoes a comment she had previously made. “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” It’s an interesting sentiment. I’m not sure I agree, but I kinda do.
If my actions define me, then I am a great Mormon. It’s who I am underneath that is different from what others perceive. Is that wrong? Is that dishonest? Is that weakness? Who knows.