Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gray Matter

I have spent most of my morning perusing the Mormon and Ex-Mormon Blogshpere. I started at Main Street Plaza and and followed the links located in Sunday in outer blogness.

I had significant thoughts about everything I read and wanted to comment, I did not comment because my thoughts were way to complex for my writing skill level. ugh.......

This post lead to my train of thought. So, an L.D.S. woman is trying to cope with her husband disillusion with the church. The husband is an otherwise good guy, his only fault it seems or at least the fault being discussed is that the has come to the conclusion that the whole L.D.S. thing is a sham and can no longer tolerate participating.

Well, maybe it is a sham or maybe it isn't. I am not going to try proving or disproving that. What I am most interested in is, is the social climate that lends to members leaving the church and their spouses hoping and praying that they may return to the truth.

Truth it seems is a black and white issue, there is no in between and there does not seem to be any room for having faith in the myth. Honestly, many have a hard time with myths, Mormons are not excluded from the shift from symbolic thinking to realist thinking. From my experience in Mormonism I guess that most Mormons don't consider any of the Biblical stories, NT stories, Book of Mormon or the Joseph Smiths vision as Myth or Metaphor. If it didn't happen then how can you faith. It is this mindset that makes it easy to leave the church. If the Church is not meeting your needs all you have to do is stop believing that Joseph Smith was visited by God and the entire Church becomes irrelevant.

Leaving at that point is easy if one does not have emotional ties, marriage is full of those. I have not run into many former Mormons who would willingly give up their families over a philosophical split. Though, I imagine it must be awkward to try to pursue ones religious convictions with the knowledge that your spouse might think your mind as been clouded by Satan, the love one has must overrule any awkwardness.

How about a little gray area?
Is is impossible for a doubting member to conclude that the "restored church" is really just metaphor, or the for the TBM spouse to conclude that there are other valid paths and "my spouse is no longer on my path and that's ok" Or is there no room for a faithful member to have doubt?
I can't help thinking, that if the Church were more accepting of divergent views and a certain amount of dissent, many of the people who have left the church might have stayed.

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