Well, I thought I belonged. For years and years I was told that the LDS (Mormon) Church was the "only true church." It was the only church to have the fullness of the gospel. The only to have the proper priesthood on earth. I have been conditioned to believe that for some 35 years. I remember going to primary during the week as a five year old little girl. Loved it! We sang the songs. We learned the stories. Everyone in the church knew the same thing I knew... THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!
But what is that supposed to mean? In my limited knowledge, and only going on what I had always been taught...meaning I had never bothered to look outside the church for the answers... I believed that it meant than every other church was "wrong." And by attending any other church but the Mormon church I was bound to hell. Those were my beliefs until this past year.
I was talking with a really close friend today. We talked of religion and what it means in our lives. Mainly the LDS Church. I expressed to her my frustration because the only issue I seem to have with the church is regarding the fact that I'm gay and that's simply not acceptable. Sure they sugar coat their stance...but in the end it the results are the same. I'm not accepted if I choose to express myself the way I was created...by God no less. I feel stuck. Am I doing the right thing by no longer attending meetings? Is it the "only way?" Am I supposed to be trying harder to "do what's right?" What if I'm giving up too soon? After all, I've only found ONE thing wrong with the church. Everything else feels "right."
But my friend explained her feelings about the church. She has studied church history and she has decided that the church has been wrong on many things. They've been right on many things as well. Her conclusion? There isn't only ONE true church. All religions have their good points. We are expected to love God and to be good people...but the Lutherans will be just as accepted as the Mormons. We will still have our families in the hereafter.
This is interesting to me because I have such an all or nothing sort of mentality. I always assumed that EVERYthing in the church must be true...and if there is simply one thing that is not, then it must not be true. So I'm running quickly in the opposite direction. Is that necessary? I believe so because this situation, this issue that I have with the church, is a huge one! It speaks of my core identity and tells me that I, as a gay woman, am not equal. That's absurd! I guess my point is that I'm willing to give up a lifetime of positive experiences and feelings to save myself. I always thought I would only be saved by remaining a faithful, card-carrying member. But now I see that there are many truths out there. I need to find the truth that speaks to my soul. Although being a gay woman is not the only important aspect of my life (even though it may be the most interesting) it also needs to be nurtured spiritually. It's not meant to be ignored. I may have to venture out and find another congregation so as to not lose my spirituality.