My personal thoughts put down on electronic paper.
Carson, I was out a lot this summer and when I came back to church I immediately noticed your absence as you are one of my favorite people to talk to at church. I specifically did not ask anybody where you'd gone because I didn't want to hear their opinions or gossip and was just going to wait until I saw you to ask what was up.Thanks for posting this.I've always thought that we were similar in this respect though you are much further on this particular journey and have taken much more time to think about these issues.I have to say that I agree to each of your points, though in varying degrees. I've always had a very pragmatic view of religion in general and this has allowed me to "be in the church, but not of the church" in many ways. I often feel alone in my viewpoints or ways of thinking about things and do feel pushed into doing or agreeing with things from often.I've not really allowed my full on obsessive compulsive study tenancies to turn to things LDS. This is mostly because I know that I am an all or nothing person and I'm not really ready deal with the potential conclusions I might draw--whether that's to become a full on Mormon fanatic or to distance myself.I'm glad to have an example in you for when that time comes, if it ever does.I do hope to see you from time to time though, whether at church or not.
Thanks Philip, I love how you can be ok with people having different opinions from you. I'm not just talking about me, because I've seen you do it with others that are much more different from you than I. We'll definitely keep going periodically. Thanks for the comment!
Great post Carson. As Rachel and I left the church behind, I often felt a desire to communicate our position and experience as you two have done. That desire is now gone, but should the occasion arise, I will direct interested parties to your blog. Well done guys! It was great to see you this summer, you are the same Carson that I have always known and enjoyed.
Congratulations, Carson and Marisa! And thanks for your well-written letter. I am so sorry for the heartache that always comes before this kind of a decision, but I am so happy for you for your choice to live a life of honesty and integrity! I think it is always our hardest decisions that truly define our characters. I admire your commitment to truth, righteousness, and love, especially when it is so dang hard. I related to so much in your letters. Jacob is also a very good man and a kind husband, and it was so hard to hear so many negative things said about him and to feel cultural pressure to abandon him, or categorize him as less valiant because of his disbelief. I also think it is so silly that people say we “can leave the church but we can’t leave it alone.” In Jacob’s and my case, that is pretty much what we have tried to do, just leave it entirely alone. But it is absurd to assume that a person can simply walk away from the organization and culture that created them without a second thought, especially when their friends and family are deeply embedded in it. A few years after leaving, I heard Jordin Sparks’ song, “Like a Tattoo,” playing on the radio and realized it reminded me of Mormonism. I had arrived at a place emotionally where I could be thankful for the many positive ways the LDS church had shaped me, have the courage to admit I had been wrong all my life, and move on to something better. Mormonism will always be a part of who I am, and that is okay. There were many more things I connected with, but mostly I just wanted to say thanks for sharing!
My heart hurts for the pain and sadness you have experienced both individually and as a couple. God bless you and your family.
Carson, thanks again for your courage in sharing this. I wanted to send you a private message on Facebook but your settings don't make it possible. I don't know why some people don't get the spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of this work. Especially those who try relentlessly as you have. As I mentioned, I was anti-Mormon all my life. When I was 21, I had an experience that I never could have imagined. If you care to hear my story, it is laid out here: http://youtu.be/dKWM0hjQX5A
Ryan, thanks for sharing that. Your video is great. I wish I'd had a similar experience. I don't want to discount what you had because it has been such a great force for you in being a better person. Go forward and help others be better! Thanks
Thanks Carson. I would bet 70% of church members never get a "lightening bolt" conversion experience. Usually small but important experiences over time that convert their hearts. Certainly no need to discount what happened to me. It was one of maybe eight profound experiences that serve as the foundation of my faith. The cost of knowing is both a blessing and a burden. I suppose it has always been that way for Christ's followers throughout time. Best of luck in your new journey.
Carson and Marisa-Like you, I have unanswered questions and unresolved issues with the LDS church, but Grandad Pond used to say, "Even if the church isn't true, isn't it a great way to live?" That's the camp I'm in right now, and I know you are too as you continue to live an honorable life. I wish you only happiness and peace on your journey!
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