Hi friends. Life feels a little pointless today so I thought I'd solve that by blogging.
Here's a thought that's been rolling around my head for awhile now: a lot of Mormons struggle because they put the cart before the horse. Or, a lot of LDS people have internal struggles with their faith because they usually implement the action before they figure out their feelings about it.
Let me say right now, this isn't necessarily bad. I'm a big fan of the fake-it-till-you-make-it school of thought. My writing is a good example of that. I'm not a great writer, but I'm going to pretend like I am one until I figure out how to actually be one. That idea works for some church principles too. Like being a good parent. You may want to smack your kid every time they dump their snack out all over the pew and you may want to cuss when they break the DVD player for the second time that week but, since you want to be a good parent, you don't. You fake the more adult response until it is your first reaction.
I think spirituality doesn't always work this way though. You can't fake what is in your heart. Very few people can bear a testimony that they don't believe in and keep bearing it without getting bitter. Another example, you just won't keep making visiting teaching appointments if you don't understand and believe in the principle behind the program. People who do keeping trying to fake their spirituality get bitter and leave the Church.
So what's a believing (or wanting to believe) Mormon to do? Well, for me the answer has come in putting my heart before the course. For example, our stake president has recently asked every member to bring a family name to our stake temple day in the fall. My knee-jerk-happy-Mormon self nodded thoughtfully when I heard about this, but my heart screamed out, "No! You cannot make me do one more thing! I have enough to do!!" My husband and I talked and I calmed down. I decided that I am not going to do any name finding until I feel the need in my heart. Now, I do sustain my stake president and believe he receives revelation for me. I do think I should be doing this assignment at some point. BUT, I am going to work on my heart and my feelings about it before I work on the actual assignment.
(Of course, it also helps that my husband is interested in genealogy right now and working on finding some names and I will probably just grab one of his.)
I've done this before. Taken a deep breath and evaluated my feelings before jumping in to some Church assignment and I have to be honest: it felt good. I'm not advocating inactivity or anything like that, but I am saying it's okay to ask some questions about yourself and your relationship with God before doing something you aren't invested in. God wants us to gain a testimony before we try to bear it.
Well, now movie time is over and my kids are sure on my case! Thanks for indulging me, folks :)