I Want My Church Back
I think about the time, back in 2007, when I was first introduced to the Church. It was all so new and exciting. It was revolutionary. In all honesty, it was love at first sight.
People always ask me what initially drew me to the Mormon faith. And I respond in the same way each time: “It just felt right. I knew this is what God wanted me to do.” There was no specific idea or doctrine that led me to the Church. It was literally just a good comforting feeling and a knowledge that this was the path I was supposed to be on. I suppose some would call that the Spirit, but whatever it was, I just knew I was supposed to be Mormon.
Fast forward nine years and I’ve definitely become entrenched in the LDS Church. I was baptized, I graduated from BYU, I received my endowment, I’ve gotten my Patriarchal Blessing, I’ve had callings, I speak the language, et cetera, et cetera. I am fully Mormon.
But also in that time, between all those significant events, I’ve come across hurtful things members have said. I’ve seen the Church declare war on feminism and homosexuality. I’ve seen them throw out faithful members for asking honest questions while still keeping those on the roles who take hostage government facilities and encourage violent standoffs. I’ve seen the priority go from loving and following Christ to loving and following the Brethren. I’ve seen the “Doctrine of the Family” come to power when I joined under the guise of the Doctrine of Christ. Every Sunday, it’s confusing as to what we as Mormons actually believe and find important.
I visited Salt Lake City last month, and stayed only 15 minutes away from Temple Square. I remember walking around and seeing couples and groups of friends coming out of the temple, smiles on their faces. I saw countless happy brides and smiling tourists walking around that sacred ground. I waved at peppy sister missionaries as they laughed with each other.
I felt so jealous.
I was jealous that all these people could find happiness and contentment where I now find pain and confusion and doubt. I stared up at the Salt Lake Temple and then turned my head toward the towering Church Office Building. My heart felt drawn back to the temple, but my mind knew that the policies of the Church Office Building would never let my heart win this battle of doubt.
On that day, at that moment, as I stood between the two symbols of the faith, I so badly wanted to go back to when I first joined. To when it was all new and good and peaceful. A part of me wished I never knew the things I did or felt the things I felt. I desired so fiercely to go back into the temple and worship. But then I looked back at the Church Office Building and walked away. The same spirit that I felt when I knew I had the join the Church was the same spirit I felt in that moment when I looked at the temple. There is still that hope and belief within me. And it is that hope and belief that keeps me from abandoning what I know and love. It is what keeps me pushing along hoping for change and the return of the peace I once felt.
Still, I can’t wait to have my church back. I can’t wait until I am able to feel again the Spirit of Love and Peace. I want nothing more than for my Church to teach me of the Christ that has redeemed me instead of modesty lessons, of marriage, of politics. I want my Church back.