Friday, June 21, 2013

Why I Stay Actively Involved in and "Faithful" to the LDS Church

Someone who was struggling mightily to stay involved in the LDS Church once asked me why I remain an active, "believing" member.  The following is my response - a short, bullet-point summary that doesn't do full justice to the question but hits some highlights:
I am LDS:

because I absolutely love the theology and "cosmology";

because it's the truest thing for me I've found - and it's not close;

because I don't really care all that much about what people think of me;

because I've carved out a place from which my heterodoxy doesn't matter and isn't a threat at all to the Church and the rest of the membership;

because I really love the people in my ward (even those with whom I tend to disagree quite strongly);

because my wife and kids also absolutely love the Church;

because plenty of other people outside the Church envy the peace and happiness I've found in "my faith" and have been helped in real and lasting ways by it;

because I don't want to make a major change to something else with which I will agree less (especially at the "pure" theoretical level);

because I've learned to let most of the cultural crap with which I don't agree roll off my back;

because I can talk about those things with which I disagree that people say at church with my wife and kids without them being threatened by my disagreement, even when they don't agree with me;

because I have a deep and abiding "testimony" of what I perceive to be the core principles of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ;

because I'm Mormon at heart.

I am LDS largely because it's part of who I am (because my own "I AM" is LDS) - and because of some very intense, very personal, very powerful experiences that also simply are part of ME.


ji said...

I appreciate your strong statement of loyalty.

My reasons are somewhat different, perhaps only tangentially so -- I'm a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I joined because I believed with all my heart that the Lord Jesus Christ, the same Jesus Christ of the New Testament, did indeed stretch forth his hand in these latter days to re-establish his priesthood and covenant on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. And I have stayed because I still believe that. I believe with all my heart that the power of Godliness is manifest to mankind on the earth only through the ordinances of the priesthood found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

With that belief, I can handle anything and everything else that comes along on the social side. I also find that I don't need to even address many of the esoterics that are so important to other Latter-day Saints -- for me, Jesus Christ is central, not incidental -- for me, he social side and the esoterics are incidental. As the Prophet said, "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."

Richard Alger said...

I love the post and the comment

Papa D said...

Thanks, ji. That is beautiful and moving.

I hoped you would read this post, Rich. I actually thought of a few of your posts while writing it.

Papa D said...

Thanks, ji. That is beautiful and moving.

I hoped you would read this post, Rich. I actually thought of a few of your posts while writing it.