Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions

This blog post might be a mess, but truly, I'm kind of a mess right now. I started a new pill (cough, nudge, wink) this week and it's been a struggle. I haven't slept well in days, I have the temper of an army sergeant, and I've been so hungry ALL THE TIME. I just ate a huge beef chimichanga and I'm still so hungry I can barely remember my name... So if this post makes you question my sanity, trust me you're not alone. I had a dream about Michael Jackson line dancing last night, I'm pretty worried too.

Anyways, this week I've been thinking a lot about my endurance. Or lack thereof. If you've kept up on my posts or been a close enough friend, you'll know that my life has been one huge change on top of another for the past year or so. And while I at first thought that it simply meant I was just improving my life and showing a sign of strength, I've started to come to the conclusion that it might be a weakness. What does making constant changes in my life suggest? That I just might not be strong enough to handle the cards placed before me.

It's always been my philosophy that if you don't like something, change it. And up until this point, I really didn't have much of a problem giving up on things and moving on to the next chapter.

Until I realized that I can't change everything.

Until I realized that I'm truly vunerable.

Until I realized that I really do care more than I want to admit.

But what's the balance then? When do you just have to face the facts and learn to endure instead of trying to find a way out?

And is it a bad thing to want to change at all?

I'd like to think that the changes I've gone through in the past year have shaped me into a better person. I'd like to think that I'm more equipped to handle life's challenges now. I'd like to think it'll be better from here on out. But I'm not so sure. I think I've learned to be a really fast runner from all conflicts. I've learned to be a really sneaky avoider of all problems. I've learned to be a really crafty manipulator of all trials.

But I have no idea how to sit and deal with problems. I only know how to run.

Maybe this next stage of my life will be an endurance run instead of a speed run. Maybe some day I will be ok with walking instead of racing. Maybe someday I'll be content instead of anxious.

Maybe someday change will be a sign of strength again.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


And so ends another General Conference. This post isn't exactly going to be your typical social networking update about General Conference. No pictures of quotes written in Comic Sans. No Instagram pictures of the temple. No stupid hashtags like #teamuchtdorf or #teammonson. Just truth, just thoughts, just  realizations.

Every one take something different away from Conference and I guess my story begins the same way Conference starts, with the first session. I was picking up a common theme from the first few talks: Unity within the church and outside of it. I thought about this a lot as I was on the train to the conference center and I realized something that I had never quite picked up on about myself.

I feel no connection to the church anymore.

That's not to say that I don't believe in the gospel the LDS church teaches. I believe in a loving Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus atoned for our sins and was crucified so that we can live again free from our mistakes. I believe in Joseph Smith and that he restored the true church. I believe in the prophet and his apostles. I believe in the power of the Priesthood and I believe in the sealing power of the temple. I still feel the Spirit and I still have a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Despite this, I don't think I believe in the role of a church anymore.

I think this has been going on since I came to Utah but as this problem slowly and subtly got worse, it came to the point where my attitude had completely changed from what it had been before. I feel less and less sincerity from the members I associate with, whether it be the speaker in church or the crazy 1st counselor who always asks me why I'm not married yet. I spend more time thinking about how different my views from the world are from the other members' views instead of celebrating the similarities. I spend more time wondering if whoever is teaching honestly believes what they are teaching or are just simply teaching because that's what they're supposed to do. I spend more time wondering why the heck I'm still here.

And the always wonderful Jeffrey R. Holland reminded me why we need to be united, why we need to work together, why we need to set our differences aside, why we need to look the similarities and not the differences.

Because we're all broken.

You're broken. I'm broken. Your friends are broken. Your family is broken. Everyone you know and everyone I know is broken. We have all been broken in various capacities in our lives. For some it's mental and physical disabilities. For others, it's something much more horrifying. But for many others, it's the simple heartaches, pains, and challenges that we associate with the journey of life. And if that's the only similiarity I see between me and the members of the church that I simply cannot stand, I have to embrace that.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a perfect Church. The gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ is. The Church is a gathering of those broken souls who find comfort in the light of Christ and need a fellowship to find this light in a world that is growing darker. It's a fellowship of the stubborn, the narcisstic, the rude, the cruel, the stupid, the clueless, the obscene, and the ruthless and it's a fellowship of people who want to change these qualities in their characters. As much as I struggle to find faith and trust in the people of this Church, I have to realize that they are struggling to find faith and trust in themselves. And it just might be that I'm the key to helping them achieve that. And it just might be that those people I can't stand are the key to helping me change into the best person I can be.

For those that know me well, I'm a pretty hard-hearted and stubborn person. I'm a very prideful and wary person. And changing is nearly impossible for me. Conference today showed me a problem that I never knew I had. As much as I love the Lord, as much as I love His Spirit and the peace it brings my life, I need the fellowship of the church as well, even if I think it just might kill me. I'm beyond grateful for the peace of this gospel and I hope one day I'll be grateful for the Church that tries to live by it again. Any advice how to get past this is much appreciated :)