Doubts again…or still

It’s getting to the point where I just can’t believe this Church is the path that God intends for me. I’ve been a member for five years now, and my life has never been worse than since I joined the Church.
Financially: I have $13 in my pocket, $9 in the bank and $3000 in debt. I rent one of the cheapest places in town, and barter away part of my rent and water bill maintaining some of the property for the landlord. My salary isn’t out of line with what I’ve made in other jobs, but after taxes, child support, bare minimum car insurance, minimum payments toward a couple of the debts, electric bill and phone bill (Cheapest cell plan I could find, less than a land line here, and I have to be reachable for work.) I have about $45/week to get by on, including groceries and any other expenses that come up. I’m down to two passable pairs of work pants, and if one of them fails, I’ll have to eat nothing but beans, ramen and rice until the next payday to afford a replacement.
Socially: Not even one passable relationship prospect within the last year. The only ones that even came close turned out to be serious alcoholics, (Including plenty of the LDS ones. As a recovering alcoholic, I don’t need the temptation of someone who wants a drinking buddy as much as or more than a relationship, and some of them get mad when I refuse to buy them alcohol at dinner too.) Many of my close friends have moved out of the area, (or out of this plane of existence) and I can’t afford to go see the ones even just an hour away. (Though the fact that only one of them has come to see me in the last year has me tempted to scratch most of them off the “close friends” list.)
Spiritually: I feel the Spirit more in the opening prayer at political rallies than I do in Sacrament meeting. I’m sure a part of that comes from the blatant shunning that we single males are subjected to, but I also just can’t seem to find any value in having an Ensign article I’ve already read myself repeated verbatim at me over the pulpit.
Physically: I’ve had more health issues in the last couple of years than at any point since I was about eight years old. I don’t know if it’s the stress, if God is just refusing to grant me any blessings of health, or what, but the simple fact is that I’m in worse health now than I was as an unobservant Methodist.

I’ve gone to the bishop, but honestly, that just made things worse. Instead of wise, caring counsel and understanding, I’ve gotten three callings, and turned down two more. One the evening after my divorce was finalized. No guidance other than “magnify your calling and it will all get better.” I tried for years. I ran myself ragged, even added to the debt mentioned above. I let my callings take away from my limited time with my children. Nothing got better. It all steadily got worse. Once, I even spent several days in jail sitting out a traffic ticket I couldn’t afford to pay because I’d already overshot my budget trying to magnify my calling. Again, no help from the bishop; just the counsel to make sure I paid tithing before figuring out my budget.
I’m past the point of hoping for blessings. I’m past the point of believing that there’s some special amount of work that will make things better. I honestly cannot bring myself to believe anymore that He has anything in store for me but His continued indifference and denial of happiness.
Short of some minor miracle, I feel the next time I enter the bishop’s office, it will be to ask about the process of having my name removed from the records.


One thought on “Doubts again…or still

  1. I hear your pain, I have been there too. I spiraled after an existential meltdown in 2004. In 2009 I lost my family, my business, a career, and several friends. One thing I have told people is that there is always a darker darkness to descend to.

    In 2012 I died of a heart attack. I was dead for an hour. Long story short, I was a miracle, but I was even more pissed at God – I had my ticket PUNCHED! I didn’t have to be a suicide and saddle my kids with that pain! Why did that pernicious, mean spirited God I believed in let me live!

    In December of 2013, I was looking for a handgun. One betrayal and abandonment too many. I was done. I didn’t care anymore.

    I couldn’t find it.

    Instead, something clicked and I prayed. I cursed at God, I railed against God. the I wept to Him and asked Him “WHY!” Then I wept in pain, sorrow, and misery. then I asked for forgiveness, because I had done a lot of bad things – because I didn’t care anymore.

    Then I was overwhelmed with comfort. Like a down comforter taken freshly from the dryer and wrapped on my shoulders, I felt peace and the love of my Father in Heaven. I wept with comfort, relief, and peace. The first peace I had in over 9 years.

    I asked “What do I do now?” I was told to go to the temple. I hadn’t been to the temple in 11 years because of PTSD (a far longer story, unrelated to the Church). I said if I was truly forgiven, then He would open the doors for me to return. I was in the temple within the week.

    I went to the temple every week for a year, and still try to now. I went to the bishop’s store house to just provide some service even though I wasn’t asked. I fasted – a lot.

    But, you know what? I have less now than I have had in years. However, I do have something I have never had before – joy.

    I have a total of $1.35 between three bank accounts and available balance on my credit cards. I can’t find a job, and I am renting a room from a friend. I am 48 years old, but I have hope. I don’t have hope in things. I don’t have hope in a better life. I have hope that for all the crap I have been through, the world can take everything from me – and is ACTIVELY working to do so – but I have to let my faith go.

    I realized something in November of 2014. Heavenly Father didn’t NOT let me die out of perniciousness. No, He let me live because He LOVES me SO much, He couldn’t bear the thought of my dying in that state of contempt, rage, darkness, and hatred of Him.

    Life is suffering, and the adversary wants you to blame God for it. It isn’t God’s fault and the Church doesn’t guarantee material happiness. The Church can only give you the tools and access to rise above the constant battles of life. I won’t toss the trite “have faith” BS. I wanted to punch people in the face that said that to me. I will tell you this instead: choose to hope. Choose to let go of all that holds you done. Choose to believe that Heavenly Father loves you. That’s what I had to do. And then do it practically every hour of the day, especially the hard days.

    You did something that really pissed off the adversary, so now your life is hard: you chose to accept Christ and accept the priesthood. Here is an article that will explain why you feel so overwhelmed now.

    I hope this helps, I feel for you, but I PROMISE you a full commitment to serving God will bring peace to your heart, but never to the temporal world around you.


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