I often do a lot of thinking while at church. Much of it pertains exactly to the meeting. Some of it is random. The following was what I thought about during Sacrament Meeting today.
My thoughts and doings this Sunday:
1. I went to Sacrament Meeting. This is good; I'm still wanting to
attend SM from time to time. I haven't taken the sacrament for at least
10 years. At first, it was because I was unworthy and unrepentant. Now,
I'm unsure why I don't take it. Maybe because, while I am no longer
"living in sin," I still don't feel sorry for when I was. How can I reconnect with this ritual? And I wonder; do I have a rebellious spirit? 2. Is there a way to be an active, non-believing Mormon?
3. I started thinking of a conversation the other day, where a good friend
had expressed how he hates being emotionally manipulated by the emotive
music and mood lighting, etc...found in church films, stories.
During SM today, I was trying to compare the Mormon-styled emotional
manipulation with the use of hallucinogenic plants/fungi/drugs to
enhance a meditation/spiritual experience/vision quest. And I concluded
that they are not the same because, while LDS films want to make you
believe a specific thing, vision quests--with the aid of chemical
enhancers--are to help you see whatever you will.
4. I feel
like probably everyone in the church is as prone to doubt as they are to
believe. Some aren't afraid to explore doubts, but many are. Maybe my
problem is that I cannot seem to abide the general facade; the
appearance of firm belief, while hiding/suppressing our many underlying
thoughts and doubts.
5. If you had gone through your life, to this point, without having been baptized a member of LDS, would you now be ready?
6. I put 3 of my photography prints in an art show today, for the first time ever. Kind of an exciting new experience.
7. I thank God for such a nice day out. Gray, cloudy, wet weather GREATLY enhances my mood.
8. I really love the people in ES. (ES is code for a Mormon Facebook Group I frequent.) You guys are my ward, and your
kindness, love, understanding and charity for all is why I'm able to
remain in the Mormon Church, to the degree that I do remain.
9. A young man--13 or 14 yrs. old--went up to the pulpit during testimony meeting. His testimony went like this: "Today, I'd like to bear my testimony about bearing my testimony. I think bearing our testimony is a good thing. I feel good up here today. Thanks for letting me share. Amen." He was grinning on the way back to his seat. I could see that he was kind of proud of himself for having bore his testimony, even if he knew it probably sounded kind of comical, which it did. I appreciated it; I enjoy hearing sort of the raw and simple things once in a while. I often tire of the repetitious "I know, I know, I know. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." The mother of that young man called him to come sit next to her. And for the next 3 or 4 minutes, she proceeded to chastise him in his ear, telling him how testimony meeting is only for being serious and talking about the church and about God. I watched as he deflated. I felt deflated for him.