It would be so easy to just stop going to church. It would be so easy to stay home with my family who I love and I know that they love me. It would be so easy to just walk away from the struggle of what is church even with a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
People say things to each other. Unthinking things. Unkind things. Judgmental things when they don’t even have the smallest part of the whole story. It’s so easy to judge when you are looking in from the outside. So easy to look in through a tiny window and not realize that that small sliver of house that you are seeing does not represent the entire dwelling.
There is a talk by Elder David E Bednar that is called “And Nothing Shall Offend Them.” In this General Conference talk Elder Bednar discusses about being offended and that we can’t control others but only our reaction to others. He is fully correct and I know it. But here is the thing about it. Church is a place of gathering. It is a place where we are supposed to gain strength from each other. A place where we can find community. All of these things are important. What if we are missing that community. what if we aren’t feeling stronger at church but rather beaten down? It’s so easy to walk away because feeling like that week after week does something to a person.
But you might say, you must lean on the Lord. You should turn to Him for strength. You are blessed by receiving the sacrament each Sunday and so you must continue on. Yes, all of these things are true and they are reasons why I do continue on. But for someone with a new or tender testimony, someone who doesn’t fully grasp the necessity of that sacrament time, someone who may not have experienced making covenants in the temple it would be super easy to walk away.
Ministering should be filling these gaps. Ministering sisters should become our closest friends. Sisters we can lean on and share our fears and frustrations with. How is that going for you? Do you feel a closeness with those who are in your care or with those who are responsible for your spiritual well being?
This pandemic hasn’t helped things either. Families are sort of hunkered down together. The old Visiting Teaching habits are dying hard and I fear that sisters are reaching out to each other less and less and we don’t even have that hall passing time at church to give that pat on the back or smile that then feels like it should count for something.
Do I sound bitter or sad or frustrated? It’s because I am and I’m not sure at this point how to fix it. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I am praying that the Lord will somehow give me an answer and a way to move forward and out of these feelings I’m having at the moment.
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2 thoughts on “Looking for Answers”
We can do hard things. We don’t want to and sometimes we don’t need a cheerleader, we need a friend to bring a flashlight and sit with us and breathe and cry and be still, then we turn the light on and are ready to remember. Thank you for having a flashlight for me and I hope you know that I have one for you.
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Thank you. Honest reflections are good – the answers to your cries will come…