Monday, February 06, 2006

Ex-member status.

This blog has gained some new regular readers (I can tell from the IP logs), so I'd like to thank those who link here. And if anyone would like a reciprocal link (see right hand column) let me know.

I've mentioned this in comments on other blogs in the Bloggernacle, but I think it's been a while since (if ever) I mentioned it here. My current status is ex-member.

I joined the church in 1982, went on a mission from 1984 to 1986 (I was at the upper age limit), stopped attending in 1987, requested name-removal in 1991, and came back in 2002.

Because inactivity and leaving the church is a recurring hot topic of the Bloggernacle, yes, it was mainly due to unrepented sin. And the secondary reason is that once you lose the Spirit, small frictions between members turn into offenses, and real offenses become unbearable. As I've prayed and studied to understand where I went wrong "Was it all my fault, or were those other people really jerks?" The answer has been a resounding "Both."

Lessons learned have been:
- Consequences of sin pile up until it becomes painfully apparent that repentance is the easier option.
- Things about others that bug the heck out of you are generally problems that you have yourself. IE. "it takes one to know one." Or, as in Romans 2: 1,3.
- Once you have a testimony, there's no neutral ground.
- You can know something by the Spirit with greater surety than having seen it with your eyes. Page 38, Gospel Principles.
- Section 19 is true, especially verse 20. You could say the Lord gave me a "section 19." The "my Spirit" that ends the verse likely has a dual-meaning, both the Holy Ghost and the Light of Christ. And when he withdraws His Light of Christ from you, that is Hell. I now believe that is the definition of "Hell" (capital "H") or Spirit Prison, a place where the Light of Christ does not go. As we know from Revelation 20:13, and Section 76, hell is a "temporary" place (except for the sons of perdition.) I believe that that "temporary Hell" (if you can call a millenium temporary) is a small version of, or taste of, outer darkness.

Apparently, you don't have to be a member to buy printed matter from the Distribution Center. They sold me all those Books of Mormon, so now that they are my property, I can dispose of them or give them out to whomever I want.

At times when I pray, I wonder if I should be doing all this, and I say "But I'm not a member, I'm not worthy." And the answer seems to be "I know. Do it anyway."


At 2/06/2006 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Dallas Robbins said...

I agree, you should continue to do what you do. It's a tremendous example.

At 2/06/2006 02:14:00 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

I agree with everything you say in this post and especially with the list of lessons learned.

"Because inactivity and leaving the church is a recurring hot topic of the Bloggernacle"
I was thinking about this very thing yesterday in church and I was going through some scriptures listed in the topical guide under faith when I ran across this:
"For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them. Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith..." Alma 1:24-25

I didn't get a sense that those who remained faithful felt judgemental towards those who left, but that they felt an acute sorrow.
I hope it's not too personal for me to say this, and since you don't specifically say that your intention is to return to membership maybe I'm presuming too much, but I believe that there are those among the saints who feel that sorrow about your current status, admiration for what you are doing with your life now, and many who will rejoice with you when you return including some who you have never met.

At 2/06/2006 08:53:00 PM, Blogger Guy Murray said...

I'm w/ c jones in wondering about your future intentions. It seems somewhat inconsistent to be engated in the type of missionary activity you describe on your blog; yet, not being a member, or indicating whether you want to return, or will return. I assume since you have posted about it publically, you will not consider the question out of bounds.

At 2/06/2006 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Sorry for not being explicit. Yes, I am looking forward to and working towards rebaptism. I've been as active as an ex can be. I dug myself into a pretty deep hole, and it's taking a while.

At 2/07/2006 06:59:00 AM, Blogger Ryan Mercer said...

I can't wait till you get yourself out of that hole... I'll be happy to see you re-join the ranks... look for me in a church near you, sometime soon. (Family Ward I imagine... I'm just a morning person)

At 2/07/2006 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Guy Murray said...

Sounds to me like you've stopped digging, and have been climbing for quite some time. God Bless.

At 2/20/2006 12:41:00 PM, Blogger ESOdhiambo said...

I wish you the best and admire your dedication and honesty.


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