Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Mawwage Is What Bwings Us Togethaaa Today
There's a lot of things I am grateful for in leaving the Mormon faith. To a practicing, active, temple-going Mormon (haha) these things may seem completely backwards. And that's okay.
Last year, in my ups-and-downs with faith, religion, god, and everything else, I sometimes thought that I should just throw myself into it. You know, just become immersed in the gospel. I served my mission in the southern states, we had anti every day, I read the Book of Mormon tons of times, D&C, the PoGP (a personal favorite) and half of the OT, and nearly the whole NT (I still have those 90 pages left, I should just do it). I studied a lot, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Especially when I went 'apostate' on my mission I tried to be 'good' by reading Deseret Books, a couple dozen. Point is, I got into it and last year I wondered if I should become an apologetic for the church, in some sense.
Phew, boy am I happy I didn't do that. I still have some Mormon doctrinal books that I probably will read at some point, but really I am not that interested anymore. The last book I read from Deseret was Holding Fast, about faith. I had wanted a book about believing in God that actually had some worth to it. Never could find any, not really anywhere. My other religions library is decently small, about 12 books, and a third of them are related to the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. C.S. Lewis makes up another third, I love C.S. Lewis, but he really has some interesting history and useless points now that I'm not Christian. My example - his proof of God being that because we can imagine God and can hope for a God, yearning he says, because of that yearning there must be a God. Again, I love C.S. Lewis, I love his stories and philosophies, but some things didn't sit right with me even from the beginning (such as A Grief Observed).
But C.S. Lewis made me think there could be a God, so I thought, maybe I should focus my whoooooole life around the scriptures and God and make a career out of it, somehow. I always enjoyed teaching on my mission, I've been told I am very sensitive and inviting in conversation and explain things well. I enjoy preparing lessons and teaching 'doctrines of j-dog,' mainly by allegory or metaphor from the Pearl of Great Price. In particular the Book of Abraham.
In a way I miss all of that. Teachings lessons in Sunday School and on the mission. Giving talks, reading scriptures and coming up with doctrinal points that were never intended by the original writer. But I have my atheism and agnosticism to work through, and that is plenty.
The other issue, though, was marriage. I'm a bit of a romantic and most of my life (except last summer and for about 2 weeks earlier this month) I've always been interested in having serious relationships with girls, looking for marriageable partners. Of course this meant I wanted to get married in the temple. Luckily now I can look forward to, someday, marrying a dirty, godless, apostate, atheist girl! Woot!
One problem with Mormon girls is that so many of them don't really like sex. I use 'really' as a qualifier, a lot 'like' sex, but not entirely, and most don't really like sex. Which is me. I really like sex. In fact, I may venture to say I really really like sex. Not just homebase, but all the bases and even the outfield.
I think I can say this about a lot of Mormon girls cause even outside of BYU I've heard them say, "no, sex will be great, but it's gross" or "I don't think you should talk about before marriage" or "having sex everyday wouldn't be right, it would invite Satan into the marriage," or worse "I plan on praying every time before we have sex ... and I don't think you should do anything else but sex."
Some of these are extremes, yes, but for me hearing those things was terrifying and instantly those girls were scratched off my mental 'potentials' list. By the time I got off my mission I decided I wanted a girl who was a convert, had a dirty history but had repented, and had done some introspection into her sexual appetites. I couldn't handle marrying a girl who only occassionally would be interested, or didn't like talking about it before marriage. The horror stories of those few unlucky men who married the girl who was really grossed out by it or wasn't interested, even after getting married, really scared me.
So then last year, when going back and forth in faith, at a couple points I thought I should just marry the first girl who came along and was interested in me. I thought, "boy, I should just get married in the temple, right now, cause it could save my soul." That I needed to marry some deeply religious girl, regardless if our sexual drives lined up or not.
And again, I am so happy I didn't. Doubly more now due to recent events. But I think I could've seen me doing it if the timing had been 'right' (or horribly wrong) with any old girl who showed interest. Luckily most of the time I went on dates or had a fling was also when I was really doubting. Thank you brain for saving me.