Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have been blog-cruising lately. I know a few Mormon people with blogs from my old ward, and once in a while I stop to read about what their lives are like. I guess it is intriguing, but it ends up making me angry almost every time. I see these young, REALLY young, people with a kid or two (most of these blogs are kept up by stay-at-home moms in their early 20's) who talk about the various crafts and scrapbook endeavors they are working on, as well as EVERY CUTE THING their kids have been doing. They then go on to praise their husbands and, here and there, insert some remark about how they are so grateful to have The Gospel.

So many people just like me got married in the temple for "eternity" to their companions, to begin their young lives working, going to school, having babies, and giving time and money to The Church until the day they die. Some of them really believe in The Plan, and I am sure some of them don't. Maybe the just got married in the temple because, like me, they thought there was no other way their families would allow them to do it.

Anyway, I am glad to be able to see through this religion. I know that it has been messing me up and holding me back, in some cases. It has not been all bad, but I am still glad to be "out" of it--I can find happiness away from it that is so much more real, so much more appealing. As I read the blog entries of these young married women, I wonder, are they REALLY happy? Are they fully invested in the religion that they belong to? Are they thrilled with their lots in life--the eternal motherhood, the subservience to the Priesthood, their unquestioning obedience? I know that the answer is "yes" more often than I would hope it would be. They ARE happy, as far as they believe they are supposed to be happy. If you tore them away from their gospel-centered lives, they would not know WHAT to do and would honestly say they were unhappy.

I want to tell them to go back to school, to EXPERIENCE everything they've ever thought of trying. I want to tell them to do DO things...not to believe what it right or wrong based on the Church's teachings. Most of these women are following a religion blindly. I know I was.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thigns are going to change

I would like to move this blog away from just my bitter religious ramblings and into a place where I can freely express myself. I might discuss topics of interest, post essays, think "out loud," or just write about what I'm feeling or thinking.

I may change the name, too. I don't have any ideas yet, though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Temple Experience

My exmo sis had told me few things about the temple already, like that there were secret handshakes and chanting and things such as that. I was freaked out to begin with, and knowing it was going to be strange made it worse and made me more anxious.

I was engaged and I knew I'd have to go through the temple soon. I was doubting and had been doubting for a long time but I loved my fiance and he was quite TBM at the time, as were our families for the most part, so I knew I would have to get married in the temple. I set a day to go through the Mesa temple while we were visiting my parents in AZ. While there, however, I asked that we put it off because I was "not ready yet." My parents didn't understand but respected my wished.

The day before my wedding, I went through the Bountiful temple. I was not ready that day, either, but it was pretty much the longest I could have put it off, right? :) I remember how worried I was, and how I just wished I was allowed to know what was going to happen. Why did it have to be so damn secret? That only made it scarier. Still, what choice did I have? I wanted to get married. I took my clothes off in the dressing room and put on a shield/poncho getup and went to get washed and anointed.

The old ladies in the curtains were kind to me, and told me all these great things I could become, and it made me feel better. It was odd, though, to have WOMEN giving me blessings and acting as though they had priesthood authority. That was weird. But I can honestly say that the initiatory was the best part of the temple experience for me. I didn't entirely understand it, but it made me feel somewhat empowered (by the way, this was POST-naked touching). I figured the rest of it couldn't be that bad.

As I sat in the endowment, I felt confusion and fear. I hated knowing that there would be a "test" at the end, and I freaked out to try to remember everything I was supposed to say and do at the veil. I thought the movie was boring and silly. I felt that the handshakes, gestures and chanting were cult-like and made me endlessly uncomfortable. I was in a mad rush to do all the robe-changing things because I didn't want to be the last person in the room standing up to change them, therefore causing embarrassment. I hated not understand what the hell was going on. It felt jumbled and foreign, and worst of all I didn't see why knowing a bunch of handshakes would prove me worthy of entering heaven. I did not believe it.

At the end, my husband was able to take me through the veil. It was a neat idea, but I was still scared and confused--even with the veil worker helping me. After feeling humiliated at the veil, I passed through into the Celestial Room. It was nice and peaceful there, but I could not fathom what I had just endured. it was as though the religion I had known since childhood had a dare side that I had never, ever known existed. It felt very wrong to me. I remember that while I sat in the Celestial Room with my fiance, I thought to myself, "I wouldn't mind if I never had to go through the temple again!"

I hated going ever since then. I'd make all sorts of excuses not to do the endowment. I would do other things, like baptisms, initiatories, and sealings, long before I'd do an endowment. I hated sitting through the stupid movie and doing the cult-like gestures.

I never felt the same about my religion after that.