What I really should be saying is that I didn’t do it. I mean, I didn’t follow my daily list, nor did I go to church.
Back in September of last year, I announced that I would be following a recommended daily to-do list that I had used way back in the day while I was still married to my first husband, and well into my years as a divorcee. When applied correctly, without compulsion, it worked very well for me. But, like I said, I didn’t follow it, and the results were very nearly disastrous.
I’m not going to go into detail, but I had to quit my job, and I very nearly left the church completely. So completely, in fact, that by Thanksgiving I began announcing to close family members, that I had already left the church. I didn’t really leave, I told them, but I felt that the church had left me, and that was why I would not be going back.
I still blame it on the election. It seems like everywhere I looked in Utah, more and more church members were jumping on the Trump bandwagon. And when Utah’s results were announced, I felt betrayed. I feel like Utah church members willfully abandoned true Christian values, stood behind the kind of ill-advised misogyny that destroyed my first marriage, and turned their backs on all members of other races, especially those who speak Spanish. Long story short, I blame Utah’s cultural Mormon rhetoric for the overwhelming support for Trump in Utah.
But once I made the decision to leave the job that was so effectively pulling my marriage apart, I realized that I need the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I need someplace to turn for comfort and I need to feel like I am actively doing my best to be Christ-like, and not just paying lip-service to Christianity. I realized that the best way for me to stay close to my Savior is to actively participate, even if it just means by saying my prayers, reading my scriptures, and serving others.
I am going to church again, too, but I don’t want to be treated as an “active” member anymore. I go with my husband and daughter, because they want to be there, and they want my support. I go for the sake of my grand-kids as well. And I go to take the sacrament. I flat out refuse to see my bishop in his office, and I can’t bring myself to respond to him at all for fear that I will still be called to answer for the choices of others, or even to unwillingly be expected to confess my “sins.” And yes, I do know that I am still a sinner. (If the latter confession comes as a surprise to you, then please unfriend, unfollow, or just quit reading my stuff.) If I choose to confess, I’ll do so to God, and to those whom I have sinned against. It’s none of anyone else’s business what I do or don’t do, or how I choose to resolve my issues.
I do feel, however, that if I lived east of the Rocky Mountains, I might be able to actively attend and participate in a ward where I really want to belong. One where I felt that the bishop really wanted to know me as a person, and not just as a member who needs “saving.” (News flash– I was saved nearly two-thousand years ago.) Maybe, when we move in the next year or so, I might find myself in a ward where I could want to actively participate again. One where I could actually feel that my individual worth was valued by others. I don’t hold out much hope for that here in Utah County, though.
Having admitted to all of this, I just want to say that I am not just “following” a list. I use it. In fact, I made myself Prayer Journal for my daily planner. I love it. I am happy when I am using it, and no matter what happens to my activity in the LDS faith, I will keep right on using it, because it is my source of belonging, no matter where or how I choose to worship.