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Interesting idea... Is it realistic to live as an active member of the church and yet not believe the doctrine? I am an inactive member who doesn't seem to fit anywhere. I live my life as if I were an active member, I continue to believe in the family values I was brought up with, I live the word of wisdom, have my food storage, even have family home evenings. I have found it difficult to fit in outside of the church and am uncomfortable with most of my daughters friends families who seem to raise their girls with no values at all. Outside the church I am a goodie two shoes. Inside the church I am a rebel. I often long for the companionship of relief society and the security of the youth program for my daughter. Yet I do not believe. For a while I tried to be in the church but not of the church (how weird is that, lol) but I couldn't make it work. I felt like a hypocrit even though I never held callings that required me to teach anyting i was not comfortable with. For those of you living the gospel you will know that it is not only a religion but a life style...can you have the lifestyle without the religion or would that be selfish to take the community benefits of membership but be unwilling to do your share of gospel work?

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This is one great post. Yes, it makes a lot of sense to me too. If the things go right, it will be a good knowledge earning and I must add it is a great idea also.

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Wow! Though-provoking question! I have never heard of living "in the church bot not of the church" before, but I suspect that a great many do just that. Belief is an important part of faith, but it is not all-important. A person who follows God's commandments, but isn't sure that there really IS a god, is better of and more faithful than someone who believes utterly in God but does not follow the commandments. And remember that faith is "not to have a sure kowledge." Alma counsels us that even if we can no more DESIRE to believe (or say, "I don't know if it's tue, but I hope it is") that this is enough to build on.

I'm no shrink, or prophet, but I'd say that you probably believe in more than you realize. It seems unlikely that you would feel so connected with the churcdh solely out of conditioning or socialization that occurred in childhood.

If you don't mind my asking, what in particular do you have trouble believing?

I would say OF COURSE you can and should reap whatever benefits you can from association with the church! If you feel that you cannot, in good conscience, hold a calling or take the sacrament, you are still welcome and wanted to join and participate as much as you are comfortable, as are all His children. If you have encountered unfriendliness in a ward or with cdertain indivisuals, please remember that the church is a group of imperfect people truying to live a perfect gospel.

Best wishes!
Jamie

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You know I have this thought ALL the time. I have been raised LDS since birth and am now married and a mother. Yet after studying, pondering, searching, and attending diligently I still can not say that I believe. Now call it cowardly if you wish, I would NEVER tell anyone in my ward this. In all honestly I would never tell anyone in a non anonymous way including my family how I feel. (Other than my husband, I share everything with him.) I attend my meetings and even enjoy callings because I believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with all my heart. Yet I feel so hypocritical all the time because I don't believe basic church practices and ceremonies. I find it all kooky, bizarre, and uncomfortable. I attended seminary in high school and showered my teachers with constant questions. I have gone to efy as a youth, education week, women's conference, institute classes and I have begun to say to myself that I probably will never have the answer in this lifetime. But I could not imagine not having the lifestyle. Not to mention if I ever left the church both my family and my husband's would freak out and my children and I would not be accepted. My kids are still very little so I am trying to sort this all out now. But I am at a crossroad. I have spent the last years taking my questions to Bishops in the 3 wards we have moved into. But all three times it led to my Bishop treating me differently, sending the Relief Society president to me (which is actually ok, I love a good woman talk and adult interaction) but leads her to treat me very differently and to be honest I didn't really want to share those questions with the Relief Society presidents. Now my husband is done with school and we have moved out of state and I think I am to a point I just want to keep my "non-belief" to myself so not to be treated differently and be able to interact without concern. In fact we have been here for 4 weeks and for the first 6 months my husband has to work Sundays and I have not taken the kids on my own yet, and my oldest who is in primary hasn't even asked to go. My husband suggested just doing studies at home for a bit since we have toddlers that would be so hard at church on my own. I know if I do this I will form the habit of not attending more than I already have this month. I haven't even met anyone from our ward here I could go under the radar for quite sometime. (I sound like I am in hiding.) I feel horrible because my children are missing out. But is that a lie? Is it wrong to teach my children something that I question at the very principle of its belief. Should I take a time-out per say to see if the "lack" of the church effects us? I have always been so obedient and fear the backlash of judgment from family but I am so tired of walking the line. Sorry for the forum hijack and rambling. Any comments are graciously welcomed. :-)

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Hey, I am a Single Father of a Daughter. I thought the same way 4 months ago. BUt everything changed I had to just pray and listen to what God said. Remember he didnt call us to be successful he called us to be obedient. ' love, juan

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To me designated church sects came after the fact.

A great deal stemmed off of even the first organized religions due to politics and people wanting to get back to reverence instead of taxations.

If faith existed before man organized it, I see faith, from an internal and eternal sense as constantly growing. I can't see how faith or the idea of what we think it is in its entirety as mere human beings could remain a perfect constant. It seems as soon as we start analyzing we're already getting further from whatever it is that's coming naturally.

Why can't you add on to what you've already taken in as faith and improve upon it according to what makes you comfortable within your Soul - like a direct relationship with God/Crhist and you as part of what stemmed from that relationship. If it makes a more contented individual without being lesser therefore, not hurting, stealing, taking or tearing down life or other people how can it be that that could be damaging to something we can only pretend to have a fraction of understanding of?

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I was brought up LDS. I spent my life with questions and questions and more questions that no one seemed to be able to answer. I have left the church and no longer consider myself to be a LDS. I spent my life feeling guilty, inadequate and confused. I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I also believe that there are many ways to the top of a mountain and the Mormon way isn't for me. I also got tired of being treated differently when I would start asking questions and was often told just to believe even if I didn't understand. Sorry - that couldn't work for me. My God-given brain needed to understand. And worse - I was told I wasn't spiritually mature enough to understand certain things. I do know that just as physical and emotional maturity takes time, so can spiritual maturity, but I also eventually realised that the reason I didn't grasp certain concepts had nothing to do with my so-called emotional immaturity. I lost faith in the leaders of the church and felt it was/is just a "boys club". However, I know many LDS members that are very happy in the church and feel it is right for them. But it isn't for me and I am not raising my children LDS. I would hate for them to go through the same guilt, turmoil and confusion that I did. I continue to raise them with the desire that they should be righteous, honest and have integrity. I feel relieved that I am no longer a member.

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Oh My, just reading the comments has me wondering if I am making a right decision. I recently became involved and am going to be baptized the first Sun. in Jan. So far all my questions have been answered and some that others could never answer for me have been answered by the LDS. But I have alot more especially reading these comments.

They don't allow women to preach do they?

Well anyway, yes God wants us to be obedient but obedient to him.
You don't have to go to a church or a certain building, God is
everywhere and we are free to worship him anyway you feel comfortable with. Live a good Christian life, worship God in your home if that is what you wish. Also remember though to reach out to others, not by preaching but by loving and caring for them and setting a good example.

Thank you


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Can you be a Mormon and not believe? My short answer 'yes.' Just ask any teenager. If they believe, they know someone who doesn't but goes to church because their family does or that's the thing to do (more prevalent in UT). I had a friend (I don't keep in touch with her much now) that I'm not sure ever gained a testimony of the gospel and Joseph Smith. I was very surprised when I found out she and her husband had gone through the temple and were sealed. The flip-side of your question: Can you have the lifestyle and not the religion? Yes, again. Those are the "golden" people missionaries are always looking for. And many of them do not want to join the Church. That's why the Church encourages EVERYONE to do genealogy, obtain a food storage, hold Family Home Evenings,.... I have relatives who came to feel like they did not 'fit in' in Church or no longer believe and left. I think that decision is between you and the Lord.

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This is an old post but in case anyone happens by, I'd like to add my thoughts here.

Many people attend the LDS church and all of its activities and may not believe all of the doctrine. In fact, some of these people serve in high posts, too.

But, in my experience, belief--and what we believe--changes and grows as we live. Think of it, we learn about new things and choose to accept or reject new knowledge all the time. We learn things "line upon line, precept upon precept" and sometimes, we just aren't ready to accept doctrine that we do not understand. Milk before the meat. We grow from babes in the gospel to more mature spirits. This does not mean, however, that just because you choose to reject some of the doctrine that you are spiritually immature! I do not mean that at all.

It's just that a testimony can ebb and flow throughout life.

Frankly, I am the opposite of you in some ways and like you in other ways. I am inactive and yet I believe. Because of family issues I do not attend church but I believe in the doctrine.

Most of it. Not all.

I think there is a flaw in the reasoning of the church that if I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God that must dictate that I must believe in all he said. Not so. He was a prophet of God but he was also a mortal man. Have you read any of Emma's writings that attest to that fact? He was not infallible and he had human weaknesses.

He was a just man and yet he was just a man.

But it is not good to throw out the baby with the bath water. The LDS doctrine is good. Very good. Nearer to the truth than most other doctrines on earth.

We do not fit into the church in many ways, but I believe in the truth about God, Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. My belief calls me to strive to live a good life according to the commandments of God. But I fall short in the eyes of the church because I do not attend, hold callings, go to temple, live the Word of Wisdom, etc. (I do pay tithing though.) I miss Relief Society and am thankful for home teachers.

Hold onto the good that comes from God. And that includes your membership in the church. Continue to pray for enlightenment, discernment and spiritual guidance. You should do this whether or not you choose to stay or go.

My husband does not want to be a part of the church and that saddens me. I am on the outside, pressing my eager face on the window looking in.

You are fortunate. I was a convert and have asked many questions. Would you care to share yours? I'd love to hear them...because I have asked so many myself. And still ask.








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