Well. I seem to have gotten through one of the phases of anger (I'm not naive enough to believe that there won't be more), and I'm in a stage of... resigned displeasure, I suppose. Something like that. I expect to hear things that are total crap, but I'm not angered by them. I express (generally through fMh) what I don't like about them, what I would like us to change, etc. I think about them, and about how they affect me personally.
I'm still not sure where I'd like to end up with the church. I've talked to a few family members who've left, and that's been immensely helpful to me--I have a very large, very TBM family, and I needed to know that there would at least be a little bit of support for me somewhere. Still not ready to share with the TBMs, though, although I have let a lot more slip on my personal blog than I'd originally intended. Oh well, I decided, they might as well start getting an idea.
I'm up in the air about Joseph Smith. Do I think he was just a liar? Not really... Nor do I think he was insane. Don't know if I think he was "struck down" for leading the church astray, the way I've heard mentioned... Although I have to admit my brain hasn't dismissed the idea. (The theory is that he was killed because of what he was doing with polygamy.) It had never occurred to me before, and I certainly don't know that I believe it. But I'm willing to consider it a possibility. I read the stories of those women--the firsthand stories--and I often feel physically ill. I don't know what it is exactly, but something isn't right there.
I talked to a friend the other night about the temple ceremonies--she's part of fMh, but also a pretty faithful member, so her perspective was interesting to me. She told me that she'd had a lot of trouble with the temple, too, and came to the conclusion that, essentially, it's still just out of date. The church manuals have changed drastically throughout the years, and the garments have changed so much they'd probably make the original members of the church pass out from the scandal. I think she's probably right. I think the crippling, wrenching hurt and nausea I felt when I first learned about these things is... well, maybe because I was taking them too seriously. Which, to be fair, is exactly how Mormons are taught to take them--case in point, imagine the reaction if I told people that I thought the temple ceremonies were just written by sexist men and will someday be changed. And I obviously don't mean to diminish that pain I felt, or the similar pain that so many others have felt about the same issue. Maybe I'm just being naive right now in thinking that I'm past that stage; maybe it would take actually going through the temple to find out whether or not I really am. (For the record: I don't actually see this in my future. But I suppose anything could happen.)
Anyway. I haven't written here in a little while so I just figured I'd catch you up. I think maybe the pseudo-"coming out" to my TBM friends has helped me acquire at least a little bit of peace about this; they certainly don't know the extent of things, but they know that I'm no longer the Molly Mormon they knew, and the process of explaining myself and justifying my position to them has really helped me feel a little more solid about things.
Logistical question: Do you think it's a bad idea to post links to my personal blog here? Could that somehow make it easier for people to find there way here? Again, I'm not working too hard to keep this a secret... But I don't want to just lead them straight here, either. I was going to link to that conversation on my blog so you could see how the coming out is going. (Then again, most of you already know my personal blog and have already seen it. Let me know if you haven't, and need the link.)