Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guys! I Kind of Suck at Life.

Have you noticed? I keep wanting to take breaks, because I am something of an emotional basket case and I get really tired of feeling anxious and/or furious all the time. And then I keep cheating on my breaks, because... I don't know why. I really don't, I just have this thing in me that wants to be reading and posting things all the time. What is the deal? I said one week ago that I needed to stop reading anything political or controversial in any way, and all week long I've been cheating but then not letting myself post things so people wouldn't know I'd been cheating. It's kind of absurd.

The internet breaks are great, I'll be honest, because I read a ton and feel awesome for not sitting in front of a computer all day. But I just don't feel like that's... sustainable. I mean, am I really going to not use the internet for the rest of my life? So then I say I can use the internet but skip the controversial things, and I'm pretty sure that's even worse, because then I spend time online and it isn't even meaningful and I find myself doing that zoning out thing where I keep clicking around and then suddenly realize I've been online for an hour and haven't done anything.

Blech. You know what? We're moving to Salt Lake City. (I haven't really announced this anywhere, but I might as well since it's a month and a half away.) And I'm really excited for that, because I really hate Texas. It sucks out here, and we've had to live with my parents for the last year, and that sucks even more. I have two friends, one who lives 20 minutes away and one who lives 45 minutes away, and I don't see them very often, but when we do get together we don't really talk about things anyway so basically I don't have a real-life outlet, and that's why I'm excited to move to Salt Lake. I didn't want to move back to Utah, you know, but Mike really does, and I've decided that this is a really good compromise. I can live in a city, which I really want to do, and I will have a lot of like-minded friends nearby. I'll be able to go to things like Sunstone if I want to, and lectures and conferences and book clubs and feminist get-togethers. I won't be totally isolated in Rural Conservative Town, like I am now. And I think that's going to be really good.

I don't know if this post has a point. Hurray!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dwindling in Unbelief

I almost feel like this should be the new name of my blog, except that I noticed there already is a blog with that name, and I don't want to change mine anyway.

Ahem. What I mean to say is... I have finally come to the conclusion that I don't believe anymore. I don't believe the things that make Mormons Mormon.

I don't think Thomas Monson is in contact with God. I believe that the General Authorities are good men—I don't suspect them of deliberate deceit or having conscious ulterior motives—but I don't believe that God is talking to them any more than s/he talks to anyone else. I just can't not believe that if God really were directing a church to the extent that the LDS church claims to be directed, that church would be the first to recognize and denounce oppression and inequality in every form, instead of defending it tooth and nail (*cough*ERA*cough*). The LDS church is not exactly on top of things in this department, by which I mean that they are completely backward and even further behind than some other churches.

I don't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, either—but then again, this is one thing I don't think I ever had, even when I was fully active and orthodox. And while I infinitely prefer the Bible to that book, I am also now very aware that the Bible was written by men, and therefore approach it with a significant amount of skepticism.

I've had this post—everything before this sentence—sitting in my drafts since the end of February, and I hadn't read it since I took a break from the internet at the beginning of March. Today I did, and it still fits, so I guess it's really true. I'll admit, I did a bit of backpedaling after first reading through it; not that I don't still feel that way, just that the words sounded a little stronger than I want them to. It's like... rather than believing actively that it's not true, I just lack the belief that it is. Which I'm pretty sure is just a copout response that tries to soften the blow but essentially says the same thing.

A couple days ago I was on my Goodreads profile and the section with my favorite quotes came up. I saw one from Brigham Young—and I realized that I no longer felt that sense of ownership I used to feel when I came across someone or something related to Mormons. Funnily enough, I still think the words of the quote are great in spite of the irony that goes with them:

Remove this quote from your collectionBrigham Young
“I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.” 
 Brigham Young

I guess I used to feel some kind of... something, you know? when I read the name of one of the prophets somewhere in the secular world. Especially that one, because my university was the one bearing his name. But this time, I didn't.

Anyway. The great thing is that, thanks to this internet break, I've spent an entire month developing a kind of apathy toward the church. Apathy doesn't sound like a great thing, but since it's replacing anger and hurt and the manic frustration that comes with helplessness, it is indeed pretty great for me. The real triumph will be when I can maintain this apathy—at least to a certain extent—without the crutch of avoidance (which is what I've been doing for the last month). When I can read Feminist Mormon Housewives and the news without freaking out about the patriarchal shit being consistently shoved down everyone's throats, I'll know I'm good. Right now I'm shooting for medium-level avoidance, trying to break myself back in slowly and painlessly. We'll see how it goes.