I continued on my faithful journey. I was an extremely devout LDS member and was 100% firm in my decision that I was doing the right thing. My entire mind, heart, body, and spirit were completely devoted to the LDS church. At times I even went above and beyond what was "expected" of me. I willingly accepted all callings and did not question anything I was told by friends, church leaders, bishops, or prophets. I had so many amazing friends. That is what made it really easy to not question anything. All of these wonderful, intelligent people were firm believers who did not question the church, so I shouldn't either. This church has to be true. How could it be false? All these people are truly wonderful with happy, Christian lives, and we have so much in common. This is such a family oriented church.
Our children were born under the covenant which means they were automatically sealed to me and Ken. They were blessed as infants. Everything was just right. How wonderful! I was all set up to spend eternity in the celestial kingdom with my husband and children. Well, that is if we all obeyed and followed the structured LDS path to get there.
A very good friend found me in January 2010. He asked me how my life had been. When I answered with, "It's miserable," he asked if that had anything to do with the LDS church. Of course I immediately became defensive and said, "No. That has nothing to do with it. The church is the one stable thing in our life." Well, he casually told me that some very good friends of ours from college had left the LDS church a few years ago and have never been happier. I thought absolutely nothing of this conversation as leaving the church is forbidden and went on with my faithful and happy Mormon life.
Life continued as normal with me being a faithful member until I began to notice things I did not like. Adults were complaining, some were noticing preferential treatment between wards, others were sad about not having close relationships with their families, others felt it was hard to plan vacation time around the church and their callings. These conversations really got my mind thinking. I was disgusted and really frustrated. I kept thinking this is not what church should be about. The LDS church claims to be Christ and family oriented, yet it is becoming very clear to me that it is actually church oriented. The feeling of contention and negativity was very strong. It was so hard for me to believe what was happening, and the feeling struck me that I was uncomfortable being a part of this.
I had no idea what to do. We are instructed to not question anything, and we must push our doubts aside, because that is Satan attempting to lead us astray. We are not allowed to read anything about the church that is not positive and faith promoting. This basically means we cannot read anything about church or religion that is not written by a devout LDS member. Anything written by nonmembers or former members is not to be trusted. I thought I was imagining things, so I turned to the church more than ever before.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
I was so tired trying to do so many things by myself to please God. Now I am full of peace and joy knowing that I can do everything in Him!