Simply put, I had it all wrong...I had placed all my faith into the church when I should have placed my faith into Christ.
Everything I did was for the betterment of the "church."
We had family home evening because the "church" preached it. Now we spend every night together as a family instead of just Monday evenings.
We spent our Saturdays preparing for "church." Our entire Sunday was spent doing things for or at the "church."
I paid a full tithe not because I could afford to or because I wanted to but because the "church" required me to. They give no knowledge of where your money goes. All the churches I attend now give you detailed information about finances; how much comes in, how much goes out and where it goes.
I willingly accepted all callings not because I wanted to but because I was told to by the "church."
I tried my best to keep my children quiet during sacrament because I didn't want anyone in the "church" to judge me if they were disruptive.
I followed the word of wisdom not because I wanted to but because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to attend the temple and would be considered an unworthy mormon. Now I am following an eating lifestyle for my blood type that suggests I eat mainly meat. I feel better and am healthier than I have been in a very long time!
I wore garments not because I wanted to but because the "church" instructed me to.
I continually worked on "strengthening my testimony" not because I wanted to, but I had to in order to continue believing. This is constantly pushed in the "church." Everything is about "strengthening your testimony."
I fed missionaries because the "church" needed us to.
I studied scriptures and prayed because the "church" told me to not because I wanted to.
I made time for visiting teaching and home teaching because that was part of "church."
I attended all meetings for the "church."
I worked so hard to be a worthy mormon and keep my temple recommend.
When speaking with others, the first question on my mind was, are you a member of the "church"?
How is any of this helping me get closer to Christ? How is following all these rules helping me have a personal relationship with Christ? I felt so bogged down just trying to get everything done the "church" asked of me that I didn't even feel like I had time to do anything else.
*Some of these things I did enjoy and I did sincerely even though I was only doing them because I was supposed to. However, I did not feel they helped me attain a personal relationship with Christ.
As you can see, my priorities were all about the "church." I put the "church" above everything else in my life. I put the "church" above Christ. I put the "church" above Ken. I put the "church" above my children. I put the "church" above my family and friends. My heart was in the wrong place. I was doing everything for the wrong reasons; for the "church" or for my benefit of getting to the celestial kingdom. Everything I was doing was for the "church" or because the "church" instructed me to keep on doing what they preached. I certainly was not a Christian as I was doing absolutely nothing from my heart or for Christ. I didn't even have Christ in my life.
The problem with religion-it gives its adherent a false sense of security. ~ Gloria Pickering
As a member I could not imagine my life without the "church."
As a Christian I cannot imagine my life without Christ.
What an amazing difference! Resigning from the "church" is the best decision I have ever made for Christ and myself! I have no religion; I have Christ!
My unanswered question was:
What exactly is a personal relationship with Christ that Christian Churches teach about and why does the LDS church not preach "relationship" instead of everything else?
I was initially devastated when I received this answer that I had no idea what a personal relationship with Christ was, yet overjoyed to find the truth that all I had to do was resign from the church to find the relationship I so desperately wanted and needed!