For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Barriers to God

I blame God for creating the conditions necessary for me and only me to submit to His will.

Since my mother told me that she and my father would understand if I left the church, I have been quite disoriented and trying to process. I realized today that perhaps Heavenly Father has systematically removed all the things that got in the way of an authentic and genuine submission to His will.

First, I slowly came to terms with the fact that I most likely will be excommunicated. I've come to see this as an expression of His love, rather than an expression of His anger. My faith for a time was contingent on the perception others would have if I was excommunicated. I surrendered the control I gave others to determine how I act. Much of my expressions of faith were contingent on how I would be perceived by others, therefore the motivations of my faith were driven by how I would look to others. Father squashed that.

Second, He took from me the idea of marriage. Last June, nearly a year ago, I received what I believe was a spiritual communication that I was to commit to a life of celibacy. Struggling with this, set me on a course of interrogating my own faith, how I positioned myself in the church in relation to doctrine, and a searching introspection of desires. I let go of the idea of marriage. This letting go of marriage helped me to realize that my desire to remain in the church should have nothing to do with marriage, rather it should have everything to do with submitting everything to God for merely the privilege of surrendering.

Third, in terms of the addiction, I uncovered resentments and anger towards Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Working through the twelve steps, I was able to identify and express my anger at Heavenly Father. His loving response to my anger at Him confused me. I became more willing to believe in His love and His power. Doing so allowed me to draw closer to Him, despite being active in my addiction, in a way I have never done before.

Fourth, my parents telling me that if I left the church, they would understand. This removed parental expectations, and concomitantly, took with it the anger and resentment towards the Savior. My parents telling me what they did liberated me from any and all expectations about my relationship with the church and Heavenly Father.

These four things, I'm sure there are more, have put me in a position of now looking inward for my own expressions of faith. Looking inward for an authentic desire to be close to God for no other reason than that being what He wants of me. It is not conditioned on my perception of doctrine; it is not contingent upon how other's will view me; it is not predicated upon pleasing my parents; it is not a result of duty.

For the first time, ever in my life, I seek the Savior for salvation, not because it is what He asks of me, not because it is what the church expects of me, not because of anything else, but simply because I know now that I need Him. I need the Savior to save me from myself. I did not see that before. While that image is still rather hazy, I can see that I need Him for sanity, for peace, to be grounded in a celestial ethos.

I've realized that Christ can heal me of my addiction, and that healing does not necessarily have to be tied to being in the Church. My thoughts and feelings are still rather unformed - inchoative - around this.

But for now, I seek the Christ perhaps for the first time for me and no one else. Heavenly Father has stripped me of all my excuses, I see that now. Now I pray I have the faith to move Heaven-ward.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like you have been doing a lot of thinking. Coming to good conclusions too.