Edgar Allen Poe
"Very suddenly there came back to my soul motion and sound -- the tumultuous motion of the heart, and in my ears the sound of its beating. Then a pause in which all is blank. Then again sound, and motion, and touch, a tingling sensation pervading my frame. Then the mere consciousness of existence, without thought, a condition which lasted long. Then, very suddenly, THOUGHT, and shuddering terror, and earnest endeavour to comprehend my true state. Then a strong desire to lapse into insensibility. Then a rushing revival of soul and a successful effort to move."
The Pit and the Pendulum
I was told this week by someone close to me that it seems like I've gone from one extreme to another in a very short period of time regarding my thoughts toward the church...like a pendulum swinging. I guess it seems strange to others that I could go from such a "strong testimony" to not believing in such a short period of time.
This may be true. It was early this year that I was adamant in my feeling that I needed to get myself to the temple. I was so certain that this was what I was supposed to be doing. I "knew" that it was right. I convinced my sister to prepare herself if she wanted to go through the temple with me, because I was at the point where I needed to go, with or without her. I believe my words were, "I've never felt more driven than I do right now to go to the temple. I KNOW it's where I'm supposed to go, with every fiber of my being." Of course we always felt like it'd be better if we went through together for the first time, especially since we both had some hesitation over the unknown aspects of the temple experience, and we also had the common bond of being married to non-member men, and being the only active siblings out of 7 in our family. We were each other's support group in the gospel. So she and I prepared and we started the temple prep class. We only made it to one class, back in May or June I think, and then we were so busy and I cancelled a few times because I wasn't in the mood to add yet another meeting to my Sundays....
My point is, I was as righteous as I've ever been, up until the very moment that I found the information on the internet that led me to know that the church is not true. So if that seems like I've gone from one extreme to another....well, of course I have. It makes sense. I don't think one has to be in a non-righteous state of mind to find out truth. It can happen at anytime, to anyone. I am still the same person I was before I knew; I'm still "righteous." The truth I found was shocking and hard to swallow, and it was so big that I couldn't just ignore it and hope it would go away. I'm dealing with it the best I know how.
I talk about the church a lot, and much of what I say is negative. Right now it seems like I can say nothing good about it anymore. I don't necessarily feel like it's ALL bad, but much of what I allowed myself to feel was OK during my time in the church really wasn't, and I can see that now since my perception has changed. Now I'm looking at it objectively for the first time, without the bias that it's true no matter what, and I find many things lacking. Things that always bugged me but I never allowed myself to dwell on have come to the fore, and it seems like they spill out of me with no order or reason. But it's how I feel, and I'm glad I can throw my feelings out here on my blog. Soon I will also post some of my thoughts and memories that are good, as there are probably many things in the church that helped shape me into the person I am today.
I am no longer willing to dedicate my entire life and all my limited spare time to something that is based on falsehoods and one guy's sham. It just doesn't seem like the sensible thing for me to do. I'd rather raise my kids without religion than raise them in the church until they are adults, and thereby risk having them go through this same journey of disillusionment. It hurts. At the same time, I've never felt happier about who I am or where I'm headed.