Practicing vs. Active

Let's talk about a needed distinction for LDS folks when it comes to practicing a religion versus being active in a religion.

I am a practicing Mormon. That is not the same thing as being active. I haven't been to Church in years because my local unit is unsafe for me. So I do all of my personal worship in my home.

I pray. I study scripture. I rest on the Sabbath. I keep the Word of Wisdom, pay a full tithe, am honest in my dealings with my earth fellows, and still carry a current temple recommend. This is what I mean by believing and practicing.

The Book of Mormon teaches that my worship is no less valid because it takes place outside of a church building. In fact, it puts into serious question why anyone would need a church building to worship. The folks in Alma 32 were not required to subject themselves to abuses, dehumanization, and violence by being inside of the church buildings they built. God came to them in their wilderness and blessed them as they were, with no mind to what they lacked.

I stand by that. To the end of my days, I stand by that.

Why do I "bother" when so many people at church clearly don't want me around? Because God does not belong to them to take from me. I refuse to give them that power because they don't deserve it.

You need a model for how to maintain your life of faith without being in contact with harmful people? Here it is.

You owe no one an explanation or justification for it. This is your life. It doesn't need to look like everyone else's to serve God and bring joy.


Why I thought I stopped going to Church: I had five callings that were robbing me of the will to live. 

Why I actually stopped going to Church: I have never recovered from the realization that pre-1978, I wouldn't have qualified for full ordinance participation because my father was black.

Why I don't go back, despite still being a believing, practicing Mormon: My bishop created an unsafe environment in sacrament meeting for those trying to avoid COVID-19. As a result, I lost all respect for him and his contributions to my spiritual life.

To be clear, I am not separated from the body of Christ. I am the body of Christ, same the members who stay. And I did not remove myself of my own volition. I was amputated. That doesn't mean my identity changes because he still claims me. 

There needs to be room for believing, card-carrying members to say "I left because y'all just suck so much." That's not a profession of apostasy. It's a refusal to be disrespected. I don't owe anyone suffering in a one-sided exchange where all I get in return is stress.

Y'all want people in the pews? Maybe learn how to act in public, without blaming others for staying home to avoid dealing with you.

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