My friends are leaving the church, and it makes me sad

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I just listened to a podcast of a friend of mine discussing some of her life in the LDS church. Towards the end, she mentioned that she stopped attending church. This on the heels of several other friends of mine cutting ties this year with the church.

And it makes me sad.


But not sad for why you might think. I’m not worried about their eternal salvation or their lost blessings.

I’m sad because it deepens the friction of my own struggles. Sad because it widens the chasm between where I am and where I want to be, between my morality and my spirituality. Sad because it makes the hill I’m trying to climb steeper and higher. Sad because it strangles my hope.

I think people assume that since I decided to stay in the church after last November’s debacle that I have somehow reconciled myself with everything, and that I had smoothed out all the wrinkles and healed all the wounds. But that is not true at all. Not even close.

My faith crisis never went away.

I still struggle. Every day. I still struggle to know what I want to do. I still struggle to know where I want to be. I still struggle to know who I am.

And nothing I’ve tried fixes it. Certainly none of the typical Mormon advice.

Prayer doesn’t work. I pray every day. Several times every day. And I try. I try so hard to pour out my soul. Often my prayers seem empty and repetitious, but there are times when I put my heart into it and I plead—desperately plead—for direction and guidance and enrichment. And nothing.

Scripture study doesn’t work. I study my scriptures every day. And I don’t just skim them. I delve into the words, looking for meaning and insight. Sometimes I find it, but it all seems superficial. None of it motivating me toward a change of heart to true spirituality.

Temple attendance doesn’t work. I’ve been back to the temple 3 times since the November 2015 policy change, and each time, it has been negative experiences. My first time back was for an endowment session, and I felt uncomfortable and like an outsider. My second time back was for sealings, and I felt intense promptings to just get up and leave (I didn’t leave.). My most recent time back was for baptisms, and it was less negative than the others, but it lacked even a crumb of spiritual nourishment. Maybe it was prophetic that the last time I attended the temple prior to the policy change I felt like I was saying goodbye.

So, I sit here sad.

Published by

Kim Siever

I just finished my BA degree in drama and French at the University of Lethbridge. It took me 15 years to do it. I have been married 21 years and we have 6 children.

14 thoughts on “My friends are leaving the church, and it makes me sad”

  1. You know, It kinda sounds like a general malaise from what you wrote. Could this be a temporary lack of enthusiasm in general? I’ve certainly had those, and in my darkest hour, I too lose interest in matters of a more spiritual nature. Typically I come out the other side of my funk and regain interest once more.

  2. Hello, I am a long-time reader of your blog, from way back when it all started. I don’t comment much on any of the Bloggernacle’s blogs, but I’ve been thinking of this post all day. First of all, I am sad for your struggle. From personal experience and just from being a human being, I know that you are experiencing great pain and turmoil.

    You said that your hope is strangling (paraphrase). I guess that’s true, if the ultimate hope is that Mormonism is “true” and that you stay in the LDS church. But in my opinion, I only hope two things: that you/I find the truth, and that you/I have enough integrity to live it. When I read your post, I don’t necessarily hope that you stay in the LDS church. I just hope that you find truth and peace, and that you live according to your beliefs. If that means you stay in the LDS church, then great! But if you do leave, then it will be because you do not believe it. And that would be weird to expect someone to devote his life to something he didn’t believe!

    A dear friend of mine once said to me, “No matter what you decide, I trust you.” I would say the same to you, even though I don’t know you personally. You are exploring many interesting concepts (I read a little of your communism post), and that exploration is one of the joys of living!!

    I hope you can feel peace very soon!!!

  3. I hope you don’t mind, I thought of something else. Unfortunately, it’s a piece of advice, so of course feel free to disregard!!

    The key to finding truth and peace is by focusing on Jesus Christ. Reading scriptures and talks about Him, following Him, changing our lives to copy Him. My guess is that your exploration of Communism is in part because you agree with Jesus’ sermons on riches and caring for each other.

    For me, all that matters is Jesus Christ.

  4. Thanks for your honesty. Personally, I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon lately. It hasn’t had the effect Elder Ballard suggested it would. It is certainly not the panacea for solving all our problems that some make it out to be. I am a careful reader, and every page gives me new questions, new pieces of the puzzle that don’t fit. I’m not sure where I’ll end up on this, but so far the book isn’t standing up to careful scrutiny very well.

  5. Breaking up is hard but sometimes the other person is just not that into you. The sooner you start healing the sooner you’ll be healed.

  6. “Temple attendance doesn’t work. I’ve been back to the temple 3 times since the November 2015 policy change, and each time, it has been negative experiences. My first time back was for an endowment session, and I felt uncomfortable and like an outsider. My second time back was for sealings, and I felt intense promptings to just get up and leave (I didn’t leave.). My most recent time back was for baptisms, and it was less negative than the others, but it lacked even a crumb of spiritual nourishment. Maybe it was prophetic that the last time I attended the temple prior to the policy change I felt like I was saying goodbye.

    So, I sit here sad”.

    I am guilty as are you. Advice given to me was: Recall the last thing God asked you to do; then go do it. The Lord is always giving you problems to help you grow, but we sometimes don’t want to do “that thing”. He will give you another task after you complete the first. It never ends — that is how you grow. You will be given tasks from God as long as you live but they do get easier and easier because you see results and learn to expect results. The Temple you speak of is not your answer. The church doesn’t tell me what’s right or wrong– God does.
    The church is a place for fellowship and praise. We all know that God speaks to the heart of men.

  7. Sorry to hear of you struggles.

    Having one’s hope strangled sounds terribly painful.

    40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
    41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

    Whatever happens I hope you can maintain hope in Jesus Christ and His atonement. If that is true then someone really does care.

    Wishing you hope, joy, fulfillment, and the best life has to offer.

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