Ultimately everybody develops their own religion. The beliefs of some may resemble those of others, but religion becomes very personal, and thus very unique, when it is considered under close scrutiny.
I feel the need to clarify a few things. I am an active, tithe paying member of the Church. When I express concern about the state of things in the Church today, I am ultimately concerned about what I perceive to be the false doctrines I accumulated along the way and incorrectly assimilated into my personal latter-day saint religion. I perceive that some of the religious delusions under which I labored are shared by other Mormons, and so I write in hopes of bringing others to what I perceive as truth. But I can only know for sure of my own personal apostasy. My intent in writing is to encourage repentance. I firmly believe that all goodness, hope, peace, and true, lasting happiness are found only in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. I love and worship Him. And I believe the correct place to do that is within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That being said, my worship is flawed. I sin. I don’t do things I should, and do things I shouldn’t, and attempt to work out my salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. I want to make sure that in all my high-minded ranting I clearly disclose that I am far from perfect, and have not entertained angels nor communed with the Savior. But I aspire to. Deeply. I will continue to consider myself a struggling Christian, marred by sin, until the Perfect Day. I believe the path back to God is simple in concept and difficult in execution; learn to hear and obey the whisperings of the Holy Ghost in all things and He will guide me back.
The cares of the world have been a strong diversion in my life. Only recently have I realized that I loved living here in hell. I loved the challenge of making money and diverting myself and thinking myself quite developed and capable. I have come to firmly believe that it all really is only a test. We come from the pre-existence enthused by and infused with the Light of God’s love and power, only to have our eternal spirits placed into the “me suits” we call bodies. Suddenly, without any recollection of our glorious past, we come of age inside a tabernacle of pure and unbridled selfishness. Only when we realize the emptiness that accompanies sin do we start to wonder if there is a better way. Some figure it out as small children, some as middle-aged adults, and some when they’re old. Some never do in this life. It doesn’t matter when, it just matters that we do. Self is the great enemy of peace. Turning one’s will over to God is the greatest trade anyone can make, and the only one that really matters.
Let us all repent–which as I understand it involves turning our focus, attention, and affections to God instead of to self and the world, which is the faux reflection of self for the natural man. Let us all turn to God and live, in word and deed.