Category Archives: Life as a Mormon

Shame

shame

When I was growing up, I often felt shame. My mother was mentally ill and there was nothing you at all talking about. I carefully avoided anything that could reveal my mother's illness. It was an upbringing in shame and denial. I also felt a great debt. It felt somehow as if everything was my fault and that it was my responsibility to set things right.

At school, alcoholism could be wisdom. "Stina moved away from home. She did not stand out with her parents. Her father dropped. "I remember feeling fond of jealousy like Stina. It would have been so easy to just say that even parents were kidding. But no. Mental illness itself was never talked about. Yes, of course. I actually had a classmate in high school, Fredrik was his name. He told me that his parents were divorced because his mother was mentally ill. Only now at high school he had been told that he had not only a sister, but two more siblings whom no one had told. Fredrik's father had not been able to take care of all four children, without the two youngest he had left away and never told anything about Fredrik and his big sister. I felt terribly sorry for Fredrik and also felt a cohabitation. It was not only me in the whole universe who had a mentally ill parent.

My mother's mental illness made it among others in the fact that she could not clean up, but instead gathered and accumulated. She was not able to throw anything. When other friends took their buddies so I went alone. I could never bring home someone and I had nobody to talk to. When I was maybe twelve years old then expressed my mother very hard and clear to me that if I divulged a single word about how it looked in our home so I would be utkört. I remember the fear I felt. Where would I go? I had nowhere to take my refuge and I had no one at all to talk to.

My siblings were much older than me and them, I could not talk to. Everything was somehow under the lid. In stealth, I tried to clean up as much as I could. One summer I emptied my nephew and my parents' basement in secret. It was basically just rubbish we sorted out and threw the container. Unfortunately, it did not take long, it was just as much junk in the basement again.

When I moved away from home to 19 years old, it was such an incredible relief that I could finally stay somewhere where I could keep in order. I enjoyed being able to win friends and I made a decision to not feel guilty that I was no longer at home and cleaned my parents. Eventually I realized that I actually could do nothing. I freed myself from a lot of the responsibility that I put on myself to be responsible for my parents' lives.

There is an expression in Sweden that I really deny and that's the expression; "It's both pity and shame." It is so incredibly easy to blend these two concepts together. Taste these words yourself: SYND - SKAM.

When I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as I learned about sin. What is a shame really? According to our theology is a pity that of their own free will choose to disobey God's commandments or not to act righteously despite knowing the truth. James 4: 17 says:

He who thus knoweth to do good and doeth it not, he sins.

Sin is thus only about one thing; not following the will of God / the good that we know what is right or wrong. Sin is not about what other people do, it's not about making mistakes, though it was not intentional and it is definitely not about shame.

In our church, we have a wonderful theological doctrine that shields us from shame. Unlike all other Christian churches we believe is not for the original sin. Original Sin means that someone else has done wrong and we others can carry the sin and shame. How unfair is not it.

When I read the literature I'll take some of the thoughts of the förkättade original sin as completely poison the people's self-perception. You can find it in Baudelaire For Fleurs du mal as well as in Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter. We are born as sinners, we inherit the sins of others ... How false is not this doctrine! The truth is that we are born completely new and pure without sin and we do not inherit the sins of others.

Most recently I read Jean Paul Sartre's play The flies that just about guilt and freedom of action. Sartre was one of the 1900's greatest existentialists and he stressed that we as humans were free. We are, if condemned to freedom. It means that we do not inherit someone's sin, and it also means that we must take personal responsibility for our decisions. Unfortunately, it seems that Sartre considers that the fact that people can take their fate in their own hands also means that people can feel the anxiety and guilt.

Having the gospel in his life and truly discovering what the gospel means has led me to understand what sin is and I can distinguish between sin and guilt. I know I'm innocent of my parents' behavior, and I do not even charge them for their way of living. Mental illness is no sin in itself.

The gospel has really meant a lot in my life and one of the things is that I have because of the gospel has come to realize that I can not take responsibility for other people's decisions and way of life, but is responsible for my own decisions and the way we live and I do not need to feel guilty, but can let God take care of my negative feelings. All I have to do is start afresh and learn to listen to the Holy Spirit's promptings.

Of course, all this is a process. When I was 28 years and met my current husband, I felt a great shame to tell him about my parents, how my mother was and how it looked in my childhood home. It is only in his forties that I have come so far in my development that I no longer feel shame, but can distinguish between my life and my parents' lives and tell you about my upbringing.

"Sophie was caught by a sect"

Sect Home Kombo-241

Just when I began to think that Media in Sweden might have begun to be less restricted and more international in its mind, suddenly an article appears in Aftonbladet, which is the pure return to the Middle Ages.

In an article in Aftonbladet with the title "Sofi was caught by a sect" (2015-03-06) describes how distraught parents who lost her daughter to a Mormon sect. Another interview with a renegade Mormon included. Unlike the story of "Sofi" so is this woman's name is not fingrerat.

The story of "Sofi" is a story that many members know. Indeed, there is not so many members in Sweden that you do not know who it is written on, especially not in this case. On Mormon Lady, we wrote about "Sofi" for a couple of years ago. The story is tragic. It is not really about a girl who chooses to become a Mormon. It is about parents who can not accept her daughter's life choices. Self I recognize all too well. My parents forbade me to have the church do when they understood my interest in it. I was forced to choose between the church and my parents. I was in fear of those who would represent my security and trust. How difficult it must be for parents to accept their children's choices and how difficult it must be for Aftonbladet not to be so black and white - all to create sensation? The sad for Aftonbladet is that there are lots of people in this country who actually know Mormons and who know that what they write is not true. "Sofi" himself wrote a blog post here on Mormon Lady for a couple of years ago where she gave her version of what had really happened. To avoid further conflicts with his parents as we were asked, however, to remove the blog post.

It is surprising that Aftonbladet may still be in this kind of duck pond and not realize that they have made fools of themselves. Other Swedish newspapers wrote today respectful of our faith. If you read a popular magazine, Huffington Post, you find many articles about the "Mormons." Some are not so flattering, but many are quite positive. They give words a nuanced picture of our church and our faith. How can Aftonbladet be as medieval? It is a mystery indeed.

Church Public Affairs felt that this article was going on and will respond to the criticism. Mormon Lady has been in contact with FINYAR researching new religions and alternative spirituality. They are surprised Aftonbladet's actions, but says Aftonbladet is difficult to communicate with. Aftonbladet had not contacted them that the article was about. Mormon Lady was the one who had to tell "Sofi" man if they stood them in Aftonbladet. The question is what kind of journalism it represents; not to allow all parties to be heard and not even informed that they intend to write about them?

On a couple of facebook groups for Swedish Church members who I'm in so discussed Aftonbladet article. How do you react when members of the Church of the article? Yes, some taking up the fact that only 16% of the Swedish population have confidence in Aftonbladet, according to a recent survey. Others feel a sense of security that people in general and, for example, employers think it is ok that they are "Mormons." Some get upset and think that Aftonbladet represents a limited socialist vision. We can all think differently. For my part, gives the closest to a post-traumatic stress disorder. I myself have gone through like Sofi has had to go through. But even though it is our parents who torment us so no one asks about our emotions and how we have been treated.

My eldest daughter is no longer active in the church. Sure, I hope that she will come back to the church sometime because it is such a great joy and comfort to have Jesus Christ in his life. But whatever she chooses for life, I respect her life. She has her free will and the right to choose her own life. As members of the Church, we must respect that our children choose their own lives and their own life view. To me it is also obvious that all parents, regardless of their faith, respect their children's choices.

To read the article in its entirety so is this: http://web.comhem.se/dannereuter/aftonbladet_sondag_1mar_s32-38.pdf

A happy funeral

Fredrik

What do you think of when you hear the word funeral? My Swedish church experience is that it is a sad and final event. Grief, sadness and solemnity. My mother's funeral felt like a business association of humanists; no faith, no faith, nothing more than an impersonal priest who rattled off their lines and impersonal ritual mantra.

On Friday, so I attended a funeral of a dear brother in the church. He had for years suffered from Parkinson's disease and experienced the disease as a monster who had taken over his body. For his missing relatives were mixed with relief that his brother now had it good.

As I wrote in other blog posts, I love Mormon funerals. When I arrived at the chapel, I had with me three roses to lay on the coffin; one red, one white and one gammelrosagul. Although I do not actively spent time with family in private, I experienced Fredrik as a dear brother in the congregation.

The chapel was completely filled with people. I recognized a few people who are no longer active in the church, some people I had never seen before. Each of us was assigned a meeting sheet. What I noticed was a few quotes that stood in the meeting magazine: "There is no such thing as 'can not' " as well as "Should something be done as it should be done properly. "

Fredrik was a handy man and an unbearable optimist. It was evident when the various speakers personally spoke of Fredrik. An elderly man told funny anecdotes about their adventures along with Fredrik. Both were Norwegians so it was good to hear earthly Norwegians and stories about fishing trips. On a fishing trip, Fredrik had gently handed a hand, but still he got in and rubbed so that the gypsum loosened. They both had to get to Tärnaby for Fredrik to get a new plaster, and as the older brother expressed it, everyone in Tärnaby from the doctor to the doctor could gypsum. All the five children of Fredrik were also up and told about his dear father. They talked about his scarred hands used diligently when he had worked as carpenters, they talked about his persistence, his boldness to tell about the gospel and his eternal optimism - his ability to "think outside the box.

It was a meeting full of memories, smiles and a strong faith. Frederick was now with his parents his daughter who died of sudden infant death and her granddaughter who died in the ninth month. There is no sadness, just missing, but also a great joy that Frederick had met his savior Jesus Christ and that he had a good life.

When the speeches were over and all the great hymns - Yes, I must not forget that our bishop Fabrice played guitar and sang Frank Sinatra's "My Way"At the funeral. That song was Fredrik's special wishes - then the closest family gathered in front of the coffin and held each other. Then we all had to go to the coffin to say goodbye and put our flowers on the coffin. There was such a light, such a joy and such a gratitude throughout the funeral. It felt like a single great revival meeting, where the speakers not only spoke of Fredrik but also testified about God and Jesus Christ and how close we live to our deceased. They are with us, on the other side of the veil. The psalms that were singing were Be upon me every moment, Only one day a moment at a time, and O great God. It was a powerful meeting with the presence of the Spirit, and I am grateful that I could join.

After the funeral, wrote the eldest son in the family this on facebook:

Thanks for all the warmth and participation of this special day when we took leave of our beloved husband, father, relative and friend. We feel a regret, of course, but at the same time a great peace of mind knowing that Fredrik is where he should be now. He has certainly started the new major construction projects in our Father's loving kingdom and welcomes many cherished reunions! Thanks to many special year Dad and all the best - you will be missed!

The promoting the doubt and the dangerous doubt

P1000484

It is popular to doubt the Church. If we do not doubt that you are probably not sufficiently well-informed or have a childlike faith (read: naive). For me, doubt is not so strange. We all have our ups and down waves of life. But the question is if doubt itself is nothing edifying? Say you have a motorcycle in the yard. You're going to take a ride, but wonders if the bike is in running condition. You begin to doubt that you can get that coveted motorcycle tour. What are you doing? Sit down and begin to philosophize about what might be wrong with the motorcycle? Maybe start up a closed Facebook group and draws up a number of siblings doubters to confirm your tvivlarbehov? Nah, probably not. You go up to the motorcycle and try to start it. Maybe get off the motorcycle and go test it. Perhaps you check the oil, or anything technical. Or?

So here it is with faith too.

We can intellectualize, we can mess, we can discuss with equally intelligent insightful people who also doubt to confirm our ego, sorry, to confirm that we are part of a larger community, I mean ...
But faith is in fact an act. The belief is that your motorcycle. You have to test and see if it works.

Recently, I was invited to a closed-ended facebook group for doubts. I think the one who invited me thought that maybe I was intellectually enough to fit in. Yes, of course, you must have critical thinking, right? Of pure curiosity and to get any spreads to spice this blog, I went with. To make a long story short, I finally became excluded from the group. The problem? I did not doubt enough. If you ignore all the general gnash over parents, relatives, members of the congregation, Church leaders, etc., criticism of Church polygamy was high on the list. Absolutely hesitant I commented that I personally did not experience any problems with polygamy. Honestly. Imagine being TWO women who say the man's cheek to take care of the counter. No, I really did not express them on their blog, but I would still like to point out that the problem was of a typical and local nature. In Africa, the church has a problem that members of the church want to invite polygamy again.

There I could learn from this group was to irrelevant things were raised that do not really have the truth of the Gospel to make, for example, personal conflicts, and that the group was not a neutral tvivlargrupp. Is a group of neutral, all voices be heard, but this was not the case in this group. A brother in my congregation who is a professor (I think) taught me the concept of "bubblefiering". They live in their own little imagination it as a facebook group and can not accept other points of view. Something that I end up not doubted in terms of this facebook group was that it was really about an exit group. To doubt is something we should welcome and not repress, man, there is doubt dangerous. There is the example of different groups where the goal is not that you should be able to come to believe again, but that you should leave the faith completely. There was no tvivlargrupp that I was thrown out of, it was a clean exit group. The famous name of the group that Hans Mattsson and John Dehlin was the group did not think I doubted less on the matter.

When I was in the temple last time I had the privilege of having a conversation with one of the temple servants there. She told her that she had been on mission to Utah in her youth. There she met on many women from polygamous communities. At one point, she found writings at the University of the Church where any leader at the early 1800 speech stated that it was good for men to attract young attractive women. This information prompted her to really doubt and she thought to herself, "What am I doing here?" She was on mission and no longer believed. However, this temple servant told her that she realized that there was only one source she could turn to in order to gain knowledge. She prayed to God and asked him. Yet, it is only God who knows the answer.

Doubt has existed in all ages. The disciples doubted Jesus Christ, despite all the miracles they witnessed. Jesus Christ himself perhaps in a faint moment doubted his own mission when he proclaimed "My God, my God." Why have you abandoned me? "So I'm the last to doubt doubt, but I urge everyone to try God. Can you test your motorcycle, then you can kneel down and ask God. My personal experience is also that I build my faith by living right. Do I follow all the bids? Do I read the scriptures and justify them? Do I ask regularly? Can I show gratitude? Can I realize I can never understand because I'm an imperfect human being?

"What do we do with our motorcycle?" Yes, because it's not going to bother, I suppose you have to entertain it in some way. Do we maintain our faith or do we only maintain our doubts? Sometimes we must simply take a stand and work based on that position. Before I became a member of the Church, I doubted much. I was neither hot nor cold and did not want to take a stand. It was a special event that made me suddenly realize that I had to decide. When I decided, I let myself baptize. But that's not enough. I must also follow Christ and His commandments. Sometimes I really feel how I've tried faith. When I divorced and stood alone with four children, the tenth was a big challenge. I remember how depressed I felt when, in connection with my divorce, I read a newspaper article about how poorly economically single mothers had it. When I read this, I fell down and I thought that most single mothers might have two children, not four children and they did not pay the tenth. But I decided to try the Lord. I continued to pay my tenth every month on my gross salary. Of course I have not had that fat, but I have witnessed several times how my faith was enhanced by all the blessings I have received when I have chosen to follow my faith.

What does the Bible say about the doubts? Yes, there is such a website that brings out all the scriptures where it is taken up. I have selected some of these scriptures to show what attitude we should have and which way we can go.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Word 3: 5)

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all liberally and without criticizing, and he should get. 6 But he will pray in faith without doubting. The one who doubts resembles the wave of the sea driven and whipped by the wind. 7 Such a person should not think that she can receive anything from the Lord, 8 split as she is and unstable on all her ways. (Jak 1: 5-8)

But he said to them: "Why are you so worried? Why is it up doubt in your hearts? Luke 24: 38

Jesus answered them, "I tell you the truth: If you have faith and do not doubt, you can do not only what the fig tree. You'll even be able to say to this mountain, lift up and cast into the sea, and it will happen. (Matthew 21: 21)

Against those who doubt you will be merciful (Jud 1: 22)

Source: 46 Bible verses about doubt.