By Mister Curie
We recently attended a Marianist Retreat Center for their weekend program for young married couples. The Marianists are more formally known as The Society of Mary or the Roman Catholic Marian Society. The retreat center seems to have a special focus on strengthening families. We had a fantastic time. Each time we have gone to the retreat center, I have felt like comparing it to EFY, except for families rather than just for youth. There are spiritually focused group activities, free time, singing, social activities, etc. It always surprises me that the LDS church doesn't have something similar. For all the talk we do about the importance of families, we really don't do that much to strengthen the family. Sure there is EFY, but that takes the youth away from their families. And there are the Singles' wards with fun activities, but once you get married, I feel like we are left high and dry without support. There aren't a lot of church programs to help parents with raising children and navigating the trials of life after marriage.
We had a fantastic time! The message I took away from the conference was that Madame Curie and I need to find a higher purpose for our marriage. With my crisis of faith in Mormonism, a lot of what was the original foundation of our marriage has eroded. The gay thing doesn't make things any easier. We need a high purpose for our marriage to get us through the trials and storms of life. Finding that higher purpose is being a little elusive. We tried building our marriage on the Rock, our Redeemer, Christ the Lord. Unfortunately that foundation (at least of the Mormon Jesus Christ) wasn't nearly as solid as I'd been lead to believe it was. So it is a little hard for me to find a more sure foundation when I've been constantly told that the surest foundation is in Christ. We'll find it though . . .
I'm torn between the thought that I've become enlightened enough to accept that religion and spirituality are human creations and the thought that maybe Mormonism has damaged my spirituality beyond repair. Everything I believed has been overturned and the spiritual link to the Divine that I cultivated in Mormonism (the burning in the bosom of the presence of the Holy Ghost) has been shown to be a flawed method of self-deception. I can no longer trust those feelings, and without those feelings, how can I access God? As the Mass ended, we sang an uplifting and powerful hymn. My heart strings were tugged and tears sprang to my eyes. I felt what I would have formerly called the Spirit. But I knew it wasn't the spirit, rather it was just an emotional response to the atmosphere and the beautiful music and to having spent a fantastic weekend with my wife focusing on our marriage. I paused to contemplate the emotion, but assured myself I still didn't believe in Christ's atonement or resurrection. I wasn't experiencing a miraculous spiritual manifestation from God. I guess that really means I'm no longer a Christian.
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