By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Psalm 137:1.
I wish I could return to my childhood innocence, maybe to when I was 7 years old and preparing for baptism. I had a relatively happy, sheltered early childhood. We were in a good ward, in a newly constructed stake center. The time period was 1968-69. I was excited to be baptized and prepared myself accordingly. I felt the Spirit. Life was good.
Fast forward a few decades. One of my frequent observations nowadays is “Life is messy.” I have been exposed to various primary and secondary traumas due to abuse, addiction, mental illness, unchecked anger, divorce, suicide, cancer, dementia, etc.
I have been subjected to repeated unrighteous dominion to the point that I once volunteered to resign from the Church. I have changed jobs several times due to toxic work environments. I will spare you the details since I have written about them elsewhere.
These and other experiences have caused me a great deal of depression and anxiety. Many of my family, friends and associates likewise have vexing soul wounds.
I mourn with those who have been marginalized by Church leaders, members and harsh policies.
We cannot unsee what we have already seen. We cannot unexperience that which we have experienced.
Sometimes I think my role is to heal from one or more generational curses for the sake of my ancestors and myself.
The most charitable thing that I can say about the LDS Church is that it is true within its own sphere. But God has many, many other spheres. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:30)
Ultimately, the only actions that matter are those of Christ-like love and charity.
– Tom Irvine
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“Religion is for people who’re afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who’ve already been there.”
― Vine Deloria Jr.
See also: Fear & Reconciliation