My stake president

Nope, he has not called me again.
Nope, I am not going to say anything that is realy like what I have said before other than “he needs help”. But this is not a big deal since we all do at one point in some subjects.

I think I almost made it.

I think I can almost great him by a “good day” (the translation of “bonjour”) and actually mean it. I like it. I like it a lot. Now I know I can do it if I really turn to the right source of strength for help. It is the first time I have cared enough about this issue to really do something to change how I feel. Now this was an easy one because what I have against him, although being serious pain, has nothing to do with the commandments. It is not like he killed a loved one for example. It is something that can be fixed.
I like to feel more at peace about him. I know he is going to listen to me when I talk to him about my pain. I am sure he won’t understand it. Sorry…he does need help. But I think he will understand that he has to listen to me. Hopefully he will remember it and understand someday.
The thing is that I am pretty blunt and I hate to beat around the bush using “nice terms” so I hope that he will humor me.
I don’t know why but I start feeling confident about the fact that he will. And I like to feel this way. It is a change from how I have felt for the past ten years almost.

I don’t mean that I have been full of hatred and anger before. It is not how I work. But I have always been able to tame my feelings from an intelectual point of view. It was all good for me since it worked well enough to enable me to eventually feel the love I needed for the one who had hurt me. But as I said it was a matter of taming my emotions, mastering my feelings by being stronger than them. It is good. It is an excellent start but it is not a change of heart. And this last thing is what I want to feel. No matter how long it takes and no matter how much effort I must put in it. I want to be able to feel this little change of heart (I mean completly, not “almost” like what I am feeling right now) so I know I can make it and work on bigger goals.

I think it is time now

I have read some very interesting things lately about the “first vision”, Joseph Smith’s account of it and BoM matters.

It was very enlightning and a few years ago I would have said it was very exciting. I love to learn and to know and to understand. Any learning subject is a thrill to me specially when my religion meets “logical” reasonning.

I only have one tiny issue about it which spoils my fun. Where is their testimony? Are they bothered by it? Is it because they don’t have any in the subject they are discussing? I am not saying that discussing the first vision should be a taboo. I have none and I don’t intend to have one in any field. I just think that we can all have our version of what “scientifically” happened and it won’t change the face of the world. What will change it is our testimony and what we do with it.

So just for the record I want to share here my testimony about the first vision.

When I was on my mission our mission president wanted us to give a presentation to members. It was a powerfull tool that I feel was inpired to help members to share the gospel with their friends. I have a few funny stories about how members reacted. It was scary because if done according exactly how we had been instructed it totally forced the spirit (if it is possible) in homes and members just could not resist. Yet we had to do a good follow up after and I am sorry to say that we did not always did so.

Anyway, in the presentation one of us had to say by heart the first vision.

We were at a sister’s place and things were going smoothly. She was paying attention and did not look like she was bothered by these two sisters who were obvioulsy going to make her do something tough.

I started: ” When the light rested upon me…” And I just could not go further. I had been feeling “weird” for the past minutes and as I said these words I knew it was true. I could not say a word and I just cried. I tried hard to go on but the more I tried the strongest the feeling was. I apologized to the sister because obviously, not being me, she could not understand what was going on. She softly said that it was ok. I think she understood what was happening to me.

I am sorry to tell those who spent time trying to prove that it is wrong and that he lied that I know for myself it is true. I had the strongest feeling that I had been there and that I had witnessed him. I know this part is not true, though. Don’t worry. I am not going to go off with my own little mormon cult. It is just that I know and that there is nothing else I can say on the matter. I don’t know why God wanted me to feel so powerfully this testimony that I have the feeling that I have been there. I don’t know why there are slightly different accounts of it (although I have my own theory about it). But I know this is true and I wish everybody could know that God can appeare to a teenager who sincerly turns to him, that it happened and that it can happen again if God thinks it is necessary because the full gospel has been restored.

We can discuss forever of the mean our Heavenly Father used for this to happen but it won’t change much to the fact that:

1) we won’t know for sure how He did it

2) it happened anyway

3) I know this is true: God and Jesus appeared to a teen who was later called to translate the Book of Mormon. No matter what we try to analyze with our little means and knowledge it happened still.

Anyway, no matter what I have been through, what I have thought and what I have done. I never doubted that this experience I have been through was a gift from our Heavenly Father to testify to me that something wonderfull had been brought to humanity. I hope that if you don’t understand what I am talking about you will ask directly to the source for a personnal knowledge of it.

One thing…

…about my stake president. I won’t change what I think about him but I am definitely changing how I feel about him. One thing he said last saturday that touched me was about the fact that I did not have to have the whole ward there when I get re-baptized. It is not just the fact that I have an issue about it, it is the fact that he understood how I may feel about it.
I still want to pray to change what is wrong in how I feel about the ward being there or not so I’ll make a decision out of my free will and not out of fear or whatever negative feeling I could have.

Last sunday

I came to realize how much I need sundays.

Week ends are the time for me to relaxe from the tensions of the week. One of the thing I enjoy is to waste my time or things that matter or not but that are definitely centered on my pleasure. I can totally take time out of my sleeping time (which I badly need) because I know that I will only have to gather my strength for church time and then, since I have no other responsibility, I can sleep as much as I need. Great life style. Love to be single.

But this week end, since my mother and my sisters were there and since I had been invited to this thing in the aftrnoon, I just could not do it. So I kind of “functionned” but only kind of. I did not really and missed church. I was there but I missed it. And I miss it now.
I need it. I want to go back and catch on what I missed.
But I can’t. I understand this is one of the sweetest change that tells me that I have made it.

“Before” there came a time when going to church was a pain but I did it because it was a “commandment”. I would gather all my strength on the six days of the week to go to church on the seventh and leave church exhausted after it. I had good reasons to be exhausted. Nobody in her right mind would have gone through what I have been through.
But here is the thing: since it is not right to suffer that much then there is only one soltuion and this is to stop it. They are two ways to stop it. Either to leave the church or to find a way up.

I did not want to leave the church but I could not find a way up. I just did not think it was possible because I already knew everything there was to know. Does it sound proud to you? Well, sorry to say it was true. I knew everything there was to know. I knew it back then and I can still say it. I knew that there was something higher, though. It is like being traped in a wonderfull appartement. I knew the appartement by heart. I knew anything you can imagine there would be to know about it. From feng shui design to chemical components of everything in it. But I knew there was a world outside. And I knew there was also a roof. And I wanted to know both. But I just could not find my way out, the door!
I have been “outside” and now I can be on the roof if I want. I like it. The view is really nice. It is peacefull. But last sunday was like I wasted my time on the roof. There were things to see, things to learn and instead of doing something meaningful I slept.
At leats I have learned something: sunday is really the best day of the week.

Test

Yesterday was the most testing day since I commited to come back to the church.
First I was really tired so I was not able to enjoy what was said at church. My sisters told me that they loved what was said and since I often aggree with my sisters I am really sad I missed out on it.
Then in the afternoon I spent time at someone I really love’s place. She had invited several single sisters (including her ;o) from almost 15 (my little sister) to 78 and it was a great idea. I would have had a great time if I had not heard horrible things, offending things, disrespectful things, terrible things under the cover of their personal gospel that they tried to sell as THE gospel. I am saying this without judging them because I understand that this is their understanding of it. But I felt sad and angry. I came close to say something very hurtful and then it would have been even worse. LOL
Let me explain why.
We were discussing the idea of repentance. One person felt it was her duty to give her version of the gospel about it. The only thing she was able to talk about was pain. And all that she was able to preach was that if you don’t suffer when you repent then it is not a true acceptable repentance.

EXCUSE ME?

I felt like telling her that I knew what she was hiding and listening to her I understood better why she was not repenting.
It would have been a good line but the worst thing to say ever! I knew it so I kept my mouth shut. But having to listen to her for many hours during this day eventually made me physically sick because I had to hold back so many things and I control myself so strongly that I got really sick.
So the lesson to learn is to step back when I know I know better, when I am deeply offended or whatever. I need to do it because there is no way I can change their way to be and it is not the purpose of my coming here anyway. And since I cannot do anything about I need to stop making myself sick because this is just spoiling the fun I could have.

And no. Repentance is not painful. Repentance is the bandage you put on a blister. It is the arms of your father stretched out to you when you have run and fallen on the ground. It is the plugs you put in your ears when their is too much noise in a place that you cannot avoid. It is the soft voice of a loved one who tells you to come home when you’re not feeling good. Repentance is to aknowledge how little you are and how you messed up. It is understanding that it is ok to mess up. Repentance is a relief from the burden of making everything right, everything perfect, repentance is the only mean by which we can learn and this is why we came here. We did not come here to suffer. We came here to learn. If it must go through pain then let it be. But it is not the rule. It was never intended to be. It is sometimes unavoidable but it is not the plan at first.
Only Satan wants us to suffer. Only him wants us to be affraid of the pain and therefore do everything it takes to avoid it. Either by not repenting or by putting ourself under so much pressure that it becomes unbearable. This is one of the best way to destroy our soul because we do it to ourself and we totally miss the point: the price has been paid. It is ok to mess up as long as we learn from it and don’t make the same mistake again.

You must wonder why it was such a testing day for me. Well it is because I had to avoid reacting like I have most of my life. See, the law of chastity has never been an issue. THIS IS!

SHOCK

Everything is fine.
I am going to be re-intregrated in the church. There is not problem. There is nothing wrong.

Now that I have stated a few things I need to write about the conversation I had with my stake president. First I must say that the more I talk with him the less I have hard feelings against him and the more I think that he is a good stupid man. I am not saying this is a contemptuous way. I cannot, I am the one who messed up. I am saying this more in a way like “brother X has a hard time with tithing, sister X has a hard time with not gossiping”. Well my stake president has a hard time with his tongue and the fact that he should keep things for himself sometimes. Now that I have said it, now that I have really gone out of the path I wanted to follow let’s randomly go back to the subject of my post.

I need to overcome the shock state I am in.
My re-integration is taking longer. The way he brought it just made me feel horrible. I felt crushed, rejected, punished for…for what? The way he started it forced me to call on all my desire to come back to listen to it with an open heart.
Then what he said was a reliefe in one way and like a block falling on my head in another.
It is only that my file “got lost”. They have no trace of it at SLC. From an administrative point of view I have not been excommunicated. God and I (along with everybody else) know that I have been. SLC has not been told. My file got lost between where I live and the stake. I am so glad that we are only 50km appart! Dang!
The stake president told me that he does not even have it in his office. It almost made me laugh.
But in the mean time I felt like the cards I have been playing with have been taken from my hand and re-dealt. It is fine. I can still win. It is just that I have to re-think a few things. I know you are going to think that this is not important at all and you are perfectly right. A 100% right. But I have to come to the fact that it is not important. The important thing is the end not the way. It does not matter if there is a lily on your way or a daisy, what could matter (not even sure it should) would be whether there is a flower or not. Do you know what I mean?
Temporal administration even the church’s adminitration IS NOT IMPORTANT. But it mattered to me. It was a part of the path I wanted to take and I needed everything to be this way. Now I have to get over this need and it is not impossible, it is just that I have this effort to make. It was more a psychological and emotional need than a spiritual need. The spiritual need was my time OUT of the church to stripe my life from what was wrong and to straighten a few things.

I am not sure I am clear about what is so disturbing to me, I have gone through to many things lately I can’t seem to organize it in a way that I can express it. And this is happening too. It is not wrong, it is just that I have to deal with it and it feels like confusing emotions.

I wish my stake president had not told me with so much details what is going on. Saying that they could not find my file was enough information. I really did not need more. I really need to explain this to him because I feel strongly that he needs to know it. It is not that I want to tell him how things are, I don’t want to “teach” him anything. I think he really needs to know that he is often giving too much information that are not good. Yeah, well you need to know that I have “heard” of him from other people. The more I think about it, the more I type about it, the more I feel it is right.

Now I must find the opportunity to do so.

I start hating words. They just don’t say what I want to say. I don’t feel it is my place, my right, my job to teach my stake president about anything. I just feel I must tell him about this.

Who is the happiest girl in the world?

ALL RIGHT!

My stake president eventually aknowleged my existence!

Who got a phone call from him this morning? And who missed it and was pissed because she had not felt her cell phone nor heard it when he actually called just one minute after she had checked it to know what time it was (she was on her way to work and her cell phone was in her pocket)? Who bought extra credit to contact him? Who sent him a text message so he knows that she wants to meet him? who is trying…no….who is succeeding in not getting offended by something innocent he said and that she first totally twisted? Who is succeeding in her efforts about him? Who is eventually glad that she gets to meet him not because she will get re-baptized but because this will be the time or never to forgive him for being so stupid? Who is trying her best to get ready for this interview?

Who?

Who?

That would be me I guess.

And just for the record: he called me today when I know that my bishop called him last sunday to check with him when we could meet. Yes…there is really nothing evil about him. Just a dangerous lack of awarness.

Looking back

I had my mother on the phone yesterday as everyday. I don’t mind talking to my family everyday. My issue is my mother’s mental issue. It makes it very hard sometimes to handle a conversation. What am I talking about? Do we really have conversation? No, she talks and pour out her mental disease and I try not to get to touched by it which ends most of the time in me being absolutely exhausted from listening to her.

Anyway, she was yesterday as usually in her paranoïd world but their was no hatred so it made things a lot easier.

Looking back I realize that as we say I come a long way. I realize that some people must believe me lost and I don’t feel like telling them that I am fine and that I am back. I realize that they probably tried to be real friends but they were either not being honest with themself or just ignorant of what a friend should be.

I have had a friend for almot 9 years now. Actually we met shortly after I came back from my mission. We’ve had ups and downs but she is still here as I am for her. She is absolutely against any religion, she does not believe in God and makes fun of any church most of the time. She drinks whenever she gets a chance, she does not want chidren because they will break her toys. She alwyas gets the latest toy which, by the way, makes going to her place like going to my private amusement park. I know reading to me you must think that she is not someone “very interesting” and you are wrong.

She is faithfull, she is smart (she’s got a master degree), she worked her way in a field her family was strongly against and you need to know that she comes from the upper class which means strict obedience to social rules. She is sensitive, she works hard, she cares for the ones she loves.

I believe she has been a much better friend than some people who pretended to care for me. I think they really thought they did. They just don’t know what it means to care for someone. Oh, oh…I forgot to mention that “they” refered to good standard mormons of course.

Do you want to know something else that is funny? There has been a time when I really questioned my faith and all that I had been raised in. I questionned hard whether what I felt was really me wanting to come back to the church or if it was a matter of how I had been raised. Was I affraid to find out I had no faith in what I had been taught? Why was I questionning it if it were not an evidence that it was not true? Did I really have faith? And first what was faith?

In France we have good religious shows on sunday morning. Nothing like the crap that exists in the US. It is really something you can turn to for an uplifting thought.

There was this muslim part of the sunday religious show (yes…on sunday) and I heard this sentance that was just the light I had been longing for “a faith that does not doubt is a dead faith“.

Wow!

So not only doubting is fine but it could actually be healthy?

I understand now how from doubts my faith can grow stronger. Not only am I not disturbed or affraid of my doubts anymore but I also love them. Because they are tools in shaping my sould to make it what God wants it to be.

Actually, doubting is already faith.

It is hard

I really want to write down what happened but it is hard. I want to write down and share my testimony but I have a hard time with it. I have been told it is because it is too fresh. Yes it is too fresh but in the mean time I so want to share it. This is the most wonderful thing that can happen to someone and all I can do is try to convey pieces of my experience through this blog hopping that you’ll “get it”. I am frustrated.
You may not feel it but not only can I express myself in two languages but I am actually very educated. Yes…I am also very humble.
Why Am I saying this? Just to try to make you understand how much I am powerless when it comes to try to explain it. I read on other’s blog my feelings, my path, my words and I just cannot take them to make them mine because it is their story and it differs from mine.
Everytime I try to think about a way to start I just feel that it is not right because then all my ideas come at once and I cannot organize it in a way that will be clear for you. I could start chronologically but their has to be a chronological order to things and there was none really. The best I have been able to explain to you is my ship story.
How can I tell you how I have been pulled back? Have you ever been pulled back by the collar when you were younger? If you have then try to imagine what it would feel if instead of a physical thing it had been spiritual. And yet so powerfully spiritual that it came to the point the it was physical. Does it make sense?
I can tell you that I fought it for one week because this was just so unexpected. But after a week I knew I had to give up because it was getting stronger and stronger each day and I did not think I could handle it more than what it already was. It was to the point that I was almost in pain for fighting back. Let me tell you this: I know I have a soul. I know it can hurt, I also know it can heal.

Trying

Among the numerous nice feelings I had after my bishop told me about what is going on I had the most negative thought about my stake president’s weird way to act.
Ok here is the thing: when I got excommunicated he was not in the councel. It was my bishop and another one from the bishopric and an other elder. There was no one from the stake. Why he is coming? Am I something you want to see like going to a freak show? WHY is he coming?

I think that he really does not know how I feel about him and I think that he is trying to do things right.
As my bishop said this is rather uncommon. I understand this can be a source of hope for and about people who are excommunicated. As I said I don’t feel comfortable with the whole ward attending my baptism but I understand that it may mean a lot for the members. If I am able to understand this maybe I should consider also that my stake president has an opportunity that he thinks may never happen again to actually see a happy event. Maybe he wants to be a part of it as a way to strengthen his testimony. Maybe I should seize this opportunity to share with him something else and maybe this is the time or never to forgive him for the way he treated my mother, the way he delt with my family, the way he made things worse. Maybe if I focuse more on what this can bring him than on what he removed from me something that I am hoping for will happen.