Sunday, January 18, 2009

Standing in Holy Places

Serious Sunday Thoughts by Shelle...or as serious as I get :)

At a dark time in my life, well not really DARK persay, a little gray, I can't honestly say I've really had a DARK time...but I guess it was a time for me to question. I questioned what I had been taught my whole life, I questioned how worthy I wanted to be, how much a part of what I had been taught my WHOLE life was really how I wanted to live it, what I wanted to study, who I wanted to become.

Gosh I think that a lot of the time I am flopping around life like a fish on the shore flops for water, for its breath. Trying as hard as I can to be a person I truly want to be.

A good person, and person that other people feel comfortable around, can smile with, and can open up to who they really are.

So it was a GRAY time. A time that confusion was always a partner for me. I was sad...a lot.

So I began to study the things I was taught. Not study them in a negative light, but a light of respect that it should be given. I studied it from points of view that gave it more understanding. That helped me answer my questions...but not from someone who was ignorant in what they were saying, or who had some vendetta to accomplish, but from sources and people I trusted.

And I learned...a lot. And although I still have questions, because in our human nature, WHO DOESN'T...I am firm now in what I know, understand, and believe...and I can say I HONESTLY am truly happy.

So I'm shocked when I read around the blogosphere about how some people feel about the religion I LOVE. I guess from the outside looking in we are perceived some of the time as being CRAZY or BLIND FOLLOWERS...somewhat like a cult. *shudder* I am crazy, I've already admitted to that...but...

From the inside looking out...I don't feel that way, like a cult. From some of the dictionary references, cult is probably a correct term...but CULT in the English language is preceived as a bad thing. I am still an independent thinker, and like I said, always question...and can you believe that not all answers I get are even BLACK and WHITE...some are left unanswered...but it doesn't matter. From everything I've learned, and from the witness I've gained...I just rely on Faith, and Hope, and thank goodness, MERCY.

So even though the WORLD's values change and adapt it doesn't mean I have to. I have to choose to follow the rest of the World or choose to follow what I believe to be true. If what I believe is being attacked it doesn't make me change my mind about it, if anything, it makes me stand taller and stronger in it. So if that makes me a CULT member to my religion, then I guess I am, but does that mean that everyone else is a CULT to the World? :)

Who knows.

I just know, that I love this song...and it says in music what I am TRYING to say in this post...

I leave you with the words of the Chorus:

I Stand In Holy Places,
And I will not MOVE,
Until the Captain comes
And says Well Done,
It is the HOPE I hold onto...

Hope you had a good Sunday! I did!




April said...

Loved it Shelle! You expressed it very well. I agree with you that we must ask for ourselves and not go along just because. That is the difference in a cult and our religion though. We are asked to make a decision for ourselves and then pray about it.

Everyone must go through gray/dark times in order to be a better person.

Thanks for being strong!

The Dennis Wright Family said...

I really enjoyed your write up today and your thoughts. I loved the song at the end, it was wonderful! I listened to some of the others and they were wonderful also and what a way to spend Sunday than listening to uplifting music! Thanks! Love ya!

This Mom said...

I love that song. It is sung by a friend of mine Jenny Jordan Frogley. SHE has to awesome CDs She even has a site you should check it out if you like her music. She sing on alot of the EFY cds to.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Nice, Shelle! I don't understand why everyone perceives us as a cult either. We are encouraged, our whole lives, to question and find our own testimonies. A cult never wants its members to question.

I found that the best way to know if it's true is if it makes you happy. Like you said, I am at my happiest when I am doing all I can to live the gospel. The happiness we feel is an answer.

Thanks for your serious Sundays! I love this side of you too.

Kritta22 said...

Well said!

A phrase that I use often to explain this is I choose to follow what my church says. I don't HAVE to, I choose to.

I love that song too! I thought it was Hiliary Weeks that sung that song but I guess I was wrong. No wonder I couldn't find it! LOL

I'm glad you had a great Sunday. i did too!

T said...

good thoughts - certainly improves my Sunday a tad... the 4 year olds' behavior was hardly conducive to reverence today :)

Nana said...

What a great post for Sunday!!

binks said...

People are not comfortable with things that are different from their own beliefs.
I think, there are things about all religions that seem a little unbelievable. This is where faith comes in and that blind faith is a little "cult" like.
So, for one religion to pick on another is a little ridiculous. Don't take attacks personally, keep questioning the world around you and stay strong in your beliefs. I guess, only when we die, will we find the real truth.

Kristina P. said...

I've discovered through my different online exploits, through my blog and a message board I belong too, how much false information there still is about the church.

I fully admit many of the things we believe is strange and different. We are a peculiar people. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve respect.

And I just think of a cult as having no choice. We have so much freedom of choice!

roy/elisabeth dean said...

You're exactly where YOU need to be Shelle, full of love, compassion, humor, faith and endless hope. Why does it matter how anyone else feels about you?
I'm glad you had such a fulfilling Sunday. I loved your video and will have to put that song on my Ipod to listen to ofter. Once again, you've touched us all!
♥ Lilly

Jen said...

One of the things I love most about our religion is the constant search for knowledge and understanding - and the fact that when you search there are answers to find. Thanks for sharing!

Lara said...

I think we all go through those times of questioning, and possibly at different times about different things. I certainly have, but every time I do, I come out of it with an even stronger testimony of what I believe.

It is really hard to have our beliefs so persecuted (I couldn't think of a better word) sometimes. This election with Mitt Romney really was hard for me in that regard.

Thanks for the lovely post.

Heidi Ashworth said...

when I first became aware of cults and the definition of the word, I wondered, too, if we were part of a cult. Since then (and I am ancient so it's been a long long time) I realize it isn't conceiveably possible for us to be part of a cult. We would need intimate daily contact with a charismatic leader in order to be brain washed to the extent needed for cultish blind following. We just ain't. Not be a long shot. I adore our leaders, particularly President Hinckley, but he just doesn't have the power to convince me to do the hard things I do--go to church, pay a tenth of my income to tithing, NO SHOPPING ON SUNDAY (that one's hard!) serve many volunteer hours in a calling, do missionary work, stand up for what I believe in even though it is hard--on the strength of his own charisma or power alone. It has to be someone/something else that gives me the strength to do these things. That's what a testimony is--the exact opposite of what a cultist has.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

great thoughts, well stated, and a lovely song. Thanks for this post.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

MERCY, mercy is the best thing ever. This was so well written. I love your serious Sundays as well. Thanks for sharing. I feel stronger now.

And you might not want to say out loud that you have not had dark days yet. Just a thought.

Barbaloot said...

Thanks for your thoughts Shelle. Sometimes I find it hard to explain to people the thoughts and beliefs I have that are so much a part of who I am---it's difficult to show why I am NOT a blind follower.
I appreciate your thoughts.

Becky said...

Great thoughts, lady. It is hard to explain to people that though, as a Church, we believe the same things, we're not all clones.

I think, I feel, I act. I'm an individual who happens to share the same values as a lot of other people.

Tana said...

Wonderfully said. It's good to question and I hope that by asking questions, I am showing my faith and obedience. If you don't ask the question, you never get the answer that has been prepared for only you.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

It's kind of funny (in a way) that when I look at all the blogs I read, and there are a lot, most of them are by Mormon moms. I'm not Mormon (my sister is though, no joke!) I'm a wandering ex-Catholic. What I have learned from reading 'Mormon' blogs (I don't like to group them, they're just blogs that I like a lot that happen to be written by Mormons) is that pretty much all of you have a passion for your religion. Isn't that what it should be about?

I don't have to believe exactly the same as you and you don't have believe exactly the same as me but in the end I think we are all striving for the same goal. To understand God and what he has to teach us.

I'm badly lapsed in religion and fighting to figure out where I belong and reading blogs who touch on religion, as a normal part of their everyday life has really helped me to step up and try to discover where it is I belong.

Be Mormon, be Catholic, Be religious. You're just fun people I like to read, I don't really care that we're different. After all, it's the spice of life they say.

Jessica said...

We had a speaker at Church yesterday who told us about a conversation he once had about being "cultish." The gal he was speaking with asked him, "if the prophet said 'lets all wear blue shirts on Wednesday' then would you?" And he had to honestly answer yes. She seemed to think that was a bit strange. But his reply to her was, "Don't you think people thought it was a bit strange when Moses asked them to smear animal blood above their door?" I bet they were sure glad they did :).
Sometimes I do things purely out of faith first, then my faith is tested, and then comes the knowledge. Thanks for this wonderful post! I also enjoyed everyone's comments. :)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

So true! You took the words rigth outta my mouth. Beautifully said.


I've had some dark gray times too, but worked through them and feeling awesome now.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ohh, I want to be the 22 comment so I'm just have to say


Sher said...

Thank you for this post. I guess it's good I didn't make your sluff church to take you to breakfast.

p.s. I also love this song. As a matter of fact, my sister in law wrote it. She's amazing. I hope I can be half a cool as her when I grow up.

Natalie Sue said...

I love this song too!

jodi kolb said...

shelle.. i've never heard that song before and it is so beautiful!! i actually had tears and goosebumps listening to it! it makes me want to stand a little taller and prouder in what we believe in! i feel so blessed to be a member of a church such as ours! you are awesome and we miss you guys!

Mariah said...

Shelle I know far too well how you are feeling- my dad is a bishop and when there were protests here against Mormons I was scred out of my mind for my dad's safety. He was at the LA Temple during the demonstrations. People just don't get it, and for them it looks cultish. They are not educated

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