It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but its also been a while since I’ve been so insulted by things that are said to church members and then passed around the internet by people trying to show how righteous they are for agreeing with what was said. This time, it was a family member who posted a talk given by Sheri Dew at a BYU Idaho devotional this past spring entitled, “Will You Engage in the Wrestle?” My family member commented on her post, “Great devotional! Are you a doubter or a seeker?” In all fairness, after reading the title of the talk, I was sure I would hate it. I pre-judged the talk before I even read it, which was why I actually sat down and read the whole thing.
Side note** Is it just me, or do all ex-mormon/post-mormon/whatever we want to call ourselves people feel like any time a family member posts anything religious that pertains to questions or doubts that they are somehow trying to say “In your face, (insert your name here)! Look at me! I found a way to stay and be more faithful, unlike you!” I’m sure its not totally their intention, but that doesn’t mean that’s not what I’m hearing.
So I read the talk and I can’t sit back and not say how insulted I feel. How condescending it is to have someone imply that because I no longer have a testimony of the crazy stuff that I used to that its because I didn’t want it enough or didn’t study and pray enough. Or worse, she blamed a girl who lost her testimony and got pregnant out of wedlock and said the girl was just trying to justify her immorality! I don’t know exactly how Sheri Dew got to this conclusion about her so-called friend, but I’m going to guess that her friend didn’t flat out admit that she just wanted to justify her immorality. But if that is the case, then I owe Sheri an apology because I guess I just did what she does through this whole talk. I assumed something about her without knowing all that was involved with her experience.
One part of the talk that annoyed me was when Sheri said that “Doubting is not synonymous with having questions. To doubt is to reject truth and faith.” Why such a negative spin on the word doubt? I’m pretty sure doubt actually is synonymous with questioning. I’m not a linguist, so I could be wrong. But when I asked Siri, she said one of the definitions of doubt means to question the truth or fact of something. Why does a doubter have to be the bad guy, the weak one, or the one who wants to justify their so-called sins? I don’t feel love or compassion from Sheri for our struggles, our wrestles, our seeking. Instead I feel disrespected.
So to answer Sheri’s title of her talk, “Will you engage in the wrestle?” I would say “Yes! I engaged in the wrestle for years. It was the hardest wrestle of my life and I feel like I won.” And to answer my family member’s question of “are you a doubter or a seeker?” If I had the guts I would reply to her post with this…
It might be time for me to stop worrying about my family members’ discomfort and be honest with them about this journey.