Sometimes it’s still difficult to dissect the LDS parts of me from the person I am today. Even being a convert, not born into that religion, the indoctrination and messages run deep.
There I sat, in my weekly Friday bible study, around a table of amazing women, reading the Word and the question of free-agency v. pre-determination came up. The first thing that came into my head was the theory of pre-determination v. fore-ordination. It rolled off my tongue like it was a common thought that would need no explaining, yet everyone looked at me like it was the first time they were hearing this theory – and you know what – it was. Because foreordination is a uniquely LDS construct. It’s a concept that God foreordained certain spirits to do certain things with their time here on earth. They would be “set apart” in some way to do some great task.
When I came home and dug in a bit and determined that this was left over from my former association I went through so many emotions; embarrassment, guilt, anger, frustration. I sit here wondering when I will have fully shed my connection to these false teachings.
I’m asked occasionally why in leaving the church I can’t just “leave it alone?” And this is why. Because it still creeps up when I least expect it. High demand religions are just that, high demand. I was a good student while there. I studied the LDS teachings daily, I attended church, I spent time with those who held like beliefs and were doing the same things, and I did that for 15 years. It became part of my fabric. And even though I walked away four years ago, some days it follows me like a shadow I can’t escape.
It’s better these days. Not a daily struggle anymore. It’s not the first, or the last thought I have every day – and maybe that’s what makes days like this so difficult – because it comes up when I am not expecting it – when I am not prepared and when my defenses are down. I’m working to show myself some grace in this area. I am clearly still learning and growing and I anticipate this won’t be the last bump in my journey. I am just grateful to be surrounded by a tribe of others who are there to support me through these times and love me all the same.