Sunday, April 01, 2007

Transitioning

Things I appreciate about my Mormon upbringing now that I'm attending another church:
  1. Having dedicated 10% of my income to tithing all my life, contributing a little to the donation plate passed around each week is no sacrifice for me.
  2. Having attended Sunday school all my life and four years of seminary, I have a pretty good grasp of the Bible.
  3. My copy of the Bible has wicked-cool cross-references and a Bible dictionary and topical guide that make me appear smarter than I am. Today in Sunday school someone asked if John's use of the phrase "firstborn from the dead" in Revelation is unique, and I quickly found the same phrase in Colossians.
Things I don't appreciate so much about my Mormon upbringing now that I'm attending another church:
  1. Having paid tithing with checks that I wrote out ahead of time all my life, I don't think to bring cash to church and don't know if they'd take a check even if I had one on me.
  2. Having studied the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants alongside the Bible in Sunday school and seminary, I have a hard time sorting out what comes from where.
  3. Those wicked-cool cross-references, Bible dictionary, and topical guide also tend to mix together Mormon doctrine and Biblical doctrine--because, of course, within Mormon doctrine the distinction is unimportant, as it is believed to come from the same source. Today in Sunday school when the teacher pointed out that based on historical evidence the John in Revelation is not likely John the Apostle, I flipped to Revelation of John in my Bible dictionary because I'd always thought the two Johns were one and the same and read there: "The Book of Mormon confirms that the recipient was John, one of the Twelve." Which, you know, doesn't hold a lot of weight if you don't consider the BoM scripture.
The balancing act here is trying to hold onto the good things about Mormonism while shedding off the bad (meaning that which I find to be bad for me), clinging onto the good I find elsewhere while not assuming everything is good simply because it's not Mormon. It's an interesting experience.

And then, of course, there's always the possibility that this unresolved pain in my chest is God's way of threatening to strike me down for leaving his one true church.

7 comments:

TK said...

I think it's cool you're enjoying a new experience and having an opportunity to learn things from a different perspective.

I had similar experiences when singing with the non-denominational choir. And I remember one night when they asked for a scripture and I was able to give them one off the top of my head that really fit. However when they asked where it was from, I couldn't find it anywhere in the Bible. When I got home, I spent hours looking for it, only to find it in the Pearl of Great Price! :)

But if I were you, one thing I'd miss that your new church probably doesn't have: do they broadcast their services twice a year so you can attend in your living room, in your pajamas? :) I always enjoy that and this weekend it was really good, as usual.

Marcia said...

I'm pretty sure they will take a check. At the church I attended growing up (Southern Baptist), it was common for people to put checks in the offering plate. It was also common for people to tithe via a monthly check, as you're accustomed to doing.

Master Fob said...

Thanks, Marcia. Good to know.

Chris said...

one thing I'd miss that your new church probably doesn't have: do they broadcast their services twice a year so you can attend in your living room, in your pajamas?

Well, the UCC church I go to podcasts the weekly sermonss, so I could listen in my pajamas EVERY week if I wanted!

Tusk said...

That being said, Chris- it's not just about the Sermon right? It's the fellowship with other believers, as well as the praise.

Chris said...

tusk:

Yes.

ecogrrl said...

Well, I go through the same pain, and my old church isn't your old church. So...I'm not sure what that means, but I think it's always natural to feel bittersweet about transitioning to different branches of faith.