I just read another blog from someone else and thought of you. Here’s the post: http://bystudyandalsobyfaith.blogspot.com/2008/01/endure-to-end.html#comments
I also have some information on enduring to the end on my website: http://www.graceforgrace.com.
I hope it helps.]]>
The next thing I thought was what really motivates him. He was motivated when he prepared to go on a mission then he was motivated when he converted you and finally he was motivated when you as a couple went to the temple. How motivated is he to really go on a mission in the future? Is this his motivation or yours to serve later in life? If he doesn’t go to church then how is he going to prepare for a mission? When you go out as a couple they use you to train struggling members in order to develop leadership in areas with small membership.
The second big issue I wondered was why was he turned off by going to the temple. I can’t think of what in the temple ceremony would cause that. Is it the ritual? Is it the symbolic nature? Is it the wardrobe? Then I thought whatever it is he should talk it out with some leader or trusted person to get a perspective on it to discuss his concerns. Maybe he will get over them. Then I thought can he still be an active member of the Church even if he doesn’t.
There are a lot of things I don’t understand or agree with including ignorant members like me who have differing thoughts. I believe people like you go to church because you believe and see a greater good from going for yourself and your children. The only way your husband will want to go to church is if he can regain his testimony or spiritual bearing. He’s got to want to go for his own reasons.
As a missionary and throughout my thirty-four years of being a member what strikes me is that all of us have to feel the Spirit or Comforter which brings back our remembrance of Godly things. The spiritual things resonnate and give us the motivation to stick with it.
When you lost it how do you get it back? I remember one day home teaching a former bishop who was a cigar chomping whiskey drinking man. He never let anyone in for over ten years. He poured the whiskey in a plastic jumbo cup in front of me and my twelve year old deacon companion. I told my companion to not react before we went in and just relax and smile and pray when called on because I expected the man to try to drive us out by extreme behavior. His wife wanted to go to church but he wouldn’t let her. She had been getting premonitions and had called some members asking for their help. It took us five or six visits before he let us in the door. We would stand at the door and say could we come and see how he and his wife were doing. He had an attack dog who actually let us in the gate and just ignored us. It freaked the man out and he would say how did you even get in.
After a few pleasantries about his work I brought up his inactivity. I didn’t want to disappoint him since people expect us to be a certain way. I asked him to tell us about when he gained a testimony for the first time. He actually came spiritually alive while he was talking despite holding the cigar and swigging the whiskey. I asked him what was it like being a bishop. Surely I said you must have had some spiritual experiences. His eyes lite up and he bore his testimony and told how he gave people blessings etc. He always came back in the end to how his teenage daughter died on the railroad tracks four blocks from their house and his anger at God letting her die. He couldn’t reconcile that and said he would continue to be inactive because God should have spared her.
We continued to home teach him for another three months. In the end the man’s wife died tragically when a angioplasty probe broke off and exploded her heart. He took that death much better than the daughter’s death. I thought he would be even madder at God but he rationally explained that he knew it was God’s will. His wife had told him she might died and she felt he should know. His wasn’t to worry she was going to be with her daughter. He had her funeral in the Church where he asked me to speak about her. He said I was the only one that had shown an interest in them in ten years. I paid tribute to her desire to be with the Saints. I am using this story to illustrate each of us needs to regain his spiritual roots. You can help others by discussing with them their personal experiences. A man convinced against his own will remains of the opinion still.
Third I got to thinking about you. Did you post this to try to open a dialogue of ways people have coped or endured to the end. I want to say your post was meaningful to me. I respect you for your efforts. Many of us may go to church while silently struggling with issues that takes courage to go week after week especially without any other real support. You are making a difference in your own life and your children’s lives as well as your husband’s life.
I have always believed that the Church is for us imperfect people who make an effort to place our lives in harmony with God’s will. I think God loves those who are beaten down a time or two and get up and keep going. Read Isaiah about how even his Son was beaten. I hope your husband will return to the fold if he hasn’t already for two reasons one it seems to be important to you since he is missing out on the shared experience of seeing his wife and children in their spiritual growth and second he needs to be there for personal reasons like fulfilling his personal life mission.
People are so unique that I doubt you can get much transference from my post but so who knows God moves in mysterious ways. Tell your husband I think he is a bozo and that he should get down on his knees and worship you for being a great woman. I think he is lucky he has you.]]>
Likewise, 20 years ago I moved my family to the east coast and after just a few years here I lost my job. I was without fulltime employment for more than 9 months and longed for extended family to be close by – for emotional comfort if nothing else. But we survived and that lesson taught me so much about my life. I became a committed member fo the church at that time and I finally discovered where the real treasures in my life reside – right under my nose in my own home.
Susan I think that, like the experiences in your life that seemed hard at first, if we are lucky we will come to realize that the Lord is watching over us and if we are just patient He will reveal His plan to us, if we really want to understand it. Times may seem hard for a while but we will realize in the end that they are for our own good and we will be strengthened in our resolve to do better and “endure to the end.”]]>
I appreciate you sharing your experiences and struggles in life. You mentioned how reading the scriptures daily has helped you. I have a blog site with insites from myself and others from our daily scripture study. The title is called “Grace for Grace”…it’s designed for us to share what we learn as we are all learning together line upon line and grace for grace. I’d love to hear some of your experiences and comments. Here’s the site: ama49.wordpress.com.
I think I’ve shared this story before, but for those who have to “go it alone”, this might help:
My aunt and uncle married in the Temple. For reasons of his own, my uncle left the church when their second child was a couple of months old. He has never returned to full activity. However, during the course of the last 20 years, she has taken her children to church (luckily, he was not opposed to it) by herself. Some years it was hard, but she got through it and endured the best she could. She wanted to do what was best for her children. Her oldest son served a mission, and although had a rough time with the church for a little while after his mission, was married in the temple last year. Their daughter graduated from BYU and has remained firm in her faith. Their youngest son, still in high school, is on the same path. Of course, we’re all still praying that one day my uncle will decide to come back, but it might not happen in this life.
Anyway, I guess my point is that you never know what amazing things can happen in your childrens’ lives if you stay the course. It’s probably worth it.]]>