Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prayer of the faithful

Being a Mormon one of the things we were taught was you can always receive answers through prayer, but how does that work? We were always taught to question, to look for answers, and the way to receive those answers came through prayer. We were taught to never look for answers outside the faith, because you can always find your answer with prayer and the teachings of the prophets. But what is that answer and how do we know it is real? We were told it was a burning in your bosom. A warm tingly feeling that starts in your chest a carries to your entire body and the feeling of pure happiness and joy in your heart and mind.

I believed this at one point. I searched for answers, I prayed, but never received an answer. Why was that when I asked God with real intent, a sincere heart, having faith in Jesus Christ believing in the promise from the prophets and God, that I never received an answer? There was a time when I believed and I prayed for reconfirmation in my belief. I followed these steps, but I felt nothing, I felt completely emptiness, complete loneliness. I felt like there could not be anything out there.

So I went to the leaders of my local ward. The only answer I was given was maybe I wasn't ready for the answer. That God would give me the answer at the time I needed it, but if I'm asking to know if God exists and the church is true wouldn't right then be a good time to get an answer? Wouldn't God want me to know that he/she/it exists? Wouldn't God want me to believe in the one true church? I asked these questions, but again it came back that: a) I wasn't ready for the answer or: b) I didn't pray with real intent or a sincere enough heart. So I went back and followed the steps to get my prayers answered. I read from the Book of Mormon, I read the Bible. I pondered what they meant and I prayed. I kept praying and praying and praying and still no answer. Still the complete emptiness and loneliness. I felt nothing inside. I mean literally nothing, no emotions whatsoever. I did not feel happiness, anger, sadness, love; the only way I can describe it is if you could feel the color black. As if there was absolutely nothing in my heart and mind as if I was in a complete stupor, a vegetable lying on my bed.

I kept asking why was that? How long do I have to wait to receive an answer and then I fell upon the Book of Enos in the Book or Mormon. It's about a man who was in a similar situation as me. He was doubting his faith and decided to pray to God all night and he received an answer. I decided maybe I wasn't fervent enough in my prayers. So I decided to try what Enos did. I prayed like I never prayed before. I pleaded, I begged, I cried for an answer, but again I felt nothing but pure nothingness. It was if God was mocking me. As if God enjoyed watching me continue to plead and look for answers when in fact there was no God. How could God answer my prayers when God did not exist? Or maybe I was praying to the wrong God. Maybe I didn't receive an answer because my method was wrong, but it couldn't be. I found the same thing in the Bible. I found the same method. So if I was asking the right questions, but looking for the wrong answers wouldn't God answer me either way? Wouldn't God reach out in my time of sorrow, emptiness and loneliness to fill the hole in my body that was continuously growing larger and larger every time I didn't receive an answer?

If God was real he/she/it would have reached out to me, but God did not. I was left with complete loneliness that my believe in God had created. The belief of religion and God was only creating more sorrow and pain in my life, but I kept searching. I kept looking for answers. Then came the only thing that made sense to me that this loving God I was taught about my entire life either did not exist or did not care and I had to find the answer.

And so I took another step closer to Atheism....

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, just read all your posts. I'll share a little about me, though my journey doesn't relate much to yours.

    I am an atheist. I was brought up in a very 'loosely' Catholic family. I don't think my mother believes in God, but my dad does. When we have a rare discussion about it, he usually cites such arguments as the argument from beauty or some variation of the fine-tuned universe argument. However, he usually just breaks down and goes "well, when you're older and start having kids you see what I mean". Ten bucks says I won't.

    When I was young I always said the little one-liner prayer before eating dinner: "God, we thank you Lord, in Jesus name, amen." Apart from not making any sense syntactically, it is also abominable that I was mentally strong-armed into reciting the line every day.

    Aside from that, I have only entered a church during funerals or marriages. Every time I go in to one I see just how disgusting the whole ritual is. I recently attended my grandmother's funeral and was asked (mentally oppressed) to read some meaningless passage from the bible. The entire service, based on the way the heads of the congregation behaved and talked, I left feeling that the entire funeral service was just another way to try and reinforce the fear of God in the faithful.

    But enough about me. Keep doing what you're doing man, it's inspiring.

    Good luck!