“Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” – Mosiah 28:3
This is the fate of the true believer, left behind by family members who chose to leave the Church. Others may admit to themselves that they aren’t the Judge and pray that God sees the sincerity of their loved one’s heart and has mercy – LDS members believe there is time for the preaching of the gospel after this life, so maybe their wayward family still has a chance.
Whatever the conclusion, many thoughts are spent dwelling on the desire for loved ones to return to the church – hoping and praying that the spirit will soften their hearts and teach them, and seeking for the opportunity to be an instrument in God’s hands to invite and help with that change.
That’s not easy–not for the leaver or the stayer–but it’s real, and it’s worth talking about openly.
With that, allow me to introduce our second round of Story Series – for those who are stayers to say what it’s like when family and friends leave.
We’ll start with Buddy, my cousin and one of my best friends. A little snippet:
“…There is a strong sense of camaraderie and brotherhood that comes from sharing mutual beliefs about life and God, and when that feeling is torn away, it leaves a very hollow space….”
“…I have broadened my view of people and the world through these insights. I have deepened my ability to love and accept and support. Don’t get me wrong, I still do not accept that some of the directions chosen are good or even right for the people I love. But I do feel I understand….”
I’m also starting the third page of Story Series for those who have left the Church and decided to return. I normally wouldn’t start two Series at a time, but my friend has a very moving story about his process of leaving and then returning that I think you’ll be glad to have seen. He has chosen to stay anonymous because of the sensitive details. Again, a little quote:
“…An argument ensued that somehow led to politics and she said something to the effect of “I don’t think you belong in the church with views like that.” I decided I agreed and I quit my spotty attendance altogether….”
If you would like to tell your story, you’ll find the details and guidelines here. Whether you left the Church, are still a member but have had family members leave, or left and eventually returned, I’d be interested in hearing your story.