Madeline Turner

Concerns about baptism

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@Madeline Turner I was blown away when I read your post because I am 100% in the same situation you are!
 

I was drawn to the church by the amazing sense of community and togetherness I felt there. It's not something you find every day. In fact, I've never even heard of a community that was as tight and welcoming as the LDS church. But it's so random for me... I'm not even Christian, never have felt any desire to be... but when I read the B.of.M, something changed. I felt something, and I now I can't ignore it. I feel a pull towards this church and whenever I think to myself that it's just a phase I will get over, I just find myself coming back.

However, I have basically all the same concerns you do...

The lifestyle changes, as well as the time commitment (callings and so forth!) freak me out as well. Not because they're too difficult to accomplish-- it's a process anyway, and no one's perfect -- but because I would rather keep this all a secret. I don't want to talk about it with my friends and family. I want it to be something just for me. I know my friends & family would never understand if I joined the church. There's no way they could understand what it means to me. And they have so much prejudice. I want to dive right into the church, and do everything ,but how do I do all that and at the same time keep it relatively hidden? It seems impossible. I'm so close with my family & friends.

Like you, my family & friends know I've made a lot of friends in the LDS church, but they routinely tease me about it, like "if you keep hanging out with those people you're definitely going to be a mormon someday..." and laughing as if that would be the craziest thing ever. I have not even remotely been able to be open with them about how I really feel (about how I felt the Spirit), apart from describing how nice it feels to be part of the community and telling them how much I love my Mormon friends and how Mormons are really just normal people, etc.

Tithing freaks me out too. Luckily I'm not living paycheck to paycheck, and I could afford 10% and not end up homeless. But...10% is still a LOT of money. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I'm wondering if this is all a phase I'll get over a year from now. So the idea of giving that much money is scary. But the thing is, since I feel that way, it means I'm not ready to be baptized. Baptism is a solemn promise to God to uphold the church for the rest of your life. If you really felt that desire, you wouldn't shy away from giving 10% OR whatever you could afford. I plan on giving the church $200 - 300 because of all the events I've been to, food I've eaten, missionary time I've taken up, etc. Obviously that's nowhere near 10% but I don't feel comfortable giving more than that at this time.  I think tithing is not really about the money. It's about faith. If you really have faith in something, you'd feel comfortable giving money to it. So in a sense, how you feel about tithing is a good indicator of how you feel about the solemn promise of baptism overall.

ALSO, I too am a liberal democrat! I have always supported gay rights and abortion rights. As a member of the church, I would personally avoid homosexuality and abortion just like I would avoid coffee, tea, etc (not that it's likely to come up!). But that doesn't mean I think abortion or gay marriage should be out-lawed! Most of the country is not Mormon and I think non-Mormons should be free in that regard. So if I was handed a ballot that said pro-choice or pro-life? I would choose pro-choice every time. I don't really think politics matter that much in the church, but it does make me uncomfortable. Also it contributes BIG TIME to the prejudice that my family & friends have about the church and how disdainful they would be over my decision to join. Some of my best friends are really big into gay rights and they would be personally offended by me joining the church even if I told them my personal views haven't changed.

The only concern I don't share is #7! I have made dozens of friends between 2 wards already, apart from just the missionaries. I would feel 100% comfortable reaching out to them to be friends even if the missionaries weren't there. 2 of the closest friends I've made are ward missionaries and they're not going anywhere any time soon! If you are a young adult-- do you have a YSA ward anywhere? (young single adults)? it's a really good place to make friends. And I personally believe these people would still be my friends even if I told them I was never getting baptized and never coming to church again. That's just how Mormons are... they don't give up on you .

You should message me sometime since we have so much in common! (can you PM through this site?)

 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, georgia said:

@Madeline Turner I was blown away when I read your post because I am 100% in the same situation you are!
 

I was drawn to the church by the amazing sense of community and togetherness I felt there. It's not something you find every day. In fact, I've never even heard of a community that was as tight and welcoming as the LDS church. But it's so random for me... I'm not even Christian, never have felt any desire to be... but when I read the B.of.M, something changed. I felt something, and I now I can't ignore it. I feel a pull towards this church and whenever I think to myself that it's just a phase I will get over, I just find myself coming back.

However, I have basically all the same concerns you do...

The lifestyle changes, as well as the time commitment (callings and so forth!) freak me out as well. Not because they're too difficult to accomplish-- it's a process anyway, and no one's perfect -- but because I would rather keep this all a secret. I don't want to talk about it with my friends and family. I want it to be something just for me. I know my friends & family would never understand if I joined the church. There's no way they could understand what it means to me. And they have so much prejudice. I want to dive right into the church, and do everything ,but how do I do all that and at the same time keep it relatively hidden? It seems impossible. I'm so close with my family & friends.

Like you, my family & friends know I've made a lot of friends in the LDS church, but they routinely tease me about it, like "if you keep hanging out with those people you're definitely going to be a mormon someday..." and laughing as if that would be the craziest thing ever. I have not even remotely been able to be open with them about how I really feel (about how I felt the Spirit), apart from describing how nice it feels to be part of the community and telling them how much I love my Mormon friends and how Mormons are really just normal people, etc.

Tithing freaks me out too. Luckily I'm not living paycheck to paycheck, and I could afford 10% and not end up homeless. But...10% is still a LOT of money. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I'm wondering if this is all a phase I'll get over a year from now. So the idea of giving that much money is scary. But the thing is, since I feel that way, it means I'm not ready to be baptized. Baptism is a solemn promise to God to uphold the church for the rest of your life. If you really felt that desire, you wouldn't shy away from giving 10% OR whatever you could afford. I plan on giving the church $200 - 300 because of all the events I've been to, food I've eaten, missionary time I've taken up, etc. Obviously that's nowhere near 10% but I don't feel comfortable giving more than that at this time.  I think tithing is not really about the money. It's about faith. If you really have faith in something, you'd feel comfortable giving money to it. So in a sense, how you feel about tithing is a good indicator of how you feel about the solemn promise of baptism overall.

ALSO, I too am a liberal democrat! I have always supported gay rights and abortion rights. As a member of the church, I would personally avoid homosexuality and abortion just like I would avoid coffee, tea, etc (not that it's likely to come up!). But that doesn't mean I think abortion or gay marriage should be out-lawed! Most of the country is not Mormon and I think non-Mormons should be free in that regard. So if I was handed a ballot that said pro-choice or pro-life? I would choose pro-choice every time. I don't really think politics matter that much in the church, but it does make me uncomfortable. Also it contributes BIG TIME to the prejudice that my family & friends have about the church and how disdainful they would be over my decision to join. Some of my best friends are really big into gay rights and they would be personally offended by me joining the church even if I told them my personal views haven't changed.

The only concern I don't share is #7! I have made dozens of friends between 2 wards already, apart from just the missionaries. I would feel 100% comfortable reaching out to them to be friends even if the missionaries weren't there. 2 of the closest friends I've made are ward missionaries and they're not going anywhere any time soon! If you are a young adult-- do you have a YSA ward anywhere? (young single adults)? it's a really good place to make friends. And I personally believe these people would still be my friends even if I told them I was never getting baptized and never coming to church again. That's just how Mormons are... they don't give up on you .

You should message me sometime since we have so much in common! (can you PM through this site?)

 

 

 

 

Welcome!  You can absolutely PM through this site.  Just message through the profile.  If you read my thread here (it will take you 75 years because it's so long) you'll see I had many of the same concerns as you and worked through them with study and prayer.  I shied away from tithing, too.  I absolutely wouldn't say that issue means you aren't ready to be baptized.  Tithing is a very personal thing.  Have you spoken to missionaries or friends about it?  Ask 7 different Mormons and you'll get 7 different answers.  Pray about it.  Ponder it.  Go where the Lord sends you.  However, I will tell you one thing.  Many of the answers don't come until you exercise faith.  Whatever the Lord leads you to tithe, start now.  You don't have to be baptized to set aside your tithing every week.  

I can't help you with the reactions of your friends, but some of mine were similar.  I just didn't care.  That said, you aren't required to wear a billboard that says "Saint".  

As for your views on homosexuality and abortion, I won't discuss the "right or wrong" of your beliefs as this isn't the place for it.  I will tell you that as long as you aren't actively working against the church, your views are your own.  I don't think you'll run into an issue with how you vote in the ballot box.

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1 hour ago, georgia said:

I have always supported gay rights and abortion rights. As a member of the church, I would personally avoid homosexuality and abortion just like I would avoid coffee, tea, etc (not that it's likely to come up!).

You summed up my view on the two issues! 

While I am not a democrat, I'm sympathetic to liberals. Especially on social issues. 

Remember, Harry Reid is an active LDS. One of the guys who confirmed me was a former democratic US congressmen! So we have room for all sorts of people.

Edited by MormonGator

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Entering into marriage with someone of the same sex is grounds for excommunication. Seking in any way to get a second spouse is also grounds. So in almost all cases is sex outside of marriage by a married man. Violating the law of chasity by an unmarried member is not often grounds for excommunication, unless the person seems to be truly non-repentant, does so in a way that is deemed predatory, or is just rebellious about it.

 

To be baptized one must 1-committ to regulary attend Church, and have attended Church a few times, the exact number varies with location 2-declare a belief that Joseph Smith restored the same Church that existed anciently, and a belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer, 3-comitte to live the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. How long these principals should have been abided by is not fixed. Generally though the Word of Wisdom should have been lived at least a week, and wise missionaries will at least want those who have dealt with addictive behavior to have began a process of earnestly trying to quit. The law of chastity is general thought to have been needed to have lived a month, but if you married someone you had been cohabitating with, there is no time generally imposed. If you reside with a non-related adult of the opposite sex, you generally either have to move out or have them move out before baptism. If there was never a sexual relationship with that individual, the mission president or his counselor may make an exception, but that is very rare, and it has to be done at that level. If there was every a sexaul relationship, at all, ever, than you must either end the coresidence, or marry, before baptism. The Church will also not baptize anyone who is in jail, or currently on probation or parole. There are no exceptions to this rule, although wise missionaries will teach and fellowship a person on probation or parole until they get off it. I have sadly known some missionaries more obsessed with mission baptism statistics than bringing all unto Christ. 4-An individual committs to make themself a witness of Christ. While the exact perameters of this are less than clear, one should consider what this means before baptism and not rush into baptism without a firm witness from God that it is the right action.

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4 hours ago, georgia said:

Like you, my family & friends know I've made a lot of friends in the LDS church, but they routinely tease me about it, like "if you keep hanging out with those people you're definitely going to be a mormon someday..." and laughing as if that would be the craziest thing ever.

Hi Georgia, welcome to the site, I enjoyed your post.

As soon as I read the above, 1 Nephi chapter 8 came to my mind. Here is one verse from that chapter:

27  And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
 

I suggest you read the whole chapter and then ask yourself the following questions:

What path am I on, where does it lead, and what path do I want to be on. 

If, after pondering these questions, you're unsure of any of the answers, try Alma 32.

I hope you can find fellowship, guidance and support on this site.

Best wishes

 

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Howdy!

I am going to piggy back on this post (hope that's ok) since Madeleine had a lot of the same questions as I did.

Just a brief back story of how I ended up here: I was raised Lutheran and attended church regularly growing up. During middle school and high school, I went to a pentecostal youth group with friends (quite different than the Lutheran church 🤣). I drifted away from religion when I got to college and continued on that path up until just recently (about 15 years later).

Fast forward to today. I have lived here in Utah for about 5 years. I was in Salt Lake back in June for a convention and decided to escape the crowds and go across the street to tour temple square. My only intention was to learn about the temple a bit and walk around and enjoy being away from the crowds at the convention center. I ended up leaving with a Book of Mormon and spent at least a few hours looking around the history museum! I have since been reading the BoM daily, cross referencing to the Bible, and taking notes. I attended my first sacrament meeting at a local meeting house just earlier this month too! I have been really surprised at how much of an interest I have taken in the church and the BoM. I have considered looking at baptism down the road, but I definitely have some things in my personal life that need to be sorted out first. 

Which brings me to my questions...

My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years. We live in separate houses. He is an atheist and does not believe in marriage. I am fine with both of those beliefs, but I know this could present a problem for baptism with the law of chastity. Anyone have any advice or similar situations as this one??

And the next one...Coffee & alcohol. 😆 Not being raised Mormon, those items were always a part of growing up and family functions. Not so easy to quit cold turkey on either. I have been making an honest effort to scale back and have been successful thus far. Do they take into consideration a person who is trying and making progress or do you have to be completely clean of those substances before baptism?? 

Thanks! 

 

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