I'm sitting here this evening thinking about how good/bad/evil I may be.
I have a sense that I have made some mistakes in my life, but I've largely forgotten about anything that should be embarrassing me.
I mean, I know that I'm not the LDS version of perfection, I drink coffee, I have sexual issues, I break the sabbath day, I'm lazy, sometimes I can be angry or aggressive, I mean, there must be a number of imperfections that I have.
Does that make me a bad person? I have a number of good qualities too, like I'm charitable, I don't steal, I'm honest, or at least I try do do those things, even if it may come in to question about how successful I am.
I guess I'm in a grey area of goodness.
In mormonism, the goal is perfection. I tried so hard to choose the right, to be perfect, but I found that I am actually UNABLE to be perfect, though my spirit was willing, my flesh is weak.
If you knew how it felt to be me, you might understand that it's actually physically or biologically IMPOSSIBLE for me to be perfect.
Mormons say that we have "agency", an ability to choose between good and evil ---- but if this were true, it should be possible to always and consistently choose and do the right thing. I've found that there is always some kind of imperfection that people have --- we are all imperfect, some of us more than others, but if we truly had agency, it should be possible to BE PERFECT. But if you knew how I felt throughout my life, you'd know that it is actually impossible, or at least impossible for me, to be absolutely perfect.
There are LDS people who expect the young men to NEVER masturbate. I just wish some magic force could show those LDS people what it's like to have the biological urge to have sex, because then they'd understand that it is extremely unlikely that I'd have never masturbated. When you get those strong urges --- well, just you wait and see how strong those urges can be!!! In fact, masturbation could be considered a "good" thing because it's an escape valve from sins like fornication or worse.
So ---- what is my current opinion of the LDS church? I have remembered that there are many good things, possibly even wonderful things about LDS mormonism. When I was a kid, it was the best I could do to have some law and order in the house, or, at least, turn the evil-misbehaved-constantly-fighting children into better behaved adults. I think the church has done some good there, we still aren't perfect, but for an 8 year old hoping for something better, the LDS church is a great way to take that step towards something better.
Unfortunately, my mind is still plagued and psychologically burdened by a number of the problems I have experienced in the LDS church. If the church works for my sisters and their families, then fine, great, I guess I can let them go at it. But as for myself, well, there have just been way too many problems for me to want to go back. The LDS church just doesn't work for me anymore.
Maybe I've graduated from the LDS program (even though I technically never became a melchizedek priesthood holder). I mean, I remember that I used to do a lot of reading, and back before and when I went crazy I had such a superb or excellent understanding of LDS scriptures. In seminary, in Book of Mormon scripture contests my team always won because I always knew all the answers - I had studied well. I was in the process of reading the new testament when I went insane. I mean, I just had that mind that was heavily capable of reading, learning studying, I was very intelligent --- and I had studied the Book of Mormon and I was studying the New Testament.
Maybe I was just so good at my LDS studies that I graduated from the church. The church is apparently meant for imperfect people, and maybe the people are just so imperfect that I couldn't stand being around them anymore. I mean, I'm imperfect too --- but when I get condemned for my own imperfections while I'm required to forgive everyone else --- that's just too much of a problem to stay with the church.
There are numerous historical reasons why LDS Mormonism may be considered a heavily flawed or even false religion. All I know is that the LDS church had such an effect or influence on me that I can testify of a certain "magic" that seemed to exist in that organization. I am still not perfectly sure how to reconcile the sketchy past of the church with the possible magic I thought I witnessed, but that's what I know so that's what I testify.
So, I'm not perfect, I tried to be good, and there are good things about mormonism, and though we are all apparently imperfect, the church just stopped being likeable after they condemn me for my little problems and then expect forgiveness for some of their problems.
And then church members don't really understand forgiveness anyway.... so there.