Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Silently Struggling

I have been sharing my Book of Mormon reading notes (most of them) with a dear friend who is reading the book for the first time.  In it, she catches a glimpse of my soul that likely no one else sees right now.  She certainly can tell something of my struggles, if not their shape and size.

While sharing my notes with her chapter by chapter (thanks to the iPad App - marvelous invention that it is), I have also been reading a bit of the criticisms of Mormon mommy blogging versus other mommy bloggers.  Those not of my faith believe they paint an unrealistic picture of motherhood, only sharing the sunny side.

Technically, I fall into the species of a Mormon Mommy Blogger (MMB) (I think?).  And I know I am prey to the criticisms - in talking to a dear friend recently, she said that by my blog posts, you would never know of my struggles. 

Why do I and other MMB feign to share our struggles? Do the answers lie in personality, Mormon culture, or Mormon doctrine?

D) All of the above.  

The cultural side has a doctrinal underpinning - perfection.  We are challenged by the Savior to "Be ye therefore perfect," and we often try to undertake this challenge on our own.  What in other Mormon generations may have produced what I call "Relief Society" voice, or a certain soft, vacuous voice appropriate for small children but leveled at adults with equal impunity, in my generation produces all-sunshine blogs. It's probably pride, pride nurtured by culture, that prevents sharing a less-than-perfect side.  Sometimes called perfectionism. Not necessarily a good thing.

However, the doctrinal reasons may be more flattering.  We believe in a very personal and private relationship with the Savior.  We are taught that our most important doctrines generally are sacred, not secret.  We are also counseled to apply doctrines to our lives in a personal way.  Too, we believe in a personal relationship with both the Savior and the Holy Ghost (and our Heavenly Father, all of whom we believe are separate personages) who teach us in quiet, reflective moments. 

I for one work out my salvation with fear and trembling, usually on my knees or in the quietude I attempt to create during my morning study.  In these quiet spaces, I can find the Lord and am tutored in a more excellent method of suffering.  These experiences are some of my most sacred.  I share them only as prompted. 

Sometimes, it means I share them here.  Hopefully I can strike a balance in following promptings rather than fear in sharing my struggles appropriately.

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