Hello all! Welcome to the new StayLDS.org ! I’m James Piper and purchased this domain once it was abandoned. I purchased it for multiple reasons but mainly, my faith and church experience may be helpful to someone. It is a ministry that I can provide to the world and is something that I could write a small book about. If you don’t read anything else here, I hope you will finish this blog post.
My Past Experience
I grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and struggled with mostly people issues the whole time. I was bullied, abused verbally and physically by many of my peers. I went inactive twice, once as a teenager and another as an adult. I carry scars from my experiences but it is a part of my “self” today. Without those experiences, I would have a very different life.
After leaving the church the second time, I found refuge in the Latter-Day Seekers Ministry of Community of Christ. I started attending there in 2013 and have been calling that church home until 2019. I still attend Community of Christ services, but I no longer call that church home for multiple reasons. That post will be coming once I organize my thoughts a bit more.
I have considered my time away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a personal mission. This means, my activities are not sanctioned by anyone other than God. No mortal man has authority, I don’t check with any committees other than the one I pray to.
I go to Community of Christ and help them, but there is no one congregation that I call home. I also participate in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when it fits with my mission but any activity is on my own terms and I only represent myself. If that sounds lonely, you are correct.
But this site is called StayLDS.org ..
Yes it is.. This website has been on the radar of many Mormon based websites and blogs for years, usually mistyping the URL to the Open Stories Foundation website StayLDS.COM . When I noticed the URL was not renewed, I wanted a chance to put myself out there as another voice. I am not associated with StayLDS.COM or Open Stories Foundation but I am appreciative of what they offer.
I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a church that has an important role in today’s society and is a piece of the puzzle for Zion. Joseph Smith Jr. and many of the leaders of the early church were inspired to create this great movement. It has blessed the lives of millions members, their families and associates. The good things it does for the membership and the community cannot be denied, however, I believe there are missing pieces that need to be found. There is a not so helpful side as well, we will faithfully disagree and provide alternatives.
There is a way…
My general belief is that long time members should think carefully about their church attendance, belief systems and personal history with the church when going through a faith crisis. In our moments of pain, we make rash decisions that have long consequences that impact friendships, marriages and family.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints demands a lot of their members including belief, time and treasure. How much we invest ourselves in the church is based on our past experiences, inspiration and our family situation. We can choose to be fully in or out (or somewhere in between). God has given us agency and thoughts to do anything in life, it is up to us to exercise our agency. It is okay to be different, have other beliefs and participate in our own way as individuals. This website will share some faithful ideas for members who struggle from the position of individualism.
What I am not..
I am not ever going to lead people on a path that they weren’t on prior to coming to this website. I am not in the business of turning hearts cold the church or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am only providing ideas that help people stay active. While going to other churches or taking a break could be brought up on this website, it isn’t a unique idea. Many members go to other churches or step away from the church in a faithful way for a multiple reasons.
God Loves You..
God is an all loving God that knows your name, story and loves you very much. It is unconditional love that we do not understand. There are ways to exist in the less than ideal, God will help you find comfort and understanding. Amen.