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Posted by: brainbutter ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 02:42PM

Hey everyone! I used to be a regular here about 12-17 years ago when I left the church but I basically felt recovered and went on with my life. Now I'm in my late 30's and am settling into adult reality with a wife, house and successful career and am coming up against a feeling that everything is meaningless. After leaving the morg, I intellectually grasped that there is no ultimate truth, no absolute authority and no objective meaning to life, the universe and everything. But lately it has been actually hitting home in an emotional way and I'm having trouble coping with it. I have actually been feeling an urge to join some kind of belief community (gasp!) even though I know I couldn't actually force myself to believe in it. Just to touch some kind of truth-shaped force in my life again...I don't know. I get the sense that this is an existential crisis that a lot of people go through, not just those who were raised with such an all-encompasing religion as mormonism, but is there some particular angle to it that is specific to people like us? Thanks for listening!

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 02:56PM

Ahhh, yes. You've taken your power back and owning it. Now...the fun begins. You can create what you want in your New World View.
There is an old saying I like, goes something like this: I don't have any answers, and that's OK.

This is a time to life and enjoy life. What you thought was "absolute truth" was subjective truth, filled with mythology.

I found it's helpful to read a few quotes that sum up how to live with joy and harmony and inner peace.

If you want community, you might enjoy Unitarian Universalists. They are typically service oriented. They don't stick to some kind of truth-dogma. They are open to all universal truths.

That's the key for me: Universal Truths like Love One Another.
Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Be kind.
Respect other people's property. Give an honest days work for an honest days pay. (That was from my maternal grandfather!)

This is a good time to discuss with your wife what is meaningful in your lives and what kinds of goals do you both want to pursue as a family. Donate time to a food bank, or some other kind of service.

You are in charge of your life. You are the pilot! You can created a meaningful life that works for you.

Do you find meaning in nature, in work, in time spent with loved ones and friends? I know I do.

I'm at an age (long retired) when life is very precious. Everyday is a new opportunity to find enjoyment, fun, laughter, etc.

My personal key to happiness, inner peace, joy, harmony is my sense of humor set on high! I laugh at something usually several times a day. Life is great!

I've often said that doctors need to prescribe funny DVDs as anti-dotes to a lot of what ails us! :-)

I meant to add this: "Choose your thoughts carefully.Keep what brings you peace, release what brings you suffering and know that happiness is just a thought away." Nishan Panwar

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2017 03:02PM by SusieQ#1.

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Posted by: ALifeExamined ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 03:40PM

A lovely reply.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 03:26PM

Just because Mormonism was not true, does not mean God Truth is not out there.

If you are a truth seeker. I suggest you become 'aware' of what actual people are experiencing and 'open' to claims. Doesn't mean you need to believe everything but I don't think you should 'bury your head in the sand' about multiple people's claims either.

I try to base all my 'beliefs' on personal experiences. I believe if God wanted people to 'join any one true organization' that organization would be far more obvious than any current man-made choices available.

What has worked for myself and other 'meditating' friends is meditation. State your goal firmly in your mind, for example ----- my goal during this meditation is to be given ideas to make me feel more excited about life and living fully each day. Then have a notebook and paper handy to record, without judgment, any ideas that come to your mind ----- in fact I record things and cannot remember anything until I read the listing I made. Sometimes I get a lot of things, sometimes very few but always I get something useful that I normally immediately act on because it is such a 'good' idea.

Some of my Christian friends, through meditation, thanked me as they found out the Bible and the Bible/church teachings about God are rather 'silly' based on the 'awareness' they achieved through meditation. Needless to say they are not Christians any longer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2017 01:24PM by spiritist.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:11PM

Perhaps you could find a new meaning for the word "meaning." Maybe not give the word so much undeserved weight?

When something in your life has meaning, it is because you have grown and are able to recognize that;you have accomplished something, even serendipitously and realize the achievement has value. You can't set out to find meaning. It happens when it's good and ready. It is tied in with happiness. They are both like butterflies that land here and there unexpectedly, flap their beautiful colored wings, and then are gone so you don't get used to them--or squash them.

Having children has no meaning. Teaching them and nurturing them does.

Having a job has no meaning. Being incredible at your chosen career because you work smart and push yourself does.

Going to church has no meaning. I can't think of the next line.

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Posted by: brainbutter ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 09:01PM


You're right, tho. I think I tend to overthink things a bit and put a lot of weight on some ideas more than they deserve.

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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 04:30PM

The meaning and purpose of life to me is enjoying it. What makes your happy? What do you do that makes you feel like you have purpose?

Spending time with my friends and family is what gives me the most meaning and purpose in life. Traveling and exploring the world. Learning. Make a difference in the world. Those are all things that give me happiness, purpose and meaning.

I just replace God, heaven and religion with those things. If you think about it, God is just a personage like our parents, teachers, friends, whoever, that communicates and gives us instructions in life . Heaven is just a place just like earth here is a place. Religion is just a set of beliefs, philosophy, ways to live, history, etc. that you can get here in the real life.

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Posted by: anonuk ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 05:14PM

you do not say if you have kids or not, but another look at your post makes me think that it may be that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the responsibility in front of you? The responsibility of being a husband, lover, father, earner, provider, etc. Those responsibilities are still there if you choose to take them on board, the mormon church did not have a monopoly on 'responsibility' and neither does it have a monopoly on people feeling a bit overwhelmed by a future that may never happen.

Is it easier to accept that life is meaningless and just an accident of chemistry or physics than believing in some type of purpose to it all?

Talk to your wife - she's your best friend and your life partner so this is something you need to address together so you do not grow apart. Is this what overwhelms you? Your wife's needs and what you have promised her? If so, this is completely normal and healthy and proof of your devotion to her.

It is very common to re-think your life in your thirties - I did not marry until I was in my third decade but had recently come to terms with being the mad spinster aunt, and was quite happy with that prospect, after a lot of soul-searching and redefining what was important to me and what I did (and didn't) believe in.

I believe your current problem is only slightly exacerbated by being raised mormon, but it is not a uniquely mormon problem you are going through at the moment, if that makes sense.

You can do this, you don't need any 'church' to tell you how to address this. You are clever enough on your own to work through this by listening to advice and reflecting upon it.

good luck

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Posted by: janis ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 05:49PM

I've been on the planet for awhile, and anonuk is right about this being a common thing in your 30's.

I'm guessing it's because that's usually when life settles down a bit. Education years, being single, childhood, all those times of life are over. Now you're in a phase where things tend to stay somewhat the same for long stretches of time. You start wondering what the point of it all is.

The point is what you want it to be. Sometimes unexpected things happen that can get in your way. Sometimes you'll have to re-evaluate and adjust your vision of life. Sometimes that's fun and interesting. Sometimes, not so much. That's called life. Live it, see the wonders of it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2017 05:49PM by janis.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 07:08PM

Hi brainbutter,

I actually remember you as a poster here years ago. Weren't you the guy who had a lame disappoining temple name? Maybe not. Were you going to school or living in Idaho back then? I do remember your cool board name.

I think what you are experiencing is common. You get to the point where you realize the Emperor has no clothes. It's not just religion.

You have to find some personal meaning for yourself. You have to follow your bliss. Define your purpose.

You can either find this from within or go to some external source and find it from without. For many, that is religion, however you are just as capable of making up something as they are.

Determining a purpose and quest that is meaningful to you is a true mark of an adult living an authentic life, IMO. Many have found fulfillment in nature, physical goals, music, or books (running a marathon in every state, visiting National Parks, learning things, service or volunteering, etc.) to give them meaning.

Things like Carl Sagan's old book, Pale Blue Dot, can help provide awe of universe and our place in it for inspiration.

There are no answers and no right way to find what you need. The decision you need to make is if you want someone to make up answers for you or make up your own.

Glad to know you are doing well.

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Posted by: brainbutter ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 08:58PM

Hi Dagny! I remember you as well. Yes, my temple name was super lame...Nimrod. Not like there's such a thing as a really cool temple name like Zardoz or something :)

I was living in Idaho and then went to school in North Carolina. Lived in Orlando for 6 years, NYC for 2 years, lived in a van with my wife while traveling around the US, Canada and Mexico for a year, and now settled in Portland Oregon. I run a business designing 3D-printed sculpture, jewelry and other objects. All in all, I'm living the dream! I guess I hit a place where I had ticked off pretty much everything off the list of things I wanted out of life...Funny, because I thought it would take me about twice as long. The journey to achieve these things was meaningful, but now that I have them, I'm like "now what?".

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 10:32PM

Hahahaha! Nimrod. NIMROD! Hahahaha.

Your life sounds like it has been pretty interesting and you've been able to live a few places. Good for you. Portland OR would be one of my top choices to live.

I hope you figure things out. The answers to the big questions are just not out there. So, instead I make fun of things like temple names. :-)

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 09:03PM

Are you saying that mormonism gave your life meaning ?

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Posted by: brainbutter ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 10:11PM

Of course I didn't get much real meaning from mormonsim. I think being raised mormon gives one a feeling that absolute meaning is just one more sunday school class or just another talk with your bishop away. Of course, if you try to actually look behind the curtain, it's just old men who don't know any better than you. But the thought of deep, real meaning underlying life feels comforting. I guess I miss feeling like real meaning to life is right there, waiting for you in a building a few blocks away.

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Posted by: gatorman ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 09:12PM

Mr Nimrod

You have defined the mental state of every thirty something LDS included. Reminds me of the great Peggy Lee song "Is that all there is...". I am afraid that is all there is. A few residuals from Mormonism have a firm foundation. Nothing will give more pleasure and angst than your family. You have heard it" no success compensates ....". Mormonism or not it is true. Cherish your time, energy and resources that keep your family safe, fed and clothed. Express gratitude for your wife and kids in word and deed. Even more truth than Mormonism is the great Beatles saying..." and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make....

College World Series here we go

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2017 10:27PM by gatorman.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 17, 2017 10:17PM

The church (I think younall know which one) does provide a deeper meaning to life. That is what attracted so many people to it when I was on my mission. Everyone, at some point in their lives, looks around and asks what the meaning of it all is. We want a deeper answer, something to give deep purpose to our lives. The church did that for a while, but it turns out they are not an authority on the topic.

Maybe there is a deeper purpose and order to the world. Maybe we don't need a church to find it. I am about to be a father myself. I like to think there is something more to this world than we see with our eyes. I would like my kid to grow up in a world with deeper meaning, but I won't go to the church to find it.

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Posted by: Felix ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 01:05AM

For me, life has more meaning and opportunity after Mormonism. I am no longer bound to or give service to a lie. I see a world full of opportunity to serve and do good and I don't need religion or promise of eternal rewards to respond to those needs. Religion in a mixed bag of both good and bad and has no monopoly on morality. It teaches and promotes some good and some bad. It unites as well as divides. It provides community but advances falsehoods. There is more clarity to discover truth and light outside of religious belief for me. Religious filters distort reality.

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Posted by: Imbolc ( )
Date: June 18, 2017 05:30PM

I think this kind of phase comes around for me now and then. Life satisfaction, life unsatisfaction. Life's meaning is what you make of it. Trite as that may be, it is a lot about enjoyment and doing what feels right. Who wants a sad, trying, disturbing life, right?

If you feel you want to join some group for spirituality, then give it a shot. There is no harm in exploring things outside your comfort zone as long as you have control of the reins. You may find a group setting is/is not your cup of tea. At least you can satisfy your curiosity.

For me, the meaning in my life is the never ending journey of discovery: about myself. others, nature, science, history, you name it. The world seems so limitless without the shackles of religious thought holding me back. Nothing that interests me is off limits. There is so much to see and do, it seems one lifetime is not enough.

And like others have pointed out, don't be afraid of not knowing. Certainty cuts off so many avenues. And getting to know one thing in its many facets could take a lifetime. I think that's the beauty that drives a lot of scientists and dreamers.

Welcome to the world, you are now free to move about!

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:13AM

I substituted looking for meaning in life with nailing jello to the wall. It's working out much better.

What I have learned from the one time the jello actually stuck for over five seconds: Awe is only possible so long as there are stretches of spiritual malaise in between.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:30AM

My suggestion:

Your feeling is right -- everything is meaningless.
At least...there's no inherent, imposed "meaning."
To anything.
That's the kind of "meaning" you were raised with. That there's some magical Elohim dude on some planet near Kolob who IMPOSES meaning on your existence, and that of everyone else. That this dude decided what "meaning" everything has, and you better damn well get with his program, or you're in deep doo-doo.

There not being any inherent or imposed "meaning," though, doesn't mean everything is meaningless -- to YOU. It just means it's up to you to come up with your own "meaning." What matters to you. It may not (and probably won't) "mean" anything to anyone else. It won't be objectively "right."
It'll just be what you decide is important and meaningful.

You can check out what other people think is meaningful. You can come up with your own ideas about it. Or you can not worry about "meaning" at all. Up to you.

There's nobody imposing any "meaning" on you. It's up to you t have it or not. Enjoy that freedom. :)

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 01:05AM

Search for 'yourself' - even if you don't "find yourself" you'll still have fun.


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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 01:45AM

Do whatever is in front of you. If it's in front of you, there's a reason. The meaning is in that.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 03:45AM

there is meaning to life. Look into the face of your child and you will know there is more to it than just having as good a time as you can every day. Maybe we don't know what the meaning is, maybe it's something we will discover when our life is over. In the meantime do everything you can to give that kid the best possible chance in life, that is meaningful by itself.

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Posted by: Yeahitsme ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 04:02PM

Oddly something I was taught in the church actually helped me with this. They teach us that they we were supposed to seek after things that are good, praiseworthy, etc. I don't think hats a wrong thing. Every lie has a little bit of truth and the church capitalized on making us "think" it was all true by having us have good feelings while helping the poor or bettering ourselves and then convinces us that was all God. It wasn't! All those great feelings you had, and you did, they were real, they just don't have to be attributed to God. They can be yours and totally yours. You can choose to do good things because you want to and not because some God commands it. It's very liberating to actually want to be a good person and not just feel like you have to

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