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Posted by: tmg ( )
Date: January 11, 2021 08:21PM

First off, thank-you very much to all those who responded to my last post. I was at an all time low and I had so many kind, thoughtful, and compassionate responses. You have no idea how much I appreciated it.

I am writing because I am curious about other's experiences. I hope I am not the only one. I have severe OCD and scrupulosity (religious OCD). This is diagnosed and is not just a once a day thing for me. It is happening all day everyday. With that being said, I can now look back and see why I was so concerned with being the perfect Mormon. Not only did I believe it, but I wanted to be a "light on the hill". But this level of obedience, was kind of awful. Ironically, instead of living in the world but not being of it, I just shut the world out. Stopped hanging out with anyone who wasn't living it and was convinced I had to be perfect. That is not necessarily church teaching, but the church also did put a lot of pressure on teens telling us we were saved for these days and were especially strong spirits.. lol.

So I am now in the process of leaving, but the scrupulosity is worse! Because now, who is God? I mean is he a man that walked the earth in the form of Jesus, and do I believe that and want to be Christian? What if the bible was made up just like the BOM by a group of people? The fear I have of not knowing the ultimate truth is so scary!

I mean, don't you wish you could leave Mormonism but then find the actual only true church? Not having that safety net, the structure has allowed my mind to completely take over. The OCD is more threatening than ever because as a Mormon, if it said anything that wasn't church taught, I just assumed it was OCD or Satan. Now, I have to ask myself, where is this thought coming from? I hope that makes sense.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. Thanks for your time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2021 08:23PM by tmg.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: January 11, 2021 09:10PM

I don't have any advice really, but I just learned some things about OCD religious scrupulosity thanks to you. It sounds like religious guilt on steroids.

I suspect it might require professional help. It sounds like your neuron network of thinking routes everything through a religious meme nodule in your brain (for lack of a better description). I hope that reading lots of nonreligious things can help your brain regroup (so to speak).

For many of us, leaving the religious mindset with no safety net has allowed us to self examine what we really want and create our own purpose. It has been a great relief to lose all those religious tethers that allowed my mind to go beyond.

For me, reading things like Age of Reason by Paine, Demon Haunted World by Sagan and History of God by Armstrong helped me work through what I thought about the Bible, God, and mythology in general. I wonder if broadening what you read will help snap some of the scrupulosity loops you are experiencing.

On the other hand, having to evaluate everything from scratch might be bad for a person with your type of OCD. I wonder if you can find some kind of counseling online with the caveat that a religious councilor will nudge you toward believing and an atheist one might nudge you painfully out of a faith bubble. It needs to be your choice whether you believe and how you will build your belief foundation, IMO.

Remember we are not professionals. We are just people with our own experiences and opinions. Good luck on your quest!

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: January 11, 2021 09:26PM

tmg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Because now, who is God?

This is the all-time, Numero Uno, question of the ages--going back all the way to when we (the debut of our homo sapiens sapiens species) were trying to understand "why" things happened: Why did people die? Why did newborn babies die? What caused good conditions one year (food gathering was good, or the planted crops became a pleasing harvest), and bad conditions another year (a drought killed the crops, or strangers came through and destroyed everything)?


> I mean is he a man that walked the earth in the form
> of Jesus, and do I believe that and want to be
> Christian?

I am a Jew, so my own, personal answer to this question is: Jesus is/was not God. In my personal belief, he was one of many wandering [Jewish] "rabbis"/teachers who were going from place to place in that part of the globe in that time. The difference between him and the others is that he inadvertently acquired the benefit of what turned out to be phenomenal p.r., through Paul.


> What if the bible was made up just like
> the BOM by a group of people?

I don't think the Bible was made up (in the sense that a fiction story is "made up")--I think it was meant as serious reportage and teaching at that time. In Israel, right now as I write this, there are countless archaeological digs going on (a major archaeological dig frequently begins with someone digging in their backyard to build a new house foundation, or a new highway is being dug, etc.), and one of the most frustrating things archeologists in Israel have had to contend with is that the "right" thing (an ancient town, for example) can be found this way, but it frequently is either in the "wrong" place, or it exists in a strata of the earth which proves that it existed at the "wrong" time. It is really not that common to find that a biblically-indicated "place" (etc.) is newly discovered where the Bible SAYS it should be found, AND it exists in the "right" time frame within the earth to conform to the dates in the Bible. This is a constant, and extremely frustrating, part of Israeli (and neighboring areas) archaeology, because many of the archaeologists are sincerely religious.


> The fear I have of not knowing the ultimate truth is so scary!

No one knows "ultimate truth." I, personally, do not believe that "ultimate truth" is even knowable with present-day human brains. You are yearning for something that I believe cannot exist (at least until our brains develop further).


> I mean, don't you wish you could leave Mormonism
> but then find the actual only true church?

I am a nevermo, so I never had to leave Mormonism. In the sense that you are using the words "the actual only true church" I do not believe this exists. I think "parts" of the truth can be understood as humans continue to evolve, and I think some religions are closer to what is PROBABLY "the truth" than are others, but all any of us can do is the best we can do, because if we have done our personal best, there is [usually] no way to go further (in this life--I do believe in reincarnation).

I think a number of religions have "part" of the truth, I think some have more than others (but, even if a given religion has MORE of "the truth," from the perspective of a given individual, that truth may not be accessible to them personally if their brains just can't "stretch" to understand the content; this is why, in Judaism, this kind of advanced study was traditionally restricted to those who were not likely to go insane in the search for it).


> Not having that safety net, the structure has allowed
> my mind to completely take over. The OCD is more
> threatening than ever because as a Mormon, if it
> said anything that wasn't church taught, I just
> assumed it was OCD or Satan. Now, I have to ask
> myself, where is this thought coming from? I hope
> that makes sense.

I do understand. You are saying that you are asking for deep insight which, if you receive it (or a even a preliminary glimpse of it), you will then [second step] question your sanity because the "answer" must be erroneous if it came from YOUR brain, or from YOUR cognitive work.

This can be a lose-lose conclusion.

My suggestion: When this happens, take it as a potential hypothesis....and then work to acquire the supporting "evidence" you need to either validate your hypothesis, or to realize that it is false (or partially false).

One thing you should be aware of: disparate religions can, independently of each other, "come to an agreement" on particular areas of philosophical/religious thought--although the cognitive and practical "vocabularies" to express these areas of agreement may be completely different from each other.

One of the things I have discovered in my life is that some elements of Hinduism (I was raised Hindu/Vedanta), and some elements of Judaism (I am now a Jew), and some elements of metaphysics (for me: somewhat related, personal to me, and also religious roots), some elements of certain Native American religions, plus physics (the science of physics), can all be "saying" the same things, though in different words, analogies, and thought "expressions."

When I find these "areas of improbable agreement," I pay attention to them.

If you strip away the "clothes" they are dressed in, if they're all saying the "same thing," I figure that the chances that some kind of real truth is being expressed can be fairly high.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2021 02:41AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 11, 2021 09:27PM

Do you remember the scene in Star Wars when Obiwan put the helmet on Luke’s head? He said “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”

That’s what Mormonism used to be. Before the love died. Trust your heart, not your eyes. That’s where Christ lives. God lives, well, everywhere. Fear is an illusion. Love is real. If you are afraid, that’s nature telling you that you’re not seeing clearly.

I don’t have any answers to your OCD, but if it keeps up can you come over and clean my house?

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Posted by: Gideon ( )
Date: January 14, 2021 01:43AM

Thank you for your courage posting your feelings.

I have scrupulously too and understand how hard it is surviving some moments when my thoughts make me doubt myself.

I would like to share a great podcast that focuses on a new and easy to use cognitive treatment for OCD. It is an interview with Dr John Dehlin and recovering mormon with scrupulously. I hope you find it helpful.

Please know that you are a good person like millions of us that live with scrupulosity

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: January 14, 2021 05:42AM

I happened to find an exmo therapist when I was going through my faith crisis. I didn't know he was exmo until I had been going to him for 6 years as he doesn't talk about mormonism in any way that you don't bring up. I asked him. I had enough to deal with other than mormonism, but mormonism had created the reasons I was seeing him.

I am not atheist or the real definition of agnostic. I always knew I believed different than others as a mormon in ways like I really did "save myself" while my friends were having sex with a lot of guys. I lived it. I was like you in terms of OCD. I was forever judging myself. I still judge myself. In fact, my therapist said everyone has some OCD traits. I think I have to be perfect in everything I do. It is a huge burden.

Luckily, I can now have a phone call appt with my therapist and tell him what I'm feeling and experiencing and, since he is an exmormon, he zeroes right in on why I'm feeling that way. He has saved my life.

At least where mormonism is concerned, I've been able to shed a lot of my beliefs that they drilled into me. I don't know what I believe. I do have beliefs, but they change from day to day. I don't worry about it as how can I know for sure anything to do with what religions teach. I go by what I've experienced in my life in terms of intuition and looking inside myself for my own answers.

As for satan. I don't believe in satan. I always worried so much about satan and what influence he had over me. Now I know I'm a good person. I don't have to live by these insane laws they taught us. I do believe in an afterlife. That is my own belief and I don't worry about what others think or believe. I don't know if there is a God. What I do know is that somewhere my parents exist. Maybe only in my mind, but that is not how I feel. I had wonderful grandparents and friends who loved and cared about me, and I look to that love for help in my own life.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: January 14, 2021 10:03PM

Thanks

The mind is a curious thing. It does what it wants, and what we don't want it to do. It can be more wound up, confused, sidetracked, etc., or more neutral, less biased, more calm and at ease, etc. That being said-

You need to be grounded (in meditation?, yoga's?, philosophy, history, the arts, etc.?...) insomuch that you aren't so easily swayed, or feeling like you don't know it all, because... nature!

It's good to detach from stimulus and go into that peaceful, artsy, or wild place that confirms, YEP, I am who I am supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing, LOVING, Living Life, Being Yourself.

Go more into you

That's where the greatest peace, and piece, is.

How do I know? I fly~ like the Pie in the Sky (in my Eye). What a guy! Why oh Y?

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