Although the church was good for my music and how much I was able to do in callings and via networking, I felt stifled in almost everything else - I felt judged by my work in the different things I wanted to do and I had the feeling it would be frowned upon because it wasn't...well, Relief Society-ish (ugh). Now I feel more free and ready to do what I wanted to do all along (well, along with music that I always want to do).
First, I'm starting a photography business, and I'm not going to worry if some people may not like my style. I can do as I please, and if people aren't fans of the work they don't have to hire me. Second, I'm working on a book I've needed to write for more than 3 years. I've been inspired by Raptor Jesus and his determination to get published, and his success in doing so. Also, I'm starting to lose weight - I was kind of feeding into the whole frumpy, schlumpy R.S. women who wear so many layers their sexuality has been dead and gone from view for decades (to their husbands' dismay). Now I feel like a different person and am going to get these lbs. off so I can wear cute clothes, sans g's, of course, and feel a whole lot more...well, womanly. :)
So, there are benefits from leaving the church that I hadn't realized until just a bit ago. My creative side is coming out more and more all the time and I love it. It is fulfilling, satisfying, and a lot of fun. :)
Sure, you can paint, draw, make music, movies, whatever, but they have to within this very very narrow range of gospel topics and values. So you get tripe paintings of Jesus Christ holding the U.S. Constitution as a result.
The cult will never emphasize true creativity because they always want limits in place of some kind to keep you within the bounds and double binds the LORD has set.
True creation is leadership. It's problem-solving. It's exploring the myriad options available and using intuition to choose the one that seems like the best fit and seeing how it goes.
I have had to retrain my brain since leaving in order to be able to exercise TRUE personal leadership for my life and time.
Contrast this with God's eternal plan of middle management for his celestialized followers and it's a small wonder leadership is never taught....just how to follow, follow, follow, and be an organized and effective paper shuffler and people person on the way.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2011 10:45AM by athreehourbore.
The LDS church is extremely jealous of any time not spent on the church. Devoting large amounts of your time on talents and interests that don't directly serve the church is considered selfish and less than righteous. But the ads trot out Mormons who've obviously been "selfish" with their time. So, if those people are model Mormons, does that mean everyone should turn down callings and assignments so they have sufficient time for other things that interest them? "Sorry, Bishop, I can't accept that calling because it would cut into my painting time."
This is EXACTLY how I felt all those years. As long as my butt was on the bench playing the organ and piano every Sunday for every entity they could come up with I was good, but when I did other things the cluck-clucking and tut-tutting started. Not overtly, usually, but most definitely there. So, now I'm doing what I WANNA DO and it's AWESOME!!!
I know what your mean...I remember explaining to my stake president before my mission that I study muses for art and he said to him, there is no difference between nude art and porn. I couldn't believe it but whatever. I write/draw comics and books and art, movies, and music and the church really stifled me there. But I am free now always improving. Church leaders looked down on me because I wanted a job in those fields that I enjoyed, not because of the money...they couldn't believe I did not want a monster sized family.. I have courage now. In fact, I am currently making a graphic novel called The Devil Incarnate about my returning home early from my mission and my experiences in the church, something I would never have had the courage to do before.
That's awesome - can't wait to check it out! I'm picking away at my little book too - won't be as interesting as yours, but it's somewhat cathartic. I hope to do some music someday that has nothing whatsoever to do with the "church", the people in it, and the kind of music they do. I love most of the hymns and some of the LDS music, but along with musicals I do I need to find other outlets. I never really realized how much the church demands and how, as Stray Mutt aptly put it, jealous it is of time spent on other endeavors. I feel freer and happier than I have ever been in my life. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to this point!
I'm sure you'll make quite the book. But I hear you about wishing it happened earlier. Honestly, some of my best ideas yet have come from moving away from the church. I have discovered I have a pretty decent aptitude for horror, a genre I had never really been into because a lot of the GOOD horror is stuff the church won't let you into...I don't know what that' about, but it is what it is. But hey, if you ever want a second opinion, I love reading people's projects.
I never let the church cut into my creative time. We've moved a lot in the last few years.Nobody in my ward knew I was a painter. I learned to not let people at church know what my talents are. They would harass me endlessly once they knew.
That is so true, Mia, that the Mormons harass talented people.
Introverted me, I was a pianist/organist, too. The LDS church used and exploited me so much, that I have not played the organ since I resigned 5 years ago. They sucked the music right out of me. I happened to NOT like Mormon music. I liked Mozart and Bach, the harmony in the old-time hymns (played up to tempo), and the lovely classic organ music I got from the professional Methodist and Presbyterian organists. After the church "discouraged" great music, I would improvise, using tuneful Beatles songs, and just one time, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" My favorite was, "Please Don't Wear Red Tonight," which no one ever identified.
The organ was new to me, and I took many lessons and practiced for hours, to learn the pedals and technique, and I taught others, so I would have a substitute, but people kept moving out of our ward. I often had to forego family outings. When my husband went inactive, my children sat alone.
They called me to accompany the choir, which meant attending all their rehearsals, too. They were always needing someone to play in the Primary and RS, too, so the whole 3 hours would go by without a break, except during the lessons--but they called me to teach Sunday school for years and years. Remember the road shows, and how much rehearsal went into those? I had to transcribe music, and arrange music for other instruments. Some idiot would always write a song. Of course, they would just sing it to me, and I'd have to write the notes--then fill in all the harmonies, and arrange the whole thing. Too much work, and the songs were lousy (I'm not a composer, either.) At Christmastime, I'm reminded of our Stake performance of Handel's Messiah, when rehearsals would begin in October, and the Ward choir, and the Primary children's Joseph Smith birthday program. Worst of all were the Sacrament meeting performances--usually a soprano, or a violinist, or a girl's group singing the same Janice Kapp Perry song. Usually, Saturday rehearsals were required. Have you ever accompanied a barbershop quartet rehearsal? Try converting to the F-clef while sight-reading. I think I hated the performances because I could never choose the music. At one time, I wanted to be a concert pianist, and studied piano performance at BYU--but I was forced into becoming a utilitarian pianist, with the object of getting the job done quickly, under someone else's control.
We should start a group of creative folks who were stifled by church standards. I left the church a year ago, and wrote the best song I've ever written, complete with sexual innuendo! I perform, and my friends and fans have noticed a new depth of feeling in my playing and delivery. I mean, it was ridiculous the number of people who noticed it!
I've got a website, and you can listen to the music I recorded PRIOR to my enlightenment. It's really nice, but You may notice that it is a bit subdued. I don't know how my new songs will sound when I record them, as I tend to try to keep everything smooth in the studio...but I hope more emotion comes out.
If u want to visit my site here it is spelled backwards. ( I don't want search engines finding me here) Moc.renklofaicirtap
jazzskeeter Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks. And did you listen to track #6? If > There's Sunshine in Your Heart ? I kinda like > my version!
Sadly, I cannot listen to it. It is in the Mormon hymn book, and will therefore burn my ears if I dare listen haha. I really liked it, though, in all seriousness. It's very nice, casual...good to listen to especially if you're like me and you're writing something right now.