Zen@Church: How We Make It WorseBy: shenpa warrior
We naturally try to avoid painâsometimes at great cost. Perhaps in a misapplication of scripture, we Mormons even try to avoid the appearance of pain, having perfected the art of âturning it offâ and hiding our pain from each other. We may be told over and over that, âthe church is a hospital for sinners – not a museum for saints,â but many donât believe it. I once spoke with a woman who had worked in an office where everyone else was Mormon. She really admired how friendly everyone was. Getting to know some of them better, she also began to notice how skilled they were at hiding their pain.
Are we surrounded by people who are hiding? With pure intentions in raising our children to smile their frowns away, are we subtly telling them that frowns are not allowed?
I once worked with a young man who would wake up every morning depressed and in tears. If he couldnât reach anyone by phone he would pray and ask God âWhy?!?â I asked the young man if he got an answer to his pleading for the depression to stop and to the âWhy!?â He said no. Like most of us, myself included, he wanted to be rescued from his pain. This is an absolutely valid response. The apostle Paul pleaded with the Lord three times for his temptation to leave him. Even The Savior asked to have the bitter cup taken from him. Yet, the young manâs pain remained, as did Paulâs, and of courseâmost significantlyâso did the Saviorâs.
When weâre faced with uncertainty, or suffering, we often take âfalse refugeâ in things that ultimately do not satisfy, and often make things worse. Many people use the church as a false refuge – for status, pride, certainty, or a false sense that we won’t sufferâŚ even though we are told that it rains on everyone.
What are some common “false refuges” in Mormonism?