After I've done all I can DO!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a belief based on the theology that a sure way to heaven, and to achieve Godhead is to "do all you can do!" My dad loves to re-site a verse of Mormon scripture that says, 'When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are in the service of your God!' The church changed a children's Primary song entitled, "I am a Child of God." In one particular refrain, they changed a word from 'teach me all that I must KNOW', to 'teach me all that I must DO!'
From the beginning of my life experiences, whether it be in church, at home, or at play, I was taught that 'doing' (whatever that consisted of) was how I was going to be fulfilled, on earth and in heaven. Plus, by doing, is where my self worth was supposed to come from. Therefore, the more I did for people the more I felt as though I was getting closer to God and stepping my way up to Godhood.
There is nothing wrong in helping others. We, as Christians, should have a desire to help those around us. As for me, coming out of Mormonism, to do for others all of the time has been extremely hurtful and down right exhausting. I still, to this day, have great difficulty with changing my thinking on this whole subject. Sometimes it is better not to help those around you in order for them to help themselves. My tendency is to help others around me, even if it will not benefit myself and/or others. My need to 'do' for others has become a huge source of stress for me. I still have a tendency to fall back into the thinking that the only way I'm going to be accepted by my family, children and those around me, is to always do for them. I sometimes get a little lost if I'm not doing for at least for my kids. Me helping them isn't always what is best for them. I get to feeling left out when I'm not doing things for at least them.
The way to heaven is not in the physical activity of "doing", rather the way to eternal life is through faith, long suffering, love, patience, joy. In other words, the Fruit of the Spirit. I shed many tears over this in order to correct my thinking. I put my husband through long suffering because he is the only one I have to talk with. God gets an earful of prayer and sometimes He makes me practice faith, patience, and long suffering. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has instilled in me incorrect values that have done more harm than good. The concept of 'doing all you can do' sounds real good and noble on the surface. The truth is...It is incorrect and wrong to DO all of the time. God expects his children to learn and grow in grace which is freely given to all those who believe through faith, not by doing, or by good works.

3 comments:

Interested August 16, 2007 at 5:12 AM  

You are right "Doing all you can do" sounds right at first glance. However, like my daughter who is driving herself into the ground, the phrase does not take the doer into consideration. Like you she feels she must do do do for others, at the expense of her own health and well being. She lost 3 babies and I will always blame the church for putting so much stress on her. She is a wonderful daughter and a good mother but she is driven to extremes.

I am happy for you, that you found your way out. Live well and happy.

handmaiden August 16, 2007 at 6:53 PM  

Hi interested,
My heart goes out to your and your daughter. I will pray for the both of you. May your daughter be blessed with the fruit of the spirit to bring her peace. God Bless.

L. S. Smathers Family October 20, 2010 at 4:40 AM  

I have struggled with this for years but I have finally found peace with it. I came to realize the most important work I can 'do' is #1 with myself, #2 with my own nuclear family. My oldest daughter has bipolar disorder (long story-my Convert wasn't well either). I realized that I have to take care of myself to best take care of her...and my other children.
Like you, it took me years to un-program the unhealthy thinking instilled in me by the LDS church and realize what I really needed to be "doing".
Oddly enough, from my point of view, I see my devout LDS family and friends SO self absorbed that is just screams hypocrisy.
Your blog has become a sort of refuge right now. My devout LDS sister is visiting, (self-invited), and told me I have a bad marriage because my husband isn't active in the LDS church and doesn't have an education. I know better, I have a wonderful marriage to a wonderful man who left the LDS church too. And my 'best friend' doesn't want me to come to her wedding because I can't come in the temple...thankfully I live far away from all this, but it is still real and so, so, so wrong.

About Me

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Michigan, United States
I spent a lot of time deciding if I should write this blog or not. I'm not a great writer and I'm not going to pretend to be. I need to share what I have learned and I might not make some people happy with what I am saying. This blog is a way for me to release the thoughts and feelings that come with knowing I grew up in the wrong religion. A healing process if you will.

How To Read This Blog

Please start with the month of February 2007 and read backwards. This is the most effective way to understand, in order, why I say what I do.

Handmaidens Creed

1.I believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as one God without beginning or end.
2.I believe the Bible to be the Holy Inspired word of God with full truth and righteousness. No other writing is.
3.I believe that the work of the Lord comes first. Before any temporal thing or person.
4.I believe that grace is a gift and Christ gives that gift freely to all who believe.
5.I believe that the beauty of a woman is contained inside of her and not by what she looks like on the outside.
6.I believe that marriage is sacred and represents the Godhead on earth; two are one just as three are one.
7.I believe that love is more powerful than any other power. Remember, God is love.
8.I believe that tithing is not a part of God's new covenant, free will offerings are. And that doesn't mean just money.
9.I believe that the Aaronic, Levitical, and Melchizedek priesthoods are abolished and Christs Holy Priesthood whom Christ is the "Great High Priest" is eternal.
10.I believe that every believer is a priest in the "Priesthood of Believers".
11.I believe that when two are one, nobody is to separate the one.
12.I believe that Christ is the only way to heaven.
13.I believe that our bodies are temples, not man made buildings.
14.I believe that liars make fools out of others and the liar hates the fool.
15.I believe that all believers are in authority to preach the gospel.
16.I believe that the word 'organization' to describe Christs body is evil and has no place with God.
17.I believe the Americas are not the land of Zion and Christ will return to His origonal land-Israel in the Middle East.
18.I believe that God has set out correct ways of worshiping Him, not man.
19.I believe in holding to the truths of the Bible and not mans understanding of it.
20.I believe that the world is full of evil and Satan can easily gain control over the minds of those who do not profess Christ of the Bible to be their only Messiah.
21.I believe that Saints are those who know the real Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom the Bible speaks of; not the jesus of a cult.