Monday, August 11, 2008

RFM Discussion

Subject: Miserable over telling the in-laws...
Date: Aug 06 01:02
Mail Address:

My husband told his parents that we were having problems with the church. I guess he made it sound mostly like HE was having most of the problems, which isn't true, but he wanted to spare me the blame. He explained things briefly (leaving out hurtful details) and they tried to pull him back, asking him questions and crying and telling him that they were so hurt and that they must have failed as parents. Eventually he told them that he had to leave. He got up and went to the door, telling his dad that he loved him. No response.

Over a week passed, and we were invited to come over to their house for sunday dinner. We wanted things to get back to as close to normal as possible, so we went over. It was a little nerve-wracking to be there, but my husband's sisters were also there (we haven't told them anything about us yet) so there was a buffer and the topic of the church never came up. we stayed only a short time, to be safe, and went home.

The next day, my husband received an email from his mom. You probably know the kind I mean: she had had time to think about the situation, and decided to create a carefully worded reaction to her son's confession. It was very, very hurtful. Basically she unsheathed one of the most often-used weapons in Mormonism: Guilt. "How could you do this to your wife? You are denying her blessings." "You won't get to see your siblings get married." "You won't be able to bless your own children." "I used to smile when I thought of you. Now it makes me sad." And so get the idea. She also mentioned that she noticed that during that Sunday dinner, my husband hadn't been wearing his garments (how could she even tell?! Garment radar?). She then asked that we bring our garments to them so they could dispose of them properly. Are you serious? What right does she have to pry into the business of our underwear, and then offer to give them the proper disposal? I was honestly offended.

My husband wrote her a very well-worded, intelligent response. She wrote back to that, turning my husband's words so that he would sound like the bad-guy. When he said that he was "doing what I think is right," she responded by ending her email with "I am doing what I KNOW is right." I guess she's trying to one-up my husband with the "TRUTH."

We had hoped that we could get along with his family, but my mother-in-law just keeps lashing out through email, begging her son to reconsider and throwing guilt-laden messages at him. I don't know what to do. Right now we are both so miserable every time we think about it. We were so happy before we let his parents know. We felt good about our choice to step away from the church. I almost start to wonder...was it worth it?

I know it is...but how long can we go on feeling this terrible? Will the wounds ever heal? Will we feel accepted in his family again? I guess I'm looking for words of comfort, because this just sucks so much.

Was it this bad for you guys?

Subject: Re: Miserable over telling the in-laws...
Date: Aug 06 01:16
Mail Address:

You did the right thing. Don't regret your choice.

Subject: I got a letter like that from my mom . . .
Date: Aug 06 01:43
Author:Grubby Gert
Mail Address:

It sucks.

I feel for you guys - this is the hard part.

I had to take a break from my parents for almost two years. Now we are making small steps towards eachother and things are much better. I'm so glad I stood up for myself back then because the relationship we have now has healthy boundaries.

I had a therapist that I was working with that helped me during the first part of this. Not that I think you guys need that kind of help but it was really good to have her perspective on things when they were at their worst - it helped me to see the guilt games my mom was trying to play with me.

Anyway, boundaries are good ;)

Subject: Re: I got a letter like that from my mom . . .
Date: Aug 06 01:50
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Yeah...after my mother in law told my husband that seeing him made her sad now, he suggested that it might be best if we didn't come to see them for a while. She shot back by saying that doing that would only drive a deeper wedge between us. What does this woman really want, anyway?

I have thought about seeing a therapist...maybe a couple's therapist, so my husband and I can talk openly with someone about what we're going through. Too expensive now, though.

You are right, though...maybe creating some boundaries would be the best thing.

Subject: what does she want?
Date: Aug 06 02:02
Author:Grubby Gert
Mail Address:

She wants to control you. I don't mean to imply that she's a bad person - I'm sure that in her head her behavior makes perfect sense. After all, she KNOWS what's best for you, right?

But, (as you're finding out) it's exhausting to talk to someone like that because anything you say gets turned against you. Hopefully you guys won't need to take it as far as I did and she'll calm down soon.

I'd give her as much space as possible and see where that gets you.

Subject: Yes, this kind of behavior really depresses me.
Date: Aug 06 02:29

See my thread, "TBM's believe that resignees are evil...."

We know the ultimate goal of this TBM behavior is to coerce us back into the church. In my darkest hours, I think to myself, "It must work, because the TBM's keep on doing it."

You wrote: "I almost start to wonder...was it worth it?" This sounds like you might throw in the towel. Stay strong!

I do sympathize with you. That underwear thing is outrageous and disgusting. This can be very upsetting, but you must get over it. Frankly, she is NOT the most important person in your life. Likewise, the LDS cult is not important at all to 98.5% of the world. MIL needs to get other interests. Is she too old to get a job and do something productive?

In reading your post, I'm impressed by your husband's taking the lead with his mother. Good for him. My husband did not step up. I was the one who constantly had to defend us against his mother's attacks. She got very nasty, and blamed me for everything. At the time, I was the organist and Den Mother, and I still believed in the cult--and my husband was the one who was inactive. Yet, I was the one forced to deal with her.

You seem solid and safe from that happening, though. You are handling it very well. The question is, how long can you continue? In my experience, the wounds never healed, because my MIL never stopped. Even after we were divorced, my MIL spread gossip around the ward about me, after I moved away. I was still an active Mormon, and I straightened everything out. Her son had cheated on me, but she blamed me.

Your MIL is a control-freak, like one poster suggested, like my MIL was. (Mine was also obsessive-compulsive.) In that case, she will attack you again, with every temple wedding, every sleeveless dress you wear, every child you have who must be blessed, baptized, made a deacon, forced to go on a mission, married in the temple, etc, etc, etc.

For now, you could stop answering her e-mails. I bought caller ID and an answering machine, back then. Your idea to take a break sounds like a good one. Go out and have some fun with your husband, instead. One Sunday a month is considered a lot, as far as normal family visits go.

It will never end--unless you follow your own idea of setting firm boundaries right now. You'll need to keep reinforcing those boundaries, and above all you and your husband will need to stand together.

Subject: Sorry, Forestpal, I usually agree with you ....
Date: Aug 06 05:17
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..but noy this time. Please don't let them think they are more popular/important than they are. By your calculations the LDS church would have a membership of approx. 65.684M that cared.

(based on world population of 66.684 billion)

Last I heard the LDS claimrd camembership of 15M and the posters on the RfM board estimated an active membership of 4M.
That would mean that by the LDS churhes. own figures 99.88% of the population don't care. By board members calcs 99.94% don't care.

finally,(bet you're glad) if you believe that actions speak louder than words, and therefore only count those with temple recommends as being the ones who really care whether garments are worn or not that would mean that 99.99% of the worlds population doesn't care about the wearing of garments etc. etc. etc.

Subject: Apologies for typos, in a hurry and lost login details....
Date: Aug 06 05:19
Mail Address:

.. so can't correct errors.

Subject: More humble apolgies ...
Date: Aug 06 05:27

.. ... If membership was 1.5% of the worlds population there would be 100.026M members of the LDS church.

Like that's ever going to happen

Subject: 99.99% of the world's population don't believe in Mormon temple rituals!
Date: Aug 06 12:42

That doesn't even include all the human souls who have ever lived through eons of time.

I'm going to celebrate that tonight, with cold sangria, on the patio, listening to the crickets and looking at the stars. Some of those stars are galaxies. I have a new perspective.

99.99% do NOT believe my children and I are forever bound as property in a polygamous temple marriage to a nasty skid-marked brute who tried to kill me!

Anyone would say that 99.99% is an excellent consensus, right? Maybe the most agreement there has ever been on any topic, in the history of Man.

And, Fallingaway is made to feel guilty, because she can not participate in an extremely rare aberration of the weirdest kind. That makes no sense.

Subject: I absolutely agree, with you
Date: Aug 06 06:49
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Setting firm boundaries is what it is all about!

And, yes, "one Sunday a month" is...probably...even too often, for a lot of couples, to have that kind of intrusion, ino their lives.

It all depends on the couple.

But, the co-dependent neediness HAS to be actively discouraged!
(They--those parents--can have their self-pity parties, if they want to: all by themselves!)

Subject: I think your husband should start communicating 'faith-disrupting' facts to his parents.
Date: Aug 06 03:49
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Your in-laws are reacting to the 'bad' news because of how they've been 'programmed' by Mormonism. My view is that your husband needs to start confronting that 'programming'. He should start by telling his mother (in an e-mail would probably be best) that what the LDS Church has taught about Joseph Smith and early church history is far from the truth.

"For example, Mom, if you look at the genealogy info. for Joseph Smith on the church's family history website, you will see that he married Mormon women who were already married, several single women, and teenage girls as young as 14. Did the LDS Church ever disclose to you or Dad that Joseph Smith had these types of plural wives? It never did to me and millions of other Latter-day Saints and potential converts."

Your mother-in-law won't be able to condemn the info. source as 'anti-Mormon' because it's the LDS Church.

The same thing applies with JS using a 'seer' stone in his hat to 'translate' the BoM. Your husband should say to his mother: "Here's another example, Mom. Did the LDS Church teach you, Dad, myself and millions of other Latter-Day Saints that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by putting a rock in his hat and pulling it tightly around his face? You probably think I'm making this up, because Joseph Smith's close associate, David Whitmer, wrote about this bizarre translation technique and you can read what Whitmer wrote in the July 1993 Ensign, in an article entitled "A Treasured Testament" by Apostle Russell Nelson. The article is on the church's website, by the way."

"Why does the LDS Church not depict Joseph Smith with his head buried in his hat in church materials, Mom? Why do LDS missionaries and teachers not teach investigators, children, teenagers and adults about this bizarre method of 'translation' used by 'the Prophet of the Restoration?"

"Are you aware, Mom, that Joseph Smith tried to join a Methodist congregation in 1828 despite his claim later in his life that he was told by God in the 'First Vision' not to unite himself with any sect?"

"Why hasn't the LDS Church, Mom, disclosed to members and potential converts that Joseph Smith created conflicting versions of his First Vision experience, something that church historians have acknowledged?"

"Did you know, Mom, that Brigham Young was divorced from at least seven of his plural wives and separated from four others?"

"These are just some of the many historical facts, Mom, that the LDS Church does not tell Latter-day Saints or people investigating Mormonism, and many of these facts come from Mormon sources. I think that's wrong and I decided that I can't be a part of a religious organization that misleads people."

These are examples of some of the things I'd say to my mother (and father) if I was in your husband's situation.

Neither you nor him can control what your in-laws think and feel whether the both of you are 'fully active' in the Mormon Church or 'apostates.' Try not to link your inner peace to their emotional reactions. If they're not willing to be mature adults and look at the facts, well, the problem is theirs. None of us can force other people to stop being naïve, take off their 'belief-blinders' and grow up/mature.

Subject: Re: I think your husband should start communicating 'faith-disrupting' facts to his parents.
Date: Aug 06 11:40
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My mother-in-law claims that she has heard it all before. She acts so high and mighty because, despite knowing degrading facts about the church, she has kept her faith strong and stuck with it. Hell, it probably even strengthened her testimony for all I know! She's like a wolf that won't let go of what she KNOWS is true. She won't swallow her pride and just let us be what we are. It's frustrating.

I'd love to shoot facts at her and have it get to her, but it won't. She has every right to believe what she wants, but she needs to leave US alone.

Subject: Re: I think your husband should start communicating 'faith-disrupting' facts to his parents.
Date: Aug 06 11:51
Mail Address:

To give a little more detail:

Yes, we live in Utah.

I wasn't going to delve too deeply into the particulars of the situation for sake of keeping things simple, but there is a little more to the story. One of my in-law's other sons has given up on the church, too...about a year ago he and his wife announced this to his parents.

I get the idea that the parents' treatment of us, though similar to what this other brother went through, is worse because they feel that they must fight harder. They lost one son--they aren't about to lose another. After all, if they did, they would have failed even more as parents.

While I know much of the blame , in the parent's eyes, goes to me, I'm sure they think the the other brother is also responsible for leading my husband "down the wrong path." This isn't true. he's an adult and makes his own decisions.

Still, I feel like we've irreparably damaged this family by doing what we did.

Subject: What's damaging the relationship with your in-laws is their Mormonism-induced religious ego...
Date: Aug 06 13:40
Mail Address:

...yet they don't see/understand this fact. Until they do, your relationship with them is going to be strained, IMO. Mormonism has 'programmed' them as parents to believe that having 'faithful' children is 'good' (and thus it reinforces their self-esteem) while having 'inactive' or ex-Mormon children is 'bad' (and thus their self-esteem suffers).

The key for them is to wake up to the fact that a person's participation in Mormonism (or non-participation, in the case of you and your husband, for example) has nothing to do with the individual's innate worth. You and your husband are no less deserving of being treated with basic civility by your in-laws (in the least) than anyone else.

Concerning your feeling that you've irreparably damaged the family, that too is the result of Mormon 'programming' (ref. If the LDS Church had been honest in the first place (who would have joined?!), then people wouldn't feel that their trust had been abused and a great deal of emotional pain and psychological suffering would not have occurred.

You and your husband cannot force your in-laws to wake up and become aware of how Mormonism has 'programmed' them. They have to want to gain that understanding themselves. There is no need to feel badly for having left cultic Mormonism and the effect that your departure has had on your in-laws. The situation has given them an excellent opportunity to wake up and mature.

Regarding the strong mental avoidance of your MIL to facts that clearly show that Joseph Smith was a liar, manipulator and adulterer and early church history was far more bizarre, 'dark' and cultic than the LDS Church acknowledges or teaches, understand that she has done so to psychologically reinforce her 'fortress' of Mormon beliefs because if she allows a 'wall' to be breeched by the truth/facts, the entire 'fortress' will collapse and she is terrified of that happening.

To avoid suffering (e.g., experiencing a huge loss of self-esteem, feeling deep regret for having wasted so many years of her life for a church that was not only not true, but was based on a fraud from the beginning) she goes deeper and deeper into her Mormonism-induced psychological dysfunction.

We teach people how to treat us. You and your husband don't have to tolerate the dysfunctional behavior of any one, including your in-laws. A knock-down-drag-out confrontation may be required. It happened between me and my mother in December. Her behavior, including toward her 'eternal companion' (my step-father) had become increasingly volatile and intolerable.

One situation in particular triggered 'righteous anger' in me and I blasted her with 'both barrels', using facts about her immature, irrational and disrespectful behavior. I told her that she had a lot of growing up to do. Her behavior in the past eight months has been considerably better.

Again, we teach people how to treat us.

Best wishes!

Subject: May I ask something -- some detail?
Date: Aug 06 05:57
Author:curiouser & curiouser
Mail Address:

You sound like you live in the Morridor (Mormon Corridor). I hope that I am wrong; but, I see the most co-dependency in that part of the USA.

And, of course, we all know that that is where "the church" settled, after their removal from Nauvoo.

My suggestion would be to slowly wean yourselves off of his parents: like weaning oneself off the baby bottle.

Think of yourselves as fully *self-actuating*. You don't "need" them in your lives. It is "nice" to have relatives, in your life, if they are going to be supportive of you; but, you are basicly your own persons: you don't need them...that is just so much "neediness".

Isn't that what co-dependency is really all about, anyway? The "neediness"?

For the life of me, I just don't "get" the Mormon idea of Heaven: where [fully adult] children are just not going to be with you, if they "stray". Cough, cough.
What a weird religion, after all!

Like any adult children would WANT to be in the same "mansions, on High"...with their parents?!?

When do Mormons ever cut the umbilical cord, I wonder?

My prescription, to you: protect and fortify and establish your *own* little kingdom: the *kingdom* of your own family. If anything "threatens your peace to destroy" [haa haa], do what you two have to do, in order to limit the negative forces from further disrupting your lives. (After all, it is only *then* that "[you'll] have hope shining brightly before [you]..."

Let those immature parents just plain "cry in their [near-] beer!"

P.S: There is "humor" in the idea of "near-beer"; for, Mormons don't drink beer.
(So, let them have their pity party. That is what it really is: a self-pitying party.)

What neurosis!

Subject: Let's place blame where it's due.
Date: Aug 06 07:22
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She fell for a like and taught it to her children. Your husband and you had the courage to see through it. None of this is your fault. The fault is in the organization and your MIL's reaction to it.

She can't face facts as yet. Sadly, she may never be able to deal with this. I think it's time to stop being quite so nice because she's using your kindness against you.

You need to let her know that you can't continue to spend as much time around her if she can't tone it down. You can do this up front by telling her or you can do it with body language, innuendo, and by obviously cutting visits short.

In any case she's acting like a spoiled brat and giving in doesn't cure bratiness.

Subject: Mormonism builds superficial families......................
Date: Aug 06 12:00
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their value system is based exclusively on and around the church. Your decisions have forced them out of their box which is not where they do well. It will take time for them to readjust their value system to include you, which they will do because you are family and so you will eventually work your way back into the good column, mostly because you are so closely attached to them that in order to maintain a positive self image they must adjust their standards.

Date: Aug 06 12:29
Author:anon for this
Mail Address:

DH needs to remind his mom that SHE is the key to his salvation. Remind her that she has been promised if she goes regularly to the temple she can save her own children! Now isn't that speshul?

Then let her know in no uncertain terms that if she wants to see her grandchildren and have a relationship with them she had better accept you boundaries.

My inlaws don't speak to us or our children. They live on the same street in the same ward! Haven't since we left but they like to drop off Xmas gifts of church books every year, coming when they know DH will not be home.

Lovely LDS family. Can't wait to spend eternity with them.

Subject: Re: Miserable over telling the in-laws...
Date: Aug 06 22:52
Mail Address:

Thank you for all the help and encouragement. This still really sucks, but I am hoping that things will get better with time...and maybe a little distance for the time being.

Subject: Re: Miserable over telling the in-laws... - PLEASE do your best to understand that they chose their
Date: Aug 06 23:16

behavior. You didn't do anything to them. It's a lie to think or believe you did.
His parents could have been civil and decent. There is no need to feel guilty or feel bad for their behavior. You didn't do a thing to them. Nothing.

It's my view that the best thing at this point is to tell them they are required to live their own 11th Article of Faith and that is what you will expect from them. Then stop all contact for awhile

11th Article of Faith:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Generally, Mormons will adjust. After the crying and gnashing of teeth, they will settle down and hopefully, act like adults again.

They will realize that if they want a relationship with their loved ones, they will, at a minimum, have to behave themselves like civil human beings.

My view is that it is best to stop the emails. It just feeds their need to mouth off. Give them nothing to respond to. The more you write, the more they will keep digging the hole deeper for themselves.

I have relatives that are very angry Mormons. They are so hateful they will verbally assault anyone that gets in their way. They live and feed on hostility and make up stories and tell lies about their own loved ones.
This is an extreme case of toxic people that make others (including their own parents) sick!
Contact of any sort is impossible.

Everyone else has been a decent human being!

Back off, give them some time to adjust.

Then give yourself a pat on the back for making your own decisions and choices.'
Now....find something that makes you laugh!
They are really being very silly and foolish. Poor things.

You can stop feeling bad now! Go have FUN!

Subject: Your MIL is behaving like a controlling person . . . .
Date: Aug 06 23:28
Mail Address:

And it's typical behavior for an emotional abuser/controller to get REALLY nasty when they start to lose the control they once had.

Sure they are nice if everything goes exactly the way they want it, but if you step out of line, the gloves come right off.

Leaving the church is just revealing what was there all along: too much parental control, in this case through guilt and manipulation.

My suggestion is to get some books on control and abuse, perhaps even something to do with toxic parents, and learn how to address the inappropriate behavior and set proper boundaries. I've found some good books by Patricia Evans that were helpful to me.

Trying to convince them of the validity of your objections to the church is unlikely to succeed. They are too brainwashed. And even if you convinced them, there would probably STILL be the issue of parental interference to deal with.

Best of luck.

Subject: I feel for you
Date: Aug 07 00:17
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My DH and I quit going to church last summer. It's been a wonderful year of new freedoms and experiences. We have been able to spend much more quality time with our children and each other. I have especially enjoyed my garment free wardrobe.

DH's TBM mother lives several time zones away, and we haven't seen her in the last year. We have avoided telling her about our evil apostate ways for the very reasons you are writing about. However, we can't keep her in the dark much longer. I just had a baby a month ago and that question we have been dreading for nine months finally crept into my last phone call with MIL.... "When are you having the baby blessed?"

My DH finally has decided to get it over with and write his mother a letter and tell her we are no longer going to church. He plans to tell her we won't have our baby blessed and our children won't be baptized. I did emphasize to DH that he needs to make it clear to his mother that I am in full agreement.

I know that it will be difficult for her. However, it is very important to understand that we are not responsible for her happiness or misery. We are only responsible for our own state of mind.

My mother does live in the same town as us. She also had a difficult time at first. Although she is still sad over our decision and has a lot of needless guilt, we have been able to maintain a good relationship. My mother is a very important part of my life and I refused to let Mormonism drive a permanent wedge between us. Luckily my mother didn't send us such despicable messages like your MIL.

Hopefully with time, your MIL will not be so hateful. She will probably never accept your decision, but maybe she will learn to keep her snide comments to herself. If she doesn't know how to play nice, you may need to keep your distance for a while.

Stay strong. You made the right decision.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I hope you guys will always love me no matter's hard to admit this, but I've been having trouble with some things in the church. It's not like I'm going to just leave it altogether, but there are things about it that I can't ignore anymore. I've spent years pushing issues back in my brain as far as I could, and to pretend that they weren't there. But they never went away.

Recently, certain things have happened that have made these issues impossible to ignore any longer. I can't just act like it doesn't bother me or hurt me. I need to figure out what I really believe. For this reason, I can't fully invest myself in the LDS church until I come to understand myself. It would feel wrong to do otherwise.

My main problems with the church may seem shallow, but they are very serious to me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have been blog-cruising lately. I know a few Mormon people with blogs from my old ward, and once in a while I stop to read about what their lives are like. I guess it is intriguing, but it ends up making me angry almost every time. I see these young, REALLY young, people with a kid or two (most of these blogs are kept up by stay-at-home moms in their early 20's) who talk about the various crafts and scrapbook endeavors they are working on, as well as EVERY CUTE THING their kids have been doing. They then go on to praise their husbands and, here and there, insert some remark about how they are so grateful to have The Gospel.

So many people just like me got married in the temple for "eternity" to their companions, to begin their young lives working, going to school, having babies, and giving time and money to The Church until the day they die. Some of them really believe in The Plan, and I am sure some of them don't. Maybe the just got married in the temple because, like me, they thought there was no other way their families would allow them to do it.

Anyway, I am glad to be able to see through this religion. I know that it has been messing me up and holding me back, in some cases. It has not been all bad, but I am still glad to be "out" of it--I can find happiness away from it that is so much more real, so much more appealing. As I read the blog entries of these young married women, I wonder, are they REALLY happy? Are they fully invested in the religion that they belong to? Are they thrilled with their lots in life--the eternal motherhood, the subservience to the Priesthood, their unquestioning obedience? I know that the answer is "yes" more often than I would hope it would be. They ARE happy, as far as they believe they are supposed to be happy. If you tore them away from their gospel-centered lives, they would not know WHAT to do and would honestly say they were unhappy.

I want to tell them to go back to school, to EXPERIENCE everything they've ever thought of trying. I want to tell them to do DO things...not to believe what it right or wrong based on the Church's teachings. Most of these women are following a religion blindly. I know I was.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thigns are going to change

I would like to move this blog away from just my bitter religious ramblings and into a place where I can freely express myself. I might discuss topics of interest, post essays, think "out loud," or just write about what I'm feeling or thinking.

I may change the name, too. I don't have any ideas yet, though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Temple Experience

My exmo sis had told me few things about the temple already, like that there were secret handshakes and chanting and things such as that. I was freaked out to begin with, and knowing it was going to be strange made it worse and made me more anxious.

I was engaged and I knew I'd have to go through the temple soon. I was doubting and had been doubting for a long time but I loved my fiance and he was quite TBM at the time, as were our families for the most part, so I knew I would have to get married in the temple. I set a day to go through the Mesa temple while we were visiting my parents in AZ. While there, however, I asked that we put it off because I was "not ready yet." My parents didn't understand but respected my wished.

The day before my wedding, I went through the Bountiful temple. I was not ready that day, either, but it was pretty much the longest I could have put it off, right? :) I remember how worried I was, and how I just wished I was allowed to know what was going to happen. Why did it have to be so damn secret? That only made it scarier. Still, what choice did I have? I wanted to get married. I took my clothes off in the dressing room and put on a shield/poncho getup and went to get washed and anointed.

The old ladies in the curtains were kind to me, and told me all these great things I could become, and it made me feel better. It was odd, though, to have WOMEN giving me blessings and acting as though they had priesthood authority. That was weird. But I can honestly say that the initiatory was the best part of the temple experience for me. I didn't entirely understand it, but it made me feel somewhat empowered (by the way, this was POST-naked touching). I figured the rest of it couldn't be that bad.

As I sat in the endowment, I felt confusion and fear. I hated knowing that there would be a "test" at the end, and I freaked out to try to remember everything I was supposed to say and do at the veil. I thought the movie was boring and silly. I felt that the handshakes, gestures and chanting were cult-like and made me endlessly uncomfortable. I was in a mad rush to do all the robe-changing things because I didn't want to be the last person in the room standing up to change them, therefore causing embarrassment. I hated not understand what the hell was going on. It felt jumbled and foreign, and worst of all I didn't see why knowing a bunch of handshakes would prove me worthy of entering heaven. I did not believe it.

At the end, my husband was able to take me through the veil. It was a neat idea, but I was still scared and confused--even with the veil worker helping me. After feeling humiliated at the veil, I passed through into the Celestial Room. It was nice and peaceful there, but I could not fathom what I had just endured. it was as though the religion I had known since childhood had a dare side that I had never, ever known existed. It felt very wrong to me. I remember that while I sat in the Celestial Room with my fiance, I thought to myself, "I wouldn't mind if I never had to go through the temple again!"

I hated going ever since then. I'd make all sorts of excuses not to do the endowment. I would do other things, like baptisms, initiatories, and sealings, long before I'd do an endowment. I hated sitting through the stupid movie and doing the cult-like gestures.

I never felt the same about my religion after that.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Delicate Balance

It has been months since the bishop talked to us...probably in January, around tithing settlement time. Since then many things have changed. We have drifted farther from the church. We knew we still had to go to keep up appearance, but it has become less and less since January. At first it was just skipping on priesthood/rs meetings at the end of the block. Then, more and more, we only went to sacrament meeting each week. At this point, we only attend sacrament meeting about 2-3 times a month. It works for us, it's not to horrible but it allows us to let people see us in a church setting and therefore think that we aren't apostates, just lazy/jack/what have you.

No one has contacted us about what's going on with us since the Bishop. Only one person knows, for sure, what is going on (the elders quorum pres.), and if he is going to keep it to himself like he is supposed to then no one else will ever know. We no longer have callings: DH dropped his, including home teaching, and I was released from mine right before this whole thing began. As for visiting teaching, well, I'm just like half of the ward now who just plain never does it. We were never great friends with any of the ward members and so we are not terribly missed by anyone. I assume that they think we have been thrust in the miserable pit of nursery/primary and that is why we are not seen after sacrament meeting. We like them to think that.

We are in a delicate balance, but we are happy. It would be easy for people to figure things out, to realize what is happening. We hope they don't. We don't want to be harassed. We just want to stay Mormon without doing any of the hard work :) As long as we have our temple recommends, our families will have no reason to suspect things, either, and we just got those renewed in February. We've got time. Now our goal is to find a place to move to where we can start over, where we can start a reputation of being jacks in a new place. We'll just blend in a little with things without getting involved. We are looking everywhere for a new apartment.

But at least we are happy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April Conference

Ah, General Conference.

I listened to part of the morning session on saturday, and was so vastly unimpressed I felt compelled to vomit. That sacred assembly thing was just... strange. I didn't stand. I didn't raise my hand.

I didn't listen again until we were at the in-laws' house the next day and it was on full blast. I tried to concentrate on other thing like homework as those fine Priesthood brethren spoke about how we need to sacrifice more and how Monson is the greatest thing since Joseph Smith himself. Or Jesus, maybe. When The Man himself spoke, I'm sure everyone almost peed themselves from the excitement. When he invited all of the apostates to come back in the morning session, I felt odd as I realized that he was talking to me. As usual, I wasn't going to heed his words. I haven't felt the need to do that for years, and now especially.

What a waste.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A good way of looking at it.

Subject: Think of it this way ...
Date: Mar 31 18:49

Say that when you are born, your parents put a necklace around your neck. It's nothing special, just a few beads on a string. But from the time you are small, they tell you that it is the necklace that keeps you growing and learning and happy, and if you dare to take it off, you will die. Every day they pound this belief into you to the point that you wouldn't take it off for anything.

Then along comes a friend who was raised just like you but has taken the necklace off. He tells you he knows hundreds of people who have taken the necklace off with no ill effects. He can cite studies that show people thriving after removing the necklace.

Your parents and your friends and teachers and bishop tell you not to listen to your friend. They know what's right, and taking off the necklace is deadly.

But there you sit, faced with a terrifying decision: if your parents are right, you'll die if you take the necklace off. If your friend is right, then everything your parents and teachers taught you is suspect. They lied.

Which one is easier to choose? Keep it on and never know what the consequence will be, or take it off and risk death?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Great and Spacious Building

Wow. That's all I can say:

The $1.5 Billion downtown project.

Isn't it great that the Church has the ability to make this much money, apparently without tithing included? You know, screw all of the humanitarian aid that could be offered with $1.5 billion...I mean, real estate, food, shopping--now THOSE are MUCH more vital and should be focused on in this religion first and foremost.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FLAK Post by Reformed_Egyptian

This post was amazing and summed up many of my own feelings very well:

Take a look.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday Report

Although we could certainly have used the excuse that we forgot about Daylight Saving Time (as did at least one couple who walked in thinking the closing song was the opening song), my husband and I went to sacrament meeting.

We sat near the back but in plain sight so the bishop could easily see us and give us "they're trying to be good people and come to church" points, even though we were going to leave before our names could be marked on any rolls. Better than nothing. We wanted to be seen but not talked to, and we sat in a place that allowed an easy escape as soon as the closing prayer ended.

The speakers were from the newly re-organized West Relief Society (yes, we have TWO of them in our ward...the ward is like 90% young married couples). They all spoke about the conference talk from Eyring, I believe. But for me, the highlight of the meeting was a personal story of one of these young ladies. She was talking about how her husband went on a mission when she was like 16 or 17. At this point, she mentioned that she had a very strong "revelation" that she had to marry this guy. At age 17, she KNEW she was getting married to him. All she had to do was convince him that he wanted to marry her, too, when he returned home. 17. Holy crap, ladies and gentlemen. She went on to say that later on, Satan caused her to have doubts about this. Doubts? That's called "common sense," girlfriend. It never ceased to bother me, even when I was strong in the church, that members were always so quick to say that Satan had caused them to do or think something, or was responsible for their sorrow, or whatever. Satan isn't just a scapegoat, you know.

We whispered many a sarcastic remark throughout the duration of the meeting, and were glad when the final "amen" resounded through the chapel. We made our getaway without a hitch and went off to have a lovely Sunday picnic while everyone else was in classes. Ah, that's the life.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It can't be just a coincidence...

Two Studies Find Depression Widespread in Utah

Study Calling Utah Most Depressed, Renews Debate on Root Causes


March 7, 2008—

The still waters of the Great Salt Lake run deep -- and dark.

Take Wendy, a 40-year-old teacher and mother of three from Utah County. To all appearances, she led the perfect life. Just as she was expected to, she went from high school cheerleader to Mormon missionary to wife and mother.

"But life has a funny way of not being perfect," she said. "Three years into my marriage my husband was drinking, using drugs and stepping out on me.

"I knew I was depressed and needed help, but there is a stigma about depression in this area," said Wendy, who asked that not use her last name. "People think it's a sign of weakness. It means you're not capable of being a good mother or wife or teacher."

Wendy's secret is Utah's secret. The postcard image of Utah is a state of gleaming cities, majestic mountains and persistently smiling people. But new research shows a very different picture of the state, a snapshot of suicide and widespread depression.

A recent study by Mental Health America, the country's oldest independent mental health advocacy organization, ranked Utah the most depressed state in the country.

Another survey released last week by drug distribution company Express Scripts found that residents of Utah were prescribed antidepressant drugs more than those of any other state and at twice the national average.

According to MHA, some 10.14 percent of adults in Utah "experienced a depressive episode in the past year and 14.15 percent experienced serious psychological distress. ... Individuals in Utah reported having on average 3.27 poor mental health days in the past 30 days."

The reason for Utah's mass depression, however, is unknown.

"The truth is, we don't know why," said Dr. Ted Wander, spokesman for the Utah Psychiatric Association.

Neither study was broken down by gender, but nationally women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depressive disorders as men, experts told ABC News.

Psychiatrists point to several factors that could contribute to Utah's high levels of depression: limited mental health resources, restricted access to treatment as a result of cost, poor quality of resources and a varied list of other factors, including an underfunded educational system and a culture deeply rooted in the Mormon faith.

"Availability to resources, a lack of professionals and barriers to treatment, including the ability to pay all drive up instances of depression," said Dr. Curtis Canning, a Logan-based psychiatrist and former president of the Utah Psychiatric Association. "But there is also -- especially when it comes to women and girls -- a cultural factor."

Seventy percent of Utah's residents are Mormon. When Express Scripts issued its first national survey of prescription drug use in 2002, it sparked a heated debate across Utah about what, if any role, the church played in the state's high dependence on antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft.

"In Mormon culture females are supposed accept a calling. They are to be constantly smiling over their family of five. They are supposed to take supper across the street to an ill neighbor and then put up with their husband when he comes home from work and smile about it the whole time. There is this sense that Mrs. Jones down street is doing the same thing, and there is this undercurrent of competition. To be a good mother and wife, women have to put on this mask of perfection. They can't show their tears, depression or agony," Canning said.

"Obedience, conformity and maintaining a sense of harmony" are unspoken but widely recognized behaviors, which all contribute to what he calls "the Mother of Zion syndrome."

When Wendy first started seeking professional help and was put on Zoloft 10 years ago, she felt the sting of shame even from her own family members.

"Marriage and family are so important that there was a huge amount of pressure to make things work. I was supposed to try harder, and buck up and that would make me happier and keep my husband from abusing me," she said.

"There are expectations from the community, but mostly from other women," she said. "It doesn't come down from the church necessarily, but it's passed from mother to daughter. My family was reluctant to see me taking the drugs, but since seeing me at my worst, they now encourage me to take my meds."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, however, says the high number of prescriptions is a result of people receiving the drugs they need in Utah more than in other places.

"I don't think it's clear that there's a crisis in Utah," said Brent Scharman, a psychologist and the assistant commissioner of LDS Family Services, a church network that provides counseling. "You've got one camp that says there is more depression and another camp that says we just have more consumers." Scharman said studies on organized religion and depression found that religious people were generally happier than nonreligious people, and that held true for Mormons.

"It always boils down to the issue of what influence the LDS lifestyle has on the depression phenomenon," he said. "Non-LDS and some LDS people say this is a kind of driven lifestyle and that we push too hard and smile too much. But studies show, and those living it out see, that religion is good support. It creates a positive network and helps people get through crises and deal with long-term problems.

"Are there people who feel 'I'm not living up to the LDS ideal,' or 'I'm not living up to my family's expectations'? Absolutely, there is no question. But having done counseling outside the LDS community, I saw people there, too, who were depressed because of perfectionism," he said. "I wouldn't say it is any worse here than in more diverse communities."

The MHA study evaluated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., and factored in suicide statistics to determine each state's "depression status."

Liquor law changes = ridiculous

Utah changes already-complicated liquor laws

Adjusts size of shot, bans orders of sidecar if it’s in your mixed drink

updated 8:03 p.m. ET March 5, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY - Bar patrons in Utah, which has some of the nation's strictest liquor laws, will soon be able to get 50 percent tipsier off one cocktail. Be warned, though: no more "sidecars."

The amount of liquor allowed in the standard cocktail will increase from 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces after the Legislature approved the first major changes in years to the state's liquor laws. That's the standard used in most other states and countries.

Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman has said he wants the change so Utah won't appear so strange to the rest of the world. Utah is the only state to limit the amount of liquor allowed in a standard shot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Story continues below ↓

And while the change is intended to improve the state's image, the bill also makes some alterations that many people may find downright odd.

Utah will become the only state to ban wine coolers and flavored malt beverages from grocery stores. Instead, they will be sold only in state liquor stores.

"I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these alcopops are directed to our kids. It is a gateway drug," said Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab.

Restrictions on wine coolers were almost guaranteed after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said last month that it supported doing so. Sixty percent of the state's residents are Mormon, but 80 percent to 90 percent of lawmakers are.

In addition, bar patrons' option of ordering an additional 1-ounce shot to pour in their drinks, known locally as a sidecar, is being eliminated. Customers will still be able to order shots while they have a drink on the table, but only if it is of a liquor that's not already in their drink.

In other words, customers drinking a margarita couldn't order a shot of tequila, but they could take shots of vodka.

Frequently, a group of customers will order the same shot to drink together. Bartenders and waiters will now have to keep track of what liquor is already in each customer's drink before they can serve up the shot.

Those who deal with tourists say the changes will do little to improve the state's image and will leave many people just as confused as ever.

"If anything, I think it's going to make things worse because they're mixing alcohol," said Cristin Poloni, a marketing executive for a Salt Lake City ski rental company. "People are going to be completely perplexed, especially tourists."

Residents can take comfort that at least one liquor law won't change: Doubles will remain illegal.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A little humor

To post on FLAK. I love LOL cats...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

Things that have come to mind recently:

  • If the Church owns Deseret Industries, then why do they allow "inappropriate" clothing, books and movies to be sold there? They gain make money from these items...wouldn't that be considered wrong? Their members certainly would be asked not to do such a thing. (*and as a side note: does anyone know how much of the money earned from this business is kept and used by the Church versus given to people in need?)
  • If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, why would His Gospel change so freaking often? Some of the changes are pretty serious and disruptive, too!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The List

I have decided to create a list of things that have been determining factors in my 'falling' from the church (inspired by a family member who has done the same). A member reading this might say that I shouldn't have to make a list to convince and remind myself that the church is not true. But it is not like that...there are just so many thoughts a feelings in my head and I want to find them a home. And besides--don't mormons do the same thing once a month, when they get up and bear their testimonies? Well, consider this my "anti-testimony."

-Feelings in the Temple. Before I entered one, I felt very nervous and worried about going through. Turned out I had every right to be--since my first experience within its walls, I felt the spirit drain out of me.

-Temple and Masonic Rituals. Unless the Masons are also God's chosen people and deserved to receive sacred ordinances before they would be introduced into the church, I don't see why the church would lift some of those very rituals word for word. So they knew the way into heaven before the rest of us did?

-Joseph Smith's Lies. The fact that he had over 30 wives and tried to deny it would be a good example of this.

-Polygamy. Enough said. I think this is the main reason mormonism was started, and yet now we look at it as though it is evil and wrong.

-The law of chastity. Not bad in and of itself, but the rigorous enforcement of it is a little too much. Take masturbation for example. And are you really going to tell me that it's better to get married at 18 just so you can finally relieve your sexual tension instead of waiting until a more mature age?

-Tithing. If it were more voluntary, and not a set %, I might feel much better about it. But in order to be a 'card carrying' member of the church you must give 10% to the church, which will be used in ways you will never know.

-The ever-changing gospel. I could almost buy this one if the gospel didn't have such a habit of changing with the times to suit the "ways of the world," which it claims to be so ardently against. Blacks and the priesthood, changing garment lengths and temple ceremonies, and birth control policies are some stellar examples of this.

-Treatment of homosexuals and racism. Not cool. Denying blacks of the priesthood and the experiments on gays at BYU come readily to mind.

-The church is a money-making corporation. Money, money, money. The church can afford to buy so much property, buildings, and, like, a whole street in SLC...if the church were following the teachings of Christ, wouldn't this money go straight to help those less fortunate? And the fact the church actually owns Deseret Book steams me a little.

-Scare tactics. You are literally frightened into staying. Because, you know, if you stop paying your 10% and going to church and attending the temple and having hell with you.

(more later.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The start of all this, Part 2: Growing doubts in my teenage years

So the seeds of doubt had been planted. I mean, I obviously wasn't about to leave the church while I was in grade school or jr. high, but the feelings of uncertainty and hurt where there for sure.

Throughout Jr. High School, I was still strong in the church. I realized that there were things about it that really felt strange for me (ie, polygamy etc), but I went with my family regularly on Sundays, and found myself going to Young Women activities at least some of the time. I never got over how those girls had treated me, but I suppose I found some kind of place within the YW program, even if I still felt like an outsider. I tried my best to fit in.

In 9th grade, I began my Church Educational System (CES) experience. For the first time, I was graded on reading scriptures and doing religion-themed handouts and activities. It always felt a bit strange to mix school with the church (perhaps this is one reason why I would never attend BYU) and this was reflected in my success within the class--I rarely did my scriptures reading and took a rather half-assed approach to the class as a whole. I realized then something I had known, deep inside, for a while: I hated to read the scriptures. It was not a simple dislike, or something I found a little daunting, but I REALLY hated to read from the scriptures. They were repetitive and uninteresting and bland, and I gained very little of anything from pouring over their pages. And of course, doing something is always worse when you are assigned to do it. My great dislike of reading from the scriptures must have really begun around this time, in the same way one doesn't like a book they are forced to read for English class.

Not only that, but I didn't like scripture study at home, or when teachers would tell you to open your scriptures during church lessons. It was like a switch, and as soon as it was flipped I lost interest just like that. I don't know if I believed that they were true or not. I must have at least thought that I believed in them. But if so, why did I despise them so much?

Around this time, another important thing happened: there was a ward split. This means that our ward was cut and part of it was added to a different (smaller) ward. This did wonders for me. I already knew a few people from this new ward, so I at least had some friends. Here, I felt more accepted and loved. I was able to start from scratch and got to know many of the girls. The younger ones looked up to me. I really regained positive feelings for the church at this point. I attended classes and activities much more frequently and often enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, what happened over time was that church became a social thing instead of a spiritual thing. Well, okay, it hadn't been all that spiritual to begin with, but as I made more friends and laughed and hung out at activities with them, that became my main reason for attending.

In high school, I felt quite void of spiritual influence. I went through the motions but did not really "feel" it. I went to seminary but often wished to skip class. I grew frustrated in class often because something would be said or a lesson would be taught that conflicted with what I felt in my heart. I also realized that most of the people in class were only there because they had to be (their parents made them) and not because they wanted to be. It seemed sad to me that religion would be forced on someone like that, and the same went for me. So many of those students couldn't care less about it, and yet they had to go because their parents had expected them to go and signed them up and now they had to go to get marked on the roll. How sad.

I was still friends with A., but there were new people going in and out of our group. Throughout high school the people we hung out with periodically changed, but there almost always were a few "mormon reject" sorts--people who weren't into their religion and did things like go to wild parties, watch 'bad' movies, and drink coffee or booze. I grew accustomed to them and accepted them, although I still tried to live the mormon life. I was not a molly mormon by any means, but compared to most of my friends I was the good kid. I think that I wanted my parents to be proud of me. Regardless of the fact that they wanted the church to be a heavy influence in my life, I loved and respected them as people and wanted very much to please them. I know I was raised well, and I wanted to be 'good' for my parents more than I wanted to be 'bad' for my friends. It was a struggle.

I tried not to talk too much about the church with anyone. I found I wasn't very proud to be a member--I just WAS one, that's all. I disagreed with much of the doctrine the more I learned in seminary, and I never found a passion for reading my scriptures. I guess that I was on the edge, even back then. I didn't have a testimony. I didn't truly believe. I wasn't a mormon...I just played one.

More in Part 3.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Joseph Smith Papers

New Publishing Imprint Set to Boost Mormon Scholarship

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today the establishment of The Church Historian’s Press, a new imprint for publishing works related to the Church’s origin and growth.

The initial publishing project of the press will be The Joseph Smith Papers, a documentary series eventually comprising 25–30 volumes. Elder Marlin K. Jensen, Church Historian, has described The Joseph Smith Papers as “the single most significant historical project of our generation.”

Full Story
Photograph of a page from one of Joseph Smith's journals.


Photograph of a page from one of Joseph Smith's journals.

© 2008 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

(...I just have to wonder why they weren't published sooner? What kind of stuff is included in these papers?)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Star Wars is evil

It's got to be a joke.... right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The start of all this, Part 1: Realizing that something wasn't right

I was a teenager when it began, maybe as young as 13. I'm not sure. But I just remember having this feeling that something wasn't right. I still went to church and Young Women's activities and everything else like I was supposed to.

I had moved from Arizona to Utah when I was about 12, so things were hard enough as far as adjusting went. At church, there was a group of girls who I thought were the greatest, coolest people I'd even seen. I really wanted to be friends with them. I did everything I could to hang out with them at school, church and Young Women activities, but despite my efforts it seemed that all they did was tolerate my presence. I didn't understand. They were different from the kids I knew back in Arizona--I didn't' realize it then, but they were what one might call your typical "Utah Mormon" girls. They were very selective of who they would hang out with, and cared about looking spiritual and innocent on the outside (especially in certain circumstances) but they were ultimately superficial. All they talked about with each other were boys and spent a lot of time giggling inanely. At church or activities they would let this sappy spiritual side show, but as soon as you saw them at school they had done a 180.

Anyway, I kept trying to fit in with these girls but didn't have much luck. I never became part of their "group." What really gets me is that even though they wouldn't accept me into their group, they still did their 'duty' as members of the Beehive presidency and would kindly invite me to the Young Women activities, as though they cared that I attended. When I did come, they ignored me and just stuck with each other. I was really confused. Soon, I gave up on trying to be their friend and decided instead to hang out with the only group that had accepted me when I moved in--a non-Mormon girl and the two or three boys that she hung out with at recess. I tried to find excuses to not attend Young Women activities, to my mother's dismay, and often I would be mysteriously sick on Sunday when it was time for Sunday School and Young Women. I just couldn't stand to be the outsider, so I tried to avoid painful situations altogether.

It wasn't just the people, though. It was also the ridiculous activities, the monotonous and repetitive lessons, and the expectations that I was to live up to. Personal Progress? What a heap. I didn't want to "invite a non-member friend to church" or "study and pray over a particular chapter in the Book of Mormon" just so I could put the desired 'x' by enough things for me to get a charm. Yeah, rewarding girls with jewelry...that's an interesting way to keep them coming to church and following all the 'rules.' I hated doing just about everything in that Personal Progress book. It just didn't mean much to me, and many of the activities I was expected to do were uncomfortable or just so beyond what I would normally do that I found it very difficult. As for the activities, we baked cookies while the Young Men went rock climbing. Once in a while we did fun stuff, too, like ice-skating or hiking or biking, but even then I didn't have anyone to be hang out with at activities so I never wanted to go and be the loner in the group.

I continued to hang out with my new group of friends at school. Most of them were Mormon, but the leader of the group, A., was most certainly not. I think she was surprised by how easily I accepted her. Sometimes I am, too. Her parents smoked and drank alcohol and coffee and swore and watched rated-R movies, but although I was shocked at first when I came over to her house, I realized that I really liked these people. They were not bad because they were 'sinners.' I was lovingly taken in to her family and they really cared about me. Surprisingly, they were as understanding of me and my morals as I was of them and theirs, so we got along. We didn't judge one another.

I'm pretty sure that that realization was a catalyst in my way of thinking. I had already had many non-Mormon friends in Arizona, but for the first time all harsh, judgmental feelings went out the window with A. and her family.

More in Part 2.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The perfect definition...

Cultural Mormon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from New Order Mormon)
Jump to: navigation, search

Cultural Mormon is a term describing someone who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, usually born into the Church, but who does not believe all or part of its doctrine, or one who does not follow all of its practices.

Cultural Mormons do not necessarily hold "anti-Mormon" sentiments and they often support the goals of the Church and find value in some of its teachings and practices. Many remain members of the Church for life. However, other Cultural Mormons consider their status to be temporary, as they work towards leaving the Church.

Cultural Mormons can fall into three different categories:

  1. Practicing Cultural Mormon - members of the Church who practice their religion for social reasons or to maintain harmony in the family.
  2. "Jack Mormon" - members of the Church who rarely or never attend church meetings or otherwise practice the religion, but who maintain good relations with members and positive feelings toward the Church, and who may or may not harbor belief in the Church.
  3. Ex-Mormon - those who are no longer members of the Church, but in some cases remain cultural Mormons in that they continue to value and live by aspects of a Mormon lifestyle, and may continue to associate strongly with friends and family members who are still Church members.

Many practicing cultural Mormons and Jack Mormons may keep their doubts a secret, and maintain a facade of believing in the doctrines. This is usually done to prevent conflicts within their families. One such group is the New Order Mormons, an Internet community whose members may belong to any of the above categories.


I didn't realize that there was a definition on Wikipedia (of all places) to so perfectly descriobe my situation. Of the three above categories, I'd stick myself in there between "Practicing Cultural Mormon" and "Jack Mormon." As ridiculous as it might be to try and define those terms, they at least describe my circumstances.

Great. I feel so...defined.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

first post

This is who I am now. A lie. I have chosen to live a lie, and I can't admit it to those that I love. That is why this blog was created. With my husband, I am taking a journey away from what I have known to be the center of my life for 23 years: the mormon church.

This is a journal of my thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and confessions as a mormon who has fallen away but must stay in the church.