I used to do this a lot back in the day, so I thought I would give it another try.
There are various websites to help people who are leaving the Mormon Church, and they exist because people *are* leaving. They are putting two and two together and realizing the answer isn't "Follow the Prophet." The answer is four, damnit.
I didn't go to bed. I didn't nap. I ate meals at my desk.
I was just absorbing the fact that I wasn't crazy, and that I wasn't alone.
I was excited, scared, but most of all relieved.
Here are some of the comments left by fellow ex-Mormons about what they were going through in their lives:
You know, when I got my patriarchal blessing at 17 (which was really short by the way), my patriarch admitted to me that he had added in the part about me finding a husband and raising children. He also admitted that he added a mission to the blessing of every boy he gave on too. So much for the word of God.Ahh, the art of the patriarchal blessing.
Also. last summer, I asked for a blessing from my HT, because I was real stressed about losing my job. He, in turn told me through the blessing that the Lord was very unhappy with me. With what you have written, I now know these were his own words, but I will tell you, I almost died when those words were said.
Thankfully I no longer believe and can put that behind me - but he will never know what that did to my self-esteem.
You know the reason they don't want you to share yours with anyone else, don't you? It's because they are all the same. Cookie cutter. Sure, little things are different, but there is absolutely zero truth to them.
Now for the asshole who gave a "blessing" when this person needed it the most? What. The. Fuck?
Gee, this person just lost their job. I should tell them it's because God is mad at them. That will get their ass in gear!
I believe this home teacher did this because he wanted to make this person attend church more and become more active to "make it up to God." God would then look down upon the home teacher and say, "Atta Boy!!"
I went to the Salt Lake temple over thirty years ago, as a young man. I don't remember the ceremonies in detail, but I do remember some of my thoughts.
I remember thinking that I have been taught all my life that this church is different from lesser churches. It doesn't engage in ceremony, pomp and circumstance, signs, symbols and tokens. Now here I am, yes, this is still the same church, but here are those things going on which I was taught are not of God's church. Here they are to the MAX. Weird plays. Weird chants. Weird signs and symbolic gestures. How can this be. Yet everyone else here seems to be taking it in stride.
I also could never figure out why an omnipotent God would require anyone to memorize signs and gestures for admittance to heaven. It didn't make sense then, it makes even less sense now.
It was the first and the only time I went to a temple. There was no desire ever to return. It was the most faith shattering experience of my life.
This is one of MANY first time temple accounts shared on the website. 99% of the accounts are just like this one.
One of my relatives shared her experience in the temple with me even though she was taught not to. She said that she had no idea what was really going on, but she "knew" it was right. I didn't really understand what she meant by that. I asked her to explain further. She said that while it might have been odd and strange at times and she didn't like it when other people touched her she was taught it was required to go to heaven and therefore the experience was good.
I wonder how many people feel this way?
Nothing about the temple makes sense, and TBM comments on the subject remind me that I am just a sinner and therefore I can't understand.
Yeah, thats right. I'm the problem. Riiiiight.
This final note is something that really sticks with me. I empathize with this woman more than she could ever know. All emphasis is mine:
A little less than a year ago (Sept 2002), I was in a similar situation to JT [fellow ex-Mormon] in which at least some of my family members seriously would have preferred to see me commit suicide rather than leave the Morg. They found out how serious I was in my disbelief when they spied on me on this board. (I also told them I on the phone that I didn't believe because I couldn't stand keeping it to myself and because I knew I didn't have anything to be ashamed of since Mormonism is clearly not true.) After discovering disturbing information about Mormonism during a research project, I went on a Mormon-research spree, staying up late at night to read about the problems. Almost immediately, I could see through the scam I had been fed my entire life. I shared some info. with my husband, and he said he'd leave the Morg with me, but after I told my family, he backed down, claiming belief in the Morg as he still does today.I don't have much to add.
When my husband went back on his decision, I was seriously ready to drive into a telephone pole, like JT. But I was able to eventually take back control over my life. This is not an easy thing to do when you've been raised in an organization that controls everything from your underwear to when and how many kids you have and how you spend your freetime. As a BIC, temple-married seminary/church school graduate, I had always towed the Mormon line, even having kids young, while I was still in school, because some prophets have said not to put off reproducing future tithe-payers for one's education.
Fortunately, though, I was able to realize that most of my family members (if not all) are so deeply brainwashed that they really WOULD rather have me die than leave their cult. My BIL even yelled at me on the phone, saying that the "spirit of Christ" wouldn't lead someone to suicide, so "something else must be going on." Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that I had sold my soul to the devil, lol. I'm not sure what his comment was supposed to mean, but he could take it as evidence that if "Christ" existed as a real spiritual entity and WOULDN'T encourage a person to kill herself, then the fact that the prospect of staying in the Morg made me suicidal would mean that the Morg wasn't inspired by Christ. My BIL and sister went so far as to take my posts from this board to the bishop of the ward I used to attend. Family members telling on each other reminds me so much of Communist Russia. They were just trying to "help," of course, especially as my sister used the opportunity to tell me that they she thought I was a bad mother, etc. (I think I'm a very good mother with happy, well-adjusted children, in my defense.) My family members were in regular cohorts with the bishop. The funny thing is that there's nothing they could do to control me, regardless of how often they called the bishop or how carefully they pieced together evidence of me posting here. (I had given my first and last names and been very obvious on purpose, lol.)
For me, the way to take back power is to stop caring (as much as possible) about what brainwashed people think of me. I know that basically whatever I do is going to be condemned because I'm an apostate, so I just plan on it. If I spend a lot of time driving my kids to and from various extra-curricular activities, then I'm "worldly." If I don't, then I'm a bad mother. (I do, just fyi.) If my husband and I are happy together, then they just figure that we're not really happy, since "wickedness never was happiness," after all (and no matter what I do, it must be wicked, since I'm a non-believer). If our marriage is falling apart, then they take that as evidence that it's God's curse and use it as an opportunity to scream at me on the phone about how I "couldn't cut it in Mormonism" and how it "wouldn't have happened if I hadn't left the church." When our marriage subsequently comes back together, they have no comment. They won't talk to me about my schooling/career because they see it as a factor in my apostacy (since I'm at an evil secular school, after all). It saddens me to know that basically my entire extended family would reject me that easily because we have different beliefs, but there's really not anything I can do about it. I'm not going to live my life for them.
It saddens me that they're watching for me to act evily, since it doesn't fit their schema for me to be what they would consider "good." Ironically, I live my life basically the same as I did before (after a bit of an exmo "second adolescence") spending almost all my time now studying, teaching, and doing things with the kids. The main difference is that I don't have to force them to sit through long, boring church meetings or spend Saturday nights coloring and cutting visual aids for Primary. My family freaked out when I spend a lot of time on this board and when I drank coffee or wine occassionally. I don't currently drink either just because I don't have a need to right now, and I don't spend much time "tearing down the church," lol.
Distance has been a great healer for me. I am thinking about Mormonism less and less every day. I rarely even argue with my husband about it anymore. I think that he can see how many sacrifices I make for him and the kids on days like today, when I spend every single minute occupied in things to benefit them (hence my posting at this late hour, when they don't need me). He was ready to divorce me, primarily because of the religion issue, he said, but we both want to be with the kids, so for now, at least, we're working it out.
Mormonism doesn't seem to be all that important to him, as he rarely brings it up or attends anymore, and I think it has been good for him to get so close to divorcing and realize that the church and his family would offer little real support to him. Sure they'll SAY they support him, but that's not much good. I'm the one who takes the kids to school and feeds them breakfast and schedules their haircuts and lessons and who takes extra work assignments to buy us a new bed or dining set, lol, not the Morg or his parents. He was surprised at how little they called him when we were seriously considering divorce. His poor parents have their own problems, unfortunately, and I was actually pretty mad at him for burdening them with his. I wonder if some of the new posters here whose wives are threatening divorce could realize that the Morg is NOT going to give them the support their spouses do.
I have also had to distance myself somewhat from my family. I really do love them, but I refuse to take their negative attitudes about me leaving Mormonism, especially after my mom insisted on bringing up Mormonism again and again on the phone when I was near divorce and quite desperate for her support. Even when I begged her to stop talking about it, she couldn't do it. The brainwashing is that deep. The fact that I care about my extended family just makes me that much angrier at the Morg as I see it steal the time and energy and money away from my siblings and parents and away from the time they should be spending with their kids and on enjoyable, enriching things, instead of the emotionally bankrupt practices of Mormonism. Fortunately, perhaps, I'm so used to my parents putting me second to the church that it's not hard to get used to. And since they were rarely there for me growing up, since they were always off doing church callings, it's not that different not to see or talk to them much now, even though we live only an hour away.
Mormonism has about zero power in my life now, even though my husband is still supposedly in it. My very young kids already don't believe in it, since they've got good critical thinking skills and rarely attend (the oldest probably will never attend again). Many Morgbots would probably love to see me ruin my life somehow, just to make it fit their schema, but oh well--it's not going to happen, if I can avoid it. I, unlike them, only have a limited time, and I'm going to live it in my terms, with true integrity, rather than cowing to the authority of a cult.
A comment for JT: The bishop's comments about it being better for one man to perish, etc., are VERY disturbing, since he's basically eluding to your death (which your wife explicitly condones). This is extremely unhealthy, and you need to take back your power. I'm so happy to read about the steps you've already taken. You may find that your spouse (like mine) will deal with it in time. I think you should be true to yourself and do whatever you can to help your children break free of Mormon bonds.
This woman pretty much sums it all up for those who have come to the realization the church is false. She explains the emotional tug of war between believing family members, the bullying, the spying, the *gasp* lying.
What would Jesus Do?
I love what she had to say.