The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

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Beefster
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The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by Beefster » 01 Apr 2018, 22:54

So my mom managed to pry some information out of someone I confided in. (I'm not blaming them or angry at them or anything. Prying is prying.) My parents are now aware of my faith crisis and presence on this forum and confronted me about it. :shifty:

We had a long talk and while they don't really understand where I'm coming from, they were very loving about it. They were quick to blame the problem on porn, but I assured them this is more complicated than that. I recommended that they watch John Dehlin's presentation on why faithful Mormons leave the church.

It feels better to be open about it. Closeting a faith crisis is very uncomfortable. I wish the church culture at large were more empathetic to doubters so we don't feel the need to hide it and tear ourselves apart as a result. I may still be able to rebuild some sort of lds-compatible belief and I promised my parents I wouldn't leave until I have read through the BoM again and read Crucible of Doubt by Teryl&Fiona Givens.

I don't know what I can accept as evidence of God anymore, but we'll see where this takes me.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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SamBee
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by SamBee » 02 Apr 2018, 03:22

Just make it clear you're not involved in major sins and don't come over as hostile.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by AmyJ » 02 Apr 2018, 05:10

The "Stages of Faith" wiki might be helpful for them to reassure them that "this is a form of normal" (more or less). But, your mileage may vary...

You have my empathy - I remember how concerned you were about this conversation with your parents, and now you are on the other side of it looking for the pot of gold that should be around there somewheres :shock:

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dande48
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by dande48 » 02 Apr 2018, 05:47

Congratulations, Beefster. I'm glad things went well.

Make sure you don't let your definitions, or your parents, or anyone else's paint you into a box. It's a virtue to admit when you don't know, as well as to change your mind and adapt as better information and insights come your way. You're going to do well. As always, I look forward to learning more as your journey unfolds.

There's also I book I really enjoyed, but that I haven't shared with anyone else. It has helped me quite a bit to explain myself to others. It's called "When Mormons Doubt" by Jon Ogden. It's all about bridging gaps and strengthening relationships between full-faith members, specifically family members, and those like us. The kindle version, which you can read on your browser during lunch break, is only $2. It's definitely worth picking up.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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DarkJedi
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Apr 2018, 06:21

SamBee wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 03:22
Just make it clear you're not involved in major sins and don't come over as hostile.
And make it clear you're the same person you always were. You're still the little boy they raised and loved, you still love them, and you still live a good "gospel centered" life.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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On Own Now
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by On Own Now » 02 Apr 2018, 08:06

Beefster,

Getting it out in the wild is an important step IMO. Let it go from here with whatever is natural. I hope that you are able to find peace with your faith and with your relationships.

I like the advice you've already gotten. I'll add this only from my own perspective, recognizing that everyone is different and in a different circumstance:

Be careful about giving or taking homework assignments. You committed to read the BofM and the Givens book before you make any moves. That in and of itself is fine, but I'd suggest making it clear to your folks that you are doing that because it is part of your own searching; that that's exactly what you are already trying to do, rather than as a way to keep the beast at bay. If you can do that - be open about your own search - then you will come across as thoughtful, reflective, trying to do the right thing. If you can't, then you'll likely be seen as "not getting it".

On the flip side, this is just me now, I can't see any benefit in trying to get a friend or loved one to read a book or follow a blog or listen to a podcast in order to understand me better. I'm right here... let's talk. I'd rather be defined by my own words than someone else's.

Here are some statements I gravitate to that have given me a lot of traction over the years when I've had these conversations with family members, friends, church leaders:

- I no longer believe.
- I am grateful that I was raised in the Church.
- I'm still trying to be the kind of person I was taught to be.
- I harbor no ill will toward the Church or it members.
- I fully support the beliefs of others and am glad for them that they have their beliefs.
- I'm not going to become 'anti' and work against the Church or try to convince anyone else to leave their faith.
- I don't want to talk about specifics regarding 'why'.

The reason these statements work so well for me is that there is nothing that can be countered or argued against in them. If I said, "there are too many versions of the First Vision", then that can lead to a disagreement about whether the versions disagree. So, I don't say that. I say I'm no longer a believer. I've had this conversation with dozens of people. I've nearly always had positive responses. I can count the number of arguments that have followed on zero fingers.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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SilentDawning
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Apr 2018, 08:22

OK, it's out now. You have been authentic....how does it feel?

For me, I was authentic, and it felt good, but then I realized I was ticking everyone off in being too authentic subsequently. As my beliefs evolved through discussion here on StayLDS, I would share my newfound positions and share them with my wife. That only upset her.

For the sake of my relationships, my children, etcetera, I realized I needed to keep a lot to myself and simply post here. Occasionally you'll run into "safe" people to talk to like relatives who are disaffected and live far away -- out of the zone where they can hurt you by tattling to priesthood leaders. It can be a little plumb to talk openly with them...

Let's see where this goes, but I hope you'll consider balancing authenticity with a desire to help your relatives feel peace and to keep relationships in place. The church is a darned judgmental place, and if word gets out, it can make your life harder, and can accelerate you further toward the door if not managed.

For example, I would consider getting a commitment from family not to a) by disloyal to me and go running to priesthood leaders b) not to share this with their friends and others on your "do not tell" list.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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LookingHard
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by LookingHard » 02 Apr 2018, 10:12

dande48 wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 05:47
There's also I book I really enjoyed, but that I haven't shared with anyone else. It has helped me quite a bit to explain myself to others. It's called "When Mormons Doubt" by Jon Ogden. It's all about bridging gaps and strengthening relationships between full-faith members, specifically family members, and those like us. The kindle version, which you can read on your browser during lunch break, is only $2. It's definitely worth picking up.
Agreed. It is good for sharing with people that honestly want to figure out what is going on with people that are leaving or having issues with the church. It is NOT the CES letter. It may touch on items like polygamy, but the focus is more on understanding how "doubters" feel.

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Beefster
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by Beefster » 02 Apr 2018, 17:13

My motivation with the John Dehlin presentation was to dispel the big myths of why people leave. They're still pretty much in the camp of "people leave because they want to sin", which because of the timing of my FC with a newfound porn problem makes it look like a reasonable scapegoat. My sister watched a lot of R-rated movies with her now-husband before she left, so that becomes an easy point of blame. It didn't help that her husband was a less-than-stalwart convert.

I actually do want to read the Givens book while I still have some hope of belief and they wanted to know what they could do to help, so the two lined up pretty naturally.

I'll keep that Joe Ogden book in mind. That sounds like it would be helpful to my parents.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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mom3
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Re: The cat's out of the bag with my parents and it went better than I expected

Post by mom3 » 03 Apr 2018, 09:15

Many Congrats Beef - May it continue to move smoothly. Every success story is a light for other families.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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