UPDATE JAN 29, 2019 - My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comments

Public forum, tell us about yourself and what brings you to StayLDS!
Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

UPDATE JAN 29, 2019 - My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comments

Post by Awakening » 22 Nov 2014, 18:44

UPDATE - I really feel the need to revisit this board. I have since left the church with my family and all my siblings. I want to tell you this because I know others out there are trying to figure out the best way for them and there is a lot of fear attached to the next step. Leaving the church was the best thing we have all ever done. It was very hard for a while but we have been out for years now, long enough to see the aftermath of this decision and it has been amazing. We have a son who is almost 23 years old and he is so grounded, has been a student, and now has landed an amazing job that he loves. Our 4 younger children who are now ages 10-13 are doing very well. They have so much integrity, they are so loving and kind to others. They are well liked by their peers (most are probably Mormon since we live in Utah) and we have had so many remarks regarding their behavior, their morals etc. YOU DON'T NEED THE CHURCH TO RAISE AMAZING CHILDREN. CORE VALUES COME FROM YOUR EXAMPLE, SHARING EXPERIENCES ETC. We are so close as a family. You can talk about anything, and I mean anything. Our family connection was already strong but it has become so much stronger. My siblings and their families have ALL had very similar experiences. I have watched my nephews and nieces navigate all of this and seriously they are so darling and amazing. I will NEVER go back to church. It took me years to unravel the lies and indoctrination and it is just not worth it. So.............for those of you who are on the fence and afraid, I just want you to consider that there are other alternatives and believe me, our choice has been so much better. Best Wishes to you all as you navigate through this journey. (The Truman Show is on Netflix right now and it is really an amazing show if you haven't seen it and even if you have, it's well worth watching again and even with your older kids!) HUGS TO YOU ALL!

Ok, I too, have been "lurking" around reading posts for awhile and I really appreciate the honesty, sensitivity and candor that I have been reading on the posts.

My story begins over a year ago. Hubby came to me and presented me with a letter from his old missionary companion who had not only left the church (he had served in many capacities including Bishopric in ...... gulp Utah.... gulp.....Utah County. He also had mentioned to my hubby that he wanted to remove his records from the church but for now was leaving that alone because of the tension it would cause with his in laws. Wow! So you can imagine how this man was feeling and the bitterness that jumped right out of the letter. At the same time, here I am reading this and reading for the first time all sorts of "church history" that I have never encountered and the little bit that I had, I had brushed it aside learning at the time when I questioned that it was just "anti Mormon" stuff. Being the TBM that I was, that was enough.

Denial is the first word that comes to my mind. First, how can this be true when I have never even heard of this and I have been very, very active, then, yikes! What about my hubby? I see his doubts surfacing and all I can think of is YIKES what is this going to do to our relationship? Our eternal Family? ETC. Of course, he had already been researching around about the issues brought up in the letter and already knew that his friend was sharing truths. My husband has always been a very active member as well serving in many leadership capacities. Initially I didn't even want to discuss this. My bubble was being burst and I didn't know how to process this. All my friends and family members are pretty, well...... Mormon! I spoke with a family member whose occupation is in the CES. He had some great answers and replies so I was prepared to "debate" my hubby. Well, he was already way past those replies and had something in more depth to reply to anything I tossed his way. Well, that didn't go over well and as some of you can imagine, we just moved forward in a very awkward way. (Did I mention that this is my high school sweetie who has been my best friend for like forever? I only say that because this was truly a very depressing, awkward time for me.) I guess I should also mention, that when I was in my dating years, I probably would not have even continued dating someone who was not active in the church. Of course my hubby was an RM before we got married. ;o)

I also need to mention that before this, my son had come to us and he had been taking a religion class and now he is feeling like he is not certain what he believes. Of course, my answer as the 'Molly Mormon" that I am is to keep coming to church, there is good to glean from it. Now, looking back I realize how difficult this was for him. He did not want to further his position in the priesthood and so living in Utah county you can imagine the kind of pressure that there is when a person decides to explore a different direction. I also want to mention that this boy is AMAZING. He never had given me any trouble, not involved in anything or experimenting with anything questionable or worrisome for ex. drugs. He's a great son who I feel close to and he is very fun and involved with family and siblings.

Back to Hubby. Whew! I'm a bit worn out now writing this ;o) I can joke a bit about this now because I really have come through several stages of the faith transition and I am at a much more comfortable place now. I do want to mention that many tears have been shed and feelings of loss and uncertainty and even some anger. No more awkwardness or tension with my hubby . I love many areas of the gospel and I love the peace of prayer. I am however, uncomfortable, with some of my future decisions regarding church involvement and the involvement of my younger children. I do not want them to feel In indoctrinated the same way I was. I want them to grow up with a more honest and clearer understanding of the gospel and the controversy as well. I really don't like the "follow the prophet you won't go astray" approach any more. I really had a follow the prophet mentality although as a leader I feel I was much more flexible and understanding with some of the church outline programs and people and circumstances than my own leaders would have sometimes liked, but I feel I was able to reach out to the people I was serving in a kinder and more loving and accepting way. It must have ultimately been ok because they continued to ask me to serve.

Well, My husband was not "looking for controversy" in fact it was quite the opposite. He was looking for some answers to use with another friend who had brought up some historical, questionable church history. He just processed this information alone for awhile before deciding to share it with me.

So here we are on this "faith journey" together now. Back to feeling the love and connection we have always enjoyed in our lives together. There are still many unanswered questions and I have really enjoyed reading you guys' thoughts. Thanks to those who have shared.

I am lucky in the way that I have a bit of family support system around me. I went to dinner last winter at my sister's and brother in law's home and my brother whom I now affectionally call "Brother Newlight" since he introduced me to this board, and his wife were there and we were all experiencing similar faith awareness and of course we are processing all a bit differently but it feels good to be able to talk openly and freely with family who understand as well as we have a couple of married daughters and their husbands who also feel the same way so I feel like we are lucky in this regard. I grew up in a family where a couple of my older sisters left the church very early on so we learned to enjoy each other without disrespecting each other's beliefs. I will say however, on my husband's side of the family, we have said very little and I am certain we would be viewed as the "fallen family" if they knew how we all feel. His side is riddled with CES, tabernacle choir, bishops, etc. We love all our family dearly and are not interested in stirring up controversy. So....again, thanks to all I really feel a great feeling here and appreciate the people who have put this website together for us all to come and share, feel support and lend support. Hugs to you all!
Last edited by Awakening on 29 Jan 2019, 17:12, edited 1 time in total.

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Nov 2014, 19:19

I have no time to comment in any detail, but I do want to welcome you.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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NewLight
Posts: 148
Joined: 04 Feb 2014, 05:18

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by NewLight » 22 Nov 2014, 19:34

Welcome Sister Awakening! I am so glad you have posted your story here and that you are getting a lot out of this forum.

This is a good group of people here and I personally have learned a lot from them, from being able to distinguish the "Church" from the "gospel" to learning how better to show compassion and understand people who are different than me. I also like that people are generally positive here in spite of challenges they face and I think you will like that as well.

:clap:

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hawkgrrrl
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Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by hawkgrrrl » 22 Nov 2014, 19:35

Welcome to the site. Glad to have you here.

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by LookingHard » 22 Nov 2014, 19:59

Welcome Sister Awakening and thanks for sharing your story (so far :) )

I am very glad that you and your husband and even some other family members are able to talk about this. I am sure that helps quite a bit.

I live way outside the Mormon corridor and I wonder how different it is in Utah county vs. where I live. In my ward of about 400 attending sacrament meeting we have only had 3 families leave over faith crisis / historical stuff. Probably one more in the process, but not sure if they will come or go. I just wonder if faith crisis are more prevalent where everyone is so close in several ways (your next door neighbor is in your ward, your coworkers are members, etc.) I have a great bishop now and he knows I have endured a faith crisis, but am still in church every week and still serving as much as I have time. But I wonder in Utah county and other like places if you are more likely to have a bishop that would almost yank your recommend for the things I have mentioned to my bishop. I certainly can see how it can be harder in Utah county. I had a brother in law that knew as soon as he filed for divorce that his days were numbered at his job - and that turned out to be true.

Anyway - welcome again and I hope you continue to participate. I feel you have something to add to the group.

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Gerald
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Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 04:57

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by Gerald » 23 Nov 2014, 08:49

I think there will be pressures to "toe the party line" wherever you may be. For most active Mormons, the Church provides an important social network and for those living in the Mormon Belt it may be the ONLY social network (aside from family who is usually also Mormon). Since participating in this board, I've come to see that Mormons come in many different stripes. And just because these particular stripes aren't visible to everyone doesn't mean anything. There are TBMs, there are less actives, there are antis, there are Social Mormons, there are lazy Mormons, there are busy Mormons, there are New Order Mormons, there are confused Mormons, and there are combinations of all of the above. Each one of us has to make sense of this world and that beyond it, to a certain degree, in our own way.

Welcome!!
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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Heber13
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Location: In the Middle

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by Heber13 » 23 Nov 2014, 09:41

I love your story and can sense a lot of relief on your part of dealing with the difficult things your family has gone through. I love hearing stories where spouses are troubled, concerned, confused, and even hurt and yet can find ways to stay committed to the relationship, to the person they love, even if the circumstances are changing and difficult.

I love hearing these stories. Thank you so much for sharing yours.

Welcome to the forum. I look forward to learning more from your posts as you join the discussions.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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silentstruggle
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Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 07:25

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by silentstruggle » 23 Nov 2014, 10:11

Welcome and thanks for your comments.

I think, contrary to popular narrative, that many of those who end up with doubts, or who decide that the church is not true, started their journey with an honest foray into wanting to understand more. I include myself in that category.

You have come to a very mature approach that speaks to a good long-term outlook for your marriage. Many are not so lucky.

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by Awakening » 23 Nov 2014, 11:32

LookingHard wrote: I just wonder if faith crisis are more prevalent where everyone is so close in several ways (your next door neighbor is in your ward, your coworkers are members, etc.) I have a great bishop now and he knows I have endured a faith crisis, but am still in church every week and still serving as much as I have time. But I wonder in Utah county and other like places if you are more likely to have a bishop that would almost yank your recommend for the things I have mentioned to my bishop. I certainly can see how it can be harder in Utah county. I had a brother in law that knew as soon as he filed for divorce that his days were numbered at his job - and that turned out to be true.
Wow, I am sorry to hear this. I would imagine it varies from ward to ward and stake to stake. I lived in Utah most of my life and I can say for sure there is some real differences from area to area as well. I remember sitting in a ward council meeting once where the issue of the girls wearing "flip flops" to church came up and how should we approach this topic to make a change here and I sat there in disbelief thinking, are you kidding? We are worried about this? Then I lived in a ward where the choir director took on the task of convincing members to dust off old instruments to perform the Mannheim Steamroller version of "Sille Nacht" the Sunday before Christmas and it was beautiful. The most recent area I lived in was well over 80% LDS and when I think of my own street and surrounding streets I can hardly think of anyone who was not a member or even not very active. My friends in this ward know very little about my faith journey. I simply would not have felt comfortable talking about it at that time. We have been out of that ward for about 6 months. My husbands job took us out of state. I have been very cautious approaching my new ward as I am personally working through some of my feelings and the future of my family dynamics involving church. It has been good for me because I don't feel the pressure of any calling at the moment or worry about how my friends may be processing my life at the moment. I have met some very nice people here in my ward and I have attended some things and plan to be more actively involved in the near future than I am right now however, I will be very selective in the ways I serve, my involvement, etc. I'm still trying to work this out. Wouldn't it be nice if our wards were filled with people from this website so we could lean on each other without the fear of criticism but a more outpouring of love and understanding? Maybe there are more around us than we think. I for one, have not felt "safe" in expressing my true inner feelings. I am afraid of being labeled, judged, and misunderstood.

Awakening
Posts: 37
Joined: 08 Nov 2014, 14:19

Re: My story.......thanks to all for your great posts & comm

Post by Awakening » 23 Nov 2014, 11:35

silentstruggle wrote:I think, contrary to popular narrative, that many of those who end up with doubts, or who decide that the church is not true, started their journey with an honest foray into wanting to understand more. I include myself in that category.
I agree with you. Thank you for your kind words.

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