Subject: Disappointing those I love
Date: Nov 07 14:39
Author: closetgentile

I so desperately want to explain to my spouse that I am losing my faith in the church. I risk losing my family if I open my mouth. All of you know why this is, so I won't bother explaining.
I wish that the LDS church would be open to personal opinion and difficult questions. I wish that I didn't have to worry about losing my membership just because I rely on more than blind, irrational faith to guide me to the truth. When I did mention a few concerns to my s.o., the reply was sincere and loving, but not unlike an answer I would expect from anyone else in the church: "Who are you going to believe? God or man?".
This, among other generic replies such as "Don't worry about polygamy! We aren't commanded to practice it now, are we?" and "You need to stay from that garbage (any literature that challenges or refutes the church) and focus on prayer and scripture" makes me feel like I must be the one with the problem. I still wonder if I am giving into the "buffetings of satan".
I have so much to say that I feel like I am screaming inside, but I risk hurting others if I open my mouth. I will lose family, friends, and the love of my life.
This is so hard.


Subject: Hang in there, don't doubt yourself, it's not as bad as it looks...
Date: Nov 07 15:27
Author: SamIAm

We've all been there in one form or another. This change is awesome and will not happen overnight. Be patient, think for yourself, ask questions carefully and thoughtfully.

When I announced my conviction that the church was a crock, it was met with "Have you found anything better?, really where can I read this, Satan has hold of you, and not you-no not you and tears.

These were the responses from each of my siblings. Months later after most had told me they didn't want to talk about it, we're talking about it and little by little they are beginning to think about it, I know it's having an influence on them and its getting better daily.

Don't stop and look for those around you to support you. It get's really tough if you're alone. Come to the board when you need to. You're never alone! We care and are here 24/7


Subject: ouch
Date: Nov 07 15:31
Author: msmom

sigh - sorry to hear you are in this spot.

Assure spouse that you love him or her unconditionally. Don't expect reciprocation. These are scary times for the spouse. Try to put yourself in his or her shoes.

Then be a super spouse. Whatever assures your spouse that he or she is loved (except church activity!), do all of those things, frequently.

And come here to holler and complain - lots of folks in your same boat.

Wishing you the love of your family,

Maura


Subject: Nothing scarier
Date: Nov 07 15:45
Author: estebanito

It's been 8 weeks for me now since I left. I thought I was gonna die which made me shaky, but I tried like crazy not to be shaky in front of the family or wife. Give it some time, realize that the whole "Satan" thing is a total Mormon vacant threat pounded into your head in the temple and in church, and find a sudden strength inside of you realizing that you now make your own decisions.

It will be empowering, and NO, you won't die thinking critically. You will be able to clear your head out if you give it time, but you'll be tempted to have a cathartic release with your spouse, the person you love most in the world. Don't do it with her (yet), do it with us and decompress a bit...

When I sent this same type of email out to the board 8 weeks ago, someone responded to me with this,"Take that load off, set it down and watch the shitload of retribution NOT happen." It was true, hang in there bud.


Subject: Re: Disappointing those I love
Date: Nov 07 16:14
Author: Jay Z

I hear a sensitive, thoughtful, yet tormented voice here that deep down inside recognizes that the kind of love they truly envision is one that can only be experienced through honestly being themself. If that were not so, you would not be agonizing over it. I would step back and find a way to recognize that your kind of compassion is a blessing and not a curse and you are fortunate to be so focussed.

That honesty takes two and a lasting love takes two who honestly love. Somehow you both have to find that way to be totally honest about it. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a marriage counselor, I just relate to your passion. I am an Ex-mo who learned to be honest to myself and have now been married for 30 years to a woman who did the same.

You are a gentile whether you dwell in the closet or not, so is your SO, unless your last name is Cohen. Now that's honest! But more importantly you are a human being who says they love. That's where you have to start because if you try to earn love by being someone else, you won't ever get loved for who you are.

Don't give up, it's do-able. There's actually living proof!


Subject: Oh my!
Date: Nov 07 16:24
Author: LauraD.

Honey, please come here often, if you can, and get this off your chest so you don't crack. There was a post a few weeks ago telling how someone dealt with their spouse. I'll see if I can find it for you.

I don't know if this will help but...
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon101.htm


Subject: Re: Disappointing those I love
Date: Nov 07 16:55
Author: Also still in the closet

I'm in the same boat. Starting researching the church about 6 months ago when I stumbled into an anti mormon site while doing research for a talk (the Internet is the church's greatest enemy). I always knew there were anti-mormons out there and avoided them and their literature but this site intrigued me because it was about the temple endowment and I always thought you went straight to hell if you talked about it. I had to see who had the balls to talk about it on the Internet. I can't remember the site but it compared the temple ceremonies to the masonic rituals and that started my search for the truth. It didn't take long for my testimony to be totally destroyed. I still go to church and play the part but it is amazing how different the church meetings appear when you know the truth. One Sunday in sacrament meeting it hit me. I can't be the only one. I looked around the room and imagined how many others there were like me, sitting there pretending. I also have a TBM wife. Both our families are TBM. Our oldest child will be 8 next year and my wife is starting to talk to him about his baptism. I don't want my children brainwashed. I know eventually I have to confront her on it, but I don't want to destroy the family. It sounds like we are both at about the same stage. We have been playing the part but are ready to spill the beans. I am going to wait a few months longer and vent here. From lurking here and checking other ex-mo sites, I am developing a plan for rescuing my family from the church. When I finally do it, I am not going to tell my wife everything up front. I am going to tell her I have some concerns about the church that I want to look into. I will still go to church with her during this time, but I want some room to do honest, intellectual investigation. I don't want to visit with the bishop, SP, or missionaries. If she asks what my concerns are, I am going to tell her that I don't want to shake her testimony over rumors and to give me some time. I think that's the best way to deal with my wife because she is so strong in her faith that she will get defensive if the first thing I do is start showing her "anti" material. When I do finally show her the evidence, I am going to start with the polygamy issues. I think that is the biggie for women and know it is for my wife. My wife is sold on the idea that JS didn't want to practice polygamy but the Lord forced him to or he would destroy Emma. She also believes that he married mostly widows whose husbands were murdered by mobs so he could take care of them financially. She is very romantic and uses these stories to not only justify polygamy, but make it like a romantic sacrifice that Joseph made. I think when she sees the truth it will devestate her, but I have to take it slow and be considerate of her feelings. That's my plan, it may change a little and everyone has to go about it in there own way, but the important thing to remember, Closetgentile, is that there are a whole lot of people like us who have been through it, or are at the same place we are. Come here often to read other people's stories and get cvalidation for your decision.


Subject: appearing to believe
Date: Nov 07 17:28
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac

My wife is sold on the idea that JS didn't want to practice polygamy but the Lord forced him to or he would destroy Emma.


This is by far my favorite excuse used by those who choose to continue believing. The one that confirms how believing a person is. IMHO, if a person is willing to believe that, there is nothing that they won't believe.

The answer I got when I brought this up was, "well, we weren't there, we don't know what really happened"

OK, using that every same logic, we weren't there for the first vision or the restoration of the priesthoods or moroni's visits or translation of the plates or the kirkland temple.

But there are first hand accounts of men giving their wives to the prophet. There are first hand accounts of women who were 'sealed' to Brother Joseph. (Sealed was the code word back in the day for adultery).

Now, using a tiny little bit of skeptical thinking, which is more likely to happen to a popular, charismatic guy:

1. God, Jesus and angels visit him, he translates scripture, power to heal, ect.....you know the rest of the 'offical' story published by the corporation.

or

2. he could have his way with duped followers (financially, emotionally, and sexually).


How people can buy into the angel with the sword story is beyond me.

I was trying this line at the University of Utah with no success. Wrong target audience.

Not even my believing wife believes this story when I tell her that we need to get it on or else an angel from god is going to destroy me.

But then again.......Rexburg is only 20 minutes north, maybe there are some choosen BYU-Idaho co-ed who just might hear this story and believe.



OK, enough mindless dribble.

Now get some sleep!

Insomniac


Subject: Hmmmmmm....
Date: Nov 07 17:05
Author: BestBBQ

Your s.o. is dismissing your concerns and questions as if they were just pieces of fluff no matter how "loving" he/she appears to be. That's cause for concern, imo. It shows a lack of respect for your thoughts, opinions and feelings. If your s.o. can't respectfully handle a difference of opinion and outlook then you're in for a very frustrating life. Are you prepared for a lifetime of quelching every thought and feeling not approved of by your family and s.o.? Not to be alarmist or anything, but this could lead to emotional abuse down the line if it hasn't started already.

"Don't read that!" "You're wrong if you think that!" "Only read what I and the church approve!" You're an adult and are allowed to read, think, and say what you want. If your s.o. doesn't like that then it might be time to get a new s.o.

Hey, I just thought of this: How does your s.o. respond when you express an opinion that's different than theirs about movies, tv shows, books, politics, etc. Are your opinions dismissed out of hand or are they fairly considered? I don't mean to be nosey, but it might tie-in to your dilemma.


Subject: Re: Hmmmmmm....
Date: Nov 07 17:17
Author: closetgentile

Actually my SO loves open debate and differences of opinion most of the time. If it doesn't involve religion, that is.
I think that SO is afraid because we are emotionally involved. We made promises together in the temple. It must be scary to hear someone with whom you have made "everlasting and binding covenants" say that they have doubts.I know that if I were in that position, I would have a very difficult time.
But I agree with you, that I do eventually need to talk about it. I agree that it is important to be loved for who you are, not for who someone thinks you are.


Subject: Are they ever concerned that they are a dissappointment to you?
Date: Nov 07 17:52
Author: Socrates

Too often it seems that those we love are too willing to express dissappointment in us but if we were to express dissappointment in them for their narrowmindedness and bigotry then, obviously, we are just bitter and angry people.

Some wise feminist once said that "I used to worry about what people think of me. Now I wonder what I think of them."


Subject: I just read your biography on the other board (posted at bottom of this page).
Date: Nov 07 18:15
Author: Corvus

The thing to remember is that living a lie will destroy you spiritually quicker than searching for truth. If you are growing and learning in the church, stay. But it sounds like if you hold all this in it is going to hurt you spiritually and emotionally. If you decide to come out of your closet you very well my lose loved ones. It has happened too many times. However, sometimes relationships grow stronger.
Walking away from the church is always painful and confusing. But once you start seeing the church from the outside you will realize it is worth the hurt you exchange for the freedom.
Also, Any God that would bar you from his presence because you searched for truth (like god told you to do) is not a merciful nor loving God.
Good luck


Subject: Quick suggestion...
Date: Nov 07 18:34
Author: juxtaposed

...would have been not to mention that you read "anti-Mormon" literature... people have it pretty thoroughly pounded into their heads that its all lies and Satan... I would keep it simpler when dealing with TBMs, rational probably won't work, stick to feelings. They are convinced that you should get "feelings" that indicate the church is true so, as long as you stick to talking about your gut "feelings" that the curch ISN'T true at least they will think you aren't relying solely on what someone else has said. And that is a start.


Subject: Well programmed TBM's will go into PANIC mode if asked a question
Date: Nov 07 20:43
Author: SusieQ#1

that can only be answered by their testimony of their feelings.

Questioning, asking, doubting all have programmed answers that never change.

Sometimes, the only way to make a go of it is to agree to disagree and treat the TBM spouse as if they were children, convinced that the Tooth Fairy was real!

Something has to get the TBM's attention to begin to think about what the church is all about before the programming code can be broken.

Once the spouse has labeled you as the enemy, the pawn of Satan, it can get ugly very fast!

A TBM spouse will do almost anything to get away from what they perceive as an evil influence.

Guess we are back to "catching more flies with honey" as they say!

There is almost nothing you can do with someone who refuses to even listen.

They just put their fingers in their ears and hum louder~ !!

Some people are more comfortable with their head in sand anyhow! Taking it out and facing their FEARS is much too scary!
Subject: Can't let go, not yet (from the exmormon.org biography board)
Date: Nov 07, 2002
Author: closetgentile
Mail Address:

I am still figuring out whether I should stay in the church or whether I should go. I can see the benefits and consequences of both options. Benefits: I will miss the temple. I know that a lot of you feel very different about the temple than I do, but please don't try to sway me one way or the other. I am aware that the temple ceremony is based on masonry. I don't care. I like the temple because it is a beautiful place that allows me to meditate and feel some peace. I am not ready to give that up.
Staying would allow me to enjoy some of the aspect of the faith that I still believe in. I still believe in a preexistence, the concept of tithing, and even our divine potential (although I don't know if that means Godhood or something else). I cannot find a church that teaches all of those things, although I know of some churches that teach one or two of those things.

I will miss a church that teaches marriage for eternity. I don't want to give up the close relationship I enjoy with my husband. I hope that our sexuality will still be intact after we die. I still want to be his wife when this life is over.

I like the church's welfare system. It has helped so many people. I would have starved a few times without it.

At the same time, there are things that I strongly dislike about the church. At the top of my list is polygamy. I am angry that in the afterlife, I will expected to divide my spouse between god-knows-how-many women. I think that our love is sacred and only to be shared between us two. I wouldn't like having to compete for his attention in the eternities. In my opinion, polygamy teaches that women are replacable. I am afraid that even my husband is not bothered by my open rejection of polygamy because the Lord will just put another in my stead. This sickens me. No matter what others say, this concept devalues women and men alike. Men, because most mormons think that few men will make it to heaven (the reason why polygamy will be necessary in the afterlife), and therefore my husband might have to be replaced if he happens to be one of the majority who doesn't make it to the celestial kingdom. I would rather live with him in hell!

I also dislike the self-righteous and sexist attitude of many of the men in my ward (and in my many past wards). They seem to compete with each other in sunday school to see who can sound the most spiritual and intelligent. They are obsessed with their priesthood and expect their wives to ignore her own needs and convictions if it dishonors the high and holy calling of male authority. Some of the women in my ward bother me as well. Most of them are clickish. Although I admit, I have made some dear friends within the church.

I dislike the attitude that many mormons have about seeking truth. They preach that there must be an opposition in all things, but they admonish me to ignore all of the archaeological, egyptological, and historical evidence that is stacked against the church. Most if not all of my friends completely deny that blood atonement was ever practiced among the early saints. They say that blood atonement is simply the concept that some will have to atone for their own sins in the afterlife. If I present the evidence that says otherwise, they say that the source was not reliable. When I present multiple sources, they still deny it and tell me to "stop reading lies".

The intellectual vacuum of mormonism causes a lot of frustration in my life.

What bothers me most is that somehow I came to wonder if I am evil for saying all of this. I am afraid that God will meet me at the pearly gates and laugh at me for wanting to enter into his presence, because in all actuality I am a closet apostate.

Sorry for not including any personal information.