Subject

GUILT AND SHAME: What Mormons say when you leave the church

Date: Jun 28 13:44 2003
Author: Deconstructor
Mail Address:

This is the kind of stuff that is thrown at you by a TBM when you leave the Mormon Church. Notice it is all about them. Notice the threats, the guilt trips, patting themselves on the back, the false accusations, etc.

These are some actual quotes TBMs said to us when we announced our decision to leave the church:

Mother1: "I can't believe how bad you turned out."

Mother2: "Shame on you! You should know better than that!"

Brother: "Don't try explaining, there's no excuse for leaving and you'll never convince me."

Brother in Law1: "You bastard. You've deceived our sister with your anti-mormon lies."

Brother in Law2: "I can't believe how stupid you are."

Sister in Law1: "I pray you come back before God punishes you."

Sister in Law2: "How can you betray your family like this?"

Father in Law: "Well, I don't know if the church is true or not, but I have a lot of friends there."

Mother in Law: "So what commandment couldn't you live?"

Missionary after I closed the door: "You still know it's true!"

TBM Friend: "I'm so dissapointed in you. What's wrong with you?"

TBM Friend: "I don't believe any of those anti-mormon lies. The Book of Mormon is true and that makes the church true - don't make excuses."

TBM Friend: "Well, I've had too many spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon to ever deny it."

TBM Friend: "When things get really hard in your life, you'll come back. I hope it doesn't take a tragedy to get you to repent."

When I originally posted this message, I got a lot of responses. Here's a collection of what other people heard from their TBM friends and relatives:

"I have heard you criticize and find fault with the Church so you can justify your decision to leave and this makes me very sad."

"What happened? I am disappointed in you!!"

"I hoped that by experiencing other Christian beliefs you would seek to gain a stronger testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ like I had done."

"My testimony of the Gospel has been challenged more than you will ever know, and I have stayed true to faith."

"I am deeply saddened that you have caved to the beliefs of man."

"You can go to some feel good Christian church as long as you want, but this church will never provide you with blessings of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ"

"You have no clue how much you have hurt mom/dad with your decision to leave the Church. How can you throw away everything she/he taught you like this?"

"Did you ever think just once what impact your decision would have upon ______?"

"I do not know about you, but I am choosing to Honor My Parents by staying true to the principles of Gospel Of Jesus Christ that we were taught as youth."

"How can you throw your missions away like this?"

"You may betray the truth but I will not."

"I hope you get your act together before your youngest child turns 8, as it would be a real shame for your children to grow up without the light of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives."

"I would gladly come and baptize ______ if _______ was given the opportunity to learn about the Church. I have seen a change for the worse in _____ countenance and this is really upsetting to me."

"It is clear that you blame the Church for much of your problems and you figure that by running away from the Church your problems will go away!! They may go away for a little while but they will be back. The easy way out is just that - the easy way out."

"I was pretty shocked when we visited you and when we said we were going to the Temple and I asked if you had seen it yet you said no."

"You now know how I feel. I will not say what I have just said again. You will be very upset with me with for the things I have just said! They are the truth and sometimes the truth hurts."

"You will probably find fault with me for telling you how it is."

"Those Mormons really attack you when you leave the church..etc...etc....blah, blah, blah." Get over it."

"Please do not try to explain to me why you left the Church, because there is no good reason to leave."

"You can call it the "Mormon Belief System," "Mormonism," or whatever you like. I will tell you what it is: It is The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!"

"You used to have such a SWEET spirit."

"How can you forget all the Lord has blessed you with?"

"You know what I pray for? That you'll come back to the Church."

"Your leaving the church has strenghthened our testimonies."

"If you don't have what it takes to live the Gospel, you should at least take your daughter to Church so that she can know the truth. She shouldn't suffer for your sake."

"Have your husband reread section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants, because the sin on his head for leaving the Church as a priesthood holder is greater."

"Can we still send the HT and VT to your home?"

"What are you going to do someday when you are dead and standing before the Lord and he asks: "Why did you persecute my Church?""

"This is the worst possible thing you could have done."

"But, if it weren't for the church, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN BORN!"

"I read all the anti-mormon literature too, and came to the opposite conclusion as you. I know obedience to authority is a key part of God's plan."

"That's not what the Church teaches!"

Stake President: (Hand raised to the square) "I declare in the name of Jesus Christ that this church is true."

Bishop: "When I find myself out of synch with the prophet, it means I have to change."

"Remember the warning, "Why do the women have to veil their faces during the "true order" of prayer, while the men do not? Aren't the symbolic and theological implications of this huge -- suggesting that women have a less direct link to the Mormon god than men do?'God will NOT be mocked'?"

"Your (deceased) mother/father would be so dissappointed that you are not raising your children in the church."

"You'll come back after you know what it feels like without the spirit"

"You knew it was true! You said it many times, so don't deny your testimony now."

"I have seen a decline in your general character."

"You've lost the light of Christ"

"You're so much angrier now that you want to leave the church"

"You're going to perdition because you had a full knowledge of the gospel and you're rejecting it."

"I hope I'll be allowed to come down and see you after we die."

"We believe in eternal families...that is what grandpa taught."

"I hope you rot in your lonely miserable apartment!"

"You know what you are doing is wrong!"

"But you've been through the temple!"

"So, are you going to start drinking?"

"If you don't believe it anymore then you have no business talking about it."

"I'll pray for you and hope you'll do the same for me."

"You're just pretending not to believe so that you can sin."

"Look in the mirror - can't you see how ugly you are?"

"Something terrible must have happened on your mission."

"You're like a fish in the ocean who sticks his head up and say "Where's all the water?" You've been surrounded by the Spirit your whole life. You just don't recognize it."

"You were a valiant spirit in the pre-existence. Satan knows that. So he's fighting especially hard to get your soul.

"It's so sad to see your children growing up without the Church."

"I wish I cold come back when I die and tell you the truth, but I don't think it works that way."

"You realize of course that there won't be a place for you at Jesus' table?"

"There won't be any oil in YOUR lamp, when the time comes!"

"I'm sure that those who leave the church won't become sons of perdition because they didn't really understand the gospel. Anyone who really understood would never deny it."

Subject: Re: GUILT AND SHAME: What TBMs say when you leave the church
Date: Jun 28 13:58
Author: Switz1
Mail Address:

"You realize of course that there won't be a place for you at Jesus' table?"


Can't you just about picture the look on their faces when they first sample THAT WINE? LOLOL

Good list!

Subject: Yes, typical remarks from friends and family. They are so afraid of us when we leave they don't know what to do but make those remarks . n/t


Subject: MIL cried that it would have been better if we had died, than leave the church.
Date: Jun 28 14:43
Author: truecolor
Mail Address:

She was visiting us and Sunday came around and we figured we have to tell her we have left. After we told her our family no longer believed and why, she broke out in weeping, she cried that it would have been better if we had all DIED than leave the church. Now we are lost to her in the hereafter. (boy the church sure has a big lever with the 'families can be together forever' thing going on)

My hubby's sister didn't speak to us for three years.
It is amazing how threatened they are by our leaving. We have never attacked their beliefs. We usually don't say anything. We are happy and friendly whenever around extended family but we are still the bad guys.

The morg makes us the bad guys for being honest and truthful. Amazing

Subject: that list shows once-and-for-all the CULT LIKE thinking that is at the core of mormonism.....thanks for the list....nt

Subject: As a nevermo, I don't understand...
Date: Jun 28 14:53
Author: kymba
Mail Address:

how it affects you to hear these things when you're just trying to do what's best for yourselves.

I DO know that since being told I spit fire, am bitchy, rude, mean, uncompassionate, unkind, not caring - ALL because I CHOOSE differently than some in regards to how I behave toward uninvited church visits, that I feel mountains more empathy for the kind of crap most of you guys go through just being ALLOWED to make up your mind as to what's right FOR YOUR OWN LIFE - regardless of whether other people think it's right.

Good hell, the church trains its members to behave so viciously against people.

Subject: When you're still young and count on your family for ....
Date: Jun 28 15:44
Author: Byronia
Mail Address:

any kind of financial help, a place to live while you're in school, etc., it's pretty rough. When I left and my parents were still in I ended up quitting school and moving 800 miles away and then consciously going about my deprogramming. And I stayed away for a few years except for visits at holidays and such, which were hellish. ("Who are you?" "You're possessed by the Devil." "Are you on drugs?" "You must be insane.") Then when my mom finally quit, life got better. My dad quit, too. All of us had to quit officially (let ourselves be ex-communicated) to stop the harassment. But, things got a lot better between my mom and me. She has apologized repeatedly for dragging me through Mormonism.

I feel sorry for people whose families are still in it or who are stuck living around the Mormons. For them, even if the have a huge family, it's like they have no one. In fact, as I understand it, that's the rule - family members who are exed are essentially disowned. Church members were calling my parents' house when I quit demanding that they disown me.

Subject: Family and Friendsí Conditional Love
Date: Jun 28 15:10
Author: Segue
Mail Address:

Just as was discussed about a talk that was given in the last General Conference about Godís conditional love, these statements provide a look at just how conditional love can be inside the collective.

Because of statements like these by people who I believed loved and respected me unconditionally, I still find it hard to trust what people say and to open myself up to new relationships. If someone who I thought loved me for decades says to me that they can no longer have any kind of relationship with me because I donít believe the same as they do, how can I believe anything anyone says about how they feel about me anymore?

Can you understand why we call it recovery?

Subject: A couple of comments from people when we left Mormonism.
Date: Jun 28 15:27
Author: ORFinn
Mail Address:

1. The RS president I worked with called, and said, "I was awake all night worrying about you. Someone must have forged your name to that letter." (resignation letter)

2. One of my sons said, "Are you gonna start drinking and smoking now?"

3. From former best friend when I broke the news of our departure from Mormonism, "Oh, ______ finally got to you."
(my husband)

All these people knew that my husband was "inactive." I unfortunately disclosed some things about questions and complaints my husband had about the "church."

I've almost asked the one Mo person who I still have occasionally contact with, "So what's the gossip being spread about why our family left?" But then it would seem like I care about what the Mo's think of me.

Glad you're back deconstructor. I enjoy your thought provoking posts. I'm one of those who read way more than I post. Thank you.

Subject: My most unusual comment:
Date: Jun 29 11:11
Author: FormerFaithful
Mail Address:

In addition to hearing all the similar shame & disappointment comments from my own family,

I had a good friend (at the time) say that despite what I tell her she strongly believes the reason I left the church was to win back the affections of my ex-husband who was inactive! hello? We had been divorced for 10 years and she knew how I felt about him, etc. I guess she just couldn't accept that the reasons could be doctrinal in nature.

It made me feel like she didn't think much of me and that my testimony and activity in the church was so shallow. No matter what I told her though she wouldn't budge from her own stupid little theory about why I left. Sorry,just had to share this one!

Subject: Some of my responses...
Date: Jul 02 14:44
Author: lostatsea
Mail Address:

These are just some of the thoughts I had while reading this list (not all of them, just a few)...


Deconstructor wrote:
> Mother in Law: "So what commandment couldn't you live?"
The one that required me to stop thinking and believing I was equal to the men in my family.

> Missionary after I closed the door: "You still know it's true!"
Good thing you know what I know better than I do.

> "You have no clue how much you have hurt mom/dad with your decision to leave the Church. How can you throw away everything she/he taught you like this?"
No, I understand they're hurting, but, as an adult, I need to do what's right for me.

> "Did you ever think just once what impact your decision would have upon ______?"
Yes, I did, as a matter of fact. And, it will be a positive effect.

> "I do not know about you, but I am choosing to Honor My Parents by staying true to the principles of Gospel Of Jesus Christ that we were taught as youth."
I'm choosing to honor my parents and what they taught me by remaing true to myself.


> "You now know how I feel. I will not say what I have just said again. You will be very upset with me with for the things I have just said! They are the truth and sometimes the truth hurts."
Huh?

> "You used to have such a SWEET spirit."
Well, that's just a double insult. At least I was nice at one time (though maybe not good-looking).

> "Have your husband reread section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants, because the sin on his head for leaving the Church as a priesthood holder is greater."
How sexist is this statement?

> "What are you going to do someday when you are dead and standing before the Lord and he asks: "Why did you persecute my Church?""
If this happens, my response will be "Because your church was sexist."

> "This is the worst possible thing you could have done."
Worse than murder?

> "But, if it weren't for the church, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN BORN!"
Nice to know I wasn't wanted.

> "Remember the warning, "Why do the women have to veil their faces during the "true order" of prayer, while the men do not? Aren't the symbolic and theological implications of this huge -- suggesting that women have a less direct link to the Mormon god than men do?'God will NOT be mocked'?"
I want to be in a religion where I have a link to God that is equal to every other person, no matter what gender.

> "You knew it was true! You said it many times, so don't deny your testimony now."
And, now with more information, I know it's not true. Staticians can tell you that you can manipulate any data to get the results you wants...the church manipulates what it tells you to get the results they want.

> "You're going to perdition because you had a full knowledge of the gospel and you're rejecting it."
I thought perdition was a Catholic thing...

> "We believe in eternal families...that is what grandpa taught."
Hate to break it to you, but other religions believe they'll be with their families in the afterlife, too. Mormonism doesn't hold a monopoly on this belief.

> "I hope you rot in your lonely miserable apartment!"
How Christlike of you.

> "You know what you are doing is wrong!"
Again, I'm so glad you know what I know better than I do.

> "But you've been through the temple!"
Yup, and that's where the trouble started.

> "So, are you going to start drinking?"
I'm planning on becoming a raging alcoholic, drug-addicted whore. Party on, dude!

> "You're just pretending not to believe so that you can sin."
See above.

> "Look in the mirror - can't you see how ugly you are?"
Thanks for the boost in confidence.

> "You realize of course that there won't be a place for you at Jesus' table?"
I'll eat at Satan's table - better booze.

Subject: This is exactly why I no longer associate with my many TBM friends.
Date: Jul 02 16:42
Author: Dan
Mail Address:

While most of them no longer make comments like, "You know I really still care about you, and besides, I know a guy even more screwed-up than you", I still get the, "when are you coming back?" line of questioning. Or how about, you must still believe its true, don't you?

Bottom line: Regardless of what they say, they think we are "screwed-up", or at the very least, they pity us. I won't deal with that any more, and I have stopped all contact with them.

Obviously, I'm still in contact with my TBM daughters.

Subject: Yep, me too!
Date: Jul 02 23:30
Author: rainbow
Mail Address:

I got about 90% of the comments you listed thrown at me too. A large group of former friends refuse to believe I am serious. They continue to call my leaving, 'just taking a holiday from church.' They think that because I was brought up in the church, I am just going through this typical phase of wanting to 'find out' for myself, and 'see the world,' or whatever, blah blah blah. My mother told me she'd give her life if it would mean that I'd be in the church and never leave. (Such emotional blackmail). My father told me that if he had one wish, and he could wish for anything at all in the world, it would be for me to be in the church and stay. (What a waste of a wish). My sister told me she couldn't believe how some she had thought to be intelligent could be so stupid. My whole family has told me they think I'm being subtly influenced by satan, and I can't even see it. Oh, I could go on. But thanks for your post, and the others. It is so interesting that the same comments come up all over the world.
I just think it is really sad that for a religon who SAY they believe in free agency - people's right to choose, most mormons don't do much to show it!

 


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