|Subject:||Those of you who left the LDS Church, were you ever really active, with a strong testimony?|
|Date:||Oct 29 01:53|
|I've been reading a lot of the stories and messages on
this website.[exmormon.org].... and it seems that most of them are
written by people who admit that they never really
believed in the Church in the first place; that they never
really had a testimony, that they just went through the
motions. If any of you who have left the Church were
ever truly active at one time or another, and really had a
testimony, especially if you prayed about the Church as
the Book of Mormon suggests, and you had a spiritual
confirmation, and still left later for whatever reason, I
would be very interested to hear from you on how that
came to be.
|Subject:||Yes - I and many others here were long-time, active, prayerful members|
|Date:||Oct 29 07:27|
|First off, let me tell you it seems - from the question you ask -
that you haven't really read many of the messages on the board.
Many of us suffered long with our doubts, praying fervently for God to show us a way we could reconcile what we were seeing with what we had been taught to believe.
And, for most on this board, our eyes were opened - whether by a deity, or by our own awaking, it matters not - to see with painful clarity the thousands of contradictions within Mormon scripture, faith, and practice - and the contradictions between the belief and practice today, and those of the early days of the LDS church.
|Subject:||Was a leader. Converted many. KNEW it was true. nt.|
|Date:||Oct 29 14:34|
|Subject:||Re: Those of you who left the LDS Church, were you ever really active, with a strong testimony?|
|Date:||Oct 29 07:45|
|I was an Elders Quorum President for a number of years. You will
find there are ex-Mission Presidents and Bishops on this board as well. So activity is in
Now did I have a spiritual experience that proved to me the Church was true? Apparently not. It would be impossible to have a true spiritual experience which declared an untruth such as Mormonism was true. So any spiritual experiences I had in regards to Mormonism were simply my own emotional feelings. Feelings which are contradicted by facts need to be disregarded. That is what I have learned from Mormonism.
|Date:||Oct 29 07:48|
|I was a devout member and Bishop's Counselor. I was shocked and
grieved greatly when I realized that the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham are simply
fiction. The overwhelming majority of those who come here were devout members who really
did believe. Many were Bishops (Gary, Paul of Idaho, Jim-Orem, SLDrone, Jeff, etc.) and
SLDrone was even a full-time Mission President.
One of the biggest problems of the integrity of members is all the false rumors they have about apostates. No we didn't get offended. No we didn't want to be bigtime sinners. We just simply discovered that the Church is not true and now we are mourning and recovering.
Mock me if you care but I speak the truth. I've heard that the real wicked take the truth to be hard (according to Smith's character Nephi). One thing I know for sure is that I'm telling the truth right now. Oh I pray that LDS members everywhere will have the courage to stop spreading rumors and find out what the truth really is.
|Subject:||Active? Hyperactive would be more accurate.|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:33|
|I was born into the church. As a kid indoctrinated into the church
from the earliest possible moments, I just took for granted that it was all true until I
hit my teens.
In my teens, I saw inconsistencies and problems in doctrine that gave me doubts from time to time. But I prayed mightily for deliverance from such doubts. Sometimes I would get a feeling of peace after praying for hours (and sometimes even weeping in remorse for being so "out of tune with the spirit") to be able to "know" that the church was true and to gain deeper understanding so that I could make sense of all of the teachings that seemed so confusing.
I took those occasional feelings of peace and cherished them as my "testimony." I realize now that they were moments of emotional exhaustion and intellectual surrender that were necessary to prevent some kind of mental breakdown, due to the fact that I was completely unwilling to entertain the possibility that the claims of Mormonism were false and that Joseph Smith was either a fraud or a nut.
As for activity, I did virtually every TBM church thing possible during the years before I realized the Church wasn't true: Deacons' quorum president, Teachers' quorum president, Priests' quorum president, four years of seminary, two-year mission, Sunday school teacher, home teacher, young adults leader.
Went to BYU and became an apostate.
I tend to empathize with people and whenever I would tell non-members about the Church, I tried to put myself in their shoes so that I could better understand their reactions to the Joseph Smith story. Although I had long ago convinced myself that I had a testimony, I had to admit that the story about the golden plates would seem awfully far-fetched (almost laughable--imagine that) to a person who heard it for the first time.
About the time I went to BYU, two things prepared me for "further light and knowledge" concerning the falsity of Mormonism.
First, I was becoming painfully aware that the content of priesthood meetings, sunday school meetings and sacrament meetings were not giving me anything that I had not already heard countless times throughout my childhood and youth. There were no programs for thinking adults. Everything seemed to cover the same narrow ground. What's more, a lot of the meetings involved discussions of statistics--home-teaching statistics, attendance statistics, etc. I was thirsting for something spiritual and I painfully realized that Mormon church meetings were the last place that I could expect to find it (with the exception of the rare meeting where the music was good and a "good" (i.e., entertaining) speaker put us in a good mood).
Second, because I felt I wasn't getting any "advanced" doctrine and knowledge in the regular church programs, I decided to study as much as I could on my own, taking advantage of the wonderful Harold B. Lee library on the BYU campus. Because I was tired of beating myself up with guilt over not feeling any spiritual development in my church activity, I also started wondering whether maybe, just maybe, the problem was actually with the Church--not me. This little thought gave me a somewhat open mind as I studied and pondered.
The rest, as they say, is history. If you want to keep your testimony of Mormonism, don't, I repeat, DON'T study Mormon doctrine and history with an open mind to the possibility that the Church may be wrong. It's funny how rapidly and clearly all the evidence and facts fall into place once you commence to examine them in the light of a correct hypothesis.
|Subject:||Thank you Spinx, I couldn't have put it any better than you did, I'm almost a carbon copy of your experiences...n/t|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:38|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:17|
|extremely active, paid 10% on my gross income, even paid
back-tithing when I got in financial straits, attended the temple once or twice a WEEK,
accepted every calling and even volunteered for things I wasn't directly asked to do,
confessed every little ripple of sexuality to my bishops, never bought EVEN FROM VENDING
MACHINES anything on Sunday, fasted 24 hours INCLUDING NO WATER once a month.
There's more, but you get the drift. I believed totally, but I never, ever got the 'burning.'
|Subject:||Feeling the Spirit|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:29|
I felt the Spirit testify to me and I knew it was true!
I served a mission and came back and served faithfully in my callings.
Then I learned the truth about things. It was hard, but there was no sin commited or even a desire to sin.
I have now felt the Spirit often, and I realize that everyone feels it. Everyone has that same "gift". I also realize that people use feelings to trick others out of their money and time. People rewrite history to meet their own agenda. Sometimes those people can be the ones we trust the most. And it really hurt me to realize I had been lied to so many years.
|Date:||Oct 29 08:36|
|that you got the impression people here had not been active. What
did you read to make you think that?
I was delighted to find this site and to learn that there were so many people like me who had been extremely devoted who could no longer live with the double think necessary to sustain a testimony.
My husband and I spent many hours in prayer about this issue, no exageration. After weeks of study, prayer, and more prayer, we had one of the most moving experiences in with prayer that we have ever had.
We were overwhelmed with the knowledge that we were deeply loved, more loved than we could comprehend. The answer to all of our questions was, "I love you."
We posed things like, "So should we leave the church?" Answer, "I love you." Should we stay?" answer, "I love you." "Well then, we are going to leave." answer, "I love you."
We knew that this love was for all creatures everywhere, in equal measure regardless of how they choose or do not choose to gather in worship. From the pope to the prophet, the missionary to the crack addicted street walker. The love we receive is the love that is felt for them. It is unconditional.
I can't even tell you who the author of this love is. Maybe it is the cosmic consciousness of all humankind. Maybe it is an actual being. It really doesn't matter.
Welcome to the board, curious, I hope you find what you are looking for.
|Subject:||Re: I'm surprised|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:52|
|So god will still love me if I don't pay my tithing every month, or even at all? I have been told my whole life that I will not be saved in the last days if I don't pay my tithing and don't go to church, gee, sounds like love to me(sacastically speaking). It seems to me that the god the LDS church teaches us about in a conditional loving god. I want to believe in a god that still loves me even if I make a mistake or miss a sunday of going to church.|
|Subject:||Hey, it's your fire insurance.|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:55|
|In General Conference, while talking about the war on terrorism, GBH mentioned how those who pay their tithing will be spared from the fire. He scared the sh*t out of me. I'm gonna go straight to the closest bishop and pay my fire insurance premium immediately. NOT!!!|
|Subject:||Re: Hey, it's your fire insurance.|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:58|
|So what GBH was really saying is that god only loves us if we pay our 10 percent income? As always the LDS church makes god look like a conditional loving father.|
|Subject:||Conditional Love or Tough Love?|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:06|
|TBMs would probably say tough love. You know, like the caring father who pours gasoline on his son and lights him on fire to teach him a lesson after catching him smoking behind the barn. Unfortunately, the God Mormons worship never did seem to have a sense of proportionality.|
|Subject:||Re: Those of you who left the LDS Church, were you ever really active, with a strong testimony?|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:42|
|At first,i thought that the feeling i got was a comfirmation too..... but later I figured out it was emotion. When you look at the fact that church doctrine and history have been repeatably changed for their own purposes you may want to read, "The 19th Wife". It was written by Brigham Young's 19th wife and I found it at an old book store.It changed my thinking completely. She writes about what she ACTUALLY SAW happening,.....however,dear sister you may want to remain in the dark and go on believing the never ending fairy tale.When you wake up it's like having ice water thrown at you!|
|Subject:||Yes, there are those types here|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:49|
|I'm not exactly one of them, but I'll answer to keep this thread
from getting buried by some of the silliness going on atthe moment.
Here's how it was for me. I was raised in the church, very active family, Dad was a bishop, Mom worked in SS, RS and MIA, all that. When I was small, I hung on the testimony of my parents, older siblings and teachers. As I got older I worked really hard to gain my own testimony. Nothing came. So I tried harder. Still nothing. I thought maybe I was trying too hard so I eased off. Still nothing -- at least nothing that felt any different from the warm fuzzy feeling I got over my favorite teams or a good movie. But I kept working at it because I knew it was important to have my own testimony. In the meantime I was called as deacons quorum president, teachers quorim president, priests quorum secretary, earned my Duty to God award, kept my nose clean in all the required ways, struggled like everyone else with guilt and shame over masturbation and impure thoughts... While I wasn't perfect, I was sincere. I had faith, I prayed, and I got nothing. No burning in the bosom, no peace of mind. Quite the opposite -- the more I sought a testimony the more frustrated and depressed I became. What was wrong with me? Why was the Holy Ghost withholding a testimony? Wouldn't God want me to have one? Why was it other people I knew, who were kind of slack assed about the church, had testimonies and I didn't? Why did horrible sinners or people who weren't seeking a testimony at all have them thrust upon them while I couldn'tget one for begging? I was constantly repenting and seeking forgiveness -- still nothing. Then people started telling me I had a testimony but didn't know it. What? What good is a testimony unless you know about it? Isn't that what it's all about -- KNOWING the church is true? But I kept plugging along with the program, waiting for my epiphany to come.
In a way, my breakthrough started when I went through the temple the first time. I was expecting it to be a profoundly spiritual experience. I expected to be but a veil away from the presence of God. I guess I expected too much because it was a huge disappointment. In fact, it was boring and silly and more than a little weird. So that night, in my brand new garments, endowed with special blessings and promises, I once again prayed to know if the BoM, the church and all that was real. Nothing.
I went off on my mission anyway, thinking THAT's when the testimony will come. One day, as I was bearing my "testimony" to an investigator my answer came. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I didn't really believe anything I was saying. But of course, not believing it and it not being true are two different things. So after much thought I decided to try rephrasing my prayer. "Are these thing NOT true?" Whoooooosh! My new testimony flooded over me. I was at peace, my mind was clear, the windows of understanding were opened. I knew the church wasn't true.
(Ah, I imagine you're thinking, but, but, it could have been a manifestation from Satan. Um-hum, and the same could be true of your testimony. Or in both cases, we could have fabricated our own testimonies out of wishful thinking and endorphins.)
I have to admit, my testimony wavered. After all, I was a cultural Mormon and breaking away wasn't easy. But I made it and now my testimony is as firm as a rock. I know the Mormon church is not true and that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. In fact, no church is true. This sure knowledge has brought me peace and happiness. That is my testimony.
|Subject:||Great testimony! This happened a lot on my mission.|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:22|
|I like how you actually followed the BoM promise. It says to ask God
if the things are not true, which is what you did. Most people ask if they are true, but
you followed Joseph Smith's BoM promise.
Come to think of it, I saw this happen a lot on my mission. Investigators - good investigators - would take all the discussions and just never get an answer that it was true. There were a few "miracle" answers, but the vast majority of sincere investigators don't get an answer that the Church is true. It was real frustrating as a missionary when a sincere person didn't get the burning bossom. The best we could do was pressure them into getting baptised anyway.
|Subject:||I was too|
|Date:||Oct 29 08:52|
|I was raised in the church by parents who were always in stake and ward leadership. I was a natural leader as well, serving in leadership throughout my youth in priesthood and scouts. Did very well in seminary and went to early morning without complaint. Was in leadership most of my mission. served in callings constantly for about 10 years after the mission, mostly in elders presidencies, but also served as sunday school teacher for the adults for a year. I was so confident that one day after seeing an "anti" web site I decided to start up a long argument with it's webmaster, and determined to prove that his claims were false. Then I started looking into the sources of his claims (from pro-lds sources like history of the church and journal of discourses, etc.) and lo and behold after spending literally hundreds of hours looking at the pro and anti sides, I came to the only honest conclusion which was that I had been duped- the church isn't what it claims, and actively covers up the damning evidence against it and scares people into not looking at the facts. I was amazed when I started looking into the history of the church because I had always, since the time of my youth, been complimented by everyone who knew me on my knowledge of church history. It was a real eye- opener to go back and look at the sources the official church manuals use for the lessons and discover that things weren't what the church says they were. Hope you have the courage to make the journey- it is scary at first, but better than living a lie in the church that lies to you.|
|Subject:||You tell me|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:09|
|1. I converted in France and became a perfect little mormon within a
2. I held as many as 7 callings at once (including Stake level callings) because there weren't many of us.
3. I always paid tithing, kept the word of wisdom and had no "morality" problems.
4. I served a mission in London and was genuinely devoted to my calling.
5. I came to BYU and married an RM in the temple.
6. I remained faithful in the church for 20 years before I asked any questions.
7. My name is still on the rolls because I am taking great care to not hurt my family's feelings.
During my first 10 years in the church I was so devoted I had no time for anything else. Moving to Utah changed that slightly because they have more bodies to fill callings, but I always remained a believer, until I decided to look at historical realities.
|Subject:||so fancy callings & strong testimonies make it real to you?|
|Date:||Oct 29 12:20|
|look i had no fancy callings except the last one as couslor to
primary president which lasted 2 weeks as i exited.
callings come from the church leaders which are soppose to be inspired! ha! i learned when i left that the people in charge just pick people they want. the primary president told me this. she wanted to work w/ me.
i believed enough to convert in 1984.
i took it seriously & therefore it was hard to leave.
i guess you're one of those who think we did not pray hard enough, have enough faith etc......
for most of us it was hard to exit.
but i'm happy i did it!
|Subject:||Extremely devoted and loyal. VERY TBM...nt|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:31|
|Subject:||I'm not sure what you're trying to get at, really|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:35|
|but I'll answer. Yes, I was very active! I was an ultra-TBM and the
last position I held before I left was Relief Society President.
I prayed and prayed about the BoM but I never did get a confirmation on it. So, I guess, you can say that I went on complete faith that it was true. There were always nagging doubts however that wouldn't go away and even though I was active I still tried to do an objective study of the BoM. You've heard the expression "stuppor of thought", well, I became quite familiar with the phrase. When I did my research into the BoM I used only church approved materials and that is the feeling I kept getting. It was like running into a brick wall.
|Subject:||Have you read story #125 and other thoughts?|
|Date:||Oct 29 09:40|
|Story #125 is an example of how an active, believing, serving member
of the church can have their faith destroyed by doing too much investigation or study into
In my own case, I was very believing and active. Served a mission and found a ton of satisfaction in "trying to help others" find the truth. I was/am active in the more than 15 years since my mission. Have had many different callings, including stake callings. Paid full tithing, etc.
Looking back, my mission is where the seeds were planted for my ultimate non-faith. First of all attending the temple in preparation for my mission raised a truckload of questions that never went away. The temple was so different than any church experience I have ever know. I thought it would be the capstone of spirituality and love that I had always felt throughout my youth. Instead I found it shockingly violent and threatening. I layed awake that first night after attending, and wondered, "what church is this?".
Eventually I got used to it, I guess and found some peace in the solitude and quietness of the temple. The ceremony was never that inspiring to me, but I always felt good as the end of the ceremony approached and felt espcially good when leaving the temple. As with many things in the church, I had done my duty and could cross another thing off my spiritual "do-it list". That always made me feel good.
OK, this is getting long. Anyway, the questions build up over the years. Always they go on the back shelf, thinking that God dosen't want you to know this right now; someday, you think, God will let you know. So you press ahead, doing what the church expects. You feel fine. You find satisfaction in the service. Families are emphasized. You love families. All is good.
Then one day you are sitting in Sunday School and the lesson is about the three witnesses. The teacher says, "the three witnesses never denied their testimony of the BoM. They may have left the church, for whatever reason, but they never denied their testimony of the BoM". As you sit there in class, you wonder, "why did the three witnesses leave the church? How could they maintain a testimony of the BoM, but still leave the church? Did they sin?" Another question for the back shelf of your mind? No, this time you think there must be an answer, and you are brave enough not to shelf it. Off to the library you go. You find a copy of David Whitmer's "An Address to All Believers in Christ". You find out why David Whitmer left, and why he still believes in the BoM. The answers are available!
You are shocked at what you find, but you feel huge relief that the answers are there. Your study has answered some questions, but raised others. What's this that David said about Joseph Smith translating the BoM by putting a rock in his hat? I've never heard about that. Also what was the Book of Commandments? You find out that the revelations printed their were changed and then printed in the D&C. How could that be. Certainly God doesn't give a revelation and then a few years later the revelation is reworded to mean something different. You need more answers. You study more. You find answers. You are disturbed again. Your testimony is going down the toilet. You feel you've been lied to. You wonder how this could happen. This was the church you trusted. You loved this church. The wheels are coming off. What about your family. What will they think. Will they still love and welcome you? Will your friends be afraid to associate with you. You feel tremendous pain.
But wait, what about the spirit. You felt the spirit before. Yes a testimony must be based on the spirit, not on intellectual knowledge. Maybe I'm still OK. I can pull out of this. You think back to the times you felt the spirit. When you were together with your family. When you struggled in prayer with a problem. When you listened to Paul Dunn talk. You wonder, how could that happen. How could I feel the spirit when Elder Dunn was telling made up stories. You now realize that you felt the spirit other times too. When touched buy a movie, when on a walk in the mountains. When bonding with friends. When your little brother made a goal at his soccer game.
Suddenly it all becomes clear.
|Subject:||Re: Have you read story #125 and other thoughts?|
|Date:||Oct 29 16:21|
|great post, i saw myself, my life
|Subject:||Extremely loyal, etc.|
|Date:||Oct 29 10:43|
|Author:||Flew the Coop|
|All of my children of age were married in the temple, went on missions, were eagle scouts, etc, etc. I was a missionary EQP twice, Scoutmaster three times, Bishopric counselor, Gospel Doctrine Teacher 2 or 3 separate callings. I worked for the Church for many years. I am 6 generation Mormon on all lines. My wife was Relief Society President several times. All of our friends and relatives are TBM. I never missed a meeting or a tithing settlement since I was 18, I read the Bible, BofM, etc. many times. We had a good life in Mormonism and had know quarrels except when we came to the knowledge that the Church is not what it claims to be. It has no substance to be the one and only true connection the creator of the earth and universe. We came to the absolute and undeniable conclusion that only a jealous, ritualistic, and unethical God could cook up a doctrine like Mormonism and Christianity. We have never been happier since we freed ourselves from Mormon and Christian mythology. We feel bad for everyone who feels bad for us which include many Mormons and relatives who were once our friends but distance themselves simply because we quit going to Church. Hope this gives you a prospective that many on this board are true exmormons.|
|Subject:||Yes, both my husband and I were. n/t|
|Date:||Oct 29 11:28|
|Subject:||Extremely active, totally committed|
|Date:||Oct 29 12:05|
|It was my life. It entered into nearly every decision I made and
everything I did. I believed with all my heart.
I served in many leadership positions, including ward R.S. president and in two stake R.S. presidencies. My ex was a bishop and served in three stake presidencies, including one as stake president.
|Subject:||Roxie, can you tell more?|
|Date:||Oct 29 12:15|
|Sorry that you have an ex. Was the church part of your split with your husband? Would be interested in hearing more about your journey away from the church.|
|Subject:||Here's the short version|
|Date:||Oct 29 14:49|
|I'm 5th generation on both sides, very TBM. I went to BYU where I
met my ex and we married pretty quickly. It was a bad marriage from the beginning, but I
stayed because of my commitment to my temple covenants. I never really thought I had any
other option than to stay and make the best of it. During all of this time, I was probably
one of the most committed, believing members you would ever meet.
My ex and I were married for over 20 years. The last five of those years, my ex was the S.P. At the time we separated and he moved out, he had actually not yet been released as S.P. Because of some problems he was having in his calling and our impending separation, he was released earlier than he would have been.
I stayed very TBM for about two years after he left. Then I started dating again, and (luckily) I met a wonderful non member. As time went by and I got to know what it was like for people "out of the fold," all of my illusions dropped one by one. Additionally, there was a court held for me because of some "moral" transgressions with my BF. I was put on formal probation, and that is still hanging over my head. That experience made me question even more.
The final blow for my testimony was the Book of Abraham. When my belief in that fell, along with it went my testimony of Joseph Smith, the BofM, and everything connected with JS.
My parents don't know how I feel, and I want to keep it that way if possible. They would be devastated.
I feel so much better now, so much more at peace with myself and happy with my life, than I ever did as a TBM.
|Subject:||Active and believed in the church with all my heart....|
|Date:||Oct 29 12:18|
|I left when I was a Bishop.|
|Subject:||What a truly insuslting question.|
|Date:||Oct 29 12:36|
|And arrogant even?
If we had not been dedicated, believing members, we would not need to be here recovering. If we had just been passing through, it would have been very simple and painless to move on.
We are here because we were deeply committed to the church and sacrificed a great deal because of our belief and dedication. The truth has been a painful discovery and the journey out of the church is a very lonely one as SLDrone has so eloquently stated. This board gives much appreciated support and comfort.
Your question seemed sincere, but do, as your church teaches but fails to practice, be careful about judging the actions of others.
|Date:||Oct 29 12:52|
|Author:||girl in the box|
|I haven't put my story up on exmormon.org so you wouldn't have heard
it. I was born into the church. Up until about 21, I believed strongly in the church. It
was the driving force in my life. When I prayed, I got warm fuzzies. When I went to
church, I felt a feel-good sensation. When I went to the temple, I felt solemn,
respectful, and awed. I was all the way in. I wanted to go on a mission, and I dreamed of
getting married in the temple. I even refused to date anyone but Mormons (not that any
Mormons ever asked me). I read the BoM all the time, and when I had a decision to make, I
would both pray about it and then read scriptures and sometimes seek the advice of a
Bishop or other authority. I wanted them to give me callings (I really pitched for one in
Primary), and I paid tithing when I could (I didn't make a lot of money so my 10% wasn't
much). I prosletyzed to my friends, and gave out BoMs, and tried to convert people I knew.
I tried to attend church regularly, even when I was working. I went for all 3 hours and
would stay awake through the classes and ask questions, and think about what was said, and
I even taught a few times myself. I was the type that volunteered to give talks on Sunday,
and went up to testify every other f&t meeting. I would say I was pretty hardcore,
especially through my teen years. In fact, in my teen years, I decided I would
"investigate" my beliefs for myself to make sure I was, indeed, in the
"true" church and so I fasted, prayed (only for a day and I thought I was being
committed), and then did as the BoM said. And I got the expected warm fuzzies, and I was
solidly convinced of the rightness of the church.
All that dedication, and yet leaving was pretty simple. And I have never gone back. And I have never doubted leaving. And I have been so god-damned fucking happy that I cannot even begin to describe the immensity of how I feel; I had no idea that happiness was this phenomenal!!
::::dancing around happily::::: Free! Free! Free! God, it feels soooooo goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Excuse me, now I gotta go celebrate with my hunny. :-) :-)
|Subject:||I was a 100% believer until I got back from my mission and tried to proove the church true. I found the opposite!n/t|
|Date:||Oct 29 13:42|
|Author:||Born Again Pagan|
|Subject:||Yes, I was. I paid tithes (even when I was broke) and|
|Date:||Oct 29 13:48|
|I held a variety of positions in the MOrmon church. Including Sunday
School teacher, branch (later ward) librarian, Executive Seecretary, etc., etc.
You really have not taken much notice of what you read here, have you?
Or are you just aonther TBM fanatic, comforting yourself with the notion that we were never REALLY Mormons, and that all is well in Zion?
Sorry, but we were really Mormons. MAybe even more faithful than you?? Just think about that for a while before you judge the people here.
|Subject:||although I had some doubts, I TOTALLY BELIEVED|
|Date:||Oct 29 14:38|
|I experienced doubts from time to time (probably like everyone does)
but I truly believed it with all my heart.
I served a mission and worked my ass off trying to convert people.
I gave 10% of my income (which I really couldn't afford as a married student with a kid).
I did everything I was supposed to do, to the best of my ability.
I really, truly, and wholeheartedly believed in it.
|Subject:||I cannot say that I was a faithful member because . . .|
|Date:||Oct 29 15:15|
|I did "sin" according to the rules of the Church while I
was a member. However, that didn't stop the leadership from calling me to every position
under the sun. It also didn't stop me from "feeling the spirit", receiving
revelation, having spiritual manifestations, going to the temple, paying my tithing, going
on a full time mission, etc.
I often wondered why I could still get more obvious spiritual gifts and manifestations than most others I knew in the Church even though I was messing around sexually. Then it dawned on me, there is no one "up there" who is even slightly interested in punishing me for anything. I am naturally a spiritual person and there is no god who has any desire to deprive me of that. I will admit that I have wondered in the past whether or not the Lord's way of punishing me was to somehow make sure that I left the Church, but there is just one problem with that, being out of the Church has been great and not a punishment in any way! Hmm, on second thought maybe he did make me leave. Thanks!
Guilt, remorse, repentance, reliance on some being you have never, or will never, see, are major tools of almost all religions to make people dependent on them. Men/women love to feel superior to others, and moving up the ranks in any religion is a sure way to accomplish that.
|Subject:||Cool. I'll add mine.|
|Date:||Oct 29 19:01|
|I was born into the church. I had pioneer as well as European LDS
ancestors. I grew up hearing stories of all the hardships they had to bear to join the
church (later I found out the ones who left Europe really had nothing to lose, and the
pioneer ones were very undereducated...but I digress). My ggggrandfather was a big shot
under BY in the Mormon Battalion. One of the counties in Missouri was named after my
family. Polygamy is in all of my family lines.
My biggest family vacation was visiting ALL the church vacation spots. I had a strong fear of not making it to the CK (or being separated from my family in the CK) and was fairly diligent in all the church activities growing up. I went to seminary 4 years at 5:00 AM. I still have all my mutual and primary paraphernalia. I went to BYU. I married a top notch LDS RM at BYU my senior year in the SLC temple (it HAD to be the one the prophet attended most). We both graduated from BYU. I put hubby through 11 years of post graduate school while getting my own post graduate requirements done. We were active and had many callings. We tried to attend the temple monthly, and for a period of time, weekly. I was on the treadmill to perfection!
I was busy indoctrinating my own children, when I started the crazy habit of reading anything and everything. I started taking a few classes like anthropology and philosophy just for curiosity. (My TBM sister even said I needed to "be careful" taking such things as philosophy.)
Eventually I just could not keep my mind in the gymnastic-generated pretzel to make the facts of the church fit the real world. I kept reading, mostly church history and topics about women (that my husband kept suggesting). Finally I snapped, and told my husband of my fears that the church may not be what it seemed. He told me he had already determined the church was manmade, but he had decided to play along until I saw the light.
So, YES I was active, and a true believer for 40+ years. Education and reading is the key to getting out. I had never read an "anti" book until long after I realized what was going on.
At that point I decided I was a Christian and put all my efforts into trying to decide exactly, post Mormonism, what that would be. Well, out came the magnifying glass again, this time with the Bible. I could see the problems were the same. I then read a textbook on World Religions and the works of Joseph Campbell. It was only a small step to see the big picture. I decided I did not really need religious opium in my life. For accurate information, the scientific method has a much better track method. I joined the Skeptic Society and enjoy a voo-doo-free life now. I once thought by my fair (very white and delightsome) coloring and valiant preexistance status, I was probably one of God's most favorite kiddies! I am no longer the egocentric, ethnocentric person spewing out church canned comments as I guilted and butt-kissed my way to heaven on the little Mormon hamster wheel (credit Steve Benson for that great description) of church busyness.
There was a period of a few years that were hard to deal with the anger and frustation of having had the church suck up the 40 best years of my life. I had a lot of catching up to do in the rational thought department. I am not really angry anymore, but I am very disappointed it took me so long to raise my head up from the rest of the sheep.
|Subject:||Hey there Dagny|
|Date:||Oct 29 22:03|
|had the church suck up the 40 best years of my life.\
I think the best 40 years lie ahead for you, there s gravity
(those sagging parts) and gray hairs to regret but other
than that, the worst is over.
Nothing like the Truth to make life livable, I always say,
You have come so far---you guys are the Poster Couple
of apostacy and i'm proud to know you.
How the heck are you?
|Subject:||I think you had to have been strong in it to get out|
|Date:||Oct 29 22:44|
|At least if you've been brought up in the church and you have a
healthy ability to question. Ultimately your search for answers will lead you out. Then
there are others who never believed in the first place and were only in it to please
family members. But people like that probably don't have lasting scars and need to come to
a recovery board.
I was in the Church all my life until a year and an half ago, and was born to a big family with pioneer heritage. *sigh* I'm 35. I figure my wife and I paid out about $50k in tithing over the years, and I served a mission and went to BYU. Of course, the lost time hurts more than the lost money, I guess because I've haven't had counselling about the lost money.
Thank the Great War Sponsor in the Sky that I have the rest of my life to start getting things right.
|Subject:||Re: I'd like to preserve the "active" thread.|
|Date:||Oct 30 02:00|
|Thanks to those of you who shared your stories with
me and everyone else here. I am a tbm and was
hoping to hear more heart felt posts on here rather than
the contention that has been going around regarding
tbm's posting on this board. I sincerely hope that every
one who reads these threads, and who has
contributed, will gain a better understanding for people
who are tbm's and truly believe in the lds faith, just as i
hope any tbm's here will be able to understand that
what a lot of you have experienced coming out of the
church is real and that you have had to struggle and
come to terms with leaving the chruch. both situations
are very personal and sensitive, and I feel that it is
important that we all, both sides learn to show
compassion about it. thanks again.
|Subject:||I think you'll find that|
|Date:||Oct 30 02:15|
|many, if not most, of the people who post on this board have family
and friends who are TBMs. We love our TBM family members and friends and are often just
frustrated that they cannot understand what we have experienced and learned. Instead, the
TBMs closest to us seem to be conditioned to impute evil motives to our decision to leave
the church, when in fact we feel that integrity requires us to follow the evidence
whereever it leads--even if it leads us out of the church.
Some on the board can pretty harsh to TBMs that come here. And TBMs who come to simply bear their testimony or preach are asking for it in a way. They're not telling us anything we haven't heard a million times before. In fact they're usually telling us the same things we probably would have said in our TBM years.
On the other hand, I think most people on this board welcome any respectful TBMs who are willing to discuss facts and evidence, as opposed to unfounded convictions, feelings and "testimonies."
Thanks for starting a good thread.
Saved from the Girl in the Box archives 8/2002