Date: Feb 04 11:59
Author: Necessarily Anon.
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The process of leaving the church can cause a great deal of turbulence, throwing our sense of selves, beliefs and morals into a state of chaos. As we discard our former authoritarian belief structure, we can be left facing questions about ourselves and the things we do that we thought had been answered a long time ago. Most obviously, those leaving the church are very likely to experiment (perhaps again) with things prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. A thirty or forty-year-old can find him/herself getting drunk and partying like a college kid because he/she has unleashed him/herself of church-sanctioned prohibitions and guilt. Some start smoking. Almost all will take a trip to a local Starbucks. In some cases, former TBMs will experiment with adulterous behavior. Some will question the reason for marrying their spouse, and perhaps decide that the decision was largely based on their spouse's membership of the church. For some, guilt and regret get the better of them and they find themselves back in the church or in a substitute religious structure.

Soon, however, for the rest, the process of self discovery begins in earnest. An internal sense of self, beliefs and morals begins to emerge. Perhaps the drinking stops, for example, or perhaps a glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant is the norm.

The point is, for those in the turbulent phase who fear they are making the wrong choice (i.e., the devil must be leading me astray ...), this phase will end. You will come to know yourself in a way you can only hope for now.

Subject: Nice points, thanks....
Date: Feb 04 12:46
Author: Aphrodite
Mail Address:

I'm hoping that the "turbulent" phase of my leaving Mormonism is starting to slow down. It can be quite shocking, but it is SO worth it to be able to live a life cult-free.

Subject: yes and no
Date: Feb 04 12:55
Author: msmom
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I am guessing the majority of exmos don't really drink alcohol to excess. Most remain faithful, even to TBM spouses.

We didn't become stupid, we just left a restrictive belief system.

In the case of our family we did not turn to another belief system. We just enjoyed Sundays together doing family things. We never drank at all while the kids were younger. (Now Drdad and the older boys like to have a beer together - and I mean A BEER, one each, maybe on the rare occasion 2).

A cup of coffee is nice in the morning. The nicest thing is wearing undies of our own choosing.

After many happy years with no religion we joined a Unitarian congregation, but we never insist that the kids attend.

I'd be interested to hear others' experiences.

Subject: Re: yes and no
Date: Feb 04 13:31
Author: Saddlesore

I left the Cult 38 years ago. At the urging of the Cult and her parents, My wife divorced me. I bought a Bar, Drank for a while, Jumped every Skirt in Ogden, ( Oh well Ogden wasen't that big a town.) My wife Got a Temple Divorce and remarried another guy in the Temple. He Sexualy abused my oldest two daughters, Ages 7 and 9. The Cult helped get him a supended sentence. After 5 years My wife came to me and wanted to get back together. Her parents were outraged so we moved to another town and remarried. We are still together and she still wears her Garments and attends the Cult Meetings. Two of my 5 Children Are Members, And I attend the special programs for my Grand kids. I don't denigrate the Cult in front of them, But they know how I feel. My inlaws are dead now, But they never spoke to me again. I wish I'd a had this board back then.

Subject: same here.....
Date: Feb 04 18:12
Author: Trish
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Except that we haven't joined another religion. Hubby and I have settled down into what we consider normal: he has an occasional cigar (outside). We have a drink occasionally, and even when he drinks beer it's now light beer.

We're lucky-we married when we were tbms, but for the right reasons: we really love each other. (You know, he even saved my life once?) Through thick and thin, religion, or not, and that's the way it should be! (IMO) Oh, and he spoils me by insisting on taking me to Starbucks on weekends for a mint vente latte. Sigh. What a great guy! I love him so much! Our marriage is REALLY better out of the morg.

Date: Feb 04 13:16
Author: Free to think
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Necessarily Anon. wrote: "Most obviously, those leaving the church are very likely to experiment (perhaps again) with things prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. A thirty or forty-year-old can find him/herself getting drunk and partying like a college kid because he/she has unleashed him/herself of church-sanctioned prohibitions and guilt. Some start smoking. Almost all will take a trip to a local Starbucks."

I disagree. Maybe a few do this, but lifestyles don't change that much in my observation. I think that most of those who choose to leave have more common sense than you give them credit for.

Subject: Plenty of turbulence, but not really that kind
Date: Feb 04 13:33
Author: mravel
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I and others I know who have rejected Mormonism after being in it into adulthood have gone through some turbulence, but not in going out and partying/doing drugs, etc. The turbulence was internal, and then external to the extent they were locked into constricting TBM situations like marriages (as I was). There was some external turbulence as we did some interior remodeling and kicked in a few walls in our souls.

But as for Mormon "sins", for me it has just been that I now enjoy an occasional beer or glass of wine guilt free (though not always stress free, since my wife doesn't approve). I have never smoked or taken illegal drugs. I have never committed adultery, though I can understand that occurring as was described in the original post. In terms of pornography, I had looked at Playboys before and after rejecting Mormonism, and haven't had a marked change in my tastes in that regard. Currently I don't look at porn because of a promise to my wife, which she is returning by being an absolute goddess in bed.

Subject: Same here: I just have internal turbulence,...
Date: Feb 04 13:44
Author: Aphrodite
Mail Address:

no partying, drugs, smoking, etc. The only non-Morg approved thing I've done is sipped a tiny bit of wine, and that was with the TBM husband, lol. (I wouldn't mind developing a taste for it at some point, however.) Oh, and I enjoy a cappucino if I'm groggy some mornings.

Most of the turbulence in my life has been from TBM family members yelling at me, intruding in my life, etc. That's what I hope will end soon--the stress they cause me on purpose.

Subject: Free to Think, so, you have more common sense than . . .
Date: Feb 04 13:49
Author: Ex-caliber

someone who has left the Church, experiments, and may get drunk? Maybe it's something different than not having common sense. I do appreciate your perspective, however mine is different. When I left the Church a group of about 7 or 8 of us left at the same time. All of us got drunk (more than once at parties, etc.), tried coffee, looked at magazines (you know), and I don't consider any of us to be lacking in common sense. I average about a beer or two a month, same for coffee, don't care about the magazines (no one does) and we all live responsible lives. I think that I did go through a phase of experimentation, but now feel more centered than when I first left.

Subject: Re: TURBULENCE--That's not really me.
Date: Feb 04 13:23
Author: Breeze
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Maybe because I was a convert.

Maybe because I had an internal moral compass--right and wrong determined by relationships within my world and not by an external fear-imposing god and special after-death bennies--that was always at conflict with the moral bribery of mormonism.

I left mormonism quietly and didn't drink a drop of alcohol for over a year. I didn't dive into fornication and debauchery. I didn't even drink much coffee for way more than a year. There wasn't any turbulence in my "moral" life. I divorced my morally turbulent ex-husband and moved on.

Now I drink wine regularly, and rarely, rarely, rarely, never more than a glass or two, but occasionally if there's a 5-6 hour evening going on, I'll have several. There's worse things, let me tell you!

I think the assumption "in" the church is that all us ex's flail around in hedonism forevermore. From what I've seen here, going over the edge morally is more the exception than the rule. I think this is because the people that have the awareness to actually leave are acting out of integrity and truth to self. These are the people that have the awareness to take care of themselves and respect themselves (and others) and are not inclined to "lose it." Those that fall of the edge morally may just be leaving the church so that they can fall off the edge morally and not for religious/intellectual/integrity reasons at all. They may not even be REALLY leaving the church, just the restraints.

Subject: Excellent points. n/t
Date: Feb 04 13:34
Author: mravel
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Subject: good insight shown in this thread
Date: Feb 04 14:08
Author: SLDrone
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How often my friend Cassius has said, "goodness is it's own reward". Often members of the Church lack that internalized sense of conscious, of right and wrong. Instead of doing the right things for the right reasons, they simply avoid doing the wrong things for fear of retribution, and do the right things in hopes of greater reward, the proverbial carrot at the end of a stick.

Here's a great poem from Hugh B. Brown - I've changed the second stanza a bit and added a third to reflect what we are talking about here

It's easy enough to be virtuous
When nothing tempts you to stray
When without and within, no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away

But it's only a hollow virtue
Until it is tried by fire
And the soul that is worth true honor and peace
Is the soul that resist desire

It's easy enough to be virtuous
With the fear of God on your mind
Have you learned to obey out of fear and revenge
Is it within your own soul to be kind

Subject: A late apostle, sounded like a great guy. Go to
Date: Feb 04 23:09
Author: Greenlady
Mail Address:

There should be more leaders in the morg like he was.

Subject: Starbucks, Bud Light, and Wendover...
Date: Feb 04 15:51
Author: Sunny

I have tried all three and I like all three. Starbucks alot, Bud Light sometimes and wendover a little (when I feel like I have earned the right to blow that much money...if that makes any sense!!). I didn't go on a huge experimental spree, I just quit feeling guilty for what I knew I liked and what I always did. Yipee. I always told people that I hated beer, but I had never tasted it. Now I find it so ironic that mormons will tell you beer is gross, but they've never had it! Those same women will tell you sex isn't pleasurable. I don't take product advice from anyone who hasn't tested it out!!!

Subject: I must have skipped right over the turbulant phase.
Date: Feb 04 18:25
Author: GrantK
Mail Address:

And I think the reason I did was because I didn't stay moral because of the Church. I am simply a moral person. Alcohol abuse has never held much interest for me (a taste of wine or beer might be interesting but that's about it. Oh, and I'm not saying that those who DO drink are immoral. But those that ABUSE alcohol do have a problem.), I love my wife and so adultery is not an issue for me, I am honest and have always tried to be honest.

Maybe what I am saying is that the guilt and fear of religion has not really had any affect on how I live my life. This is just who I am. And so when I left the Church I was pleased to learn that none of these things provided any real temptation to me. I do good things because this is what makes me the most happy.


Subject: Same here Grant....
Date: Feb 04 23:05
Author: Silky
Mail Address:

Neither my life nor my "self" changed much at all. For me it was more noticing that the mormon church wasn't what I expected of it. If it was the church I thought it was, I'd probably still be there. But it wasn't, so I left. Meanwhile, I'm still the same as I was before.

Subject: Exmo's experience 2x greater alcoholism than Mo's...
Date: Feb 04 18:32
Author: Brian B.

And that figure comes from a friend who was formerly a youth corrections counselor. Contrary to what a Mormon might assume (stupidly) this is NOT evidence that Mormonism is good, but clear evidence that it fails to prepare anyone for independence. Mormonism grooms one to be crippled and co-dependent within or without the group, as evidenced by anti-depressants being the highest per capita.

Also, everyone should consider that Utah still has a 14% smoking rate, the national average being about 21%. This clearly means that non-Mormons TEND TO SMOKE MORE AROUND MORMONS. That makes a very interesting point.

Subject: Why I Don't Smoke or Drink - I thought this might be a good time to share this
Date: Feb 04 19:15
Author: SusieQ#1

story with all of you.
It is the basis for my life choices regarding smoking and drinking and when I converted to Mormonism, these experiences played heavily in the ease at which I joined, and the ease at which I left also. I do love my own "mocha" concoction now.

Teaching Moments from my youth and why I don't smoke or drink...

I lived with my mother, her father and mother and her brother, who was a young teen when I was born in the early 1940s. In this account, I will use the names I used for my relatives. As my mother called her mother, Mom and her father, Dad, I grew up using those same terms for them. This little bit of family history is probably why I was never very attracted to smoking and drinking.

Dad was born in the late 1800s and probably smoked all of his life, most likely starting on the farm out in Nebraska in his early teens. He was from a family of 12 children, nine who grew to adulthood. There were many boys and he was the youngest. Dad married Mom, who was a preachers daughter, and while smoking might be tolerated, drinking, however, was another matter.

Over the years, Dad often bragged about how he could quit smoking at any time. And, indeed, he demonstrated many times that he could quit smoking, each time claiming he got his sense of taste back, licking his lips and smacking with delight at how much better food tasted. We would all watch Dad stop smoking and see how long it would take before he would start again. The point became clear, eventually, that the idea was not to quit smoking entirely, but to show he could quit any time if he wanted to. And he did. Quit and started many times, smoking up until his death at age 70.

Mama and Mom, on the other hand, never smoked to my knowledge. If they did, they would have done it in secret. For some reason, I never liked the smell of cigarettes or how the men in our family smelled after smoking. They usually wanted to give little Susie a big hug and kiss and I found myself holding my nose!

They all drank coffee, however, strong and black, and called it "panther piss" and claimed it could walk across the table on it's own. I grew up watching Dad, in a little ritual at the end of the evening meal, turn his chair sidewise, cross his legs, sit back in the chair, relax and drink a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette while we all talked and Mom and Mama cleaned up the dinner dishes. It was not acceptable for children to smoke or drink coffee in our family, so I never tasted coffee until I was about twenty. It gave me "coffee nerves" and I avoided it as I did not like the feeling of those coffee jitters. I did sneak a few cigarettes while baby-sitting one time! That was a fiasco I did not wish to repeat! Besides, Mama always maintained that smoking was like rolling up a nice new dollar bill and lighting it on fire! Being a frugal person by nature, this visual cured me of even thinking about spending my hard earned money (minimum wage was $.85 at that time) on cigarettes!

The women did not drink in our family, at least not by the time I was born. And thanks to Mama, I never had much of an interest in drinking. Mama, in one of her better "teaching moments" when I was about five or six, did a good job discouraging me from ever wanting to drink by telling me that beer looked just like a urine sample we had taken to the doctor, including the foam on top, and tasted about the same or worse! By this time I had a stepfather who was a logger and "whiskey man" who smoked Camels or rolled his own cigarettes. Mama's brother had joined the war effort, enlisting in the Coast Guard and when he came home on leave, he and my step-dad would sit around and smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey. To hear my uncle tell it, the Coast Guard won the war!

When I was young, Dad was a long distance truck driver and told Mama and Mom that he had stopped drinking when I was a small child. It was a family triumph with the accompanying accolades! I grew up completely unaware he drank and never saw him while drinking. I found out many years later that he always phoned to make sure I was in bed before returning home. I must have been only about four or five at the time of this announcement, which was made in a phone call and did not know what all the to-do was about but was happy that they were all so happy!

I remember a time when I was about thirteen that I went next door to talk to Dad down in the basement in his little cubicle where he did his leather tooling. He made beautiful purses and other items. This was a hobby he took up after some major surgery which required he stop driving truck. He had built this little cubicle and kept it locked when he was not in it, and sometimes when he was in it! This particular evening, the door was locked and when he opened it, I noticed he smelled differently and was acting a little strange and way too happy and jovial! He wanted way too many hugs and hugged me a little too tight! I was convinced he had been drinking! I gathered my courage and ran over to our house next door to report this discovery to Mama who was sure I had been mistaken as "Dad had quit drinking years ago" and what I smelled was his leather tooling dyes and cements. I accepted this explanation from her, however, was not completely convinced I had been so mistaken.

After Dad's major surgery, which they explained to me required removing most of his stomach for ulcers, he had to change professions and got a job at the same department store Mom worked, working in Shipping, while she worked in Gift Wrap. One Christmas, when I was sixteen and worked at the same department store in Gift Wrap for the holidays, one of Dad's fellow employees in Shipping gave Mom a gift for him. She immediately noticed it had a suspicious shape and knowing Dad had stopped drinking many years before, assumed that Dad's fellow employee didn't know he did not drink. So while we walked up to the house from work that evening, she told me she was going to "accidentally" drop the nicely wrapped bottle of liquor on the concrete front porch steps. I was a little shocked and didn't know what to do, but after some discussion, decided to go along with her little story. She threw the bag with sufficient force to break the glass into a bunch of pieces, spilling liquor all over the porch. We cleaned up the mess and she threw it all in the trash outside. I went home, (next door) and made sure I was not there when Dad came home from work and Mom explained that she "accidentally" dropped the gift and that was why liquor was on the front porch! Dad must have known that she did it on purpose. After all, he had told her he quit drinking over ten years before.

In one of the funniest family incidents, Mom, who was a small, wiry woman with boundless energy, every now and then would get a "wild hair" to do some cleaning and in one of these cleaning binges, decided to clean out the newspapers and boxes she had stored over the small stairwell from the kitchen to the basement. She dug deeper and deeper hauling out the newspapers and the small boxes she had stored for future use when she heard strange clanking noises. Newspapers flew while she investigated that sound and there behind piles of newspapers, in between the floor to the kitchen and the basement, was a multitude of empty liquor bottles where Dad had hidden them. Mom confronted Dad about those bottles, demanding he get them all out and throw them away. He quietly complied, and true to form, told her those were from years ago and he still maintained no longer drank! He had quit again! Just like smoking he could quit any time he wanted to! Now the truth was, that Dad was very clever, only drank when in his little leather tooling cubicle when he could camouflage the smell and long after Mom had gone to bed and as they had separate bedrooms (following that surgery) she never had an opportunity to catch him! Years later, after my uncle moved home following a divorce, and Mom had died, they both kept beer in the refrigerator! Free at last!

And that is why I don't drink or smoke!