Subject: Can't keep just one foot in the LDS church
Date: Oct 28 11:09
Author: Evan

I have now come to the conclusion that you just can't keep one foot in the LDS church. By this, I mean, people like me who attend church just to appease the spouse and put on the front of being a Mormon even though they no longer believe.

I have not believed in the LDS church in years. I have long ago come to the conclusion that it's a fraud, and yet I continue to go because it's important to my wife. We've had many bitter, ugly fights about tithing but I've held to my guns. You may as well flush your tithing money down the toilet for all the good that it will do.

And we've fought about my participation(or lack thereof) in the church. You see, I thought I could get away with just showing up in church for sacrament meeting every couple of weeks, show up at Sunday school occasionally, and even make a rare appearance at Priesthood. The problem is the church leaders keep trying to rope me back in full activity. When they've confroned me about tithing, I tell them a firm, emphatic, "No." Now, they keep confronting me about accepting church callings, even stake callings. In the last year, I've been approached on three occasions for church callings. Each time, I've said "No." It's not as if it's a secret that I'm trying to minimize my activity. Yet the more I try to minimize it, the more the chuch leaders try to get me roped in.

And I dread Elder's Quroum, because they're constantly trying to get me to sign up for missionary exchanges, take out the trash, teach a lesson or some other stupid project. On a few occasions, I've even been put on the spot in the middle of the meeting, but still manage to say "No." I avoid EQ like the Black Plague. When I mentioned to my wife that I was "volunteered" to take out the trash, she replied, "That's because they want to make you feel included". Hmmm. BTW, I refused to take out the trash.

Yesterday, I went to sacrament meeting, Sunday School, and even showed up for the first half of Priesthood. I skipped Elder's Quorum to go back to my car, and started to do paperwork for my job. Would you believe the Ward Clerk tracked me down in the parking lot, and told me, "The Bishop wants to see you immediately."? So, I went in, and just as I expected, I was extended another calling!! I gave them the usual answer.

Finally, I know this business of semi-active isn't going to work. I was hoping the church leaders would accept that I only want to be semiactive(and they are fully aware it's just to make my wife happy). Yet, every few months they keep coming at me with a new calling or some other project to get me back into full activity. I have come to the conclusion that when it's the Mormons, it's all or nothing. They won't tolerate partial activity, they keep coming at you like the hurricane winds pounding the seashore.

I have no choice. I will have to basically tell them to leave me the hell alone and stop going altogether. I know it will result in a major fight with my wife, but I can't go on like this. It's odd. Just about every fight my wife and I have is over the church. I accept my wife's religious beliefs, that's not the issue. The fights are over the church constantly intruding in my life, with their calls to the bishop's office under the guise of "We're concerned" when in reality, it's "Where have you're tithing checks been?" I still can't get over the fact that they tracked me down in the parking lot!

I guess there are many others in this situation, when you're married to a TBM spouse. As I see it, there is no halfway with the LDS church. It's all or nothing. For me, it's nothing. I will not allow myself to be used and manipulated.

Subject: I think it's really important to be true to yourself or you'll lose some self respect along the way N/T

Subject: I would not be surprised if your wife is putting the bug in the ear of the
Date: Oct 28 11:26
Author: SusieQ#1

leaders to just keep trying, he will soften his heart...bla bla bla...!!! But then again, you just might have a very pesistant bishop.

You are 100% correct. When they are after you it can get ugly! You are a PROJECT! They try everything to get you invovled so they can demand by commandment 10% of your income for life.

Tell them their intrusions in your life, extending callings and expecting volunteer service causes conflict in the home. They tend to listen to the men more than the women. You are considered the head of the household.

Sometimes - as has been pointed out here many times - you have to resign to get them to leave you alone. Short of that, telling them to " F**K OFF!" Sometimes works!

Subject: Re: I would not be surprised if your wife is putting the bug in the ear of the
Date: Oct 28 12:43
Author: someontwo

I am in the exact situation as you. However, in an meeting with the Bishop I told him of my disbelief and that it wasn't temporary, made it very clear that this the way I have always felt. I told him that my wife and I agreed that I would attend sacrament nothing more.

After this meeting, I have not been asked to do anything, everyone has completely respected my request.

Maybe you haven't made it clear enough to the Bishop.

Subject: Tried this
Date: Oct 28 13:05
Author: exmo

I did this for a long time -- would only show up once or twice a month, then only go to Sacrament, occasionally another meeting. The Bishop noted this and decided to put me in a teacher training type course -- thinking he could prep me to be called as a teacher. I went to one teacher-training lesson ... but then realized, WTC, this is not what I wanted, not what I was even remotely interested in.... and stopped going altogether!!!!!

Sometimes Bishops don't realize that all their pushing makes you want to leave entirely!

Subject: Which goes to show just how much of a cult it is

Subject: Most churches see their role as serving the needs of the members
Date: Oct 28 15:34
Author: Cheryl

Cults see members as a resource or serve the needs of the organization.

I sympathize with your situation. Good luck.

Subject: I relate!
Date: Oct 28 15:41
Author: nikki

I'm in the same situation, although my activity level is getting less and less. Luckily, I've only been pressured once - and that was to speak in church and boy talk about intense pressure!

Subject: Re: I relate!
Date: Oct 28 15:49
Author: Trying Dynamic

They wouldn't dare put me up at the stand.

I am just too out there.

Subject: Here is what I do...
Date: Oct 28 16:38
Author: Deepbreath

First, you absolutly have to set some boundaries as to what is acceptable to you and what is not. Clearly articulate these to your spouse and let her know you will not equivocate. DONT do this with your tail tucked between your legs, but do it clearly and emphatically. You did not lie to the church, it lied to you, so get over the guilt and get on with it.

Next, when asked again, state clearly and unequivocally (but politely) that you are not interested in a calling, will not be interested in a calling and will LET THEM KNOW IF ANYTHING CHANGES. Again, do this clearly, while looking them in they eye. Approach this as though you are not ashamed but do not let them keep badgering you man!! Your not a child and you should not be treated like one, this is entirely unacceptable and you should not tolerate it.

By way of history, I go to sacrament meeting with my family and then promptly leave once it is over. I am cordial with everybody but I have no interest in any involvement with the LDS church. I am not ashamed of that in the least and will clearly explain that position (and do) every time some starry eyed new elders quorum president thinks he has been inspired to "re-activate" me.

Remember, if you project shame and weakness, they will respond accordingly.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.


Subject: I agree with Someontwo and DeepBreath
Date: Oct 28 17:47
Author: mouse

Have you made your disbelief clear to your wife and bishop? If you are inactive but appear to still be a believer, they will never leave you alone.

I told my wife about my disbelief, as well as the bishop. Most of the top level leaders in the ward know my situation. They know not to ask me to give a prayer or talk. The EQ pres. knows I don't do hometeaching anymore. Everyone is friendly but gives me my space. Most ward members probably have no idea that I don't believe, and I just go along with that.

I help my wife with the kids during sacrament meeting and then head home. She doesn't pressure me to stay.

If I had simply tried to become inactive without being clear as to what I believed, I'm absolutely sure I'd be getting grief from my wife, bishop, etc.

(Of course your wife might totally freak out when you're honest about your beliefs with her. I've just been lucky.)


Subject: Re: Can't keep just one foot in the LDS church
Date: Oct 28 18:52
Author: lurker

I usually just lurk, but your screename caught my eye. I have a cousin by this name who came home halfway through his mission in Canada and recently got married. Could this be you?? I'd be ecstatic to find out we weren't the only ones in the family who wanted out of the church.

Subject: Church appearances
Date: Oct 28 20:13
Author: Tyler

Ouch...what a sh*tty dilemna! Getting harangued at church is soooo annoying.

As I started to curtail my activity, I exclusively stayed out of the EQ and sunday school. Limit your attendance to Sacrament meeting only and then get the hell out. Sacrament is much more impersonal and no one has the chance to get all buddy buddy with you like they can in the smaller meetings. Sit close to the door in the back, and leave during the last song before the prayer is said while there is noise and commotion and everyone is finally elated that sacrament is ended. Leave before the meeting ends by a few minutes, head for the car, go get some hot joe and pick your wife up at a designated spot after her meetings terminate.

Subject: Quit paying your tithing and then they will try to give you the boot. . .
Date: Oct 28 22:04
Author: Free

If you are paying tithing you are giving them a lot of hope. It is mainly about the $$$. If you are not paying the tithing at all, they will boot you out if you say "no" to callings. They will make an example of you. They will not want you.

Don't pay tithing. Put your foot down with your wife. Tell her that she can pay money on the part that she earns but that you do not want to pay.

Believe me, I know from experience that you will be a pariah without giving your hard-earned dough.

Subject: I agree.
Date: Oct 28 23:58
Author: passing through

I did it for years... finally decided to tell them I had enough, and I walked away. My son thought, "cool", and walked with me. (Ex)wife and daughter still attend, primarily for social reasons though, and are pretty good at standing their ground and not falling for the cultish aspects.

BTW, I stopped paying tithing years before I officially left. It didn't stop "inspiration" from hitting some priesthood or auxillary leader to try to have me called to their organization.

And I'm still welcome to attend/participate as desired (for special events, etc). It was a very unusual feeling at first, going to church/activities and being the "inactive" person who few people know. The other shoe fits me just fine now.

Subject: I have had the opposite experience.....
Date: Oct 29 01:03
Author: Skybolt

Callings are reserved for the in-crowd that are within the bishop's orbit. For people outside his crowd there are little or no callings offered, in fact if he even speaks to those people once a year they are lucky. Obviously, there is not a people shortage in this ward.

I see this as an example of the COJCLDS growing inward, a.k.a. "the implosion" where only the proven, TBM members are going along for the ride. The rest can wander as they please, and that does make life easier for some of us.

Subject: Re: Can't keep just one foot in the LDS church
Date: Oct 29 01:18
Author: Rae

> I have no choice. I will have to basically tell them to leave me the hell alone and stop going altogether. I know it will result in a major fight with my wife,
My Dad a non member never harrassed my Mom about church. She went 5 days a week. Calling after calling.
Then as an adult when I told my husband I just couldn't go to church anymore he said he understood. He never tried to make me feel bad. He didn't get mad. He goes when he wants to and knows I won't go. No biggie.
Whats with the spouses that freak out? This is just something I don't understand.