Subject: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 00:01
Author: Duped 'n' Dazed

This board provides a wonderful forum in which those of us who have discovered the truth about the “one true church” can share our stories, disseminate information, give advice, joke, and even blow off steam regarding the abuses we have received, on the most blatant and subtle scales, at the hands of the Mormon Church. I should know. I have used it for every one of these purposes.

However, I sometimes find myself doing these things just for effect-- when, in reality, the truth of where I stand with the Mormon Church often feels much different to me.

Let me explain:

I was born and raised in a small town in central Utah with a family that was more MBT (Members by Tradition) than TBM. It was what we inherited and it worked. Actually, we knew nothing different. I attended church, went through Primary, was baptized at eight, and rose through the ranks of the Priesthood. I served a mission that was quite meaningful to me and returned home with a burning zeal to give my life to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I served in several positions within the student wards that I attended, and felt a profound sense of joy and purpose within the traditional Mormon lifestyle.

My love for the gospel- the true gospel- was actually what started me out of the Church. Great spiritual truths that I felt could not be confined within a nice, pre-packaged box of two-pant suit, official, consolidated three-hour meeting block religion. My world-view was expanding in leaps and bounds (from sources outside of the Church) and the ritual of it all was left by the wayside. I actually felt a sense of relief more than I did betrayal upon discovering the idiosyncrasies within the Church’s history. I went on to put Christianity in its proper historical context, and even went so far as to pull the traditional God card out from under the house I had built. Without offense, without fanfare, I closed that chapter of my life’s journey and simply walked away.

Today, I compare my experience in the Mormon Church with the time I spent in High School. It’s something that has contributed a great deal to who I am today. It was very meaningful for me at the time. I can talk about it with relish and nostalgia. . . but it no longer concerns me. I’ve moved on and I’m doing different things now.

I don’t feel animosity towards the Church. That doesn’t mean that I agree with it, some of its doctrines, or the way it’s run; but there’s room within my experience to somehow respect it and even rejoice that some people find a lot of purpose and meaning in it. Instead of poking at a dead horse, making sure that it’s still dead, reminding myself of why it was a bad, and finding myself angry or bitter that I’ve been riding the wrong horse (which, in a way, is the Church *still* controlling my life), I choose to look at where I am now and to the future-- redefining myself, my beliefs, my experience, my purpose. In short, not what is false, but what is true.

I’m just wondering if there is anyone else out there who, despite the understandable “front” they sometimes put on here, really feel no animosity toward the Mormon Church and their experience with it? Who take it in stride, see it as a part of their life, can talk about it without feeling bitter, ashamed, angry, or any of the thousands of emotions that naturally arise when one finds himself “Duped 'n' Dazed?” I would like to hear from you and from anyone else who may have a different opinion about what I’ve just shared. My thanks in advance.



Subject: I am one of these for the most part....
Date: Nov 07 00:10
Author: Dawn

There are occational moments when I mourn and grieve the "what may have been" but that is part of my nature in general and really isnt strictly related to my having been TBM....

Subject: Re: I am one of these for the most part....
Date: Nov 07 00:26
Author: Bob

I feel a lot the way you do and I appreciate your comments. I spent several years investigating the church as various subjects would come up. When my family no longer gave me the "space" my mind needed to read what I wished to read, I made a six-month split with them and moved out. During that time, I was bitter, angry, confused and felt betrayed as I began to study the church intensly. I feel that I am now largly beyond that. My family is grown, my children are still, for the most part, TBMs, my wife is a TBM, but they know my feelings and give me the space I need for continued growth. I respect their beliefs and do not give them grief or disparage their beliefs. They do know that I am more than ready to discuss any subject regarding the church or its history with them at any time and at any place. I have remained outside the temple for two of my childrens weddings....not because I am a bad individual...but because I no longer pay tithing to the church. Believe it or not, that really hasn't bothered me, because the temple always made me uncomfortable from the get-go.

I am not angry at the church, only disappointed with its leaders and their unwillingness to deal with the issues that are so perplexing in church history and doctrine. I feel sorrow...even pity...for those who still run on the Mormon treadmill and, when I hear them talk about how stressed out they are I smile to myself in the knowledge that I am more free and happy than I have been for a long time. Every once in a while, my anger rises to the surface, so maybe I still have some anger in me...but not as much as I used to.

Best Wishes!!

Subject: Re: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 00:15
Author: 42

It probably is a matter of time. When I first left the church after I had found out so much about itīs history I was very bitter.
I havenīt gotten totally over it and I still wish my family would leave the church as well, but my feelings have cooled down a lot, especially since the situation at home has pretty much normalized. Everybody is gotten used to the changed situation and its not a total taboo anymore, although I still have to be careful not to make negative remarks about the Mromonism. But I can now talk about alternating views.
Itīs only been half a year since I left, so I guess Iīm making progress. And there seems to be hope to get over it one day like others have.
Thatīs probably the day, when most people leave the site and go on to other topics, since they arenīt interested in Mormonism any more one way or the other.

Subject: I have often said that I do not view my exit from Mormonism as a recovery
Date: Nov 07 01:14
Author: SusieQ#1

I changed my mind. That is all. My world view changed, it went from a very restrictive one to a much bigger, broader one. I grew up! I was no longer kept in a child-like state and could now be the authentic me, an adult in all ways.

Living Mormonism was, from what I could tell, very much like all other people in the world around me. Except for some variances, we were all in the soup together in one way or another. Some things were worse, some were better.

Mormonism was basically a good life, except for some really outlandish stuff that never made sense. I am just glad to be free of all of it.

And yes, I have often thought of it as high school in many ways. I graduated! I am wiser. I have more experiences. I am an adult, fully now.

I do not discount any of those years in high school, or in Mormonism when I was young and uninformed. I do not throw away the books or pictures. I remember some of it with fondness, some with embarrassment and some with laughter and some I cannot recall at all!

When I changed my mind about Mormonism, my self confidence, self esteem, self respect would not allow a self perpetuated assault of self hatred, feeling duped, like I was an idiot because I knew I was none of those things.

It was like a huge release, and a great relief, a great weight was lifted off me when I realized that the whole Joseph Smith story was poppycock and I burst out laughing! I still find it very humorous.

Initially, I began reading everything I could find, including many books in our own Mormon library about the original history and was fascinated by the depth of the foolishness and the willingness of people to believe in such obvious fabrications. But those were very different times.

Knowing fully, as I do now, that there are no rules about how to live this life that will result in some afterlife bonus, and there is no sin, guilt, repentance, prayer, faith needed, has released me to be completely free in thought and behavior.
That is the GOOD NEWS!

My conscious is my guide, not a bunch of old prophets, old suits, old books, a savior, myths and legends!

It is frustrating though when people cling to the beliefs and rely so heavily on old myths that in today's world are so preposterous!

Oh well, this is the USA and we do have freedom of religion!

And what you see is what you get with me.

Subject: I'm with you on this one.
Date: Nov 07 01:36
Author: missinglink
Mail Address:

I sent an email to the webmaster of some "anti anti" site explaining how it was nothing personal - just a sincere disagreement over doctrine. I'm a "DNA" Mormon, too. Regardless of the bogus theology of the Morg, I have no hard feelings against it nor do I feel ashamed at having been fooled anymore than I am ashamed when a magician does his thing and I don't know how. W/n my immediate and extended families, it has been more of a positive influence than not and the same is true for my wife's siblings' families. Those effects are more from adhering to the "golden rule" ideas than from an excessive toing of the line to the more arcane (and patently silly) parts of the Morg theology.

Subject: I used to be like that
Date: Nov 07 01:50
Author: ink

But then the members got in the way.

I was Live Let Live for quite a while. I'd even cloak myself as a TBM just to let offenses go unencountered. I saw the church as something good, but just not for me; if others could believe the fairy tale, then all the better for them.

The only problem is that they wouldn't kindly do the same. It began after my sister had her kid. I love my nephew and he really likes me (he's only 3 now), but I am never asked to babysit him, and there is a hush about church whenever I am around his family (she married an uber-TBM). Now, simple things like visiting on Sunday with my parents (who are pretty laid back about it) become an unworded fight. Little comments about my shorts, or my wife's blouse are blatant and insulting. My brother-in-law, who was an exmo along with me for YEARS, decided to reactivate with a vengence after his son was born. We went to their blessing and he got up in front to bear his special testimony "for 2 people in the audience who really needed to hear it".

These are people who are inextricably tied to my life at this point, and who are driving me away because my family is not TBM. I can only see this as getting worse. My son isn't going to grow up knowing all the primary songs (this has already been an issue with comments like "Oh, your son would make such a cute sunbeam" or "let's teach him to sing I want to be a missionary"). The church keeps on trying to "reactivate" me, and I hear nothing but derision when I tell them politely "no".

The garment police go out of their way to let me know that I forgot to wear my sacred clothing that day with not-so-subtl hints. These same peole have no idea about the history of the church, and only see me as a Pawn of Satan. I'm not so kind or gentle about it now; it's taken 8 years to get this way, but don't be surprised if you end up like this too.

The church is good and bad, and unfortunately they must go hand-in-hand for the church to persist. They have a severe "us vs. them" mentality in almost every aspect. The GAs perpetuate the system, knowing that the church has serious fundamental flaws. Their (recent!) experimentation with shock therapy to cure homosexuals, the mind control that they exert with separating people by custom, the lies that they tell their youth who believe everything in ignorance, their intentional systematic supression of materials that aren't "faith promoting"; the list goes on and on.

Subject: Re: I used to be like that
Date: Nov 07 02:57
Author: missinglink

You certainly bring up good points and I can easily see how I could be coerced into abandoning the "live and let live" mentality that has pretty much ruled my life to date. As always, I find myself agreeing with both sides... :-)

Subject: well said
Date: Nov 07 01:50
Author: ripper

this is pretty much how i feel. i just walked away. i don't believe it and that is fine with me. don't feel angry. maybe that is a sign of just how much is was dna and not resolute belief. i feel like the mo church gave me a lot of good things. and while i did not particularly enjoy my mission, it was merely an experience of my life that probably did more good than bad for me. my 4 years at the WHY were great fun. wonderful memories. but i'd never go back (i'm a bit old now anyway) and i'd never want my kids to go. can't imagine they will want to anyway. i'm glad i've walked away. feels good to be honest. but it was nice being a mormon. hell, i guess i really still am. hard to get it out of the bones.

Subject: Re: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 02:02
Author: Fellow Traveller

Wow. You guys are singing my song. I remember the moment I came to the realization that it wasn't "true". I was driving in my car and I started singing and laughing and shouting "I'm free!" It was total exhileration. I went through some very angry periods, laying awake, thinking how I could bring down this great and abominable. It took a year or two before I just let it go. I wish this website had been there then. That was 25 years ago. Since then, I married a TBM with TBM kids. She knew my feelings, but she was one of the rare ones who accepted the differences between us and that was okay. I didn't knock the Church, she didn't pester me about it (except a few wistful thoughts about not being married for eternity).

Last year, my wife died. The Church was terrific and very supportive. I started to rethink - maybe I came to the wrong conclusion all those years ago. Wouldn't it be great if I could be married to my wife for all eternity. I'd come to almost envy the strong belief my wife had. It was a real anchor for her and her kids--and a support system that I just didn't have. Especially during my grief at her passing.

So I've spent the last year re-reading the BoM and a half-dozen other LDS books. But I kept coming to the same conclusions I did 25 years ago. Only this time, instead of laughing and singing, it makes me sad. I wish it were true and it isn't.

Someone mentioned something about "tribes." I think we all have an innate drive to belong to a tribe. I grew up in the Mormon tribe. It's a comfort zone. I understand where they are coming from. For the most part, I really like the tribe members. But the price to rejoin the Mormon tribe is too high - I would know I'm living a lie - not to mention the 10% pound of flesh they want. And I'd have to sneak my daily cup of coffee.

So I opt to peacefully co-exist. (It beats "suffering my life to be taken.")

Subject: Re: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 03:04
Author: missinglink

Fellow Traveller said:
Only this time, instead of laughing and singing, it makes me sad. I wish it were true and it isn't.

Ain't it the truth! As I told the guys who run "SHIELDS", I take no joy in the fact that the Morg is just another man-made religion. Sorry to hear about the passing of your wife. I've told mine I believe we'll be together forever regardless (at least, if there is a "forever").

Subject: Sadly, I can't see it that way
Date: Nov 07 06:27
Author: Nick

Almost all of my family remain TBM. Over the years, we have rebuilt the personal bridges (which were certainly singed a lot when I left the club), and these days there is very little of the segregation by "worthiness" within the family (certainly I hate not being able to attend the weddings of my nieces and nephews - but that is mostly treated as a simple matter of fact: it is not that I'm a bad person, but just that I'm not a member). In fact, I have an interesting role in the family, the insider/outsider who is often called upon for counsel about the world beyond Zion, because I have chosen not to live my life within its (physical and philosophical) confines.

  • Every time I visit my oldest brother and his family, I can see how his callings take him away from his family. Ironically, the only calling that allows him to spend more time with the family is when the family's turn comes for cleaning their wardhouse.

  • I watched my younger sister struggling unhappily for years, trying to reconcile what the church told her about the worth of people, and what her own heart and head told her. (Fortunately, she has come to trust herself more and more in this area.)

  • Every time I speak with my mother or stepfather, I am reminded of the fact that, over 30+ years, he has led her a miserable life: burning through different jobs (and her savings and inheritance), moving from house to house (usually barely ahead of foreclosure), and alienating her children with his "Nazi Mormon" views and inflexibility. Is it the LDS church's fault that he is the way he is? Of course not (however, the church certainly doesn't help). But my mother, BIC TBM that she is, would never dream of openly disagreeing with (let alone leaving) the priesthood-holding head of the household.

  • I have watched my siblings struggle financially, their resources stretched by having the large families that were expected/commanded of them, and then exhausted by the financial demands (tithing, fast offerings, etc.) placed on them by their religion.

  • I see my nieces and nephews being taught that their duty to begin (and continue) having children always trumps their own academic and professional ambitions.

I could go on, but there is little point; in any event, none of it would sound unfamiliar to most of the people here.

I consider myself very lucky, because I was able to get away and see something of the world before I was 19 (when a trip into the big, bad world would have involved nametags and constant companions). What I saw was enough to start me on the road out of the LDS church. But now, 20+ years later, it is still all too easy to see the suffering, caused (or at least worsened) by the LDS religion and its policies, in my family.

I'm not going to preach to my siblings (or to their children), in an attempt to convert them to my way of thinking. All I can do is speak honestly when the opportunity arises, and try to be an example of a responsible adult - one who is reasonably happy without the religion that claims to be the only path to happiness.

So I don't preach. But that doesn't mean I don't get angry.

Subject: I don't know that I front
Date: Nov 07 09:36
Author: LauraD.

I say what's on my mind, good or bad, whenever I feel the need. Somedays I hate the church and will feel a need to vent but most of the time I try not to think about it. I don't look back at my time in the church with fondness nor do I look back at it all the time with regret. I'm pretty much over it really but there are those days, ya know.

Subject: Re: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 09:47
Author: exstjohn


I am returning to this site for the first time in a couple of years. I would agree with your comments here.

there is a saying here in the UK (and I'm sure you have the same or similar in the USA) "What doesn't break you, will make you".

I am facing redundancy for the second time in two years. I'm working at Textron and finish tomorrow. Do I feel bitter - no -just another experience to make me.

Church - I regret my extended family are still members. I resent the 'subtle' hints everytime I visit my Mum and Dad. But no, there are things like the hard work ethic, the honesty, the caring about others: All church taught (or at least reinforced) that hold me in good stead today.

It is not worth habouring enemies (people or organisations) because it will break you in the end.

Ex St.John

Subject: Re: A Kinder, Gentler Apostacy
Date: Nov 07 19:07
Author: Tyler

I still live in the heart of mormondom...right here in good ol' Orem Utah. My friends, family and all my acquaintances are Marmons.

I was hacked at first upon discovering the steaming heap of dung we know as the true history of the church, ticked that I didn't score more BYU hotties, and bothered by no swimming on Sunday in Utah county. I was especially enraged that I abstained from lawful and righteous sex, just to secure a little piece of real estate on the great Urim and Thumin in the sky known as KOLOB.

Dammmnnnn...I can't go back in time and say yes to lori at Kiwanis park, sorry Greta, the 6'0 german exchange student who asked if I wanted to make love, I AM A GRAND FOOL!

Beyond that I feel perfectly fine with my good marmon friends and neighbors.