Subject: Ruining my "Forever Family"
Date: Apr 23 15:52
Author: Ladibug69

I am a typical recovering Utah Mormon. I have been inactive for about 7 years and I am just now considering having my name removed form the Church records. I am absolutely convinced that the Church is not true, but I still have tons of family on both sides who are valiant members and will never give up hope that I will return to the fold. I have told them that I never will, but they don't seem to believe me.

What really upsets me is the pain that I have caused my family, particularly my mother. The church is her whole life, and without it she would be devastated. She has so many dreams of her forever family in the next life. I am her oldest and so I feel that she has placed many expectations for me. I have not lived up to any of them.
I cannot escape the feelings of disappointment that both of my parents have toward me, even through the masks of unconditional love they show me.

It is because of this that I am having trouble going through with what I want to do, resigning from the records of the Church. I am terrified that this action will hurt my family beyond what I am prepared to deal with. I am wondering if there are others out there like me, who have had to deal with the guilt that comes with being the one to ruin their "forever families." My own grandfather, a former mormon tabernacle choir member, asked me at a family function "when are you going to straighten up, so we can be with you after the millennium?" I want to have a good relationship with my family, but how can I when comments like this make me uncomfortable? Has anyone been able to come to terms with these feelings? If so, how? I invite anyone to share their similar experiences with me.

Subject: Can't they just do a proxy baptism for you when you die?...
Date: Apr 23 16:01
Author: John

Suggest that to them. "Look when I die you can do baptisms for the dead on me, then we will all be together in heaven. I promise to accept the gospel after I die. Really I promise."

Seriously there is no easy answer. We're all in different stages. Some are to the point that they don't care what anyone thinks and proclaim their apostacy to the world including family and friends. At the other end are people who are completely in the closet because they want to keep their family happy. There's no easy answer. One common theme is start building up a non-mormon support network. Get new non-mormon friends. That way you don't feel totally alone if your family disowns you.

Subject: Re: Can't they just do a proxy baptism for you when you die?...
Date: Apr 23 16:12
Author: Ladibug69

That is true, they could do that. Thanks for your thoughts. I do have many non-mormon friends, and I don't think my family will disown me. I just don't want to cause the people I love pain. I picture my mom crying herself to sleep, asking herself what she did wrong in raising me. That hurts me. That is what I don't how to deal with.

Subject: the hardest part for me (language)
Date: Apr 23 16:35
Author: MollyNoMore

is knowing that I'm a disappointment to my parents because of the whole "eternal family" thing. It wasn't until I talked about this with a nevermo friend that I got a better grip on it.

His take on it when I told him this aspect of the morg was outrage: "That's such a fucking cult mentality--they make sure they get the kids by making the parents brainwash them for fear of them not all getting to go to heaven together--what a load of shit!"

I hadn't ever thought of it like that, and, while it breaks my heart to know my mother cries over my 'apostasy' because of the eternal family ramifications, it helps to know that the reason is utter and complete bullshit.

I don't know if it'll help you, but just keep it in mind.

Subject: Exmormons don't qualify for a baptism in next life
Date: Apr 25 02:08
Author: Karla

I had the same problem. All my life I've been told that I have been "blessed" to be BIC. Therefore I should "know better" and live by higher standards than my mother and her family before they joined. They also told me that, in knowing better, I MUST live the gospel in this life- it is my only chance for salvation. I can't just repent on my death bed, or change my mind and accept the gospel after I die. Having been baptized in this life, I can't be baptized in the next life. Baptisms for the dead are meant for those who weren't taught the gospel on earth. In other words, if you're BIC, you're trapped if you actually believe all this crap!.

If you're lucky, your mother doesn't know that baptisms for the dead are only for those who never heard the gospel during their mortal life. Best of luck!

Subject: I am in the same boat
Date: Apr 23 16:45
Author: Arr1

I am definetly the black sheep in my family!! The family still believes that I will return to their church. In fact my TBM mom told me that she believes that if her and my dad are righeous, keep their covenants, bla bla bla (barf!) that the lard will see to it that I come back to the morg and we can all live happily ever after.
That is the main reason why I haven't had my name removed yet- I will cause serious family scandal. However, I am ready to be completely done with it and am begining the process of removal. I have been doing extensive research and study on the morg so that when my family finds out that I'm having my name removed, I can support my decision with the facts.
Best of luck to you

Subject: Re: I am in the same boat
Date: Apr 23 17:03
Author: Ladibug69

Thanks for your thoughts. I too have begun to do research. I think it's a good idea to make an informed decision. One obstacle I've run into is that my family always questions my sources, especially internet sources. I guess that means I should get official church sources and base my research on that. Perhaps that way they can't say it just anti-mormonism.

Subject: Re: I am in the same boat
Date: Apr 23 17:18
Author: Arr1

One book I have found to be helpful is "Reasoning From the Scriptures With the Mormons" by ron rhodes and marian bodine. you have to be careful because it's main point is to help convert mormons to christitanity, hence it is highly biased and a little extreme. however, it highlights some very interesting inconsistencies in the bible and BOM, that the mormons can't really argue with since they claim to believe the bible "as far as it is translated correctly." the book refrences to the bible that the mormons claim to believe. If nothing else, it makes for some thought provoking reading. also, it contains detailed references to documents written by mormon leaders so you can do further research. You are welcome to e-mail me and let me know how it is going:

Subject: Re: I am in the same boat
Date: Apr 23 17:22
Author: lgone

I don't engage in debate with my family because I really do want to continue some kind of relationship with them..and it's a no win situation..I usually say that I know how much the church means to them and so I'd rather not have this conversation out of respect to them and I tell them I love them. Initially this wasn't I told them I can understand how desperately they want me to come back to the church....can they please understand that I just as desperately wish they would leave the church? This always leaves them silent. They do push for details anymore, but if they are ever adamant and want to have the conversation, I am more than willing, but I recognize it could end our relationship. My overall advice is to do what your gut tells you to do.....That's what is pushing me, but it's just my time, it may not be yours and that's'll know when you are ready and nothing will stop you, or you may never and that's ok too!!!!

Subject: Re: Ruining my "Forever Family"
Date: Apr 23 16:51
Author: lgone

I logged onto this board today to find out how to have my name removed....I left the church over 14 years ago and like you, I'll never go back, there is no doubt in my mind about that....
But my family...that's another matter. My family is so devoted to the church and my mother is sooooo depressed about my leaving the church. She puts my name on the prayer rolls all of the time and has a constant long-suffering air about her. It's really hard, and one of the reasons I haven't had my name removed up till this point is because I didn;t want to hurt them further.

Then about a month ago, I was preparing a tribute to my grandmother for her birthday and was reading some family history. I started doing some research about the Mountain Meadow Massacre and Polygamy and the many weird things that are unfortunately part of my culture. I had never studied the real history of the church before....and I have had a sick feeling in my stomach ever since. I left the church because I never believed the silly Joe Smith story....but now, for me, I just can;t stand to have my name associated with a fanatical organization whose foundation is grounded in violence, hatred, oppression and intolerance. I can't rest until I close this chapter.....but it took me 14 years, and this is my just has to feel right to you. I know this will probably cause my parents more hurt....but I've reached a point where it feels better to go down this path than not....

Subject: Re: Ruining my "Forever Family"
Date: Apr 23 17:24
Author: Switz1

Explain to your Mother that you wouldn't have been with her anyway. After all she would have been on one planet cranking out more celestial kids while you were on another doing your best with all of your wives.

NOW, as a nonmember you will probably BE WITH HER!

Subject: hmmm...Switz1
Date: Apr 23 17:40
Author: rhys

Is ladibug a guy?

Ladibug, just tell your family (with a nice grin): "of course we'll all see each other in heaven. Whatever wrong you think you've done, god will sort it out."

Subject: Do it for you....
Date: Apr 23 18:09
Author: LM

The reason this has been so difficult for me to overcome is because it is an interpretation of reality (afterlife scenario). I can't change their interpretation of reality, so I can't escape the disappointment that my choices have caused, regardless of how I interpret them.

I feel your pain...we all do. I had the same fears about the repercussions of my family when I made the move for name removal...but I had to do it for me. I wavered back and forth for about 3 years and then realized I was an adult who knew what I wanted to do and was avoiding it so I wouldn't hurt my mother's feelings.

I did it quietly and they haven't found out, or they're being polite in not mentioning it, or typical in pretending it's not reality. Whatever the situation is, I won't ever announce to them that I've done this. However, if they ever ask I will be honest with them. I don't have anything to hide, the only time in my life I've ever been a hypocrite was when I was growing up mormon.

Good luck to you...hopefully you won't end up spending as much on therapy as I have. :)


Subject: tell them you expect them to live their own 11th article of faith
Date: Apr 23 18:20
Author: SusieQ#1

and be good citizens and abide by the laws of the land and respect your constitutional rights to freedom of religion.

Besides all that, you have absolutely no control over how someone feels. Your mother or parents are choosing to attempt to make you feel guilty for not living up to their expectations, which is never possible anyhow.

They are the ones NOT living up to their own claims of what they say their gospel teaches!

I say, get some self respect, and just made nice-nice with the family and not mention your name being removed or anything else that is none of their business.

You have a right to resign your membership from any church.

Take back your power over your own live and own it and do not give any of the Mormons any power over you again.

Do not allow them to make you feel bad, guilty, unhappy because they have expectations that you have no intention of living.

Now ask yourself why you are allowing them to make you unhappy and miserable just because they are??

Subject: Seven years is a long time
Date: Apr 23 18:17
Author: Jolimont

they probably got the idea by now that you don't intend to go back. And you don't need to tell your folks that you got your name removed. My husband's parents still don't know and it's been months. Why tell them when we know it'll upset them? You gotta live for yourself.

Subject: Changing just a couple or details your story could be mine
Date: Apr 23 18:42
Author: Maori man
Mail Address:

My mother is an iron-rodder, as was my grandfather. It has never been my intention to hurt any family member as a result of my departure from the faith but I'm sure it hurt them nevertheless.

My grandfather stormily insisted that I "burn the books, burn the books" that I was reading that were opening my intellect to what Mormonism was really all about.

So, with a smile on my face and love in my heart for them, I would merely respond that I had long since stopped believing that angels ever flew around with metal books in their hands.

Mormon homes are often graced with a poster of Jesus over the statement: "I never said it would be easy, I just said it would be worth it." Frankly, that's exactly how I feel about having left the church long ago.

Subject: Re: Wait till they die...
Date: Apr 23 18:47
Author: SD

to resign. If the church isn't pestering you, it might be a way to go. To Grandpa I reply "Gee Grandpa, you're pretty cocksure you're making it to the Celestial Kingdom, you know what they say about pride going before the fall."

Subject: Re: Ruining my "Forever Family"
Date: Apr 25 01:36
Author: Ladibug69

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and stories. I think I will have my name removed and I will most likely not tell my parents. It is my decision, and there is no need to hurt them by announcing it. They just can't handle the truth. Perhaps some day, I will tell them if they learn to open their minds a bit. Hey, who knows, maybe one of these days they will wake up and realize that their whole lives have been a lie. I doubt that will happen, though. They would never allow themselves to believe it possible. My mom told me the other day that you're that much stronger to have faith in things which you can't see. It's week to have to have everything shown to you. Isn't that convenient. I guess they have nothing to prove. Good for them, since they have no proof. Well, I still love them, no matter what. I think perhaps, it will be better when I move out of Utah and live among some more normal people. Thanks again!

Subject: Get your name removed
Date: Apr 25 08:27
Author: ExCatholic

I went through something similar with my parents and most of my family when I left the catholic church, yet another "one true church." My parents heaped the guilt on with a trowel (or a paten), and they genuinely believe I will burn in hell for joining a mainstream liberal protestant denomination.

You know what, it's not up to you to make your parents happy. It's up to your parents to make themselves happy, and it's up to you to make yourself happy. Nobody else can do that for someone else.

As a parent, I believe that it is my job to teach my children a whole lot of things, including sharing my religious beliefs on them. But ultimately, they grow up and as adults they make their own decisions, religious belief included. Some of those decisions might hurt me, but that's really my problem to deal with.

If your parents really love you unconditionally, they'll adjust. If they don't, that's their problem. You aren't a different person if you have your name removed--you'll still love them just as much and you'll still show it in the same ways. I probably wouldn't make a grand announcment about having my name removed, I'd just do it. If a situation arises where they have a need to know, or if they directly ask, I'd be honest.

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