Subject: My Father Planned His Funeral Last Night And...
Date: Apr 23 11:49 2004
Author: Helaman

Lo and behold I was left out of his service.

He is supposed to die in the next few weeks. He is suffering from Lupus and congestive heart failure. Right now he is in the hospital being fed through an IV and lapsing in and out of consciousness. He is coherent when he is awake but very week and unable to move. It's sad to see him like this but everybody's time on this earth must come to an end sometime.

Last night he and my sister (an ultra-TBM whose FIL is a GA) [GA - Mormon general authority top leader in the church] arranged his funeral. As the oldest child in our family (8 kids) I assumed that I would offer a prayer, the eulogy, or take some part in his funeral. But now that we have left the church he made it clear that he has no compelling reason for me to speak or be seen at his funeral. He is asking my two BIL's to speak (both are in bishoprics), my sister's GA FIL to speak, and my brother to give the eulogy. I was asked to be a pall bearer if they need one.

The talk topics were also discussed. One talk is on the first vision, the next on the apostasy, and the final one on the plan of salvation. The special musical numbers will be "Praise to the Man" and "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?". Opening song is "Oh My Father" and the closing is "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again".

My other brother will dedicate the grave and the local SP will offer some words about the resurrection during the graveside service.

My wife and I were asked to wear our garments on the day of his funeral as a sign of family unity. We were also asked to sing in church the Sunday after his funeral along with the rest of our family. My wife and I are supposed to pick out the song we are to sing.

My wife and I decided to attend the service but in our own underwear. My wife just ordered a plain black cotton SLEEVELESS summer dress to wear for the occasion. I'll wear a suit and tie. My shirt will be gray or blue. We will not sing in church, we will not wear our garments, and we will not be part of the dog and pony show that my family wants to put on for the special occasion.

The part that hurts though is that my sister asked him numerous times if he could find a place in the program for me to speak or offer a prayer. He said that as long as his son is out of the church that he is not welcome to participate in the regular family activities.

It just reaffirms my feelings that the church has such a grip on people and people place total faith in it that they will forsake everything that is important to them in order to feed the church's demands.

Sorry for the long post. It's just that I have nobody else to confide in.


Subject: Boy, that's tough.
Date: Apr 23 11:56
Author: activejackmormon

Amazing how the definition of family unity is you compromising your integrity for the family, not the family accepting your offering. I'm grateful for my TBM family because at my mother's funeral, my catholic uncle was allowed to speak and the activejackmormon himself read a poem.

Subject: I'm sorry you are losing your father
Date: Apr 23 12:00
Author: Yikes!

and that one of his last acts was to hurt you.

It will be hard, but try and put it in perspective, like, wearing a certain kind of underwear to show solidarity. That's just twisted.

Hell I'd pick a song to sing in church on Sunday, make sure it's a "good one" if you know what I mean.

Good luck.

Subject: Have a hug
Date: Apr 23 11:59
Author: Ms Mirae

I am sorry to hear of your soon to be loss and the way your family is treating you in this time of grief.

I also have to commend both you and your wife for your decision. They are choosing to exclude you and then want you to conform after being slapped in the face. If he does not want you to take part then how could you possibly go against his wishes and take part even if its the week after?

Subject: That's tough . . . I really feel for you
Date: Apr 23 11:59
Author: Lost and Found
Mail Address:

I especially think it adds insult to injury to ask you to wear garments to the funeral. It's sad that the church has such a hold on people like this. I told my family last night that I am leaving the church and I got a similar initial response (however, all credit to my family. After we had a chance to talk a bit, they are still not happy, but at least still accepting of us.) When I told my father, he began speaking in terms of YOU vs. MY family. It wasn't our family anymore. You have all of my sympathy. I have some understanding of what you are going through.

Subject: If someone felt that about me then (minor cuss)
Date: Apr 23 12:17
Author: It's Spring!

I'd be DAMNED if I'd be seen GOING to the funeral. Sounds like the service is going to be just like another Sacrament meeting anyway. But that's me of course. I can hand back the 'fuck you' attitude as much as it's slung at me. And if it's his wish to not have you even attend the funeral, then hell, make him happy.

Subject: That's sad ...
Date: Apr 23 12:34
Author: exnotantimo

I wouldn't wear the garments either (though I don't think I'd make an open point of it, at least not on that kind of occasion). I noticed your sister was more open to your participating than your father. That reflects my experience as well. The older generation of LDS are often more narrow about such things than their kids. My wife's parents refused to fully accept me (long story--they did fully accept me in some ways, but not others), but their believing kids are much more open.

My condolences and best wishes to you and your family.

Subject: I'm sorry. I think my wife and I have many such events coming to deal with too. nt

Subject: I never knew of such severe family pain...
Date: Apr 23 13:16
Author: nevermo

until reading mormon stories like this one- brainwashed to put church before family/compassion/reason. I would not go but I admire your courage in attending with respect and without conforming to cult practice.

The real world is crashing down on SLC at internet speed and the "grip" will loosen over time. 

Subject: You got to love em don't you
Date: Apr 23 13:35
Author: x-lamanite

those self-righteous soles. Family is what it is all about huh. You have to think, what would God do. Are what would your father do if he really lived a Christ like life.

Subject: Re: The cruelty of this Church (cuss)...
Date: Apr 23 14:03
Author: SD

just amazes me. With his dying breaths you father is trying to inflict as much pain on you as he can. Don't worry, you'll get your chance to speak. I suggest that after everyone else is gone, you go out to his graveside and say "Dad, you were an asshole, but I love you and I forgive you" ...

Subject: Ouch! That's tough.(cussing)
Date: Apr 23 14:16
Author: Fedelm

::hug:: I'm so sorry for the loss of your father as well as the cruelty of TSCC. It sickens me how the cult can have such control over its members that non-believing family are treated like shit. Families...It's about time. NOT!!

Stupid f*cking cult!

Subject: I'd publish a public notice, myself.
Date: Apr 23 14:19
Author: Three to make ready...

Spend the money and put it in the newspaper.

"My father, Mr. Blah B. Blahblah, will be deceased in a few weeks. Because I have rejected his religion, he has made it formally known that I can have no place at his funeral unless I keep my mouth shut and wear the special underwear of his religion.

"My wife and I are hereby giving public notice that we will not comply with his charade. Since he will not let us speak of our love for him, we've taken out this ad to let the world know of his hatred for us.

"Whatever eulogies may be given, he is a bitter old man. And whatever lip service he and the Mormon Church give to being family-oriented, this is just another prime example of their divisiveness and the brainwashing control they have over their adepts.

"We feel sorry for our father and his family, and we hope that in the hereafter, they may be brought to their senses. We offer our condolences in advance and wish him a speedy departure."

Subject: Brutal, but understandable...
Date: Apr 23 16:06
Author: bob mccue

That is the nature of the beast. I had not thought about my father's funeral. He is in ill health, and could go at any time. Since most of our pain results from frustrated expectations, you have helped me to avoid some pain. And now that I have thought about it a bit, my father's values are so different than mine, it would likely not be appropriate for me to have any more than a toke role in his funeral. As to wearing garments etc., that kind of suggesting indicates how Neanderthal the LDS culture is.

The worst evil of Mormonism, in my view, is the manner in which it encourages people to build their lives on false foundations, which cause the kind of pain you describe as reality crashes in on some, but not others.

Best of luck Helaman. My thoughts are with you.

All the best,


Subject: I wouldn't go.
Date: Apr 23 16:21
Author: Aaron

I'd just visit the grave with my own family a few days later. Have a moment of silence or something. I see no point in attending a party you haven't been invited too.

Subject: A couple ideas...
Date: Apr 23 16:52
Author: exedmo

It depends on how upset you are and if/how strongly you want to express yourself.

1) Place your garments on his casket, along with a flower.

2) Wear and/or pass out T-Shirts that say "I thought it was about FAMILY".

Personally, I like option #1

Subject: Another thought
Date: Apr 23 16:58
Author: exnotantimo

Though you have every right to be angry, try not to let that interfere what you truly want most in connection with your dad, his funeral, and family relations. Hard to sort that out, I know. Have you thought about talking to your dad about this? (Not saying that's a good idea, not knowing him or you, but it appears to be an option.)

As I see it, there's a boundary issue here. Garments or not is too personal--that's in your own boundaries.

Subject: Re: My Father Planned His Funeral Last Night And...
Date: Apr 23 17:35
Author: Blacksheep

Your message touched me so deeply. I lost my dad unexpectedly last year. Believe it or not, all of us five (two out, three in) children spoke at the service. Mine was about living each and everyday to its fullest, since we just can't know how many we have. No Name-Of-Cheese-And-Rice-Amen at the end. Just thanks to all for being there and in his life. I would have been so hurt had my father requested I be excluded. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. Best wishes.

Subject: I, too am very touched by your post.
Date: Apr 23 17:52
Author: greenkat

How ironic that in their dire need to keep their whole family in Mormonism they drive people out of their family!

We lost my adult brother to cancer a few years ago, and I know that it just plain hurt when he died.

Many of us tried to blame our hurt on what someone said, or did, or didn't do, but in the end I believe that we just hurt because he died. Period.

If it makes them feel better to exclude your participation, shame on them.

But, if I were you I would attend on my own terms and appreciate whatever goodness and happy memories you can glean from your father's life and let the rest go. Let someone else hang on to the toxic hate if they want.

Subject: Family ... isn't it about time!
Date: Apr 23 18:09
Author: justmythoughts

Family ... isn't it about time!

If they only practiced what they preached, the world might be a better place!

Even in their last breaths ... this institution continues to divide and separate loved one!

I am sending you a big ((((HUG)))) ... as my heart goes out to you!

Subject: I am sorry for you (long)
Date: Apr 23 18:11
Author: rwg

Please accept my condolences at this very trying time. I'm a nevermo, in fact I'm a *very* lapsed Catholic. I never knew so much about Mormonism's antifamily attitude, it's exclusiveness, it's tribal-ghetto mentality as I have learned from this site and from your post. I understand the pain of seeing your father ebb like that and am sorry you have to endure such bitterness. But, am curious - how would anyone know if you were wearing Mormon underwear? I assume your reference to your wife's sleeveless top would be a clue (I've never seen the underwear), but if I'm wrong, I'll be damned if I can understand how anyone would know. Your father's attitude is probably due to what others here call cog-dis, and this you cant fight. Last year my wife and I attended a burial service in a small southern Idaho town for her Episcopalian aunt; the aunt's former daughter-in-law (son died) was also an exmo but since the aunt had remained close to that family a bishop member was asked to read the prayer; the aunt's son picked out a prayer from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and the bishop refused to read it - the ideas conflicted with Mormonism; I couldn't believe that. He should've said "I don't feel comfortable with that, let someone else do it". Instead he read some Moron bullshit - and so the lady was laid to rest without her chosen prayers. Why did I recall this incident? Just because the notion of Moron insensitive non-inclusion seemed so parallel to your sad situation. Take care. There are people who care.

Subject: I am very sad for you and the family split created by
Date: Apr 23 18:27
Author: cricket

the cult mentality. Sadly, if your sister's father in law, who is GA suggested to your father that you be included in the funeral and that families should come together at times like this, your father would click his heels in blind obedience and follow "orders."

The part about requesting you and your wife to wear garments is just so very sad.

Thanks for taking the time to share your anguish.

Subject: Is there going to be a "garment" check at the funeral?
Date: Apr 23 21:06
Author: NotNow

I am so sorry about your Father, and the pain you are being subjected to concerning his funeral. Why do appearances rate higher than family feelings in the Mormon realm? My MIL is so afraid the family will not purchase an elaborate, expensive coffin for her. She wants everything to be" so beautiful". I was just blown away that any family member would have the gall to tell you to put your garments on for the service. That is ridiculous--and who is going to do be in charge of checking underwear?

Subject: Family. Isn't it about...time?
Subject: Think of it this way.....
Date: Apr 23 22:57
Author: MaryCatherine

By the time of the funeral, your father will have already been on the other side and will know the foolishness of it all. Just sit there during the silly ceremony and imagine hearing him yelling...."You silly bastards...You don't have to do this ridiculous charade!!!"

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