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Posted by: NewDad ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 12:39AM

I've been having a lot of thoughts today because it was Father's Day and I thought I would share here.
This is my first Father's Day as a Dad. I have a perfect 5 month old son who is everything to me. About 3 months ago I finally started researching the church because I needed to know if working to go to the temple was the right thing. My dreams my entire life were centered around going to the temple to be sealed to my family for all of eternity. I went on a mission for this reason. I attended BYU-I to try and find a perfect eternal partner. I even graduated from early morning seminary because I thought it was all part of the plan.
Well, after "sinning" after my mission I decided to confess and started to discover some things. Confessing didn't leave to "an abundance of love" like I had been taught. I was shamed up and down for my actions over and over. I was disfellowshipped and put on the back burner while I struggled with going to church every week to "earn" my way back into God's good graces. I met the woman who would be my wife and we got pregnant and had a boy. We had been meeting with the bishop and stake president for over a year together, trying to get to the temple to be sealed, before I finally thought one of the most life changing thoughts I've ever had:
"What if this isn't true"
I remember driving home after meeting with the bishop with my wife and 2 month old after he told us it would probably be another 2-3 months, a sentence I've heard since I've been disfellowshipped at least 10 times. The difference this time was that my wife got to experience it. She was furious, justly, and it really struck me. I could handle the church stomping all over me, I had sinned after all, but I couldn't watch them do that to my family. It hit me in that same place I thought the feelings of the spirit came from and I knew I needed to do something.
I remember asking my wife if she would hate me for researching the church online. She was a convert and looked at me like I had just asked what color the sky was. "Of course, you can research whatever you want". I had lived my life hiding from the truth. I had been taught that information from outside the church was only trying to hurt me.
That night I started looking things up. I'm sure most of you experienced something similar. I stayed up all night feeling every emotion in the book. From denial to disgust I continued to read and see evidence from church sanctioned sources all of my worst fears coming true but I tried so hard to hold on. "Brigham Young needed to be a little crazy to get everyone across the plains" "The book of Abraham just has some strange translation interpretations" "the leaders can't be expected to live on nothing" were some of my thoughts that night.
All of that changed when I started researching Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages. As you'll recall from above, my main source of strength in the church was the temple and the sealing ceremony. When the light bulbs started to come on and I realized that Joseph Smith had created these ceremonies so he could be with other women my head started to spin. I was angry and hurt and sad. I tried to see how it could fit with my beliefs and if it would work. I couldn't. I couldn't get it all to fit together to make sense. The worst part of all, the thing that tore me to my very core and made me sit and cry was realizing that the temple was not a place I could insure I would be with my family forever. My wife and my perfect child were asleep in the other room and there was nothing I could do to make sure I would never lose them. Death became terrifying. What's going to happen to us? I had no answers.
But I had read too much. I had eaten of the apple and I couldn't go back. It was so hard. My wife believes differently than the average member and when we talked the next day she was fine with never going back.
It's been 3 months and I still get scared that I made a big mistake and sinned to the point that I can't "repent". This site has been a big help for me there. I also get so angry still with the church that I wish I could tear it down price by price with my bare hands. I wish I could go to my parents and siblings and tell them to wake up! But I can't. I already had been a missionary and discovered to trying to push my beliefs into someone else was wrong. It's not my job to tell them what to believe. It's my job to be ready if they need help. That help could be being there when they finally wake up. It could be just being a nice guy even though I don't go to church every week and pay my tithing.
My first Father's Day was great. We went to breakfast and not to church and I got to spend all of it with my family. No worrying about getting ready and being on time, no stressing about how much to pay for tithing, no more meetings with bishops and stake presidents about the being reinstated. It was great.
I only hope that eventually I can just set down the part of my life that can be titled "being Mormon" and completely move on. To a place without so much anger and sadness to a place of peice. A place where my beliefs are mine and my actions are not to please some God but are done because I want to. I was completely dedicated to the church and I know it'll take a while but I'm willing to look forward to the day where I can finally be completely dedicated to myself and what actually matters to me.

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Posted by: MexMom ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 02:53AM

Congratulations on finding your way out of the cult. And it's so awesome that your wife and child are leaving with you. What a great Father's Day it is for you!! Life is only going to get better and better!! Wishing you and your beautiful family all the best.

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Posted by: gatorman ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 06:00AM

Bravo. Now be ready for being called, written to and most importantly, if the rest of your family is local, have them talked to by bishop/SP. Your wife's family too. Wherever you go in the community, where you work, shop or dine a ward or stake member will "innocently" ask why they haven't seen you. Can't hide anymore. Friendships will change. It will get lonely but a great chance for the three of you to mentally come even closer.

They will work on you as individuals too-visiting teachers, home teachers, EQ leaders, RS leaders. Depending on where you live even work sites will not be insulated...Hang tough my man and keep RFM handy for ideas from others in same situations

1-0 in CWS

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 09:54AM

I would say you have re-routed a lot of you neural passages in a very short time. The way you write you have certainly re-calibrated quickly. Good for you.

The knee-jerk reactions will continue for a while. Just switch to your critical part of the brain to examine them. The "what if" moments don't holdup to scrutiny any more than the Mormon church does. Once you know what that church really is, you should feel joy to be out. They can never treat you in such a shabby way again and your son won't be stuck in primary singing "Follow the Prophet," with the rest of the cult.

Enjoy your family and all the love you have. That is all that matters. I loved reading your story.

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Posted by: nomonomo ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:06AM

Congratulations! I'd suggest not looking back. Ignore any and all attempts to reactivate you. Resignation is probably best--when you're ready--to ensure they leave you alone.

If you find yourself missing any aspects of the church (friendship, activities or whatever), try to find it in a different church. Most churches will not demand 10% or more of your income and all of your free time (and if one does, run from it too).

Good luck on your journey forward.

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