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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 12:48PM

No, the subject line is not a joke! However, this is a long post, so if you're only interested in the cleaning part, feel free to skip to the end. :-)

Over the July 4 holiday, I posted here that one of my younger cousins, who had converted to Mormonism a few years ago in her early 20s, had just gotten married in the Oakland, CA temple. I have a large extended family, and also due in part to geographical distance, I tend to see this cousin and her siblings at most once a year at events such as large family weddings or funerals.

I would not even have expected an invitation to this cousin's wedding, but I was somewhat surprised to go on Facebook over the holiday weekend and see she had gotten married, simply because normally I would at least have **heard** of her engagement and wedding well in advance. My mom would have mentioned to me, "Oh, I heard from so-and-so that 'Julia' is getting married this summer. Isn't that nice?," etc.

Anyway, I posted on RfM that I felt sad for her parents and siblings, who are incredibly nice people, because I could only imagine how hurt they must have been not to see her wedding. I also noted that of my large extended family, many of whom are super-active on FB and post comments on things daily, they had only "liked" her wedding photo--not even one had posted a comment, not even "Congratulations!" I felt this seemed to indicate widespread hurt feelings.

Well, on Saturday, I happened to be at a big family party--a 50th anniversary celebration--at which this cousin's dad and one of her aunts (to whom I am pretty close) were also in attendance. I didn't feel I could very well avoid any mention of my cousin's daughter's wedding which had taken place less than two weeks ago without being rude, although I did not want to hurt him, either. I just hugged him hello, said, "Hey, I saw 'Julia' got married--congratulations," and left it at that.

The pain on his face was obvious, and the poor guy immediately launched into saying something like "Well, I guess it's our fault--[my wife] and I clearly didn't give her what she needed growing up, I guess. At least that's what she tells us. I raised her with no religion because I thought she had the right as an adult to decide what belief system was right for her...I just didn't think she'd choose this one." I tried to console him, saying I have known plenty of families who raise all of their kids more-or-less the same, with the same values and beliefs, yet two will grow up to live basically happy, normal lives and one kid will become a heroin addict. In other words, I said, you aren't always responsible for your adult child's choices and actions. He still said he blamed himself at least partly, and he added that he had been reading more about Mormonism online and was hoping maybe one day she would see the light, etc.

Later on at the party, I spoke in more detail about the wedding with another cousin of mine who is the aunt of "Julia," the young woman who was just married. She had tears in her eyes the entire time we spoke about this, for at least a good 20 minutes. She has always been VERY close to Julia and her siblings, and in fact Julia lived with her and her husband a couple of summers ago while she taught at a summer school for children in their town. Some of the interesting (disturbing) things this cousin shared with me:

After "Julia" was baptized Mormon two or three years ago, her new church friends told her she could no longer live with her own sister because the sister's fiance also lived with them. Yes, apparently she could not be seen to be condoning their "living in sin" (even though the sister and the boyfriend were engaged to be married).

Then, once Julia became engaged to her RM, she was told she could no longer live with **her parents**! She had to move in with LDS church members. Why? Her dad is an atheist (supposedly).

Now, as offensive and ludicrous as that is on its face, what I find odd about it is that Julia's dad has posted things online before which don't exactly indicate atheism, such as "praying" for the recovery of his son from a bad accident a couple of years ago. He and his wife even went on a pilgrimage to a famous Catholic shrine in Europe last year, and my impression from his comments about that is that it was at least in part a religious trip, not undertaken simply for historical or tourist reasons. However, I guess because he identified as an atheist when his daughter was growing up, once an atheist, always an atheist...forget the fact that the mom has always been a Christian, to my knowledge. I guess that doesn't make up for the evil (yes, I'm being sarcastic) atheist influence of the dad.

Has anyone heard of something like this before? This is not Utah, by the way--we are talking people born and raised in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including the Mormons involved.

My cousin (Julia's aunt) told me that she tried on one occasion to reason with her niece, saying that the above things would indicate that in fact Julia's dad is no longer an atheist. Also, even if he was/is, "I kept telling her how much her parents loved her, how she had had such a happy childhood, etc."

She said Julia's repeated response to these comments was to simply say "He's an atheist. My dad is an atheist." She said Julia was saying this "almost robotically."

Seriously, I have a TBM friend who is **married** to a neverMo atheist...since when is being an atheist such a big deal to Mormons that a woman can't even go on living with her own parents until her wedding day?

The details get cousin (Julia's aunt) then told me that she and a few dozen other neverMo relatives all showed up for the wedding, even though they knew they couldn't really attend and would have to wait outside. She said that after the wedding, when Julia and her groom walked out into a hallway where all the neverMos were waiting for them, that Julia had tears running down her face and said to them, "You guys came? I didn't think you'd be here." Her aunt replied, "Well, of course we're here--we love you!" and said she was crying too. Knowing how close they are, I am frankly surprised Julia would have thought for even a moment that any of those relatives **wouldn't** have come. It makes me wonder if her LDS friends and new relatives had told her that they probably wouldn't.

My cousin added that at the reception, as soon as **any** of the neverMo relatives went on the dance floor, every single LDS guest would leave the floor, even in the middle of a song. Wow--how welcoming. I should add that my relatives who were in attendance are mostly older (over 40) or little children, and no one is the type to do "dirty dancing"-type moves, etc. I should know since I've been at a few dozen weddings with them over the years. Apparently, their very presence on the dance floor was enough to make the LDS guests uncomfortable.

Here's the piece de resistance, though: After the reception had ended (yes, all the neverMos stayed for the entire thing), some LDS folks ran outside as my relatives were leaving and said "Hey, we need some help cleaning up." I swear. I. Am. Not. Kidding.

I said to my cousin, "PLEASE tell me you guys did not go inside to help clean up."

She said, "No--are you joking? We just sent my grandkids in to help."

I replied, "Sorry, but I really wish you hadn't even done that," to which she said, "I know, but they are all ten and under and still had energy they needed to burn off." Fortunately, she said none of the neverMo adults were crazy or masochistic enough to help clean up.

Wow. I have a feeling "Julia's" dad and aunt may visiting RfM a lot in the future.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 01:12PM

If Julia cried when she saw them, then it may be that it really hurt her to be alone in the temple and MAYBE she, herself, is thinking a lot about her wedding day and how her family was treated.

My daughter is TBM and I wouldn't have been at her wedding had she gone through with it. She is "allowed" to live with us and we are both HUGE sinners. Her dad is gay and I have a very long-time boyfriend. But then, my daughter, no matter how TBM she is, wouldn't put up with that suggestion. This is her home. Always will be. She loves this place.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 02:45PM

cl2, I hope you are correct that "Julia's" tears may have indicated some regrets at excluding her family. I also am glad your own TBM daughter has not turned her back on her "sinful" parents!

Another thing her aunt told me is that Julia and her new hubby are moving to Rexburg for him to go to grad school at BYU-I in the fall. She won't be studying. From what I have read on this board, and even heard from a TBM friend who attended BYU-I when it was still Ricks, I can't imagine Rexburg is going to exactly be stimulating, especially to someone who grew up in the greater Bay Area and earned her degree from a large, vibrant public university in CA. On the other hand, it sounds like Julia is still so enamored with her new-ish faith that she may find Rexburg to be a paradise. I truly just feel bad for the relatives (mainly her parents, siblings, aunts and uncles) who are a lot closer to her than I am.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:57PM

where mormonism is concerned. She doesn't KNOW the mormons yet.

My ex is from Rexburg. He still has family there.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:20PM

Tackiest story about Mormons I've read in a while. No surprise though. Too bad it doesn't end with the tackiness and has to continue on with the very hurtful behavior. The way the parents were treated is so sad. Disgusting.

If they had asked me to help clean up the mess I would've said, "I don't think its even possible to clean up the ugly mess of Mormonism."

On a funnier note, this relates if you watch it till the end. Might as well get a laugh.
May 13, 2015 - Uploaded by Amaranth7777

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 04:16PM

Done & Done Wrote:
> On a funnier note, this relates if you watch it
> till the end. Might as well get a laugh.
> May 13, 2015 - Uploaded by Amaranth7777

Ha! That was funny. Thanks.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 03:40PM

Julia may be young and impressionable, but "friends," LDS or otherwise, don't have any right to tell a person with whom she can or cannot live unless she gives them that authority. If it were her bishop telling her that she could not inhabit an apartment in which her sister's boyfriend was also living, or could not live in the home of her "atheist" father, THAT would be on the church, though many of us would never have stood for a bishop interfering in our personal lives to such a degree even in our TBM days. If it's just Julia's brain-dead friends, however, she has chosen to listen to them.

Sending the kiddies in to "help" clean was a great response. Unless the children who were in attendance at the wedding are far different than the two who live in my house and their cousins who visit frequently, they are more trouble than help in trying to accomplish much of anything. (I love my kids, but at the age of two they're not a whole lot of help around the house, nor should they be.) Let the kids get in everyone's way while they're cleaning the God-forsaken cultural hall and taking the tacky flower arrangements out of the ubiquitous basketball hoops.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 04:12PM

scmd Wrote:
> Julia may be young and impressionable, but
> "friends," LDS or otherwise, don't have any right
> to tell a person with whom she can or cannot live
> unless she gives them that authority.

I couldn't agree with you more, and to be clear, my impression is that Julia's other relatives would too. As I put it to her aunt, "Sorry, but it's not like she's living in Saudi Arabia. She chose to have a wedding where her family was excluded, and she chose to move out of her apartment with her sister and then out of her parents' house." The aunt completely agreed. Clearly, that is why my relatives who are closer to this cousin are so deeply hurt: because it WAS her decision to do these things, and they realize no one was forcing her, even if they may have pressured her. I can't imagine that if her husband is so in love with her that he would not have agreed to a non-temple wedding. They could have been sealed afterwards anyway, right?

By the way, scmd, I love your point about the little kids probably being more of a hindrance than a help with the clean-up. I hope you are correct!

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Posted by: janis ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 08:38PM

Well, here's the tripe about getting married and sealed later that the mormons preach.

First of all, only someone who is somehow doing something "wrong" would get married in a civil ceremony. Only the very uber righteous get married in the temple. It's true you can be sealed later, but you have to wait at least a year. Even then, the whispering and gossip that goes around is appalling. Many a time i've heard mormons teach that anyone who gets sealed later is lower in the ranks. They won't have as many blessings as the special righteous ones that got temple married right off the bat.

You will always be viewed as not quite righteous enough. She was probably told this, and wanted all of those extra special blessings. It was worth hurting the feelings of family to do that. She was told many times to put her eternal salvation above any relatives feelings. Ohhhhh the blessings.

I can't imagine someone like her rotting away in Rexburg. I assume she'll be working to put her uneducated mormon husband through school. Good deal for him and his family. I'm not sure what she's getting out of it. I wonder if some day she will have a great resentment for all the happenings around her wedding day. She may just get sick and tired of being judged by a clan that sounds like they're on the top of the heap when it comes to judging.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2017 08:39PM by janis.

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Posted by: NeverMoJohn ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:04PM

At a certain point Julia needs to own her behavior, her decisions and her treatment of others.

Your family is a great deal more indulgent than I would be. As a general rule, I would not attend a wedding that I was not invited to. Since I am not "worthy" enough to actually be at the wedding, I wouldn't be coming to the reception.

If my daughter was going around condemning me for being an atheist, or something else, I would tell her not to bother me until she is ready to sincerely apologize.

Ditto for the absurd behavior regarding the sister and her fiancé.

Julia's behavior has been atrocious, but it doesn't seem that there are any consequences for her. Everybody else suffers, but her feelings somehow have to be spared.

What you tolerate, you encourage. At this point, Julia probably thinks that everyone knows she is right, since they went along with her.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 11:47PM

NeverMoJohn Wrote:

> What you tolerate, you encourage. At this point,
> Julia probably thinks that everyone knows she is
> right, since they went along with her.

Harsh, but you may well be right. :-( I am hoping the tears she had upon seeing her family at the temple may indicate she actually gained a tiny bit of insight, however.

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Posted by: Breeze ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 01:51AM

Julia will suffer the consequences of her behavior.

She is now a temple-sealed cult-member.

No, she won't be happy in Rexburg.

It sounds like she will be working at a demeaning student job, putting her husband through school.

I hope her parents don't help support the RM hubby.

This is what happened to me. My RM temple husband beat me almost every day, while screaming the D&C 132 in my face. (No, I never did anything wrong--I didn't dare--he had a history of violence.) I worked to put him through BYU, and my parents helped out, as well. The car we owned was mine.

In a way, your "Julia" person is not entirely responsible for her behavior--she has been brainwashed. Mormons use threats and fear, manipulation and bullying, to control others. The believing Mormon men don't respect women.

You need to read the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, about the "new and everlasting covenant", which is polygamy. Mormons believe in polygamy in heaven.

On second thought, don't read the Mormon scriptures. It will be too upsetting. It will give you more sympathy towards Julia, though. I think of that poor little girl, all alone in Rexburg.

I was married in the Oakland temple, and am from the Bay Area, and those months in Provo, married to a Mormon thug, were the worst times of my life. I almost committed suicide, until I realized there was a way out--divorce--and I would NOT go to hell if I divorced a wife-beater, contrary to what my ex-husband and the other Mormon leaders threatened would happen.

Your Julia and her family might need you even more, in the future. I loved what you said to them.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 05:10AM

Breeze Wrote

> In a way, your "Julia" person is not entirely
> responsible for her behavior--she has been
> brainwashed. Mormons use threats and fear,
> manipulation and bullying, to control others. The
> believing Mormon men don't respect women.

I don't agree with you, nor does it sound as though the original poster would agree. The OP doesn't seem to be giving Julia a pass. This isn't Saudi Arabia. She had a choice, and she made it with her actions.

Whenever we as a society attempt to shift blame for a person's own actions away from that person, we do harm to our society as a whole. I'll concede that there CAN be mitigating circumstances. This, however, is not one of those cases in which mitigating circumstances excuse anyone's actions. Julia is not entitled to the freedom to choose for herself if she is then allowed to blame others for her choices.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2017 05:11AM by scmd.

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