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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 04:48PM

Hi, I'm new to all of this. My faith in the BOM and Joseph Smith is now totally gone. I believe Joseph Smith was a Charlatan. Anyways, My husband and I are doing great. He understands where I am coming from and shares many of my doubts. Although he is still holding on to some beliefs for now. What I'm not sure of is how to handle our children. Up to this point our family has been true believers. Our children are 14 and 10. We live in Utah so the church hasn't just been our belief system but it is also our social system. I don't want to rock my kids world just yet. I don't think they would handle it well. Has anyone continued to fake it until your kids were older? I don't want to lie but I'm willing to attend church and pretend in order to spare them from being ostracized during their teen years. To me that is a small sacrifice to make. My thoughts are to wait until they are 18ish to start letting them know I don't agree with the church anymore. Anyone experience this? Thoughts?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 05:07PM

rae0529 Wrote:
> Has anyone
> continued to fake it until your kids were older?
> I don't want to lie but I'm willing to attend
> church and pretend in order to spare them from
> being ostracized during their teen years. To me
> that is a small sacrifice to make.

I didn't. The ostracism is real. I've known a few friends in Utah whose kids faced it. I recommend leaving Utah.

> My thoughts
> are to wait until they are 18ish to start letting
> them know I don't agree with the church anymore.
> Anyone experience this?

The problem with this plan is your tacit approval of something you don't agree with. Your support of an organization you claim was founded by a charlatan. Kids even at 18 or 30 don't deal well with this kind of information about a parent. They may actually resent your raising them LDS.

> Thoughts?

Good luck. It is a tough one. I'm in a mixed belief marriage. I don't believe and she does.

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:58PM

We are planning on leaving Utah but it will be years.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 05:24PM

Rae0529, welcome. You probably feel like you are standing in the middle of a freeway, about to mowed down by a truck. It probably is going to be a bumpy ride, but if we are testament to anything, it is that the ride is survivable.

If I can go off topic for a minute, I'd like to send a "heads-up" response to the fairly common comment here that men are far more likely to leave Mormonism, or leave it first, than the women, particularly their wives. I don't buy the premise. There is a pretty steady drizzle of posts here from women like you, and as you are about to find out in spades, there are a whole bunch of talented and articulate women posting here. The ExMo world is hardly an Old Boys Club.

OK, now that I have that out of my system, back to the problem at hand. I hesitate to give advice, because frankly, there are people here who are much better at it, plus I was not in Utah for most of my "dumping Mormonism" phase, and I have no children, so what the hell do I know.

Having said that, the sense that I have gotten from people here is that children are more resilient than we give them credit for. They may surprise you. There was a couple in Highland (very conservative town in Utah County, for the non-Utahns) who I believe had 6 children, and were very open about leaving. Long story short, everybody landed on their feet. I'm drawing a blank on father's username (drat), but mother was imaworkinonit. You can do a search of past posts by her and find some of their story. It sounds like it might be quite similar to yours.

And of course there are a fair number of people here now with children, or they were children themselves when the same thing happened to them.

My $0.02: if you fake it, your children will know you are faking it. I don't know how they might process that knowledge, but they will know something is up.

Good luck

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 07:00PM

Yes, this is very overwhelming. You are will see through it if we are not honest.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 05:47PM

Welcome to the Board! I don’t think anyone has the perfect answer because each person’s exit from Mormonism is different. I’d recommend you read the comments for your post and then use the “search” function to find similar requests.

I was a convert at 18. I transferred to BYU. I eventually married in the temple. My shelf collapsed about 30 years ago. My wife of more than 30 years is TBM, as are my children (several served missions). I am an “active” mainline Protestant who resigned from the LDS Church. I live in a highly homogeneous LDS neighborhood. Here are some thoughts—

1. You and your family needs have to be central for future actions. Mormonism will tear a family apart brutally. I’ve been told by two Utah attorneys that leaving the Mormon Church is the number one cause for divorce in Utah. (Yes, I’ve considered divorce).

2. Based on #1, talk a lot with your husband about both your views and your goals for your family together. Don’t get angry or go in bunker mode when you differ (I’ve made that mistake).

3. Discuss your values, what, and how you want to communicate them to your children. Your family is to be the most important thing, not the church, anyone’s relative, or your friends/neighbors.

4. Lots of talk should center around 1-3.

5. Consider moving out of the “Morridor” to a more heterogeneous community.

6. After discussions with your spouse, start to talk with your children openly and honestly about your faith, the LDS Church, and your family values and priorities.

Move forward ...

Here are the challenges you face—

1. Don’t destroy your marriage as you transition.

2. TBM relatives may try to manipulate you.

3. Your local church leaders may be nice people, but they are cult leaders who ultimate allegiance is to the cult.

4. Your TBM friends will drop you as soon as they learn you’re an apostate—develop friendships with folks that aren’t LDS who like you for just being you.

5. Although my wife and kids love me, I am not fully respected as a husband and father because I left the church. In my case, I figured I’d have more influence with my children if I stayed, but I’m in a troubled marriage because of a religious cult. I hope you’ll not be in the same situation.

Very best wishes!
The Boner

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 05:54PM by BYU Boner.

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:29PM

Thank you for your response. I'm really fortunate because my husband and I are definitely talking and working through this. While he is still believing some things I doubt he does have his doubts. We are definitely respecting each other and where we are both at with our faith.

And while I live in Utah now I was not raised in Utah. I always found it funny that my good deep friendships were always with people that were not mormon. I do like all my neighbors/friends but they are definitely surface friendships.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:38PM

Then, the concern would be for your children. Here are some more thoughts—

1. Do you want your children to become TBMs? I stood outside the temple during marriages and endured missionary farewells/homecomings.

2. Do your children enjoy the LDS Church? If so, which parts?

3. If you and your family leave Mormonism and you stay in your neighborhood, you and your family may be shunned.

4.can you start to substitute non-Mormon activities and friends for ward activities and friends?

5. Are you comfortable with having conversations like, “Most religions teach, and I agree, that it’s more important to treat people kindly, than to not drink coffee.” ? Or, “I don’t always agree with our church on certain teachings ... “ ?

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:43PM

>>Or, “I don’t always agree with our church on certain teachings...?

Going along with what the Boner said, a parent quietly disagreeing with church authority sets a powerful example for their children -- that it is okay to think things through for yourself. My father did that with me.

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:57PM

I like that

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:57PM

I really like your questions. It is really helping process this in my head. My children do really love church. All of their friends are there and they enjoy the activities. This is all so new so I haven't fully processed everything yet. Based off what I'm feeling, husband is feeling and feedback from here I'm leaning towards still going but opening talking (with our family only) that invites discussion and critical thinking. We'll see how it goes...

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:09PM

Welcome rae0529!!

Yeah, you are in a little bit of a tough spot there...especially being surrounded by a bunch of weird, wacky, crazy Utah Mormons.

If I were told by my parents when I was around "18ish" that they hadn't believed in the church for the last several years...I would be PISSED!! Having given up so much time (church every Sunday, seminary, YM/YW, firesides, etc.) just to be told, “Yeah, we knew it wasn’t true the whole time”, would seriously affect my relationship with my parents from then on.

I understand your motives though. I would probably consider sitting down with them and sharing your findings and concerns. Maybe start by asking them how they would feel if you/them stopped going to church. Take it from there. Give them the option of sticking with the church if they would like, and that you would support them the best you could if that was their choice. You might get lucky…they might not be into the church as much as you think and would jump at the opportunity to bolt.

I would also explain the social aspects that they may face. Perhaps they will lose friends over their decision to leave. That could have a silver lining as you teach them about true friendships as opposed to conditional ones. This would show them who their true friends are. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also had friends who envied them.

It is a tough one. I just feel that at some point you will share your feelings with them and perhaps it might be best to do so sooner than later. One last thing, if they choose to leave with you, I would make Sunday the most special fun day of the week. Just sayin’.

Best of luck to you.

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Posted by: rae0529 ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:24PM are so right. I would be pissed too. I'm going to be honest with my kids. I just need to figure out the healthiest way to do it.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 07:13PM

"Kids, everyone learns as grows in life and that's what's happened to me. I think I've learned things about the mormon church that I want to share with you. . ." Tell a few age appropriate facts you think would interest them.

Continue from there. Listen to their questions and concerns. Find out if they love church or if they're relieved for a chance to take a break from it. Work out with them what to do next.

Let them know you're always available to discuss their worries and experiences. Say there's no need to tell all of this to their friends or to talk about it if they still go to church meetings. Let them know you want to sit in if they are called to discuss church issues one on on with the bishop or other church teachers or leaders.

I would not want a child to be put on the spot without a parent backing them up on the spot.

Good luck.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 07:15PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 07:25PM

"Hey, kids! Remember when we used to promote the idea that there was a jolly fat man who lived at the North Pole and every Christmas, if you were good, he would find some way to get into the house and eat the cookies and drink the milk we left for him, and then leave you gifts... Remember that?"

"When you got old enough, you learned the truth about Santa Claus... Well now it's time to tell you about the mormon church..."

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:49AM

Also, just because you stopped believing in Santa doesn’t mean you can be a Grinch.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:18PM

The children deserve to grow up cult free. It's lucky you discovered the truth before they started planning their missions and temple marriages which you'd pay for and not be able to enjoy.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:21PM

There is no way to know what to do. It's hard to predict how kids internalize things.

I also had two kids already baptized when we left. We were in Idaho Falls - and a very Mormon part of it.

The older one, a son, suffered and was alienated. He was not included in much but did find a few friends. The Mormon girls were not exactly making his early dating years easy. I think he struggled, but in the end (he is now late 30s), he is glad we didn't leave him in once we saw through it. He turned out just fine. I could not ask for a smarter or nicer son.

My second, a girl, figured out how to use it to her advantage. She was competitive, an over achiever, and very social. She was invited to everything and Mormons were falling over themselves trying to get her to go to church things. She kept leading them on. Now in mid 30s, she is also a well adjusted successful individual.

I lucked out. Both my kids have make their way in the Mormon belt just fine.

One kid might blame you for messing them up for life. Others will thank you every day for not raising them in that kind of environment. It's hard to know what to do.

I can tell you one thing I am glad about: My kids are nobody's fools. They can smell BS a mile away.

Good luck and welcome!

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:30PM

This will seem off topic but it isn't. A favorite joke:

A woman goes on vacation and asks her brother to watch her house and beloved cat while she is gone. The first day she calls in to check on things and the brother tells her the cat is dead--just dropped over. She becomes very, very angry and the brother asks why she's so mad.

She says, "That is no way to deliver bad news. Too much of a shock. When I called you should have told me the cat was up on the roof and you couldn't get it down. Then later told me the fire department was there but the cat had jumped into a tree and was all the way up. Then later you could call and tell me that the cat panicked and jumped out of the tree and is at the veterinary clinic. Then, you tell men the cat died. See? That way it's not such a horrific shock."

Then there's a pause and she asks,"By the way how's Mom."

"Well, she's up on the roof and we can't get her down."

I wanted to give you a laugh but also this illustrates how I feel. I wouldn't fake it and blind side the kids later. Tell them the Book of Mormon is up on the roof and so is Joseph Smith. Share the process. Take the opportunity to teach critical thinking.

However, this needs to stay in the family. It would be good for your children to learn the advantages of playing your cards close to your chest--especially if you live in Mormonville.

There are wonderful people here and you'll get lots of varied opinions to help you form your own.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:34PM

Welcome, Rae! We are glad to have you here. I'm a very longtime nevermo (never a Mormon) board member.

My opinion is that 14 and 10 are the perfect ages with which to discuss your concerns with your children. I would not wait. I was a young teen when I began to reject Catholicism, the church in which I was raised. I realized due to my sense of fairness that I had some profound disagreements with the policies of that church. Young teens and preteens are at an age when their innate sense of fairness starts to kick in. They are at a questioning age. Mormon Think is a really great website that discusses the problems with the church along with the faithful view.

I would perhaps give your kids the option of continuing to attend church and church activities. But I would also give them alternatives. I spent a long time as a Girl Scout and even worked at a Girl Scout camp as an 18-year old. I think very highly of that organization as it teaches girls to have confidence in themselves, set goals, and so on. I saw girls accomplish amazing things with the guidance of the Girl Scouts. Your son might enjoy a non-Mormon boy scout troop (which tend to be better troops overall.) There are also tons of other non-Mormon activities such as sports, 4-H, dance lessons, and so on.

If you are in a very small town in Utah it might be difficult for your kids to fit in if they are inactive. But we are hearing reports in more populated counties that increasing numbers of people are inactive and/or leaving the Mormon church. Assess your neighborhood and your community carefully to see where they stand.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 07:07PM


Others have already given you lots of advice.

So I'll just add something personal...

I left the cult (yes, that's what it is) a few months after returning from my 2-year mission. I had doubts, going from mild to serious, starting about age 14. They grew, and by the time I let myself be talked into going on a mission, they were screaming at me in my head, but I kept stuffing a mental pillow over them to shut them up. Finally about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through my mission, they wouldn't shut up anymore...and I let 'em out. And knew I had been believing a bunch of nonsense from a con-man (or, rather, con-men).

I had one inactive parent (dad) and one TBM parent (mom). My inactive dad essentially kept his mouth shut about why he was inactive to us kids, mostly at my mom's insistence.

After I got out, I realized how badly I wished he had spoken up to me. Told me the truth. Let me know what a pile of nonsense I was believing in. Let me know that he didn't want me to waste two years of my life selling fake religion. I would have loved that. I did (as some others pointed out) resent him a bit for NOT doing it. I told him so. He apologized, and let me know that basically my mom had threatened to cut him off from all access to his kids if he did that. So he made the choice to keep quiet and spend time with us (fyi, she divorced him before I went on my mission, at the bishop's insistence).

So my opinion: tell your kids. Don't let them wasted hours of seminary, and years of their life on a mission. Help them deal with any ostracism. Be honest with them. Let them know how you feel, that you love them, and that you don't want them to grow up thinking you believe this stuff -- and let them know why you don't believe it.

They'll handle it. They'll stick by you. They'll thank you for it.

That's what I think.

Good luck!

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 08:45PM

Since school's out, can you plan some out of town weekends with hubs & kids? Get everyone used to fun Sunday stuff w/out church, and get them to understand that you don't need the church to have a fulfilling life.

Do what you can to counteract the weekly church brainwashing. Noah wasn't a real person. Eden wasn't a real place. Joseph Smith wasn't a great guy. Girls aren't responsible for boys' thoughts. Tithing is a fool's errand.

Don't allow the bishop to interview the kids by himself. Never ever, not even once.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 10:09PM

You've definitely come to the right site, and I feel safe in speaking for its owner in saying people like your family are the reason it was created and continues to exist.

Growing up in Utah as an unbelieving son of unbelieving Jack Mormons was tough, honest. I'm sure I still have my scars, but like all things I gained a lot of compassion and tolerance as well as the ability to think critically with an open mind (some here will doubt that, of course :-).

BTW, I really am a cabdriver, but I'm also a former teacher with plenty of grad school hours. I have no doubt I would be teaching today if I'd known about the secret handshakes, honest...

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Posted by: MexMom ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:43AM

My daughter took it hard when I told her that the church was simply not true. I told her many facts and was never worried that she would not believe me. She cried and cried and we cried together because she was 15 and very active and believed it all with all of her heart. But she believed her mom and we never went back. She has a wonderful and full life, is a professional woman with a mind of her own and has the unbridled support of her amazing husband as they move through their lives together without the hinderance of a cult. I see her grown TBM friends from the past from time to time and I see gaggles of children, no careers, little money, with overworked husbands who are never home because they are slaves of the cult. My daughter's life would have been so very different if we stayed in the cult. My sons were older and transitioned easier because they were less active, but it was still a shock to learn the church was a con. They are all critical thinkers now and will not be duped again by anyone or anything. Give your children the gift of living an authentic life. Wishing you the best from this MexMom.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 02:32AM

It took me years to come to terms with the church being what it is and how to deal with it. Your identity collapses like a house of cards and you have to build a new one. My first thought was to go back to the way things were. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t possible. The only way was forward. I couldn’t be part of something like that and pretend it’s okay.

I only recently stopped hating the church. I’m cool now. I can watch the tabernacle choir on YouTube and see how happy those people are to be there. They really are joyful to be singing in the tab, so who cares how goofy their beliefs are? Everyone’s world makes sense in their own heads, including Mormons. They’re in a bubble, and they’re not coming out until they’re ready. Not having that bubble really changes things. It changes how you think, so the longer you’re out the more Mormon idiosyncrasies stand out.

I would probably like sacrament meeting. There’s something about communing with the divine, where everyone believes the same thing. Beliefs are a contract you have with reality. That’s why it works. It took me a while to get that, why it works even though it was completely made up. But that says something about beliefs. You can believe what serves you and disbelieve what doesn’t. Rewrite your contract.

Would I go back? I don’t think so. It’s a cult. It really did a number on me and I didn’t even know it. I’d rather not show my support.

The best thing you can do right now is take a break from church. If your friends go away, they weren’t your friends.

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Posted by: Atari ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 08:14AM

Welcome to enlightenment. I know how tough it is to realize everything you built your life around is false.

While I don't have any kids, I wish my parents would have told me it was fake when I was a teenager. As a gay kid, it would have helped me with my self-loathing and prevented me from wasting 2 years on a mission. Being honest may be a good thing. I know it is not easy but you will make it through!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2018 08:16AM by Atari.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:16PM

for many reasons that are all over this board.

My son never believed. I didn't know that until later. He was thrilled when we quit going, but I sent them to seminary because I still believed, BUT I was struggling for many reasons. My son quit seminary. My daughter really liked it. She went to church with some of her friends sometimes. She hated that if she went to this ward, they'd ask, "Where are your mother and brother?"

She had mormon friends. They were wild, sloughed school, smoked pot, and were having sex. My daughter dropped them and ate lunch in her history teacher's room. Then she got back together with a childhood friend and other mormon girls, and my daughter was ANTI, but they accepted her. She did well. My son had goth friends.

At age 20, my daughter went back and she is so TBM it makes you sick. I KNOW she tries to convince herself of the truthfulness, but I don't believe she buys it. She even discussed how weird the temple is with her dad. She felt it was okay since he had been through, even if he is no longer a member. She felt she needed SOMEONE to talk to about it.

My son never fit into mormonism, so it was not leaving that made him feel ostracized. He already was. I was, too, all my life. Mormons treat me better now than when I was DEVOUT. I get along with my neighbors. There are always those love bombing times that irritate me. My daughter and I have argued A LOT about mormonism, but I'm forcing myself to just keep my mouth shut now. She knows the truth.

You never know what the outcome will be. I'm still waiting to see what it is and my kids are 32 (twins).

BUT I would definitely tell them SLOWLY like Done & Done said. I was just sharing my outcome with my kids.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:50PM

Apologies to regular posters—they’ve heard these stories before.
My hubby married me in the temple. He soon went less active and then completely inactive. He wouldn’t discuss his reasons. He wouldn’t say anything even when he saw me painfully struggling while s-l-o-w-l-y figuring out it was all made up.

Turns out he never really believed, even as a kid. I felt lied to. I’ll never know if it would have helped me to leave sooner if he’d come clean about his beliefs.

I overheard my daughters, about 10 and 12, discussing whether Adam had a belly button. They decided he didn’t, since he wasn’t born. I was still attending, but really struggling to believe. One thing I knew for sure—evolution was real. I stomped in and said, that’s ridiculous, humans evolved like every other animal. I started talking about my doubts.

Mostly my daughters didn’t want to talk about church stuff. They both left at about 13. I left less than a year later.

I’m glad you’re taking time to consider how much and when to share. If you drop it all at once they’ll cling to their comfortable beliefs. The ward will demonize you and try to take over the parenting role.

It would be ideal if they could become less in love with church before you leave. How do they feel about how black people have been treated by the church? How do they feel about the way the church treats gay people and children of gay people?

No matter how you do it, their world is going to be rocked. Good luck to you—and welcome.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 05:14PM

Dear Rae0529--

You came to the right place! Welcome!

All this is great advice!

I have many stories of many ex-Mormon friends and relatives who have treated their children in different ways. To sum up, the outcome is much better if you tell your children the truth!

You can tell your children any way you feel is best. I think that, first, you need to LISTEN to them!

That's what I did. I asked them how they felt about church (In our case, I asked them specifically why they they were begging me to stay home from church). I told them they could say anything they wanted, and I would understand. It turned out that the church leaders had threatened my children not to tell some things. Other children in the ward were bullied into silence, too. Indeed, the Mormons try to take over the role of parents. The troubles happened when the kids were separated from the parents. Please listen to the advice of the posters who warn you not to let your children have private interviews with Mormon adults. They're not qualified. Their authority is fake.

When my children described the physical abuse they suffered, it was a shock, and my gut-response was natural and honest: "You never have to go to church again!" Whatever would happen socially, and whatever belief in Christ and God we still had, would be addressed later. I had to get my children out of that abusive cult, immediately. When I said that, they cried for joy!

My sons confessed that they never did believe the Joseph Smith stories, and they had always resented the racism and elitism. ("Why isn't Mother Theresa in the Celestial Kingdom? Why aren't we a "forever family"?) They were leaders, and were OK with being ostracized by the Mormons. They were also good looking, good students, and good at sports, so they had those advantages.

My daughters were pretty, but they were shy, and were younger, ages 10 and 12, when we resigned together. They played with the Mormons in the neighborhood, but were socially ostracized in high school because they didn't attend seminary. One daughter fought off the arrogant seminary president, who ambushed her in a deserted hallway at school, and grabbed her kissed her by force, and she punched him in the stomach, hard, and ran. It was her first kiss, poor girl. The boy spread rumors around the school that she slept around, but soon people realized that the boy was lying, and that my daughter was a good person. She married the best boy in that school, IMO, who lived next door to us. He is an RM, and I had to pay thousands of dollars in tithing money to see them married in the temple. They have children, raised as Mormons, and they live right around the corner. My daughter is happy, but she tells me that she is an Atheist at heart. Her husband does his calling, but they go to church half the time, and they never have returned to the temple. I teach all my grandchildren about natural science, evolution, astronomy and basic physics, and already they are too inquisitive to be good Morgbots. They're working things through, and I've never regretted giving my children their choices.

A lot of the Mormon kids in our neighborhood were sleazy and underhanded, and would pretend to be superior. They would lie to their parents, and have sex, drink at parties, and by high school, many of them were into drugs. They had money for drugs, and didn't have to work, like my kids did, like I did. I think my lack of prestige as a then-divorced woman, and my having to work outside the home, would have caused us to be marginalized, anyway! Both my sons made lifetime non-Mormon friends in school. They married decent, genuine non-Mormon girls, and they aren't going to raise their babies to be Mormons.

This was over 12 years ago. I can give you this advice:

--Put your children first, whereas Mormons are told to put the cult first.

--Respect your children. Listen to them. They are wiser than brainwashed adults.

--Love them unconditionally. Nelson and the Mormons preach against this. When in doubt, act from pure unconditional love, and you will do well.

--Responsible parents are bound to teach their children the truth! Human beings need to know the REALITIES that they are dealing with, in order to adapt and survive in this world.

--If you are loving, respectful, and honest with your children, they will treat you likewise, in return.

Another thing to consider is that it is harmful to children to have parents who fight all the time--worse than if the parents get an amicable divorce. You and your husband need to reach an agreement or a respectful agree-to-dis-agreement.

You can succeed in your ongoing battle with the Mormon cult. Don't give Mormons power over you.

Just keep your eye on what you want for your children.

I do have examples of parents who kept on pretending to be faithful Mormons, and lying and pretending does not end well!

A couple of BYU professors knew their jobs depended on their being faithful Mormons. The wife knew it was a hoax, the first time she went through the temple, and her husband studied his way out, but they told only a few people, including me, and decided to keep it a secret from even their own children. Their very intelligent children saw through the Mormon lies from the beginning, and soon realized their own parents had been lying to them. The kids graduated from BYU, and rebelled, and left home, and got into all kinds of trouble, but the parents kept their pretense and their jobs, to the end. All four of the kids cheated on their spouses and got divorced, one abandoned his children, one is back on drugs, last I heard. They are not happy.

I know that if I had stayed a Mormon, and if I had lied to my children, that my children would never have opened up to me, or trusted me. We have always stood by each other, helped each other, loved each other, and are still doing this.

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Posted by: MCR ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 10:29PM

All I can say is

1) All the people who've contributed to this thread have given great advice.

2) I think it's important that you're talking about a religion, not a social club. You're talking about teaching your children the belief-system that will guide their actions throughout their entire lives--yet you say you believe that the source of the belief system that will guide them throughout their entire lives is a charlatan? Why would you trust a charlatan and his minions to guide your children at the most fundamental level? It's not only that they will come to their own decision some day that the church is a fraud. It's that you think it's a fraud now, and you plan to waste their youth teaching them to hold on to and rely on fraudulent teachings. When do they learn real teachings? Why would you squander their youth this way? And leave them scrambling to replace the fake teachings with real ones when they're older and everything's far more serious for them? And finally,

3) I live in south Utah County. My daughter, who's a young teen, has been raised non-Mormon all her life. She's surrounded by Mormons and so far, she's popular enough--she's been elected to student government every year. I suspect as she gets older, she won't understand why certain guys will never ask her out, but I can see that things with the youth in Mormonism today are far different than when I was a teenager in Utah. Also, if your kids are taught real beliefs rather than charlatan-sponsored ones, they'll be able to offer their friends perspectives that their Mormon leaders can't offer, making them popular. What I think you've got to watch out for, though, is that they absorb the shame of having a non-believer parent. I think you've got to be out-and-proud, or they will feel less-than around their peers. I have friends that left the church while their kids were young. It was rocky at first, but none of the kids now regret their parent's decision, and the whole family's out.

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Posted by: Peculiargiftsnli ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 11:33PM

Much good advice above.

I would only add this:
Shockingly often, I read about situations in which children of non-believers are told terrible things about their parents. People, including church leaders, may tell them that you are misled by the devil. That what you say and think is bad and should be ignored. That they can not trust you, and should put their trust only in the church leaders.

And do be sure to help your children understand that anyone, absolutely anyone, who tells them to keep these things from their parents *is not their friend.* Does not have their best interests at heart. Tell them that if such a thing happens,the best plan is not to argue or continue to discuss with the church folk. Simply walk away, find you, and tell you what is going on.

You may need to be proactive about this. As you talk with your children about what you have learned, you may need to warn them about the above possibility. You may need to supervise the childrens’ interactions with church members. I hope that it is not necessary, but be aware that it has been a problem for others in your position.

Best wishes. Go gently and lovingly, and you will already be ahead of the game.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 08:04AM

You and MCR make a good point. Kids need to be given tools to respond when it is implied their parents are "less than" people.

Peers will give the message that unbelieving parents are flawed, and the response too often is withdrawal or feeling ashamed.

Kids may not know to tell the parents they are being made to feel inferior to the "righteous" types. Kids need some zinger one liners and a lot of confidence so they don't tolerate or start believing that kind of subtle bullying.

My daughter once got invited to a church activity after being told "You're so nice. It makes me sad that your family hasn't accepted the gospel and blessings. You don't have the priesthood in your house. You can't go to the temple." Woof woof, bark bark.

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