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Posted by: nuuvox ( )
Date: May 14, 2019 11:31PM

So my Mom just dropped off 3 boxes of my stuff that was in her attic from about 9 to 10 years ago. This was right after my mission and full of church related things. I'm basically agnostic now but reading through old journal entries, church documents with my notes, mission letters, etc, it makes me almost want to cry. I feel like I'm throwing out things that were super important to me at one point and it makes me kinda sad.

Do you guys like to keep things like letters and mission memorabilia? It's harder than I thought to throw them out. I guess a lifetime of brainwashing leaves a mark...

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 14, 2019 11:40PM

I am a nevermo, but the subject of your query isn't so much about Mormonism as it is about memorabilia.

My suggestion is that you repack the boxes, put them away, and revisit this issue down the line (months or years from now), when you have a better understanding of what is genuinely important to you, and what you will feel (at that point) it is okay (okay with YOU!!) to discard.

There is no reason to rush the process, and much reason to keep what is (for ANY reason) more permanently important to you.

It is not the content of those items which is important here, it is what is of permanent importance to you--THOSE things you keep.

Mis dos centavos.

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Posted by: nuuvox ( )
Date: May 14, 2019 11:56PM

Thank you for your thoughtful response, I appreciate the advice.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 14, 2019 11:58PM

If you're a sentimentalist like I am, I suggest you keep the things and mementos that mean something to you despite the religious overtones, because it is a part of your heritage and your past.

In time you may find you no longer need them and decide it's okay to part with them. But there's no harm in keeping them for now, until you do.

I still have my patriarchal blessing I've kept since I was twelve years old. I've ditched the Book of Mormon, and other books of scripture of Mormon doctrine. But that patriarchal blessing was a mainstay for me going through a turbulent adolescence. So it is still with me as a reminder that I got through it, and survived Mormonism!

I've been cleaning through boxes these past few days to get a couple rooms ready for new flooring. It's amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in a few short years! I dropped a car load of stuff off at the Salvation Army earlier today. And have filled up a large garbage tote. I felt a little giddy getting rid of so much stuff just to be able to see the floor where there'll be some new tile soon. :)

I've decided to really do the deep cleaning for me requires a home improvement project now and then. So once the flooring renovation is done, I'm going to begin planning for somewhere else in the house so I can attack a new area that needs some spring cleaning. That will probably be my kids rooms. I have big plans for those rooms now that the kids have moved out. (They've actually been gone a few years, but being the sentimentalist that I am, I tend to hold onto some of their things awhile. Like forev-uh.) Like their musical instruments they played back in grammar school. I figure they may want them again someday. They aren't mine to give away or sell, so I hold onto those.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2019 12:05AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: nuuvox ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 01:44AM

That's a great perspective Amyjo, thanks! Good luck with your tidying :)

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 05:16PM

I wish we could post pictures here of before and after. I've cleaned up so much I'd like to preserve this "moment in time," (it may never come again!) lolol. (jkz) Seriously, I really am hoping I'm turning over a new leaf. My kitchen looks really nice with the updated flooring from the older tile I replaced it with from 15 years ago. The laundry room will be finished tomorrow, then I'll be able to put the rooms back in order again. Right now the washer and dryer are still in the kitchen.

As for Mormon memorabilia, (besides the Mormon books I keep about Mormon history, (reality v. fiction,) and my patriarchal blessing,) there is a photo of my daughter at girl's camp one year with Boyd K. Packer. I've kept that because of my being a sentimentalist. My children are not nearly as much as I am. They can throw things away much easier than I do. I consider them more minimalists. Although at least one of them is sentimental because we're more alike than not..

My parents? Oya vey! Both were born pack rats! They kept everything just about.. Dad was neater than mom was, but he was a collector. Mom was possibly a hoarder. Moreso as they got older. I'm probably somewhere in the middle. When I clean it's a showdown as in war of paring down the stuff. One of my goals is to become more of a minimalist and to be content with less.

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Posted by: DaveinTX ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 10:48AM

I still have the Bible and BOM/D&C/POGP that my grandma gave to me and my wife when we got married. I keep them only because she wrote me a letter inside the covers of the books. I also still have the Book of Remembrance that she made me somewhere.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 01:46AM

If there are (pro)Mormon books that you decide to get rid of, I suggest that you throw them into your recycle bin. Don't donate them to Deseret Industries (or anywhere else), lest they be instruments of deception upon somebody else.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 02:30AM


The church may be a fraud and a very costly mistake, but your history is your history. I kept all my journals and a lot of the other documentation, photos, etc. I am embarrassed by much of that stuff, but it is who I was and shaped who I am. I think it would be a tragedy to lose your history, a tragedy not just for you but for your progeny.

On a different level, what the church did to us should never be forgotten. The old Mormon literature is being confiscated and destroyed as we speak, and I am with caffiend in feeling it would be regrettable to lose any of that stuff. And our personal experiences and histories are every bit as important as the church's history and otiose doctrines.

I would encourage you to keep the stuff. You may one day decide you want to dispose of it all, but please don't be hasty. Your experience is unique--and uniquely valuable.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 03:30AM

Throw away all the Mormon propaganda, memorabilia, music, books, lesson manuals, pictures of the temple, temple costumes, Mormon underwear, Joseph and Hyrum bookends, and white polyester shirts.

Keep all your missionary journals, letters, and personal stuff. So much of your life has nothing to do with Mormonism. The Mormons temporarily intruded into your life, and hijacked it! Keep the photos of the great people you met on your mission, and the reminders of the places you served. Don't lose that life experience--it was not 100% Mormon, you know. Neither was high school, neither was your wedding, or college. Don't let the cult hijack your memories!

I tend to cling to the past, but, I actually enjoyed getting rid of everything Mormon, because my present and future were so awesome! No more Mormon gloom and doom!

I started by recycling all the Mormon books--many of them written by my relatives, in our huge Mormon Royalty family. I had read them all, but I would not want my children to read them. I came to the same conclusion as that other poster who didn't want published Mormon lies to ruin good minds in the future. This cleared out about 5 shelves in my wall bookcase.

On the shelves, I replaced the Mormon drivel with my favorite books, and even some old textbooks, which had been in storage. I resurrected my children's old kids' books, to read to my grandchildren.

I also recycled the Mormon hymns and sheet music, and bought new children's duets and fun holiday songs to play with my grandchildren. I kept my classical music, Scott Joplin, Beatles, movie themes, and popular music, etc, as in, all the other music in the world!

I gave away my Mormon clothes--the long skirts, foot-punishing high heels, panty hose, and Mormon temple underwear. It was fun to go to Victoria's Secret, and buy cute, sexy underwear! I kept my party dresses, which never were Mormon-influenced. I have two church outfits to wear to funerals. I wear nice pants and tops to work, and flat walking shoes. I grew my hair long, and let it go wavy.

I dumped the old, butter-lard-sugar Mormon pioneer recipes, and the food storage--and use healthy recipes, and dishes from other cultures.

Think of it as REPLACING old junk that makes you sad, with things (both old and new) that make you happy. My house has only things I love. I gave my "Christus" to my cousin, who's new Mormon-built house in Draper actually has a nook built into the front hallway, especially for a Christus. I sold an original oil portrait of an important Mormon ancestor, for a bundle of cash, which I used for new carpet.

Out with the old, in with the new.

My Mormon past, with all the abuse, was weighing me down, and taking up space that I needed for the present--physically and mentally. My family prefer a home and a life free of clutter, too. Like my wise grandmother used to say, "fewer things to dust."

But don't throw away anything that is important to you, or that you are proud of, or that makes you happy. You are lucky that you have just a few boxes. Much of my clutter came from my parents' home, and were THEIR memories and souvenirs.

As for old diaries and letters, belonging to me and my loved ones--I would NEVER part with those! Those are irreplaceable! They reside on a special shelf, and I refer to them every once in a while.

Maybe not throw away anything, until you have something better with which to replace it.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 10:18AM

I threw out my mission journal shortly after I left the church because it made me sick. I wish I had it. It is part of my history. I can't even remember the names and places five decades later and I wish I could. By now I could just laugh at what a "great spiritual warrior for the Lord" I tried to make myself seem in my journal. OMG. So embarrassing. Youth.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 03:27PM

The patriarch's daughter, who said she'd wait for me, was keeping a scrapbook for me. I'd mail her things to put in it; things that were pretty phony, but looked very righteous.

Not gonna lie, it hurt when she Dear John'ed me. I knew it was over when my mom wrote to tell me that the young lady had stopped by to drop off the album. But after I got over it, I didn't have to lie again, until I got to the Y, and they were all lies of omission. Easy-peasy.

From my era, it was all slides and photographs. A lot of B&W, as well as color. Like so many, I took a ton of photographs, most of them spur of the moment things, like cloud formations, animals, flowers, a ton of interior and exterior Catholic church photos, and street scenes of Mexico.

Sure, there may be periods in one's life that we don't wish to remember, and the mission could well be one such time. But for exmo's the mission looms large, for good or for bad. If it was so unpleasant a time, I can see keeping the memorabilia just to keep a handle on what it took to get through it.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 11:07AM

During my mission I destroyed many journals. I didn't think they were righteous enough. My Mormonism was always falling short of the goal. Getting rid of my Mormon stuff has been like being baptized unMormon.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 03:48PM

Don't know if you should keep it or not, but it's probably helpful to your recovery that you read it.

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Posted by: ipo ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 07:17PM

I'm usually glad when I go through some catalogue on an old computer disc, and find some items, long-forgotten.

If you think somethings physically too big, or you feel embarrassed hefting a certain item, just document it, make a pdf-file, and THEN dump the original letter, journal or whatever.

You still have the file, doesn't take any space and you can still check, some later day, on the periods of your life that you now think are embarrassing, or cause anxiety.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: May 17, 2019 11:42AM

For one, it is your history. I still have my ridiculous journals. I've thought of throwing them out, but I haven't because my daughter needs to read them IF she chooses to.

If you are going to end up throwing some things out, you'll know when you are capable emotionally to do so.

This is just something I went through. We bought a fake Christmas tree when our kids were about 3 years old. My "ex" is a horticulturist and he took FOREVER to find a Christmas tree and he usually did something stupid to them like spray something on one that was supposed to keep it green and it turned orange, etc., so we bought a fake tree. It was a gorgeous fake tree. FINALLY about 10 years ago, it was broken to a point that my ex couldn't fix it anymore. I kept it in a downstairs room until a day I felt I could throw it out and it definitely wasn't at Christmas.

You have to be ready to let go. Don't force yourself to do it just because you left the church. I also keep books my mother gave me that are church books. I gave both my parents scriptures when I was working in my 20s. I was in my daughter's room not so very long ago and I saw this set of scriptures. I wondered where they came from. They had my mom's name on them. It suddenly occurred to me that I had bought her a set of scriptures and I looked inside and they were the ones I had given her. I'm thrilled my daughter has them. I tend to wonder what happened to the ones I gave my dad.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: May 17, 2019 03:25PM

If items are triggers for strong emotions such as anger and emotion, then by all means throw them away.

If you realize that it's your history and you're ok with it, then it's best for you to hang onto them.

I met my wife on my mission, so my mission photos and journals aren't going anywhere, but they are not prominently displayed either.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 09:17PM

My dad and mom never threw out a my grade one report cards for instance. I on the other hand like burning that stuff...and BofM's and other religious literature Mormon or otherwise.

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Posted by: beanhead ( )
Date: May 21, 2019 07:39PM

Lethbridge Reprobate Wrote:
> My dad and mom never threw out a
> my grade one report cards for instance.

Yes, this! Don't do this to your kids. You will leave a giant mess for your kids, or some other poor unfortunate soul

I had to go through so much stuff of my mother's after she died. The physical took months of sorting. The electronic... I still haven't finished. Yuck.

There's thousands of photos I'm going to have to look at, they are electronic. How horrible. No one wants to keep track of all this junk.

Please please please: Don't convert your journals to pdf's, or you will also leave another electronic mess for somebody to clean up. Double yuck. Just clean it up now, for yourself and others.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: May 19, 2019 01:11AM

I threw all my mission stuff out around age 40, after giving my journal a final once-through. Have I missed it now and then? Yes. Just barely.

I lived in a town of 60,000, where over 80% of the city flooded. Everything in every basement except flatware and china was destroyed. Nobody died. Everybody got over it. It is just stuff, much of which will go to a landfill when you die anyway.

It's having a choice that is difficult. If your stuff gets destroyed, especially if your house also needs major renovation, tossing the busted stuff is just another job that needs to get done so you can move on with your life.

I'm here to offer a contrasting opinion to the sentimentalists up-thread. ;)

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 19, 2019 01:14AM

Brother Of Jerry Wrote:
> I'm here to offer a contrasting opinion to the
> sentimentalists up-thread. ;)


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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: May 21, 2019 10:09PM

I kept everything in taped-shut boxes for a while. Then one day I tossed Everything without looking at any of it. I feel lighter and cleaner.

I just want to forget it and move on, look to the future; also I agree, would not want to inflict it on my executor.

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