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Posted by: Vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:19PM

This post wasn't received so well over on the ex-Mormon Facebook group, so I'm going to we-write my idea here and see how well it is taken.

I left the church in 2008. I was an active poster here for a year or so and this community saved my life at the time. I remember the intellectual giants that assisted me during that phase. They mentally helped me out of my cognitive dissonance and provided resources for me when I needed them. I felt the community was very grounded and sane. I felt empathy from you all for taking it all so seriously in my past and for having studied the doctrine deeply. I felt you all understood me and could relate to the despair that came from finding out it was all a lie. ***I knew you all took at as seriously as I did, otherwise you wouldn't still be here posting.***

I recently joined the ex-Mormon groups on Facebook and have been extremely disappointed. Gone seem to be the days where the average ex-Mormon really, TRULY cared about the claims of the church. Sure, you'll get one occasionally that had the bigger picture in mind, but recently, being an ex-Mormon has become a *popular* trend, and when things become *popular,* its quality diminishes big time.

What I find now over on Facebook at least is mostly people who want to jab at and mock the church without any thoughtful substance. I don't see the same level of intellectual prowess over there that I saw here when I first came here years ago. I admit, I have not paid attention to exmormon.org for a while so I don't know if the same thing has happened here, but what I do know is that I miss those days, because I can't relate to this new breed of ex-Mormons who for the most part don't seem to want to talk about anything *deep* like the ex-Mormons I used to know did. Being ex-Mormon is popular, mocking Mormonism is an in-crowd thing to do... there's no longer any RISK with being socially out there against the church like there used to be. This means that the new breed of ex-Mormons doesn't have to sacrifice nearly as much socially to walk away. It wouldn't bother me so much if I could find a group of people large enough that still wanted to discuss deeper ideas.

Maybe I can find a home here instead of there, where only words can be exchanged instead of flashy, useless memes.

I don't know exactly what I'm fishing for, I just know that I feel kind of lonely lately without much to turn to, so I thought I would say hello to everyone here and see if the minds here are as sharp as they were ten years ago.

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:22PM

A lot of the "intellectual giants" have left this place too. But there are a few still around.

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Posted by: Ted ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:43PM

No doubt they were formerly "spiritual giants" as Mormons.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:27PM

in b 4 ~ mebe being exmo becoming a *popular* trend is a good thing OPie ~



in b 4 ~ "mental midget crew" checking in ~

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:36PM

I should clarify and say that I'm not disappointed people are leaving the church in larger numbers, but I am disappointed that It's harder to have a deep conversations with ex-Mormon groups online than it used to be.

Like I said before, as a group becomes more popular, its nature begins to change. The reason ex-Mormon.org was so great as I remember it ten years ago was because the majority of posters had to make incredible sacrifice in order to leave, which meant that most of them were indeed intellectual and moral giants.

Now, random 16 year olds join the ex-Mormon group and just shitpost because it's an in-crowd thing to do. I don't see thoughtful posts over there like I remember there being here. It left me disappointed quickly.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:34PM

Much thanks for your reply, Lot's Wife. I needed to read that.

And yeah, earlier I thought about something you said and I agree... the goal was to *make* it less hard to leave. I guess I never realized just how much of the refining process you undertake on if you make it out alive when it IS harder. Life is strange that way... we wouldn't want to put anyone else through but, but I'd be damned if I didn't go through it as tragic as it was for me at the time.

I actually see a lot of similarities between the ex-Mormon Facebook groups and the Great and Spacious building. Their groups would have never worked for me, I may have doubled down as a Mormon... but I have to place my self in the right time. I'm not a 2019 ex-Mormon, I'm a 2008 ex-Mormon and my, how quickly has it changed.

Regardless, there are still some Mormons in the church that think like we did and would also be put off by these other groups. I think it is important to maintain spaces that do more than just mock their opposition. We need a place for their vulnerable and sincere minds, too.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:41PM

Agreed. I was a big fan of Delhlin and others because ultimately everyone needs to find her own way in life and the more options available, the better. There is no single path.

Regarding our loss, I think it's important to bear in mind that the opposite of love is not hatred but rather indifference. If we are successful in breaking the chains that bound us and still bind others, the result will be a complete lack of interest. We probably feel a bit like Vietnam Vets, who suffered immensely for something that ultimately proved futile. They have their memories and their pain but almost no one with whom to share that burden.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:55PM

Dehlin helped me out immensely in the beginning when he made his famous "Why People Leave the Mormon Church" Youtube video and then with his early podcast episodes.

I agree with, "The more paths, the better" attitude, but I also admit, perhaps with some egotistical bias, that I MUCH prefer the deep thinkers over the clowns. (Ideally, one can be both, but that balance is so rare.)

ex-Mormonism is strange. You want to move on, but you don't want to at the same time. For me, it changed me in such a way that it's still hard to relate to never-Mormons, so socially, It's hard to find something to move on *to.* I guess that's why I keep coming back, and every time I do, there's fewer and fewer around to connect with.

All the more reason to cherish the connections we do have and not to take the new ones we find for granted.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:04PM

Agreed on all points.

Again speaking of veterans of forgotten wars, they too will never find people who fully understand. Such experience changes one permanently, and yet after the conflict people move on with their lives, connections fray, and then death severs still more ties to others.

I have thought about this a lot because my mission was one of the horrible ones. Things happened there that most people would not believe, and when we returned to our homes we were forced to shut up because no one wanted to hear what we had experienced. That history made it impossible to fit in with Mormons and yet we were like veterans in having trouble moving into other social groups. In some ways we were crippled, carrying burdens that others couldn't even see.

What you describe is a similar problem. There are some things in life that leave permanent scars.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:13PM

Lot's Wife, have you written these experiences down? I would be interested in reading them.

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Posted by: redskittle ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:38PM

You just generalized the description of me, good job!!!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:45PM

This is a great post.

I started posting on the ex-Mo boards a bit earlier than you did but have watched, and noticed, the same trends. 10-15 years ago it was tough to leave Mormonism and people were interested in finding intermediate positions--NOM status, etc. They took doctrine seriously as well.

In my view, the church killed that intermediate position. About a decade ago they announced that Mormonism was binary: with us or against. Then came the excommunications of the prophets of compromise: Kelly, Dehlin, and several others. So the church made the middle ground impossible and obviated the need for us to come to terms with the doctrine because there was no longer a conceivable place for us in the church.

Meanwhile the church continued to dilute its doctrines to the point that there is nothing left. Why would anyone debate McConkie or even King Follett now that "I don't know that we teach it, I don't know that we emphasize it." I mean, what is there left to believe, to debate? And if one does believe something and sticks by that belief, s/he may well be excommunicated. The truth is that today few people take the doctrine seriously whether they are in the church or out.

The result has been a loss of interest in Mormonism and Mormon doctrine. If you superimpose Prop 8 and the punishment of the children of gay parents, there is little reason left to discuss the "goodness" of the church. For me those actions were so obviously, profoundly wrong that they left nothing to debate. Does anyone nowadays see a way to defend the spirituality or morality of the Q15? I miss the old debates, I miss the doctrines I cherished for much of my life. But Mormonism is circling the bowl and there's really no way back.

You are right that leaving Mormonism is no longer difficult. The recent defectors are slackers, having usually not paid as high a price as we did. But you know what? That is the way it should be. People should not be so tightly bound to an abusive system that defection necessitates years of psychotherapy. Gay people killed themselves back when we took Mormonism seriously, and now many of them can simply leave. People used to stick with missions way past the point of emotional and physical health, and now they quit when they need to.

It is sad for us, I believe, to recognize that our suffering and our struggles to find a way out were wasted. But that's how it is with evil systems. The ones who break the monopoly pay a punitive price, but once those institutions are in decline other people find it much easier to leave. However lonely it is for us that there are few people who can empathize with our suffering, I wouldn't have it any other way. We contributed to the breakdown of a system that caused immense pain. Success in that regard is seeing other people make their own decisions without the turmoil we experienced.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:53PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why would anyone debate McConkie or even King
> Follett now that "I don't know that we teach it, I
> don't know that we emphasize it." I mean, what is
> there left to believe, to debate? ... The truth is that
> today few people take the doctrine seriously
> whether they are in the church or out.


That may actually be the difference. I don't think the younger generation takes the doctrine as seriously as we did when we were younger. We believed what we were taught and it was a big deal to debate that doctrine.

So leaving may just not be as big of a deal as it once was.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:34PM

(I think I posted this in the wrong spot the first time.)

Much thanks for your reply, Lot's Wife. I needed to read that.

And yeah, earlier I thought about something you said and I agree... the goal was to *make* it less hard to leave. I guess I never realized just how much of the refining process you undertake on if you make it out alive when it IS harder. Life is strange that way... we wouldn't want to put anyone else through but, but I'd be damned if I didn't go through it as tragic as it was for me at the time.

I actually see a lot of similarities between the ex-Mormon Facebook groups and the Great and Spacious building. Their groups would have never worked for me, I may have doubled down as a Mormon... but I have to place my self in the right time. I'm not a 2019 ex-Mormon, I'm a 2008 ex-Mormon and my, how quickly has it changed.

Regardless, there are still some Mormons in the church that think like we did and would also be put off by these other groups. I think it is important to maintain spaces that do more than just mock their opposition. We need a place for their vulnerable and sincere minds, too.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:08PM

>>Regardless, there are still some Mormons in the church that think like we did and would also be put off by these other groups. I think it is important to maintain spaces that do more than just mock their opposition. We need a place for their vulnerable and sincere minds, too.

This is a good observation. There is something to be said for maintaining a welcoming atmosphere to those who are questioning. No one wants to feel that they are being mocked, especially if they are still more in the church than out.

It goes both ways, though. On occasion, people who are just beginning to find their way out can come off a little too much on the TBM side.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:56PM

“The ones who break the monopoly pay a punitive price, but once those institutions are in decline other people find it much easier to leave.”

It’s like an ant bridge. Your one of the ants on the bottom.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:58PM

Yup.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:01AM

would diligently strain their brains to defend in doctrinal theory things like polygamy, the Book of Abraham, the more than 150 years of prohibiting black people from temple/priesthood status and so on.

But now the leaders simply disavow the doctrinal legitimacy of any of the embarrassing doctrines of the past. I've been highly amused and surprised in just the past couple of years to see how many erstwhile "eternal truths" have been summarily demoted to nothing more than poorly understood past "practices" and "policies" of ambiguous origin.

Following the cue given by the current crop of leaders, most Mormons themselves have given up on any attempt to deeply delve into doctrinal matters. Why bother? The ordinary members are starting to get a clue. They can spend countless hours of their free time trying to make sense of the doctrines and apparent contradictions this year only to have a Hinckley or a Nelson come along next year and tell them, ex post facto, that it turns out that it was never even important or doctrinal in the first place.

Among most ordinary members, insouciant shoulder shrugs have replaced the strenuous pretzel-logic and theorizing that they used to engage in in their efforts to persuade themselves and others that big round pegs are obviously the correct choice when you need to hammer something through a small square hole. Now, they don't feel a need to bother with anything that is confusing or makes their head hurt. The only thing that matters now is just whatever the guy whose picture is currently at the very top of the GA chart has to say today. And even though all of the past zig-zags and changes and reversals are sufficient as proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the Mormon "Prophets" are worthless as sources of real information and guidance, that problem itself is just another thing that they feel free to shrug off.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:09AM

That couldn't be more true. In the Swedish Rescue, God's emissaries carried a briefcase with the answers inside but which they refused to open. When members have doctrinal questions, the GAs tell them to get the answers from their bishops and stake presidents. Ask an apostle and you will be spanked.

The church only cares about obedience at the present time. It no longer takes doctrine seriously. So how could we?

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Posted by: MarkJ ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:09PM

Excellent description of the transformation. The shift away from valuing any actual doctrine or durable theology increases even more the identification of the church as a cult. Cults are not based on a foundation of written doctrine or on tradition or on personal conviction won through logic or reason. Instead members must rely on the moment-by-moment guidance of an all powerful leadership whose proclamations transcend history, scripture, tradition, or reason. Devotion to the institution means devotion to the current leader, and only to him.

When the church still relied on validation through scripture and history, a person had to be fairly well versed in both to argue successfully against that validation. Eventually there were enough people who had that background (helped by the Internet) to undermine the church's traditional validation and the church was forced to abandon that strategy (what The Essays essentially acknowledged).

The church no longer worries about its past or fine points of doctrine, and they don't want members to worry about them either. The members who leave now leave because they don't care for the social experience or the emotional experience of the church. These people are not the scholars and researchers of the past.

And while this has happened in the church, this shift also seems to be mirrored in the political world too. What were once firm planks of belief in a political party's policy platform have been dumped, burned, the ashes buried and replaced by the day-to-day tweets of the Great Leader.

Good thread.

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Posted by: bezoar ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 04:06PM

Yes, it's easier to leave Mormonism now than it was in the past. A lot of us went through pure hell before we made it to the place we are today.

There's a somewhat similar conversation going on among the older members of the gay community. Gay kids today don't realize how bad things were for gay people in the past, and how much some gay people suffered just for being gay. Or in other words, "Gay kids today just don't appreciate what we went through to give them the world as they know it today."

My attitude is that yes, younger gays have it easier than we did and have no idea what things were like. And I think it's wonderful that they don't realize they have past generations to thank. That means we did our job! We fought and protested and changed laws and attitudes. There's much still work to be done, but for the most part we were so successful the younger generations don't realize how much the world has changed for the better.

I miss the doctrinal discussions we used to have on RfM. I left the church because I'm gay. It was later on RfM that I learned about all the problems with the doctrine.

Maybe I'm looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I think the suffering a lot of us went through in the past has changed Mormonism. They no longer try to defend their doctrine because we've proven time and time again that it's indefensible. It's easier to leave now partly because so many of us went public with our stories about Mormonism, stories that got a lot of publicity and embarrassed the church.

I'm lucky I'm alive today. The pain of growing up Mormon and realizing I'm gay led to several suicide attempts. It would be nice if people realized how much I suffered to get where I am. But it's even better realizing that because of what we all went through other people will have an easier time leaving the cult.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 09:59PM

Leaving is way cool, man!

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:30PM

Perhaps Vahn421 is unsettled by the snarkiness of the posters. The cynicism, the dirty jokes. There is a lot of that around on the internet in general. But that doesn't mean people today don't make sacrifices for what they believe (or don't believe). Or from walking away from what they've been doing for years.

There are still thoughtful conversations that can take place. But we have to dig for it. coax it out. Every person is a wealth of experience and wisdom. You have to encourage people to share the gems deep within.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:33PM

If those gems are causing problems, you should try more yogurt.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 10:36PM

I'm snarky and cynical too, but I had to admit to my self that the groups reminded me of the Great and Spacious building. If there are those in the church questioning in the manner I did, that type of space may have made a guy like me double down on my faith until I found something more grounded and wise. It was the calm and wise on this website that saved my life.

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Posted by: Recovered Molly Mormon ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:08PM

Does it matter if it is "well received" and accepted to your liking?

Back in 2008, you got what you needed. You received the intellectual resources, empathy, understanding

Now you are discovering that there are other ex-Mormons that aren't the same level of intellectual prowess. IE, not as intelligent as the previous "breed" of folks who enjoyed long dissertations and historical dissection of facts and fallacies?

Being ex-Mormon is popular is not just a state of popularity. I don't need to have those long discussions I once had years ago. There is plenty of heavy-weight info on this website and several others to keep someone busy with examining the facts for years.

Being ex-Mormon simply means one thing. No longer Mormon.
This state of being is not one size fits all. It is not all deep conversations. Different people have different needs and that does not make them any less intellectual or interesting.

You seem unsure exactly what you are looking for. Perhaps ask yourself "What do I need?" Are you here to be supported? To be heard or accepted? "I am here to _____" Fill in the blank. I have seen so much wonderful diversity on this board. Surely there is at least one person that you click with to have those deeper style conversations that resonate with you.

Are you open to feedback and perhaps criticism? That can happen in groups. Some of your wording reads a bit condescending as some group participants may feel you are indicating they aren't intelligent enough to converse with you. Some may choose not to, despite intelligence, because debating is exhausting.

Best Wishes,

RMM (ExMormon almost 20 years)

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 10, 2019 11:20PM

Hi RMM, thanks for replying.

What I really want is something I am trying to figure out still. It honestly never hit me until perhaps today that ex-Mormonism as a *culture* is something that I'll gradually relate to less and less as time goes on.

When I think about all the parties and socials I ever went to in , the ex-Mormon parties I attended in 2008-2010 were by far the best experiences of my life. I'm definitely longing for social connection and I do intend to make friends where possible.

I know my words are a little sharp, I guess I'm just a little sad and processing the changes I see with more clarity now.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:14AM

when I first came here in 2005, but I'm not an intellectual, but I really enjoyed reading their posts like Brian the Christ and the husband of Lucifer and Lucifer. I can't remember how to spell some of the names. There have been SO MANY.

Two reasons I'm still here. I work on the computer and I'm actually sitting here where I can see the hospital report I'm working on and this screen. I needed a break after the last report I did, so I came here. AND I still have issues in my life that come up like my daughter getting married in the temple 4 months ago. I just happen to have the ONLY grandchild of my parents (and great grandchild) who is mormon. It has been 'fun" to say the least.

I'm lucky in that I do have people to talk to about it like my ex and my son and even my family (who are mostly out obviously) and I have an EXMO therapist who is one of the most intelligent people I know. I love discussing things with him. He always is able to zero right in on why I'm feeling like I do.

Even if I'm here, there are only a very few people who know what it is like to be the wife of a gay man. What really irritates me (I realized after my "best" friend told me that mormons only invite me back because they want to share this religion they love with me) is that people DISMISS my experience. My experience has made me who I am today. Like you, it was a great sacrifice to me to give up on all my dreams and I DID. Nothing in my life has gone as planned, but I've had other dreams happen and I'm okay.

But we don't even see posts from Steve Benson anymore and I love reading his posts. I've learned so much from him. But there are those here and boy do they get into long threads. They are too intelligent for me to put in my 2 cents worth. I'm amazed at their abilities to put words to "paper."

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:18AM

I remember when you couldn't even have a conversation. In 1988, I lugged books around that I picked up at the library. I couldn't get a soul to engage. I had an apartment full of people drinking beer and smoking weed empty out in minutes of me starting a conversation about mormonism.

I don't doubt that popularity dilutes the quality of the conversation. That's how I feel about Beyonce & Drake.

Feel good. You contributed to the work that opened the doors for the masses to escape. Don't expect any thanks. You'll have to congratulate yourself . . . or celebrate with a few of the greats of ex-mormonism.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:32AM

I really needed to hear that too. Thanks. I know I didn't do as much as others have done, but I know my posts and ideas made a difference when I was very active... and I'm sure there are those out there that still need people like us in order to gain the courage to leave. The giants that contributed the most were the brightest beacons.

I'll grab a beer with you, light a joint, and talk to you about anything you want, Jay!

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Posted by: redskittle ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:46AM

Honestly, despite being a 2019 wannabe exmo, I would like to see more educated posts from Steve Benson and stuff like that. When I was a lurker, his posts were very informative and interesting. I want to see more of these type of posts.

It’s debatable about my posts if they are informative or not, it may be a very well thought out post (what I believe) or just some older teen “complaining about life.” You decide for yourself.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:52AM

Teens complaining about life are welcome here. Rest assured that there are others in your position who read what you write and profit from it.

One of the secrets of this place is the depth of the invisibles. Some of the most intelligent, insightful and empathetic people just lurk and never post. So too people of all ages and all backgrounds, some of whom will glean nothing from what many of us write but will be deeply touched by your experiences.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2019 01:53AM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:09AM

I was having similar thoughts recently.

It seems we used to have two to three people a week asking for help leaving the church. Now it seems maybe two a month and some respondents seem less than helpful.

Can't remember the last true conversation on history. Seems we rarely discuss doctrine the way we used too.

Perhaps it is because that day we looked forward to is close at hand when more leave than enter the church.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 06:29AM

Cyber-exmos have always assumed history was a bigger factor in people leaving than it is. Sure, some people do leave because of it, but having run into dozens of exmos offline, I can guess that it is a minor factor. They exist, but they are not the majority. People tend to leave because of their experience in tbe present day IMHO.

The Tanners play a part in this. Their website is one of the best resources out there for material, but it's not why most people leave.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 11:32AM

So much agree.

I know quite a few exMormons who were researching a Sunday School lessons and found faith destroying historical information.

I know a lot more exMormons, especially young people, who just decided today's Mormon church was NOT something they wanted to do.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 11:53AM

History is a tipping point for many in my opinion.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 06:25AM

I think the people who leave are not well represented on the internet. I've had many encounters with people who left - in fact I am meeting one tonight. He has an operation coming up and wants support. He is light years away from most of the exmos on this board and not much like me.

But I've long found there is a disconnection between how exmos are represented and how they are. Most of them are not "intellectual giants", as one person put it, but ordinary people who just couldn't be bothered anymore. And for every person who leaves when they hear about Fanny Alger, there must be surely twenty who leave because the church took up too much of their time. I accept fully that the roles that women and LGBT play in the church are more immediate though, because they affect people today.

Likewise, more people probably don't want to tithe anymore than have heard about the Kinderhook Plates. And fanatical atheists are probably fewer in number than those who left quietly and didn't want to rock the boat.

More people probably leave because they want to have sex outside marriage than from finding out that Joseph Smith did.

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Posted by: bezoar ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 04:15PM

Jordan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> More people probably leave because they want to
> have sex outside marriage than from finding out
> that Joseph Smith did.


I just felt the need to make a slight edit to your last sentence:

"More people probably leave because they want to have sex outside marriage LIKE Joseph Smith did."

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 05:30PM

LOL! And I love the tripe and worn argument that Mormons leave for sex. It is the burning core of Kolob apparently.

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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 09:35AM

I believe part of what is going on is the waning influence of fundamentalist religions. Last year DW and I visited Ireland just weeks before the abortion referendum. There were pro and anti abortion banners everywhere. There was not a pole or vertical surface not covered with something related to the issue. It was prognosticated that it would be a close vote to end the abortion ban in Ireland. It turned that nearly a 2/3's majority wanted to end the ban. The historically heavy influence of the Catholic church in Ireland has diminished significantly.

We took Mormonism seriously in the 1970's, when I was a convert and then a missionary, up to the late 1980's in our lives. It was offering nothing of relevance to having a successful life. If anything, the time wasting meetings, missionary work, home teaching, genealogy, constant repetition etc. were a drag on family relationships, friendships and health in general. We finally said 'enough' and dropped out without knowing the ugly history, changing doctrines and all the other things we discuss here. We discovered the history and all related issues after dropping out of activity. We resigned 6 months later.

It seems to be easier to leave now than in the 1990's and early 2000's. There is so much out there now and all Mormons know of some folks who have left and are doing well. Missionaries are returning early in increasing numbers. Mormonism is becoming a bit of a relic like Catholicism in Ireland. It is becoming less and less of an authoritarian voice to many. There are still millions who are suffering under its influence and we will be here to help them.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 10:18AM

I would say you hit it. ExMormonism is changing as Mormonism changes.

Many of us years ago, decades ago, were extremely damaged by Mormonism. There was no Information Age to let us find the facts. The church was still going full tilt--death oaths, Miracle of Forgiveness, Electro shock therapy, et al.

Just like the way that Mormons claim that Satan works, they themselves have little by little, step by step, distanced themselves from the above mentioned items and become generic, no longer "peculiar," to the point that many ex-mormons are leaving with out having been traumatized or having felt robbed. Aren't some leaving out of boredom?

So for them, leaving is like the needing of a solution to a problem but not able to think of it and then, wham! it hits you in the shower or the middle of the night out of the blue. You just realize you don't believe it and it isn't appealing but its not that earth shaking either. You just go on with your life without it.

That was not my story. I went through hell because of Mormonism and so RFM was a wonderful find for me decades later. But RFM'ers have changed too.

Partly because, you can indeed talk something to death. Going on and on about the same issue defangs it, even makes it boring. So you get the new variety ex-mo who may come to the sites like RFM for many other reasons other than recovery and need to have their posts listed as "off topic."

I would guess what vahn421 is looking for the connection of the shared past. It is important for many of us. The OT posts don't fill the need and actually can annoy.


I've said it many times, but Erik K., you have done a wonderful thing.

DONE

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:10PM

D&D, your posts have elevated this site tremendously. So much clear thinking, experience, and insight in what you have to say.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 09:43AM

I wouldn't join ex-Mormon Facebook by virtue of the fact many of my family and friends on Facebook are active TBM. I haven't come out vocally against any of them on Facebook, nor would I.

That's why I covet RfM, because it's a place away from that social web where you can vent and get away from Mormon family and friends without alienating them all.

I love most of my family that are still in the cult, with some exceptions.

It's the exceptions I occasionally rant about here on RfM. The rest of them are still ... family.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:15PM

on fb. I was on there before I deactivated my account for a few weeks and then my membership disappeared. I do remember it is different over there, but I can't remember why I thought that now. My memory is shot these days.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 11:06AM

In my recent survey of the people prone to conservative politics and traditional world views I see very little of Mormonism posted. Seems they don't have much interested in their recovery and more about their political views as they relate to their former religion?

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 12:18PM

Elder Berry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In my recent survey of the people prone to
> conservative politics and traditional world views
> I see very little of Mormonism posted. Seems they
> don't have much interested in their recovery and
> more about their political views as they relate to
> their former religion?

I prefer to base my views on scientific evidence where I can, which is the opposite of Mormonism.

Mormonism teaches a number of traits, which are not desirable - unquestioning acceptance of authority, the need to accept information just because the right person tells you it, believing in things mainly because they make you feel good, playing to the crowd, preaching to the converted etc etc.

Mormonism also supports notions such as giving large amounts of your money up to some "greater good" (which you may never experience), a monster bureaucracy which invades every inch of your life, spying on people ("tell bishop!") and unquestioning loyalty to an entity which we were born into or were deceived into.

If you want to hear about recovery, I have a few stories, but they're not necessarily the right stories for some people here.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:09PM

Jordan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you want to hear about recovery, I have a few
> stories, but they're not necessarily the right
> stories for some people here.

I'd love to read them that is unless they are too sacred too share.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:07PM

Jordan, I for one would like to read your stories.
c12: You said "They are too intelligent for me to put in my 2 cents worth. I'm amazed at their abilities to put words to paper." Believe me, you have worthwhile things to say, and intelligent posts. Just because someone attaches links and references, that doesn't make a person more intelligent than anyone else. Life experience is perhaps, IMO, the greatest teacher of all. When we put ourselves down, as has been taught to many people from childhood on, it reminds me of how we're brainwashed to think we're never good enough, and that is what TSCC telling us. I've been in Sunday School classes where there have been arguments because someone has been put on a pedestal for being an expert on the scriptures. I've been in TSCC for 50 years and woke up in 2015. Resigned last year. I stumbled upon RFM in 2016. I have learned so much from everyone's opinions here and it was because of RFM that I learned more about the MMM, which became the catalyst for me to resign. I'm always learning something new here.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:11PM

valkyriequeen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have learned so much from everyone's
> opinions here and it was because of RFM that I
> learned more about the MMM, which became the
> catalyst for me to resign.

Mormon history has been a tipping point for many here, myself included.

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Posted by: redskittle ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:14PM

For me, it’s a mix of a lack of interest and the history behind the church.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:15PM

Good for you. People interested in Mormonism seem to me to want it for its networking opportunities more than anything it does that is interesting...

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:02PM

I'll have to think about how to tell them in a bit more detail, but one of them - briefly, was just about being pressurized non-stop to go on a mission. On one occasion, the home teachers started talking about it to me, and I said I really didn't want to, but they kept going on about it, and even in the closing prayer they prayed that I would gain the desire to go. Even my patriarchal blessing spoke about it.

Needless to say this did not make me happy. For people who go on about free agency, they sure don't like you to exercise it. I was an adult, I had the right to control of my own life.

This was also not long after I had suffered two major bereavements in a short space of time, and so I was still very depressed at the time. I had traveled and even worked in other countries before then for brief periods, but at that point I was still grieving, and had to go through that whole process, and had no desire to do that in a place where I had no friends, relatives or control of my life just sounded hellish. I have jad visions of what that might have been like.

I did get endowed eventually, but the mission, just no. Missions are definitely not for everyone. Not for people who don't want to, let alone people who have been recently bereaved.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 03:39PM

Great post. It deserves its own thread. The pressuring for missions is an excellent subject for the recovering.

If you start a thread I'll share.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 01:28PM

It's definitely not the same organization that I left some 20 years ago. Sure, the buildings look the same and the hymns are familiar, but the Mormon experience has somewhat improved. Sometimes, I question whether my bygone stories have much value due to the changing church.

I think that it has become easier for young people to leave because the church has become a lot more lax than what it was in the past. Parents seem to be okay about giving their kids a lot of leeway when it comes to church attendance and participation.

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Posted by: Gordon B. Stinky ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:28PM

I think to a large extent the increasing exodus is part of the cultural exodus from many different church denominations. Traditional churches are dying.

That said, people leaving Mormonism is good, for whatever reason (IMO).

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:34PM

Good insight.

Mormonism is a rapidly failing religion among many more slowly failing religions. The Mormon attempt to "mainstream" into a failing religious movement is unlikely to prove very successful.

Put differently, the issues that Vahn421 has identified are inevitably current in other faith traditions as well. There are probably a lot of people--Beth, Caffiend, Nightingale, others--who are suffering a variant of what we are in terms of cultural deracination, loneliness, etc.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 02:39PM

For some of us who left over a decade ago, I'm not terribly interested in spending a lot of time parsing apart Book of Mormon authorship theories. I don't think that's the most valuable use of my time.

Besides, by the time I reached this board, I really had decided Mormonism was false. What was most helpful about it was to hear stories of other people who felt uncomfortable going through the temple the first time, other people who didn't like having interviews with their bishops and stake presidents, other people who felt uncomfortable with the sales tactics in the missionary program, and so on. It was good to know, I wasn't alone.

What draws me back here from time to time is a desire to explore how my experience with Mormonism fits into the context of my whole life and relationships. If we have Mormon family members, this is a lifelong issue.

I also am more interested in providing folks in the process of leaving perspective. Mormonism doesn't have to loom large in our lives, there's a lot more going on in this world to be involved in. I've been inspired by the stories about people reinventing their lives after Mormonism.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 03:27PM

Great post! Thanks!

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 03:08PM

Most Everything in Morland has been dumbed down; it's more about being a good parent (by attending & paying)

For empty-nesters, it's to take pride in depriving your children & grand-children of their inheritance, attending the House of Handshakes, etc. Travel? looked down upon, because U won't be attending your 'home ward' @ 100% !!

Conforming is somewhat easier for middle-agers who have a reliable baby sitter (older sister/brother) & live close to a temple / McTemple (are they still building those???)

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 05:28PM

This thread is a great success from my perspective and I really appreciate all the feedback. I agree with almost everything that has been said here.

I think one of the saddest things for me is realizing my vast knowledge of Mormonism is becoming useless trivia as time goes on. When I first left the church, my vast knowledge of the scriptures and of the words of the modern day prophets became an extremely useful tool I possessed. I knew the doctrine and therefore the contradictions and problems within in. It could not be used against me. More importantly, for those questioning, I had good answers and could offer valuable insight.

Nowadays, it seems that knowledge is far more useless. The fresh souls off the Mormon boat don't really care to *intellectually* find their way out of the church, like so many of us did. As many others pointed out, their reasons are more social or emotional.

This, in turn, makes me feel like the first 22 years of my life were a far bigger waste of time than I felt when I first left the church. I guess I really can't complain... better to be out than in, and it's nice to understand what is happening and why, but it still leaves this big hole in me that I have to find a new way to fill... something I've never done before as I wrapped a large part of my identity around being a brilliant and wise ex-Mormon, always assuming I had something useful to contribute to new and questioning minds.

Despite the fact that overall this is a good thing, I can't help but be a bit sad about it all. I'm a warrior with a rusting sword. We know peace was what we were striving for, but some of us may need a new hobby aside from mental swordplay, moving forward.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 05:35PM

> I'm a warrior with a rusting sword. We know peace
> was what we were striving for, but some of us may
> need a new hobby aside from mental swordplay,
> moving forward.

This is exactly right. We wasted decades honing skills and expertise for a war that is largely over. There is a sadness in that.

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Posted by: vahn421 ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 05:49PM

Well, I'm glad to have fought alongside you and so many others while it was happening. We all contributed something useful in our own way and our sacrifices at least meant something. They were not useless, even if it's over. That's enough, at least.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 06:06PM

RfM and knowledgeable people like so many here were rescuers whom I am grateful for, and I know that I’m not alone in saying that. The ones now “fresh off the boat” may not be leaving for the same intellectual reasons that we did, but they saw that we DID leave, and that they can, too.

Vaughn, your knowledge wasn’t wasted—you helped streamline leaving for the ones coming up behind us. It seems like we needed to defend leaving Mormonism. The next generation doesn’t have to. They can just go.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 11, 2019 05:57PM

vahn421 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> something
> I've never done before as I wrapped a large part
> of my identity around being a brilliant and wise
> ex-Mormon, always assuming I had something useful
> to contribute to new and questioning minds.

I think this hasn't changed.

Arguing the nuances of Joseph Smith actually engaging in sexual intercourse or just preying on women for "dynastic" power is an example of something I don't think is useful once his power over an individual Mormon is in question. Mormons coming out of the fog of the controlling and totalitarian Mormon church can use all the brilliant and wise ex-Mormon they can get.

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