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Posted by: Survivor of Mormonism ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 03:00PM

***Moderator Note: We ask that links to CHI or large excerpts from it are not posted at RfM. Thank you.*** (But meanwhile, great topic and discussion - carry on).

Does anyone have a copy of the Church Handbook of Instructions?

I’m curious, because in a recent thread, someone mentioned that the advice the bishop gives to members is correlated, and comes directly from the printed bishop’s handbook. This advice is given regardless of the person’s individual circumstances. The example in the thread was that a bishop is instructed to never suggest divorce as an option—never—except if the husband has left the church. Another example was to try to keep the man—the primary tithe-payer and priesthood holder—and the sons—future tithe payers—in the church. I’ve read that poster Cl2 was advised to marry a gay man to change/save him, resulting in her being thrown under the bus, and the marriage ending.

Some of my personal experiences were:

1. Females should get married, instead of going on a mission. I was advised by the bishop and stake president to not go on a mission (I’m female), and, since I was dating several young Mormon males, who were interested in marrying me, to stay home and pray for guidance, quit being so picky. I was 23, and the Mormons told me it was time for me to plunge into marriage. (The young man I loved wanted to wait until after he got his PhD, and didn’t want children.) It was a Mormon female’s DESTINY to marry and have lots of children, and the sooner the better. I’m thinking that ALL Mormon women are given this same counsel, right?

2. Marry the Mormon with the “qualifications”. I knew I was not ready for marriage, but I selected the RM who gave me the hard-sell, and had the best (fake) credentials, was from a GA family, but had a hidden past of assault and battery. My parents chose him, the bishop chose him (a complete stranger), and Brother Pace, the institute director was “inspired” to tell me to marry him. I had known him only a few months, but conned me into thinking it was True Love sanctioned by God. He began beating me, only hours after we were married. I’ll spare you the details, but I was in Hell, and contemplated suicide at one time, as divorce was not an option, in the cult we were in.

3. A wife-beater is the woman’s responsiblity to fix; it’s her fault that he is beating her; in fact, JS recommends spousal abuse in D&C 132, and in his personal lifestyle as a polygamist. I went to my new bishop, in our married ward, and told him that my husband was beating me, and that I was so unhappy, that I wanted to die. He advised me to have a “date night” twice a week, with my husband, just the two of us. Well, we didn’t have children, and we already went out three or four times a week. He said to pray together, which we did, my ex quoting the vows of obedience I had made to him in the temple, and quoting the Doctrine and Covenants 132. My ex would pray and preach at the same time, telling me that I was his “possession”, and that he had a right to do anything he wanted to do to me. The truth was, I wasn’t doing anything wrong at all. He would walk in the door already angry at something that had nothing to do with me. We moved twice, and I went to two other bishops, and they also said “date night”, sex, and serving the husband were the answers. Of course, none of the bishops told me to leave, or call the police, even though I was being harmed. My ex put me in the hospital several times. The abuse was extreme, and the bishops pretended that it was no big deal. They also told me it was my fault. They interrogated me about our sex life—if I gave my husband sex when he wanted it, if I initiated sex, if I pleased him, if we practiced any “unusual or perverted” sex. They would me ask if I wore my garments, attended church, paid tithying, if I cooked my husband good meals, did his laundry, etc. They said I could control the situation. None of them ever wanted call in my husband and talk to him about it! I thought it was because my ex had a Mormon GA name, and that he was very large and scary. But now, I think it was because bishops never hold any of the males accountable!

4. A man can get married many times in the temple; a woman only once. Over the years, I went to numerous bishops, asking if I could get a temple divorce. Nope. Never. My ex had beaten me severely, and almost killed me, before I finally got a legal divorce, to save my life. My ex ended up having two other temple marriages. He beat all of them, and his children, and other victims. He was a huge tithe-payer, though. My second Mormon husband and I were never allowed a temple marriage, even though we were moral and qualified and obeyed all the rules. Is it STILL the rule that men can get married in the temple many times, but a woman only once?

5. Mothers should not work outside the home—no matter how badly she needs the money. Another bad piece of advice happened when my second Mormon husband abandoned me and our four children, with no money. I was frightened that my children would go hungry. I was new to the area, had only a new start-up job, and could just barely get by—if I didn’t pay that 10% tithing. The bishop called me into his office, to take away my temple recommend for non-payment, and I asked if I could be “excused” from paying tithing, until I got on my feet. The bishop told me to quit my job, and stay home with my children, keep paying tithing, keep going to the temple, and to find a Mormon husband as soon as possible. I told him that we would not get by financially if I did that, even for one month, and that I would never risk marriage again. Next, he asked if I had parents or family members who could support my family, so I could continue to pay tithing. I said no. Then, told me to apply for government welfare. For various reasons, I didn’t qualify for any kind of assistance. As his last resort, the bishop advised me to go on church welfare. I had pride, and I wanted security and confidence for my children, and being dependent on church welfare seemed like a very unstable existence, so I said no to that. I didn’t follow the bishop’s counsel, but kept the new job, which turned into a great lifetime career! I was back on my feet, and able to afford tithing again, within a year.

Other divorced single mothers here on RFM have receieved the same bad advice from their bishops, also. Do bishops still tell ALL single mothers to not get a job, and stay home with their kids and go on welfare, until they find another Mormon husband? Several women in the Mormon Singles group who have done that have ended up in disastrous hasty marriages, and/or financial ruin, depression, and/or have lost their children.

Mormon advice seems to be “one size fits all” with the cult’s financial benefit as the number one consideration.

Does all of this so-called “inspired” advice come out of a standardized, Mormon Handbook of Instructions? I suspect it does.

I would love to read the handbook for myself! Does anyone have a link or a copy?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2019 12:45PM by maude.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 03:34PM

I haven't read the CHI and cannot comment on what it dictates. What I would guess, though, is that some people (the U.S. president, for example) don't read or read as little as is absolutely necessary for survival, as in maybe nothing wordier than the directions on a bottle of prescription medication. It would seem safe to assume that some of those elevated to the office of bishop are among the non-readers of society. Hence, whatever is in the handbook is probably not always closely followed.

Regarding missions, since females may now go at the age of nineteen, marriage vs. a mission is less a thing. Most modern parents wouldn't necessarily choose for their daughters to marry before twenty-one, anyway. Women can now return from missions before turning twenty-one if they report within a few months of turning nineteen.

I don't know whether or not young women are now told to serve missions soon after turning nineteen or not to go at all. The church would probably love to make a ridiculous stipulation such as that young women can serve missions beginning before they're twenty, or must then wait until they're 25 or so, but creating such a policy would be a public relations fiasco.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 06:45PM by scmd1.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 06:03PM

to save a male. It is still my fault that he hasn't changed to straight. My TBM daughter even told her twin brother that some years ago. It was I who gave up and just wasn't righteous enough. (Well, you know, I stayed and didn't cheat, but it was my fault.) The girls who never married from the singles ward were after my "husband" after he left me for quite some time. I just asked him the other night if they still invite him to dinner and he said that they don't anymore. But we've been "married" for 35 years now and they were still bugging him some 5 or so years ago.

And yes, I was told to marry him. There was not one mormon who told me not to marry him, but not many knew, just the LDS SS therapist, the prior bishop, the current bishop, the SP, my friend who was a bishop. They all told me it would work out, not to worry. That he would never leave me. Then when he did cheat and left, it was my fault. He even bought into it.

I've told my story often enough. It is just so INSANE. I found out he is gay in 1983. And from what has been posted here in recent years, they are still telling young gays to marry a woman and some still want to. One of the guys on here said that his MP, his SP, and his bishop all told him to find a female and marry her.

P.S. It doesn't matter if you love each other.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 06:04PM by cl2.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 08:56PM

I don’t know for sure if all of what you experienced comes from the CHI. If it does then my bishops weren’t following all of it. I did, however, get very shady, damaging advice (commandments) over the years as a single mother. I believe the stuff we were told was the natural vomiting up of ideas from the minds of people who are narrow minded, brainwashed, stuck-up and misogynistic. I was a convert and was also young (18 when I had my daughter, and 19 when I was baptised) and attending YSA events. It may be that it’s a bit different here in the UK in that there are hardly any Mormons. The priority nevertheless was on finding a husband, and advice was tailored to that goal, which given the circumstances made said advice completely unreasonable and extreme. This is because there weren’t exactly that many young men, so finding one meant extreme measures. So I’m thinking that they just tailor advice based on the same goals, regardless as to whether it’s conflicting advice, or if it does conflict, cherry-picking to suit their own personal hang-ups - I noticed that different bishops told me conflicting things so I’d say their minds are all messed up in different ways.

I think everybody, bishops included, were extremely confused about which category (mormon box) I belonged in, which might explain the extra weirdness and cognitive dissonance that was an ongoing phenomenon for me being in the cult. (Unsurprisingly, much of this led me to questioning things). So adding to unreasonable and extreme, I also got conflicting, non-sensical advice.

If it hadn’t been SO ABUSIVE I would find this hilarious now.

My friends in YSA (and Institute) saw me as a very trusted friend. Or, conversely, in the case of some girls, as competition, never mind the fact I often had a toddler running around and was too exhausted and laden with responsibility to be bothered with such antics. Missionaries and ward mission leaders saw me as the golden convert and would more or less worship me; my ex’s family and their friends in the ward felt awkward and avoided me (with everything else I had to deal with I didn’t care and ignored this); guys my age liked me a lot and saw me as a potential girlfriend but often their mothers didn’t like me (even those who claimed to be my, yeah right); single men in the ward who were twice my age hovered around me and harassed me like predators for years assuming I was desperate, but to no avail of course; women in relief society saw me and treated me like an outcast; people in primary actually seemed to remember I was a mother and an actual human being but treated me with a great deal of pity and condescension. Hmm, yeah, it all felt so good! Then people in Sunday school realised I was intelligent - and that really did frazzle their brains. I’m surprised I didn’t have a nervous breakdown given that all this conflicting treatment happened at the same time.

The point is, it’s hard to know where each bishop was coming from, but I suspect from everything they said that, like me, they held all these conflicting ways of seeing me in their mind at once (cognitive dissonance). I suspect therefore they treat different people in different ways. But consequenrly I was overburdened on top of feeling traumatised.

I’d go to the bishop for advice on something and it would turn into major counselling on my whole life. I’d often get a tonne of conflicting advice. This wouldn't have been terrible beyond confusing, except I was somehow supposed to do it all at once: Go to every YSA event and date lots of guys and HF would bless me with a husband (thankfully ‘god’ never did); no grandparents were offering to babysit, so I should pray more so that someone else would magically offer. I should do all the scripture reading from Institute as well (several hours of reading each week) and apply it all to my life on top of the bishop’s advice. I should aim to get a better job and work full time so i could provide for me and my daughter and be self sufficient (thus fulfilling the teachings of the prophet), plus I would also then have the money to look my best so i would find said husband. I should EARN forgiveness of my sins by doing more in my callings as primary teacher, primary music leader and ward chorister, and then if I was forgiven I could continue to go to the temple and I would then be blessed with said husband. Plus, on top of all this, have my “in-laws” round for dinner so that HF will be pleased with the harmony in the ward because then my “in-laws” will stop feeling uncomfortable by my presence there (FYI they were never my in-laws - if I hadn’t been in the cult we basically would have never spoken again; they weren’t hugely interested in us). I should go to college on top of all this so that qualifications would make me more attractive and better able to provide. I should do temple work so that the spirit would be with me more so I could look for said husband with extra discernment...etc, etc. A lot of this perfection work I was commanded to do I believe was due to the mormon prejudice against unmarried mothers - and bishops believed out of their own fear (prejudice) that I had to compensate for this defect. Well, no wonder I was miserable.

It’s also no wonder I struggled with chronic fatigue. It really twisted the knife when my brother and SIL criticised me for being so tired. Apparently this was their main initial criticism of me.

I should mention that NEVER, in the 11.5 years I was a mormon, did any bishop talk to me about being a mother, let alone being good one. I was given the message that being single, especially with a child, was completely unacceptable and that being a good mother now only consisted of finding a husband. Therefore: I had to do all of the above - plus pay 10% of my meagre earnings in tithing - so that I could be temple worthy - so that I would be “blessed” with a husband - so that I could be saved in the celestial kingdom - and so I wouldn’t be alone and be tempted by “sin” - (so that I would keep providing them with tithes, and more children to add to their numbers).
Exhausting spiritual abuse.

Consequently I feel now that I emotionally neglected my daughter as I was too busy doing all this other pointless crap. Because of the pressure I was under, I also ended up with boyfriends who were too immature and too naive, and/or too stuck-up and conceited, for me to ever form a healthy, meaningful relationship with. As this was the best mormondoom had to offer, I am so relieved I never got married, but this was an additional colossal waste of time. My daughter now sometimes has some very upsetting issues and I feel very guilty. My brother and SIL blame me of course - not the mormon church at all - in spite of the fact I’ve already blamed myself ad-infinitum, just as any warm-blooded human would, let alone any decent parent.

I don’t think they necessarily follow the church handbook of instructions. But either way, I don’t think it would make any difference. I know that bishops are told to get single people married no matter what. Most mormon cult leaders are misogynistic, prejudiced and completely incapable of thinking outside the box. I almost feel sorry for them. The mormon church is obsessed with marriage because it fears the almost inevitable sex outside of marriage if it doesn’t happen - and the almost inevitable loss of church membership along with loss of tithing (their income) if and when that happens. They don’t understand much else, frankly. I was blamed for abuse I’d suffered previously and no bishop was interested or cared; I was also berated for supposedly not having forgiven him, even though I had - On top of having the Absolute Whole Truth and the Absolute Authority to tell you what to do about everything, apparently they also have the power to read minds! Mormon leaders will do and say whatever they think best and believe their own BS.

I think they’d behave the same way with or without a church handbook of instructions, because those brainwashed and obedient enough to become bishops are going to already have all this crap (see above) imprinted in their minds by default. That was my experience.

The way this cult brainwashes people into thinking, makes them A B U S I V E. This religion makes good people say and do some very bad things.

I’m incredibly sorry to hear everything you’ve been through. I’m also glad to hear though that you disobeyed that advice and you now have a great career. You are now away from church leaders who are also abusive and you are now hopefully around open minded, normal people who are capable of acting like human beings. The thing that surprised me the most after I resigned - to the extent that it shocked me - is that outside this cult, people treated me like a normal human being without all this extremely weird crap and mind-bending prejudice.

Life can only get better.

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 10:43PM by LJ12.

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Posted by: Survivor of Mormonism ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 03:28AM

LJ12, you could be me, telling my story--only you are better at expressing yourself. I went through so many of the same experiences! The Mormons treated me the same way, as you describe, and gave me the same conflicting, impossible instructions on how to live my life. I appreciate your new insights. I remember being terribly exhausted, too, and agree that it was due to too many conflicting directives, such as "look attractive and flirt and make an effort to get a man, but also clean the church's toilets, pray, and stay pure enough for the temple.

With all the conflicting treatment, I became confused, and lost touch with who I really was, and what I really liked, and what I really wanted. I took two months off church, and got back in touch with my old life and my old California self, and realized that all of this Utah Mormon confusion would have led me on a path away from my children, away from Love and Truth, away from my home, away from my career, away from happiness, away from good health, free time, solitude, reading and learning, music, and just about everything that was truly important to ME.

I, too, am grateful I never married a third time. If I described some of the men that the ward and stake leaders and "friends" tried to push onto me, you would be one of only a few people who would believe me! You have to go through it yourself, in order to believe how crazy some Mormons can be. Many of my single LDS woman friends in our neighborhood got remarried, and had their new Mormon husband live off of the wife's salary, use up her retirement savings, mortgage her house (from her previous marriage), and eventually lose her house altogether. I'm the only one who remained single, and I'm the only one who still has my house. My family is still together, whereas my friends' new husbands were, controlling and authoritarian, and drove the children away. Men do this to women, too. My nice, but foolish, Mormon widower neighbor's second Mormon wife manipulated him into dis-owning and dis-inheriting ALL of his children and grandchildren. Some had left the cult, and some had not, but new wife managed to sabotage all of their relationships.

That was 12 years ago, and all of those second marriages have ended in divorce, except for the stupid neighbor guy.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 05:41AM

“My nice, but foolish, Mormon widower neighbor's second Mormon wife manipulated him into dis-owning and dis-inheriting ALL of his children and grandchildren. Some had left the cult, and some had not, but new wife managed to sabotage all of their relationships.”

The women seem to adopt the hyper masculine attitudes of the church. Not only do ordinary men get turned into misogynistic doofuses, but also the women. No wonder they found you so confusing.

TSCC is like a hospital where you go to get sicker. The doctors are all quacks.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 06:53AM

babyloncansuckit Wrote:
> The women seem to adopt the hyper masculine
> attitudes of the church. Not only do ordinary men
> get turned into misogynistic doofuses, but also
> the women. No wonder they found you so confusing.
> TSCC is like a hospital where you go to get
> sicker. The doctors are all quacks.

I agree. That’s brilliantly put. And my post isn’t meant to be a man-hating essay, in case anyone reads my repeated use of the word ‘mysogynistic’ that way. It’s literally that LDS inc. makes everyone sick. Funny enough, the bishop who gave me the worst of the advice, I otherwise really admired and liked at the time. He meant well. But it’s like a contagious, sick doctor trying to make someone with a cold better, and instead only giving them a permanent strain of the flu.
Women on the other hand were just plain horrible to me in the church. Sweet slices of cake delivered with icy smiles. Going to church became a scene from The Stepford Wives. I have only one remaining female friend from the church, and I’m happy to say she’s my best friend. Because she’s normal. I think she’s semi-active because she married a non-member; her first husband was just awful so I’m really glad she did this. She’s the loveliest person I know. The other remaining handful of mormon friends are all men, also lovely. However, that’s literally out of hundreds of people I knew. I’m happy now that I never fit in socially because it ended up saving me from complete integration and therefore complete indoctrination.
The first few years were great because YSA and missionary work acted as a positive buffer against all the other craziness. But as time went on and I approached my thirties, all those supposed female friends got married and turned into relief society robots. It was like witnessing scenes from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Because I still wasn’t married I was increasingly treated like an alien. The other few remaining single women acted like I was competition and forgot the nice times we’d had in the past; they reeked of jealousy and contempt. I’ve never since experienced anything so inexplicably weird, unpleasant, distasteful and unnatural.
I’m glad that even though I believed “the gospel” 100%, that ultimately I still kept my standards as to who I was going to marry. The old guy in our ward who seemed to think I should marry him was the creepiest person I’ve ever met and must have been 30 years older than me. He used to turn up at my door uninvited with bunches of bananas, as though his fruit donations were all that was needed to prove his worthiness as a serving priesthood holder (and by association his sufficiency as a husband). Hilarious amount of conceit. My longest-serving boyfriend was nearly 30 and still living with his parents; he was more immature than my 12 year old daughter and frequently made fun of her. And I was supposed to marry one of these douchebags. LOL. The “nicer” RMs chased me and were nice until it came to actual dating when it became clear their mothers expected them to marry virgins. This double standard was, likewise, vomit-inducing.
It took me to approaching 30 to realise this was not a gospel of love and something was seriously wrong with these people, men and women alike. I look at it now and I am surprised it took me that long. The irony is that I believed in it all much more than a lot of them did, otherwise I’d have been out the door after only a couple of years. I also had to contend with my fake “sister in law” constantly criticising my parenting skills and much more; her reasonably-normal husband actually had to admonish her to get her to behave decently. This was just one of many examples of a person who saw themselves as nice when they were actually really horrible. LDS inc. spun these people out like mass-produced canisters on a conveyor belt.

I should add that since then it has occurred to me that this was the crazy double-think environment my daughter’s (absent) father grew up in. My family and the mormon church seem to whitewash him, as well as others like him, simply with the term “bad”. I no longer see it or anything else in such simple terms. I’m not that surprised that someone with a creative and independent spirit would end up with issues. I’m not that surprised that any young person, with no alternative to validate their experience, might escape by misusing substances. The point is I don’t know. And that is different to judging someone. I know from experience that recovering from being in this environment can take years, and that was only possible from support and validation over the internet from others going through the same thing. Funny that being away from the “gospel” should make me more forgiving. I’ve actually heard mormons use the term “unforgivable” when speaking about exmormons who criticise the church; never mind they probably just came from a Sunday school lesson about Christ’s forgiveness for all. It is all so hypocritical, unfair and short-sighted.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 10:47AM by LJ12.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 07:35AM

Survivor of Mormonism Wrote:
> LJ12, you could be me, telling my story--only you
> are better at expressing yourself. I went through
> so many of the same experiences! The Mormons
> treated me the same way, as you describe, and gave
> me the same conflicting, impossible instructions
> on how to live my life. I appreciate your new
> insights. I remember being terribly exhausted,
> too, and agree that it was due to too many
> conflicting directives, such as "look attractive
> and flirt and make an effort to get a man, but
> also clean the church's toilets, pray, and stay
> pure enough for the temple.

Yes. THIS. You are also good at expressing yourself and I find comfort in relating. It was impossible. “Look attractive and flirt, but also....” ....also do a 100 other things that will make flirting and being attractive impossible. Do all this exhausting stuff, but don’t you dare look exhausted!
I was criticised subtly by my bishop once for not looking attractive enough. He said that because I was feeling down my self image was suffering. He stared at my coat the entire time. Well, gee, perhaps my conscience had kicked in and I was actually trying to focus on being a mother on top of everything else I was supposed to do. And maybe, just maybe, I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. And MAYBE I couldn’t afford an entire wardrobe of nice clothes after buying my daughter school shoes and a winter coat (the bare minimum that she deserved) and after giving 10% of my earnings to HIM.

> With all the conflicting treatment, I became
> confused, and lost touch with who I really was,
> and what I really liked, and what I really wanted.
> I took two months off church, and got back in
> touch with my old life and my old California self,
> and realized that all of this Utah Mormon
> confusion would have led me on a path away from my
> children, away from Love and Truth, away from my
> home, away from my career, away from happiness,
> away from good health, free time, solitude,
> reading and learning, music, and just about
> everything that was truly important to ME.

This is exactly what mormon confusion does. Double standards layered on top of conflicting advice makes you exhausted, confused, and too stressed to think about what’s actually important. Screw relief society and their cake making, expensive recipes, delivered over lessons on how to be frugal. Nothing they do actually makes any sense and conflicts with most of what they teach.
> I, too, am grateful I never married a third time.
> If I described some of the men that the ward and
> stake leaders and "friends" tried to push onto me,
> you would be one of only a few people who would
> believe me! You have to go through it yourself,
> in order to believe how crazy some Mormons can be.

Believe me I completely understand and know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m convinced a lot of the girls I saw get married were not happy either. One friend of mine married the bishop’s son, contributed endlessly in RS lessons about matters of “righteousness” whilst completely shunning me even when I sat next to her. She immediately stopped talking to me the moment she married him. Fast forward a few years and he left her for another girl, leaving her with three kids. So even the “best” men who were more than tolerable, and escaped the definition of untouchable weirdos that people tried to push on the “poor singles”, were not that great, to put it mildly.
On the rare occasion someone in RS would befriend me it was usually because they had been assigned as my visiting teacher or my companion for VT. Going to their home for Sunday lunch meant that either the husband point-blank ignored me (to the point that even when forced to acknowledge me and speak words to me, he would not look at me); OR the husband would be friendly based on a genuine respect, but then the wife would get all bent-out-of-shape. I’ve experienced that in a milder form outside the church, but there it was apparent to an embarrassing degree.

I don’t know of any abusive marriages, but then, speaking from my own experience, women who are going through that tend to cover it up, and in the mormon church that would likely be yet an additional layer of unnecessary shame. But I do know that everyone pitied me whilst simultaneously being completely uninterested in whatever my real backstory was. This was icing on the cake to several years of mind-numbing, mind-twisting, ridiculous, absurd, but nevertheless covert, never-ending abuse from the majority of ‘god’s’ “chosen people”.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 07:49AM

I was never happy as a mormon. I just thought it was the only way I could live or go to hell and be unhappy. Be a drunk lying in the gutter. I thought I had to marry a mormon and mormon guys didn't like me. I lucked out marrying my gay husband considering who I could have married. Now there was the one ex druggie who had gone back to church who would have made a good husband. I was dating him after I found out my "husband" is gay.

I thought I had to have the temple marriage. All my friends were married. They were very condescending, like you said. I was better looking than most of them (and the singles ward bishop often told me so--that I was the best looking in the ward and dressed the nicest). I also had a really good job. I am not college educated.

So I married someone gay. Not out of desperation to be married, out of desperation to "save him" or basically figure out what the hell this all was about without the voyeuristic mormon men in our lives.

My current boyfriend was my boyfriend when I was 20. We have been together almost 15 years now. I'm not divorced for many reasons, but we aren't a couple. My boyfriend just happened to be a nonmormon and he wanted to marry me back then. So did a few other nonmormons, but I couldn't do that now, could I? I won't get married again. Why would I want to do that? Look what it got me the first time.

My husband is the one who told my TBM daughter "your mother was never happy mormon." And he is right. I never was.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 08:01AM

Thank you for sharing this. I always love reading what you post; you went through hell and things are still difficult and it’s very validating for other people. At the same time you got back together with someone lovely pre the craziness.
I was also never happy as a mormon. But you’re not allowed to admit that, even to yourself. I think if someone semi-decent had come along (and whose parents had approved - amazing how intrusive mormonism is for everyone isn’t it?) I too would have married him just to escape the awfulness of everything else. And to put a stop to the constant intrusion into my life. I hated that the most: no privacy.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 10:53AM

For some reason I had a fear of men. My dad was quite authoritarian, but I don't think that is why. I would sit in sunday school and look behind me and think one of these days one of the men would be my teacher and I didn't think I could cope.

Then I went to work at the place that made the space shuttle solid rocket motors and I was introduced to at least 50 men I would be working for and with. I was going to quit. I was 20 and I still had a fear of men. By the end of the week, I was past it.

So having to go to bishopric interviews in my youth was hell and then the bishop would ask about necking, petting, and masturbation. I didn't have a clue what they meant. I could just tell that they were wrong to do by the way the bishop acted. My sister told me he used to glare at us waiting for us to change our answer. I made sure I lived so I never had to talk to a mormon leader about sex and what do you know!!! I found out a lot about sex from the mormon leaders as we had to get him turned on. I wouldn't go along with what they asked and the bishop kept telling me "this is how we had to do it." I finally realized just in the last year or 2 (I'm 62) that one of the reasons I finally married him is to survive as they were destroying me. I very seldom ever went to a leader again. I wouldn't go to tithing settlement, etc. I have PTSD from what they put me through--so I know what they were doing to you.

They also told me I had to do this and this and this and this to save him. It was up to me. I have never prayed in front of my "husband" as I just couldn't do it. I probably only prayed once in front of my kids. They did a number on my brain.

They have no right to be treating us the way they did. And then they wonder why we left. The thread that Elder Berry started about faith crisis. They haven't a clue. Or they claim they don't.

You've been through hell because of the leaders, too. There was a poster named Deenie, the dreaded single (or something like that) and they were trying to get her to marry a disabled guy as she needed a husband. I wish they had some of her stories archived. She passed away some years ago (admaisfree posted about the anniversary in the last week).

You also have the mormons trying to steal your daughter, just like they are trying to steal mine. Mormonism is definitely a cult as you and I have experienced their cultish behaviors, we've seen the ugly underbelly. The present a pretty picture, but it is far from that. My therapist is an exmormon and he said that he and I tested mormonism to its limits and it failed us. So did you.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 12:04PM

I’m not surprised you developed a fear of men. It’s unbelievable that anyone, but especially women and older children, should have to confess and be interviewed by some older man face-to-face and alone, and have to disclose their most intimate private experiences, such as masturbation. I lost count of the number of times I had to go through that, and I am likewise traumatised by it. It makes me so grateful that I managed to leave just before my daughter would have been submitted to this abuse. Goodness knows the level damage this does to children. It’s worth noticing how teenagers in the mormon church are called “young men” and “young women” from the age of 12/13. No: they are children. And no, many of them, especially girls, are not going to know what the hell masturbation is. Never mind that it is NOT wrong anyway, but that is called sin and keeps you out of the temple and from taking the sacrament. Shaming. It’s wrong. It’s all ABUSE.

I used to hold back in calling out abuse. I won’t do it anymore.

Ironic that the collective experiences of mormonism had a worse affect on me than any abuse I experienced whilst with my daughter’s father. Emotional abuse was worse for me. It’s hidden, covert and disguised as something else entirely. It’s insidious. At least with him I knew exactly what was going on. And he was loyal and would never have cheated on me, which is more than I can say of other men I’ve been with. Not that I’m excusing anything, but just to say that I’m so sick and tired of the black and white, all or nothing thinking that goes hand in hand with this “religion”.
It’s extremely abusive to make other people’s problems your responsibility. Especially as in your case your husband being gay was only a problem by their definition. Then to deny your experiences and simultaneously pry into your personal life. I was in that circular pattern of abuse they put me in too. They label you as sick then offer you a cure that only makes you sicker, so you then you turn to god, the religion, or to some other coping mechanism in the hope it will just put an end to it. Then you end up worse off than ever.
Yes, mormonism failed us. False promises and dishonesty about everything their beliefs are founded on, whilst causing so much other damage. In a way I feel lucky though, because without experiencing the dark side I might have remained trapped forever without having to open my eyes to the truth. It’s a great shame that other people don’t understand, and get offended, when I blow up over the thought of my daughter being dragged back into it after getting her away.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 12:30PM by LJ12.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 07:43PM

masturbation was until I was in the relationship with my gay boyfriend (husband). The bishop assigned me to keep track of my boyfriend's masturbation habits as if we could get him to quit masturbating, then he would be straight. LOL (not) I thought touching yourself anywhere private was masturbation. Just merely touching yourself, but I never did it and I never repented of it. I was too afraid. I was sure I would have to commit suicide if I had to talk about that with an older man--especially the bishop I had as a teen. He was disgusting. So pathetically mormon. He died last summer. I cheered.

Yes, they did make us sicker. It was a sick cycle of abuse. Definitely abuse. The temple was sick abuse, too. I didn't want my daughter or son to have interviews and she didn't until she went back at age 20.

I was suicidal over the gay issue and the bishop came up with me having PMS. PMS was new on the as a medical diagnosis and I was so suicidal I could barely stand it and I went to see the bishop, and he told me I had PMS.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 05:15AM

Wow, this is disgusting treatment. I’ve heard of young mormons who kill themselves because they had sex, or were “struggling” with “same sex attraction”.
It’s hard to imagine the depravity of a man who would feel entitled to diagnose you with PMS because you were suicidal - especially when you felt that way because of stuff he was telling you.
Going back to the OP, she was told being beaten by her husband was her fault, and they also did nothing. I wonder how such evil becomes possible, and how collective mormon teachings lead people to think this way.
I also remember feeling extremely depressed and hating myself if I “sinned”. And being a true believing mormon I confessed to my bishop each time. It was like a handful of times over years but the shame it created was such that it burns in my memory. The first bishop looked at me with a great deal of contempt. It was like, he thought I was a disgusting human being. He stopped talking to me in church pretty much forever, not that he was especially friendly to begin with. One time, he couldn’t be bothered to remain at church on a Sunday, so I had to go to his house after church. I didn’t have a car, so then I had to ask someone else in the ward to take me; it made the whole thing ten times more mortifying. I was in a room in his house alone with him, whilst his family were having a good time elsewhere in the house, along with the people who brought me there. It was pretty obvious I was confessing a “sin” because I hadn’t taken the sacrament that day and people always stared if you passed the trays on. I missed my brother’s “wedding/sealing” in the temple due to my honesty that time; this particular bishop said I couldn’t go because my temple recommend was now void.
Second bishop, the one who was really nice, was the one who told me I had succumbed to “sinning” because there were other things in my life that “Heavenly Father” was not fully pleased with; he said that because part of repentance was restitution that I had to put these other things right if I were to be forgiven. It was a huge stretch to say that because I had masturbated a couple of times and/or had “impure” thoughts that this was because all was not perfect on my life. Like, wow. I looked it up later and this is the definition of spiritual abuse.
And the list was endless: He said I hadn’t forgiven my daughter’s father (not true, and not that he knew a thing about that relationship); the “relationship” I had with his parents needed “fixing” - really this was just him projecting his own discomfort over the situation onto me; and then a list of stuff on how I needed to be more perfect, such as keeping a good self image, doing more in my callings, and all the other stuff I listed before. I believe he actually meant well and he did try other stuff to help me too. He tried to get my flat redecorated for me, but half the members assigned to help didn’t want to do it, and the ones who did were condescending. Overall I felt my privacy was being invaded. This was the price I paid for being honest about stuff that was only my business, because I was brainwashed into thinking that completely normal things were sinful.
It all felt wrong deep down, even at the time, and later I remember thinking that if mormonism can do that to someone good-hearted like him, then it really is bad.
Third bishop looked like he wanted to die the couple of times I confessed any “sin”. I stopped bothering. But that’s when I was on my way out and entertaining the idea that my minor transgressions were maybe not wrong at all.
At the same time it took years for me to rid myself of major guilt over the slightest thing. As a mormon, if I ever did anything wrong I sometimes wondered if it might be better if I were dead. I felt such shame I wanted the earth to just swallow me whole and for me to not come back. Probably this was the result of stuff I read in the scriptures. Alma 39:5 said that unchastity is “the most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost”. Well I read the Book of Mormon five times (and the other Mormon scriptures almost as much) so I really believed this stuff. Especially as it is “the most correct book on the face of the earth” LOL. I sometimes wish I’d kept that well marked BoM so I could see now how badly it affected me. But I threw it in the rubbish dump along with my temple garments.

Luckily now I have almost no issues with guilt, unless I’ve ACTUALLY done something wrong. Still have weird nightmares though.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 06:16AM

My ward called itself a “ward family”. And it was a family. A highly dysfunctional one.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 01:12PM

that I had to get them out of my life as they were destroying me. Having to talk to them about sexual things was just not something I could deal with. They were VOYEURS and your bishops were, too. It is SO SICK.

In my situation, I finally moved home to get away from my "boyfriend." I was dating someone else and I was so messed up. So when my "boyfriend" decided he wanted to get married (and it was very difficult for me to say yes--I went to every leader I knew and asked about it including Boyd Packer), then when I decided to marry him, I was at home and my cousin was the bishop. He had no clue what was going on, but I was a basket case and he was suspicious and wanted me to postpone my wedding as he thought I must not be worthy. Bastard. He later found out the truth and he tried to be nice to me and pay a bunch of attention to me at family parties and he still knows I hate him. My boyfriend (who had a lot of past sex) got his TR easily.

After I got married, I only got one more temple recommend as my husband wanted me to see the changes in 1990. They pulled me aside (not my husband) and had me do sealings to some weirdo who was looking at me like he had found his long lost love. It was so bizarre, that was it. I never went back. I hated the temple as it was and this just sealed the deal.

Now I'm an adulteress (I've posted it elsewhere) and I wear the badge with pride. I don't have any guilt over it AT ALL.

People like to believe that those of us who chose to leave the lds church were the lazy ones. From what I've seen in the years I've been here, the ones who leave are the most devout.

I've also said that my very good friend, who was a bishop, told me it was my fault that my ex cheated as I hadn't given him enough sex. He didn't ask how much sex we had. It just was my fault. I wondered about that for years until asking gays on this site what they thought.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2019 01:13PM by cl2.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 01:39PM

So your cousin who was the bishop was unkind to you in your hour of need, assuming you were unworthy - what was his reasoning for assuming that? I’m only asking because I’m trying to remember how mormon minds work and I feel I’m currently in the dark dealing with them. Perhaps it was a mistake to forget mormonism when I left. Then he was nice to your face when he realised you were doing a good deed by helping out a gay guy? But you saw through it and hate him for how fake he is? I also ask because this fake stuff is a new realisation for me. My SIL was really good to me when I visited 2 1/2 years ago; she drove me everywhere; cooked nice dinners; made me comfortable; bought me a designer dress for a NYE party (where I got quite drunk, at least there was that); and was really jokey and communicative. But when she comes here it’s a different story and I don’t know why because that’s the only variable. And of course, before and after that she’s said some negative stuff about me. I don’t really know the extent of it and how bad it really is or what’s truly behind it. I’m perplexed. Tbh we were never close. My brother was my best friend, then he married someone the polar opposite to me. I could deal with that, but now it’s too much.

Mormons are obsessed with sex! How are you an adultress? I don’t have any guilt either, but I’m cautious about being used now after some post-mormon relationships that didn’t last long. It’s a problem I wasn’t experienced in dealing with.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 09:12AM

Here is the publicly authorized version
Be interesting to correlate against pdf above

Helps to realize it is the behavioral equivalent of putting everyone in uniform so we are all safely exactly alike - it is at core dehumanizing, turning us into compliant non-complaining productive machines, so as to benefit the corporation. It has nothing to do with helping people.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 07:35PM

I remember the CHI being pretty watered down when I was in the bishopric. It didn't go into great detail. I don't remember anything about divorce. What I remember is it stated that we were only supposed to give each member one calling and not load em up. I thought that was amusing because I always had more than one calling in the church.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 03:53AM

I often had more than one calling. I had two for quite a while, and might have had three all at once at one point, while they tried to find someone else. I HATED conducting music in sacrament meeting. A lot of members would refuse to look at me; I felt they didn’t like me or felt awkward around me. It seems so innocuous, but it really affected me.
Funny enough, I think they released me from my last calling around the time I started questioning the church. This worked well for me because then I could leave church early or not go at all. But no one knew I was doubting, so I remember thinking that god knew my thoughts and was either punishing me, or, if mormonism was all a big fat lie, that he was helping me out. I didn’t know and it was really weird. Now I think, just a coincidence, or perhaps I was not doing my calling well. Probably. I was working full time again and was running out of patience teaching kids in primary when I’d been at work all week. Especially as it took at least a couple of hours to prepare if you were going to do it without embarrassing incompetence. I literally still have nightmares now where I arrive at church and haven’t prepared anything for a primary lesson. Pretty weird nightmare for my brain to choose, considering there were far worse things.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 01:17PM

I hated primary. Myself, I never prepared much for primary lessons. I read the lesson. Having been raised in the church, I knew all the stuff. I'd prepare something for them to do like coloring a picture. I knew they never listened and so I just told the stories from reading them once and then let them work on their art.

I refused to lead singing, but I did play the piano. And in the singles ward they wanted some of us to learn the organ, so they called 4 organists and I tried to learn the organ. What a joke!!!

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: August 15, 2019 02:42PM

Mormons are full of bad advice about dozens of subjects. Some of this is in the handbook and much of it isn't.

Any priesthood guy can get a tingle in his spine and assume the HG is telling him what is good for someone else. Then they might tell someone to get a divorce or browbeat their wife or spank their kiddies This might destroy lives even though none of these suggestions are likely in any handbook.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2019 02:50PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: August 16, 2019 08:46AM

['Church' Handbook In Ladder Days]

Church Handbook of Destruction(s)

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