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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 10:21PM

I insulted him at length, because I’d had it with his fake humility and his Mormon smugness. At one point I told him that if Joseph Smith was here, he would ask my bro for his wife and my bro would probably acquiesce, although I said it much more colorfully than that.

This is all grew out of an argument that happened via text in the family WhatsApp chat. I posted something about Uchtdorf’s quote that exmormons have entirely forgotten why they ever believed at all. It upset me, because it tells my story for me and it isn’t accurate. I remember exquisitely. I have little anxiety attacks daily that are triggered by some memory that is church-related. I can’t forget my time in the church, no matter how much I’d like to, and I’m intellectually honest with myself to a fault, which is why I couldn’t pretend to be a believer anymore. Anywho, what I said was swept aside by text from my father who in his passive-agressive patriarchal manner told me that Uchtdorf was right and the truth was right in front of me. I need to trust my feelings. He mentioned the many times I’d born my testimony, so he knew I had had spiritual experiences and everything I keep trying to communicate to the family is bull and I’m just trying to justify my new lifestyle. I retaliated by reminding him of the “good feeling” he had that one time right before he walked into a scam that cost him over ten thousand dollars. There was silence in all the land after that (nobody texted back for a while).

Anyway, my bro was the only reaction. He told me I didn’t seem happy, I was full of hate, and I need to go sort myself out. He then emojiied the “peace out” sign and left the conversation so i couldn’t respond. Well, I texted him up one on one and tore into him. I knew I was burning bridges, but I just didn’t care anymore, not if everything on the other side of that bridge comes attached to the f’ing church with a side of eternal condescension.

Like clockwork, though, because my family is emotionally codependent AF, we all kissed and made up, sort of. If there’s a new family chat already, I’m not in it. I did apologize to my bro and talk to him about my experience in the church leading up to the point when I figured out it was all bologna, and as long as I left out the actual damning parts, the “anti”, he listened. So I’ll give him credit for that.

This bull could all be over in twenty minutes if they’d just let me expose them to the raw data that proves the church false and explain it for them. They don’t let me speak though, although they used to trust my ability to discern truth and explain it for
them so they didn’t have to do the hard work themselves. These days they take potshots at the memory of the tbm that I was. Idk if it makes them feel better to think that I was always an idiot. If so, what does that say about their tendency to listen so earnestly to whomever makes them feel better about their core beliefs?

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 02:53AM

I feel for you, but your family members have as much right to believe in the LDS teachings as you have not to believe them.
You shouldn't have to listen to their dogma, but they shouldn't have to listen to any raw data or anything else that proves the church false, either.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 12:19PM

Hi, Cold-Dodger! It's always good to hear from you.

I agree with scmd1. You are not going to change your family's opinion about the church, and they are not going to change yours. Trying to argue with them is an exercise in futility.

What I would do is peace out of the conversation whenever they are engaging in religious talk. Don't even bother responding, even if they're talking directly to you. It just triggers you. Walk away and take as much of a break from them as you need to -- a week or two at a minimum.

Essentially what you are doing when walk away from religious conversations is training them. You are training them that if they want to have a relationship with you, they have to knock off the religious talk. Maybe every once in a while update them about your life. Share something happy, like a day trip that you took, a movie or TV show that you enjoyed, etc. (If you tell them about your problems, you know exactly how they will respond.) If they respond with something like, "Your life would be so much better with the church!," put them in time out again. Don't respond. Take another extended break.

Do this for the next year and see how it goes.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 07:30AM

text, how do you stay away from all their talk about the church and oh how holy and special it is? But then if you don't stay on the text, then you aren't part of the family it seems.

I think these group texts are ridiculous since I have some experience with one--which I'm not a part of. My older sister and I don't get along for many reasons. She would have a major temper tantrum if her adult children still talked to me, but I don't ask my kids not to talk to her kids and, in order for them to do that, they have to play nice with my sister. So my daughter is on a group text with my sister and her kids. My son is not--but he could be. I am very close to her kids as I helped with them a lot when they were growing up. Her daughter spent most of her non-school time with me at my house. And your post just reminded me of that stupid group text they have.
We're all special, you're not.

Luckily, my family never talked much like yours does in terms of my parents and siblings weren't always talking about this talk or that, etc. Most of my family is now out of the church (including all my sister's kids I mentioned above). That stuff makes me want to vomit. It even did when I was a devout mormon. I think there is a time and place for that stuff. To me, when they text about those things, who do you think their main target is????

I'm sick of mormons posting things on fb or neighbors inviting me to church things like I'm stupid or something. I don't talk to them about anti stuff. No point. I do mention to a friend of mine that I was where she is and she has no clue where I am.

P.S. As for spiritual experiences. Now when I have "spiritual experiences," I don't base them on mormon teachings. I realize that it is my intuition. I have more of these feelings now than I did as a mormon because I listen to all those feelings instead of just those based on mormonism. I'm the one who told my daughter who she would marry 6 years ago. She fought it, but eventually agreed to marry him and is so happy. I told him what a patient man he is!!! They just got married 6 months ago--it took almost 6 years for her to decide to marry him.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 07:34AM by cl2.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 09:54AM

"If so, what does that say about their tendency to listen so earnestly to whomever makes them feel better about their core beliefs?" (Cold-Dodger)

It's a belief.
It comes from the part of the brain that is not rational - and so is impervious to evidence and to logic.

It is a shared delusion:

an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.
"the delusion of being watched"
synonyms: misapprehension, mistaken impression, false impression, mistaken belief, misconception, misunderstanding, mistake, error, misinterpretation, misconstruction, misbelief; fallacy, illusion, figment of the imagination, fantasy, chimera; fool's paradise, self-deception
"the male delusion that attractive young women are harboring romantic thoughts about them"

So it is pretty shaky, because maintaining a delusion requires continually denying the evidence right in front of the eyes.
So of course these are going to listen with eagerness to any who reinforce an already shaky delusion, and shun the one who reveals the real, because the seer and truth-teller is dangerous indeed.

So your brother just labeled and left. It is a cop-out.
Next time that happens (and it will) it may be useful to know that name calling happens at the point one has expended all ammunition: it is a white flag of surrender. And deep down, the name-caller always knows.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 10:00AM

Simply a method of group-reinforcing a continuously shaky delusion.
Maybe if we really really really believe together the Titanic is not sinking, it won't.

Of course you will not be included. No one carrying a lantern is.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 10:43AM

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 12:58PM

I had the almost exact same experience with my brother about five years ago. I’d relented and not said a word since resigning my membership. After all, I’d sent my resignation letter to my family explaining everything, and there was nothing more to say as far as I was concerned. For five long years I said nothing and neither did they thankfully. But then my family decided to get my daughter going back to church, and when I found out, I went absolutely BALLISTIC. It was all done via email too, as we are in different countries.
Apparently what I said was so bad, my SIL still says to my daughter that it was “unforgivable”. Part of me feels amused by that, not sure why.
Anyway, a lot was said but what I learned was that it is all pointless from the point of view of hoping to get through to them. Accept that and give up on it now. They turned everything I said back on me, and that is just crazy making. Especially when you’re outnumbered (even my mother who has never been mormon was involved and on their side) your statements will be labelled as hateful/emotional/bitter....or you name it. Best thing you can do is completely disengage, live your own life and in doing so also treat mormonism as insignificant to you (even if it isn’t).

The only benefit of having completely lost it - not that I’d planned to do that - was that they have no doubts as to where I stand. They probably do know that should they succeed in getting my daughter back into the church (which I doubt but it still worries me sometimes) I really won’t ever talk to them again. I wasn’t saying that out of anger, even though I was livid.
The same thing happened in our family too. We made up in a typical mormon, co-dependent, passive-aggressive way.
My SIL hasn’t forgiven me though. They are visiting nearby right now, and my brother was trying to arrange to take me out to dinner to catch up properly. Well, two days later I’ve heard nothing; now my daughter informs me she has him travelling miles away to visit British landmarks and castles. My entire family are going on vacation on Saturday and I’m not invited. It will be interesting to see if I get that phone call from my brother as he promised....
But we only get on with each other now by demonstrating mutual respect for our differences (even though we may in truth not feel that way). I’ve said my piece, so if they go against me again they only have themselves to blame for the consequences.
I do remember that I once shut my brother down from a lecture he was giving me right after I resigned, because I said to him: “well I’m happier, so how could you have a problem with that?” I’ve never heard him silent before. Tbh if someone persists after that - and if you have asked them to not to talk to you about it, which I recommend - they are being manipulative and not respecting your boundaries. And then I really would reduce contact with them in that case and it would be completely justified.

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Posted by: eternal1 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 01:07PM

"I said to him: “well I’m happier,"

I'm shocked he didn't reply with the old "wickedness was never happiness" line.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 01:10PM

Me too. Perhaps my brother is unique and maybe as a convert he remembers what it’s like to think normally. And he respects me because I converted him, which is a weird double position. Tbh anyone who said that to me would not remain in my life, and he probably knows that. Each dark cloud...

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 01:07PM

Oh and we also have a family chat on WhatsApp. It’s mostly used by my SIL to send photos of the kids, as well as anything else that is supposed to show how wonderful their life is. I haven’t taken part in it for the last 18 months since I discovered my brother and SIL (well I think now it is mostly my SIL) have been talking negatively about me to my daughter.

Silence speaks a thousand words.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 01:51PM

"I'm not interested in discussing religion with you for the foreseeable future. It only causes distress for those involved."

If they try to argue about the above, simply repeat the message as many times as it takes, or walk away.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 02:06PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: iris ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 02:10PM

Firstly, the Mormon leaders speak on both sides of issues so that one may find support whichever side of the aisle you are on.
But Uchtdorf acknowledged there are reasons (other than lazy, sinning, etc.) for members leaving. It's from his General Conference address in October 2013 Come, Join With Us. But then he ends that address with his doubt your doubts spiel. There is never a story in church history that allows anyone to leave the church with good reason. It is how leadership tries to maintain control over how believing members view those that leave. And in maintaining that control, they (the leadership) benefit in many ways, including financially.

Secondly, sharing facts may help a member see things differently but only when they are ready to look at the facts. LDS leadership has been active in hiding facts for decades (see 1832 first vision account), and have only admitted lately in the LDS essays that many issues used to be labeled as anti-mormon, are actually backed up with historical data. And as you know, the essays are not referenced in General Conference, they are three clicks deep on the LDS website, and they have an apologetic slant to them--even in the footnotes. So one has to accept that if they have family that are believing Mormons, and those Mormons look to the leadership as receiving revelation directly from God, then one would expect that a family member that left the church would carry no weight when discussing church doctrine, policy, etc. And I get how frustrating this is as I am the only one in my family who has left--referring to my parents and siblings. Where I was once a shining example of a faithful, temple going Mormon woman who went on a mission in the mid 70s, raised faithful children, two of which went on missions--when we all resigned, I lost all credibility with my siblings (parents have died). The only way I have maintained relationships with them is to take religion off the table.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 02:11PM by iris.

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