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Posted by: LifeFromANewView ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 03:57PM

I stopped attending 7 or so years back after I got fed up with the judgement I received from church members and happened upon the CES letter, Gospel Topic Essays and My failed attempt to engage in mormon apologetics. I spent the years after just trying to process my grief(lost a close family member at the same time and almost lost another one), get used to life without mormonism, and to try to figure out what I actually believe. I have recently come to a decision on that last one and I am very happy, very content, and just really enjoying life now(even before I found a new faith it was just the last piece I wanted to put in place).
I won't go into any details about what the faith is because the last thing I wanna bring up here is another religion when people are mourning and recovering from their abusive one but the desire to join it does bring up an interesting problem for me. My mother is still a TBM and just thinks I "got offended" despite me trying to tell her multiple times it was deeper than that, I never told her all the historical and doctrinal issues I came across, it didn't really seem fair to her to tell her when I didn't have my own house in order.
Now however the joining of said religion will be an event so she will definitely find out, and frankly I don't feel like hiding it anymore because it really shouldn't be a big deal. So Did anyone happen to have a good experience telling family or learn from a bad experience that they are willing to share the benefit of or just any advice whatsoever? I'd rather not turn my mother into a gibbering sadness cushion but I've gotta do what I gotta do. (Just for background my Dad is completely unaffiliated non-denom christian who doesn't attend any organized church and they are together)

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 04:20PM

Every one I've seen go through the process finds that family eventually accepts your decision. They never like it, but, they get used to it.

For me it helped to not discuss it at all because there is no point. They never stop trying to convince you that you are wrong. Last conversation I had with my dad on the subject he said, "You are wrong and you know it," to which I responded,"I am not wrong and I don't know it." Well that came out wrong--since are talking about wrong--- but he got my tone and that ended it. Many years later he told me he was proud of me as a person. After a few years they start to see the real you.

However there will be a phase for quite a while where they try really hard to say just the right thing to rekindle your testimony. My mother waved my temple clothes in front of me and said, "What should I do with these?" in a very teary voice.

Your new life well lived will illustrate to your mother that there was much more to your decision than simply being offended or wanting to sin.

Good Luck

Since they are desperate to bring you to your senses and they insist on talking about it, they must agree to listen to all your reasons and what you found factually about the church. And tell them there will be a quiz at the end. :)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 04:26PM

I find that conversation curious.

Isn't a huge part of your disillusionment with the church related to your sexuality and how it's treated in Mormonism? Sure, there are all sorts of other issues but your very nature is incompatible with the church.

How could your father possibly say "You are wrong?" Wouldn't that require the complete negation of who you are? How naively cruel Mormons are. They want to focus on the superficial disagreements and pretend the fundamental ones are either illusory or unimportant.

Dear Mormons, You can't hate gay people and expect them to accept your religion. Ever.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 08:03PM

You can't love gay people and your religion. It is impossible in an absolutist theology.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 04:43PM

Welcome to posting! I have no words of wisdom (ha!) to give you, so sorry, but wanted to say hi and thanks for trusting us with your details and questions.

It seems that a majority of posters here leave Mormonism and do not join another religion. Likely some would say don't do it! But we each choose our own way out and beyond Mormonism. It seems that you've decided on your path forward. I wish you all the best in that.

I joined the LDS church because I met some Mormons and we became friends - I thought - and my initial impression was that it was just another church - not exactly, I came to find out - my bad for not "investigating" more thoroughly. I never saw my Mormon "friends" after I stopped going to meetings. I naively thought that friends are still friends but apparently not with them.

I sternly told myself not to rush into any other joining of anything after my ill-fated Mormon interlude. It was no fun and ended up wounding me for a considerable amount of time afterwards because of course you blame yourself and so do the Mormons! Friends from different Christian churches were predictably thrilled when I left and couldn't wait for me to join in with them.

It's been a long time away from Mormonism now and I am still not a joiner. But it's different for each individual.

Maybe your mom will be OK with it as it sounds like she accepts your dad's beliefs and they still manage to muddle along together. It may be different with you if you're active in another faith. I might consider saying something like "Hey, we're all Christians, right?" It's too bad, and predictable, though, that many religious folks think only their brand is acceptable and that's why they pressure everybody they know or meet to join in with their particular sect.

Mormons are taught, as you'll know, that people leave because they were offended, as you mention. That is an easy, and shallow, throwaway excuse the leaders can use to explain why so many leave and as a thought-stopper to try and prevent other members from querying why the person left. If you don't hear the reasons for such a drastic change as a formerly faithful member taking their leave entirely from the church you won't start thinking outside the box yourself or asking questions, so they think. And that does work for a lot of members who purposely don't listen to conflicting opinions or information.

No matter which church you are choosing to now join, may I suggest that you keep on thinking, researching, questioning and trusting yourself and your own fine brain to figure things out. I wouldn't (again) trust anyone, friend or whoever, who says jump into *this* pool, not knowing its depth, or degree of physical and mental safety, and don't think or ask questions and no matter what happens just keep diving.

Because at some point you need clean air to enter your bursting lungs, right?

Keep on testing the air for clarity. Meanwhile, all the best.

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Posted by: LifeFromANewView ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 10:38PM

One big change is my choice is entirely based on research and positive experiences(attending and ensuring I didn't see some of the worst red flags that mormonism gave me for years but I didn't see because I joined when I was 8 and never had a choice :D ) I will definitely won't let emotions dictate my choices anymore mormonism is really good at teaching that lesson when you realize it's full of shit.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 04:45PM

How can there ever be an explanation by an errant child that will satisfy a TBM parent regarding the child's parting of the ways with mormonism?

I can't imagine a TBM parent ever thinking/saying, "Well, now that you laid out what's behind your choices, it makes sense to me that leaving the church was the right thing to do and I wish you the best!  And darn, if only I had your courage!!"

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Posted by: Silence is Golden ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 04:47PM

I never bring up anything with my family that is related to the church.

Most of my family does not know I do not attend, that I took off my garments, and that I will never carry another Temple Recommend. A couple of them have figured it out, but they know that if they lecture me, I would inform them of who is in charge.

When I see them, I act like I always have. When I sit in a meeting to support them, I say nothing, and bring up nothing. They all think its me being me. I dress the same per the event, and if it has anything to do with the temple, I decline the invite.

I learned long ago, I had nothing to apologize for, and no reason to explain myself either.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 05:05PM

> I learned long ago, I had nothing to apologize
> for, and no reason to explain myself either.

I love that sentence for two reasons. First, "apologize" means both to say "sorry" and alternatively to explain. Christian and Mormon apologists seek not to express regret and repentance but rather to persuade others to accept their faiths. So you are elegantly distinguishing between different meanings of a single word.

Secondly, your sentence is correct. No one is obligated to explain a personal decision, especially when that would open the door to discussions that are inappropriate or pointless.

To ask for an explanation is itself to cross personal boundaries.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 05:07PM

"I learned long ago, I had nothing to apologize for, and no reason to explain myself either."

You are very true to your name, Silence is Golden. I like your M.O.

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Posted by: Think again ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 07:32PM

Silence is Golden Wrote:
> but they know that if they
> lecture me, I would inform them of who is in
> charge.

After reading your post, and noting all of your accommodations, do you really think that you are in charge? Think again!

But it is a nice bit of self-deception. I hope it continues to work for you.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 07:39PM

It doesn't sound like self-deception to me - just the opposite.

As for making "accommodations", surely that's up to each individual to choose for themselves.

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Posted by: Think again ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 10:25PM

Well, when you have concluded that Mormonism is false, yet continue to live your life accommodating Mormons and Mormonism while engaging in religious activities that you would not otherwise choose to do, while deceiving others as to your real feelings, you are not really living your own life, but a life someone else has chosen for you. It seems to me that under such circumstances you are NOT really in charge, but only kidding yourself.

If it were not so pathetic, it would be amusing.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 05:56PM

Mormons are as pleased as punch to have someone, or even better, a whole family (their Holy Grail) join their church. They don’t give the tiniest sliver of a rat’s a** how that person’s family might feel about them joining the Mormons.

On top of that, they have their 11th Article of Faith that directly says they respect other people’s decisions about religion.

Yet far too often if a former Mormon joins another church, a Costco-sized guilt trip gets unloaded on them.

This is bull****. You are not making your mother miserable. She is making herself miserable, or her church is telling her to be miserable. Her suffering may be real, but don’t let her lay the guilt on you. Mormons feel less than zero guilt about what they do to other families when they get someone to join Mormonism.

The guilt trip is their ultimate hammer to keep someone from leaving the cult. Don’t buy into it. You have the right to live your own life.

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Posted by: Think again ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 07:35PM


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Posted by: Notmonotloggedin ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 08:12PM

Many years ago my Catholic mom, concerned about my mental state, made a phone call to the TBM parents of my future DH. Future MIL was exhibiting the typical smarminess they use with potential converts. Catholic mom says, “Notmo is fine the way she is, we just want to know she won’t be pressured and will be left alone.” TBM future MILs response, “Well she’d sure make a good Mormon.” A few years later TBM DH leaves Mormonism and becomes a Christian and TBM in-laws were vicious.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 05:58PM

Although I didn't join another faith, I might have a family example related to your situation.

Two generations ago, my grandfather in Sweden left his church and religion. His mother was not pleased. How could he leave his religious traditions and beliefs that his family valued? How could he trade that for another religion? She praised him.

When I left Mormonism, my mother was not pleased. How could I leave the religious traditions and beliefs my family valued? I told her I did it just like Grandpa did. Why was his change such a wonderful gift to the family and mine such a terrible blow to the family?

My mother didn't have anything to say.
Just maybe there is someone in your family who left a religion to join Mormonism. Maybe she will see people should be free to find their own path.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 06:23PM

I'm going to give you some unasked-for advice.

First, I sincerely hope that you are not subjecting yourself to another high-control group such as the JWs or Scientology. You are coming out of a high-control faith, and you deserve a break from that way of thinking.

Next, realize that others may practice their faith in a very different manner than Mormons do, and this may be a jarring experience. For instance, I was raised in the Catholic church. When I tell exmos that it is perfectly ordinary to be a "Cafeteria Catholic," picking, choosing, and adapting the faith and the beliefs to suit your own needs, they have often been baffled. I have also mentioned that while Catholics respect the Pope's position, they do not always feel compelled to follow his advice and directives. Not every faith is "all in" as the Mormons are.

Last, it can be very difficult for exmos to shake the black-and-white thinking that is the bedrock of Mormonism, whether they join a new church or faith, or not.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 07:22PM

summer Wrote:
> I sincerely hope that you are not
> subjecting yourself to another high-control group
> such as the JWs or Scientology. You are coming out
> of a high-control faith, and you deserve a break
> from that way of thinking.

Having dipped my toe (literally) in both the Mormon font and the JW pool, I yell a hearty AMEN to your timely caution, summer.

I had this fleeting thought too when the OP said that joining this religion "will be an event". It doesn't sound like s/he is going to be able to just slip into the back pew and stay apart and anon, at least not at this point where a ceremony is booked (it sounds like).

As a point of reference, I found the JWs to be more controlling/oppressive than Mormons, by far, due to their isolationist ideas and strict expectations, up to and including not just letting people leave quietly but publicly excommunicating them for doing so, ensuring that other JWs will not even speak to them in passing in the street (not allowed to engage with such despicable sinners as those who used to know "The Truth" and chose to leave it - most serious sin possible in their book).

However, I had more fun with the JWs than with the Mormons so what does that say, about both groups, - and me - I'm not even sure.

With the JWs, they don't WANT you to join until you've read all their literature and are fully aware of doctrine and practice.

With the Mormons, you're OK to jump into the font asap and, according to their fervent promise, you'll learn what you need to know after that. Yeah, well, that didn't happen.

I would highly recommend taking time to decompress from one demanding faith before joining any other, for sure. But it sounds as if the OP left Mormonism a good while ago as "years" are mentioned.

Again, I would caution that, as strange as it sounds to BICs, the Mormon church felt familiar to me because they have a lot in common with JWs, in my experience, plus it was people inviting me to attend who I thought were good (and real) friends, not just strangers who wanted to convert me without even knowing me.

It seems impossible to outsiders but I enjoyed the JWs, at first, as I had friends in it as well. However, as with the Mormons, the moment you start asking questions they're happy to see the back of you. That has been my experience twice.

If a person wants to find another church, I'd highly recommend trying out as many as possible and choosing one that is truly "mainstream" where they're free to choose the time and promises they want to give to it and the extent to which they want to get involved.

I am definitely wary now of bait and switch-type attempts, especially when it comes to religion. I visualize it now as akin to buying a house - would you sign the contract and fork over a fortune without checking out the basement and the back yard? Thoroughly? And maybe do a repeat visit?

I seriously hope I would never jump first and ask questions later. Twice is already twice too many for one lifetime.

> Not every
> faith is "all in" as the Mormons are.

Absolutely. A live and let live attitude can be a most enjoyable experience.

> Last, it can be very difficult for exmos to shake
> the black-and-white thinking that is the bedrock
> of Mormonism, whether they join a new church or
> faith, or not.

Yeah. I want all the colours of the rainbow now. The only black and white I still admire is that of my cherished ancient family photographs.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2023 07:25PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: LifeFromANewView ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 10:47PM

The positive thing about the faith I am joining is they require a good deal of study and heavy research to even join, which I find refreshing coming out of mormonism where we were always taught to get people to join no matter what.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 08:04PM

your father's choices. When did she give up on "bringing him into the light." I'm being sarcastic. I had someone say that to me once. A friend I never liked and hadn't seen in years and she thought it was her job to "save" me.

My parents weren't extreme mormons. Especially my dad. They watched my life fall apart over my gay/straight marriage. My dad was furious, but he still hoped I'd go back. Him of all people. He didn't attend a lot. He didn't want any high positions. He preferred locking the church at night as his job. BUT he was more resistant to my leaving. I told him some of the things that had happened to me that they didn't know about. I didn't tell them everything they did to me. He would talk to me a lot about my feelings and tell me his issues with the church like the temple and Mark Hoffmann (spelling?).

My mother. Her first response to me was, "You can be spiritual and not be any religion." But then my dad told my daughter (only grandchild who goes to church--she went back at age 20 after being anti). He told her to always go to church. Coming from my dad, she'll think she NEEDS to keep going. My dad. So not your typical mormon saying that, but it was the day after my mom died that he told her that.

But I'm been lucky. My family accepts. Most are out. My one brother who went inactive as a teen for years would say "you really don't believe????" None of them could believe that I WOULD LEAVE. I was the most devout mormon of them all. They come to me to ask questions about it.

I'd say go live your life. My exmo therapist said he and his mother used to debate the issue. He is extremely intelligent and her oldest child and on son. Her husband died at 42. He told her I'll tell you what I know if you want to hear it. She turned him down.

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Posted by: LifeFromANewView ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 10:52PM

Oh my parents met when my Mom didn't care about the church that much, this was a post my birth thing in fact my brother was conceived out of wedlock(and born in it) to my tbm grandmother's frustration.

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Posted by: LifeFromANewView ( )
Date: February 03, 2023 10:54PM

My Dad made it VERY clear early on that he wasn't going to convert and he didn't care, he threw the bishop off his property before I was born and told him to never set foot there again unless he got permission. He also told numerous sets of missionaries to sod off. My dad is a very outspoken man and frankly no one tell him anything he doesn't want to hear, very pro freedom of choice on almost all things, to the point actually going to church was never something I was made to do past like age 10.

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Posted by: Dallin Ox ( )
Date: February 04, 2023 03:08AM

Mormons: I'm offended and it's your fault!

Also mormons: If I offended you, it's your fault for choosing to be offended!

"Being offended" is a perfectly valid reason for chucking the church. Far too many mormons are offensive – smug, self-righteous, arrogantly ignorant, judgmental, emotionally and socially stunted hypocrites and pharisees. (Did I leave anything out?) It's not wrong to cut people like that out of your life.

I have two ready answers in case any mormon asks me why I left:

1. "The church doesn't meet my standards for integrity and honesty."

2. "I outgrew it. It's a church for children."

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 04, 2023 03:39AM

> 1. "The church doesn't meet my standards for
> integrity and honesty."

Hah! That's almost word-for-word my answer too. I often add that the church makes the world a worse place for that fraction of a percent of humans who ever encounter it.

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