Date: June 19, 2023 04:59AM
I kind of liked being Mormon sometimes. But other times, it really got on my nerves.
The final straw was moving to Orem and applying to BYU. It was my second time around to go to college, and after becoming active in church again, I saw some successful guys in my community who were LDS. They were genuinely nice people. I wanted to be one of them.
I already had 2 foreign languages under my belt and some useful skills, but no college degree.So I moved to Orem and entered Utah Valley University (UVU), got excellent grades, and applied to BYU.
What happened next was just torture. I attended a ward near UVU and found the members very difficult to be around. Since I speak a few foreign languages, everybody assumed I learned them on a mission. I never went on a mission. When I announced that, I was shunned and treated like a second-class citizen. If you didn't fit the cookie cutter Mormon life, they had no idea how to talk to you.
I attended a foreign language speech contest. Every speech sounded like a general conference talk run through Google translate. They poor kids even copied the mannerisms of those old guys speaking at General Conference. All I saw were carbon copies. It felt very surreal. No individuality, no original thought. All NPCs.
But the way people responded to my wife (now my ex) was the worst. She worked at a call center in Orem, and when one of her co-workers found out that she was not LDS and we were not married in the temple, he turned around in his chair and never spoke to her again. She is a good person, and never deserved to be treated like that.
There were several incidents that turned me off to Mormonism. I got a hot chocolate at Starbucks one morning. A co-worker confronted me. I opened it at showed him that it was hot chocolate. "Well, we need to avoid the appearance of evil." I just laughed at him.
There was a guy who worked in my office who constantly asked me when we were going to start having children. We had struggled with fertility issues for years and it was none of his business. I reminded him of this several times. Finally, I had enough and told him we couldn't have children. "Oh, is it her or you?" I'd had enough. I went to HR. It never came up again. But wouldn't you know, the guy who constantly trampled on my boundaries later went to prison for s3x crimes against children? No wonder he was so interested in my private life.
Many of the young guys in my ward had anger issues. One Sunday on the way to church, a guy in a Camry almost ran us off the road. He went into oncoming traffic, pulled around us, and pulled into the church parking lot, cutting me off. We got out of our car and walked into the chapel where he greeted me, "Good morning, brother T-Bone!" The strange behavior just kept occurring. Another young male member of our ward was in the passenger side of my car when I accidentally started to turn onto a one-way street. The driver honked and blocked my way. He jumped out and ran toward the other car. The driver was a women with children in the car. He yelled at her until she almost started crying. I got out. That scared her even more. I went over to pull him away. She cried, "I was just trying to tell you you're going the wrong way." I apologized and we got back into my car. It never got mentioned again.
The way old mission companions were the beneficiaries of favoritism in the workplace was sickening. I worked in a call center where the boss knew nothing about the job, but became shift supervisor because he was in the same mission as the boss. This supervisor hired one of his old companions and immediately promoted him to floor supervisor. This clown was in charge of telling us when we could take a bathroom break. Too many calls in the queue and you couldn't go to the bathroom. But the floor supervisor, who also knew nothing about the job, was free to come and go as he pleased. Rules for thee, but not for me.
Finally, after being treated like an outcast for 2 years in Orem, I was thankfully denied entry into BYU. The reason? Lack of volunteer service. Dog whistle alert. That means I did not get in because I did not go on a mission. I was upset at first, but later thankful. I wouldn't want that on my CV, especially when working in an international setting.
I spoke to the bishop. I was sick of being treated like a second-class citizen and watching all the hypocrisy. He tried to dismiss the odd treatment (like all apologists) as isolated incidents. When it's your whole ward, it's not an isolated incident.
There was ONE guy I made friends with who was super-cool. He told me that none of that stuff mattered and it didn't make a difference. All that matters now is that you are a faithful member now. If all Mormons were like that, I'd still be Mormon.
TLDR: If Mormons knew how to treat people who did not grow up LDS, go on a mission, and get married in their temple, I'd still be Mormon.