Date: January 21, 2011 02:53PM
Leaving Mormonism, however one approaches the exit process, is never about being weak. It is about being strong enough to feel the fear and do it anyway even if the consequences of our decisions are not known at the time.
Leaving Mormonism is about keeping your self confidence, self esteem, self respect cranked up on high and not allowing anyone to destroy any part of you.
Leaving Mormonism is about giving yourself permission to be authentic and create your own World View. It's about taking off the Mormon filter and seeing the world with new eyes. It's about deleting and replacing dozens of automatic thinking scripts imprinted by years of teachings.
Leaving Mormonism is not just about having some hurt feelings or being offended, or having a bad experience. Life for everyone is filled with those kinds of experiences. If it were true that people left because of those notions, there would be no Mormons left in the church! :-)
Leaving Mormonism is about taking your power back and owning it and not being intimidated by the leaders or others who put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you do.
It is about choosing not to live by the doctrines/policies of a powerful, authoritative church that has something to say about every facet of one's life from what one eats, how one dresses-right down to the regulation 24/7 underwear, how one spends money, and their time. Mormonism is a life-style.
It's about being willing to step outside the cultural boundaries and be OK doing it.
It is about setting boundaries and not allowing any Mormon leader to intrude into their personal lives, especially asking if one masturbates and other questions of a sexual nature. This is particularly inappropriate when a bishop interviews 12 to 19 year olds (males and females) in the privacy of his office with no parent present. (My view is that will have to stop and the sooner the better!)
Leaving Mormonism is about recognizing that covenants and promises made on the metaphysical, supernatural claims at baptism, in the temple, marriage ceremony, etc. are not binding, never were and never will be.
A careful study of D&C 132 with a comparison of the temple marriage ceremony dialog and the endowments in the temple show that the policy of polygamy (New and Everlasting Covenant) has not stopped, only changed in how it is currently lived to comply with the laws that were in existence all along. Read carefully, recall what you said and did, the marriage ceremony is tucked into your covenant to give all you have (time, talents, money) to the church. Some wonder if they ever married each other, of if they married the church. Hard to tell!
Leaving Mormonism takes a huge dose of courage, tenacity and perseverance to withstand the onslaught of any Mormon who tries to discourage you from making your own choices.
There are some Mormons who have preconceived ideas that those who leave must have sinned, not repented fully or enough or in the proper way, not tried hard enough, didn't read the scriptures enough or with sincere intent, did not pray enough or in the right way, did not have the right attitude, lost "the spirit," were adulterers, and apostates, labeling their prior friends and relatives as something less than acceptable. They operate out of a manufactured fear that they have lost their imaginary "Celestial Family." which has been well imprinted by generations of cultural moreys.
Those who leave are often treated as an enemy -- the spawn of Satan, and as such are often shunned and ignored after being denigrated in the most despicable manner. Some, more so than others.This is especially grievous behavior when it occurs in families and is used as a wedge.
Some forget their own 11th Article of Faith in their zeal to denigrate and vilify anyone who leaves.
11th Article of Faith "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own heart, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
It is a breath of fresh air to meet a Mormon who is respectful and will honestly honor the choice to leave Mormonism and live their own 11th Article of Faith. Fortunately, I'm married to one!
It might be a little bit of a side-ways acceptance as they maintain the Mormon World View, but at least, some do try.
Leaving Mormonism is knowing and never forgetting that you are OK, you were OK all along. You did nothing "wrong." There is no need for guilt, or shame either.
Leaving Mormonism is also about being able to have a good healthy, healing laugh at ourselves and the goofy, funny things we used to do. Takes awhile to get to that point, for some. I'm fortunate. I get to the humor quickly and I find it very healing.
Leaving Mormonism is about knowing that it is OK to be an authentic adult and choose your own underwear! How funny is that anyhow?
Leaving Mormonism is also about getting a 10% + raise and Sunday's off and ditching the God of Regulation Skivvies!
Hello world! Here I come!
That's my two cents. Your mileage may vary! :-)