Date: March 12, 2017 07:52PM
I became a very devout and golden convert over 2 years ago. I had been suffering from a neuro-immune disorder characterized by neuropathic pain and migraines from back to back car accidents. I was well versed in the Bible and loved my community church but was looking for more. I wanted to be baptized and wanted more healing.
Along came the missionaries. I felt the Spirit. I did everything by the book. I got healthier. I went back to grad school. It was wonderful. I read the BOM. I didn't have a testimony of it but I trudged ahead because I am faithful and have a relationship with Christ. I found so much fellowshipping with the members and their message of hope and peace and charity and hardship that I continued. I got my temple endowments. My first time in the temple, I thought, "this is it?" It did not feel holy to me, I did not feel different. I thought I would receive blessings. I did not. I thought wearing the garments would help me. I waited patiently. I continued waiting.
I went to a singles event at the temple and met a seemingly nice young man with four kids who had been divorced 5 years. We started seeing one another and most of our conversations revolved around the Church, our spirituality. He seemed quite sensitive and we spoke more and more. I enjoyed our conversations immensely. I began visiting him at his house where I attended classes. He convinced me to move my things out of storage into his house. Family heirlooms, art, pottery, valuable things.
His kids took a real liking to me. They started to confide in me about how afraid they were of him. How they didn't want to show him that they had a hole in their shirt. That they didn't want to make him mad because he would go in the basement and turn the hot water off and make them all take cold showers. That he would pinch them on the ears where it wouldn't leave a mark. They told me stories about how he threw the eldest daughter down the stairs by her ponytail. I thought maybe this was the ex wife putting ideas in their head. He was so nice to me, waiting on me hand and foot that it didn't add up to who he was.
In front of me he was very controlling to the children, and they seemed afraid of him. They even had to ask permission to use the bathroom. They would not meet his gaze and avoided being in the same room with him. They would never challenge him and did all the chores, all the laundry and always hung their heads, rarely laughed and the feeling was generally tense in the house except when I was speaking. The children clung to me.
One day he locked my small dog in the garage for the entire day while I was in classes. I asked the kids about it and they said she was locked in the garage. He said the dog was not locked in the garage. I questioned him in front of the kids and he exploded. He told me to leave the house in 15 minutes. It was shocking that he could go from MR. Charming Mormon to kick me out for calling him out in a heartbeat.
I left with a few of my things.
The next day I went to the police because I felt so threatened, so scared and nothing in my body felt safe. I knew what the kids were telling me about him had been true and all the flattery was false.
I went to the police because I was afraid about getting my belongings back. I knew he was going to do something to them. The police immediately began asking me questions about what child said what to me when and ended up taking them out of school to interview them all. THe police formed a case. The kids' counselor and mother had been concerned for years that they were suffering abuse at the hands of their father. A week later he was arrested for criminal child abuse.
I contacted this man at 4pm on a friday to let him know I planned on getting my belongings from his house, through the police, a civil assist they call it, the following day. He texted me about midnight that Friday and let me know he dropped all my things off in my alleyway. We live in towns 60 miles apart in Colorado, and he owns guns. No way was I going outside in the middle of the night to be confronted when I was told by police that he suspected I was the one that initiated the police investigation to have his children removed from his custody, have a DHS investigation and a criminal suit brought against him. Early the following morning I went outside and none of my belongings were there.
The police in my town and his were close to pressing criminal theft charges and harrassing a witness charges, but because I acknowledged receipt of the belongings over text, it doesn't count as theft, they told me.
In any case, the children are out of the situation, I am out of the situation, and the ex wife is very grateful to have a 3rd party witness to corroborate what has been going on for years.
I went through the temple with this despicable person. I read scripture with this cruel and controlling person who preyed on his own innocent children. I routinely saw him make them cry or purposefully hurt their feelings.
He upheld the Mormon principles to a T. He did everything you are "supposed" to do, if you are a worthy priesthood holder to the outside eye. Said practices were what drew me to the relationship. when it all came crashing down, I realized maybe more than this one person was false. Maybe what I held sacred was not so powerful and holy if it was one of the darkest and most evil cruel and systematic abusive treatment of children I had ever been exposed to. Hiding behind a veil of innocuous Mormon fluff was a controlling and conspiring man to hurt his innocent weak offspring. This realization made me not want to go to the temple again, not feel comfortable with the rituals, to begin questioning them. If such an evil man could call this place home and feel comfortable there and thrive in this environment.... what was wrong with it??? Was it really holy and sacred? Was it really blessed? I dont think so. My gut said no. My gut and heart said it was mostly a circus act. After all, my garments had not protected me from this heinous experience. They had not connected me with an equally faithful and righteous man. No, I was drawn to a monster who stole my belongings and left me doubting my religion.
I cannot feel truthful in my relationship to my Savior or my Lord or the Holy Spirit returning to the Temple or wearing my garments. I do not feel truthful after this was revealed to me through this awful event. If this is such a holy church, and the Lord himself, and Christ is at the head of it, then these despicable people would not be allowed to be so prevalent in it. Their hearts would be changed, they would not be hurting the innocent, their own children, causing pain and molestation for so many years. THis is the proof I needed to see that my Savior and my God does not lead this Church.