Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mass Resignation 2012

My husband, my 3-year-old son, and I participated in the Mass Resignation from Mormonism put on by Zilpha Larsen. We all hiked up Ensign Peak, signed a Declaration from Mormonism, and listened to a rousing speech by her husband John Larsen.





Why did we decide to resign? Many people have no desire to resign their memberships even after they stop believing and attending. I figured that would be the same with me or at least not for awhile. It started with a silly Christmas-time drop-off for my son from the Church. It had candy and a picture of Jesus and said something to the effect of him being the reason for the season. Really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But actually it is huge. They are using tactics (like candy, aka sweet things) to lure my child into their organization. Their Jesus is their reason for the season. But actually it's nature in all its glory. In any case, Jesus isn't the reason for the season for everybody.

It slowly dawned on me that this would continue as long as our names were on the rolls. They may give up eventually on my husband and me but I doubted they would give up so easily on my son. So my son became my main reason along with all the other reasons I left the Church....misogyny, homophobia, racism, oh and it's not true.

It's a freeing thing to be able to grow up and make a commitment to your own future. Mormonism has my past, it has friends, and family, but it doesn't have my future. My son may one day adopt Mormonism or another religion into his life, but if so he does it with his own mind. Allowing that freedom of thought to myself and to my son is the most awe-inspiring and most proud moment of my life.





Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

It's kind of weird living in and being from a country where its very foundations were based upon separation of church and state, and yet despite that the US is one of the most religious first world countries in the world. Seems to be if religions can compete with each other and provide more of the social safety net than the government you will get this religiosity.

But in any case, for now, the principles are still their of freedom of and from religion, freedom of speech, freedom to do and be (as long as you are in the right circumstances and know the right people....)

But a big happy birthday to the US. We were treasonous, freethinking, white males and we knew how to use it :)

Thomas Paine
George Washington
Ben Franklin
Thomas Jefferson




Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coming Out and Moving On

I initially started this blog to help me sort out my feelings anonymously as I journeyed out of Mormonism and out of religion altogether. It's been a safe place for me to air some feelings and such. But I think it's time to move on. I have another blog that is public and I want to start using that venue for my thoughts. I may come back to this one to really vent from time to time. But I need to put on my big-girl panties and own my life. So thanks to all who've dropped by to say hi now and then.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some Beautiful Thoughts on Humanism


This was taken from the Global Secular Humanist Movement group on Facebook.

And I'll add a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson: "For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: Know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Ultra Sad Disease that is Mormon Funerals

I recently had the horrific experience of attending an ex-boyfriend's funeral.

But let me explain. I'll call him Jeff. We really hadn't talked since high school, except for a few chats on Facebook. But from the looks of things, he had a lot going for him. He had a beautiful daughter. He was planning on graduating from college in the Spring in Art and photography; he was very talented. He also had a great support system of family and friends. His death was unexpected and tragic. He also grew up in an inactive/part member family. So he grew up not really going or only going for social reasons as he hit junior high and high school, and I think he continued this same path into adulthood.

Jeff and I grew up in the same Mormon ward (church congregational boundary). At that time the Young Men's president (Sam) was a really great guy. He was compassionate and fun. He was a people person. Everyone liked him. I always had a lot of love and respect for him. Well, it looks like Jeff maintained contact with Sam since they continued to live by each throughout this time. Sam, throughout the last 15 years, has moved up the ranks within the Church. Soon after my family moved from this area he became the local bishop (pastor) for a few years. Now he has moved on up and into the local stake presidency (group of men who run many wards within a certain area). Despite all this moving up, I kind of naively assumed he was still the same old Sam. Compassionate, empathetic.

For those of you who have never been to a Mormon funeral...they are boring beyond belief. They are rote and very impersonal. Sometimes you may get something interesting but for the most part they are pretty cold. And why are they like this? Because Mormon funerals are only for proselytizing. They are using one of the most vulnerable times like a death in the family to promote their church. Here's a link to the article by Boyd K. Packer, one of the 12 apostles in the Church called The Unwritten Order of Things given in 1996.

He says: "...Bishops should not yield the arrangement of meetings to members. They should not yield the arrangement for funerals...It is not the proper order of things for members or families to expect to decide who will speak and for how long."
So even though your family member just died you really have no say in how things are planned or what is said.

"Funerals could and should be the most spiritually impressive. They are becoming informal family reunions in front of ward members. Often the Spirit is repulsed by humorous experiences or jokes when the time could be devoted to teaching the things of the Spirit, even the sacred things."

So remembering your the fun times and the good times about your loved one is a big no no. Somehow the Mormon god will be offended.

"When the family insists that several family members speak in a funeral, we hear about the deceased instead of about the Atonement, the Resurrection, and the comforting promises revealed in the scriptures."

NO talking about the deceased! But of course! Having someone die is just another excuse for proselyting! Does this man have any empathy? Does he realize that funerals are for the FAMILY AND FRIENDS of the deceased? It's a way for us to celebrate our loved one's life and the life we remember and shared with her/him! It's a way for family and friends to find closure and say goodbye. It can be a beautiful and uplifting if allowed to be.


Source
Packer summarizes his complete lack of humanity: "I have told my Brethren in that day when my funeral is held, if any of them who speak talk about me, I will raise up and correct them. The gospel is to be preached. I know of no meeting where the congregation is in a better state of readiness to receive revelation and inspiration from a speaker than they are at a funeral. This privilege is being taken away from us because we don't understand the order of things--the unwritten order of things--that relates to the administration of the Church and the reception of the Spirit." (A zombie Packer does seem fascinating, though).
Yes, let's take advantage of grieving family and friends who happen to either be inactive or non Mormons and try to make them feel horrible and guilty. It's all about getting more members into their church or reactivating those who are inactive in order to get tithing and to make the church look good. If this man truly cared about people as individuals and their pain, he would never have said such horrible things.

source
I give this background so you can understand my experience at my friend's funeral. The first part of the funeral was actually pretty nice. His brother and sister both spoke and read a letter out loud from his best friend. Then it came time for Sam to speak since 1) he's in the stake presidency for this area and 2) he was also a friend. I was really hoping for some good stuff. But no. It went downhill fast as he gripped the pulpit and stared down at Jeff's parents (who are and have been pretty inactive their whole lives) and "challenged [them] to be worthy to go to the temple one year from today and be sealed to their son. For I now that that is what he wants and what he is waiting for." "He is busy up in heaven and you need to be busy down here on Earth."

WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!????? Are you kidding me? I was horrified. Absolutely disgusted. I looked around to see if anyone else was as shocked and horrified as me...nope. I wasn't sitting close to Jeff's parents. I wish I could have got up and declared bullshit on what he just said and give his parents a big hug. Who are you to use the death of this couple's son to promote your religion? Where is the compassion and empathy. How dare you do that to them!!! How dare you attempt to manipulate and make them feel guilty about who and where they are in their lives!!!! How dare you say YOU KNOW, when you have no FUCKING clue about "where" Jeff is let alone what he's doing or feeling!!! Shame on you, Sam. You should know better. My respect for you is gone. You have sold your proverbial soul to move up the ranks. You may not have wanted to at first. But you have and you did. Their were no "church police" there to stop you if you chose NOT to act like a shithead. You could have chosen the higher ground. Since the family, Jeff, and you are all most likely religious/believe in Jesus/God why in the world could you not have just talked about that!!!! Comfort the family, grieve with the family. Remember they are people who are grieving and are DEVASTATED that their son is dead. They just want to remember their son, grieve, celebrate his life and the good times they had with him.

Thank you for reminding me one of the many reasons why I left. But shame on you, Sam, for what you did. And shame on you, Mormon church, for allowing this to happen.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jack Mormons!

I gotta say I love me some Jack Mormons sometimes. I've got 2 neighbors who fit this description. They don't attend church but they talk about how they don't go because the ward sucks or someone offended them, but, as my dear neighbor put it "I still totally believe."

It really got me thinking when she said this. I looked back on my own life and realized that I could never have been a Jack Mormon. To me if were true then it was my duty to be active and go. Even if I felt sh*tty and felt like I could never do my best or live up to expectations...if it were true, all would work out in the end so I'd have to keep plugging along. So I just never understood Jack Mormons. If they still believed why in the world weren't they living it? So I gots to thinking a bit more. Maybe it's because they really don't believe it; they just haven't admitted it to themselves. My friend, I'll call her Angela, though that's not her real name, has told me that she's never been super active even as a kid or when she was a teenager. She's been drinking for over 20 years and has lived quite the non-Mormon lifestyle. She admits that she feels God loves her for her and not for what religion she does or does no adhere to. Though, two seconds later she reaffirms to me her belief....but I think what she's saying is she doesn't believe in any kind of religion that tells her she's a bad person because she drinks alcohol or shops on Sundays or has sex outside of marriage.

I think a lot of Jack Mormons are like this. Angela and her husband are really laid back type people. They never got worried about eternal salvation and damnation, they've lived their lives pretty guilt-free in that respect. Since they've never really worried about it like I did, they've never had a reason to find reasons to not believe. So since they were raised Mormon that is just their default religion and nothing more.

Granted, not all Jack Mormons fit this description. Two of my brother-in-laws live their lives in constant guilt and fear since they are not living the Church's standards but believe that the Church must be true. So my husband's drug addicted, drug dealing brother calls him on the phone and tries to preach repentance unto him. His other brother feels so guilty all the time because he drinks beer, married a non-Mormon woman, and is raising his kids without Mormonism.

So they are a very different breed, for sure. I'm just glad I have my Jack Mormon neighbors where we can fill up a kiddie pool with hot water and hot tub it at night with some mojitos and shots! It's awesome.

If I had the Jack Mormon personality I know I wouldn't be where I am today so I'm glad I pushed myself to search and look for myself.

Also, please keep us in your thoughts as my husband and I go into the belly of the beast in three weeks with his family on a really long family camp out. All hell's going to break loose as they find out we're no longer Mormon. Yikes.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Firsts

It's been quite the adventure since leaving Mormonism! Drinking alcohol is a first for me. I have some great friends around where I live that have really helped me ease into it. They've suggested things for me to try and have hosted parties in which to sample various drinks. It's been so fun to try different things and feel alive!!!

DH and I headed over to the liquor store a little bit ago. It's crazy how that made me feel. I felt like such a rebel and I was constantly looking over my shoulder like people would know I wasn't supposed to be in there! HA! We brought along our 2-year-old son as well and I thought people would look at us funny for bringing him! HA! again. We saw a few kids in there too. And the cashier even had suckers for them on the way out!

Alcohol is definitely a whole new world. Just looking at all the different types of wines, vodkas, everything was a bit overwhelming! What do those numbers mean above the wine bottles?

But we came with some set ingredients and we conquered!!!! I made my first ever alcoholic drink for my PostMo ladies at our book club....Chocolate Mudslide!!! Woot! It was so good!

So yeah for moving onward and upward and for this wonderful world we call Earth!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hurting

Yesterday was really rough. Let's see...cat has a double ear infection which was really expensive to take care of. Had to spend an entire morning and early afternoon at my parents' house. My dad has not a breathed a word to me about my disaffection with the church. He knows but he hasn't mentioned it to me at all...so I sometimes wonder if he just forgets or is trying a passive-aggressive tactic with me when it comes to my lack of church status.

First item: My brother's son lives with his mother (divorced) and over the years has taken to ice hockey (his mom left the church and isn't raising him Mormon or in any specific religion, I think). My dad started complaining about the how horrible ice hockey is because it's all-consuming, he thinks, and he has no evidence, just his "feeling" that kids who participate can't have a full and balanced life because they can't do any other sports or extra-curricular activities and the games are all on the weekends so they travel a lot and the parents just usually get together with other parents and go drinking, etc...and, in turn, compared that to my sister's son who is involved in golf and basketball and goes to Young Men's which allows him to serve and have balance. So I couldn't help but wonder if he was using that as an allegory for not Mormon equals not as good...that being Mormon is the only way to be a really balanced and useful person (aka how is your son going to turn out since you're not raising him Mormon?)...OK, I know I'm sensitive and I probably read too much into it...

2nd Item: We got to talking about Mitt Romney. Dad said he didn't like Mitt too much since his views changed with the wind and that he was a super rich elitist and it had gone to his head...all that I agreed with....then he compared him to his father. "He's so unlike his father who was strong in the faith and was humble and proud of his religion and stuck with it his whole life and never once wavered in his faith (cue tears and sniffles during this)." I just rolled my eyes and looked elsewhere. But I couldn't help but wonder if this was also passive-aggressively directed at me.

After we left and I started thinking about this it really got to me. I felt really alone. It just reinforced the fact that no matter how accomplished I am, how good a mom, person, friend, daughter, etc I will always be lacking since I'm no longer Mormon. I know my parents love me and they've been pretty good about everything so fare but it kind of hit home today that they'll always think I'm lacking, not whole, and it makes me really sad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Life and Its Ups and Downs

Well, I know I shouldn't complain too much since I have a roof over my head and food to eat...that said...

It's been a difficult journey and continues to be one out of Mormonism. When my doubts all came out and I started to share what I'd been learning with my husband...he wasn't too happy. He enjoyed being a Jack Mormon and not worrying too much about it. He felt a bit guilty here and there but overall he still had his purpose and that was that...then I came along and pretty much shattered all of that. And I don't think he's truly forgiven me yet for that. He doesn't want to talk about it. He says his faith is done and that's that; he doesn't want to dwell on it. I get that. But it's like I can't talk to him about anything. Books, politics, headlines, etc. We talk about work, our son, and movies. So in a way we've both been pushing each other away and it finally came to a head these last few weeks as we've both been sick as dogs in bed and super grumpy to boot. I've been finding my own outlet through the PostMormon groups here in Utah and have met some really awesome ladies and couples. I do head out about once or twice a week and leave my DH behind. So it's time to really heal and save my marriage. I love him so much and want to find that spark again. We've agreed to go to therapy both as a couple and individually...we want to find a good one...so if you have any suggestions in the Salt Lake area please let me know.

I feel really selfish that I destroyed his faith. I didn't mean to. I just feel horrible about how it's turned out.

It really feels like we need to start over. We need to find a way to communicate again. But I realize that it was something hiding beneath the surface while we were still believing and now that religion is gone we need to find common ground again.

I just needed to vent. I've been missing my DH for awhile now, and I hope we can work through this better and stronger than ever.

For the up part of life right now...just found out that a worrying condition that my son has been having is just fine! So yeah for that. Also received my TurboJam DVDs...I want to lose a few pounds to fit into some fun sundresses this summer!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gaining My Own Sense of Self

That is definitely still in progress. So many new ideas and thoughts to go through. So many new ways to seek my sense of who I am. I've been thinking about this lately because I'm so newly out of Mormonism and yet so many things that have defined me were through the Mormon lens.

My role as a woman was defined for me. Get married and get an education only for a way to support if necessary, and have children, support my husband in his priesthood and nurture and raise my children in the Gospel. That was pretty honed in sense I was a little girl. I was never felt very "motherly" so I tried not to think too much about that aspect of marriage. But at the same time I was never encouraged to look for things that really interested me, to hone in those talents, and I never gained a sense of longing for learning of a certain topic, etc. And I'm not saying that it's just because of growing up in the Mormon church. Statistics clearly show girls behind in math and science in the United States than other developed countries.

I guess I'm just whining and should just buck up and get on with it, but I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I love learning about language and now the sciences such as biology. I'm also focusing on feminist study. There is so much I don't know about other women who have paved the way in society and were boat-rockers in their...hell, they'd be boat-rockers now. Elizabeth Cady Stanton...we learn a bit about her during the suffrage part of history class but that's about it. I just realized she wrote her own women's Bible, taking out all the crap derogatory toward women!

So before I was a wife and a mother (still am) and that was supposed to be enough and now I do want more but don't know what. I want to teach my son to be loving and a good person. I want to teach him to think critically and to not be afraid of the world. Now I don't have the religious tug telling me how I should. I now have my inner self screaming at me to figure it out...I feel like I'm still stuck in a sort of limbo. I know what I want to try to be and I know what I don't believe in, too....

Also my marriage was also defined by Mormon standards. Religion was a commonality we shared. Back in December we had a pretty big fight and my DH asked me what we had in common now that we no longer had religion to share. It made me realize how much I still need to work on my marriage and remake it how I want instead of how someone told me it should be.

I'm continually realizing what a tough road it all still is leaving Mormonism behind...in a way I can never leave it behind since it's part of who I am, how I was raised. I'll always have family and friends in it. I'll always have ancestors that crossed the plains for it too. It's figuring out how to gain a new marriage while leaving an old one behind, about figuring out how to raise my child so completely different than I was, it's about figuring out who I am now and what is good for me and my family and thus rubbing and gouging off the scales of confinement on my role in this world. It's also about continually loving family even when they say and do hurtful things since I no longer believe. I guess that is still my Mormon think coming through too...I don't need to figure it all out right now; it's about the journey and the pieces I gain along the way.

The road looks tough but worth the walk, run, jump, lying down, or skipping while on it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm a Brodie Nominee!!!!

I don't participate a ton in the Mo Bloggoshere. I just kind of write when I need to and visit a few friends' Ex-Mo blogs...so I was shocked when, scanning through the categories and nominees, I found my little post in the Most Poignant Personal Story category. I wrote this piece when I was still very much in my faith crisis. I was trying to hold on to anything I could about God and Mormonism. So it was definitely sincere and it's interesting to come back to it after 18 months and realize how far I've come. Anyway, I thought I'd share. I'm just so excited. I don't care about votes or anything...just excited to have been nominated! Woot! Just in case you want to check out the nominees here's the link.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Wrap-up and Resolutions

Wow! 2010 was a huge year for me. Last year at this time I was still attempting to hold onto my religion and my belief in God. I had renewed my efforts for scripture study of the Bible and church attendance...a month later I found New Order Mormon and that one of my childhood friends no longer believed...to my last day of church attendance being in March when the Relief Society teacher brought out Mormon Doctrine as her teaching guide of the lesson on Adam and Eve...this just after I realized for the first time that Adam and Eve weren't even real people! That was it for me. I held on for that extra month or two for my friend LLG since he was biding his time as our 1st counselor in the bishopric until they split the ward. The Sunday of the split and his release was my last Sunday. It was only a matter of a few months before my belief in a personal god was shattered.

We did attend a couple of UU services. I don't think it's for us right now but I like their undogmatic and welcoming atmosphere and they have comparative religion courses for kids and teens and may opportunities for activities, etc, basically another community that we're now missing. So we're thinking of trying them again once our son gets a little order and can enjoy the classes and activities. I just want him to have something like that--where he can fit in with other kids who are like him.

I've also gained a ton of PostMormon friends that are here in Utah as well! A group of us ladies get together for lunches, our own book club, movies, etc! These wonderful ladies are the ones who introduced me to my first alcohol!!! I've enjoyed eggnog and spiced rum and vodka...same with some cider! Had my first drink with my husband at a restaurant...big steps!

It's just so freeing to be able to experience new ideas and people without fear. It's been a crazy year and absolutely life-changing year. It's also been one of the hardest years of my life. But I would never change it for anything!

This year I plan to continue my studies of Mormon church history, religious history, science, and anything else my brain can handle. I also will finish school, hopefully find a part-time job, learn more about alcohol and try some more! Try to raise my little boy to be open-minded and a critical thinker...he's still a bit young at 2 but I gotta start somewhere! I also want to be here for people who are going through what I've gone through and am still going through. Though, the one thing I'm not looking forward to is the confrontation with my in-laws once they find out we're out of Mormonism...I assume it'll come out some time this year...

One thing for sure is I want to make this year the best one yet! Happy 2011, everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Ricky Gervais is an Atheist

Just found this article by Ricky Gervais of the British "Office" fame. Take a look; it's pretty good.

“Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”
You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Keystone of Mormonism by Arza Evans

I received this book free thanks to the author Mr. Evans at the Ex-Mormon Foundation Conference in October.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. He mainly focuses on the Book of Mormon since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually does claim that it is the keystone of their religion. But he does go into other details of Church history.

He has some great chapters on the many reasons why the Book of Mormon is not historical and many of the contradictions theologically that it contains as well. He focuses a lot on logic and reason and using one's brain. That I definitely enjoyed. The only trouble I had was his special pleading and confirmation biases to the Bible and Jesus. It was hard to follow what audience he was trying to reach...he even threw out some anti-atheist paragraphs...suggesting that Brigham Young and Joseph Smith could have possibly been atheist and that's why they were so cruel and heartless when it came to control and domination. But then at the end he talks about the many non-believing friends he has...so I was a bit confused. He also had a few editing errors, but I chalk that up to him self-publishing.

He writes that he, in part, wrote it for true-believing family and friends...this definitely had a less objective feel to it. You can really tell he felt duped and horrified by what Joseph Smith and then Brigham Young did...so I can see not many TBM's reading too far into it.

But I liked how concise the information was and that the book was pretty short and sweet overall. He has some good information in there but a lot of personal biases, but he doesn't deny that either. It's a good reference to have in the Mormon history library. Thank you, Mr. Evans, for your book!