New to NOM. Need help.

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Dravin
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:04 am

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Dravin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:25 am

Idontknowanymore wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:08 pm
And fear of death if it isn't.
Continuing to believe because you don't like the implications of Mormonism not being true is like refusing to go to a doctor because you don't want to be diagnosed with cancer.

If the church isn't true then what happens to us when we die?
Most likely? We cease existing as beings, our molecules and atoms will carry forward but my 'self' ends when my brain stops functioning.
If there isn't an afterlife then this life is totally, completely, and utterly pointless.
Why is it pointless? You ever go to a movie? Were you unable to enjoy it because the movie didn't have an infinite run-time? My life is finite, that doesn't make it worthless or pointless. One can go the nihilistic route, and I'll agree that my life isn't going to influence if a star lives or dies or if life exists in some far away planet but I think it's myopic to think the only points that exist are ones that leave a universal or infinite mark. My life has meaning because I find meaning in it.
If there isn't life after death then it doesn't matter whether a person is a philanthropist or a pedofile.
Sure it does, it matters in your life and in the lives of those you impact with your actions. Are you a parent? Are you seriously saying if you were an atheist or if god just didn't care that if somebody molests your child or sends them to college it doesn't matter to you which? I daresay it does, that I cease to exist after I die doesn't mean the impacts of my actions magically don't exist.
Where do people find the will to continue life without religion?
I quite like living, why would I throw it away? To bring back the movie reference, Wonder Woman had an end-time, why finish the movie? Just because something is not infinite or eternal does not mean it lacks value. I'm biased, but I quite find value in my continued existence and you won't find me going base jumping without a parachute or sucking on a business end of a gun any time soon.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

Idontknowanymore
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:53 pm

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Idontknowanymore » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm

Hey everyone thank you so much for your replies. I picked up a copy of the Lyndon Lamborn book Standing For Something More. It was a good read. Thank you Hermey for the suggestion. I have been doing a lot of reading since my previous post. I have never delved into the "anti-mormon" literature before. In fact I deliberately avoided it. But since I have begun looking into it in earnest I am shocked by what is out there. At times I feel so elated and free with my new found knowledge that the church is bogus. I feel like I have broken out of prison. At other times I feel depressed at the prospect of the church not being true and I struggle with seeing or believing in the purpose of life without life-after-death. I have my kids and my wife and I love them, but there is that nagging lack of purpose that bothers.

Some of the reply-ers suggested that I bring my wife in on my doubts which I did. I'm not so sure it was a good idea after all. We are currently not speaking. I decided that I didn't want to travel this road behind her back. I also didn't want to do it without her. After all, I do love her.

She already knew I was struggling with my testimony but she didn't realize to what extent. The first time I spoke to her I started by asking what she thought about the CES letter because she had seen it before and had done some research. But her ultimate conclusion was that the CES letter leaned toward the antagonistic side and that the church's response (the essays) and apologist's responses were adequate; and so the information in the CES letter didn't pose any real threat to her faith. She essentially discounts all of the non-official, controversial information about Joseph Smith because in her mind it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to know if someone's historical account is reliable or if they had an axe to grind when they wrote what they wrote.

I expressed that I had serious reservations and she was respectful about that. We were able to have a conversation without any argument. She suggested that the only way I would find truth is through reading the scriptures and studying conference and praying etc. etc. She said I should take a more balanced approach to my study because if I only study "questionable material" it will invariably lead to the destruction of my testimony whether or not the church is actually true. From her point of view, the church says to study faith promoting material to gain a testimony, so how could I come to an accurate conclusion if I don't study church sanctioned materials.

After our initial discussion a few days passed and I looked up Grant Palmer and listened to multiple podcasts featuring him and the information that he has. I wanted to read his book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins so I told my wife I was going to the library. She asked why and so I told her. She was immediately upset. She asked if I was reading scriptures and studying conference, I admitted that No I was not. She got upset that I was reading "anti-mormon smut" rather than faith promoting material. And now, as I already mentioned, she is so upset with me that she isn't speaking to me. I tried telling her that I studied the church materials for 10+ years but now I need to stop avoiding "alternative" information that is out there. I just have no desire to put on a charade that I am actually studying gospel materials and trying to get something out of it. Quite frankly, I don't believe that I will.

She asked me "What are you going to do if you decide the church isn't true? Drink alcohol? Start looking at porn?" I told her (not in these words) that if the church wasn't true then why would I follow the Word of Wisdom. She told me that I wasn't going to remain married to her if I drank alcohol. I reassured her that even if I came to the conclusion that the church wasn't true I would not look at porn because I love her and remain committed to her and I wouldn't do anything that would damage our relationship. She countered by saying that over time my convictions would slide without being grounded to the church. (I had a hard time countering that because we have both seen that very thing occur in other people).

I slowly lost interest in church mainly because of the awful, destructive guilt that I have born for a decade for my "sins". It took a complete loss of interest in the church and rejection of the belief that I was a bad person before I became willing to look up the "faith-chellenging" information that I knew was out there. I slowly developed a strong desire, even a wish, that the church was not true so I could get away from it before I started looking up evidence that it was in fact a falsehood. Unfortunately, my wife knows this. She knows that I have rejected my guilt and want an excuse to get out of the church in order to substantiate my rejection of it. Therefore, in her eyes, my search for information that discredits the church is illegitimate. In her eyes any knowledge that I find or conclusion that I come to will be heavily biased by my desire to "get out and slam the door" as she put it. It would probably have been easier for her to accept my truth seeking if I had been a scripture reading, home teaching, temple attending, church-loving kind of guy before I found evidence against the church and Joseph Smith.

I just don't know what to do. I feel that I am perfectly capable of finding happiness outside of the church but I honestly don't know if she can. At the same time, I don't want to leave without her! That just sound like another prison. (Out of the frying pan, into the fire kind of thing) She is extremely close with her grandparents and they are getting close to the end of their lives. I simply don't know if she is capable of coping with their death without the church. All of the things that would make me happy without the church (being free of callings and home teaching and an endless litany of other time sucking activities, getting back Sunday's, getting a 10% raise, not being hindered by the Word of Wisdom, being free to live how I see fit etc.) are all things that she doesn't mind. It makes me feel so... ridiculous. Like I'm willing to sacrifice my marriage and children and eternity for superficial things like Sundays, and a few extra hours a week, and a 10% raise.

Flying under the radar for the rest of my life sounds like a sentence. On the other hand I feel like de-converting my wife may be legitimately dangerous to her well being. Life sucks... and then you die, I guess. What should I do?

Sorry about the novel length post.

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Dravin
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:04 am

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Dravin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:47 pm

Idontknowanymore wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm
I expressed that I had serious reservations and she was respectful about that. We were able to have a conversation without any argument. She suggested that the only way I would find truth is through reading the scriptures and studying conference and praying etc. etc. She said I should take a more balanced approach to my study because if I only study "questionable material" it will invariably lead to the destruction of my testimony whether or not the church is actually true. From her point of view, the church says to study faith promoting material to gain a testimony, so how could I come to an accurate conclusion if I don't study church sanctioned materials.
Information is not questionable just because it doesn't favor the church, nor is it non-questionable because it does favor the church. Nor do those things she may consider faith promoting remain so when your point of view shifts. For instance, I could read through the Book of Mormon now, my wife would hope it'd fill me with testimony and faith, all I'd see is anachronisms, racism, and doctrines that conflict with modern and historical Mormonism. Likewise, you can have me read some conference talk about how marriage needs to be protected, instead of testimony and faith I'd see bigotry and small mindedness. Asking me to pray has problems as well given I find prayer to be a fundamentally flawed epistemology.

Read and pray are a standard Mormon response to doubt or changes in faith, but for many once you reach a particular place they just aren't going to work. The problem is she's been convinced that if they don't work its because you aren't sincere. If they don't work for you it'll always be prima facie evidence that you aren't doing as she asks.

Edit - Sorry, I don't have any practical advice for you. Simply wishes that you manage to navigate this tricky situation to a place of happiness.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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SaidNobody
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:03 am

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by SaidNobody » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:38 pm

Speaking at the OP.

Belief shouldn't be all or nothing. I have seen Mormons torn apart over a small variation in one idea. Entire families have been ripped apart because of simple differences and interpretation.

You don't need to go there. Even if you are an atheist you can recognize and honor the idea of God in other people. It's not much different than recognizing that one might Opera while you love rock and roll.

Prayer is an awesome tool even if you don't believe in God. It is a way to unify people and your own subconscious. Use it to your advantage. Say the words to God that you really want to say.

People can have different ideas about who God is, but if they respect each other they can still live and work together. It is when you try to impose your ideals or feel obligated to accept their ideals that the conflict becomes unbearable.

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Hermey
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:32 pm

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Hermey » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:20 am

Some links you might find helpful, or at least interesting. Hope this helps....

These first three are written by Hagoth. He does a masterful job of cutting through the BS and getting down to the heart of the matter.

Hagoth’s – annotated Book of Mormon and DNA essay

Hagoth’s – annotated Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham essay

Hagoth’s – annotated Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay




Here’s a small sampling of other stuff that should keep you busy for a while. Let the fun begin.

This is one of the very best. It is the work of Kenn and RuthAnn Sullivan. In this video they mention meeting with a GA to ask questions. Although he doesn’t name the GA in the video, the GA was Elder Marlin K. Jensen (now Emeritus status) of the Q70. He was the official Church Historian and Recorder from 2005 through 2012. Watch this together with your wife. This was by far the single most effective thing that I shared with my wife.

http://www.linkingarms.org/2014/11/12/our-story/




This next one is a collection of posts submitted by reddit poster /u/Mithryn. I know him in real life and he is a great guy. Sharp as a tack and very interesting to read many of his posts. https://www.reddit.com/user/Mithryn/submitted/
Mithryn from reddit – Nutty Mormon History – part I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln_V5ryaFF8

Exploring Mormonism blog… (This is Mithryn' blog and is an awesome read!)
http://www.exploringmormonism.com/

Hiding in Plain Sight – (NOM member/poster) https://7mormonquestions.wordpress.com/

www.MormonThink.com

www.MormonInfographics.com

http://mormondisclosures.blogspot.com/

http://packham.n4m.org/index.htm

A website with links to leaked church documents… http://www.mormonfileleaks.com/

This is one of the very top things you should read as you begin the process of figuring out which end is up. It will help you understand how and why people react the way they do to you as you learn new things. I found it to be an invaluable resource. It’s a fast read…
http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Somethin ... thing+more


Here are some links to the in-person meet-up groups…

MormonSpectrum: This is a great resource for finding groups in your local area.
http://www.MormonSpectrum.org

PostMormon Groups
Salt Lake Valley
http://www.meetup.com/postmormons/

Utah County
http://www.meetup.com/UtahValleyPostmormons/

Ogden/Weber County
http://www.meetup.com/ogdenpostmormons/


Facebook Groups - These are all ‘Secret’ or ‘Closed’ groups. That means that what is posted in there cannot be seen by anyone outside of the group.
SLC Postmos
Former Mormons with Believing Spouses
Mormon VIP Lounge
Exmo Underground
Ex-Mormons Worldwide
Ex Mormons Worldwide
Uncensored LDS/Mormon Discussions


Assorted videos…

Lying for the Lord - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhNOx1TjeLg

The Book of Abraham explained - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5FAFVVv ... e=youtu.be

The Top 10 Mormon Problems Explained - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ac_fLUHiBw


_____________________________________________________________________


Here are direct links to the files on Roadkilldelight.com. There is no “main page” at this time. I’ll get around to creating it one of these days.

This is quite possibly one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to. It’s long, but well worth the listen. Tom is a stand-up guy, and lost everything to the c-word. He is a former Managing Editor of www.MormonThink.com
Tom Phillips - Second Anointing Podcast and Transcript
http://www.roadkilldelight.com/NOM/TP.htm

Hans Mattson - Fireside for Disaffected Swedish LDS Members - Transcript / Essay & Analysis
http://www.roadkilldelight.com/NOM/SFMJRT.htm The analysis is the best part.

Eric Nelson’s - Response to LDS Essay: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham
http://roadkilldelight.com/NOM/RBOAE1.pdf

Jeremy Runnell’s - Letter to a CES Director - www.CESLetter.org This is a great read.


These next links are to various blogposts and forum posts that I found interesting….

No matter where you ultimately land, you REALLY need to come to understand this concept.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/excommunic ... disbelief/

James Mulholland – Leaving My Religion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr1mao__QPQ

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/09/04/how ... ate-yours/

The problem with the Jaredite Barges.
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comme ... te_barges/

https://uncorrelatedmormon.wordpress.co ... -accounts/

http://untanglingmybrain.blogspot.com/

http://rationalfaiths.com/the-adam-god-cover-up/


A great series posted on Reddit…
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... bbath_day/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... _all_your/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... binations/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ue_church/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ophet_and/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... the_woman/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ll_things/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... _by_every/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... nded_down/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... bylon_aka/

What you did not covenant to in the temple…
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,994178

More pieces of the LDS indoctrination puzzle… (compares the parallels of the church to the Nazi's systematic indoctrination of the German people. This was fascinating!)
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.p ... ead/37967/

Here is one that likens the experience of going to the temple to that of shitting one’s pants. I’m done shitting my pants. It’s hilarious and spot-on!
http://dadsprimalscream.wordpress.com/2 ... -with-you/

This one is by Tal Bachman. It is titled “Two Simple Questions that Can Unlock Decades of Mormon Brainwashing.”
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1103776

This one is about 16 published accounts by others that were all PRIOR to Joseph Smith making up his First Vision account. Makes you go… Hmmmm.
http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/16- ... st-vision/

Grant Palmer’s (video) presentation: “My Ah-ha Moments While Researching Mormon History.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHsvZooc4Bc

https://certainlysafe.wordpress.com/

Idontknowanymore
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:53 pm

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Idontknowanymore » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:35 am

Wow! That is an impressive collection of reading/viewing material. It must have taken you hours to assemble all of that. Thanks Hermey

User avatar
Fifi de la Vergne
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:56 am

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:58 pm

Hermey wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:20 am
Some links you might find helpful, or at least interesting. Hope this helps....

These first three are written by Hagoth. He does a masterful job of cutting through the BS and getting down to the heart of the matter.

Hagoth’s – annotated Book of Mormon and DNA essay

Hagoth’s – annotated Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham essay

Hagoth’s – annotated Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay

This list is an incredible resource, Hermey. It should be a sticky on the Board's



Here’s a small sampling of other stuff that should keep you busy for a while. Let the fun begin.

This is one of the very best. It is the work of Kenn and RuthAnn Sullivan. In this video they mention meeting with a GA to ask questions. Although he doesn’t name the GA in the video, the GA was Elder Marlin K. Jensen (now Emeritus status) of the Q70. He was the official Church Historian and Recorder from 2005 through 2012. Watch this together with your wife. This was by far the single most effective thing that I shared with my wife.

http://www.linkingarms.org/2014/11/12/our-story/




This next one is a collection of posts submitted by reddit poster /u/Mithryn. I know him in real life and he is a great guy. Sharp as a tack and very interesting to read many of his posts. https://www.reddit.com/user/Mithryn/submitted/
Mithryn from reddit – Nutty Mormon History – part I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln_V5ryaFF8

Exploring Mormonism blog… (This is Mithryn' blog and is an awesome read!)
http://www.exploringmormonism.com/

Hiding in Plain Sight – (NOM member/poster) https://7mormonquestions.wordpress.com/

www.MormonThink.com

www.MormonInfographics.com

http://mormondisclosures.blogspot.com/

http://packham.n4m.org/index.htm

A website with links to leaked church documents… http://www.mormonfileleaks.com/

This is one of the very top things you should read as you begin the process of figuring out which end is up. It will help you understand how and why people react the way they do to you as you learn new things. I found it to be an invaluable resource. It’s a fast read…
http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Somethin ... thing+more


Here are some links to the in-person meet-up groups…

MormonSpectrum: This is a great resource for finding groups in your local area.
http://www.MormonSpectrum.org

PostMormon Groups
Salt Lake Valley
http://www.meetup.com/postmormons/

Utah County
http://www.meetup.com/UtahValleyPostmormons/

Ogden/Weber County
http://www.meetup.com/ogdenpostmormons/


Facebook Groups - These are all ‘Secret’ or ‘Closed’ groups. That means that what is posted in there cannot be seen by anyone outside of the group.
SLC Postmos
Former Mormons with Believing Spouses
Mormon VIP Lounge
Exmo Underground
Ex-Mormons Worldwide
Ex Mormons Worldwide
Uncensored LDS/Mormon Discussions


Assorted videos…

Lying for the Lord - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhNOx1TjeLg

The Book of Abraham explained - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5FAFVVv ... e=youtu.be

The Top 10 Mormon Problems Explained - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ac_fLUHiBw


_____________________________________________________________________


Here are direct links to the files on Roadkilldelight.com. There is no “main page” at this time. I’ll get around to creating it one of these days.

This is quite possibly one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to. It’s long, but well worth the listen. Tom is a stand-up guy, and lost everything to the c-word. He is a former Managing Editor of www.MormonThink.com
Tom Phillips - Second Anointing Podcast and Transcript
http://www.roadkilldelight.com/NOM/TP.htm

Hans Mattson - Fireside for Disaffected Swedish LDS Members - Transcript / Essay & Analysis
http://www.roadkilldelight.com/NOM/SFMJRT.htm The analysis is the best part.

Eric Nelson’s - Response to LDS Essay: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham
http://roadkilldelight.com/NOM/RBOAE1.pdf

Jeremy Runnell’s - Letter to a CES Director - www.CESLetter.org This is a great read.


These next links are to various blogposts and forum posts that I found interesting….

No matter where you ultimately land, you REALLY need to come to understand this concept.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/excommunic ... disbelief/

James Mulholland – Leaving My Religion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr1mao__QPQ

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/09/04/how ... ate-yours/

The problem with the Jaredite Barges.
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comme ... te_barges/

https://uncorrelatedmormon.wordpress.co ... -accounts/

http://untanglingmybrain.blogspot.com/

http://rationalfaiths.com/the-adam-god-cover-up/


A great series posted on Reddit…
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... bbath_day/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... _all_your/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... binations/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ue_church/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ophet_and/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... the_woman/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... ll_things/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... _by_every/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... nded_down/
http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/commen ... bylon_aka/

What you did not covenant to in the temple…
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,994178

More pieces of the LDS indoctrination puzzle… (compares the parallels of the church to the Nazi's systematic indoctrination of the German people. This was fascinating!)
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.p ... ead/37967/

Here is one that likens the experience of going to the temple to that of shitting one’s pants. I’m done shitting my pants. It’s hilarious and spot-on!
http://dadsprimalscream.wordpress.com/2 ... -with-you/

This one is by Tal Bachman. It is titled “Two Simple Questions that Can Unlock Decades of Mormon Brainwashing.”
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1103776

This one is about 16 published accounts by others that were all PRIOR to Joseph Smith making up his First Vision account. Makes you go… Hmmmm.
http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/16- ... st-vision/

Grant Palmer’s (video) presentation: “My Ah-ha Moments While Researching Mormon History.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHsvZooc4Bc

https://certainlysafe.wordpress.com/
This list is an invaluable resource, Hermey. It should be posted on the Board's home page or some other prominent place. I am familiar with a lot of it, but not all. The rabbit hole apparently is bottomless.

Thank you.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

User avatar
Vlad the Emailer
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:03 pm
Location: Lower Midwest

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Vlad the Emailer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:15 pm

Totally agree, but I'll play Stan's advocate and offer this:

http://stallioncornell.com/blog/a-reply ... -employee/

The fellow has responders that claim to have been "saved from the evils of the CES letter" (paraphrasing :D ) by his analysis. It's pretty long and I haven't taken the time to get all the way through it (if anyone knows of a detailed response to that response, I'd love to see it), but considering your situation, some faith promoting options might gain you some points with the little misses. If you were able to go so far (I know my DW wouldn't do this), you might even go through the reply together. That would give you both exposure to the same info and if it is hogwash you'll both be able to see it at the same time. If she's the apologetic type that will call hogwash "truth", then you're probably like me in that you'll likely have to Mormon up or move out.

Anyway, we all get it. We feel your pain. I'm in precisely the same boat as you, and frankly, about a decade later I believe I probably should have let the divorce thing happen when it first came up. I chose to say "no, that isn't what I want", but living life in between just freakin' sucks. For most people it just isn't doable. It certainly isn't doable for many of us if we want to live our lives with any degree of authenticity and contentment.

Regardless, good luck, OP. I hope things find a way of getting better.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest. - Anonymous

Say what you want about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying. - Kurt Vonnegut

Back4More
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:20 am

Re: New to NOM. Need help.

Post by Back4More » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:57 pm

Idontknowanymore,

I was a heavy reader/contributor for a few years about 9 years ago, then faded away into an occasional reader. Reading your posts made me go through the hassle of creating a new account just to post! (So, for whatever that's worth...) I just had so many thoughts after reading your intro and follow-up post that I had to share. I sure hope nothing comes off as preachy--that's the last thing I want to do.

Anyway, first--you're in a very painful spot. Even these many years later, I can remember those early months and years. It's a very difficult place to be, with a lot of uncertainty. It was difficult for my wife, too, who remains to this day both a believing member and, better still, my wife!

What worked for me (and has gotten my family and I to as good a spot as I could have hoped) was moving VERY slowly. Look at it this way--if 18 months ago you never would have imagined being where you are now, with regard to beliefs, why assume you know what you will believe 18 months in the future? And given that uncertainty, why rush monumental decisions? Kind of like remarrying after a divorce or death--good to take a year or two of cooling off, you know?

One of the challenges with moving from TBM to NOM is realizing that perhaps our very way of symbolizing the world in our minds is inadequate. Here's what I mean. When an active Mormon says "The Church is true," they mean it's teachings are correct and other church's teachings are lacking in some way. But that's not the only way to think about a church. I'm sitting in a chair. It's a true chair. Is it the only kind of chair? No. Are different chairs not chairs? No. Or take a temple recommend question--do you sustain the leaders of the Church? You bet I do. I'm not planning a coup. I don't want to do their job. I think they're well intentioned and to the extent I've known leaders at any level, they've been pretty genuine people. Does that mean I think every word they say is straight from God? No. But that's not the question, and most active Mormons don't really believe that either.

If I were to recommend a book, it would be this one: Stages of Faith by James Fowler. It helped me realize that Faith is a life journey; a journey that everyone is on, and which has stages that can be painful to transition through. It helped me think more about symbols.

Words and complex ideas are symbols. Whether what they symbolize is literal truth is not always that important. Does the fact that Santa Claus doesn't run down every chimney mean that Christmas isn't about generosity? People become symbols all the time, and the fact that those people may have done bad things in other aspects of their lives (Martin Luther King, Ghandi, George Washington, etc.) doesn't have to remove the power of the symbol.

Life is lived in a lot of gray. When I was a believing member, I held a much more black & white view, and I've watched a lot of other people over the years just take that black & white view straight to the other side, rather than staying in the gray. Joseph was all about getting teenage girls, Monson's living large no duped members' tithes, members are all confused, etc.

Take your time in the gray. Over time I promise you will come to realize that many, many other members are there as well. The culture of the Church is to speak in absolutes, but that doesn't mean all members really feel that way.

I don't agree with a lot of things the Church has done in an official capacity. But I don't agree with a lot of things the United States government has done in an official capacity, either. Nevertheless, as a US citizen, I'm sticking around. There's an idea that the US represents to me, which is greater than any individual citizen or particular action of the government. I've found the Church to be similar in many ways. (Much easier to leave than the US, perhaps, but maybe not in my situation.)
Idontknowanymore wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm
Some of the reply-ers suggested that I bring my wife in on my doubts which I did. I'm not so sure it was a good idea after all. We are currently not speaking. I decided that I didn't want to travel this road behind her back. I also didn't want to do it without her. After all, I do love her.
It's important to do this. And it's critical, if you want to stay married, to invest in your relationship for the sake of the relationship. The idea that a non-believing spouse will become a sociopath is so common. I don't know many folks that haven't gotten that reaction. So be sure to observe the weekly date night. Buy some flowers. Be romantic. Show that you're committed to her and the family, regardless. Man, I can't stress that enough. Do not try to "bring her along" as in "drag her away from the church." Respect is a two-way street.
Idontknowanymore wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm
She asked me "What are you going to do if you decide the church isn't true? Drink alcohol? Start looking at porn?" I told her (not in these words) that if the church wasn't true then why would I follow the Word of Wisdom. She told me that I wasn't going to remain married to her if I drank alcohol. I reassured her that even if I came to the conclusion that the church wasn't true I would not look at porn because I love her and remain committed to her and I wouldn't do anything that would damage our relationship.
In a marriage, you have to decide what you're willing to live with, and what you're willing to skip for the rest of your life. Is drinking alcohol that critical of an experience for you? Maybe it is. For me, I didn't see the return on investment. Plenty of non-mormons never drink. I don't observe every rule in the same way that I used to. But changes have been minor. Why not contribute financially if my family uses the facilities? Why not skip the heroin addiction? Why not serve others in a church community--particularly if others are selflessly serving me and my family?
Idontknowanymore wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm
I slowly lost interest in church mainly because of the awful, destructive guilt that I have born for a decade for my "sins". It took a complete loss of interest in the church and rejection of the belief that I was a bad person before I became willing to look up the "faith-chellenging" information that I knew was out there. I slowly developed a strong desire, even a wish, that the church was not true so I could get away from it before I started looking up evidence that it was in fact a falsehood. Unfortunately, my wife knows this.
This broke my heart to read, because I, too, have had long spells (years) of shame in the church. But now that I've lived a little longer, I know so many church members that are faithful and filled with joy. I've come to realize that shame and destructive guilt were coming from my personal challenges with anxiety, not church teachings. (Church teachings were a great vehicle, but without them, I would have found another reason to feel like a failure.) Addressing that head on is probably key. Food for thought, perhaps.
Idontknowanymore wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:57 pm
Flying under the radar for the rest of my life sounds like a sentence. On the other hand I feel like de-converting my wife may be legitimately dangerous to her well being. Life sucks... and then you die, I guess. What should I do?
As I said above about living in the US, we associate with organizations we don't 100% support all the time in life. And, while some do not, I generally let stuff roll off my back. So while I may not like many of the current US President's actions, I'm not talking about it constantly, you know? I want to be a nicer person. I want to be more genuine in connecting with others. I want to raise my kids to be people of integrity. For me, the Church is a damn fine tool for that. If I found something I strongly believed would be better, I'd have to cross that bridge, but with a lifetime of personal experience, it's hard to imagine knowing something better.

Anyway, I'm sorry for your pain. You're at the toughest point right now, but it does get better.

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