Hello, I am...

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Arcturus
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Hello, I am...

Post by Arcturus » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:29 pm

...new to NOM and wanted to give a quick introduction. I'm a middle-aged guy, happily married with young kids. Been exploring CES letter type stuff for about two years now and went through the grinder a few weeks ago with the Joseph Bishop scandal and two separate audio clips featuring Holland and Oaks.

1) Scandal. So messed up how the church handled that and I guess it's appropriate to say how they're still handling it. RadioFreeMormon's episodes on this has been interesting and as much as I'd like to say the whole thing was a mistake, the evidence he's sharing suggests otherwise. That whole thing made me a wreck. Never been so angry with the church.

2) Holland's rant in Tempe AZ. I got pissed off at Jeff when he railed on people who leave the church. Just opened up my eyes to the simple explanation that these guys aren't prophets, seers, and revelators; just normal old white dudes. And that leads to them being very out of touch white dudes with a 1970s-1980s frame of mind. What a jerk. Clearly he has no idea how painful a faith crisis/deconstruction/reconstruction/whatever is.

3) Oaks responding to question of homosexual-friend's suicide. Think this may have been in RadioFreeMormon's episode on homophobia. Anyways, Oaks was asked a direct question from a participant if the church was sorry, or something along those lines. And Oaks seemed defiant and cold in his response. Not a: "I'm sorry / That is tragic / That is the last thing I ever want to hear about / etc" Imagine all the kind things he could've said to be a compassionate disciple of Jesus. Instead, what I heard in his reply was: "How dare you question us on our policies on gays. If we're wrong, we'll see on the other side. But until then, we're not changing." Sorry for the language, but what a complete a**hole.

After experiencing 2 and 3 in such close proximity to 1, I am completely gone in my belief, a hope, a whatever that the church could be true and that the top 15 could be God's servants. I'm done with them. Sure I think they could be great old white guys (I guess I need to acknowledge there are 2 non-white guys in there now, but meh), but I give them no allowance anymore to be special.

Now just struggling with the inner turmoil of trying to change my scripting from being raised as a McConkie-type orthodox Mormon to now this. It's weird and crazy. Never thought I'd be standing on this side of things.

But glad to be a part of this group. I've read many of the threads here and its emotionally helpful to see a strong group of people who think deep and care about talking this through with other people. Your collective insight and shared experiences give me hope that life can be happy in this odd stage of development as a Mormon...

*Edited: I was a little angry in the note on Elder Oaks and amended a rant.
Last edited by Arcturus on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by IT_Veteran » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:42 pm

Welcome, certainly glad to have you here. Many of our stories are different in many ways, but so similar in others. I was pretty orthodox as well, so coming to terms over the last couple years as my testimony started to wane was difficult for me. I’ve always been very conservative and find myself becoming more liberal as I continue to distance myself from the church. It’s a weird feeling, for sure.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:03 pm

Welcome.

Prepare for the biggest emotional roller coaster ride of your life. Nobody comes out of this unscathed in someway. You'll end up unwinding years of indoctrination in a relatively short amount of time and work to extract deep seeded beliefs in weird stuff. You'll quickly recognize you lived in an echo chamber and start to see the world as a big beautiful place where you can choose your own underwear, choose what or who to believe in, and struggle to fend off accusations of being deceived by Satan.

Your parents will take worry. Your spouse will cry. You'll wonder if you're doing the right thing. You'll get mad. You'll get angry. You'll consider divorce. You'll consider drinking. You'll wish you were 19 all over again. At some point in a year or so you'll get over it all and decide life is better outside the bubble of Mormonism and eventually life will become normal again. You'll find new hobbies and interest and look back at the personal growth you've made in your new thinking and way of life. It will be worth it.

Or not. You can always turn back now and ignore these thoughts in your head.

It's your choice.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Corsair
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Corsair » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:18 pm

We are glad you found us and we hope you can find some semblance of peace. The problem is while the truth will set you free, it will really piss you off first.

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Kalikala
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Kalikala » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:59 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:18 pm
The problem is while the truth will set you free, it will really piss you off first.
Well shit.
"The opposite of Faith is not Doubt, it's Certainty." ~ Anne Lamott

Love More.

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slavereeno
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by slavereeno » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:06 pm

Kalikala wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:59 pm
Corsair wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:18 pm
The problem is while the truth will set you free, it will really piss you off first.
Well shit.
:lol: :lol: That's exactly how I feel.

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jfro18
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by jfro18 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:21 am

Corsair wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:18 pm
The problem is while the truth will set you free, it will really piss you off first.
This is 100% true... but at least this group has been a great place to read and vent about it. Especially when you can't do so with spouses/family that are still in the church.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:02 am

Great summary man! You express well what so many of us have trod through in the recent past. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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No Tof
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by No Tof » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:49 am

Welcome.

It all starts in a similar way. We learn about something that doesn’t fit in our view of the church world. Then in trying to make sense of it, all hell breaks loose.

Hope this place will make your journey a bit more comfortable.
Buckle up. If you thought the end times before the second coming looked scary.....

Actually with the wisdom from the wise ones here, you can avoid much of the scarring. AND you don’t have to store two years of useless crap in your basement.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Rumi

Arcturus
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Arcturus » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:18 pm
We are glad you found us and we hope you can find some semblance of peace. The problem is while the truth will set you free, it will really piss you off first.
Will peace set in? Right now I'm just confused. Life used to be so black and white... Mormonism has a simple explanation for everything, right? Now since I have no idea what is true or not, everything is grey. Do you get comfortable living in the grey? Where do you derive peace from once you're at this point on the path?
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

Arcturus
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Arcturus » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:25 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:03 pm

Your parents will take worry. Your spouse will cry. You'll wonder if you're doing the right thing. You'll get mad. You'll get angry. You'll consider divorce. You'll consider drinking. You'll wish you were 19 all over again. At some point in a year or so you'll get over it all and decide life is better outside the bubble of Mormonism and eventually life will become normal again. You'll find new hobbies and interest and look back at the personal growth you've made in your new thinking and way of life. It will be worth it.

Or not. You can always turn back now and ignore these thoughts in your head.

It's your choice.
It's sad Red Ryder to read about so many people dealing with all this. Fortunately, my DW is right there with me. After she listened to Dehlin's interview with Tom Phillips her deconstruction went super quick. It was fascinating to observe. What took me long months to work through took her around 3 days.

What we're trying to deal with now and read more into is the social repercussions of staying/leaving... The repercussions for our kids as well as our relationships with fellow Mormons who know nothing of our belief revision.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by IT_Veteran » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:19 pm

Arcturus wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Will peace set in? Right now I'm just confused. Life used to be so black and white... Mormonism has a simple explanation for everything, right? Now since I have no idea what is true or not, everything is grey. Do you get comfortable living in the grey? Where do you derive peace from once you're at this point on the path?
I think everybody finds that peace at a different pace. For me, I've been struggling with unbelief for a few years, but just decided to leave in December, finally told my DW in February. I thought I was at peace, then I discovered the church history stuff and got really angry. I feel like I'm starting to calm down with the anger now and find peace again.

As for peace about what life means, where we'll end up, etc. I've taken a slightly different view. I've realized that I don't believe in the Mormon view of heaven or the afterlife. Nor do I believe in the God of the bible. I wouldn't say I'm atheist though, as I still allow room for belief in a higher power or some sort of supreme being. More than anything, I've decided to allow myself to just not know and to be okay with not knowing. Rather than worrying about what happens after I die, I've become much more concerned with the relationships I have in this life.

Once you get to a place where not knowing is an acceptable answer, I think the peace comes with it. Other people experience that differently. They find peace in other beliefs, be they Christian, Jewish, or any number of other faiths.

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Corsair
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Corsair » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:23 pm

Arcturus wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm
Will peace set in? Right now I'm just confused. Life used to be so black and white... Mormonism has a simple explanation for everything, right? Now since I have no idea what is true or not, everything is grey. Do you get comfortable living in the grey? Where do you derive peace from once you're at this point on the path?
Yes, peace will set in through several ironic events. One of the paths towards peace that you will eventual come to is, ironically, when you start ignoring the church. The LDS church had a plan for you from the instant of your birth until the end of mortality. It's no secret, really. It's baptism, priesthood, mission, temple marriage, children, callings, and general faithfulness. Service to the church and tithing are assumed to be part of the plan. This causes a form of religious PTSD where apostates simply want emotionally heal by simply not attending church, sometimes forever.

Let's put that aside. What do you actually want to do with your life? What would you prefer that your life looked like if the church were not part of it? I will grant that the LDS church has been such a big part of your life that it's hard to extract it. What is going to drive your passion for existence? Music? Travel? Family? Hobbies? Spirituality? Education? Figure out what you really want to do in your life and you may even find that the LDS church kind of dissolves quietly because Mormonism operates out of guilt, not fascination. Guide the focus of your time by finding what is actually interesting to you. Let me be the first to grant you full permission to try a bunch of things and figure out what works best so you can discard the things that don't interest you.

Finding a new center of moral judgement is also very helpful. This takes time but you end up with a new way to judge between right or wrong. This might be a new form of Christianity. This might involve a hundred different philosophers. This will probably involved some change in your politics. This might involve lots of reading and trusting your intuition in ways you were never really allowed because Mormonism relies on "Follow the Prophet". It's not even "Follow the Savior" in Mormonism if a later prophet was more interested in some subject. Finding a new moral center takes time, but it's one of the most rewarding activities.

One clear sign that you are "healing" is that church history will start to get boring. I devoured "Rough Stone Rolling" when I first bought a copy, but it is no long all that compelling. Church history is boring to most believing Mormons because all of the human interest and passion is removed by the average Sunday School lessons. Then you lose you testimony and you can't enough of church history because you want to understand what brought about this ridiculous belief system that so haunted you existence. Finally, you discover that you have learned enough and it starts to get boring again as you discover better things to study.

Finally, the correct and healthy long term attitude towards the church is simply indifference. Don't hold anger towards the church no matter how much you think they so richly deserve it. Instead, you should get to the point where you no longer worry about what a group of old men in Utah are ordering for this narrow, restoration era, semi-Christian church. Suddenly you figure out that you have happiness after this fraught journey of your faith transition and it slowly appeared when you weren't even looking for it.

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Hagoth
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Hagoth » Tue May 01, 2018 8:42 am

Arcturus wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm
n? Right now I'm just confused. Life used to be so black and white... Mormonism has a simple explanation for everything, right? Now since I have no idea what is true or not, everything is grey. Do you get comfortable living in the grey? Where do you derive peace from once you're at this point on the path?
The grey is the fog that fills the gap that was once filled with stuff that you "knew". You need to replace it with new stuff. Science and history are good options. Sunshine dissipates the fog. It seems that walking from one room to another sometimes requires making your way down a dimly lit corridor toward further light and knowledge. Some people get a huge dose of sunshine the moment they admit to themselves that they have been duped. For others it seems to come more slowly. I guess it has something to do with whether the revelation comes as a relief that you can stop defending wacky beliefs or the fear that you have to let go of cherished beliefs.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Anon70
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Anon70 » Thu May 03, 2018 4:37 pm

Welcome! Ditto to all the above comments. It was super validating to read what everyone had to say on this thread. It is a painful but, for me now, very liberating journey. Best of luck!

Arcturus
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Arcturus » Sun May 06, 2018 12:27 pm

Corsair wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:23 pm
Arcturus wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Finally, the correct and healthy long term attitude towards the church is simply indifference. Don't hold anger towards the church no matter how much you think they so richly deserve it. Instead, you should get to the point where you no longer worry about what a group of old men in Utah are ordering for this narrow, restoration era, semi-Christian church. Suddenly you figure out that you have happiness after this fraught journey of your faith transition and it slowly appeared when you weren't even looking for it.
I like this. I would like to get to a point where I'm completely indifferent. I imagine it's a hard thing to do when you're around orthodox family though. I can't imagine how my parents are going to react to everything and how things will go long-term.
Last edited by Arcturus on Sun May 06, 2018 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

Arcturus
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Arcturus » Sun May 06, 2018 12:33 pm

IT_Veteran wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:19 pm
Arcturus wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Once you get to a place where not knowing is an acceptable answer, I think the peace comes with it. Other people experience that differently.
Despite the phrase about humility and pride ("once you think you have humility, you've lost it"), I think I've become a more tolerant person and open to different world views etc. So following what you said, I think understanding that you don't know anything can make you a better human being to be around (at least I hope). If Moses really did say something along the lines of "now I know that man is nothing," Mormonism could really do itself some good to stop and think deep about that in the context of all of its truth claims.

It's just crazy to look back at my old self and how I thought about things. I literally thought I was better than other people, being of the "chosen generation" and of the house of Israel. Sorry for the language, but what absolutely absurd bull shit that line of thinking is. I get mad at myself a little just realizing that I used to think like that.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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Geocacher
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Geocacher » Wed May 09, 2018 12:27 pm

Yeah, I been indifferent about the church for quite some time now, with all the crazy stuff. Without using bad language, I will just say "Bull Sheep" about it, mainly about the temple.

Margarita
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Re: Hello, I am...

Post by Margarita » Sun May 13, 2018 12:20 pm

Welcome..it is a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that Prophets/Apostles don't have a clue. It is an organization like all others. A corporation that feeds on fear and obedience. Keep us posted on your travels through all of this.

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