I feel sorry for our parents.

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Red Ryder
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I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:54 am

Can you even imagine what it must be like for two people who fell in love at BYU, got married in the temple, had sex for the first time resulting in your birth, and had grand expectations to raise you in the Mormon church throughout this life and into the next? Those expectations were pretty big expectations!

Of course the eternal reward comes at a cost. There's the Sunday three hour grind. The good clean living. All the commandments that must be followed. All the things to do like scriptures, prayers, and fasting. Then comes the baptisms and Holy Ghost gift giving celebrations. Followed by priesthood responsibilities, YW lessons, and masturbation shunning. Then priesthood advancements, YW medallions, and don't forget that Eagle Scout mom earned too. High school comes and goes. Suddenly Dad is working extra hours to pay for your time spent in South America. What a huge sacrifice but the blessings are so worth it!

Then comes BYU, a few dates or two, and temple marriage! The cycle is near complete! Grand kids are born, baby blessings are attended, and all is well in Zion. No other success can compensate for failure in the home, but nonetheless they have not failed! They' made it! All six of their kids have made it through the cycle:

Baptism? Check!
Priesthood? Check! Check! Check!
Seminary graduation? Check!
BYU? Uh.... No?
BYU-Idaho? Check!!
Masturbation free? Uh... (sorry baby Jesus I promise I won't do that again!) Check!
Mission? Check!
Still masturbation free? Uh...check! (Wink wink)
Returned with honor? Check!
Temple Marriage? Check!

The covenant path is complete! Or so they thought...

Oh no.... Satan comes disguised as the internet! First as dial up laced with Excite, Netscape, lycos, AOL, and Ask Jeeves. With time, his counterfeit intelligence grows to become high speed internet with Google! A machine that tricks Mormons into asking it for naked pictures, restaurant reviews, and answers rather than asking God himself. As Google gives further light and knowledge, these kids who have grown up in the church are now learning about additional wives, seer stones, and second anointings. Then racism, misogyny, real estate deals, and billions in investment portfolios. Suddenly the Mormonism they raised you in looks less true and not what it claims to be. The shelf tips, then topples, shattering faith to the ground.

Confusion, pain, and betrayal set in followed by reading, research, and critical thought. Then new underwear, expanded vocabularies, and out of the blue comments critiquing the leaders of church! Old geezers? You use to color his picture in general conference when you were three!!

"What's wrong with my children I raised in the church? Why are they rejecting the one true gospel of Jesus Christ and diverting from the iron rod? What about the Plan of Salvation? Food storage? Home evening? What is going on here?"

"I must have failed! I must have not done enough! I should have spent more time reading scriptures with them as children! Spent more time leading them in righteousness. I should have done this, and done that, and done this and that! I should of done more they cry and weep, wondering what went wrong?

I should have done more, I should have done more, I should have done... more!

What did I do wrong?"
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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RubinHighlander
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:23 pm

I know what the disappointment feels like, I've experienced it in multiple ways. The first time my eternal TBM goals were dashed was my first marriage, having my X cheat on me three different times. I looked at that temple cert on the wall and got so depressed it nearly drove me to suicide. The next blow was getting remarried, even in the temple, but my X convinced my kids to quit the church. So every Sunday I'd sit there and listen to the talks by all the great families on how much they had their $hit together, making me feel like $hit because I'd never see any of my kids go on missions or go to the temple. But ya know, it all worked out once I got out of the church. My relationship with my kids is awesome now. I think back to how miserable I was in the church going through all that crap I never should have had to go through!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Corsair
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Corsair » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:45 pm

I have been told that intellectual integrity is its own reward and is a gift that an adult gives to themself. But this kind of integrity simply cannot be extended to other people, especially when their own beliefs cannot comprehend a faith transition. If there was an easy path forward then the LDS church would have collapsed long ago.

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Hagoth
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:48 pm

This is the only positive thing about having both of my parents passed on (unless they're weeping, wailing and gnashing from beyond the veil).
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

NewUU
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by NewUU » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:26 pm

I feel sorry for our parents too. And anger at Joseph Smith and the church for setting up this system where the institution wins and everyone else loses.

Reuben
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Reuben » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:20 am

Red Ryder, you should write a book. I would read the hell out of it.
Not all those who wander are lost.

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Not Buying It
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:47 am

I sometimes feel guilt for what will happen to my parents when the full extent of my unbelief becomes known - and that is inevitable, the status quo is unsustainable. But I always remind myself, it wouldn’t make any sense to stay in a false belief system just to keep them happy. I’ve got to live my life, and they will have to accept that. They will fund a way to deal with it, most parents in that situation do.

It really makes me angry at the Church though. There are things they could do to make this less traumatic for my parents, but they are more interested in maintaining their power and perpetuating their indoctrination than they are finding a way to make members feel it is OK when their family members leave the Church. So we get crap like Elder Bednar’s March 2014 Ensign article basically telling members to quit hoping they will be with family members who stray in the hereafter (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/03/fait ... g?lang=eng).
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by MalcolmVillager » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:50 pm

RR, another fantastic post!

I agree with you, in a sarcastic and sadly serious way. It is like the mother bird who raised her chick in our tree only to sit in horror while watching my dog kill them on their maiden flights.

Really the generation above them is the one who lucked out.

Wonderment
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Wonderment » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:40 am

Confusion, pain, and betrayal set in followed by reading, research, and critical thought. Then new underwear, expanded vocabularies, and out of the blue comments critiquing the leaders of church! Old geezers? You use to color his picture in general conference when you were three!!

"What's wrong with my children I raised in the church? Why are they rejecting the one true gospel of Jesus Christ and diverting from the iron rod? What about the Plan of Salvation? Food storage? Home evening? What is going on here?"

"I must have failed! I must have not done enough! I should have spent more time reading scriptures with them as children! Spent more time leading them in righteousness. I should have done this, and done that, and done this and that! I should of done more they cry and weep, wondering what went wrong?

I should have done more, I should have done more, I should have done... more!

What did I do wrong?"
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg
Top
Excellent post. I feel sorry for the parents, but I also feel sorry that the church does not allow any dissension, any questioning, or really any discussion about Mormonism between children and parents, unless it is "faith promoting." TBM parents often ( IMO) do not sit down and say, "What will we do if one or more of the children decides to follow another spiritual path or goes through a faith transition? How do we handle that?" So, it comes as a shock to them, and all they can think of is that someone or something "got to the children and deceived them."

Here's an example - I read one of those "Mormon Mommy" blogs, where everyone in the large family is perfect, perfect, perfect, and they are all passing the years by marking off the checklist. Baptism - check -- YM and YW -check Seminary - check, etc. It is written by Stephanie Nielsen, probably the most famous Mormon Mommy ever - tens of thousands of readers. She was burned in a plane crash, and I started reading her blog to see updates on how she was recovering. She has 5 perfect children, and they are being raised to believe every tenet of Mormonism. What happens if one of the children goes through a faith transition when s/he is a teenager or a young adult? They have no plan for it, because they are incapable of believing it will happen.

In the world of perfect Mormon Mommies, Stephanie Nielsen, or anyone like her, is a failure, despite completing all the checklists.
It is the cruelty of the "forever families" belief system. A family is either "forever", or it isn't, and a child who decides to follow a different spiritual path will be separated from their parents and siblings in the eternities. This is a very hurtful and abusive teaching, but the church insists upon imposing it on devout parents. - Wndr.

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Not Buying It
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:53 am

One component of the problem is the obsessive need for some members to humble brag - “I am so grateful that all of my children were married in the temple”, “I am so blessed to have a husband who honors his priesthood”, “I am so glad all of my sons served missions”, etc. They never stop to think about how it makes some other members feel like crap when they say things like that in Church. It burns me up whenever I hear those kinds of statements in Testimony meeting or a Sacrament meeting talk or a lesson or something. The Church makes it hard enough for parents with children who stray by not giving them any guidance on how to deal with it, other members make it worse by bragging about how faithful their family members are.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

Wonderment
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Wonderment » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:45 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:53 am
One component of the problem is the obsessive need for some members to humble brag - “I am so grateful that all of my children were married in the temple”, “I am so blessed to have a husband who honors his priesthood”, “I am so glad all of my sons served missions”, etc. They never stop to think about how it makes some other members feel like crap when they say things like that in Church. It burns me up whenever I hear those kinds of statements in Testimony meeting or a Sacrament meeting talk or a lesson or something. The Church makes it hard enough for parents with children who stray by not giving them any guidance on how to deal with it, other members make it worse by bragging about how faithful their family members are.
Yes, exactly. I often feel as if the church makes a TBM woman's self-worth all about how many children she can bear and how many of them go on to serve missions, get married in the temple and so forth. David McKay quoted from J.E. McCulloch, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home".
The definition of "failure" here is --- children of TBMs find another spiritual path while leaving the church. That is "failure." A child can grow up to discover a cure for cancer, do great humanitarian works, help millions of people, but if s/he leaves the church, then that is "failure" in the home, and the mother bears the brunt of it. It is a VERY cruel system. - Wndr.

Reuben
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Reuben » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:51 pm

The humble brag is an entrenched part of Mormon culture. "I'm so humbled to belong to the greatest organization the world has ever known." "I feel inadequate to perform this task on behalf of the very creator of the universe, yea even God himself."

The trick is to recognize your lowly place in an exalted relationship. If your status is infinity+0, you're still infinitely far above seven billion.

If you lose that infinite factor, nothing can possibly make up for it.
Not all those who wander are lost.

IT_Veteran
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:39 pm

A great post RR, I feel sorry for our parents too. My mom has taken it especially hard because of the teachings about how to protect your kids from Satan.

I grew up in the 80s/90s when my parents were taught that if they were faithful in having FHE every week, scripture study, and family prayer every day none of their children would be lost to them.

We all know that’s bullshit, but they still don’t. So now, because they weren’t perfect at any of those things, they believe themselves to be responsible for my eternal condemnation.

Perhaps worse, they haven’t lost faith in that teaching. So instead, they’re going to continue to preach, chastise, and call to repentance with the “sure knowledge” that we’ll eventually return because they were promised.

Thoughtful
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Thoughtful » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:34 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:39 pm

I grew up in the 80s/90s when my parents were taught that if they were faithful in having FHE every week, scripture study, and family prayer every day none of their children would be lost to them.

We all know that’s bullshit, but they still don’t. So now, because they weren’t perfect at any of those things, they believe themselves to be responsible for my eternal condemnation.

Perhaps worse, they haven’t lost faith in that teaching. So instead, they’re going to continue to preach, chastise, and call to repentance with the “sure knowledge” that we’ll eventually return because they were promised.
I think these promises are why my mother has been so good about it for me. She isn't worried she will lose me. So she doesn't preach and coerce.

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Grace2Daisy
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by Grace2Daisy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:56 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:53 am
One component of the problem is the obsessive need for some members to humble brag - “I am so grateful that all of my children were married in the temple”, “I am so blessed to have a husband who honors his priesthood”, “I am so glad all of my sons served missions”, etc. They never stop to think about how it makes some other members feel like crap when they say things like that in Church. It burns me up whenever I hear those kinds of statements in Testimony meeting or a Sacrament meeting talk or a lesson or something. The Church makes it hard enough for parents with children who stray by not giving them any guidance on how to deal with it, other members make it worse by bragging about how faithful their family members are.
When I served on the HC my wife was the Stake RS President. She came home one evening from a meeting and told me how difficult it is for women who have never had children, and women who have never been married, to sit through many of our meetings. She explained the separation they felt with the constant talk of families, children, the joy of parenthood, etc.

I listened to her struggling to find ways of changing some of the narrative, and she came to the conclusion the church stood to gain more from creating the strong family message than it did from giving any thought toward comforting those who could never have children. Frankly her belief flowed towards the church focusing on gaining constant stream of tithe payers.

The following week during the bishopric meeting for the ward that I had been assigned to, the bishopric began discussing what and how many flowers to give the mother's in the ward during the "Mother's Day" sacrament meeting. I suggested they change the theme to honoring the women in the church. To assign talks that would be focused on women's accomplishments, not just in the ward but within the nation (Helen Keller and Harriet Tubman). At the end of the meeting, we had the young women of the ward handout roses to every woman in attendance (my suggest of a Starbucks gift card was rejected). When I got home that evening my wife told me she had received three calls from women in the ward who, for the first time, had enjoyed this special day set aside for women. In tears she thanked me for listening, and for hopefully making a change in the ward going forward.

Fastforward. . . . . . we moved from that stake, and ten years later she was chatting with one of her friends of that ward and asked if they still celebrated women. She was told the new bishop had come in and changed it back to only honoring the mothers. Heavy sigh.
"What is truth?" retorted Pilate. John 18:38

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glass shelf
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Re: I feel sorry for our parents.

Post by glass shelf » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:22 pm

I only feel sorry for my parents in the same way that I feel sorry for myself--that we didn't figure it out sooner and that Mormonism impacted so much of our lives. My parents left the church less than a year after me, though, so I have a rare exmo situation. :)

I feel a little badly for my in-laws that their dreams of a perfect Mormon family came crashing down as my spouse and I left the church and then another child of theirs came out as gay, got divorced, left the church, and then got married. Then I remember that my in-laws joined the LDS church as young adults which was a situation that caused all kinds of family discord with their parents for decades and I feel like they should be expected to understand that people are able to make their own religious choices. I can't waste energy worrying about their issues with a religion that I'm not interested in.

It all reminds to focus on my kids being relatively happy, kind, and well-adjusted people without worrying about the small things.

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