Why I told my kids

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StarbucksMom
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Why I told my kids

Post by StarbucksMom » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:43 pm

Dear LDS church,
I am writing this letter to you to let you know why I told my kids the truth about LDS church history. I have 6 beautiful children. 3 sons and 3 daughters. They are smart, funny, and talented. They are born leaders. They are kind. They are the "salt of the earth" individuals you would have wanted to carry on the LDS faith, serve in the church, and raise their own children to do the same.

When I started learning the truth about Joseph Smith; how horribly he treated Emma, that he cheated behind her back with young teens, foster daughters, other women, and other people's wives, I was faced with a dilemma. Keep up the charade, or start distancing myself from the LDS church out of a sense of personal morality and integrity. After the church published the "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo" essay, and didn't apologize for what JS did or admit it may have been a mistake, I chose the latter. I am still a (much) less active member, married to a believing spouse.

I have dedicated most of my adult life to being a wife and mother. Only recently have I returned to work, as I now have children out of the house/in college. Those who remain are in school all day. I made sacrifices to stay home and raise them. I have never regretted it, and I never will. I have loved being a mother. Coming from an abusive home (my parents divorced and my mother abused me), I was able to become a "transitional character" and stop the cycle of abuse with my own children. I never fully understood what real love was until I created, bore, and raised children with my husband. I breastfed all of them, including my twins. I spent sleepness nights, staying up with a sick child in a bathroom with steam so they could breathe when they had croup. All the while wondering if I needed to rush them to the ER right then. I spent all my days caring for several young children, up to 3 in diapers at once, with a smile on my face and open arms to hold more than one while I read them countless stories, took them to the park, made countless meals and baked cookies, (while my little ones sat on the counter throwing flour around) drove to countless sports and dance practices, and cleaned up after countless spills, throw up, and potty accidents. I laughed with them, sang with them, and heard "I love you mommy" countless times. Over the years, I received countless drawings of me with my children, with a barely legible "To mom" written on top. One child even drew me a picture of him throwing up while I stood in front of him smiling, with outstretched arms, ready to catch the meal he lost. They and my husband were- and still are- MY WHOLE WORLD.

Although I have lost faith in the LDS church, I remain a Christian. I am faithful to my husband and I drink coffee and tea, but no alcohol. I do not wear garments. I always hated them anyway. I feel clean and worthy before God. But I cannot attend the temple. Sitting out in a stupid waiting room while my children were married was NOT an option for me. Period. So without my husband's knowledge or specific permission, I told my older 3 children the truth about church history. The same truths you can find in "Rough Stone Rolling" or in the gospel essays. They have all abandoned Mormonism. My younger 3 know their siblings and mom don't believe, and I will tell them the truth when I feel the time is right.

Last weekend, my oldest daughter was married. Her wedding was outdoors, on a perfect day. There were floral sashes and fresh flowers on the white aisle chairs, with rose petals on the walkway. It was absolutely beautiful and so moving. My non LDS dad and step mom (who I now call mom) were able to witness it and walk down the aisle with the other grandparents. None of my children are endowed (most too young) and they all saw their sister married, and were a part of the wedding. My daughters were a maid of honor and bridesmaid, and my son was a groomsman. He got to walk down the aisle with his littlest sister, who he has always had a special bond with. That is when I started to cry. But then my husband walked in with my beautiful daughter on his arm, who looked like something out of a fairy tale with a beautiful white dress and real pink flowers in her hair. They walked in to this song. https://vimeo.com/68641493 So many people were wiping tears away, including her fiance. My husband got to hug his daughter, tell her he loved her, and physically handed her over to his new son in law. A very close family friend, a Christian, performed the ceremony. He talked about them joining their lives together before God, and their promising to respect, love, and care for each other through thick and thin. They wrote their own vows and pledged their love and committment to each other. A fun reception followed, with lots of celebrating and dancing. (and gasp! alchohol, mostly paid for by the groom's family.)

LDS Church, you did not earn the right to take that away from me. You did not have the right to take that away from my daughter's non Mormon friends and extended family. You did not have the right to take that experience away from my daughhter's siblings.

Nor will you ever.

I will do all I can to make sure you never, ever, rob me of the right to witness my children making the most important commitment they will ever make to another human being. After all, I was there through all the sleepness nights, the sickness, the happiness, the tears and disappointment, the all night school projects......I was there through it all. And I will be present at their wedding ceremonies too.
Last edited by StarbucksMom on Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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No Tof
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by No Tof » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:11 pm

What a lovely post.

It makes me smile to read of the many courageous decisions which ultimately came together in such a beautiful inclusive wedding.

I salute you.

P.S. Did you actually send this to some leader in the church?
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Rumi

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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:23 pm

It sounds lovely. I attended a very small wedding a couple of summers ago in a mountain canyon by the side of a stream. The bride's brother performed the marriage and the couple exchanged votes they'd written themselves. No temple sealing has anything on the intimacy and beauty of that wedding.

I'm happy for you and your family. I hope to see and share in my kids' weddings as well.
Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:50 pm

Thanks for posting this lovely tribute to your family!

How long did they date? Is he a non member?

I have deep anxiety about my daughter marrying a non member because the potential disaster of that kind of marriage (time only) has been engrained in my head from church teachings. It's unfounded I know but it still lurks in my brain constantly. Argggg!!

My kids future temple weddings keep me up at night. It makes me sick to think I'll have to sit outside or worse pretend long enough to get a TR. Worse yet is if they choose not to marry in the temple then it will be my fault too. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Sigh....
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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wtfluff
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by wtfluff » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:41 pm

"I know that S-B-Mom's daughter's wedding is True™!"

(I just got the feelz imagining the wedding, with the accompaniment...)

Hip-Hip-Hooray!!!

I can only hope that anything close to this will happen with my kids. Only time will tell. I have "nefarious" plans to try and get my oldest to be inclusive: And by nefarious, I mean having a wedding where the entire family can attend. The LDS-Inc. ceremony can happen in a year if that's in the cards, but family is WAY more important than a greedy, abusive, multi-billion dollar corporation's joke of a "wedding" ceremony. (Polygamous-style "wedding" ceremony, by the way...)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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StarbucksMom
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by StarbucksMom » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:10 pm

No Tof wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:11 pm
What a lovely post.

It makes me smile to read of the many courageous decisions which ultimately came together in such a beautiful inclusive wedding.

I salute you.

P.S. Did you actually send this to some leader in the church?
Thanks No Tof. No, I didn't send it. I just felt like I needed to write it out.
Fifi de la Vergne wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:23 pm
I'm happy for you and your family. I hope to see and share in my kids' weddings as well.
Fifi, lots of hugs to you, and I pray you can share in your kids' special days as well.
Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:50 pm
Thanks for posting this lovely tribute to your family!

How long did they date? Is he a non member?

I have deep anxiety about my daughter marrying a non member because the potential disaster of that kind of marriage (time only) has been engrained in my head from church teachings. It's unfounded I know but it still lurks in my brain constantly. Argggg!!

My kids future temple weddings keep me up at night. It makes me sick to think I'll have to sit outside or worse pretend long enough to get a TR. Worse yet is if they choose not to marry in the temple then it will be my fault too. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Sigh....
RR, I used to feel like you. I worried about non members not being faithful, about my kids doing drugs in HS w/o the church, and on and on. But those fears just aren't true. You have given your children the example of parents who love each other and them. They have seen you work through one spouse changing faith. (same here.) They know they can make it through a rough patch in their own marriage someday. (I'm not talking about abuse, that's never ok. Just working through differences.)

My daughter and new son dated for 2 years. He's Catholic, but they have been going to a Christian church together. I would have drugged my daughter and taken her out of the country if I didn't really love this guy. He treats her like a million bucks, my kids all love him, and his parents have a strong and loving marriage.

My daughter dated a few guys we didn't approve of. In one case in particular, we sat her down and explained why we didn't think the guy was worthy of her or her equal in any way. She actually listened and after a few days and broke up with him. She told him "I've learned that it's important to listen to my parents and they don't think this relationship is good for me right now." It also helped that he did absolutely nothing for her 16th birthday!!! Thanks for the help loser dude!!
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:41 pm
"I know that S-B-Mom's daughter's wedding is True™!"

(I just got the feelz imagining the wedding, with the accompaniment...)

Hip-Hip-Hooray!!!

I can only hope that anything close to this will happen with my kids. Only time will tell. I have "nefarious" plans to try and get my oldest to be inclusive: And by nefarious, I mean having a wedding where the entire family can attend. The LDS-Inc. ceremony can happen in a year if that's in the cards, but family is WAY more important than a greedy, abusive, multi-billion dollar corporation's joke of a "wedding" ceremony. (Polygamous-style "wedding" ceremony, by the way...)
WTFLUFF, I hope you can convince your kids to at least have a civil ceremony, then temple wedding a year later if they marry Mormons. I think Rock Waterman has a good post on this topic. And you can explain thats what they do in other countries. Even Mitt did it!!
I regret not having a real wedding, but we did have a nice ring ceremony that my dad/stepmom and other family were able to see.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:11 pm

Beautifully said!
"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

Thoughtful
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:49 pm

I love this so so much. It speaks right to my heart and my needs right now. Thank you for sharing it. <3

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Hermey
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Hermey » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:08 am

Great post!

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Corsair
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Corsair » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:19 am

StarbucksMom wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:43 pm
I will do all I can to make sure you never, ever, rob me of the right to witness my children making the most important commitment they will ever make to another human being. After all, I was there through all the sleepness nights, the sickness, the happiness, the tears and disappointment, the all night school projects......I was there through it all. And I will be present at their wedding ceremonies too.
This is a glorious sentiment in your statement. I have one daughter who is likely to marry in the temple. I am not 100% certain that I will have a temple recommend at that time. It is conceivable that I will be standing outside the temple with all three of her siblings while my wife and parents in-law go inside. But I will be paying for this wedding.

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DPRoberts
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by DPRoberts » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:38 am

StarbucksMom wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:43 pm

LDS Church, you did not earn the right to take that away from me. You did not have the right to take that away from my daughter's non Mormon friends and extended family. You did not have the right to take that experience away from my daughhter's siblings.

Nor will you ever.


I will do all I can to make sure you never, ever, rob me of the right to witness my children making the most important commitment they will ever make to another human being. After all, I was there through all the sleepness nights, the sickness, the happiness, the tears and disappointment, the all night school projects......I was there through it all. And I will be present at their wedding ceremonies too.
StarbucksMom, you have a Hall of Fame post here. I am moved to tears by your courage in the pursuit of what is rightfully yours. Shame on the hard hearted, stiffed necked men who would deny you what you most justly deserve and call it "God's will".

I saw one niece marry while my sister waited outside. I did not repeat the mistake when another niece married while her parents were outside. I could not stomach the idea that those who attended were somehow more worthy than the parents who raised those beautiful young people.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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crossmyheart
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by crossmyheart » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:49 pm

This was beautiful.

This would be a fulfillment of my hopes and dreams for my children. Thank you for sharing.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by MerrieMiss » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:53 pm

This is lovely.

My grandparents drove several hundred miles to sit outside for my wedding. I felt bad about it then, but I believed I was doing the right thing. I feel terrible about it now. In some ways, I look at what they did as love for me - that they would drive all that way and sit outside and be there for me on my day when they weren't allowed to participate. It was just one more act of selfless love that they provided. I wish I could have told how sorry I am about that before they passed away.

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wtfluff
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by wtfluff » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:18 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:53 pm
I wish I could have told how sorry I am about that before they passed away.
This is one thing that I will eventually do: Apologize to my in-laws for not including them in their daughter's wedding. It's par-for-the-course for them, as they've missed 3/4 of their kid's weddings, but I still would like to apologize.

I'm not sure exactly how to approach it though, but I'm also sure that there will be opportunities when I'm hanging out outside with them at their grand-kid's weddings. (Unsure at this point if it will be my kid's wedding, or a niece or nephew, but it's pretty much guaranteed that it will happen.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by MalcolmVillager » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:29 pm

So proud of you (yeah, unrighteous pride).

This is awesome and gives me hope!

Wonderment
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by Wonderment » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:04 am

StarbucksMom : Thank you for this beautifully written post, which I found very touching. You described the joy of the wedding so perfectly, that I felt I was there. :) Thank you for sharing your courage, strength, and eloquence with us. - Wndr.

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FreeFallin
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by FreeFallin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 am

Beautiful SBM! I love the way you are taking your power back - with yourself and with your family.

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StarbucksMom
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by StarbucksMom » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:13 pm

DPRoberts wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:38 am
I saw one niece marry while my sister waited outside. I did not repeat the mistake when another niece married while her parents were outside. I could not stomach the idea that those who attended were somehow more worthy than the parents who raised those beautiful young people.
DPRoberts, thank you for sharing this. That is just so absurd and heartbreaking, that parents who loved and raised their daughter can't be at the wedding because they aren't "members", they don't contribute to the top leader's mega salaries/perks/multiple homes, a multibillion dollar mall; or insert whatever BS LDS Inc requires parents to do so they can witness their freaking children's weddings. This policy is completely backwards and goes against everything Jesus taught, IMO.
MerrieMiss wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:53 pm
This is lovely.

My grandparents drove several hundred miles to sit outside for my wedding. I felt bad about it then, but I believed I was doing the right thing. I feel terrible about it now. In some ways, I look at what they did as love for me - that they would drive all that way and sit outside and be there for me on my day when they weren't allowed to participate. It was just one more act of selfless love that they provided. I wish I could have told how sorry I am about that before they passed away.
MM, please try not to feel so bad. Your grandparents knew that you didn't decide to exclude them from the ceremony, the Mormon church did. Also, they got to see you in your beautiful dress and maybe meet?? your new husband, and be in the pictures, at the reception, etc. What was surely most important to them was to hug you and congratulate you on your special day.

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slavereeno
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Re: Why I told my kids

Post by slavereeno » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:48 am

This whole concept scares the hell out of me. I have TR coming up this Summer. My RM son is waiting for his missionary GF who comes home in about a week. They will likely get married in the temple. I will have some very tough decisions to make before that TR interview depending on when the wedding date is set for...

I am trying to respect DW's wishes with respect to telling the kids. Things are softening slowly in that regard, but maybe to slowly. I guess my current plan is to do some fibbing on the TR interview so I can attend. ug. :oops: It will be a first for me to full on stretch the truth (fib) like that in an interview.

And I love the OP and agree with all of it..

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