If you could go back...

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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If you could go back...

Post by Arcturus » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:40 pm

Listened to Bill Reel's interview with Infants on Thrones dudes, and the topic of "if you could go back..." and not know any of the issues with Mormonism, etc. would you do it?

I've thought a lot about this recently, and I'm not sure if I can answer the question firmly in any direction right now. While my DW and I love the flexibility of the weekends and not having to wear magic underwear, I find myself missing the ignorant TBM mindset of presumably knowing the mysteries to the universe. I think it is more challenging to accept that you don't know anything, specifically a more agnostic position with theology.

What do you NOM folks think about this question? I imagine it has higher tension for NOMs who are stuck in the church still because of a believing spouse or other family members. I'm super fortunate to be on the same page as my DW...
“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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Re: If you could go back...

Post by jfro18 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:48 pm

I wouldn't go back to believing the church and not knowing the issues.

I would go back and do it over again as far as how I dealt with talking to DW after finding out the issues.

Not to mix politics into this, but I grew up in a conservative house that believed being gay was a sin, there was a global flood, etc... now we know being gay is not a "choice" and I can never go back to that mode of thinking. I don't trust science 100%, but I also know it's making a good-faith effort and the consensus is building on a number of key issues that refute the mindset you have to have as a member.

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hiding in plain sight
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Re: If you could go back...

Post by hiding in plain sight » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:50 pm

In reality I was at this decision point at the age of 32. I would annually come across some church issue that would cause me to deeply question the possibility that the church was NOT true.

At that age, I made the decision to shelf it all. Stop paying attention when these issues would arise and lean in to my spiritual experiences and just be happy with it.

But I had a trigger event that forced me to reverse my decision and lean into the church issues and try and find the real answers. If I had not had that trigger event (my oldest, RM son leaving the church and me trying to save his eternal soul), I would probably still be that guy just being fat dumb and happy.

Now I am just fat and happy. :-)

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by wtfluff » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:00 pm

Arcturus wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:40 pm
"if you could go back..." and not know any of the issues with Mormonism, etc. would you do it?
Nope, I wouldn't go back.

Even inside my "belief bubble" when I had no clue about any of the issues, mormonism didn't work for me. In fact it really sucked.

Life still sucks even as a non-believer, but my emotional and mental health is much better. So I guess life is better inside my head now? :?
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


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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Linked » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:00 pm

Nope, never.

I am obsessed with knowing stuff, and I hate it when something I know is not true. I really thought I was right as a TBM, that there was a god and he directed the mormon church through the prophets. Once I looked at some of the teachings and actions of the church with a more objective eye and let myself realize the mormon church's teachings probably aren't true I can never go back. And I wouldn't want to, I would be going backwards in my quest to know as much as possible, and correctly.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by dogbite » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:11 pm

No. If I could go back I'd refuse baptism.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Anon70 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:57 pm

I’d go back to before I internalized everything and spent years beating myself up and feeling so much guilt and shame over tiny little stupid things and learn the truth then.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by blazerb » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:53 pm

I have no desire to go back. The problems faced by the LGBT community or young women who get sexually assaulted at church schools, for example, need to be rectified. I can't claim to be doing much, but the attacks made by TBM's are awful. I was once among those who attacked. Like the people of Ammon, I need to bury my weapons of war to keep from ever offending again. The TBM mindset was my weapon back in the day. It needs to stay buried.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by didyoumythme » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:59 am

Nope, I wouldn’t go back. Back then I was never fully comfortable with having all the answers, I just couldn’t articulate why. Now I have the tools to see that the answers don’t make sense. Now I am much more free to believe and accept others as I see fit, which is an amazing feeling.

Mormons think they have all the answers, but the never ending cycle of self-doubt, repentance, shame and unattainable standards is smothering. I prefer to face reality with both eyes wide open.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being honest, or cease being mistaken. - Anonymous

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by glass shelf » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:16 am

I'd never want to go back to believing. I'd love to go back and talk to 18yo me about not shelving your thoughts and ignoring your own interests because a corporation told her to. She probably would have ignored me, though.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by MoPag » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:57 am

glass shelf wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:16 am
I'd never want to go back to believing. I'd love to go back and talk to 18yo me about not shelving your thoughts and ignoring your own interests because a corporation told her to. She probably would have ignored me, though.
Same^^^ Oh I feel this! If I could warn 18yo me... But she was super TBM. :(
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:57 am


While ignorance is probably a great place to be I would rather know what I know and feel what I feel.

Underwear, coffee, wine, and 10% far are real tangible benefits that far out way intangible religious benefits.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Corsair » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:06 am

No, I could not go back. I'm not that person any longer and the orthodox doctrine non longer fits very well. I attended church and temple out of solemn duty believing that if I was bored or unfulfilled then it was my fault and my own spiritual maturity would eventually take care of that. It turns out that feeling bored in an endowment session is just as valid as feeling the spirit during the best of times. The church is "true" in the sense that I truly felt an elevation of my spirit with other people of good wil at certain times.

But that good will stops pretty quickly if you ask the wrong question or express the wrong opinion. "How many wives did Joseph have?" is certainly one unwelcome question and "I feel like spending all day in the temple would be incredibly boring" is another unwelcome opinion. The missionary rule book really grated against me and plenty of aspects of the BYU Honor code simply cannot be questioned even though I never lived under it. They are not interested in my opinion but I am ordered to treat these ephemeral ideas with reverence.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by alas » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:07 am

I don’t feel I have anything to go back to, except cognitive dissonance. Even my first memories of church are things that stuck out because they sounded wrong, back in primary. I wasn’t even eight before I decided that God would not be so stupid as to call a 14 year old boy as prophet, especially THAT 14 year old boy. Something about Joseph Smith just smelled wrong from the very first.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by 20/20hind » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:11 am

If i could go back it would be all the way to my ggg grandpa and i would kick his a$$ for getting me into this dung heap of a religion..

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Dravin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:29 am

No. I find the question to be on par with, "If you could believe in Santa Claus again, would you?" Also what would prevent me from just immediately having another faith crisis? You'd have to change the way I think and furthermore restrict my ability to think in those ways in the future, you're basically asking me to willingly undergo brain damage (permanently restricting my ability to think and reason) so I can experience that extra something that comes from thinking the presents under the tree labeled "From: Santa" aren't from my parents.

Don't get me wrong, I completely get the wistful longing for the days of innocence but to become the person I was requires murdering the person I am. I'll pass.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by slavereeno » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:00 pm

Tough question... I haven't been happy with almost all of the uniquely Mormon aspects of my life. That being said, my family does make me happy (or at least they used to) So in my current state of mind I would say yes, plug me back into the matrix. All the Mormon-y stuff would still suck big time but I am doing most of all that anyway and at least there would be more harmony in my home.

I feel like the dissenting vote here, but there you have it. If I was single with no kids it would be an emphatic NO.

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:21 pm

For me, no.

Before I knew everything I do now, I was overworked and stressed out trying to manage life. Church added so much more to do and I know now that my efforts were taken completely for granted. I was only liked because I was useful to the ward. Once I stopped going, I was no longer useful and I was completely ignored. I have less stress and more control of my life.

I would not want to for DW. When in church, she was very susceptible to the guilt and social pressure of everything. Now that she is out, she has grown in many ways, including a backbone. She is a much better person without the church.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by Give-me-strength » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:37 pm


I would not go back.

If I did, I would go back to thinking I wasn’t good enough to get answers to prayers. I would think I was a bad person for thinking g it’s ok to be gay. I would feel conflicted, guilty, and stressed all the time.

Life is much better for me now. I wouldn’t go back. If I had to, I would go through my faith crisis when I was 12(the first time I realized I wasn’t getting answers...but decided to believe anyway).

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Re: If you could go back...

Post by slavereeno » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:36 pm

If going back and having my faith crisis earlier was an option that's the door I would choose! Like 18 would be sufficient.

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