A So-Called Beloved Daughter

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hallew
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A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by hallew » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:05 pm

Hi. I'm new here. I have been lurking for a few weeks and I have read other threads that touch upon different things I mention below--so sorry if this is redundant. I just had to express it somewhere before I had a breakdown (my poor husband needs a break).

I’m going to put a disclaimer out there that hopefully this isn’t winded or gets side tracked too often. I have a lot going on with a close family member suddenly passing a week and a half ago and a friend passing last Saturday—that has affected me in an unusual way. It has caused me to reflect over my struggles with church.

When my testimony was strong, about 5 or 6 years ago, I had the sister missionaries over for dinner. Having them over for dinner was a common occurrence; especially since my husband worked late often. They prompted me to ponder questions I would like answers to during General Conference which was coming up soon. I prayed and had a list of questions that I had faith in being answered at conference (I had done this before and received confirmations to previous thoughts and feelings). Conference came and I listened to every talk given even with a toddler and a baby keeping me busy. However, I had no inspiration or felt any questions I had were answered. It was a numbing feeling.

I prayed and read scriptures. Still there was silence.

Since this occurrence my distance has grown from church. I have noticed things that I didn’t notice before with my past in church; having daughters may have also made me more aware.

I remembered more resources, money, and time spent on the young men versus the young women in church activities.

Polygamy being briefly touched upon and explained that there were widows and other elderly women that needed the support this arrangement offered.

Having to talk alone to the Bishop, a middle-aged man, about any transgressions that occurred while going through the repentance process. I was 18 years old.

I know there have been recent changes to address some of these concerns, but I can’t question why did it take so long?

While still wrestling with these questions I stumbled upon D&C 132 about two years ago. I sought better clarification as I was deeply disturbed by the doctrine that was never addressed in any church lesson I attended. The more I read articles on the lds.org (now churchofjesuschrist.org) the more heartbroken I became. I felt heartbroken for Emma. What kind of loving father could do that to a so-called beloved daughter? I felt lost and how could I trust God or a prophet.

After this going to church meetings and participating in my YW calling became difficult.

At some point during my struggle my husband and I were asked to meet with the Bishop. Of course, we had no idea why. It was during this meeting the Bishop said he was seeking ways to help my mom to get to the temple. Since I was not endowed and did not have garments he thought that I might could do this with my mother. I politely declined (due to past mental turmoil with my mother this is something I could not emotionally handle; also, I had received confirmation a long time ago this is something I would wait to do with my husband when he was ready). The Bishop tried pressuring me a few more times until he noticed my husband’s rigid posture (he has some unfortunate interactions with higher authority members from his has past which already made him on guard with meeting with the Bishop). He finally backed off and apologized. I felt as he was trying to use his “authority” to coerce me. It made me feel uncomfortable and belittled.

Every time the Bishop attended any activity and reminded us how special and strong the YW are or one of the bishopric dropped into one of our classes—I felt suffocated. Their intention was probably to show support, but all I could feel was this was just another way to reinsure the patriarchy.

I tried seeking answers and comfort in the Fall 2019 General Conference. When Dallin H. Oaks was giving a talk and referenced a question he received from a LDS woman. She asked: Would she have her own house in the hereafter or would she have to live with her husband and his first wife?

The audience responded with a guffaw. At this point I checked out of conference having no desire to hear anything else. How disheartening that we are told to just trust the lord and other saints laugh at someone else’s anguish.

By the time COVID hit and church meetings were put on hold I felt relief. For the past year I felt like I could breath with the distance. I still participated in some Zoom activities with YW, but overall felt better having some distance from church.

With church starting to go back to in house meetings some of my anxiety started to resurface. I decided to try and read D&C 132 again. The more I researched the more distraught I have become at new information I have come across. It has brought more questions I did not have before and has further strained my relationship with God, priesthood, and prophets.

A week and a half ago my aunt died unexpectedly and then a friend struggling with a terminal cancer passed away over the weekend. Of course, this is heartbreaking, but I have remained strong and supportive for my family. What has saddened me more is the hopelessness I have in feeling I cannot even pray to God for comfort.

I feel betrayed by God. How could I trust that I am a beloved daughter of his? Maybe I am beloved, but not as loved as his sons. I constantly hear priesthood holders praise women, tell us we are beloved daughters, and both men and women are equal—but history and actions speak louder than words.

Every time I hear a church leader state we are a beloved daughters I feel like screaming. It comes across as forced reassurance since church doctrine, the leading of most meetings, and most callings can only be held by priesthood holders—which are exclusively men.

I feel betrayed and heart broken. I have lost all trust in God and church leaders.

I was going to try and to listen to conference, but I could not find it in me to try (I might try reading the talks once they are available online).

Some more detailed issues I am struggling with:
Joseph Smith said he received revelation from God that he needed to practice polygamy and if Emma didn’t support this and be faithful, then “she shall be destroyed” and to be exempt from the law of Sarah if the first wife doesn’t agree.
Where is Emma’s agency? Either accept this or be cast of from God? What is the point of marriage? The plan of happiness? It feels like a lie.
Joseph publicly denied practicing polygamy and Emma didn’t even know who he was married to (recently discovered this tidbit)
Brigham Young disbanded the Relief Society
Polygamy was ended by Woodruff Wilson around the same time U.S. Congress renewed its attack on polygamy by disincorporating the church and seizing its assets
The temple still allows living men to be sealed to more than one woman following divorce or becoming a widower; however, a woman can only be sealed to more than one spouse if she is deceased
Also, if divorced a woman’s ex-husband has to be involved to remove the sealing
I let curiosity get the best of me an read the temple endowment/sealing ceremonies; both the one from before and after 2019
Did it really take until 2019 for woman to be a little more equal to men in the ceremony? Satan had more speaking parts than Eve? The so revered mother of all.

I don’t want my daughters to ever feel that they are second class members. I don’t see how I can ever feel more than this until the doctrine changes and we are no longer a Patriarchy.
I am at an impasse.

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Linked
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Linked » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:19 pm

Hi hallew, welcome to NOM! I am sorry that things are hard right now. Please know that you are not alone, many on this board have gone through the feelings of betrayal you are going through now. Also, you make some good points about the church responding to obvious pressure with obvious changes, and how manipulative Joseph Smith's polygamy practices were.

There are some great women on the board who relate to your feelings as a woman in church, I'm sure some will chime in when they see your post.

Thanks for posting.
"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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Red Ryder
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:04 pm

Welcome to NOM!

I can feel the anxiety reading through your post and can relate. Especially on this part:
“Hallew” wrote: I feel betrayed and heart broken. I have lost all trust in God and church leaders.
I also lost trust in the institutional church due to many of the issues you mention and the efforts to obfuscate and blame the questioner.

If your heart is in the right place, God will allow us to question. After all, that is what happened with Joseph? His questioning the right church opened the heavens to the restoration. Or so he says since we can’t validate his experience. We have to take his word for it.

I was fine with that until I learned some of the things that were unsavory and hidden. Like the Partridge sisters fake wedding that happened only after Emma had agreed; not knowing they were already secretly married to Joseph.

I’m regards to the way you are currently feeling. Ask yourself if the anxiety that is creeping in as church opens up is healthy or not.

I decided for me personally it isn’t healthy so I stopped attending even now that my ward is open for in person church.

Trust your gut and allow your feelings to be valid.

You are a beloved daughter of God if you feel God loves you and cares for you. You don’t need the institutional church to try and convince you of that or constantly tell you that in hollow terms. Or tied to obedience. You should be able to feel that love deep within yourself automatically.

Stick around and ask questions. Many of us are still going through the same experience you described while dealing with our loved ones.

It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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alas
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by alas » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:13 pm

Hi, and welcome to NOM.

I left the church primarily because the church made me feel like God did not love his daughters....no, like we were not even daughters at all, but merely the wives of his beloved sons. We are at best an unfavorite daughter in law. So, if He doesn’t love me and forbids me to speak to my Mother, why should I worship Mormon God?

Even with the changes to the temple ceremony, it is still not equal and never can be under current temple practices. The biggest inequality is one they have not changed and is something that isn’t talked about much because unless you get endowed the same day as you are married, most women don’t notice or they assume that their husband stands proxi for the Lord. No, when women are taken through the veil of the temple, their husband is not standing as proxi for the Lord. The husband is the woman’s lord. Not “The Lord,” but “her lord.” When the veil ceremony is explained, the wording is given for men and they say a temple worker stands as proxi for The Lord. But they don’t specify that her husband is standing in for nobody but himself. He will be her God. Most women go through now for their endowment before they are married and a temple worker stands proxi. They assume that the proxi is for “The Lord” as it was explained. Then the day they are married they do a quick thing where they whisper their new name through the veil, so their husband knows their “new name.” But it used to be, back when I was married that a woman was very discouraged from getting her endowment until on her wedding day. Then her veil ceremony was all done with her husband standing on the other side of the veil as her “lord.” Then if the couple ever get their second anointing, he is anointed to become a god and she is given his (her husband’s) priesthood. So, until they change this deep hidden doctrine, they can never ordain women to God’s priesthood because they will never hold any God’s priesthood other than their husband’s when he becomes a god.

You don’t even realize this is what is going on, unless you know church doctrine under Brigham Young, then suddenly a lot of things make sense in a bad way.

Turns out Mormon God isn’t even my god. He is my husband’s God and my husband is my god. So, really I am not even good enough for a daughter in law. How about a cow my husband owns. So, no we have not moved past polygamy.

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Just This Guy
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:29 pm

Welcome to the board Hallew. At a minimum, know you are not alone. There are many people in the same position as you are and we are all here to help each other. It can be a rough road at times, but know that you have friends and support here.

First off, don't worry about going long. That is normal here. If the spirit or muse take you, just go with it and let it all out. It's good for you and good for people here to read it.

If you want more confirmation about making the right choice, lookup NewNameNoah on Youtube. He recorded the temple ceremony and posted it online. You certainly are not missing out. They have tried to make it better over the years, but it is still heavily sexist and patriarchal.
"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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Ghost
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Ghost » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm

Welcome to NOM. As others have said, you never have to worry about long posts here. We're accustomed to that, and you'll definitely find others who can relate to your situation and thoughts.

One of the hardest parts of reevaluating your faith tradition is figuring out how to process the death of someone close to you in light of your questions. I can definitely sympathize with that.

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Angel
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Angel » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:52 pm

Big hugs Hallew!! I used to play so many mind games trying to justify the role of women for my daughters , for myself. It took a bishopric member molesting one of my kids (he is now in jail) and then observing how everyone else reacted to the situation to wake me out of the trance I was in. The priesthood does NOT protect. Women are usually the ones to protect and provide for kids - just look at male/female incarceration rates, and male/female single parent rates.

Apologies to the guys on here, but it is a special kind of hell to growing up with twisted "humble, selfless, loving, teachable" = let me groom you and your children. I know not all guys are like this, but for me and my family - Mom works overtime, mom provides, momma bear will rip your head off if needed.

One last thing - try to separate God and the church. I believe in God... the church = the abomination we are supposed to escape from ;)

Hope you find healthy spirituality by the end, and big bear hugs!!!
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Palerider
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Palerider » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:42 pm

Angel wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:52 pm

One last thing - try to separate God and the church. I believe in God... the church = the abomination we are supposed to escape from ;)
Couldn't agree with this more. Church leadership have made themselves, their doctrine and the organization synonymous with God. Don't allow that. They are not the mediators. You can go straight to the source through Christ.

They do point out how favorably the Savior interacted with women but in reality they do not follow his example. LDS priesthood, "modern" scripture, and temple ordinances are all geared to bring both men and women into subjection to a quasi cult.

Hallew, you are on your way to a better place spiritually and mentally. Take it slow. Don't rush to judgement about God. He knows what you're going through.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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græy
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by græy » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:39 pm

hallew wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:05 pm
I feel betrayed and heart broken. I have lost all trust in God and church leaders.
Welcome hallew,

I relate to this very much. Your post feels very raw and honest and I am sorry for the pain you have felt through church.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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2bizE
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by 2bizE » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:13 pm

Welcome Hallew. Your post made me start to tear up. Like everyone else here on NOM, I understand your pain and struggle. We have all been through this and understand the mental and physical pain associated with finding out things you had been taught all your life are not true. The feelings of deception. The pain of disbelief. The pain of finding people you trusted have misled you. The pain is real and I feel for you. I’m still experiencing many of these feelings. You have friends here ready to listen and empathize.
~2bizE

hallew
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by hallew » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:11 am

Thank you all for your kind words and support.

I think I have reached a point where I’ll participate in church when I feel comfortable to do so and will no longer pretend to be someone I am not. I will focus more on Christ (I feel studying the New Testament brings me closest to him). If asked to teach or give a talk on something that brings discord to my soul, then I will decline. I know at times this will give me anxiety, but it will prevent me from becoming angry and bitter—especially towards God and the LDS church.

I have had my first experience in following my agreement to myself this past week. My mother came over to my house the other day and was going on about the veil and how GC talks were helping her. She is grieving the death of my aunt. She is quite fanatical (even before my aunt passing) and I have listened to her over an hour every day for the past two weeks. I finally reached my breaking point and informed her that I was happy that she finds solace in these “spiritual” experiences, but I was in a point in my life where I needed space from the church and could no longer participate in these talks (not like I ever participated I just stand there quietly enduring whatever spiritual thing she is going on about). She was shocked, but overall took it pretty well. She asked if I was leaving the church. I told her not at this point—I just needed space and had been suffocating for a while. I didn’t go into details other than there was doctrine I could not accept. She asked if she could take the kids to church with her, if she went (she’s been participating via zoom due to COVID, but just got her vaccinations so she might go back in person soon). I told her yes. If they want to go and my daughter still want to be baptized I would not deny them their agency.

After this encounter I felt so relieved. I know it’s just the beginning, but I am hoping it will bring more peace into my life. I’m sure she’s already added my name to the temple roll needing prayers. :lol:

I still haven't been able to watch or read any of the talk from last week's GC. I quickly looked over the titles and speakers, but couldn't get past there being 37 speakers and only 2 were women. Didn't really help in wanting to hear/read what was said. I might try again later.

I find solace that there are many others out there, both male and female, who bring attention to the lack of representation and “equalness” women receive in the LDS church—even if it is quietly and anonymously online.

These were to blog entries I came across that conveyed the empty words of women being needed, but actions falling way too short to support such claims:
https://bycommonconsent.com/2021/04/06/ ... ore-114386

https://www.the-exponent.com/guest-post ... residency/

Wonderment
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Wonderment » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:40 pm

Welcome to NOM ! We're glad to have you here. Best ward ever ! :P :P :P
You did a great job in setting a boundary and telling your Mom that you needed some space from church and from hearing about the conference talks. You took a very important step in claiming your space. :) Hang in there, and please keep us updated on how you're doing. -- Wndr.

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Hagoth
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Hagoth » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:41 am

I'm glad you found us here at NOM, hallew. I think you'll find that a lot of the people here can really relate to your journey. The truth will make you free, and I think one of the the best places that applies is when we realize the truth that we aren't at the beck and call of some guy down the street, or some guy in an office building in SLC, just because they claim "authority" over us.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by jfro18 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:03 am

Welcome to NOM!

I can say that the people here are amazing to bounce ideas off of, and this place has been so great for me the last 3 years.

One thing I do not want to do is try to answer your questions as a man because as much as I've tried over the last 3 years to think about the church's policies from a woman's perspective (polygamy is what first led me to disbelief), I know that I can't match it.

Recently I wrote a 3-part polygamy overview which touches on many of the points you brought up, but again it's through my lens which is never going to be as good as someone who has been on the other side of the sexism in the church. But if you're bored and want to give them a read, the first part is @ https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/polygamy

I hope you stick around and let us know how you're doing - I love this place because everyone is so kind and it feels so much more comfortable to talk in than reddit/facebook groups. :)

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Angel
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Angel » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:58 pm

hallew wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:11 am
Thank you all for your kind words and support.

I think I have reached a point where I’ll participate in church when I feel comfortable to do so and will no longer pretend to be someone I am not. I will focus more on Christ (I feel studying the New Testament brings me closest to him). If asked to teach or give a talk on something that brings discord to my soul, then I will decline. I know at times this will give me anxiety, but it will prevent me from becoming angry and bitter—especially towards God and the LDS church.

I have had my first experience in following my agreement to myself this past week. My mother came over to my house the other day and was going on about the veil and how GC talks were helping her. She is grieving the death of my aunt. She is quite fanatical (even before my aunt passing) and I have listened to her over an hour every day for the past two weeks. I finally reached my breaking point and informed her that I was happy that she finds solace in these “spiritual” experiences, but I was in a point in my life where I needed space from the church and could no longer participate in these talks (not like I ever participated I just stand there quietly enduring whatever spiritual thing she is going on about). She was shocked, but overall took it pretty well. She asked if I was leaving the church. I told her not at this point—I just needed space and had been suffocating for a while. I didn’t go into details other than there was doctrine I could not accept. She asked if she could take the kids to church with her, if she went (she’s been participating via zoom due to COVID, but just got her vaccinations so she might go back in person soon). I told her yes. If they want to go and my daughter still want to be baptized I would not deny them their agency.

After this encounter I felt so relieved. I know it’s just the beginning, but I am hoping it will bring more peace into my life. I’m sure she’s already added my name to the temple roll needing prayers. :lol:

I still haven't been able to watch or read any of the talk from last week's GC. I quickly looked over the titles and speakers, but couldn't get past there being 37 speakers and only 2 were women. Didn't really help in wanting to hear/read what was said. I might try again later.

I find solace that there are many others out there, both male and female, who bring attention to the lack of representation and “equalness” women receive in the LDS church—even if it is quietly and anonymously online.

These were to blog entries I came across that conveyed the empty words of women being needed, but actions falling way too short to support such claims:
https://bycommonconsent.com/2021/04/06/ ... ore-114386

https://www.the-exponent.com/guest-post ... residency/
Some women to inspire you on your journey to an individual faith:
Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller), Florence Nightingale, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank....
Best wishes to you, may you find your inner light, and help others find their light and personal testimony too!
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Corsair
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Corsair » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:28 pm

hallew wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:11 am
I think I have reached a point where I’ll participate in church when I feel comfortable to do so and will no longer pretend to be someone I am not.
We are happy that you found us. Your boundary setting is an excellent path forward. Figuring out how to orient your life going forward is both exhilarating and frightening. Your morality in the LDS church unfortunately was centered on whatever the current leadership thought about any issue. I hope you can find someone to talk with in real life about working through the changes in your life and beliefs.

hallew
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by hallew » Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:29 am

jfro18:

I probably shouldn't have tried reading the link you posted late at night on a girls' trip this past weekend (I already have a hard time sleeping whenever I travel). I got about a third into the first part and I had to put it down. I didn't get much sleep, but that seems to be my norm these days.

Most of the ladies on this trip were friends of a mutual friend and my first time meeting them. The majority were also LDS. It was interesting because a lot of them had a cup of wine one night and coffee in the morning. It was really an eye opening experience for me (I grew up in a household with an alcoholic father and a mother who has mental illness--so no judgement here). Some were married, going through a divorce, or divorced. All had kids. We are all at different points in our lives. One of them I knew previously to the trip and we actually live near each other. I confided in her what I am going through. She is also going through something and we have decided to get together more often. It was refreshing to have someone else to share my struggle and sorrow with and that I could could do the same for her.

The trip was a great escape, but of course those are always short lived. When I got home Sunday evening my husband and kids were at his parents' house for dinner. I opted not to go since I was exhausted and just wanted to lay around. Around 6:30 pm there was a knock on my front door. Surprise! It was the sister missionaries. I answered the door and let them know I was in my robe and relaxing. I was trying not to be rude, but I was tired and they just unexpectedly showed up at my door Sunday evening (they do have my number). Their reason for stopping by was to check up on me. I'm assuming it's because my aunt and a friend have recently passed away (both belong to another ward in our stake), but it could also be that I haven't participated in sacrament meeting via zoom or in person in over a year. Either way I let them know there was nothing they could do for me and after an awkward moment they left and I went back to my bed and tried to relax again. I just can't seem to catch a mental break.

I did read the first part yesterday and couldn't go farther. I might try again later on, but need to space these since my anxiety has been sky high the past few weeks. I have never been one to suffer with depression or long stints of anxiety, but the church's lack of response in modern day revelation regarding polygamy and lack of women in leadership is making me feel hopeless. In the past I could turn to looking to eternity bringing peace for the hardships of this life, but now eternity feels more like hell than heaven--at least for women.

Keewon
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Re: A So-Called Beloved Daughter

Post by Keewon » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:08 pm

Welcome to NOM, hallew. Your story is painful and all too common.

The only thing I can think of to say is some advice my mission president gave me- when you pray, be honest with God. That includes every negative thought, all your anger, all of it. Don't try to manufacture feelings. If you're pretty sure he doesn't exist, that's a fair thing to talk about. If God exists, he won't punish you for your honesty. Perhaps there's a different path in life for you. There is wisdom in taking things a day at a time, living in the present, and letting the future take care of itself, as the bible says.

And if you haven't done so, you might try finding a time and place for prayer where your time isn't limited and you won't be interrupted. I used to go up the canyon once a week where I could spend as long as I felt I needed. Those times are still some of my sweetest memories.

But if you're feeling heartbroken and alienated, maybe that's a sign. You may wind up disaffected- a lot of us on this board are there. If I could give any advice, it would be- don't fear that. Just be honest. Be true to yourself, and do things you believe are right, just because they're right.

And don't hesitate to visit NOM. These are good people. They'll support you no matter what your choices entail.

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