Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
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græy
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Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm

I decided I should probably just keep a running thread in here for my occasional updates. So... here it is. Ta-Da!

Mine and my wife's temple recommends expire this month. No big deal, I figure can nuance my way through an interview. But this whole ordeal serves as a reminder to DW that we haven't been to the temple for quite a while. At least not together. I've been compelled to go with the youth a couple of times, but that is just me.

So, DW is pushing for us to go. She has been doing so for a couple of months now and I have been dragging my feet. After some church-related discussion last night she asked me straight out why I didn't want to go. Why have I never been the one to initiate or organize a trip to the temple? I had to ask if she really wanted to know and she said she did, so off we went.

I told her that I have never really objected to the temple. Some people have real issues with phrasing or actions. I understand that, but it has never really bothered me. However, to me, the powerful place in the temple has always been the Celestial Room. It is calm. It is quiet. I can convince myself that while I'm in there, I am separated from the world. I feel like I can really be at peace and meditate in there.

But, you can't just go to the temple and site in the celestial room. At least I don't know anyone who ever has. Maybe you can do just that. Who would stop you? Anyway, you're there to serve right? So the endowment it is, but its just so long, and boring, and repetitive.

Having come across the masonic ties to the mormon temple more than a year ago, I realized the temple is not at all what I was taught it was. The new (?) topic essay on masonry states:
The Lord restored the temple ordinances through Joseph Smith to teach profound truths about the plan of salvation and introduce covenants that would allow God’s children to enter His presence.
But I'm left wondering, what was actually restored? We know what happened in Solomon's temple in OT times. It wasn't the endowment, it was animal sacrifices. We also know the masonic parts of the endowment weren't a restoration of anything. They originated between 1400-1600CE from a trade guild. So what exactly was "restored" and when/where was it lost from?

What are the truths that are taught? The creation story? I'd go out on a limb and say that's not truth. Christ as the Savior? I don't need the temple to learn that.

What about the covenants? They've evolved over the course of church history. So were they "restored" incorrectly? How do I know they're the correct covenants now? Does God really require me to promise everything I have to the church rather than Him? Also, I can't laugh loudly any more?

In the end, I don't know what is left. I told my wife most of that line of thinking. The temple once meant something to me. It was boring, yes, and I never really felt like I was learning anything there, but I always assumed that was my fault. I just wasn't spiritually minded enough. Now, I know the truth. I never learned anything because there is nothing there to learn. I feel like if I go back through, that will become a demarcation line between my old TBM days and my new mostly apostate self.

Tears were shed by both of us. In the end she hugged me and pointed out that I am frequently a pessimist and things often work out better than I expect. I agreed with her there. She feels like "the adversary" is working hard on me and trying to convince me not to go back. I had no response to that one. She still doesn't really get how deep this disaffection runs. I've tried keeping her in the loop. We have semi-frequent conversations, many of which have been very painful for both of us. But I think she's partially in denial about the implications of what I've said.

In the end, she recognized that this process of unraveling the truth about the church is painful for me. She doesn't feel a need to do it herself, she's happy where she's at. But she is OK with me "continuing to study" and I guess that's all I can do for now.

TL;DR - Tearful talk about why I don't want to go to the temple. Aaaannnd... we're going back to the temple someday soon.
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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jfro18
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by jfro18 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:05 pm

Well it's good to have these talks as horrible as they are... and it sounds like at least it ended with you both talking to each other which is also good.

The "adversary" thing drives me bonkers and my wife knows that so when I've asked if she feels like that's the case she always says no. The missionaries tried that on me about 6 months ago and that was the one time where I could feel myself losing my composure... I responded that if the adversary was truly in charge of things they would probably take wives from other faithful men and say it was under the name of God, and then keep his wife in the dark the whole time.

That's definitely a "trigger" for me so I really don't know how to respond to it. With my wife early on I told her straight up that there is no Satan pulling the strings because the info I based this on was overwhelmingly from the church itself. It wasn't an answer that seemed to resonate with her, but I think she got the idea that this stuff wasn't coming from tinfoil hat wearing apostates.

Glad to hear the talk at least went OK but sorry that you're headed back to the temple soon. Maybe before that happens you'll hit a breakthrough somewhere - one can dream, anyway!

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græy
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:12 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:05 pm
The "adversary" thing drives me bonkers and my wife knows that so when I've asked if she feels like that's the case she always says no.

...

That's definitely a "trigger" for me so I really don't know how to respond to it. With my wife early on I told her straight up that there is no Satan pulling the strings because the info I based this on was overwhelmingly from the church itself. It wasn't an answer that seemed to resonate with her, but I think she got the idea that this stuff wasn't coming from tinfoil hat wearing apostates.

Glad to hear the talk at least went OK but sorry that you're headed back to the temple soon. Maybe before that happens you'll hit a breakthrough somewhere - one can dream, anyway!
I'll dream, but that is all it will be for now.

To be clear, I don't think she wast implying my study habits or the information I've learned/shared was from the "adversary." But she did seem to think my hesitation to go force the endowment on some poor dead guy was due to Satan's supreme influence. Either way, I agree. I hate it when people attribute anything to Satan tempting us, or trying to prevent us from doing certain things. Even the phrasing just irks me.
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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slavereeno
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by slavereeno » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:43 pm

I know how this feels Gray. I don't know how to make any progress but to have some conversations with DW, they are often painful. Seems like you are taking things slow.

When DW and I first started working on this, I went with her to do sealings. At least in our temples here is Arizona, you are given the opportunity to go to the celestial room after the sealings. Usually this is less time than an endowment, and I tried to just focus on DW, our wedding day and how much I love her and was committed to her.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:24 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm
In the end, I don't know what is left.
Yep.

I don't know that anyone can really understand this unless they've been there. I don't have any advice or thoughts to share, I'm just someone in a similar situation. My TR expires this year and I don't know if I should renew or not...

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Red Ryder
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:18 pm

Let me be the voice of experience of someone who chose not to renew the TR.

It's great.
No nuanced recommend interviews.
No temple dates.
No funny religious movies or rituals.
No eternal life.
It's great for me.

It's been horrible for the wife.
She feels lonely.
She feels sad.
She feels like a CK Widow.
She feels betrayed.
She feels like crying when family goes.

I'd suggest you maintain your recommend for her sake until you are both out together or have worked your way completely out with her approval and with boundaries and expectations laid out regarding your participation.

That way the temple doesn't become the great divide in your marriage. That's what garments are for! :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by wtfluff » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:31 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm
But, you can't just go to the temple and site in the celestial room. At least I don't know anyone who ever has. Maybe you can do just that. Who would stop you? Anyway, you're there to serve right?
I heard somewhere, sometime that you can go dress in the full baker's regalia and go directly to the celestial room. Like you Græy I've never actually heard of anyone doing it, but like you say, who would stop you? I'm sure the oldies guarding the super-important gaudy room will try and kick you out quickly, but again, what would happen if someone said no? You could always tell them that "the adversary" is influencing them to kick you out. :twisted:
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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græy
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:43 pm
Usually this is less time than an endowment, and I tried to just focus on DW, our wedding day and how much I love her and was committed to her.
I like this idea and the focus. Thank you.
Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:18 pm
That way the temple doesn't become the great divide in your marriage. That's what garments are for! :lol:
:lol: :D
wtfluff wrote: You could always tell them that "the adversary" is influencing them to kick you out. :twisted:
LOL, I'd almost do it just to see their reaction!
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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Mormorrisey
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:42 am

That's a tough position to be in, and I'm glad Sis M is more careful on how she uses the "adversary is after you" language these days, but she liberally said this in the beginning, so I feel your pain.

I have the opposite problem, actually. Because of my "apostasy," Sis M has an aversion to going with me to the temple. She feels that I make a mockery of the whole thing by going, so she doesn't go with me. We've been together to the temple maybe five times in the last five/six years? And three of those were for family events, weddings, own endowments, etc., so it wasn't that awkward. But it's interesting that the higher ups give me a recommend, but she's more "spiritually discerning" and doesn't want to go with me. She's an interesting lass, and full of contradictions but at least I'm not pressured into getting a recommend. That would suck.

All I can offer is negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. That's the secret. Hold your ground when you can, and bend when you must. That's my marriage survival strategy.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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Hagoth
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:13 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:31 pm
græy wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm
But, you can't just go to the temple and site in the celestial room. At least I don't know anyone who ever has. Maybe you can do just that. Who would stop you? Anyway, you're there to serve right?
I heard somewhere, sometime that you can go dress in the full baker's regalia and go directly to the celestial room. Like you Græy I've never actually heard of anyone doing it, but like you say, who would stop you? I'm sure the oldies guarding the super-important gaudy room will try and kick you out quickly, but again, what would happen if someone said no? You could always tell them that "the adversary" is influencing them to kick you out. :twisted:
Mrs. Hagoth has a friend with health issues that make it very difficult for her to get through an endowment. She has learned that some temples will let her sit with her friend in the celestial room and some won't.
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:14 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm
She feels like "the adversary" is working hard on me and trying to convince me not to go back. I had no response to that one.
When that one comes up I say, "I don't believe in the Boogey Man." Seems to work.
“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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slavereeno
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by slavereeno » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:16 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:13 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:31 pm
græy wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:49 pm
But, you can't just go to the temple and site in the celestial room. At least I don't know anyone who ever has. Maybe you can do just that. Who would stop you? Anyway, you're there to serve right?
I heard somewhere, sometime that you can go dress in the full baker's regalia and go directly to the celestial room. Like you Græy I've never actually heard of anyone doing it, but like you say, who would stop you? I'm sure the oldies guarding the super-important gaudy room will try and kick you out quickly, but again, what would happen if someone said no? You could always tell them that "the adversary" is influencing them to kick you out. :twisted:
Mrs. Hagoth has a friend with health issues that make it very difficult for her to get through an endowment. She has learned that some temples will let her sit with her friend in the celestial room and some won't.
"The beautiful thing about the church is that its same everywhere I go!" <cue ugly cry at the pulpit>

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græy
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:23 am

Sorry, this is kind of long...

This thought came to me from a reply in a different thread...

Several week ago, a mostly active and engaged family in our ward very abruptly decided they were done with the church and resigned their membership. It was extremely jarring for a lot of people, but there were a few signs. The day they met with the bishop to resign the wife of the family shared her "testimony." I leave that in quotes because it wasn't a testimony, it was a list of memories of the church. She stated outright that there was a lot on her mind, but she didn't want to overstep her bounds at the pulpit and would try to keep things simple. She apologized for pain she may cause (not have caused - past tense), and referenced recent weeks of intense study about the church. She ended her farewell speech in tears and with a simple "Thank you" and sat down.

No one seemed to notice that anything was out of the ordinary at all with her "testimony." Once everyone found out they had left several members expressed surprise that they'd leave after she shared her testimony in sacrament. Were they even listening?

The night the news broke that they had left DW and I were discussing the event. She seemed to be under the impression that the church must not have ever mattered to them. If it had, how could they walk away so easily? And what about the poor children!? How will they ever know the joys of the gospel!?

I countered both of those arguments. In her parting address, this woman was in tears. She had lived her whole life as a member of the church, and shedding that identity is NOT something done lightly. She told us they had been reading for weeks straight trying to determine truth. And the kids? Do we really think they care? Some do, or will if they stay in long enough. But the vast majority 3-10 year olds would rejoice to learn they don't have to go to church anymore or read scriptures anymore.

Later, DW commented that she already felt like she was a terrible mother and felt like the only reason she had any semblance of success was because of the church. She said that if she didn't have the church it would be even harder to be a good mother.

I argued that she was a great mother. I tried to build her up and let her know how much I appreciate all she does in our home, for our family. But I feel I missed an opportunity.

You see, the majority of our family arguments, or the arguments between parents and kids have to do with family scripture study, FHE, getting to church on time, etc. Most of the time when my wife feels the worst about being a mother it is because there was a recent argument trying to make it through some church-mandated family activity that no one really wants to do. DW wife would say she wants to, but I think that is more programming that actual desire.

With the new year we have been following the Come Follow Me home study schedule as a family. It has resulted in the typical and expected fights, arguments, and tears.

However, there is often at least one night each week where DW is out of the house for one reason or another. On those nights, family scripture study turns into me telling the kids we love them, they are good kids, and I'll find some single verse from our assigned chapters that supports that simple message. It takes all of 30 seconds. Sometimes the kids will follow up with questions about schedules or something else they are worried about or have on their mind and we'll talk about that. Sometimes they don't and it ends right there. But either way, those nights are SO much smoother. They feel SO much better, for everyone except DW who isn't there to see it.

When she is there she insists on following the manual and having a rigid discussion about correlated doctrine that often isn't really supported by the scripture we read and it drags out and turns into fights. Yet she will still insist that having these church appointed family fights every day is the only way to be happy. :?: She will still insist that things would only be worse without the church. :?:

I just... I don't get it. Just be honest. It doesn't make the kids happy. It doesn't even make you happy.
Last edited by græy on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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jfro18
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by jfro18 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:47 am

græy wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:23 am
Later, DW commented that she already felt like she was a terrible mother and felt like the only reason she had any semblance of success was because of the church. She said that if she didn't have the church it would be even harder to be a good mother.

I argued that she was a great mother. I tried to build her up and let her know how much I appreciate all she does in our home, for our family. But I feel I missed an opportunity.
Every time I talk with DW about church I run into this. Every. Single. Time.

She tells me that she is who she is because of church and that the only way a kid can be raised to know good is through the church. I counter that I've known her since she was 15 and she is not this way just because of the church and that if she feels you can't raise a kid w/o the church what does that say about me (I was not born in the church).

It's programming... and every time I try to tell her that you can still be a great person w/o the church she immediately turns that into me bashing her family or her ancestors. It's a defense mechanism but it apparently is not unique w/ church stuff.

Sorry you're going through it - if I ever find an answer I'll let you know, but it is a very deep rooted thing for sure at least over here.

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græy
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:44 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:47 am
It's programming... and every time I try to tell her that you can still be a great person w/o the church she immediately turns that into me bashing her family or her ancestors. It's a defense mechanism but it apparently is not unique w/ church stuff.

Sorry you're going through it - if I ever find an answer I'll let you know, but it is a very deep rooted thing for sure at least over here.
Thanks jfro18. I know there is no easy answer. No simple wake-up call.

One of my kids' best friends is from a nevermo family (actually, most of their friends are non-members because we're not in UT). They are amazing people. They are kind, selfless, and thoughtful. Their children is smart, talented, and great friends to our kids. They are a happy family. It is amazing how we can claim that the church is the only true source of happiness. That without the church there is no way to raise happy well-balanced kids and then completely ignore all the evidence around us of happy families with good kids who don't give a flying f*ck about mormonism.
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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slavereeno
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by slavereeno » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:44 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:47 am
She tells me that she is who she is because of church and that the only way a kid can be raised to know good is through the church. I counter that I've known her since she was 15 and she is not this way just because of the church and that if she feels you can't raise a kid w/o the church what does that say about me (I was not born in the church).

It's programming... and every time I try to tell her that you can still be a great person w/o the church she immediately turns that into me bashing her family or her ancestors. It's a defense mechanism but it apparently is not unique w/ church stuff.
græy wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:44 pm
One of my kids' best friends is from a nevermo family (actually, most of their friends are non-members because we're not in UT). They are amazing people. They are kind, selfless, and thoughtful. Their children is smart, talented, and great friends to our kids. They are a happy family.
I understand this too. DW is doing some NOMish things right now, but this is one of the most difficult aspects for her. In our anecdotal experience the Mormon kids our kids associate with are more put together than the non-mormon kids. This is not exclusive, but if I am being fair, there is a statistically significant relationship. Mormon kids are less likely to be involved with drugs, alcohol, foul language, teen sex, and with higher grades in school, more leaders, better musicians, etc. In the Arizona community I live in at least, its pretty hard to deny that there is some correlation there. If you lump the non-denominational Christian kids in with the Mormons, its even more statistically significant.

DW makes a case that no religion is worse than misguided religion when raising the kids, that if we can learn to keep Mormonism in check its a net benefit.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:13 pm

General question to everyone who posted?

How long has your wife been a mormon?

A. She was born into it.
B. Her whole life.
C. Since her first breath.
D. All of the above

If the answer is any of the above, then her whole identity and self worth is tied to Mormonism.

That means:
A. She had to marry an RM in the temple.
B. She had to be a Mother.
C. She had to have children.
D. She has to stay mormon and see that her children are raised in Mormonism.

For the Mormon wife, it's extremely difficult to find her real identity because she's more engrained in this than the husband. When the husband steps out, the vice gets squeezed even tighter and there's enormous momentum back pressure to remain in the church. They simply cannot see life any other way.

Ask your wife to tell you what she thinks her life would be without Mormonism and I'm guessing she'll say she can't even imagine.

The men of NOM should be encouraging their wives to develop a real self identity.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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jfro18
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by jfro18 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:17 pm

Just to add to what RR just said, I think the following is incredibly true and frustrating:
Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:13 pm
That means:
A. She had to marry an RM in the temple.
B. She had to be a Mother.
C. She had to have children.
D. She has to stay mormon and see that her children are raised in Mormonism.
We had trouble having kids... it took us over 3 years after we started trying to have a kid and we had a miscarriage about 2.5 years into that. I never really understood how much B/C on RR's list ate away at her, and I wish she had told me at the time because I could've been there for her a lot more than I was. Even now she usually skips Mother's Day because of it, and I don't blame her - the church really plans out your life for you and when things don't happen you feel like a failure.

That's a bit of a departure from the thread, but now that we do have a kid I think it has made her want to be Mormon more since she feels like our kid needs it, even though Mormons out here (Illinois) range from jerks to great just like any other group does.

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græy
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by græy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:10 am

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:17 pm
We had trouble having kids... it took us over 3 years after we started trying to have a kid and we had a miscarriage about 2.5 years into that. I never really understood how much B/C on RR's list ate away at her, and I wish she had told me at the time because I could've been there for her a lot more than I was. Even now she usually skips Mother's Day because of it, and I don't blame her - the church really plans out your life for you and when things don't happen you feel like a failure.
This is us too, except that it took 8 years and eventual medical intervention. Our last 2 came naturally and were both surprises, which can only mean that one or the other of us didn't actually hit puberty until about 35. :lol: Still, DW sees all of it as answers to prayer and somehow fulfilling her patriarchal blessing, which only embeds her deeper. :roll:
Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:13 pm
For the Mormon wife, it's extremely difficult to find her real identity because she's more engrained in this than the husband. When the husband steps out, the vice gets squeezed even tighter and there's enormous momentum back pressure to remain in the church. They simply cannot see life any other way.
DW didn't grow up in Utah and had several YW leaders who didn't fit the Mormon ideal. Some had inactive or non-member husbands, some were divorced. Given those role models and the fact that they had otherwise happy families, she has made it clear that leaving the church is, on its own, not grounds for divorce, but she's still not happy about it.

Still, as you point out. She can't really envision her own life outside of mormonism. That world is just a nonsensical, weird, foggy, amorphous blur to her.
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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jfro18
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Re: Mr. and Mrs. Græy's Stuff

Post by jfro18 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:09 pm

græy wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:10 am
This is us too, except that it took 8 years and eventual medical intervention. Our last 2 came naturally and were both surprises, which can only mean that one or the other of us didn't actually hit puberty until about 35. :lol: Still, DW sees all of it as answers to prayer and somehow fulfilling her patriarchal blessing, which only embeds her deeper. :roll:
We only ended up with one kid - we tried most medical options outside of IVF, but amazingly enough the one we had came from a very strict change in diet eliminating anything that could be allergic (gluten, dairy, and most sugar).

But after almost 4 years of struggle and a miscarriage, DW considered the one child we have to be the work of God. And I'd never say otherwise... but for someone as good as DW is (and she absolutely is as good as they get) to struggle for so long to have a kid doesn't make sense in the belief that these things are blessings from God for doing good here.

I'm not sure what her patriarchal blessing says, but I would absolutely bet it says plural kids in there... but that will never register with her as a flaw of the church's ability to know anything.

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