Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

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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græy
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Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by græy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:40 am

My wife and I have a sort of "shared" youtube account. While looking through video history for something I had recently seen myself, I saw the Mormon Channel video How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs listed among the viewings for yesterday.

The video (youtube)

I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, I'm glad the church is releasing videos about couples staying together even when one of them no longer believes. I'm happy my wife is finding and watching them. On the other hand, the experience this couple (or more particularly, the husband) relates is nothing like mine, and I hope my wife sees that distinction.

At the time of his confession of non-belief, this husband relates that he possibly never believed in God or had a real testimony of his own. There never really was any sort of "faith transition" on his part, no dark night of the soul. Because of that, the video focuses almost entirely on how difficult the confession and coming to terms with their new reality was for the wife. She mentions how her world was shattered and had to be entirely rebuilt because of his confession. He is mostly just a passive character in her story.

In their reality he really did deceive her, even if he had good intentions in doing so. He led her to believe he had a testimony by his actions over YEARS. Dating, temple marriage, starting and raising a family. It wasn't until she forced the issue that he admitted he was just going through empty motions.

In my experience, I had a testimony. I believed it. I lived it. I'm still living it. When I saw the cracks in the church's shiny narrative, the light coming through those cracks hurt. It burned. It still burns. I'm not a passive character in this. My world has been shattered just as badly as hers will be when I finally lay it all on the line. Only I was deceived by prophets and seers. Men who are held to a higher standard, who knew better and still chose to spread half-truths and lies.

If my wife and I made that video it would have double the heartache, double the pain, because two worlds were destroyed by the church's faulty foundations.
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: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by jfro18 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 am

Bill Reel posted the link to this yesterday and I watched it with the same thoughts you had.

The church *has* to release videos like this with the focus on the believer. They can not allow the person who "fell away" to give their side of the story.

Anyone who thinks this video was not made with a very direct set of guidelines is kidding themselves. I have no idea if this family's story is real or not (I assume it is), but the truth is that they need this exact same set of circumstances to protect the believer from thinking there is any basis to follow the non-believer or give any platform to their doubts.

The worst part about this video is that the overall message is "good" in that you can make a mixed faith marriage work, but just as they're smiling at you with the video, they're kicking the non-believer down a few flights of stairs.

And if you're a believer, you can't possibly see it. :evil:

edit: It's on our shared YouTube history as well... poop.

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græy
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by græy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:50 am

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 am
Bill Reel posted the link to this yesterday and I watched it with the same thoughts you had.

The church *has* to release videos like this with the focus on the believer. They can not allow the person who "fell away" to give their side of the story.

Anyone who thinks this video was not made with a very direct set of guidelines is kidding themselves. I have no idea if this family's story is real or not (I assume it is), but the truth is that they need this exact same set of circumstances to protect the believer from thinking there is any basis to follow the non-believer or give any platform to their doubts.

The worst part about this video is that the overall message is "good" in that you can make a mixed faith marriage work, but just as they're smiling at you with the video, they're kicking the non-believer down a few flights of stairs.

And if you're a believer, you can't possibly see it. :evil:

edit: It's on our shared YouTube history as well... poop.
Good points about them not being able to tell the other side of the story. It really doesn't do them any favors to even say he once had a testimony and lost it... somehow. The ONLY way they can relate a message of mixed-faith marriage is if the non-believing spouse never had a testimony to begin with, otherwise they indirectly legitimize questions, doubts, and leaving.

It's like a game of spiritual politics. I hate politics.
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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deacon blues
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by deacon blues » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:36 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 am
Bill Reel posted the link to this yesterday and I watched it with the same thoughts you had.

The church *has* to release videos like this with the focus on the believer. They can not allow the person who "fell away" to give their side of the story.

Anyone who thinks this video was not made with a very direct set of guidelines is kidding themselves. I have no idea if this family's story is real or not (I assume it is), but the truth is that they need this exact same set of circumstances to protect the believer from thinking there is any basis to follow the non-believer or give any platform to their doubts.

The worst part about this video is that the overall message is "good" in that you can make a mixed faith marriage work, but just as they're smiling at you with the video, they're kicking the non-believer down a few flights of stairs.

And if you're a believer, you can't possibly see it. :evil:

edit: It's on our shared YouTube history as well... poop.
That's is why I posted a comment that revealed that I was a believer, until I encountered new evidence. The video still reveals the tunnel vision that the Church propagates.
God is Love. God is Truth

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Mormorrisey » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:21 pm

I agree with what everyone has said here about this video after watching it - and I will add that it's a tad concerning that the atheist dude gets zero airtime to share his beliefs, his thoughts and feelings tend to take a back seat to the "believing member," and clearly their experience is theirs, and doesn't mirror mine or any number of people on our forum. Believing members aren't the only ones experiencing pain and emotional despair during a faith crisis - we get called servants of Satan, are accused of sin by the believer, and the list goes on. It's not a party being on this side either - and to expect the church to have any level of empathy for ME perhaps is asking a bit much, but it would sure be nice to have.

But. And for me, it's a big but. (No puns, please.) :D

This is one of the few things, sanctioned by the church, that encourages the believing spouse to accept the reality of the situation of a faith crisis, and not to immediately begin plans to escape and/or sabotage the marriage, just because the one spouse is a non-believer. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that I can point out to Sis. M that such thinking is antiquated and cult-like, and the church is not sanctioning it, is a win in my book. And it just might convince Sis M to stick around, and THAT'S all I want from this organization. And it's about damn time, and that's the problem I have. This should have been dealt with in this manner, using this language, YEARS ago. It would have saved me a lot of difficulty in my own marriage, to have this pointed out to the wife. That means to me, that the church is waking up to the fact that this scenario is playing out in a crapload of marriages at this stage of the game, and they can't simply stand by and watch them explode - at least the media folks realize this. I'll really know that the times they are a changin' when I see an apostle get up and say these things. (C'mon, silver fox, don't let me down, dude!!)
"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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nibbler
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by nibbler » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:24 pm

græy wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:40 am
In their reality he really did deceive her, even if he had good intentions in doing so. He led her to believe he had a testimony by his actions over YEARS. Dating, temple marriage, starting and raising a family. It wasn't until she forced the issue that he admitted he was just going through empty motions.
Wait, I'm confused. Is the video about a nefarious man that has different beliefs than his spouse or is it a reimagining of the story about correlation and the gospel topic essays?
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by MerrieMiss » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:16 pm

Mormorrisey wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:21 pm


This is one of the few things, sanctioned by the church, that encourages the believing spouse to accept the reality of the situation of a faith crisis, and not to immediately begin plans to escape and/or sabotage the marriage, just because the one spouse is a non-believer... And it's about damn time, and that's the problem I have. This should have been dealt with in this manner, using this language, YEARS ago.
Yes. I get the problems with it, but if only this was the conclusion to draw instead of "bail out of your marriage."

Also, I wish my husband cared enough to even go looking for videos or articles like this. Maybe I haven't made life uncomfortable enough for him yet. Time to buy that bottle of wine...
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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græy
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by græy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:34 pm

nibbler wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:24 pm
Wait, I'm confused. Is the video about a nefarious man that has different beliefs than his spouse or is it a reimagining of the story about correlation and the gospel topic essays?
Ha!

Correlation: You've changed. You're not who I thought you were.

Essays: I am who I've always been. I just emphasized different parts of me. That's all.

Correlation: I don't even know you anymore!

Essays: Please love me!
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wtfluff
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by wtfluff » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:03 pm

I haven't watched the video, and I likely won't until I feel like sacrificing some tooth enamel.

Nevertheless, it sounds like the majority of this video is based on a heaping pile of logical fallacies.

Sigh...
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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Raylan Givens
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Raylan Givens » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:39 pm

græy wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:40 am
My wife and I have a sort of "shared" youtube account. While looking through video history for something I had recently seen myself, I saw the Mormon Channel video How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs listed among the viewings for yesterday.

The video (youtube)

I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, I'm glad the church is releasing videos about couples staying together even when one of them no longer believes. I'm happy my wife is finding and watching them. On the other hand, the experience this couple (or more particularly, the husband) relates is nothing like mine, and I hope my wife sees that distinction.

At the time of his confession of non-belief, this husband relates that he possibly never believed in God or had a real testimony of his own. There never really was any sort of "faith transition" on his part, no dark night of the soul. Because of that, the video focuses almost entirely on how difficult the confession and coming to terms with their new reality was for the wife. She mentions how her world was shattered and had to be entirely rebuilt because of his confession. He is mostly just a passive character in her story.

In their reality he really did deceive her, even if he had good intentions in doing so. He led her to believe he had a testimony by his actions over YEARS. Dating, temple marriage, starting and raising a family. It wasn't until she forced the issue that he admitted he was just going through empty motions.

In my experience, I had a testimony. I believed it. I lived it. I'm still living it. When I saw the cracks in the church's shiny narrative, the light coming through those cracks hurt. It burned. It still burns. I'm not a passive character in this. My world has been shattered just as badly as hers will be when I finally lay it all on the line. Only I was deceived by prophets and seers. Men who are held to a higher standard, who knew better and still chose to spread half-truths and lies.

If my wife and I made that video it would have double the heartache, double the pain, because two worlds were destroyed by the church's faulty foundations.
I liked the video. I recognize that there is an angle to the video and discussing his beliefs would be off the table for the Channel, but I like that they are sticking it out. At least they don't make him out to be a complete jerk who drinks all the time and steps out on their marriage.
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

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jfro18
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by jfro18 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:30 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:03 pm
I haven't watched the video, and I likely won't until I feel like sacrificing some tooth enamel.

Nevertheless, it sounds like the majority of this video is based on a heaping pile of logical fallacies.

Sigh...
It's a step in the right direction for this church, but it's still hard to watch from the other side.

Not painting those who leave as sinful monsters is something we probably couldn't have imagined 25 years ago, but at the same time they completely paint him as someone who *never* really believed and therefore it had nothing to do with church issues.

I don't know that my wife (or any TBM spouse) watched this and got much from it to be honest, so I think putting too much thought into it is probably overkill, but I just wish they could acknowledge the other side. But to do that would be acknowledging the very holes in the church they've been hiding from members forever.

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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by aoirselvar » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:45 am

I just watched that video and I can see it helping my DW but at the same time it pisses me off. I see the church still has to stick with the narrative, never mind that leaving the church is devastating, its not just giving up or wanting to sin. I still think I’ll have my wife watch it because she’s very TBM and I think it’ll help her.


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Reuben
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Reuben » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:53 pm

For now, I'm okay with showing just her grief, for two reasons.

First, people usually have to process their own grief before dealing with someone else's. A TBM spouse watching this could be helped with that.

Second, the church displaying any sort of real humility is still a long way off. At the moment, it's responding to an existential threat, which puts it far from the "we're all in this together" mindset we would like to see.
Grieve. It's your right and inheritance as a human being.

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Angel
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Angel » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:35 am

I think it is sad that the woman's heart is more attached to her church than to her husband. It is very telling where loyalty and love are - that she was not really in love with her husband as a person, she was just in love with the idea of being "sealed", in love with the idea of looking good at church, in love with doctrinal ideas -

- take away the church and you destroy the marriage??? only if you were not really married to a person to begin with... only if the marriage was really only between the believer and the church...

the LDS marriage is not really a marriage between two people - it is a covenant of slavery to a church.... really horrible that a church would place itself between two people, separate two people, put itself above two people - church first, then marriage? It should be marriage first, then kids, then extended family, then God and Jesus..... then WAY down line, church and community.

If someone leaving the church destroys a marriage, they were not really married to one another to begin with - they were married to the church. "Can't go to heaven without being married?? Nice way to use good natural love as a tool to force adherence and loyalty to an organization.

Just started a new thread - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3671
Analyzing LDs marriage vows - these are not vows of loyalty to a person - no loyalty at all - only polygamy...

Compare:
Would you please face each other and join hands.
(Groom) ___________________do you take _________________to be your wife?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others
and holding only to her forevermore?

(“I do”)
(Bride) ________________do you take_________________ to be your Husband?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others
and holding only to him forevermore?


To the LDS marriage vows: https://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon127.htm

There is no "one and only" vow in the LDS church, no promise to be failthful to your spouse, no promise to "forsake all others" - quite the opposite - you promise to enter into the "new and everlasting - polygamy - covenant"...

"That's it! No lasting symbols (rings), no affection (you may kiss the bride), and no "honor, love or cherish one another." It seems like you're marrying the church more than you're marrying one another. Do any of you have fonder memories of the temple marriage ceremony experience? The whole temple ceremony part seems so dry and shallow, have any of you found deeper meaning there? The temple experience was so un-sentimental, that I've heard of Ex-Mormons re-doing their wedding vows and mentioning things like love and companionship. Any thoughts?"

I so agree with the above sentiments. This is making me sick - I want to redo my marriage vows now.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Corsair
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Corsair » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:40 am

I'm imagining that the church has wanted to produce a video like this for a long time, but they had to find just the right couple that would express exactly the right views. I'm sure that the unbeliever and the believing spouse had to sign a waiver to let their story be told. I'm also sure that virtually no creative control would be given to the unbeliever at all. No specifics about his new beliefs would be allowed.

He was not allowed to say "The church is not true". He was only shown saying "I don't believe in God". This unbelief is couched in terms of it being his fault, not possibly the fault of any LDS belief or practice. There is no way that my wife and I would have done this video together. She might have agreed to it, but I would have been a very unhelpful participant. Editing is powerful and I am certain that I would have been displeased with the results.

I can easily see that the director would have soberly told me, "This type of presentation is the only way that the the church would agree to release this video." The institutional church clearly kept control of message and I suspect that Atheist Dad is ultimately unhappy with the results.

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jfro18
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by jfro18 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:47 am

Corsair wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:40 am
He was not allowed to say "The church is not true". He was only shown saying "I don't believe in God". This unbelief is couched in terms of it being his fault, not possibly the fault of any LDS belief or practice. There is no way that my wife and I would have done this video together. She might have agreed to it, but I would have been a very unhelpful participant. Editing is powerful and I am certain that I would have been displeased with the results.
This is my problem too. And if you have been dealing with this for a long time as most of us have (most of you longer than me), you know this is just not a normal couple in this situation.

You might stop believing in God altogether, but there is always a catalyst to that which comes from this church. To pretend otherwise is to continue blaming the victims, and that's why I hate this video even if it is a step in the right direction.

It's the same thing with their LGBT stances -- every time they soften the tone it's helpful, but the bottom line is that the actual church isn't changing and is still incredibly harmful to families.

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Angel
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Re: Mormon Channel: How to Cope When a Loved One Changes Beliefs

Post by Angel » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:04 am

Raylan Givens wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:39 pm

I liked the video. I recognize that there is an angle to the video and discussing his beliefs would be off the table for the Channel, but I like that they are sticking it out. At least they don't make him out to be a complete jerk who drinks all the time and steps out on their marriage.
Yes, I would rather be married to an atheist than a Mormon who believes in polygamy - who believes in stepping out on their marriage.

Hell, I would choose being married to an alcoholic over being married to Warren Jeffs, or to B.Y.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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