What Leaving the Mormon Church has Taught Me

These are my beliefs, I am not pushing them onto you. And this is my life's story in the LDS church. Don't like it, don't read. You have had a fair warning.

When I was five years old my mom and I got visited by the LDS missionaries. When I was six my mom was baptized and I was given a "baby blessing" which ultimately gave me a membership record, which means that I was a member of the church from 6 on.

Fast forward to May 2, 2004 and I was baptized into the LDS church, and I went outside in my $30 WHITE dress and played in the mud. Man was my mom mad. But things were just starting when I joined the church, as I have learned over the last 16 years. I wasn't pressured by my mom to join, she told me that I was allowed to choose not to, but I was pressured by every other person in the branch we were in and the stake we lived in. The pressure is very real in the LDS church.

Fast forward to when I was 11, we had moved from Devil's Lake to West Fargo at this point and it was 2008. I was called into the Bishop's office, by the second counselor on the stake presidency to start in Young Women's (ages 12-18) and for a Youth Temple Recommend interview. During this meeting he sexually abused me by caressing my chest (I went from nada to a C cup at 6 years old and then by the time I was 11 I was at least a DD) while asking me if I had ever masturbated. I was terrified to tell anyone, even my mom who said I could tell her anything and she would believe me, because even then I knew that they had expensive attorneys to get them off, just like the Catholic church.

Before summer of 2008 we we're headed to the next stop on our destination, Eden, Idaho, and 2008 was when I participated in my first Trek. I loved the Trek, that hike was amazing. Learning to cook more was amazing. Heck even wearing a prairie dress was amazing. I loved everything about that four day adventure.

As I said before we lived in Idaho for 4 years. In 2010 we went on a Book of Mormon trek and we hiked 5 and a half miles down hill. My calves were on fire for at least a month. If you don't know what the Book of Mormon is all you have to do is a google search. I didn't enjoy that trek as much as I did the first one. 2010 was also the year I started seminary, yes yet another way to indoctrinate the youth of the church, and I mostly daydreamed. I learned some stuff but the stuff that they really wanted us to learn, I practically refused.

My years of Seminary taught me one thing, I really and truly never believed as most of the others did. Maybe it was because I grew up on the Bible like most Christians are and they grew up learning that the Book of Mormon superseded the Bible because the Bible isn't "translated correctly" and yet how many times has the Book of Mormon been changed? I will answer that, a bunch. At 6 years old I could just pick up anywhere in the Bible and be able to read. I still have hard times getting through the Book of Mormon. I procrastinate through it.

Between 2010 and 2014 I moved 5 times before I got my three year certificate for "graduating" seminary. Before I got my certificate I also met my husband. People keep asking me if I would have married him at 18 without the LDS church's influence and I can honestly answer yes I would have. I was following the Bible where it said non married couples should not live together. So it wasn't really the LDS church that was the one that made me not do it.

In September of 2014 we decided to get civilly married because we wanted to begin our lives together. We only dated for a month and a half before he proposed and then we were together 6 months and a week about before we got married. It's more common in the LDS church but it worked for us. We decided to get civilly married because we didn't want to get married in the LDS temple at first. We were waking up to lies that we were told when we were growing up.

In 2018 I was fully checked out of the church save it be the garments. And yes I am inserting a photo of them because guess what it is on google. Yes they are very uncomfortable, at least they were for me, and super non flattering. I got so many heat rashes with them on. People kept telling me to try different fabrics, just trust in God to make your rash to go away, or the worst advise was to lose weight and you might be able to actually not get them.

In 2019 we stopped going to the church period. Never to set foot into a church building on Sunday again. We went one time more on a Saturday for Chili. In the Word of Wisdom it says eat meat sparingly. What's the main ingredient in Chili 9/10 times? Oh yeah meat. The flesh 'of the beasts and of the fowls of the air "eat sparingly".' There is the evidence of eating meat sparingly for the LDS church. They really do not practice what they preach. We honestly went because most of our social circle is there. I've gained a new one but it isn't the same.

Since leaving the church I have become more of a outspoken feminist. I dress how I want and speak how I think I need to speak. Feminism to me is fighting for the equal rights of everyone. The definition of Feminism according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: " 1. The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2. Organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests." And for me I want to protect the rights of every person on this earth whether they be man, woman, or non binary. You are valued, you are loved, and I am always here for you!

I will fight for everyone to have equal rights, you are my sisters, brothers, siblings, and above all else my friends. We share this Earth. We did not inherit it from our parents we borrow it from the children of the world. I am a mama of Angel babies and of babies that aren't my own but I know that one day soon I will have babies of my own. Being a mama of Angel babies I know that I am on a borrowed Earth. So I am trying to live the best life I can and use as many Earth friendly items as I can. We recycle and it is made possible by our city, and I am so glad we do.

People in the church say, mainly the Prophet (Nelson and a few before him) and the Apostle's, say that people in the church are happy and nobody that leaves the church or is outside the church can be happy. I will tell you one thing the years following my sexual abuse I was miserable. I put on a happy face and I thought I was happy. Guess what, I know true happiness now. I am able to accept people for who they are gay, straight, transgender, non binary. Be you and I will always be here. If any of my children are in the LGBTQ+ I will accept them no matter what. I was taught that it is a sin, guess what I have done many sins. And if God didn't love them, he wouldn't have made them the way they are. I am accepting because God commands it, all Gods do for whatever you believe.

Before, while I was in the Church.
When I thought I was happy but I really wasn't. We had just gotten sealed and we both didn't feel how we we're supposed to feel. Apparently you are supposed to feel different being sealed than just being "married". Truth is, we didn't and a ton of people didn't like that answer.

After, being out of the church for over a YEAR

How I feel now is true happiness. This is what I should have been feeling all along. I know some Christians don't agree on the LGBTQ+ but that's what they believe. I however cannot and will not feel that way. I have been adopted as an older sister by someone that is of the LGBTQ+ community and I will never turn them away! I will always treat them right.

I think this is the longest blog post to date, I also think it's my most painful as well. But that is okay, it is a story that needed to be told. I have learned a lot being out of the church and I am grateful I am. In April 2020 general conference talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf he said the following, "Even those who, like a headstrong, unruly child, become angry with God and His Church, pack their bags, and storm out the door proclaiming they;re running away and never coming back." Here is the talk that I am talking about. It's funny because the Ex-Mormon Christians I know all say, "We left A church not God and we definitely are not angry with him" and I tend to agree. I left A church, I have not and will not leave God.

Thank you for reading this! It was very hard to write and very exposing.

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