First off, I have not officially resigned. I have my letter written out. I do want to make some final touches to it and send it out soon.

Anyways, my story.

I was born and raised by my open-minded parents in Rigby, Idaho. My parents weren't married in the temple or anything like that. Both are members. My dad's side of the family is fairly active in the church. My ancestors from that side are Irish-Canadians and joined the LDS church not too long after it was formed. They trekked to the SL Valley with the rest of the Mormon pioneers. My mom's side of the family doesn't have anything to do with the church really. I have a younger brother and we are quite close.

My parents are not religious, but spiritual. They didn't teach us about the church. Imagine that being in a high LDS area. My brother and I were just kids, enjoying life. However, we were blessed in the LDS church.

When I turned 8, I remember the primary presidency visiting our house. I didn't know anything about the church or getting baptized. They encouraged me to get baptized. I don't remember a lot about this conversation. I just remember riding around on my new scooter that I got for my birthday. I know I agreed to get baptized, and that was that. My family and I started going to church. I remember the long meetings and I didn't really like going.

We went for a few years. I got baptized and so did my younger brother. I remember that weird young women's interview with the bishop. I didn't know about tithing and my bishop "explained" it to me.

When I was a teen, I didn't go to church. However, my mom encouraged me to go to mutual night and be involved in sports. I did this and it was okay. I enjoyed the sports. I did not like mutual that much. Some of the activities were great. But, I hated any homemaking activities. BLAH!

Everyone in high school went to seminary. I was such a follower and joined in with them. I went to seminary for three years. Seminary was interesting, and I liked learning. However, many of the kids screwed around and didn't care to be there. I didn't graduate from seminary because I wanted to be a teacher's aide for my computer teacher. Boy, was it worth it. It was a lot more fun than being in seminary.

My dream was to go to college. I wanted to get out of the Southeast Idaho bubble so bad. My friends all went to Ricks College/BYU-ID. I visited the University of Idaho my senior year and fell in love with it.

Before my freshman year of college, I fell in love with a guy in Las Vegas. I met him through an LDS chat room. He drove up and met me that summer before I went to college. He was my first love. He worked for the airlines and I was able to fly down and see him often.

He came from a TBM family, but wasn't very active in the church at the time. I thought this was great because I wasn't really into the church. His family seemed iffy about me from the start, especially his mom and sister in law.

I started college in a long distance relationship. It made my college experience tough. I was shy and anxious at times. I wish I could have made things better my first year, but I made up for it later (I'll get into it later).

I almost left college after first semester because of this relationship. I didn't. My parents took out a loan to keep me in school and I am very grateful they did.

After my freshman year, I moved to Las Vegas. I was very young and naive. I didn't have my parents or the comfort of being in college.

It was fine at first. I lived with some of his family members. I got a job and was doing the best I could. My relationship was fun and exciting - we did fun things. About a year later, he proposed to me in front of his family on mother's day. I wanted to get married to him, but I was bothered by how he proposal to me. His family was thrilled. I wasn't that excited.

After we got engaged, my fiance got weird. He started pushing the church on me and getting married in the temple. I remember him physically dragging me out of bed to get me to go to church. When I did go to church, all I wanted to do was hide. I hated Relief Society and felt uncomfortable. I remember hanging out in the foyer often.

His family members tried to help me with the wedding planning. His sister in law took me out to look for announcements. I wasn't very excited and couldn't decide on anything. At that moment, I knew it wasn't meant to be. I wasn't sure what to do from there. His other sister in law wanted to take my dress shopping. I was scared. When she came over, I hid in our house and didn't answer the phone. I made an excuse that I had to do something important that day.

Anyways, I had a great job at the animal shelter. It was a great place to get away from my crappy relationship. I started out part-time there then ended up as a full-time employee. It was pretty awesome and I was glad to get out of the house and away from my crappy relationship.

My relationship with my fiance worsened. He never physically abused me, but mentally abused me. He hurt my self esteem. I never felt good enough. He never helped me around the house and I had to do everything. I hated that. My parents always helped each other out around the house.

I started to become physically tired. My energy level was so low some days, it was so hard to get out of bed. I was late to work at times. It sucked. I couldn't sleep at night either. My fiance didn't understand. He said it was all in my head.

It got worse. I missed three straight days to work because I had no energy and felt horrible. I had to go to to the doctor. I went, and the doctor said I had an enlarged thyroid gland and had to get this treated soon or I would have a stroke. :( What a scary thing to hear when you are almost 21 years old. I was given some anxiety meds and I scheduled an appointment at the hospital.

My fiance still wasn't convinced and told me I had to see a shrink too. I went back to work and they fired me. I even had a doctor's note. I didn't fight with them about it. Something told me that I needed to move on with my life.

I met up with my boyfriend and told him I lost my job. He wasn't happy. He said I had to get a job by Monday or move out of his place. What a crappy position to be in. He even bought me a plane ticket to go home and get my crap together. When the day came, he didn't even offer to take me to the airport. I didn't want to pay for a cab when we lived so far from the airport.

I called up my dad, and he agreed to come down to help me move back home. That move was tough. I didn't have a lot of energy and was pretty sick.

That's when my relationship ended. We didn't say it was officially over. When I was at home, we talked on the internet and on the phone. A few months later, he met someone. They dated for two weeks and were engaged. They were married a few months after that. He still talked to me and made me feel guilty.

I even tried going back to church to make him like me more. It didn't work, of course. It made me feel even more depressed.

Thankfully, after he got married he stopped talking to me. I have only talked to him a few times since then. He's totally TBM now, married in the temple, and on and on. Don't know if he had a kid yet or not. He does real estate in Vegas now, and that's all I really know.

Getting out of the relationship was the best thing that happened to me. I made it a goal to go back to the University of Idaho. After getting my medical issues taken care of, I went back to school the 2002 spring semester. It was tough being a 21 year old in the dorms. I even met some LDS people in the dorms and they invited me to church. Going to church didn't stick with me at all. I just never believed in it. No one pushed me to go to church there, so I stopped going. The next semester I met a guy online and he invited me to go to an institute activity. That was a disaster. I never stepped inside a mormon church after that.

I remember going to websites like exmormon and reading the exit stories. Some of the stories I really related to.

There's a few things that bothered me about the church and I never got over them. First one was the role of women in the church. I hate how they are told to get married young and have kids young. Marry that RM. Don't have a career. Have lots of kids. Yikes. I always wanted to have a career. And girls are taught homemaking crap. Oh how I wish there was a better girl scout program back then.

The temple bothered me. I remember reading the temple ceremony and it freaking me out a bit. I didn't want to get married in that place because my family wouldn't be able to attend ;( And the yucky garments. Ugh.

I thought being inactive was fine enough for me. Resigning seemed like too much work, so I decided not to do so. However, recent events have changed that.

What pushed me over the edge officially? The prop 8 thing in California. I never thought the LDS church would be SO involved over this. My brother is gay. I have a few gay friends. It bothers me that people want to take that right away from them.

Why would a church encourage members in Idaho and Utah to get so involved in California politics? Why would they waste so much money that could be better used for something else? It bothers me so much.

I have my resignation letter ready to go. I just hope I am able to send it soon.

To date, I have accomplished a few goals. I have graduated from college. I met the love of my life, who is an exed mormon. I'm healthy and far far away from the church. I have LDS neighbors but they aren't the LDS neighbors you would find in Utah or SE Idaho.

The biggest goal for me now is to get back to work again. I was laid off due to the lovely state of the economy...

Anyways, that's my story!

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Wow, that's quite the experience. Glad you are moving toward things you want. Good luck!
Hi, I really pictured your journey as I read your story. It touched my heart. You should be proud of yourself for being true to you!! Im so pleased you have found the love of your life, it's not just a happy ending, it's more of a wonderful place to start the next novel of your life.
Wish you all the best. Erica


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