I need some feedback from people who have been TBM as one point in time, escaped and made it to sanity.

I struggle with this issue a lot: I am religious. We live on military bases so I go to church on the base and the services are protestant and very non-demoninational. Usually the service is one hour, sticks to the bible and we're done. I usually go by myself because my husband and kids don't want to come and I don't want to force them. When DH was deployed the kids came with me but now that he's home they come occasionally but I don't make a big deal, its not do or die like it was when I was raised TBM. 

My question is am I doing my kids a big disservice by not making them go to church and learning the good things their are to learn in church? Their are lots of good things to learn by going to church but I feel like my memories and all the bad that came out of being forced to live TBM are keeping me from forcing my kids to go to church, but then again I don't want to force them to believe something just because I think they should. I want them to learn about God and Jesus just not to the nauseating extent that I learned about it, over kill to the extreme.

My husband won't come, he was raised TBM and says the Mormon Church is the only true church and he doesn't want to go to any other church, but he doesn't want to go to the LDS church either...he doesn't believe in organized religion and I get that because if you do buy into an organized church their are going to be politics, squabbles, cliques, etc. just not the level of cult mentality that prevails in the LDS church.

Please don't worry about offending me if you do respond, I am seeking the input of other parents who can relate or anyone who has a different perspective. Thanks!

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Not at all in my opinion.  We don't attend any congregation and aren't religious in the denominational aspect of the word.  You can teach the most important lessons in the home.   

Thanks Mike, you are right, the most important lessons are taught in the home.

I have always felt like so many people default to the LDS church to teach those most important lessons so that they don't have to. I work very hard to teach my children good values and teach them why they are good values. I can't stand the excuse, "because that is what the profit said....or...just do it and don't ask." I give my kids and explanation that has to deal with reality and not religion when I am talking to them about something important.

Just a quick note... Be careful about making a statement telling people to not worry about offending you.

I would like to start by saying I am not a parent, but I do understand parent and child perspectives on this matter and would like to add that your children might not get the same good things which you are getting. The question is are you ruining your children and my opinion which I hope most people would agree with is that whether or not they have to sit in church for 1 hour per week won't make or break them either way. When I was younger, I enjoyed going to LDS church so I got things out of it, but I despised going to Catholic church because my dad who was not Mormon made me and I got nothing out of it that is useful for my life today.

Church leaders don't have a license to teach values. Just take what you get that is positive and pass it on and I don't think you'll have to worry about ruining them.

Even though I don't believe in God and Jesus the way you do, the only thing about teaching this way I see as ruining kids is when fear is invoked as to what happens when someone doesn't believe and obey.

I hope you didn't find this offensive.

Not a bit offensive, thanks for responding. I have to completely agree, the fear that was invoked when I was a child was insane and it's taken me years to work past.

Although I go back and forth I think the bottom line is we will go to church and enjoy the good things that are there to enjoy when we can. But if we can't make it or their are more pressing issues to deal with at the time, we'll tackle what is most important in the moment.

It is so sad to me that having been forced to live the LDS life for my childhood has seriously tarnished my ability to partake in any organized church because I so fear the possibility that it could try to rule my entire life.

Thanks again for taking time to respond. This community has helped me a lot.

You remember being a kid right? What did you want? 

You wanted to have time one on one with your parent. You wanted them to notice you, play with you, play a game with you, play a sport with you. Color with you, listen to you, do activities outside with you, like catch. You wanted them to PAY ATTENTION to you, and otherwise not run your life. Even washing dishes with them or doing other chores together was alright because we were "working together". 

As I child, I do not have one memory of thinking or desiring that I spend time at CHURCH with my parents. No, no, no way. 

That is just not a natural thought. That's, I suspect, a man made thought. 

Here's another thought. When you were a kid, how did you learn how to be?.............................

Was it from what people said? Was it from what those closest to you DID? 

Such a good point. Growing up in a typical mormon family with 7 kids I wanted my parents attention more than anything. My mom was so busy raising 7 kids and hating my non-member uninvolved dad (who never wanted kids in the first place) and so wrapped up in "serving others" that she rarely had time for us beyond the basics. I wanted my mom to talk to me a really care about what was going on in my life but she didn't.

And how did I learn to be, yes, I learned from what those around me did. But in reality that was part of the disconnect of my childhood, and now. So many people preaching and testifying to the truthfulness of these principles but not living them or even trying to. So confusing as a child.

Thanks for your response.

exactly, and it will be confusing for your children as well. They see and feel and know that Dad still believes, but is torn/confused. They see mom searching.....

this is what is being currently modeled, from what you said at first. 

If you were modeled a disconnect, BE THE CONNECTION.....what does that mean? 

Not at all, I wasn't really raised TBM, but my mom gave me the choice of going to church.  I was really into the social aspect of church, so I normally wanted to go.  She didn't want me to be one of those whiny sluggish bad tempered kids in Sacrement meeting.  I did have some judgement from other TBM's cause mom gave me choices, they felt she was teaching me to "take my salvation for granted."  I don't know what they were talking about but attending church is not a requirement for salvation...craziness. 

Anywho, I really respect my mom for giving me the choice, and I think she was right for doing it.  

As a child I remember feeling a twinge of despair for those who didn't follow the gospel exactly..for things like parents giving their child options when their was no such thing in the gospel...I feel foolish for such thoughts but that is what was I saw going on in the adults around me.
As a mom now, I work tirelessly to give my children choices so they learn how to make choices and deal with consequences on a small scale which prepares them for reality.

And you are right, attending church is not a requirement for salvation. I guess I just associate going to church with that sort of thing because that is where I learned about those thing. We didn't really discuss that sort of thing at home, more discussion swirled around the culture of the church - which was horribly damaging in my opinion!!

Thanks for your reply.

My children were little when I left the church but, like most parents, it was important to me that they be good people. I had to puzzle through all the reasons for honesty,discipline, etc., that were not religious-based.

I realized right away that it's amazingly easy to teach "values" if they're somehow attached to "making baby Jesus cry" or being cast away from your eternal family. Many times I missed the ability to just say, "Because it's a commandment, that's why!" 

Thanks Cora, I was hoping to hear your thoughts. I have to agree that I really want me children to be good people and have a reason for that beyond "it's what the church teaches...etc'. I have found it possible to teach my kids how to have strong values and ethics with reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

I just worry that all the religious based things I learned about, the Bible, etc are not being pounded into my kids like they were to me. I think my kids are getting a better balance without such a tilt toward extreme religion so I have to keep that in perspective.

When it all comes down to it, the fears installed in me as a child still haunt me and that old idea that we must multiply and replenish the lists of the church still haunt me subconsciously at times.


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