How your obsession has changed from your epiphany day to the present day

I realize that here since it is called "Life After Mormonism" we all have a certain common interest of discussing Mormonism and its impact on society, but outside of Post Mormon communities how much do you think about and discuss the church and your experiences with it?

 

I noticed that me along with several others have had some obsessions with the church absorbing our thoughts for several months after leaving still trying to get used to the new lifestyle.   Being out of the church for just over 5 months now I notice I still get kind of tied up with it more than I should but when comparing myself now to the first two months after leaving I noticed it really is no contest.  My first few weeks I was so disgusted with the church that I would pretty much say anything and everything to attack it that I could while not really even wanting to associate with anyone that was still active in the church partially out of fear that they would try to emotionally con me into getting back into it and being only a few weeks or less out my emotions and logic were still trying to get in balance with each other.


Another thing I also noticed was there were a few others I was trying to get to see everything I saw whether or not they wanted to hear it which doing more research here and at other networking sites found out quickly that although that was common, was a huge mistake.   There still are a few others that occasionally if they bring the subject up I will drop hints to about things whether it be Mormonism or Christianity in general but I have been able to get to the point where I don't feel the urge to randomly approach others to try to get them to see my side of the spectrum.

 

Over time the way I see it is it changed to me being more secure with my stance to accept evidence and logic over emotional appeal and since I have heard just about every one in the book that religions use to indoctrinate people or make them feel guilty, I have not felt uncomfortable discussing religion with others even in cases where I am heavily out-numbered, because I can be nice about it while still not allowing people to own me.

 

For example, in New York in Times Square two foreign people saw me with my Book of Mormon on Broadway poster and hat and asked me about the show and I mentioned I was a former member of the church they said they were still active.  One security guard over heard and asked me what made me leave.  I said a lot of things but basically the research you find through the internet and how what the facts are different from what you learn.  One of the LDS members there thought he could rationalize with me on how things you find on the internet aren't always accurate and a lot of the stuff they say about the church are lies.  I gave a couple examples to him about how certain things are not lies but things the church has been involved with for well over 100 years such as the journal of discourses and I find it quite shady that after all this time they would claim that the accuracy of it is in question when its accuracy went unquestioned for years until the church finally abandoned them as their scriptures.  I was being nice to them about it and I did say that if someone knows of the issues and still finds satisfaction in the church than the more power to them but I just couldn't see myself in it anymore.

 

The reason I tell that story is because several months ago I probably would have been uncomfortable talking to them about it thinking they would try to lecture me and use emotional manipulation to convince me I'm wrong or I would have given them a lot more information thinking I had reasonable grounds for dissecting the beliefs of people I had just passed by on the streets of New York City.  Whereas in 4 1/2 months out of the church all I did was recite a few examples about how their posture of "the stuff on the internet is just people making things up to try to ruin our faith" made relatively little sense and how I didn't have a problem with people being in the church if they were satisfied with it.  Granted this was just after the show which makes the Mormons look good and I had just had two active members in the church take me out for ice cream after the show who were very nice and non-judgmental so I was in an unusually good mood, but still, I would have never been able to handle that like 4 months ago.

 

 

So anyway.... while I'm rambling on about myself I wanted to get a bit more perspective from others too about not just how you are now whether or not you were obsessed, but if you noticed any specific pattern of how long it took you to change and how you were different from the beginning and at different mid-stages of leaving Mormonism.  For example, if you can remember how you were at like one day out, then three months out, to 6 months out, then to 2 years out, etc...

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For me, on Day 1, I was in a very euphoric and epiphany type state and didn't really have a care in the world whether anyone else ever discovered the truth about religion being primarily false.  I knew if for myself, and knew that that was my path and that it's really a realization that can only be experienced, not forced.  I continued in that state for a good 2 weeks, not even suggesting to my wife that perhaps she should join me on this journey.  

For better or for worse, that all changed when I discovered the many disturbing facts covered up by LDS.org when I ventured onto RfM (exmormon.org) and began to unravel the deception.  At that point, and for a good several months after, I introduced not only my wife, but also several of my family members to the problems I had discovered with Mormonism.  However, it didn't take long to realize that it's mostly a pointless and dividing effort to deconvert people who aren't ready for it.  I was fortunate in that my wife made her own discoveries and decisions to leave the fraud of Mormonism.  We were both out before our oldest reached 8 years old so all 3 of our kids will be spared growing up LDS.  

I'm now just over 3 years out and am pretty much of the opinion that we each follow our own path, and make our own discoveries and realizations.  The teacher appears when the student is ready, and no matter how much we might try force "students" to be ready, it will mostly just harden their defenses and deepen their convictions.  I believe it much more worth while and likely more effective to just live my own authentic life that demonstrates on its own that former mormons are not demon apostates, that we lead happy, successful, ethical and authentic lives.  If they can come to recognize that, it will likely make more cracks in their TBM armor than me trying to expose the lies to them.  That's my experience anyways.

Well I noticed that I tried this with my mom after leaving too and found out quickly that I was talking to a wall, but later she did admit to being bothered by polygamy in heaven and other things that make women look inferior all around but thought maybe it was her problem.  She discussed the possibility of becoming a New Order Mormon after picking me up from the airport when I was talking about the show so I took that as a hint that she doesn't truly believe anymore and even before that I noticed she stopped wearing temple garments and had a drink of alcohol every now and then.  She says she still feels the spirit in church though so is confused and cannot bear the thought of nothing happening when we die, so I am still working on how to get her to realize that making decisions of what is true based on emotional appeal is ridiculous.  She is also upset at one of her best friends who lives in Provo telling her she is on her way to hell recently because she stopped wearing the underwear and is drinking a little.

 

So basically, I think if you told everyone in your family doctrinal issues of the church that they didn't already know they either forgot them instantly or have them in the back of their mind and it will eat away at them eventually until they come up with an answer for it.  So it probably wasn't totally pointless but it was only if you expected them to just up and leave after telling them some things, because even I didn't do that myself.  I've never met anyone else who had a strong testimony in the church at one time and just decided it wasn't for them without reading anything anti-Mormon before and I think it hardly ever happens this way.

 

If someone else is talking to me about the church I don't feel guilty giving them a couple doctrinal problems with the church to plant a seed really like the people in Times Square (I think they knew some of this stuff I was telling them anyway), basically because I have no expectations of them just abandoning their faith because of one thing I say, but if they look it up they are likely to find it is true and find that the one issue I presented to them is only the beginning.

 

Some of this is laid out in John Dehlin's video.

John Dehlin?
Thanks, Nathan!

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