This is the letter I wrote to my dad when I decided to leave the church...




To My Dearest Dad,

I wanted to write you this letter because there are obviously things I need to say to you or rather...want to say to you...and I’m not very good at discussing feelings on the spot because I end up just crying or giggling. The first and most important thing that I want to say to you is that I love you so much. I especially love discussing history, mysteries, and science with you...I always have. I’ve been tormented over the last few years because you are the ONE person I desperately wanted to discuss certain things with but frankly I was afraid to offend you...and naturally I don’t want you to judge me or think that I’m your “prodigal” daughter. So let me say this secondly...I’ve never been happier in my life than I am right now. Never have I felt closer to God or had such a respect for our existence...never have I had such pure LOVE. The church teaches that when one starts to question the church it must be because of Satan’s influence...not true. All I can do is sit here and type these words and pray that you believe them...Satan has no influence over me or my feelings or my decisions. I want to you to know that I’ve never done anything against the religion that would open me up to “Satan’s influence.” I just wanted to you to know that. It’s taken me weeks to decide how to go about doing this...how to tell you how I feel. Not so much because I’m scared about what you think about me...I’m just worried about you! I know you. I know that you are going to read this letter and that you wont sleep. I know you’ll worry about me and my family. This is why it’s taken me so long...I don’t want you up all night worrying about me. It would be silly to...because like I said, I’ve have found a peace I’ve never felt before. My marriage has never been so strong and solid...I’VE NEVER FELT SO STRONG AND SOLID. So please keep that in mind as you read this... So ok...I’m going to get it all out from the beginning...I actually haven’t really sat and mapped this out so hopefully it isn’t too long...  Are you ok? Really it’s ok...I promise.

Dad, I’ve always been a very honest person. I know what I feel and I can’t just neglect those feelings...I can’t brush certain feelings aside. I’ve always been that way. I’ve never been an “iffy” “I’m not sure” kind of person. I have very strong instincts...very strong. And I can’t not listen to them. So throughout my teenage years it always bothered me that I never received answers to my prayers...and I discussed this with a few church leaders at various times. That’s why Vesna Poier use to say I had such strong faith, because I would openly admit that Heavenly Father never confirmed to me that the BOM was true or that Jospeh Smith was a prophet. Bob asked me one day after seminary why then did I still read my scriptures and live the gospel and I said something like, “I’m sure Heavenly Father will tell me one day.” I even told you one time that I was frustrated because I’d read the BOM ...ask for a testimony and...nothing....never got the “burning.” You said something to me like, “That’s because you already know.” (You weren’t the only person to say this to me) And I believed you....for the most part. What I truly believed deep down was that my answer was in the temple and that the day I got to go through the temple...everything would make sense. I really believed that. Dad I dedicated my life to the church...I was active and obedient .

I met Chris. I loved him right away. He was my bestest friend ever  ) Honestly I was terrified to get married....hehe...and people would like to think that we got married so soon because we couldn’t wait to have sex...nope. I wanted to go to the temple! I was starting to lose my patience with Heavenly Father and my lack of personal revelation that the church was true. I needed to get into that temple because I just knew it held all the answers to my doubts. Before I got married....I studied and prayed...and I was so excited. I was more excited to get my endowments than I was to get married honestly. I walked out of the temple that night in shock...not at all the great things I learned but in the lack of them. You have no idea what was going through my head that night. I was utterly distraught and shattered. Now, I know that people say it takes time and repetition in the temple to start to fully understand it...I can accept this. But what I couldn’t accept were the feelings I had in the temple. Dad...it felt WRONG. Down to my bones I felt wrong being there. I didn’t feel the spirit...and I know what the spirit feels like...I do feel like I am in tune with the spirit and the spirit is not what I felt there. I can’t even say specifically what did feel wrong just that down to my bones...I felt wrong. The next day I had to wake up and get married in the very place that made me feel like crap the night before. I still look back and regret my wedding...the wedding felt wrong...the words were wrong...”’Obey my husband?” Did he really just say that...omg...what the hell is this...I have to YES now don’t I? Omg, I can’t believe this. Why is everyone smiling...this is awful’” These are my thoughts as I am getting married. Seriously. I could not help but feel this overwhelming sense of unease. The garments made me feel...how do I say it...stripped of myself. I hated them. Most girls don’t like wearing garments cause they can’t wear short shorts or reveling tops...now Dad I ask you...have I eve been one to dress immodestly? No. So that was not my issue like other priesthood holders have suggested to me. Once again it just felt awful. Well after a few weeks of contemplation I thought...well there must’ve been something I missed. I went to the temple as much as I could. I’d go with Chris, I’d go alone...I’d pray and pray...and still nothing. If anything those awful feelings intensified with every trip to the temple. I mean, mentally I can sit there and accept the temple...Dad, physically I couldn’t...like I said...down to my bones...it did not feel RIGHT.

So that’s where it started I guess. It’s been over 6 years. For the last 6 years I have struggled and had such internal conflict that nobody knew I was going through. I mean painful conflict. Everything in my heart, mind and soul was telling me that everything my life revolved around was false...not only false but wrong (like bad). And I want you to know that at this point I had not done an ounce of research...nothing. All I was going off of were my gut feelings. The last time I went for a temple interview was 4 years ago. First, I interviewed with Bro. Dewberry and I told him how I felt. I told him I didn’t know that the church was true...I didn’t wear my garments because I felt like crap in them (physically and emotionally)...I told him how I was searching and searching and that was why I wanted a temple recommend. He said he admired my honesty and agreed that I deserved a recommend so that I could continue my quest for my testimony...I was in every other sense worthy to go. Then I had to interview with Pres. Lowe. That was a much different interview. I was again open and honest with him and he was...a jerk. I know for a fact that that man was not called of God. I KNEW it sitting there with him that night alone in that office. He smirked his face at me and said, “The spirit is impressing on me ... you don’t have a testimony because you don’t want to know.” Dad, it wasn’t just his words...it was everything about him. You can sit here and tell me the man walked on water and I will still to this day never forget the “falseness” he carried. And I sat there and thought, “This guy is who I have answer to...to judge me?” He later (after a whole list of other stupid comments) “decided” the give me a recommend for “my son’s sake.” I left there knowing that I would never again sit in front of a man and let him decide whether or not I was a worthy person...there was no God in that.

So basically it continued from there...I felt more and more unease with the church. And I couldn’t ignore that. I decided about 2 years ago that I did not believe the church was true...I just hoped it was...haha. But what I also decided was not to fight my feelings anymore...I was going to trust myself....be open to what my heart was telling me. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 2 years...just absorbing all I can from all perspectives with an open heart and open mind and just really concentrate on how everything makes me feel. A year ago was when my research started (I know....now you’re worried). I hope it doesn’t freak you out or offend you when I say learning certain things was like FINALLY breathing after holding my breath for so long. I finally had substance behind the gut feelings...it was invigorating and relieving...and freeing. ...but I won’t go into all the things I’ve learned...that is not at all the point of this letter. We can leave it at this... I know you will love me no matter what...and I will love you no matter what. I just had to get this out. I had to let you know how I feel...and how long I’ve struggled and fought it. But Dad I can’t fight it anymore. You know how you get anxiety sometimes and there is nothing you can tell yourself or do to get rid of that feeling? Well that is how I feel about the church. The last few months it’s even to the point where my throat feels like it swells and I can’t breathe just pulling into the church parking lot. Dad, I need you to trust me and not think the typical Mormon thoughts about me.(I know what they are...) Having your support and understanding will be the final piece to my healing. Please think of me as a strong and happy woman who loves her family more than anything. Trust me that I am in happy place now...I love my life more than ever...I’ve never felt so happy...so free to learn and grow and progress...I am good Dad. Thank you for reading this letter...I wouldn’t have been able to sit in front of you and get this all out. I love you.

Love,
Crissy Tina

(Ok now go take a Tylenol PM so you can sleep  )

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Thanks for sharing Cristina! How has your family reacted and treated you since coming out to them about the church?
Decently enough. My parents have been very supportive, especially my mom. I wrote a letter for my sister also but she refused to read it. There is still a lot of tension between my sister and I. But for the most part we are able to get along:) Interestingly enough after we left, her 23 year old husband was called to be EQP (He is still in school.) So we are at very different ends of the spectrum. I have lots of support from my extended family who have also left the church. What about you?
I have 2 sisters that are primary presidents and one that is the relief society pres. in her singles ward, so yah, opposite of the spectrum for me too. Most of my family still treats us the same although there sometimes seems to be tension in the air about the elephant hiding in the corner.
How about your wife's family?
Her family reacted better. Her mom is inactive and married to an ex-mormon. Her dad just got remarried and later sealed in the temple but said since we are adults, we can do what we want. So pretty good reaction all around I guess.
Thank you so much for sharing this letter. I am trying to come up with the strength to write a letter to my family as to why I have left the church. They blame themselves for me having left the church and also think that I am not truly happy. So it's nice to have this community where I can gather strength from other recovering Mormons.

Thank you again,

Amanda
I just got a letter from my dad yesterday in which he said I don't seem happy. WTF??? I'm happier and freer now than I have ever been before. I think there must be some cog/dis kicking in so that they don't see how truly happy we are because that shouldn't be the case based on all of the church lessons of how bitter, sad, and angry apostates are. Good luck Amanda!
I was just talking to my dad about the pineal gland thing and he was starts freaking out saying, "See! I don't want to get churchy on you but JS said it's LIGHT that lights ur intelligence and blah blah blah." Ahhhh...I'm officially done caring what my family believes or thinks. I KNOW I happy and that I made the best decision for my kids. Sorry about ur letter from your dad. It's hard to really be happy around our families who are still stuck in this church and mind controlling organization. It's sad to hear the things they say. So it's easy to understand that we may seem unhappy around them...but the truth is we are just sad for them. At least that's how I feel.
Sounds like we feel the same. The only sadness I really feel is for them and how they will likely never see me for anything but an apostate living in sin. They likely wont be proud of anything I do again, such as my efforts to help the exmormon community on this and other sites, or for the many LGBT friends I have and care for, or with how I am raising my kids to be open minded free thinkers etc. The saddest I feel for them is that they wont ever get to know the real me. Oh well, as the saying goes, "Be who you are and say what you want because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind!"
Hi Amanda. My letter went over well with my parents. My husband also wrote a letter to his family who didn't take it so well. The bottom line is they are going to think whatever they want...the letter is more for you to express how you feel and move on:) Good luck!!
TBM cannot understand/fathom happiness outside of the church. My Dad told me before I left that I would "feel a difference" because the Holy Ghost would be gone. He was confused (and still is) when over the next few weeks I became more happy and relaxed. A year later, he's still confused.

I think because they were taught all their lives that "true" happiness only comes from the church they cannot comprehend anyone being truly happy outside.
What a beautiful and honest letter!

Read my exit story at www.miguellomelino.be

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