I came across this board a week or so ago, joined today and wanted to say hello. Here's my story:

My life in mormonism began at birth in SLC. I was raised by LDS parents in a very LDS family. From day one I was immersed.

I was baptized at age 8, deacon at 12, elder at 18, missionary at 19 to central Germany. Upon my return from Germany I married the girl I wrote
to throughout my mission in the temple at 22, we had our first child at
23. Pretty stereotypical wouldn't you say? The interesting part of
all this is I never believed in the church. Never believed it was
important, never believed I had any kind of testimony.

I was one of those people who did what they were "supposed" to do. I went to
church because I was supposed to. On a mission because I was supposed
to. Did everything I didn't believe in because I was supposed to. A
pretty nice drone for the church.

I felt the church was a nice organization that made people better even if I didn't have any kind of
spiritual tie to it. We moved to Texas when I graduated from college. (
I have to say, leaving Utah was the BEST decision I have ever made. I
have not missed being in the cradle of the church one second.)

In my mid-30's I moved to Germany for work with my family. There the
local serviceman's ward was our church home even though we weren't
associated with the military. We rubbed shoulders with area presidents,
mission presidents, went through all the motions and did what was
expected of me, and I never believed any of it.

Fast-forward a few years...
My wife of 19 years passed away from cancer in 1994. We had 5 kids from
17 to 6. Of course the ward helped a lot. I felt the church was a nice
place to raise my kids and teach them to be good people. Two years
later my oldest went on a mission. The cycle of mormon life was in full

Fast forward some more...
to 9 years ago when I remarried. I married an active member raised in the church. We met a
church dance (how clichéd). She was reluctant to marry because she
didn't want to be wife number 2 in the hereafter but I guess my charms
won her over (insert laughter here). Unfortunately (fortunately) we
couldn't marry in the temple because after the $500,000 spent on cancer
treatments I had declared bankruptcy after years of trying to pay
everything . The bankruptcy court prevented me from paying tithing.
The bishop married us instead since I couldn't pay the temple entry fee.

My new wife was again perfect for me and we lived that mormon lifestyle
with her son and my kids (2 were still at home). We discussed temple
marriage often over the next few years and one day I told her no to
worry about the plural wives thing because it was a bunch of bunk. I
told her I didn't believe god approved of multiple wives in any form, I
didn't believe in the church, and I always knew joseph smith was a
story-teller. She looked at me like I had grown 3 new heads. I told
her to research joseph smith and polygamy on the internet and and then
we'd talk some more.
Eight hours later she came out of my office livid. She realized she had been lied to all her life about the church
and how dare they keep up the lying?

We talked all night and through the week about the church. Later in the week she asked me why I went to
a church that I knew for years was bogus. I told her that I asked
myself that question all the time, but went out of habit, guilt (often
times), and because I thought it was a nice moral place to raise kids.
She said: I will not raise my son in a
church that is so immoral that they lie about the most basic things and
you shouldn't raise your kids there either.
It was like I was hit with a baseball bat and I had no answer. This was 4 years ago and we have not attended since.

I cannot express how happy I am now versus the years I spent putting up
with the bogus church claims and day-dreaming through all the meetings.

I cannot tell you how guilty I feel now that my older kids are still very
active in church. I feel I have failed them by allowing myself to be a
part of what I knew was lies, and getting them sucked into the lies.
That bothers me the most.

This has been a long intro and I hope it hasn't bored.


Live a lie and you will live to regret it.
-Jimmy Buffett

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Not too long John. Just perfect. Thanks for sharing as I'm sure you're not alone in what you experienced. We are creatures of habit and tradition, even to the point of ignoring the irrationality of those things for the sake of comfort.

John - thanks for sharing your story. It makes you wonder how many others just like you are sitting in the same boat you were before you spoke your feelings out loud. Amazing the power that that has. Don't feel guilty about your older kids - you are an example to them and it took courage to stand up for your beliefs. Maybe with time they will follow!


Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.
Interesting story. I think it clearly points out the pitfalls of innocently going along. The ramifications are deep and lasting for our families.
Wow, congrats on making it out before life is over!  I am so happy that you and your wife were able to leave together!!  Such a wonderful thing.  I feel like Hugs all around after reading these stories!


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