I grew up outside of the church, in a non-denominational church. My parents didn't always live according to the faith (especially my mom). She used the name of religion [and Christ] to make me feel bad about myself- she abused me psychologically, spiritually, and physically. My dad didn't have any idea all it was going on (as my parents were divorced) until I was 16 (and it was apparent because she left marks that couldn't be covered).
So I was feeling uncertain of myself. Understandably so. I mean if I was of so little worth to my mom, then who was I? Enter Mormons. My best friend was a Mormon. She invited to YW activities. It was great to feel included and feel like part of a "real family" (because her family was always super accepting to me). I took the discussions eventually. Some if it made sense (because some of it does agree with traditional Christianity). Some of not so much, but I took the missionaries' challenge to pray about it. I felt good about it. So I thought it was the Holy Ghost. So I converted to Mormonism when I was 18. My family (my dad, my step mom, brother, and step-brothers) were all really supportive it. (My mom, not so much, but I really didn't care what she thought).
I lived the blissfully ignorant of TBM. I believed it all. I felt good about the story about Joseph Smith. I felt good about the Book of Mormon (but I had a hard time understanding parts of it and had difficulty retaining the information- but I figured that was my human error).
I met my husband (Sam) while visiting the same friend at BYU (I was checking out the school). I didn't get into BYU, but I felt like that's where I was supposed to be. So I moved to Utah with some friends of mine. I remet my husband not too long after moving there. We got engaged in Dec 2001, and married in July of 2002 in the Jordan River Temple. Only to find out years later that neither of us wanted to be married in the temple (we wanted to be married, just not in the temple), but that's what we were supposed to do and we were so afraid the other wouldn't want to get married if we said we didn't want that that we said nothing. (I didn't want to because my family couldn't be included, and him for the same reason- he was raised in the church, but his mom & dad were excommunicated and 3/4 of his brothers were to young to enter). I have to say the one thing that Mormonism has given me is my sweet husband. He really is my best friend. I can talk to him about anything. I'm truly blessed to find such a great guy.
He commissioned into the AF in 2004, and along the way we had our kids Bridgette (born in 2004); Anastasia (born in 2005); Leilani (born in 2007); and Deaton (born in 2010). We've been based in Maryland, Ohio, and now Florida.
We have always had (since being married) pretty open discussions about our beliefs. Things that bothered us in Mormonism. Being the temple ceremonies; lack of emphasis of Christ; stress of seemingly worshiping man (the prophet/ apostles); lack of time for family (because of all the added activities); etc.
Fast forward to Feb 2011. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan (our first deployment), leaving me and the 4 kids at home. I have a special needs kid (my eldest has high functioning autism), and 2 of my other kids have hypotonia (low muscle tone) so it's a challenge, even with him home to get them doing all they need to do be improving the ways they should be. But I did/ do my best. I asked (repetitively) for help. To be answered by muteness. I was the secretary in RS. Which was a very stressful calling. I asked to be released because it was just simply too much at the time. They refused. Repetitively. So I started questioning how could they miss that I wasn't just being humble? This is something I really needed. I talked to my husband (I hated dumping on him because really there was nothing he could do). I started questioning more. I looked at history (more), and trying to find evidence to find greater Mormonism true (so I could excuse the local leadership from missing it because of human error). The more I researched the more I became certain, that Mormonism was a hoax. Over time I talked to my husband, and he was coming to the same conclusions. He came back home in August 2011 (best day of my life).
We wrote our letter to remove our names in October, and it's good to be out. I feel like I'm still trying to dispel Mormon myths, lifestyle, culture things (not all of it, some of it is good). And trying to figure out what's true.
Congrats to both of you for getting out of this oft harmful "church"! Thanks for sharing your story.
How incredibly fortunate that you and your husband were together on this. That makes so much difference! Good luck to you and those kids -- even the sweetest child with HFA can be like having a few extra kids some days!
So true! Most days are good. She is a very smart, sweet little girl most of the time. But she still has a hard time with big changes (you have to talk her through it a lot- little changes most of the time she doesn't even bat an eye at). And she has a hard time with if she gets over stimulated (especially auditory). She's spunky and determined. Which is a blessing because when a teacher says she can't do something she takes it as a challenge and wants to go and do it. But then again it's a pain in the hiney when she's supposed to do/ not do something and she doesn't want do that. I'm grateful to have her (and all of my kiddos) even though sometimes they are a challenge.
Having a fantastic relationship with one's spouse is the greatest blessing anyone can have. I'm so happy you have this. I'm a lucky boy and married the greatest gal. Best of luck.
Glad to hear you and your husband are in agreement.