I need some spectacular advice. My family knows that I am not going to church and they like to mail me conference talks, and quotes and call me about gospel doctrine stuffs and ask us what we are doing for family home evening and what we learned in church and read scriptures with my children. Its starting to get really annoying, especially now that my husband is leaving as well. We want to sit down with my family and then my husbands family to tell them kindly and lovingly to piss off.... LOL ok more like we are leaving and we are not sending our kids to church and to stop bugging us about it, etc. HELP?!
Not the easiest thing to deal with, them TBM die hards. There are various approaches to trying to stop these communications and love bombings aimed at re-converting. None of them necessarily wrong but likely ending with different outcomes. My preferred method is diffusing and establishing boundaries. Mormons, like small children, often don't know when to stop and may have to be told "no" many times. In extreme cases, you may just have to throw their letters/emails away and let them know that you won't be reading them until they agree to stop sending you gospel fluff.
Emails can be effective at communicating your desires or boundaries and sometimes go over easier (at least for you) than if you sat down with them in person. You don't have to get more detailed than necessary and often more details just invite them to try and counter your reasons with their own defenses. A simple, "we are distancing ourselves from the LDS church and no longer desire to be forwarded church related materials or topics" may go over better than a dissertation of why you no longer believe the church is true. You can follow that up with "we are not open to arguing our reasons but will discuss them in person or over the phone if sincerely interested", or something along those lines.
Bottom line, if you value your relationships with still believing family and friends, you'll want to be gentle in your approach and not burn any bridges or ships unintentionally. You can't always control or predict how they will respond which is why less information is usually more control for you in what they know or think. You may also find the following posts helpful:
Well, i don't have any spectacular advice, but i wanted to let you know that you are awesome for standing with your convictions. You got a group of people that understand you, and while they may never get it, we do! If anything, learn to speak intelligently about the issues you have, be calm and understand that the burden of proof does not lie on you (even though they will make you feel that way). Just know that INFORMATION is what's going to KILL THE CHURCH. Sooner or later every TBM die hard will have to deal with the same issues you are. Just assure them that you are confident that once they read the information, which is a click of the mouse away now, they will be flabbergasted to the max. Even though they may not leave, they will have respect for your position if, again, you know where you are coming from and can speak calmly and intelligently. Bless you and your husband!
Respect has been my bottom line. If they want me to respect the fact that they follow and believe something I find to be ridiculous and false, they need to respect that fact that I don't follow and believe the same thing.
It has taken YEARS for my family and my husband's family to accept that we are NOT going back to the LDS church, and we will always be the outcasts, but it is getting better.
Essentially, if they want you to respect their beliefs, they need to respect yours, and yes, they can be differing beliefs. Kind, mellow, broken record approach is always effective. They will eventually get the message and so long as you behave well you will have nothing to regret.
I have found that everyone does better if we just stay away from LDS related topics. It limits my relationship with my family and friends who are TBM but that is their choice. And I choose to have loving relationships which means limited relationships. I have always been very supportive of temple marriages, missions, baptisms, etc and I expect the same support in return. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't.
Stay strong. It does get easier and freedom is a beautiful thing. Leaving the morg is a tough process but an important one if you are going to live authentically.
Don't look back and don't let anyone convince you that you are wrong. Right and wrong are relative in a lot of categories.
I love your name :D My daughters middle name is Sari.
I really have very little to add of importance since Sari said everything that was on my mind and better than I could have. So I'll chime in for a moment.
I raised my children to respect everyone's belief, which I think makes it easier for me now that they are still TBM and I am not. My mother was my biggest worry. I told her very plainly and simply that I was no longer going to be a Mormon, that I didn't want to have the discussion as to why because I didn't want to disparage her beliefs. I told her that I hoped she would show respect for my decision and my beliefs. She was suprisingly accepting of my decision.
I will admit to a few times when I made my family mad by not showing respect but for the most part my insistence to maintain a relationship of mutual respect has worked well. I have had to remind them a few times and in turn they have told me what they found offensive. They are always going to think God will fix me someday, I don't think that will ever change.
I will say I did have to train myself not to joke about the church. When I was a Mormon, I said things that were a bit off color and it was accepted, but now that I am out it is seen differently. One moment that created some anger on my part was when I walked into a siblings house. Of coure we know that all Mormons have the same interrior decorator, so I expected the picture of Jesus, temples etc. At any rate I saw the picture of Jesus holding the child and pulling another one out of the water. I turned to my sibling and said in a joking way "Why do you have a picture of a grown man throwing children into the river"? If I'd said that as a Mormon, it would have been accepted as a joke. They were very upset and I did agree that I wasn't showing the respect I was asking for.
Good luck, giving and accepting respect is really a wonderful way of handling it.