I have never been a strong member. When I moved out at 19 I quit going to church. My mom transferred my records to the local ward and I became "the project". It took the ward two years, but I was "reactivated" and at 23 went on a mission to Spain. Loved the mission for all the wrong reasons. I loved learning a foreign language, I loved living somewhere totally different from Utah, I loved the food.... Hated pushing the religion on people. I got really good at bringing on the tears as I bore testimony. I could cry on cue at just the right part of the testimony, but I knew I was not being honest. I knew even as I said the words that I was not sure it was true. I hated myself for the dishonesty. On my mission I still did everything I was supposed to do, but I was totally unhappy. I quit reading the scriptures. I quit praying. I finished my mission and went home.
The story still does not end... I felt guilty for my poorly served mission. I felt guilty that I had not had the testimony I need to help the people in Spain. I felt that if I had prayed more, or studied more I would have had the knowledge and testimony that I needed when I served. So I made another big mistake. I went to BYU. Two weeks after I got home from the mission I moved from Seattle to Provo and started school. I decided that I would get the testimony that I had failed to get before going on the mission.
I got to BYU and kept up appearances for about two months. I hated it there pretty much immediately. I started to do things to piss people like walk into class with a bottle of Mountain Dew in hand. Play alternative music too loud and watch rated R movies. My favorite was to order caffeinated soda on dates and wait for the argument to start. I NEVER went to any activities which led to tons of interviews about how I was ever going to get married. After awhile I just never went to church. I worked on the weekends and told my bishop I was staying in Salt Lake on the weekends to work and went to a ward there and he still signed my ecclesiastical endorsement. I hated directly lying to him, but I was almost done with my degree and did not want to transfer.
I was accepted into a non-profit program that places teachers in the worst schools in the nation. Getting accepted into that program meant I could easily move out of state without having to make up a ton of excuses and my job would ultimately be something I am pretty passionate about so it was a good move. I got placed in a school in Louisiana and moved right after graduating. Even when I got to Louisiana though, I still went to church a few times, but as I was, for the first time exposed to normal life outside of Utah, surrounded by, GASP, non-members I learned a lot. I found other people who were "good" people. I found other people who had good values. I found other people who believed in and worshiped the same god I did... Whoa.
I still believe in God. I do not however believe in the church and never really had. The harder that I tried to live the religion the worse I felt about myself. Church should not make you feel bad. Church should not teach you to judge others.
As I have come to this crossroads I am sad to let the fairytale go. If you can get past all of the inconsistencies in the church elements of the fantasy are pretty beautiful.
Being gay at BYU took its toll on me. When I moved to New Jersey, it gradually began to sink in that there were many different kinds of people, different families, different living arrangements, different colors, different ethnicities, etc. Gradually over the years I have come to feel much better about who I am. How wonderful for you to have discovered the same thing by leaving that place. Good for you, and good luck!
You're not alone Kiley! You can let go of the guilt. You are wonderful just they way you are. You have already recognized the inconsistencies and contradictions in the church. You can study more if you want to really understand just how untrue this church is, or you can just leave it in the past and go forward following the convictions of your own conscience. You might enjoy the Exmormon Conference footage from this past weekend. Craig Criddle's presentation may be particularly interesting. You can find the archives here: http://www.exmormononline.net/forum/topics/2009-exmormon-foundation Again, welcome and I hope you continue to heal from the trauma that is LDS Inc.
Hola Kiley...imagino que hablas español...porque hiciste tu misión en mi país!!!...wowwwwwwww....es la primera vez que encuentro a alguien que hizo su misión aquí. Yo soy de Canarias (Tenerife), me bauticé en 1999, me inactivé unos meses más tarde ( cuando empecé a descubrir toda la basura oculta) y resigné en 2004.
No te sientas en absoluto culpable por, quizás, darte cuenta instintivamente, de toda la doble moral e hipocresía que rodea a la Iglesia. Si existe algún Dios, estoy segura que nos quiere con nuestros defectos y virtudes...y no necesita una serie de estúpidas normas para demostrarle nuestro amor.
Aún eres joven, sigue tu vida adelante, disfruta de la nueva libertad que tienes para ser tu misma; a Dios le importa un pimiento la religión a la que pertenezcas...lo único que Él quiere es que seas feliz:)!!!
Me encanta haberte conocido; cada vez somos más y más, hay numerosas redes de apoyo en Internet...no estás sola para nada. Mucho ánimo!!!
Por cierto, tengo un amigo ( unfortunately he's still TBM) que siempre dice que una de las cosas que más hecha de menos de España es la comida...seguido de la gente. eso siempre me ha llamado la atención...Por cierto; cuál era tu comida favorita??
De vez en cuando me gusta hacer una tortilla de patata pero mi comida preferida de espana es la paella. Lo habia hecho algunas veces pero los resultados - malisimos. Tambien, non puedo recordar como se llamaba pero esa pan de la pascua - fritado y mojado en huevos, con miel y cinnamon.
Hecho de menos la cultura y la costa. Vivia en Cadiz por un ano. Despues termine la mision en Fuengirola y Malaga. Oh yeah - seis semenas en Sevilla durante el verano...
Muy bien!!...la paella es muy famosa y a todo el mundo le gusta...y ese pan lo lllamamos "torrijas", creo que te refieres a eso; es muy rico!!...me gusta cocinar y, sobre todo los fines de semana, me pongo a ello. Si tienes alguna duda dime y te explico cómo hacer bien una paella:)
Cádiz tiene unas playas preciosas. Un amigo mío vive en Malaga y también estuve el año pasado en Sevilla. Andalucíaa es demasiado calurosa en verano; las Islas Canarias tienen un clima no tan calurosos...Aquí, eso sí, podemos disfrutar de la playa todo el año...
Mi amigo TBM siempre me habla de la comida y el mar también:)
¿Qué tal te trató la gente en España?. Sé que a los misioneros no siempre los tratan bien; fundamentalmente por ignorancia...
Thank you for the comments.It has been a long time since I actually allowed myself to speak to people that would really understand me. It is so strange because I have been really working up to leaving the church for years. Even daring to think about registering to join this group really felt like the beginning of the end.
No other people would understand so clearly how significant the statement that "I bought new underwear today" could possibly be.
Kiley...many people have been in your shoes before...you can be sure!!!. A lo largo de los años he visto a mucha gente hacer el mismo comentario que tú sobre lo que supone "buy new underwear"...I'm very sure the new you bought today is more sexy than the other*(
We all felt fear the first time we join to a ex mormon group. I remember me looking for "Joseph Smith-poligamy" ...lol, it was my beginning of the end!!
Cada persona tiene su momento para salir; este parece ser el tuyo!!. Here and in other ex mormon webs you can get all the support and understanding you need at this moment of your life...Always remember taht wou're not ALONE and that ALL of we stayed in your shoes before.