I recently stopped attending the Mormon church.  My intention is to break all ties with it.  Yet all my family are members and I don't want to ruin my relationship with them.  They've been loving, supportive and encouraging my entire life, but if they know I've left the church that may not continue.   Seems simple enough to just fade away into "inactivity."  I would like to do that, but my circumstances won't allow that.  I'm currently disfellowshipped and have been meeting with my bishop on a regular basis.

As far as my family and the people in the ward, I could easily fade into inactivity, but there's no way I can do that with the bishop.  I have to say something to him.  So far I've taken the passive route.  I haven't attended church and I don't return the secretary's calls about interviews with the bishop.  I know that won't go on forever.  The secretary will keep calling and calling.  Eventually the bishop will call me or show up on my doorstep.  At least then it would be on my terms.  If I see him in his office it's on his terms.

The problem with telling the bishop is that I don't know what he'll do with the information.  Will he allow me to fade away?  Will he broadcast it?  I know he'll assume that I've returned to my sins, which I haven't, but I'm sure I can't convince him of it.  For now I'll probably continue my passive strategy.

I'm not sure why I'm posting this, but any feedback or comments are welcome.

Views: 251

Comment by Turning point on October 27, 2011 at 11:12pm
Sorry you are going through this. Since I don't know your situation entirely take these comments as you will. I think it is best to live honestly. For me, living a half life in the church never gave me the freedom I needed. Think about not being trapped under the weight of having to pretend or worry what others may think of you. Isn't that what the church does? The truth really does set you free. Take care and over time you will know what is best for you
Comment by armadillo on October 28, 2011 at 10:02am

Thank you, Turning Point and EW for your comments.  I thought I had got to the point that I knew that the church had no power over me.  I guess I haven't fully embraced that concept.  I figure what damage the bishop could do, as just a man, is that he could turn my neighbors against me.  I don't think there's any way he could influence my family since they mostly live out of town.  I could probably deal with a few antagonistic neighbors.

Comment by Lapsed on October 29, 2011 at 10:25pm

Thanks! That brings it all home, doesn't it?

Comment by lucyE on November 2, 2011 at 8:00pm

E.W - I am putting that quote by my desk at work. Thanks for the excellent perspective.

 

Comment by Roz on November 3, 2011 at 11:46am

You are in good company!  LAM is such a great spot to find help and encouragement.  So many of us can relate.  My advice- well, consider yourself on the verge of being in one of the best spots in your life- free from religious oppression.  Walking away from the church is one of the best things I have ever done!  I and my family are sincerely happier than we have ever been, and each day just gets better.  And we are always amazed at how we managed to stay trapped for so long!  There will surely be bumps in the road, one of which will most likely be the need to find some new friends!  Not to worry, the world is full of good, smart, helpful, loving humans! 

 

I was also disfellowshipped.  What an f-ing joke!  No offense, just that my views of humans and religion have changed drastically over the past few yrs.  Ah, how your post brought back memories!  I know, how about telling your bishop to F-off. lol, I mean to say, who in the hell is he to "rule" over you and give you advice???  Take back your privacy and own your own life!  Looking back on my disfellowship situation, I realize I was so young and hadn't figured much out yet.  Not saying that is where you are at, just saying that with time and life experience, my perspective grew above and beyond that insane system. A system of shame, brainwashing, guilt, and fear, not to mention lies. lol. Huge regrets for ever letting anyone push me around and tell me about my position with God(I happen to believe in Science now.  Atheist in other words) Reality defied Mormonism over and over again.  Walk away and never look back!  You will not be the first, nor the last.  Cheers to your journey of discovery and finding real truth and happiness!  Good Luck!  

Comment by armadillo on November 7, 2011 at 9:45pm

Here's an update:  mission accomplished!  I didn't tell the bishop that I want to break ties with the church.  I just told him that I didn't want to meet with him anymore.  I know it seems cowardly, but it will enable me to fade away into inactivity.  It's been over a week, with no repercussions.  The bishop thinks he has offended me in some way.  To tell the truth, he has.  If the Mormon church was true, he would be held accountable for that, but it isn't true, so it's no big deal.

Comment by chime on November 8, 2011 at 9:36am

Way to go! Taking our power back can be a very frightening thing to do! And here you are doing it, Step by step. Great work, just really great work! 

Comment by chime on November 8, 2011 at 9:38am

You are starting to stand up for how YOU feel. Here you are, taking care of yourself. Pat yourself on the back. This is huge. 

Comment by Liber Mens on November 10, 2011 at 1:35am
Armadillo- Dont be afraid of the truth. One should never be ashamed to be honest. Never. It takes courage to stop going. You have to leave and find your path in your own way, dont ever be ashamed or judge yourself for that. If you dont want to confront you Bishop, dont. You dont owe him anything.

When I asked the Church to stop calling me about attendance, this is what I said, maybe it will help you?

Brother X, I know that you are calling on me out of a genuine desire to share your happiness in the Church, I respect and appreciate that. I hope my directness will not offend you, but I respect you enough and believe in living honestly, so as my neighbor, I owe it to you and myself to be authentic. I do not believe the doctrines to be the word of God. I will continue to support and give to my community in other ways, and I hope that we can still be friendly neoghbors.

I did it over the phone and My hands were sweating! But I felt a strong sence of peace by being open and honest.

Also, I think it helps to do something really inspiring and constructive on Sundays, like volunteer or give in some way to those you love and to your neighbors. People see soon enough that it is your acts of honesty and kindness that define you, not your attendance in church. And those who dont see that are certainly lost in their own sad struggle and you can only help them by continuing to be kind and honest.

Good luck on your brave journey. I have so much respect for people who have the courage to leave when their whole family and community are tied in. I had a whole network of nonbelievers, so it was easier for me to be "brave."
Comment by Liber Mens on November 10, 2011 at 2:12am
You may like this video about research in sociology which discusses link between authentic living and happiness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5KYpRL2zaM&feature=youtube_gdat...

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