So my missionary brother is coming home (from Madagascar) in a month and I expect to be hit hard with his opinion of my apostasy and his many spiritual answers to my "questions".

He found out about me because my jerk father called his mission president to make sure I wasn't sending him "anti-mormon" lit. Give me a break.

Of course he wrote me asking what the heck was going on and that he didn't want me to give him any anti-mormon info. I told him a little bit about my situation and said that I didn't want to interfere with what he was doing and we could talk when he gets home.

Even though I'm 10 years older, we've always been pretty close so I'm expecting to have to defend myself.

Any words of wisdom?

Views: 33

Comment by Dan on April 8, 2011 at 11:00pm
Start reading. Forget about the Morman stuff go to the heart  of the beast and check out Jesus. If ha sis not the son of god than everything else falls. Hears a some books to consider. How Jesus became a Christian by Barrie Wilson, Jesus of Nazareth by Paul Verhoeven, Lost Christianities and The Jesus Dynast by Bart D Ehrman, God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Good Luck
Comment by MikeUtah on April 9, 2011 at 10:41am
Hopefully he won't be that interested, as my brother wasn't when he returned from his mission.  I actually would have preferred that he would have asked something, anything about my apostacy.  All I got was silence and me being left to assume he asked others if he asked anyone anything at all.  As for your brother, if he does press you for details, it might be better to just either keep the details to generals, or to make the topic off-topic, not something you care to talk about etc.  I generally see sharing too much info as detrimental to the relationship, but you ultimately are the one who has to feel your brother out for what will be okay sharing and what won't.   Good luck!
Comment by pollypinks on April 9, 2011 at 2:20pm
Disengage.  Don't discuss.  Drive him crazy with kindness, but do not engage in churchy conversation.  Just tell him you aren't going to argue, and get up and leave.  You can't win this one, and neither can he, so just drop it.
Comment by TheMama on April 11, 2011 at 11:09pm

Thank you all for your comments.  I will prepare myself and then avoid discussion. Dan, I just got the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (my new hero) but I haven't read it yet.  Do you or anyone have thoughts on this book?

I need to come up with "generals" like you said Micah... I tend to "throw up" too much information when I'm face to face.  I just get all excited and animated about this topic...  I mean, who wouldn't! 

My family (siblings) likes to fight... and I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when they "start it".  I'm the second oldest of 8 and I don't take any of their crap.  So it's soooo hard to just shut up.

I am learning, though, that members are not interested in discussion - not really.  They already think they KNOW the answers... They are trying to convince me... It's me who's got my sources all wrong.  It's so utterly and completely annoying.

You are right, polypinks, I really can't win this one. 


Comment by Idaho Spud on April 26, 2011 at 8:03am

TheMama, I think polypinks is right when she says you can't win, and if you can just love him without arguing, that may bring him around faster than my way.  Plus, you will probably still have some companionship with him.

Personally, I'm not at the place where I can put-up with the constant references to stupidity and falsehood without arguing against them.  I also feel that while not winning in the short-term, in the long-run, my arguments will have an effect.  Everything my family reads in my letters, or hear me say, will be remembered and someday when they wonder about something they don't understand about the church, they will have my arguments come back to them, and help them get-out sooner than they otherwise would.

The God Delusion is my favorite book.  It, along with Richard Dawkins' lectures on evolution, were the main factors in convincing me that the church was false and gods do not exist.

Comment by pollypinks on April 26, 2011 at 8:17am
Idaho Spud, If your letters contain anger towards the church, they will wind up in the trash.  I spent 15 years trying to "teach" my grandmother all the wrongs of the church.  I finally came to realize that when I found things that were comforting for her, like her visiting teachers, I could be of more use.  I could say, "I'm glad they came today.  You sounded like you needed company."  Because many, dare I say most, of our family members will not respond to us trying to teach them their wrong thinking process.  It just tends to feed it on.  I've come along way with elderly dad by acknowledging positive things happening in my life without the morg's influence, and also acknowledging his own positive feelings about what is happening in his life, within the church.  I also understand the book "The God Delusion", and for me, and for others, it doesn't bring peace and tranquility.  I have to live and let live as peacefully and gently as I can possibly muster, or it brings ruin to my health.
Comment by TheMama on April 26, 2011 at 12:49pm
Thank you for the comments!

Spud: I can't wait to read the God Delusion.  Richard Dawkins and his lectures and videos made me realize that there is so much to live for!

Pollypinks: I agree that negativity (as they perceive it) does push them away and feed the fire of their "testimony of truth".  I plan on waiting until he comes to me.  And treading carefully as I go.

Bar: Yes, he's gonna have a halo for sure.  He's going to the temple the day after he gets home - even before he's released (he had to get special permission).  All the "worthy" family members who live nearby will be there.  (GAG) I won't get to really talk to him until a few days later anyway.  But I will keep his halo in mind.  My other brother switched into "missionary mode" when I started talking to him about things.  It was so stupid.

Another "non-believer" sister and I have decided that we are going to diffuse anything said to us at the family reunion this summer.  I'm planning to say that I'd be glad to have a discussion about things, later via email.  We are going to express to them how we feel (happier, at peace, content)... and do what we can to show that.  The family is planning on going to Nauvoo before the reunion to spend a few days (getting fortified, no doubt, against the non-believers).  There are only three of us who do not believe anymore.
Comment by Idaho Spud on April 26, 2011 at 12:59pm

Pollypinks, Your method is probably the best, if one can do it.  It's hard for me because I've always been disgusted with stupidity, even as a child.   However, I am going to try being loving and not trashing the church, when I go visit my family again.  In fact, if they don't bring it up, I'm not going to.

 I'm trying to talk myself into going for a visit to my relatives in Twin Falls and Nampa this summer.  I don't want to because I think there's a good chance there will be some sobbing from mom and one sister probably won't be able to resist bringing-up the church.  Besides those things, I think any friendship they show towards me now, will just be out of duty, because they are taught they must fellowship me back into the gospel while not being seduced by my evilness.  It will feel fake to me, and I hate fake.

That's why Dawkins and others had an effect on me.  I've always loved the truth.  I prefer a disquieting truth to a comforting falsehood.  And, I've found that the disquieting truth quickly becomes more comforting, and more beautiful than any "comforting falsehood" I have ever experienced.  Life and the universe as revealed by science, is a lot more fascinating, beautiful, and awe-inspiring than any religious stories I have ever heard.

Comment by pollypinks on April 26, 2011 at 1:26pm
Idaho Spud, I'm going against my nature here where families are concerned by saying that if you find that by going to Nampa and Twin Falls is a downer, don't go.  You can easily keep contact with email or letters and pictures.  You've come so far, to get out of a system that was denigrating to you, and I hate to see your family members take you in just because they think it's their "Christian" duty to do so.
Comment by pollypinks on April 26, 2011 at 1:33pm
Idaho Spud, Too soon for another post, I know.  I'm rapid cycling today.  Stupidity is subjective, and when I look back at some of the things I've said to other people about their belief in the mormon church, I feel like bashing my head against a wall.  I wish I'd said nothing until the irritation and anger subsided.  Just do what many not come naturally at this point.  Love.


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