Thursday, September 27, 2012

I MISS YOU LDS CHURCH...er...I mean...I miss your potlucks!





Okay...soul baring time.

Last month a former LDS friend, now an Exmormon asked me a question.

"Norm, dont you sometimes wish you didn't know so much?" Referring to what I know about the fraudulent historical aspects of LDS history and doctrine.

His question kind of got me thinking....again:)
It must be said however that life in the Thompson home in so many ways is much less complicated than when we were members. Its also much more leisurely and more free.

Is it more fun? Yes!

Is it more comfortable? Yes

Is it more simplified.....ABSOLUTELY!

However, is it more fulfilling? Not sure how to answer that one. When your so busy and active as an LDS member you can often feel very fulfilled. Even if its all a fraud, you cant help but feel fulfilled when your so dedicated to serving the members.

Now it must be said that some of the members made this experience of service, truly beautiful in many ways.

Names? Sure, why not!

Members like the Bouwhuis family, members like Tom and Ruth Kebick, like Ken Stephens family or John Dunstall and the Crabbe family or Tim and Dave Davies family and many others (please forgive me so many others Rattray's, Nantias etc if I miss some names). They made it all worthwhile. These are generally good hearted, back row members with other things in their lives besides the LDS Church. Humble, good hearted people who have a broad variety of friends and associates.

The ones that did not, well that list is just as long and no......too much class in this 'ass' (hey its in the scriptures!) to give there names. No hard feelings now though. For the most part these are the most 'in' members in the area. Totally in....no room for anything else in their lives such as balance or caring. I kind of feel sorry for most of them now. They are the ones that if they found out, in an undeniable way that it was all a fraud, they would likely jump off a tall building or something because their entire world would collapse in an instant.

I was more like the people of the 'back row' group up until I was called as bishop I had not held any significant callings and was in the back row quiet comfortably, I had lots of non-lds friends, but....I believed.....I believed EVERYTHING "book", line....and sinker!

WHAT DO I MISS?

Yes, I miss some things, well, more....I miss some really fine people. I cant really associate with them, and they cant really associate with me.

Why? Not because they want to be mean or that I wish to be an angry Exmormon. The truth is....I know too much! And their belief system would not benefit from what I know. Additionally, me simply existing, and breathing and being alive and happy kind of conflicts with everything they have been taught about those who 'leave the fold'. It kind of messes with their 'cog-dis' (aka cognitive dissonance, see this blog regarding discussion on the subject http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/04/28-mcs-dissonance-101/)

Basically, its not easy hanging around an exmormon family while you see them spending more time together, having more blessings (money prosperity etc) and basically seeing their lives, overall.....move forward. HOW CAN THIS BE?

Now, its important that you understand something. I am no longer angry at the LDS Church for its deception. Sure, it stole lots of time and money and talents from me, but to be fair, it also gave me some skills and experiences which will last me for a lifetime in a positive manner. I cautiously say that I am content with my time in the LDS Church. I might even admit, as my friends statement above indicates....that there are even some things I actually miss!!!

I am shocked to see this in writing from my hands.

I miss some of those amazing members, because really I have nothing good to offer them as far as 'my truth'. I don't want to cause them pain, like many of us have felt, due to finding out what I know.

Leaving the LDS faith was quite painful. In some ways, it would have been easier to simply look away from fact and history. It was simply something I could not do, once I noticed the big cracks that are part of the LDS culture.

I miss the 'next  big activity'. Gabriele (my wife) was involved in activities while I was a bishop and...well......we had some pretty fantastic events supported by a bishopric who believed fun was a three, not four letter word! (guess who that bishop was :))

There was always something coming around the next corner on the calendar, okay well....all those meetings in between......uggg! Not fun! Not cool....and truly....not purposeful.

I don't know how to say this, but as I come to appreciating my former LDS life as part of who I am, instead of trying my best to simply burn the memory.......there are some things that I miss.

"Too bad" as my good exmormon friend said....."that we know so much".

Rebuilding a new life is not easy for many former LDS members. Especially for those more socially inclined.

My wife, well she was always more happy in a book or alone, then at and LDS activity. She does not miss it at all. The fact that friends disappeared overnight since our departure, is simply a truth for her that they never were 'real' friends to begin with.

I dont care, I miss my casual relationship with good hearted LDS people and families. I miss their hopeful attitude in the face of glaring truths, heck I still have family members......'preparing for the second coming' even after the LDS institute teachers stopped that type of conversation. The dates.....keep changing for the 'big event' but.....they have been preparing and still keep doing so into their seventies.

Might not have nice clothes to wear, or always have enough gas for the car....but they have their wheat and storage. I was one of them...now....trying to figure out.....who I can dump the stuff on to clear space for my potato chips and chocolate bars!

I miss your potlucks LDS Church..

Don't miss most things about it....but I miss some of the amazing, truly kind hearted people like those I mentioned above and many others.

Its hard to leave the LDS church because it really never leaves you alone? What with family members still so involved....you can never really get away from it and when you finally do, well....you are indeed.....alone.

There will always be a hole in my heart for the LDS church. I suspect that though the rest of my heart is strong and well....there will always be a small hole. Finding out that it was a fraud.....wow.....that was tough. You cannot imagine how tough that was.

I dont blame those who stay active in it though. It has some redeeming qualities about it.

Truth....NOT being one of them.

7 comments:

  1. So true! I found that the few active members who continued to show an interest in continuing a relationship with me soon faded. I think it was because our 'friendship' truly WAS based upon the LDS faith, and when that common base was taken out of the equation, there was no further foundation for the friendship to rest. It's nobody's fault. We both could have tried harder I suppose, but as you said, I now feel like I 'know too much'. And from my own experiences from when I was active, I know they think they do too.

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  2. This was heart warming, but in a cryptic way. I can think of a few names off the top of my head of those who were truly kind to me as well when I was true believer. I do miss those people.

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  3. I love reading this!
    I'm more like Gabby - I am okay with the people that disappeared. (I'd prefer they disappear than try to reactivate me.) Social activities with the ward always felt forced to me: I was only there because it was where I was supposed to be. GREAT relief that I don't have to go anymore.

    The only time I feel a longing to "know less" is when I am with my family. They are wonderful and sweet and SUPER supportive of me in whatever path I choose, but I miss being like them.

    Last night they all listened while I told them about my trip to LA to see Book of Mormon the Musical. I listened when my sister talked about going to the temple, and my mom talked about general RS meeting... Once upon a time, we would have been all telling similar stories, and I miss that. (Except that I also love being able to have my own stories that I am way more comfortable in. And I know I am damn lucky to have a family that will listen without judgment. They don't care about the musical - they care about me, so they listen to what I say... A lot of TBM families won't do that, no matter how much they profess to love "apostates".)

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  4. A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels

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  5. My husband and I have been struggling the last year. I am glad to have found your blog. We have no issues with keeping all tenants of the LDS gospel but - as we actually started to try to learn more - well we learnt more and it's been difficult to grasp our head on it. We have been staying the course praying for clear answers...Our biggest concern now about leaving is our children. We are grateful for the organizations and structure that helps our kids make good choices. How do you find parenting your children without this structure? There will be other issues with leaving but as the mission age just increased - we need to think a little faster.I love this culture and I am so saddened by my feelings. I am a very happy person as is my husband. We just feel so deceived by some things such as you mentioned.

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  6. Note that this post has been nominated for a Brodie Award for "Best Moving on from Mormonism Story." You can vote for it here.

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