FIL in front of group — no forgiveness
I wasn’t going to share this here, but I will anyway. I took the night off work to attend my TBM MIL’s 70th b-day party. My SIL was kinda shaken when it came up that I had left the church (over 1 year ago). That prompted my FIL to go off on me in front of a house full of people. He said things like how I would not have forgiveness in this life nor the next and how I wouldn’t be able to baptize my kids when they’re 8 and they’d have to grow up with no priesthood in the home. He also said he talked to my mom and that I had broken her heart. My SIL who started the conversation told him he was being unchristlike and unkind to me and that he’s lucky I don’t punch him in his mouth. I kept my cool. I told him I didn’t appreciate being called out publicly and that it was pretty low of him to resort to fear tactics and manipulation. I told him the conversation was unfair because if I told my side it would create a huge riff in the family, but he’s allowed to say whatever he wants. I wasn’t about to unleash the messed up stuff with someone else’s kids in the room. My TBM wife sat by my side until she had to leave to go cry in the next room. I did fine until he stood up and tried to get in my face where I was sitting. People were physically trying to stop him from approaching me. At that point, I stood up and left the house without saying a word. As I was walking out he continued to yell at me about how I knew what I was doing was wrong and that I served a mission and knew the church was true. All my nieces and nephews heard that part of the conversion….
Believe it or not, this is the ONLY run-in I’ve had with him. He is a very generous, loving and kind person….
Message from Father to Father—We can no longer be friends
Saturday I had a friend who used to live in my ward come back and visit. Her and I used to be GREAT friends and still are to this day. She’s always had a hard time fitting in everywhere she went, even though she was a gorgeous girl, and doesn’t have very many friends. Saturday her and I went out to Sonic. I then laid down the truth to her that “ I had quit the church and that I had left over church history” … I never had any intentions of shelf-breaking but she asked me further about what I had problems with, so I simply stated “Joseph Smith Translation, Polygamy/Polyandry, and Brigham Young “revelation”. Nothing more, nothing less. She then asks her father a little about it and he proceeds to call my father (Extremely TBM) and tell him that her and I can no longer be friends… After our visit she told me she had no harsh feelings towards me, respected me, and loved me, as did I tell her. Yet, she has one friend back where she lives now and her father just took away one of her friends down here. Sad, very sad. I’ve been about three months into this journey, I’ll say today I admit, probably one of the worst days out of all of this, and I do admit a little defeat in my soul, but there are better ahead. I’d also like to take this time to say fuck Joseph Smith. Never said that before, feels liberating.
“A light has left your countenance.”
“Do you even want a testimony?”
“Are you reading your scriptures? Praying?”
“Are you wearing your garments?”
“I would just die if you ever left the church.”
“We’ve always told people how you have such a strong inner compass. What is happening?”
“Do you think you are agnostic because [your husband] is agnostic?”
“Satan is real. Don’t be led astray.”
“[Your husband] is so silver-tongued.”
“Stop focusing on the negative. Have your read this conference talk by…?.”
“My ‘mother heart’ is breaking.”
“Did you start questioning the church because of your miscarriages?”
“[Your husband] is very persuasive. Be strong.”
“Think about your children, what this means for them!”
And more. Suffice it to say, things were a bit rocky with them for awhile. We don’t talk about religion any more. Everything is pretty surface level. Exiting a cult sucks
Text from sister — Now in outer darkness
When I left the church Feb 2016, she texted me simply to tell my I was now in outer darkness with Satan. Never to hear a word again from her, nor Christmas card or anything at all. NOTHING. (Although we had been close close before I left)
Facebook message from Priesthood Leader — Venom in your heart
During the peak of my so-called “faith crisis” as a TBM 6 years ago, I mistakenly confided in a local Priesthood leader. I ran across an old Facebook message that he had sent me. It’s actually making me sick with anger as I re-read this. It reeks of astounding arrogance and disgusting shame and scare tactics - but at the time, I thought it was “inspired”:
“Let me begin by telling you that I love you and I genuinely care about you and the seriousness of your situation. I want to remind you that I am grateful for the discussions we have had and for the increase in my testimony because of those discussions.
Now, the blatant truth is… I can’t help you. Actually, no one will be able to at this point. You have had more tender mercies, more spiritual witnesses, and more than enough answers that you were seeking - if you really wanted those answers. But, you don’t want those answers.
Make no mistake about the fact that this has simply become a decision… not a trial. You’ve had the trial, received the answers, had many, many personal witnesses and now have decided to deny it all, in front of God, Angles (your ancestors) and Witnesses.
My biggest concern for you has always been simply… you. I know that you are a bright, articulate, intelligent young lady, but for all of that I’m constantly amazed that rather than accept the miracles you have received, somehow it makes more sense to dismiss them as a figment of your imagination. But, that is what you have to do to allow yourself to walk away and convince yourself that the truths that you do indeed know to be true are in fact not true at all. I hear all of your arguments and they are vein repetitions of many before you who have left and eased the transition by ignoring a loving Father and the things they have “felt”.
It isn’t that the soil isn’t good. It’s that even when you’ve planted and even when you seen the fruits of that faith, you’ve pulled the very plant out that is growing and tossed it in the trash because somehow the growing plant is not at all what you actually wanted to have happen.
You read the scriptures with venom in your heart and though they are the voice of a Father who loves you - you reject them as a rebellious child who will not hear.
Now, I would like you to read this final part very carefully. I don’t usually make any prophetic statements, but I prayed for you many, many times and I feel impressed now to tell you what the results of your decision will be.
I’m not sure what direction your life will take without God and His counsel. But, it won’t be the life that it should have been. What I do know is that you will never be content to simply leave this church or to walk away from your Father. At some point, simply being passive about the decision you now make will not suffice. You will fight the very things you once embraced. You will mock the covenants which were once sacred to you. You already demean some of the sacred ordinances of the temple.
The very gifts that you have been endowed with, that should be used to stand with you Father, will be used to fight Him like a defiant child.
We will all have to pick a side as this world becomes increasingly wicked. Good will be touted as evil. God’s laws will be set aside as a suppression of our human “rights”. You will, in the end, stand with the very enemies of those that care for you and you will persecute those that love you. You absolutely will become an enemy to the very God you choose to deny.
I’m sorry if this letter seems harsh, but it was written with all the love and concern I have. Remember, Alma the younger also fought God and denied him and still became a great and worthy witness.
I will never give up my hope for you. I will hope you somehow decide to make a different choice – to become humble and use the gifts you have been given to serve the Father who loves you… who has told you and showed you His love.”