Saturday, September 30, 2006

My disaffection story

I stopped going to church approximately 16 months ago. I have not officially resigned, and as of now there are no immediate plans to do so. I always figured I would do it if I felt a need, but for now, my ward and family has been pretty respectful of our wishes to be left alone. I've never written my disaffection story before, and in talking to a friend, I realized it might be a good idea to put it on my blog then I can point people here if they're ever interested in knowing my story.

Grab a snack, this could take awhile.

I was BIC, and raised by two devout parents. While we always went to church on sundays, had callings, prayed before meals and bed, we were never totally TBM. We were, but rated R movies were okay once I was old enough, we would run to the grocery store on sundays, had diet coke aplenty in our house. So I guess we were the shades of gray type of sinners. I am the youngest of 5 children, and one by one, all of my older siblings apostasized by the time they were 21. I held on, mostly for my parents sake (so they could have at least ONE "good" kid), and also because in high school, I was good friends with several kids whose fathers were General Authorities. I was surrounded by the goodie goodie types, but I am glad I did. I had some good experiences being friends with these people, and I really learned a lot. I dare say that this helped as I went further along the path of apostacy.

When I was 22 I was married in the Bountiful Temple. My husband was not an RM, but still the good churchy type of guy. For the first two years of our marriage our church attendance was off and on, then we got really active once we bought a house in an older neighborhood with a struggling ward.

The next few years is boring to talk about- we served hefty callings such as YW 1st councellor, EQ presidency, etc. By the time we left the church, I was in the primary presidency and he was the finance clerk. Both of us were extremely involved with our ward. We were there every week, and I mean every week. I think we missed 6 weeks in 6 years, and most of that was from materinity leave time. We really gave our all, made huge efforts and sacrifices and were living as we thought we should.

A few months after I had my twins, I was called to be a gospel doctrine teacher for the teenagers. I'm a pretty hip woman, and still relatively young. I remember what it's like to be a teenager and have always been able to relate to them well. But I was terrified of this calling. First of all, the lesson manuals are the same for 13 year olds as they are for 83 year olds so it was up to me to determine how to gear the lessons so that they would understand.

So for nearly two years, I taught this class. Everything was fine and dandy until I got the Book of Mormon manual. A lof of what I was told to teach didn't make sense, or seemed like a double standard, and I just never felt that "spirit" when I prepared my lessons. Plus sometimes the lessons would contratict each other, and that really annoyed me. I allowed myself to think "What if it's not true?" But I quickly put that thought away. So I asked my husband my burning questions. His answer to me was "Pray more. Have more faith. Read your scriptures more often. It will all work out". I figured he was right, and continued to carry on. I was finally fed up with teaching these teenagers (who would try to trip my toddlers when they were learning how to walk), so I got my guts together and told my bishop I needed to be released. I went about 2 weeks without a calling before I was called to teach primary. Okay, younger kids are a little easier to teach than teenagers, I could handle this. Plus the lessons were easier. I was okay with this calling.

Near the end of the Book of Mormon year our Bishop was visiting primary. The president asked him to tell us what a testimony must consist of. He said that first and foremost, we must believe in the Prophet Joseph Smith. My heart sunk when I heard that. I realized that after this year of teaching BOM lessons, I never had a testimony of Joseph Smith. In fact, something about him was creeping me out this whole time, I just never allowed myself to think about it.

The next few months are a bit of a haze. I went through the motions, very numb. I figured this is what was in store for the rest of my life. Not really believing, but not doing anything about my disbelief. One sunday morning, it was February's fast sunday, I was in a particularly bad mood. I was babysitting the daughter of my good friend- she and her husband were both presidents of different groups and both had to be at early morning ward counsel before church. I was writing out a hefty tithing check, and realizing that I was going to have to put a root canal on my credit card later that week. This thought pissed me off, it made no sense that I had to charge a necessity, yet give cash away to a church that already have PLENTY of cash. The meeting was running overtime and I had to take care of this baby instead of getting myself ready for church and preparing my lesson. Too many small things collided all at once and I had it. And I started griping to my husband, very loudly. The first presidency doesn't give a rats ass about our struggling ward (we live in SLC, and everyone in our ward had 2 or 3 callings each), why am I giving money to this chuch and going into debt for a root canal and crown? I'm tired, I'm exhaused. I had to go to church, then come home alone and take care of my young kids while my husband stayed after for several hours for meetings and counting the tithing. And I don't even really believe in this church, I'm only doing this so that I don't disappoint my parents! At this point my husband stood up and looked at me and said "It's fine with me if you don't want to pay tithing. And quit worrying about your parents. I've been told not to tell you, but your dad doesn't believe anymore either!". I was gutted.

So I went to church that day with tears in my eyes the whole time. I didn't know what to do next. I had been given a link to an essay at Zarahemla city limits, by someone I knew off of an LDS parenting board. This essay saved my sanity, I highly recommend reading it. Then I read more and more essays, and eventually found The View From The Foyer from there. My husband realized it was okay for him to question and research, and we spend the next two to three months reading everything we could. Eventually I had a talk with my dad, and he was thrilled to know of my choices. I talked to some of my older siblings who disaffected yeeeeeears prior, and they were great for support and giving me more places to research and things to know. I was shocked to learn about the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith's polyandry. So many little things came out of the woodwork. For me, my disaffection wasn't one thing altogether, it was just all of the small little things that piled up and made it so I could no longer pretend.

For a few months I thought I would try to keep going to church for my mom's sake (I knew I would be a huge disappointment for her, since I was her last hope for eternity), and for a ward friend. Soon after, my friend moved. I was in the primary presidency at this point, and had to do a sharing time lesson on Joseph Smith (this was the year of the church history manual, after all). This made me physically ill. I sat there in primary realizing how much I hated this. I looked at my daughters who were sunbeams and sitting on the front row, and realized that they hated this, too. I figured now is a good time to walk away, they won't remember much about church and could care less if we continued to go. The next week I just didn't go to church, and neither did my husband. He did show up after the meetings to do his duties as finance clerk. Then after he transmitted the funds, he told the bishop that he needed to talk.

The bishop was shocked. We were 100%ers. We did everything we needed to do, and did it happily. The next day I sent a follow up letter that explained to the bishop that this was a joint decision, it was not hasty by any means, and we are at peace with this choice. He did call one time after this meeting, and asked if he could come visit us. I said no, I was no longer going to let him have this power over me. Since then he has stopped by our house once just to see how we were doing. My husband answered the door and said "We're great, thanks for checking in!" and that was it. We have since come out to our families, which were painful processes but liberating at the same time.

I bought myself a coffee maker as a reward for coming clean to all those who matter. This is why I need the DAMU, or post mormon community. Only they will understand the significance of my buying a coffee maker.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Have you ever had a pie that you just wanted a sliver of? Heaven forbid that you eat a whole piece of pie and devour all those calories. So you eat a sliver of pie. Then you walk through the kitchen and think "I want another sliver". Before you know it, the whole damn thing is gone. I hate it when that happens.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Staring at the Sun

My friend Ross (known on the DAMU as Solistics) told me that the key to a successful blog is to write often. I agree. No offense to my blog friends who update once a quarter (ahembelajacough!), but I am always excited to read updated blogs, even if it's just a quick hello or thought of the day.

I don't have anything really thoughtful to write about at the moment, so I thought I would share some lyrics. I love music, and I love lyrics, hence my frist blog post with Insanity. I especially love lyrics that I can identify with. Equality used to do NOM song of the week on his blog (I think he should start that back up). I may do something similar, but not in a regular fashion. It may be 3 times a week, or it may be once a month. Who knows. I'll post them when I'm inspired.

I dedicate these lyrics to my DAMU friends:

Staring at the Sun by U2
(in my opinion, the only really good song from Pop)

Summer stretching on the grass
Summer dresses pass
In the shade of a willow tree
Creeps a-crawling over me
Over me and over you
Stuck together with God's glue
It's gonna get stickier too.
It's been a long hot summer
Let's get under cover
Don't try too hard to think
Don't think at all.

I'm not the only one
Staring at the sun
Afraid of what you'd find
If you take a look inside.
Not just deaf and dumb
I'm staring at the sun
Not the only one
Who's happy to go blind.

There's an insect in your ear
If you scratch it won't disappear.
It's gonna itch and burn and sting
Do you wanna see what the scratching brings!
Waves that leave me out of reach
Breaking on your back like a beach.
Will we ever live in peace?
'Cause those that can't do often have to
And those that can't do often have to preach

To the ones staring at the sun
Afraid of what you'll find if you took a look inside.
Not just deaf and dumb, staring at the sun
I'm not the only one who'd rather go blind.

Intransigence in all around
Military's still in town
Armour plated suits and ties
Daddy just won't say goodbye
Referee won't blow the whistle.
God is good but will he listen?
I'm nearly great but there's something missing.
I left it in the duty free,
Oh, though you never really belonged to me.

You're not the only one staring at the sun
Afraid of what you'd find if you stepped back inside.
I'm not sucking my thumb, staring at the sun
Not the only one who's happy to go blind.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Insecurity's a bitch

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you can't do or say anything right? And there's no explaining it-- you haven't royally screwed anything up or anything like that. You just feel insecure. blah. That's me, that's my day. I think I'll hybernate now.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


When my daughters were born I was completely overwhelmed. I went from a totally lazy, selfish lifestyle, to all the sudden having to be completely responsible for two other human beings. It was up to me to decide what they ate, when they ate, what they wore that day, what they did during the day, when they slept, when their diapers were changed, and who they got to see. 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Taking this on was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my entire life, and on more than one occasion, I had serious doubts that I was cut out for this. My first day home from the hospital I wanted all of us to go back, and continue having my meals brought to me 3 times a day, where all I had to do was lay in bed, watch TV, and hold babies. I realized that everyone would be much better parents if they made the babies stay at the hospital until they could sleep through the night and were potty trained.

My daughters are almost 5 now. They sleep through the night, go to the bathroom and wash their hands on their own. I still have to help them get dressed at prepare their food, but for the most part, they're pretty independant. I wasn't prepared for this. I got so used to making all the decisions in their lives, that I'm having a really hard time letting go, and letting them make their own decisions. Halloween is around the corner, and we've started talking about costumes. If it were up to me, my two beautiful blonde haired blue eyed beauties would be princesses, or ballerina's, or little U of U cheerleaders. No, they want to be dragons, or robots, or Darth Vader. I don't agree with this, but what can I do? I have to let them start making their own choices, right? As a parent, this is the hardest thing I've had to do- let go.

I decided to blog about this because if I publicly acknowledge the fact that I'm a control freak, perhaps I can do something about it. And if you have two little blonde haired darth vaders knocking on your door this halloween, be kind to them. This was their choice.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hope for future generations

Yesterday my husband and I went to a baptism for our friends daughter. This was unlike any baptism I've ever been to. You see, in the LDS religion, children are baptized at the age of 8. This is considered "the age of accountability", and it's also widely believed that children are able to make this important decision on their own. Living in a community where the majority of neighbors and classmates are LDS, this can create a lot of peer-pressure, and a lot of sadness for a child who really wants to fit in with the crowd and be baptized, too.

So my friend had a brilliant idea (This is not a shocking thing, this friend of mine always has brilliant ideas, part of the reason why I love her so-- she has enough creativity for both of us). She decided to do her own baptism in her in-laws back yard. She sent the invitations out to friends and family. She wrote something akin to vows. She promised to love and nurture her daughter, and to support her in whatever path in live she chooses. There was a lot more to it than this. The entire speech was very moving, full of hope and love for the future. Her daughter requested that they splash water on her from a seashell as her form of baptism. It was a beautiful moment and I was honored to be a part of it. And now her daughter can tell her friends that she is baptized... only her baptism was much cooler and more fun than any of the others.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I love U2

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love U2. When I filled out my profile on here, I listed U2 as my first musical interest. When I look at my profile, don't see it. So I edited my profile, and saw that I did indeed have it on the first of my list. I switched it to the last of my list to see if that would make a difference... I want it to show up, you know? But once again, it's not there. I'm lead to believe that it must be a conspiracy: The makers of blogger don't like U2, so they don't allow the name to appear on the musical preference list.

Okay fine, that's not it. Anyone with blogger experience able to help a confused girl out here?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Welcome to my first blog post ever. I've decided to try this thing out. I don't think anyone will read it and it's probably just here for my own self-serving purposes, but that's okay. I think most blogs are that way.

In honor of my new blog with it's blog name, I thought I would post the lyrics to the song from where it was inspired. Without further ado, I present Insanity by Oingo Boingo:

I'm so sorry, please forgive
who do I pray to
to straighten out this problem?
Straighten out this problem,
straighten out my mind
Straighten out this crooked tongue...

My mind has wandered, from the straight and narrow
my mind has wandered from the flock you see
My mind has wandered, the man just said so
my mind has wandered I heard it on TV
and the flock has wandered away from me.

All around the world now
like a big bright cherry cloud
Traveling from home to home
TV sets and telephones
Here it comes just like a storm
bathe in it and be reborn
Time to let the world know
welcome madness, say hello...

Like a wave we cannot see
washing over you and me
Hiding here and hiding there
madness hiding everywhere

Such a curiosity
here it comes to set us free
Plenty left for you and me
say hello insanity

I am the virus, are you the cure?
I am morally, I'm morally impure
I am a disease and I am unclean
I am not part of God's well oiled machine

Christian nation, assimilate me
Take me in your arms and set me free
I am part of a degenerate elite
dragging our society into the street
Into the abyss and to the sewer don't you see
The man just told me, he told me on TV

Do you think you're better than me
Do you want to kill me or befriend me
And the alcoholic bastard waved his finger at me
His voice was filled with evangelical glee
Sipping down his gin & tonics
While preaching about the evils of narcotics
And the evils of sex, and the wages of sin
While he mentally fondles his next of kin

My mind has wandered from the flock you see
And the flock has wandered away from me
And he waved his hypnotizing finger at me


Let's imitate reality
Let's strive for mediocrity
Let's make believe we're all the same
Let's sanitize our little brains

I'd love to take you home with me and tuck you into bed
I'd love to see what makes you tick inside your pretty head
I'd love to hear you laugh tonight,
I'd love to hear you weep
I'd love to listen to you while you're screaming in your sleep.

Christian sons, Christian daughters
Lead me along like a lamb to the slaughter
Purify my brain and hose down my soul
White perfection, perfection is my goal

Do you think you're better than me
Do you want to kill me, or befriend me
Christian nation, make us alright
Put us through the filter
and make us pure and white

My mind has wandered away from me
Let's talk of family values
while we sit and watch the slaughter
Hypothetical abortions on imaginary daughters
The white folks think they're at the top,
ask any proud white male
A million years of evolution,
we get Danny Quayle


I'd love totake you home with me,
I'd love to tuck you in
I wish I could protect you from the wages of our sin
I'd love to hear you scream tonight,
I'd love to hear you cry
Protect you from the madness
that is raining from the sky


I'd love to take you home with me
and tuck you into bed
I'd love to see what makes you tick inside your pretty head
I wish that I could keep you in a precious Chinese box
On Sundays I would pray for you so it would never stop
I'd love to hear you laugh tonight,
I'd love to hear you weep
I'd love to listen to you while you're screaming in your sleep
I'd love to soothe you with my voice and take your hand in mine
I'd love to take you past the stars and out of reach of time
I'd love to see inside your mind,
to tear it all apart
To cut you open with knife
and find your sacred heart
I'd love to take your satin dolls and tear them all to shreds
I'd love to mess your pretty hair, I'd love to see you dead.