Out of line?

Yesterday we asked some more of you guys – who are you, and why are you here?  I was NOT prepared for the amazing response we got in the comments.

First off, I’m SO sorry that life sucks sometimes.  It just does. No matter who you are, what you believe, what you DON’T believe, or whether your problems are first, or third-world trials, life SUCKS.  It’s just hard.  (My world view leaves me pretty okay with that, but that’s a whole different blog post for a different day!)

I’m sorry that in this sucky life some of you are experiencing the same situation we are here because I’m living this one so I KNOW it’s hard.  Suddenly finding yourself at a religious/spiritual/historical impasse with your committed life-mate and all the incredible repercussions that entails is HARDLY the worst thing in the world, but I promise you it’s not easy. Not by a long shot.

So when we hear directly from you that you’re in the same situation, my heart just aches for you.  I don’t know why we have THIS to go through, but we do.

We were asked by an ex-mormon reader if we think it’s out of line for him to wish to share the, um, let’s go with “more historically accurate” version of the Church’s beginnings and early days than the “whitewashed version…[taught] in seminary” with his teenage children.  Currently that practice is prohibited by his Mormon wife, I understand? Please forgive me if I am misrepresenting the situation – I’m watching “Star Trek: TNG” with one eye hahaha (it’s leaving Netflix Dec 1st and we are NOT DONE YET! NOOOOOO!!!!)

Here’s my two cents based solely on the information you shared in your comment: NO YOU ARE NOT OUT OF LINE.

My gosh.

Please, remember, we’ve been married for ten years, and our children are 6 years and 9 months, so we’re in a TOTALLY different place in life than someone married for 18 with two teenagers.  Except the split-religion thing.  But 18 years behind you? You guys are doing SOMETHING amazingly right; keep it up!! YAY!

Here’s what I’ve come to learn and understand to a whole different level in the past year dealing with my hub’s disaffection: LOVE.

Love isn’t just about wishy-washy romance with candles and jewellery, fattening chocolates and fancy nights out. It’s not just hugs and kisses, cuddles and snuggles. Nor is it just the physical connections of more intimate behaviours, of course.

No, love is so so so much more than all that.

Love is an agreement, a promise between two people to honour, respect, tolerate, support, uplift, accept and stand by one another.  Think about it: think about someone you love. What would you do for that person? What wouldn’t you do? Probably not much.  What could he/she ever do to make you stop loving him/her? YES, people end relationships, end marriages, but REALLY REALLY do you ever stop loving that person? (I know there are crazy circumstances with psychos – you survivors are excused my ignorant suppositions 😉 )

So, yeah.  So my husband decides not to be Mormon anymore.

So what?

If I love him, so what? Who cares?  I mean, it’s HUGE, and life-altering, but so what? I love him. I want what’s best for him. I want what’s best for my kids, for me.  I believe whole-heartedly that our family’s affiliation with the LDS Church IS the best for us, but he disagrees.  So, we agree to disagree. He respects me, my decision to remain involved, and I agree to let him disagree.  We are OPEN and HONEST with each other, and especially with our kids.

Now, honestly, the baby…this whole thing is pretty over her head at the moment.  hahaha  And the 6-year-old? Well, she’s six. Kids are amazing, though, they pick up LOTS. So, what is the point in my trying to censor and hide Daddy’s change in faith from her? She’s not stupid; she KNOWS something is up.

In my opinion, the BEST thing I can do, WE can do, as her parents, is be as open and honest with her as we are with each other.

YES, we go to Church. NO, Daddy doesn’t believe in Church. Mommy does, Daddy doesn’t. Mommy believes that warm fuzzy feeling is the Spirit. Daddy believes it’s just the psychological effect of community, safety, of the friendly atmosphere and whatever all other Freudian mumbo-jumbo that makes anyone adhere to one sect or another.

What a tremendous opportunity for learning and growth it will give her, to grow up with access to such wonderful, varying views! Our children will never be faced with the “whitewashed” version of the Church – Daddy won’t let them!  And I’m okay with that. What is this horribly difficult life if not a tremendous opportunity for learning? And WHY, if the nitty-gritty, nasty things about Church history are true, would I want to HIDE those facts from anyone? Does not learning history teach us about ourselves and help prepare us for the future? Would not making the decision to have faith in the Gospel as taught by the LDS Church WITH an advanced knowledge of history, politics, policy…wouldn’t that ENHANCE your testimony?  Or at least allow you the utmost ability to decide one way or the other to leave the Church or stick with it?

So, no, I don’t think it’s out of line at ALL to want to be able to talk to your kids about different views.

BUT, I DO believe it HAS to be done delicately, with respect for the beliefs of your partner and/or the children themselves.  You can’t come out attacking Mormonism any more than you like being attacked for not believing.  And vice versa.  When we feel attacked we get defensive, and when your back is up you’re almost NEVER open to new ideas, just posturing for an increasingly heated conflict.

So…yeah.  That’s what I think.  BUT it’s JUST what I think, so… take it with the grain of salt and all that jazz.

What do the rest of you think?  Is anyone out of line for wanting their religious conversation to be comfortably uncensored within their own families?

Good luck!

Tell us more!

Hey, have you weighed in on our poll yet? 50% of our readers are “ex-mormon” like my mister! Cool! And a bit scary…you must all think I’m completely psycho! hahaha

So, now I have some questions: WHY are you here? What about our story brings you by to our little neck of the internet? Is your story similar to ours/his/mine? Are you just enjoying our plight as a distraction from your own reality? Is what I’m experiencing your worst fear, or what HE is?  Some of you KNOW us, and I think are here out of curiosity, following links on Facebook and/or following our story because you’re acquainted with us, but we know that’s true of all of you, and we’re humbled that anyone would take the time out to check in on us.

More actual blogging forthcoming – still settling into the new routine & schedule in the new place. I know, I know, I suck a little bit. Or a lot, depending on who you ask.

Until next time!

We want to know!

We want to know about you! Who are you? Why are you here reading about our little story? Answer the poll and leave us a comment!

Questions Answered

FINALLY, your questions!!

Here are some of our faves:

“Is his family LDS? What was his family’s response?”

YES, his family is LDS.  Fun story: his dad was an apostate Jack Mormon Utah boy who emigrated to the REAL Promised Land (cue: ‘O Canada’ here) after some time in the military and working for NASA and something about blowing up a phone booth with explosives for kicks and giggles. He eventually married my MIL, they had babies, and as happens, he ended up back in the LDS church, and brought his family, including my then-8-month-old-now-hubs with him.  He passed years ago, but my hubs mother and sisters remain strong LDS members.

What was their response?  Mom was devastated.  One sister was shocked, I think, but accepting and more or less okay with it in a what-a-stupid-moron kind of way (but way nicer; I’m the only one without the brain-to-mouth [or keyboard] filter). The other sister was hurt and furious. At the time, her reaction was my favourite! O:-) Hey, by now you KNOW I’m FAR from perfect!

Next question!

“Also, In that 5 myths and 5 truths video from John Dehlin, he thinks the GA’s should say something about marriages (and families – kids leave too) like yours at the next GC. Would you agree?”

I have to admit, it’s been almost a year since we sat together and watched that video, so I don’t remember specifically the reference you’re making as to his suggestion for the General Authorities.  Part of me thinks they DO talk about it regularly? I don’t know; watching the latest Relief Society broadcast at the end of September Pres. Monson spoke to THOSE women, without priesthood in the home. I remember it clearly because I felt like I sank about ten feet through my chair sitting there….it was the first time any of them had said that line and it actually applied to ME.

If the suggested mention about marriages and families like mine is to perhaps encourage that dogmatic differences need not result in the immediate termination of such relationships, then I am absolutely on board for that!  I think it would be safe to assume my mister would agree.  I think, honestly, if you look at what the Brethren teach about marriage, families, and the prevalence of divorce in society, and the arguably appropriate reasons for one to end a marriage, well, hopefully you’d understand my position on it as WE’RE STILL MARRIED.

Please don’t mistake me to say that divorce is inherently evil, all divorced persons are covenant-breaking scum or anything ridiculous along those lines. Just from my own experience and understanding THIS is not a situation which NEEDS such a drastic result. Does that make sense?  For the General Authorities to make that clear, that differences of opinion are work-withable, that marriage and family is SO incredibly important, and that differing religious views do NOT mean the end of the world, I cannot see that being a bad idea.

Next question!

“1 what’s the dumbest thing someone has said to you about….. [her]-Your belief, [him]-your unbelief, [her]-your decision to stay with an unbeliever.”

Oy, vey. That’s a doozy. If you haven’t watched the EIGHT MINUTE ridiculous chipmunk video we posted earlier…honestly, watch it.  The guy’s eyes are incredible – how do they move like that? And, honestly, people SAY those things! They really say them! They think them! We both know; WE’VE BEEN THOSE PEOPLE!! (We’re SO sorry!)

I think part of the problem is that we see people making choices that are different from ours, from what our normal is, what’s comfortable and safe for us, and so we have to rationalize so it makes sense.  My worldview and whole life says THIS is right, this is normal. You do something different. That doesn’t compute. Therefore…something is wrong with you.  It doesn’t make us bad people, it’s just something you learn to progress past, I think, with time and experience.  To use Church jargon, it’s that Natural Man about us.

The dumbest thing someone’s said? I don’t know. A non-member friend of mine started listing all the incredible pros of single-parenting; so glad it works when the alternative is a horrid, abusive marriage, buuuut my mister is an awesome dad, soooo….. yeah.   Dumbest thing to him? I don’t want him to answer that because I think it probably must have come out of MY mouth sometime in the last year!  O:-)  If it’s something good, or different than Mr Chipmunk, he’ll respond specifically.

NEXT:

“[her]- do you believe 100% in the truth of the church or do you believe that the church is a force for good and the best way you’ve encountered for someone to live their life”

This is a GREAT question. And a tough one in some regards.  Especially considering the source – I know you think I’m nuts for sticking with it!  hahaha 😛

I have spent a lot of time pondering that myself the past year. He has some excellent arguments basically, legitimately, calling into question the ‘warm fuzzies’ we Mormons get and have dubbed “The Spirit” as it testifies to us of the truth. Psychology of religion, don’t Muslims feel warm and fuzzy about THEIR “true” beliefs? Or Jews? Or Catholics? Or, goodness, yeah. Everyone? Explain THAT, he says. But, you know, with eloquence (he’s very well spoken. It’s frustrating when we disagree because I’m a bumbling idiot verbally hahaha).

Here is what I KNOW:

I KNOW that without absolute PROOF, i.e. ME actually having a tangible vision or something crazy like that, I can NEVER actually KNOW that “the Church is true.” I can’t.  It’s impossible. I can believe it, I can have faith in it, but I can’t know it.  But that IS faith, by definition in and outside of scripture, and as faith is the first principle of the Gospel, so far I’m good.

I KNOW what I HAVE experienced. I know that I have the warm fuzzies sometimes, and I know that so does everyone else. I know that I can within the doctrines of the Church try to rationalize and explain and whatever whatever – everyone has the Light of Christ even though only members have the Gift of the Holy Ghost kinda’ thing – or I can forget about rationalizing and ignore things that make me question.  OR, I can accept that there are some things that I don’t understand and move on.

I don’t mean to suggest that I purposefully turn a blind eye to the weird stuff. I think there is nothing more important than being educated extensively in whatever it is that you do, so why on Earth not in your religion, too? And education doesn’t mean brainwashed, one-sided, lollipops-and-roses only. It can’t. I just mean, that so far, when I come up on this stuff, I choose faith.

I KNOW what I have heard, what I have seen, what I have experienced. And while I don’t KNOW that “the Church is TRUE” per say, 100% every single teeny tiny bit of it, I do absolutely have faith that it is.  I believe that there are problems, there are mistakes, but as far as the pure, unadulterated doctrine of the Gospel of Christ goes, I have faith it’s true.

Sorry to disappoint 😉 hahaha

If you DO get the warm fuzzies about religion, don’t discount it just because someone else somewhere else is doing the same about their beliefs; the warm fuzzies help you recognize GOOD, and no matter what or where the good is coming from, good is good, and we need so much more of it in this world. EMBRACE good. Feed the Mormon missionaries when they come knocking. You don’t have to become a baptized member to be nice. Be kind to the JW’s that knock on your door and take the opportunity to learn about what makes them so passionate about sharing their message. Smile in the grocery store, leave big tips for your servers, and goodness gracious just do awesome stuff, will ya’? Stop all hating each other. It’s SO overrated.

HIATUS and back to…normal?

Image from: http://downlopaz.com/featured/hiatus/

image from: http://downlopaz.com/featured/hiatus/ – I WISH there had been palm trees and a hammock in our hiatus! SHEESH!

OHmigosh. So so so so soooooo sorry. Here we get all these great questions from our faithful followers and we totally disappear off the grid for a few weeks!

Sigh.

Moving is HARD!!

We’re FINALLY pretty much moved, at least for the moment 😉 and as we’re settling into our new routines and figuring things out, here I sit with actually five minutes to myself. Boo. Yah!

(Please note: my five minutes I’m stealing right now includes ignoring all the kid-crap strewn all over the basement around where I sit…. Grumble grumble grumble….first world problems, etc. etc.)

SO, with that said, and again, our SINCEREST apologies, WE’RE BACK!

Watch for questions to be answered over the weekend, from both of us, and we’ll get back into the swing of this.

Cheers, friends, and thanks for understanding. You’re amazing! 😀