Saturday, December 31, 2011

My First Shunning

It was a beautiful, beautiful day today. Not too warm, not too cold, plenty of sunshine. I had lunch with my sister and my stepmonster at Cliff's--if you are ever in Grapevine, Texas, you need to have at least one meal at Cliff's. They are just that good.--and then my sister and I took off our own direction. I'd planned to see a movie, but it turned out she had already seen it. So we just meandered.

First we went to World Market, where I got a couple of nice glass beer steins and a couple of bottles of ale. Then we stopped at Half Price Books, also known as my home away from home. My sister hasn't yet read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and after watching the movie she was ready to read it. Fortunately we found it there. Then we went to Barnes & Noble, also known as my second home away from home, and I got a vegan cookbook. And then it was off to Enchanted Forest, an awesome little metaphysical shop in East Fort Worth. Then I took my sister home and she gave me the AWESOMEST Christmas present: a blue Dalek coin bank. Isn't that awesome? She also gave me a large Sabrina the Teenage Witch poster that is going to get hung up in my closet tomorrow.

So on my way home I decided to stop at Ross and get an apron. I'd asked for one for Christmas (trust me--the Dalek coin bank was way cooler than an apron), and since I didn't get one I got my own. And I'd barely gotten into the store when I saw someone from church. Someone I really, really like. And she wouldn't look at me. So I went ahead past her and continued my shopping. Then I ran into her again in another part of the store, and made sure to look straight at her. She shifted around, looking one way and then another one as she determinedly pushed her cart past me. In other words, it's not that she didn't see me.

I texted my sister to tell her about it, and I have to say it really makes me sad. I've always loved this woman. I suppose I should have been expecting it, and perhaps from some other people, I would have. But not her.  Perhaps it was my sleeveless arms that offended her. I mean, I was wearing a sleeveless top.

But I know that she and her husband are amongst the elite in our ward, so that means there's no way she doesn't know I've left the church.  Obviously she finds that offensive.

And people think all apostates leave the church because we're offended. Don't make me laugh.

Sweet, Sweet Sin - Saturday Morning Edition

Coffee, that is. Today it has eggnog flavoured creamer, and it's nice. The eggnog flavour doesn't overpower the slightly bitter taste of the coffee.

And how does one make coffee taste even better?

Why, put it in one's TARDIS mug!

And since I made double the usual amount of coffee, I'm about to go refill the TARDIS mug. That means in approximately half an hour, I will be bouncing off the walls.

Mmmmmmmm. Sweet, sweet sin!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year?

The approaching New Year's Day is the first in many years in which I haven't felt the need to become reactivated and start going to church again. I'm not saying I succeeded in the past several years, because I didn't, thank Og, but it was always there in my mind. I was going to start going to church on Sundays. I was going to start journaling. I was going to keep the Sabbath day holy, which in my warped view consisted of going to church, reading church related literature when I got home, no football on tv, and visiting friends or family. What a load of baloney! I hated going to church. My husband refused to even consider not watching football on Sundays. Reading only church related literature was boring. So you can imagine how long that lasted.

This new year, though, represents a sense of freedom that I have not felt for a very long time. No more trying to do what anyone else says I should do, no matter whether it feels right or wrong to me. (you have no power over me)

I have started standing up for myself with people who try to beat me down. I am taking back my power. I've refused to meet with my bishop, who's been trying to get me to go talk to him as he's processing my name removal. He's a nice enough person, but I don't want to meet with him (you have no power over me). I'm standing up for myself with my husband, who alternates between being incredibly kind, loving, and thoughtful and being incredibly judgmental of me, verbally and emotionally abusive, and completely out of control (you have no power over me).

I'm learning that the only way people have control or power over me is if I yield it to them. And why would I want to do that? (you have no power over me)

The answer is that I do not. I claim my life. I claim my intelligence. I claim my thoughts, my beliefs, my emotions. I claim my abilities. I claim my dreams. (you have no power over me)

The words that whatserface found so hard to remember in Labyrinth have become my rallying cry: You have no power over me.

2012 is going to be a year to remember! I'm looking forward to it with eagerness and anticipation. Change is coming, and a new me is in the process of being born. Join me for the journey, if you wish--it will be a fantastic trip!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Book of Abraham

Last night I searched on youtube for the documentary I'd read about pertaining to the Book of Abraham. I found it, and watched the whole thing.

Having been an avid Egyptologist when I was younger, I should have known that the Book of Abraham wasn't true. I shold have recognized Anubis and Isis. I mean, when I looked at the facsimiles, they looked wrong to me, but I didn't question it. I've heard people say that it was not the papyri in his hands that Joseph Smith was translating, but that having those papyri opened up his mind so God could give him the Book of Abraham.  Of course, the text contradicts that idea right off the bat. But I believed it. Drank the sugary fruit-flavoured beverage and called it good.

I'm sick to death of being lied to. I want the truth, no matter how much it may hurt. Because in the long run, truth is what matters. I guess in coming to the realisation that TSCC is not what it proclaims to be, I have felt a bit like Helen Keller making the connection between the strange movements her teacher was using and the water that was gushing over her hands. I'm not in the dark anymore. I have a lot to learn, and miles to go before I sleep, but at least the switch has been turned on.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tithing Settlement

I did not pay any money in tithing to the CoJCoLDS this year.

I have made charitable donations throughout the year to causes that are near and dear to my heart, or to the hearts of those who organise the fundraisers at work, including Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

I have taken care of my family and close friends in ways financial and non.

I spent quite a bit of money trying to keep a terminally ill dog alive, and don't regret a penny of it. I only regret that he died so much more quickly, and so young, than we could have expected.

Personally, I feel pretty good about things. I've got some ideas in mind for 2012, but I can guarantee you that not one penny I make will voluntarily go to TSCC. And I feel very good indeed about that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Nightmares

Yesterday I noticed an email in my inbox from my bishop, wondering if I had the day off and if so could I please meet up with him to sign something. I assume this has to do with my resignation--I emailed him last week to let him know that if he had any questions specifically regarding my resignation he could email me, but otherwise I wanted no contact, as before. So he sent an email asking for my address at the apartment, and I responded. So I'm wondering if he was misled by my civil tone into thinking that I would meet with him at his request, and perhaps thinking that if we met and talked I might change my mind.

I ignored the request. I don't want to meet with him, and there is no real reason why I should. Of course, my husband was sitting right there beside me, as I had logged into my email at his request, to retrieve a coupon he'd had sent to me. He recognized the bishop's name, and wanted to know what was up. I just told him that I am no longer a member of the church and have absolutely no intention of ever returning. He started to get upset, but I stood firm. ("I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City . . . for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me!)

And I suppose that's what led to the nightmares. I dreamed that since I didn't answer his email, he reached out to my mother, my stepfather, and my sister (who no longer considers herself a member, but who never officially resigned). So I was having to explain to my mother what was going on, and she was having a conniption fit, and my stepfather was acting, per usual, like a complete asshole. Fortunately, my sister took me to my favourite vegan restaurant and I got a grilled tofu sandwich, which I enjoyed, but I vented vented vented with her, and she was really nice and let me vent (she is very nice, and always lets me vent. I guess she's been out long enough she's past the anger stage where I seem to be thoroughly ensconced. Although I wonder if I'd be able to move past the anger stage a little more quickly if my husband weren't having cog dis and refusing to do anything. He's paralysed. It's awful.)

I was happy to wake up.

I realise that I am going to have to broach the subject with my mother, but I'm waiting until I can do it in person. It's not the sort of conversation one wants to do via email or telephone.

Oh--and here's a photo of me taken on Christmas Eve. I'm not nuts about it, but then I'm not nuts about any photos with me in them. I see all the flaws, things I'd like to change, etc.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Belief Systems

The day I first knew for absolute sure that the mormon church was not The One True Church, I was floored. I remember talking about it with my boss, who, no so coincidentally had just finished studying about the origins of the mormon church at her own church. She asked me if I believed in God and in Jesus, and I unhesitatingly said, "absolutely."  Because I did.

But as the days and weeks went by, I began questioning my belief systems. What do I really believe?  And the questions got deeper and deeper, and the answers just weren't there.

And then, all of a sudden, it's holiday time. Time to put up the Christmas tree and deck the halls with tinsel and Santa Clauses. And our nativity scene got burned in the fire. I really had to ponder what to do about a nativity scene, since I'm not so sure I believe in Jesus the way I always believed. I got lucky and found a statuette of a huge winged angel behind a simple scene of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. I could appreciate it for art's sake, if not for anything else, so I bought it.

Our friends with whom we're spending Christmas are going to church on Sunday. The Dad is singing that morning. I'm not going--not because I don't want to support him. No, I'm not going because I would feel incredibly uncomfortable in a mormon building & congregation, and because I get to go home and cook Christmas dinner. I'm cool with that. I hope they are.

I think one of the harmful things that the church did to me was instill the belief system that there had to be One True Church. So in my early days out of the church, I was still searching for that truth. I remember contacting a non-denominational Christian pastor to find out what they taught, and he blew me off. I thought maybe I could be Buddhist, so I did some research into Buddhist beliefs, and I can't buy into the whole thing, although I love my little Buddha statues because they remind me to take time to meditate, and take time to find joy. I looked into paganism, and wicca, and UU, and various other religions.

For now I have come to the conclusion that it's okay to not align myself with any particular belief system. I'm content to have questions, because I feel free to search for answers (whereas as a member of the mormon church I was taught to shelves things, and that when the prophet speaks the debate is over).

And honestly, as I said yesterday, there's no way to know what happens after death until we're dead.

So as I celebrate the Christmas season this year, I'm not necessarily celebrating the birth of Christ. I'm celebrating the closeness I feel with my family and friends. I'm celebrating the opportunity to prepare good food and feed people I love.  I'm celebrating the opportunity I have to thank people for their kindness and service. I'm celebrating the fact that for a time, at least, people tend to be a little kinder and a little more loving than usual. I'm celebrating my freedom from spiritual oppression.

So happy holidays to you and yours--whatever those holidays may be.  If you're not celebrating any holidays this time of year, then I give you my love and best wishes for peace and joy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I Know

  • I know that I don't know the answers.
  • I know that I'm no longer willing to quit asking questions when the prophet has spoken.
  • I know that I don't believe being buried in ghastly dress, robes, apron, and veil is going to send me straight to heaven. (Note to any family members who might be reading this: I want you to dress me in something that I'd wear in real life, and not my temple clothing [which is just as well, because I threw them in the trash]. May I suggest skinny jeans, grannie boots, a purple tank, and a black leather jacket?)
  • I know that I don't believe my body can only be resurrected (if physical resurrection happens at all) if I choose cremation over burial. And yes, cremation, please. It's not like I'm going to be inside my body at that point.
  • I know that it's impossible to know what happens when we die until we die. For example, whether he was right or wrong while he lived, Christopher Hitchens now knows absolutely what happens after death.
  • I know that it's okay to not know, to ask unanswerable questions, to question authority.
  • I know that any authority that refuses to allow questions to be asked is unrighteous (I hesitate to use that word, but I'm not sure what other word to use).
  • I know that in the essentials, I haven't changed that much since leaving the church. I was a bit of a rebel for the last 11 years, and didn't fit in anyway. I still feel like myself, just with far less stress and angst.

I don't understand how we can be judged solely by our actions and our obedience to the dictates of others. If I am here to learn lessons, that means that I am not expected to be perfect. I tend to learn things the hard way.  That means I make mistakes, wrong choices, fuck up. That's part of life.

The mormons teach that there was a great council in heaven, and that lucifer had a plan to save everyone by taking away their free agency. Jesus had a plan to allow everyone their free agency, and would save those he could. And Jesus's plan was chosen. But let me ask, how does the church not take away one's free agency in all the ways that matter? (Wasn't it Neal A. Maxwell who stated that "we are free to choose our actions, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions"?)  If we love someone who is not a member of TSCC, we cannot marry that person because s/he cannot marry us in the temple, which is the way to exaltation. And remember--"salvation without exaltation is damnation." We're told to have children, whether or not we think we're financially or physically ready. We are supposed to clean the church buildings. Pay 10% of our income to the church without ever receiving any accounting as to what is done with those tithes. We are to fast once a month, and make generous fast offerings. One former general authority stated that if the fast offerings would double, so would the level of spirituality (I'm paraphrasing). In other words, give us your money. We're supposed to go to the temple regularly and participate in bizarre secret combinations (oops--wait--secret combinations are bad).

Once you step aside and start asking questions, and seeking for truth instead of pablum, the cog dis grows and grows and grows. Then if you're able to be honest, you will realise the church is nothing but the works of men, and it attempts to keep people in control by setting impossible standards of conduct and living and taking their money and encouraging them to have children who will grow up and toe the mormon line and give their money and to serve missions to make converts to toe the line and give their money.

Since leaving the church, I've seen the phrase "Pay, pray, and obey" all over the place. And truly that seems to be their priorities, in that order. Pay 10%, but it's really more than 10%, because of the mission funds, and the fast offering funds, and humanitarian funds. Pray to know if it's true, but if you don't get that burning in the bosom, it's either because you're not living the other commandments, or it's because you already know it's true. Obey. Be little zombies following the routine--church for 3 hours on Sundays, all of your meetings, scouting, Young Women, Primary, Relief Society, compassionate service, scripture study, genealogy, temple service, journaling, family home evening. They keep you so busy that you don't have time to ask questions. By the time you get to the end of a day, you're so exhausted you can't do anything.  And you probably felt guilty because there were more things you needed to do, and you just couldn't do them, but you're commanded to do them, which means you--and not those making the impossible demands on you--are falling short.

I want to be a good person. I'm trying to be a good person. But my definition of good has changed quite a bit. I have an internal moral compass, and I follow it. I let someone turn in front of me when I'm driving home. I try to be there for my friends when they need me. I try to live so that what I believe, what I say I believe, and what I practice are in harmony. Okay, yeah, I still cuss fluently when I'm driving, or when I'm having a really bad day, but I don't think that makes me a bad person. If the worst thing I ever do is cuss when some guy with a teeny little weenie in a big-ass truck cuts me off in heavy traffic, well, I don't think that's so bad. And no, that's not the worst thing I ever do. At the same time, however, I no longer think I'm a vile pernicious sinner who's doomed to spend eternity in outer darkness.

I guess I just have learned that things are both simpler and more complicated than I always believed. Instead of "knowing" that Joseph Smith was a prophet, I now know that he practiced polygamy and polyandry. Instead of "knowing" that the Doctrine & Covenants consisted of revelations from God, I now know that he pretty much made them up whenever convenient. Instead of "knowing" that he translated the Pearl of Great Price, I now know that he made up something, perhaps thinking that no one would ever be able to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs. Instead of "knowing" that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, I now know that it, too, was made up, perhaps from several sources combined with Smith's fertile imagination. Instead of "knowing" that the primary ancestors of the native Americans were Israelites, I now know native Americans descended from Asians. I've traded "knowledge" for knowledge. There's a big difference.  Not that church leaders would necessarily agree with me. Remember that "some things which are true are not very useful." That's a correct statement, if you're attempting to keep the truth from people so that you can have their money, their time, and their slavish devotion to your teachings.

If, however, you're seeking after genuine truth, then the things which are true and not useful to the mormons will be of incredible use to you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Today's earworm? Animotion's song--Obsession, you are an obsession, blah blah blah.  The song drives me up the wall, mostly because I only know the chorus.

So yesterday when I checked my mailbox, there was the letter from the membership department telling me that my case has to be handled locally and therefore they were forwarding my letter to the stake president who would forward it to the bishop, and in light of the serious consequences they urged me to think again. They also included the little pamphlet about how if we were offended we should come back. I didn't read it. I threw it on the seat in my car and it's going into the recycle bin tonight when I pick up my mail.

Then today I emailed my bishop a polite note to let him know that I'd received the letter; I would like him to process my resignation as quickly as possible; I do not want him to contact my husband about this because (a) my husband already knows how I feel and (b) my husband is not responsible for my actions and decisions. I said that I no longer believe the church to be true. I said if he has any questions specifically about my resignation he may email me, but otherwise I still want no contact other than a letter saying that I'm no longer a member.  No response has come, so I imagine he'll handle it now. And I swear, if he calls my husband, I'm going to throw a royal shit fit!

Then I keep thinking of the song Obsession, so I looked up the lyrics. Imagine the profit singing this to the people trying to leave the church:

You are an obsession, I cannot sleep
I am a possession unopened at your feet
There is no balance, no equality
Be still I will not accept defeat

I will have you, yes I will have you
I will find a way and I will have you
Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly
I will collect you and capture you

You are an obsession, you're my obsession
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me

I feed you, I drink you by day and by night
I need you, I need you by sun or candlelight
You protest, you want to leave
You say there's no alternative

Your face appears again, I see the beauty there
But I see danger, stranger beware
A circumstance in your naked dreams
Your affection is not what it seems

You are an obsession, you're my obsession
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me

My fantasy has turned to madness
All my goodness has turned to badness
My need to possess you has consumed my soul
My life is trembling, I have no control

I will have you, yes I will have you
I will find a way and I will have you
Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly
I will collect you and capture you

You are an obsession, you're my obsession
Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me

Any questions?

UPDATE: When I got back from lunch, I had an email from my bishop stating that he would accede to my request, fill out the paperwork, submit it to the stake president, who has to submit it to SLC, and I have 30 days to change my mind. I won't, of course. It was all very cordial. But I'm doing the happy dance now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Thinkin'

There is an exmormon meetup group near where I live. I signed up months ago, but always found a reason not to go to the meetups. Some were valid—my house caught fire and everything went to hell in a handbasket—and some weren’t—my husband was in town and wouldn’t like it.  So I decided that I’m going to the January meetup come hell or high water.  Then I let my sister know, so she could come with me if she wants. She doesn’t want. Not that she doesn’t think it’s a good thing for me, but she’s been out of the clutches of the morg for long enough that she doesn’t have the level of anger and obsessive need to talk and research that I do.

So I can’t help but wonder when I’ll get to that point. I mean, I’m definitely not there yet. Not even close. I’m angry that 30 years of my life was spent believing in that BS. I am angry (and guilty) about the people I tried to convert, and thankful that no one ever did convert because of my efforts. I am angry about all the guilt with which I tortured myself for so long because of the mormon church. I am angry about what the mormon church both directly and indirectly did to my mother. I’m angry because I can’t talk to my mother about my feelings because I worry that it would be too much for her to bear, given her fragile emotional condition. I’m angry about the money I paid to the church, which either directly or indirectly was used to build malls and condos instead of help the needy. I’m angry because of anyone who was abused by a parent or a spouse or a church leader or another member of the church and who was told that it was partly their fault, and whose needs were never met because the perpetrators were protected.

There are so many things I’m angry about, so many things I can’t help but study and research because I want to know the truth. The morg gives lip service to the truth, but in action they lie, lie, lie. I’m tired of lies. If, as they claim to do, they believe the Bible to be the word of God (insofar as it is translated correctly, a clause that enables them to weasel out of anything they don’t feel like doing), the Lord hates lies.

I remember being told that if we lived worthily to where we had the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion, people would see something in us, and want whatever we had. Man, there was one day that a conversation happened just that way. And I was elated because I’d been praying to find someone with whom to share the gospel. So I was then puzzled when, after lots of discussions and attending church (my husband and I drove out to where she lived and went to church with her in what would be her ward), she just dropped it cold. I didn’t understand. As I said earlier, I’m glad she didn’t join. I would hate to have had that on my conscience now.

I remember the scripture about those who are learned thinking they are wise, with that sense of haughty self-righteousness that implies people who study and learn to find the truth are less worthy than those who just accept “truth” and follow it just because.


Substitute “Book of Mormon” or “Pearl of Great Price.” It’s all the same. Joseph Smith was a prophet because he told us he was a prophet. The Church is true because the Church is true.

Know what I think? It’s a steaming pile of horse crap. As in, “Grab the shovels and run for the hills! It’s oozing over the windowsills!”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Random Musings

This is going to be one of those rambly posts that starts in one place and then goes to a lot of other places instead of to a nice, neat conclusion.
Let’s start with Christopher Hitchens. As you probably know, he passed away this last Thursday.  When I was mormon, I pretty much believed he was a god-hating evil atheist devil. So when I left the church, I quite naturally sought out some of his writings to see what he really believed. I learned that he was, indeed, an atheist. But evil devil? Not even close. I did a post a while back highlighting some of his quotations. Here are a few more:

 “Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet—who was only another male mammal—is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well, then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent.”

“Nothing optional—from homosexuality to adultery—is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate.” (coughBoydKPackercough)
“The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has—from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.”

 “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.” (And in my not so humble opinion, I do not believe that at 8 years old a child is capable of understanding religion and the significance it plays in one’s life.)

 “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” (I don’t have values because I used to be Presbyterian/non-denominational Christian/Mormon. I have values because I have values.)
“Atheists have always argued that this world is all that we have, and that our duty is to one another to make the very most and best of it.” (I’m more agnostic than atheist, but I do agree with this statement.)

“We have the same job we always had: to say that there are no final solutions; there is no absolute truth; there is no supreme leader; there is no totalitarian solution that says if you would just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you would just give up, if you would simply abandon your critical faculties, the world of idiotic bliss can be yours.” (And what does Mormonism do? Give up your freedom of inquiry, follow the prophet, and you will someday be a god or goddess, although being a god is better because then you can have a lot of wives and being a goddess means that you are always pregnant and, presumably, barefoot.)

 Okay, that’s enough for now of Christopher Hitchens. I salute his memory, and am glad that I got to read some of his writings and learned that he wasn’t a devil at all. He was an honest man, searching for the truth.

I have been growing out my hair for more than 2 years, and over the last few weeks got the urge to cut it all off. After all, what’s the point of growing one’s hair, if all one ever does is stick it up in a clip? So I showed my husband the photo of the hair style I wanted, and he reluctantly said he thought it would be okay. Note that I didn’t care what he thought, because I am perfectly capable, despite the fact that I’m a mere woman, of thinking for myself. And I got it all cut off on Saturday afternoon, ended up with a pixieish haircut. And I love it. And he threw the nastiest, most horrible temper tantrum imaginable when I got home, telling me how awful it looked, and how ugly it made me, and I can’t remember (and don’t want to) all the other ugly things he said. For the record, every other person who has commented on it has said how great it looks. And even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t matter, because I love it!  (Ok, one comment did take me aback—my mother said it makes me look more like her. Don’t get me wrong. I adore my mother. She’s batshit crazy, incredibly smart, and has no sense at all of womanhood with a capital W. I don’t want to look like her. But I checked the mirror, and I think I just look like myself.)

And speaking of my husband’s temper tantrums, he threw two this weekend. It was very unpleasant, because according to him, everything that goes wrong is my fault, and I’m the laziest person who ever walked the face of the earth.  Please FSM, intervene with the powers that be to get our house taken care of, and get me that promotion to management so I can have enough money to live on, and then send him to Europe or some place far far away on long term assignment. And then he can stay in Europe and I can stay here and not be married anymore. That sounds blissful to me. Or if not, he can have the house and I can get an apartment by work. I couldn’t stay in the one we’re currently occupying, because no way on earth can I afford the rent there, but there are others equally close that cost less money.  What just pisses me off more than anything is the way that he’ll be so unbearably ugly to me, and then when I say I’m going to sleep at my sister’s and not come home, he tells me how much he loves me. Excuse me? That’s not love.

Okay, I guess that’s enough rambling for one day. Lots on my mind, and feeling angry and stressed and impotent to act until things change enough that I can act. That doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I need to wait until the house is repaired. Everything is so up in the air right now, and it doesn’t feel like the right time to separate. It’ll just be one more stressor on top of way too many stressors. And perhaps I’ll have that promotion by the time the house is repaired, so I can afford to live on my own, and we can figure it out then.

Peace out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Testimony Time

Good afternoon. My name is aintnomonomo, and I would like to stand before you today and bear my testimony of the goodness of coffee. 

Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia, and it quickly spread to the Muslim world and beyond. It has been banned several times due to religious and political reasons. One infamous banning is that of the Mormon church who, even though coffee is not specifically named in the so-called Word of Wisdom, has decreed that the phrase "hot drinks" refers to coffee and tea.

This morning as I sat at my desk at work, I was very, very cold. In fact, I was so cold that I was sitting and working with my Harry Potter blankie over my legs in an attempt to stay warm. My morning coffee (which helped me to wake up and be perky) was long gone. My friend Sarahbear and I went to lunch, and the restaurant was even colder than my work area. So I got a cup of coffee.  As I wrapped my chilled hands around the hot mug, I began to warm up. And as I sipped the delectable nectar, my insides began to warm up a little more.  But after lunch we had to go back out into the cool air and to work. Sarahbear kindly drove up to Starbucks, home of some very delicious coffee concoctions. I got a peppermint mocha. When I got back to my desk and found that it is still very cold in my corner of the building, I was very grateful to that cup of coffee. Not only did it pump some caffeine and sugar through my veins, keeping me awake after a carb-laden lunch, it helped keep me warm. In fact, I didn't need my Harry Potter blankie while I had that warm cup of coffee in my hands.

Now the coffee is gone, the empty cup tossed casually into my garbage can. My insides are still warm, but I can feel the chill begin to settle into my bones. It's time to get the silly Harry Potter blankie back out (yes, I'm a complete dork) and keep my legs warm.

Coffee tastes good. It has some health benefits, and more continue to be discovered and explored. It keeps me awake when I'd rather be sleeping (a cold workday morning, for example).  Coffee never lets me down. Well, not unless someone slips me decaf instead of regular, or if someone puts too much sugar or something silly in it.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, you can rely on coffee. Generally it is quite adept at doing its job. It's not going to lie to you. It's not going to threaten young teenaged girls with tall tales about angels with flaming swords. It's not going to tell you that you will go to hell if you drink it, or if you don't drink it. It's not going to separate you from your family members who choose not to drink it.  Only people do that.


The Sins of Brother Curtis

I just posted my review of The Sins of Brother Curtis on Quirky Girls Read. Check it out if you're interested. And if you've read the book, please leave a note and let us know what you thought of it.

In other breaking news, my husband comes home today and I'm already sick at my stomach. That makes it sound like he's a terrible person. He's not. He's a very kind person, with a very good heart. But he can be a real stinker to me, especially when he first comes home from a business trip. Fortunately, his plane is due to arrive while I'm still at work, so I'm hoping he gets his ugliness out of his system before I get home this evening.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I had a horrible nightmare last night. I dreamed people kept coming to me with their idea of proofs that the mormon church is true. And I dreamed I was visiting my mother, and trying to still keep the fact that I've left the church from her. But my stepfather was just horrible, and I exploded. (Figuratively, not literally.) And my mother was just broken-hearted that I left the One True Church (tm) but I knew if I could just get her away from my horrid stepfather she would understand and, perhaps, come to a place of agreement. I know, because she's written many letters to my sister, that she would be able to take my leaving the church with a little more equanimity if I could honestly tell her I was attending another church. But I can't do that, not now. maybe not ever. The dream ended with my packing up my clothes and heading home.

My husband and I were having a rather heated discussion the other night as we came home from doing a little shopping, discussing the mormon leadership's proclivity to, as I put it, line their pockets with the widow's mite. (I was quite proud of myself for coming up with that phrase. Of course, now that I've put it out there, it will turn out to be something I read somewhere and kept in my subconscious.) I've read over and over and over again about people who were living in the depths of povery but faithfully paid their tithing, while the general authorities and higher-ups are living in housing that would seem like paradise to the very people who pay for that housing, their clothes, their healthful food, their travel expenses, the mall, the luxury condominiums.  It genuinely makes me sick.

I know I talk about this a lot, but it's important to me. Paying tithing was never easy for me, and as a result I seldom paid it. Every now and again I'd think about how important it was, so I would start, but then I ended up not having enough money and I'd stop again. I know that there are active members who would tell me that's the reason I lost my faith--I didn't have enough faith to even pay my tithing. Well, before I got married, I lived on my own. I didn't make much money. I always ran out of money before I ran out of month. Then you take the whole tithing thing on top of that--how was I supposed to live? I didn't have parents who would or who could give me money. Then after I got married, I had a whole new set of problems. We sporadically paid tithing, but never really saw the windows of heaven opening and pouring out blessings on our heads. If the church leaders had not emphasized the 10% thing, but rather said, "pay what you can," I think I'd have been able to make regular offerings every paycheck. I wouldn't have had to feel guilty about it. If the church leaders told a family who was all but starving to death to take care of their family, and pay what you can when you can, I think a whole lot of people would feel a whole lot better.

Then there's the mall. The great money pit. When I lived in Salt Lake City, I liked to go to Crossroads Mall and ZCMI Center. They were nice. I enjoyed shopping there.  Then I moved away 18 years ago. I've only been back a few times since then, and whenever I go I'm astounded by all the construction that's taken place or is underway. I didn't know the church was funding that mall. Even as a member I didn't understand why. And then when I found out how much money they were sinking into that mall, again, it made me sick. I used to think that the church donated significant amounts of money and service to those in need. But there are still people with no shelter, no food, no medical care, no clean, safe water. In my opinion, the church has no business building a gigantic mall complex as long as there are people in need. They have no business running those horribly misleading "I'm a Mormon" ads while there are people in need (Thanks, Ingrid Ricks; I'd not thought of that in connection with this, but you're totally right).

I've talked before about the laughing Buddha statuette I purchased a few weeks ago.  Well, I also purchased a stone meditating Buddha and put it on my coffee table.  My husband then asked me if I were now Buddhist. No, I'm not Buddhist. I'm not an -ist or an -ite or anything else. I like my meditating Buddha because he reminds me to slow down and take time to meditate. I like my laughing Buddha because he reminds me to find joy in life.

I know this is a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing--but it's what's been on my mind. If you made it through this post, you have my sincere thanks for letting me get my thoughts down.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cooled Off

Sorry about that profanity ridden vent yesterday. I was so frustrated to find that I had to start all over again in my efforts to have my name removed from the lists of the church membership.

The afternoon and evening got much better. My birthday's today, but my husband had to go out of town this morning. He took me out last night and we had an enjoyable evening. I have plans for the weekend and next Monday involving baking 100 vegan cupcakes, attending a baby shower, hanging with some of my bff's, having my sister spend the night Sunday night, and spending Monday being as lazy as we wanna be. It will be nice.

Thank you for the reading recommendations. I do appreciate it. I hope there will come a time when I can start letting this go, and not feel the compulsion to read everything I can find and be all ranty like I am right now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Am Absolutely Livid!!!!


Originally, I sent my resignation via email back in June. That’s when our fucking bishop called my husband, and my husband got all freaked out and I said fine, leave my name on.

And then I found my balls and sent a resignation again via email on October 24th and threatened them with legal action if they contact anyone in my family about it.  Nothing. I called a few weeks ago, and they said it was in process. 

I called again today, got shipped around from person to person, and was finally told I have to hand-write a letter and mail it in.

Fuck that! I printed off my last e-mail, signed it, and mailed it.  I also highlighted the part where I said I wanted no contact save verification that my name has been removed, and the part where I threatened legal action if they contact anyone in my family via any method at all.

So now I have to wait another month.  This is outrageous!  Any other church, you just stop going. But the fucking mormons make you jump through hoops. And if I didn’t so vehemently disagree with their policies and practices, I wouldn’t be making a big deal about it. But I do. I disagree so much that the thought of them counting me as a member makes me want to throw up.

I'm so angry I'm shaking. I absofuckinglutely cannot believe this.

Coffee Burps/Books

I had lap band surgery almost a year ago (down about 65 pounds, thank you very much!), and one thing I (and everyone around me) have noticed is that when I eat too much, or when I eat certain goods, I start burping uncontrollably. This can be amusing or embarrassing, depending upon when the burps happen and how loud they are.

Today I've got coffee burps. Never had that before, that I recall, and they're frankly kind of nasty. They're not belchtastically loud, but they taste kind of disgusting. Not disgusting enough to turn me away from coffee, however, because coffee is like nectar. Especially peppermint mocha coffee, of which I had 2 cups yesterday and 3 cups Monday. And this cinnamon cappuccino I'm sipping on this morning is also extremely tasty. There's this part of me that says I should pour it out so the burps will go away, but the other part of me says screw that! I'm drinking it until it gets cold and I have to pour it out. Because coffee? Sweet, sweet sin.

Changing the subject:

I've been doing tons and tons of reading about TSCC. It amuses me in a not funny sort of way how I've been afraid of anti-mormon literature, but the things that are the most anti of all are produced by the church.  You know, the book of abraham, the book of mormon, journal of discourses. I still remember the first time I read the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, and how awesome it all was. And I definitely still remember last April how I felt when I found out he was not martyred but murdered by the husband of his most recent wife, who hadn't bothered to divorce him before she married Parley.

Please--if you have any good book suggestions, I'd love to hear your input. I'm listing below the ones I've either read or have purchased and are on my TBR list:

Purchased and read:
Mormonism: A Life Under False Pretenses by Lee B. Baker
Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story by Ingrid Ricks
Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife by Irene Spencer
Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy by Susan Ray Schmidt
The Sins of Brother Curtis by Lisa Davis
Heaven Up Here by John Williams
Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Wife No. 19 by Ann Eliza Young
The 19th Wife (fiction, I know) by David Ebershoff
Fanny Stenhouse's memoirs
The City of the Mormons, 3 Days at Nauvoo by Caswell I think--it didn't seem really reliable, but I don't know--wasn't there

Purchased but not yet read:
Mormonism: Con or Cult? by Martin Scholes
The Mountain Meadows Massacre by Josiah Francis Gibbs
The Mormon Mirage by Latayne C. Scott
Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower
I have a couple of volumes of the Journal of Discourses, which I was able to download for no cost
I've also downloaded a number of other books written about the early Utah Mormons & polygamy, but don't know how accurate/reliable they are

I've seen Todd Compton's book In Sacred Loneliness recommended, but it's not available in nook format, nor is No Man Knows My History.

Any recommendations for other books to help round out my knowledge? I'd like to read an honest biography of Brigham Young. I want to read Rough Stone Rolling but I don't want to buy it again--I'd bought it once in hard cover, but it went up in flames when my house caught fire. I'm of the mind to avoid anything put out by the church, as I've paid enough money into their coffers over the last 30 years.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Night

I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

No, wait! That's not what I meant to say.

Last night I read Mormonism: A Life Under False Pretenses by former mormon bishop Lee B. Baker. I kept finding passages I wanted to share with my husband. I didn't bother, of course, after his telling me that it didn't matter what evidence I found, because he believes it.

But some things really jumped out at me, and I wanted to note them down here in case they jump out at anyone else.

Baker makes the point, on page 213 (nook edition), that it doesn't matter whether you know the truth or whether you are ignorant. The truth is what it is. So for the 30 years that I was a member of the mormon church and did not know what I've learned in the last 8 months, it does not change the facts that the things I've recently learned really happened. I'm not saying this well, and it's frustrating. For example, I didn't know that Parley P. Pratt was murdered by a man whose wife he had convinced to marry him without divorcing her first husband. But he was. My ignorance didn't make any difference with anyone except me. Now I know, and I can't go back to that state of ignorance.

This next one appalled me. (p. 289-290, nook edition)

"My first reading of In Sacred Loneliness became a pivotal point of research, as I came to understand that the exact same primary sources Mr. Compton had used in his research were those sources used by the church itself to construct the official lesson manuals we had used in our Sunday classes. As these sources could scarcely be considered anti-Mormon, my spiritual depression became even more overpowering as I contemplated the secret liaisons, private conversations, and intimate acts within what I could only describe as 'wife swapping' among the leadership of the Mormon Church. It should be remembered that the doctrine of polygamy remains within the official Scriptures of the Mormon Church, and this eternal principle is clearly a requirement to progress to the highest kingdom in heaven as recorded in the Mormon Doctrine & Covenants, sections 131 and 132. In a very personal and graphically related experience, a Mormon High Priest once told my wife and me, 'You do not know for sure that you will be required to share Kathy in the next life.'"
So the church condemns infidelity, fornication, adultery, yet it was practiced both secretly and openly in the earlier days of the church and there are those who believe it will be practiced in the future, whether on earth or in the heavens. They just paint it with a slightly different brush to make it seem more acceptable.

Here's another shocker, concerning the founding of the Relief Society.

"The painting depicts approximately sixteen women who, with Emma Smith front row center, seem to be attentively listening to every word of the prophet, with a variety of expressions ranging from deep admiration to sincere reverence. After I had learned the facts about both polygamy and polyandry, I further researched the official church history to find that only twenty women were at that first meeting. That idyllic painting of these devoted women assumes a somewhat disturbing feeling when viewed in the light of the following documented facts of that spring day in 1842. As Joseph Smith presided over the meeting of those twenty good sisters in the church, he was married to exactly half of them."
Wow. Just, wow.

I could go on and on, having bookmarked numerous passages, but I think this is plenty to be going on with. Deception is the hallmark of the mormon church. I prefer truth, no matter how unpleasant.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Man Convinced Against His Will... of the same opinion still.

I don't know who originally said that, but it's been on my mind this weekend. My husband spent a fair amount of time this weekend telling me how he used to be a happy person until he joined the church, how he doesn't understand how the church leaders say they stand for this or that, blah blah blah. I read him various quotations from different former mormons, and he listened to them, and then returned to his doggerel about how he doesn't understand how the church leaders say they stand for this or that, yet can be so cold and cruel.

The last thing I heard him say on the topic before I fell asleep was that he didn't care what evidence I found to the contrary, he believes the church is true. Based on everything he said the rest of the weekend, he believes God hates him; he believes he is damned; he believes that 2 of our dogs died and our house burned down because of him; he believes he's going to lose everything in the end.

And when he says that particular line, I feel guilty for wanting out of our marriage. Of course, I still want out of our marriage, but would like to lose the guilt. I don't think either of us should bear all the blame/responsibility/whatever for having a bad marriage, but dang! We have a really crappy marriage much of the time. And it seems like every time I try to convince myself that we can salvage it, he does something really assholey that just emphasizes the need to end things. Like Friday night. I stayed home sick Friday with an agonising headache (one of those where your head feels like it's made out of glass, and your brains are bouncing around. I still have it, in fact, and am going to the doctor this afternoon. But I digress.) and he was due to return from a business trip. Now when he comes home from business trips, usually he's horrible--yells about everything, picks fights over nothing. But the last two times he came home, he was decent, and I thought we were making some progress. But when he got home on Friday night, he woke me up yelling at me 3 or 4 times about various things, some of which I didn't even do, but he didn't believe me when I said I didn't do them. Like the garage. He said that I scraped some paint off the wall or something when I parked in the garage. Only problem was, I hadn't parked in the garage. He didn't believe me, of course. And he was mad about 3 or 4 other things, and finally it registered with him that I had taken all my medicines and had been asleep, so I wasn't able to coherently answer him. I felt like he was still convinced I'd parked in the garage, and just thought it was my drugs that made me say I hadn't.

Speaking of drugs, I have 4 prescription medications I take. They keep me on a more or less even keel. But he thinks I'm a drug addict. So yesterday he said he thinks the acute headaches I've been having are due to my medications. The fact that I have been on these medicines for at least 3 years doesn't seem to matter, nor does the fact that I haven't had acute headaches for the entire time I've been taking the medicines. I'm a drug addict. And yes, he's told me that flat out.

When he's nice, he's amazingly so. When he's a jerk, he's amazingly so. (And I can be a real jerk, too, I know, so I'm really not trying to only blame him.) We know how to press the buttons that instantly set each other off.

Sorry--I didn't mean to be so vent-y today.  It was a long, painful weekend.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Am Teh Awesome!!!!

Apparently, spamlds thinks that I have the power! Or else s/he thinks that I think that I have the power to bring down the entire cojcolds.

I'm pretty impressed, to be honest. I mean, I never really thought about it that way. I set up this blog so that I could express my frustrations about having been lied to for 30 years. I set it up so that I could share what I've learned on my journey out. So that I could share discoveries I've made since leaving. So that I could ask honest questions.[sarcasm]Can I singlehandedly bring down the church? Wow! I'm going to have to put some serious thought to that![/sarcasm]

Spamlds accuses me of being unoriginal--I don't think that I ever claimed to be original. And spamlds says that I set up a free blog (what's the problem with that) with the intent of singlehandedly taking down church.

Spamlds doesn't know from bupkus. That's all I'm sayin'.

And for the record, this morning I learned that peppermint mocha creamer in my morning coffee adds up to sweet, sweet sin.

Oh, and I seriously detest spam. Nasty stuff. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm Not Anti-Mormon

I'm pro truth.

I just read that statement in the Ex-Mormon Forums archives, and it resonated with me.

So many of the things I once believed "with every fibre of my being" I've since learned are, plain and simply, untrue. If I were to point my finger at just one thing, I'd select the Book of Abraham. It's not what Joseph Smith claimed it to be. The drawn-in completion of the figures in the facsimiles are pure fiction. The papyrus is from The Book of Breathings, an Egyptian funerary text. It has nothing to do with Abraham. And the figure they claim to be God has an erection. Don't believe me? Look for yourself.

I'm pro truth, and will continue to seek out truth wherever I find it. No more will I base my truths on warm fuzzies and circular logic.

Peace out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Sin

I stopped at Sprouts on the way home from work. I didn't realise that they had lower prices on some of my staples, including Amy's frozen burritos. And the Uncle Sam's cereal was a dollar less than what I paid the night before at my regular grocery store.

And in the freezer section I came across a brand of sugar-free ice cream recommended in a book I'm reading. So I bought a pint of coffee ice cream.

I have spent my evening making my sister's birthday gift and getting exasperated because I didn't get strong enough adhesive. I think I'm going to have to get a hot glue gun.

Being exasperated and very sleepy, after I finished packing away the mess, I decided it was time for ice cream. And seeing as how there was no chocolate in the ice cream, I decided some chocolate topping was called for. Alas! There was no chocolate ice cream topping in the kitchen. Then I remembered the Nutella in my pantry.  Let me tell you--coffee ice cream topped with Nutella? Ambrosia. No question about it. 

Things I Used to Believe

  • The power of the priesthood. When I was getting ready to start a new semester at university, I'd ask my husband for a blessing. When I was getting ready to have surgery, I would get a priesthood blessing. When my life was in chaos, I'd ask for a priesthood blessing. Funny (true) story: We had a border collie, Molly, who died this past April. Whenever we would have family prayer, she would come and sit quietly with us, and after the amens were done, she'd go back to whatever she was doing. And one night I woke up from a ghastly nightmare (I think it was sleep paralysis with its accompanying sensations of deep, dark evil), and my husband gave me a blessing. Just as he started, Molly barrelled into the room, jumped up on the bed, plopped down in my lap, and waited for the blessing to be over. We treasured that trait in her. Now I believe that any alleged priesthood power is more about believing the blessing so you make it happen. I used to believe that if a blessing did not come to pass the way that I thought it would, it meant I was not worthy. Speaking of which....
  • The reason I couldn't have children, whether through giving birth or through adopting, was because of worthiness. One bishop even told my husband flat out that we didn't have children because of his problems. If I'd known that at the time, I'd have gone in and ripped that bishop a new one. If children are given as rewards for virtue, and withheld as punishment, there would be no such thing as crack babies, babies born or adopted into abusive families, etc.
  • Fake it 'til you make it. I practiced this with all my heart. Isn't that what they taught us, after all? If you don't have a testimony, act like you do, and then you will. WTF? My sister told me once that a bishop had said that to her after she confessed that she didn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet. Fake it 'til you make it. Plant that seed! Water it! Because if you plant it and water it, unless you planted it in stony ground, it will grow. And if it didn't grow, it's because you weren't really taking care of it enough. See how it always comes back to you as a failure?
  • Testimonies. I used to have a testimony. I did. Now I think I just had heartburn. Okay, exaggerating a bit. But my best friend CC asked me, during one conversation, about that. She knew I had a testimony. She'd heard me share it multiple times. And now I don't have one anymore. What's that all about? Well, I think I bought into the circular logic, for one thing. And for another thing, I wanted a group to belong to. My family was, well, a mess, to put it very mildly and incredibly politely. The church gave me "friends" and responsibilities. I loved the kids I taught, on the rare occasions I actually got a teaching calling. I loved playing piano. But then I found out the hard way that except for a very few notable exceptions, my assigned friends weren't my real friends, and some people I thought were my real friends really weren't. I do have a testimony of friendship, but it has nothing to do with the church. It has to everything to do with the love and cameraderie between us. My friends are my soul sisters, my heart's treasures, and I love them with all my heart. And my love for them hasn't changed because I left the church. It will never change. I will always love them.
  • Joseph Smith was a prophet. Wow. I remember talking to my uncle LG once, when I was 20 or so. He's not a mormon, and never will be. And he asked me, rather incredulously, if I really believed that story about Joseph Smith and the golden plates. And I did, and told him so very seriously. Now I'd like to go back to him and say, "You know what, Uncle LG? You asked me this once, and that was my answer. But I want you to know that now I know I was wrong." Only I can't, because I'm not ready to come out to my TBM mother who's in less than stellar health.
  • The book of mormon is the word of God. I can't tell you how many times I've read it, and how many passages I have, without really trying, committed to memory. And I get a little frustrated when I'm having a conversation and I hear a bom quotation coming out of my mouth. [keanue reeves]It's like, whoa![/keanu reeves] How's this little gem from the book of ether (so appropriately named): wherefore dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. Nice, eh? I think it kind of goes back to the whole fake it 'til you make it thing.
  • If I believed something contrary to the teachings of the prophets and apostles, I was the one in error.  I cannot tell you how hard I tried to agree with the whole prop 8 crap despite the fact that I knew the church was wrong.  Come back to circular logic: The church is true; those old white men are prophets, seers, and revelators, and they say this, and since the church is true, they are correct.
  • Being homosexual was wrong. I knew it wasn't a choice. I know too many people who are homosexual. But why should that even matter?  If I'm going to say something idiotic, like I have x number of friends, and they're gay, doesn't that mean I should say something else idiotic, like I have x number of friends, and they're straight? Anyway, I'm glad to be rid of that cog dis. You are what you are. I am what I am. And that's the way that it's supposed to be! (whoops--another primary song earworm--I've had them for two weeks and am going up the damned wall!)
There are plenty of things I used to believe, with every fibre of my being.  I'm glad to say that now I have a whole lot more questions than answers, and I'm so willing to let things unfold and see what happens. I'm not feeling second or third-rate because I'm in a tough marriage and don't have any children. Even through the difficulties I'm experiencing, and there are plenty, I'm much happier now. It comes back to integrity. I believe what I say what I do. I didn't have a whole lot of integrity as a TBM because there was too much cog dis. And integrity is everything, in my book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Start Where You Are

I ran across an interesting item at Half Price Books. It's called The Compassion Box, and it has a deck of cards with Buddhist slogans on one side and commentary by a Buddhist nun on the other side. It also has guided instructions on how to use the cards as part of a practice, a card stand, a paperback edition of Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, and a CD with instruction on tonglen meditation.  I have it at work, so I haven't read the book or listened to the CD.  But I do try to remember to select a new card every day, and have it propped up on my desk so that it catches my eye whenever I look in that direction.

Today's reminder says, "Whichever of the two occurs, be patient."

It has definitely given me a lot of food for thought. I'm working through decisions that must be made, and things I want to create and manifest, and things I want to change.  And I tend to be a rather impatient person. So the reminder to be patient, no matter what happens, is timely.

Monday, November 28, 2011


When I was out with my sister on Friday, we stopped in at Enchanted Forest, a small metaphysical shop in Fort Worth.  I found a small statuette of the laughing Buddha, and couldn't resist it.

In the book of mormon, it states that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." But how much joy did I ever really experience?

Aren't members counseled to avoid loud laughter and light-mindedness?

I tend to have a very loud laugh. When something strikes me as funny (and I have a quirky sense of humour), I can't help but laugh.

And what's wrong with laughing? Have you ever laughed so much your sides ached and you couldn't breathe? I have. Have you ever laughed so hard that you involuntarily snorted, at which you laughed even more?

Have you ever heard the lamest knock-knock joke ever from a kid who's just barely discovered knock-knock jokes, and when the kid gets to the punchline, s/he laughs like it's the funniest thing in the world? I have. When one of my nephews was at that age, the word "cha-cha" was the punchline to every joke. And I always knew what was coming ("because he was a cha-cha!), and watching him laugh filled me with joy, and I laughed right along with him.

Have you ever laughed at a funeral? I have. And yeah, it's a little embarrassing, but at the same time, the person I was mourning laughed a lot, and I felt that my laughter wasn't really inappropriate after all.

No, I'm not Buddhist. I'm not an -ist or an -ite of any kind. But I bought that little laughing Buddha statue, and he sits on my night stand to remind me that it's okay to laugh.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wondering about Christianity

You know, when I very first realised that the One True Church isn't, my first reaction was to turn to Christianity. But which denomination? I couldn't be Catholic, no matter how much my husband's sisters want me to be. Too much messed up history. My dad and stepmother would love if I converted to Presbyterian, but somehow that didn't feel right for me. And I contacted a small nondenominational Christian church near my home to inquire about the pastor's theology, but he brushed me off because he was too busy planning Easter service. And then never called back again, which kind of soured me on feeling like I might want to visit them.

And then the other questions started coming up. Is Christ what I have always believed, our saviour and redeemer? Or simply a good man and a great teacher, as a lot of people believe? (I've looked into UU, but right now I don't feel the need to align myself anywhere. I have my sister, and another 4 incredibly close friends to whom I can confide anything, and they support me spiritually in a way that I rarely--if ever--found at church. I consider myself a spiritual person even if I'm not religous.)

But coming back to my questions about Christianity. I can't help but see how being mormon for 30 years affected me. I read those signs of the true church, and how this group of people got together and wrote them up, and lo, the only church that met their requirements were the mormons. (I keep automatically capitalising the word mormon, and then deliberately going back and uncapitalising it.) But the mormon church is not the One True Church. I don't believe there is one. What drew me, initially, to the church was the depictions of happy families in a family home evening manual my mother had at home after she got baptised, and forced my younger brother and sister to get baptised. I wanted a happy family, and if that was the way to get it, then that's what I was going to do.

Only it didn't give me a happy family. We were still as effed up as we ever were. ("You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here? Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down....Same as it ever was, same as it ever was!") My dad was hurt that we were suddenly all mormons and he was not. I wonder if that was the final straw for him, the last blow to their already shaky unhappy marriage. Because for a long time it was me and him against the rest of the family. They'd go off to church, and he'd take me to the grocery store and we'd play Pac-Man. ("Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off the P and turn it into an F or whatever.")  And then I finally gave in and started actually attending church, and that was that.

So when I left, what was I looking for in a Christian church? I think I was looking for a church where people really loved each other. A church where they had Wednesday night prayer meeting or something. A church where they taught the gospel of Christ, not all the singsongy droning talks you hear at a typical LDS sacrament meeting. I drive past several superchurches on my weekday commute, and they're these huge, huge edifices where I don't know, maybe thousands of people meet together at one time, and it freaks me out. I feel like I'd be a lost little fish there, and can't do it.

And then I continued asking questions, not just about the mormon church, but about everything, and it's all in upheaval, and I'm learning things about myself and my beliefs continue to go further and further from Christianity. Do I believe in Jesus Christ? Yes, in a sense, and I'm not sure in another sense. Do I believe in God? I like to believe there is a God. I hope there's some sort of benign divinity looking over us all, but I don't believe in God the same way I used to believe when I was TBM.  Why would that God answer my prayer for my husband to find his keys, and yet let my best friend's son die? Didn't make any sense, and it still doesn't.

I don't think there's a point to any of this. I just have lots and lots of questions, and I think and study all the time, but there are no answers, no solid conclusions. And for now, that's okay. I'm willing to wait it out and see what happens. I try to be a good person. I love people. I work hard. I try to make things better because of my being here. And if that benign divinity is there, I hope s/he understands what's in my heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Need to Win the Lottery

Then I could have a big duplex built, and my husband could live in one side, and I could live in the other side. I could deal with being married if I didn't have to live with him. Know what I mean?

If you have a happy marriage, probably not.

He's a good person. Decent. Kind to others. Brilliant musician. Loves our dog(s). Loves kids. He'd literally give you the shirt off your back if you needed it.

And he drives me up a damn wall. Snarky comments that just piss me off. Lack of understanding about my health & mental health issues. Trying to be my food police under the guise of "helping" me, no matter how many times I've said I'm a grown woman and I don't need his help. Telling me I can do something (e.g. decorate the Christmas tree), and then getting pissy about how I do it.

And I know I'm no saint, trust me. When he pisses me off, I let him know it in no uncertain terms. I have bipolar depression, and more than a touch of OCD, and when he gets in the way of my routine, I can get nasty.

So separate houses. That way we can stay married and see each other when we want to. He can do what he wants in his house, and I can do what I want in mine.

Please, FSM, let me win the lottery!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Our house did not catch fire (on Pioneer Day) because I lost my testimony and left the church.
Our insurance company isn't dragging their heels because I lost my testimony and left the church.
Two of our dogs didn't die because I lost my testimony and left the church.
The A/C heater in my husband's SUV didn't stop working today because I lost my testimony and left the church.
(Whatever my husband wants to blame on our leaving the church) didn't happen because I lost my testimony and left the church.

Sometimes shit just happens. You deal with it and move on.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flying Spaghetti Monster

I think tonight I'm going to make spaghetti and meatballs. It may not fly, but it will be deliciously sacriligious.  And I'll serve it with a glass of red wine.

Mmmmm. Sweet, sweet sin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Resignation

I haven't heard anything back about my resignation, so I called the membership records office to see if it had been processed.  No, the young man who sounded about 18 said, it is in the process, and usually takes about 30 days. They've got another week or so, and they should have it processed, regardless of the fact that I stated my resignation was effective immediately.

Here's my letter, in case anyone's interested:

My full name is aintnomonomo; my date of birth is [redacted].
I was baptized on 4/3/1981. 
My residence address is [redacted], in the [redacted] ward/stake.
I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effective immediately, and request you to remove my name permanently from your membership records. I wish no further contact from representatives of your church except to confirm VIA EMAIL ONLY that my name has been removed from your records. I expect to receive that confirmation within a reasonably short time.
Please note that I do NOT wish my husband nor anyone else in my family to be contacted about this, whether by phone, mail, or email. Should such contact take place, I will pursue legal action. 
I have not come to this decision lightly. I have spent hours and hours intently studying church history, and am absolutely appalled by the things I've learned, specifically including but not limited to,
  • the practice of polygamy and polyandry in the early church,
  • the policy of "lying for the Lord,"
  • Brigham Young's Adam-God teachings that were later denied as having been taught,
  • the treatment of homosexuals and transgendered persons by the church,
  • the fact that women are subjugated to a substandard place, always having to report to a man
  • the complete lack of any historical or archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon
  • the many changes that have been made to the Book of Mormon that whitewash previous teachings
  • the fact that the temple ceremonies which Joseph Smith professed to have been restored by the Lord have been altered from their original format multiple times and that were taken straight from Masonic ceremonies to begin with
  • the fact that DNA evidence has proven that there is no connection between native Americans and Israelites, but that in fact that majority of native Americans share commonalities with Asians rather than Israelites
  • the fact that instead of clothing the naked and feeding the hungry, the church is building multi-billion dollar malls and luxury condominiums.
  • The fact that the church does not report out its finances to the members who pay their tithes and offerings
When I was a practicing member of the church, I always felt like nothing I could ever do would make me be good enough. I was terrified of the thought of dying, because I knew that I would have disappointed Heavenly Father and the Saviour so severely that there would never be any hope for me. I can honestly tell you that the thought of death no longer frightens me. I know that I have a good heart, and I trust that if there is a God, and he is a just God, he will know what is in my heart.
There was also an incident that caused my family incredible pain; my nephew was placed for adoption with our home teacher's family, and no one thought it important enough to tell us what was happening when our home teacher knew--because I had told him--that initially my sister was planning on placing the child with us. My anger and sorrow was not over the changed plans, because I felt that my sister needed to place her baby with the best possible family for him, but over the way that we were completely shoved aside and our feelings mattered nothing.
I see my stepfather practicing his priesthood in a way that has beaten my mother down to a pathetic shell of her former self, believing--since he and his first wife do not have a temple divorce--that she is his second wife, and of far less importance to him than his first wife. He tells her how to wear her hair, and how to dress, and what to do, and he is horrible to her, but it's all acceptable because he has the priesthood and she does not.
In short, there is nothing I can find in this church to make me believe that there is a just God above and a loving Saviour in the person of Jesus Christ.  In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” 
I strive to live a noble life, to serve my companions here on the earth, and make the world a better place.


Having learned the hard way that drinking massive amounts of coffee on an empty stomach equals really unpleasant bodily functions, I decided I'd be healthy this morning and I got one of those cereal cup thingies when I stopped at 7-11 for my pumpkin spice latte (mmmmmm. sweet, sweet sin.). Because of wanting to be healthy (despite all the sugar in my pumpkin spice latte), I got the Raisin Bran Crunch instead of the frosted flakes or some of the other choices.  And it tastes good, don't get me wrong, but the ingredients label kind of makes me nauseated:

Whole Wheat
Oat and Honey Cluster (whole oats, sugar, whole grain wheat, corn syrup, rice cereal [rice, sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup, malt flavoring, iron, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacinamide, pyridoxine, hydrochloride (bitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, folic acide, vitamin B12 and Vitamin D1, modified corn starch, molasses, palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, cinnamon, salt, honey, natural and artificial flavo, BHT for freshness), wheat bran, high fructose corn syrup, glycerin, salt, barley malt syrup, niacinamide, reduced iron, zinc oxide, pyridoxiine, hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), BHT (preservative), vitamin A palmitate, folic acide, vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Wow. Just, wow. Contrast that with the granola I'm going to make for myself this weekend:

brown sugar
canola oil
vanilla extract

Which would you prefer to eat, alongside your tasty morning beverage?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reclaiming My Power

I'm sure I've written about this before, but it continues to be a vital topic that is always on my mind right now. I'm having to deal with the difficulties in getting our house fixed so we/I/he can move back home. I'm dealing with my marriage issues. I'm worrying about whether-or-how to tell my mother that I've left the church (for the record--I'm not going to say anything any time soon. It would cause her a great deal of grief, and I'm not willing to do that to her until/unless I must). I'm dealing with my husband's sporadic insistence that I must return to church, with him asking me every few days if I've gained weight (no, actually I've kind of plateaued, but I am still down 65 pounds from last December), with him insisting that I must dress the same way my boss dresses (um, she is tall and thin; I am short and still far more rotund than I would like to be), etc. Lots and lots and lots going on.

I keep walking and walking and walking, having faith that some day I'll get to the center of the labyrinth. I think the confusing paths of the labyrinth are all the thoughts that keep swirling around in my head as I try to figure out what to do. Sometimes I turn left when I should turn right, and sometimes I seem to know almost mystically exactly which way to turn. Sometimes I find myself at a dead end and just plop down and cry, but then I get back up and start going again, determined to get to the center.

And sometimes it feels like I'm dancing with the Goblin King who's trying to keep me from finding my center.

And sometimes I forget my lines.

But eventually I remember them.

"Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City...for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great."

"You have no power over me!"