Earlier today a young man entered my office seeking my advice…This is not unusual for someone in my line of business. But it is a rare day when someone comes to me, in my capacity as an apostate, seeking advice regarding of all subjects…religion…particularly the Mormon religion. But it happened today.
A bit of background:
Several years ago, during the same period of time that I was going through my enlightenment/apostasy, my daughter happened to be dating this same young man. To ease the pain of her father’s loss of belief in the one true church, my daughter poured her TBM heart out to this young man. Needless to say, he remembered that he had once dated the daughter of an apostate and came to me for some apostate advice. You see…he is now, a non believer too.
Flash forward to today, turns out this young Mormon man has fallen head over heels in love with a TBM girl. But as I said, he is anything but TBM. He was baptized …has struggled with wrapping his brain around the Mormon paradigm despite many attempts to do so, as a result did not go on the required mission. (How he dated my daughter I’ll never know) None of this however mattered until he started to date and fall in love with the TBM.
As he entered my office and even before he introduced himself he asked “Do you go to church?” with a smile on my face, I replied “Nope”. He then said, “Good I’m in the right place”.
Over the course of the next hour he poured out his heart about his relationship with this girl, explaining their love for each other and his unsuccessful attempt, at her insistence, to find a way to “believe”. She will not be married in any place other than a Temple built to the Mormon god.
He was aware from his discussions with my daughter, that I have been able to live a happy life with my very TBM wife and wanted to know HOW this was possible. He also wanted to know if faking belief for her sake would work. I shared the following advice with him.
01. I told him that faking belief was a recipe for disaster and would result in the ultimate destruction of his future marriage. That any marriage worth participation in must be built on a foundation of mutual respect for who each partner in the marriage really “IS” rather than on whom one partner wishes their spouse to be.
02. That he was fighting an uphill battle…that the Mormon Church would use all of its cultural influence to destroy his relationship and do everything it can to dissuade his girlfriend from engaging in a relationship with a non-believer. He confirmed that the” Mormon Machine “was already trying to undermine his relationship.
03. That for his relationship to work, his girlfriend must love him more than she loves the church…something that TBM’s are programmed from an early age not to do.
04. That if he can’t get his girlfriend to respect his right to his current worldview as much as she wants her own worldview to be respected…that the relationship is doomed.
05. I also confided in him, that I live everyday knowing that despite the love my wife and I share for each other…we both know that if my wife knew then what she knows now…she would have never agreed to marry me.
We also discussed the many reasons that Mormonism is not what it claims to be…and that a frontal attack on his girlfriends beliefs is futile. For there to be any hope for his relationship to work…both must compromise, respectful of each other’s beliefs (or lack thereof) and abandon all hope of ever dissuading the other.
Following our conversation, this young man…with a somewhat more sober understanding of his situation…thanked me for my candor. I offered to meet with both he and his girlfriend any time should he feel it beneficial. I wished him luck but added that he needs to be prepared for the worst. Thus is a the path of TBM/non-believer relationships…they rarely work out because of the inflexibility of TBM’s...I count my blessing everyday that so far I am an exception…