Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Same Process-Different Outcome

Why some people leave Mormonism and others choose to remain when faced with rational challenges to their faith”

Several years ago I had an exchange with several posters on the F.A.I.R. blog. I have gone back recently and re-read my contribution. I believe that those interested my find interest with this exchange.

http://www.fairblog.org/2009/02/12/same-process-different-outcome/

Enjoy
Craig
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9 comments:

Keep Sweet said...

hi- thanks so much for your comment on my postmo thread. i have been suspended to read-only there temp so couldn't thank you by PM as i would have liked

keepsweet02139@gmail

Pashe said...

Hi Craig,
I am so happy to have found your blog! Your profile hit me hard, especially the part where finding out the truth about "the church" broke your heart. That's the phrase I use all the time to describe how it felt the night I finally sat down, googled the word "Mormon" and began to read with an open mind and heart. Only someone else who has been raised in the church, and travelled this path can really understand, and I want you to know that I understand! Thank you for doing your own small part in getting the word out there! Can't wait to read the rest of what you have written!

Mara said...

I can relate to your story, and by the way, it's well written and much of what you say I can say it was ditto for me.

There is a difference we share... I was not raised lds but after a serious introduction to God - personal experiences that changed my life - I soon afterwards joined the lds, believing I was led to it by God.

I'm sure you can imagine, after being a full TBM for 32 years, temple going, etc, etc. I saw the truth in all its utter spellbound illusions and lies. …That part ripped me to the core, and especially so because I knew God put me into "his church". Oddly, I knew God put me out of "his church" too, and it was through Him I discovered what it really consisted of and what it was that made me have a "testimony" of the lie - thankfully that was answered (I'll share if you're interested).

I had to reconcile the deception, like everyone else seeing it for what it is. Additionally, I had to reconcile what my life had meant to me NOW as I lived the lds world THEN, was it a pack of lies and what meaning now existed, did my life in the church have any meaning (and what?), was it a waste of my life, and so on and on.

Here's the difference I see in your experience and mine, and know I'm doing a basic summary in this short blog entry – like you, there’s so much to my experience. The biggest difference is after being raised in an agnostic home, then finding God, then joining the lds church... after I left lds, I didn't leave God.

I knew God led me into that cult and God got me out. Yes, I was very tempted to throw it all away, like many lds leaving. But I couldn't because my experiences with God (prior to lds) changed my life a 180 degree way before joining the church. AND, fortunately, because I knew God distinctly, He was who I turned to during all those years in the church. I still believed the church was true and all that TBM stuff, but God was at my helm, not the church... even though I knew joseph smith was a "true prophet".

Imagine the shock I felt, when that same God told me to get out of the church… that the prophets are not prophets of God! (That by itself is a long story). For the sake of a lengthy writing, I'll just proceed to my questions for you.

Please explain how you tossed out God along with your lds beliefs. I get why you tossed out lds beliefs... and truly, once you see it there's NO turning back!!! Nothing could be louder and clearer! But the part about God... did it all seem the same to you... the lds and God – all mixed together... just all one deceit created by false liar Joe Smith?

You mentioned having some pretty life altering experiences while in the church. I can understand why you might later feel God was not real or answering the prayer you offered when you put the tanner book on the one bed and it was on the other bed when you came back into the room after you found certain truths the tanner book contained at a later date. I get it… why would God who seemed to answer you then, lie to you? Was that how you saw it? Was that why you said there was no God? As in… what God would answer with lies?
I have several other questions, but please answer this one and I can proceed based on what you reply. So again, this is a sincere question to you for my understanding. I’m not attacking.

I have benefited much from your blog, the little bit I’ve read and I’m glad you put it out there. I plan to use it as a resource for some of my lds friends. Thanks.

Brittany said...

I really have enjoyed reading your blog posts, I just found your blog. I grew up in the church, married in the church, and currently attend church. Although I seem to be a devout member, I have not believed for the last year and a half. I learned about Joseph Smith's life and how he treated women...how can a man like that receive reavalation from God. That along with other feelings/information have made me come to the conclusion the church is not true. My husband is like your wife....he refuses to believe or listen to what I explain. It is really hard to have all the pressure from people around to be in the church. I feel like its easier to be in the church than get out of it bc of family and friends expectations/pressures. It gets to feel suffocating. Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for your posts bc I feel like you explain how I feel as your explaining how you have felt and feel. Someday I hope I can escape.

Anonymous said...

Craig, I just discovered your blog and am in exactly the same place now that you were in when you started this blog back in 2006. Without doing a ton of searching through here, I was wondering if you are still married? I guess I just want to know that my marriage can withstand this kind of "disagreement" as my husband is a TBM (to the fullest extent) and I, like you, cannot face the wrath of him with my concerns. They are not up for discussion. I'll be back to your blog, but just wondered about you and your wife. -BG

Cr@ig said...

Hi Anonymous...

Yes still married and going strong. But it has not been without difficult days and many ups and downs. A real roller coaster ride. But I am still married.

My wife sounds as if she is the female clone of your husband. She remains very much a believer and very active in her ward. It has been very difficult for her to accept my apostasy...to her the church is all it claims to be and she just can't understand why I can't believe it’s claims...yet at the same time she refuses to engage in any discussion as to why I no longer believe...for fear that I my destroy her testimony. Funny but I could only destroy her testimony if what I had to share with her was true...wink wink...

Oh well...we have found a level of mutual respect...to allow each other the right to follow the dictates of our own respective consciences. It is I believe the only way forward for couples wanting to remain married in our particular circumstances...

If I can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers Cr@ig

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. Now that I've had the time to look through your blog a little more, I'm so sad to see you don't blog much anymore! It's nice to see someone who feels the same way I do! Everyone in my circle of family, friends, colleages, everyone is TBM! I try to throw out comments to find someone who might feel the same way, but they don't! I'm so alone. I've told a few close friends and my husband about my beliefs and they accept me, but the worst part is that I know what they are really thinking. That I just wanted to give up, or I needed an excuse to justify my actions, or I must've stopped reading scriptures so Satan has gotten hold of me. I'm sure they are fasting and praying for me, I can't stand it! I just want them to see that I'm still ME! Just a more informed and enlightened me! I actually feel bad for all of them because they don't know the truth, nor will they open their eyes to even investigate the slightest possibility that they might be wrong! I like to drink coffee and I actually have to hide it from my boss, my employees and other colleagues because I believe it could negatively impact my career! People have asked what I am drinking and "steamer" has come out of my mouth! I lied! About drinking coffee!! It's INSANE and yet, it's my life! I was born and raised in Utah "somewhere along the wasatch front" and Mormonism is all I've ever known. I've read your story and your situation with your wife and my situation just couldn't be more similar to yours. I can see why you've stopped blogging though, you'd have to just let it go at some point. I can't do that and I don't know if I ever can. Every aspect of my world would be turned upside down if people knew how I felt. I admire you for having the courage to just be you. It's funny that since I discovered the 'truth", I sort of somehow expected everyone to feel the same way as soon as they learned some of the same things. Your post about "same process, different outcome" is interesting because I'm so surprised (shocked actually) that people can know what we know and still believe. Madness! My husband is not one of those...he's just like your wife where he won't even read this information. You know, because we're not supposed to. You know, because if we all did, then we'd all leave the church! I've also been surprised to find all the great and wonderful people who've discovered this information before me. Like real, regular people who discovered what I now have. Just because I only recently discovered it, I've been surprised that people have had this information for YEARS! In this day and age, it''s amazing I haven't come across any of it yet. Because you have to allow yourself to take that first step and just...learn. Whoa. Anyway, sorry for telling my whole story, this is really the first place I've shared anything about my experience. Luckily my husband still wants to stay married, but I think we have a long road ahead of us for him to get to the point of fully accepting me this way. I am definitely "Brooke in the Middle". Anyway, it was just nice to share this with someone who understands, so thanks for listening. - BG

Cr@ig said...

Dear Brooke,

You are not alone...there are thousands of Mormon's in our same position...literally 10's of thousands are resigning from the church annually, yet despite this mass exodous...the church like everything else remains silent and acts as if everything is fine.

Well its not fine....beliee me I have contacts at the very highest levels of the church...and they are well aware of the problem but have no idea how to correct the mass stampede for the exit signs.

Someday they will have to address the problems they've created...but for now...they've made the decission to remain silent and play like nothing is wrong.

May I ask what boards you've visisted? I might suggest Newordermormon.org or even postmormon.org...both sights lend support to those struggling with believing family members. Also I would recommend John Dehlin's sight Mormonstories.org or John Larsen's sight at Mormonexpression.org...both of these are podcasts...sometimes it just helps to know that you're not crazy nor alone.

Best of luck to you on your journey..

Craig

Are you sill living along the Wasatch front?

Anonymous said...

I've listened to John Dehlins podcast, but haven't visited any boards. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give them a try. Yep, still in Utah and always will be (I love it here). I live in the Layton area and work in Ogden. Thanks for your help :) - Brooke