ex mormonism

hello!! this is a new tumblr and i’m looking for blogs to follow! please like/reblog if you post any of the following:

- any musical theatre (book of mormon, spring awakening, hamilton, she loves me, heathers and falsettos are some of my favorites)

- any young adult lit

- any classic literature

- mythology

- riverdale

- 13 reasons why

- jane the virgin

- crazy ex-girlfriend

- the crown

- disney

- animated movies

- old movies

- aesthetics

i’ll be posting a lot of gifs and edits and stuff so please feel free to give my humble fledgling blog a follow as well.

thank you! <3

It’s amazing the translating your brain can automatically do to turn things you hear into something that makes sense with what you already think. 

I’m just remembering being Mormon, and being a girl in the church, and how much it should have bothered more. Not that I wasn’t bothered. I was. Just, in  retrospect, not enough. I was mostly bothered about the clear time/effort/budget difference between the youth programs for boys and for girls (I distinctly remember feeling furious when my brother’s Priest High Adventure involved Kayaking across the Canadian border onto various islands alongside literal whales, while the Young Women’s culminating Laurel activity involved a short hike up a local hill in a familiar park followed by a trip to the mall). 

But doctrinal stuff? My brain just translated it. Instead of listening to what was actually being said and thinking through the implications, I would just hear something else entirely, or immediately think of the best, most generous and beneficial interpretation. Without having to think about it. I didn’t think, “oh that’s a problem” and then actively seek the mental gymnastics to resolve it. The mental gymnastics were so automatic I didn’t even know they were there. 

I’ve been thinking about this because I just remembered that women can’t go to outer darkness. Which is a thing I somehow didn’t notice while I was active and believing. Even though, when I found out later and went to my church materials to confirm, it was clear no real attempt had been made to hide it. The “priesthood holder” requirement was right there. 

I know it’s silly to say, but on a doctrinal level, I think being incapable of being damned would have been more insulting and jarring to me as a believer than any of the other stuff I had found personal explanations for. It’s just so clearly condescending, trivializing, infantilizing. Which is probably why, somehow, when I believed, I didn’t notice it. If you had told me straight out I probably would have told you you were mistaken. 

My brain just translated “men” to people. “Brotherhood” to family. “Sons of Perdition” to “Children of Perdition”. The words were interchangeable to me. I didn’t think about them having a meaning that could possibly be excluding me. Especially as nothing “for the brethren” seemed particularly beyond my understanding or ability. 

I didn’t believe they did exclude me. I thought that everything that was for Priesthood holders and Priesthood worthiness was for me as well, just without the rituals to back it up. I thought the differences were merely ornamental, and justified them that way. Like, obviously if women don’t need to be “ordained” with the priesthood because we already have an equal power, then we must be just as concerned with how to wield that power.

I didn’t see myself as unequal because I didn’t act and react like I was unequal. I assumed the lip service about “different but equal” was just truth, and that those differences were superficial, which meant I did have power within the church. But those differences were fundamentally entrenched, and I wasn’t actually invited to the table I was imagining I was sitting at. I thought I had a say, or would grow to have a say, and that was never the case. I was, at best, indulged to keep me quiet and out of the way.

As I got older, it become much easier to see how the church was mistreating and hurting other people before I could see what it was doing to me. I saw racism and homophobia radiating from the doctrine long before I grasped the sexism. But looking back, the older I got the more my questions, insights, and contributions in Sunday school were shot down, especially in the co-ed classes. Even things I said or asked that were faith promoting. At the time I thought I just talked too much. But looking back, I was detracting from the lesson for the boys

The substitutions our brains make even when we’re looking directly at something are fascinating. There was a time when I would have laughed in the face of anyone who told me the church was sexist, truly unable to see it even as men led every single meeting and wrote every single rule.

I can’t believe that, even for a moment, I thought I was equal in a church that doesn’t even consider me good enough to be damned.

to monday

an ex-mormon soundtrack

battle cry (ft. sia) - angel haze

can’t fight against the youth - panic! at the disco

devil - tyler glenn

doubt - twenty one pilots

first vision - tyler glenn

heaven - troye sivan

holy - PVRIS

hurricane - misterwives

kick me - sleeping with sirens

the love club - lorde

midnight - tyler glenn

playing god - paramore

trash - tyler glenn

message me if you have any more to add!

8tracks

When I was eight, I got baptised. I remember my mom telling me she was so proud of the choice I made. But when I turned 13, I remember telling her I didn’t want to attend church any more. She told me I was too young to make a decision like that. I realized then that I only had the illusion of choice. If it wasn’t in the confines of my parents beliefs, then it didn’t exist.

God’s Ways

This post has been some months in the offing. I’ve been wrestling with how to address such a personal encounter. Nevertheless, I will try because I think this story illuminates a very important point. 

I left the church and my parent’s home at 18. I refused to go on a mission, my parents refused to pay for college, and I was beyond done with their whole way of life. During the last year I lived with them we fought almost daily. My mom and I didn’t speak to each other for nearly two years leading up to my leaving. Things were very tense. They mounted a vigorous campaign to get me to stay, go on a mission, go to BYU - the usual TBM bullshit. I took myself out of the equation. 

While the fighting was intense we never directly addressed “the church” or “religion” or “faith.” My parents just sort of assumed I still believed and I let them go on assuming it because it was easier. I was dealing with enough self-doubt and internal change and I didn’t want to manage their reactions to such a revelation. Sure, it was a cop-out and I still feel a little shame to this day of not telling them straight out that I didn’t believe the church was true and that I didn’t believe in god. That remained unsaid. 

Jump forward nine years - now, or to be precise, January 20th, 2017. That’s right: Trump’s inauguration day. My parents just happened to be in town to attend the funeral of a family friend (Not just any friend. This guy was the second counselor to my dad when he served as Stake President. A complete asshole who appeared to be the kindest, sweetest person, but every so often the veneer would crack and you could catch a glimpse of the snake underneath). My parents called me and asked if we could go to dinner. I said yes, as things had been going fairly well between us for some time - cool but cordial. 

I made the mistake of watching the inauguration right before I left for dinner. I knew I shouldn’t have. In the car, I kept telling myself over and over again: don’t bring it up. Be nice and polite and just get through this. So much for that. 

Things were going nicely until… yep, I brought up Trump. I couldn’t help myself. I was terrified. I was having hours of conversations with friends who were terrified  - about deportation, about discrimination, about the rise and tacit approval of the alt right. I was pretty keyed up. So I told my mom and dad just that: that I was really worried about the future of our country. 

My mom and dad shifted in their seats. My dad explained that while they hadn’t voted for Trump, and didn’t like him personally, he was the president now and our responsibility was to follow him. I pressed the issue, saying that our loyalty as citizens is to fight injustice, not to accept it should it gain power. Then my dad looked me right in the eye and told me that it was “god’s will” that Trump is president. 

I hit the fucking roof. You’re telling me that god wants his children to be terrified of their leaders? You’re telling me that god wants hate and fear to rule his “chosen nation?” My dad shrugged and said, maybe it’s his way of hastening the second coming. 

At that point it all came out. I told them their religion was bullshit, a lie. I told them I was a proud atheist. I told them I look on it as a duty to seek truth and decry those who promulgate lies, like the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. Needless to say, dinner didn’t end well. 

I cannot abide the self-righteous, hypocritical stances of the church and its followers. This is not philosophy we’re playing with here, this is people’s lives. Real lives. Not some test simulation before the real work of the afterlife begins. 

It’s been months and the thought of this conversation makes me physically sick to my stomach. Something’s broken between my parent’s and me. For good. And it is good. Because it’s based on truth. Honesty. I don’t want people in my life who care more about their belief-cloaked privilege than other people. I’m done with it.  

What I consider sinning = not sharing with the poor, taking away people’s health insurance when they could die next month because of it, preventing people from seeing their families based on imagined racist fears

What my family considers sinning = not going to church every Sunday, saying cuss words, drinking green tea, wearing thongs, critical thinking

!!! YOU DON’T NEED A RELIGION TO HAVE MORALS !!! You are capable of thinking for yourself without a bunch of old white guys telling you what to do!!!!!!

If God existed

Many atheists get asked this question, “What would you do if God existed, what if you were wrong?”
My personal reply to this question would be that even if God existed, he would not be the all loving, all merciful deity that people imagine him to be; instead, he would be a deceitful, insecure, power hungry, vengeful bastard, and most certainly not worth worshipping. He would be uncaring, unjust and unfair to those who thought rationally, and came to the conclusion that their was no God based on what evidence they had. He would care less about who you are as a person, and more about how much you kissed his backside, and would lobotomise you when you go into heaven, to not stop and even give a second thought to those unjustly burning in hell,and God would sit back, relax, and think to himself about great he his like a selfish, big headed, egotistical, con artist.
As for what I would do if I were wrong, well, what if we were wrong about the Egyptian Gods, what if we were wrong about Zeus, or Thor, or Vishnu, or Shiva, or other Gods and Goddesses we have made up throughout the ages. What of were wrong about the Easter bunny, or the lock ness monster? If your wrong about Zeus, doesn’t that mean you will spend an eternity in Tartarus (Ancient Greek mythology which was their interpretation of hell) So how can you be sure about you being right and others being wrong? Either way, there is still no evidence for God, and if there is no evidence, we don’t know if it exists.

you know i don’t want to go to church. the only reason i still go at all is because you won’t take no for an answer. you think things will change if you make me fake it long enough. i’m so tired of feeling ignored and disrespected, i know what you think is best for me but i disagree. i don’t want to be part of the church, it’s not something i believe in and my continued involvement against my will is a source of stress. if i have to, i’ll put myself together and go late today but just know that i cannot be happy. the church does not give me any kind of happiness.
—  i’m staying home today - a text i sent my mother
Just because

Just because your parents believe it DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

Just because your friends believe it DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

Just because millions of people believe it DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

Just because it has god’s name on the cover DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

Just because Joseph Smith said it DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

Just because the prophet says it DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE. 

I think one reason it took me so long to break away from my religion is the fact I kept apologizing for it. Like for the homophobic things in the Bible I kept thinking “it’s all about interpretation”, and since I had been expected to keep that religion it took me so long to realize that maybe my religion is actually homophobic. That maybe my religion is actually harmful. I’m not sure what the point is for this post but I feel like this was such a startling realization for me, and I was wondering if this happened to anyone else.

You know what's peculiar...

I have -never- heard of a convert who wasn’t down on their luck when they started talking to the missionaries. It’s always “I was into drugs…we were going to get a divorce…my kid just died” etc etc

It’s because the missionaries prey on those that are weak or have a hard life. They sell investigators rainbows and sunshine and refrain from telling them the actual history of the church.

This is what the Millennium looks like

In my youth in the mormon church, I know about the “Millennium.” Few talked about it, fewer knew exactly what it was, but everyone knew that the Millennium was a big deal. 

For true believing mormons, the Millennium refers to the period of 1,000 years of peace and prosperity in which jesus christ will reign personally over the earth after his “second coming.” TBMs have been told by their so-called prophets that they are living in the final days - the “latter days” - before this second coming. They are told to look forward to this Millennium as a time of great joy, of the perfection of the earth and of mankind. This is not an original idea. As with many mormon teachings, Joseph Smith appropriated millennialism into his new religion from other Second Great Awakening christian sects operating in and around New York State in the early decades of the 19th century. 

Mormons also believe that after the 1,000 years of peace, satan will gather an army and make one last stand against the followers of christ. And he’ll lose. And then jesus will reign for ever and ever over the Kingdom of God and everything will be super awesome great. Shades of Ragnarok and greek myth mixed into Armageddon, right? (Let’s not even get into how close it sounds to Hitler’s “thousand-year reich”). Without getting too far down the rabbit hole that is mormon eschatology, that is what mormons believe.

But there’s another side to this belief in the coming Millennium. A side no prophet or church authority cares to talk about these days. That side is: how to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. 

I’ve just been watching the first few episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. Having read the book a few years ago, it’s one of my favorite stories, one with a lot of personal significance to me as a former member of the cult known as the LDS church. If you want to see what the “Millennium” would actually look like, READ THIS BOOK. WATCH THIS SHOW. 

The world presented by The Handmaid’s Tale is horrifying. It’s the story of a fundamentalist christian regime that takes power by committing acts of terrorism against the government and then infiltrating it. They suspend the constitution, impose martial law, enact pogroms and purges against undesirables (homosexuals, members of other religions, and anyone who opposes them), and relegate women to second-class citizens. Where the United States once stood, the newly-formed Republic of Gilead is a biblical theocracy, a totalitarian fascist nightmare. It is a nauseating vision of what can happen if christianity is allowed free reign in this country. It shows in graphic detail the consequences of far-right and alt-right ideologies. It shows a world that could be right around the corner, here, in this country if we do nothing to stop it. 

This show and the book need to be experienced. I’m not saying this story is some kind of guide to the future. But I am BEGGING you to watch it. I’m imploring you to witness what a real-life Millennium would look like. Church leaders, especially in the PR-friendly mainstream Brighamite Salt Lake LDS church, will never speak of the horrors that will need to be committed in order to bring their Millennium into fruition. They don’t say it over the pulpit because the truth behind their beliefs means the death and destruction and suffering of millions of innocent people… all in the name of christ and his church. 

There will be no second coming. Because there is no jesus christ. Christianity is a lie, mormonism is a lie. Religion only exists is when people enact it. The “kingdom of god on earth” can only become a reality if good, thoughtful, intellectually honest people do nothing to combat the terrors of blind belief and bigotry so rampant in the nation at this moment. 

Let’s not allow this story to become a reality. Let’s resist the hypocrisy of faith. Let’s fight back against falsehoods with facts. Let’s first force religion out of our government and out of our schools. Let’s tax them out of existence. Let’s not permit preachers or holy men or prophets to corrupt minds against peace and one another. Let’s relegate religion to the history books and the story books. That’s where their Millennium belongs. 

For my friends birthday she got an immoral piercing.

It was in the top of her ear, the rounded rim of semirigid cartilage. The piercing was a bird, a little golden swallow. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. It seemed like a bird that could sing.

That piercing was a big deal for her, something she’d wanted for a while. Privately, and shamefully. And it was only recently that she worked up the courage to allow herself this small, new freedom. My friend and I are ex-Mormons. And I know that feeling intimately.

Growing up I was jealous of non-Mormons, mostly girls, for little things like that. Piercings, tank tops, curse words, opinions. Freedoms. Little freedoms I couldn’t have, little freedoms that were sins. Petty, stupid sins that made no sense to me even then. I wished God didn’t demand so much of me, because my life felt so small, so out of my hands. Even little choices were denied me, I had to deny myself of them or accept damnation. I had a mental list of little things I wished I could have, wished I could be, things I couldn’t discuss for fear of being labeled heretical. I didn’t realize how inane those list items were to non-Mormons. They still aren’t to me.

Little things like earrings, like short skirts, mark my freedom, the difference between my old and new selves. You take your life back one commonplace item at a time, you buy a short skirt, you paint your nails black, dye your hair red, and get a gold swallow piercing. Or you get to speak you mind, you get to tell the truth. These little things I carry with me, they remind me that I am now the person I want to be, that I am through being jealous, and following someone else’s rules. These little things make me feel like singing.