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I've been lurking for a while and decided is introduce myself finally.

I was born and raised in the church. I've spent a majority of my life in the Pacific Northwest, but have also lived in Ohio, Idaho, Utah, and Washington, DC.

I've always asked questions, as long as I can remember, about the gospel and the church (and other things, too haha). I still do and there are still plenty of things I don't understand, but I love to learn.

Most recently, my eldest (17) son read the CES letter and has decided to to leave the church. We've had a couple discussions about his beliefs/opinions/etc. I've found that, even though I've dealt with many of the concerns he now has, I don't have ready responses because I just haven't thought in depth about many of these things much in recent years.

I found this board and have really enjoyed reading and learning as well as seeing different perspectives on many issues. I'm also grateful for the many books and resources I've been led to because of posts here.

I love my son and want every good thing for him. While I saw all this coming, it has still shaken me and, to some degree, my faith. I'm here to discuss, to gain more knowledge through resources I didn't know about, and to vent as needed.

So, there it is. I'm officially here now ;)

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41 minutes ago, ladyshanae said:

I've been lurking for a while and decided is introduce myself finally.

I was born and raised in the church. I've spent a majority of my life in the Pacific Northwest, but have also lived in Ohio, Idaho, Utah, and Washington, DC.

I've always asked questions, as long as I can remember, about the gospel and the church (and other things, too haha). I still do and there are still plenty of things I don't understand, but I love to learn.

Most recently, my eldest (17) son read the CES letter and has decided to to leave the church. We've had a couple discussions about his beliefs/opinions/etc. I've found that, even though I've dealt with many of the concerns he now has, I don't have ready responses because I just haven't thought in depth about many of these things much in recent years.

I found this board and have really enjoyed reading and learning as well as seeing different perspectives on many issues. I'm also grateful for the many books and resources I've been led to because of posts here.

I love my son and want every good thing for him. While I saw all this coming, it has still shaken me and, to some degree, my faith. I'm here to discuss, to gain more knowledge through resources I didn't know about, and to vent as needed.

So, there it is. I'm officially here now ;)

Welcome!  I've been living in the Pacific NW (Olympia!) for about half my life, although soon I will be moving to England!

Sorry to hear about your son's issues -- the thing about that CES letter is that it contains nothing new.  It's just a summation of every single anti-Mormon rant that has been raised over the past 150 years.  And there are answers to every single one of them, and there have been from the beginning.  I read through the darned thing and a didn't find a single original problem that I haven't heard before.  What seems to be happening with this document is that there are some members of the Church who are using it as a stick to beat the Church with as they make their long longed-for exit.  I don't think most of them care that there are decent answers to every problem the letter raises.  Your son may be different, however.  There's bound to be some who read the CES Letter, having never heard of any of the problems it presents, and it devastates them.  

The question is, are they actually willing to consider that the CES Letter is nothing more nor less than a distorted caricature of the Church, or in other words, a cartoon image of the Church cobbled together to make things look as bad as possible, using carefully twisted words to lead as many people astray as possible.  

I suggest you have a look at Michael Ash's response to the letter: http://blog.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Bamboozled-by-the-CES-Letter-Final1.pdf

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Welcome ladyshanae!  Glad you signed on, I was a lurker until the board prompted me to register after so many views.  It would only allow so many views, I wonder if they still do that.  

I'm sorry your son is going through that, it's a terrible thing to have a belief that you've had your whole life be blown out of the water.  I went through it after learning of Joseph Smith's polygamy, but that wasn't the end to my pain, as I read one after another things I'd never known before.  

The church is doing all they can to get the information out there now.  I credit this board for helping me stay in the church, now I sit on the fence, or am a middlewayer.  I can't seem to jump down on either side, Mormonism is in my blood.  

Best of luck to you, and hope you stick around! :)

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16 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Sorry to hear about your son's issues -- the thing about that CES letter is that it contains nothing new.  It's just a summation of every single anti-Mormon rant that has been raised over the past 150 years.  And there are answers to every single one of them, and there have been from the beginning.

___________________

Your son may be different, however.  There's bound to be some who read the CES Letter, having never heard of any of the problems it presents, and it devastates them.  

Thanks for your welcome and your thoughts! Olympia is beautiful, but England sounds like an exciting adventure!

There was little that even made me tilt my head in the CES Letter for me, but apparently that was not the case for my son. I spent some time feeling like I'd failed teaching him, but the Spirit immediately calms me every time my mind wanders that way. He's now pretty embedded in the Ex-Mo Reddit community, so I don't know that there's much I can say/do while he's engrossed in so much negativity. I'm just loving him and trying to get him to high school graduation next month!

I think I've read the Bamboozled article, but I'll look at it and confirm. I don't know that I can refer my son to it, though, since he insists FairMormon is a useless resource (thanks to the Reddit community and, I'm sure, Jeremy's presence there). Parenting is fun LOL

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15 minutes ago, ladyshanae said:

Thanks for your welcome and your thoughts! Olympia is beautiful, but England sounds like an exciting adventure!

There was little that even made me tilt my head in the CES Letter for me, but apparently that was not the case for my son. I spent some time feeling like I'd failed teaching him, but the Spirit immediately calms me every time my mind wanders that way. He's now pretty embedded in the Ex-Mo Reddit community, so I don't know that there's much I can say/do while he's engrossed in so much negativity. I'm just loving him and trying to get him to high school graduation next month!

I think I've read the Bamboozled article, but I'll look at it and confirm. I don't know that I can refer my son to it, though, since he insists FairMormon is a useless resource (thanks to the Reddit community and, I'm sure, Jeremy's presence there). Parenting is fun LOL

He's lucky he has a mom that is aware enough not to get too out of wack!!  In my TBM days, it would have hit me hard, but that was taken care of when nearly all my children became inactive.  All for various reasons but not even having to do with anything in church history.  I'm the only brat on that one.  But I think my faith crisis helped me deal with their inactivity, if I hadn't had it, I would have about lost it!  

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35 minutes ago, ladyshanae said:

Thanks for your welcome and your thoughts! Olympia is beautiful, but England sounds like an exciting adventure!

There was little that even made me tilt my head in the CES Letter for me, but apparently that was not the case for my son. I spent some time feeling like I'd failed teaching him, but the Spirit immediately calms me every time my mind wanders that way. He's now pretty embedded in the Ex-Mo Reddit community, so I don't know that there's much I can say/do while he's engrossed in so much negativity. I'm just loving him and trying to get him to high school graduation next month!

I think I've read the Bamboozled article, but I'll look at it and confirm. I don't know that I can refer my son to it, though, since he insists FairMormon is a useless resource (thanks to the Reddit community and, I'm sure, Jeremy's presence there). Parenting is fun LOL

Of all the places to end the Ex Mormon subreddit has to be the worst. I have family who hang out there as well and as a result are completely shut off from the exercise of faith. I think if I were a priesthood leader, my number one goal would be to keep people away from there. 

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24 minutes ago, Mystery Meat said:

Of all the places to end the Ex Mormon subreddit has to be the worst. I have family who hang out there as well and as a result are completely shut off from the exercise of faith. I think if I were a priesthood leader, my number one goal would be to keep people away from there. 

But why is it that the subreddit surfaced?  I agree there isn't a lot of faith on there, too many are burned.  That there lies the problem, speaking of lies...they honestly believe they were lied to, and wonder why it's them that are in trouble for it, and not the ones that lied.

Lying has been said to also mean, not telling it like it is or withholding information.  So why aren't the leaders that did this getting kicked in the shins, instead it's the ones that were hurt by the lie who are getting the brunt of it.  

Let them get it out, the only way they know how to.  Maybe it's healthy for them, how would it be if they lived in a world where they had to stay in the closet, or hide their feelings, it would be a sick world, with all kinds of mental illness, that's what it would be.  

Too bad some of them are afraid to come to a place like this. :(  Or not afraid, just not welcomed.

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think it's good that anger and immaturity aren't welcome here.  I don't want to listen to people who are mentally and emotionally stuck in the 7th grade.  I live with a 14 year old and that's enough for me.

But anyone who can be civil and follow the board rules is welcome regardless of what they believe about the LDS church, and I love that.  It's why i post here-to interact with all the different belief systems.

Yes, that they act civil is good too.  So maybe that's why both are necessary, I wish they knew that they could come here and act like grown ups.  And go on the subreddit and let it all out and scream like babies.  We all need a place for that maybe, just once in awhile?

I don't participate on that board, but have wandered over there, and do see stuff that puts me off, even me.  But I do see that there are some hurt people, and read recently the thread about the lies and why it's them or me that has to suffer after being lied to.  That hit close to home.  But this forum keeps me sane too.  

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24 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

But why is it that the subreddit surfaced?  I agree there isn't a lot of faith on there, too many are burned.  That there lies the problem, speaking of lies...they honestly believe they were lied to, and wonder why it's them that are in trouble for it, and not the ones that lied.

Lying has been said to also mean, not telling it like it is or withholding information.  So why aren't the leaders that did this getting kicked in the shins, instead it's the ones that were hurt by the lie who are getting the brunt of it.  

Let them get it out, the only way they know how to.  Maybe it's healthy for them, how would it be if they lived in a world where they had to stay in the closet, or hide their feelings, it would be a sick world, with all kinds of mental illness, that's what it would be.  

Too bad some of them are afraid to come to a place like this. :(  Or not afraid, just not welcomed.

There is nothing healthy about the Ex-Mo Subreddit. Those people have deep issues and are not mentally balanced. I know, as I have interacted with them in real life. They can blame the Church all they want for their anger, but none of it is justified. They ultimately choose how they will respond, and thus far, they have responded poorly.

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1 minute ago, Mystery Meat said:

There is nothing healthy about the Ex-Mo Subreddit. Those people have deep issues and are not mentally balanced. I know, as I have interacted with them in real life. They can blame the Church all they want for their anger, but none of it is justified. They ultimately choose how they will respond, and thus far, they have responded poorly.

Where do they get their anger out?  On their loved ones?  Church leaders?  I see that they need a balance.  The church is not all false and it's not all true.  They need to see that.  It's not entirely bad and it's not entirely good.  

I hope they get there eventually, and see that it's most likely to leave their systems, hopefully before it gets so bad they can't stay in the boat as far as feeling they can live among their TBM family or friends.  

I hope they can get solace from their real friends/family.  But to some, that connection is lost, because their friends and family put the church above them, because the church to their family/friends is God.  And as we all know, God comes before family.  

Mystery Meat, I'm sorry you're dealing with this, I can see why you feel the Ex-Mo Subreddit is the enemy, since it seems to have come between you and your relationships, I'm guessing.  Now can you see how they're angry, because the church has come between their relationship with you possibly?  See how that works?   

 

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I understand that they feel lied to and deceived and all of that, but negativity and anger seems to just breed more negativity and anger. I understand the desire to let it out and have people validate your feelings. But too many people let it take over any good that came from their Mormon experience. And there is plenty of good. I have my shelf of things I don't understand or that frustrate me (that's putting it lightly), but I think my shelf is supported heavily by the 9th Article of Faith.

I stop in at the Reddit forum so I can be aware of what my son is being exposed to and what he currently seems to be embracing as his truth and I always come away feeling sad, frustrated, and sometimes angry myself. We all have or our own unique experiences with the church, but I seriously ask myself "what church were these people raised in?" because it is so very different from my experiences. That's not to say mine have been perfect.....but my attitude about it all might just be different. I don't know.

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2 hours ago, ladyshanae said:

I understand that they feel lied to and deceived and all of that, but negativity and anger seems to just breed more negativity and anger. I understand the desire to let it out and have people validate your feelings. But too many people let it take over any good that came from their Mormon experience. And there is plenty of good. I have my shelf of things I don't understand or that frustrate me (that's putting it lightly), but I think my shelf is supported heavily by the 9th Article of Faith.

I stop in at the Reddit forum so I can be aware of what my son is being exposed to and what he currently seems to be embracing as his truth and I always come away feeling sad, frustrated, and sometimes angry myself. We all have or our own unique experiences with the church, but I seriously ask myself "what church were these people raised in?" because it is so very different from my experiences. That's not to say mine have been perfect.....but my attitude about it all might just be different. I don't know.

Yes, it definitely feeds the negative, and can make one almost believe their lives were ruined too.  That's why places like this are good. I don't know if you've seen the posters, Calm, ERayR, or Garden Girl and many more.  They put me in my place a few times in the beginning of posting here, and had to parent me through steps to staying in the boat for the mean time.  I was the baby or teenager Blue Bell speaks of.  I've been banned on here, and the board let me back on after a few weeks to let me cool off, in my mind.  They had a heart.  Now if I said pro-LDS stuff on Ex-Mo Subreddit over and over, I wonder how long I'd last.  That's another good thing about this board.  

Do you think your son would come on this board? It might do him some good to read alternative things, or other ways to view the CES Letter without jumping on the bandwagon of hating on the church.  Deep down, hopefully he'll remember the good things in his church life.  And the other voices won't drown those out. I'm not saying he doesn't have his reasons, but think that we can live in this church while dealing with not so great, testimonies of the church, if it's a good fit.  If not, then maybe he can move on without moving on and letting go of his close family and friends.  That's my big worry for ex LDS or disillusioned LDS on the fringe. 

 

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Where do they get their anger out?  On their loved ones?  Church leaders?  I see that they need a balance.  The church is not all false and it's not all true.  They need to see that.  It's not entirely bad and it's not entirely good.  

Expressing feelings is healthy. So a loved one can say to another or a church leader, I feel lied to. What happens on that board is more than expressing anger. It is vitriol and vile and loathsome. It is not healthy.

I hope they get there eventually, and see that it's most likely to leave their systems, hopefully before it gets so bad they can't stay in the boat as far as feeling they can live among their TBM family or friends.  

I hope they can get solace from their real friends/family.  But to some, that connection is lost, because their friends and family put the church above them, because the church to their family/friends is God.  And as we all know, God comes before family.  

Mystery Meat, I'm sorry you're dealing with this, I can see why you feel the Ex-Mo Subreddit is the enemy, since it seems to have come between you and your relationships, I'm guessing.  Now can you see how they're angry, because the church has come between their relationship with you possibly?  See how that works?   

I am not dealing with it as I don't let it affect my personal relationships. I am sorry that members of my family have to deal with it as it is destroying them personally (the anger and the hate). The Church has not come between us. My family members who have left know I care about them regardless and they are just as valued as they were before. To the extent they felt like it did, they realized it was their anger and bitterness that was getting in the way (and that it still does from time to time). See how that works?

 

 

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I mentioned the board to him the other day when he was talking about different places he'd been to (all seemed to be fairly negative spaces), but he might be willing to check some things out here. I don't know. He asked me if I thought he'd end up being anti-Mormon and I told him he could very easily end up there if he kept visiting websites that were so negative towards the church. I did also say I could see him as simply becoming ambivalent or even coming back, but that it was up to him in the end.

We've had a rough few years as a family and I think that's created a desire for him to turn his back on everything and run away/escape. He has three siblings now after 10 1/2 years of being an only child (secondary infertility is awesome...) and I think that threw him for a loop among other changes - moving multiple times, job changes for dad, living with my parents (uuugggghhhh that was hard for all of us lol), new schools, etc etc. He hasn't coped well and the last 6 months especially have been incredibly difficult in our family relationship because of not so great choices he's made.

I don't really know what my point was in all of that, but I'm just praying he'll soften his heart a bit so the Spirit might be able to sneak in there. We'll see how things go from here.

Thanks for "listening!" :)

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1 hour ago, ladyshanae said:

I mentioned the board to him the other day when he was talking about different places he'd been to (all seemed to be fairly negative spaces), but he might be willing to check some things out here. I don't know. He asked me if I thought he'd end up being anti-Mormon and I told him he could very easily end up there if he kept visiting websites that were so negative towards the church. I did also say I could see him as simply becoming ambivalent or even coming back, but that it was up to him in the end.

We've had a rough few years as a family and I think that's created a desire for him to turn his back on everything and run away/escape. He has three siblings now after 10 1/2 years of being an only child (secondary infertility is awesome...) and I think that threw him for a loop among other changes - moving multiple times, job changes for dad, living with my parents (uuugggghhhh that was hard for all of us lol), new schools, etc etc. He hasn't coped well and the last 6 months especially have been incredibly difficult in our family relationship because of not so great choices he's made.

I don't really know what my point was in all of that, but I'm just praying he'll soften his heart a bit so the Spirit might be able to sneak in there. We'll see how things go from here.

Thanks for "listening!" :)

Hello lady...

I'm glad you have found this board... and know you'll get to know numerous posters that will become trusted sources of encouragement through their postings in the various topics... I know I have my favorites that I always look for...

Without telling my full story (as I've done so several times), just know that I spent 34 years of being inactive... not because of any Church related issues but because of choices I made personally... all through the years of inactivity, the Spirit would tug at me until finally I did return... became a raging TBM :o:), and have never looked back.  I did, however, have to start almost at square one as I found my way back...  So I do encourage you to seek the Spirit, keep a prayer in your heart, and be of good hope and faith... your son is at such a difficult age in this world today...  

All good wishes from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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4 hours ago, ladyshanae said:

Thanks for your welcome and your thoughts! Olympia is beautiful, but England sounds like an exciting adventure!

There was little that even made me tilt my head in the CES Letter for me, but apparently that was not the case for my son. I spent some time feeling like I'd failed teaching him, but the Spirit immediately calms me every time my mind wanders that way. He's now pretty embedded in the Ex-Mo Reddit community, so I don't know that there's much I can say/do while he's engrossed in so much negativity. I'm just loving him and trying to get him to high school graduation next month!

I think I've read the Bamboozled article, but I'll look at it and confirm. I don't know that I can refer my son to it, though, since he insists FairMormon is a useless resource (thanks to the Reddit community and, I'm sure, Jeremy's presence there). Parenting is fun LOL

Of course FairMormon is a useless resource under the circumstance, since the only valid source of information is information biased against the Church.  That should go without saying, though I'm sure they do say it.

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My son who did not serve a mission...who is now 39 went through the same thing. I am sure it is not uncommon for young men (especially) to have fears and questions when time for mission grows closer. For some it comes from the fear that maybe they feel they do not have a strong enough testimony, while others just don't want to go on a mission. My son felt this away about both, and even moved away from home because he did not want to talk about it anymore. But, he was 18 years old, so there was nothing I could do. He floundered, lost his way for a few years which was heartbreaking for his Mother and I. One day he was at the house and we were talking about these troubles...I hugged him as tight as I could and said; I cannot go where you are going, but I will be here when you want to come home. That broke a very cold winter and we talked more and more until he came home.

He went on to finish college, graduated with honors, married in the Temple, and earns six figures working from home most of the time. The father of two of my most precious granddaughters. In short, the choices young people make in their youth does not mean that it will haunt them forever. God bless you sister.

Bill (Papa) Lee

Atlanta, GA

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