Thursday, December 12, 2013

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I have begun slowly broken to siblings that I may not be riding the Mormon spaceship to the celestial kingdom to great our leader Eloham.  I have had to tailor my approach carefully with each of my siblings. It’s important to consider how they will react and act accordingly.  Jacky, of course, was excited for me to jump onto the heathen Death star.  Next I would tell my brother Danny.  Danny was AP on his mission and has always been a good example. I look up to him. One time I remember sitting next to Danny in church as the sacrament went by. 

Snack time!” I thought.  But Danny did not take any bread.  

“Danny.” I said “What the heck? Why didn’t you take the bread?”

Danny obviously looked uncomfortable. “SHHHHH” he said

"It’s free bread!  It was sitting right there in front of you.” I laughed. 

“I can’t.” He said

I sat for a second confused, “Why not? You just pick it up and eat it.  You on the Atkins diet?”
I laughed at his silly pass on free food.  It wasn’t until later that I learned about ‘Godly Sorrow.’  Danny, I guess, had done something bad and had been forbidden to take sacrament.  He had probably masturbated or seen a picture of a woman in her underwear. Now, looking back, I feel bad that I had mocked him. I’m sure he had felt bad enough. It’s sick that the church asks people to publically acknowledge when they have sinned.

When I told Danny I had no desire to marry in the temple he took it personally. “Why? Don’t you want to raise your family Mormon?” he asked. I replied that I would raise my family with similar ethical goals like honesty and charity but that I would raise them outside the bounds of Mormonism. That did not seem to be good enough for him and he continued his interrogation, “Don’t you like the way Mom and Dad raised us?  Don’t you like being Mormon?”  I awkwardly navigated this question by simply explaining how I liked the church but I did not feel it fit me.  He was bemused but at least he knew.

My brother Jacob is a bit of a sad story.  I like to think the church is good for him but as a 31 year old who has never kissed a girl it is hard to see the light.  Jacob refuses to date outside the church tho his personality and humor are seen as “edgy”.  He really wants to be married but has realized that it will never happen for him. Sure! Makes complete sense for a attractive 30 year old man to give up on finding love.  I have done everything I could to try and save him from his celibate life.  I have asked him questions about the Book of Abraham and Joseph’s wives. But instead of answering me he just tells me I should not leave or I will be punished to Outer Darkness.(See: Sleeping with the enemy)   I never actually plan to tell Jacob I’m leaving but I did drink a big old beer in front of him.  He may not have figured out the picture from BOA, but the beer I drank painted a pretty clear picture for myself.

What about my darling little sister. The one who recently got married while I counted cracks in the sidewalk waiting outside the temple. (see: Off White Wedding)  After her wedding she came home to visit the family. Although she loves her husband, she was missing the freedom that comes with being 20 and single.  The first night she was home I felt sick.  We have always been close. We play guitar together and watch Youtube and swap kissing stories. She did not know I was leaving. I remembered how painful it was for me when Jacky left.  Stephie has always looked up to me and I felt I would disappoint her.  I had to tell her.  I needed to know that she still thought I was a good example.  I came into her room and before I spoke was in tears.  We talked openly.  She told me she still loved me and that I was and always would be a good example.  Then she shared this song with me, a song I have listened to at least 100 times now.  

The Christians and the Pagans


  1. One of the most interesting dynamics to watch is how people inside the church react to those that leave. I have friends who couldn't care less and others who now look at me with distrust and talk behind my back about how sorry they feel for me but yet will never directly approach the subject. Many just default to what's been taught to them that someone who leaves is deceived. While sometimes frustrating it is an interested view into religious psychology and then learning to navigate the different mentalities in order to maintain the relationships positively.

    In the church we learn to see everyone exactly the same, children of God in a gender role following the same path on the iron rod. It's so great to get out and see people in all their complexities and similarities. To realize we don't have to love everyone because there are people out there that we are just not going to get along with. Being family doesn't mean we were assigned by God to live life together it means we share the same genetic make up and we can't expect each other to follow the same path.

    Good luck, your journey has been fun to read. Life is a too beautiful of an adventure to have it pre-planned and dictated by others who it turns out we might not even like.

  2. I feel bad for your brother. My parents are visiting me for the holidays and I didn't bother to hide my booze. I don't want to rub it in their faces that I'm not Mormon anymore, but I don't want to pretend like I'm not not Mormon, either.

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