I was flying back from Utah having just attended my sister wedding... from the side walk (see: Off White wedding) It was unfortunate timing that only a month early I had learned the truth about Joseph Smith and now I'm back in Utah. With my sister wedding I was in no position to break the news. I was surrounded by Mormons for a whole week smiling and thanking Joseph Smith for protecting them from the world. My tongue almost fell off from biting it. I boarded a plane thrilled to leave Utah and once again join reality. The ride out I sat next to an older Ex-Mormon with tattoos and a real "go get um kid" attitude toward leaving. I was hoping for a similar bonding experience on my way back.
"Maybe I will sit by an older Ex-Mormon woman", I thought, "who has actually had sex. Or better yet an Ex-Mormon man my age with blue eyes and a newly discovered sex drive. yumm..."
As I was fantasizing about my my Poisoned Peter Priesthood I noticed a pail slender man with the biggest smile shuffling down the isle. He was happily chatting with strangers and even helped an older woman with her bag.
"Oh God a Mormon!" I thought. "Please don't sit by me."
He was checking his ticket and looking right at me. His hair parted down the side his face perfectly shaved. This man had elders corm president written all over him.
"Looks like this is my stop", he laughed and sat right next to me.
Frantically I began digging in my purse, but before I could secure my ear buds I was bombarded with a load of questions.
"Hi I'm Tim. How are you today? Where are you headed? I like your shirt, where did you find it? Have you been to Utah before? Have you ever heard of-"
"The Book of Mormon. Yes. My sister is a Mormon. That's why I had to fly out here so I could NOT attend the wedding." I laughed. clearly my tactic of pretending I was not a Mormon was only inspiring more questions.
"Has she ever told you about what Mormons believe? I'm sealed to my wife. It's wonderful. Have you ever attend a ward meeting? Sorry, ward is just another name for church congregation."
Alright I was not doing another two hours of this. I'll just come clean and watch the fireworks.
"Yeah I know what a 'ward' is. I actually graduated from Brigham Young University but I'm not Mormon anymore." I said with just as big a smile.
Like a pro Tim change his tactic. But instead of defensive religious prodding he flanked me with a "Oh that's interesting. We all have bumps along the way."
Now I was getting defensive "Bumps? No no. I'm just not a Mormon. I'm just a normal person now." Before you know it I was were wrapped in a deep conversation about everything Mormon. And I was actually enjoying it. I had never been able to talk with someone about the church and have fear no repercussions. I was honest about my opinions.
Tim had an agenda. However, it was not to prove the church was true. He just wanted me to think about why I was leaving. He made some good point that at the time I had not considered. I confessed to him that leaving was hard and there were many aspects of the church I missed.
"Well why don't you make a list. Pros staying in the church and Pros of leaving." I Laughed at him, made some joke about him trying convert me. I took his pen and wrote.
As I wrote I got nervous. I could think of many reasons to stay Mormon. The stress of figure everything out was over whelming.
Then I moved to Pros of Leaving and I wrote "I get to be myself". I stopped. How can you top that. Of course there was other benefits but by caparison nothing beats being genuine and honest to who you are.
I'm grateful I met Tim. He was respectful of my choice and even helped me confirm it.You can not blame Mormons for trying to bring you back into the fold. Some people actually find happiness in the church. It's hard for me to believe but I guess they feel they are being there most genuine self...and I respect that.