I know it sounds silly, but for me I really wanted to make sure it was something I wanted to do. But as I thought about it, I realized that nothing felt more right.
That's wise. It's a big step. Given the level of trust most Mormons have in the Church, one needs to make sure they have real commitment, strong determination, before telling the Church where to put their only-true-churchism.
At the same time, I'm angry and disappointed. I've wasted about 22 years (counting just from the time I was first baptized) with this crap, and those are years I'll never get back. I spent so much time, focus, and energy on something that only hurt me in the end.
I doubt you'll find an ex-mormon who does not share this sense of anger. I think I handle it by telling myself, everything is a learning experience. I have been cheated, physically attacked, robbed, etc. I can't undo any of that. I can't undo my Mormon years. So best to just accept it as something that happened, and I am a better person now despite those unfortunate happenstances. The sense of wasted time - it still comes to mind from time to time. I get angry from time to time. It's not perfect - I've only partly - mostly - gotten over it. There is this little thing nagging me in the back of my head. But it's past, I can't go back to the beginning, but neither does it have a hold on me any longer. Like a drug addict that breaks the addiction. "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." So I won't dwell on past mistakes, just make sure not to repeat them.
I am very happy to donate to several real charities now, have given more as an exmormon than I gave the Church as a Mormon. The fact that I wasted a few dollars on them has no effect on my here and now.
I never understood how people, even kids, could live with themselves after standing up in front of their family, friends, fellow church members, and God and flat out lie.
That's rough. Sounds like Utah.
All of it was because my siblings and I weren't the kind of Mormon members she thought we should be. She thought we were "hurting" her image she had worked hard to create. This kind of behavior I've found is normal among Mormons. And the thing that angers me the most, is the ones who are the most abusive, hateful and good at lying are the ones who are accepted the most in the Church. Granted....
Arggh! That - what is the word? - hypocrisy? - arrogance? - is very disturbing. It's hard to deal with. In front of non-Mormons and ex-Mormons that they don't know used to be Mormons, Mormons can seem more humble and open-minded. But we know what goes on behind the scenes so to speak, don't we?
I wanted to ask, has anyone else gone through something similar to this? Is it normal to still feel slightly afraid, even when you feel very strongly that it's right?
Egads! I discovered the Tanners in the 1970s, before the internet, before helpful exmormon support groups. Late at night, I read their books. "Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?" - I read that, late at night. I could only bear one short chapter at a time. There was so much
information in that! I could hardly stand it. I would read, my heartbeat increased, my face got hot, I was - what? - angry? scared? shocked? depressed to the pits? All of that. I was so shocked by what I read, I set it aside after only a couple of pages. I was scared - because I "knew" the Church was "true" - so then, how could the Church be true if all this was true, too? And I knew it was all true! Sad, because all the Mormons I knew - they didn't know this. Angry that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did these things, and that I didn't know about, that no one told me about it, that Smith and Young and current leaders hid
it from me.
My uneasiness - that's a better word for what I was feeling, than 'afraid' - lasted - well, a long time, let me tell you. Caught between confidence in the Church's truthfulness and a growing confidence that the Church was Smith's confidence game.
I was embarrassed to meet with Mormon leaders - bishops and whatnot - for a few years after that. I still felt they were better than me. Because they were Mormons, they believed, they were confident, they did not apostatize as I had, and they looked down on me, so obviously I deserved to be looked down on. I didn't, but I thought I did.
Finally, because I studied Mormonism more out of the Church than I had when I was in the Church - and that was a lot - seminary, missionary meetings, BYU religious courses, etc. - I was able to confront missionaries face-to-face and come out the victor. Their claims fell in the face of facts and reason. That's why they said it's all about faith, you need faith, because really, that's all they have - faithful imaginations - no evidence, no logical argument from beginning to end, and no absence of self-contradiction in almost everything they believe. But it takes some effort to pick those out and explain them in a way that a Mormon can understand.
When i could explain Mormonism better than the missionaries, and how the Book of Mormon refutes
Mormonism, and could point out a few historical inaccuracies (lies) in Mormon Church history, I lost any lingering fear. I had no doubts (about Mormonism). It truly is amazing how little I care about the Mormon Church, given how much I did care while a member. I care about people of course. Mormons and ex-Mormons both. But what the Church does politically, what the leaders say publicly, what claims members make at work or school, it's like water off a curelom to me. No effect. Unimportant. Balderdash.