Welcome to My Continuing Online Journey!

Perhaps you've read my book by now, or maybe you've only heard of it and were curious about me, or maybe you're even just surfing the web and happened on one of my posts, but please take your time and wander around. I've got enough to say, I'll be posting for some years yet! Lots of resources, personal entries, and discussion to be had; please contribute (respectfully) to it without fear of being lambasted. (Read: all comments will be moderated for relevance and basic appropriateness.) Finally, if you are here because you have heard my story or one like it and are willing to lend your support to us indoctrinated folk entering the real world, Thank You. With love, Regina

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Telling it Like it is

A friend shared this quote on facebook this morning, though without an attribution. It's too good and too spot-on to not share, so if anyone knows who said it or where it came from, please let me know! I did a search and couldn't figure out where it came from.

Enjoy! 'Gina

"One of the problems with Mormonism is that it doesn't just guide you through life. It wraps it's tentacles around your very definition of self. The church tells you how to live, who to be, where to donate your time and talents, it defines your morals for you, tells you what you want in a spouse, where you want to marry, what underwear to choose, how to live nearly every aspect of your life. Your ideal life is directed for you, instead of coming from someplace inside of you.

I read in a book recently, a letter from a woman to her boyfriend, apologizing for her obsessive, manipulative behavior saying "I was taught growing up that I was nothing without a man - without a husband and children. The man I married would define my life." She went on to break up with her boyfriend, saying she wouldn't be good with him til she found out who she was. How true was this for so many who pass through Mormonism? You are defined by who you marry, especially if you are a woman. Your choices and accomplishments are applauded if they are for the glory of Mormonism but dismissed or derided if they are not - no matter how much those decisions reflect the real you. I "belong" to the church of Jesus Christ ... It becomes your identity. They OWN you.

When that much of you is invested in any one thing, career, accomplishments, looks, religion, losing it shakes the very foundation of your soul. Who ARE you, if not LDS? What do YOU want? How do you know when you have never had to figure that out for yourself, except on the most shallow level? When there is no one to tell you how to be and who you are, how do you even begin to figure that out? To some extent, it's a relief. But it's also a very real loss. For Mormons to think we'd throw away so much of ourselves because we are offended is outrageous. It's a huge sacrifice we go through because our honor and integrity mean more to us than anything.

That loss of identity is also why Mormons find us so threatening. Our disbelief strikes at the very core of who they are and how they define themselves. Some people aren't ready to face the fact - not that the church isn't true but that they themselves aren't true. Devastating as it's been in many aspects, I'd rather face a complete rebuild than live a lie. But that's just me. Other people can't bear the thought.

It's ironic one of Mormons favorite Primary songs is "The wise man built his house upon a rock - the foolish man built his house upon the sand." Instead of knocking down their house and rebuilding on a rock, they shore up their shifting sands beach home, endlessly, with whatever junk they find."

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Week, New Reviews...and a Troll.

Good morning...and thanks! The reviews on amazon for I'm (No Longer) a Mormon are rolling in; 27 all told now! Believe it or not, 23 are five star, so to those who have reviewed the book and been so kind, a big heartfelt THANK YOU is coming your way! There's one in particular I'd like to draw your attention to, however...and it's the 2-star review.

I confess myself delighted to have picked up a troll (who, by the way, apparently did not buy the book). Check it out:

2 out of 5 stars "It would be smart for readers to get a balanced view - talk to others who've had positive experiences in the Mormon church." August 22, 2013
By Woodseal This review is from: I'm (No Longer) a Mormon: A Confessional (Paperback)
I have been a very happy member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which means modern followers of Christ),(The Mormon Church) for 61 years. I am grateful for the strength it has given me to go through life with faith and happiness. I feel very close to God,and love Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I have never been abused or demeaned as a woman. On the contrary, I have found that women in the Church have a chance to become the very best leaders and contributors to their communities and the world around them, that they can possibly be. Opportunities to help others within the church and community give us many chances to learn and grow, and post-high school education is highly encouraged.

I have never felt limited in any way. The commandments of God rather keep me from problems I would have caused myself and others if I had ignored those commandments. They free me to make the choices I want to make, without addictions or baggage.

The Church is the same throughout the world, but groups of people can have very different attitudes and dynamics. I fear that is what may have affected the author of this book. She may have been living within a ward or area where the people did not understand and try to fully live the gospel and values taught by Jesus Christ. I have lived and regularly attended church in Wales, England, Minnesota, Utah, and Hawaii, and many places in Maine. I have found joyful, happy, growing individuals and families everywhere I've been. No group of human beings can be perfect. No Mormon is perfect. No matter where you go or what religion, or social group, or even company or neighborhood you may be part of, there will be individuals who wrong others intentionally or unintentionally. But as a way of life, a faith, the "Mormon church" is full of hope, peace, security, comfort, growth and joy. I am very grateful for the blessing of being a "Mormon." (Mormon was a prophet of God many centuries ago on the Western Hemisphere, who prophesied of Christ, and preserved and abridged the record of his people, known now as the Book of Mormon. Mormons who are living their religion try their best to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ taught in the Holy Bible, and in the Book of Mormon, and respect all other people of any faith, agnostic, or atheist.)

..........................Is it just me, or did this lady not even read the book? And for that matter, is this a review, or a proselyting attempt? Either way, I'm thrilled. I've officially ticked off a member enough by writing a former-member confessional that she felt a need to "balance" my unread account with a missionary edict.

Now if only I could get the Strengthening the Membership Committee up in arms, I'd be set!

Have a wonderful week! I sure will! Much love, Regina

PS: If anyone would like to respond to Ms. Woodseal, I'm sure she'd be elated. (wink, wink)
PPS: If anyone would like to review the book on amazon - you know, anyone who has actually READ it - I'd be elated, no matter how you rate it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

10 Reasons to Protect Your Children from Mormonism

A woman from our ward sent an email the other day "because she was concerned about my kids." She actually said, and I quote, "I hope you're still teaching them that the gospel is true, even though you may not believe it anymore." 

................. Well, of COURSE I am, lady! I mean, why would I teach them to think for themselves, to reason logically, and to test out the efficacy of Joseph/Brigham/Thomas's claims when I could just teach them to believe? I mean, I clearly don't believe it, but that doesn't make it untrue! 

So after noting the above on facebook, I then wrote the following: "Gee whiz. What the heck do you say to that?"

The replies were hysterical, mostly stating that I should've told her to kiss off, but one gent sent a fabulous link that I HAD to share. This is from the blog of one Chris Tolworthy, who himself notes at the top that most of his blog entries were back during his "angry" phase of disaffection, but it makes this particular entry no less awesome.

Check it out HERE, and for heaven's sake, protect your kids from Mormonism!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

If You're a Reader and Not a Writer...

I have a friend over at New Order Mormon that happens to be a moderator named Dathon. He's a heckuva guy with a masters who may be one of the best-read people I know, particularly in the areas of the psychology of belief and human error.

When you've got a friend like that, you just HAVE to know what he's reading...so I asked for his short list.

Dathon's short list is most people's "covered 'til I'm dead" list...but it is so utterly, incredibly worthwhile, I absolutely had to share. If you need some good books about why you think the way you do, and how to handle the way you think...you're welcome. (But please give Dathon the credit.)

And so, without further ado...Dathon's short list.

Human Error, by James T. Reason Text on industrial accidents. Worth borrowing from a library.

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph Hallinan. A good introduction to error / decision making. A lay person's guide to why people are prone to doing dumb things.

Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking, by Thomas Kida. I heard the author interviews on the "Point of Inquiry" podcast during a difficult interval of my own faith crisis. The book is accessible and well written, imo.

How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich. An excellent introduction to cognitive biases and other common pitfalls that short circuit critical thinking. This was one of the first books on the subject that I encountered, so it's one of my favorites.

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. A good introduction for those not familiar with decision making, biases and error. I particularly liked the chapter on the influence of emotion. This is not a strong or technical book and has some flaws.

Behind Human Error [Paperback] David D. Woods (Author), Sidney Dekker (Author), Richard Cook (Author), Leila Johannesen (Author), Nadine Sarter (Author) I haven't read this one yet. It's on my list. I'll probably get the kindle edition next month. This is likely way too technical for most readers.

Reason & Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion This textbook is in its 5th edition. I bought a 2nd edition at a used bookstore and found it helpful in re-framing how I think and feel about religion in general.

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

The Logic of Failure: why things go wrong and what we can do to make them right. by Detrich Dorner

Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds, by Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini (translated by the author & Keith Botsford)

The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers by Daniel L. Schacter

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce... by Michael Shermer

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert Burton

The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

Memory, Brain, and Belief (Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative) by Daniel L. Schacter and Elaine Scarry

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz Check out Kathryn Schulz's TED Talk on Being Wrong also.

Currently reading / listening to: You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself by David McRaney


Make no mistake, my amazon "Wish List" just exploded. (Probably better that I don't see Dathon's, however; he said it has a tendency to make people gasp.) All you readers, enjoy, and I look forward to sharing as I make my (slow) way through! THANKS AGAIN, DATHON!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Who Needs to Write?

I was directed to this UBER-FAB blog entry today, and I cannot possibly add anything more to it, so I leave it with you to follow the link and let your jaw hit the floor! Enjoy!

CLICK ME for the LDS Ruin of Civilization! (Seriously, great quotes!)

Another Terrifying Tale...and a Review!

I received a note from reader Chris today, who posted the following review on amazon and gave me permission to share it here on the blog. I always cringe at what the church's treatment of women does to the male psyche, and Chris's story illustrates it beautifully. .......... YIKES. So here we go!

"I purchased this book on Thursday afternoon and finished it Friday morning. It was like sitting down with a friend and hearing her story and being reminded about the Mormon faith at the same time. The author's insight and presentation of the doctrines and unspoken beliefs of Mormons are right on. I know that because I was a Mormon for 35 years, having done my time as a missionary, then marrying in the temple, teaching gospel doctrine classes, and performing priesthood ordinances. The book covers just about everything I can remember and would write if I had written one on this subject.

The author spends some time going over the sickness men perpetrate toward women in and out of the Mormon faith. I have a personal account to share, the most extreme one I have ever experienced, but not the only sick one.

I remember I was assigned as a home teacher to some young women when I attended a singles ward, a congregation made up entirely of 20 somethings looking for mates. My companion, since males were always paired with another male when assigned visiting duties, was a guy who liked to wear white shoes. To make a really long story short, he was apprehended the night before we were to visit our first assignment, a young blonde who lived with her parents... Apprehended, arrested, and convicted for being the notorious St. Peter Rapist. He received a life sentence for sodomizing his young female victims before he cut crosses in their backs and took their hair as an offering to Jesus.

I could go on for thousands of words about less drastic but still very sick, debilitating, immoral acts and deeds I saw in the 35 years as a Mormon. My wife could add thousands more. She spent 40 years as a member. We are together and happy, having both left the faith at the same time, well, she left a week before I did; and now are raising our two sons to be productive humans in a beautiful world.

The author (identity unknown) has done a fantastic job not only explaining the doctrines but showing how those doctrines and beliefs affect the way the average Mormon conducts himself/herself in the world. If you really want to get to know the Mormon people before you join their organization (if you are so inclined) then I'm (No Longer) A Mormon is a must read."

Thank you, Chris...not only for the positive review, but for being willing to share such a shocking, jaw-dropping experience...and your personal acknowledgment that I am nowhere close to the only one who has been exposed to the insanity of cult-style experiences. Glad you're free, sir. All my best.

And to the rest of you, all my best, as well. And happy weekend! 'Gina

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Egg, by Andy Weir

You may or may not have read or heard this, but I've been trying for MONTHS to figure out how to explain how I now view the god, existence, human life, the universe, and everything in it, and this sums it up beautifully. Thank you to my dear friend B for sending it. Much love, lady. 'Gina

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.” I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had. You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time. “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.


The only difference between this and what I'm coming to for myself is that perhaps I take it a step farther: We are not just god in embryo, we ARE god...as it were. God is a collection of experience, a database, if you will, of everything and everyone in the universe, of every experience, of every conceivable avenue of experience and every possible choice that could be made. All-encompassing, in other words, and able to retain each individual experience while allowing the identity born of that experience to also unite with the whole.

.................Or maybe I'm talking out my rear. That's a possibility, too. Either way...it's something to think about. :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Friend's Exit Story

I don't know about you, but I LOVE ex-Mormon exit stories. We all have one that's dramatically different from everyone else's...and yet they're all so amazingly the same.

This one comes from an anonymous former Mormon who has been through a number of inconceivable struggles, and I feel incredibly privileged that she allowed me to read it, let alone share it with you. I do so because she has suffered in ways that perhaps some of you can relate to and understand better than I can, and we all need to know someone else has been there.

So without any further ado: An Amazing Exit Experience.


I was born & raised LDS, a sixth generation Mormon, a direct descendant of Parley P. Pratt (a yucky man) on one side. I am the fourth of five children. My Dad was a convert to the church early in my parents' marriage and they were sealed in the temple long before I was ever born. My childhood was sheltered but generally good. I mostly grew up in Idaho but we lived in Utah some too. I was a very "good girl" - I tried really hard to do what was right & to be obedient.

I think the first time I remember having a question about the church was when I was eight yrs. old. I remember asking my Mom if I had to get baptized or could I wait. I told her I didn't KNOW the church was true. She was shocked at my question, & I was baptized but not necessarily by my own choice. Note: I don't blame my parents for anything, so keep that in mind as you read. I think they did the best they could do based on what they knew & believed at the time.

Growing up, I never really fit in with the other kids my age. I was VERY SHY, quiet & introverted. When I was 16 I got my Patriarchal Blessing. I didn't tell anyone what it said. The following Sunday I was waiting in the hallway of the church with all of the other YW to go to YW's classes. Apparently we all had our blessings done around the same time, because the other girls were talking about what their blessings said. I was shocked to discover that mine was exactly WORD FOR WORD the same as theirs! I was so angry! I told my Mom that Heavenly Father must not care about me very much or I would have a blessing that was just for me, instead of having one that was generic! She told me that if we are righteous we are all entitled to the same blessings. She couldn't really console me at all on this topic & I never forgot this.

I did four years of Seminary; I was my Seminary teacher's prize student. I read the Book of Mormon many times, prayed hard, & got no answer about its truthfulness. My Seminary teacher told me that the reason I didn't get the burning in the bosom was because (& I quote), "You ALREADY KNOW IT'S TRUE!!" For some odd reason that made me feel special.

When I was 18 I married someone I really did not know. He was a so-called "worthy Priesthood holder" who wanted me to be a stay-at-home wife & bear his children. He told me he had a revelation that I was to marry him (he'd had "a vision".) When I was eight (he was 16) he told me that if my sister wouldn't marry him, he wanted me to marry him. Boy was I flattered, as a little kid, I didn't know that was just nasty & weird!! However, it stayed in my brain. Growing up, I heard my Mom talk about how wonderful this guy was & how she'd love to have him as a son-in-law some day. (Again, I don't blame her.) I was a people-pleaser, so you can guess how this affected me.

My ex’s Stake president referred to him as a "spiritual giant" & had told him he would one day be a stake president himself. (That didn't happen.) I mention this because a lot of people were fooled by my ex. When we married, he was 26, divorced, & had two kids. (His ex-wife was a convert who had realized she was gay, so she left him & the church.) He sexually assaulted me a few days before we married but I was scared & very embarrassed so I didn't tell a soul. I thought it must have been my fault somehow. I felt OBLIGATED to marry him because of this, because I was not clean & pure anymore. We went to the Temple & were sealed. I felt very UNWORTHY, but he didn't even feel bad about what he did. I was surprised that when we went into the Temple no one had a revelation that he was unworthy!! I cried all night long on my pathetic sealing night, knowing I had made a big mistake in marrying him, but I was too scared to tell anyone. This was the beginning of a 16 year long marriage to an abusive, horrible, con-man. He was abusive to me in every possible way, emotionally, physically, economically, & sexually.

We moved right after we were married & I got pregnant 3 months later. He lost his job 4 months after we married, & didn't try to get another job. We were dirt poor, & I mean poorer than most people ever experience here in the USA. We had no phone, one barely working car, no money, no food, & on top of that, I had never been away from my family before so I suffered horrible home sickness. We lived in a literal shack (rent $40 a month) that was condemned & torn down after we moved out of it.

I went to my Bishop and confessed my sexual "sins" (of being sexually assaulted) during a temple recommend interview. I took full responsibility for what my ex had done to me, as if it were my fault, & the Bishop never really knew the TRUTH of what happened. My ex didn’t want me to talk to anyone about anything that he perceived as private.

I had my first baby in 1992 at age 19. I had my second baby two yrs. later at 21. Then at 22, my step-kids moved in with us. I had never even met them before (they were ages nine & seven at the time) because their Mom had moved away & kept the kids away from my ex. He hadn’t seen them in 4.5 years. I was too young to be raising four kids, & I didn't know what I was doing. It was really hard on me. My ex was abusive to the kids as well as to me - I saved them several times from being beaten half to death by him. (There were a few times I thought he was going to kill his kids.)

I was pregnant a total of ten times; I miscarried five times. I had priesthood blessings that stated the babies/pregnancies would be healthy & well... blah blah blah…. only to lose half of them. I really started to question the power of the Priesthood, however, thanks to the double-bind, I believed I must not be righteous enough for those blessings!!! Of course, it was my fault somehow, right??

In 1999 my firstborn child was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I asked for a blessing of healing for her from the missionaries, who told me they could not do it, & I needed to ask my Home Teachers. I asked the Home Teachers, who would not give her a blessing of healing, but he just asked for “God's will to be done”. My Dad & some other P. holders gave her a blessing, but again, all they said was, “God's will be done” (not blessing her to be healed). Then the Stake President said he had a revelation that it was her time to go. I just remember thinking that if these men REALLY had the ability to heal AS CHRIST DID, WHY would they not use that power to save a six year old whose faith was purer than anyone else's??? (She never doubted she'd be healed & never once complained.) I came to the conclusion that the reason they didn't do it was because they COULDN'T do it. Jesus didn't say "no" to anyone when people asked Him for a healing. He didn't tell people it was their time to go! My daughter died at age six & it changed my life forever. I never believed 100% in the church after that, I felt for the first time that I really didn't KNOW anything, & it scared the living hell out of me. My Patriarchal blessing did not have ONE SINGLE THING in it to help me through my daughter's death. Not one. And I combed through it over and over again, just looking for one little thing to comfort me.

I really wanted a divorce after my daughter died. I went to my many different bishops throughout the years as we moved around, they all told me I needed to work out my marriage & try to be a BETTER WIFE (even after my ex had hit me in the face!). I had a Stake President who told me that it would be a sin for me to leave my husband & that we did NOT NEED LOVE to make our marriage work!! After years of suffering I stopped talking to anyone about what was going on at home. Most people had no idea.

My ex was called to be a counselor to the Bishop in the second to last ward we were in. I told the Bishop I didn't think he was worthy of being a Counselor & he said, "All the wives say that!" (Wow, really? Maybe someone should start listening to the wives! Maybe they know something!!) I really thought it was nuts that no one ever had any inspiration or revelation about my ex, he was respected & liked (he is an amazing manipulator) up until the last ward we were in together. When we first moved to that ward we had a really good Bishop (who was released from that calling during our six years there). I think that Bishop could see my ex wasn't such a Peter Priesthood. He also listened to me when I told him I was tired of Primary callings. (I had taught nursery/primary for most of my married church years.)

All of these things led me in the direction that would eventually get me out of the church. In 2005 I was pregnant with my fifth child & doing three callings. This was the ward we lived in the longest, & for the first time ever I wasn't working in the Primary. I taught the 12 & 13 year old Sunday school class (averaging 15-22 kids a week), visiting teaching, & taught the Enrichment lessons once a month. (I think there was one more calling but I can't remember what it was now.) Our NEW Bishop (not the one I liked) called me to play the piano in RS at this time. I felt that God had nothing to do with callings. If God was involved He would know I couldn't handle four+ callings on top of being pregnant, raising four kids (my oldest step-child had moved out by this time), & being completely miserable in my marriage! I didn't think Mormon men had access to any revelation at this point.

Right around this time, my Mom had told me about a book she thought I should read called An Insider's View of Mormon Origins by Grant Palmer. (My youngest brother had recommended it to her.) I thought if the church is really true it won't matter what I read because if the church is "true", it will still be true! I think I was on chapter three in this book when I realized I was DONE being a Mormon! My ex resigned with me June of 2005. He wasn't doing his callings anymore, he was skipping classes & flirting with other women in the hallway during meetings (always a habit of his), & he was tired of being pressured to do his callings. We resigned five months before my last baby was born.

Also around this same time my step-son was caught molesting my daughter so my ex kicked him out of the house (he sent him to live with his mother). The Bishop & the whole ward sided with the step-son, saying that I was lying about what had happened & that I was just trying to destroy his testimony! I found out that the other LDS kids, including the Bishop’s kids, were harassing my daughter on the school bus telling her she was lying, & she was just trying to cause trouble for my step-son! Interesting but I never heard any slander towards my ex, it was just ALL MY FAULT.

After resigning from the church, I went to non-LDS therapy on my own, against my ex's wishes, & ten months after I started therapy, I realized I wasn't a crazy person & my ex WAS abusive (& it wasn’t MY FAULT!). I left him, everything WE owned, & I moved back home where my parents live. I got on an airplane with my four daughters, only $200 to my name, our clothes, & left everything else behind. I started my life over. I live in the SAME town where I grew up which is very difficult because of how saturated this area is with LDS & also that every time I go into the schools, post office, grocery store, etc. I see people I knew when I was growing up. (We live in a small town with FOUR LDS chapels. VERY SATURATED.)

I don't know how long it will take me to really fully recover from Mormonism. I don't know when I will truly learn how to reason like other people do. I am convinced that brainwashing stays with you for a long time. I feel angry when I see how unfairly I was treated as a female in the church. I hate how women are disregarded in the church! I still struggle with trusting myself & trusting my own intuition, & being logical. I still find that I am too trusting of other people when I shouldn't be. I made so many very important decisions in my life based on WHAT OTHER PEOPLE TOLD ME, & I trusted priesthood holders more than myself, which caused me a lot of grief!!

I went through hell to get my divorce, my ex stalked me & bought me a GRAVE. I had a few years of classes & therapy at the women's shelter, which changed my life. My ex moved away & rarely sees the kids now & I'm re-married to a wonderful man who truly sees men & women as EQUAL. That is amazing to me right there. He has never once made me feel like I am less than he is.

 Thank you for being interested in my story. I hope this isn't too choppy or confusing, I never went to college or took any writing classes.

No, my dear, neither choppy nor confusing. Just amazing. Thank you for your example, your strength, and your commitment to your children and your sanity. Thank you to your new, wonderful husband. Thank you for sharing this. May it be a strength for someone in need.

Monday, August 5, 2013


My husband and I were on a rare date this weekend, and we had a great time...so I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how Abraham (of the famous Abraham/Isaac/Jacob trio) came up in conversation.

At one point, however, hubs turns to me and says, "Seriously, 'Gina, if I got out of bed one morning and told you that God had told me to take our son for a walk into a neighboring community and KILL HIM, what would you say?"

"..................Um..............................................He didn't did He?"


"Just checking. Okay, then, I'd probably grab the first available item I could use for self-defense - a kitchen knife, maybe, if I couldn't beat you to the gun safe - and I would defend our children tooth and nail from your crazy-ass self while simultaneously screaming at our children to dial 911 so I could have you committed to an insane asylum. If, after a respectable amount of time, you did not improve, I'd seek a divorce. If I even imagined that any 'improvement' on your part was feigned, I'd divorce you and whisk our kids away somewhere where I could change our identities and never see you again. Basically, I'd protect my children...even from their Dad."

"That's what I thought." Then came a pause, and then, "So what the hell was wrong with Abraham's wife?!"

I thought it over for a moment, and then said, "Nothing. She didn't exist."

The conversation continued in a different vein at that point, but O...M...GOODNESS. Why had I never considered what Sarah was thinking? Why, as a WOMAN, had I not thought about her potential reaction to Abraham's sheathing his knife and heading off to a mountain with Isaac in tow?

Oh, I remember now: women in the Bible are insignificant.

In fact, women in ALL "scripture" are insignificant.

And so are women in the LDS church, who are taught-without-being-taught (thanks to decades of studying "scripture") that women are insignificant.

But Sarah aside, how is it that a Bedouin a few thousand years ago who is all ready to murder his son because he heard a voice tell him to is NOT considered CERTIFIABLE? How is it that a teenager hacking off a rich man's head and dressing up in the dead guy's clothes to steal his stuff (Nephi!) because "God told him to" is a HERO? Or good old Lot ready to hand over his young, virginal daughters to would-be ANGEL RAPISTS is the ONE GUY in all the city who is SAVED?

I could go on forever about the Old Testament (and may yet in another post), but let's limit this one to JUST the crazy guys who were rewarded for sick, twisted stuff.

Who is game? Comment with your favorite scriptural nut case who did what they did because God said to, or who did something awful in an attempt to please God. GO. And have fun with it. ;)

Friday, August 2, 2013

"It Just Wasn't Right for You"

How many former members have heard a version of the following sentiment expressed by one of their LDS friends? "I'm so glad you've found something that makes you happy, because clearly the Gospel just wasn't right for you."

I've heard it from a couple of my more liberal LDS friends, one a convert, the other a younger-generation lifer...even though they both know that I haven't "found something that makes me happy". (I've instead discovered what WON'T make me happy, and that, it turns out, is living according to the lies someone else has dictated to me.)

I appreciate their kindness and respect...but they exhibit just one more example of the flawed thinking of church members.


Good members of the church with their heads on straight KNOW that the LDS church is the ONE and ONLY TRUE CHURCH. You want to get back to live with (a violent, sick, twisted, exclusive) God? You MUST be a faithful member of the church who has married in the temple and is enduring (in the faith) to the end.

But I'm done enduring...in more ways than one.

Which means I'm not going to be hanging out with them in the presence of God. Instead, if I'm lucky and my parents live sinlessly from this point forward, having been baptized in the faith at age 8, I might get to be dragged along by my parents faithfulness into the Celestial Kingdom...but I'll only inhabit the first of the three levels of the kingdom, ostensibly as a genderless ministering angel...to my friends and their spouses, forever breeding to people their created worlds alongside their husbands (and, if they're willing to admit it, their sister-wives who, unlike me, did NOT turn from the true gospel; they just never received an offer of marriage from a worthy temple-attending returned missionary and have been waiting 'til they died to claim a husband as a second/third/tenth wife).


..................(What rhyme with "woo-hoo", starts with an f, and ends with "you"?)

And yet my friends have concluded that the gospel "wasn't right for me."

It's supposed to be right for EVERYONE, isn't it? In fact, it's SO right for everyone, Adolf Hitler (and a million + Jews executed by his regime) have been baptized to enable them to inherit the Celestial Kingdom! So if it's right for Hitler, why isn't it right for me?

Am I worth less than a mass murderer to them, or for that matter? Are they content to see me drink coffee in this life when deep down they know that my coffee drinking - and, you know, denial of the one and only truth - will cause the abolishing of my heavenly genitals, but ultimately I'll still be saved to wait on them hand and foot? Do they believe that certain people are just plain incapable of living the gospel, and God put the gospel on the earth to weed us out, so as much as they "love" me here, they know I can't hang, and they've already dismissed me from the afterlife?


In all likelihood, probably not. It feels good to say "I'm so glad you've found something that makes you happy, because clearly the gospel just wasn't right for you." It feels terrible to say "I'll miss you in the Celestial Kingdom, but there's still a chance you'll be a genderless servant to me, my husband, and our wives." But it feels "worst-est" to say "I refuse to consider that you might be right, and I'm only fooling myself based on the emotional and psychological comfort provided me by the Pineal gland in my brain - and pressures of my friends/family/acquaintances - in 'confirming' the truthfulness of the gospel."

Yeah, acknowledging that one would suck.

So they make THEMSELVES feel better by confirming MY decision to be the best one...for ME.

How horribly sad and deluded. And cultist.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand...I'm so glad I'm done. And facing reality. And living life to its fullest, my conscience and strength of character dictating how I live and who I become, instead of relying on human directives couched in fairy tale and supernatural terms and credited to a mystical God on whose form and personality no one can agree.

So maybe they're right after all. That crap? It just wasn't right for me, and I'm finally happy. Hallelujah!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Rescuing a Wayward Spouse"

So, if you're not familiar with Meridian Magazine...be grateful. It's an LDS online "thing" with the tagline, "Latter-day Saints Shaping Their World." (Shaping it into what, exactly, is the question.)

Yesterday's post was by a man named Larry Barkdull in response to a question he received from some poor anonymous true-believing Mormon with a doubting wife. Find it here.

I won't bother to explain it, because you can read it for yourself, and at first glance it's not as awful as I expected...but if you view it from the perspective of the doubting spouse, LOOK OUT!

My favorite part, I must say, was the following: "The lie that she is living will likely drive her to the point of decision; either she will admit and abandon it or she will act on it.  We pray that she will abandon it."

In other words, that honest existence of yours...the one where you worship God your way, have a cup of coffee in the morning, maybe a glass of wine with dinner a couple times a week, where you wear tank tops and shorts in the summer, and think for yourself? Your ideas are, ooh, wait, lemme go back and double-check so I can quote him exactly...they are erroneous. 

You, my friend, just like me, are living a lie. (And they pray we'll abandon our lies. Big time.)

 Why do I read this crap, really? To keep up on what others are reading that cause their hearts and thoughts (and missionary drives) to turn to me.

But some friends of mine had some more amusing things to say about the article. (Note: you'd be AMAZED how wonderful, tight-knit, warm, welcoming, and earnest the Ex-Mormon communities on Facebook really are, bless their blackened apostate hearts!) 

So rather than focus on the article in this post, I'd like to take the opportunity to make you laugh. A little sacrilege is a LOT of fun sometimes. (And really, if you're reading this, you probably won't consider it sacrilegious anyway.) So, here goes...thanks to T-Dub and KayEm. You gents rock.

Let's start with KayEm: "What would be fun to read is a mirror image of this article. For example: First a section directly from the article: "I doubt that her issue is the Church. People don't casually discard their beliefs and covenants unless they are dealing with some deep-seated issue that they cannot resolve. Your wife seems to be trying excessively hard to go opposite the gospel, and she is using anti-Mormon literature as her rationale. I would guess that she has been struggling with other non-Church issues for some time." Now a mirror image: "I doubt that his issue is the apostasy of his wife. People don't irrationally adhere to cultish beliefs and covenants unless they are dealing with self-delusions that they fearfully cling to. Your husband seems to be trying excessively hard to go super-gospel, and he is using pro-Mormon literature as his rationale. I would guess that he has been drinking the kool-aid regarding many Church issues for some time.""

Pro-Mormon literature. I love this guy.

And now T-Dub: (Yes, I had to clean it up...just a little.) "Dear Clueless Douchebag, Yes, I have the spiritual flu. My human spirit is allergic to lying, cheating, and pedophilia (and to a lesser extent, megalomania…hey, we all have our crosses to bear, am I right?). My natural (quote Mosiah 3:19 and I’ll kick your ignorant @$$) reaction to learning about clandestine marriages to teenagers by a prophet was nausea, followed by puking my spiritual brains out. Yes, I was sick. Sick of following a cult-y community of not-quite dodos (I mean, it was Yale, for crying out loud!). Sick of making excuses for a man that I wouldn’t make for myself. Sick of justifying homophobia and institutional racism. But, Dr. Douchebag, I’m happy (quote Alma 41:10 and I’ll drown you in green jello and piss in the funeral potatoes at your viewing) to report that I’m all better now. I met the man behind the curtain, and he’s a diptwit. May your powers of discernment and diagnosis continue to lead you in the paths of self-righteousness. I will gladly continue down the path that rocks.

A former flu patient

Paths of self-righteousness. Someone get this guy a medal!

So there's a little bit of sunshine for your day. Now go out and give your spouse a smooch. No matter their waywardness, they probably deserve it.