Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ex-Mormons Gather in SLC for Conference - and I'm not referring to the semi-annual one.

I found this...odd. I've never heard of any other group that would "gather" because they used to be "part" of another organization - especially if that organization is a religion. I've heard of the "exWives Club", but that's really the only thing that comes to mind - and it's not even real. Mostly it seems that groups gather to support a common cause and unite in that cause because they are FOR it or part of it - this is like the anti-thesis of gathering - it's like gathering because you don't believe something specifically and we need the support for our "non-support." I thought those were called protesters or lobbyists. And an Ex-Mormon support group? Like, comparable to Alcoholics Anonymous or intervention for former drug addicts? I guess there are "support" groups for all kinds of things - this one just seemed incredibly off-kilter to me. And the fact they're meeting in SLC seems a little against the point of their "organization" doesn't it? Come to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we'll talk about how we left it. Refreshments will be served - and it won't include green Jell-O or any sort of casserole.


Anonymous said...

Mormonism is a soft cult. I was 'active' for 45 years of my life. I kept trying to make sense of it. In general, Mormon people are great. Mormon doctrine is nuts.
Joseph Smith married many women, some told that there families would be "exalted" if they became his spiritual wife. One was 14 years old. Meeting with other people who have figured it out is very therapuetic. Read information about Mormonism from sources other than the church. Tons of information is excluded from the official history. It is mind-boggling. Trust me. -
A Friend
P.S. Your tithing money is building a mall!

Anonymous said...

It exists because of people like you.

yellow said...

poor andrea, really. it's so ironic that she doesn't have an inkling of why former mormons need support and healing, when she's clearly experiencing emotional distress and psychological confusion at the hands of the church.

many of her posts allude to the sadness she feels about being single and 25, wondering how to make herself more attractive, etc.

she talks about her ambitions, and in her own words they are "modest." you can tell she doesn't even consider the possibility that she could reach for more or that she even deserves it.

she's just sitting around, waiting for the perfect mormon life to happen.

my suggestion to you andrea is to take a risk. move somewhere you've always wanted to live, get a job you like and deserve because you want it and are willing to go after it. make some new dreams. LIVE while you still have the chance!

Dutch said...

I attended the Ex-Mo conference and really enjoyed it. As for the locale, I suspect it is held in SLC because of the sheer numbers of former Mormons in Utah generally, and SLC specifically. I live in New England and attended with other East Coast people, some who attended BYU years ago. The support group is real, as is the need for it (ask anyone who survived Jim Jones and the People's Temple in Gayana).

Happy Linux Guy said...

If most mormons are from Utah, wouldn't you think that most ex-mormons are from Utah as well? Most likely that's the reason they do it there. When there's a high enough concentration to do it elseewhere, it will happen there.

Andee said...

I attended the ex-Mormon Foundation Conference in Salt Lake City this past October.

It's very clear you don't understand why people who leave the church need to support each other in this way.

We support each other because our supposed friends and family have tossed us aside because we no longer attend the LDS Church.

We support each other because our friends and family assume we have sinned, want to sin, have a drinking or drug problem, or were "offended."

We have valid reasons for leaving this church, and one day you might understand what those are. Until then, I wish you the best.

Just because you don't understand something, doesn't make it stupid.


Hubert said...

Andrea, I would have felt as you do when I was a Mormon. I was raised in the church and an active member for over thirty years.

I believe that you would agree that the church plays a huge role in the lives of its members. Almost every choice you make, what you can and can't eat, wear, say, believe, and even how you define who you are. It is not just something you do on Sundays; it is your identity. If you asked me who I was two years ago, I would have told you proudly that I am a Child of God, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, a husband and a father. These were the things I used to define myself. It was who I was.

When the illusion comes crashing down (and I won't get into why it did for me, because I know, having been there myself, that you will have your own preconceptions of why my testimony "failed" me, and it's not pertinent to this post) I found myself in an identity crisis. The Mormon church was all I had ever known- it was my entire world.

What do I now believe? Do I still believe in Jesus? What about eternal families? I didn't know which thoughts were mine and which were ones fed to me by the church since my earliest memories.

There are, contrary to your understanding, many organizations for helping people recover from a belief system. Ex-Jehova's Witnesses group together for support and recovery, as do ex-Scientologists and ex-Amish, ex-Moonies, and many others. People in this sort of situation need the support of those who understand what they are going though, and people who have never been Mormons just can't relate, and obviously neither can current members.

Most of us are from families with strong ties to the church, so we don't even have the support of those who we love the most. We have lost our identities, our belief systems, our community networks, and in many cases the acceptance of our families. Do you not believe it reasonable that we would reach out to one another?

As for the conference being held in Salt Lake, well where else would it be? Since most Mormons live Salt Lake, it makes sense that most ex-Mormons would live there too, does it not?

I understand that you see this as an attack on your faith, but if you actually watch some of the lectures from these conferences (most of them are posted on YouTube) you will see that they are not about bringing down the church or attacking it. They are about helping one another get the support that we need to get on with our lives after having the carpet yanked out from under our feet.

Peace to you.

Old Salty said...

I know this is old, but I just found it today. They gather in SLC because that's where many of them live.

As for needing support when you leave the Church, you haven't been there so don't judge. When you leave, your friends and family, the people that previously said they love you, no longer want anything to do with you. Instead of Christ like love, they are judgmental and exclusionary. It's hard to be rejected by people you love. For many of us leaving it is about honesty and integrity. We found the Church to be hiding the truth about itself, and have a problem with the real history and practices of the Church. I couldn't stay when I realized what the Church really was. I would have never left the Church if it was true. It isn't and never was. This was a hard realization to come to. It was a very painful process, but I've come out the other side with a deeper peace and happiness than that I ever knew while in the Church. I didn't think that was possible, but here I am.

A support group is what I needed coming out of the Church though. I needed people that understood what I was going through.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in the church--been a member 41 years. My husband started doing some research on FARMS, a link off BYU's website. It opened some interesting doors into church history neither of us ever knew about (he also having been born & raised in the church, even served a mission.) I understand they've changed some of the information since.

Might I suggest that you might want to know more about the origins of the LDS church before you become judgemental of others. I firmly believe the LDS church needs to do a better job of being open and honest with its members. Members and prospective members deserve it.

Grant Palmer, a former Seminary and Institute teacher for many years, wrote a wonderful book called "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins". I highly recommend it.

Members are sometimes discouraged from reading sources other than what's considered mainstream and approved, but you don't have to read "anti" literature to find the truth. You might consider this quote: "If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed." -J. Reuben Clark, D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983, p. 24. `

There is also some video material on YouTube that is enlightening:

The Lost Book of Abraham

DNA and the Book of Mormon

I wish you well and hope you find true happiness. "Was Blind"