New Athiest

95


Discussion by: kiwichick

Hi All I am an Ex-Mormon,

Over the past few months I have been feeling quite depressed. A few weeks ago I gave in my resignation to leave the Mormon Church, who make it extremely difficult to leave, and I feel like I have commited social suicide. I was born a Mormon and grew up in a Mormon dominant community in Hamilton, New Zealand. I went to a Mormon highschool where I was Student Body President and served in various positions within the church helping those who were interested to get baptized into the church. I also taught a daily class to teenages about the Book of Mormon and I was such a devout Mormon that I even flew over to Utah to learn more about the history of the church (according to the LDS church). I typically got married to a return missionary of the Mormon church and had kids straight away as it was my "honour and duty" to do so, however he was abusive that over the years I left him which eventually led me meeting a rational thinker and then leaving the the church. 

My entire family no longer want to speak to me (I have 8 siblings) and my Mother has sent me many text messages telling me that I am possessed by demons and am a follower of Satan and that she will do all she can to fight against me. I live in a Mormon community in a town that has a very high percentage of Mormons but I stay because I have almost finished my Bachelor of Honours degree and will commence work on my PhD straight after. My partner is also an athiest and it was after meeting him that I realized how false my church was. I had never questioned its doctrine or even thought deeply about the impact on the rest of humanity let alone evolution. We had had a few arguments that made me so upset with him for even questioning my beliefs that I realized if I couldn't answer his questions then that meant I didn't know enough about the church I was in, so I decided to study the doctrine in order to defend the church against him and low and behold I found out the truth that all I had believed in was a lie and that the very religion that had dictated my actions throughout my life on the most important decisions was based on a lie. 

I study biology so after allowing myself to finally "think" I know for a fact that the LDS church is false. I feel so disappointed that I was fooled and that all the people I grew up with don't like me anymore because I have left and they blame my partner and tell me to leave him. They call me anti-mormon and say that I am persecuting their religion because I post things on my facebook page against religion. They think that I am just going through a phase and that I am just being influenced by my partners ideas but over the past few months I was studying intensely to find out information about the true history of the LDS church which is kept so well hidden within the Mormon community. As a Mormon you feel so guilty for doing that as if it is a sin. So as a 'sinner' I decided to look and found my answers that the founder Joseph Smith was a fraud. I just thought it absurd that his successor Brigham Young taught the Mormons that there are people living on the sun and the moon!

On top of this I just could not agree that humans are only 4000 years old and that Adam and Eve were American and that Adam is God. It just didn't match up with Joseph Smith's claim of The Book of Mormon. Anyway so much evidence against the church that I wish my family could see. I am definitely teaching my children science and the truth as we know it based on science. I will not teach them mindless fairy tales. I just feel sad that I lost my family and my old friends. Its amazing what a religion can do to relationships but I don't feel like I should change back to believing in the Mormon doctrine in order to make them happy with me again. I hope that I can make some new friends of like mindset.

95 COMMENTS

  1. awwwe, I feel for you kiwi. Losing family and friends because you stood up to your truth sucks. It seems as if some people feel so threatened by some things that people say, do, or make a stand, that they revolt in order to protect a part of them that is in fear. I realize you feel horrible, but this will pass in time. Just think how these people must feel – really stuck in their views or are so committed to them at all costs even you. It’s proof that some people are more committed to self preservation than loving you to the point that they’d dump you if they’d feel threatened. My bet is that they feel as if you are the one who abandoned them. The only thing you can do right now is start building your own life by finding a new support system. Hopefully in time they will wake up, but don’t count on it.

    By the way, if you find yourself reverting to old beliefs, keep pushing forward and continue questioning. I became an atheist at 18 then I turned agnositic – then deist – and then went to a New Thought church. After 13 years, I’m an atheist again. Deconverting twice with two different religions is really painful. By continuing to question everything you can avoid lots of pain. Other religions my offer “better” views that might seem to make sense, but trust me, they are full of BS too.

    • Thank you. Yes they think that I have “cut myself off” from both God and them. I was such a devout Mormon so leaving the church has been like a mid-life crisis. I have felt angry about the brainwashing and taking 10% of the members income knowing that that they teach lies and take advantage of genuinely good people. The church attract them by empty slogans that have the face of good values. I will never go back and I will never join another religion again. Finding out that the one church (that I had been fooled into believing was the only true church on the planet) was false has been enough for me to become agnostic.

      In reply to #1 by QuestioningKat:

      awwwe, I feel for you kiwi. Losing family and friends because you stood up to your truth sucks. It seems as if some people feel so threatened by some things that people say, do, or make a stand, that they revolt in order to protect a part of them that is in fear. I realize you feel horrible, but thi…

  2. As a fellow Kiwi (and atheist) I can’t comment on what it’s like to be trapped as a Mormon, but I can say that you are fortunate to live in a country that is secular and the vast majority of people in NZ regard Mormons as annoying proselytisers with crazy ideas.

    I haven’t lived in Hamilton, but I’m sure it can’t be too hard to be away from the grip of Mormonism.

    Good luck with the future.

    • In reply to #2 by The Truth, the light:

      …the vast majority of people in NZ regard Mormons as annoying proselytisers with crazy ideas.

      That’s because it is precisely what they are and you’ve described them to a tee.

    • Thank you. Its nice to know there are fellow Kiwi atheists on here :). Unfortunately Hamilton has the highest saturation of Mormons because this is where their Temple is, and there is only one LDS Temple in New Zealand. Typically devout Mormons tend to want to live closer to the Temple aka ‘House of the Lord’ because they believe this is the only place in New Zealand that Jesus visits (I lived 7 years in Temple View as a teenager). Hamilton also had the only LDS high-school which is where the majority of Mormons would send their children but that closed in 2009 though not many families moved away from Hamilton. I have grown up in Hamilton and know the majority of Mormons here because this community is so tight that its almost a sin to interact with non-mormons. I can’t help but bump into a Mormon when I go to Town of Uni but, most of them are nice people and they still think that I am a Mormon so I just say a friendly Hi. If they knew otherwise, like some, they would just avoid me all together. In 2010 the stats for the membership of the church in NZ showed that 1 out of 42 New Zealanders are Mormons. Unfortunately Mormons keep close tabs on their members and also the members that leave even so that they keep their records until the age of 110 because they believe that must baptize their dead and give them the same opportunity as living Mormons to enter into Heaven in the afterlife. Hitler, Anne Frank and Einstein have also been baptized by the Mormon church after death.

      In reply to #2 by The Truth, the light:

      As a fellow Kiwi (and atheist) I can’t comment on what it’s like to be trapped as a Mormon, but I can say that you are fortunate to live in a country that is secular and the vast majority of people in NZ regard Mormons as annoying proselytisers with crazy ideas.

      I haven’t lived in Hamilton, but I’m…

      • In reply to #24 by kiwichick:

        “Hitler, Anne Frank and Einstein have also been baptized by the Mormon church after death.”

        They baptized Hitler into the Mormon church? That’s extraordinary. Why on earth would they want to do that?

        It’s good to hear that you got out of that crazy religion. Hope you’ll be able to move somewhere where there are few, if any, Mormons. :)

        • Yep its true. They do it because they believe that all humans that have ever lived (after 1841 that is) need to be baptized a Mormon so that in the after life they have already met the requirements that allow them to get into heaven. According to the church the Mormon gospel is taught in the after life that allows a deceased spirit the opportunity to take back atheism and every other religious subdivision and believe in God (as taught by the LDS church) before they are judged by Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ.

          In reply to #50 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

          In reply to #24 by kiwichick:

          “Hitler, Anne Frank and Einstein have also been baptized by the Mormon church after death.”

          They baptized Hitler into the Mormon church? That’s extraordinary. Why on earth would they want to do that?

          It’s good to hear that you got out of that crazy religion. Hope you…

  3. I had no idea there was a Mormon community in New Zealand, though I heard that they’ve been gaining in popularity in some parts of the world.

    Perhaps check out Ex-Mormon and see if there are others locally with whom you can connect. You can get some support through the difficult times with your family. I’m ex-evangelical and it really helps to chat with someone who came from the same background, just because they understand all the buzz words and nuances of that particular belief.

    • Thank you. Yes the Mormon church is definitely growing fast here in NZ. The honest truth is that there have been very few, if any, Mormons that have actually resigned from the church in NZ. They are usually excommunicated for sinful crimes and the leaders of the church here will not teach the members that they have an option of resigning and getting your name removed. On top of that the leaders are encouraged to keep in contact with the ex-mormons to try bring them back to the church so they do all they can to contact you through friends, email, phone, missionaries, and other random LDS members. I have been on ex-mormon, and its really nice, but haven’t yet bumped into anyone that is from NZ. I am not surprised because I have been trying to get my name removed from the church and have been speaking to the membership records at Salt Lake and the people I spoke to said they don’t often remove names of international members. Interesting. I had to really bug them to get them to remove me as a member but of course I am still waiting. They of course don’t want to lose their 10% share in my income.

      In reply to #3 by Kim Probable:

      I had no idea there was a Mormon community in New Zealand, though I heard that they’ve been gaining in popularity in some parts of the world.

      Perhaps check out Ex-Mormon and see if there are others locally with whom you can connect. You can get some support through the difficult times with your fam…

  4. Don’t worry there are literally millions of exmormon people. There are probably a dozen or so websites dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges of moving on from this scientology lite organization. It truly is a fraud that wanted to you believe that Joseph Smith was a wonderful man, equal to the Christian Jesus Christ and sometimes elevated beyond. There are several recent books on the subject, a few you must read: “An American Fraud” by Kay Burniningham. She is a former Mormon lawyer that helps piece together the fraud in a way a lawyer would bring evidence to a case. You can order her book using the ISBN 9780615465890. There are some books that are even more detailed, but I would try this on first.

    • Thank you for recommending the book I will check it out. Yes I agree that the church does elevate Joseph Smith above Jesus Christ very often. He is the biggest fraud ever. If anything Jesus is just a tool in this church and the real name of the church should have been “The Church of Joseph Smith of Latter-day Saints”.

      In reply to #4 by biobjorn:

      Don’t worry there are literally millions of exmormon people. There are probably a dozen or so websites dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges of moving on from this scientology lite organization. It truly is a fraud that wanted to you believe that Joseph Smith was a wonderful man, equal…

  5. I’m an ex-mormon and I even served my two years as a missionary. Since then I have grown apart from nearly all my family and I know how lonely it can feel when you set out on a way of thinking. It is especially hard when you want help the rest of your family wake up to the remarkable truth that comes when you let go of the brain washing that comes with being raised Mormon. Lucky for me my wife (despite being religious) accepts me for who I am and I am finally free from that toxic environment. Sounds like you have met a like minded person and for that you should feel lucky. Life is too short to spend it thinking about the past or getting hung up over close minded people. Dawkin’s and Carl Sagan’s books have helped me more than words can explain, if all else fails you may want to pick up one of their books. Hang in there!

    • Thanks for sharing that. I have been wanting to read those books by Dawkins and Sagan and look forward to after I finish my current project :). I am fortunate that my partner supports my new way of thinking however he has no idea how difficult it has been to adjust to the change in lifestyle and disconnection with friends and family as he has never been religious and thinks i’m just being soft haha. Things will get better for me soon, but I don’t expect much change from my family. They expect me to come back.

      In reply to #5 by allyourbasearebelongtous:

      I’m an ex-mormon and I even served my two years as a missionary. Since then I have grown apart from nearly all my family and I know how lonely it can feel when you set out on a way of thinking. It is especially hard when you want help the rest of your family wake up to the remarkable truth that co…

  6. Hi from across the ditch. I can’t imagine the pain you must be enduring, losing your family in such a callous way. Obviously Mormons don’t believe in love, well at least unconditional love, don’t get angry with them (even though you have good reason to) for that will lead to bitterness, feel sorry for them and know you’re a pioneer, in that you have shown your family and others of that faith, how strong you are and perhaps others may question their faith because of your actions. Look for the positives, if you can and be happy for that is your best defence and weapon against them . I am in awe of what you have done and there are millions of people out there, that, just like me, would wish you well and hope your family will one day embrace you again, out of love. You’ll find plenty of support and friends here.
    Some of my relatives are or were Mormons, my Aunty now lives in Utah, my Uncle thought his way out and took his wife and kids out too, there’s always hope.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. My family don’t seem to believe in unconditional love, though I know of many Mormons who do and they are beautiful people, very ignorant and naive, but still loving towards others. Despite this I do believe that its far more important to know the hard truth than to embrace a reassuring fable :).

      In reply to #6 by Grahum Bin Larfin:

      Hi from across the ditch. I can’t imagine the pain you must be enduring, losing your family in such a callous way. Obviously Mormons don’t believe in love, well at least unconditional love, don’t get angry with them (even though you have good reason to) for that will lead to bitterness, feel sorry f…

  7. NZ is a secular country, and one of the best when it comes to escaping from a religion.

    Put the weird cult behind you, and get on with building a life with genuine people who will accept you for yourself. It’s your relations’ loss, much more than yours. Put the religious nonsense behind, you, there’s so much more to life, and NZ is a great place to live it. Out in the workforce, nobody’s going to ask you what’s your religion.

    Maybe some day some of your relations may wake up and realise the error of their ways, and come seeking your forgiveness. Try to be the kind of person who can forgive them when the time comes. That’s the most you can do for them. Meanwhile, welcome to the world as it is.

    BTW – what’s a Bachelor of Honours?

    • Thank you for your advice. Though I wouldn’t say that NZ is one of the best places to escape for the LDS religion at all. It is probably one of the worst places you could try to escape to being a Mormon because there is a high percentage of Mormon believers here and it is rare that they actually resign from the church, and it is not yet know whether a New Zealander has even resigned yet because they are usually excommunicated or just a less active Mormon who doesn’t attend church. As of 2010 1 out of 42 New Zealanders were Mormon and the church continues to grow here, especially among the Maori and polynesian community. Most NZrs that try to escape the church (or bumping into Mormons you know) usually take off to Australia but even then there are particular regions you must avoid because unlike other religions Mormons are VERY annoying and will try to contact you to bring you back to church. It is their duty. Anyway, I have to simply learn to live among them. This is why it is difficult for me but I will get used to it. The reason being is that we just brought a new home. I currently have a bachelors degree in Science but I am finishing off my honours dissertation (which cuts out having to do Masters) so that I can do the PhD and I will be here for the next 3 years. I already have a job lined up after that so this is why I just have to harden up and adjust, but I must admit its not been easy.

      In reply to #7 by OHooligan:

      NZ is a secular country, and one of the best when it comes to escaping from a religion.

      Put the weird cult behind you, and get on with building a life with genuine people who will accept you for yourself. It’s your relations’ loss, much more than yours. Put the religious nonsense behind, you, the…

      • In reply to #34 by kiwichick:

        NZ … is probably one of the worst places you could try to escape to being a Mormon

        I am surprised at your 1 in 42 statistic.

        Even so, that means there are 41 out of 42 people who are not Mormon and who most likely consider it a weird cult.

        It only seems so big because it was all around you, and now you are only just outside it, it still casts a huge shadow on you. With the perspective of time and distance, you’ll see how tiny and insignificant it really is. At least, I hope you will. Its only power over you is what you choose to grant it. Not belittling your struggle, but trying to encourage you to understand that it will end, and you will be free. Welcome.

        • In reply to #69 by OHooligan:

          I am surprised at your 1 in 42 statistic.

          Even so, that means there are 41 out of 42 people who are not Mormon and who most likely consider it a weird cult.

          I had a look at the census data (2006 as 2013 isn’t out yet) and this puts the mormon population at 43,539 about where it has been holding steady for the previous 10 years (I suspect the “fast growing” thing is a bit of a myth to make themselves feel better about being a minority). This puts them at a little over 1% of the population. So for the 1 in 42 stat to be correct they would have had to double their numbers in the four years between 2006 and 2010 – I don’t think so.
          I eagerly await the numbers from this years census.

          So Kiwichick, others are correct it really just feels like you are surrounded by them ‘cos you’re still so close to the situation. Give it time and you’ll get some breathing space. Good luck.

          • In reply to #71 by Scepticon:

            In reply to #69 by OHooligan:

            I am surprised at your 1 in 42 statistic.

            Even so, that means there are 41 out of 42 people who are not Mormon and who most likely consider it a weird cult.

            I had a look at the census data (2006 as 2013 isn’t out yet) and this puts the mormon population at 43,539 abo…

            1 % huh? That means that there are just as many Mormons (less kiwichick, of course) as there are hermaphrodites!

          • I agree with you on their exaggeration of the growth of the church. Funny but in no way surprising of them. Thank you for your comment, and for taking the time to interact with me.

            In reply to #71 by Scepticon:

            In reply to #69 by OHooligan:

            I am surprised at your 1 in 42 statistic.

            Even so, that means there are 41 out of 42 people who are not Mormon and who most likely consider it a weird cult.

            I had a look at the census data (2006 as 2013 isn’t out yet) and this puts the mormon population at 43,539 abo…

        • I got the statistics for every 1/42 was in 2010 from below:

          The source was taken from this LDS website under New Zealand: http://cumorah.com/index.php?target=missiology_articles

          Though not sure how accurate it is!!

          Keeping in mind that the church has lost many of its members, largely due to the internet, but they still count their losses among the members of the church and they also still count the “less active” members of the church. So its difficult to get an accurate idea of the growth.

          This year the church lowered the age of its missionaries most likely for the drop in numbers and corresponding lack of tithe payers (10%). The age is now 18 for boys and 19 for girls when it was previously 19 for boys and 21 for girls. They also lowered it for obvious reasons that these young adults would lack education in higher degrees (less likely to be subject to evidence that would prove the church wrong at university) but still be old enough to be listened to by people.

          I am feeling quite good now after talking with everyone on here and on the twitter community. Thank you for your comment :).

          In reply to #69 by OHooligan:

          In reply to #34 by kiwichick:

          NZ … is probably one of the worst places you could try to escape to being a Mormon

          I am surprised at your 1 in 42 statistic.

          Even so, that means there are 41 out of 42 people who are not Mormon and who most likely consider it a weird cult.

          It only seems so big bec…

  8. Never a Mormon and never much of a Christian either, so all I can say is welcome to the fresh air and sunshine out here. Keep communicating with free-thinking people, read books. If you are working on a doctorate, you are certainly literate and know the joy of learning. There are a dozen or so books that every non-believer should be familiar with and that clean out a lot of the nonsense in your mind. Dawkins, Sagan, Feynman, Hitchens, come to mind, but you will find your own favorites.

    The personal-emotional part of breaking away from an ignorant family is hard and I sympathize with you. In my own case it was not embracing atheism but rather the fact of being gay, and the achievement was realizing that it was they who were in the wrong, not me. Once you realize that, you are truly free.

    Intellectually, to replace the false wonder of religious gullibility, nothing compares with the beauties of science. On your next trip to the bookstore, grab a copy of something by Niels deGrasse Tyson or Brian Cox and enjoy reality-based awe.

  9. Tremendous bravery to ‘come out’, but having a supportive partner is a great plus.

    Nearly all of my maternal grandmother’s siblings converted (after a Mormon choir tour in the UK) and went to Utah in the early twentieth century. I never really spoke about that with my mother, let alone her mother, but on reflection it might account for why my mother said she believed in God but saw no need for organised religion – which had after all seen her family divided for ever by thousands of miles (though I can imagine other motivations besides religious – the family was poor and economic migration was surely a factor).

    I’ve no other personal experience of Mormonism – but have gone though ‘coming out’ as gay so I may have an inkling of your journey, eg bad times of negative thoughts, though have not been rejected wholesale by family like yourself.

    Hopefully over time your family will be reconciled to you in some way, but as others point out there are specific support networks besides here that can be accessed from wherever.

    • Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. Yes the beliefs seem to set very strongly to divide families even to the point where my mother was encouraging me to leave my partner particularly because he supports gay marriage. I too support gay marriage and she was horrified. This is part of the reason I had enough and put in my resignation to leave the Mormon church. In the most recent conference of the church one of the leaders spoke out against tolerating such a “sin” and that they must do all they can to stop legalization of gay marriage. Thankfully the bill was passed here in NZ just on the 17th of April this year and I am happy for this equality. As a biology student I tried to educate my family that science has evidence to prove to them that homosexuality is biological and not a sin but nothing could avail. Ignorance. So I am glad that I have left :).

      In reply to #9 by steve_hopker:

      Tremendous bravery to ‘come out’, but having a supportive partner is a great plus.

      Nearly all of my maternal grandmother’s siblings converted (after a Mormon choir tour in the UK) and went to Utah in the early twentieth century. I never really spoke about that with my mother, let alone her mother,…

  10. I also feel for you Kiwi. I have lost my only child, my son, due to a simple difference of opinion that was not even important, wasn’t even about religion – we are both atheists. His catholic mum seems to relish the situation though, egging him on. A religiously motivated revenge I’m sure.

    Your comments also caught my attention because of your home city of Hamilton. That is where I was born. I was baptized at a Hamilton Anglican church and I recently wrote to the clergy there to ask that my baptism be somehow undone. Naturally, this was not forthcoming and I am considering some kind of legal action. I see no reason I should be forced to be associated with a religious organization against my will. But my story is small – nothing so tough like yours.

    I think the time has come when people in your situation will win legal rights to be left alone, and to have your family told truth, spoken of reality in a courtroom by the court, and to be put back in touch with you on the right footing.

    • Thank you for your comment and I am sorry to hear about your relationship with your son. I have actually been thinking to go legal. I agree it isn’t pleasant that these religions try to hold on to our membership records and I personally would feel so much better being rid of any record in the church. The Mormon church purposefully delays the procedures of name removal as if they own you, despite you paying 10% to them and never having signed a contract. I have also asked that my children records be removed but they said that my ex-husband will have to approve it despite me being the sole custodial parent. Their father is a member in the church and his father in the leadership of the church. They have already made it rather difficult for me to leave so if they still refuse to remove the names of my children by mid this week I will contact my lawyer.

      In reply to #12 by GoldenRule rules!:

      I also feel for you Kiwi. I have lost my only child, my son, due to a simple difference of opinion that was not even important, wasn’t even about religion – we are both atheists. His catholic mum seems to relish the situation though, egging him on. A religiously motivated revenge I’m sure.

      Your com…

      • I’d be very interested to know what responses you get from contacting various lawyers regarding release (as it were) from the mormons. I wonder if any lawyers might take your case on pro-bono or if you need funds, I think you should let RDF know and ask for assistance. Secular groups might also help. I’m also across the ditch BTW. I will contact some lawyers for my own baptism issue over the next couple of weeks and see how I go.

        In reply to #33 by kiwichick:

        Thank you for your comment and I am sorry to hear about your relationship with your son. I have actually been thinking to go legal. I agree it isn’t pleasant that these religions try to hold on to our membership records and I personally would feel so much better being rid of any record in the church…

        • Thank you for the comment. They didn’t end up removing our names so I spoke to a lawyer who talked to the membership records in Salt Lake to hurry up the process. The leaders of the church here finally sent my “request for name removal” back to Utah so that it can be finally removed and apparently it is going to be removed in the next few days. It has been a very frustrating procedure when they could easily remove my name by one click of a button. My next option is to go directly with the lawyer to the news press and put up the story. The church here would hate this very much as the LDS temple is situated where I live. Even if they remove my name in the next few days I might actually still go to the press. Its just disgusting how long it takes to remove ones membership from a church. As if they think they control us.

          In reply to #72 by GoldenRule rules!:

          I’d be very interested to know what responses you get from contacting various lawyers regarding release (as it were) from the mormons. I wonder if any lawyers might take your case on pro-bono or if you need funds, I think you should let RDF know and ask for assistance. Secular groups might also help…

          • In reply to #83 by kiwichick:

            Thank you for the comment. They didn’t end up removing our names so I spoke to a lawyer who talked to the membership records in Salt Lake to hurry up the process. The leaders of the church here finally sent my “request for name removal” back to Utah so that it can be finally removed and apparently i…

            Hi kiwichick,

            You are my hero! Seriously, I love people like you. I’ve never had to “officially” depart from a religion and find what you’re doing remarkable.Resign from a religion?? Wow. By exercising your freedom to choose, you give so many others the opportunity to consider options they might not have thought about had you not left the camp. Marvelous!

          • In reply to #83 by kiwichick:

            They didn’t end up removing our names so I spoke to a lawyer who talked to the membership records in Salt Lake … a very frustrating procedure … As if they think they control us.

            Well, they do control you, still. Otherwise why would you be bothering with this stuff? It’s not like it matters in the Real World, does it? They don’t owe you a refund, and I’m sure you aren’t legally committed to paying them anything, so, once more, why bother?

          • For peace of mind. After 25 years of believing in the ideals offered by this religion only to be sorely disappointed makes me feel like a fool. It is a tragedy, its depressing because this belief is what shaped my entire life. To make them feel uncomfortable and shake the doubt of atleast one mormon over a mere phone call is enough to spread the seed of doubt amongst other mormons trapped in this cult. Leading others to the light is part of the plan for finding a cure for religioin.

            In reply to #87 by OHooligan:

            In reply to #83 by kiwichick:

            They didn’t end up removing our names so I spoke to a lawyer who talked to the membership records in Salt Lake … a very frustrating procedure … As if they think they control us.

            Well, they do control you, still. Otherwise why would you be bothering with this stuf…

          • In reply to #83 by kiwichick:

            Even if they remove my name in the next few days I might actually still go to the press….

            You should absolutely do that! Public scrutiny is what all these organizations need.

  11. Bravo, Kiwi! You are making things better for your children, for your greater community and (eventually!) for yourself. Try not to keep your kids from your folks too much. They’ll slowly build a bridge back. Being honest, reasonable and straight with them is all the inoculation against religion they’ll need.

  12. Wow! I’ve never posted anything on here as I’m new to atheism myself also but seeing your words was like reading my own. I’ve newly become atheist myself also and this is the samething I’ve gone through with the exception of my family’s way into the Daystar christian brainwashing here in Dallas. I’ve been tottaly Ostracized by my family also.

    • In reply to #14 by Lonnie Fountain:

      Wow! I’ve never posted anything on here as I’m new to atheism myself also but seeing your words was like reading my own.

      How are you coping with it? Breaking that kind of cult mentality must be hard.

      • I’ve never felt so happy to be honest with you. My story’s a really long one and could be a book in its own. I’m furthering my education and going to go back to school for social science. I thrive for knowledge and this community is so been inspirational.In reply to #17 by papa lazaru:

        In reply to #14 by Lonnie Fountain:

        Wow! I’ve never posted anything on here as I’m new to atheism myself also but seeing your words was like reading my own.

        How are you coping with it? Breaking that kind of cult mentality must be hard.

  13. It is unfortunate, but that’s what deeply held religious belief can do. It’s especially sad when all that crazy stuff is more important than your relationship with your family and friends. I don’t know about your personal situation, but I’d start with that. Stop letting them passing themselves as the victim, and shift the onus on their rejection, not yours. You reject faith, but not your relationship. They reject the relationship because of faith, your acceptance back into the family is conditional. It is deeply immoral.

    You will have to make concessions as well I assume, but on your own terms. A complete surrender would be a bad thing imo. It wouldn’t be sincere anyway, and if it is only for them to save face, then what’s the point? Eventually, they’ll have to work out what’s important. You, your kids, and also best come to a clear understanding and defining boundaries when it comes to the access to the kids.

    • You’re right about what you said and I have feel that way. My partner is amazed at how my family have reacted regarding my relationship with my them but I am not surprised at all. My mother is extremely devout so that’s why she decides to claim that I am putting “christ back on the cross” and I am “possessed by demons and satan”. Its just nuts and I get sick of reading her texts cursing me how I am going to suffer something really bad soon. I believe in being sincere and true to myself. It is immoral, especially that they instead curse and condemn me. At the end of the day I am happy that I know the truth about the LDS religion.

      In reply to #15 by papa lazaru:

      It is unfortunate, but that’s what deeply held religious belief can do. It’s especially sad when all that crazy stuff is more important than your relationship with your family and friends. I don’t know about your personal situation, but I’d start with that. Stop letting them passing themselves as th…

  14. It must be devastating to lose your social support system and the love of your family. This is just me but I would say tell your family you will no longer tolerate the abuse. Tell them you will remind them once not to go there and then if they don’t cease what they are doing you will leave/hang up the phone/unfriend them on FB. Then make good on your promise. If they continue you may have to cut off contact for awhile. If the phone calls are a problem, get a new phone number. I know this incredibly hard to do especially with people you love. If you are still financially dependent on them you may have to wait. You may not be ready to do this yet but know that you have this option available. Of course I agree with all the other suggestions, too. Good luck!

    • Thank you for your advice. Unfortunately I have had to resort to cutting off contact but I was saved the hassel by my siblings, except one, cutting me off. My mother sends me abusive text messages claiming that I am promoting the work of Satan and I need to repent and return to God still – the latest one yesterday. Though I am thankful for all the advice and support I have received on here. It has definitely helped me.

      In reply to #16 by tigerlily55:

      It must be devastating to lose your social support system and the love of your family. This is just me but I would say tell your family you will no longer tolerate the abuse. Tell them you will remind them once not to go there and then if they don’t cease what they are doing you will leave/hang up t…

  15. Hi,

    We live in Wellington and are atheist. My wife is an ex-catholic. If you’re ever down this way and would like to go out for coffee with some like-minded folk you’d be welcome. (Email marktmaultby@ gmail.com) Coming from the UK, I have to say that whilst NZ is secular the religious groups here seem particularly fervent, something I did not encounter in England. When the mormons come round I consider it ‘open season’ and start telling them to read Douglas Adams. :)

    All the best,

    M

  16. Hello fellow Kiwi

    My sympathies and my plaudits for your courage. I think you will certainly be able to make friends of like mindset because this is a less religious country than most. Have you thought about joining the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists (see http://www.nzarh.org.nz/)?

    Best of luck

  17. Quote: [... I was born a Mormon...]

    With all respect; no, you weren’t. You were born a human being with no ideological affiliation whatsoever.
    You were born no different from the rest of us, but MADE into a Mormon by external stimuli.

    This goes for all members of the human species.

    Sincerely, Kåre Olsen.

    • I totally agree with you. I just said that to put it into perspective that I didn’t have a choice because my parents raised me in the Mormon beliefs and sent me to a Mormon high-school. My family get upset with me and tell me that I am not giving my children the “choice” to be a Mormon. I tell them they are only 3 & 4 years old and they can decide for themselves when they are older.

      In reply to #20 by kare.olsen.718:

      Quote: [... I was born a Mormon...]

      With all respect; no, you weren’t. You were born a human being with no ideological affiliation whatsoever.
      You were born no different from the rest of us, but MADE into a Mormon by external stimuli.

      This goes for all members of the human species.

      Sincerely, Kår…

  18. You have just joined reality and, inevitably, it will be a rude awakening. Consider yourself and your actions like the first to emerge from the Dark Ages and into Enlightenment in the history of your lineage.

    No one else can tell you what might happen. Perhaps you will never reconnect with your loved ones. Maybe some of them will eventually follow and credit you with saving them in a distant future.

    If I were you I would not look back but continue forward, further defining your life and pursuing your PhD and your relationships with your partners and all others around you, with that special insight you carry. Wiser than most because you KNOW what it’s like to be blinded and you know it is far more complicated than most of us think. Many of us might see the pious as backward fools but they are neither. They are regular people like you or me who happen to be in the wrong circumstances and, if they’ve retained their use of reason, then they must be pondering the same questions you did.

    So go on with your life. But from the safety of your enlightened position try to reach out to your loved ones with calculated, measured attempts to hopefully, one day, bring light into their lives. Just don’t fall back in in reaching in too far.

    Also, look into the stories of others who have emerged from the shadows of oppressive religions such as the Westboro Baptist Church (http://www.godhatesfags.com). They will show you and remind you that you are not the first, nor the last, and that there is a lot of hope in living with your eyes truly open and free.

    The very best of luck from across the world. You’re in good company and you’ve probably made the best decision in your life.

    • Thank you for your comment and support. I do feel that I have made the best decision of my life and for the lives of my children. I have watched several videos and a documentary of the Westboro Baptist Church and they are just ludicrous in their beliefs and what they do. I feel sorry for the children who are indoctrinated by these crazed adults.

      In reply to #21 by Skeptical Vic:

      You have just joined reality and, inevitably, it will be a rude awakening. Consider yourself and your actions like the first to emerge from the Dark Ages and into Enlightenment in the history of your lineage.

      No one else can tell you what might happen. Perhaps you will never reconnect with your l…

  19. Kiwichick, if you go on YouTube and do a search you will find many videos from ex-Mormons talking about their experiences of getting out. I think hearing it form others who have been there will help you. I will also recommend listening to Brian Keith Dalton, the creator of “Mr Deity” talk about growing up Mormon and waking up to truth.

    • Thanks, I have already watched all of the ex-mormon videos :). The video by MisterDiety is one of my favourite.

      In reply to #22 by Quine:

      Kiwichick, if you go on YouTube and do a search you will find many videos from ex-Mormons talking about their experiences of getting out. I think hearing it form others who have been there will help you. I will also recommend listening to Brian Keith Dalton, the creator of “Mr Deity” talk about grow…

  20. Kiwi–I applaud your bravery and the listening to your inner voice. I had a similar experience being raised Catholic and felt I too was duped by religious teachers and promises of rewards if certain propisiations were made. I am angry and now do everything I can to discredit religion. Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris are my intellectual mentors and I spend several hours per week reading their work.

    I once read the Book of Mormon and wondered how any right thinking person could believe such nonsense especially since the roots of Mormonism is so plainly fatuous. I’ve learned when it comes to challenging a believers faith, it is too frightening for the believer to consider they may be mistaken as there entire belief system provides them false comfort and false security. Without this comfort and security life and death are unthinkable. Pity your parents and siblings that they do not have the intellectual courage you possess.

    • Thank you for your comment. I had never even heard of Hitchens or Harris before until a month ago and even then the first time I had ever heard of Dawkins was in 2011!! I have been paying for it by drowning myself with getting up-to-date with them all including Sagan. I actually felt so low because of the lose of this “false security & comfort that a religion gives” and I almost lost all hope. I literally felt like I was in despair and later became so angry with the indoctrination of LDS church. The truth is I became to a realization because of my education. I have 10 members in my family and I am the only person who holds a University degree – in biology. My family actually laugh at me and think that my education was pointless because I left the church. They are very ignorant and I wish that they could see but I can’t do much about that.

      In reply to #29 by Dean3333:

      Kiwi–I applaud your bravery and the listening to your inner voice. I had a similar experience being raised Catholic and felt I too was duped by religious teachers and promises of rewards if certain propisiations were made. I am angry and now do everything I can to discredit religion. Richard Daw…

  21. Hello and welcome fellow ex-mormon.

    The nice thing about Mormonism is is is so wacko you have a real chance of getting out as soon as you are exposed to any of its rubbish. for me is was seeing the changes made in my own editions of the book of Mormon. It was clear then that it was not divinely translated or even if it was it was now being tampered with. Either way I was out. Keep challenging the family. Point out the only thing you have to show them is quotes from their own books of Mormon (chase up the changes). Challenge them to explain them so you can come back into the fold. Them them your soul is at stake and do you mean so little to them that they will not try to save you? The fall out of my family leaving resulted in about half the extended family leaving as well. Keep working on them. If their happy to live and let live I’d let them be but if they start on all that rubbish I say gloves are off.

    • Hello fellow ex-mormon :)
      Thank you for the advice. My parents were converts and so we have no extended family, aside from the nieces and nephews under the age of 10 who are Mormon. No one in my family want to actually talk to me, they have cut me off and actually think I am just going through a “phase” and that I don’t actually mean to leave the church at all. Though I will keep questioning them if they decide to talk rather than to curse me. I have been presenting paramount evidence against the church to my ex-husband to convince him not to teach my children the religion when they visit him on occasion, but he still comes back every time and says its “true” haha. Though he lives with his very large Mormon family and he is 6th generation in the church and thus my children are exposed to their ideas regarding Mormonism.

      In reply to #30 by Reckless Monkey:

      Hello and welcome fellow ex-mormon.

      The nice thing about Mormonism is is is so wacko you have a real chance of getting out as soon as you are exposed to any of its rubbish. for me is was seeing the changes made in my own editions of the book of Mormon. It was clear then that it was not divinely t…

  22. Hello and thank you for the invite :). I have never been to Wellington but we plan to go on a nice trip just for the sake of going there :), and when we do decide I will definitely contact you before hand. My partner also has plenty to say on these topics too.

    In reply to #18 by MarkMaultby:

    Hi,

    We live in Wellington and are atheist. My wife is an ex-catholic. If you’re ever down this way and would like to go out for coffee with some like-minded folk you’d be welcome. (Email marktmaultby@ gmail.com) Coming from the UK, I have to say that whilst NZ is secular the religious groups here s…

  23. The good side of growing up Mormon, is your parents probably inculcated good habits of diet and exercise, and no fear of hard work. You are probably more polite and considerate than average. In other words, I think you will have an easier than average time joining new social circles.
    Just a few generations back people had to say goodbye to their families and set sail for North America knowing they would almost certainly never see them again. You are psychologically in a similar position. There is a a huge world out there to be explored. Your faith kept you in one tiny corner of it.

    Your parents don’t want to cut off contact. They are doing that only to keep the church from shunning them. Don’t hate them. Your parents would have even more trouble with being shunned that you would.
    People get by without family, because siblings were never born, or because parents died or abandoned them. What happened to you is far from unprecedented. People do survive this. You might seek out counsel of others have are further along in the process.

    Mormonism has a quite a bit of good it in, relative to other religions, but on the other hand it has far more bat-shit craziness. Keep the good. Be amused by the rest.

  24. Your mother doesn’t need to worry about your soul (despite the fact there is no proof you have one) as the Mormons can and probably will retrospectively baptise you back into the church after you’re dead anyway (whether you want them to or not).

    This is the Mormon religion’s most ridiculous belief (out of a large pile of potential candidates) as it means even the most appalling personal behaviour or opposition to everything the Mormons claim during a person’s life can be revised into acceptable behaviour and faith without having to change or agree in any way. At least Christians (which Mormons categorically ARE NOT) are logical enough to state that a person should be judged purely on their actions and obedience to church dogma while they are alive

  25. First, well done. Second, do not feel any great need to proclaim atheism as the new religion, because … well, it isn’t. It is simply the normal condition into which you and everyone else was born. The ONLY thing that happened to you since is that you were indoctrinated with someone else’s fears and prejudices, without you necessarily being given very much choice about it. And now you are free.

    I don’t know Hamilton NZ at all, and am slightly surprised to learn that it seems to be some sort of Mormon enclave. Maybe that’s just the people you associated with, for obvious reasons. Hamilton has 200,000 people. LDS members are 1.2% of the population of New Zealand. Perhaps when you break loose a bit more you’ll discover the “real” Hamilton? Otherwise, I recognise the need to stay where you are to finish your BA. I am less convinced you need to stay in the same place to continue your studies. It’s a big world, with a lot of universities.

  26. Hello, Kiwichick.

    All the good advice has already been given, but I will add my voice in praise of your good sense and integrity, and in wishing you success in your studies and in rebuilding your life. I know from my own experience what it is to lose family and friends as you did – it is not easy. All the more reason to commend you on what you are doing for yourself, for your children, and for your family in the long run. Congratulations on gaining your degree and all the best with your doctoral studies. As members of your family become aware of the more interesting life that you will lead as a biologist or just as a highly educated person, it may dawn on some of them that there is more to life and the world than the pokey little corner their religion allows them to inhabit. So, without even saying a word to them about your differences with them, you will be doing them good simply by doing what you are doing. Kia kaha!

    • Kia Ora Cairsley

      Thank you so much for your uplifting and encouraging comment, definitely made me feel good and has given me a lot of motivation :).

      In reply to #45 by Cairsley:

      Hello, Kiwichick.

      All the good advice has already been given, but I will add my voice in praise of your good sense and integrity, and in wishing you success in your studies and in rebuilding your life. I know from my own experience what it is to lose family and friends as you did – it is not easy….

  27. Thank you Kiwichick! Seeing your post here has helped me so much, I mean no disrespect by this but to know I’m not alone in this madness has inspired me. It’s heartwarming to get this kind of support.

  28. Hi Kiwichick,
    A fellow Hamiltonian here – and the inverse of your situation – I’m the atheist husband of an inactive-mornon. Fortunately for me my wife’s family has been fairly welcoming (well, you know, after trying to get her not to marry me :))
    My Bother-in-law just left for the Philippines on his mission.

    Anyway, my wife hasn’t rejected the church as you have but she stopped tithing and going to church before we got married (in 2000 for context). We occasionally get the odd home teacher (our current one is a friend of her sisters that we know – he’s very nice and I think might be a wee bit embarrassed about it).

    I have concerns about how my son will be treated once he gets old enough to preach to, he’s nearly three and spends most of his time with the MiL as child care.

    Anyway, if you need someone else to talk to who is in a somewhat similar situation….
    Good luck

    • Hello and thanks for your comment. Its funny and very nice to bump into fellow Hamiltonians on here :). I have similar concerns regarding my son also. He also spends a lot of time with his father’s family who are Mormon and his Grandfather is in the Steak Presidency and has high hopes for him to serve a mission. I’m hoping his rational mind will keep him occupied with other things that are more worth the investment when it comes to that time of age.

      In reply to #49 by Scepticon:

      Hi Kiwichick,
      A fellow Hamiltonian here – and the inverse of your situation – I’m the atheist husband of an inactive-mornon. Fortunately for me my wife’s family has been fairly welcoming (well, you know, after trying to get her not to marry me :))
      My Bother-in-law just left for the Philippines on hi…

  29. You state that you were “born a Mormon”. This is not true. You were brain washed as a vulnerable child and forced into Mormonism. I was raised Catholic. It is very hard to get shed of, but you can. Free yourself and experience life.

  30. Hi kiwichick,

    Congratulations on having the strength of mind and will to leave the cult your parents decided to indoctrinate you into. Your feelings of depression will soon pass (I hope) once you acclimatize to your new rational mindset, and realize you are not alone with such a fact-based worldview.

    And if I can just point out the obvious: if your family (and friends?) choose to shun you for your choice of independent thought and actions, what does that say about them (as opposed to you)?? Only organized religion (and cults) could impose such harsh penalties on friends and family for such a brave stance, and willingness to think for oneself.

    Stay strong, enjoy reading Dawkins, Hitch, Harris etc; and post here whenever you feel the need to. The positive support, and articles posted here, will make your decision seem all the more rational.

    Best of luck.

  31. On top of this I just could not agree that humans are only 4000 years old and that Adam and Eve were American and that Adam is God.

    Well, to be honest, claiming “Adam and Eve” to be American would’ve been my first clue Joseph Smith’s pants were on fire :)

    (I worked with a Mormon guy in California a few years back. A very nice guy to work with, but his religion really did rule his day-to-day activities, and he never missed an opportunity to express his views on his church.)

  32. First, let me say that I have the greatest admiration for kiwichick, for her strength and determination to leave the religion, to go against her family and to risk losing her entire past life to have a shot at building a new one. The life of freedom – whatever it brings – is better than a life of false doctrine, but leaving a religion behind seems to mean so much more than a “social suicide” – it’s killing the past version of yourself. Great courage of a great person.
    This description of how difficult it is to leave the LDS cult should be a warning to anyone who ever encounters Mormon missionaries and feels that a religion may be worth giving a chance. Though agnostic myself, I’ve been exposed to Mormons and I have been shocked with the brainwashing these poor people encounter on a daily basis. Just a few interesting points to those unfamiliar: 1. Mormons are told to believe the bilble and book of mormon literally (hence evolution is an evil concept; and only until the 1970s, non-caucasians were considered to have darker skin as a curse); 2. they are told that their president (a robe-less “pope subsitute”) talks to god – yes, directly; 3. they think that if they follow the doctrine strictly (and you see the initial post how insanely strict they are – to the extent of shunning their own child), after death they will become gods having an own planet to rule; 4. they cannot marry a non-Mormon – a civil union doesn’t constitute a marriage that would allow them to get the above-said planet (basically, a non-temple marriage is to the LDS church only slightly better than adultery); 5. they have to pay 10% of their gross income’s value out of their net (!) salary (there goes the sincere interpretation of the word “tithing”); 6. they have to attend numerous meetings/classes/teachings/services every month – well beyond a mere one mass per week (as e.g. Catholics would) – plenty of time to brainwash; 7. they are told that every personal problem or dilemma should be dealt with in conjunction with a “bishop” – their local community brainwashing guru (this man’s role is to make sure a mother of an apostatizing child shuns this child – as the initial post shows); 8. they discourage education of women – the role of a woman should be to have 5-8 kids and stay at home – obedient to her husband no matter whether he’s worth it; 9. they teach already children that non-Mormons are “unworthy” – can be tolerated, but not befriended or trusted – even or especially within a family (Satan is near, particularly when he “possessed” the body of your mother, son, dad, uncle); 10. to protect their church, Mormon communities are willing to completely sacrifice an abused individual – if you think that only paedophile Catholic priests were protected by their church, look into family abuse problems in LDS communities – the victims (most often women) are forced to be quiet and “work on their marriage” rather than go to police.
    It seems like Mormonism offers silly fairy tales and it’s impossible for a rational person to be swayed. But the truth is they have made quite a few advances around the world. They target – just like Catholics – South America, but also financially and educationally disadvantaged communities in other countries, such as New Zealand. They like befriending people who are lonely (immigrants) or in despair (widowed) or having health problems (from cancer to addiction). The official LDS website states that the ranks of their missionaries have been recently doubled to around 50 thousand worldwide. Please – having read the initial post – warn your friends and colleagues against these clean-cut, neatly looking and smiling boys who sell the idea of god living on planet Kolob: joining the cult offering you this wisdom will cost you more than 10% of your income. It will cost you your family life, personal life and freedom to think.

    • Thank you for the education :). You summed up a lot of the Mormon doctrine. The mistranslated ancient Egyptian papyri that constitutes the scripture used by the church as The Pearl of Great Price was also convincing evidence of fraud alongside Joseph Smith having “translated” the BOM by shoving his head into a black hat and looking at rocks that gave him super powers to see “translated words”. Despite the humanitarian efforts of the Mormon church which is aided by the tithing funds of the LDS members, it still indeed is a cult. Just recently the church lowered the age for missionaries to preach the gospel. This comes at no surprise considering the number of people leaving the church and those not joining nowadays yet they still count those who have left among the 14 million members. The missionary ages of 18 and 19 are also carefully selected because young adults are old enough to be received by investigators of the church but are still young enough to be ignorant and uneducated to know any real history about their own church. They send out brainwashed slaves who have willingly paid their own funding to be treated like robots for 12-24 months (4 of my siblings served missions). On top of this they are only allowed to read from the church literature such as the scriptures, and the Preach My Gospel manual throughout their 1-2 years and they all do this based on the idea taught by the leaders that God called them to serve. Re-reading fiction over and over again. I studied all of these things and am so disappointed that I wasted all that time when I could have been educating myself in things that I only have discovered now. Its very frustrating and its appalling that the leaders of this church deceive their followers, but hey its just like a business. They earn money throwing out empty slogans using Jesus Christ as a tool to lure people because its better than having a real honest job. If they turn themselves in how would they return their 7 billion dollars they earn annually from tithing back to the members? That wouldn’t happen because they wouldn’t like to live the rest of their lives as losers hated for deceiving millions. Organized religions in general are corrupt.

      In reply to #56 by paulol001:

      First, let me say that I have the greatest admiration for kiwichick, for her strength and determination to leave the religion, to go against her family and to risk losing her entire past life to have a shot at building a new one. The life of freedom – whatever it brings – is better than a life of fa…

    • In reply to #56 by paulol001:
      ” they are told that every personal problem or dilemma should be dealt with in conjunction with a “bishop” – their local community brainwashing guru (this man’s role is to make sure a mother of an apostatizing child shuns this child – as the initial post shows)”

      Lest we forget, Mitt Romney is such a bishop, and damn near half of American voters thought he should be President.

      • At times is seems as though Mitt Romney is embarrassed by the LDS church’s doctrine. He doesn’t act like the typical devout believers I know and the fact that he was born into LDS family doesn’t mean he had a “real choice” to begin with especially that he was expected to follow in the footsteps of his famous and faithful father. Romney would have likely lost his entire support from the Mormon church and his followers if he had left it before his election and that wouldn’t have been good for his votes. Hes richer than any other Mormon and “higher” than any church leader so he doesn’t really have any need to leave anyway. Hes only about politics and business – he doesn’t even know much about the real doctrine and history of the church and sometimes he gets confused about it in his interviews.

        In reply to #60 by Stevehill:

        In reply to #56 by paulol001:
        ” they are told that every personal problem or dilemma should be dealt with in conjunction with a “bishop” – their local community brainwashing guru (this man’s role is to make sure a mother of an apostatizing child shuns this child – as the initial post shows)”

        Lest w…

  33. If they move against you by the means of your opinion thn they do not deserve to be called your faminly members anymore. You will find many people whom think like you that are not corrupt and close minded, and if you find some freinds similar to the mindset of yourself, then I can assure you that they will not judge you by your ideology.

  34. Some years ago a friend of mine closed down a second hand bookshop. Amongst the books I scrounged was a copy of ‘the doctrine and covenant speaks’. What it said to me has given some good material for a novel. I’ve also read ‘Lost Boy’ by Brent Jeffs (FLDS survivor) and Caroline Jessop’s story.
    What I did note was the position the Mormon church takes on the ‘mysteries’ (scientific investigations) The US government pushed the science curriculum very hard when the Russians launched Sputnik 1. The religious apparatus has been trying to destroy scientific education ever since, and this is the nice part of the Mormon’s internal operations manual.
    I’m glad you’re out, remember that you can choose your friends, but not your relatives (includes your kids) keep plugging. I hope you can make friends with your kids. I’m friends with my parents, so we work together as adults now.

    There is a publication, the encyclopedea of Mormonism which, when you read between the lines and look up the public record documents of the same incidents will lay out the whole history, dogma, operations and shortcomings of the church from both sides. It’s five or six quarto sized books- Go hassle your local librarian a bit, that’s what they’re for. Try the biggest Uni on the islands, I can’t remember which town it’s in. What’s interesting is how many times the Mormons have moved and that they’ve scismed more times than that.

    Now I need a bullet proof fire resistant literary agent for that novel!

    • Thank you, I will check out that encyclopedia and those books. You sound like a writer :) I would recommend you the Mormon Magic Underwear. There have been a few claims that they have the divine power to protect one from the “wiles of evil” including fire and bullets ;).

      In reply to #61 by Alistair Blackhill:

      Some years ago a friend of mine closed down a second hand bookshop. Amongst the books I scrounged was a copy of ‘the doctrine and covenant speaks’. What it said to me has given some good material for a novel. I’ve also read ‘Lost Boy’ by Brent Jeffs (FLDS survivor) and Caroline Jessop’s story.
      What…

      • I used to be involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism, so the bullet proof bit is catered for. I’ve also been in motor sport, so I have a fireproof race suit around here somewhere- It’s the fireproof literary agent I need.

        The book is religion vs science and science wins…

        Happy reading!

        In reply to #64 by kiwichick:

        Thank you, I will check out that encyclopedia and those books. You sound like a writer :) I would recommend you the Mormon Magic Underwear. There have been a few claims that they have the divine power to protect one from the “wiles of evil” including fire and bullets ;).

        In reply to #61 by Alistair…

        • Oh do let us know how we can get hold of this book! I would be delighted to read it :)

          In reply to #68 by Alistair Blackhill:

          I used to be involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism, so the bullet proof bit is catered for. I’ve also been in motor sport, so I have a fireproof race suit around here somewhere- It’s the fireproof literary agent I need.

          The book is religion vs science and science wins…

          Happy reading!…

          • In reply to #77 by kiwichick:

            Oh do let us know how we can get hold of this book! I would be delighted to read it :)

            In reply to #68 by Alistair Blackhill:

            I used to be involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism, so the bullet proof bit is catered for. I’ve also been in motor sport, so I have a fireproof race suit around…

            I’m still looking for a publisher, and for that I’ll need an agent. The one I’d like to talk to is whoever handled Chris Hitchens…

  35. Hi KiwiChick. Well done. You have joined the club of rational people – or, at least, people who try to act rationally (I have to confess that I am not entirely rational about Rugby – Welsh by birth see).

    It has to be said (again): there are (one) too many ‘m’s in mormon!

    Sorry about your family and so-called friends but you have to be who you are. Living a lie to appease others is a recipe for a life of misery and frustration. You appear to be fairly young which means you have nearly all of your adult life ahead. Get out there and make the most of it and leave behind those whose cannot move out of the dark ages.

    The very best wishes to you from Guernsey, Channel Islands (oh, by the way, we are NOT English!)

    • Kia Ora! I am the same when it comes to rugby but only when the All Blacks are ‘not’ winning ;). Thank you for the support! :)

      In reply to #62 by JBGuernsey:

      Hi KiwiChick. Well done. You have joined the club of rational people – or, at least, people who try to act rationally (I have to confess that I am not entirely rational about Rugby – Welsh by birth see).

      It has to be said (again): there are (one) too many ‘m’s in mormon!

      Sorry about your family…

  36. my Mother has sent me many text messages telling me that I am possessed by demons

    This is a very hurtful tactic employed by fundamentalists in many different religions. Here’s my advice to anyone on the receiving end of such psychological attacks:
    Try not to do anything to encourage them in their delusions. For instance if your attacker thinks that possessed people swear all the time, then never swear at them, but always respond with calm, rational and amicable words. Eventually your attacker will come to see their accusations are rather silly. Your attacker might even become less of a fundamentalist and become your friend in a demon free world.

  37. Hi there,
    Interested to hear of your story. I declared myself an atheist some six years ago , having spent the first 60 years of my life in and out of the Catholic then Church of England. I live in the UK and I am on my way to New Zealand for the first time for New Year 2014 and to Hamilton, where my sister lives. sadly she is religious, so I shall keep off the subject.

    If I may offer some advice. I have said to those who cannot accept my rejection of their god; not to worry, I take full responsibility for my actions, if god punishes me, so be it. But you are my family and I still love you and always will!

  38. It would be hard for me to top the sympathy and advice I’ve read here concerning your current situation, especially that from your fellow ex-Mormons and Kiwis. Only you can decide if your family are worth keeping in contact with. They sound like complete arseholes to me, and stupid as well, as they don’t realise that abuse sent over electronic systems leaves a record that can be forwarded to forums, web sites, and the police (if they don’t stop the bullying).

    At the moment, being an “ex-Mormon” is a major part of your identity because you are in a transition phase and you’ll have to spend time working through the issues and finding new friends. But in the longer term, I think you should aim for leaving the issues behind and get on with your own life the way you want, otherwise they have won. In other words, once you’ve made a new social circle you should start defining your own worthy projects that you want to spend your time on, instead of wasting time solving problems that your enemies have set up for you.

    • Thank you for your comment I really appreciate the advice. I need it and it gives me the motivation to carry on and focus on what I need to do. You are right about trying to find new social circles and I am happy I have been able to do that via the internet forums. I imagine it would have been far more difficult back in the day when there was no internet to do this.

      In reply to #70 by Dave H:

      It would be hard for me to top the sympathy and advice I’ve read here concerning your current situation, especially that from your fellow ex-Mormons and Kiwis. Only you can decide if your family are worth keeping in contact with. They sound like complete arseholes to me, and stupid as well, as they…

  39. It’s a wonderful Joseph Smith wasn’t carted off to the funny farm. Really? Stones on his eyes? These days he would get an unfavorable psychiatric diagnosis and perhaps a prescription for anti-psychotic drugs!
    These sort of extreme religions seem to require followers to have full schedules with bible study groups, ministry schools, Sunday schools, Sunday services & door to door proselytizing. It seems designed to keep the people busy enough not to question how ludicrous their religion actually is. When I left the JW’S I had some time to think and suddenly with a clear head was actually
    able to see how ludicrous it all was. I learnt to use my reason when not being constantly inculcated by their teachings.
    These religions provide structure for those without direction and a dogma for those who don’t want to think. To go along with all of it is easy. What annoys me is that a lot of them don’t have a proper job and ride on the coat tails of others within the religion that do pull in an income. The ‘pioneers’ in the witnesses don’t have enough time to work a full time employment job so rely on others to help them door knock. Usually this is their family or they are on unemployment benefits. They contribute nothing to society and skae thru life hardly lifting a finger to do a proper days work. Other religions pay their priests so there are a lot of fundamentally lazy people in the world.

    • Great comment I absolutely agree with you and this was exactly how it was in the LDS religion. There was no time to think, everything you mentioned was what it was like for me throughout my entire life (25 years) as a mormon. I am definitely glad I got out and was able to think clearly and see it for what it really was. Thank you for sharing.

      In reply to #74 by KTTUCK:

      It’s a wonderful Joseph Smith wasn’t carted off to the funny farm. Really? Stones on his eyes? These days he would get an unfavorable psychiatric diagnosis and perhaps a prescription for anti-psychotic drugs!
      These sort of extreme religions seem to require followers to have full schedules with bible…

  40. Looks like you have a bright future ahead of you. Dont give up, get your PhD and live a succesful life with the partner you choose.
    For the whole losing your family and friends thing .. as hard as it is to accept you just have to push through and get over it. Keep in mind it is their choice not yours. You dont cast them out because they believe different then you. I´m from germany and my family (mothers side) are very strict baptists .. so I kind of know what you re going through. It gets better. And even if it doesnt its still better then basing your life on a lie.

    • Thank you for the support I appreciate it.

      In reply to #76 by marcfromgermany:

      Looks like you have a bright future ahead of you. Dont give up, get your PhD and live a succesful life with the partner you choose.
      For the whole losing your family and friends thing .. as hard as it is to accept you just have to push through and get over it. Keep in mind it is their choice not your…

  41. Dear Kiwichick, CONGRATULATIONS!!! on having the courage to challenge and change your belieffs and yes allowing yourself to think. The power of humility is forfieted by religious certainty. While I was brought up in a catholic household it was more a backgroud to our lives. My father did not believe but never actually said it until he was 72. I grew up in the 60′s and challenged everything… beliefs, values morals…no sacred cows. Even in liberal circles people find it hard to change their world view. Us humans are really good at maintaining the staus quo.
    In our family emotional blackmail was used as a tool to keep us on the straight and narrow. It was difficult for me to adopt different values and beliefs. My parents no doubt were afraid of the unknown and did not want to me make decisions that would compromise my happiness. I can see now it was their lack of encouragment that highilghted their concern.
    So it wasn’t as confrontational as your situation but the point I make is that fear is the placeholder. It’s s survival mechanism and it’s unconscious. Although your family may never see the world through eyes an invitation can do no harm.

    “but I don’t feel like I should change back to believing in the Mormon doctrine in order to make them happy with me again.”
    I doubt you could do this even if you decided to. The geanie is out of the bottle!! You must feel so liberated.
    Good for you!

  42. On the stupidity scale, Mormonism ranks just below Moonies and Scientology. This Joseph Smith character was so blatantly a ‘false prophet’ that I find it mind boggling he created such a cult following. How did that ‘history’ pilgrimage go? Did they mention The Mountain Meadows massacre. These zealots butchered between 100-140 people who were just passing through (1857). Try and find a documentary called ‘The Bible vs. Joseph Smith from Living Hope Ministries/SourceFlix. Now, It’s obviously a christian documentary, but it does good at showing what a crock of bullshit Her Smith dreamed up. I too am atheist, but I find religion and the lack of rationalism an interesting subject. I felt like I was beat to death with god while growing up, and at this point in my life make no apologies for my militant attitude. Tell your family that their attitude is real christian-like. Well, come to think of it, it is very christian-like. Be thankful that you haven’t been stoned to death for being a heathen. Hang in there!

  43. I completely feel for your position. It is almost identical to mine. I grew up in a very devout Mormon household and was feeling so much guilt at even the thought of questioning the church that for nearly a decade, I didn’t. I am currently still on the church records as a member but cannot in good mindset go to church.

    The missionaries actually came over the other day, and I was finally not afraid to talk to them openly about my doubts in the church. We spent about 2 hours talking about the TRUE history of the church and they left, intrigued. I am not out on some kind of mission to destroy the church, but I will not hesitate to talk about it if asked.

    I hope that you can move on. There is so much more to life than the LDS church.

  44. Congratulations!!

    Ex-mormon here as well, but I hail from hell itself, Salt Lake City.

    I became atheist about a year ago, but only fully ‘came out’ about 4 months ago, because of the social suicide that is attached with leaving the mormon church in a mormon community.

    It was hard, yes, but very rewarding. I am happier now than I ever have been.

    My family has mostly gotten over it. It was very hard on them because I was ‘the strong one’ in the church. I didn’t speak to my parents for various months, but we now have a good relationship.

  45. Hi Kiwichick

    Ex Hamiltonian and Mormon here. Just thought I’d throw in my support. Hamilton is an incestious little town when it comes to the church. If you ever want to talk feel free to email me. Both my wife and I grew up there and from the sounds of it we are close to the same age so we will have a lot of relevant experiences to share with each other.

    Best of luck

    Email is Brian at buttonmasher dot co dot nz

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