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 Post subject: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:23 am 
God
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Dear Wife and I are trying to figure out the best way to inform the whole TBM family about our blessed change of faith (away from Mormonism) this Thanksgiving holiday when everyone gets together.

We don't feel a need to get up on the witness stand. We are not burdened with the need to explain our case. It is not our duty. It is the Church (this doesn't include apologists) that needs to sit up on the stand and tell us all why in the hell Joseph lied to us but never informed us of it. They need to explain why there was so much s*** left out and why I had to find it by going through the Church's stinky, back door where the flies buzz. TBM's are looking for an explanation from us but there is no reason we should give anything because we have not changed. It is the Church that changed.

It is very likely people will continue to make crappy assumptions about us when they get together and talk about us. So be it.

We plan to be our happy selves around our family this thanksgiving and make sure they don't have a reason to think we are sad or bitter. Right, I sound bitter on this board, but thanks to this board, I can vent here instead of with my family. If they ask what is up with us, we plan to reply thusly:

"We hold our personal beliefs as sacred and personal. These are different than your personal religious beliefs. This is our decision and we hope you can respect it just as we respect all of your personal beliefs. Please refer to Articles of Faith 11."

Thanksgiving dinner will rock! I'm making triple berry pie and hope to share a photo later...

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:46 am 
the very elect
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From personal experience, I would wait until later to announce this. Later towards the end of their visit.

Otherwise you will be accused of ruining their precious bird day.

Haha it really is your bird day... when you and your family flip a big bony middle finger at LDS Inc.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:11 pm 
Bishop
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Rather than responding to why you don't believe, I suggest asking them why you should believe. It is much easier to respond to professions of faith than to make a case for disbelief to those of faith.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:05 pm 
God

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It could be a difficult day for you. From your own feelings of anticipation about their reaction/action when you say something to what may actually happen.

I would not say anything until later in the evening, if possible. Maybe not even an announcement then unless you really want to or someone brings it up.

No questions and nothing other than 'we have made our choice and we wish you to respect it' would do it without lot of problems. Unless you have some relatives like many of us do who won't leave well enough alone, then you tell those specific ones to back off, the subject is closed.

Who knows how they will react? Just be ready for silence to berating and and stick to 'our decision, please respect that' and be ready to leave if some get too testy.

Best of luck to you in the future. I hope you family is not the type to consider you dead to them if you no longer believe what they think you should.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:32 pm 
1st Counselor

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Zee wrote:
We plan to be our happy selves around our family this thanksgiving and make sure they don't have a reason to think we are sad or bitter.
Zee, I've always been the black sheep in the eyes of my in-laws. No matter how I act, I'm perceived how they want to perceive me. So I say, if you are feeling happy, act happy--if you're not, don't. They may just see what they want to see regardless of what is going on in your head and heart.


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:50 pm 
Bell Ringer
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If your hosting, put an image of a plump, smiling Buddha in the middle of the table as a center piece and never make a reference to it. See where the conversation goes :).

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:56 pm 
God
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Quasimodo wrote:
If your hosting, put an image of a plump, smiling Buddha in the middle of the table as a center piece and never make a reference to it. See where the conversation goes :).

Well, a TBM family member was over the other day and we all sat down to eat and as soon as Dear Wife was ready to eat, we all started going at it with no prayer. The TBM looked pretty awkward wondering why we didn't pray. Earlier this year, we said a prayer over all the produce in the U.S.A. and all the livestock and chickens and even the fish off the Alaskan coast and the farms in Oregon. My Dear Wife has some extremely powerful priesthood powers so having her help me bless all this food is very beneficial. Her powers might even reach all the way to the Indian Ocean if she concentrated enough. I wonder if TSM could pull that off...?

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Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame on us gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather, who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given... Zeus (1178 BC)

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:31 pm 
Zee wrote:
It is the Church that changed.


Actually, Zee, the Church hasn't changed at all. It is your perception of the Church that has changed, for better or for worse.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for you. I'm glad that you and your wife were able to make a united decision that you feel is best for your family.

However, I agree with Porter. I don't think that a huge announcement at the beginning of Thanksgiving dinner is the best way to handle extended family relations.

Personally, I think it makes much more sense to handle things privately with individual members on a need to know basis.

Why make Thanksgiving the holiday that your TBM family feels they "lost" their son or daughter from the Church?

It's going to be hard on them whenever they hear the news, but there are better ways than others of breaking that news....especially since it is something that you know darned good and well they will NEVER completely understand and/or likely accept.

At the same time, how you handle this could make the difference in the acceptance of you, as a responsible family member, and head of your personal household.


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:02 pm 
God
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Boy does this ever hit home...

Quote:
Why make Thanksgiving the holiday that your TBM family feels they "lost" their son or daughter from the Church?



zee,

I know three people whose loved ones died this year. One just a month ago. When I think of them at this time of year, I know all too well how those engaging the grief process tend to mark anniversaries (Last Thanksgiving, Last Christmas and coming to terms with the fact that it really was the last time) as they begin moving forward and processing all that has happened in their lives this year.

Liz is exactly right. If what I've heard regarding parent's reactions to apostasy on the part of a family member is true, I urge you to rethink your decision about Thanksgiving.

I do believe that most of your TBM family will begin a grief process on account of this.

Please don't do it to them on a significant holiday.

It's going to make them feel like their family died on Thanksgiving.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:48 pm 
Jersey Girl wrote:
Boy does this ever hit home...

Quote:
Why make Thanksgiving the holiday that your TBM family feels they "lost" their son or daughter from the Church?



zee,

I know three people whose loved ones died this year. One just a month ago. When I think of them at this time of year, I know all too well how those engaging the grief process tend to mark anniversaries (Last Thanksgiving, Last Christmas and coming to terms with the fact that it really was the last time) as they begin moving forward and processing all that has happened in their lives this year.

Liz is exactly right. If what I've heard regarding parent's reactions to apostasy on the part of a family member is true, I urge you to rethink your decision about Thanksgiving.

I do believe that most of your TBM family will begin a grief process on account of this.

Please don't do it to them on a significant holiday.

It's going to make them feel like their family died on Thanksgiving.


AMEN, JG!!! This is one smart woman, Zee, which is why she is my best friend on the board!!!

If you won't listen to me, I urge you to listen to HER!!

JG is exactly right. You have to remember that for your TBM extended family, right or wrong, like it or not, they WILL experience a grieving process. I think this is something that BOTH you and your wife need to be sensitive to...not only for your sakes, but for your CHILDREN'S sakes. This is the relationship with "Grandma's and Grandpa's" we're talking about. Do you really think it's wise to put your kids smack dab in the middle of this type of awkwardness at a family holiday?

I get that you and your wife are pleased with your decision, and want to make a statement, but I think there are better ways to go about it than this.

It's something that really does need to be handled privately.

And, honestly...even then...it's not going to be a cake-walk.

A great example of a person who I believe handled her decisions to leave the Church with a lot of class and grace is Beastie. Search through some of her experiences, or PM her.


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:06 pm 
God
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Hi Zee,

I think your comments about just being happy because you don't have anything you need to explain to them is right on.

I wish you the best, and a Happy Thanksgiving!

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:14 pm 
God
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JG and Liz a couple of my favs on MDB:

The whole family already knows we are not true believing any more.

But they want us to come back so they keep bringing up church stuff. We are looking for a good way to respond when/if they bring this up. We were actually thinking of writing a letter to everyone. You see, they are in the process of gossiping about us. They are making conclusions about our abilities as parents and also hurting DWs feelings. Sometimes we feel like we should explain to them why we've done what we've done but I don't think it is our responsibility to explain.

I haven't given enough context here. Sorry about that.

I do think the church changed since the church was my world it was my reality. The reality has changed.

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Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame on us gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather, who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given... Zeus (1178 BC)

The Holy Sacrament.


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:42 pm 
Prophet
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When you no longer give a s*** what they think or say about you, they will no longer have power over you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:35 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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Hades wrote:
When you no longer give a s*** what they think or say about you, they will no longer have power over you.


That's true, but they will also no longer be family in any meaningful sense.

When you choose to have a relationship with your family (when you're at a point in life to be able to make this choice) or with a close friend, you are choosing to give them some power over you. If you choose to maintain this kind of relationship, then you do care what their thoughts and feelings are to some extent. That's a two-way street, however, which means that people who really care about you should also respect your ceasing to believe that "the Church is true."

I feel for zeezrom's dilemma here, although I through blind luck happened not to be in a similar situation when I stopped believing in the LDS Church. I still have family and close friends who are TBM's, though. For what it's worth, I think most people who are freaking out about your eternal salvation when you become an apostate mean well, even if it's misplaced. Trying to find some balance between evangelizing and minding your own business is, I think, just one of those happily miserable parts of human dynamics, just like determining to what extent you need to explain your lack of faith while not trying to de-convert the TBM's close to you (and thus alienating people you care about) is also a balancing act.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Thoughts, you ask? A Thanksgiving to remember [inside thought bubble].

Definitely wait until the end of the get together, unless you choose a non-holiday to do it. I guess it would be better to ruin an ordinary Tuesday than Thanksgiving 2010.

Another thought is- good for you recognizing that you don't necessarily owe anyone any explanation. Sometimes I wonder why people don't just write an exit letter without going into a long drawn out explanation of why they are resigning from the church. Personally, if asked, I would lay out some of the basic problems with the church without much discussion on the topics, allowing for the listener to do some of their own research. After all, it is probably better for a person to draw the conclusion for themselves. I'd venture to say that surely someone in the family has noticed that some things just don't seem to add up. Of course, I've never been LDS or exLDS, so what do I know?

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:29 pm 
God
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zeezrom wrote:

Thanksgiving dinner will rock! I'm making triple berry pie and hope to share a photo later...

Thoughts?


My gosh, your missionary work paid off so soon? That was fast. Not too long ago, someone was asking how to navigate a relationship with a believing husband. And I made my comments about upside down missionary work and how an unbelieving person just can't accept the spouse's belief without doing upside down missionary work to get them out of the church.

Such is freedom of expression and thought in a disbelieving spouse. It is difficult to accept the freedom of the believing spouse and their certainity.

And this is what hypocrisy is coming from embracing uncertainity and freedom. You could not accept a believing wife. Interesting from a pyschological viewpoint.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:37 pm 
God
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liz3564 wrote:
Zee wrote:
It is the Church that changed.


Actually, Zee, the Church hasn't changed at all. It is your perception of the Church that has changed, for better or for worse.


This is true. But most don't get it. The church actually hasn't changed but people do. People leave churches all the time. In one month, 40,000 Finnish people left their lutheran church over same sex marriage according to the AP because the lutheran church did not condone same sex marriage.

However, it seems that the lutheran church can change its course because of popular reaction. But the lds church or catholic church usually don't change because of popular demand.

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I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.
Joseph Smith


We are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all…”
Joseph Smith


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:45 pm 
God
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zeezrom wrote:
Thoughts?


You are making big changes, but remember Thanksgiving is a time for joy and not for bitterness and recriminations. Celebrate your joy with your family the best you can.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:00 am 
the very elect
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why me wrote:
However, it seems that the lutheran church can change its course because of popular reaction. But the lds church or catholic church usually don't change because of popular demand.
You really do not know LDS history do you... wow.

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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:14 am 
God
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Hey zee good luck with everything! I have really been enjoying your posts lately because you say a lot of the things I am thinking. Right now I am studying up on how to get your family and friends out of a cult. It has been pretty interesting.

Oh and I want to try some of your Vodka pies sometime :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Church must sit on the witness stand
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:05 am 
God

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wow. You know, you're the first person other than myself that I paid attention to from their discovery phase to official non-believer.

Just roll with it. You've been on both sides. You know exactly what they are thinking, you can predict and tell them exactly what they will say. Have some fun but don't forget to love them.

I think JG and Liz are off. Cults want you to be silent. Cults need to blame the apostate for the disruption of their craft. It works best for them if apostates remain sheepish during family get-togethers. How about Nauvoo Expositor napkins?

Zee, some non-believers are afraid of how apparently mature adults will react when they tell them they have embraced the truth (or rejected the lies). Will it hurt their loved ones? Give them concerns? Frankly, that's life. Permit them to deal with real life. They're grown ups so treat them like grown ups. Be bold and let them know why you left and plant some seeds - because you do love them.

rant off.


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