Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

This entry might offend some, but this is where I can vent get out my feelings on certain issues... So click away from this page and enjoy your day, or stay and read.

As many of you know I grew up in the Mormon religion.  I attended all my meetings, early morning seminary (6:00 am before school), girls camp, dances, you name it I went.  Most of the things I went to I wanted to go to, but some things I was told I had to go. What happens when you tell a teen they have to do something. Yup, bad attitude and rebelling!  That was me.  I do not like conforming to what everyone else is doing.  I felt I didn't really know who I was because I was being molded into something I was not happy with.  I continued living a life that I was not happy with because I was told if I had these feelings they were from Satan. So for a very long time(25+yrs) I thought I was a bad person because I questioned a lot. 
I brought my kids up in this religion because it was all I ever knew, and Kurt joined the church as well.  Don't get me wrong, we as a family have a very strong belief in God and the eternal plan.  We say morning prayer and evening prayer, we talk a lot about our moral values, spiritual values, and  values for "our" family. We do these things because we want to not because we have to.  If the kids have issues with a subject we talk about it and give them guidance but do not make them be something they are not, or feel uncomfortable with. 
I guess my heart really turned when Halee was applying to colleges and she made her decision to go to San Diego to school.  So many people in my church gave me that sad look and said, " so, she is not going to BYU?"  Are you kidding me! Halee is a lot like me and would freak out in a school that everyone has to be the same, same look, same thoughts, same judging ways. I had some say that I would be held responsible for her school choice.  Um, the only school she did not get into was BYU.  She got into 4 other great schools.
UNLV, USC, ASU, and SDSU. Halee stopped going to early morning seminary in Goffstown because here were only 3 kids in it, so therefore BYU would not consider her.  Really, how judging is that, BYU needs to know why she stopped going and see what it is like to be a Mormon outside of the "Happy Valley" of Utah. Also a lot of the kids that go to BYU from around here know people that help them get in to BYU... Whatever...
I always felt like I was an outsider because I didn't have the same thoughts and I am raising my family in a different way.  We have given our children a base of the gospel, it is up to them to make there own choices.  Free agency, isn't that what God had planned for us? 
Seeing people of this religion play it off like they have their shit together makes me feel very sorry for them.  I know so many that feel stuck in their relationship because they have been "sealed" to their partner.  Some avoid their families due to the craziness going on inside the wall of their home.  People judge others so ruthlessly because they don't want to look at themselves.
It has been about 6 months since I have been to church, and I am starting to like who I am, and enjoying my family.  I am not stressed out by all the things I am not doing, like food storage, FHE, meeting after meeting, family history.  I would come home from church totally overwhelmed because of all the things that I had to do to be the perfect wife, mother, and example to others.
Mormon hold themselves to a higher standard which might be great for some, but if you really knew, most women feel like this they just wont say anything because they "can't".  So I am saying it for them. 
Someday I might return to being a Mormon, but right now I see a lot of other positive options. 
Like I said I am just venting and take it for what it is worth...


Anonymous said...

Hey Jill

Great blog posting. Awesome comments. You are right on with your words and way of thinking.

I did not grow up in (dum dum dum.....) "The Church", but I feel the same way. And you know what, I bet there are a ton of people (if not most) who do attend who feel to some level the same way as you but are afraid to admit it.

For myself and my family, I too wanted the Mormon faith to work. I really did. After all, I left the Catholic church thinking/hoping it would. So I did not take joining lightly. I also did not take my decision to stop going lightly either. I am still not sure what failed for me, the faith or the culture, or a little of both.

In the end, like you, I have found peace and happiness by being released from "The Morg". I am much happier being in my own skin rather than pretending with Sunday best on. I am a better father, husband, and friend to myself.

Again Jill, great post. I am right there with you.


Anonymous said...

Heavenly Father did not send us all here to conform, or to feel better about ourselves simply because we can attach a name, or group to ourselves. Each of us has been sent here to live OUR best lives. To be Christlike in all that we do. We all fall short (each and every day), but as long as we are striving to be more like our Savior, more of who we have been sent here to be, THAT is what I believe Heavenly Father wants for us, and from us.

Love ya Jillian,


Anonymous said...


I am very proud of you, Jill. I know that it has taken a lot of courage for you to come to this place...and to post it on the blog! I feel sad for those who feel as if they have to conform because that is what they are "supposed" to do. They are missing so much, and you have come to the place where you are realizing that. We have always said how much we admire the way you two have raised your children and the family values you have taught them. They will be all the better for it as adults themselves.

Love, Wendy

Anonymous said...

I love you like a sister so I will never judge you based on your church attendance. But If I hear you are no longer having family prayer, you're not too far away for me to drive over and whup ass on all of you.

There is a difference between "the church" and the gospel. Continue to live the gospel and it will bring you much happiness. The gospel is true, no matter how ignorant the members of any church are. I know it with all my heart.

Please give serious thought to "home schooling" your kids with daily scripture study too. It makes all the difference in the world. There is no better guide for our times than the BOM.

Forgive me for waxing preachy, but I have such a strong testimony of the gospel, that I hate to see anyone I love struggle with it.

There are a lot of "active" members of the church who don't have daily family prayer and scripture study. They are pretty easy to spot. They are the ones that judge you and say rotten crap to people who don't fit the outward narrative that they are so obsessed with maintaining. The church would be a much better place if its members would just live the gospel.

Love your guts,

Billy D

Anonymous said...

We each have to do the best we can whatever that means. The church has been a wonderful structure for me and my family. I didn't grow up with a good model, so the gospel of the church has been a wonderful version of that for me. Do people in the church suck? Yeah, some do, and I'm more sorry than I can say that you felt outside enough to leave. I've been there, but I've reached the point, where I know what I want and it doesn't involve being like everyone else in the church (couldn't if I tried) and it doesn't involve being perfect (couldn't if I tried) but it does involve sticking and getting everything out of it that I can. I love you and your family and miss you guys. I always thought you were great examples of what the best of being Mormon was all about. Jenny