August 31, 2006



The Spirit World Daily Chronicle reported today that at least three eyewitnesses saw Joseph Smith exiting a chariot wearing a hat, dark glasses, and fake moustache. Smith is wanted for questioning regarding the mob riot that occurred just over a hundred years ago in the spirit world. He somehow managed to escape the mob, and has been in hiding ever since.

Investigations into Smith's mob reveal that it consists mainly of female spirits, many of whom are angry at Smith for deceiving them and for teaching them falsehoods about the after life and the so-called "Plan of Salvation." They are angry that they gave up their lives and their loves while following his "prophetic" counsel. Many spirits here have discovered that they were in fact lied to while on Earth, laboring their whole lives under the illusion that the church that Smith founded was in fact true. The more angry males in the mob seem to be the men who were husbands and fathers to Smith's many wives on Earth. Questioning these men seems to bring out anger that is immeasurable by Heaven's standards.

Authorities have questioned Brigham Young to determine if he knows the whereabouts of Smith, considering how close the two were on Earth. He seemed to be too busy to answer questions, however, because he had a mob of his own surrounding him. Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the apparent prevalence of black spirits in this mob.

Emma Hale Smith, who was married to Smith on Earth, insists that she does not know where Smith may be hiding. She claims that she had no clue while on Earth that her husband was practicing deception on such a grand scale, and she maintains that she'd like to find him just as much as the mob. "He had better HOPE that there is a Savior, because he's going to need one when I get through with him!" said Emma. She thinks that a good place for investigators to start searching for him is with all the past "prophets" or presidents of the church Joseph founded on Earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She feels that these men maintained and perpetuated the falsehoods just as much as Smith did, and that they are probably in hiding with him to avoid being implicated. She commented that the only reason that Brigham Young is not in hiding is because "he's pompous and arrogant enough to think that he did no wrong, and he'd never stoop so low as to actually hide or feel shame in what he's done."

Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Joseph Smith or his successors who acted as presidents of the LDS church should contact the authorities immediately.

August 30, 2006

When to tell...

I'm debating when I should tell my TBM family members my news about how I feel about the church and why I don't think it's true anymore. I've told my husband, who has never been Mormon, and he's very supportive of whatever I want to do. He's told me that he loves me no matter what religion I am, and that is sweet to hear. I know there are many who don't have that support and that's gotta be tough. I've got to break the news to my son who's 13, and my daughter who's 8. This could create some tension or problems. She won't probably care, but I'm not sure how he'll take it, so I'm fearing the unknown.

I know my son has noticed lately that I "BLOG" and it really irritates him for some reason. He made up this little song to the tune of Coolio's song "Livin' in a Gangsta's Paradise"...He goes past me singing "She's spending most of her life, livin' in a Blogger's Paradise" in this adolescent deep singing voice. Funny guy. Apparently one day he happened to look at what I was reading when I stepped away to answer a phone call, and it just happened to be La's sarcastic blog about being a "pawn of Satan." This week he made some comment so I know he read part or all of it. Anyway, I don't think he's read mine yet, although he knows I'm Sister Mary Lisa so he could easily find it if he wished. He loves to try to see what I'm reading over my shoulder, or what I'm writing, although I try to not let him see it as I'm reading. I'm sure he's noticed some changes in my behavior lately: I don't force him or his sister to wake up and go to church if they don't want to, even if I'm going. I get on my computer at home now like I never used to. I BLOG. I let the F-bomb fly recently for no apparent reason than to add shock value to my statement. And I laughed at their shock.

I've still gone to church during this last month since I discovered the church isn't true. Each time I feel more and more fake for even being there. Who am I trying to kid?? Why am I maintaining the charade? Why don't I just fess up and quit going starting now?? I don't know. I at first didn't want to be too hasty. I wanted to investigate more and decide using sound reason. I also didn't want to leave the primary in a lurch. I'm starting to care less and less. They will survive without me. This weekend will be a nice reprieve as I travel to SLC to visit my family.

I want to have my thoughts and comments organized in my mind before I discuss it with my son, so he understands clearly where I'm coming from. It may be hard for me. I'm going to have to list it on an actual list because I have a tendency to get sidetracked or forget what details I was going to say, especially when I'm really emotional about the subject or when it's really important to me. Or if I'm getting opposition, which may happen if he decides to argue against it. I'm going to let him keep going to church if he wishes, but I have a feeling that it won't happen that way. I really hope he doesn't decide to pull the LDS "I'm better than you and you are sinning" card.....

I'm scared to tell my dad. He's been active his whole life. He's the typical controlling, anal, stick-to-the-letter-of-the-law, unrighteous dominion type, and we grew up with much dysfunction and hatred of him. I've been blessed with a mind that can forget/repress many painful things from childhood, and I don't like to dwell on unpleasantness, so I have been able to forge a semi-relationship with my dad that doesn't include hatred and disgust over past events. Although there are still many things that I could recall if I let myself open that particular door in my mind, but I'd rather not at this time. Painful. But my dad is the type that you just don't cross since he's fanatical when it comes to religion. So I'm dreading telling him. He was a real control freak. I wonder if he'll be able to get past his Mormon conditioning and still treat me with love and respect once he knows I'm apostate. He apparently told my brother, when he came out of the "closet" as a gay man, that gays were the reason that God sent AIDS and other diseases to man, as a form of punishment. Come on, Dad. I can't wait to find out what kind of satan-is-influencing-me lecture he'll throw at me. It could get really ugly, really fast.

I've talked a little to my sister who was attending the temple prep class with me until we cancelled the class (last Sunday!). She's never heard much of what I've told her, and today we talked a little bit more. I can't wait to sit down with her to discuss all my thoughts and feelings.

I think Joseph Smith made it up. I actually believe the stuff I've read, because it makes more sense than the stories that I'm told are true in the LDS church. I read some of Joseph Smith's journal on the Deseret News website and I saw a letter he wrote to one of his plural wives and he acts all sneaky, asking them to come visit him in his hiding place, but watch for Emma and if she's there, hide until she's gone and the coast is clear. Come on, that's sneaky crap and smells of deceit and untrustworthiness and I don't buy into the claims he made to being a prophet of God. At least I don't buy into it any more. A few months ago I did, but not now. Never again.

I'm planning to sit down with my sister soon to discuss what I now know, and have already told her I'd understand if she wants to maintain her status in the church ~ that's her free choice, but I know I can't do it anymore.

I wish I could just quit going and never think of it again. I want to put it behind me and move on.

August 29, 2006

The hand of the Lord

I talked to my brother recently, a few weeks after my sudden disillusionment with the LDS church happened. He was surprised that I had never heard all that stuff about the church. "Is this the first time you've heard that stuff?? Wow." What surprised me was when he described that he still basically believed the church is true, even though he hasn't been to church in years. He (I think) still believes the church is true. If I'm wrong, hopefully he'll read this and correct me. I do remember he said that he's felt the hand of the Lord many times in his life, and he can't deny it. I think he was implying by this that the church is true, even though he chooses not to go.

I've been thinking a lot about this statement. I too have felt the hand of the Lord in my life. But then I wonder, was that the hand of the Lord, or was it the Holy Spirit, or was it just fate? Could I be reliving the same basic life over and over ~ in reincarnation? Is that why I sometimes felt like I was being led to do things? Does my brother mean that he believes that because he's felt the hand of the Lord then that means the church is basically true? I disagree with that. I think if there is a God then He loves us and sometimes helps us on our path, regardless of what religion we are.

Some episodes in my life that felt like the hand of the Lord:

1. One day I was sitting in class (my junior year) waiting for class to start, when the announcements came over the loudspeaker. "All those students interested in being foreign exchange students should come to the AFS meeting scheduled this evening at 5:30." I sat straight up in my desk and my heart started racing, hard, and I knew I had to be at that meeting. Had I ever before cared about the foreign exchange program? No. Did I know some foreign exchange students in my school? Yes. Did I care before that moment about being an exchange student? No. But when that announcement was read, I had an instant, strong, burning feeling that I was supposed to be there. I told my mom and dragged her to the meeting with me. I had such an urgent feeling that I needed to apply to this, that her worries of how expensive and impossible it would be fell on deaf ears. I convinced her it would be OK, and I applied for financial aid. We had a large family of 7 kids with only one parent working, and I got a scholarship that paid for $3,000 of the $5,000 fee for the year-long exchange program. I swore I'd work to earn the rest, and I worked full time to earn it. There were 5 other students my age who applied, and they all got their placements quickly. I applied to go to these countries, in order of preference: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Yugoslavia. Basically I wanted to go to a German speaking country and any country beyond that didn't matter. But my assignment never came. Then one day my bishop told me he'd had a call from the "leader of the church in Austria" who asked him about me and what kind of girl I was. I got excited then because that meant that my application wasn't lost like I thought! About a month later I got my application back "approved" to go to Austria, and my host family was the stake president of Austria and his family. I knew it must have been the Lord who sent me there. Especially after finding out that they'd had an exchange student from the USA a year earlier, and the kid was so rude and non-social and it was such a bad experience that they swore they'd never have an exchange student again. But the AFS office in Vienna was so desperate for host families that they begged and told my host family that they could hand-pick which applicant they wanted, if any. So my host family found my application, saw I was LDS, and called my bishop first, then they prayed about it and decided to give it one more shot. My year in Austria was by far one of the best experiences of my life.

2. Growing up I had an awful experience in 4th grade where I was ostracized, quite publicly, by my 2 best friends. I was so hurt and humiliated by this that I literally had no friends besides my siblings until the 9th grade. I was super shy and didn't get out much. I liked to sing, so in 9th grade I took chorus, but the teacher made us all sing solos in class as part of our grade. I was extremely shy and hated doing solos, so they were always a flop. Therefore, I got a B in this class both semesters. In 10th grade I decided that I didn't really want my GPA to suffer (yes I'm a nerd and got good grades!), so I took Art 1 to fulfil my performing and visual arts requirement. Obviously I wasn't going to take speech or drama! It was there that I discovered that I could draw and paint, and that I could do it well. This wasn't something I knew about myself before. The way I see the hand of the Lord in this instance: I feel like my talent was God-given. I didn't do anything to get good at it, it was already there. Practice makes me better, of course, but it was truly already there. It was art that helped me to break out of my shell of low self-esteem and to feel like I was good in some way. This was (and still is) huge to me.

3. My kids. Of course, the first time I had a child it was under less-than-ideal circumstances. I got pregnant while at BYU, so I had to make up a reason (lie) to tell my roommates about why I was dropping out, and I went home with my tail between my legs to start a new life. It was such a miracle, though, giving birth. I know that is a trite thing to say, because almost every woman feels that way, but I felt it both times. I will also say that I felt like I was seriously blessed by Heavenly Father to find and marry my husband who already had a daughter from his first marriage. She has been such a wonderful daughter to have, and I can't help but feel like the Lord sent her to me. Lucky, lucky mom.

4. This sounds strange and horrible, but oh well. Before I suddenly and abruptly found out the real history and discovered that the church isn't true, I was torn up inside about going to the temple without my husband's true support or approval. I knew he really didn't want me to go and that if I did, it was only because I'd gotten his written permission by threatening divorce. I was feeling torn because I had the desire to go to the temple and be good, and I had the desire to also follow the church's rule that I should only go if my husband supported it. So I wondered what I should do. I began to wonder if divorce was what I was expected to do in order to have the eternal life I was taught to desire. I hate the thought of divorce and I really wanted to just have it all, my man as well as the temple blessings. In my angst, I began praying hard each day to know what I should do concerning my marriage and I prayed to have an answer so I would know what to do. Then I discovered the stories and truths in the history of the church and I felt immediately liberated in my love for my husband and in my life I've created for myself with my family. I honestly feel like it was the Lord who guided me to discover the truth for myself in this timely way. My husband may read this and think I'm crazy, but it's what I was going through for while there, as unpretty as it is. I'm greatly ashamed I harbored divorce thoughts in the name of "righteousness."

I'm sure there are other examples in my memory archives of times I felt like the Lord was arranging certain things to happen to me. It may be fate, or coincidence, but I still feel blessed in many ways.

Even if I don't think the church is true anymore.

August 28, 2006


So I've got to admit that I've been a follower of the TV show Big Brother for the last few years. I was so proud not to jump on board the whole reality TV bandwagon but eventually, one by one, I was sucked into the vortex and have not crawled out since. Survivor, The Amazing Race, Hell's Kitchen, Big Brother. I watch them all, sadly. (Yes, I have no life.)

Have any of you been watching the Big Brother All Stars? Since I've been reading about Joseph Smith and his life, and have been learning about so many things I never knew, I've been thinking "How could so many people just believe him and follow him like that? How did he DO that?" I have never personally known anyone with that much charisma and ability to lead others to do his will like that.

Until this season. Watching Big Brother. I didn't see the first season that Will was on (which he eventually won) but watching him this season, I've decided that J. Smith must have been much like Will. He has the ability to look someone in the eye, tell them outrageous things, and STILL he gets them to follow his wishes. I'm amazed that all these smart people are following his every lead, and sometimes they "know" he could be leading them wrong, but they still have the feeling like Will is on their side, so they follow him. He told them outright earlier in the game to vote him off, that he'd throw every competition if they didn't, and that he hated them all. And still they kept him. He was amused by this. I think he's amused by everything he can get away with so he tries even more outrageous stuff. He seems like he's bored and is just doing all these things to amuse himself. I guess he can, since he's a doctor and since he already won a million (or was it less?) And I can see now that every single thing he says and does is designed to get people to do what he wants them to. He is good!

Last night he was practicing his "lines" and talking to a camera as if it were a person he was trying to persuade. It was obvious he is good at this and has practiced it before. Some of the other people on Big Brother were watching him, but for some reason they didn't put two and two together and realize that this is what he does as he's talking to them as well. I'm beginning to think he could talk anyone into doing anything. ANYTHING. The ultimate con man. Charming as hell. It's scary how he can lie to their faces and when they call him on it he gives them his reason and makes them believe it's reasonable and that he's still a good guy. And they swallow it every time. I'm beginning to think he may just win this thing again. He is also able to tell them the truth of what his motives are and somehow they still trust him. Scary. And if they allow him to do this, why wouldn't he???


August 26, 2006


Jared 5" x 5" Graphite
Julia 5" x 5" Graphite

I recently drew these portraits, and have since been commissioned to draw a couple more. Maybe someday I'll be so busy drawing and painting that I'll be FORCED to quit my day job and just create art!

I love dreaming out loud in my blog!!

Am I a sheep?

School started this Wednesday for my children as well. I can finally shed the mother-guilt I feel every summer when I'm working and my kids fend for themselves. I HATE working during the summer when I could be home with my kids. Or painting. Or both.

My son decided to try football for the first time this year. I pick him up each day after work at 5:30. Today I arrived early and parked my car to watch the rest of practice. There were about 50 boys, all in dark jerseys and white helmets. I was amazed when I discovered I had picked out my son out among all those boys as they ran some sort of drill. I didn't know his number, or which shorts he'd taken to wear, yet I could tell that was my son. I felt like a mother sheep who can find her lamb in a crowd of lambs with no problem.

I was so proud of him, like you feel when you watch your kids when they are little trying to hit the ball on the tee, or when you watch them learning to walk...the happiness you feel when they feel proud of themselves for doing it right. I don't explain myself well, but my pride in my kids is so strong sometimes. My kids are amazing to me. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm worthy to be their mother. Regardless of this, I feel so blessed and lucky to have them in my life.

August 24, 2006

I love my dog!

Is he not the cutest wiener dog you've ever laid eyes on?!

Who knows?

Last night I went to my primary presidency meeting. I was a bit nervous since I found out this week that my "friend" notified the RS pres who notified at least the high priest group leader (who sent the letter I got) and probably the bishop about my questioning whether the church is true or not. So I feared before my meeting last nite that the primary pres also heard about it and would say something at our meeting.

The worst case scenario played out in my mind: the other members of the presidency discussing me behind my back and having a sort of "intervention" discussion at our meeting. Thankfully that didn't happen. I wondered through the whole meeting if the president would be talking to me in private later since I usually drive her home after the meeting, because she walks to the house where we have it but it's dark by the time we're done. I did drive her home, and no mention of my "problem." So.....I get to wait and wonder and see if they discuss me at their next ward council with all the auxiliary leaders. I wouldn't be surprised, although I find this offensive. What a breach of my privacy. I expect it will happen though. Just like La when someone reported in a meeting of leaders that they saw her wearing normal shorts without garments. Sheece.

I'm wondering if those who know about me have noticed that neither of my kids have been to church for the last two Sundays, although I have been there. I'm sure the RS pres has noticed, since her son is the deacon's quorum president and my son is his first counselor. And it's a small quorum, so it's really obvious when one is not there. She probably thinks I'm inactive already since she hasn't seen me as I've been in the primary room during Sac. Mtg. and all through church. Two Sundays ago my son was at soccer tryouts during church, and my daughter was so tired she wouldn't get up after me trying 5 times to get her to budge out of bed. Didn't happen, and my heart just wasn't into the whole forcing-my-kids-to-come-with-me routine. The same happened this last Sunday. I had to go early to set up chairs in primary so I tried to wake up my kids but neither of them wanted to come. We had been out late the night before playing board games at my SIL's house, and I didn't have the heart to force them to go where I didn't want to go either. I remember my parents forcing me to go to church my whole childhood and I thought, WHY?? Unfortunately I forgot to mention that to my husband as I left and he had no clue the kids were home, and it shocked him when my son came walking upstairs at 11:00.

I resent my friend so much for turning me in like that. Damn! I'd much rather have thought this through on my own time and on my own terms and maybe drafted a letter to those people I actually care about at church to let them know what's up with me. Now I'm looking at everyone and wondering if they know about my private thoughts and if they are judging me or not.

I hate this.

August 23, 2006

The Interview

For Weekly Anamnesis #36 ~ RACE

I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that my entire three weeks of vacation hours were used up already. They had been wasted to supplement my weekly hours up to forty since my transfer to this crappy store. When Albertsons bought out Buttrey in town, they were allowed by the feds to only have so many stores, and with the old Albertsons and the newly acquired stores, there were too many. That's why my old store got sold to Smith's. Since the Buttrey people got to keep their jobs, the Albertsons people had to "float" until positions opened up for them within the other open stores. I was a bookkeeper, so when I got moved with my store director to the crappy store down the street, my hours went way down. When the sales aren't high, the bookkeeper has much less work to do. Hence the reason my vacation was used up.

It was time to look for other work.

I had very little job hunting experience. I was hired at age 16 by Albertsons who had called the art department at my high school. They needed someone to make their signs, and figured an art student would have good handwriting. When I got to what I thought was my interview, the assistant store director walked me fast through the store for about five minutes. He showed me where the signs had to go and where my supplies were kept and could I start tomorrow? Not exactly an ideal interview experience.

I looked through the paper and found nothing there that looked like something I wanted. Then my sister in law showed me one she had found in the paper, posted by an employment agency.

Office Help Wanted. Competitive Wage.
Construction Experience Preferred.
Please Contact ____ Employment Agency.
Company Will Pay Fees.

I had no construction experience but I thought, "What could it hurt?" I called the employment agency and made an appointment to see them that day. I decided to wear my black slacks and white sweater to make a good impression.

I walked in to a dingy little office that smelled of old cigarette smoke and dead leaves. The chairs and cubicle wall panels were cheap plastic. The discolored window blinds looked like they could possibly have been the first ones ever made, and probably once matched the dated wood wall paneling, but their faded color gave no clue. The woman who sat at the front desk looked as though she had been in her chair for thirty years with the same beehive hairdo and same dark red lipstick running through the wrinkles around her lips. I expected she would have the voice of a trucker, but she never acknowledged me.

Suddenly a woman emerged between the cubicle panels. She could have possibly been the sister of Ms. Silent at the desk. She was immediately too close to me and talked in a loud voice.

"Hi, I'm Shirley. Follow me."

I followed her through a short maze of empty cubicles to the office she used. It was darker than the front office and smelled no better. Before I could sit down she had already sat and pushed a clipboard toward me.

"This is a questionnaire I need you to fill out. It will help us to place you in a job." I said, "I'm here about the construction office position you had in the paper." She said, "Fill out the form first." So I filled it out. Name, personal details, work experience. Then I reached the part on the form that describes how if they find you a job, they expect you to pay them a percentage of your new salary, such as the first month's salary. The form asked if I agree to this. I circled NO. I was only here to apply for the construction job where I knew the employer was paying the fee.

Shirley described the job. As we were talking she said her client preferred someone with construction experience, although it was a job keeping the books for them, and I knew that was something I could do. I watched as her eyes scanned down the page, and I knew the precise instant she came to my circled NO. She looked up mid sentence and told me that she didn't feel I had quite the experience her client was looking for and they'd call me if they had anything else that would fit my experience.

Immediately my heart began to race. I may not have had interview experience, but I knew when I was being fed a line of crap, and the taste and smell were overpowering. I stood up and put ten fingertips on the top of her desk.

"Listen, Shirley. I may not have construction experience, but I know books, and I'm a damn hard worker. I'm also a fast learner, and I know I can do this job. If I go there and I GET this job, Shirley, it can only benefit ME, and it can only benefit YOU." I said this last YOU with a finger pointed at her minimal chest. I also said her name with no small amount of condescension, so it was no surprise that by this time she was leaning way back in her office chair with a stunned expression on her face.

After about ten roaring seconds of silence, she said, "OK, well, maybe you can have a shot at applying for this job. You seem to have moxy and that may be something that you'll need working with a bunch of construction workers. Be at the construction offices on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. for an interview." She stood up and fixed her sweater that had become twisted as she leaned away from me.

"Remember: Don't chew gum, don't wear makeup, don't wear perfume, and DON'T embarrass me!" Too late, Shirley. You've already done that for yourself.

It wasn't until after I'd been working at the construction office for six months that I finally confided to my boss that he'd paid $1,600 to an absolute shrew to get me as an employee.

August 22, 2006


I am at a crossroads with tithing payment as well. I've still attended church all this time that I've been thinking it may not be true, and kept paying tithing, although we write a check weekly and then turn it in about once every month or two. Deciding what to do with my newfound knowledge is difficult. I don't want to be hasty, but all that I want to do is quit going and then decide from there. But I've decided I'll at least wait until after the primary program in Sac. Mtg. so the ladies in the presidency with me will be able to have my help until then. Of course, thanks to my friend informing my RS Pres that I've been having issues with the church, I may end up being released. Who knows? I guess I'll find out. Wonder who will see the letter I replied to my high priest group leader? He should get it today. I'm waiting to see if they inform my primary pres. I work with...

I got off subject. I've decided to quit paying tithing until I decide for sure what I'll do. I just can't see myself paying in if I don't think it's true anymore. It makes no sense to do so.

My husband is very supportive, and said he loves me for who I am and not what religion or anything like that, and he hopes that he isn't somehow the cause of me losing my faith. That is the sweetest thing I've heard from him in a long time. I love you, D.

August 21, 2006

My e-mail conversation this morning

Lisa: Hi, I take it your dad's advice was to contact the ward on my behalf?

R: No, that is what I decided after praying about in your behalf.

Lisa: Well thanks. Did you call the bishop? I do appreciate your concern. Now unfortunately they are under the impression that I've been offended by someone at church and that I'm in Satan's grasp. Neither of which is true in any way.

If the church is true, it will bear up under my lowly scrutiny, don't you think? I have no fear of questioning those things that make me go hmmmm.

:) Happy Monday.

R: No I called (RS President) because I'm worried about you. There is nothing bad that will come of the right people being concerned. How you interpret their concern is your business but I'm positive that not a SINGLE person in that ward feels that you are in Satan's grasp. Have faith in the love and concern they show and quit letting yourself get hung up on the small things because that IS exactly the way Satan will get you in his grasp.

Lisa: R,

How would you feel if, when you once confided in me that you were attracted to a guy at work (Lars), who was not a member, and were in fact in love with him, and I knew this to be against what the church would advise, so I decided to "help you" by talking about it to (RS Pres) who in turn told others so you'd get a letter from someone you barely know at church?

Then how would you feel if this person you barely know at church wrote in said letter that Satan was attacking you and trying to stop your eternal progression? And not to worry about these things of Satan? And what would you feel if this person told you to forgive yourself for allowing people to influence what you know to be true? And if he told you to ask Heavenly Father to heal your broken heart. That he is not all, that this has happened to you. And to deny the voices in your head. Say - Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! all the day long. And that he prays that the angels will protect you from Satan's grasp. (all these are direct quotes from my little letter I got ~ he referred to Satan NINE times in the letter! I'd say he thinks I'm in Satan's grasp.)

I'm sad that you didn't just try to talk to me yourself, instead of getting others involved. I would have much rather gone to my friends and leaders in my own due time, or never at all, if I had resolved my issues with my own study and prayer. I wish (RS Pres), whom I also consider my friend, had come to me herself rather than immediately go and talk about me to others behind my back and make me the new "project" that they will put at the top of their list of concerns.

I don't feel like I'm getting hung up on the small things. You feel that nothing bad will come of "the right people" being concerned. I feel like my privacy has been violated and I'm now having to defend my thoughts to people I barely know. Had I wanted that I'd have sent a form letter out to them myself. I've learned a valuable lesson, though, so thanks for that, I guess.

I wonder why I haven't heard back from her.......hmmmm.

Someone snitched on me!

Well, I got home from work Friday to find a card in the mail from the high priest group leader in my ward. Some of the card referred to the incident with my home teacher that I wrote about last week. Apparently someone contacted my ward about my questioning of the church! The only people that I talked to about this was through an e-mail to my friend who is 25 and single who moved from my ward to Utah a while ago, and I e-mailed my LDS Austrian friend (host sister from my year as an exchange student) whom I doubt called my ward, but you never know. I thought I could talk to them as trusted friends and get their thoughts without this happening, but obviously not.

Here is the card I got.

The front of the card has a sailboat and says "Destiny is a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." Winston Churchill

"Dearest Lisa,

Last Sunday (your home teacher) asked to speak with me. He was very distraught about something he had said to you at church. He went on to explain what had happened and as to what I felt he should do. I told him to apologize to you. I hope he has done so.

I sense somehow that you have been so offended by his remarks and perhaps others that you have become discouraged and angry. Even to the point of questioning your membership.

Let me just say this. The moment you decided to go to the Temple and take out your endowments, Satan began to attack you. I hope you can look back in your life and see that this is so. He will use others in your life to try to stop your eternal progression. He will beat your house down in every way he can. Do not be surprised at this. He is very clever and very effective at what he does. Please do not be fooled. Please forgive (your home teacher) and others that say hurtful things. Please forgive those that agree with how evil the church is, for they are used as a pawn by Satan to discourage you as well. Please forgive yourself for allowing people to influence what you know to be true. For in your heart of hearts you know the church is true. You have felt the spirit touch you in the past to witness to you that it is true.

My heart is full of love for you and your sweet family. Don't worry about these things of Satan. Love your little ones, love your husband, he is a good man. Be patient with members of the church who don't do well. Take your sorrows and offenses to Heavenly Father and ask Him to heal your broken heart. I promise you now that He will assist you in this quest.

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I am not all. God & Christ love you so much AND Satan knows that so he will do everything to stop you. Deny the voices in your head. Say - STOP it! Stop it! Stop it! all the day long. (He underlined that part)

As always I send my love and best personal regards. May you feel the love of Christ in your life. May the angels protect you from Satan's grasp. This too will pass...I promise.

All my love,

Bro. ( )

P.S. Call me if you want to talk about this."


Here is my response letter. I haven't mailed it yet but I probably will today. Any thoughts or advice? My hubby thinks I should just ignore and throw away the card I got, and not respond to it at all. He says it sounds like fear tactics and he thinks it's lame. However, I wanted to let them know that nobody at church offended me, as they so obviously wish were the case, and show that in my eyes Satan never did any deceiving in order to not let me get to the temple. It was all because of the directive from the church to deny me my recommend if my husband didn't "allow" it.

Dear Bro. ( ),

I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful card. I really appreciated it. I have never been offended by anyone at church. I was very irritated by (my home teacher) not believing me when I talked to him. After having taught him in Gospel Essentials for over 3 years, I feel like I know him fairly well, and I’m frankly surprised that anyone would feel like it’d be a good idea to assign him as home teacher to any part-member family. Thankfully this is no longer my concern.

In response to your sense that I’ve been offended by others to become discouraged and angry to the point of questioning my membership…I’m not quite sure why you would assume this. I have never felt that way.

I have been praying a lot and studying the gospel, just as the scriptures admonish me to do to confirm truth to myself. I assure you I am not in Satan’s grasp nor have I ever been. I have never heard the church is evil from any source.

As for my eternal progression…You may not realize that I desired to attend the temple to take out my endowment over 6 years ago. I went through the temple prep class and I was so excited and anxious to finally reach this special milestone. After the class my husband and I were asked to the bishop’s office for my first interview to get my recommend. It was during this interview that I first learned that the church will not allow me to attend the temple if I don’t have written permission from my husband. Dart was shocked that the church would require a righteous, good, grown woman to get permission for something righteous she wants to do, therefore he couldn’t and wouldn’t give his permission. This has been the only evidence in my life of others trying to stop my eternal progression, and it originated in the gospel. One question I’ve always had but have been afraid to ask: If I had been born a man, would I have been required to get written permission from my non-member wife if I wanted to attend the temple?

As you can see from my attendance at church and my constant striving to be good…not even this has caused me to have a broken heart. I can see no evidence where Satan has tempted me. I am taking the temple prep class again with my sister Tonya. It’s been difficult to coordinate schedules with her as we juggle her 60 hour work week, my 40 hour work week, and our family lives with 3 kids each. Neither of us feel a pressure to hurry, as we know God loves us regardless, and we are doing our best.

Thank you for your thoughts and concern. You may rest assured that I’ve never felt God’s personal love for me and my family more than I do right now.

August 18, 2006

Garage Sale

I hate that we are having a garage sale tomorrow. I can think of a hundred things I'd rather do than work at my own garage sale, watching people go thru my junk looking for treasure. Maybe I'll list a few of my preferences.

I'd rather....

be painting the portrait I have on my easel right now
draw a drawing and frame it for my brother's birthday this Sunday
watch Love Actually again
set the junk out there until it all disappears magically
play with my dachsund
go to the fair and eat fried stuff
finish my daughter's school clothes shopping
pluck out my eyeballs and stomp on them

The upside is that my husband and son hauled all the stuff out to our detached garage, organized it all, and labeled it all. The work is really done, for the most part. While I sat here and worked on something much easier at work.

To those of you who enjoy going to garage sales and looking for treasures: please come to mine tomorrow and buy it all in one shot, so I can do my list above instead!

A favorite quote...

This quote by Louisa May Alcott touches me:

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship”

I love this poem!

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

August 17, 2006

About me...

Fair warning: this is extremely long. I need an editor. You may want to go pop yourself some popcorn and go to the bathroom first, since it may take a while to read.

OK, I felt the need to create this blog and get to know others who are going through the same disillusionment over the LDS church that I've been going through. I'm still very new to my feelings so they may seem like rambling and I may write too much, but so what. It's how my thoughts work. I'm giving way too many details in an effort to show you some of what I've thought and done in the LDS faith, so you can maybe understand better why the shock feels so brutal to us when we find out the real truth.

I was born and raised LDS. I'm the second oldest of parents who were also born and raised LDS in Utah. They dated 3 years in high school and married at age 19, had 8 kids together. Of all of us, only my dad, a sister, and I still attend church. My sister and I are both married to non-mo men, and we both have children (only one other sibling has kids). My sister and I have both tried very hard to continue activity in the church and be good moms although we have both felt throughout it all that we didn't measure up and that we were somehow judged and found lacking by being married to non-members. Neither one of us has ever felt we fit in at church. It is very hard to go to church every Sunday alone with kids. But you persevere and hope that someday your man will convert and you can gain an eternal family. It's especially brutal to be asked by your kids as they begin to learn things....."But we aren't sealed as a family. Does this mean we won't be together in heaven?" Ouch. Neither my sister nor I have attended the temple to take out our endowment. 5 years ago I took the temple prep class and I actually made it so far as to interview with my bishop, who wanted my husband there too. I was so excited to be going to the temple, at least as excited as I could be considering how bittersweet it'd be without my husband there...

The bishop told us a little about why the temple is important to us and why we wear garments and that they're sacred and are worn at all times. And a bit about the symbolism in the temple and the ordinances we perform there etc. I was blindsided when he asked my husband if he'd give a written permission/consent for me to attend the temple. I had never heard of this or expected it at all. My hubby was highly irritated by this ~ he said a grown person shouldn't need permission from their spouse if they want to do something! ~ but my bishop said it was required or I wasn't going. So my husband said, "Fine, then I'm not giving it. If you want my honest opinion, I think it's crap she needs permission so I'm not giving it." Of course he didn't notice that by not giving me "permission," he was essentially doing the same thing that the church was...not letting a grown woman make her own choices.

I cried and cried (how humiliating! I'm still pissed I cried like that) and still he wouldn't budge, and his stubborn nature is such that I knew then that I'd never get his permission. He said that he'd "think about it" but if I hounded him about it then it'd be a NO forever. I was truly heartbroken, because I knew then that I was never going. I knew him too well. I waited and waited and finally I asked him about it about a year later, and he said he hadn't thought about it. I was so pissed. Bear in mind what we know of eternity and what we think we need to do in order to gain salvation. I felt like I was being tormented and left dangling by my husband while thoughts of how I'd never make it to the temple unless I divorced my husband went through my mind. I'd sit through RS and Sac Mtg talks about the Proclamation to the Family and the whole celestial marriage and all the temple talks and cry inside. I knew I was never going there unless my husband died or I divorced him. The thought repelled me but what other option did I have? In order to gain salvation we are supposed to attend the temple, get our endowment, and be sealed for eternity to someone, right? Or at least I could be faithful on my own and hope that in the afterlife I'd find a man to seal myself to. Not a thought I relished. Especially after a MAN was the reason I wasn't getting into the temple in the first place!

This stuff makes me ill to write. I am ashamed I ever felt this way. I knew that some people lose their families or loved ones in order to join the church, and I wondered if this was my test of righteousness or faith. Was I supposed to give up my husband in the name of righteousness?? Of course it helped that he's so stubborn and gave little regard to my deepest wishes and desires, right? I mean, he's obviously not supporting me so maybe I'm justified in my feelings about this. But I grew up with a real dysfunctional family and I can't remember how many times we discussed with Mom why she should divorce dad...which they finally did when I was 19 or so. However, I'm not real keen on divorce or threats of divorce (saw too many of those growing up). So I stuck it out and about a half a year after asking him the first time if he'd thought it over, I asked again. He said, "Haven't thought about it" and walked away. Each time this happened I would be seething mad for days. After about 3 times of this I finally had it and sat down with my husband and said, "I just don't see us going in the same direction. You don't respect me enough to honor my wishes, and you seem to enjoy leaving me dangling, and I'm afraid we are growing apart and it just isn't worth it anymore. I want out." He said nothing besides he'd try to do better ~ he's never been one to console me if I'm crying. He just watches me and says nothing. Not sure if that means anything or not... Anyway, that night I had a signed letter of permission on my pillow. That was in 2004 I think, and I felt so disgusted that I had to threaten divorce to get what I wanted that I just couldn't bring myself to go to the temple. The other reason I didn't go to the temple was because I'd actually convinced myself that the permission thing was inspired and I didn't want to go knowing that I coerced getting my husband's permission. Sick, I know.

I've wondered in the back of my mind if I had been clever enough to have been born a man, would I have had to get permission? I doubt it. That makes me puke. I'm afraid to actually ask someone who knows...I don't want to find out what I suspect is true.

Back to my history. My stepdaugher was 7 when we married, (she lived with us and went to her mom's every other weekend) and I had a 9 month old son (from a previous relationship) when we married. This was from my first venturing into "sin territory" while at BYU - and of course when Sister Mary Lisa sins, the biggest possible publicly-obvious consequence is sure to follow. Why do you think I've been so prude my whole life?! But I will tell you this: If I had it to do over and knew the consequence would be my son, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I have been so blessed having him in my life! An awesome kid to be sure! Now he's 13 and some days I have to be reminded what a blessing he is! J/K. We were a mini Brady Bunch, and we had a daughter together who is now 8. Both my kids were blessed and baptized and attend church with me now. All my kids are awesome, and I'm a lucky lucky mom.

A while back I again felt compelled to attend the temple, so I asked my sister if she'd consider getting herself to the temple with me. It's a lot easier if you have someone to go thru with, I thought. She stopped her coffee habit and started paying tithing, and we set up a temple prep class in my ward and got permission (there's that P-word again!) to have her attend the class in my ward. We have so far been to one class, and we've cancelled for one reason or another at least 5 times now for the second class. It's been months. We both work full time - she works more like 60 hours a week, so it's been hard nailing down "free time." I saw the teacher the other day at a restaurant and he said, "Maybe we'll finish the class in this Millenium." Very funny. Maybe NOT.

So how did I start doubting the church??

I recently got a MySpace page to keep up with my siblings and stepdaughter. I had read a blog by one of my younger friends who I had been counselor to in Beehives in my old ward, she is now 17. She wrote something about having never been so close to God and never been so happy since leaving her faith and finding another church to go to. I e-mailed her and said, what's up? What happened? and she replied in an honest explanation about how she had been so depressed since the ward boundaries had changed, that there were very few friends in her new YW, and how she was so depressed she actually started cutting herself. I was shocked to read this, and then she explained that she discovered that she was only cutting herself on Wednesdays and Sundays, and that was when she quit going to church. (Is this why every Sunday for years I've gotten a major headache?!) One day a favorite teacher at her high school invited her to Faith Chapel which is a Four-Square religious institution (I say this as if I know what that is, but I don't) and it's huge. Lots of people go there. Anyway, she said she's never felt closer to God and never felt such self worth and love for all people as she has since going there.

So I told her how much I loved her and supported her and was happy for her. She is such an honest and sincere person, with an amazing personality and I wanted to know more about her happiness. Especially since I rarely feel happiness at church either. I immediately googled the question "Why do people leave the LDS church?"

The first article I came across was from a bishop from Australia who had a career in plant science who had seen the article/research done in South America that found DNA traced back to Asia and not to Israel, and immediately he knew that the Book of Mormon could not be true. I found the website and read some of the personal stories on there and found out that there were inconsistencies within the BoM that I never knew of like references to barley and animals that couldn't have been in the Americas at that time, etc. And the millions who died on Hill Cumorah. In New York. No armor or swords or breasplates found. Hmmmm.

Then I found references about Joseph Smith and his many many many wives, whom I never knew of at all. I was shocked. This above all disgusted and appalled me. Maybe because my biggest sin I've repented for to date was sexually related, I don't know. Maybe because I was always told and I always defended polygamy using the reason that there were so many women on the prairie who were alone after losing husbands during the pioneer trek...I was disgusted that he publicly denied having other wives even after he really did. I was disgusted that he'd use the line on these women and men that he was TOLD to do the whole polygamy thing by God. I was disgusted that he'd do this with the wives of his faithful missionaries abroad. I was most disgusted that he would offer "eternal salvation to your entire family" if she'd give in and accept him. Can that be more deceitful? Helen Mar Kimball was in essence given to the prophet at age 14 by her parents. Ick! To gain their salvation. I don't think so. I was disgusted by the many men who jumped on board (pun intended!) and practiced polygamy as well. I was disgusted that we are taught so much about J.S. and all the amazing and wonderful things he did, and how perfect he was. How many times I defended J.S. and his story when my husband said, "I think he made it all up." My biggest defense was always NO WAY could a 14 year old boy make up a story of an angel visitation and a God and Jesus visitation then make up the entire Book of Mormon himself. I also read online many journal entries/references from people who knew J.S. at the time of his first angelic visit by the plates etc. These journals didn't conflict with each other, but were totally different than what we were taught. And his use of a hat and peepstone, and his getting money from people and demanding they serve missions while leaving huge families and wives home alone. Not huge wives.... :)

Then on to Brigham Young. He was an ass from start to finish. Give me a break! I am not impressed. I knew that the black people couldn't receive the Priesthood until 1978 and this always bugged me. I remember my mom reading aloud to us the book "A Soul So Rebellious" written by a black woman about her conversion to the church's way of thinking as it pertained to the priesthood and black people. But why then did J.S. give the priesthood to the black man Elijah Abel if it was God's will that they not get it?! Makes no sense. Unless of course J.S. really did make it all up, and consequently the prophets after him did too.

Anyway, my point is that once I started reading and learning I couldn't stop. I was fascinated and repelled and shocked and couldn't stop if I wanted to. I suddenly saw the truth in all it's awful glory and I was a changed woman. I went home from work (as if I really worked that day after all my internet searching!) and told my husband that I was totally shocked to find out so many things about my church that were horrible. He said, "You didn't really think Joseph Smith was truly a prophet, did you?" I said, yes. He said, "He was a man just like anyone else. Of course the church isn't going to publish all its dirty laundry to the public!" Then he related stories of TV evangelists etc who were caught being naughty and stuff. I said, "but I've been told my whole life that it's true! That prophets are not able to lead people astray." He just shook his head and acted like how could I be shocked when he's known all along that it's not true.

The next day I searched the net all day long again. The more I read, the more disillusioned I was. I went home and told my husband I was more disillusioned than ever. My husband was at first irritated like, "Let it go already! Geez, the church isn't going to air all its dirty laundry openly. Why would they? That would be stupid. No church will ever do that." Then I said I was seriously thinking I didn't want to belong anymore if it was based on lies. He surprised me then by saying, "But you can't just not go!" I think my mouth dropped open, I was that surprised he'd say this. I said, "Why not? You don't." He said, "That's different." I said, "How? You don't go to any church but you think I have to?!" He said, "But you're GOOD. I'm bad. You should go." I said, "Whatever!" (Is there any better response than the word whatever?) He said, "You're the good to my bad." So I can only wonder if he thought he'd have a better chance with God in the next life if he was married to someone who goes to church?! How the hell should I know? More like he probably enjoys having the house to himself on Sunday mornings for 3 hours. It's his alone time.

The only thought that kept running through my head from the first moment forward was, "WHAT IF IT ISN'T TRUE?!"

That nite we were able to discuss more openly some of my biggest concerns, although not in full detail. I told him there was no way he'd ever understand what I was feeling because he didn't grow up with the church and all its aspects of you aren't doing this or that right, repent repent repent, never date a non-member. I had a hard time explaining without getting emotional. I said, "You don't understand all that I've been through at church because I was....." I had to stop because I didn't know how to tactfully explain it, but he guessed. "Because you are married to me?" And I said yes. That underlying feeling of not measuring up to the LDS standard is huge, it is subtle, and it is real. I can't explain it to him well enough because he can't get it, he hasn't been there. But it feels like total betrayal to go through so much pain and suffering thoughts of unworthiness and angst while you're a member, only to finally realize that it's based on deception and dishonesty. It really really hurts.

The good part of the pain was the sudden and immediate feeling I had that I was OK. I didn't make a bad choice marrying my husband, who's been a good man and a good father (besides being stubborn!) and I'd always subconciously wondered if I'd made a wrong choice by marrying him as we are taught in YW and beyond. What also really makes me sick is the thought that maybe over the years I withheld full love and acceptance from my husband because I just might be better than him and more in tune with spirituality than he is. That makes me sick. I feel like now I have shed that awful feeling and I can truly give all I have into my relationship and family. That's so liberating.

I've gone to church twice since I've had my epiphany, and it's so amazing to me to see it clearly with eyes that really see. It reminds me of when I was nine and got my first pair of glasses, I could suddenly see every leaf on every tree, and every blade of grass. I had no idea before glasses that I was missing anything as I looked around.

Now I have looked with eyes that see, and I'm a new woman. I will never be the same.

Blogroll, please!

Thanks to La for informing me so well how to create a blogroll of my own. I have arrived! I hope there is not a rule about asking permission first! If so, my apologies to those who find their names here, and my apologies to any I may have missed adding! I'm sure my list will be longer soon.

Happy blogging, my friends.

August 16, 2006

So much for my happy ending

So I know this is just a love song, but I think the lyrics apply regarding my feelings about the Mormon church.

AVRIL LAVIGNE "My Happy Ending"

So much for my happy ending
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh...

Let's talk this over
It's not like we're dead
Was it something I did?
Was it something You said?
Don't leave me hanging
In a city so dead
Held up so high
On such a breakable thread
You were all the things I thought I knew
And I thought we could be

[Chorus:]You were everything, everything that I wanted
We were meant to be, supposed to be, but we lost it
And all of the memories, so close to me, just fade away
All this time you were pretending
So much for my happy ending
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh...

You've got your dumb friends
I know what they say
They tell you I'm difficult
But so are they
But they don't know me
Do they even know you?
All the things you hide from me
All the shit that you do
You were all the things I thought I knew
And I thought we could be


It's nice to know that you were there
Thanks for acting like you cared
And making me feel like I was the only one
It's nice to know we had it all
Thanks for watching as I fall
And letting me know we were done

It hurts to be pretended to.

Name that Blog...

I read many blogs in Outer Blogness before I started mine. I love the names and creativity everyone has, so I wanted to find a name for mine that was cool and depicted me best. I actually sat down with a paper and pencil and here are a few of the rejected ideas, although they were good, I thought. The name Sister Mary Lisa is hardly cool, but I decided I'd go for honesty over popularity here.

jello salad
jello salad with carrots
goody 2 shoes
just me
why? why not?
to be, or not to be
god's teeth
new and improved
hell's bells
as if
think twice
sister mary lisa

The name Sister Mary Lisa was given to me as a nickname by a co-worker I had at Albertsons when I was 17. I'd attend their parties and such and had a great time joking around, and playing practical jokes, and flirting with them, but I always maintained my Mormon standards while around them. One night they were teasing me for being prude and one of them said something like "Sister Mary Lisa wouldn't drink!" so the name stuck. But thankfully only that one guy ever called me it. And sadly it fits me to a T.

Until I decide to shake free of it.


I'm discovering for myself that it's pretty hard to discuss my issues with the church with my few friends that belong to the church. I've only attempted to discuss it online with a single sister aged 25 who recently moved. I told her I'd been having serious doubts that weren't going away, and she immediately said, talk to your bishop. When I tried to relate my concerns in detail, she really didn't want to hear it. Or to tell me what she thought. I copied some quotes by Brigham Young on his Adam-God theory and asked her what she thought. She wrote back that that stuff was completely true. That Adam IS our father since he was the first man on earth. I said, but Brigham Young taught that Adam was the father of Jesus Christ, and was actually THE GOD. Then I showed her that Spencer W. Kimball denounced all Adam-God references as false doctrine. Her reply was, "Enough Lisa. I don't want to talk about it anymore. There is no point trying to prove anything to each other...we both believe what we let ourselves believe. It's bonified bible bashing and nothing good comes of it. I'm sorry."

This is probably typical behavior of LDS folks when trying to openly discuss issues, I'm beginning to believe. She's exactly right though, that we believe what we let ourselves believe. It's scary how good humans can be at denial. I think for her it would be horrible and traumatic to actually discover for herself that Mormonism isn't true. She is 25, single, and admitted to me recently that she has VL. I asked what that was, and she replied Virgin Lips, as in NEVER BEEN KISSED. I was shocked to the core, and can only assume this is more of the preaching that you shouldn't even date non-members, whom have been attracted to her but she wouldn't let it go anywhere. Such a waste of a great woman.

August 13, 2006


Recently I was assigned a home teacher whom I used to teach in Gospel Essentials for about 4 years up until February when I got moved to the Primary. Anyway, he is an older single gentleman who is very strange to be around. But you figure he may be harmless in a public setting and you tolerate him, or maybe because he's a night janitor you think this might explain a little why he's like he is. He'd bear his testimony and you could barely understand his ramblings...sometimes he'd make very off-the-wall comments in class about purifying himself and repenting but never knowing if he ever gained actual forgiveness, so he'd keep repenting over and over just in case. He was assigned as my home teacher and immediately I had reservations about letting him near my non-member husband, or my kids for that matter. For instance, the first week he called to come over, we had stuff going every nite (sports practices and games for both kids) and we were travelling that next weekend. He offered to come over the one day where I'd be at my presidency meeting and my husband would be home alone. I said, No, I don't think so. He said, "sometimes the spirit can prompt people to be touched even if you don't think the spirit will." I knew then I'd BETTER be there if he ever came over. He was assigned to be my home teacher before I had doubts about the church. I can just imagine what my husband would get for impressions of the church if this man came and preached to him. And preaching is all it'd be!

Anyway, every single time he called to schedule we had too many things going, and last month when we had agreed it'd be on Sunday, I got a migraine and didn't go to church at all. So when I called the primary to get someone to do sharing time for me, I asked her to let my home teacher know as well so he wouldn't try coming over while I was in bed. Then last Sunday I told him, "Fine, why don't you try to make it next Sunday?" just to get him off my back. But today I really didn't want to deal with him, so when I saw him as he opened the library for me, I told him a LIE that my husband was sick and would rather not have company today. He then made some horrid remark that made me so mad I can't even remember what it was exactly. Something terribly cutting. And his face contorted into this awful rage that really scared me at the time. The other librarian (priesthood holder) excused himself and left me alone with Psycho, thanks a lot! I was glad when teachers started coming in to make copies during our conversation.

I said, "My husband is sick. He doesn't want visitors today. That's it." By this time there were 3 other people in the library openly staring at us. He started arguing with me again, and I just told him I was sorry he felt that way but it was simple, and he went off on me again and said, "Last month YOU were sick, this month your HUSBAND is sick. Sounds kind of like a trend, doesn't it?" I just repeated (in order to get the last word because this is my nature!) "I'm really sorry you feel that way. I can't help it if you don't believe me" and walked out. I was seething mad. I couldn't believe it! And you know what? I'm fairly sure all that prompted that kind of manic anger was the thought that he'd be less than 100% when he reported his home teaching to someone. I was getting ready to draft my letter to the High Priest group leader (?) to remove all home teachers from visiting me, especially this one, when the phone rang and caller ID showed my home teacher's name. I wouldn't let anyone answer it, and he left me a message. It said, "I'm sorry that I said that stuff today, I shouldn't have said it. Apparently the lists have been changed and I'm not your home teacher anymore."

So I have to (once I get done celebrating) wonder if this is "divine inspiration" on the high priest group leader's part, or if my home teacher requested I be removed from his list because I never let him come, and his numbers/stats were being affected. Or maybe there were more than 3 people listening in and they all reported that something went down in the library that wasn't good. Who knows?! But thank goodness I am done with it now.

On Being Nice

So today I was at church, because I'm a counselor in the primary presidency and had to set up chairs. I didn't have my kids with me today so that felt nice. I arrived just as Sac. Mtg. started, so I tuned in to listen as I did so. It was interesting...subject was "Being Nice." We will be learning how to BE NICE all month long in our Sac. Mtg. talks. I was so glad I was sitting alone in my freshly set up chairs so I wouldn't laugh out loud in public like I wanted to more than once. Especially when the speaker spoke along the lines of he's definitely the only one there who should receive the "award for being the nicest. And if any of you disagree after hearing my story, you can see me afterward and we'll fight about it." (Niiice.) He then proceeded to describe how he often sees really old people who drive while barely being able to see over the steering wheel, and how they usually drive very slow and it's frustrating to him. (Why he'd say this is beyond me since 1. it appears we have at least 20 people in our ward who fit this description, and 2. it didn't have any relevance to his story.) Anyway, he was driving and an old lady came out of nowhere in an intersection and hit him head on, causing his airbag to "punch him," and when he finally got out and the cop had given their licenses back etc, he asked the little old lady who hit him, "You didn't even see me, did you?" She replied, "No, I didn't. I'm sorry."

He then proceeds to explain to us his "niceness." He said "I could have said 'Next time look where you're going!' but I didn't! So if that doesn't give me the award for being nicest, what would?" I couldn't believe him. First of all, he thinks that he was nice because he THOUGHT the mean phrase, shared it with 200 people in church, and yet because he didn't, he deserves an award. Sheece.

Other comments made me laugh because it's all too common for Mormons to talk like it's our religion that makes us "nice" and a shining example for others, but it's all too common to experience exactly the opposite. I even went rounds with my home teacher today in church, which I will relay in my next post. My mom related once that she was friends with a non-member in her youth, who after some time found out that my mom was LDS, and she was shocked because she didn't act Mormon and was so NICE. The other speaker during Sac. Mtg. gave that story I've heard many times over about the shy girl who gets treated badly at church and is given a gift of dog food by the other girls in her YW group. Have you ever heard that story? I've heard it countless times, but today the speaker ended the story that she hadn't heard yet if the girl had ever made her way back to church after the hurt of that incident. It made it sound like the event happened to someone she knows personally. I could only shake my head. Not to discount the mean story. Sadly, it's probably a true story. I have my own Mean Girls story, maybe someday I'll share it and maybe I won't. Not quite sure it's worthy of my time anymore. I'm just glad that my brother called one of them a bitch in the middle of seminary when she was dogging me in front of everyone behind my back. Go Eric! The kind teacher did nothing to reprimand him, which tells you she really was. But I digress....

Sometimes unkind behavior comes from me and I'm ashamed to admit it. Usually this comes when I get caustic and say cutting and sarcasting things to my kids. I'm really starting to see myself more clearly as I look at my church and past beliefs with open eyes for the first time ever. It hasn't escaped my attention that I'm glad my childhood foe was called a bitch! But I couldn't be more glad for this doubting in my life. I'm still struggling with what I'll do about it, but it's starting to feel like the beginning of the end of my illustrious career at church. Wonder what my kids will think...

August 11, 2006

New to this....

I've really been enjoying many of the blogs I've discovered in my recent search for truth about the Mormon religion as I knew it and as I now know it. What a sudden surprise to me to discover that what I thought I knew and what really happened in Mormon history is so different. I'm speechless. It's been a great growth period for me, way different than I expected. Did I say expected?! As if I expected I'd one day come to work and have my world shift under me so hard. Although it's been difficult, I wouldn't change one thing about this awakening and journey. Wow. I will compose a new paragraph soon to describe my sudden change of perception...

I'm totally new at this blog thing, and I hope I can figure it all out quickly. I'm very impressed by much of what I've read, and I look forward to getting to know you (and myself) better.