Really, what more can I say?
Today was the primary program, and of course they discovered I didn't show up. 5 minutes after church got out, the primary president showed up at the door. I was in the shower, so she asked my husband if she had offended me in some way. He told her no. She left some chocolate truffles she'd made, and left.
An hour later I got a phone call from the first counselor in primary. She said, "We missed you today at the program. Is everything OK? I'm worried about you."
I told her "I'm just drafting an e-mail to the president, and I'll send it to you as well."
Here's what I wrote:
Dear T. and W.,
I'm writing to explain what's been happening with me, and I hope you understand. D. said T. stopped by and asked if she had offended me. No, not at all, never. (Thanks for the chocolates!) You are both very kind friends and I really love you. Maybe once you read my explanation you'll understand better why I've quit coming to church.
I'm not sure if the bishop announced my release from my calling today, but I expect he may have since I requested last week to be released immediately.
About two months ago I found some very disturbing things out about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the church that caused me to be very disillusioned, and I came to the conclusion that the church is not true, and was in fact made up by Joseph Smith. This is not an easy thing to discover, and I have been trying to figure out what to do about it ever since.
I would have much rather talked about it with my friends and discussed it, but the very first time I tried to do so, I was burned, and am averse to discussing it any more with anyone from church. The only thing I discussed with her was the fact that Brigham Young taught that Adam was in fact God the Father. This bothered me immensely. He taught it as revelation, and it can be found in the Journal of Discourses many times. I told my friend this, and she told me it was true, Adam was our Father, as he founded the human race, being the first man on earth. But I told her Brigham Young taught that Adam was the father of Jesus, or GOD THE FATHER. I then asked her why Spencer W. Kimball discounted any Adam-God theories as "false doctrine" if it came from a prophet. Then she told me "Enough, Lisa" and wouldn't talk to me any more.
Two days later I got this note in the mail from our High Priest Group Leader, whom I barely even know:
I copied the letter I got (see previous post here.)
I was shocked that 1. he'd say he "sensed somehow" that I was questioning my membership, when obviously my friend had told someone, and 2. that my friend told B. M., who, rather than treat me like a friend, which I thought she was, didn't ask me but rather went to either the bishop or HPGL and discussed me, prompting this great letter which screams out that he thinks I'm in Satan's grasp right now. This incident has made me very wary to discuss anything with anyone at church about my concerns.
This has also prompted me to feel afraid to talk to you two, because I really don't want you to feel the same awful things about me that HPGL feels. I don't even know him, or care what he thinks of me, but I know YOU, and I do care what you think of me.
The letter came to me a few days before the BBQ we had at T's, and I was frankly surprised that with D. (the only non-member) there with me, the bishop didn't even make an effort to come over and talk to or greet either of us the whole night. That seemed strange to me, and it doesn't exactly prompt me to feel a strong urge to discuss my concerns with him either. So I'm doing the best I know how.
If I didn't have a calling like I have, I'd have just gone inactive and left everyone clueless as to my belief that the church isn't true. I hardly wish this feeling of betrayal and disillusionment on anyone. But that seems impossible to do, and now I have to tell you my shocking news this way. I'm so much better at written communication than verbal! I don't want to look in your eyes and find that you think I'm deluded by Satan as well. I prayed and prayed and studied and prayed some more, and in the end got no answer that the church was true. I have many reasons for believing this. I don't like that the church keeps hidden many truths from the early days of the church, and when asked about them, makes no effort to discount them as false, or to explain them either.
I'm also certain that you will probably believe, as the church teaches, that if I pray about it and get the answer that the church is not true, then I must either be in the wrong place spiritually, or I didn't ask sincerely enough, with not enough faith, or I'm hearing answers that are in fact coming from Satan, not the Holy Ghost. This is not true, but I know that it will feel better to some people to assume this is what happened to me.
I'm so sorry I wasn't up front about the program with you. I didn't know how to let you know that I couldn't and wouldn't be there, and I didn't like letting you assume I'd be there. I regret this deeply. I love the children at church, and the people I've worked with whom I consider friends.
This is the hardest thing I've ever gone through, yet through it all, I've found an inner peace and have felt more love from God than I ever felt before. I have a sense of happiness and I feel for a surety that God loves me, more than I can even comprehend. You will no doubt believe that this is a grave sin, to deny that what I was taught was true. But when I scrutinized the church for the first time ever, it came up seriously lacking, and the only option I have is to discount it as false.
I will take the good things I've gained from my life in the church, and I will continue to be a good person inside.
I really don't want me or my kids to be named on the list of inactives to visit, as I know there is such a list in each organization. If someone is truly interested in maintaining a friendship with me, outside of church doctrines, I am totally open to this. Just as I'm sure people at church don't want me to push on them what I've learned about the church, neither do I want people to consider me their "project" or the person they can "save." I find it rude and intrusive to get surprise visits from people who never came over before, and it's transparent that they are visiting because they were given an assignment.
Again, I'm deeply sorry I wasn't more open or honest with you before. I have no frame of reference for protocol in situations like mine, and I'm doing the best I know how. I don't want to offend anyone or have anyone think less of me, although I know this is probably an unrealistic wish.
I love you both, and I find you amazing women whom I greatly admire. I will miss working with you, truly. I just can't keep faking like I believe it's true, and I know I can't keep teaching the children in sharing time either. That would be wrong. I don't want anyone to think that I've left the church because I've been offended, or because I'm being tempted to do evil or sin.
I'm leaving the church because it's not true. I hate having to shock you like this. E-mail me back if you wish to discuss it further, and if not, I completely understand. I'm going to clean out my binder and leave it and my keys in the primary closet sometime this week.
I think the best thing for me to do is to go on as usual and quit acting so skittish and just be myself, without apology.