September 28, 2007

An LDS baby shower

A couple days ago I got an invitation in the mail that read:

You're invited to an open house for mom & baby!

It was listed as being given by a friend I know from way back (Anna) and a woman I had never heard of, and all it said below was "Bring a gift for mom or baby. If you haven't already!"

I tried calling the friend I know to see if the other woman was her daughter having a baby (although I didn't think she had a daughter with that name) or find out who the shower was for, but she wasn't home, so I figured I'd not go since I had a soccer game anyway that lasted until after the baby shower started.

During the soccer game, however, I saw Anna in the stadium seats (our sons are on the team together) so I asked her what she was doing here if she was also throwing a baby shower...and I asked her who it was for.

She said it was for my best LDS friend who had a baby three weeks ago ~ they had forgotten to put her or her baby's name on the invite!

I have gone to lunch with Anna once since my disaffection and told her I had left the church and why. She's an awesome woman and we have always liked each other, without ever making time to really do things together besides that one lunch. Ours is the type of friendship where we'll see each other and the joy we each feel is apparent, yet we've never worked in a calling together or even been in the same ward in the last 8 or 9 years. But every time we see each other at a sports function or at the grocery store, we talk like there has been no time in between.

My friend who the shower was for may or may not know of my disaffection. She and I worked in the primary presidency together, were visiting teaching partners for years, and her husband was my home teacher and bishop for five years. They are good friends of ours, and we go have dinner at their home once or twice a year as time allows. We've been to dinner in their home since my disaffection, but nothing was discussed like I expected. They have eight children now so life is complicated for her. She is only 37 years old. She is an absolute saint. If I had that many children, I'd have already lost my mind. I still can't believe I got voted Most Likely To Have Eight Children in my high school yearbook. WTF??

I took my 9 year old daughter and we got there an hour late. I had wondered if anyone would ask me about leaving the church, because this was the first all-LDS function I've attended since leaving the church. Strangely, I wasn't worried, just wondered if it would happen. Ten months ago I'd have been in paranoid panic mode. As it turns out, this was a party with about twenty ladies, and all but four were strangers to me.

It was a fun time, I really love my friend Anna and also the one whose party it was. We had fun laughing and I cracked a few jokes which was fun ~ can you believe someone gifted her bath salts that were said to be an APHRODISIAC right on the label??? How could I NOT joke about the cruel humor of whoever gifted that to her?? I haven't done anything social like that in a while. Good times. I'm very glad I went.

It was interesting to note that nobody whom we were both friends with while working in the primary together were there. Sadly, often in Mormon culture it seems that your best friends tend to be the ones you currently work with, and moving into another ward or getting a different calling (job to do) sometimes causes you to not see or talk to good friends anymore whom you'd have sworn were kindred spirits.

I need to write a note to this friend and tell her I've left the church. Likely she's wondering or hurt why I never trusted her enough to say something.


girlsnap said...

Why do you have to tell her why you left the church? Why DID you leave the church?

dartman113 said...

You and I both know that both her and her husband will not judge you because they are good people.

mark said...

I dont think you owe her or anyone else an explanation as to why you left the Mormon cult. Doing so would only lend credibility to the nutty notion that Mormonism is a mainstream belief. Please dont venture back into the darkness. Please dont.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Girlsnap ~

Leaving the church is a huge deal to those who love you who are still in the church. I have loved this friend for years and years, and she will wonder why I didn't trust her enough to tell her I was going through what she will consider a trial of faith. She intimately knows my life, and has been a listening ear through many times of difficulty I had when I wanted to attend the temple but could not, and so on.

I will tell her, not to gain approval or "confess" or anything, but because she is a friend I admire and friends let each other know what's new.

Here is a post from August of last year that tells a bit more about my leaving the church. My early posts explain much of my exodus from the church.

Mark ~

Not sure what you mean by not venturing back into the darkness...I am merely interested in treating a good friend the way I'd want to be treated if our situations were reversed. Thanks for caring about it, though.

Dartman has it right. These friends will be friends no matter what. They are good people.

Cele said...

I think it was kewl that she asked you, kewl that you went - and had fun. I think it is kewl that you want to write your friend. Meet her for lunch, if she ask you, tell her, if she doesn't follow your heart.

mabel said...

My sense is, your friend probably already knows. If she isn't treating you any differently without you having explicitly told her, she likely won't treat you differently when you do disclose your church status. Let us know how it turns out, either way!

Already Gone said...

friendship has no boundaries as long as those in the friendship set none! I DO miss the friendships of my TBM friends. But you are right, too often the friendships are dictated by the callings we are assigned! Maybe it is because the callings become our world and everything else is labled misc...?

girlsnap said...

SML: I read your post. You are an amazing woman.

Thank you so much for sharing your spiritual journey with us so honestly, and with such humility.

I am now dating a member, who hopes to not "leave me behind." I don't know what to do! There are times when I wonder if the LDS doctrine could be real. I know that I believe the bible; but I have always felt that JS made up the BOM.

Do I explore the BOM's existence with an open mind? Or follow my instinct... that there is only one true gospel?

lostinutah said...

I would bet your friend knows too. However, I would bet a lovely note, written in your lovely style (not sucking up I mean it) would enable you both then to discuss it, or not, but it would be "officially" out in the open. If I were her I'd appreciate it a lot.

hm-uk said...

It's a complex issue trying to explain the exodus to TBMs. You don't want to hurt their feelings but inevitably it's difficult not to feel hurt about people leaving this religion. It would be like someone saying they don't want to be part of your family anymore. For people who are nonmembers or members of mainstream religions it's difficult to explain to them the encompassing influence that the LDS church has over its members. You cannot just divorce yourself from one day of the week participation - the doctrine seeps into every pore of your existence and creates the LDS outlook on life (frankly, there isn't much room for diversity of thought within the LDS church)...which then determines how you perceive other people. I know that your friend must be a good person above and beyond the tenets of the church to 'think for herself'. Your instinct about her character will probably win out over indoctrination not to associate with apostate. Maybe she and her husband feel that their continuing friendship will bring you back? I'm only playing devil's advocate with that last statement, not trying to be contentious or anything.

Anonymous said...

I read your comments - hope you don't mind... just want to wish you the best with all your choices... Sounds like you have a real friend - and yes she is a mormon - remember everyone - Mormons included live their lives according to their level of faith in Jesus. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon - My family too thought I join a cult. Through baptism and serving in just about every calling I have come to know my Savior, his gospel truths - I've been strengthened and supported by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost - many who've never read the Book of Mormon will testify that it isn't true. But I can testify to you... Give someone the Book of Mormon who has faith in Christ and is striving to live his commandments and surly they would never deny it! I pray you grow where you are planted - I don't know you - but I sincerely wish you true faith in Jesus Christ - may your faith ever increase...