So I received some information from Ex-Mormons for Jesus on the Mormon church and their beliefs. I also received some of their newsletters they send out and a DVD entitled, Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith. This is the place that called me to check on me the other day, but I had to let her go when my doctor’s office called. I sent a message back to them, thanking them for calling. In reply I got a letter from Janell, the woman who called me and this lot of information. I wrote her back, as she was interested in my story of becoming Mormon and why I left the church. I kind of left out some stuff, not intentionally, just that it didn’t come to mind at the time. Which is surprising, as I thought they were the main reason I was leaving the church! LOL! Amazing the things that come to mind, later on.
I’m going to post the letter I sent to her. I know it is long, but in case anyone is curious, here it is:
October 23, 2010
Thank you so much for the letter and the materials you’ve sent! I would love to be on the mailing list! I am sorry to say I do not have funds at this time to donate. I hope to in the future, though!
I joined the LDS church as a convert in 2006. My husband did not join with me, for which I am thankful now. I actually love to study different religions. I was raised in the Lutheran church and my father was Catholic, until he married my mother. When my father passed away in 2002, I started researching Catholicism. I never did take their courses or join the church, though. Somehow I moved on to Mormonism. Read all kinds of books on the church, history included, but what the missionaries taught, seemed to make sense to me. What I really liked about the church, was that there were no paid callings. It was all volunteer or so I thought. I didn’t realize that you never say NO to a calling until recently. Anyway, I thought it was nice not having to worry about paying for the bishop’s new cadillac or expensive house, as I’ve witnessed before in the church I grew up in. I took it as a sign from God that when I called the church to find out what time their services were on Sunday’s, that someone answered the phone. That person gave my name to the missionaries and I started taking the lessons with them. The great apostacy, the plan of salvation and all, just seemed to make sense and their belief that God gave everyone a second chance in the spirit world was a nice thought. Things that I didn’t agree with, I figured I could ignore or like some say, “take what you like and leave the rest.” I was inactive for most of the time, though, as I felt I’d never get to the celestial kingdom without my husband. For some reason, I felt the urge to go back earlier this year and did. I never went to relief society meetings before, but did this time. I really felt out of place, because many of the lessons were on families and children. My husband wasn’t a member and we had no children, so the lessons didn’t apply to me. I didn’t even care for general conference.
I slowly started researching the temple ordinances when I started my family history not too long ago. In the four years that I was a member, I never went to the temple. I really didn’t have the urge to wear the garments. Once I found out that someone had to help dress you and some of the things you had to do during the endowment, I started questioning my idea of being a “Buffet Mormon.” The temple isn’t really something you can just take or leave, it’s a requirement for salvation, according to the Mormons. I also never paid my tithes, as my husband doesn’t agree with giving money to any church. He doesn’t feel our salvation is bought by paying God tithes. Otherwise, he’s pretty much agnostic. The bishop had said he wouldn’t hold the blessings of the temple from me because of it, though, and asked that I’d pray about the situation. Praying brought a whole slew of things along with it. Mainly the feeling that this just wasn’t working out for me. I stopped going to church, but I would still pray to God, thanking him for the blessings in my life, etc. We were going through a rough time financially, just had a bankruptcy discharged and were getting used to actually having a budget without using credit cards. Everytime I thought we weren’t going to be able to put food on the table, God was there and answered my prayers. This, despite the fact that I wasn’t going to church. Here, God was blessing me for my apostacy?!?! Here he was blessing me, not for what I did, but because of His grace! It all came clear to me, that this wasn’t the church for me! God would be there for me, even if I left the Mormon church. Sure, I have some rough times, but we all do. The bad stuff that happens isn’t punishment from God for being an apostate! 🙂
That’s pretty much my story. I was told by one person on an ex-Mormon forum that after 60 days, that the removal of my name can be done by LDS HQ, themselves, if my bishop does stall. So far, no contact, yet. I am thankful for that. Although I heard from someone on the MIT mailing list, that the bishop has to hand deliver something to me. Not sure what, but I did make sure to ask for no contact at all. I did remove all the ward members from my friends’ list on Facebook, as to not tempt them or myself to contact them. I never did make any friends in the church. They all seemed too fake to me. Everything was conditional, with them. Which is so not Christ-like!
Again, thank you for all the materials you gave me! I am going to look them over and watch the DVD! I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me!