I not-so-recently found myself tweeting (as I often do) about my experience as a Mormon. Sometimes these little forays into my memory come at random, but often they are brought on after coming across a fellow ex-Mo’s tweets. Granted, I’m the only ex-Mo I know so I’m sure my friends and followers find these outbursts pretty random all the time. Anyway, this particular day my friend Nathan suggested I write a book about my Mormon journey and self-publish. As I told him then, and as I still believe now, I don’t think my short-lived time as a member of the LDS church is really that notable. I still do feel the urge to get it off my chest.
I’ve never sat down and fully recounted the whole story from beginning to now. I can’t say the end because I don’t know if it ever really ends. I still find myself missing elements of that time of my life, and sometimes I still catch myself in old habits. It’s odd considering I never fully felt I fit in to that culture, and yet here I am still trying to shake it. I suppose that’s normal. It’s a part of my past and there’s nothing I can do about that.
There are a few disclaimers I want to start with before I really get into everything:
I have, frankly, forgotten a lot of the finer points about the Mormon religion. While I was baptized and went to church and all that, I never went to a temple. I had a temple recommend (meaning that I was qualified to go to a temple) but never actually made it out to one. In addition, it’s been a very very long time since I studied religion in any sense, and even when I was an active member I didn’t read as often as was suggested.
I am the only member of my family to have ever been Mormon. My parents aren’t very religious, I have some extended family that are members of the Catholic church, but that’s about it. I went to a myriad of different churches in the years before I was Mormon, but none of them really had a lasting positive impression on me. In fact, I would classify most of those experiences as either negative or indifferent.
My experience as a Mormon generally centers around an ex-boyfriend of mine, so this story will also have a lot to do with our relationship, whether I mean it to be or not. There’s just no way around it. I am definitely a victim of the Flirt to Convert method of missionary work.
With a few exceptions, I have no problem with individual members of the ward I was a part of. Most of the people I met and spent time with as a member were wonderful people, and while I may not agree with a lot of aspects of their lives I harbor no ill will against them.
My experience is mine alone and I in no way mean to speak for anyone else. Again, I considered myself Mormon for a very short period of time compared to most ex-mo individuals and was not raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so my experiences are going to be very different from others.
I’m very nervous to post this story. I’m extremely nervous. I don’t have
a lot of any readers, but I’m still terrified of what will happen once it’s public. For me, though, I feel it needs to be shared. More to come soon…