Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A letter from a stranger

The following took place through facebook messages. I don't know this lady, but she felt comfortable enough to email me. (I changed her name a little.)

Carrie Lutz Grant January 13 at 1:34am Report

Why did you leave the church? Why are you denying your children the chance to grow up with the gospel? It can only bring good into your life.

Leilani (Me) January 13 at 11:34am

Sister Grant,

It's always odd getting an email from a stranger asking me questions that are, quite frankly, none of their business.

I understand your concern for me, a lady whom you've never met, as I have been on your side of the story. I appreciate you keeping your email so short. I, unfortunately, won't be able to keep it as 'to the point'.

It was a very difficult decision to leave the LDS church. I was born and raised in it. And I can't say one decision led me to leave. It was years and years of pain and truth that one day, I could no longer bear, nor deny.

My mother lied to my biological father. After she had me, behind his back,s he told him she was only 16 when they made me, and that she would press charges if he didn't sign custody over. He only got to hold me once. She denied him his daughter his whole life. He died in April of 1998, 3 months before my mom told me that she, my dad (step dad), and EVERY other Mormon family member intentionally lied to me for 18 years. They denied me my birth father, my two older brothers and a little sister.

I believe in equal rights. The Mormon church does not. Blah, blah, blah about how the LDS church doesn't hate gays. I am not accusing hate. Separation of church and state is very important. The church's stance on marriage equality sickens me. No matter what one's spiritual beliefs are, our country is separate. Marriage equality has not ruined any marriages or children in the other countries it's already legal in. It will only strengthen families. I couldn't be a hypocrite believing one thing and belonging to an organization that believes another.

As I have done research, I have found that Joseph Smith's claims were not true. I am not going to detail it out. I am not looking to offend you or rip you apart. I have had a testimony. I have been to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.

I have found that there are no gods. All we have is the wonder of science and knowledge. The only time we have is now. And it's a beautiful wonderful thing. I was lied to my whole life. When I told my
mom about my pain, she told me that I was just being melodramatic (something she has always called me, so that she never had to take me seriously.)

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. I hope you raise your c
hildren in the real love your Christ taught. I still have LDS friends who are active, who ask the same questions of me. But your statement that it can only bring good into my life is untrue in my case. Because of the LDS religion, I was lied to by my entire family for no good reason, I lost my identity at 18 and was never consoled by my mother, or my father, I was only comforted by my Aunt who wasn't Mormon. Everyone else felt so uncomfortable with me knowing, they didn't offer me as much as a hug.

I am not denying my children anything important. They have unconditional love (something I didn't have), science, wonder, mystery, truth, adventure, a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. You and I both know that come the end of days, they will not be punished for my decision if the LDS church is true.

Sorry I have rambled for so long. If you've gotten to this point, I am amazed. :o) A lot more than this led to my leaving the church. I just don't know you and don't want to waste anymore of your time. You have at least two beautiful children to spend your time with.

Thank you again for your concern. I am sure you found me through the ex-Mormon facebook page and I wonder if you have emailed more people. There is always the possibility you are a friend of my mothers, if that is the case, you have no idea how much pain she has caused me, up to wishing my first child was born with a birth defect. And when my first child was born with a cleft, she told me it was because I wasn't going to church often enough. Then she would make it 'sing' or 'talk' by opening and closing it. Mocking my child's facial deformity...



Carrie Lutz Grant January 12 at 6:55pm Report

I was up late one night and found the ex-Mormon site. I don't know your mother. I saw that you wrote you left the church and took your kids out of it. It made me cry. I know I have never met you.

I cannot believe what you have been through in your lifetime. I am sorry your mother treated you so poorly. I am sorry you did not get to meet your father. You must be a very strong person to have endured what you have.

You really need to be able to separate bad people from the gospel. Heavenly Father did not do any of that stuff to you. Nothing bad comes from him. Jesus has been through everything we have been through that is why we need a Savior. This life is hard and it comes with so many trials. We need God in our lives. My friend just lost her second child in a freak accident. She needs Heavenly Father and is feeling so much peace right now from his love.

That is why we are here on the earth to overcome hardships.

I really want to thank you for sharing your life with me. I am not judging you. I just want you to be happy. There are so many good LDS people out there and there are also LDS people that are not living the way they should. It does not mean the church is not true it means people make mistakes and your case you have seen people make huge mistakes and really hurt you.

Leilani (Me) January 14 at 12:31am

I appreciate your sincerity. But it's not just the pain. I touched briefly on how I found major dissonance with what Joseph Smith claimed as well as Brigham Young. I can speak freely of my pain, because I doubted it would offend you. But I cannot bring myself to rip someones belief system apart, just to explain why I left.

I have overcome what life has dealt me. And I can't tell you how wonderful it is having settled my cognitive dissonace. I know I cannot shake your faith, and no one can 'give' me back mine. Once you stop believing in Santa, it would be impossible to believe in him again. That's how I see god now. (Not trying to offend, just explain.)

But if you ever have a question for your 'Friendly neighborhood Atheist', feel free to email me again. I have nothing but love for my fellow human beings.

I felt like sharing this letter. I respond the same way to most of the letters I have received from nibby nose Mormon mothers who 'ache' for my children, 'cry' for my children, and 'get sick to their stomachs' because I chose to take my children out of the church. I guess that is what I get for joining Ex-Mormon facebook pages. This wasn't the first email, and it probably won't be the last.

I proved to her that the gospel doesn't only bring good into your life. Because of the gospel, my mother felt she needed to find a 'more worthy' man to be my father. Because of the gospel, my mom felt comfortable piling on guilt for years, and "knew in her heart" that god punished me for only attending church when the bouts of morning sickness subsided long enough to leave the house.

I could have ripped into her about how she believes the members of an organization don't reflect the organization. Because they do. I could have gone into the blood lineage of the Nephites or pointed out all the mistakes in the Book of Mormon, but she would have been prepared to claim that a human translated it and humans are flawed. I have found that you can't argue with crazy.

You can't reason with someone who's beliefs aren't based on reason.

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