My exit from Mormonism: My final sacrament meeting

(I didnt want to derail TOm’s thread so I thought I would give a more detailed post by starting another thread as to how and why I left)

Background: I was the only LDS member in my family. I was as TBM as they came. I was living in Provo, UT at the time and was part of a BYU ward and stake. I knew my family well enough to know that they would never would become Mormon so I had accepted that we would never be “sealed” in the temple in order to become a “family forever”

A very common thought at the time (and no, I dont believe it was every doctrine, but more of speculation within the general LDS population I was exposed to. Again, BYU/Provo UT. My ward was basically made up of Non-Mormon corridor members; ie not from ID or UT or AZ. It was a very diverse “mission field” membership and most of the guys were RM’s and a good handful of the girls as well) was that those who went to the Celestial Kingdom would most likely have access to the lower kingdoms and be able to freely move from one to another and visit those in the lower kingdoms. Those in the lower kingdoms, however, would most likely not have access to any of the other kingdoms. They would not be able to visit other kingdoms.

Ok. So that had me possibly making it to the Celestial kingdom and the rest of my family either in the Terrestial or Telestial kingdoms. Most of my family are decent people so they would qualify, according to what kind of people went where, would end up in the Terrestial kingdom…

So here I was, in sacrament meeting where the topic was temples, temple ordinance, families are forever. You get the drift.

Ok, so assuming I was in the Celestial kingdom and the rest of my family was in the Terrestial kingdom. According to the thought of the time, I would be able to visit them, but they would not be able to visit me (maybe there are guards that keep people confined to their appropriate kingdoms? fences? I dont know. No wonder ever pondered that one.)

Ok so I go and visit the Terrestial kingdom. My mother is no longer my mother? My father is no longer my father? Same with brother and sister? What if I called my mother “Mom” even though she is in the Terrestial kingdom? Do I get in trouble? Is there someone there to monitor my relationship with the people who apparently are no longer my family? Is the memory of the wiped from my mind and my heart? Is the love I have for them wiped from me?..

Remember, we are not sealed to each other. Never will be. But some how they would no longer be my mother? my father? My sister and brother?..

It fell like a house of cards and I was like “Marie you dont believe this”

Quite frankly, I find the whole idea of needing to be “sealed” to each other, though on the surface a very warm fuzzy feeling, just falling apart in the face of reason and logic. :shrug:

Being “sealed” to someone does not make sense to me. It’s doesnt make families eternal.

Love is eternal and love is what binds. Families are eternal because love is eternal.

Hope that makes sense.
Mormonism, when really thought and pondered on, just no longer made sense.
Temples, temple ordinances, families are forever are foundational doctrines in Mormonism. FOUNDATIONAL.

When I saw that foundation was nothing more than a cloud of “warm fuzzies” it was easy to leave.

Again, hope that makes sense. :slight_smile:

Makes sense to me. I researched mormonism for a very long time while I was dating a mormon boy in highschool, and this was one of the topics that I just couldn’t figure out. Listening to LDS friends speak about being sealed and being with their family for eternity, seems to be more important to them than finally being in the presence of God. God IS love, and once we reach the Beatific Vision and be with God, we will all be ONE family, one in the presence of Love! A good friend of mine once remarked to me that the reason she gets up every morning, what keeps her going day after day after day, is that she has been sealed to her husband and children, and b/c of that sealing they will always be together as a family. Problem is, what if one of the children ends up leaving the faith, breaking their covenants, and is now no longer in the same kingdom as the rest of the family? The sealing is not a guarantee of anything really, and I felt sad for my friend that this is what kept her going, she didn’t mention being with God at all.
I love my husband, and I love my children too, and someday, with the grace and mercy of our Lord, we will all be together in heaven, with no divisions to separate us.

When I was LDS, the immediate focus and aim did seem to be on the idea of being a “family forever” (hence the reason for temples and temple ordinances)

There was less of a focus on the idea of being with God, at least that was not articulatedly nearly as much as “eternal families”…

It would seem to me that because “God” was himself once a mere man, then being in his presence would not be particularly important if everyone else who is baptized and sealed in the temple could also become a god.

This sounds harsh, but I don’t mean it to: Mormonism has always felt kind of selfish to me. I feel like Mormons do good things, but they don’t do them for the good of God, they do them for the good of themselves.

Another thing about the celestial kingdom: Isn’t it true that if a man’s wife dies, he is allowed to be re-sealed in the temple to another woman, but if a woman’s husband died, she isn’t allowed to be sealed to someone else? Doesn’t that make the relationship polygamous since sealings are “eternal”?

Yes, that is true.
A man can be sealed to multiple women, but a woman can only be sealed to one man.

Im not sure which member of the quorum of the 12 it is, but one of them lost his wife, and he eventually was sealed to another.

Thus, he has 2 wives.

(edit to add: Russell M Nelson, Dallin H Oaks, L. Tom Perry are sealed to two women each. There may be others, but you get the idea)

I think that is a fair view worth considering.

I will also add that it is possible for a man to be sealed to two living women. I have a friend in this situation. She is legally divorced but still has a temple sealing in effect with her ex-husband. She cannot get a cancellation of that sealing unless she wants to be sealed to another man in the temple. She is single so no sealing cancellation in sight. Her ex-husband has since remarried and was permitted to be sealed to his current legal wife in the temple. So he is technically a polygamist.

My mother is all about the eternal family. When I left the LDS church, she was pretty devastated and saw my rejection of the LDS church as a rejection of her and our family. The temple sealing is more important to her than love and trust.

And people think that Mormonism upholds the the inherit dignity of women?

How can people not see thru this?

And that is one of the reasons many people use the word “cult” when describing Mormonism.

It really divides so many families, it rips them apart…:frowning:

Maybe it’s just me but I see LDS extreme focus on “eternal families” squishing true friendship out of the picture. Honestly from reading a wide variety of LDS sites that talk about living in the LDS church, friendship is transitory, it is dependent on ward boundaries and who you attend church with. If wards are rearranged then friendships are lost and new ones are formed. It’s much more like the relationships you have through your job, more often than not you loose people when you leave a job and gain new ones at your current place of employment. If you leave a job and have formed a close friendship with someone, that relationship isn’t lost because you left the company, I don’t see the same thing happening with people who leave the LDS church. I also don’t see LDS ever express the hope they will meet their old friends in heaven, that strikes me as very very sad. Over all I find LDS beliefs sad and in many ways down right repulsive.

When I was a teen and questioning whether God even made sense at all I started to think my way through infinite regression. If someone or something created “God” then whatever did the creating must be God and the “God” who was the created being must be some sort of a lesser being. Kind of like an offspring of Zeus or something. Not that an offspring wasn’t mightier than me; I’m sure he/she/it was if he/she/it existed; but I was looking for GOD, the source and origin of it all.

And I just didn’t see that “God” as defined by Joseph Smith, a “God” who was once a man on another world, was the GOD I was trying to find.

Eventually I found GOD at the end of that chain of infinite regression, the one source and beginning of everything who needed no creator. When I learned that the person who fully developed that definition of GOD was a Catholic named Thomas Aquinas, that was pretty much a lock for me.

In fairness I was never a Mormon, but for quite a while in college I seriously considered becoming one. I liked what I saw of the Mormon way of life, the community support, the emphasis on education, and the moral lifestyle. I liked receiving my copy of the Book of Mormon and the idea that I was learning all the additional things about Jesus that no one had bothered to tell me about before.

When I learned the Mormon idea that both God the Father and Jesus Christ started out as men who qualified to enter heaven and rule their own planets, and that our human men could do the same, that was a big stumbling block for me.

Now, having rejected Mormonism, I no longer view the Book of Mormon as a testament of Jesus Christ, but rather as a fictional document no more authoritative than the Gnostic Gospels.

Polygamy does not fundamentally contradict the Mormon world view; however, the chief prophet of the LDS allegedly received instructions to no longer openly practice polygamy on Earth.

:thumbsup:

By “chief prophet” I think you are referencing Wilford Woodruff who was the LDS church president when Utah was petitioning for statehood, correct? Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did not teach that.

Yes, I believe that it was WW who issued what is known as the “Manifesto”…and yes, UT was seeking statehood…

JS and BY always taught that polygamy was essential to salvation… (I believe it’s DC 132?)

I am unfamiliar with the exact terms, but the president of the LDS is considered a prophet.

mormon.org/faq/present-day-prophet

No argument there. What I was trying to say was that the original “chief prophets” (Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) endorsed polygamy, and that a subsequent “chief prophet” (Wilford Woodruff) altered the teaching.

Outside of Mormon circles, when one speaks of a Chief Prophet it is in terms of a specific person, perhaps Moses or Muhammed or Buddha. Inside Mormon circles, Chief Prophet isn’t one person; it’s an office held by a succession of people.

I have to admit, when I was LDS, I had never heard of the term “chief prophet”…That must be a newer terms (newer being the past 20 years or so)

There terms back then were

The prophet,
The 1st presidency
an apostle
The 12 (or the quroum of the 12…Mormons know what was being referenced)
The 70, (now there are 2 quorum of 70s, only 1 when I was LDS)

But never heard “chief prophet” :shrug:

(Edit to add: I did a google search; nothing shows up for “mormon chief prophet” )

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