About

I was born and raised in the LDS Church. I was firm and fixed in my faith for most of my life. I knew it was true.

My faith was first rattled loose from its foundation when I decided to prepare for the temple by recommitting myself to Mormonism and deciding to become a true scholar of my faith. I sincerely believed that my promises would be trite if I did not understand them as well as I could. What kind of Mormon would I be, I thought, if I didn’t make every effort to study and understand my beliefs? I knew that my Heavenly Father would be proud of me if I made an effort to study the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets.

I decided to go back to the beginning. I began reading about the life of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Little by little, I began to read about things that confused me or shocked me. I was startled to find out that things I had been told were “anti-Mormon lies” were in fact true. I learned that Joseph Smith’s death was not an innocent martyrdom, but was rather the result of his lies about polygamy. I noticed for the first time the improbable history presented by the Book of Mormon. I had begun my efforts to dig into the details of Mormonism as an effort to renew and deepen my faith. But as soon as I delved beneath the surface, I found nothing but cause for doubt. Despite this, I convinced myself that this was just a trial of faith sent by God, and if I refused to give up, in time I would reconcile the troubling conflict of historical fact and Mormon teachings.

The final blow to my faith came when I endured spiritual abuse by a bishop and stake president who meddled in my life and told me they knew God’s will better than I did. My bishop exercised authority over psychological issues that he was unqualified to understand, advising me to stay in an abusive marriage. He told me that I had a duty to correct my husband’s waywardness, and that God would be angry with me if I forsook my temple covenants. I felt in my heart that it was in my best interest to leave, but I trusted my Bishop as my priesthood leader. After reaching a point where I knew that my life would be at risk if I stayed any longer, I finally decided to stop listening to priesthood leaders and do what I knew was right. I finally saw that the top-down structure of the LDS church has no resources for abused members when the system fails. My trust is broken, and I will not go back to be mistreated again by a system that brushes aside those who don’t fit in perfectly.

For several years I performed a tightrope walk on the border of Mormonism. I was too afraid to leave because of fear of losing my family. But I couldn’t stay, because it’s impossible to believe in the equality of all human beings and believe in the teachings of the LDS church. I recently resigned. It was a sad decision but one that was essential as it allowed me to reclaim my integrity. The price of this action was being disowned. I hope in time my family will come around, but for now I need to take comfort in my many wonderful friends and the lively community of post-Mormons online that I’ve found through this blog.

Let’s see how it goes.

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Molly,
    You may already have found the Open Mormon community, but if not, I’d like to invite you. It’s a very trusting supportive group of people who are on the tightrope with you.

  2. Molly, I am so happy to have found your blog. I was a convert to the LDS church through my boyfriend whom I later married. He was from a large LDS family, his mother’s family’s membership can be traced back to the early days of the church. My husband was extremely “into” (LDS) church history and studied it from all sides. He came to the conclusion it was false and told me he no longer believed it was the true church . At the same time I had many doubts and was at the point where being a part of that church made me physically and mentally ill. One example of my personal experience was, when I had taken a class at the LDS Institute at our local University, I had a question about church doctrine. I stayed after class to ask the teacher to explain it to me and he said I didn’t need to think about it, the church had already done the thinking for me. All I needed to do was believe it. That was the straw that broke my camel’s back. We had a meeting with our bishop telling him of our feelings and his advice to us was to follow our hearts and instincts and leave the church. He said we should not be there if it made us so unhappy. He said this to us with love and concern, not any animosity at all. I am sure if a higher church authority had known about the advice he gave us, he would have been excommunicated. I feel that the 18 years I spent being a member of that church nearly destroyed me. For several years I was in a deep depression because everything I had believed in was false and I had a big hole in my heart and life that the church had previously filled. It has been many years since then and I am still trying to push away memories of the abuse I suffered as a member of that church. I completely understand why you can’t seem to make a complete break from it because of your family. My husband’s family was shocked when we left and the women in his family made me utterly miserable. It got so bad that I had to leave my husband because it was obvious that his family was more important to him than I was. We have remained in contact and are now good friends and in spite of his family, he has stayed away from the church. Molly I wish you well and I am going to continue to read your blog.

    • Bluebell,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry that you had such a negative experience. While ultimately I found the church to be a harmful organization, I think I was a little luckier in knowing many kind people within it. I am very surprised to hear that you had a bishop who told you to leave if it felt like the right thing for you! Wow! I agree that that is totally unheard of and I can’t imagine a bishop not facing church discipline for encouraging that kind of loyalty to one’s conscience over loyalty to the church.

      What you said about the women in your husband’s family caught my attention — I have also found that it’s the women in oppressive organizations who tend to treat each other the worst. The status of Mormon women is similar in Islam, and I keep finding stories of how in both Mormon and Islamic families, it’s the women who reinforce orthodoxy as it’s the only way to gain any kind of recognition at all in the male-dominated setting.

      I wish you well too. If you’d like to share more of your story, I’d be happy to have you as a guest poster.

  3. I can’t imagine being in that situation, where not only your physical safety but your salvation is threatened by the people you should be able to trust the most. I am in awe of your bravery.

  4. Molly,
    I’m also very happy to have found your blog. I’m a slightly-closeted ex-mormon living in Utah and it’s nice to know thoughtful people like you are out here in the blogosphere, saying things that need to be said. Truthfully, I’m on the tightrope walk between indifferent inactive mormon and antimormon, the latter simply existing because of how the church has turned family and friends against me for being different. I suppose it’s also because I’m exceptionally pro-equality and the more I learn about the LDS church’s history and cover-ups, the less I feel they deserve my respectful silence. It’s nice to see your fresh (and British) perspective because I often forget that I am trapped in my own demented version of the Utah bubble. Thank you for your courage and insights, please don’t stop writing πŸ™‚

    A. Neanderthal

  5. Dear Lady,

    I must tell you that I adore your frankness and your moxie. I’m eagerly awaiting my escape from Utah, too close to Provo is too close to radioactive waste. Having a gay brother and numerous doctrinal questions of my own, sealed the deal 5 years ago at the tender age of 18. The thought of Relief Society and Institute at the onset of my college years made me ill. Still does, and I will continue to circle the LDS Vatican 7-8 blocks away for my brother’s rights and equality for everyone. I am a closeted ex-who know what as well. Continue the good work and I will begin my own.

    Much affection and light to you

  6. Wonderful site . As a former apostate from a cult ( sahajayoga ) I’ve found a great many similarities between how cults & cult thinking works , weather they are large or small .
    To step out of the comfort & security of ones belief system & face the shunning that typically results is a true act of courage & demands great spiritual fortitude . To go thru the process of unraveling that system & challenging it in ones own mind , facing the void that is left , then filling it with a new understanding is a great inner journey that leads to real personal & spiritual growth . To be true to ones own deeper inner reality in the face of what can be almost overwhelming external & social pressure to conform is the mark of a genuine seeker of truth .
    The reward is a free mind & wholeness of self . Congratulations to everyone who makes this journey .

  7. Hi Molly,
    I love your chart! I have never been a Mormon. I was raised a Catholic, but found I could not believe all the magic shows and – the “do not think – just believe” mentality.
    My first encounter with Mormons was in Brazil, in the 70’s. I was living and working there. I met a number of Mormon Missionaries there. Many Brazilians have African ancestry. I asked some Brazilian friends why they would even consider talking to the Mormons and discovered that these missionaries were telling them that although, being black, they could not enter Mormon heaven, if they REALLY believe – they will turn white on the hour of their death and thus be transported to heaven! These poor uneducated people believed this LIE.
    The Mormon religion is a cult. I think the only reason it is not called a cult is that it has too many members. The early Mormons were very wise. They took their cult to Utah. Practiced polygamy and brainwashed all of their children to become a very large group of Mormons. They also sent their people out on Mission to grow their numbers even more. Just in case you wonder why Romney won in Samoa, etc.

    I dislike all organized religions, but the LDS is, in my mind, the worst of the lot.

    • It is baffling how people who believe in equality and especially people of colour could fall for this. It’s even in the book of Mormon when a bunch of dark-skinned Lamanites turn white as they become righteous! Forget how appallingly racist this is — it’s just plain impossible and unscientific.

  8. Hi Molly,
    I’ve only just started reading your blog, but I was wondering if you were familiar with Heart of the Matter hosted by Shawn McCraney. The reason I bring this up is because he has spent the last 3 years doing a weekly TV show (www.hotm.tv) showing how Joe Smith was not a prophet and how he could have come up with the BoM. Its an interesting watch. He’s been doing the show for about 6 years so there’s lot of past video’s to watch. The show does talk about Biblical Christianity but for the most part even that stays interesting.
    Thanks for the interesting read.

  9. So sorry to hear about your experience. The Mormon Church, with its strict emphasis on priesthood power and hierarchy, is very prone to abuses. I’m glad you had the courage to do what was best for you and I’m also glad you’ve been able to find other post-Mormons. Leaving the Church was one of the most isolating experiences of my life – I just didn’t know anyone else who had left and I didn’t know there were online support groups. (I left back in 2002.)

    • These sentiments reflect exactly how I felt! Isolating — the perfect word. Thank the flying spaghetti monster for the Internet. So many people who go through a “coming out” process, whether it be as a homosexual, an atheist, or any other form of non-normative existence, do it alone and in fear. It’s wonderful to have a means to connect with other people for exchange of ideas.

  10. Hello. My name is Mr. Dale Liuzza and I was recently featured in a national story regarding custody of my son, Seth. I raised my son for over six years as primary parent, however my ex was able to take off with him and I have lost all of my rights to him. Please take a look at this abcnews.com story and let me know if you can help me. I have a fundaising page that I have shared with you as well. Can you help spread the word for me? Thank you so much. Sincerely, Dale Liuzza

    http://www.gofundme.com/y11go

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/sex-families-risk-patchwork-state-parenting-laws/story?id=16788341

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-blood/201207/how-legal-inequities-create-problems-same-sex-couples-kids-especially-when

  11. Hi, just wanted to take a second and thank you for setting up the blog and sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences having to do with the “church”. I only recently left the church, about 2 years ago. I am in my fifties, BIC, served a full-time mission, attended BYU, married in the temple, served in many callings, etc etc. It has indeed been a soul-crushing experience for me. I sometimes feel as though someone put me in a washing machine and turned it on. I’ve been tumbling around in the dark, getting knocked around and beat up, suffocating at times, and completely dis-oriented.

    It’s fiinally beginning to get better. I am so grateful for RFM, MormonThink, and others, such as your blog, which provide inestimable support and encouragement to so many who are suffering through the challenges of leaving the cult.

    I appreciate that it takes time and energy to start and maintain a website such as this, so again, thanks. You are performing a valuable service.

  12. I’ve been a Buddhist, Pentecostal, Muslim and now Mormon, hoping things would be different with these nice folks..guess not…I was a Mormon convert and I studied the church history more so than anyone I’ve met here in Utah. I was even willing to overlook some of the doctrinal problems for the sake of a girl I liked. Until I started attending church and started to talk about some of these well known historical problems, doctrinal contradictions and how the Church have essentially white washed Joseph Smith’s story. I found out how quickly some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met in my life turned to vicious idiots because I talked about the dirty laundry of the church. I then read the general conference from 1975 to the present and found out the Church doesn’t like intellectuals like myself and essentially would like us to shut up or leave. All religions have problems, I can make peace with that. But I will never go along with the company-lines of “sacred, not secret” or some white washed history and not speak the truth for what it is. In Mormon world a person who does not respect what the divine infallible Elder Packer said about “faith-affirming” history is already an apostate. So I asked for my records to be removed. I guess in the end revealed religions aren’t for me because they like the white washed history of their leaders, saviors and prophecies but not when history don’t portray them as what they say they are. I have a brain which works on reason that was given by God before there were books and prophets, and I will keep using those. I enjoy your blog πŸ™‚

  13. Just found your site by following a link posted to FB by a friend. THRILLED to be here! Former LDS here, too. Yeah, yeah… multi-generational Mormon on Dad’s side, baptized at 8 yrs. old (IN Cedar City, Utah, by the way,) attended Primary, Sunday school (to this day I still know what’s growing on the apricot tree!) My parents married in the temple when I was a child and I was sealed to them, Mom taught Beehive classes in Sunday School, Dad attended Elder’s Quorum, Mom was the President of Relief Society. The whole nine yards. Dad told us we are directly descended from Jos. Smith himself, but hey… with all those wives, the path to someone being a direct descent is pretty easy to accomplish, huh? I can’t remember exactly when I left the church. Might have been after Mom n Dad fell on bad times and she had to go to the Deseret Industries in Temple Square, Salt Lake City to get some food. They asked her what made her think she was WORTHY of getting any help from them, and then accused her of attempting to STEAL the shopping cart when she wanted to wheel it all the way to her car in the parking lot. Maybe it was when Mom & Dad were finally divorced in the State of California and Dad filed a temple disillusionment so he could marry his second wife in the temple, but no one from the church (not a single person) could give a viable explanation of how his change in wives affected ME and my sealing to my ORIGINAL parents. Best they could come up with was that I would have to spend eternity with whichever one of his wives lived the worthiest LDS life here on Earth. Thanks, but I couldn’t stand his second wife on THIS earth, so NOT gonna spend eternity with her. Thinking back, it may have been when the home teachers showed up at my door in Massachusetts and openly LIED to my (at that time) husband; telling him they regularly counseled with me when he wasn’t home. (I’d never SEEN these men before in my life.) No, no, wait… I remember now. It was after my own daughter was born and I allowed my father to give her a “blessing” in the church because it meant so much to him. I was assured this would NOT place her name on the rolls as a member of the church, but 4 weeks later I received notice from his ward indicating that they needed a copy of my marriage license in order to enter her name. They had been searching the (church records) and couldn’t find our marriage, so they DID have to prove, after all, that her father (NOT a Mormon) & I were legally married. Otherwise they would have to list her as a bastard child and use my maiden name rather than her LEGITIMATE name. Daddy said not to judge the whole church by a few bad apples. Sorry. There were enough bad apples by that time to COMPLETELY spoil the whole crop, as far as I was concerned.

  14. I found your blog through a Recovery from Mormonism link that led to the Plan of Salvation infographic. First of all, congratulations on leaving the cult with your health and sanity intact; secondly, great job on the graphic! Brava! Too bad comments were closed, it was a fun read and I wanted to reply to the sobbing Mo-mos who were not happy that their doctrine was not spelled out in reverential tones like they’re used to in Sunday School and GC. Sorry to read it took an abusive relationship to open your eyes to the harm LD$, Inc does to its members; women are especially at risk both mentally and psychologically from its misogynistic teachings and untrained, clueless bishops and SPs.

    I left the cult over 12 years ago. Not early enough I think. While I was willing to close my eyes to its bizarre teachings, repetitive lessons and restrictive yet boring culture, I couldn’t stand the fact that they always had their hand out for more and more money for this and that on top of the regulation 10% temple entrance fee and free janitorial service, BUT they are too tight with their financial assistance. Their procedures are such that if you need help, your situation must be just so, a certain way, or they won’t help at all.

    The last straw for me was when I needed a loan to find work, the bishop said talk to the SP1 counselor, and he in turn flat out said ‘no’. When I did find work, the weekend after my first paycheck I was filling out a tithing form and thought “Hang on just a darn minute! I worked hard for this money and had to scrape and beg and pay off a debt to get it in the first place. WHY should I pay THEM 10% when they wouldn’t loan me any money to help me get started? Enough of the servitude for nothing!”. I walked out the door and never looked back.

    LD$, Inc. will have you believe that it is a charitable church. BUT when you are in need, their first advice to you is go to your family, go to your extended relatives, then friends, the community and finally the church. BUT it is FIRST IN LINE in your life when it comes to YOUR money. They tell you to “pay the Lord first”. What you’re actually doing is paying the CEO-scale salaries of old fogeys down in Church Headquarters, footing their biz class airfare, chauffeured limos, classy hotels, plush apartments and cushy golden parachutes for their families when they finally croak. One needs to be totally blind not to connect the dots. Sadly a TBM told me he didn’t care if they traveled biz class. I said, yeah because Jesus traveled biz class and they’re just following his example.

  15. Hello Molly, great website and safe landing zone for many I’m sure. Having lived in Utah as both a budding cosmologist and inquisitive non-Mormon for almost twenty years, I’ve found myself discussing the finer details of Mormon “cosmology” with the locals from time to time. I’ve found your Mormon Flow Chart over-the-top good and helpful. I was wondering, is it possible for you to put together another flow chart showing the linage of God(s). Even after pouring over countless wiki articles and webpages it’s hard to get a handle on who is the God of the Universe, creators of the Universe, creator of many worlds, future Gods, Jesus’ role on planets other than Earth, etc.

    I’ll give one example of my confusion: if Jesus is the creator of many worlds, probably all worlds, then how did his father become a god from another world? Also, I know that it was taught by Brigham Young that Adam was also God. A doctrine rejected by the church shortly after his death. The concept of God(s) seems to be one big gobbly goop of entangled thoughts and claims. Your Soul flow chart did a great job of pulling it all together, one on the linage of god would be of equal value.

    Again, great site, keep up the good work.

  16. Stumbled across your blog doing some late night Internet wanderings. I myself am an Ex Mormon who had to endure the relentless barrage of family and friends trying to “bring me back to the fold”. I finally had to move out of state to feel like I fit in again. Hoping we can chat sometime, Molly.

      • I am actually interested in you interviewing me Molly. Let me know. I have been trying to find a contact button but can’t seem to find it. I’d like to contact you personally.

  17. Hey Molly! I wrote the response to your “Do I need them” post involving the Hobbits. I read your request for interviewees that went from faith to none, and tried to reply, but the comments were closed. I think I might have a unique perspective on the matter, so I am whole-heartedly offering my voice. Let me know how I can assist you! All the best!

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