Top 12 Reasons I’m glad I’m no longer LDS

1. I can sleep in Sunday mornings (as much as I can with twin two year olds) – I decide which church, volunteer activities I attend when I have the energy.

2. I remain a good, law-abiding, voting citizen and active in my community. I may be more active in my community now that I’m not spending 10 plus hours per week on LDS activities.

3. I can donate as much or as little to any charities I’d like. And they send me an annual report so I know exactly where the money is going to.

4. I can decide what I want to drink and if I want to drink. This goes for alcohol, soda, tea, coffee, etc.

5. I can read what I want when I want to. I decide if it’s appropriate for me or not.

6. I can watch whatever I want to watch – see item 5 above.

7. I don’t constantly worry that Satan is out to tempt me – or that with each sip of coffee or rated R movie I’m going to hell.

8. I don’t have to put on a false front – be happy all the time because everyone is watching me (everyone is a potential convert).

9. I decide if I want to get married, if I want to have kids and how many kids I want to have. These decisions are up to me and my spouse – no one else needs to be involved. I didn’t have a narrow set of criteria for a potential spouse either. Love, not religious membership, was my first concern.

10. I can have relationships with friends and family regardless of their religious affliation (this goes for active mormons as well).

11. I don’t have to explain or apologize for who I am. I do as much as I can and try not to feel guilty for what I don’t have the energy to do.

12. I don’t have be super woman/mom and be everything to every one – with every hair in place and with quiet, well-behaved kids and spouse.

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18 Responses

  1. Hellmut says:

    I like number seven and eight. It’s good not being responsible for everyone’s salvation any longer. One of my companions left Mormonism because he refused to believe that his unbaptized investigators would be damned.

  2. Amen to that. What I’ve lost in false hopes, I’ve gained in clarity and freedom.

  3. Kullervo says:

    I wrote a post once on what I have gained and what I have lost.

    It’s not necessarily reflective of what I feel now, but it seemed on topic.

  4. Nice list, Aerin. I liked the Sunday morning one. Oh yes. I plan to sleep until I wake up this Sunday, and that’s a gift.

  5. I liked #11. It’s so refreshing to just be me. So much energy is spent by Mormons putting on a front that it’s crazy.

  6. TMD says:

    Several of those things have little to do with the church–but rather your perception of it (8-12). The remainder are not issues of the LDS church, but rather being a serious believer in pretty much any christian church (1-7).

  7. Hellmut says:

    I agree with you, TMD, to a degree. However, the experience of believers are the church, aren’t they?

  8. Hi TMD,

    I wonder if you’re a woman or a man in the LDS church…because if you’re a woman, then the list numbers 8-12 are definitely a fact of life for a woman in the LDS church.

    Are numbers 1-7 all no-nos in other Christian religions? Seems to me that many of them are specific to the LDS church too…

  9. aerin says:

    TMD –

    For number 1- actually, many Christian churches in my area have services at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

    As far as number 3 goes, I recently investigated the top ten Christian churches (from the census) in the U.S. Some of my information was just hearsay from current members.

    Almost all (except some Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists and LDS) give some sort of annual report to their members. Some (like the Presbyterians) actually vote on their budget as a congregation, or (like the Methodists) post their budget on their website.

    For #9 – members are encouraged to have families as quickly as possible. Mormons are discouraged from having tubal litigations or other procedures. It’s in the bishop’s handbook, many members are not aware that the LDS church actually has a policy on birth control and procedures like vasectomies. If you weren’t aware of it, I would encourage you to talk with your bishop (if you are an active mormon).

    For #10 – It’s a temple recommend question, one which I myself answered, which asked whether or not you associate with apostates. That sounds to me like if you want to be a good mormon, to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity, you should not be associating with former mormons (at least, not with apostates).

    As far as the rest go, yes, this was all just what being mormon meant to me. Many people (including active Christians and Mormons) might disagree with me. And that’s fine.

  10. TMD says:

    I’m a guy, and a convert from catholicism at the age of 20.

    In re 1, outside of suburban areas, this is not necessarily the rule–particularly when there are priest shortages.

    In re 3, most Catholic, Orthodox, and related parishes, and many dioscese do not provide a report, at least not in detailed form. Some have been compelled to, unjustly I believe, in the course of lawsuits, but its not standard practice.

    In re 9, I know quite a number of perfectly happy couples in their late 20’s with no children, who seem to be under no pressure. Again, you seem to be pretty selective–preferring to talk only in terms of the liberal end of the mainline protestant spectrum. Catholics have much to say about contraception, and they are not alone (Orthodox, Missouri Synod lutherans, etc. all have significant, not-possitive stands on these issues, generally much less tolerant than those of the LDS church. It’s just that more catholics aren’t particularly serious about their faith.)

    In re 10, your representation of the question is foreign to me. It was to me explained in terms of being a member of a group advocating apostacy, and much of its purpose related to the polygamous FLDS organizations.

  11. TMD says:

    To clarify in re 9, the relevant couples are active members, temple workers, etc.

  12. aerin says:

    TMD – just wanted to clarify, you are saying that temple married couples are NOT pressured to try and have children? I could look up quotes from Hinckley and others that would disagree with you.

    I remember it being a very public decision. In my YW’s class, one of my fellow beehives asked our teacher why she and her husband didn’t have children (or when they were going to have children). My teacher was 27. Maybe they were not able to have children yet for whatever reason, or maybe they were just waiting. Needless to say, it was a rude question – but one that many mormons that I grew up with would have no problems asking.

    I don’t remember any active couples without children who were not public about their infertility.

    Yes, other religions can be just as strict as mormonism.

  13. TMD says:

    I would say that they are encouraged to make sure that their motivations are right–because they believe taht having children is a potive, very desirable value both for the couple and beyond, but I would not at all say that there is “pressure.” Certainly the handbook makes clear that these issues are for the couple to decide with prayerful consideration.

    And if you are relying on the silly questions of 14 year olds as evidence of social pressure, I have to wonder if your perceptiosn of the church is not based on a rarrow and limited experience of the church.

    (Of course, anywhere you go, those kinds of questions are likely to be asked, assuming a relationship of any intimacy. Perhaps its the generally higher level of social intimacy presumed in mormon culture that you dislike?)

  14. Mark says:

    Hi. I found your post while browsing around. I’ve read sentiments such as 7, 8, 11, and it boggles my mind how different people’s experiences in the church can be. I’ve lived the LDS life for 30 years and never have I felt this pressure to be perfect, or that I’m constantly being watched by everyone, or that I’m “racking up a spiritual debt” (as Kullervo said on his post). I don’t know if it’s a matter of different families, church leaders, personalities, or what. I can understand why feeling such pressure would cause someone to leave, though.

  15. Hellmut says:

    I didn’t feel that pressure either, Mark, because when people where trying to impose on me, I would let them know that they were unreasonable. Once, I even told off Elder Hans Ringger when he was laying into us during (Christmas?) zone conference.

    However, if people do not feel that it is legitimate to reject bad advice then Mormonism will be full of feelings of inadequacy. There is no end to the demands to do more, in part, because we do not have a tradition of holding leaders accountable.

  16. Nancy says:

    Ok, Half of those reasons you listed are stupid. Im mormon and I do not feel that anyone is pressuring me to have a crap ton of kids. EVERYTHING you do is up to you, its just good to have an outline. The only reason you are spending 10 hours a week doing church stuff is cause you are to bad at it to do it faster.

  17. chanson says:

    Nancy — Different people have different talents and skills. The type of expectations the LDS church places on people (in terms of organizing one’s time for example) really are easier for some people to meet than others. In my experience, a highly-organized household doesn’t necessarily produce more (or less) loved, happy, well-adjusted children than a more laissez-faire household. On the other hand, regularly being faced with judgments like “this formula works for me, if it doesn’t work for you it’s because you’re stupid” is a major reason why many people start questioning and eventually leave the church.

  1. July 5, 2007

    […] the comments of my last post, TMD claims that there is no pressure on active LDS couples to have […]

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