So I was talking with Katie, and I realized that in the LDS religion there are many times when a person does something wrong that involves another member, the other member’s leaders are informed about the situation. This allows the other member’s leaders to approach them and try to help the other person start the repentance process. This is a great idea in theory and one that I’ve often appreciated as it has effected me personally from time to time (as the other member).
However, it dawned on me, that during the excommunication process this general concept was not applied to my former wife. You see, we had premarital sex before we were sealed in the temple. Yes, a horrible atrocious action that should not have occurred (I completely agree and am definitely responsible for the actions I took). However, when I revealed this during my excommunication council (hearing, whatever you’d like to call it) they basically said that they had to take my word for it and they would not be contacting her new leaders to let them know. As a result they said it was up to her to determine whether or not she should contact her leaders and repent. I find this slightly frustrating. I may have “wronged” her in the church’s opinion by leaving her for someone I truly love; however, whether she was “wronged” or not she should not be exempt from the same rules as everyone else. She was involved in a major sin (one of the top three according to most people) and still went to the temple unworthily – the same as ME. For her leaders to not be informed and for her to not have to go through the required steps of repentance just because she “feels” that she’s repented inside is not adequate. We all know, deep inside, that if you believe in the church certain sins require leadership involvement. And even those who may not believe in the church could still understand how it is “fake” to not go through the church’s appropriate methods of repentance in this situation. I personally cannot explain the frustration and agitation I experience when I think of her attending church each week, partaking of the sacrament, and pretending to be a perfect Mormon. I did that for four years unworthily and it tore me apart inside.
I currently do not attend church each week, but I anticipate that sometime in the future I will (when I am ready). This is in large part because I do not live my life in accordance with church standards right now. I love my wife and treat her with perfect respect. However I do things that the church does not agree with (for example I got a tattoo a little over a month ago). There are other things that are personal, but they are not the same things I had problems with in the past. They are choices I choose to make at this time and eventually I anticipate giving them up easily when I decide I am ready to return to the church.
In the meantime I think of the hell that I went through to voluntarily admit to the sins I had committed while in my former marriage. Of the pain that was required of me as my church that I believed in so deeply asked me to forsake the one person I love in order to retain their membership and begin a repentance process. They blatantly told me that if I did not leave Katie then I would not be forgiven. That if I did not forsake her completely (the one person who helped me get the courage to do what is right and go see my leadership) then I would not be forgiven and it would lead to my eternal damnation for taking one of God’s precious children with me. That’s right. Even though I encouraged Katie about the church, to see her leadership about her sins, and to try and start the repentance process with me, I was considered an evil influence. I was stealing her away from the light and leading her into eternal damnation. The quote I’ll always remember is that if I chose her then I’d never find true happiness because, “NO good can come of this relationship.”
Well it has been nearly six months since my excommunication (11/15/2006). And as of today, my five month anniversary of being married to Katie, I can honestly say that nothing but good has come of this relationship. I live my life honestly. I feel less of a need to pretend to be someone I’m not. I say what I think and I am not ashamed of the things I do. I have completely forsaken pornography, chatting, and erotic conversations. I drink less than I did as a member of the church and I love my wife more than I knew was ever possible. That’s right, my list of wrongs is publicly in the open because I personally feel I have nothing to hide.
I have undergone the repentance process personally the best I can. The church refused to help me repent because they felt I was unwilling since I would not forsake the one person that loved me more than anything else. I in turn was willing to forsake the church. It will take a while before I am ready to go back to them. So once again I say to you, I have done all that I can personally to repent. I have not seen a therapist, my church leadership never provided me with contact information for one as I requested, so I assumed that this must be something I could figure out on my own and I am proud to say that with Katie’s help, I have.
I am who I am and I love Katie for loving me for who I am. She knew my imperfections when we started talking and she has helped me to overcome them one by one. I feel that because of Katie I will be a better husband and father than I ever thought possible. It only makes me sad that the church could not see the joy and potential that she brought to me when we decided to be together. That same potential and joy is still there to this day – not evil or darkness. I have not corrupted her. She has not corrupted me. We are who we are and who we will always be. But no matter what may come, we will always have each other. Nations may rise, buildings may crumble, continents may divide, but no matter what, I know for a fact that Katie will always be by my side. I only wish that they could have understood this the way that I did.
So I guess in way I still feel the same way I did on the day I was excommunicated. I told my father in an e-mail that I may be on a ship with Katie. And according to the church that ship is sinking. But if I would just forsake Katie (and throw her overboard in my opinion) then the Lord would step in and provide me with a bucket to get rid of the water. I told my father that I would rather be on this ship with a plastic spoon with Katie by my side than reach my final destination without her. So I guess, in essence, that I would rather have temporary happiness with my one true love than eternal existence without her.
Anyway, my little rant turned into a complete revelation of my “darkest secrets” if you will. I hope you enjoyed learning more about my life and feel free to message me with any thoughts you may have (good or bad) in regards to this. I am not hiding who I am any longer and I felt it was time I make a public statement about the events that transpired in my life to help make me who I am today.
I encourage everyone of every age to simply do what they think is right. Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe in. And LIVE YOUR RELIGION. If you claim to be a member of any religion – practice what you preach. Do not do one thing at night and then go to church and pretend it never happened. Do not enter a temple unworthily or take the sacrament without being worthy. DO NOT HIDE WHO YOU ARE. We are not perfect – nobody is. I can testify that even though I am not a member of the church at this time I feel the most worthy I ever have in my life. I feel more honest with myself and my Savior. And most importantly I am honest with those that I know and love. As the genie in Aladdin puts it, “BEEEEE yourself!” If you truly believe in your religion then you will be able to change your imperfections one at a time until you become what you should be in your own eyes. There is nothing wrong with changing who you are to be what you consider to be a better person. However if you are unwilling to make those changes and you are not willing to honestly try – then do NOT pretend to be a member of that organization. Admit you do not agree with its practices and move on to being WHO YOU REALLY ARE!