Friday, January 3, 2014

One Year Out and Looking Ahead

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to start keeping a better record of my life again. I could write in a journal, but it's really just easier for me to write on my blog, so here I am!

I didn't post very much in 2013 because Pete and I made the very difficult decision to leave the Mormon Church which we had both been part of our entire lives, and it was hard for me to think about anything else. Well, it still is, actually.

We found out some really terrible truths about the history and foundation of the church, that are kept quite hidden from the members. In fact, the church discourages reading anything about the them from outside sources so it's impossible to find this information out, even though there's a lot out there, unless you go looking for it against the "council" of the church which is something a good Mormon girl like me would never do.

To put it simply, after finding out some of the things Joseph Smith did, I could no longer believe he was a prophet, which means none of the other stuff matters. We could not continue teaching our kids things that we now know are lies, so we stopped going. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. To those of you who are not members of the church, to hear that it's all made up is probably not much of a surprise, but it was quite a shock to me. It was something I had never allowed myself to think. I went to church pretty much every single Sunday of my life, and it consumed almost every thought I ever had. I now felt like my whole world was crashing down and that I could not possibly go on without this church that I have loved and been thankful for every single day of my life.

Well, it has been a year and we have survived so far! I'd say we've more than just survived, though. It has been so wonderful to finally be able to make our own decision about what we want to eat, drink, wear, do with our time and how to spend our money. It is crazy to think about just how much the church controlled every aspect of our lives! And while it was scary to not have anyone telling us what to do anymore, it is also very liberating! I've thought more this year than I have my entire life!

We have turned our Sundays into days we spend with our family in the mountains, and we have loved that so much! Now, instead of dreading Sunday, it is our favorite day of the week, and each week I feel our family growing closer together. Pete and I have grown so much closer this year as well, spending countless nights talking through all this new information, and I would never go back.

I could go on and on, but I won't. If you'd like to hear more about my journey out of the church, please let me know. I do want to encourage you to go find out the truth, even though it's very painful, but I will try not to post too much more about it unless people want me to since it's a very touchy subject. Please don't feel bad if you didn't know about our leaving, it's a hard thing to bring up so please consider this my official announcement.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that when I stopped going to church, I lost pretty much my whole social structure and that was really, really hard. I loved going to church and seeing my friends there. I still have some wonderful friends from church, and I really appreciate them being so understanding and willing to still be my friends, but the truth is that we just don't have that connection every week anymore so I needed to find other places to fill that void. I have started trying to build up my social structure this past year, and have a goal to keep working on that in these ways:

1. Ballet

I have been taking ballet classes, and had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker with my girls last month! That was so wonderful! I've made a bunch of friends from ballet classes and from talking to other parents there, and am so grateful for that! I will continue taking ballet, and possibly take part in the spring performance as well. I haven't decided if I want to commit to that yet, or not though. :)

2. Fitness Classes

I've decided to take advantage of all the classes at my gym that I can. I found out last night that they have spin classes 3 mornings a week so I went and tried one out today! It was fantastic! I loved it, it felt so good to be working hard with other people again! I didn't think we had good spin classes at my gym so I am super excited to start going to these ones and any other ones I can fit in. I am going to be sore tomorrow, though! It's been WAY too long!

3. Running Groups

I went and saw this amazing doctor just before Christmas and he gave me some Cortisone pills, which worked like magic for my poor Achilles Tendon, and told me to start planning some races!!  (Yeah, I really like him.) Luckily my Achillies Tendon was just really inflamed and we just had to get rid of that before I could start running again. And I had to get new shoes with more support. He told me I could probably do the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April, and I had been thinking about doing that one anyway if I could, so that's the plan now! Today I had permission to try out running. He said I could walk for 5 minutes, run for 10, then walk for 5 again and tell him how it goes. I did that after spin class and felt amazing! Hopefully it will still feel amazing tomorrow morning, then I should be good to go! The Salt Lake Running Company has a training group specifically for this half marathon so I want to join that to help me get back on track and I will hopefully make some new friends and change up my long runs while I'm at it! They start training in 3 weeks, so right now my goal is to just work back up to 3 miles which will be their first long run.

On top of these things goals, I plan to go snowboarding at least every Sunday with the kids while there's snow, and climbing when there's not. LOVE!

After the half marathon, I will kick into full-on half ironman training mode with my focus on The Ogden Half Ironman in September! It should be a fun challenge and I'm so happy to be back!

I'm so excited for the year to come and thankful for my ability to think and make decisions for myself! Follow along as I start yet another journey. :)


  1. I'm a firm believer in finding god in your own way and your own time. What I find so sad about your post is that you seem bitter toward the church because there wasn't a Sunday school lesson about all the weird JS stuff and it took you until your 30's to figure it out. Questioning is an important part of being a grown up member of the church. You cannot be a knowledgable member of a church that was founded on questioning what was true and that so fully embraces the concept of personal revelation if you do not yourself question what you are taught, or in the case of early church history, not taught. I think it's a bit simple to say that since you discovered that JS was a very flawed individual that nothing else matters. The question isn't whether or not JS was a good guy (I'm not a huge fan of him myself) but if God can and does work through deeply flawed individuals. And I certainly hope he does because I very much count myself among the flawed. Our church isn't about JS. The best part of the first vision is that we learn that God knows us as individuals. The gospel is about you and your relationship to God. It's about your personal spiritual experiences and how God can use you to further his purposes. So JS was a liar and a perve. Does that negate how God has worked in your life? My advice as a person who left and came back and as someone who finds myself constantly questioning the church and God, is not to shut that door yet. Find God, build a personal relationships with Him and be willing to follow the spirit in your own life. It's quite possible that you won't ever want to come back to Mormonism and that's fine. Just let it be because that is where God has led you, not because you feel betrayed by the history of the church. That would be just one more way that you are allowing other people to determine your decisions. Anyway, I'm glad you are happy and that you are working out a lot.

  2. Don't be sad. I'm sorry for the confusion. I did not leave because I am bitter about the history or because I was offended. I left because the church is not true. I guess you could say I am a little bitter about being told it was true my whole life, though, and that is why I had to say something because I wondered why no one told me when I found out. God working in my life does not mean that the church is true either. And Joseph Smith being a liar and a con man sure does change a lot when it comes to whether or not I should believe all the fantastic stuff he said or not, especially when he couldn't even get his story straight. And I'm not OK with him using his power to coerce young girls and married women into "marrying him." That's just NOT OK, and I'm not going to follow that man. I didn't just up and leave, this decision came after months of praying about it.

  3. I don't follow JS either; I try my hardest to follow Christ. And if you are happy where you are then more power to you! I would just hate for you to get all bitter for not finding out this stuff earlier. It's not hard info to find. No one was keeping a secret from you. I mean, they teach this stuff at BYU, for crying out loud. :)

  4. I understand what a difficult post this must have been to write. I just want to express my opinion that it did not come off as bitter to a more general non LDS audience. And you don't have to defend yourself if you don't want to. These decisions are highly personal and I applaud your strength in sharing.

  5. Thank you so much, goSonja, you are my hero!

    Sun, I did not go to BYU so I don't know what they teach, but I think it's pretty safe to say that most Mormons do not know that Joseph Smith used a rock in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon, or that he had used that same rock previously to hunt for treasure, or that he talked married women, his wards and his wife's best friends into sleeping with him behind her back. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person that didn't know about these things, and that's just to name a few off the top of my head.

    1. Oh, and also that there are several different versions of the First Vision. That's a big one.

  6. I didn't go to BYU either. I learned about this kind of stuff while I was still in high school. I guess when I was out of primary I started looking for more than primary answers. I'm not about to tell you how to have a testimony. How many times have you been told that you cannot lean on other people's testimonies? We all need to find God for ourselves. I am just afraid that you are tempted to place the blame on others for you not wanting to search before. My point is that these things are not kept hidden. There isn't some conspiracy to keep members in the dark. The info is out there and easy to find. The great thing is that you decide what you want to do with that information. We have come to different conclusions on whether or not God spoke to him. That's fine. I'm okay with prophets being flawed because we all are except for Jesus Christ. And Christ is who our focus is on anyway.

  7. I beg to differ on pretty much all of that, but you are totally welcome to your own beliefs.