My brother Little Jimmy and I were sitting here wondering why you had us when before you even married each other you promised to give all your money, time, and loyalty to the church? My friend told me about what happens in the temple and I was so sad that you would agree to give away my money to the church! How do you expect me and Little Jimmy to grow up without the money we need to grow our interests?
We were sitting here wondering why we have to go to church every week when all we do is fight every Sunday because we are too tired and we can never find our shoes and you both are screaming at each other over dad being gone all day to meetings and mom having to sit alone on the bench with us. Then we come home in bad moods and we never have the time to be happy just being home with each other. All we ever talk about in Primary is the Prophet. I've never even met him and I'm bored talking about him. Also, there is some talk about Little Jimmy having the priesthood over me and I'm 4 years older than him! Do I not get to have any power in the church? Why is Little Jimmy going to be more special than me?
We were also wondering why we always have to read the same stories about dead people in the scriptures that supposedly lived thousands of years ago over and over and over and no one is interested in helping Little Jimmy and I write our own stories. We wonder why there is no money for outings, or skates, or good bikes, but you both pay tithing to the church. It feels like you are more worried about what the church thinks of you rather than what your own children think of you.
I'll be in Jr. High soon and I'm aware that I must start planning my future now. I was at my friend's house and her older sister was telling me all about Young Women's and she said they told her not to worry about school because she was supposed to get married right out of high school to a 20 year old boy and start having babies!!! And when our bodies start to change I have to cover it up so boys won't look at me and hurt me? Is this true? Is that what you expect me to do with my life...take care of boys? Why can't they take care of themselves? I have no intention to marry at all and if I do...I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl, but I'm not even considering it until I'm at least 30. I'm expecting you to guide my education to be able to go to West Point as I intend to be an Officer in the US Army. Are you able or willing to guide me in this way or am I going to have to fight you day in an day out for my own life?
Also, I've heard you and dad fight A LOT over money. The way you two talk it sounds like we only have enough to keep ourselves alive. Is this true? But yet you are paying tithing to a church that brings so much pain into our lives? Little Jimmy wants to know how he is supposed to earn 12,000 dollars by himself to afford a mission by the time his is 18 years old. We need to know...are you saving any money at all for our future? Can we expect any money for education, apartment, cars...anything to help us become healthy adults post High School graduation? Mom, I see you don't work and don't want to work, and expect me and little Jimmy to do quite a bit of your housework...is there any compensation for that work?
In short, Little Jimmy and I need to know now what is in this for us...the entire Mormon Family thing. After giving you our childhood and youth, are we destined to grow up with disordered parents who care only about their social status who will force their religion upon us and expect us to conform to it and destroy our futures for you? Will we be expected to start our adult lives in utter financial poverty because we spent all our time trying to put out fires at home instead of using that precious time preparing for the rest of our lives?
We need to know now because if that is the case we will need to adjust our commitment to you emotionally and physically and make plans to extricate ourselves from you at the earliest possible chance. And mom, are you pregnant again? Were we even going to talk about that as a family? If we have little money now, how are we supposed to feed another person?
Thank you for writing the letter... While a few of the details differ slightly, I relate 100%. You have summed up the absolute crime that takes place when two people ultimately place their commitment to their cult before their commitment and responsibilities to their children. It has been painful to face that my parents too chose the Mormon "church" over me. But I have come a very long way in my healing and have a great life today. I left the church at 13 but only until the last three years (I am 45) have I been able to really face, and deal with the realities of a family who is lost to a cult. But on the other side of my pain and acceptance of this reality is incredible freedom, joy, creativity, and abundance. Thanks again for your beautiful, insightful, and candid letter. I wish you love and freedom on your journey.
I'm just a breath older than you and there is something about the 40's that really makes you process the reality of disordered parents and what it means in the physical sense to have parents who's entire day to day thoughts, lives and choices go to grow the church and not their children whatever age they may be.
I've recently thought about what it would be like to have parents who have as much devotion, care, loyalty, compassion and money for me. How would it feel that they would spend their entire Sunday's with me, being calm and gentle and spending money on what I was really interested in. If they took as much time to be happy with me and my brother as they did in praying to an invisible man over each meal...like if instead of thanking the air, they thanked me and brother for coming into their lives and what a joy and privilege that was. Can you imagine what those children would grow up to be if they had that kind of love behind them? To feel that sort of security in every part of their lives must be like...well gosh, I can barely imagine it. I wounder what a human soul would do with that kind of love, that kind of life time support. Could you imagine if your parents loved you with the same fire and testimony that they loved the church with? Wow....just wow.
And instead of millions of dollars pouring out of each ward every year...all of that went back into the wards and the families...everyone would actually be...wait for it...happy. Really happy, well fed and hopeful for the future.
However, I changed the story for my own kids. They came before the church when it came to love, time, money, and commitment. Obviously I didn't fit into the mormon cult. There were several people who advised me to shun my kids when they didn't stay mormon. I couldn't imagine doing such a thing. I wondered how my parents did that very thing with such ease.
I have often imagined what it would have been like to have ONE parent, let alone TWO, who were there for you as a child growing up. Mine were pretty messed up, one with alcoholism, and the other depressed, withdrawn and unhappy. I have come to realize, after years of study and some therapy, that they must have had their own issues growing up to turn out the way they did but this does not take the hurt and anger away from the emotional abusive situation I grew up in.
My dad frequently drew a gun on all of us (mother and kids), threatening to shoot us. My mom would seek refuge for herself and us children at her mother's or in the nearby mountains. We never talked about all of this even after she had left my dad.
I do have some of my children now who are raising their children completely free of religion, and the results are so fun and interesting to witness. The children know and feel they are loved because communication telling them this is the case is always present. The kids ask amazing questions about life, even at the age of three. And, the parents have TIME for the kids, time to build a family cohesiveness that is based on respect and enjoying each other as unique and very special people. My dream is that those of my children who are raising their offspring in the LDS cult will notice the difference in the way their children are compared to their sibling's children.
Most Mormons don't have healthy, balanced relationships because the church takes what is best (and a LOT), leaving... practically nothing, which gets passed to others, like old sacrament.
Mormonism leaves a bad, if any, taste in your mouth. When you leave you get stronger, or stay weak.
It would be nice if Mormon parents loved their families like they worship their 'church family', and showed it. If only they had - or used - the time. Unfortunately, in Mormonism, this life is for the church. If there is a next life, referred to as eternity, that's for the family!
If grown children were writing the letter, they might ask why the parents didn't save for their own future. Did they save enough for retirement or did they think social security and medicare would pay for everything? And why does the church want you to pay tithing first, but when it comes to getting help, it's family first, government second and the church last? BTW, are you still paying the church 10% of your SS?
Many children are not in a position to take care of aging parents, especially if they have children of their own. They may not own a house where there's a room for mom and dad. They may not have a job that will allow time off to take parents to a doctor appointment. And finally, if all the parents can take about is the mormon church, then the children might just tell their parents, let the church talk care of you ... good luck with that.
My parents along with countless others were so busy brow beating their children into the cult and paying for the property on "Celestial Terraces" in the CK they completely and entirely failed to do anything to prepare for life in this world.
You reap what you sow. You destroy your kids...have fun being old and alone.