Date: June 07, 2017 09:00AM
When I was 28, my then girlfriend who was unmarried and a member of the church at the time, got pregnant. Before I met her, I was a virgin still, and in good standing with the church. When she met me, she was a member in good standing after working her way back from a second excommunication. She even told me at the time that my uncle was the Stake President who authorised her second re-baptism. Shortly after we got involved, she basically went off the deep end and had lots of sex with several different guys (several of them returned missionaries), over a short period of time. At that point, she got pregnant and was excommunicated for her third time. To complicate things, she then married one of these guys who was a church member and who was soon disfellowshipped for having sex with her also. I was also disfellowshipped after turning myself and everyone else I knew about, in to my bishop and the bishops of everyone else involved. She and I had been known amongst all of her friends and my friends as a couple. It took a long time for me to figure out what had happened and I still have unanswered questions.
The church leaders who were involved promptly held the church courts for everyone involved with her that they knew about. Then everything went quiet. By the time I found out from friends that she had a new baby (child conceived while she was with me), the church leaders had slapped together their marriage and the baby had been born. The church leaders did everything in their power to hide information from me (even lieing about some things), and to try to get me to just pretend that nothing had happened. Even in a Stake where my uncle had been a well-liked Stake president and was also a personal friend of the current Stake President, and he was willing to help me open doors, everything was cold and angry towards me from all of the other church leaders. Finally, I filed a paternity suit. The kid wasn't mine, nor was he biologically related to the guy she had married (at least that is what my attorney reported to me after the blood test results all came back).
So here is my question. Amongst grown adults, how is the church supposed to deal with these kinds of situations? Out of fairness, civil laws give the man legal rights. It seems that in the church, the church leaders just do what they want to do, and to hell with the rights of those who they choose to side against. I wonder if there are church policies that dictate their actions, or if they just make it up as they go. If the kid would have been mine, I had fully planned to sue the church for interfering and leaving me out of the process, having known well in advance (they even held a church court for me over the matter months earlier). Does anyone know the church's formula for handling these situations? What surprised me the most was that to the church leaders, I had no standing at all (quite the opposite in a court of law). The church leaders unanimously attributed to me and voiced to me, the lowest of motives (jealousy, anger, revenge, obsession) to me and against me without listening to or considering anything I said.
The last contact I had with her before the paternity suit was to defend myself against a restraining order filing. The Superior court judge refused to grant it because he said that he saw no pattern of harassment by me, and then he lectured her on her doing things that she knew or should know might provoke me. It tore me up to file the paternity suit because I really wanted her to be happy (without me). I went to the church leaders first (before the courts of law) to lighten any way they might be impacted, and to keep the situation more private for them. But my concience said it had to be done. Nothing the church leaders said or did was the right way to handle things. So is there a policy or methodology, or is it all just based on the whims of those church leaders who are involved in the moment?
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2017 09:21AM by azsteve.