Date: August 22, 2016 04:41PM
Recovery Board : RfM
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Posted by: anoninidaho ( )
Date: August 16, 2016 01:57AM
the dream of a happy temple marriage: I had to let it go
I feel kind of isolated sometimes, here in this little microcosm of Mormonism, in a highly LDS town, in the white bread basket of I-da-ho.
One of my lifelines to sanity after happily exiting "the" church has been my habit of listening to an Ex-Mo podcast every night for my storytime while I am falling asleep. John Dehlin's Mormon Stories have been like manna from heaven for me.
My favorite so far is the 4 part interview John Dehlin did with Grant Palmer in 2006. I didn't discover the podcast until 2012. I wish I had listened to it sooner.
Grant Palmer's fabulous book, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, was the nail in the coffin for me as I found the courage to exit the church in 2005.
I love the song that is used for the introduction to the Grant Palmer interviews. A prelude is played at the start of each interview, and the first words to the song are simply:
"I watched it sinking down."
Then, at the conclusion of each interview the song is played in it's entirety.
The song is by an artist named David Wilcox. Title: "Let it Go." There is a version you can listen to on Youtube. The gist of the song is watching a treasure sinking down, and letting it go.
I found myself weeping uncontrollably each time I listened to the song. At first I couldn't figure out why I was crying, but later I spent some time with my raw feelings, and identified why I wept... But it was a good cry, a cleansing cry.
I have had some things that I have watched sinking down, in my journey out of Mormonism.
What I visualized as I listened to the words to the song was all of the teachings of Mormonism that I thought were such treasures, sinking into the deep blue ocean. The Book of Mormon, a fraud; the Book of Abraham, another fraud; and most hurtful to me, the campaign promises used by the Mormon Missionaries to get me to join the church were based on a fraud as well.
I was only 15 when I took the Missionary Lessons. What does a 15 year old girl want more than anything else? Just to be loved.
The Missionaries held up a picture of a pretty temple, with a green lawn, and a beautiful bride and handsome groom staring deep into each other's eyes.
The missionaries told me that 2 + 2 = 4.
Marry a returned missionary in the temple, and you will have happiness in this life, and eternal joy in the world to come.
I bought the cookies. I drank the Kool-aid. And I liked it.
I was baptized, and, as embarassing as it is to admit, one of my main motivating factors was to have that wonderful Temple Marriage that I was told about. Time and All Eternity with your own True Love.
Lessons in Young Womens, Sunday School, Seminary and later Relief Society all echoed the same mathematical formula.
2 + 2 = 4.
Marry. A returned missionary. In the temple. You will have happiness in this life, and eternal joy in the world to come.
And more pictures. Of joyful couples. Outside of palatial temples. Happy couples. People who love each other.
I was a good girl. I lived the law of chastity until it hurt.
I married. A returned missionary. In the temple.
The abuse began on the honeymoon, and lasted for 25 years.
When, after being beaten down, and beaten down, and beaten down: physically, emotionally, financially, sexually, and spiritually by my now ex-husband, I discovered the church was not true...
Well, "I watched it sinking down."
My dream of that happy temple marriage was never going to come true. It was all an illusion.
If I could, I would love to get my hands on one of the pictures of a happy bride and groom in front of a temple, that was used in the propaganda to get me to join the church, and to keep hoping and hoping that the mathematical formula would finally work...
2 + 2 = 4. Right?
But, I had married a returned missionary in the temple. And I was doing everything right...
Why was he abusing me? And my kids? And neglecting both myself and our children. Why?
Why did he have to dash my dreams of a happy temple marriage?
I tried so hard. I gave so much power to that pathetic little man.
What a relief now.
I KNOW the church is not true. Joseph Lied.
If anyone is reading this who is good with visual images, please create a picture for me of a cute couple in front of an LDS temple, with the wedding photo sinking down into the deep blue sea, like the words of the David Wilcox song.
"I watched it sinking down... I had to let it go."
I am now 11 years free of Mormonism. And 10 years free of the shackles that constituted my marriage.
Once I discovered the church was not true, and I told my now ex-husband about my research, he divorced me.
The divorce was the greatest gift he ever gave me.
Of course, those of you who have studied the stages of grief are well aware of the typical order: Denial, Anger, Blaming, Depression, and Acceptance.
So interesting, for me to look back and see that it has taken me roughly 10 years to let go of the grief of the dream of the temple marriage that never came true.
Goodbye 2 + 2 = 4.
The whole "celestial marriage" concept was dreamed up by Joseph Smith, a pathological liar, to cover his adulterous affair with Fanny Alger, in addition to the 30 plus other women who later became his victims. Those poor women, and even young girls who were manipulated by that Master Manipulator, masquerading as a Prophet of God.
Just makes me shake my head with sadness for those women who believed Joseph's lies.
If only I could have been stronger. When the missionaries, young women's teachers, Seminary Teachers, etc. held up those pictures of lovers in front of temples.
If I had only been strong enough to say, "I don't want your cookies, and I am not thirsty for your Kool-aid."
If only I had known that women are just as important as men, and that you dont' really need that Temple Marriage to get to heaven...
Sometimes Grief is not about Forgiving others.
Sometimes Grief is about accepting what happened, and moving on.
My Returned Missionary husband tried to only give me bruises on parts of my body that were covered by the Garment. I had my Last Bishop take pictures of the Last Bruises my Returned Missionary husband gave me.
My Returned Missionary husband would never dream of looking at porn, and yet he constantly asked me to wear pantyhose and skirts or dresses when he came home from work because he said it was hard for him to keeps his thoughts clean at work because all the women there wore skirts and pantyhose, and he just couldn't keep his thoughts clean.
My Returned Missionary husband constantly criticized me: my hair, my chubby thighs, my cooking. I was never good enough for him.
My Returned Missionary husband felt that since he had a penis, and the Priesthood, that his spirituality trumped mine every time we got different answers to prayer. This also included our couples prayers asking God when it was time to have another child. His answers to prayer trumped mine. After all, as my ex-husband liked to remind me, he was the Senior Companion in our marriage.
My Returned Missioanry husband financially abused me by keeping me on a very tight budget, and yet telling me I could not work outside the home. Stating that my place was at home with the kids. He did not want me to get a marketable degree in college, again, because he stated that my place was in the home.
My Returned Missionary husband took his stress out on me, and our children, when things weren't going well for him at work. If he came home and there were dirty dishes in the sink, he would occasionally throw a dish on the floor to break it, to punish me, all the while yelling at me for not having the house clean for him when he came home from work.
My Returned Missionary husband punched holes in the drywall of our home, in anger, when he did not get his way. He also kicked holes in the drywall of one of our homes when his authority was questioned.
My Returned Missionary husband made my life a living hell on earth, rather than heaven.
Meanwhile, my Returned Misionary husband served as Elder's Quorum president in 3 different wards, and in Bishoprics in 3 different wards.
One of my adult daughters recently confided in me that it was so hard for her to sit in the congregation in various wards, and look up at her Dad sitting on the stand, knowing that her Dad had abused me, or one of the kids that week, and was now smiling on the stand in the Bishopric.
Unfortunately, for the majority of our marriage, I was so beat down emotionally by my Ex, I didn't have the strength to stand up to him, in his verbal and physical attacks against me.
I did; however, have the strength to fight to protect my kids. Many times I placed myself as a human barricade between my Ex and one of my cowering children, trying to calm him down so that he would not hurt someone again.
And of course, those of you who have studied the Abuse Cycle will be aware of the Honeymoon phase, in which the abuser is sweet, and apologetic, and promises to never hurt anyone, or their feelings again.
During the entire course of our marriage, My Returned Missionary husband ALWAYS had a current Temple Recommend.
My Returned Missionary husband. Hmmmmph.
Thank God, or Jesus Christ, or Allah, or Buddha, or the Great Spirit, or whoever is on call up there (is anyone on call up there?) that the Miserable Marriage I was trapped in, is OVER.
And today, I said my my final goodbyes to the dream of that happy temple marraige that was desecrated by my Returned Missionary Husband.
Anyone from the Twin Falls area that was LDS in the 1970's will remember the LDS bookstore that was in the upstairs balcony area of the Crowley Pharmacy on Mainstreet in the old downtown area.
It was the only LDS bookstore for at least a 50 mile radius. "The LDS Book Nook" on the balcony of the Crowley Drug Store, and soda fountain.
Today, the Crowly Pharmacy and LDS bookstore is now called the "Twin Bean." I suppose a play on words for the name of the town, Twin Falls?
The Twin Bean now sells delicious coffee, lattes, etc. And they also sell beer and wine.
A quite fitting ending for a place that used to sell books to perpetuate Joseph's Myth.
I sat at a small table, alone on the mezzanie, and sipped my Latte. And I said goodbye to the dream of that happy temple marriage. In the same room where I loved looking at books about happy temple marriages.
And I thought again of the words to the David Wilcox song, to paraphase:
I watched it sinking down. The treasure I had almost found was lost. I had to let it go.
~~Anon in Idaho