Date: July 18, 2011 11:18PM
Well I guess I can start by saying that my exit story might be slightly different than your average one, but the end result is still the same. I am writing this on a whim so I hope its not too disorganised to follow. I was basically born in the church (my parents converted when I was two). I was raised with 3 sisters, but my parents had another three children when I was in my teens, I grew up in the DC metro area, so I was never a cookie cutter morridor mormon.
As a teenager I rebelled I never really followed the "we are special" line and always thought mormons were a little weird. At the age of about 16 my parents and I had major issues with normal teenage stuff, ie drinking, smoking, sex etc. So instead of facing the music I decided to run away. Eventually I came back. This of course meant I had to live by their rules for the most part.
When I graduated high school (a miracle in itself) my family moved to North Carolina. There I was basically friend free, so I made friends with the only people I knew ward members. Of course missionary service was pushed heavily from family and friends. My parents explained to me that now with young brothers it was my responsibility to show them the way. This pressure and pressure from my TBM girlfriend at the time made me put my paperwork in.
After a couple weeks I received my mission call to the Zimbabwe Harare mission. I was rather exited considering I was an adventurous soul and this was right up my ally. I wouldn't be bored in the states (sorry state side guys), and I wouldn't be tempted by Latin women in south America. I felt this mission call had to be inspired. I told the ward about my mission call that sunday and my bishop had a strange look on his face. I found out that week why he was bewildered. He had requested a stateside mission because of my problems that I had while growing up. I told him that i considered my mission call inspired and in no way was I going anywhere but Zimbabwe. He explained that there was a mix up in the process and somehow my folder was put in the foreign english speaking mission pile. So much for inspiration in mission calls! He offered me a mission in St Louis, I told him that if they changed my mission call I wouldn't go. A couple of days passed and LDS inc came down with a ruling. If I went to a church therapist and he signed off on it, I could go to Zimbabwe. Well a couple of mind numbing sessions later I was all cleared to go on my mission. This was my first ah ha moment about maybe the church not being all its cracked up to be.
My next ah ha moment happened fairly soon after. I was on my way to the Atlanta temple, and there were some folks seeing us off at the house. One of my moms friends came up and said something along the lines of I'm so excited for you! I think you will really enjoy the peace in the temple. she then said while hugging me "I know people that are freaked out by the temple and all the weirdness. just remember you don't have to go back if you don't want to." She said it rather loudly, but no one else said a word about it. The whole trip down there I wondered what she was talking about. Obviously I found out during the session what she was talking about. I made sure I mumbled the words so that in my head the promises were never made between me and the lord. It all felt strange, but my parents and grandparents were there to swoop in and make everything seem normal. ah ha moment number two.
Some people might be wondering why I didn't cut and run at this point. But as most of us know on this board, as a young man you are pretty much tied to either going on a mission or going in active. At this point I still felt that it had to be true and I must be missing something so I just kept on trudging. Its just two years of my life, and then I get the hottest 18 year old I can find and start living life.
Moving on to the mission... or almost mission. The night before my mission I got tied up with a young woman and did everything we were not supposed to do, so I have that weight being held over my head during my whole mission. I knew I couldn't confess, it was too late in the game. The day I left I had a good friend tell me make sure you don't come home early! I don't care what you do, just don't come home early. I took this to heart and went ahead and got on the plane.
At the MTC I was able to re invent myself and live a normal mormon life. If I lived really good maybe god wouldn't condemn me for my stupid decision the night before my mission. no one even had a clue at this point in my MTC class that I had such a transgression hanging over my head.
My mission is a story of its own, and lets just say that I somehow served an honourable mission (at least on paper). There was sex, drinking, rock and roll, travel. You name it it was accomplished on my mission. I ended up leaving the mission exactly 23 months from the day I went into the MTC. That's when the MP could release me, so he made sure he took that option.
After moving back to the states I basically moved from around working construction. I still attended church because I felt it was the right thing to do, but I continued to have premarital sex when ever the opportunity arose. I justified in my head that this was my weakness, and therefore it was allowed.
Eventually roughly 15 months after my mission I ended up in Hawaii. I went there for college, and eventually got in to BYU-H because I befriended the admissions woman. There my pattern of premarital sex caught up to me. I dated a girl that decided she needed to confess, and convinced me to confess. I confessed that this was my weakness, and I had premarital sex pre mission, on mission, and post mission. Obviously I was Ex'ed for it. I still felt the church was true though and it was my fault for not following the rules.
I continued going to church waiting out my at least one year sentence. I stayed in Hawaii and worked at a retail store. I couldn't go home to N.C. because I would be an embarrassment to my family. I was bound and determined to rejoin the church ASAP and get everything strait, only problem was the premarital sex wasn't stopping. I ended up meeting my future wife and the process just continued on as usual. She was booted from school, and went back home. I joined the Air Force.
After we married, I felt that now I could get my life strait again. I was going to join the church and raise a great mormon family. To do this though I had to be joining the church for me, not for anyone else. I knew people had iron clad testimonies, I had seen them in full display in fast and testimony meeting. I needed a testimony that wouldnt be shaken by the wind.... you know not built on sand but built on stone. I told myself I wouldnt join the church until I was 100% sure that the church was true.
This is when I started researching about the church. I found out about 2nd annointings, JS peep stone, JS and BY basically being evil vile men even by non mormon standards. needless to say, after about 2 years of researching I was 100% sure the church was a farce. And about 50% sure about the whole god concept. I consider myself agnostic, because I've never seen or felt god in my life and I aint gonna be suckered twice!
I have been Ex communicated for roughly 11 years, and still have a TBM spouse and two boys. I am a live and let live kinda guy, and she basically leaves me alone on the religion thing, so I do the same. The boys are being raised mormon, but I make sure I infuse reality every chance I get. As for my mother and father as well as bro's and sisters. They just kind of write me off as the bad fish. There is very little contact with them. My wife calls them white american mormons. I guess its a derogatory term meaning selfish fake and can do no wrong. Thats the fast and quick version of my story.