A tribute to RfM lurkers.

Cheryl Feb. 2013

Once someone loudly accused me of hating lurkers. Not true. I love 'em!

I think about them often when I post and I wonder what they're thinking about all of the threads and issues at hand. Once at an exmo conference a lurker told me she read and often had appreciated my posts for five years although she had never once replied or posted anything on her own.

I sense that there are thousands of RfM readers benefitting every day from discussions here. They can find wisdom and insight without worrying about writing a word.

A number of times I'm been in heated debate without an ally in sight when lo and behold a lurker expert comes forward to offer key information or a personal experience which proves the point I'm trying to make but couldn't adequately articulate or document. Some of these lurkers have been doctors, lawyers, teachers, polygamy survivors like me, former bishops or just people experienced with whatever is being discussed.

I think it's nice to recognize these noble RfMers. Their quest for learning and struggles add to the value of this board and they offer audience to the posts. Performers do their best work when the seats are filled and they know someone might appreciate or benefit from their effort. Sometimes the audience remains silent but their presence is felt.

In case you lurkers feel like posting, here's your chance.

Did RfM help you in any specific ways. With general understanding of mormonism? With why you might want to leave? Did you learn about mormons you know and are you better at dealing with them than you would have been without it? What's the most surprising or shocking bit of knowledge you've picked up? Are you more accepting of deversity? What do you like best, humor posts, information posts, human interest stories, drama?

Thanks for being here. You're not forgotten.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I probably only post once a month or so, if that, but I do read the board most every day. I guess that qualifies me as a semi-lurker. I think one of the things I like best about this board is that the posters make me realize I am not alone or things I think or feel are NOT weird; in other words that is is not "just me". If I make a casual observation about mo'ism to my family, they act like I am being totally ludicrous. Then I will log on and see that someone else has had the same thoughts or made similar observations and it is very validating for me.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I had a fellow RfM member over for coffee this week. She was amazing. She's lurked and read my whole story, and had such nice things to say. There are many reading and absorbing, like my husband for years. I'm thrilled if something, anything I might say can touch even one person.

Great thread!

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I was a lurker once and I don't ever remember being offended, however that might be because it was so damn accurate.

By the way Cheryl, speak your mind if only because Mormons are always afraid of saying what they really think.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
That is EXACTLY how I felt when I first came here :)

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I've never posted before but I've been lurking here for about 3 years now I guess. I went inactive when I was 17 and never really considered myself mormon after that. I have really enjoyed this forum over the last few years and it helped me finally resign from the church. The two kinds of posts I enjoy the most are informational and humorous. The fast and testimony stories along with the mission companion stories are hilarious. Reading all the posts here has brought back a lot of memories of life in the church, some good some bad, and some that just make me laugh my ass off. Really enjoy it.
Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Thanks for posting, and I love your screen name!

My unscientific random sampling . . .
tells me there are about 10 lurkers for every poster.

So glad to hear it. Welcome. 

So right! No exmo is alone. There are 1000s of us everywhere. 

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I mostly lurk.
I'm a nevermo married to Mormon "semi-royalty" His 16 Great
grandparents were ALL Mormon and you would definitely recognize their names.

He was inactive while we were dating; smoked, drank and was sort of the family black sheep.

He was also the love of my life. We met in our 40's with kids mostly grown. We moved in together. WE were both "thru with marriage"

Fast forward several years. Suddenly he wanted to get married. Everything was going so well, I thought "why not?"
And the day after the I do's were said, he told me he had decided to "go back to church".

Whatever....I knew next to nothing about the beliefs of the church. What could it hurt?

Tithing, temple reccomend and garments later, I started researching and ended up here. And Mormonthink....

He's probably too old to change now, and we have both heard each other's logic/reasons with no change in either of our beliefs, so we are currently in "live and let live" or the 11th article of faith mode.

We are still in love, but it was so much better before his TBM phase.

I pick up little jewels of knowledge along the way, and sometimes find occasion to use them....hopefully to add just a bit more cog-dis to his shelf.

Hope springs eternal.
Love all you guys.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
haha thanks

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Great topic, let me formally introduce myself. I have posted two replies but I have been lurking here since last summer. I found out about this board from the newcarabu channel on YouTube that I am a devout follower of.
My name is acuriouscat and I am a 30 something nevermo who lives in Tennessee and also a grad student in sociology with a specific interest in religious studies mainly Mormonism. I am fascinated by people's stories that were and are living the TBM life. I grew up Protestant which is relatively boring in comparison.
Many threads stick out but lately...I can say the one about the funerals and dressing the dead was so interesting.
The video links are some of my favorites that are from TSCC website about how to clean as well as how to get people to do it.
My all time favorite thing this board informed me of is the board over at baby center! I go to it daily to read what these (mostly women) discuss and share. Very eye opening in many ways.
Each one of you here that is either in or out of the church that post is a hero in my book! Seriously guys are amazing and rock for being able to tell your stories no matter how painful or embarrassing they might be to you. Because of your courage, you help spread the truth!
Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Cheryl, I love your posts. I mostly lurk, until a long original post of my own yesterday. Bottom line is everyone here gives me great hope. Hope that she'll get away from TSCC.

I'm a never-mo who married kind of a jack-mo. She gets the fits of wanting to go back. She doesn't really know what TSCC teaches, and when I ask her, she spouts a basically orthodox Christian doctrine...and claims it's what the TSCC teaches (enter lds.org, where I quote the King Follett sermon or the first vision or others and say, "No it's not." Apparently I'm incapable of reading and understanding plain English, even with three graduate degrees). She's got her doubts about the BoA...and she doesn't like TSCC calling itself "the one true and living church." But Joseph Smith WAS inspired to translate the Book of Mormon...and it's true and she's not leaving. As damaging as TSCC was to her family, as much as she doesn't believe (or know) what they teach.

By the way...I found her internet tracks yesterday and she was researching, from what I can tell, whether it would be reasonable to expect Hebrew DNA among native Americans today if the BoM was true. She's trying to convince herself of course, that one shouldn't expect to see any in Native tribes today.

So, I'll go back to mainly lurking, but love your posts, and Mia's, and blueorchid's, Steve Benson, twojedis, SithLord, SusieQ#1, Raptor Jesus, Jesus Smith, Tupperwhere, and so many that I'm forgetting right now! You are giving people hope. I do hate Mormonism. I don't hate Mormons. And I love ex-Mormons!

Thank you! May your wife open her mind & let the sun shine in. 

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Once not too long ago I was a newbie reading here as well!

Sometimes I repost threads in answer to common questions and go into some detail on others that sort of feels redundant, but I always try to remember that every day there are new lurkers here that have not been exposed to many facts and ideas.

I was tremendously benefited from numerous retread posts, such as those posted by Steve from time to time that are full of excellent links. I realize now that these appear in somewhat of a random rotation but due to the format here it is perfectly reasonable to keep the information flowing.

There are wise and articulate long-timers here who I hope will remember all the lurkers who need to hear from you!

Lurker 1
Re: A tribute to lurkers.
As my name implies, I mostly lurk but I have posted probably over 10 times but less than 20. I have one sibling that posts here regularly that most of you know. I'm NOM with a TBM wife and 4 kids in their 20's, 2 of whom are TBM and two that couldn't care less one way or the other as long as my wife doesn't preach to them. I like the mormon church at the local level but I wish it was the same church I grew up in during the 70's. I began looking at this board periodically when a TBM sibling was complaining about the things my RFM sibling was posting here. This board has been an eye opener however I mostly look at the NOM board.

I sometimes get a little disgusted here when people seem to be completely closed minded and make claims about all TBM mormons that I know aren't true however I get even more disgusted when I read the MDD board and see how closed minded and bigoted some of the posters there are and the claims they make about how the mormon church doesn't hide its history and changing doctrine and how if a person isn't aware of the true history it's because they are lazy and don't do their research.

Good Witch
Welcome! I hope things get better in your marriage.

Less than current statistic is: there are 100 lurkers for each one poster.
No surprising that they quietly continue to lurk through threads like this one. That's their perogative but they're not forgotten and not alone.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Thanks for posting that. We always have young men and women who post that they are thinking of marrying a Mormon who is "not that into it" but their whole family is.

We try to warn them that this is likely to change once they are married and hopefully they listen and avoid heartbreak as they struggle raising children they see being indoctrinated against science and critical thinking.

On the other hand, we've had posters here like SuzyQ#1 who provides specific advice to those who want to save their marriages and navigate the difficult waters of the mo+non-mo life.

Your experience will help others here, so post often!


Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I used to be a lurker, and I still kind of am. I try to pluck up courage and get myself to post, but I still get scared and intimidated, and feel like I could never contribute anything worth reading. Many times I've written a post, then deleted it without posting. Sometimes I feel like I'm at a coffee shop, and theres a big group of friends chatting it up at the next table over, and I'm sitting there by myself, eavesdropping and trying not to laugh at their jokes or draw attention to myself...

Ack my anxiety is acting up again. Sorry :(

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I've lurked here for over ten years now on a daily basis, and this site was a major resource for me when I was leaving way back then. I don't really have a reason for not posting more than the maybe 3 times I have over that time period, but I can tell you that I greatly appreciate this site and everyone who posts here. I love reading the different points of view, and enjoy keeping up with what's going on in the ex-mo community. What I read here gives me insight on how to deal with the Mo side of my family, and it allows me to step back and gain a holistic perspective.

Thanks everyone, and remember, we lurkers are always watching. ;)

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I'm mostly a lurker. I post occasionally and stop coming here for months at a time, but return when Mo'ism starts causing problems in my life.

This board helped me in a huge way. I stopped believing in '07 when I started trying to really prove the Mormon church is true and came to realize it is 100% false. I didn't know anyone who left the church at the time, and the only ex-mo or "anti-mo" website I ever found were fundamentalist Christian ones.

I found this board on accident one day in '09 and it was so nice to find a community of people who went through the same mind#$%* that I did in Mormonism. You guys helped me confirm my findings and helped me start living a post-Mormon life.

So thanks to everyone who keeps this board going!

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I love lurking here. Rfm helps me remember that I am not alone. I may post more someday, but right now I need a lot of space & time to think, so I just read what you guys post. I have learned a lot from you guys, thanks for posting!

steve benson
Here's a recent thank-you from an "active reader"-lurker who has decided it is now time to openly voice her truth about the destructiveness of Mormonism . . .
“I'm a 30 year old single mother and left the [Mormon] Church when I was 17. My parents are TBMs, as are my three brothers. I have not been active on the exmormon boards, but am an active reader. . . .

"A lot of eyes have been opened and a lot of healing has begun from posts on exmormon."

"Please feel free to use my whole name. Thanks."

Read her story here. She could use your support and encouragement:


Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I'm here too. I have been around for a few years now. I used to post fairly often but have had trouble-making family snoops. I mostly lurk & only post occasionally as anon now.
I am surrounded by tbm's and live in a rural Utah town. It gets lonely. This site has helped me in more ways than I can even express. Thank you all!!

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
You have a point of view that is unique to you.

Even though most of us have been Mormons and certainly understand, every person's journey is different.

When you add your thoughts, it's important. You become like one of the beautiful little glass pieces in a gorgeous stained glass window of truth. You contribute your little share of light...and it's ok if there are other pieces of similar color or shape to yours. The fact that so many of us chime in with similar observations underlines the fact that they are not fooling everyone and more and more and more people are catching on.

Thanks for posting--I'm sure you were tempted to delete it right before you hit "Post Message" but just remember how important it is to vote. It's like that - you add your voice to ours and we become a stronger voice.

Great thread, Cheryl!


Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I have been a lurker for years. Over the past year I have posted a few times. I grew up mostly in the church. My mom had the missionaries give us the lessons when I was twelve and all but my dad joined. My dad was working out of state and came home one weekend and found out his whole family was mormon.
I truly believed, married at 18 to a rm, not in the temple then due to time and distance, but later went to the temple. Then hubby wound up as a paid church empoyee. I did the sahm thing for 5 years and couldn't anyore, so went to college and got my nursing degree. I also started thinking for myself, and eventually left both the church and the ex. That is another story, and those issues would have been bad without the church, but the church made them so much worse.
It was several years after I left that my daughters told me about rfm. It has been so eye opening! At first I would read constantly, and it was endless omg! moments, but also reassuring that it really is all a crock.
Wow, that is the most I have ever posted about myself!

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Thanks anagrammy :)

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I've been lurking off and on for several years but don't post because I'm a nevermo. The story of how I ended up here might be of interest, though: a friend got married in a temple and I wasn't allowed to attend, which piqued my curiosity about Mormonism. I knew LDS doctrine differed from mainstream Christianity in a lot of ways, but LDS sources downplayed all that to the point where I felt that information was being hidden from me. I poked around online some more, and RFM was the first place where I found substantive info. I always laugh when I read the "If you want to know more about Mormons, your best bet is to ask a practicing Mormon or go to LDS.org!" thing - I had NO reason to read an ex-Mormon site, and it was due to LDS.org's obfuscations that I ended up here!

As I read, I started really sympathizing with the personal stories. I pop in from time to time so I can keep abreast of what the church is up to, and because I enjoy the stories of people standing up to particularly egregious behavior. I'm here silently cheering you all on. :)

Also, I've always admired/envied/been drawn to strict religious communities - your stories remind me of the downsides, and have kept me from potentially being sucked in. Thanks for letting me look on.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
This lurker thanks you, and this is my first post, after over a year of lurking. A year of fearing a Romney victory, a year of watching my oldest now-ex step-son be sucked in by Mormonism. A year of fighting some vicious back-stabbing from Mormons in the town I live in who wanted to suck in the rest of my children at a very vulnerable time for me and their father. I thank you Cheryl, and Anagrammy, and everyone else that I am too tired to remember now, thank you from the bottom of my relieved heart. I know there's no politics up in this board, but relieved I am not to have Romney validating this racist cult. Thank you. I hope to someday introduce myself fully, in the meantime, all good people hear please know that you are making a difference out here whether us lurkers introduce ourselves or not. This board has been one of a couple that have kept me from going crazy (((HUGS)))

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
I too had coffee with a fellow RFMer this week. One of the most amazing and nice people I have ever met. This mostly lurker is learning so much from all of you. Maybe as time goes by I will feel more comfortable sharing more of my story.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Nice Post Cheryl. Invite, and share.

This board was an absolute amazing find. I have been out of the church (inactive) for over 4 years. I didn't realize how much I really needed to "work through" until I started posting here.

I realize that the "craziness" I thought that "Must be just my family" was pretty typical. The stories, support and open hearts of this forum gave me a place to finally begin to heal.. instead of run, and suppress.

It hurts to dig up the past, but it feels better to air it out and deal with it, then let it fester. This board gave me that chance and I am grateful every single day I found it.

Since I found exmormon.org I have finally found the courage to submit my resignation papers to the church, and have received my "official out" papers. I am proud to be part of a generation that is departing from the hoax, lies, scandal and scam. My ancestors (both sides) joined the church within the first 50 converts. In fact, my Mother's family converted my father's in England centuries ago.

I am proud to break the cycle of abuse.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Nice Post Cheryl. Invite, and share.

This board was an absolute amazing find. I have been out of the church (inactive) for over 4 years. I didn't realize how much I really needed to "work through" until I started posting here.

I realize that the "craziness" I thought that "Must be just my family" was pretty typical. The stories, support and open hearts of this forum gave me a place to finally begin to heal.. instead of run, and suppress.

It hurts to dig up the past, but it feels better to air it out and deal with it, then let it fester. This board gave me that chance and I am grateful every single day I found it.

Since I found this forum I have finally found the courage to submit my resignation papers to the church, and have received my "official out" papers. I am proud to be part of a generation that is departing from the hoax, lies, scandal and scam. My ancestors (both sides) joined the church within the first 50 converts. In fact, my Mother's family converted my father's in England centuries ago.

I am proud to break the cycle of abuse.

Re: A tribute to lurkers.
Yep. I've posted 2 or 3 times, but mostly lurk. I have no family who can relate to me being apostate (well, inactive to them), and no friends who have a clue what the whole process is like. So, this helps me not feel so crazy. keep it going. i tried to sign up for postmormon too but have never been able to get the signup process to work, so I just lurk there too.

You're very brave.
It's hard to realize what courage it takes to leave the mormon church. Congratulations.

Glad to have you & all other lurkers. Welcome. Funny story:
DH reminded me at dinner about the lurker at a conference who asked to take my picture because she wanted to hang it by her computer and look at it when she read my posts. Makes me giggle to think about it. I don't like being photographed don't really mind it too much for a "good" purpose.

I'm sure many lurkers have received priceless advice or information that's saved their hold on happiness, not from me but from whoever happened to say what they needed to hear in that moment.

It can be hard to move from lurker to full participant
I have been a mostly lurker for about five years now and I cannot begin to thank all of you active posters for helping me feel like I am not wrong or crazy. First, my story in brief. I was a convert in my early 20's and quite zealous. I don't tend to do anything half way, so within 18 months, I was out in the mission field.

I think being a missionary really saved me because all the mission craziness, over zealousness, pressure to deliver numbers and jack mormons that were serving with me helped open my eyes to the cult. It was hard to be 23 and be led by a 19 year old DL who talked about farting. It was harder to put pressure on people to convert once I realized that LDS doctrine was a crock and actually harmful. Within nine months of returning home, I left the church.

I had been a RS spiritual living teacher once home. As a more mature female RM, many women in my ward looked up to me, and confided their pain and loneliness to me. Many were depressed and scared. They felt intense guilt for not being happy when they felt they had it all. One Sunday, the lesson I was to teach was about solving emotional problems in the lard's way. The lesson discouraged counseling as it would foster dependency. Knowing what I did about many women in the ward, I couldn't teach that lesson, so I made up my own. After a reprimand from the Bishop, I gave myself permission to never return. After that, I read from housewife to heretic and that sealed the deal.

Occasionally, I've been tempted in some odd way to go back to church. I think it's hard to leave your shared experiences and memories behind. This board has saved me from doing that.

So I lurk, and very rarely comment. I've tried over the years to start a thread, and have had very little response. So I tucked in my tail and just surmised that the active community here are well acquainted, if virtually, and it's hard to break in as an outsider. I don't consider that in any way intentional and I acknowledge I could be dead wrong. Would love to hear from regulars on this point.

To all of you who are brave and tell your stories or those of others (thank you Steve Benson), thanks for helping me through the deprogramming. My therapist thanks you as well!

There are posts every day with no replies. I hope you'll keep trying.
Your posts might have been so spot-on that readers loved them and had nothing to add.

Your story is amazing and proves to me that silent lurkers are as interesting as those who post.

Take care.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"