The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.

Formerly known as TBM Dec. 2011

This title may be a little misleading. For me, it was not difficult at all emotionally to leave my mission because I knew it not to be true, and that leaving would have no consequences on my "eternal salvation". Instead, I'd like to talk a little bit about how I was forced to stay an extra month, and was heavily pressured by friends, family, MP, and comp to "stick it out".

I'll start with the beginning. About 7 weeks into the MTC, after studying the book of mormon, the bible, and praying constantly, I told my Branch President that I didn't believe it. I told him it wasn't too hard being in the MTC, because I wasn't really teaching anyone, but it was going to be hard once I got out of there. His response - "You'll believe it when you get down there". I didn't argue with it much, because even if I didn't believe it, I still wanted to see what this place was like. I'd never been out of the states and was called to the Dominican Republic. I wanted to experience things, learn some Spanish, eat some fruit, basically vacation. So I didn't say anything more about it and left the the DR.

When I got there I thought I'd made the right decision. I loved the place. I grew up in Utah and always hated the cold, so this heat and humidity was amazing. I didn't have a hard time at all with the teaching because I couldn't understand much of what was being said. But after about a week I could understand most of what my companion was saying, and I couldn't take it anymore. I knew it wasn't true, and I was being forced to lie and tell people it was. And try and convince them to change their whole lives. I couldn't do it anymore. The first P-day there, I e-mailed the MP and told him I was going home. I sent this email before telling my comp anything of the sort. After we got back to our apartment, I told him, and he flipped out. I knew exactly why too. He was my trainer, if I went home, his reputation would be ruined. He had me call the MP right then, and set up an interview.

When I got to this interview, I realized it was not going to be an easy process to get out of that country. The MP had me call my parents, and tell them what was going on. I talked to my mom, and she pulled the ole guilt trip, saying that if I came home I'd disappoint everyone who helped me, gave me money, etc. And that I would be exiled from the family. I think she was just scared. I then talked to my SP back at home. He told me basically the same thing, told me I'd be setting a bad example for my brother and sister, and that I was wasting the 19 years of my life leading up to this. (I asked him about what he meant by this when I got home, and he completely denied saying it) He told me he talked to the MP, and they were going to have me stay until the end of transfers, which was about 5 weeks from then. I told him I didn't want to, that it would be pointless. But that didn't seem to matter.

At some point, about 3 weeks in, I had an interview with the MP where he tried to convince me that I had a serious transgression that I wasn't confessing, and that was causing my disbelief. I told him I had cleared everything up with my bishop prior to leaving, but he insisted that I still had something I hadn't confessed. He then had me recount every serious sin that I had told to my bishop. I thought this was a little excessive. After I had told him this, he had me call my parents again. As I was talking to my mom, he took the phone, and continued to tell my parents that I had not confessed all of these sins! Absurd! He then gave me back the phone and told me over and over again to tell my parents exactly what I had done. Even though it had already been cleared up. This upset me.

The next 4 weeks consisted of constant fights between me and my companion. Mostly about him trying to convince me to stay, or telling me to leave because he couldn't handle it anymore. He was an extremely emotional guy. I am the opposite. Eventually it got to a point where I thought I was depressed, so I went to visit the Mental Health professionals from the church. This guy was awesome. He was a convert, and had only converted 6 years earlier because of his wife. He knew where I was coming from. He suggested to the MP that I be sent home immediately. (This was about 3 weeks in). Of course, the MP didn't pay attention to this, and still tried to convince me to stay. Please remember that the entire time I kept telling the MP to send me on the next plane home, but he wouldn't because it would inconvenience him, and that I would have to wait until transfers. Ridiculous.

During the 4 weeks after I told my parents that I was coming home, I received countless emails and letters from friends and family trying to convince me to stay. Some even confessed that they didn't believe it while they were out too, but still stayed because that's what their parents wanted, and that they gained a testimony after a year or so out. Again, just trying to convince me to stay. The sort-of-girlfriend also sent some emails, mostly understanding, until the last one, where she stated that she was furious that I was coming home. When I got home, she had a boyfriend. ha.

After 4 and a half weeks, I got in a huge fight with my companion, called the MP, and told him to send me home immediately, or I would be making my own arrangements to leave. He said he had a meeting a week later, and he would talk it over with higher authority then. I was pretty upset at this point.

After 5 weeks, I couldn't take it anymore, and just left my companion and went to use internet at an internet cafe. (This was during our lunch break). He called the MP, and freaked out some more. Later that night, while we were on exchanges, I got a call from the MP saying that I would be leaving the next day. Finally! I was leaving! I got picked up by the APs that night, stayed the night there, and was home the next day. Apparently the MP didn't really have to "talk it over" once he realized that I was serious and no longer cared to follow his rules.

Well, that's just a short account of my mission experience. I hope it gives you a little insight on what it's like to come home early from a Mormon mission.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Your story reminds me of the tale of the missionary who became an accidental terrorist. Funny stuff.

Raptor Jesus
You got a lot of guts kid. And thanks for sharing your story.
You're not alone about coming home early either.

If you need support, you've got a lot here.

And if you ever need something one on one, you can always email me.

Monday Thinker
Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Sounds terrible. We had a guy who went through a similar but not quite as daunting experience on my mission. His dad actually flew out from Utah to be his 'companion' for a week! Sounds pretty miserable. The MP talked him into staying for about 9 months. We were in a nice tropical place, too, so I imagine he enjoyed that while he could.

Glad you got home finally.

This shows that sins are never really forgiven....
Nor forgotten in the cult.

So, what happened when you got home? 

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Unbelievable, having to "recount your sins" over and over and over because wanting to leave was YOUR fault and somehow a sign of great error on your part. I feel so bad you had to go through all that!!! Glad you came home early. :)

Re: This shows that sins are never really forgiven....
Itzpapalotl Wrote:
> Nor forgotten in the cult.

Yeah, my MP started bringing up what I had confessed some two years earlier at my exit interview. What an ass. He's the same prick that told two friends who had been molested by the YM president to keep quiet.

My last contact with a Mormon authority
I quit attending meetings in December of 1959. I went totally inactive. Somehow my father arranged a meeting with the ward Bishop. I have no idea what my father expected. Maybe he thought that the Bishop would have inspiration from God that would somehow cause me to start attending church again.

After talking to me for 15 minutes the Bishop asked me if I would like to go on a mission. I thought about it for five seconds, then answered "Thanks, but no thanks." We politely said good-bye and that was the last conversation that I ever had with a Mormon authority.

The moral to this story: the best way to avoid problems on a mission is to say "NO" when they ask you to go.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Isn't one of the difficulties getting your passport back?

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I envy people like you who had the courage and integrity to leave the mission in spite of all the family and social pressure to conform.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
I wish I would have had your guts when I was on my mish. The second half of it, I wanted to go home and just endure to the end...

You have my respect.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2011 04:25PM by quebec.

Formerly known as TBM
Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Yes, that was the reason I couldn't just leave after a week. The mission home kept my passport.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Typical mo behavior. For some reason they think that forcing or coercing you to be in their presence will cause you to have a spiritual epiphany.

That thinking is what causes them to be so rude. They come over unannounced,invite you to events, constantly preach, force their kids to do church, threaten family members with compliance or abandonment, leave food on door steps,hog your tv and computer screens, and anything else they can come up with. They think that people like them. I think they would be stunned if they knew what people really thought.

Formerly known as TBM
Re: So, what happened when you got home?
Once I got home things went back to the way they were before I left. It was pretty crazy.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
May I suggest to anyone currently in this sort of a situation, that you simply go to the US Consulate, announce that the church is holding your passport (if they are) and ask to be repatriated. I have a suspicion you would be home the next day. Coercing someone to stay against their will is wrongful imprisonment and might be a crime where you are.

Stray Mutt
I wish I'd had my current adult mind back when I was on my mission.
There would have been SO much crap I would have called them on, particularly my lying dickhead MP. But that's why they send them young. So much easier to mistreat and feed BS.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2011 07:57PM by Stray Mutt.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Well this is the reason they get young men straight out of HS to do their bidding. When I was your age I imagine that I too would be in your pickle. Now I am 39 and have been around the block and I would have walked into the US embassy then and there, flipped off the "rules" and demanded a plane ticket home. Also missionaries should NEVER relinquish their passports to anyone at any time. It's an at-will relationship and these kids get screwed every step of the way.

Bro, this too shall pass. It won't be easy but there are good people here who support you and are proud of you.

I regularly fantasize about going back in time to Dec 1991 when I started on my mission and enlisting in the Army without telling my super douche companion or anyone for that matter (even Dear Mom) and "disappearing" to basic training, then calling home a month later with the sweet news.

You'll be fine man!

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Charlie Wrote:
> May I suggest to anyone currently in this sort of
> a situation, that you simply go to the US
> Consulate, announce that the church is holding
> your passport (if they are) and ask to be
> repatriated. I have a suspicion you would be home
> the next day. Coercing someone to stay against
> their will is wrongful imprisonment and might be a
> crime where you are.

I second that and fully agree. In Canada no one can prevent you from having and holding your passport at the age of 16 - at 19 (when you leave for mission) you are an adult - no one should hold your passport. I had no idea that the church held passports. But then, it does not surprise me. How else are they going to force you to stay.

Good for you for sticking to your guns.

For a good time, read Raptor Jesus book
You will get a kick out of his missionary experiences beginning with them asking his opinion of their intake routine and when he gave some negative feedback on the form, he was reported for "evil speaking against the Lord's anointed."

And that's before he ever even landed in the mission field.

"The Passion of Raptor Jesus" on Amazon for a few bucks.

Thanks for posting-- it makes everyone feel better to learn that other smart people were manipulated as well.



Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
I've seen this type of thing first hand when I was a missionary...

First-off, my sincere apologizes to the OP. No one should be put through what you went through. It is a shame and a failure on the part of those in "authority." I hope that the effects of this event don't linger in your life and relationships. It's @#$%& like this that pisses me off.

There is a talk that E. Holland gave that they showed my group in the MTC where he explains passionately that he, as a Mission President, wouldn't let a Missionary go home early. It seemed at the time I saw the video that he was speaking conceptually and not about using his authority to hold missionaries against their will. I realized later how literally Br. Holland was speaking.

I spent several months in the mission office as a secretary. And during my tenure there I saw a handful of missionaries come to see the MP because they were sick. The sickness wasn't so much physical as mental, but they were sick enough to be showing physical symptoms. These missionaries were treated like dirt and put through the ringer for not being able to handle being a missionary (which is brutal). Truthfully they wanted to go home, but they couldn't bring themselves to say it, and even if they did their requests wouldn't be immediately acted on. Usually, after a few weeks of physch visits and MP interviews they would be allowed to return home if the showed no progress. Fortunately, most of them recovered quickly upon their return as far as I know. Tragically they all carry the stigma of early return with them.

Other missionaries came to the office who wanted to go home and started breaking the rules and acting out. These also were not allowed to go home but were put through interview after interview, phone call after phone call. I recall one elder was in the offices for 2 weeks intent on going home. In the end he agreed to stay, but only after he was convinced by a friend at home who promised him a car if he stuck it out.

Unless there is serious illness or rule breaking (like having sex), the mission will not send you home. The break you, 1984 style, until you agree to stay. I give props to the OP who had the strength to stick to his convictions. In most cases it's easier to just do as your told.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Sooo glad I didn't go on a mission. I would have done anything in my power to get sent home had I been forced to go. I am blessed to have had wonderful parents, who although they were TBM's respected my decision not to go. I don't know if they ever got backlash from their TBM pals or from the church higher-ups for having 2 sons who were blatantly inactive. It was never mentioned. They just loved us for who were were.

Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
Formerly Known as a TBM- You have a lot of courage for standing up to them. I spent 2 miserable years on my mission to please my parents, ward, and others because I lacked the courage to simply come back home. You did the right thing.

This story should make it clear to anyone reading that TSCC is a mind control cult. They will take any measures necessary to control, manipulate, and lie to benefit the corporation.

George of the Jungle
Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
I envy you guys who had this kind of insight during or before your mission. I was completely snowed by my family and pressured to just believe until it became me.

If I had a clue it was false at that time, I would have enjoyed my mission in more ways than one. Talk about living the vida loca.

anon for this
Re: The difficulties of leaving a Mormon mission.
If you don't mind me asking,
What did your former girlfriend say when you got home, and now that you know the church is BS, who are/ will you be dating?
Non-mormon girls or TBM girls?

I am curious because I am familiar with a missionary (or two) who came home early from a mission because he hated it and didn't believe. In a few months he is marrying a former TBM girlfriend in the temple. Possibly he was guilted into it because of some previous indiscretions.

What are your feelings now about marrying a mormon and will you do a temple wedding just to make your family happy?

I'd bet you they violated some human trafficking laws
You pay the church money to travel to another country...and they won't "let" you leave...until they say so.
...that's human trafficking.

I'd like to see a list of all the laws they broke.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"