Monday, July 11, 2016

How I got Excommunicated from The Mormon Church

I was excommunicated from The Mormon Church on May 4th, 2013. I was not surprised. I got pregnant, and I didn’t conform to normal church policy. I had been through the temple months before, and I had a mission call to Manchester, New Hampshire. RJ was married to someone else when it happened (it was not a healthy marriage). Everyone assumed I would give the baby up. I have always wanted children, anyone who even sort of knows me, knows I love children. I always have. When I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say,  “A mommy”.

RJ and I unexpectedly fell in love. We didn’t mean for it to happen, I knew he was married. I knew how difficult, hard, and messy it would be if we wanted to be together. We loved each other and didn’t really know how to go about it. We secretly dated for almost an entire year. Then I got pregnant…. If I could go back and change the way we told people, I would, but it's too late. We decided the best thing to do, was to go to the bishop's house, and tell him together. That was probably the worst thing I have ever done.

We showed up on the bishop’s doorstep without an appointment and told him we needed to talk. He guided us back to his office, and we all took seats. RJ and I surrendered our temple recommends, and told him what happened. He just sat there, dumbfounded and speechless. Most of it was pretty blurry because I was crying the whole time, but I remember how horrible it felt. The bishop kept saying how could this happen. I am glad I am not a part of that church any more. The guilt it induces is horrible.

RJ left and the bishop called my parents. When they got there I told them I was pregnant. They told me it would be ok and hugged me. The bishop told them RJ was the father. My Mom then drove me home while my Dad stayed and talked to the bishop. On the way home, my Mom told me to never see RJ again. She told me to promise I would never talk to him again. I said, “sure” even though I had zero intention of listening to her, or keeping that promise.  

The second everyone found out I was pregnant they wanted to blame RJ, and they did. What my parents didn’t and still don’t understand, is I lied to them directly way more than RJ did. It was just as much my fault as it was his. I lied, probably multiple times a day to get out of the house and see RJ. My Mom assumed he took advantage of me, to the point that they told people I was raped.

To anyone out there who heard RJ raped me, that was a load of bullshit. Many Mormon girls call rape after the fact. They have consensual sex, and when they tell someone or people find out, they withdraw consent retroactively, and the poor guy goes to jail, all because of the guilting environment of The Mormon Church.

In The Mormon Church, women do not have the same rights as men. Leaders assume that women cannot make decisions for themselves. Women are not treated equally in The Mormon Church. When I told people that when RJ and I had sex it was my idea, no one believed me.

The week after “confessing” to the bishop, was filled with horrible conversations and meetings. I met with the bishop the following evening. That conversation was definitely my breaking point. He wasn’t sympathetic, or kind in anyway. He told me if he was my father, he would not allow me to keep the baby. He was disappointed in me because other girls in the ward looked up to me. He went on and on like this. It was the worst I have ever felt. No one should make anyone feel that terrible no matter what.

RJ had a meeting with the stake president at one point, where he guaranteed RJ would never have to pay child support. He told RJ they would make sure I gave up the baby. This scared the shit out of me. What were they going to do to me, to guarantee I gave up my baby?

The Saturday after we told the bishop I spent the night at one of my friend’s house. The following Sunday morning I drove to RJ’s house instead of church. The plan was to wait till my parents left for church then go get my things. My Dad didn’t go to church so that plan went out the window. We ended up spending the evening in, watching movies.

Monday night the bishop and stake president came over to RJ’s house. RJ basically told them to fuck off and gave them a letter resigning from the church.

That same day, my parents flew my older sister out from Utah. I’m sure they wanted her there to take me back to Utah with her. She sent me a text asking to get lunch. I didn’t want to see her, I knew she was an agent for my parents.

On Tuesday my Dad met with RJ’s wife. RJ had already told her about me, but RJ and his wife had not had the opportunity to have every conversation they needed to. My dad decided he was going to do that. I’m not exactly sure what he said to her, but he manipulated her so they could get me out of RJ’s house and back with my parents (my parents made me feel like property). They ambushed us at RJ’s house and basically told me I had to leave. My Dad told RJ and I quote, ”You fucking fucked my daughter you, fucking fuck.” And my Mom called him a “Fucking bastard,” when he wouldn’t promise not to reply to me if I reached out to him. That was the last thing she ever said to him. It was not fun. I wish I would have stayed, and refused to leave with my parents. The acted like they owned me. I was 19, I was old enough to make my own choices. I knew RJ wanted me and our baby. No matter what anyone said, he loved me.   

My family assumed I would give up the baby. Before anyone asked me they had someone from LDS family services come over to talk to me. My family had told this woman that RJ was a horrible guy and he wasn’t going to be involved at all. This was before RJ was given the opportunity to speak for himself. I knew he wanted to be with me and wanted to raise our baby together. No one asked RJ, no one cared what he thought. I knew he would want our baby even if I decided I didn’t.

The more time I spent with my family the more I wanted to leave. My mom didn’t trust me to go anywhere, it was stifling. I mean what more trouble could I have gotten into.

I managed to get my older sister to set up a meeting with RJ, me, and her. It was amazing to see RJ. She was weird and asked him all these questions like, “Are you going to marry my sister in the temple, and do right by her?” RJ was finally able to express he wanted be with me and have our baby together. It was great someone was finally listening.

After a little while of pestering RJ, we parted ways and went home. This meeting was supposed to be in confidence because I knew my parents wouldn’t approve. As soon as we got home, my sister went out onto the porch with my Dad and told him everything. I’m not positive what was said but when my Dad came back in he was very angry and rude. He told me I was stupid if I thought RJ loved me and wanted to be with me. It was at this point I went to my bedroom crying.

I also decided I needed to leave. RJ told me he would have a cab come get me when I was ready. My parents live in a gated community and they had put RJ on the “do not let them in” list. If he came into the neighborhood he would have been trespassing.

I decided I would go down to the basement and get a couple suitcases. On the way back up I told my Dad I was leaving, he looked shocked but that didn’t stop him from trying to talk me out it. My entire family was trying to convince me not to go. They were yelling, and calling me stupid. They were getting desperate. My Dad told me I could not take the suitcases I packed because he had paid for them (even though they were given to me as a gift). I told him fine I will leave now with nothing, and tried to leave. It was then that my Dad and Mom stopped me from leaving the room, and even pushed me a bit. They had taken my phone days before, but I still had my iPod touch. I sent a message to RJ, told him to call the cops and send them to me. My parents still refused to let me leave. I finished packing while they yelled at me the whole time. A cop showed up and asked what was going on. I told him I just wanted to leave. The cop made it clear that since I was over 18 they could not stop me from leaving. Luckily nothing else happened and I was able to leave.

This was just a few days after I was exed. It was the first
time we parked in a expecting moms space.
RJ got me a hotel for a few weeks so I could have alone time. I was afraid if I stayed at RJ’s house my parents would just come and take me again, or other ward members enlisted by my parents would stake out his house. It was amazing to have time to myself after being suffocated by my family.

While I was there I decided to announce my pregnancy on Facebook. There were already a lot of rumors going around and I wanted to nip them in the bud. Promptly after that I recieved a email from the bishop inviting me to a disciplinary council. He said and I quote, “The fact that you have opted to go public via Facebook regarding your pregnancy, leaves me no choice but to immediately address your transgressions.” Also contained in the letter was a number of pointless scripture verses, and the time and date of my disciplinary council.

I did not want to go. I didn’t feel bad that RJ and I fell in love and got pregnant. I did not feel bad that we had sex. I wasn’t proud of what happened but I was excited to have a baby with him. I told my bishop I would not be attending. I also told him I was not remorseful for my actions. I understood the severity of what I had done in The Mormon Church’s eyes, and the consequences that would follow.  
My disciplinary council was held on May 4th 2013 at 1:00pm by 4:00pm I had a email from the bishop with an answer. Unsurprisingly I was excommunicated.

I often wish I just would have had my name removed from the records. I did not want to be a part of The Mormon Church anymore. I didn’t fit in. I was glad to be rid of it.

Over the past four years I have become an Atheist. The way I was treated by people of a “christian” religion was what made me wonder what else was wrong with The Mormon Church. That’s when I discovered how it really started and many astonishing facts about Joseph Smith and early “prophets”. Not to mention all the holes religion has in general.

Update (May 4th 2020 during COVID-19 lock down with nothing better to do).

I boggles my mind that it has been 7 years since all this happened and I was excommunicated. Rosalie will be 7 this fall. She is a amazing big sister to her 3 younger siblings. I still have an odd relationship with my parents. Oddly enough after they repeatedly told me my relationship was doomed and would never last they got divorced last year.

I am more of an Atheist now than I ever thought I would be. I would probably go as far to say I am anti-religion. It frequently does more harm than good and I genuinely think the world would be a better place without religion all together.     

I love my life and I my family. I am happy I was excommunicated. My life would not be what it is if I had not been.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. Our stories are so important and need to be heard.


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