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 about this. I got pregnant, and I didn’t conform to normal church policy when something like this happens. 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 always wanted children, anyone who even sort of knows me, knows I love children. I always have. Many times when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said 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 we 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 surrendered our temple recommends and told our bishop what happened. He just sat there kind of dumbfounded and didn’t know what to say. 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.

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. Bishop told them RJ was the daddy. 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. The second everyone found out they wanted to blame RJ, and they did. It was just as much my fault as it was his. What my parents don’t understand, is I lied to them directly way more than RJ did. I lied probably multiple times a day to get out of the house and see him. My Mom assumed he took advantage of me. To the point that someone asked my parents if  he raped me and they did not say no. To anyone out there who heard RJ raped me, it 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 and the poor guy goes to jail. They become overcome with guilt. In The Mormon Church, women do not have the same rights as men. Leaders in the church 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 next week was filled with horrible conversations and meetings. I met with the bishop the following evening. That meeting 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 so 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 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. My parents flew my big 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 just an agent for my parents.

On Tuesday my Dad meet 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 at theirs. 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. I wish I would have refused to leave with my parents. The acted like they owned me. I was 19, I was old enough to make my own choices. They acted like I didn’t. I knew RJ wanted me and our baby. No matter what anyone said he loved me. I wonder what would have happened if I stayed with RJ that evening all the time. Our lives might be completely different.  

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 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 alone, it was stifling. 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 was going to follow through and be with me. It was at this point I went upstairs crying.

I 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.

This was just a few days after I was exed. It was the first
time we parked in a expecting moms space.
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. The whole house 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 pushed me back into my bedroom. 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 refused to let me leave. I finished packing while they yelled at me the whole time. The cop showed up and asked what I wanted. 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.

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. It was so nice to have so much quiet alone time after all the drama of telling everyone I was pregnant.

While I was there I decided to announce my pregnancy on Facebook. There were already lots 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 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.

In the next few days I will be writing a post all about my life after my excommunication, keep an eye out for it. Thanks for reading.  

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