Episode 11: An Interview with Tom

64 comments on “Episode 11: An Interview with Tom”

  1. Rich McCue Reply

    Tom,

    Having left the church with my wife back in 2007, I shudder to think what it would have been like for me and my family if she had wanted to stay in the church as a TBM… I suspect I would have ended up as very liberal member of the church or NOM.

    I’ve alerted my brother Bob to the podcast… He was happy to know that he is not one of those #@$-hole ex-mormons 😉

    Good luck on your Journey!

    Rich

  2. Rich McCue Reply

    Tom,

    Having left the church with my wife back in 2007, I shudder to think what it would have been like for me and my family if she had wanted to stay in the church as a TBM… I suspect I would have ended up as very liberal member of the church or NOM.

    I’ve alerted my brother Bob to the podcast… He was happy to know that he is not one of those #@$-hole ex-mormons 😉

    Good luck on your Journey!

    Rich

  3. badseed Reply

    Tom-

    Thanks for sharing your story. I admire your willingness to put your ‘family first’ as it were by still attending and getting what you can out of being a part of the Church. I have tried to sit through the teachings/meetings and it is a painful experience. I haven’t as of yet been able to make peace with Mormonism but my wife and kids are still involved.

    Your comments on this and other podcasts make it seem like you sometimes feel like John Dehlin in that you are neither really accepted by strict TBMs or ex-Mormons. Is that the case?

    Also, do you really feel like part of the Church even though you cannot really share what you think? I mean, essentially you only can share your thoughts if they are match a script you are given. Right? Instead you choose to just be silent. Is that hard for you?

  4. badseed Reply

    Tom-

    Thanks for sharing your story. I admire your willingness to put your ‘family first’ as it were by still attending and getting what you can out of being a part of the Church. I have tried to sit through the teachings/meetings and it is a painful experience. I haven’t as of yet been able to make peace with Mormonism but my wife and kids are still involved.

    Your comments on this and other podcasts make it seem like you sometimes feel like John Dehlin in that you are neither really accepted by strict TBMs or ex-Mormons. Is that the case?

    Also, do you really feel like part of the Church even though you cannot really share what you think? I mean, essentially you only can share your thoughts if they are match a script you are given. Right? Instead you choose to just be silent. Is that hard for you?

  5. James Reply

    Guys:

    This one is Great! Getting our story out, no matter what path we take. NOM not being the path I chose certainly but respect to T nevertheless.

    My exit from the church has taught me that opinions change, people change and who knows where the podcast group will be in 4 years?

    Paging PP, Nort and Highrum 🙂

    My shelf was not needed anymore the day I took my G’s to the curb. Putting them there was probably one of the most spiritual experiences I had ever encountered. I can’t speak for you Tom, you do that quite well but who knows where we would have ended up if geographic and cultural limitations did not have their influence in either of our cases.

  6. James Reply

    Guys:

    This one is Great! Getting our story out, no matter what path we take. NOM not being the path I chose certainly but respect to T nevertheless.

    My exit from the church has taught me that opinions change, people change and who knows where the podcast group will be in 4 years?

    Paging PP, Nort and Highrum 🙂

    My shelf was not needed anymore the day I took my G’s to the curb. Putting them there was probably one of the most spiritual experiences I had ever encountered. I can’t speak for you Tom, you do that quite well but who knows where we would have ended up if geographic and cultural limitations did not have their influence in either of our cases.

  7. Tom Reply

    Rich,

    I really appreciate your comments and for letting your brother know that he isn’t an a-hole. 🙂 I did follow a few of your posts and on your blog when you and your wife Heather were struggling and then finally made the decision to leave. I am extremely envious that both of you were able to get on the same page together. I am very happy that both of you sound like you have found some peace together.

    -Tom

  8. Tom Reply

    Rich,

    I really appreciate your comments and for letting your brother know that he isn’t an a-hole. 🙂 I did follow a few of your posts and on your blog when you and your wife Heather were struggling and then finally made the decision to leave. I am extremely envious that both of you were able to get on the same page together. I am very happy that both of you sound like you have found some peace together.

    -Tom

  9. Tom Reply

    Badseed,

    “Do you feel you are neither really accepted by strict TBMs or ex-Mormons. Is that the case?” Yes and no. Depends on the situation. Lets take the podcast for example. The exmo’s don’t like me because I take a pro approach to most of the topics. The TBM’s don’t like me because I’m too sympathetic to the critics. So in this example, yes, I am hated by both sides.

    “Also, do you really feel like part of the Church even though you cannot really share what you think?” Yes I do, at certain times anyway. Although I can’t get up in Sacrament Meeting and let everyone know about Brigham Young’s deceit and lies by blaming the local Indians for the Massacre, I still feel like part of the church because I can interact with members of my stake/ward on a personal level. I don’t bring up the troublesome topics on my own, but when someone in my ward asks me about them, I always give my honest opinion.

    “Instead you choose to just be silent. Is that hard for you?” As I said in the interview, yes, it is difficult at times. For example, this year in Gospel Doctrine they are studying the D&C & Church History. So this year has been excruciating for me. I have had to walk out of quite a few lessons this year.

    Thanks for the comments badseed!

    -Tom

  10. Tom Reply

    Badseed,

    “Do you feel you are neither really accepted by strict TBMs or ex-Mormons. Is that the case?” Yes and no. Depends on the situation. Lets take the podcast for example. The exmo’s don’t like me because I take a pro approach to most of the topics. The TBM’s don’t like me because I’m too sympathetic to the critics. So in this example, yes, I am hated by both sides.

    “Also, do you really feel like part of the Church even though you cannot really share what you think?” Yes I do, at certain times anyway. Although I can’t get up in Sacrament Meeting and let everyone know about Brigham Young’s deceit and lies by blaming the local Indians for the Massacre, I still feel like part of the church because I can interact with members of my stake/ward on a personal level. I don’t bring up the troublesome topics on my own, but when someone in my ward asks me about them, I always give my honest opinion.

    “Instead you choose to just be silent. Is that hard for you?” As I said in the interview, yes, it is difficult at times. For example, this year in Gospel Doctrine they are studying the D&C & Church History. So this year has been excruciating for me. I have had to walk out of quite a few lessons this year.

    Thanks for the comments badseed!

    -Tom

  11. Tom Reply

    Hey James,

    While we both both share some similarities when we went through our own “crisis of faith” as it were, we both took different paths. In truth, I actually admire your strength and courage when you stood by your integrity and then placed a distinct line between you and the church and you have stood your ground since. I deeply admire you for that.

    I do agree with you that our journey is far from over. I am still trying to make my way through all of this mess. And I am also anxious to see where we all are in 4 years from now. I imagine that Nyal will have re-joined the church by then. 😉

    You make a good point about the geographic and cultural influences that are different in both of our situations. Would I have made a different choice if I wasn’t living in the pressure cooker of Utah County? I don’t think so, but I really can’t say for sure. You make a good argument.

    Looking forward to talking to you soon,
    -Tom

  12. Tom Reply

    Hey James,

    While we both both share some similarities when we went through our own “crisis of faith” as it were, we both took different paths. In truth, I actually admire your strength and courage when you stood by your integrity and then placed a distinct line between you and the church and you have stood your ground since. I deeply admire you for that.

    I do agree with you that our journey is far from over. I am still trying to make my way through all of this mess. And I am also anxious to see where we all are in 4 years from now. I imagine that Nyal will have re-joined the church by then. 😉

    You make a good point about the geographic and cultural influences that are different in both of our situations. Would I have made a different choice if I wasn’t living in the pressure cooker of Utah County? I don’t think so, but I really can’t say for sure. You make a good argument.

    Looking forward to talking to you soon,
    -Tom

    • George Reply

      Great interview Tom.

      It was great to hear you put things in and have a great hope for the future. Personally, I’m still in the middle of finding out what that next step looks like for me. You guys did a great job on the podcast and I look forward to spending more time as a panel.

  13. George Reply

    Great interview Tom.

    It was great to hear you put things in and have a great hope for the future. Personally, I’m still in the middle of finding out what that next step looks like for me. You guys did a great job on the podcast and I look forward to spending more time as a panel.

  14. Mike Michaels Reply

    Good interview. Enjoyable to listen to.

    I’m curious, Tom: What drove you to disregard or not recognize the consequences of being so vocal with your family and friends about your disaffection (the 78 page letter)? You didn’t state your age of this occurrence, but it sounds as if you were lacking in maturity and wisdom in how to handle this situation. Sometimes we speak of Mormon culture infantilizing members. Do you think that this was a contributing factor? i.e., that Mormonism doesn’t teach effective methods of conflict resolution among adults? Or that Mormon culture doesn’t promote shared understanding within – but rather promotes an assumed rote acceptance of presumed shared values?

    I applaud you for saving your marriage. Perhaps if my disaffection experience had come at a younger age I might have reacted the same as you.

    As I listened to your interview I wonder how things might have turned out differently for you had you handled the situation differently. And I wonder if you ever feel trapped into a status quo now (or will in the future) that is driven by your former decisions and actions. Or if in the future the status quo will get redefined by experiences by your wife or children.

    In any case, congratulations for navigating the rough waters of the perfect storm.

  15. Mike Michaels Reply

    Good interview. Enjoyable to listen to.

    I’m curious, Tom: What drove you to disregard or not recognize the consequences of being so vocal with your family and friends about your disaffection (the 78 page letter)? You didn’t state your age of this occurrence, but it sounds as if you were lacking in maturity and wisdom in how to handle this situation. Sometimes we speak of Mormon culture infantilizing members. Do you think that this was a contributing factor? i.e., that Mormonism doesn’t teach effective methods of conflict resolution among adults? Or that Mormon culture doesn’t promote shared understanding within – but rather promotes an assumed rote acceptance of presumed shared values?

    I applaud you for saving your marriage. Perhaps if my disaffection experience had come at a younger age I might have reacted the same as you.

    As I listened to your interview I wonder how things might have turned out differently for you had you handled the situation differently. And I wonder if you ever feel trapped into a status quo now (or will in the future) that is driven by your former decisions and actions. Or if in the future the status quo will get redefined by experiences by your wife or children.

    In any case, congratulations for navigating the rough waters of the perfect storm.

  16. Melanny Reply

    Thanks, Tom, for sharing your story. It resonates with many of us who have been through what you have. I’m fairly recent to this process (about 8 months or so) and hearing your story was really helpful in determining the future and possible end scenarios for my own story. I also reached out to Bob McCue and he is as genuine and good hearted as you describe.

    Peace for you and yours

  17. Melanny Reply

    Thanks, Tom, for sharing your story. It resonates with many of us who have been through what you have. I’m fairly recent to this process (about 8 months or so) and hearing your story was really helpful in determining the future and possible end scenarios for my own story. I also reached out to Bob McCue and he is as genuine and good hearted as you describe.

    Peace for you and yours

  18. Tom Reply

    Mike,

    “What drove you to disregard or not recognize the consequences of being so vocal with your family and friends about your disaffection (the 78 page letter)?” What drove me was the crazy desire to be understood. I am willing to admit that I didn’t think the consequences through, but I honestly thought at the time that my family and friends would give my research a open, honest read and then come to the same conclusions I did. It just seemed obvious to me at the time. I was 32 years old, so maybe I was immature or lacking in wisdom as you say. Personally, I think I was just letting my emotions have more control over my decisions than I should have. Although, I don’t think age and maturity are exclusively related.

    To your “Mormon culture infantilizing members” question, I think you may have a point, but I don’t think that I can blame the Mormon Culture for making me immature. I think you can find this kind of problem in other church cultures, so I don’t think it is just a Mormon problem.

    I’m still on my journey and I have no idea where I will end up in the future. My wife and my family are a big factor in my decision making so even if I don’t see my destination from where I am now it is possible that my current position or beliefs will continue to change.

    You know I have a lot of respect for you Mike, thanks for your input.

    -Tom

  19. Tom Reply

    Mike,

    “What drove you to disregard or not recognize the consequences of being so vocal with your family and friends about your disaffection (the 78 page letter)?” What drove me was the crazy desire to be understood. I am willing to admit that I didn’t think the consequences through, but I honestly thought at the time that my family and friends would give my research a open, honest read and then come to the same conclusions I did. It just seemed obvious to me at the time. I was 32 years old, so maybe I was immature or lacking in wisdom as you say. Personally, I think I was just letting my emotions have more control over my decisions than I should have. Although, I don’t think age and maturity are exclusively related.

    To your “Mormon culture infantilizing members” question, I think you may have a point, but I don’t think that I can blame the Mormon Culture for making me immature. I think you can find this kind of problem in other church cultures, so I don’t think it is just a Mormon problem.

    I’m still on my journey and I have no idea where I will end up in the future. My wife and my family are a big factor in my decision making so even if I don’t see my destination from where I am now it is possible that my current position or beliefs will continue to change.

    You know I have a lot of respect for you Mike, thanks for your input.

    -Tom

  20. Chris Reply

    Tom – I really appreciated your insight. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I have been a very active member (1st counselor in bishopric for over 5 years). My shelf had crashed as well in the last year or so. My wife has been supportive, though it has been hard at times. I most resonated with your comment on feeling alone in the ward. I honestly did not expect to be shunned like I have been. I thought my ward really did care about me and my family. Truth be told, they cared for us only as part of the group. Once we we perceived as being a threat to the group things really did change. All the stereotypical labels were put on us (me especially). I have managed to remain active in the ward but I am not sure what will happen at this point. Enough about me – I do have a couple of questions if you don’t mind.
    1- How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood? Some of the comments made in that setting and answers borderline on the ridicules to the insane. I probably made some of those same comments during my TBM days, so I try not to be judgmental of the people. J Dehlin mention in his podcast that when these kind of things are said it truely doesn’t bother him anymore. Would you be able to say the same? I am not to that level yet, but I think I may want to get there.
    2- You had mentioned that you did not want to paint the picture that you are a disbeliever. Are you saying that you believe the way a typical TBM believes? i.e. The church is the one true church, literal gathering of the Kingdom of God, First vision, etc? When you had this crisis of faith was your belief in these things was diminished and now restored? Or do you have a more symbolic/metaphor that allows you to find meaning in different ways? I don’t mean to pin you down to expressing your beliefs in this setting, so a general answer would work great.
    Thanks for sharing you experience. If you want to be accepted in the church you are taking risks by speaking of these things openly. It does help me in my own journey.

  21. Chris Reply

    Tom – I really appreciated your insight. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I have been a very active member (1st counselor in bishopric for over 5 years). My shelf had crashed as well in the last year or so. My wife has been supportive, though it has been hard at times. I most resonated with your comment on feeling alone in the ward. I honestly did not expect to be shunned like I have been. I thought my ward really did care about me and my family. Truth be told, they cared for us only as part of the group. Once we we perceived as being a threat to the group things really did change. All the stereotypical labels were put on us (me especially). I have managed to remain active in the ward but I am not sure what will happen at this point. Enough about me – I do have a couple of questions if you don’t mind.
    1- How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood? Some of the comments made in that setting and answers borderline on the ridicules to the insane. I probably made some of those same comments during my TBM days, so I try not to be judgmental of the people. J Dehlin mention in his podcast that when these kind of things are said it truely doesn’t bother him anymore. Would you be able to say the same? I am not to that level yet, but I think I may want to get there.
    2- You had mentioned that you did not want to paint the picture that you are a disbeliever. Are you saying that you believe the way a typical TBM believes? i.e. The church is the one true church, literal gathering of the Kingdom of God, First vision, etc? When you had this crisis of faith was your belief in these things was diminished and now restored? Or do you have a more symbolic/metaphor that allows you to find meaning in different ways? I don’t mean to pin you down to expressing your beliefs in this setting, so a general answer would work great.
    Thanks for sharing you experience. If you want to be accepted in the church you are taking risks by speaking of these things openly. It does help me in my own journey.

    • Polygamy Porter Reply

      Swearing Elder, “The shelves are heavy and ready for failure”.

      My intellectual shelf gave way much faster than my wife’s emotional shelf.

      James, Thanks for listening to my podcast with Nort and HighRum, it was a good time even though my wife was still an active member..

      Wow how time flies… I left TSCC over five years ago. My wife has been out for just two years.

      Our family enjoys Sundays how ever we wish now. Once in a while for kicks we tease the kids and threaten to make them go back to church.. the scared look on their face is priceless!

      For Tom, dude I feel for you and the pressure you are under bud.. and living in the belly of the beast. The retched odor of Joseph’s Myth permeates every square inch of “Happy Valley”.

      In my case, even though I felt it was barely an OK social organization, I did not want to face my children in 10 or 20 years when they were RM’s, temple married to a celestial seeking TBM, with 2-4 mormon parrot kids, when suddenly they realize themselves it was all a crock of sh*t, a retched crock of feces that their own father had baptized them into –and he did not even believe it!

      How could I answer them when they asked how I as their father forced them into something that I did not believe in?

      The thought of “well, it is a good way to raise your family” crossed my mind for a moment, but thankfully I love outside of the Utah compound, where I see all walks of life and see good families from the spectrum of society. There is a heavy price to pay for the LDS “good way to raise your family”, the price is the life of your children.

      IMHO, you are kidding yourself if you think you can offer a “balanced” or NOMish view of mormonism to your children. Their TBM friends, teachers, and leaders will water down your influence. LDS mindset does not allow partial belief. Like many of the leaders has said, “all or none”.

      I decided to live MY life for MY family, and no one else. Selfish? Sh*tchyeah, but guess what? Over my life, inlaws, relatives, extended family, lds “friends”, none will be with me as close as my own children. They are not responsible for my kids and I am not responsible for lives, or feelings of these others.

      It was time for me to man up and make a stand to set the example for my children to see. For them to see past the fog of mormonism that life is much bigger than the confines of any religion.

      Had I not done this, my entire family would be even deeper in the tar pit of Joe & Co.

      My prediction for both you and John Dehlin? Let check up in five years. My bet is that you and your families, will both be out of this goddamned cult.

      Good luck.

  22. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Swearing Elder, “The shelves are heavy and ready for failure”.

    My intellectual shelf gave way much faster than my wife’s emotional shelf.

    James, Thanks for listening to my podcast with Nort and HighRum, it was a good time even though my wife was still an active member..

    Wow how time flies… I left TSCC over five years ago. My wife has been out for just two years.

    Our family enjoys Sundays how ever we wish now. Once in a while for kicks we tease the kids and threaten to make them go back to church.. the scared look on their face is priceless!

    For Tom, dude I feel for you and the pressure you are under bud.. and living in the belly of the beast. The retched odor of Joseph’s Myth permeates every square inch of “Happy Valley”.

    In my case, even though I felt it was barely an OK social organization, I did not want to face my children in 10 or 20 years when they were RM’s, temple married to a celestial seeking TBM, with 2-4 mormon parrot kids, when suddenly they realize themselves it was all a crock of sh*t, a retched crock of feces that their own father had baptized them into –and he did not even believe it!

    How could I answer them when they asked how I as their father forced them into something that I did not believe in?

    The thought of “well, it is a good way to raise your family” crossed my mind for a moment, but thankfully I love outside of the Utah compound, where I see all walks of life and see good families from the spectrum of society. There is a heavy price to pay for the LDS “good way to raise your family”, the price is the life of your children.

    IMHO, you are kidding yourself if you think you can offer a “balanced” or NOMish view of mormonism to your children. Their TBM friends, teachers, and leaders will water down your influence. LDS mindset does not allow partial belief. Like many of the leaders has said, “all or none”.

    I decided to live MY life for MY family, and no one else. Selfish? Sh*tchyeah, but guess what? Over my life, inlaws, relatives, extended family, lds “friends”, none will be with me as close as my own children. They are not responsible for my kids and I am not responsible for lives, or feelings of these others.

    It was time for me to man up and make a stand to set the example for my children to see. For them to see past the fog of mormonism that life is much bigger than the confines of any religion.

    Had I not done this, my entire family would be even deeper in the tar pit of Joe & Co.

    My prediction for both you and John Dehlin? Let check up in five years. My bet is that you and your families, will both be out of this goddamned cult.

    Good luck.

  23. Tom Reply

    Chris,

    First off, thank you for sharing a bit of your own personal story. My heart goes out to you when you said that you were shunned by your ward. I completely understand what that kind of betrayal feels like.

    To your questions, “How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood?” I take several different approaches. First I try to find distractions, like games on my cell phone or read a book. Second, I will write down my thoughts and reactions to the talk or to the lesson being taught (I find that this helps ease my tension of having to actually say something). Third, I just do what most do, daydream or let your thoughts go elsewhere (most that go to church do this every single week anyway).

    “Are you saying that you believe the way a typical TBM believes?” It depends on who I’m being compared to.
    “The church is the one true church, literal gathering of the Kingdom of God, First vision, etc?” I don’t subscribe to the “One and Only True Church” mantra any longer. What is really funny is that I find that less and less Mormons are subscribing to that exclusivity as well.
    “When you had this crisis of faith was your belief in these things was diminished and now restored?” No, there was no restoration of my beliefs. My beliefs in the church’s authenticity were destroyed, but in order for me to return back to church I had to adapt a new kind of belief system. A kind of unorthodox approach to Mormonism, you know, a less literal approach. I had to drop my black and white thinking and adapt a more liberal view to my beliefs. I don’t view things in the church as cut and dry anymore. I see the good in the church and I embrace those things. I must say that this belief system most certainly isn’t easy, but it works for me, for now. Who knows what my future will hold. I’m not saying that anyone should take my path, on the contrary, I think they should choose the path that works with themselves and with those they love.

    I would love to hear more about your story and maybe some of your advice for me, so if would like to continue our discussion, you can email me at: tom@mormonexpression.com

  24. Tom Reply

    Chris,

    First off, thank you for sharing a bit of your own personal story. My heart goes out to you when you said that you were shunned by your ward. I completely understand what that kind of betrayal feels like.

    To your questions, “How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood?” I take several different approaches. First I try to find distractions, like games on my cell phone or read a book. Second, I will write down my thoughts and reactions to the talk or to the lesson being taught (I find that this helps ease my tension of having to actually say something). Third, I just do what most do, daydream or let your thoughts go elsewhere (most that go to church do this every single week anyway).

    “Are you saying that you believe the way a typical TBM believes?” It depends on who I’m being compared to.
    “The church is the one true church, literal gathering of the Kingdom of God, First vision, etc?” I don’t subscribe to the “One and Only True Church” mantra any longer. What is really funny is that I find that less and less Mormons are subscribing to that exclusivity as well.
    “When you had this crisis of faith was your belief in these things was diminished and now restored?” No, there was no restoration of my beliefs. My beliefs in the church’s authenticity were destroyed, but in order for me to return back to church I had to adapt a new kind of belief system. A kind of unorthodox approach to Mormonism, you know, a less literal approach. I had to drop my black and white thinking and adapt a more liberal view to my beliefs. I don’t view things in the church as cut and dry anymore. I see the good in the church and I embrace those things. I must say that this belief system most certainly isn’t easy, but it works for me, for now. Who knows what my future will hold. I’m not saying that anyone should take my path, on the contrary, I think they should choose the path that works with themselves and with those they love.

    I would love to hear more about your story and maybe some of your advice for me, so if would like to continue our discussion, you can email me at: tom@mormonexpression.com

    • Tom Reply

      PP,

      I’m not even sure where to begin. Obviously you are not happy with my decision. I think what bothers me is when you criticize my ability to raise my own children. You don’t think my influence will stand up to the other influences inside the church. Well, you certainly have me pegged down don’t you. I think the only way I could convenience you is if you could see my family and my relationship with my kids for yourself, but I don’t see that happening so I would just ask you to take my word on it. The reality is that I take into consideration my children with every single decision that I make. Why do you feel so compelled to judge me as a father? Of all the things you stated, calling out my relationship to my children is the most upsetting.

      Since you have given me an unsolicited prediction, here is mine. I predict that you will forbid your children to participate with anything related to the church. Even if they eventually want to investigate the church on their own.

      I also predict that you will still be cursing, even when it is inappropriate and uncalled for.

      In your second comment, you state, “I get the feeling from your podcast that you are doing your best to remain in TSCC, but it is very straining on you.” Haven’t you learned from your time in the “CULT” that feelings or emotions are completely unreliable? That more times than not they are inaccurate? I guess that may be the one thing that you still haven’t quite shaken off from your “brainwashing” experience in the “CULT”.

      -Tom

  25. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Tom,

    You wrote:

    “To your questions, “How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood?” I take several different approaches. First I try to find distractions, like games on my cell phone or read a book. Second, I will write down my thoughts and reactions to the talk or to the lesson being taught (I find that this helps ease my tension of having to actually say something). Third, I just do what most do, daydream or let your thoughts go elsewhere (most that go to church do this every single week anyway).”

    You do this because you are forced to attend?? I just cannot understand why anyone would sit through a lesson that they do not agree with what is being taught and will distract themselves just so they can continue to fill the chair.

    I am baffled by this type of mindset. You do not believe in this church, yet you fill a chair each Sunday and fill their financial coffers with your money.

    Additionally, your behavior will help ensure that your children do the exact same thing as adults.

    You are the new poster child for TSCC. Look! He does not believe it but still attends and more importantly, PAYS HIS DUES!

    I get the feeling from your podcast that you are doing your best to remain in TSCC, but it is very straining on you.

  26. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Tom,

    You wrote:

    “To your questions, “How are you able to keep quiet during sunday school and priesthood?” I take several different approaches. First I try to find distractions, like games on my cell phone or read a book. Second, I will write down my thoughts and reactions to the talk or to the lesson being taught (I find that this helps ease my tension of having to actually say something). Third, I just do what most do, daydream or let your thoughts go elsewhere (most that go to church do this every single week anyway).”

    You do this because you are forced to attend?? I just cannot understand why anyone would sit through a lesson that they do not agree with what is being taught and will distract themselves just so they can continue to fill the chair.

    I am baffled by this type of mindset. You do not believe in this church, yet you fill a chair each Sunday and fill their financial coffers with your money.

    Additionally, your behavior will help ensure that your children do the exact same thing as adults.

    You are the new poster child for TSCC. Look! He does not believe it but still attends and more importantly, PAYS HIS DUES!

    I get the feeling from your podcast that you are doing your best to remain in TSCC, but it is very straining on you.

  27. Tom Reply

    PP,

    I’m not even sure where to begin. Obviously you are not happy with my decision. I think what bothers me is when you criticize my ability to raise my own children. You don’t think my influence will stand up to the other influences inside the church. Well, you certainly have me pegged down don’t you. I think the only way I could convenience you is if you could see my family and my relationship with my kids for yourself, but I don’t see that happening so I would just ask you to take my word on it. The reality is that I take into consideration my children with every single decision that I make. Why do you feel so compelled to judge me as a father? Of all the things you stated, calling out my relationship to my children is the most upsetting.

    Since you have given me an unsolicited prediction, here is mine. I predict that you will forbid your children to participate with anything related to the church. Even if they eventually want to investigate the church on their own.

    I also predict that you will still be cursing, even when it is inappropriate and uncalled for.

    In your second comment, you state, “I get the feeling from your podcast that you are doing your best to remain in TSCC, but it is very straining on you.” Haven’t you learned from your time in the “CULT” that feelings or emotions are completely unreliable? That more times than not they are inaccurate? I guess that may be the one thing that you still haven’t quite shaken off from your “brainwashing” experience in the “CULT”.

    -Tom

    • Elizabeth Reply

      Great interview, Tom!

      My journey has been very similar to yours, so I can relate.

      Porter is an a**hole more times than not, so don’t worry about what he says. 🙂

  28. Elizabeth Reply

    Great interview, Tom!

    My journey has been very similar to yours, so I can relate.

    Porter is an a**hole more times than not, so don’t worry about what he says. 🙂

  29. Rich McCue Reply

    Tom,

    As you know, everyone’s situation is different… and the world is not black and white. I can very easily see how different circumstance could have led me to a position very close to where you find yourself right now.

    PP: “Additionally, your behavior will help ensure that your children do the exact same thing as adults.”

    I don’t think you addressed how you talk to your kids about the problematic aspects of the church in the podcast, but I’m guessing you do something similar to what John Delhin has said he does, which is to do talk to the kids about what they are learning, and make sure that they get a different perspective on those issues.

    Keep up the good work!

    Rich

    P.S. If you or John ever make a Trek up to Victoria, BC, you both have a place to say!

  30. Rich McCue Reply

    Tom,

    As you know, everyone’s situation is different… and the world is not black and white. I can very easily see how different circumstance could have led me to a position very close to where you find yourself right now.

    PP: “Additionally, your behavior will help ensure that your children do the exact same thing as adults.”

    I don’t think you addressed how you talk to your kids about the problematic aspects of the church in the podcast, but I’m guessing you do something similar to what John Delhin has said he does, which is to do talk to the kids about what they are learning, and make sure that they get a different perspective on those issues.

    Keep up the good work!

    Rich

    P.S. If you or John ever make a Trek up to Victoria, BC, you both have a place to say!

  31. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Rich,

    My wife did not exit with me. She continued to attend full on with my kids for a few more years, although their attendance began to wane in the last year.

    During that time I would discuss things they were taught in their Sunday classes.

    Things like the Word of Wisdom. I remember one day when my then nine year old daughter came home and told me of the WoW lesson she had received and asked why coffee was sooooo bad. I showed her and the older/younger kids the facts.

    I showed them first that it did not specify coffee. I then showed them the part about meat that most mormons ignore. I then showed them facts about the temperance movement.

    In my experience, kids are smarter and more logical than I thought. My daughter pointed out that HOT chocolate was HOT so why was that not mentioned? I confirmed her suspicion with questions about ANYTHING hot… god forbid she gets hot water in her mouth during a shower!!!

    My daughter asked if she could try some of my coffee. I allowed all of the kids to sample it both warm and blended iced frappiccino style. She loved it and to this day, Starbucks frappiccio is her favorite(decaf of course).

    Over the few years of my wife working her way out of the grip of the mormon cult, my quick minded kids asked many other questions to which I simply showed them the facts and let them decide.

    On day at Home Depot, I handed my 11 year old son a 50 lbs sack of concrete mix and told him to run down to the end of the isle and back while his younger brother chased him. This was a perfect object lesson of how ridiculous it is to believe the story of Joe running (at the top of his speed) with the supposed gold plates.

    To wrap this long post up, my advice is to be careful(or not) of what you share with your quick minded, logical kids. When it came time for my son to be ordained a Deacon, guess what? He told the bishop he did not want to do that. “I don’t think that Joseph Smith always told the truth”, he told the bishop.

    The bishop scolded my wife and told her she should not let children make decisions about their own salvation because SHE the parent is responsible for the salvation and “saving works” of her children.

    Yeah.. sure… “talk” to your kids about the truth vs the cherry picked whitewashed faith promoting drivel that gets hammered into their young impressionable minds and see how that flies with them asking the wrong questions to their unwitting leaders and teachers.

    Elizabeth, pass me the buttwipe, I need to wipe meself 😉

  32. Polygamy Porter Reply

    Rich,

    My wife did not exit with me. She continued to attend full on with my kids for a few more years, although their attendance began to wane in the last year.

    During that time I would discuss things they were taught in their Sunday classes.

    Things like the Word of Wisdom. I remember one day when my then nine year old daughter came home and told me of the WoW lesson she had received and asked why coffee was sooooo bad. I showed her and the older/younger kids the facts.

    I showed them first that it did not specify coffee. I then showed them the part about meat that most mormons ignore. I then showed them facts about the temperance movement.

    In my experience, kids are smarter and more logical than I thought. My daughter pointed out that HOT chocolate was HOT so why was that not mentioned? I confirmed her suspicion with questions about ANYTHING hot… god forbid she gets hot water in her mouth during a shower!!!

    My daughter asked if she could try some of my coffee. I allowed all of the kids to sample it both warm and blended iced frappiccino style. She loved it and to this day, Starbucks frappiccio is her favorite(decaf of course).

    Over the few years of my wife working her way out of the grip of the mormon cult, my quick minded kids asked many other questions to which I simply showed them the facts and let them decide.

    On day at Home Depot, I handed my 11 year old son a 50 lbs sack of concrete mix and told him to run down to the end of the isle and back while his younger brother chased him. This was a perfect object lesson of how ridiculous it is to believe the story of Joe running (at the top of his speed) with the supposed gold plates.

    To wrap this long post up, my advice is to be careful(or not) of what you share with your quick minded, logical kids. When it came time for my son to be ordained a Deacon, guess what? He told the bishop he did not want to do that. “I don’t think that Joseph Smith always told the truth”, he told the bishop.

    The bishop scolded my wife and told her she should not let children make decisions about their own salvation because SHE the parent is responsible for the salvation and “saving works” of her children.

    Yeah.. sure… “talk” to your kids about the truth vs the cherry picked whitewashed faith promoting drivel that gets hammered into their young impressionable minds and see how that flies with them asking the wrong questions to their unwitting leaders and teachers.

    Elizabeth, pass me the buttwipe, I need to wipe meself 😉

  33. Tom Reply

    I really appreciate all of the kind words and support. I really want to thank all of you who have emailed me and shared their personal stories and experiences. There are many people out there hurting, some are even suffering in secret, all alone. I truly feel your pain.

    My heart goes out to all of you out there who find themselves in situations where their beliefs and their relationships are at odds. It sucks.

    -Tom

  34. Tom Reply

    I really appreciate all of the kind words and support. I really want to thank all of you who have emailed me and shared their personal stories and experiences. There are many people out there hurting, some are even suffering in secret, all alone. I truly feel your pain.

    My heart goes out to all of you out there who find themselves in situations where their beliefs and their relationships are at odds. It sucks.

    -Tom

  35. Some Schmo Reply

    Interesting stuff. Listening to the part where John stated that having a crisis of faith changes people made me realize that I never really had that experience, and I suppose in many ways, I’m not a typical exmormon.

    BTW Tom, I, as an exmo, do not hate you for your pro-mormon positions. Just wanted to point that out.

  36. Some Schmo Reply

    Interesting stuff. Listening to the part where John stated that having a crisis of faith changes people made me realize that I never really had that experience, and I suppose in many ways, I’m not a typical exmormon.

    BTW Tom, I, as an exmo, do not hate you for your pro-mormon positions. Just wanted to point that out.

  37. ginarec Reply

    I loved your interview, Tom! You are fighting the good fight. I couldn’t judge you for the choices you’ve made in regards to the church. I don’t want to be a “hater”. I don’t believe the church is what it claims to be, but I know I have caused more turmoil in my marriage and for my children by fighting with their Dad than was necessary. You are an example to me in how I could change my approach in the future. (Don’t know if I could be as positive as you are, but I want to try.)
    I’m a godless heathen and am comfortable with that, but I want my family to be happy.

  38. ginarec Reply

    I loved your interview, Tom! You are fighting the good fight. I couldn’t judge you for the choices you’ve made in regards to the church. I don’t want to be a “hater”. I don’t believe the church is what it claims to be, but I know I have caused more turmoil in my marriage and for my children by fighting with their Dad than was necessary. You are an example to me in how I could change my approach in the future. (Don’t know if I could be as positive as you are, but I want to try.)
    I’m a godless heathen and am comfortable with that, but I want my family to be happy.

  39. Elder Vader Reply

    It was really great listening to this episode.  Christy, and Luis, I wish we were friends!  

    My brother is currently serving a mission.  I wish I could sit down and listen to this episode with him and talk about it.  

    You guys are exactly the sort of people the church desperately needs to be able to attract.  But the church is so stuck on control mechanisms, and tied in knots created by its contradictory truth claims, that it actively repels people who use their brains.  If the church would just back off and rebrand itself, again, to be “We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a group of people who believe in being really really nice to everyone, and raising our families to be good people.  We hope you’ll join us!” then they’d be back in business.  

    If the church used as its value proposition “We believe in being really really nice to everyone and raising our families etc…”  It could use the best apologetic argument available to it (which it currently can’t use).  Namely:  “Who the f*** cares?”   

    It goes like this.  “The Book of Mormon is not a historical document.”  “Yeah.  You’re right.  But who the f*** cares?  We are a community that believes in being really really nice to everyone.  And to the degree the Book of Mormon helps us do that, we’re going to use it, and the parts that don’t help us be really really nice… we’ll just skip those parts.”  

    You can’t use the “Who the f*** cares?” line of apologetics if you’re actively lying as an organization, and actively trying to control people.  If they would just back off and stick with the parts of the church we all really love (the be really really nice to everyone parts) then the church would be able to attract and retain the kinds of people like Luis and Christy.  

    Even though I’m basically apostate myself, it was still kind of sad to listen to this episode because I have this proxy regret on behalf of the church.  Man.  Thats too bad that they’re losing people like Luis and Christy.  

    • Christy51 Reply

      Thanks! I think you make some good points. I went to the temple knowing all about the church’s crazy history and my line of thinking was something like, “well whether the Book of Mormon is literally true or not, it doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it.” However, as someone who was born into the church I think I could “own” my religion more than Luis could. I didn’t feel as bad having doubts because Mormon is who I am, not what I am trying to be. I think you’re right in that the historical problems are a bigger problem because the church isn’t honest and emphasizes its truth claims. I am feeling farther from the church because of how it functions, not its history. Let us know if you’re ever in DC, so we can be friends.

  40. TNOrange Reply

    Wonderful interview. You both seem like such real and authenic people. I can relate 2 ways… I am a mom of multiples too (with a 3rd born 14 months earlier). So we had 3 kids in 14 months.. all before I turned 24. My crew is 17-18yrs old now.. and they get cooler every year. Second, our break from LDS Church was also similar in that one we attended a number of churches, including UU, UCC, Foursquare Pentacostal, Baptist, Methodist before we made a final decision.

    Good luck in your journey. I am looking forward to hearing an update!

  41. jackrodwell Reply

    she was excommunicated for letting a jehovas witness in her house. lol .  why do these two groups hate each other so much .  they have so much in common. wierd. paradise on earth vs becoming a god . pick which afterlife you prefer . and charles taze russell is no joseph 

  42. Happy Doodle Reply

    I love Christy and Luis’ story. The love and careful intentions that they have for each other on their faith journey is remarkable. This is a beautiful episode.

  43. nielper Reply

    I have loved listening to this podcast.  I wish we were in the same ward as Christy and Luis.  I just wanted to make a comment about the Quinceanera issue.  I’m in Houston and we have two big Spanish Stakes in this city.  Many years ago, there were people who threw big Quinceanera parties for their girls in the LDS ward buildings.  The problem was that some of them would go around asking the members of the ward to be padrinos of this or that, padrinos for the flowers, padrinos for the music, etc.  The padrinos were expected to pay for that portion of the party.  So they were trying to get the members of the ward to pay for the Quinceanera party.  We also had a problem with inactives or part member families who wanted to use the ward building for their Quinceanera party.  They would invite a lot of non-member friends who would smoke and drink in the parking lot and once even a fight broke out.  It got out of hand.  Finally the church said that it was fine to do a Quinceanera but NOT in an LDS building.  They would have to find another place for the party and it was not kosher to ask members of the ward to be padrinos.

    Christy, I love the way you describe your Quince with the 15 women giving advice on womenhood. It sounds beautiful.  I wish they were all like that.

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