Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I think I am just coming out of my second cycle of grief. At least, if I look at things that way then my life seems to make a bit more sense. Right now I would say I’m rather squarely in the depression phase just hanging out for acceptance to kick in.

The first cycle was grieving over the loss of my religion. Having grown up in the church and having been raised and educated by a very specific set of values I think it was only natural to grieve the loss of reassurance that there was ‘a divine plan’. Although I have been very happy to say goodbye to some parts of the religion, other parts were quite nice (e.g. forever families) and were painful to let go of.

I definitely went through a denial phase, quite a long one too. This phase went on for about a year. I read and read and read. I was trying to find information that would explain the inconsistencies and make everything all right again. I gripped on to hope. In the end I strangled it. There was no hope.

Shock. In the shock phase I needed to talk all of the time. Rockstar put in a monster effort but it was a massive strain. Then I found you, dear cyber-space, you seem to be able to listen forever and you never interrupt me. Sigh.

As you may have noticed, a teensy bit of anger, oh who am I kidding, a hell of a lot of anger raged forth. This occurred soon after I began blogging. Things got ugly rather fast. There was a massive fall-out from my public expressions of anger. Tension. Fury. Pain.


My sad and depressed phase was relatively short. Maybe I had experienced enough depression in my life already and this time I was able to move on. I exercised, meditated, spoke/cried with friends and felt sorry for myself.

Then I accepted that the losses that I had experienced were necessary for my growth and happiness. I accepted that I had lost friends. I made new friends. I got a wicked massage! And found my happiness again. Oh joy!!

Enter cycle number two.

This one knocked the breath out of me. I lost my perfect, loving Heavenly Father and Mother. My ‘real parents’, who I had longed to return to since I knew of their existence, were figments of my imagination. Ugh!

No returning safely onto the arms of sweet white-haired supreme beings. No happily ever after. Crap!

Denial had been there the whole time. There was no anger this time, only sadness: deep, deep sadness. Add a splash of shock. No posts on the blog. Too depressed to write.

So I smile at this little ray of sunshine. I am able to write again. I am amazed actually. When I started writing this post I was waiting for acceptance to kick in… and I really think it just did.

I accept that I don’t know anything anymore.

I welcome the hope and the love that entered my heart today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Women as Property

About 8 months ago Rockstar and I attended a Sealing ceremony (marriage ceremony) at our local Mormon temple. It was done ‘by proxy’ meaning that we were participating on behalf of people who have died. Their living relatives having submitted their names to the temple to have them baptised, married and endowed.

At the time I was already beginning to question my faith in the religion but I was happy enough to be there that day. I felt quite peaceful all dressed in white, spending some time with my partner in a quiet and sacred place. As there is quite a bit of repetition in the ceremony I began to try and memorise the words (a little habit of mine). It didn’t take long for me to realise that the vows were different for the husband and wife. I listened more closely and confirmed that there was a significant and shocking difference. The man agrees to “receive her unto yourself”. The woman agrees to “give yourself to him”. (Full text can be found online in a basic search). There was no mention of the husband ‘giving himself’ or of the wife ‘receiving her husband’.

Disturbed by this I later asked the temple worker why there was a difference in the vows. He was surprised by my question and said that no-one had ever asked him that before. Then, thinking on the spot, he said (from memory) “well isn’t that what a woman does, give herself to her husband?”…… What! like a nicely wrapped present with a big fuckin’ puffy, satin bow!? #@%# ….. Well, I began to say how I really didn’t see how that explained anything when a higher-ranking member intervened and began to expound to me about how men and women are equal in the church. The other family members who were with us for this ceremony were visibly uncomfortable by this point. Feeling very unsatisfied I let it be.

When I later had the ear of my Bishop, and on another occasion a representative from the Stake Presidency, neither could give me any decent explanation. They asked me why such a thing should matter and insinuated that my feminist leanings were not exactly welcome.

Now, what turned this irk of mine into a full-blown grievance was a little diddy I discovered at Apparently (now, I have not been back to the temple to verify this for myself - although I did think about doing so, as up until last Thursday, I still had a current temple recommend) … apparently the leadership has in the last few months changed the wording of these vows. Now the woman agrees to “receive him unto herself” but still no mention of the man “giving himself”.

Well I’m sorry but instead of fixing the inequality, as far as I can see ‘they’ just created a big fucking obvious mole that says there is a really significant reason why the man cannot say that he ‘gives himself to his wife’. Hmmm, does this reason have something to do with the other 6 young doe-eyed, big-breasted virgins that the man gets to unwrap, I mean marry, in the next life???

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dream a Little Dream

About a year ago someone at church stopped me in the halls and told me that they'd had a weird dream about me... (I figured if they're happy to tell me about it then it couldn't be too bad). They had dreamed that they were at the supermarket and then saw me in the fruit and veg section dressed in only a bikini! nice. So did I look good? Oh yes, you looked fabulous! great. Nice story, thanks for the laugh :) - NB: walking around in a bikini, even at the beach, is prohibited by contemporary Mormon dress standards.

Fast forward about 6 months, I needed to contact this same person about some matter and it was also necessary for me to explain to them that I had all but left the church. They then informed me that there had been a little more to the dream than they had previously let on. Apparently in the dream we had also spoken briefly and I had explained that I no longer believed in the church. Now this dream occurred at a time when the dreamer would have had no idea that I was beginning to question things. Outward appearances would have been that all was fine and dandy (nice word eh! - I think my Scottish Body Balance trainer is influencing me!).

So, there is more to this story than I can tell here but suffice to say that we (dreamer and I) take great pleasure in the idea that we have experienced our own vision aherm! I mean dream! erm, vision, nonono dream!! definitely a dream, oh but it's so confusing, how do you tell the difference?!

And there you have it... My Black Bikini is very symbolic to me. The colour choice too was purposeful. I have many dark thoughts and feelings about my metamorphosis. It also represents permission that I give myself to be angry, crass and selfish in the process. As a friend of mine flatteringly reassured me:

“An examined life makes interesting memories, though some be wrinkled, stained and painful. I look forward to the multitude of mistakes and triumphs, clarity and confusion that come with the Black Bikini. I'm sure you'll wear it with the dignity and self respect that you wore the white.”

Thank you dear friend. As my heart is beginning to feel lighter and brighter I think I may need to find myself a rainbow coloured bikini.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We Thank Thee O God for Smiting the Wicked - WTF!?

Over the last few days I have heard/read about people about being offended by content here at this blog. I would like to respond by illustrating a significant event that contributed to my loss of respect for the Mormon church.

A non-Mormon relative came with us to church one Sunday morning because my children were going to be singing in the children's choir and saying cute little bits about God and such. At one point in the meeting the congregation were singing a hymn and I stopped cold as I registered the words that were coming out of my mouth.

"The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last"

and at the end of the next verse:

"While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know"

The name of this hymn is We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet. You can find the full text to the song here. (I think I now fit into that first category of 'wicked - to be smitten').

I was dumbfounded, embarrassed, shocked but most of all ashamed. Ashamed to be a part of this offensive display of conceit and disrespect. Here was a beloved family member being openly subjected to derision by a room full of religious zealots; and in song!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Disclaimer #4

I don't think I have been clear enough yet. I have left the Mormon church and I don't see myself ever returning to it. I have feelings of hurt and sadness that sometimes manifest themselves as anger. It has been a traumatic experience to let go of a belief system that I lived my life by for 31 years. I did not make this decision lightly. I studied for over a year, initially trying to find information that could keep me believing but eventually the evidence was stacked against that pathway and I have had to forge another. I will say things in this blog that challenge the Mormon way of life. I am not attacking the members. I am challenging the religion. The Stake President (not the head honcho of Mormonism but certainly a big kahoona) has read my blog and I fully expect to be excommunicated sometime in the next few months.

How to improve your mood

Every 3 months or so I like to indulge and visit a Day Spa for a massage or treatment of some kind. When you arrive they give you a short form to fill out with questions about how you are feeling, what you would like to gain from the massage, what type of oil you would like them to use and how firm you would like the pressure to be.

I usually end up ticking the same boxes every time - Mood: sad, tired, nervous. Desired outcome: Stress relief, relaxation. Oil - relaxing lavender. Pressure: light/medium.

Today I had a very pleasant surprise. I ticked - Mood: happy, excited, contented. Desired outcome: re-energising, improve health and well-being. Oil - Uplifting. Pressure - Firm.

I was so proud of myself as I realised that my improved mood was directly related to the recent changes that I have made in my life. I feel in control, light, happy and peaceful. It is exhilarating. I struggled with post-natal depression after giving birth to my last child and I have never really felt free of that burdensome feeling until now.

I have noticed other positive changes. I had also been holding onto about 5kg of weight since my last pregnancy and I just couldn't seem to shift it no matter what I did. I even remember describing the fat around my belly as the sadness in me that I had not let go of. Now I believe that I was dead right. That fat did represent my sadness. In the last 6 months I have shed those 5 kg and I feel great.

So for improved mood I recommend freeing yourself from whatever it is that controls you. For me it was religion. For you it might be television, the internet, a strict gym routine, unsatisfying work situation, the list is likely an endless one. Be kind to yourself and allow for changes to your routines. Eliminate 'should' from your life. I am finding that as I think and act from a place that is more kind and flexible that I am gaining motivation, joy and energy. It is a wondrous experience.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gag order

Some of you will have been following little snippets of info on facebook that make it obvious that I have had some opposition to my blog this week. Overwhelmingly people have been positive about my blog and I am so happy to hear everyones comments. I am sure a number of people haven't liked what they have seen here and have respectfully left it alone. What I want to address right now is the one person who tried to shut me up and yet still believes that he has said nothing offensive (for brevity's sake lets call him No-talkie). Let me be very clear straight off the bat that if you disagree with anything I write here anywhere on the blog I would love for you to write a comment; or not write a comment, it's up to you. Open dialogue is exactly what I encourage, just add respect!

As No-talkie first posted his comment to Rockstars wall on facebook (the wall people! you know, where everyone can read it!) I think that I can safely assume he wouldn't mind if I reposted it here:

i've followed some of the comments that you and maureen have made about the church, if you choose to leave the church thats fine but what i have a problem with is when you insult active members by putting down there beliefs. do you think that i am that stupid and i am not free thinking enough to make conscious/educated decisions about my own faith. every active member that reads your comments would be offended by it but i am prepared to stand up for it. you'd be better served keeping your comments to yourself. typical case of 'you leave the church but you can't leave it alone'. live your own lives but don't insult the life that i still choose to live. live your own life and enjoy it because i enjoy mine and don't for one minute think that you or your wife are bringing me to the light with these issues.

Well there's plenty to discuss in there but for today I just want to highlight the gag order. So for those of you who have been lucky enough to have a conversation with No-talkie, now you can make your own mind up. Was he being offensive?

Apparently I am not allowed to voice my opinions about what I consider to be an insidious institution yet No-talkie can say whatever he wants (which of course he can, you know freedom of speech and all). As I said in one of the messages I sent back - he used his freedom of speech to quash my freedom of speech. Look, should I really be so surprised, Joe Smith did the same thing when William Law tried to speak out against polygamy etc in his Nauvoo Expositor. That didn't end so well for old Joe.

No-talkie earns this name for these reasons: He sent his complaint to my husband, not me. He refuses to respond to any of my messages (fb and email). I have asked him to call me but I have received no answer. His wife ordered me to end communication with them.

The saddest part of all is that within the space of a few hours my friendship with No-talkies wife ended abruptly. With only a few written messages as her information and absolutely no verbal communication to attempt reconciliation my friend decided that the best thing to do was to insult, mock and discard.


So....the only way to responsibly respond to a gag order is to expose it. My 'mentor' sums it up nicely:

" I didn't leave people alone as an LDS missionary. LDS parents don't leave their children alone about religion. And the LDS church doesn't have the best record of leaving the marital status of gay people in neighbouring states alone.

As long as religions are sending out missionaries every week, I will not be leaving it alone, I can assure you."
Well said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Skinny on Latte's

(Background for this post can be found here. Now that I no longer adhere to the religion I am exploring things that were prohibited under the health code. Also note that at the beginning of the 'revelation' it states that the code was not give as a commandment. This changed over time and it is currently a requirement for things like temple entry and baptism. Also check out this interesting thread on the origins of the code).

So I thought we could do with a lighter post after the last one! Boy that was a tough one for me to write; and without much background it must have been a bit of a tough one to read. From now on I will tuck my bitterness safely away in my pocket when I write about the big issues.

I have a looong way to go to come anywhere close to understanding the coffee world. My first attempt was an affogato. Rockstar (this will be DHs new name for this blog) thought it would be a good start since I'm a sugar freak. It was ok but the ice-cream cooled down the coffee too much.

I had a latte one morning (a large one!) and felt fabulous. Then we went to see Avatar in 3D and I took in a flat white with me (another large one - piggy!). The movie was awesome (with or without coffee I'm sure). Then on the drive to pick up the kids I began to feel much less than ordinary. I had to take slow, deep breaths to settle my stomach and head!

Standing in line at a coffee shop I heard the girl in front of me order a 'regular skinny latte'. Aha! That sounded like it was within my ability level. Success!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


(Note to active Mormon members, I will say things here that you won't like)

I was an active Mormon 100% devoted to my calling with the Young Women, 100% converted to the doctrine. I gave talks in front of the entire congregation bearing witness to the things I believed were true. So what changed? Did I read anti-Mormon literature? Did I give up and say it's all just too hard? Did I crave 'worldly things'? No, No and No. I'll tell you what happened. I read the Book of Mormon. Faithfully reading from my scriptures I came to the second chapter in Jacob for the nth time in my life but this time I noticed something that I hadn't before. Here are verses 27-30, v30 is where I stopped short:

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Here I realised that God was saying He might implement plural marriage at some future time. I had never noticed that before (must have been very sleepy those other times I read it). I cross-referenced this with 'revelations' in Joseph Smiths Doctrine and Covenants. You can read section 132 here. It outlines the 'New and Everlasting Covenant' including the plurality of wives. What I read there curdled my blood. Here are verses 54-56 (I have marked some words in bold type) :

54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.
56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.

Ok so I left the church about 5 months ago so bear with me here... here's my current response to this 'revelation' - FUCK OFF!!!!

I will give more evidence in future posts but for now suffice it to say that after more than a year of research I believe that Joseph Smith wrote this 'revelation' from his own philandering heart and mind (or should I say penis!). Whatever his delusions of grandeur were this step places him squarely in the realm of bastard, scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, snake, jerk, swine, cad, knave.... take your pick.

Note the highlighted section. For several hours I believed that God would destroy me if I would not accept plural marriage in the future. During this time I felt the greatest pain that I have ever felt in my life. I appeared that God did not love me as much as he did my husband, or any man for that matter. I was a 'thing', property to be traded and used. It hurt. Just remembering that experience now makes my heart race and my stomach turn. Again, after 12+ months of sorting through all of this crap I can say FUCK OFF!!! FUCK OFF!!! FUCK OFF !!! to Joe Smith and his accomplices.

I will fill in the gaps in future posts but this was the ignition of my new life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

And on the Seventh Day She Rested

Have you ever said "I wish there was more time in the day", or "...another day in the week"? Wehehehell, this is exactly what I have just experienced. I feel unbelievably excited by the opportunities available to me now that I have freed up more time for me and mine.

Instead of filling every Sunday with 3 hours of church, preparations to get there, food prep afterwards, lesson prep. in the afternoon etc etc etc, now I have a completely 'new'/open day every single week to fill in with delicious activities with my family and friends. Sigh :)

Instead of insane weekly 2-3 hour Young Womens Presidency mtgs I have half a day to..... well to do all those things I could never seem to make time for. It doesn't end there. Tuesday nights I had Youth Activities to attend from 7pm-9/10pm. Then there were the extras: Sunday night Firesides, YW Camps, Youth Conference, Stake Fri/Sat night activities including Dances (groan!), Lesson Prep, phone calls, emails, I'm exhausted just remembering it all. Goodbye to volunteering all of this time at the expense of my sanity AND my financial security! Just when I was ready to work, I got thrown this curve-ball of a calling that they "don't usually assign to mothers of young children" but they "had a strong witness that it was the right call". Hmmmm. I reclaim my time!

Now to a doosie I have recently encountered. I was reading some threads about why people stay and why people leave the church. One person posted that they had tried leaving but then they were so bored on Sunday that they ended up going back. What!!! Then in conversation with some active members someone said that people who leave the church "don't make good use of their time, they fritter it away". Another said that they were sure that they "would not use the extra time in a constructive way so they were better off staying at church". Pause. Shake off feelings of incredulity. Ok then. Do some people just need an excuse not to engage in life?

So here's my plan to make everyone happy. If your idea of fulfillment is the rather extensive list of activities mentioned above then knock yourself out. If you'd rather "fritter away your time" then this way please. Bikini's are optional ;)