Thursday, April 10, 2008

Paint Chips- author unknown

Being a part of the Mormon church is like having your whole body painted with many layers. First you get the lessons...there are several coats of doctrine. Then you get baptized and confirmed; two more thick coats of paint. The "paint" is intended to refurbish you as a member, to make you more acceptable to the church, to "God," to others. With each Relief Society or Priesthood lesson, another coat is applied. With each meeting, each interview, the layers of paint build. A trip to the Temple takes several coats and is inspected after each year. Then one day, you realize, you can't move! When you question about your lack of movement, the inspector tells you that your foundation is just fine. You try and sit still and remain the representation of a church "remodeled" member. But the questions come from within.

Then you hear something. A crack. A deep crack begins from the inside out. You doubt yourself because you know if you don't keep quiet, someone will hear! Someone will SEE that your appearance is now damaged. Someone might question if you have been properly taking care of your foundation, etc. Then one day, it happens. Just a small patch breaks away. You see something unusual. You touch it and are surprised. "Is that my skin?" you ask. It feels so alive and real. You begin to gently pick it away, then in a fervor you are scraping as much as you can off. Paint chips are everywhere! Soon you are standing there uncovered. You feel free. You breathe. Your body aches from the release of all that weight. You sigh and do not worry that other "painted folks" will see you without your so called "protective shell" You start the clean up job. Quickly and efficiently you sweep up all the chips and flakes. There are so many of them! It seems overwhelming at first, but then the job is done. All the mess is tossed out. You love your clean house; the way your body can breathe and move and LIVE! You are rearranging your life and then BAM you find a paint chip under the rug. Somehow you missed it...or did you save it? One day you go to get a coat and a few missed chips fall from a sleeve. Little reminders of what used to be. "It may take a while to get rid of all this residue" you say. But that is ok.


  1. Hi. I don't know you I only found your blog because your wife and I have a friend in common and I happened to stumble here. I have read your blog and I do not agree, nor do I disagree. You sound like a smart,educated person who takes life seriously. I think that is a good thing. What I want to say though is that with each entry I read I cannot help but think that they are still attempts to convince yourself that the Mormon church is not true. It would seem to me that if I knew something were not true,in my heart, that I would have enough confidence and faith in myself to just believe it with out having to publicly display those short comings I have found regarless of what the truth is. In all honesty it sounds to me like you are still questioning your beliefs and need some conformation from others as to what you really believe. Just an observation. I am not telling you, that you are wrong in your decions, after all they are your decisions not mine. Your blog just makes me question your sincerity in your decision when it seems that it is based soley on books (or other peoples thoughts) and not your own thinking. I could be totally wrong...It just comes across that way to me. It also makes me wonder about your feelings on other things in life. For example the good ol USA. I am sure you are well read on the history of this great country and know that at times it was not pretty. Slavery, Indians and I could go on and on. So my question is how do you feel about that and are you planning on looking at all things you believe or have belived in same way that you have your religion. You are interesting to me and I want to know more!

  2. First I would like to thank you for taking your time to read my blog and to voice your opinions. I believe I have stated in “Why I Blog” my reasoning behind what I do. If you have not read it, then please do. I took my decision to leave the church with great confidence. In fact, there is only one other decision I have made in my life that was done with such certainty and that was the decision to marry my wife. If I had to do it over, I would change the location of that ceremony but not the act itself.

    I’m interested to know what your religious affiliation is. Your comments about the content of my blog are ones that I have only heard from the LDS faithful. Mormons seem to be the only ones who question my motives here. The information I have regarding the church comes from various sources, most of which are widely accepted in the church. I use books and other people’s opinions to educate myself and then form my own opinions based on what I have read. It is impossible to think for yourself if you do not make the effort to properly educate yourself first on both sides of an issue. I quote my sources as much as possible so that everyone can see where I am getting my information. They then can decide for themselves if it is valid or not. At no time do I ever tell someone how to believe. In fact, I encourage everyone to educate themselves and not just take my word for it. I do not use everything I read, and I often dismiss information if I can not verify or trust the source. Is there a better way of going about this?

    I’m not sure I understand your rationale regarding the history of the USA. If you are asking if I am going to disaffect from the United States because of its past, then the answer is no. I have however, boycotted Thanksgiving in the past due to the way the Indians were treated after they helped the Pilgrims survive those first few years. I do not like injustice no matter when or where it takes place.

    My current focus is on my former religious beliefs and my journey to find new ones. I feel like opening the past has helped me know who I am and this blog has been a critical tool in my healing from the years of indoctrination. My family has received a lot of persecution because of my blog. Even my 6 year old daughter has felt the effects of it at her school but they both understand and support me in my endeavor. Confidence and conviction are two things I definitely do not lack when speaking about Mormonism.

  3. My previous comment was simply because I find your blog interesting. Like I said before I do not agree or disagree with your thoughts and decisions...only find them, like I said interesting. I had not seen why I blog and that did clear some things up for me. Thanks! My rationale on the USA thing is exactly what you stated...same priciple I believe. The fact that your current focus is on your religion is fine, I am always curious about people and their beliefs and how far they will take them. The fact that your poor wife and child have been hurt from your blog is sad. Every one has the right to thier own opinios...even if we don't agree with them. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  4. So what religious affliation are you we are wondering:)

  5. Great post. Its exactly how it feels.

    By the way, if I don't question your motives, does that mean I'm not mormon? I think you know what I want the answer to be...

  6. Soy yo, I liked your old template better. I'm not comfortable with this new one. Could you pls go back to how it was. I know it's your blog, yada, yada, yada, but this one's too austere.

  7. Yes, what ward are you in?