Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Part of the problem with the Mormon teachings and culture

I was lead to this audio clip from the Dr. Laura Show that has her discussing if a husband (the caller) should divorce his wife because she wants to leave the Mormon church. Listen to it HERE.

The Mormon culture breeds a sense of “if you are not with us, you are against us” which leads to this idea that if someone chooses a different path, all ties should be cut. Thankfully, there are some who go against this kind of thinking and do not care what church a person goes to and to me they are special people. It is not always easy to distinguish who these people are because, as I have found out through my experience, many act like they are true friends to your face but once you turn your back they are the first to condemn you.

After listening to this clip, it is easy to see that it is the teachings of “eternal marriage” that causes a great divide in families if just one member chooses to not play the game anymore. How sad is it that this man actually thought that he would be justified in leaving his wife of like 14 years, who converted to Mormonism FOR HIM no less, along with their two kids just because she is considering or maybe already has gone to another church. This is the horrible side affect temple marriage has on families.

My mother has had 2 temple marriages and both ended in divorce. While I don’t know all of the details of what happened with either of them, I can give my opinion from my point of view. My mom probably tries harder then any Mormon I know to do everything she is supposed to do and do it right. The down side to that is she is not very tolerant of others when they do not live up to the same standards she has or expects. From where I sit, this is what drove her husbands away. If you push someone long enough to be something they are not or can never be, eventually they will tire of it and walk away. I don’t think my father or step-father should be excused for any wrong doing they might have be part of but I do think it was her “you have to be a perfect Mormon” attitude that drove them away.

Unfortunately, she is not the only one. I know of many women who had no hesitation in their voice when they said that they would leave their husbands if they ever went inactive or left the church. I think they are missing the point about being focused on family.

I am so thankful that I have a wife who, no matter what others were saying, stuck by my side to support me and love me when I decided I had been Mormon long enough. She showed true unconditional love that many members of the LDS church lack. I am blessed to have her by my side.


  1. WOW. That call was awesome. At least Dr. Laura put him in his place. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if that dude left the church too. HA!

  2. Well soy yo your wife loves you very, very much. You are truly blessed.

  3. this blog has become an excellent teaching tool for those wanting to learn about the mormon church and the lies that come out of it -- God is merciful and gracious and He has brought you far on this road -- you have no idea how many lives you are reaching through your blog -- i've told numerous people and recommended that they read it -and yes, your wife is wonderful and i love her for the way she's supported you through all of this and i likewise love you for standing up and sticking to what is right -- human perfection is not going to come through church membership and "works" -- otherwise, why would we need a redeemer if we had only to belong to a church and work our way to perfection?

    thanks again -- love u,

  4. Hey sweet cheeks! I will start by saying that I have listened to Dr. Laura since right after we moved out of your mom's house. I am such a huge fan of hers and I actually heard this conversation on the original airing. It was shortly after you went inactive...2006/2007 time frame.

    Anyways, I had been around so many young married women with large families in our last two wards and when we would all get together they would talk about "if their husbands went inactive they would" leave them. Their family's salvation was more important then their marriages. I would always look at them with disgust and say that I would never leave my husband if he left the church. And then you did and we left together. Worked out great dontcha think.

    Anyway, back to Dr. Laura. I listened to her that day that guy called and before he said he was LDS I just knew. I remember holding her words close to my heart regarding not splitting up your family because of a church.

    But in all fairness I remember thinking -what am I supposed to do?
    and I remember your mom telling me it was all up to me now. Family home evening, making sure home teachers came, make sure the spirit was still in our home, and make sure I attended the temple. And the read, and pray together..that was the only way a couple could stay together. Well I am here to tell everyone reading this, that we have never prayed together...NEVER and I think we have a lot love, a lot of closeness, and even spiritual times together on the same page, but we NEVER did her formula for success because it had never been successful for her. Our marriage is a blessing from God. And I couldn't have asked for a better man in my life. He is a gift to me. I am glad I did not cave to the peer pressure of what everyone was saying they would do if they were in MY SHOES.

    "Now go do the right thing" Dr Laura

  5. Well said- I really enjoyed that call and LOVE Dr. Laura, despite not agreeing with 100% of what she says.

    I have had people tell me to leave my spouse because of not going to church anymore. What kind of example does that set? Despite differences in religious views in the past, we have still managed to have a flourishing partnership and love and respect for each other. I can't justify to myself why I would throw that all away because of 1 difference. Not to mention when you bring kids into the picture- that complicates things so much more. And let's also say in the realm of the church, that behavior shouldn't be commended. Splitting up a family because of religious differences? Isn't the family what the church is all about?

  6. on the fence- that last sentence is so true.

    Families are what the church is all about. And yet they also have a cut bait and run mentality. If you are not worthy you are not worthy to have me.

    I am glad you never left your husband because of differences. Way to break the mold.


  7. Thank you ht. That was one aspect that never made sense to me, even when I was still more active in the church. At the time, my questioning also included "Why would I ever want to leave my spouse if there is ever a chance he may come back?" I've abandoned that thought, but I still stand by my husband and love him no matter what. I picked him, and we created a family together. I would never dream of putting my kids through a divorce because of a religious difference. It's a very selfish attitude that people take when saying "It's the church or nothing." It's not fair to the kids, who didn't have a choice that my husband left the church. They have to keep on loving him as he is their father, so why wouldn't that apply to the spouse too?

    I also think this applies to other realms as well, not just leaving the church. I don't think a spouse should up and leave the minute something doesn't go their way. Despite the eternal marriage that many Mormons have, there is also a lawful marriage that from what I know is applicable to everyone. Something about in sickness and in health, etc. It doesn't say to leave them the minute they start thinking differently than you do. Sadly, many people fail to listen to that part, Mormons and non Mormons alike.

    Don't get me wrong, I do believe there are fair grounds for divorce- I just don't believe that religious differences is one of them.

    Sorry- I rambled. It's just been a huge source of frustration to hear people say they would leave the minute something didn't go their way and not give one regard to their vows, their kids, their family, etc.

  8. as long as you feel righteous based on your behavior/actions/works you will NEVER be happy!

  9. This may reflect the position of certain 'members' of the LDS church but not all. In truth, the LDS leaders (including the bishops) are instructed to never instruct for seperation/divorce, regardless of the circumstances. They are supposed to tell/advise counselling by a professional marriage counsellor. If a couple want to seperate despite counselling, they can give support to the couple who are going through the seperation procedures but only when asked and they should not show favouritism towards one partner or the other despite being a member, inactive member or non-member.

    That said, its not a perfect world and sometimes the local leaders do not follow these instructions.

    How do I know this? Both my sister and I have been told this by our bishop when we were going through the ordeal of problems in our marriages. My sister's ex wanted to become a woman (and is half way through the process now). The bishop still recommended counselling not seperation, however my sister was already set in her decision so the bishop gave the spiritual assitance when needed. My wife was not active at the time we saw bishop, but he did not advocate for seperation, he told us to make our own decision after counselling. We are still together, still a little rocky but its only been a few months of trying but its getting there.

    So summary - official church stance is not to divorce. What you are hearing are just the members' opinions, and let's face it, none of them are perfect.