Talking To My Zelph

My quest for freedom from the LDS religion.

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Location: OA, Offworld

Friday, February 16, 2007


(I wrote this "poem" last night after tossing back a few shots, so it might not make much sense.)

Once, I thought I had it all figured out.
The universe around me made all the sense in the world and I was more than content to follow all the little harmless rules that were placed upon my young shoulders.

But the world isn't so harmless after all, now is it?

I've finally woken, emerged from my cocoon of ignorant bliss and saw the world for the first time and accepted the awful truth for what it was.

Nothing is simple.
Nothing is plain.
The only constants in life are confusion, frustration, and death.
Always death.

I used to be a believer, of course.
I once placed faith in the impossible, the improbable, the ridiculous, and the insane.
But now I have been made aware.
Of who I am.
And where I came from.
And where I'll ultimately end up.

You see, it isn't so much the destination that matters - not really - but rather it's the journey that affects the very essence of who you are (or at the very least, who you perceive yourself to be.)

If the ride is bumpy and endless and an obscene waste of time, then it really doesn't matter the destination in which we find ourselves.

To live in constant denial of oneself and one's potential is the greatest insult of them all.

Cowardice was never happiness.
Nor lonliness, nor fear of the unknown.
(And isn't the very definition of life THE ENIGMATIC UNKNOWN?)

And so I offer this treatise.
This prayer of life yet lived.


Of who you are,
And where you are meant to be.

Life has a funny way of working out in the end somehow.

The bad guys always lose.
And the good guy gets the girl.

This is life.
This is our ultimate destination.


Be proud of that, if you can.

Please Leave A Message After The Tone

My dad finally called a few days ago. He left a message at about nine in the morning (probably figuring that I wouldn't be home at the time to answer it, but who knows?)

Nothing was said concerning our religious disagreement, and he just informed us that he had moved out of the house he'd shared with his current wife and back into the downstairs basement of some ward friends. I'm assuming then that this marriage has suffered the same fate as the six before it and that he'll be divorcing her soon (if he hasn't already.)

I think he has a divorce lawyer on retainer, he gets divorced so often (like Ross from FRIENDS!)

He did say that because of the address change, he hasn't been getting his mail in a timely manner, so I'm reading into that: "I just barely got your letter."

I haven't called him back. Maybe I'm just afraid of stirring things up again. We'd probably be fine if we could just avoid the topic of religion, but I'm not so sure that's possible for him.

Maybe he'll write me back...or call again some evening when I'm home.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Setting Boundaries

While driving home from a shopping trip with family yesterday afternoon, my wife mentioned that she wanted to go to church with her mom this weekend and that she wanted to take the kids with her.

My thoughts immediately turned to the whole "mother-in-law coming over to the house to get the kids ready for church" scenario and I took a moment to compose my thoughts.

"Is your mom coming over in the morning?"

"I don't know."

Then, while trying to explain to my wife how much it bothered to me that her mother would do this, I got a little worked up. The more I talked about how much it upset me, the more mad I got about the whole thing and it would be safe to say that I over-reacted a little bit.

My wife attempted to assure me that her mother's offer to help with the kids had nothing to do with my "apostasy" from the church, to which I responded "that's bull."

I know my mother-in-law means well...I don't fault her for that. But I can't help be bothered at her invasive behavior.

Later, after we had arrived at home and I had taken some time to calm myself down (I can't help it, I have a passive-aggressive type of behavior), I explained to my wife that we needed to establish some boundaries with her family and their influence on our children.

The first of said boundaries needs to be set right at the front door. I have every right to be comfortable in my own house. I should be able to do whatever I want, say whatever I want, or believe whatever I want within the confines of my own home.
When her mother comes over, I no longer feel comfortable.

We started to talk about taking the kids to church. She wants them to go, and of course, I don't. I said we'd have to figure out some sort of compromise, but we weren't able to finish the discussion on the topic. I'm thinking maybe a 50/50 kind of a deal. They can go to church with her every other Sunday until they're old enough to decide for themselves if they want to go or not, and then we respect whatever decision they make.

Many LDS folks will try to make the point that there's nothing wrong with raising children in the church, and that they will in fact, benefit from attendance. Maybe in some areas, but certainly not all.

I hadn't heard about Kip Eliason until this morning, while reading one of my favorite blogs "Mormon Truth". I looked up the story about this poor kid who committed suicide back in 1984(?) because he couldn't shake a masturbation habit. I can relate to his plight.

When I was in High School, I came close to suicide myself (I damn near swallowed every pill I could find in my mom's medicine cabinet) for almost the exact same thing.

The LDS church demands perfection from its members. They demand sexual purity and clean thoughts. They interview teenaged boys and girls to determine their "worthiness" (THERE IS NO SUCH THING!) They ask personal, invasive questions about their sexual habits, to include masturbation and the viewing of pornography. Almost every Priesthood Session of General Conference makes mention (at some point) about the harmful, negative effects of pornography and masturbation and how critical it is to the salvation of the male members of the church to avoid them at all costs.

Their demands are ridiculous and unhealthy.

I WILL NOT allow my children to feel "unworthy" of God's love or Christ's Atonement (if such a things exists) because of such silly things. I refuse to allow the church to railroad them into thinking they have to conform to such expectations in order to be considered upstanding members of a "church".

I know that I DESPISED MYSELF for always failing to be as perfect as the church wanted me to be. I hated myself enough to think that I was better off dead than living a life unworthy of the so-called "priesthood."

Give me a break.

If my wife ever tries to play the "what harm will it do to raise our kids in the church?" card, I'm going to hand her a copy of the Kip Eliason story and make her read it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Letter To My Father

It's been about a week or so since I was finally able to compose (and mail) a letter to my dad in an attempt to reconcile our religious differences. It was very difficult to think of what I thought might be the right things to say to make him understand why I decided to leave the church. For all I know, he threw the letter away without even reading it since I haven't heard anything from him.

I suppose the only "right" thing for me to say would be "I changed my mind, dad. I'm coming back to the church."

Sorry dad, that's never going to happen.

Well, I shouldn't say "never." If God or Jesus or one of their angels ever pays me a personal visit and tells me that the LDS church is true and that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet, then I would ask to be re-baptized. I don't think that's ever going to happen, but I'll be sure to write a post about it if it ever does.

Maybe I just need to give my old man a little time to absorb the news and maybe someday he'll be able to accept it, even if he doesn't agree with it.

Like most Mormons, my dad's entire life seems to revolve around "the church". I can't have a discussion with him without church-related topics. Why is it that I have to be subjected to seemingly endless prattle about callings, missions, other members, etc. by Mormons, but the second I try to offer an opposing viewpoint, I'm labeled an "anti-Mormon", or "a tool of satan", and the conversation ends?

I blame it on cult mentality.

Now, I know that many people disagree with the label "cult" when talking about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but what better word is there? It certainly bears certain cult-like characteristics, so what are we to do? If it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, shouldn't it be called a rose?

Ha, that was a strange comparison to make. I don't think the LDS church smells anything like a rose!

In other news, there hasn't been any progress in the mother-in-law situation. She did not come over to the house this past Sunday morning - probably because she knew that my wife wasn't feeling well and wouldn't make it to church anyway. I haven't yet dared to take the stand and tell her that her efforts, while well-intentioned and appreciated, aren't at all necessary.

I guess I'm just trying to maintain the status quo and keep things civil. If I stir the waters too much, I may find myself suddenly unwelcome at family events.

Oh well, if it comes to that, so be it. It's the price I'm willing to pay.