Since my exodus from the LDS church, one of my concerns has been breaking the news of my apostasy to family and friends. Informing my immediate family and circle of friends was simple enough, since many of them have distanced themselves from the church as well (but none of them have bothered to make an official resignation, as I have), but for my extended family, especially my in-laws, I didn't know how to best declare my change of beliefs.
I guess I won't have to worry about that anymore though, because yesterday my wife told me that everyone in her immediate family is now aware of the situation. Her brother, who at one time was the bishop of his ward, was apparently in the stake president's office when he received and read my letter of resignation. My wife also did me a favor by notifying her parents and sister...so my immediate family-in law now know where I stand. They might ask me about it at some point, but then again, they might not. My primary concern is that I'll be treated differently at family gatherings/functions, but so far, nothing out of the ordinary has occurred.
With the new year came a change of meeting schedule within the church. Our ward changed from the 1 to 4 block of meetings to the 9 to 12 block. I've always maintained that nine o'clock in the morning is way too early for church, especially for families with young children to wake up and get ready for the meetings.
Although I've been able to keep my wife and kids from attending church for the past few months, she told me on Saturday night that she wanted to go to her meetings. I assumed she'd leave the kids with me and just go alone, but that wasn't the case. While speaking to her mother on Saturday, she must have mentioned that it would be a struggle to get the kids up and dressed in time for the 9 o'clock meeting (they usually have the sacrament meeting first at our ward), so my mom-in-law graciously
offered to come over and help get them ready
My immediate thought was: WTF?!
I know she means well, but is she just assuming that since I'm no longer a TBM, I wouldn't help my wife with this endeavor?
Of course, I don't want my kids anywhere near a mormon church because I don't want them indoctrinated in that irrational belief system, and I have made my opinion on that painfully clear to my wife, but she maintains that they'll be better off with "the church" in their lives.
So I guess I'm the bad guy in this little play.
I know that my wife, and my mother-in-law, and the bishop, and whoever else is even remotely involved with our family is just doing what they think is best for us and our children, but you know what...SO AM I!
As their father, I think I have more than just a passive opinion in what our kids are exposed to, and I intend to fully exercise my rights as their caregiver and protector.
As it turned out, nobody went to church yesterday anyway, since my oldest child came down with a fever and a rash, so I didn't have to set fire to any bridges over the situation. I can already smell a hint of smoke, so it's only a matter of time before the situation progresses to something more uncomfortable.
Even after some deliberation over the matter, my wife weren't able to come to any solid agreement as to what we'll do with the kids if we continue to maintain separate and opposing religious beliefs. The best scenario I could come up with is to wait until each child reaches the "age of accountability" (age 8 - which is too young to fully understand religious topics, IMO) and give them an honest-to-god choice of church membership. I told my wife I'd allow her (and/or anyone else she wanted) to make their pitch FOR the church, then I'd take my turn to pitch AGAINST the church, then allow them to make the decision for themselves. It's honest, it's balanced, it's fair.
Well intentions aside, I think my mother-in-law overstepped her bounds somewhat by offering to come over and help with the kids early on a Sunday morning. Thanks anyway "mom", but I think I can handle it.