Jen Was a Mormon, an Ex-Mormon Profile Spotlight

Jen supported her family through trials and desperately wanted to be together forever with her mother who passed when she was a teenager. But between experiencing sexism in the church, her son coming out as gay, and her daughter struggling with the corporate sales tone of her mission it didn’t add up. She struggled with feelings of being broken and angry until she received some life-altering advice and permission to stop carrying something that is hurting, so she “let it go”. She left the church behind and is now comfortable with the unknowing, and fills her spiritual cup elsewhere.

My daughter was on a mission and watching her suffer was one of the catalysts to start questioning everything I thought I knew was true. I left the church while my daughter was serving a mission. I was a mormon.

My mom’s patriarchal blessing said she would live to see her children grow to adulthood if she was faithful. She was very faithful and she died from cancer when I was 17 and my sisters were 14, 12 and 10. I was told God needed her but so did we. My heart was broken and could only be kept together if I could be with her again so I remained faithful.

I’d been serving in the stake yw for 2 years and the frustration and anger had been building because of the lack of representation and the inequality I saw at that level of leadership.

My 16 year old son came out as gay. We celebrated and loved him but he came home from church in tears most Sundays. We told him he was perfect exactly how he was but at church he heard that in God’s eyes, he was not.

My daughter was the first person in our families to ever serve a mission. She’d chosen to serve a mission so she could teach people that they were loved by god and to serve people. She was quickly learning in the MTC that the mission was much more about rules and obedience and judgement and numbers. She was sure that once she got out into the mission field that everything would be different but it wasn’t.

For the next 10 months, I tried to make sense of it all. I felt so lost and broken and lonely and angry.

In desperation, I attended a woman’s retreat in Wyoming. I went alone and didn’t know anyone. One night, a woman was talking and she said the words that would change my life. “If you are carrying something and it’s hurting you, you can let it go. I am giving you permission to let it go.” Let it go? I could do that?

I knew in my heart that I had tried everything to make the church work for me and it was now time to let it go. So I did.

I don’t know what I believe about diety (and I am a-ok with that) but I won’t be a part of organized religion again. I find spirituality in nature and within myself and with those I love.


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