I love to travel and homebrew. I'm happy taking back control of my life. I was a mormon.
I was born into one of the lines descending from Arza Hinckley (one of the family’s claims to fame), and have a large extended family. I grew up very active. I called the young women's president when I was 11 to ask if I could start working on my young womanhood medallion early and then served as the class president all the way through high school. I did all the things and checked all the boxes, and honestly felt like my testimony was unbreakable. I even gave a Book of Mormon to my head drill sergeant at Army Basic training.
I went to BYU, met my first husband (not at BYU), and got married. My now ex-husband was physically and emotionally abusive and used the words of the temple sealing, and the advice of our sealer, (that I strive to follow my husband’s council) to abuse me, justify his abuse, and manipulate me into staying with him.
I deployed to Afghanistan where the guys I deployed with didn’t treat me well and didn’t comply with the LDS lifestyle standards I expected, yet they were my only source for the priesthood. I was very frustrated because I felt I was living the standards I’d promised, but if I wanted the sacrament or a blessing, I would have to ask one of the men who otherwise treated me horribly to do it for me. Sometimes they would, sometimes they wouldn’t, but I wasn’t allowed to do it for myself.
While I was deployed, I filed for an annulment of my first marriage, and it was granted shortly after returning home. My ex was also convicted of dv assault during this time against me. I went to the bishop of my YSA ward and asked to start the process of having the sealing canceled. He more or less treated me as though I was just too young to have married, and we just “didn’t get along”, and I had to retell my story several times because, after each time, the bishop didn’t “remember” any of the incidents of physical violence. The sealing cancellation was eventually granted, but only after requesting my ex-husband's permission.
This Bishop and several others as I moved about seemed to barely remember my name. I started working as a police officer, which meant I worked whatever day of the week I needed. I went to every activity I was off duty for, and often attended sacrament meetings on duty. Yet, I frequently repeated the same conversation that started with “I haven’t seen you in a while, thanks for coming to church today”. After which I would remind them I worked in public service, and they would reply with some sort of “ oh that’s right, I forgot”. Maybe they would have treated a man the same way, but it always felt like, as I woman, having a job was bad, but having a "manly" job was almost unforgivable.
I met and married my now husband in the Nauvoo temple ( a childhood favorite of mine). I continued to fight in the military and in law enforcement to be treated equally to my male counterparts, but then would go to church and try to find a way to be ok with different roles, and expectations.
Why I left More answers about 'Why I left' the mormon church
My husband and I started considering starting a family, and I knew that I wanted to have a career. I started researching old conference talks, ensign articles, etc to see what the overall consensus was on women working outside the home, and it was obvious to me that while there was discussion of each woman can choose what's best for herself, the overwhelming expectation was to stay home and not work outside the home. I could only find a few quotes that even suggested it might be okay to work and be a mom. This was so hard for me because I knew that I wanted a career and aspirations outside the home, yet that didn’t seem to be the “right” way to be an LDS mom.
As I did my research, I stumbled upon the Gospel Topic Essays and this was when I first learned the extent of Joseph Smith’s polygamy. I read all the apologist websites and studied scripture and the church website, but the explanations provided were not enough for me. (Sidenote: I brought this up to my mom, back when I wasn’t being as healthy or respectful as I should have been, and she accused me of trying to get her to read anti-Mormon literature. She didn’t believe that the Gospel Topics Essay I showed her was on the church website were real and questioned how the authors of the essay could know Joseph Smith had more than one wife.)
It all came to a crossroads when I volunteered to teach a CTR 4 class, and while reading the lesson beforehand I realized I didn’t agree with it. I decided if I can’t agree with a CTR 4 lesson, then this wasn’t what I wanted to raise my future family in.
After I left, I gave myself permission to view materials not solely on the church website and have since come to the conclusion that I don’t believe the truth claims of the LDS church, but when I left, I still more or less “believed”, I just simply didn’t want what was taught.
My husband left at the same time as me about 3 years ago, and we’re now trying to survive our 2-year-olds reign of terror.