Hi, I'm Carlos!
I'm a gay Latino with a physical disability. I was a mormon.
I was adopted into a Mormon convert family at age 5. I attended Church every Sunday. I did everything I was supposed to do: baptized at age 8, was a Cub Scout, did the usual Aaronic priesthood stuff, and even did baptisms for the dead at the Los Angeles Temple. I didn't have many callings. I was priest quorum president.
On my shelf
On the Mormon Spectrum
I started questioning, in my mind, at age 12 if the Church was true when the things we were taught about the first people to come to the Americas just didn't make sense. I couldn't speak up about this as my parents were very strict even by Mormon standards.
Once I hit 16, I started getting bored with Church. I only went because I had no choice. It got to the point that I was more excited about Sundays because of that night's TV shows than actually going to Church.
I did get my endowments because I felt like I had to do it, even though I wasn't going on a mission because of my disability. It was just a few months after I did my endowments that I finally stopped going.
Questions I've answered
Are you happy? More was mormon answers about 'Are you happy?'
Yes, I am very happy. I am happy not being a part of a religion that doesn't fully like and accept me as an openly gay man of color.
How did you come to be Mormon? Were you raised in the church? More was mormon answers about 'How did you come to be Mormon? Were you raised in the church?'
I was adopted by a white Mormon convert family. I was raised in the Church because I had no other choice. Until we turned 18 years old, Church attendance was mandatory. After we became 18, we couldn't be forced to go, but my parents pressured us to, even being passive-aggressive about it. To this day, my dad doesn't care what we do, just as long as we go to the Mormon Church.
In what ways did church leaders or members make your transition more difficult? Were there church leaders or members who were helpful to you? If so, how? More was mormon answers about 'In what ways did church leaders or members make your transition more difficult? Were there church leaders or members who were helpful to you? If so, how?'
I lost a lot of so-called "friends". I still lived in the area of my ward and stake when I left the Church. I was ostracized by them. They treated me worse than how they treated my younger brother who had brought marijuana to church. I felt like they thought of me as a horrible person, even though I'm a good law-abiding person who dresses conservatively and still keeps the Word of Wisdom (except for caffeinated sodas).
How did being Mormon affect your daily life? More was mormon answers about 'How did being Mormon affect your daily life?'
It affected me a lot. I hid being Mormon. When I did mention it, I was accused of trying to be white because the Mormon Church is seen as a 'white religion' by people of color. And, living in Los Angeles, the Mormon Church goes against what the area philosophy is.
How do you now explain the spiritual experiences that you had as an Orthodox Mormon? More was mormon answers about 'How do you now explain the spiritual experiences that you had as an Orthodox Mormon?'
I think those experiences were either not spiritual or the same experiences are not exclusive to Mormons, but ones that can be experienced by all faiths.