I am meeting with my former Mormon Bishop tomorrow evening in order to (presumably) finalize the withdrawal of my name from the church records. I haven't gone in over seven years, and I haven't been pressured by friends/family/community to return in the way many people often are when leaving the LDS church. I was just hoping to hear others' experiences withdrawing from (this or another) church, or to get some advice on how to balance being polite and positive with giving the poor man a full understanding of my skepticism. Any comments appreciated.
how to balance being polite and positive with giving the poor man a full understanding of my skepticism
Can you act gay, and tell him you're moving to San Francisco to marry?
(I know it's unlikely, but it could be fun, and it makes an important point.)
He doesn't want to understand your skepticism, he wants you to either toss it out the window and stay, or get the hell out before you infect anyone else with reason, which can be contagious and spreads quickly.
Here, read this - it'll give the two of you something to chat about during your exit interview --
Take an itemized bill with you for all the hours of your life they have wasted, should come to a tidy sum, give them 30 days to make full restitution, that should take care of it.
And suggest that you will place a lein on church property in the event that payment is not received! You might get the man to lose bodily function or page the younger, on-site, 'elders'.
I like the idea of a lein.
"Sorry, your Grand Wooo-ness, but all this valuable church art and all your ritual trinkets have to come with us. It looks like you owe Mr. Daurelle quite a few, quote: "irreplaceable, precious hours of his mortal life," which having been deemed "priceless" in a court of law, must be repaid in whatever "priceless" property we find in the possession of this church. Are those stained glass windows removable for cleaning?"
Glad that you are making this official. It does help with closure and being able to move on. I'm glad that I finally sent in my official resignation and I'm about finished with the goofy process. They act like somehow they still have power over your "name" because it is still up to them to "remove" it. This is just bullshit and the typical greedy and manipulative guilt trip, clingy, overbearing psychology of the cult.
Once you have resigned you should not have to meet with them. But if you didn't notarize your letter proving your identity etc. they just need to check if you are real and not some prankster. It is up to you how you talk with the bishop. I was respectful and just told him that my brain had evolved out of believing in fairy tales and mythology as well as a few other reasonable things.
He took it in stride and was not too contrarian in any major ways but he did act rather nervous and awkward. It was a surreal experience to have but joyful for me. Not sure how he will end up feeling about it. hahaha Not my problem anymore. :)
You can tell him anything since he very likely won't care what the reasons are and will not record what you say officially anyway, (it would make the church look bad if they actually collected exit stories.) He will only care if he can somehow suck you back into the church.
If you want to read tons of exit stories and experiences, you can find them at a site called postmormon.com or exmormon.com or check out the exmormon atheist groups/communities on G+ or Facebook or Reddit or the many blogs that you can find if you just search for them.
There are many of us ex-mormons but most that I know or met recently try to just move on as quickly as they can and not dwell on things that can't be changed about our past experiences and knowledge. It is good to talk with other ex-mormons since they know how you feel for the most part. The greatest revenge, as it were, is just to live your life well and be happy. Have you seen this ex-mormon guy on Youtube? He has lots of sort of funny videos and commentary about religion and mormonism.
It made the bishop that I talked to seem shocked just that I was polite to him and explained a few things that he was willing to listen to before he needed (or I kicked his ass out, hahaha jk) to leave. I was a missionary and part of leadership stuff etc. in the past so I know how awkward he was probably feeling with having to deal with someone like me. Atheists are dangerous, don't ya know?
I was kind to him since it is not really his fault that the church is a sham. He is still a victim of the mind control viruses and I'm a disease-free person so that gives me a certain kind of confidence that he will not have until he thinks honestly and deeply enough about reality and accurate history, justice, morality etc. I ran across the allegory of the cave by Plato recently and it is very much like my recent experiences with opening my mind to new ways of seeing the world. It explains the process rather accurately for some old dead philosopher guy. hahaha (he was obviously smarter than most humans)
Anyway, let me know if you have any specific questions or concerns and I will help in any way that I can. Congratulations on taking a stand and declaring your independence from the unhealthy ideology of religion and especially mormon fascism. ( I know that the people of the church are usually nice people and just doing their best to be good people. They just don't know what they don't know.)
As a freethinker and skeptic, your life will most likely improve in some substantial ways. No matter what happens, you will know that the freedom to be and fully control your mind and identity are precious gifts that very few people truly discover. I hope you are enjoying your liberty. :) Take care my fellow human traveler. Peace...
Well said Nate !!
Thanks Reg. :)
I love the allegory of the cave. I kept thinking back to it as I went through my process of awakening to a non-religious reality. It was comforting and empowering in a very frightening time.
I have no idea what you should do for your specific bad gig, me- I just walked away and nobody cared.
But please come back and give us an update. Let us know what you did, what you said... let us give you a little encouragement if that's what you need. Just remember that you are the captain of your mind...
That's what I did, jst walked away. Why I should I have cared. I had found the light- Freedom from deitisms