I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan

by Non-believing Dad Nov 2011

Quite a dilemma is brewing in my family life. My step-daughter just got engaged, and she is totally TBM, so they are planning a temple wedding next spring. My extended family knows I don’t have much to do with the church, but I go once every couple months for my TBM wife. I have no callings and I don’t pay tithing. My TBM children and in-laws put my name in the temple and pray for my return to what “I know is true deep down”.

So here is the problem. My wife thinks I should, for the sake of family, get a temple recommend for this one occasion. I have sons and their wives, in-laws, siblings, groom’s family, and my wife’s ex-spouse and his wife that will all be in the temple. My wife will sit in the temple by herself. Almost everyone but me will be witnessing this marriage. The ones that aren’t members or inactive just won’t show up, but I am expected to at least be in the lobby I guess.

Although it wouldn’t be easy, I think I could go to church every week for a month or so, I could stop drinking coffee and tea, I could put back on the magic underwear, I could pay a little tithing for a couple weeks, I could do everything to be “worthy” to get a TR. The one thing I can’t do is answer affirmative to, “Do you believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one true church on the face of the earth”, and “Do you believe Thomas Monson is a true prophet of God?” How can I answer yes and then answer yes again to, “Are you honest in all your dealings?”

So I have this imaginary conversation with my step-daughter, to prepare her and tell her why I can’t go to the wedding due to personal integrity--I can’t get a recommend. I tell her to imagine telling a church leader of Islam that she believes that Islam is the one true religion, even though she doesn’t, just as a great favor to me. It would mean so much to me for her support if she would lie about her belief in Islam, just temporarilly. The sad part is that I get the feeling she would say, “yes, I would do that for you”. I think she would. Family is important, and she would do anything for family.

It comes down to, you lie for family. You do what it takes to be there for them. I can’t do it, and they don’t understand it. It is the Mormon way, you lie for the good of the church. This is the one reason I hate and am still angry about Mormonism, it ruins families and it is dishonest. Because of my integrity I will be looked upon as scum in my family, I won’t put them above my own silly disbelief in their minds. I am the bad guy, and unless any of them ever leave the church I will never be respected for doing the right thing. Or am I doing the right thing? I’m in a bad place right now. Family relationships or honesty, which do I do? I hate Mormonism.

wine country girl
“Do you believe Thomas Monson is a true prophet of God?”
"He is sustained as such."

(If Hinckley can answer that way, why not you?)

Stray Mutt
It's a sick, sick religion. 

J. Chan
For what it's worth, and I obviously don't know anything about your family,
I think you are doing the right thing. Your wife is being short-sighted (which is understandable but doesn't make your obtaining a temple recommend right). If she really believes in the church, then how can she really think it is right for you to certify that you believe in the church and that you are honest? And if she thinks those certifications are meaningless, then why does she believe in the church?

I have seen a lot of people go to great lengths (obtaining temple recommends, exchanging temple recommends, STEALING temple recommends) to keep up appearances with the church. I have never seen it result in a positive outcome.

Honest Abe
OH my....

TBM wife thinks you can believe/or lie and get a TR.
I think she's delusional.

Be honest..............don't try to be a believer/flip flopper for the "temple" gathering.

Go to the reception and be the best Step Dad/husband ever.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
In my opinion they will end up thinking less of you if you fudge it in order to attend.

Do what enables you to hold your head up high and look people straight in the eye as an honest bloke. You are not responsible for how other people feel - that is entirely their choice.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
The issue here is one of personal integrity.
Is it worth your personal integrity to lie about how you really feel in order to satisfy the wants of the TBM?
Many times a person must stand up and be counted for what they believe without regard for the alienation it may cause.
That is exactly what is being done to you.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I hate it too. It is not fun being shamed in that type of group thinking that looks down on anyone but the extreemist mormon who keeps ALL the rules and has a "recomend".

Only thing that I can offer as a comprimise to your integrity is that you could just answer the questions for the interview with total lies and know it. Sometimes I think to myself that the mormon church has stolen my money, taken my time, and screwed up my mind with their lies and deciet. You could look at it as a way to screw them back. Sounds petty and I would like to live my life above that type of mud but it is your daughters wedding.....

You could write her a letter about how you really feel about it and that you are doing this because you love her. Do the whole thing and go to the wedding and then give her a nice honeymoon or gift. Then give her the letter when she is back in normal mode and you have a chance to go to dinner together with her and explain it.

just an idea

A lot of people here on RfM have been squeezed into your very position.
And many of them have gotten a temple recommend and then attended. Turnabout is fair play when it comes to withholding the truth: The church lies to you (the LDS church lies about even the most fundamental things), go ahead and lie right back. The problem I see is that they will probably extort far more than "a little tithing for a couple of weeks." It's not unusual that the bishop wants an entire year's tithing, but it's up to the bishop. And in the end, if I were to be challenged by the bishop after the wedding and all, I'd just say, "Well, I lied. Sue me."

Who was it just a few days ago who went to the temple for a wedding and then resigned her membership the very next day? All things are possible.

Of course, long-term one is going to have to face the demon and give the sad news. And then sadly you will find who is your friend and actual loving relative, and who is not. For some of us it works out, and for others it doesn't work out so well.

Best to you , whatever you do.


Brother Of Jerry
If they are perfectly willing to have you lie for appearances sake, that tells you what Mormonism means to them.
It's not about truth. It's not about integrity. It's about appearances for them.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Gee. This all sounds so familiar. Welcome BTW.

I just went through what you are about to last June. My youngest daughter got married in the Temple. Religious elitism is all it is. I hate the evil and divisive organization that the LDS church actually is but not the people. They have no idea how wrong it all is because it is the place they cannot look.
I will spend the remainder of my life trying to help my family see that there are very good reasons to not participate in Mormonism. Who knows, I may win a soul or two out of the mind grip that Mormonism has on them. I have heard of many miracle de-conversions in the last two years.

I would not attend if I were you. I waited outside. I will not offend my personal integrity again for any reason. I have to live with myself and you will have to live with whatever decision you make every day thereafter.

Will you support the continuation of the lie? Will you reinforce the false belief that you are coming back into the righteous fold and conforming as you supposedly should? Or will you write your check to pay for the privilege of renewing the generational lie for all your friends and family to see. Will you also write a non-refundable check from your personal integrity bank, the repercussions of which affect you and others?

As I told my sweetheart just last night, “Personal integrity is very often a lonely road”.

I need to add one more thing. You are not alone in this my friend. Thousands and thousands now know this road well and as long as you need come here for support.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2011 10:36AM by AmIDarkNow?.

They are the ones choosing religion over family, and then they
will try to make it your fault.

Remember you are the victim here, not them. If family was important to them, they wouldn't treat you like this.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
This kind of decision can really tear you up. I know it must be really hard when you know that your daughter would like you to do it and she likely would do it for you. Daughters sometimes think with big picture emotional questions like "Do I feel loved by Dad?" And in the middle of planning for a wedding that gets notched up a lot. It's hard to just put all the familys feelings because they are stuck in a cult programming but they are still people you love and care for. Unfortunately the organization that they belong to will teach them not to be able to relate to you as a individual human being....they are programmed to focus on your faults.

Eventualy you are going to want to check out of the Hotel California......and find out that you can check out any time you like but you can never leave.

I would pick a later time to make my escape from the cult and announce that from that time forward your behavior will be reflective of your enlightened state of mind. One more mistake would not ruin my opinion of myself.....timing is everything in life and relationships.
You have the rest of your life to have shallow people hate you....why start the train rolling during your daughters wedding planning?

You should do what feels right to you
Some people do feel like it's okay to lie to the church because they lied to you.

But you sound like a person who truly values your integrity, and it would really bother you to cave in. You are stuck between a rock (not being able to attend, and being judged harshly by people who should know you better) and a hard place (going against your own morals).

Based on what YOU have said, I think in the long run you'll feel better about being true to yourself. And think about what you'll be demonstrating to your daughter and wife about integrity.

One more thought . . . if they want to you LIE and go, isn't that an admission that the bishop does NOT have the gift of discernment or revelation? It sounds like THEY don't even believe it? How can people judge other people for not believing in something THEY don't believe in, either?

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Did you say step-daughter?

She isn't even your kid. So it means the family is pressuring you for their own selfish purposes.
Lame excuse to force you into the temple.

Tell them to pressure the biological father LOL

Your wife will be sitting in the temple alone,no matter what, because the females do not sit with the males during the sessions. Surely, she can be by herself for the few minutes it takes for the couple to get 'sealed' afterward.

J. Chan
What do you know about his relationship with his step-daughter?
My dad was closer to his step-father than he was to his biological parents.

No need to pressure the biological father - he's going, per the post.

His wife apparently isn't worried about the endowment ceremony - she wants him at the sealing. That's the whole problem.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I think you just answered your own question/solved your own dilemma, when you said in several different ways, "I cannot do it".

Not everybody lies for their family, or to get what they want, or does what looks good to others. People of integrity do not, not even when telling the truth is hard.

Now you just need to find a way to tell your wife and step-daughter what works for YOU.

Tell them both that it is dishonest for you, it is anti-mormon and wrong with your beliefs, to pretend to believe--just to look to others as if you believe, and to make the family look good. That is called lying, it is not holy, or worthy, or good. It is simply not right. And you want to avoid even the appearance of evil by pretending to believe. Which is a lie.

Ask them who and what this really is all about.

You? Them? Onlookers and hangers-on none of you could give two hoots about? People who say they love you, but who are standing around with stones in their hands, ready to judge you and then cast the first one?

The LDS church, the temple and what it represents, its exclusionary practices, all of it, tithing to get that Temple Recommend, the whole TR business, are things I think you are saying you don't believe in, or think are necessary, good or true.

Integrity requires you to do what your conscience dictates. You must act according to your conscience.

Tell them you are asking them to live their LDS-approved 11th Article of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own faith, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

If the idea that if you loved them you would do what they asked gets turned around on you, simply reflect it back at them.

Ask stepdaughter why she can't get married civilly at a ceremony you and many others excluded from the temple can attend as a family, all together,, then wait a bit to marry in the temple? Tell her, or her mom, "You told me it doesn't matter what others think. You told me that we would understand the real reason why it was done. When did you say that? You said that when it was about me and pretending to believe to get a temple recommend. And now I am saying it to you."

You said if I loved you, and that this is about family, then I'd do anything for you. Well, I'm your family. If you loved me, you'd do anything for me. Even this.

Why not that? Why not that very simple thing, for me? Love is a two-way street. So is family. Who cares what others think, as long as we know the real reasons?

Or is this really not about what you say it is. But it is all about an ultimatum to me, stating that if I do not do this for you as you ask, that you will no longer love me? Because in your view of things, demanding and forcing others to comply with your will, and to throw aside anything that matters to them, in favor of you. To make you happy, is what all of life is about. To you, family is about manipulation and appearances, not about caring, kindness, or love. Or compromise.

To you, love is only given in return when everyone does what you think is right for them, and gives you what you want.

Man, Non-Believing Dad, you really are in a very tough place right now, indeed. To pave the way, I'd start talking about it all now. Do not wait until 6 weeks before the ceremony.

The closest thing I can relate to what you are going through is when my dad, a Catholic, got an annulment two different times, after two divorces. He did remarry again in the Catholic church, to two different women (he actually had 3 Catholic ceremonies if you include my mom, who converted to be a Catholic two years before they married, and they were married 16 years, with 3 kids all raised as Catholics).

My grandmother, a non-Catholic, was asked to sign some papers as the final step in both remarriages, when my mom refused to meet with the people from the Catholic church counseling my dad and helping him to process the annulments each time.

My grandmother went against my mom's wishes, cooperated, and then died right after the second time. Their relationship was never the same, because my mother felt my grandmother had done two inexcusable things; grandmother had gone against her very own beliefs and done something that was not honest or correct in her own eyes, and which hurt a lot of people in the process, and 2) she decided, without my mother's permission or knowledge, to do something that she knew went against her daughter's beliefs and conscience, because she (the grandmother) always had to be the one deciding for other people what they should or shouldn't do, regardless of consequences. My grandmother had to have her way, always. No matter what.

Sometimes you have to do the right thing at the right time, for it to matter at all. For life to make any sense at all, and to be true to yourself and what you say you believe. My mother deserved the right not to sign those papers and for that to stand as it was. because it involved her marriage, her kids, her husband and her faith.

You deserve to be able to NOT give in to all this, for the reasons they most likely will ask you to. Because it will look bad if you don't just go along and do whatever it is they want. (Warning: If you give a mouse a cookie, next he'll want a glass of milk...)

Ask yourself: Can I live with me, if I tell them what is in my heart? And also: Can I live with me, if I don't?

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Want to make this even more interesting? If your TBM wife married her ex in the temple then she is still married to him in god's eyes and he will be in the temple with both of his spiritually polygamous wives.....

Not only that but if you and your TBM wife have any kids together they are his "spiritual property" and belong to him even though your blood runs through their veins. They are sealed to your wifes ex hubby through the new and everlasting covenant.

Tell me that little doctrine isn'tthe most screwed up man made piece of dog turd to ever come out of any church on the face of the earth. ( I researched all this becasue I'm in a second marriage too )

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
If I were you, I'd tell her that out of respect for her and her religion, you don't want to lie to the church and deceive them so that you can attend.

Maybe you can word it differently - I'm not very good with words.

It's not a lie, but it's a half-truth. If she really loves her religion, how could she even think to tell somebody to fake out everybody in the church so that you can get a temple recommend?

Also, take into consideration that they're probably hoping that this will take you one step closer to you becoming an active member.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I'm in exactly the same situation. I thought I could try and make it work and go back to church, but what followed was a couple of weeks of really bad depression and anxiety, which I took as a sign that it wasn't a good idea.

I hate it that I have to miss my daughter's wedding, but that isn't my fault. I'm not going to lie for a recommend.

That said, do what you think is best for you and your family. No one can tell you what that is except you.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
One problem here is that she doesn't want to appear to be 'losing'. She will want her ex to be sat there looking at her doing very well without him, new TBM husband etc.
If she is sat there on her own she knows damn well that her ex and his new wife will be subconciously looking down on her with that pity only Mormons can muster for women with faithless husbands.

She will not like that one little bit.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
as judgmental as people in ChurchCo are, the seem to have a Blind Spot for what a POS ChurchCo itself is.

THAT's the Most Frustrating part about this equation, IMO.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Way to go Glo. You always say stuff like that. That's like saying an adopted kid isn't yours too, and many step-kids were raised only by their step-parents. Why would you say something like that?


Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
LOL I was going to suggest exactly that.

But in the interest of good taste I held back LOL.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I did not say that. Perhaps that is what you read into it. Please do not put words in my mouth.

Moreover, when a poster asks for opinions, they get a variety of responses.
Deal with it.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Would the family leave Mormonism to prove their love for you? No? Then why must you reactivate to prove your love for them?

Non-Believing Dad
I'm closer to her than her own dad
and in a temple sealing you sit with your spouse, not on seperate sides of the room.

That's very perceptive.
Non-believing Dad, this decision is part of your exit process, and it needs to be looked at within that context.

One reason to go might be to help your wife save face in front of her ex and his new wife at an important family occasion. If this is your last child who will be having a temple wedding, that's another consideration.

If you think that there's a possibility that you might go, I would discuss this with your wife. Tell her that you no longer believe, and that you would have to lie to get through the bishop's interview. How would she feel about that? If she can live with that, then I would consider going. If not, then you can skip the ceremony with a clear conscience.

What I've most frequently heard on this board is that the bishop will probably want you to pay 2-3 months back tithing. That may vary, of course.

Re: I'm closer to her than her own dad
I said "during the session". Sheesh.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Excellent point.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
If your step-daughter and wife REALLY want you to be present at the wedding, then tell them that there is a simple way to make it happen.

The step-daughter gets married in a civil ceremony, in a nice place of her choosing (but not the temple). Then a year later she and her husband go to the temple and are sealed.

If they don't want your presence enough to take that path, then it apparently is not really important for you to be at the wedding. It is their choice.

That approach does not require that you lie and corrupt your integrity. And your step-daughter will not have to corrupt her morals by telling you to lie. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.

how this for an answer to them
I won't lie for the good of a church that I know to be dishonest.

It explains your personal integrity; and they sure won't press you for further clarity.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
This is exactly why they keep building temples...it's a cash cow for them to get people to shell out tithing money so they can get into the one true country club.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I don't follow the logic. If some institution has lied to me, I have no problem lying to them. I know... Two wrongs blah blah blah.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
Oh my... what to do.
Well, first of all, it's just faith based religion, not based on anything but visionary, metaphysical, supernatural claims.

I take the position that religions are based on God Myths primarily believed by faith and can be accepted or rejected. They are as old as humanity. They are true God Myth.

If you don't mind playing the game, for the family so you can witness the temple sealing, then go ahead and do what you think you need to do to get the TR.

I don't know how big the sealing room is, but usually there are only a few people there, maybe up to 30 or so? I've been told they have rooms big enough to hold 50 people. So the number of people is limited. Not like a reception, of course.

Not everyone can attend, anyone under 18 cannot get a TR anyhow so they wait either inside, or outside, usually for family pictures.

Can you detach yourself from any emotional connection to the LDS Church and just go along to get the TR? Or are you so dissatisfied with the church that you can't go along with any of it?

The choice is up to you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2011 01:27PM by SusieQ#1.

liar liar
Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
They have been lying to you your whole life. You do not owe them honesty.

Maybe this is just my own brand of rightness but once someone lies to me I no longer have any moral obligation to be honest with them, especially when they are using guilt and pressure to pay them for lying to me.

Go in answer the questions with the approved answers, get the TR

Even if you have not paid a dime in tithing, if you say you are a full tithe payer they cannot call you out on it according to the CHI.

Show these scriptures to your TBM family
"And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, . . ." Moses 4:4

". . . it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; . . ."
Ether 8:25

". . .And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, . . ."
2 Nephi 9:9

"And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, . . ."
2 Nephi 2:18

Note that the Mormon scriptures repeatedly say that Satan is the "father of ALL lies."

If they believe that these are really the word of the Lord to them, how can they ask you to lie?

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
There were several points in my dissaffection that caused a similar problem, ordinations and a marriage to be specific. I was honest with my kids at every one of these occasions, and my kids respected me more for it. They knew of my disbelief and it would have been dishonest for me to "fake" it.

As to the upcoming marriage, I've told this story before several times. For my daughter, there was a wedding breakfast for family (both bride and groom) before they went to the temple. So, I arranged to have several boquets of flowers at the breakfast and when I finished a short speech, I had the fiance go stand by the flowers. Then I instructed the guests that they were to line up and take a flower. If they were from the groom's side, give the flower to the bride and vice versa, welcoming them into their family. At the end, the two mothers would take the two boquets and tie them into a single one, symbolizing the union of the bride and groom.

Then I asked my daughter, who was sitting next to me, if I could walk her through the guests and give her to her fiance. She was my my side in a flash with tears running down her face because her father would be giving her to her fiance. No music, I just slowly walked her around the guests and over to her fiance, then the guests lined up for the flowers.

The one large boquet was then taken to the reception later that day. I did not ask permission from anyone to do this, I felt it was my perogative as the father to do what I considered a beautiful gesture since there were many others that would not be attending the sealing/wedding. Many guests commented about how simple and touching that was.

I maintained my integrity, and created something my daughter remembers to this day. I'm still angry at the church about not allowing a civil ceremony and then a sealing, but that's another story

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
It depends on who you are.
I’ve missed my eldest sister’s wedding because I was not old enough (YW) and I missed my other sister’s wedding because she decided to get married while I was on my mission... I guess they just couldn’t wait 3 more months :)
I’m very close to my sisters and both of those times I thought I felt really sad for missing the wedding. But both of them did a reception and ‘ring-exchange ceremony’ with dad presenting the ring and with the couples sharing with us things about their courtship (funny and tear-jerker stuff) and with food and a lot of dancing and truth be told if your step-daughter does a reception afterwards, chances are she will remember that more than the temple ceremony itself cause that is where the life of a wedding happens.

And now that time as passed I don’t mind at all that I’ve missed their temple wedding.

But if you absolutely want to go and get a TR for it then you can play with words even if in only your own mind, 
A definition of believe is
To have confidence in the assertions of (a person)
Well I’m pretty sure you’re confident that the Church has asserted that it’s the one true church of the face of the earth. (ditto for TM)
I know, I know, I’m twisting and pushing it a bit, but hey all is fair.

But also there's the question of even if you have good accpetable answers to those questions, will you be able to really enjoy the whole situation?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2011 02:16PM by quebec.

Re: I'm closer to her than her own dad
I sat next to both of my sons during their sealings--the couple getting married on the couch, the mothers seated in chairs immediately adjacent to their respective offspring on the couch.
If the fathers are asked to be the witnesses to the ceremony, they will be seated apart from their wives.

Re: I'm in a bad place right now, crap's going to hit the fan
I agree that the relationship between a father and daughter is different than that of a father and step-daughter - no question! Also, as an adoptee, I will tell you that the love in the family - even though they espouse it to be unconditional - is also very different. The bond between a true parent and a child is much deeper and more complex.

I couldn't do it.
I wouldn't do it.

There is no person worth the price of making yourself miserable.


"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"