Growing up Mormon

Choosing faith requires a person to “disengage” their ability to reason. That is what “faith” means. Accepting something as true in the absence of any evidence. It follows then, that to seek proof or claim it, indicates a lack of faith.
Which is why the church I grew up in tells you not to question, only to believe. The church tells its members to accept their doctrine as truth, but glosses over the details and if the inconsistencies are noticed, they are labeled a “mystery” that we mortals are not privy to until this “veil of tears” is lifted as we pass on from this life. To question too much is a sin.
The thing that stuck out to me most as a kid in Sunday school, was this fail safe excuse for questions my teacher could not answer. Followed by a warning that questioning too much is disobedience in god’s eyes and it would only separate me from god’s love.
I was never able to accept the idea that asking questions was wrong and I guess that explains why I never developed a belief in the church or any religion. I was actually amazed when I finally understood that many of the people I knew really did believe in the church etc. They just didn’t live according to its principles and regarded themselves as bad Mormons. I always assumed it was an unspoken rule that we all just had to “act as if” so as not to rock the boat, but nobody really believed these outlandish claims. When I realized the truth, I knew that I would never be able to be close to my family and friends there unless I accepted their need to see me as damned and sad for my lack of faith. And, being gay? “Forget about it”!
I have built a life surrounded by people that see me as someone worth knowing and who is in no way inferior. I’m just human, worts and all. Those people have supplied the love and respect that I never found, or really expected to find in the community I grew up in.
After I made my escape, I developed into what I would now call an alcohol addict. After a lot of misery I got sober in AA and have remained abstinent for 13 years. I still attend meetings and have many close friends there but, I feel I can no longer defend AA as non-religious and I now understand that I got sober there, but many people are mislead and damaged by the way AA claims it’s the only hope for alcoholics and then, only if they surrender to its concepts and define themselves accordingly. I got by, by just not fighting it. I didn’t really need to turn my life over god, I just needed to learn how to evaluate and process my emotions in a safe and useful manner. I had to grow up, and not drink anymore. I am great at not drinking over anything that comes my way, but religious people really push my buttons!
Now, I recently moved back to the States from 7 years in Spain, and I want engage the religious people I know and have studiously avoided in a productive, coherent, dialogue about secularism and religious thought, without blowing a gasket and spewing pea soup all over the room as my head rotates in continuous circles. I need to stop avoiding uncomfortable interactions and develop the ability to remain engaged, respectful, and unperturbed.
This is a tall order for me because really loose it with religious people and usually run away to keep from making an ass of myself.
Reading some of the many good books available about free thinking, atheism, and secularism has calmed me down considerably. I am currently reading “What are you with out god?”, and I recommend it very highly. Christopher Krzeminski is so patient and thorough in breaking it all down. I can’t recommend it enough for people who get crazy mad at religious folk like me.
Well, that’s some of my story and I am glad to have found this online community where I can hopefully continue to hone my non-religious unflappable persona.
Danny

Welcome aboard, Danny. You are sure to find alot of like-minded folk on here so pls feel at home. And remember, “Religions are oft like chain letters promising great rewards to those who buy in, dire
outcomes to those who don’t.”

Welcome, Danny. Glad to see you jumped right in and started posting.

Welcome, Danny. It took a lot of courage for you to break away the way you did. I think of the many kids who grow up asking questions similar to yours, but cave when told to shut up and believe, and how confused and probably guilt-ridden they must be.
I’m not sure of which or both, but the Center For Inquiry and/or the American Humanist Association have programs similar to AA, but without the religious drivel. You may want to go to their websites and see if there’s anything near you.
Occam

Welcome;
If you are looking for an alternative for AA, you may want to see if their is a SOS (Secular Organization for Sobriety) in your area.

Hello Danny. I grew up in the LDS shit. It was okay that a woman beaten, or a child was raped during this time, but it was not okay to be gay. Or trans gender
In such a case it would be better to be dead! We have, at least in the “one true (and abominable) Church” often hear. In my LDS congregation, also called WARD, there was a case of suicide of a gay father, which was called the “accident”; and a case of rape, where the victim accused rapist and nothing happened. I was ward clerk, and had to record everything.

... I need to stop avoiding uncomfortable interactions and develop the ability to remain engaged, respectful, and unperturbed. This is a tall order for me because really loose it with religious people and usually run away to keep from making an ass of myself... Danny
I think that religions tend to, on the one hand, come from a place of unfounded critical authority, and on the other from childish beliefs in the supernatural. Thus, it could be easy to get caught up in emotional reactions to the sorts of things that religious persons would say, if you were to respond on that level. What religious persons tend to lack is intellectual integrity. Thus, if you steadfastly respond, in dialogue with religious persons, from a rational, adult, non-emotional, perspective, it is the religious persons who are likely to become flustered, not you.

That works well for me most of the time, but sometimes they twist things farther than Fox News Star and it pushes my buttons. At that point, I usually find it best to disengage. When logic is ignored too many times to keep up with, it’s time to leave em be.