Monday, October 31, 2011

A Word to the Wise

A couple of months ago, Sybil interviewed me for the Daughters of Mormonism podcast.  I talked about my [loss of] faith journey and how the miscarriages influenced my decision to leave the Mormon church.  You are welcome to listen to it on the website or on iTunes, it is entitled: A Religion of Compassion.  I believe this interview is an excellent overview of my feelings toward religion--especially with the Mormon church as it is the church I grew up in--and why I have decided to chart my own course through life.

Many believing members mistakenly assume that I have fallen of the path because of choices I have made or am making; for example, wanting to fornicate or breaking the Word of Wisdom (which are generally assumed to go together).

To be fair, I always thought this to be the case in any member who left the faith.  Truly, if they wanted Eternal Salvation, they would have remained faithful unless worldly passions had clouded their vision.

In my case, I did not break any LDS commandment until after I had already left the church (and, no, fornication was/is not part of my vocabulary, my husband and I enjoy a very healthy sexual relationship thankyouverymuch). The first incident came as I was pondering the mysteries of LDS doctrine and comparing what I had learned to the reality I had seen. I had several good friends who often imbibed and given that I was greatly impressed by their fortitude through tribulations, their compassion and empathy toward other people, and their absolute belief in their own religion (or lack thereof), I could not understand why God would not allow them to enter into Heaven (i.e. the Celestial Kingdom) because they chose to drink "strong" and "hot" drinks (alcohol and coffee).  Because I no longer believed in the absolutist doctrine of the church--or in God--I decided to taste one of these forbidden drinks.

I was not hooked.  It took a couple tries before I found an alcoholic beverage I was okay with drinking.  As I had originally thought that drinking any form of alcohol would immediately turn me into an alcoholic, I was surprised that after a few months I still knew when I had had enough--usually after one or two drinks.

After this experience of trial and error, I decided to indulge in another forbidden substance: coffee (and iced tea, but that's not really a "hot" beverage).  You know what it tasted like?  Postum, a beloved beverage I grew up drinking.  It was not long before this became my staple.

I am not here to tell anyone whether they should or shouldn't drink alcoholic beverages and coffee with me; rather, I am coming out of my shell and letting all of you know that I do imbibe and I don't plan on stopping (unless pregnancy occurs, naturally).  I also do not find myself behaving any different; instead, I am much more empathetic and compassionate towards those who are less fortunate than I am.  I would hope that many people who have long-held beliefs that drinking immediately makes a person horrible will reconsider this conclusion as they evaluate who I am as a person. And if you don't see this, it doesn't bother me. Heck, I am okay with being the fall guy, er, gal; you know, the person that we all compare our selves to when things go to, um, crap.

On that note, I raise my coffee mug to each of you and bid you a delightful day.


  1. Mmm.. Coffee. I love coffee - it's one of the things I'm going to have a hard time giving up when pregnant. Alcohol I can take or leave - it's not a big deal to me and never was because our European family always let us have a little bit to drink - so it was never a fascinating, forbidden fruit.
    I'll have to listen to that interview... later, when I'm home! :)

  2. And I will happily raise my cup of coffee to this as well!

  3. Ahh, my sweet sweet friend. I just have to throw in here real quick that I personally know and have met many a person who drink alcohol and coffee and don't look down on them or think less of them in any way. I don't drink, nor will I ever, but neither do I think less of anyone else who does.

    Not all us stanch mormons are hoity-toity and look down on others. :D

    P.S. Hopefully this doesn't come out wrong. You know I love you... right?

  4. Haha! I really do think my version of Mormonism was extreme. Perhaps it's because my personality is an extremist personality. Good thing I'm not a fundamentalist Muslim or anything. : ) (Bad sarcasm, BAD!)

  5. I'm really enjoying seeing you explore your new boundaries. I am a coffee fan and have it every day (or else!). However, I rarely drink. We didn't grow up with alcohol in the house (because my dad and my maternal grandmother were alcoholics, my mom refused to allow it at all), so it's not part of my culture. I only drink at parties when I don't have to drive my husband home (= never. I'm always driving him home).

  6. I echo Kelly in her praise. It is awesome and courageous that you are investigating and questioning boundaries. Alcohol is something I rarely drink. In fact, I didn't even start drinking wine until after my thirties. Never has appealed to me much. I rather spend my calories on dessert.


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