The following is a guest post by “Lehi,” an ex-Mormon atheist who was willing to share his story here. I allow readers to be pretty nasty to me before I show them the door.
I expect a higher level of courtesy to be shown to those who have been brave enough to make themselves vulnerable in a public space.
I can count on one hand the number of Sundays I’ve missed sacrament meeting in the past ten years.
Mormonism is fundamental to my religious beliefs and my personal sense of identity, and it is the community that I identify with most strongly.
But there’s a significant outlier to the national trend toward intermarriage.
My own part-member family notwithstanding, Mormons are the least likely of any religious group to marry outside the fold, at just 12%.
She, too, was upset and agreed it was definitely not something she would like to support.
What she said following this, however, has haunted me ever since.
It was a test of our faith, she explained, and by doing what is asked of us, even when we disagreed — especially when we disagreed — we would be showing our trust in the Lord and His prophets.
Thoughtful inquiry and respectful analysis are welcome. Should any of you have follow-up questions for Lehi, please do leave them below as part of my goal for guest posts is to stimulate the exchange of ideas. The moment our marriage took a turn was in 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign in California.
This is my story of the challenges of being an ex-Mormon atheist married to a life long and devoted Mormon. (Prop 8 was a ballot proposition to eliminate the rights of same sex couples to legally marry.) During sacrament meeting, our ward Bishop read a letter from the pulpit written by the First Presidency.
This statement is going to seem obvious to Latter-day Saints, who are schooled from diaperhood that their families can be together forever—if their parents are married in the temple.
But while Mormonism is hardly unique in its theological belief that families can be eternal, it makes that belief concretely contingent upon a particular wedding ceremony in an LDS temple, to which only orthodox Mormons are admitted.