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Emily Pearson

“My name is Emily Pearson and I am an Ex Mormon.”

I was born in Provo, Utah to Gerald and Carol Lynn Pearson. At the age of eight years old I was baptized an official, 5th generation, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was twelve years old when I learned my dad, whom I adored, was gay; sixteen years old when he died of AIDS in our home; eighteen years old when my mother’s book “Goodbye, I Love You” was published by Random House; twenty five years old when I knowingly married a gay man myself in the Salt Lake City temple; thirty two years old when we divorced; thirty four when I walked away from the Mormon Church; and forty when I officially had my name removed from the church records.

I have spent the past 8 years writing my “Exit Story” in a memoir called Dancing With Crazy slated for publication later this year (2011.) Rather than try and re-cap it all here, suffice it to say that it has been a wild ride. Early on in my life I became obsessed with obedience to the God that I was introduced to at church – the very same God that hated and condemned my father for being a homosexual and who was, in turn (and for good reason) hated by my dad. Growing up I had so many questions about what I was taught and how things worked and the answers I was given just didn’t make any sense to me. What I thought and felt and experienced in my world and knew in my bones to be true was at complete odds with what I was told to think and feel and experience and believe. It was too much, too confusing, too painful and too frightening to think about. So I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was completely incapable of executing the intellectual and emotional gymnastics my life required so I mentally flatlined. Not thinking became the only way for me to survive.

I had to choose which father to obey, which father to love – a choice that broke me in two. I chose my dad and everything that his life brought into my world. After his death I frantically realigned myself with my Heavenly Father and became subject to His will and whims and myriad of “tests and trials” – never once thinking anything through for myself, never once taking responsibility for my choices or the direction of my own life. How could I? If I allowed that, even for a moment, everything I thought, believed and chose would be in direct opposition to what I was taught at church and that could never be allowed. Yes, personal revelation was taught and encouraged – but only if that personal revelation was in absolute alignment with the official doctrines and teachings of the church. Mine wasn’t and I was desperate to be obedient enough, good enough, perfect enough so that God would love me and forgive me for not choosing him and allow me to live with him again after this life.

Decades later, when my testimony of the Mormon Church finally, and miraculously, bit the dust, I began the thrilling and terrifying process of individuation and brutally honest self discovery. Like all ex-Mormons I had to re-learn and re-mature and re-configure pretty much everything in my life. I had to figure out for myself not only what to think but how to think – an experience that was both exhilarating and frustrating as hell. I felt stupid and pathetic and robbed of so much time and so much of my life and my self. Having gone through that, I now value the ability to think and choose and feel for myself higher than anything else in my life. Being in full ownership of my life and my brain and my self and my personal freedom is something I will never, ever, ever give up or take for granted again.

My book Dancing With Crazy is the true story of my personal derailment, both horrifically and humorously demonstrating what happens when mindless obedience to religious authority supersedes plain old common sense. As a young Mormon girl I gave up my own personal power, relinquished the ability to think for myself and allowed myself to blow with a wind that carried me from studying scriptures in the Sunday School classes of correctly clothed, righteous descendants of Mormon pioneers, to studying porn on San Francisco’s Castro Street with my gay father and half naked drag queens, to drowning in depression in a stinky apartment in Hollywood, to puking in the toilet of a courting polygamist. After nearly losing my mind several times over, I began to disentangle myself from toxic and narcissistic personalities, walked away from a crippling religion, and finally learned to think, act and live for myself. It is both heartbreaking and heart warming – an inspiring story filled with religious fundamentalists, transvestites, AIDS, love, abuse, obsession, visions, cock socks, sex, Satan and salvation.

As well as a professional writer [Fuzzy Red Bathrobe, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed] I am an actress with extensive experience on both stage and screen and a filmmaker [the documentary 8:The Mormon Proposition and the upcoming feature Facing East.]

My name is Emily Pearson and I am an Ex Mormon.

Emily blogs at http://www.dancingwithcrazy.blogspot.com

http://www.facingeastthefilm.com

http://www.mormonproposition.com

http://www.ordinarymary.com

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Don
January 22nd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

So many good and honest people can relate to this. So many are huddled in the Mormon corner afraid to speak up and be their best self. Like millions that are fleeing the Mormon Church, I feel better now. No one tells me how or what to think. I am so glad I left and my world has never been better.

Shelton Odom
January 22nd, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Emily,

I adored you in HS for many reasons but I always loved your spirit. I think now I understand why when I read your story. It’s a tragedy that this happens to so many good people that are just trying to do the right thing in life.
I too started all over again at 33. I ended up hurting a lot of people along the way but in the long run it’s definitely for the better!
Do I regret my mission time? No. Do I regret the experience the LDS church gave me? No. I believe that it’s all part of a big plan that we could never understand in this life.

Bless you Emily and the work you do!

XOXOX
Shelton

zach
September 8th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

yes

Wayne W.
January 23rd, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I remember Carol Pearson’s story really well; it fueled my own belief that the pressure to conform led to more suffering than I thought a just God would approve of. I can’t wait to read your story too.

Sarah
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Emily,
I’m so sorry you feel that way. I know so many mormons and they are all such beautiful people inside and out with the kindest hearts. They love gays and everyone for that matter and definitely aren’t mean to them. I watch them at school. They have gay friends and they are soooooo nice to everyone they meet. I think you’re missing out on somethin g really special. I can’t wait to become a member one day. My friends are teaching me and I’ve never been happier. I’m sorry for you, but sincerely think that you are missing a great thing in your life. I’m sorry that you’re missing out on that.

Randy
November 13th, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I converted to the mormon church sometime ago. It has given my life such great meaning and purpose. I thank god everyday to have the knowledge that i have. Despite what critics say LDS people love and respect gay people we simply have chose to not support some of their choices. Its so simple but yet people want to make it something its not. I feel sorry for Emily and her misguided information. I love her and will keep her in my prayers.

gary a sullivan
June 13th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Hey Sarah –
Quit spewing yur propaganda! Take your MORONI CULT GARBAGE and feed it to those poor women who are dependent on the twisted men who think they are populating many planets now….

Mark
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Mormons are the best people around! I LOVE MORMONS! What you claim is alllllll wrong.

Michael
May 20th, 2013 at 12:19 am

You, sir, are a slave. A slave to the Mormon prison. Mormonism………..is the Matrix.

Molly
September 21st, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Mark that had to be said tongue in cheek…had to be!

Veronica
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Emily,

This is very inspireing to me. I and only 15 years old but ive known that I didn’t want to be a morman anymore since I was 12. My parents divorce when I was 7 and ever since, almost every year all I hear is “going to court” and “who i love most”. But the worst is when me father (a very morman man bor and raised) would tell me stories of how my mother was ruining the family and how god was dissapointed in her and would be in me if i didn’t make the right decisions, which were to live with him and go to church every sunday. I felt like i was chosing between my mom or God. That was when I realized that the only way to make my fathers threats not hurt me anymore was to realize the only reason they hurt was because I honestly didn’t care for the church. Now I no longer attend any activities and though I havent told my father and still attend church when Im with him, I no longer believe in their gospel. And once I turn 18 and am on my own, I finally will be able to tell my dad how I feel and leave the church. And your video is definatly helping me to realize that my decision was the right decision.

Thank you.

davea0511
March 7th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Agreed that your father if he was as you’ve painted him was a monster indeed … I’m so saddened you didn’t have the kind of Dad that I did who never spoke badly of my mother, never gave anything but love to her and us, a Dad who epitomized everything the mormon church teaches men that they should be.

Susan
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I’m a mormon and I can tell you right now that I love gays and so does God and what your saying is totally twisted. My brother is gay and I’m not choosing between him and God. Maybe I don’t agree with his choices, but I certainly LOVE him and am not choosing between him or God. I love both with all my heart.

Claire
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 pm

mormons are so cool, you just had a bad childhood. and some bad parenting clearly. you’re a very confused individual and should seek some help. The Mormon Church is the best arounddddd

Michael
May 20th, 2013 at 12:20 am

Slave. Another slave to the blind faith of religion. Congrats, you’ve been duped by the Matrix that is Mormonism.

Abby coe
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:23 pm

ok wowwww lady. get your “facts” straight. first of all, they dont call gay people perverts at the mormon church. they truly love everyone and that is all wrong. second, it isn’t hard to leave the church, all you gotta do is leave. No one forces you to do anything in the mormon church. you have AGENCY in the mormon church. they teach about loving everyone and that everyone is a beloved son/daughter of God. You’re telling lies. So stop.

admin
January 24th, 2011 at 9:33 am

Spencer W. Kimball in the Miracle of Forgiveness (on the subject of homosexuality):

“Next in seriousness to nonrecognition of the sin is the attempt to justify oneself in this perversion. Many have been misinformed that they are powerless in the matter, not responsible for the tendency, and that ‘God made them that way.’ This is as untrue as any other of the diabolical lies Satan has concocted. It is blasphemy. Man is made in the image of God. Does the pervert think God to be ‘that way’?”

He then goes on to name calling. He says anyone who believes that gay people were ‘born that way’ are “weaklings”.

In another section he states in the same section on homosexuality:

“…certain conditions make it easier for one to become a pervert…”

You can find the full text on lds.org at this link (I suggest you read through that chapter and think about how this type of teaching might effect a young person who is dealing with his sexuality and the guilt and shame they might feel about homosexuality):
http://lds.org/braille/The%20Miracle%20of%20Forgiveness.txt

As far as leaving the church being easy? I think most Ex Mormons will have to disagree. The emotional trauma alone can be very extreme for some. Others may have a very easy time of it as you say, but that is usually the exception to the rule. Other organizations such as Scientology or Jehovah’s Witnesses have similar “Ex Members” that can attest to the difficulty of leaving organizations that have similar indoctrination methods. The similarity is actually quite surprising.

I have put this comparison together in case anyone is interested:

Muslims:
“Some [Muslim] countries have a complete aversion to philosophers…Theology books are also burned. In certain countries, the [works of the] leading writers of the rationalist school cannot be obtained…As for literature – the list of banned books is so long that it would be easier to name the ones that are permitted and approved.”
-Assyrian International News Agency (http://www.aina.org/news/20070108191217.htm)

The censorship of the web in Iran started several years ago, and today they are one of the most efficient countries on this respect. The target? All non-Islamic websites, making Iran probably the country with the most extensive web censorship in the world.

Scientology:
An example of avoiding information critical of the church:
In May, 1991 when a TIME magazine article about Scientology came out, meetings were called in Scientology organizations throughout the country, where members were told not to read the TIME article because it’s “entheta” (enturbulated theta – “enturbulated” meaning chaotic, confused and “theta” being the Scientology term for spirit). They were then given copies of Scientology’s 80-page “rebuttal” and it is incredible to think how the rebuttal would make any sense to someone who hadn’t even read the article in the first place!

Anyone who writes articles, books or speaks out against Scientology is, in the eyes of Scientologists, a depraved, psychotic and “fair game” for attacks. If a Scientologist’s concerned relative showed their loved one a critical article and the person went back to Scientology and asked about it, they would be given the standard line that the article was written by a criminal and that it was all lies.

To see the utterly ridiculous lengths Scientology will go to discredit criticism, visit the Church of Scientology website that seems to be dedicated to smearing their detractors:
http://www.freedommag.org/

Jehovah’s Witness:
“Now, what will you do if you are confronted with apostate teaching – subtle reasonings – claiming that what you believe as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the truth? For example, what will you do if you receive a letter or some literature, open it, and see right away that it is from an apostate? Will curiosity cause you to read it, just to see what he has to say? You may even reason: ‘It won’t affect me; I’m too strong in the truth. And, besides, if we have the truth, we have nothing to fear. The truth will stand the test.’ In thinking this way, some have fed their minds upon apostate reasoning and have fallen prey to serious questioning and doubt.

As we go forward, building faith and keeping busy in Kingdom service, we can confidently put our trust in Jehovah, knowing that, as our loving heavenly Father, he wants the very best for us. God teaches us; he warns us. He does this through his Word and by means of clear direction provided by his visible organization.

Like gangrene, apostate reasoning is nothing but quick-spreading spiritual death. And since the members of the congregation are like one body, there is a danger that others may be infected. If the one spreading apostate teachings cannot be restored to spiritual health by loving but firm application of the balm of God’s Word, amputation of this member (disfellowshipping) may be the only alternative for the protection of other members of the body. (Compare Titus 1:10, 11.) Do not be infected by deadly gangrene of a spiritual kind! Keep in good spiritual health by avoiding the contamination of apostate thinking.”
-Watchtower 1986 March 15 pp.10-15 ‘Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason’

“Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
-Watchtower 2000 May 1 p.10

Mormons:
“Should doubt knock at your doorway, just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts: ‘I propose to stay with my faith… I accept God’s word. I wasn’t with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science, and I will not permit so-called science to destroy it’.”
-President Thomas S Monson, (Ensign, Feb 2001)

“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.”
“Some things that are true are not very useful.”
“That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. … Do not spread disease germs!”
- Apostle Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect”, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271

“Members Whose Close Relatives Belong to Apostate Groups
Bishops and their counselors must take exceptional care when issuing recommends to members whose parents or other close relatives belong to or sympathize with apostate groups. Such members must demonstrate clearly that they repudiate these apostate religious teachings before they mat be issued a recommend.”
-2010 Church Handbook of Instructions

“It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true.”
-Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect”,

I will leave you with this thought:

“Are questions and doubts permitted within the organization? A healthy spiritual environment must engage individual followers at their level of experience and should encourage them to feel and think and therefore question their beliefs and exercise good decision-making. In this way, the follower can investigate, discriminate, and test the dogma and the environment they are being asked to accept, between what his or her personal issues are and what might be an unhealthy environment. If intense pressure is used to dissuade people who wish to talk with former members or critics, it is a clear sign of information control. Controlling information is one of the most essential components of mind control.”
-Steven Hassan, Mental Health Counselor specializing in recovery from mind control cults for over 30 years
http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/responsibility/complete.htm

JF
March 9th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

You are right that President Kimball calls them a perversion but it is important that you get it in the right context. You are using the word pervert in a psycho-sexual connotation where President Kimball uses it in the “Perversion to the will of God”. Many of you’re other references are taken completely out of context.

You’re statements are a perfect example of Simon and Garfunkle song The Boxer, “All lies in jest still the man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”. I am completely baffled how you can spend 30 years in a church and not know the first thing about it.

DP
January 26th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Hard to leave the mormon church? Are you kidding me! They won’t leave me alone. I left the mormon church 10 years ago and they still won’t leave me alone. I have moved 3 times since I left and just two weeks ago two mormon missionaries knocked on my door inviting me back to church. I asked how they knew where I lived and they said “it’s on the records of the church”. My entire family left 10 years ago and my brother got a letter from the local bishop in California telling him that God didn’t care about his sins and that they would love for him to come back. Funny thing is he didn’t leave because of a sin, he left because he opened his eyes and allowed himself to question.

They stalk us, we have gotten calls from the church’s headquarters trying to get addresses and phone numbers of family members. If only “all you gotta do is leave” was so easy. If you ever left the mormons, you would realize that it isn’t that easy.

Charles
January 27th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Submit a written letter to your current bishop to have your name officially removed from the records of the church. They will no longer “stalk” you.

They’re not stalking you, by the way. They are trying to do what Jesus taught, to bring you back into the fold. Have your name removed and have the missionaries mark you as “do not contact” in their records and we’ll no longer bother you.

Daniel
February 27th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

you really are so ignorant… it is in fact difficult to leave the church if you sincerely believed in it at one time. and actually i heard my priests chorum advisor call a gay person a “faggot” just the other day. they do in fact call gay people perverts at the mormon church. get off the site if you just want to bash people for making their own decisions.

JF
March 9th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

It is unfortunate when people call people names like “faggot” but you got to remember that he is human and humans do make mistakes. Some people no matter what religion they belong to are jerks or just plain ignorant. I know plenty of Mormon jerks and I know plenty of “gay” jerks, and just plain jerks, but I can promise you I have been called a jerk before as well. We are all human and we all make mistakes.
Just because you heard a “mormon” say something bad about a “gay” person does not reflect the views of the church. Just like I would never believe an “Ex-Mormon” who generalizes an entire church because life got hard for her.

Veronica
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:24 pm

the mormon church is great for some people but not everyone, especially every kid in my sunday school class. We’ve all admitted that none of us are very common of the church anymore. Some had bad childhoods and some just decided for themselves.

Jake
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Emily,
I find it very sad that you’re bashing on another church. It is obvious that you didn’t get very much love as a child, and it seems that you want everyone to be loved. Well it’s not very loving to be bashing on other churches. Leave the mormon church alone. It’s ok to leave a church, but when you leave it don’t go and bash on it. Move on and continue your life. Just because you didn’t like one church doesn’t mean that you need to go out of your way to preach against it. Not very mature, no offense. Let other people decide for themselves how they feel about a church. It’s so dumb how everyone bashes against each other. But have you ever stopped to notice that the mormon church NEVER bashes on any other church. They’re chill people and are content with what they have. Thank you.

admin
January 24th, 2011 at 9:53 am

Have you ever heard of this analogy:

“If you want to learn about a FORD MUSTANG, you do not go to a BMW dealership, you go to a FORD dealership, (it’s that simple). When you want to learn about Mormons (Members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints)you should ask a Mormon.”

But I think it is important to put this into perspective, because everyone knows that the Ford dealership is out to sell cars. So it would be a wise thing to find a consumer review of the Ford Mustang. You can find out information from those who were pleased with the Mustang, and also hear from those who were displeased. This would be the best way to evaluate whether or not you wanted a Mustang. Sure- go to the dealership, but make sure you get a well rounded view of things by making a concerted effort to know all the relevant information before purchasing. Now back to your comment. It appears from what you said, that we should:

“Let other people decide for themselves how they feel about a church.”

But at the same time you say:

“…don’t go and bash on it.”

So I am left with the idea that you would prefer that no unsavory information ever existed about your church, and that the investigator will never be able to get a proper “review” of both sides. How are they supposed to “decide for themselves” as you say, if they do not have both sides to decide from? I see this as an unfortunate situation if your goal is honest inquiry and truth.

JF
March 9th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Are you trying to say that we are unfair because an investigator doesn’t hear both sides? I was a missionary and the message is about Jesus Christ and following a Christ centered life. I have never heard a missionary give a discussion based on why someone should follow an organization because that is not the message. We believe in proper authority but if you really believe that following Christs plan has anything to do with buying a car you are mistaken.

We are not salesmen, we are not get rich quick, our mission is to assist God in “bringing to pass the immortaity and eternal life of man”, to bring about the “glad tidings of great joy”, and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world that all men/women might look and live. “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies…” We do this so that “our children” and all those we love dearly “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

res ipsa
January 24th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

“the mormon chruch NEVER bashes any other church”…unless you’re Catholic and the missionaries want to baptize you.

Also, Jake, how do you explain the following Bruce R. McConkie quote?

“It is also to the Book of Mormon to which we turn for the plainest description of the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church. Nephi saw this ‘church which is the most abominable above all other churches’ in vision. He ‘saw the devil that he was the foundation of it’ and also the murders, wealth, harlotry, persecutions, and evil desires that historically have been a part of this satanic organization. (1 Nephi 13:1-10)”
- Mormon Doctrine, p. 130 (1958)

JF
March 9th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I would describe that as an opinion from Bruce R. McConkie and not doctorine since that very quote has been addressed by church authorities and stated that “the great and abominable church is all churches that fight against the Lamb of God” Although Elder McConkie was a leader of the church, he was still a man and therefore subject to making mistakes just like you or I.

Betty Flocken
September 2nd, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I lived what you’re saying as a young Catholic many years ago.. Constantly had everything about my faith put down….

DP
January 26th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

the “mormon church NEVER bashes on any other church”? I thank God that I am no longer brainwashed into blind obedience. I read your post and need to follow Joseph Smith’s lead while in Carthage jail and have some wine and a smoke.

“Sometime after dinner we sent for some WINE. It hasbeen reported by some that this was taken as a sacrament. It was NO SUCH THING; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us…. I believe we all drank of the WINE, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards.”
(John Taylor, in History of the Church, Vol. 7, page 101)

“Before the jailor came in, his boy brought in some water, and said the guard wanted some WINE. JOSEPH gave Dr. Richards two dollars to give the guard; but the guard said one was enough, and would take no more. “The guard immediately sent FOR A BOTTLE OF WINE, pipes, and two small papers of tobacco; and one of the guards brought them into the jail soon after the jailor went out. Dr. Richards uncorked the bottle, AND PRESENTED A GLASS TO JOSEPH, WHO TASTED, AS BROTHER TAYLOR AND THE DOCTOR, and the bottle was then given to the guard, who turned to go out.”
(History of the Church, Vol. 6, page 616)

Never Bashes? Read your own history…
“Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the ‘whore of Babylon’ whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of the…se apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent.”(Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, page 255)

“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world”
(Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 270)

“…all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.”
(Joseph Smith, Jr. , The Elders Journal, verse 1, number 4, page 60)

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth.”
(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, verse 6, page 176)

July 12th, 2011 at 2:27 am

Jake is right. Stop bashing the only true and living church on the face of the earth.

It’s not very loving to bash ANY church or its members, whether it’s the mormon church, or any other church on earth that Joseph Smith was told by God he must join none of, “for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed [him] said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight…”

You know…the ones whose “professors were all corrupt.” Yeah, those. It’s not very mature. You really need to grow up.

Erica Layler
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Hi I’m mormon and I’ve never heard that satan was gay or that gay people are perverted. Definitely all LIES. We love gay people. End of story.

admin
January 24th, 2011 at 9:57 am

You are right that it is probably not doctrine, if that is what you mean. But Emily did not state that it was doctrine, only that she heard these things at church. I saw someone post this video on facebook and it had a similar comment from an LDS member who said that they had never heard that in church. Another person commented that they had heard this before in church. So I agree that it is not doctrinal, but Emily was certainly not lying about her own experience.

Jason
October 24th, 2011 at 9:26 am

She also probably heard them or would have heard a lot of other places besides church members. One of the problems is Emily grew up in Provo, UT where 95% of the population is Mormon. What Emily fails to acknowledge or realize that is at that point in time, there was a lot of anti-gay sentiment everywhere in this country, not just in Provo, UT amongst some Mormons.

I doubt Mormons are much different than other people in that they are human and some will often say dumb things that are either misinformed or others like Emily will take offense at. The reality is, it was probably a small minority of people in her church or at school that made some comments and now she wants to lump and entire church and group of people in with whatever pain she had about her father and upbringing.

At the end of the day, Emily is free to make whatever decision she wants and leave the Mormon church. What I don’t understand is if she is truly as happy and content as she tries to make it sound in this video, why spend the time and energy to make this video and website? Why continue to criticize, stereotype, and tear down others beliefs? If you are truly happy and content, move on with your life and purge yourself of that negative, unhappy energy. What I see in this video is a still confused and conflicted woman who wants to assign blame for her alleged past unhappiness but still has unresolved issues that even she doesn’t apparently understand.

When she eventually truly moves on and no longer feels the need to go public against her former religion, then I might actually believe what she is trying to sell in this video.

UsedToBeAMormon
December 4th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

If you love gays so much then what was that whole deal with prop 8?

My own father, a mormon, refers to gays as “faggots”.

So don’t sit here and LIE to me about what I know for a fact isn’t true.

Calling someone a liar for disagreeing with your belief system isn’t very mormon-like.

JF
March 9th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

It is called love the sinner hate the sin. But before you have a heart attack over that comment, you need to realize that we are all sinners including myself, not just gay people or any particular person for what they are. I believe homosexuality is a sin against God I don’t care if you believe that or not because what I believe or what you believe doesn’t change the truth of things. One of us is wrong and one of us is right and no amount of arguing will change whatever the real truth is.

I hate homosexuality but love the homosexuals. If your dad calls them faggots then your dad is prejudice. But just because your dad is prejudice doesn’t mean the whole church is. Your statement is a perfect example of what you are condoning. Proposition 8 and the church is not the church fighting against gays but the church protecting the sanctity and identity of the family.

No matter how much people fight the church, we will never support gay marriage. Where you are mistaken is that we are doing it because of prejudice. We believe that the family unit is ordained of God and that a family is a man and a woman capable of creating offspring (including those unable due to infertility or physical ailments).

God does not hate homosexuals! I don’t know the answers to everything but I do know that God loves me equal to any gay person or even any murderer for that sake. He is not a respector of persons and that is the same philosophy the church holds against all people of all situations. Anything negative you hear from anybody is purely opinion.

Jimmy Carl Black
April 13th, 2013 at 10:47 pm

You are so full of shit. At least be honest about your prejudices. You claim you have nothing against gays, but you want to deny them equal rights. WTF? Yeah, right – you have nothing against them. What you’re saying is exactly the same as someone saying, “I don’t hate black people, I just want to protect the sanctity of my community and not have to live with them. But I’m not prejudiced against them.”

If you “hate homosexuality,” you DON’T “love the homosexuals.” Period. That’s just a whole bunch of self-deluding bullshit to make yourself feel better about your own prejudices. Face it, you’re a homophobe and you think gays deserve fewer rights than you do.

And don’t give us any crap about preserving the sanctity and traditions of your church. No one ever has tried to force the LDS church to marry gay people or recognize gay marriage within the church. Yet, your church fought and spent millions of dollars (how are you still tax exempt???) to prevent gay people from being able to get married in the secular, legal sense that has NOTHING to do with your church.

In short, you’re nothing but a bigot in denial. Do the world a favor and go away.

Taylor Clawson
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Lady you’re full of it. Mormons are the bomb.com

Marissa
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:43 pm

U guys need to chill. She wasn’t bashing the church, she was just sharing her story. And every ward is differant, maybe her church handeled gays differantly but it was her decision and it doesnt seem like she’s going to change her mind about it. So it seems like harrasing her is a waste of time.

Maya
January 23rd, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Look it was her decision to leave the church, and people neeed to respect that.
She isn’t talking smack about anybody,. she’s just sharing her story and she’s entitled to do just that. You don’t have to like it because it’s not your damn life, but don’t judge hers unless you actually know her.

Jake
January 24th, 2011 at 6:55 am

Our Heavenly Father doesn’t hate anyone. He loves all of us. You don’t have to choose between fathers.

admin
January 24th, 2011 at 9:58 am

Perhaps you are right. But she definitely felt like that was what she had to do.

July 12th, 2011 at 2:30 am

Another great point, Jake! He may only love us conditionally, as Elder Nelson taught, but He does not hate anyone.

Jarred
May 19th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

How can someone love somebody conditionally and not hate them? Last time I checked that is a contradiction

Cody Richards
January 24th, 2011 at 7:00 am

There are so many churches out there claiming to follow God that will shrink when members of those churches are doing something wrong. They will change the doctrines taught in the Scriptures to get their paycheck, but when we finally have a Church that does not get paid for teaching true doctrine and that will not compromise what is true everyone treats it like some controlling cult. The primary doctrine taught in the LDS Church is that of freedom of choice. The Church does not slander people for their individual choices and chosen way of life (members who do are are corrected), the Church simply shows us a better way to live. Just when you think you’ve seen all the happiness in the world there is always more but you have to open yourself up to it or you’ll never know that there’s always more than what you have now.

res ipsa
January 24th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Corey,

If you are implying that the LDS church does not change its doctrines I would be curious to find out what you think of the content on the following webpages:

http://packham.n4m.org/byoung.htm

http://packham.n4m.org/prophet.htm

Cody Richards
January 24th, 2011 at 7:05 am

The truth is we love everyone. It doesn’t matter what way of life they choose. Love is the heart of any true religion.

Denise
March 12th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Are you the elder that was in O’Fallon Illinois, back in 2003-2004,05

Erika Killmon
January 24th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. This helps me with some if the guilt that I have been experiencing since I left the Mormon church.

Shelley
January 24th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I find it interesting that some have made it their LIFES WORK to destroy a religion. Get over it already. Leave and be done. You guys need to get a life. Yawn.

January 24th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Shelly,

Our efforts here aren’t really to destroy a religion, nor do our efforts constitute a “lifes work”. We spend some of the many hours of free time we gained in leaving Mormonism, to reach out and support those who are still trapped in between, or needing a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen and understand and let them know that they are not alone, that others have been down this road and blazed a path for them to follow. That is why we do what we do. Because there are hurting people who are worthy of love and acceptance even if they can no longer drink the koolaid and accept the illusion.

MikeUtah

LDS Truthseeker
January 24th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for this site and thank you Emily for such a heart-felt and moving video. You expressed some problems in the LDS Church that are often overlooked.

Natalie
February 12th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I find the adage one should, if they’re going to leave it, they should ‘leave it alone’ to be full of spite and void of empathy for what one actually goes through upon leaving the church.

What do you think it is like to, after much heartfelt study, realize that your entire life has been based on a lie? One that seems, to you, purposefully perpetuated. That you’ve paid thousands upon thousands of dollars to a fraud. That you’ve given 2 years to, and brought people into a hoax.

My statements are not meant to speak authoritatively on if Mormonism is a hoax or not, but to illustrate that there are factors at play which are completely disregarded in your sizing-up of post-mormons and Emily Pearson specifically.

Your mind can remain made up that ex mormons are wrong, but you can allow it to change on your opinion of post mormons and the support they are in desperate need of if this is their legitimate world-view.

Andrew
February 6th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Amen. Members are encouraged to spread the gospel at every opportunity. Why on earth would we expect disaffected members to keep quiet? That’s very wishful thinking.

ClearThoughts
January 24th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Great video. Reading many of the comments here from the “faithful” reminds me why I don’t miss the Mormon church one bit. This is Emily’s story and her experience – it can’t be “wrong”. If the Mormon church works for you, great. You’re one of the few …the very, very few – that’s .001% of the world’s population. With those numbers, you have bigger things to worry about than those who leave and share their stories.

DrW
January 24th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Emily,

Very well done. And very much needed. Your story as told here is entirely representative of the experiences of many tens of thousands of formerly faithful members of the Church.

The hateful, life-wrecking attitude of the LDS Church toward homosexuals needs to be exposed for what it is, and you have done this in an extremely fair and thoughtful way.

Those who doubt the “official” attitude of the Mormon Church regarding gays need look no further than the Boyd K Packer’s talk at the last general conference. This diatribe by an apostle of the Church was so offensive to gays (as well as to science and reason) that it had to be revised before it could even be printed.

stephen
January 25th, 2011 at 7:19 am

im a fifteen year old boy hapily in the church. I live in new zealand, not america, to the admin of this page ive noticed you seem very anti the church, to you and to everyone that is i would say that it pains me whenever someone does, if you have been in the church no doubt you would have heard of lehis dream, now i dont know everything, in fact my knowledge is limited, but i do know right from wrong, and i also know hate when i see it, thsi may be emilys experience, but she obviously never gained a true testimony as to the truness of the gospel, and i know somebody will get on and have a go at me for this comment but i dont care, i know that it is the true church upon the earth, i have prayed and i know it. So weather god hates gays or not i dont know, what i do know, is that this is his true church, and if he does, then so be it, people say they cant help what they are attracted to, but… murderers have an attraction to murder, just as thieves do to stealing, and that dosent make it ok. i hope i havent offended anyone, but this comment thread deeply offended me and you will bein my prayers tonight

January 25th, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hello Stephen. Thank you for your comment. That probably took some courage posting on what appears to as an “anti” site. I understand why you would dismiss Emily and others of us like her as never having had a real testimony. It seems inconceivable that anyone who once believed fully, with a strong testimony could ever leave. I myself served a 2 year mission to Chile Santiago, married in the temple and had 3 kids with my wife before we left the church. I had as strong of a testimony as anyone, and bore it often in Fast & Testimony meeting. You need to understand that it is quite possible for us to change our minds, have the courage to admit we were deceived by the cunning indoctrination methods of the LDS church, and leave Mormonism, even for me here in the heart of Utah, where we still leave. Dismissing our stories as not genuine only serves to dehumanize us and to elevate and comfort yourself, a coping method to deal with the cognitive dissonance that makes you feel very uncomfortable when encountering this contradictory information. Hopefully you’ll soon realize that just because someone is no longer on your path, does it mean they are lost.

Good luck to you in your full life ahead of you.

MikeUtah

Betty Flocken
September 2nd, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Well said MikeUtah.

Jean
January 25th, 2011 at 10:48 am

“I find it interesting that some have made it their LIFES WORK to destroy a religion. Get over it already. Leave and be done. You guys need to get a life. Yawn.”

Re-phrase:
I find it interesting that some have made it their LIFE’S WORK to promote a particular religion. Get over it already. Leave people alone. Don’t go knocking on their doors telling them that YOUR truth is THE truth. You guys need to get a life.

This is Emily’s truth; her story. Do I hear love or defensiveness? You are on here promoting what is true for you – not for Emily obviously. The minute anyone disagrees with what Mormons think of their Church, they begin to bear testimony or attack. Why is that? Each person who has made a video in this series once believed what you believe – you can carry on doing your missionary work and we will do ours. Welcoming those who doubt and may be afraid; loving and accepting them. We will love and accept you when your time comes too.

Stephanie
January 25th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Emily – I can’t thank you enough for boldly sharing your story. If anyone thinks it is easy to leave the church, just read the comments on this thread and imagine the same type of hatred coming from family members and friends. I still attend the Mormon church but I am not pleased with their stance on homosexual marriage and their recent political involvement in civil rights issues. Anyone today who would agree that the Mormon church was inspired by God to participate in the anti-women’s rights movement by attempting to block the passage of the ERA in the 70′s cannot possibly understand the true nature of God. The church was on the wrong side of history with African American rights, women’s rights and now LGBT rights.

I wish I could leave the church like many of the brave souls on this site. My husband has made it very clear to me that o I leave, he will leave me to find a more “worthy” companion. He will do anything in his power to keep our 3 beautiful children away from me. I have put my issues with the church on a shelf for now and I attend every week, magnify my callings, and honor and obey my husband as I have covenanted to do in the temple. I pray for a miracle every night that he will see what I see with the church. I applaud the brave souls on this site and hope to join your ranks one day with my family by my side.

January 25th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Wow Stephanie, that must be a complicated place to be, and further evidence of how the LDS church often hampers and twists relationships into a ransom tool to keep people inline, against their better judgement; something usually associated with the plan of Satan. I do hope you are able to get through to your husband and escape with your family in tact. Be sure to check out many of the sites recommend above on the right for support and resources.

MikeUtah

Chris
January 26th, 2011 at 11:37 am

Stephanie, I am right there with you. I would love to leave but it means leaving my family too, and I am not willing to do that. I keep stacking more on that shelf, occasionally it starts to break, but so far I have managed to keep it from toppeling over on me. I know it doesn’t make your situation better, but know you are definitly not alone.

RocktheBoatPaul
January 25th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

For those that are still Mormon and feel the need to challenge and berate this woman for her story, for telling her story, you are preaching to the entirely wrong crowd. You don’t get it. You won’t ever get it. But that’s ok, we still love you and we give you your space to ‘pray for us’ while we get up and move on with our lives. People need help and to feel supported when they’ve just joined the Mormon church, and so do people who are leaving it. Why don’t you give us that space without attacking the messenger? It’s funny how you embrace converts so lovingly and despise those that leave. The either ‘for us, or against us’ mentality is so unbecoming of such a loving people in general.

On a side note, Mormons might ‘love’ gay people but I dare you to give a gay man all the rights and privileges and responsibilities as any straight man. The answer is that you can’t, and we know, and we know that you won’t. But don’t tell me to my face that you love gay people just like every other group of people, because to do so makes a mockery of love. Your actions as a church body prove to be much louder than your words.

Emily, you are one the bravest and most courageous people to share your story here. I am sure there is so much more to it than just this short clip.

Shane Jackman
January 25th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Emily,
I’ll call it as I see it…You’re the BOMB!

And to anyone doubting the sincerity of Emily’s message – She has been where you are, but the inverse is likely not true. Her life would have buried the best of us, yet she stands there with a smile so true and deep, and a voice so sure. It beats any testimony I’ve ever heard. It was not her surrender to the Church that gave her that joy. It was her strength to rise above it. Would that we all could be that courageous.

Peace to you Emily Pearson.

Livin'Life
January 25th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

As a former member of the church it is interesting to see the response of many believeing members that are accusing Emily of telling lies, never having a testimony, and making it her life’s work to DESTROY the church. I have many true believing mormon friends and family and when they “bare their testimony” to me or talk about the church, I know that what they are saying is really what they believe, because I once believed the same way. I may question the authenticity of their beliefs, but I know that that is how they really feel. It doesn’t bother me when they say things that contradict my beliefs because I am so secure with my own beliefs and who I am as a person. I remember when I was a true-believing member when I was confronted with “apostates” and other people with beliefs that contradicted the teachings of the church I would automatically dismiss them as not being honest or decieved by satan, and I never truely wanted to listen or understand them. Now as a recovering mormon (and I do say recovering because leaving the Mormon church is extremely mentally and emotionally traumatizing) I love listening to people in hopes of learning something new to expand my own unique mind. Honestly, I have never been happier and more enthusiastic about life then I have been now. As an “Apostate” I still frequently feel the same emotional feeling that members of the church regard as “the spirit” and I honestly felt it when I listened to Emily in this video “testify” that she has never been happier. I felt an emotional feeling when she enthusiatically said, “Life is really incredible” and shared with us her unique talents and identities that make up her as a person such as a mother, filmaker, actress, and activist.
Basically what I am trying to say to you believing members is why can’t you believe that what we ex-mormons say is honest? Why is it that you so quickly come to your own conclusions that we are telling lies or are decieved by Satan? Why can’t you accept that there is life that is happy, fullfilling, exciting authentic life outside mormonism? It really makes me question how secure you are in your beliefs. =)

Rak T
January 25th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I’m 6th generation in the church and ‘all’ my family is LDS on both sides. I don’t know where the rest of you are attending, but everyone I have ever known in the church, especially people from Utah, think that being gay is evil. Gay members are ostracised from active member families. They are dirty laundry that no active member wants exposed. Stop lying, saying that members love gays, that’s just BS for the internet; members hate gays. Time and again our leaders teach us that to be gay is to side with lucifer. Don’t lie about being tolerant, it only makes us look worse.

Jake
January 26th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

While its true that we are taught homosexuality is a sin. It is very untrue that we hate gays. Its also a sin to hate. That is your opinion, Rak T and not the mutual one of the church.

Spazinsky
January 26th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

As I read through the above comments, I find it heartwarming to read all the supportive sentiments. I do, however, find some of the more defensive comments disturbing. Let me just say two things…

These people have devoted their life to a religion that has been proven repeatedly to be based on fiction written by a criminal (and more literate assistants) whose only witnesses to the magic goggles given to said criminal by an angel, and golden tablets that supposedly contained the story that spawned the religion, later took their story back and admitted that it was a sham! That alone should tell you something. Mormons will tell you these admissions were coerced. False. Not from a deathbed.

Aso, the story of the Nephites building steel weapons and a Temple of Solomon in North America before the technology existed and with no geological record of the mining and smelting operations of either endeavor is impossible scientifically. The mining evidence would be visible from satellite at least and the the number of Nephites in North America at the time could not have ever pulled it off. A very critical piece of information not thought of by the authors of the fictional account of the Nephites and a lynchpin for the case against the validity of the Book of Mormon.

I am an exmormon too. I love my Mormon family, friends, and neighbors. They are truly special people who are, on average, honestly kinder than most others. I have nothing against them personally. I just have a thing about believing in things that are true or at least plausible. If I had run across ancient Hawaiians throwing virgins into the volcanoes they thought were gods, I would have straightened them out too.

Duh. Don’t believe that Gods are volcanoes or that they/he/she even care whose company you keep.

January 26th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Let it be known that I have loved Emily Pearson in all of her Mormon Stages. I loved her before she was a Mormon, in utero and up to her baptism. I loved her as a regular, enthusiastic Mormon. I loved her as an excessively orthodox Mormon. I loved her as a questioning Mormon. And now I love her as an ex-Mormon. I am proud of her. Emily is that she might have joy. And her smile now is very, very bright. May it be so forever.

Richard
January 30th, 2011 at 12:43 am

It is great to have such a supporting Mom.

Pam
July 17th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Carol,
Your sweet message made me cry. I am so glad that you still love your daughter and support her. My mom told me yesterday that I was a stranger to her. She said that she will come to see her granddaughters but has no desire to see me. I was a member for 33 years, went on a mission, married in the Temple. When I first left the church all of my closest member friends abandoned me and one said I was amongst the third of the host of heaven who had been led away. I lost by best friend of 20 years and now the only person I can talk to personally about this is a paid counselor who deals with peole who come away from brainwashing cults. If it were not for support groups online I can easliy see where I could do damage to myself. I have never met so many supporting, kind people. I am proud to be among the “apostates” and now like your daughter have learned self-worth, acceptance of others and most of all forgiveness.

Bish
January 26th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Either you believe the word of the Lord or you don’t, that is free agency. I have no animosity towards the homosexual, they may have indeed been less valiant in the spirt world. The homosexual has a burden to bear, like any other mortal bearing a disability. Homosexuality is not part of the lords plan and is an abomination in the eyes of God. Mormons are blessed with knowledge of real truth of gospel of Jesus Christ. Gods truth does not change to the whims of the disenfranchised. Come judgement day, Mormons who have been blessed with special knowledge of truth, will be held to a higher standard. Free agency is yours to use wisely. Use your free agency accordingly.

January 26th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

And yet you fail to see why many regard Mormon’s as gay bashers??? You speak with a cloven tongue, saying you have no animosity towards homosexuals but in the same sentence that they were less valiant in the pre-Earth spirit world. You will see the day that gay marriage is allowed nation wide, including in Utah, and likely the day that it is permitted in the LDS Temples, just as was the case with Blacks and the priesthood, though prophesied by Brigham Young and many others that they would not have the blessings of the priesthood until well into the millennium.

Adam
February 8th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

It is that kind of “Magical Thinking” that cause so many problems. Since that is the language you understand I will speak to you in the same manner.

You are a Christian and therefore you know you are a sinner and adulterer according to the words of Jesus himself. So you might want to take the beam out of your eye and stop worrying about the speck in the eyes of homosexuals.

It is comical how judgmental Mormons are quick to forget Jesus considers them sinners.

Kay
January 26th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

“I wish I could leave the church like many of the brave souls on this site. My husband has made it very clear to me that o I leave, he will leave me to find a more “worthy” companion.”

So similar to the unhealthy co-dependency in homes of drug and alcohol abuse. If nothing, changes, nothing changes. Doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results, is one definition of insanity.

The focus needs to be on you, not on your husband. Can one be so co-dependent that we wait and hope for someone else to change? If so, do we not enable, support and are partly responsible for the very conditions that exist?

Mental health is about accepting reality for what is, changing the things you can, moving on and learning how to let go of fantasies of how things might, could or ought to be. People really do have a right to their cognitive dissonance and illogical thinking. If people won’t change, sometimes we are left with changing the only thing we realistically can, that is ourselves.

Good luck on your journey.

Uncle Don
January 26th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

My dear Emily. What an interesting diversity of comments you have elicited. I think this is an authentic expression of your journey, which I have great respect for. To me, you do seem better and happier than anytime through all the years I have known you. I wish you continuously increasing joy. I send you my love and blessing. –Uncle Don

Amanda
January 27th, 2011 at 6:01 am

Let’s hear your story in the next life…………………………..

MP
January 29th, 2011 at 6:42 am

I’d like to know what the Lord thinks of this in the next life. Good idea Amanda. :)

Rebecca
January 30th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

thats what i want to say. i think they all might change their minds.

Natalie
February 12th, 2011 at 10:52 pm

So like the true believers to enjoy and even anticipate what is coming for the unbelievers. Your appetite for our destruction is whetted and I can see you clinking your fingers together while you sit next to Jesus and await the knashing of teeth and burning destruction.

January 27th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thank-you Emily.
Thank-you.

Sheila
January 27th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I think that the Mormon faith is so misunderstood. I am a Mormon and have friends who are gay, the church does not tell me not to speak to them at all.
When we are baptized in the church, we are made aware of commandments to keep: no drink, smoke, keeping the law of chastity… and we agree to it, no one forces to get baptized, so when you join the church, you actually agree with its policy or commandments, that is all.
At school you agree with school rules and that is it. It does not mean that the church discriminates anyone.

admin
January 27th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Personally, I have a hard time believing that an 8 year old can agree to the church’s policy and commandments. They aren’t old enough to choose a political party, and yet, they are old enough to choose their eternal fate? This is what a child is faced with though- indoctrination at an early age. Soon they will grow up, and maybe they will think how great it is that their church allows them to at least talk with gay people. But that’s not what we are saying- we’ve all been there. We all know the “hate the sin but love the sinner”. But our view has changed since we have left the church. We can no longer stand still and call the homosexual a sinner without realizing the unnecessary suffering we are causing by making their life an illegitimate life- a life that is less than the life of the heterosexual, a life that is to be spurned and looked down upon. And then the homosexual asks for marriage, something the heterosexual recognizes as a solid relationship of love and dedication- but no. This can not be tolerated, for it legitimizes the homosexual as a person capable of a loving relationship that is to be tolerated and accepted. So the fight continues against the very thing the LDS church proclaims as a virtue: family. You will not allow a homosexual family. This is not “misunderstood” as you claim. It is perfectly understood. You wish to have everyone know that you love the homosexual. I don’t doubt that this is your desire- but unfortunately you are stuck in a system that undermines this desire, and you can not even see the reality of the situation, which makes the hate that your church spreads in the name of “love” all the more destructive. I hope you understand that I appreciate your comments and participation in the site Sheila- I don’t wish to scare you away or treat you poorly. This site exists for people like yourself, to help you have more empathy and understanding for those who have made the journey out of Mormonism. You will always be welcome, and if any “Ex Mormons” mistreat you, I hope you know that I disapprove of their comments. I hope you stick around! Next week we are releasing Shane Jackman’s video- he has a song from the 2001 EFY CD called “Tender Mercies”. He has since left the church, and his video is incredibly touching.

Rebecca
January 27th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I think this is all so stupid. no offence to anyone, but they have never told us to hate gays! i think that it is very sad and immature of you to go around saying ” oh im _______ and im an ex-mormon! its the best thing ive ever done!” you dont see any other religions going out around saying that? why should you? why do you feel the need to advertise against us? it just dosen’t seem very fair. and i agree with whoever said that emily must not have had a real true testimony of the church. and mr. utah i dont really see how you could have had a testimony that true and strong either if one day u just stop beliveing? i dont see how that works. I have had my own personal struggles but i know that god loves me and that this is gods church. he would never make anyone choose between their father and him. it isnt how he works. now i hope i havent offended or really irritated anyone but this is just what i think and feel. i dont see why there must be an IM AN EX MORMON website, i just dont get it.

admin
January 27th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Hi Rebecca! I am the creator of this website and video series. The about page gives this description of what the videos are designed to do:

“Our new weekly video series is dedicated to sharing the stories of those who have courageously followed their own path out of Mormonism. We hope that their struggles and accomplishments will help others to have compassion and respect for those who have made this journey.”

I have seen many families broken, and friends lost over someone leaving the Mormon church. Partly I think it is due to the idea that something must be wrong with us for making the decision to leave- after all, from an LDS perspective the mormon church is God’s perfect institution and there should be no legitimate reason for leaving. These videos are here to dispel those myths and provide understanding for those like yourself who claim we never had a “testimony”.

January 28th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Rebecca,

Perhaps Carl Sagan explained our persistence in delusion best, and why many, such as yourself, cannot fathom a true believer ever changing their mind to reject “what they once knew as true”:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new ones arise.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World, page 240

Rebecca
January 27th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

you think that leaving the church destroys families? well joining the church does the same thing. my dads family didnt like it that he joined and i know of many other people whose families have nothing to do with them now that they are members. yes i agree that its the courage to do what you want but that does not mean that you can go around bashing the church. and yes that is what it is doing. its just like all those anti mormon books that my parents have gotten for christmas. they are rude and demeaning.
and we have compassion for the people that leave we just want the best for them, we know that it’s there choice. and once again, you did not, could not have had a testimony of the church if you are so willing to just leave it. what about all the sunday school lessons that you learned? if you were a missionary did you just lie to all the people you taught? how can u just stop believing? i’ve gone through struggles throughout my life and i dont know how i would have made it out of those without knowing the gospel is true.

January 28th, 2011 at 11:54 am

In leaving, we had to muster the courage to admit we were deceived by clever emotional plays and tricks that make one believe they are being presented with truth, but are really just getting warm fuzzies over happy thoughts of eternal families, and got speaking to prophets. I had the courage to admit I was wrong and deceived. Do you?

Brian
January 27th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

“My faith did not come to me through science, and I will not permit so-called science to destroy it’.” Thomas Monson, as quoted above.

“so-called science” hilarious. Talk about denying reality.

I’m not an ex-Mormon, but only because family ties don’t make it practical. I’ve lived in the church 40 years and have a gay son. I laugh when people above say church members “love gays”. What a joke. Substitute Mormon for gay in sentences like “gays are an abomination”, “gays need to change”, “gays shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children–they are unfit parents, bad examples”. If someone fed Mormons those sentences, they wouldn’t feel the “love” so much.

If you think you “love” gays, take a piece of paper and write down the first five things that come to your mind. You will see yourself, if you are honest, just how complete your love is.

Nice post, Emily.

Natalie
February 12th, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Great way of saying it Brian, and a superb challenge for any of the believers on the site who, by their own admission, ‘just don’t get it’.

I had a good friend leave the church about 3 years before I did. I remember saying over and over to myself, ‘I just don’t get it… how could she?’

After I left myself (last year), I was finally realized I wasn’t trying to understand at all. Nor empathize. I was using my testimony in the LDS church as a platform to judge and make myself better than her. Instantly I could see how it wasn’t merely her I had this platform to judge and compare, but everyone who didn’t live up to the Mormon ideal. I finally understood why people felt so unloved by ‘us’ as Mormons all the while I felt like we were giving them an outpouring of love and acceptance… despite their many sins and weaknesses of course…

Brian
January 27th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Rebecca says—”i agree with whoever said that emily must not have had a real true testimony of the church. and mr. utah i dont really see how you could have had a testimony that true and strong either if one day u just stop beliveing? i dont see how that works”

You no doubt, Rebecca, are very happy that the church now has 14 million members. Probably makes you think the church really is true because so many have seen the light. You might be interested in knowing that less than 40% of the church is active world-wide. In other words, there are about 5-6 million active members. In Mexico 19% of men ever get the Melchizedek Priesthood. 17% in Japan. Seems like Emily isn’t alone. In fact, you, as a believing member are in the minority of Mormons world-wide. Even most Mormons don’t believe it is true!!!!!!!!

Celestialbound
January 27th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Rebecca,

Do you have any integrity to truth and honesty? The reasoning you are displaying in saying that someone who left the church cannot have had a real testimony to start with is fallacious. The fallacy that you are committing is called “The No True Scotsman Fallacy.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_scotsman

This type of thinking is the type of thinking one would expect to see from a cult organization and its members in relation to ex members. NOTE, I am NOT saying the church is a cult. I am, however, saying that it is interesting that this cult’ish attribute is exhibited over and over by members and leaders of the LDS church.

Shawn Mecham
January 27th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Emily, I’ve read a lot of your mom’s writings and love them. I have two brothers who are gay and I have also left the church, for similar reasons. I completely support you and am looking forward greatly to reading your book.

I hope that the negative comments that have been left here will not cause you undue pain or anguish. I know that when a person makes his feelings public there can and will be backlash, so I believe you were prepared for this. Know that you are loved by an all-loving God, a God who accepts and honors everyone and indeed has created them all with all their many variations in desires and needs.

Take care! -Shawn

Perrin
January 28th, 2011 at 4:07 am

Celistial Bound, I strongly encourage you to kneel down an pray with a sincere heart, and you will know of the truth of the gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost. The lord loves the sinner, but cannot condone the sin.

admin
January 28th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I happen to know Celestial Bound very well. He has done as you suggested, many times. He has humbly and tearfully sought an answer. His video will be released in February if you care to watch it. Watch for the video by “Dustin”. He describes very well his thoughts on your suggestion to seek answers from God through revelation.

Celestialbound
January 28th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Celistial Bound, I strongly encourage you to kneel down an pray with a sincere heart, and you will know of the truth of the gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost. The lord loves the sinner, but cannot condone the sin.

Perrin,

Perhaps you are, without knowing it, referring to the time that I was kneeling in my bed, face buried in my pillow, begging god to just give me some way to know that he was there, some way to justify belief in him. Perhaps you are, without knowing it, referring to the time that I was crying and praying and asking god to kill me if he existed because this was the best I felt I was going to be and I knew I couldn’t stay so I gave him permission to take my life so that I would have some shot at exaltation. Perhaps you are, without out knowing it, referring to the time that I was praying and told god that if he would confirm to me his existence that I would keep the commandments and follow them till the end of my life.

Outside of having struggled for years to do what you have already suggested, how would I know that I wasn’t committing the insufficient justification effect by following the path you suggest. How about confirmation bias? What about a failure to consider other alternatives as the source of the answer? Perhaps you are familiar with what a simulacrum is?

Further, assuming there is a god, how do I know that the answer is not from satan? How do I know that the Islam god is not the correct god? Or the buddhist, or the baptist, or the scientologist? This is a major flaw with claiming truth through subjective experience. There is no way to correlate it to reality, and any other subjective experience is just as valid as yours (not exactly correct, but sufficient for my purposes here).

Looking forward to hearing your responses to my questions.

Martine
January 29th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Emily, thanks so much for briefly sharing your story – it’s awesome that you’re so happy.

And I’m another person to attest that I, too, used to believe that the people who left the church either wanted to sin, or didn’t really have a true testimony to begin with. Well, I had no desire to commit a ‘big’ sin, and I had the truest, most sincere testimony. But things change. Fact. I just want to be happy and live my life and I wish the same for everyone, regardless of your belief system!

(And to me it looks like a number of the negative comments were one person posting under different names – change your syntax and vocab, genius! )

JW
October 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Do you really think Emily is that happy? I listen to her and watch her video and think the exact opposite. I’m sorry but people who are truly happy and content move on with their lives and don’t feel the need to devote so much time and energy to their past and trying to assign blame for their unhappiness.

Look at it this way. When we go through divorces and breakups, it is natural to have lingering negative feelings towards an ex for a period of time. However, as they say, time heal all wounds (at least it should). You know you are truly happy and over somone or something when you no longer care or feel resentment or animosity. There is nothing happy or positive about holding on to negative energy or feelings about our past. This is exactly why I have serious doubts Emily is the happy, content person she tries so hard to portray in this video.

I personally interpret this video as lingering feelings of confusion, anger, and disappointment that is probably due to an unhappy childhoold and unresolved personal issues. I have no problem with Emily having left her church but this video just demonstrates the fact that negative feeling still haunt her and that she has not moved on with her life. Just my two cents.

CB Pope
January 29th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Emily,
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story…and for being a large part of why I left the church as well. I am so glad to have met you, and will always be grateful for the love and support you have given me as I made my transition into true happiness. Keep up the good work.
Bret

ira
January 30th, 2011 at 9:43 am

how can u all say such things? you’re only thinking of our life here on earth.. think about what’s life after death. i have my own struggles and i have failed a lot of times, i also feel alone when i am at church but i know that God loves me. i will do my best to endure to the end coz life here on earth is just temporary. i still have a few years to work on with my obedience so i can be with Him someday.

admin
January 30th, 2011 at 9:57 am

That’s exactly what Jehovah’s Witnesses say. I read a website recently that was made by a former Jehovah’s Witness that mentioned the guilt that their members feel when reading material critical of their church. I suggest you check out http://www.mormonthink.com and make sure you are not avoiding things like the Jehovah’s Witnesses are. They are manipulating their members psychologically. Perhaps it is worth considering?

January 30th, 2011 at 11:14 am

Ira, I understand where you are coming from, but there is not a soul in the world who can tell you with any surety what happens to our consciousness when we die or what lies in store for us on the other side. My own contemplation of the foreverness that is eternity, 1 trillion years times 1 trillion years times forever does not even begin to express the absurdity that any God would damn us to a permanent kingdom in the hereafter for how we lived in one single lifetime on Earth, a time frame so insignificant on the scale of forever that it would not even register. Further contemplation of the sheer hellish boredom that would ensue after being alive in the same resurrected body for 1,000, 10,000, or ever more so, 1,000,000 years and beyond suggests to me that if our consciousness continues after our body dies, mortality itself is the respite we take to escape the reality of existing forever, a gift of reincarnation if you will. Anyways, just my thoughts and opinions of why I can no longer accept the rewards and damnation judgment scenarios dished out by religions who stand to gain from your time, money and energy in this life, with no real assurance of the reward/fear in the next life.

Rebecca
January 30th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Mikeutah, i know that what i have been taught is true. it isnt false. therefor i do not NEED the courage to admit ive been decieved because i haven’t been. i just need the courage to stand up for what i believe.

and celestial bound. look up the definition of a cult, its a particular system of religious worship. therefor every church is a cult. not just us mormons.

and brian. thanks for the statistics. much appreciated but it would intrest you to know we do know the statistics, we talk about them in seminary. and all u care about are the people who no longer believe, but there are us who still do believe those are the numbers that matter.

January 30th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hmm, that didn’t work so well, lol. Here are some of the quotes that failed to post:

“Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against the most monstrous absurdities, and like a ship without a rudder is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck. ”
-Thomas Jefferson

“Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.” – Frater Ravus

“For faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction – faith in fiction is a damnable false hope.” ~Thomas Edison

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson

“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”
- Richard Dawkins

“There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed as truth if repeated often enough. ” — William James

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors” – Thomas Jefferson

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new ones arise.” – Carl Sagan

“I’ve learned that until person’s need to know the truth is greater than his need to justify what he already believes, no amount of reasoning will cause him to accept the truth when it contradicts his beliefs, even if it’s obvious truth.” -Jeff Ricks

“Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothingi.” Gordon B. Hinckley

We’re on the side with the opinion that the evidence adds up to the church not being true, which leaves us agreeing with Gordon B. Hinckley that it is a fraud, no reason to fuss with the middle ground. Keep believing as you will though, but don’t forget that facts don’t go away just because they are ignored.

Brian
January 30th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Rebecca—good luck to you. not interested in discussing religion and real life with a seminary student.

Celestialbound
January 30th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Rebecca,

This is from Steven Hassan, one of the world’s experts on cults and brainwashing. Would love your thoughts on how the LDS church relates to the BITE model. http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/articles/BITE.htm

4EverAMormon
February 1st, 2011 at 11:07 am

A fullness of joy….ok, so obviously Emily seems to be happy and enjoying life, but let me ask you this question. What happens when you die? Do you have those saving ordinances in your life that will allow you to continue on in the familial relationships you have enjoyed on earth? Or will your family bonds be broken and you will be alone for the eternities? The fullness of joy can be had on earth, but what it truly means is to have joy in our families and live with God forever. Only those who find their way to the true church, Jesus Christ’s church, and partake in the saving ordinances will have earned that right to a fullness of joy throughout the eternities.

Emily has said many things that are not accurate in this little video. First of all, we don’t preach that Satan is gay. Second, he desires to have ALL men as miserable as he is, for he is impotent and cannot have that fullness of joy that I spoke about earlier. We are not ‘told what to believe’. We are taught the truths of the Gospel and are counseled by our leaders to prove those things and pray for an answer from God for OURSELVES whether or not it is true. Each person must earn their eternal rewards and the Lord does not expect us to just take our leaders word for it. There is no brainwashing involved because I have had childhood friends who were raised in the Church, who have chosen to leave because they are gay, or for other reasons. I am still friends with them, and I do love them, but I saddened that they think they have ‘awoken from the bonds of religion’ when they have actually been lulled to sleep by Satan. It really saddens me that they have traded their joy for the eternities for the joy they think they found in their lifestyles/choices in this life, which is temporary.

@ Rebecca – I commend you for standing strong in your faith, but please realize that even prophets and missionaries have been counseled to preach the Gospel, but if it is not to be received, to kick off the dust from your feet and move on to those who are ready to listen. =) Hopefully, there will be some who read our comments who will take the time to sincerely read the Book of Mormon and humbly pray for the confirmation that it is true from our Heavenly Father.

@ MikeUtah – President Gordon B Hinckley never meant the Church is a fraud when he made that statement. He was saying just this: “Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.” Gordon B. Hinckley – It is a personal decision. He wasn’t saying that the Church wasn’t true.

I, for one, have a testimony akin to the likes of Alma the Younger (in the Book of Mormon)- who, in his younger years went about ardently trying to convince others that the Church was not true. But he eventually learned the errors of his ways.

Here is a quick read of Alma the Younger’s experience:

http://lds.org/friend/1991/09/alma-the-younger-repents?lang=eng&noLang=true&path=/friend/1991/09/alma-the-younger-repents

I too have felt the pang and sting of my sins to the very depth of my soul. I have also experienced, and continue to experience the joy He has promised the faithful who repent.

I can see how living with a gay relative in the LDS Church would be hard. But it is a trial given specifically to those who have it for a reason. Each of us is here to learn different things. Being tested is not easy and we know we are here to be tested to see if every fiber of our being will be true to our beliefs and our covenants. Having lived in the same area as Emily, I can see how she may have had to deal with judgmental neighbors. But the LDS church does not have exclusivity on judgmental members. You will find them in any walk of life. The LDS Church is true; the Gospel is perfect, not the people in it. The people are human who are on many different levels of understanding with their own individual lessons to learn.

I leave you with a last question (rhetorical, of course): If it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true, and you choose not to truly find out for yourself, what will you tell our Heavenly Father when you stand before Him?

February 1st, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Thanks for the post 4EverAMormon. I find it interesting that you pretend to know what makes other people happy, or what true happiness is for others. This is interest because it is a psychological coping mechanism to lessen the cognitive dissonance that would otherwise be overwhelmingly uncomfortable if you were to fully internalize the contradiction with your beliefs suggesting that people can’t be fully happy without Mormonism when the outward evidence and testament of your friends is that they truly are happy without Mormonism. (Read here for more on cognitive dissonance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance)

It might also the confirmation bias interesting, as that plays into religious belief: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

The Dalai Lama also recognizes that we each have out own individual paths and lives to live, and that none of us are lost for following our convictions: “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

Good day to you 4EverAMormon.

Brian
February 1st, 2011 at 11:24 am

Yea, you are right, 4EverAMormon. The only ones who don’t believe in the church are those who haven’t tried hard enough.

Josh
February 27th, 2012 at 12:06 am

Yeah it takes a powerful amount of self deception to stay in the church. Good thing the church supplies ample amounts of coercion (what I and many others call abuse.)

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, either the church accepts everyone, gays included, or it’s exclusive. Either women have equal rights or they don’t (pssst, women don’t have equal rights in mormon communities.)

Google the BITE model and compare your experience to it.

Celestialbound
February 1st, 2011 at 9:09 pm

4EverAMormon,

You seem to rely heavily on the idea that prayer can give you answers from god. One, how can one know, outside of assumption, that the answer one recieves is actually from god and not another source? (aka one’s own mind or the devil) Two, how does one know, outside of assumption, that one’s answers are the correct answers? How does one know that Islam is not correct, or Scientology, or Hinduism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses? I believe that if you are honest with yourself you will realize that you cannot know these things as they are all premised on the assumption that what one experiences comes from a source external to self without that source being verifiable outside of a subjective experience.

Let’s leave alone for now self-fufilling prophecy, the true Scotsman fallacy, the insufficient justification effect and confirmation bias. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Celestialbound
February 1st, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Whoops, missed a step. How do you know that god even exists? (then my previous post)

Celestialbound
February 1st, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Sorry, for repeated posting. I want to answer 4EverAMormon’s rhetorical question at the end of his post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iClejS8vWjo

As always, I would love your thoughts on my posts.

Ramona
February 2nd, 2011 at 1:33 am

She couldn’t be more wrong. She is full of hateful garbage and lies. No where in the Mormon church are you preached that Satan was gay and coaxing others to be as well. No one in the Mormon church preaches that you are sinful and a pervert. Mormons teach that homosexuality is a sin, but not the person. Sounds as if she’s surrounded by some very hard things in her life
and that she’s using them as her own personal platform to scourge the life she once lives in the LDS church. The church didn’t make her husband gay, the church didn’t make her father gay, the church didn’t manipulate her and coax her to choose one way or the other…she did. All LDS people are different and process the religion differently and it sounds and looks as if she’s projected her frustrations and guilt on to the church rather than finding a proper outlet to express those feelings. Blaming the church for your problems is such an immature poor action. Suggesting that she is somehow better because she’s left such a ‘mistrusting religion that teaches that God hates homosexuals’ is quite interesting. Why can’t she just say …’wow I’m much happier now that I’m not tied to the church’ instead of be apart of some ill directed anti Mormon rant propaganda campaign? It’s fine when people leave the church and they have the agency to do so. If someone doesn’t feel it’s right for them or they aren’t able to live up to the expectations of being LDS then it’s better that they move on, but making the claim that existing members of the LDS religion are anti gay zealots who follow false teachings of Jesus is a farce and very unintelligent. But then again, for every positive thing that church puts out there are dozens of types of hateful rhetoric to cloud the minds of those who investigate to find a source of great happiness. It’s not for everyone, but stifling someone else’s potential joy is an act of Satan.

Dan Johnson (admin)
February 2nd, 2011 at 2:41 am

She never claimed “satan being gay” was doctrine, only that she heard this when she went to church. She was sincere and honest in sharing her personal story which brought her joy and happiness, and you seem to consider it nothing but hate, lies and garbage. Is that what you consider everything that doesn’t agree with your world view?

I encourage you to read her mother’s book “Goodbye, I love you” which can be found on her website:

http://clpearson.com/personal_gifts.htm

It is written from the perspective of a believing member of the LDS church and her struggles being married to a gay husband.

Perhaps it will give you a better understanding of where this wonderful friend of mine is coming from.

Brian
February 2nd, 2011 at 10:51 am

Ramona says, ” No one in the Mormon church preaches that you are sinful and a pervert. Mormons teach that homosexuality is a sin, but not the person.”

You may not be personally involved with homosexuality, in that you may not have someone you are deeply care about that is gay. Your exposure to homosexuality may simply be what you hear at general conference (currently) or church magazine articles. Many of us have been involved with this issue for years and know much more than you do about what the church teaches and what the church has taught over the years. You may think the church is unchanging. That truth is truth and that is all the church teaches.

You said no one calls a gay person a pervert. Please read chapter 6 of the Miracle of Forgiveness. You can find out for yourself there.

Below is from a church-published pamphlet, “New Horizons for Homosexuals”, written by Spencer W Kimball. Pres Kimball somehow feels that gays are incapable of taking care of those whom they love in a manner equal to heterosexuals. If you believe the myth that homosexuality is all about sex, you may agree with Pres Kimball and, since this was a church published and distributed pamplet, the church itself.

“Suppose you lost your reason. Would vicious men still want you? To whom would you flee? When you are old and wrinkled and undesirable and nauseating, will any man who has defiled you pick you up and nurse you and provide for you? In troublous times, men are usually grateful to have parents and wives and children bound to them by loyalties and deep-rooted affections. Will your sin-mates meet those situations?”

These are the types of untruths that gays have lived with for years. Pardon them if they don’t feel the type of “love” the church has had for them over the years.

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:34 am

I loved your video Emily! Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational message.
I have so much I could say about the many MANY negative and hateful comments that you do not deserve but I will simply say I feel sad to see that kind of negativity come from those who claim to be the mere .001% of humanity that will be allowed to live with God again. Personally, when I think of the next life, I’d rather spend my eternity with loving post-mormons than those on here who claim to be living Christ’s gospel the LDS way in order to live with God again.

I want to share some tidbits for the fact that this may be an awakening to someone who is completely ignorant to the fact that many people want out but can’t leave, even those in the beloved leadership positions.
I am currently in the church but not of the church in my mind. I am actually going to the temple this afternoon as a YW leader and yet I can no longer allow myself to believe the church. I KNOW it is not true. (how I know, you will not comprehend so I won’t waste my time) Mentally I am not a member but I cannot leave just yet. Why?? I am practicing patience with those I love and care about because I DON’T want a divorce. I love my husband and family. My husband sees many flaws in the church as well and we are working at our beliefs TOGETHER. Marriage is a union and just because I stop believing in the LDS faith doesn’t mean I leave him behind and divorce him to get away from it. I DON’T want my in-laws and family to feel awkward around me and think I left because I wanted to sin or because I have unresolved guilt about something I must’ve done, or because of a lack of faith, because I “let satan influence me”…. etc etc etc. I’ve heard these types of comments made my them about others who have left and I’m struggling with knowing they will be saying things like that about me and putting my name in the mud. In essence, I don’t want to be labeled by my mormon relatives and friends.
So as you can see I have many reasons to not just get up and leave in a hurry without taking some time to steady myself and work out things with my family.
Just read these comments and imagine someone saying them about YOU. Now imagine how this makes Emily feel and those who are wanting to leave the church and still be loved by those who are in the church that THEY love.

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:42 am

I want to add that it’s not about saving ordinances or having faith or keeping covenants that you may have made blindly. It’s about finding the TRUTH. If you’re going to pray about the church, do not pray and ask “Is this church true”, pray for help in distinguishing truth from fiction and finding truth. Because isn’t that what we are aiming for?? That’s what I aim for. I prayed for help finding truth and as I went through information, I found that the truth was not in what I was learning in sunday school, primary, or any other church sponsored program. It was found in studying the fine print, the buried history, and all of the other things the church apologist claim it is your responsibility as a member to read on your own because they will not teach it in church. (they say it’s because it’s not faith promoting evidence so therefore it does not matter….)

Emma
February 3rd, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Well hmmmmmmm I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints and I am very confident in what I believe in and my testimony In Christ amongst everything else! I think people who did believe should show a little more respect to the faith they held for so many years and that others still hold. All I can say is does it really matter what others think…….errrrr nope because I will be judged on my works alone nobody else’s that is my decision to make and if we hold strong to the gospel then everything WILL be ok. If your faith was so detrimental to you then why advertise your self as an ex mormon (having your cake and eating it i think). Why not choose to just write a self help book on getting your life on track after a sequence of events etc etc etc

So it is safe to say my Faith will not be effected by anyone else’s distorted view of what we apparently are!!! Amen x

ira
February 4th, 2011 at 10:56 am

4everamormon, thank you for the good words.. u inspire me to strengthen my testimony about the church. i know my life would be useless without the gospel in my life. having the gospel of Jesus Christ is what keeps me going, no matter what circumstances i face. i feel sorry for those people who think their life were miserable being a Mormon. i too myself feel upset with some people at church, but never in my whole life i experienced the church leading me to the wrong path of life. the church never teach anything that would make someone’s life astray. the gospel teaches each of us to do what is the right thing, what’s best for us so we will reap the reward of eternity..

Dan Johnson (admin)
February 4th, 2011 at 11:56 am

“i know my life would be useless without the gospel in my life.”

This mentality will make most people unwilling to entertain any alternative beliefs- because if the church turns out to be wrong, you have convinced yourself that “life would be useless.” This video series exists to help people to understand that this is not the case. I think it is important to add that many who leave the church did not “feel miserable” in the church. Take a look at Jeff ricks video to see what I mean.

http://www.iamanexmormon.com/2011/01/my-name-is-jeff-and-im-a-post-mormon/

It is true however, that upon leaving the church, we are often left to compare life before and life afterwards- usually you will find that the Ex Mormon has found an authentic way of life that far exceeds life as a Mormon.

Jeffersen
February 4th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I’d like to take this opportunity to bare my testimony to you Emily. I know the Church isn’t true. I know Joseph Smith and the current church leadership are liars. I know the leaders of the Church lied to you, your family and the world about homosexuality. They lied to me about this burning in my bosom. They made me think I couldn’t have spiritual, profound experiences without being Mormon. (Hell, I’m having one right now) They lied and said I couldn’t have purpose or worth unless I didn’t have gay sex and lived alone the rest of my life. They told me the way I love was an abomination, that I shouldn’t have children or be married. (But they “love me”) If I had been a little older they would have lied saying I should just marry a female, pray hard and I’d become a straight guy who could then fantasize about (I mean prepare myself spiritually!!!) my many spiritual wives. (Wouldn’t it be awesome to be a straight Mormon guy dreaming and preparing for my afterlife with my many wives, children and my very own planet!!!) If I had been a little bit older than that I would have been sent to BYU for aversion therapy, another lie swept under the rug as if the gay men who were totally screwed up by this practice never mattered. It didn’t take study or church history research from me to come to the conclusion that the church is false, a great big lie (although that stuff is pretty convincing in and of itself) for me it took observation of the way Mormon family and friends interpreted the gospel, common sense, a love of all people and a respect for the beautiful diversity of people here on Earth. Thank you Emily for being a pillar of strength for “believing” Mormons who let’s face it, wouldn’t search out this website, watch your video and leave comments if the seed of doubt hadn’t already been planted. There is Joy, peace, love, family, friendship and spirituality outside of the Mormon Church. Good luck to those of you in pain you are loved and understood!!!! I say these things in whoever’s name, Amen.

Brian
February 4th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Jefferson:

Made my day. Thanks for the cheap therapy session.

The ironic thing is that the more you study the church (not the gospel), the more likely you are to belief that the leaders are not inspired. I was a believer until the knowledge I gathered about church history and from the diaries of church leaders’ simply overwhelmed my testimony.

“I do not care much for the Negro”—-David O Mckay’s personal journal

I can only imagine the diary entries of church leaders regarding gays when they don’t have their “church face” on.

daniela
February 4th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

well there im a mormon! n i love it so much i been a mormon my whole life and it has been the best years of my life ..if i was not in this church i dont even want to think were i be right now..just because there are gay people out there does not meen you have to pick a choice between them and god. we are all people and god loves us all .. so go back to the church..and pray and be sorry for wat you did…and thank god for your life..

February 4th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Daniela, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your time in the LDS church, but your point brings up some questions: If you’ve been a member all of your life and never lived a different life style, how do you know there’s not something out there that would make life even more enriching and fulfilling than what you’ve already experienced? Also, it is a logical fallacy to assume that you’re life would be worse off without Mormonism. It doesn’t take looking at the many people who do just fine in the world (far more than 14 million in Mormonism), living ethical, honest and fulfilling lives without any thought of Mormonism. Your position is one of confirmation bias. If Mormonism provides all of the fulfillment and purpose you need out of life, great. However, don’t dismiss the many who live happy, honest, moral and fulfilling lives without the LDS church or even religion.

Brigitte
February 5th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

This is a shout out to all those kids and young adults and older adults alike who have had a horrible childhood or unfortunate experience with parents. I unfortunately came into the world in a very disturbed household. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old, and I lived in an abusive and frightening environment the moment for the next several years of my life until I was about 17 years old and could high-tail it out of there because the cops won’t bother if you’re almost 18 anyhow. My dad is not a member, my mom not active at all. A lot of people may say that is awful and too bad, but I am so grateful for this experience early in my life. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a dad who loved me, or a mom who loved me, I was on my own. But I had and have always had a Heavenly Father who loves me. There is no one who made me go to church, my parents weren’t active. Because of my experience, I am amazed that I’m not completely messed up or something. I always knew in my heart that there was someone who cared about me and loved me unconditionally, and that there is something more than this mortal life. I knew that there was something more than people randomly having struggles and then that’s the end of it. Since I was alone in the world, I had only to rely on my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Deep down we all know that we are part of something bigger, and that our worth is greater than the price tag the world puts on us, and that we are loved. I am a Mormon because of this knowledge, that I am a precious daughter of God, and so I am always happy, no matter what happens. I could get in a car accident tomorrow and be quadriplegic, and I would still be happy. We are not random specs of existence, we have a purpose, we have a spirit, and we’re going home after our short learning experience here. I’ve been asked how I know such things or even the existence of a God that I have not seen. I have felt it in my heart and in every fiber of my being, and I know it isn’t because of what the world has to offer. Nothing the world can offer gives me so much peace and joy, and love in my heart. The most priceless things aren’t always seen with our eyes. Everyone knows deep down of their noble beginnings and worth, otherwise who’s arms did I feel encircle me with love in my darkest moments as a child, as I plead for it to end? I know God lives. I know He loves each of His children. I know that when we deny Him his arms are stretched out still all the day long until we accept His love and guidance. Because I felt a love indescribable when I had nobody. Open your hearts to what you already know, and remember who you are. Sons and daughters of God. And when no one else loves you, when the world turns you out for no use anymore, His arms are stretched out still, all the day long.

Nicole Fox
February 7th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Mormon’s do not hate gay people. The idea you had to choose between loving your Father or Heavenly Father does not make sense at all. I think you are a very confused woman :( I was not raised Mormon, but choose to be baptized Mormon, and I have never been happier. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to become a member of the church. It is too bad you see the church as something that was forced upon you, and you take for granted all the blessings you and your family have recieved by your prior membership in the church. You don’t even realize what it would have been like to be raised without the church. Besides, this whole topic of Mormon’s and gays is such a popular and controversial topic, shame on you for using it as an opportunity for you to get your little piece of fame. Your story is really not that unique or interesting.

Brian
February 7th, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Nicole – I am glad that your baptism in the church has brought you happiness and I hope that continues for you. The church does not work for everyone, and it is not a positive experience for everyone. Consider the possibility that honest, kind people sometimes leave due to their own integrity. Consider the strength it takes to face such ferocious pressure from friends and family to do what you feel is right, like Emily has.

As for hating gays, you’re right to say that it’s never taught like that. I agree. However, it is easy to see how some church members might assume that’s what the leaders are hinting at. You might want to consider this statement from an LDS prophet:

“The unholy transgression of homosexuality … The Lord condemns and forbids this practice. ‘God made me that way,’ some say, as they rationalize and excuse themselves. … ‘I can’t help it,’ they add. This is blasphemy. Is man not made in the image of God, and does he think God to be ‘that way’?” (President Kimball Speaks Out, pp. 10, 12).

Catch all those descriptors? Unholy. Excuse. Condemns. Forbids. Blasphemy. Rationalize. Transgression.

These kinds of statements inspire disdain, intolerance, judgment and even cruelty. If you’re on the receiving end of it, I can only imagine it feels exactly like hate.

everwonder_y
February 7th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

^^Um, it’s hateful to limit another human’s rights; the same rights you afford yourself. Preaching that one needs to lead a life devoid of romantic love in order to return to God, is hateful.

Yeah, those pesky little things called civil rights tend to get a little controversial. After all it’s peoples CIVIL FREEDOM we’re talking about. Easy to ignore if you were born on the “right side” due to your valence in the pre-existence. *roll eyes*

Choosing to believe in a Heavily Father whose doctrine causes untold suffering to those who weren’t born as the ‘elect’; forces people to choose between an UNCOMFORTABLE truth and willful ignorant FAITH.

Adam
February 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am

How wonderful you seem. I enjoyed your video. Thank you

homer
February 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

The Mormon church largely funded the anti-gay marriage amendment in Arizona. And then lied about their involvement. The spokesman for the Mesa temple, Don Evans, claimed that it was other people that had contributed money. He had personally given $10,000. In campaign filings, 739 people in Mesa had given money to the anti-gay amendment, while a total of 4 had given to the pro-gay side.

I’m sorry, but a few billboards stating “I’m so-and-so, and I’m a Mormon” isn’t going to make up for the harm and discrimination the Mormon folks have promoted against their fellow American citizens.

Tara
February 15th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Dear Emily,

I want to thank you. I first learned about your family’s story as a child of 12. As a piano player, I grew up practicing to many songs co-written by your mother, so I knew your family name. One night around the dinner table, my mother shared the story of a local LDS family (named Pearson) that was struggling with the AIDS crisis and I realized that you were in fact the same family.

Though terribly saddened by your situation, I listened closely to what was said, guarding the realization that, like your father, I too am gay.

That was obviously many years ago, and much has changed since then. From reading your story, it seems that we both spent many years trying to conform before finding authentic identities of our own.

I have long respected your family for telling a story that needs to be told, and more importantly, for standing on the side of love. In my younger life, your story was the only one I knew of in which family members spoke out and stood firm against abandoning loved-ones who identified as homosexual. It was a source of hope for me then, and it continues to be so, given the years of separation between myself and my LDS family.

I also felt that “8: Mormon Proposition” was quite validating. Not to the rest of the wider world, perhaps, but it was significant to me on a very personal level and certainly made me feel that I’m not alone. I thank you very much for that.

I took a chance and sent a copy of the film to my mother in Utah, not knowing if she’d ever watch it. To my surprise, she did, and the connection we found was actually a result of your mother’s appearance in the film. My mother stated that she used to see your mom at church/in the Temple sometimes, and I honestly think that it was the sense of familiarity that kept her from tuning-out completely.

In brighter and more current news, I was lucky enough to marry my wife at SF City Hall on June 17, 2008, the first day that same-sex marriage became legal in CA. We are happily living life (legally) as a married couple and hope someday that other gay familíes can do the same. With the support of friends like you who are willing to stand up publicly for what they believe, possibility abounds.

I’ve read some of the other comments here… That you must’ve had a bad childhood, parenting, etc to feel as you do. I’d like to say that I so admire the love your family has shown to one another, even under the most difficult of circumstances. It is a lesson and grace we should all live by regardless of the docterine we each subscribe to. Period. Sometimes actions speak much louder than words and I appreciate your willingness to allow us on this journey with you. I look forward to reading your new work and wish you every happiness in all that life has to offer.

Sincerely,
Tara W.
Oakland, CA

mrproducerman
February 15th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Hey Emily,

I am so grateful for you and for this website. I want to get involved. I would be honored if you would contact me via my email. I think we’ve met before and I’m sure you know me through several avenues. But you don’t know my story yet!

I too am sooooo grateful to be a happy, blissful, yahoo!!!, celebrate!!! I am an exmormon!! “I made it through the rain”! lol I count my blessings everyday!

I love the church, I love my family and friends who are Mormon, and it pains me so much to see them struggle in depression, sadness, addictions and lack of integrity because of the beliefs that they have been taught are true.

Most members of the church I know will say that they belief the church is true and perfect, but the members are flawed and often are an embarrassment to them and the church. But I say, that most of the active members I know are good people striving to do what they believe is right based on what they’ve been taught is true. IT’S WHAT THEY”VE BEEN TAUGHT TO BELIEVE IS TRUE THAT DESTROYS THEIR JOY AND HAPPINESS, and the joy and happiness of others around them.

But there is still much truth and good in the Mormon Church and all religions. Living good ethics that you learned at church or from anywhere will bring peace and good results. That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard for a sincere, believing member to see and realize how completely they have been socially and psychologically manipulated.

The problem is that when you attach a good and true principle with a Ludicrous, mythical, unprovable, superstitious, fear based belief, that you were taught since you were a child, and was re-enforced throughout your life with confirmation bias, and social and psychological manipulation that most of us were not even aware of, AND not even aware that we were perpetuating it, doing it to each other; manipulating our children and others to believe or “else”, then you become confused to the point that you don’t even see how ridiculous the belief is, because all you know is that when you live the principle, life works better, and believing the ridiculous is the path of least resistance.

Many of us were taught as I was taught from a baby that everything that teaches you to believe in Christ, and agrees with the Church and it’s leaders and it’s teachings is good and true. Everything that is contrary to that is False and of the Devil. So, we were taught, Church and Belief in God and Christ = Good, Contrary to Church and Disbelief in God and Christ = Bad. This is the basic message of every talk at church and general conference. This belief permeates every aspect of the church’s message. The only problem is, It is ABSOLUTELY FALSE! IT IS A LIE, BASED ON MANY LIES AND HALF TRUTHS! It is a very powerful, effective manipulation. One that takes an incredibly courageous person to overcome and see past. That’s one reason I would love to meet you!

I don’t blame the members or leaders of the church for these lies, I did it too! I didn’t know any better. I manipulated my children and those around me almost as badly as I was psychologically manipulated. Some people get really angry when they find out all the lies and half truths promoted by the church and many of it’s leaders. I know I did! I felt so betrayed and deceived; dumbfounded really. I felt like say, “that piece of information would have been nice to know before I dedicated my life to this church!”

For a while, I blamed Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Emperor Constantine, some of the contemporary leaders and film makers of the church and others for the lies, and it’s true, they lied. Joseph Smith and Emperor Constantine were diabolical liars that believed that the “ends justified the means.” But basically we have no one to blame but ourselves, all of us, all humanity.

I was a sincere, knowledgeable, believing, and faithful member of the church, a Gospel Doctrine Teacher, a member of the Bishopric, Scout Master, etc. My family were scholars in the church and you can buy my brothers books at Deseret Book.

My own story brought me to a point that I finally had the courage to say, “I would rather lose everything including my family, my marriage, my friends, and die with my integrity, than live without it”.

As a member of the Church, I had no idea what I was missing. It was so scary to follow my convictions. But I am so grateful that I did. I went through some really awkward stages of coarse, but I have found so much peace, love, joy, non judgment, integrity, real spirituality, miracles, inspiration, and connection to loved ones, zest for life, all outside the Mormon Church.

In fact I love to tell my Mormon friends that out of all the leaders of the church that I have known and worked with, served with and studied, the person I have seen as the most dedicated to serving mankind, constantly working to transform lives, teaching righteous principles, full of miraculous Priesthood Power; loving, trustworthy, Christlike, free of bigotry, and free of prejudice is a tiny Lesbian woman down in Southern California!

Mara
February 16th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Emily,

Thank you for your story. I haven’t been a member since I was 18; I researched the history of the mormon “church,” and the science debunking the BOM, and realized the whole thing was a sham. My parents didn’t speak to me for three years after I resigned my membership because they “didn’t want the influence of Satan” in their life.

In addition to being an apostate, I am a queer child of devout mormon parents, coming out at the age of 28. My parents and I had mended our relationship, and were close again. Well, that “church” broke our family into pieces during Prop 8. My parents lied to me repeatedly and told me they opposed the mormon church’s involvement, when in fact they supported it, and even donated money to the cause. When I found out and confronted them about the lies, they called me evil, selfish, deviant, and said that I was possessed by Satan. We have not spoken in two years, and likely never will again. I don’t feel that I am missing anything by not having such toxic people in my life.

I have never seen so much shallow self-righteousness, so much lying, so much hypocrisy and misery as when being around mormons. I can’t imagine how anyone can be truly happy having turned their lives and minds over to such a hateful group.

I’m glad that you were able to leave, and have a loving relationship with both your parents. Bless you.

~ Mara

Dan Johnson (admin)
February 16th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Thank you for your comment Mara. This site is here for people like you! We want to put an end to the walls that separate family from one another.

Dick
February 17th, 2011 at 9:50 am

I still don’t like you.

February 18th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Take a number. Dick.

Ron
February 19th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Ha! Well said!

Jean
February 19th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Dick do you think that Emily lives her life trying to make other people like her? Why would anyone do that? Only people who need to look good to others because they are trying to represent themselves as happy folk who love god and their neighbor as their self. Does that cap fit you?

Scott California
February 19th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Emily, You are my hero. I knew you in the early 1990′s before you got married. You were so great then. I am just leaving the church. Thank You for being such a great woman. You would not leave the church lightly. You were inspiring then and even more inspiring now.

Scott

Chris
February 26th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Its funny… many of you are attacking her character, rather than discussing her experiences and beliefs (look up: Ad Hominem). You make a serious error when you assume that anyone who leaves the Mormon church has something mentally wrong with them. This is easier for you though, because then you don’t have to address any of her real problems, experiences and feelings about your church.

The Mormon church was founded by a murderer. Look it up. It’s in your own “History of the Church.” (Unless they err… edited it again?… on another note what version of the Book of Mormon are we on now? anymore grammar/spelling errors to correct…? ) That night that he was killed in the jail cell, he had a gun smuggled in to him. Smith went down shooting and killed a few men (according to your own history books) before he was shot in the back through the jail cell window. Hardly a martyr. Do you know why they wanted to kill him? Because he was sleeping with their wives!

Jesus Christ = Awesome, God, Holy, Amazing, Merciful, Righteous, Alive

Joseph Smith = Con Artist, Opportunist, Liar, Murderer, Adulterer

JW
October 23rd, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Really Chris? You start with the premise that people are attacking her character and rapidly morph into some mouth foaming anti-Mormon rant attacking an entire religion. So much for civil discourse, huh?

Emily may be have some lingering anger issues and confusion about her past but I respect her feelings. You on the other end may be the one that could use a little professional help.

Katherine
March 1st, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for making this video. I am a college student and this semester I really have been questioning if the church is right for me. It became a real concern when one of my best friends who I met in church is gay. It is not the only reason why I feel distance from the church though. I have been feeling it for a while and now I am so scared. I feel that everything my life was based on is now not what I once thought it was. I feel that all of my beliefs are in question now and I’m not sure how to handle. I can’t even think about it sometimes because it scares me. Now I’m not even sure that there is a God or that Jesus is my savior. This shocks me because I was always the one in my family who was faithful in the church and now I have absolutely no idea what to think or believe.
Now I am just nervous because I have a meeting with a member of the bishopric for a new calling tomorrow and I have to be honest with him. I am nervous as to what I will say, but the proposition of it feels liberating. I am just nervous to tell my mom or what my friends or the people who looked up to me will think. My mom always wanted me to go on a mission and marry in the temple. I was going to be the only child that would have. What will she think of me now?? When will I know what to think and how will I be able to tell her? The future really seems scary to me now…

res ipsa
March 10th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Katherine,
Many, many people go through what you are experiencing. You may want to check out postmormon.org if you haven’t already. There you will find hundreds of people on a similar journey…many who want to lend a listening ear, a helping hand and emotional support. It gets better.

March 1st, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Emily,

Thanks for the video. I appreciate your story both here and in 8: The Movie. I also give props to your mother for her work within the Church to hopefully make change. Like you I could no longer remain a member but if more in the Church were like your mother it would be a much better place.

I grew up LDS in No. CA— and while on the one hand I value my experiences I now see that the world is so much bigger than Mormonism. The time came to let it go. I am enjoying my new life and challenges— best of luck in yours.

Catherine
March 23rd, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Bravo Emily! Your story of triumph and freedom is inspiring!

Your words “The very thing I was clinging to for sanity, for safety, for happiness, was the very thing that was causing me to feel crazy and depressed and pretty much wanting to be dead every day. Once I realized that was the same thing I couldn’t get out fast enough,” is also my story.

My husband (now ex-husband), was our ward Bishop and was a stock broker. He embezzled huge amounts of money from friends, family, members and even the church itself. When he was finally caught and excommunicated (eventually convicted) my 5 children and I were shunned and harrassed. In our grief and confusion of what had happened to our family, instead of receiving comfort and solace from our faith community, we received horrible phone calls from ward members, my younger children were not allowed to play with their friends from church anymore, my older daughters and I found our names stricken from the Visiting Teaching lists that were posted on our Relief Society room bulletin board! Our home teachers refused to visit our home. Our new bishop, one of the financial victims, refused to help my children and I receive counselling. He told me that because of what my husband did, my children and I were not entitled to any kind of help from the church.

Instead of finding warmth and acceptance in the chapel each Sunday, my children and I wondered who was going to lash out at us each week. Each Sabbath we spent 3 hours, trying to be obedient by attending our classes, and instead we walked on pins and needles because we never knew who was going to verbally attack us next. The place that should have been our solace was our source of pain, fear and humilation.

My epiphany happened on Sunday, July 9th, 2000. The sacrament hymn was “O My Father” and through my grief and tears I sang the words “truth is reason. Truth eternal…” and I dared to think to myself “None of this is reasonable (meaning the treatment my children and I were receiving from our brothers and sisters in the gospel). Could it be possible that none of it is true?” The most AMAZING feeling of warmth and peace overwhelmed me. I had never felt such a confirmation in my life! At the end of the hymn I stood up and walked out of the chapel. To this very day I have never set foot in it ever again.

My children eventually left the church too.

That was 11 years ago. My children have grown up. They have attended college and university. Some have married and given me beautiful grandchildren. They are all successful and happy. I have remarried a wonder never-mormon who is an incredible man. Together we have 7 children and, so far, 7 grandchildren.

The joy I have today is beyond my imagining.

Tshepo
March 29th, 2011 at 10:57 am

I do not know the meaning of all things but I know that God loveth all His children

March 30th, 2011 at 1:42 am

Hello there .

i am a Mormon myself .

Gud foa yhu foa standn up foa yhurself .

bhut gud luck . when dah END comes . :)

thank yhu .
x

Sara
May 3rd, 2011 at 10:57 am

I, too, am being taught by the missionaries. I have been going to the Mormon church for a while and they have never once spoken about gay people in a negative manner. In fact, they were very positive and loving when the issue was brought up. Not once were the words “going to hell” or “evil” or “satan” said when speaking about homosexuality.

I will be baptized soon and I have never been happier.

Why do you all care so much about people becoming Mormon? What does it matter to you? I don’t see the Mormon’s out there trying to prevent people from becoming Catholic, Christian. or whatever. They preach their own gospel. Why can’t you all just go and preach yours? Ripping on other religions is not Christlike.

Dan Johnson (admin)
May 5th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Hi Sara! Thanks for your comment! Welcome to the website, I hope you continue to watch the videos and that it helps you to understand those who leave the church, so that you can know how to show the greatest love towards them.

“Why do you all care so much about people becoming Mormon?”

We care for a number of reasons- one of which can be demonstrated by your sentence “Not once were the words “going to hell” or “evil” or “satan” said when speaking about homosexuality.”

Spencer W Kimball wrote a book (after writing this book he went on to be the LDS prophet from 1973-1985) which can still be accessed online for free on the LDS church website here, talks about Homosexuality in a very negative way:

“All such deviations from normal, proper heterosexual relationships are not merely unnatural but wrong in the sight of God. Like adultery, incest, and bestiality they carried the death penalty under the Mosaic law. (Lev. 20:13, 15-16.) The law is less severe now, and so regrettably is the community’s attitude to these grave sins–another evidence of the deterioration of society.”

Personally, I find it incredibly difficult to read this man’s attitude towards homosexuality, especially when he reminds us that in our society today, we are no longer so insanely intolerant that we stone to death gay people. And then he says it is regrettable that our society has deteriorated so far… Honestly this kind of rhetoric makes me sick to my stomach when I think of the high suicide risk in gay LDS youth. I am certainly not surprised though.

The book goes on to call homosexuality ‘evil’, ‘ugly’, ‘deviant’, ‘degenerate’, and ‘perverted’. Any gay person who internalizes this message is going to have an incredibly difficult time loving themselves.

I am happy that missionaries have not taught you a message like this yet. I believe this kind of teaching is becoming less and less popular in the church- but it is still common enough to cause many real world problems that I personally find immoral. I will respect your right to disagree with me, and I hope you will be able to respect our right as Ex Mormons to disagree with you.

“They preach their own gospel. Why can’t you all just go and preach yours?”

We often hear public health or safety announcements. I have seen government messages showing the damage that smoking will cause or what a lifestyle of drug use will do. Or perhaps Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). These messages are all directly against a certain way of living. They do not provide a better or alternative way of living. In a way, the only message delivered is a negative one: these choices and lifestyles are wrong/harmful. I would like to take this analogy one step further as well- imagine that you are paralyzed as a result of drunk driving. Or perhaps your own child was killed. Would you not expect an increase in zeal to promote the message declaring drunk driving as something to avoid? Wouldn’t you expect such a person to spend more time than usual in pointing out the damage that drunk driving can cause? Likewise, I see Mormonism in a new light once I discovered many inconsistencies in it’s doctrines. I see some of the harm it does and I feel it is important to not only warn others, but also to reach out and support those who are transitioning out of it. This website is designed to do this.

Sarah- I sincerely hope you find joy in your decision to be baptized and join the church- I hope you will gain confidence, peace and strength in this decision and that you will use it as a positive force in others lives. All the best to you!

jean
May 11th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Sarah, as a matter of fact what do the missionaries teach? Do they teach you that theirs is the only true church restored by Joseph Smith? Then they are teaching you that the Catholic Church is false; otherwise why wouldn’t they just leave god believers alone?

Catholics believe in their Church and their God, but obviously the Mormon Church does not believe that this is adequate – hence the need for missionaries.

So, while the missionaries might not overtly try to persuade people NOT to become Catholic, they certainly do do their utmost to persuade Catholics that the Mormon Church offers the full truth and that they must accept it or go to a lower kingdom.

The Mormons rejoice when a Catholic leaves their church and becomes a Mormon, but when a Mormon leaves the one and only true church, they are ostracized.

You do not understand the subtleties used by the Church to gain converts; but you will one day when you are stuck deeply and don’t know how to get out. When that day comes; reach out – we will be here. We understand you see. As you are, we once were, as we are you may one day become.

JewBu
May 19th, 2011 at 1:33 am

THIS WAS GREAT!!!

LOVE it.

Nice going, Emily!!

July 23rd, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Emily,
You have utilized the inner strength given to you by the Lord. He will continue to assist you on your earthly journey and will take you up on your day of resurrection. There the two of you will embrace and believe me, he will thank you for believing and doing just right here on Earth.

May the Lord continue to bless you!

Carla

August 5th, 2011 at 10:00 am

It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

Gavin
September 6th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

It’s sad that after you made your big break from Mormonism that you still allow it to define who you are.

Dan Johnson (admin)
September 26th, 2011 at 5:29 am

Our past always tends to have a big impact on who we are ;)

John
October 15th, 2011 at 10:49 am

Watching children playing in the sand box,,,, Ya gotta love you little tikes,,,,, Skinned knees,,,,a grain of sand in your eye,,,,, then tired, hungry and sleepy the bickering starts,,,,,,,What you thought you knew,,,,,,, what you think you’ve learned,,,,,,What you assume & what you take for granted,,,,,, What you think the church claims to be,,,, Who you think the church belongs to,,,,,,,Who you think the church is,,,,,,,,,what you think was implied,,,, dig a little deeper,,,, come to a greater understanding,,,,,,break it down,,,, read a little more,,,,understand a little deeper,,,, step back from the sand box and take a look from outside your pain,,,,, Life is,,,,people are,,,, and God loves you,,,, no end to this story,,,, thank God there’s no end,,,,,, live love be!!!!!

Dfisher
October 19th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I find each comment that ‘Mormons love Gay people’ just a little hard to swallow. First of all consider this. When Emily was young, the Churches stance on Homosexuality was much different than it is today. Think about Boyd K Packer’s talk expounding on the evils of same-sex attraction. Better to have never been born…. So judging the recounted experiences Emily ghastly shared from what was basically a different time is not reasonable. Back then, Homosexuality was considered and referred to as a perversion. Gratefully, things are different now.
But, while the Church is paying lip service to tolerance of Gays, saying that Mormons love Gays just isn’t so. The day I see Homosexuals married in the Temple, or at the very least when the Church supports Gay marriage, then I will believe that the Church loves Gays.
I DO believe that there are many good members of the Church who love and support their Gay friends and family. But, the love of the individual does not equate with the reality of the Church’s past treatment of Gays, nor with the Church’s feeble attempts toward acceptance.

Matt
May 26th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Things are only different now because LDS Inc. loses a lot of money if it doesn’t change it’s stances on social issues, just like it’s racist policies in the 70′s, or all the way back to polygamy-follow the money with these assholes. Not one decision was ever made that didn’t involved money or sex in that “great whore,” and the softening front about homosexuality is no different. They took such a hit from Prop. 8 all of a sudden they love gays… bitch please.

JW
October 23rd, 2011 at 11:26 pm

It was so easy for Emily to leave the Mormon church, she has devoted a good portion of her life’s energy to try to convince herself and everyone out there how wrong it is. Call me naive but I think someone that was truly at piece, happy, and had moved on with their life wouldn’t feel the need to devote so much time and energy to making videos and websites devoted to this topic.

At the end of the day, it seems pretty obvious to me that most of this is the result of of an unhappy childhood and family situation growing up. I’m sorry if you had a few idiots say things to you about your father years ago but that could happen anywhere. It isn’t the Mormon churches fault your dad was gay and passed away from AIDS. Time to move on.

Emily, you try to put on a happy face and talk about how happy and content you are now but all this video does is suggest the exact opposite. I wish you the best and hope that you are able to move on at some point and resolve some of the anger, confusion, bitterness, and demons that still seem to be haunting you.

Matt
May 26th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

LOL! This sack of shit is the reason people leave the mormon church in the first place, and they think they’re “christlike,” fuck me what a joke. I love the “move on” comments when you can’t even move on from this blog… fucking losers that church is filled with, never ceases to amaze me.

Michael
November 24th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

JW you dumb shit,

By your logic all the people on the “I’m a mormon” videos who put on their happy faces are the opposite. I guess all the people who have been victimized by catholics, scientologists, MORMONS, etc. should just move on. Evil should be confronted head on. That is what LDS Inc. is. Evil.

I guess should must not be at peace with yourself either since you criticize Emily. Duh?

Get a clue loser.

December 8th, 2011 at 5:13 am

Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something again and aid others like you helped me.

Parker
December 31st, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Hi Emily. We should date

Brian Hubbs
January 10th, 2012 at 12:49 am

I find it interesting that most responses from Mormons to any testimony from an Ex-Mormon are filled with trite quotes, simple ideas, misspelling, venom, animosity, and juvenile attacks. On the other hand, most responses by Ex-Mormons are articulate, intelligent, loving, well researched, and logical. If this were a scientific study, I might have to conclude that Ex-Mormons are intelligent and know how to think and spell check. But most Mormon defenders are ignorant of the facts, youthful, and terrible at grammar.

Keep up the good work Emily, and pay no attention to Parker…LOL

Anthony
January 10th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I am an ex mormon. It is interesting that a big part of why I am an ex mormon is because of a homosexual. The church kept him in as a member. He is gay. He was always after me. He seemed to have close ties to higher up leaders. He tried to get me labeled as homosexual so none of the LDS women would even look at me. He caused me much grief and made my LDS life impossible.

As far as I am concerned homosexuals should be rounded up and put in concentration camps.
I am the hitler of gays! I hate them. They are evil! They only have caused me trouble and tried to rape me and control me; when all I wanted was a healthy relationship with a woman.

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April 9th, 2012 at 3:53 am

Emily if you have read all the comments, I am sorry. It is too bad that so many “good mormons” come to a site where it is supposed to be a celebration of people who have left the church and found happiness.

Understand that many people support your decision and know you are better off for it. While the mormon church has made some people happy, it has also made many people miserable and led some to kill themselves. I am happy for you that you have got out, so you can make your own decisions about morality and what it means to lead a good life.

There are few things in life as positive as the feeling of freedom. I am glad you have found it.

Liz
May 13th, 2012 at 1:07 am

I don’t blame you one bit, honey. But you don’t look happy to me.

Life is tough. We all have our stuff.

Nan
June 13th, 2012 at 6:50 am

I am so glad you are thinking now. I have to dispute your thought process that if you think you can’t be a Latter-day Saint. I think, I choose. My daughter thinks, my daughter chooses.

Thinking is not an exclusively secular practice.

Heavenly Father loves you all the time no matter how badly you act. He is reaching out to you all the time wanting you to love Him and make Him a part of your life, it is why we have repentance and Jesus Christ in our lives. Obedience is a choice; blind obedience is bad, bad for you and bad for Him. He needs us to be strong and sure.

I guess what I would like to say is your experience isn’t everyone’s experience. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the best decision I have ever made. I do not always agree with the way leaders handle issues. Because I think and pray to know for myself what is true I can recognize when mistakes have been made. Sometimes you have to forgive the mistakes of ‘man’ knowing that if they truly understood they would make a different choice. Forgiving others makes you stronger and helps you become closer to Heavenly Father. I know that I make mistakes every day, I am grateful that I can be forgiven by Heavenly Father but also by those whom I hurt unintentionally. Leadership is hard. Life is hard.

My membership and relationship with Heavenly Father make it all easier. Not perfect. I will never be “molly mormon” and I don’t want to be.

I can think, I choose.
Nan

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Chad
January 21st, 2013 at 12:49 am

Crazy childhood = crazy adult. You knowingly married a gay man? Hmmm. That sounds like an intelligent choice. Poor kids.

Blaming the Mormon church for all of your problems is the easy way out…I’m sad for you.

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Adam H
April 27th, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Thank u for standing up. I was gay jehovahs witness an felt many similar feelings of fear and danmnation it hurt. But even though im not a mormon thank u.

May 18th, 2013 at 2:34 am

It’s an interesting story Emily. I feel you. Most of us knows that there is a God, the one true God, the God who created all things, the God who created you and me. This is how I understand the Word of the Lord, religions can’t save anyone else. Religions can’t save us! Only through our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. The one who died on the cross to atone our sins.

In John 3:16 it is said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Also in John 14:6 King James Version (KJV) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

We will be saved if we will accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, if we believe that He is the Son of God. The truth is we can’t be save by just good works but good works is actually the fruit of being saved. As the Scripture says, “Faith without works is dead.” But good works is only the fruit of our faith in Christ.

Jesus loves us so much, and the evidence of that love is the suffering He carried out on the cross at the calvary.

My prayers for you and for the others is that, may you feel that love which Jesus had for each and every one of us. I pray that God may give you wisdom and true understand of His word. I declare blessing you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Be filled with the love of Christ, and may His anointing be upon you, in Jesus’ name.

God bless Emily.

Much Love,
Rob
http://www.facebook.com/ILiveToTestify
http://www.facebook.com/groups/ilivetotestify

Matt
May 26th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

What a worthless coward Chad is. I feel sorry for YOU, being of such a pathetic state that you would say something like that behind the anonymity of the internet… to a girl! I’ve got a plan Chaddy boy, you write to me personally, you and I will meet up, and we’ll see how much you have to say to a man’s face, not to a girl online. Worthless scumbag who hides his cowardice within a religion and from behind his keyboard. Please contact me coward, you should have nothing to fear, god will keep you safe.

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October 12th, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Question, why is your mother lying about Katys illness/death on Wiki? Makes no sense to keep up a lie that only hurts others…

Rick Thompson
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Is she ashamed? Katy wouldn’t be…Mormon lies, sick…

Rick Thompson
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Sorry for my comments I read a fake article. It was some fake Wiki account that some jerk put up and I just happened to come across, but it’s down now. Sorry for my uninformed comments and I wish I could take them off, could you? Best wishes from Heber, Rick

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