Wednesday November 29, 2006

It was a regular night. The kids were in bed and we were settled on the couch. The TV was turned on to a show that we were only halfway interested in. I worked on a study sheet for my Journalism class. I had a test coming up in about ten days.
Jon turned to me at some point and asked “When does your birth control run out?”
“I have enough till the end of the week.”
He then nonchalantly asked “Can you go on it for another month?”
I thought this is strange. Just a few months earlier he had wanted me to quit so we could have our next child about two years after we had Eden, but I wasn’t ready for a third so I continued birth control and figured I would stop December or January.
I asked “Why do you want me to be on birth control? I thought you wanted to have another baby?”
He just replied “No reason. I just thought you might want to be on birth control longer.”
I knew their was a reason so I continued to prod him and ask him why.
Jon: “I don’t want to burden you now. Lets wait until finals are over then I’ll tell you.”
At this time finals were just over a week away.
Me: “I’m gonna go crazy if you don’t tell me. Now you have me interested and I must know what you’re talking about.”
After a little more coercion he gave in. He asked me to go to the bedroom so he could prepare something. I agreed and I took my study sheet and book with me.
I’m not sure how long it took him to compose the paper he wrote. He mostly was cutting and pasting material he had already written. I was actually able to distract myself and study while he did this.

I heard his fingers on the key board and I wondered what was up. He came to check on me a couple of times. I asked him what it was about. I tried to guess and I listed off several scenarios. I don’t remember what they were but my last one was, “You’re leaving the church.” He was already leaving the room and his reply was just “You ask to many questions.” The moment I said ‘you’re leaving the church’ I had a gut instinct and I knew that guess was correct.

I already knew that some of Jon’s idea’s on how to cope with sin and guilt were different from the churches. I already knew that he looked at the Mormon religion differently than others. I already knew that he believed if the Mormon church wasn’t true none others were.

He came in shortly after this. I believe the paper was just printing when in came in the last time so he just closed up what he had and brought it into me. It was short, just five pages. It’s title was ‘Reverse Conversion’. As I read it my hopes slipped form me. My foundation shook and broke to where I hardly had anything left to stand on. I cried as I read his words. I felt deserted. So much of what he had written coincided with my own doubts. I felt no one was there when I prayed. I felt that I gained little understanding from the scriptures.

As I read I felt that the one person I could look to for guidance was deserting me. That all his knowledge was false and that he didn’t believe as I did. It hurt to see someone I thought I could look to fall away. It hurt that I could understand and see why he didn’t believe. It worried me that I might become a nonbeliever.

The church gives me hope and I didn’t want to lose that hope. The thought of losing my family hurt me physically. I cried when I cuddled with Lilah at her nap times. I felt the sorrow deep within my body. The thought that I might stop believing knotted my stomach. I took that as a sign that it was true.Maybe I did just want to believe because I found it glorious, but I wanted to believe because to lose that meant darkness for me.

I cried until early that morning and we talked. Jon stayed home the next day and we talked or didn’t talk all day. I contemplated leaving him. If he couldn’t give me the eternal family I wanted then I would find someone who would. But what guarantee would I have that this wouldn’t happen again? What real knowledge in the gospel did I have that I knew this is what I wanted for the rest of my life? That I should split my family up over it? I wished I didn’t have children. That if life could be more simple so as to make this decision easier. I felt alone. I felt my prayers were in vain. I forgot my faith.

Time went on. I finished school and eventually I told my eldest sister, Andrea. I cried and I was barely audible at times as I spoke to her on the phone. It had been two weeks at least and I thought I had gotten past the shock. We were suppose to wait to tell people. We wanted to figure out and see if Jon received any revelation that there was a God.
As time past it seemed forever. A month was an eternity. I felt that we were lying and that we should just come out and tell someone. (More than just my sister who was in Ely.) At tithing settlement when the bishop asked if their was anything we needed to discuss we both shook our heads and said everything was fine. I felt torn up inside. Jon said that he’d felt that way for a long time and just telling me helped him.

Rather than wait and test out a few months we decided to just come out in January. Jon had been asked to help with a blessing and he felt nothing while doing it. He just tried to say the words he thought the woman needed to hear. That occurrence made him want to be free of the lie that he was living as a believer.

I suppose my faith was not strong enough to say, “lets give it four more months. Heavenly Father will show you what you want if we are both earnestly trying.”
He had already tried and been trying. He had been praying and reading the scriptures but felt nothing. What could I do to change that? Some might say I should have vigorously turned to the scriptures and gone to the temple and prayed. In some ways I felt that my husband had tried hard and long enough and it would only be in time, a long time, that he would come back, if ever.

My faith had been lost. I felt alone and I felt “Why would God not give my husband an answer if he was trying so hard?” I decided that it wasn’t up to me to help my husband’s faith. It was up to me to help my own. He had made the decision of not believing. In some ways I wanted to stop also. In some ways I fear. I fear that I will come to the same conclusion as Jon. I fear that I will gain a stronger faith and know that he is lost from me.

22 Responses to “Wednesday November 29, 2006”

  1. Green Oasis » A View from the Outside Says:

    […] Lacey, my wife, has just posted the story of my awakening from her perspective. I truly regret that I caused her pain. At the same time, I’m happy to have been born again. I see some of this pain as the inevitable result of the birth process, so I’m very ambivalent these days. […]

  2. Jon Says:

    I truly regret the pain my awakening has caused. I wanted to postpone telling anyone about it until I was certain that my beliefs weren’t going to revert back any time soon. But my hand was forced when the possibility of another child became imminent. I knew divorce was a real possibility (though I trusted in Lacey’s understanding) so I couldn’t bring another child into our marriage in good conscience. That’s why I told her right before final exams and not later.
    ·
    Lacey, it is good to hear about your experiences in your own words. I learned a few things that haven’t come out in private conversation.
    ·
    When you said that I “made the decision of not believing”, that didn’t ring true to my experience. My decisions were to seek out God wherever I could find him and to face the truth about the Mormon church, whatever that might be in order to show God my “real intent”. As I followed that path, the rest was out of my hands. As I looked at the evidences available to me, my beliefs were swept away. I was being pulled in two directions: backward toward what I had believed and forward along what the evidence was telling me. The only way I could hold on to my belief in God was to give up my search for truth which paradoxically began as a quest for God.
    ·
    By the time I knew what was happening, it was too late. I could no longer make a decision about whether or not to believe. I had learned too much for what my faith had been. My belief was overwhelmed by facts which had been actively ignored and suppressed. Sunday School hadn’t prepared me for what I learned. I experienced severe cognitive dissonance between what I had been taught and what the evidence was telling me. Something had to give way.
    ·
    The only thing I had left which held me to my old beliefs were my fears. Even these fears slowly gave way. It felt like breaking down the walls of my prison to see daylight for the first time in my life. This experience of freedom combined with the pain that my family experiences is why I’m filled with both joy and sorrow.
    ·
    Lacey, thank you for trying to understand me and being patient with my change of perspective.

  3. Hellmut Says:

    I would like to express my sympathy for your distress, Miss Blake.

    The most humble thing that anyone can do is to submit one’s opinions to logic and evidence. Logic and evidence are independent of any one individual. While logic and evidence cannot answer everything, when they apply, it is possible to explore the world together and to arrive at a common conclusion.

    Follow reason as far as it will take you and chances are that you will be facing the right direction together with your loved ones most of the time.

  4. amber Says:

    Lacey- I’ve read this several times and I don’t know what to say. My heart aches for you and the distress you must be feeling these last couple of months. Steve and I have had one experience that has rocked our marriage to it’s core. While it’s not exactly the same as what you’re going through it made me completely re-evaluate our relationship and where we stood. The decision of what to do was in my hands and I knew that I could stay or I could go and either way I’d be justified. My love for Steve overcame everything else and I knew that what we were struggling with would either tear us apart or make us stronger together. But it was my decision to make. I chose to become stronger. It’s been agonizing work- but I think we’re on the upswing. If nothing else we’ve learned how to be more honest with eachother.

    I’m glad you’ve chosen to fight for your marriage. Keep choosing to fight for your testimony too though. It’s worth it.

    Love you.

  5. C. L. Hanson Says:

    Have you had a look at the Faces East forum?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I served my mission in Rochester, New York back in the mid-1990’s and got to know Jon very well – we were friends. I was happy to have stumbled upon this blog and learn that he now has a wife and two daughters – yet disappointed to learn that he has recently left the church.

    I find it interesting that there are a lot of us former missionaries that served in the NYRM back in the 95-98 era that have had serious life struggles… I know of some who have gone through difficult divorce, some who have had serious legal problems, some have been excommunicated, etc. etc. I wonder to myself if any of it has to do with the notoriously bad state the New York Rochester Mission was in during that period of time… even good missionaries saw and experienced a lot apostasy and disobedience. Many people look back on their mission with fondness and remember it as a spiritual high… I know that wasn’t the case for me… and I’ve had to come to grips with that in my own life. Spiritually I really don’t know if my mission was a net gain or net loss… and that’s sad…. Whereas much of my adult life since the mission has been full of success… the mission was something I look back upon and cringe.

    Now I don’t mean to suggest that Jon has recently left the church because he had a mediocre mission 11-12 years ago. Though we served during the same period of time, he might view his missionary experience through some rose-colored-lenses. Quite frankly, I was someone who looked up to Jon and saw him as one of the few bright spots of my mission. I remember Jon as being very studious – always quietly reading his scriptures. I also remember him as someone with compassion, thoughtfulness and patience – someone who had a good relationship with his Heavenly Father. He was a good missionary… which is something to be said (especially in the NYRM).

    I don’t want to pass any sort of judgment on Jon or make any specific comment as to the exact reason he left the church (forgive me for not reading through all of the blog postings). I’ll always remember Jon as a great guy and think nothing less of him. I speak as someone who has struggled with living the finer points of the gospel at times… and who often has difficulty feeling the spirit.

    Yet anytime I try to dive into the deep doctrines of the church to “prove” to myself that it is true… I know I am asking for self-induced spiritual recession. My belief is that you just can’t “learn” that ANY religion is true… otherwise it would be way too easy. There has to be a spiritual element… and this comes when you worry less about yourself and more about others.

    Us Mormons seem to be most guilt of trying to figure out the whole plan of salvation. It’s just too tempting… we figure there are so many ways we can prove the church is true to ourselves… after all, we’ve got so much meaty doctrine and three extra books of scriptures… certainly we can build an intellectual testimony… then forcefully request a spiritual confirmation… right? I believe the scriptures are here almost exclusively to show us how to better live our own lives. If we dive into the deep doctrine or into church history or polygamy or whatever… we’ll always end up frustrated and confused… and that’s by DESIGN. Lose yourself in others… that’s where the spiritual confirmations come. Reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day, that’s good. Truly serving others in every capacity you can… whether at the temple, the rest home, or the cannery… that’s how you supercharge your spiritual confirmations.

    Lacey, I truly hope and pray for you, Jon, and your adorable family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Everything will work out.

  7. brien Says:

    I have been reading comments dealing with Jon’s decision for some time and have been respectful of most of what is presented. I guess what bothers me the most is that the decision Jon made is not presented by Jon as a decision.
    It is presented as if someone made the decision for him. “It was out of my hands”. “It was too late”. “I was pulled in two directions”. These phrases and many others like them speckle Jon’s comments and also his comments to your blog entries.
    We all make choices. Everything we do, not do, believe, not believe is done by a choice. We make these choices based on what we know and what we hope to know. I can respect most choices even if I do not agree with them. However, when a choice is presented as an inevitable or out of that persons control it makes me wonder why the choice is not presented as a choice.
    I agree with the presentation of your (Lacy’s) point of view that a person, in this case Jon, makes “the decision of not believing”. At least it suggests that whoever made that decision looked at what was around them, sought after knowledge and decided to act on what they found. When someone chooses to not believe I respect that more than when it is presented as inevitability.
    Belief is a decision. In some instances it takes great faith to believe and in others it takes great faith to not believe.
    I choose to believe. I choose to believe that me and my wife will live after this one. I choose to believe that we will be together after this life. I choose to believe that we are all loved by a heavenly father weather we believe or not. I choose to believe in prayer. I choose to believe in the power of God. I also choose to respect people’s beliefs that do not agree with mine, no matter how much they offend, hurt, or bother me. I choose to do things. Just as I choose to leave this post.
    I love your family. I know you and Jon love your family and that you allow that love to guide you.

  8. Jonathan Blake Says:

    Anonymous, it’s very interesting to hear about your perceptions of me. I don’t have rose-colored glasses when it comes to the mission. It wasn’t exactly like the recruiters promised. 😉 I wouldn’t put much blame on the state of the NYRM for my current beliefs. I look back and realize that I learned a lot about life on my mission. I doubt that I would have learned those same lessons some other way.

    I may have appeared to have been a bright spot in the mission, but I still have my regrets about not being all that I had hoped to be. I had real problems. I’m just now letting go of some of the disappointment that I felt. I remember many of the missionaries fondly, even the ones who irked me at the time. They were great young men and women in the NYRM who did the best they could in a difficult situation. I even admire some who I would have labeled as apostate back then who disagreed with how things were.

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t really seeking proof. I wanted greater faith because what I had seemed insufficient. Instead of gaining in confidence in God’s existence, I ended up gaining a strong confidence in his absence. Life takes strange turns.

    I’ve done a very poor job of keeping in touch. Despite my changing views, I would love to get in touch with more good folks from the NYRM. Is there any other way aside from the mission homepage?

  9. Jonathan Blake Says:

    Brien, since it was my words that prompted your comments, I will try to respectfully respond.

    I agree that many of our beliefs are within our control. I will acknowledge that I did have a choice. My choice was to either pursue the truth with my whole strength sacrificing anything that contradicted what I had learned (what I think “real intent” means in Moroni 10) or to protect certain beliefs that were contradicted by the balance of my experiences. What we have is two competing virtues: skepticism and faith. I chose the path of skepticism.

    Those who hold faith in God to be a virtue see faith as an essential ingredient in a relationship with God. It is the first principle of the gospel. It is the power which created the universe. Faith is the hope for things not seen which are true. (Hebrews 11:1) Skeptics are viewed as cowardly or willfully blind. The faithful wonder why they are afraid to commit to a belief or why they ignore all the wonderful things that have fortified their own faith. For the believer, the term faithless is synonymous with weakness of character.

    For the skeptic, rational doubt is a virtue, but faith is not. Believing in something without a reasonable amount of evidence is perceived as irrational or wishful.

    As a skeptic, I admit that we don’t know everything and I don’t want absolute proof before I will be confident that something is true. As a fallibilist, I believe that we can’t be 100% certain about anything; we have to have the faith which motivates all action in the way that the Lectures on Faith teaches. This kind of faith is the decision to act despite lacking certainty. Faith for me is only a stopgap to allow us to act without certainty. Faith is a necessary evil from my skeptical point of view. I search for truth in order to overcome the need for faith. This is not so far off from the example of Alma 32.

    Getting back to the issue of choosing our beliefs, I propose a thought experiment. Try to honestly believe that the sun will be green with purple stripes when it rises over the horizon tomorrow. Or try to convince yourself that 1+1=7. For me, the weight of my experience makes it nearly impossible to believe either of those things is true. I have experienced too many sunrises to expect with any confidence that the sun will be any other color than it has been in the past. No matter how many mental gymnastics I put myself through, I cannot believe in a world where the platonic number one added to itself produces anything other than two.

    So not all beliefs are something that we choose. Some are thrust upon us by our knowledge and experiences.

  10. Lacey Says:

    “Getting back to the issue of choosing our beliefs, I propose a thought experiment. Try to honestly believe that the sun will be green with purple stripes when it rises over the horizon tomorrow. Or try to convince yourself that 1+1=7. For me, the weight of my experience makes it nearly impossible to believe either of those things is true. I have experienced too many sunrises to expect with any confidence that the sun will be any other color than it has been in the past. No matter how many mental gymnastics I put myself through, I cannot believe in a world where the platonic number one added to itself produces anything other than two.

    “So not all beliefs are something that we choose. Some are thrust upon us by our knowledge and experiences.”

    So are your experiences more correct than my own?
    Don’t those who are color blind experience the sun differently than those who are not?
    You make it seem as those who believe are idiots and compare us to those who believe the sun will be green with purple stripes tomorrow. I know you’re just trying to say that your experiences led you to believe as you do, therefore it was not a choice, but what was shown to you repeatedly. But Honey I find it hard not to get the impression that your experiences are right and ours our wrong according to you. To me it says: I am right because I did not choose these beliefs, they were shown unto me and you are just not enlightened enough to come to the same conclusion.
    We all experience life differently. I agree with Brien that you choose how to interpret information and choose to believe
    Whenever I mention how your explanations make me feel, you always say that is not what you mean to say, but I can’t help but feel that way because of your enlightenment.
    (If I was a true math theorist I could probably argue your 1+1=2.
    I love you, but I agree with Brien.)

  11. Jon Says:

    If I have stated my case ineptly, I apologize. How someone interprets my words, however, is not entirely under my control. The reader is largely responsible for the interpretation. Interpreting another’s words is kind of like a Rorschach inkblot test, revealing a lot about the reader.

    I don’t believe that I have privileged path to certainty. As I said in my comment, I don’t believe that anyone—including me—can be justifiably certain of anything. I chose those examples because I thought everyone could share in my inability to believe those absurd ideas. I didn’t mean to equate those absurd ideas with any particular belief, mine or yours. I was not trying to insult anyone’s honest beliefs. I just wanted to give a taste of what it felt like to me when I tried to hold on to beliefs which plainly contradicted my own experiences.

    Of course I believe that I am probably right, but I don’t dismiss anyone’s intelligence for thinking otherwise.

  12. Lacey Says:

    I do have insecurities about my intelligence, and I do think you are very intelligent so I worry about you thinking I’m some mind numbed person that is only believing the gospel because it’s all roses compared to the thought that we are insignificant and only have this world to do anything.
    But really I hate that ‘You’re going down a path I can’t follow’.
    I hate that I once relied on your gospel knowledge and even though you can still think like a Mormon you aren’t one, relatively speaking.
    I hate that you think that we only have this time on earth to be together.
    I hate that I am so angry at you and feel so unsure of myself while you are so sure of everything.
    I think you’re wrong. You think I’m wrong. I guess we’ll see, or not see, in the end who is right.

  13. Jonathan Blake Says:

    Anonymous, something struck me this morning. Your description of me reminds me of what you hear about serial killers from their neighbors. “He was always so nice and kept to himself.” Yikes!

    C.L. Hanson, thank you for providing that link. Lacey, I hope that you can find the support that you need, the kind that I am unable to give you now.

  14. Alison Moore Smith Says:

    Sorry for the late response, but I found this post by following a response Jon made just today on another LDS blog.

    Lacey, I’m sorry for your pain and difficulty. I am for you, Jon, as well.

    I don’t believe that anyone—including me—can be justifiably certain of anything.

    I’m too lazy to go back and reread my path to this post, but didn’t I read that Jon is a scientists? How, as a scientist, do you take any action at all without allowing yourself to accept all sorts of unknowns, all sorts of “seems to be’s,” and all sorts of assumptions? My husband has a PhD in electrical engineering and my dad in math. For them, the scientific study exponentially increased their belief in God (and, yes, the church). Sincerely, could it be that Jon only studied long enough to lose his faith and didn’t persevere long enough to find it again?

    In some ways it reminds me of being a little kid, knowing nothing and believing everything. Then, suddenly, as a teenager he knows everything and has the answers. Later, as he matures, he comes to realize–again–how little he really knows.

    Anyway, prayers with you, Lacey.

  15. Jonathan Blake Says:

    If you’ll allow me to interject… 🙂

    Some smart people can be the most easily deluded because they think they are smart and they are really good at rationalizing their beliefs. Bob McCue has an interesting essay on smart Mormons. I did a really good job of overcoming all of the anti-Mormon literature that encountered most of my life. I had my share of crises of faith that I pulled through just fine, but a recent perfect storm of influences came together to overwhelm my belief. I underwent a radical change in perspective to the point that the more study I did (of church approved materials) the deeper became my disbelief. Maybe it would have ended differently if I kept studying, but it sure didn’t seem to be headed in that direction.

    I see it as an escape. Others see it as a deception.

  16. Shamasin Says:

    Lacey:

    I’m really sorry for what happen to you… my husband confess to me that he doesn’t
    believe anymore, i do feel horrible my whole life is breaking in pieces that i am not sure i’ll be able to put it together.. i do believe in the church and in all the good things it has.. i feel like this point of my life is making me more strong i do have a testimony of the church and i feel that all the things that are happening now are making it more strong. I know the Lord is with you and with me and with all of us,i feel his power in everything that is around me and his wonderful love.. and i know that he will be with you any time. I do live in utah and if by any chance you want us to get together let me know…
    Always remember you are not alone God is with you i know because i do feel is hands supporting me all the time and i know he is doing the same with you..
    shamasin

  17. Shamasin Says:

    jonathan:
    hi i’m Eric’s wife and you know what is funny is that now that i am reading more about you is like lessening to my husband you really help him… with his decision…i respect your decision of not being member of the church, but i will love you to do the same thing…Why you regret the church so much, when is for the church that you have so much, your beutifull family your beutifull and marvelous memories, is o.k if you don’t believe anymore, but please let the ones that want to believe, believe…Keep your decision yours and stop trying to push others…I rest you and admire your decision, but please let other be…please don feel offended is not my purpose..You may not realize this but you do are hurting others…
    Thanks
    Shamasing

  18. Jonathan Blake Says:

    Shamasin,

    When a person has what they feel is the truth, they want to share it. I feel the same desire to share what I value as the truth that makes you want to share the gospel and be a missionary. I hope that my words will help me and others come to greater understanding and happiness. I’m doing the best I know how to do. If someone doesn’t value what I’m saying, they are free to ignore me.

    Thank you for your understanding. I wish you all the happiness you can find.

  19. Marcie Says:

    Lacey and John,
    Hello. It’s me, Marcie. I haven’t had a chance to read your blogs or check out your website for so long, that as I started reading your blogs about your trip to Ely, I was definitely lost, and confused about Jon’s decision. Therefore, I spent a long time reading the past blogs and taking a difficult emotional roller coaster ride.
    1st of all, Lacey, Randall and I want to express to you our love and support and prayers. Lacey, you were one of my dearest friends in Vegas. How I wish I could be there right now, hugging you and crying with you and loving those beautiful girls of yours. I have felt many times, as I read your blogs in the past, how I wish I could be closer to you, so you wouldn’t feel as lonely, so you could get out of the house with the girls, and enjoy the Mommy group more, so we could do crafts and sewing and scrapbooking together. . . I am so sorry that I’m not there anymore, not like I used to be, for you. I may be far away geographically, but I am definitely still close to you in heart and spirit. I hope that gives you some peace. I love you, and admire your strength and dedication to your family and your husband. I believe you are correct in letting Jon take responsibility for the “CHOICES” which he is making right now. You have two little girls who are watching you and internalizing the way you keep your head up and a smile on your face, despite the shaky and unsure ground you are walking on. Please, please, please continue to cling to your testimony! When Satan’s lies start to wear you thin, and you wonder if it really is “worth it” or if you’re just “fooling yourself”, cling onto all those many times when you had a prayer answered and when you knew in your heart that your Father in Heaven knew you personnally, and loved you unconditionally. If nothing else works, please just call me! I am here for you, night or day! I love you, and I always have. God bless, Lacey. I know you will get through this and I know you won’t go through this alone!
    2nd, now for you, Jon. I met you and Lacey right after you got married. I was there when Lilah was born, and you were one of the counselors whom worked alongside my husband when he was the Elder’s Quorum President. I don’t believe it was your recent “DECISIONS” and “CHOICES” which have led you down this path. I believe you were already starting down that path when you served with my sweetheart. See, it wasn’t anything big or obvious, but little things that happened, or should I say, that didn’t happen, which started you down the path you are on now. As President Hinckley has said, it is the small little choices that determine which path we take. The hinge of a large ranch gate barely moves, but the slight movement leads to a great opening at the other end. I believe you have let your guard down, you let Satan, the master of lies, fill your head and heart with doubts, and instead of stopping it, and returning to the Temple, or talking to the Bishop when you had the chances, you DECIDED that you were strong enough to handle the doubts and fears by yourself and you didn’t need the Lord’s help, or the guidance of the Holy Ghost to strengthen you. To me, that was rather selfish on your part. Now, not only have you caused pain, but you have shaken your daughters views on their Lord and Savior. You have taken your Eternal Companion, and the Covenants you made in the presence of witnesses and angels, and put yourself first. I love you, I have always respected you, and appreciated the sweet way you took care of and treated your dear wife, but I am struggling with this now. I find it difficult, not because you are finally “free” but because now your sweetheart and your sweet girls are not free. Your CHOICES have taken their choices away.
    In EFY recently, one speaker explained the differences between Trials, Tribulations, and Afflictions. Trials are what Heavenly Father gives us, not to prove ourselves to Him, but to prove ourselves to ourselves, for instance, the trial of Abraham, when he was asked to sacrifice Issaic. Tribulations, are the most common, and they are the result of our own choices. For instance, not obeying the Word of Wisdom will lead to the tribulation of being unhealthy, and not being able to run or walk without being faint. Finally, afflictions are the struggles we face based on others choices. They can be the hardest ones we face because we have no control over the situation. We have no control over the situation, because Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us one of the greatest gifts He could, our agency.
    Jon, you have been going through tribulation, because of the CHOICES you made, and now, your sweet family is going through afflictions because of the CHOICES you have made. I hope you understand that and appreciate the spirit of what I am trying to say.
    I, too, have had to make choices, to find out for myself if my life is based on blindly following the testimonies of others, or if I was truly making those choices for me. I received that answer, and continue to do so as I strive to grow closer to my Father in Heaven. It is my hope and prayer that you too will find what you are seeking. I hope that your happy with the choices you make. I hope that you continue to do your best to show Lacey every day what a blessing she is in your life. I believe that the true definition of Hell is knowing what you could have done in this life but didn’t. I don’t want you to lose what is most dear and precious. I see the way your girls look up to you, and I see the love in your eyes as you look at them. Do you really want to risk losing them, and losing Lacey for Time and All Eternity? Just something for you to think about. I love you. Randall loves you, and we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  20. Is It Naptime Yet » Blog Archive » This weekend has been fun and we still have one more day! Says:

    […] for him and he is probably the one person he didn’t want to know, or have to tell, about his change of heart. (His wife knows because we share a close mutual friend, so I’m sure he knows also.) […]

  21. Is It Naptime Yet » Blog Archive » A year. Says:

    […] year from yesterday Jon announced his disbelief in God. I remember my heart breaking and the sadness I had. A lot has […]

  22. Green Oasis » A Year and A Day Says:

    […] been a year and a day since I first came out to my wife about my doubts surrounding God and Mormonism. Lacey has some thoughts in […]

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