Announcing

I teach Gospel Doctrine once a month in my ward.  I use to teach Relief Society once a month also, but they’ve recently released me from that calling.
I like teaching  for a couple of reasons. 1. I always get more out of the lesson and it fills my participation quota for the month. 2. It keeps me from doing certain frustrating sub jobs, even though I’m willing to help out, I know how misbehaved a class can be if they have a revolving teacher, especially in youth.

With teaching you also share a lot of personal experiences, especially in Relief Society. There were many times when I wanted to shout out that my husband was a disbeliever, but I knew that would have be an inappropriate time. “What was the lesson about today honey?” “Oh, I don’t remember, but Sis. Blake let us know that her husband is no longer a participating member of the church.”
I feel this way about Testimony meeting sometimes also. People often use it as an announcement session rather than a testament of Christ and his influence in their lives. Sometimes they air out dirty laundry and other times they just glorify their spouses. I admit I have done the later on occasion, but my testimony was not solely about my husband.
There are times that I rather have people not know about my husband because I still go to him to help me explain a topic and he graciously and willingly gives me understanding or a thought on something he read that applies to what I’m teaching. I feel as if the masses knew about him they’d tune out once I said my husband gave me this perspective or they’d immediately start thinking about my husband being an unbeliever and wonder why I was going to him in the first place.
Anyways. I am at odds at letting everyone know about my husband, but then again how do I tell people about husband, and once more I don’t want the attention it might give.
I’m mostly over the impulse to shout it from testimony meeting or in class while I’m teaching. I think I went through it mostly because I was still angry or hurt. Also I felt deceptive teaching and talking about full member families or even part member and to have the majority in the room not know why I was getting emotional.
Now I just want to be over wondering who knows and is being nice and who doesn’t know. I wish I had a list of people that have been told. I don’t see those I’ve told to be gossips, so I’m pretty sure they’ve kept the information to themselves, but I often wonder what has been said in leadership meetings and who was there. When I was in the Primary presidency in my old ward, I sometimes had to fill in for the president at these meetings. It fascinated me to hear about different people and what we were doing for the less active or newly baptized members.
So I really don’t know who’s heard and who hasn’t. I don’t know if the persons reaction is just because they’re an airhead or because they’re rude.
Maybe I’ll bear my testimony next month. 🙂

7 Responses to “Announcing”

  1. Marcie Says:

    Lacey, this is a copy of the blog I wrote to you and Jon, that was attached to the one you sent about Jon’s DECISION and CHOICE to leave the Church. I didn’t know if you had read it yet, so I copied and pasted it here. As for the dresses you wished you could get. While I agree that the $150 and $200 dresses were beautiful, I could totally see you in the less expensive one and still look as beautiful and glamorous in it. As far as sewing the girls dresses, I believe on JoAnn’s website they teach you how to adjust the patterns to fit. I also think there are directions in the patterns as well, as far as scaling them down or up. What I would do (and have had to do in the past when making Keith’s Halloween Costumes) is I pick the pattern that has the closest size (like the next size up from his) and make it, then take it in from there. Make sense? Anyway, here is my reply to your blog about Jon’s CHOICE!

    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.

  2. Jon Says:

    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’m left wondering what things didn’t happen that could have preserved my faith in Mormonism. If you’re comfortable sharing, I don’t mind if you lay the cards on the table, so to speak.

    Without knowing details, I look back over my life and see things that I could have done. I think we all fall short of the expectations placed on us by Mormonism. None of us are perfect. I wonder what kind of faults separates those of us who leave Mormonism from those who stay.

    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.

    I tried to take it to God and to serve faithfully so I could be worthy of an answer, but I didn’t receive an answer. I pleaded with God to pull me back from the course my life has taken. I did my best. If that wasn’t enough, then what can I say?

    What you perceive as Satan filling me with doubt, I perceived as taking the blinders off. I finally decided to listen to what my heart and head were saying to me. The truth shouldn’t need to hide. The truth should be able to protect itself in the marketplace of ideas. I can’t believe in something that requires me to be ignorant of the evidence.

    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.

    I appreciate where you’re coming from, but I walked away from Mormonism for my daughters. I believed that it would be in their best interest for me to be honest about what I believed. To be frank, I believe that my new understanding would be better for the girls than Mormonism. If I thought that staying in Mormonism would be better for the girls, then I would have stayed.

    I don’t understand which choices my actions have taken away from them.

    In EFY recently, one speaker explained the differences between Trials, Tribulations, and Afflictions. […] 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. […] 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 personally, haven’t suffered much tribulation yet. Perhaps someday. Life’s bound to have ups and downs. Right now, I’m happier than I have been for years.

    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.

    Thank you for you wishes.

    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 hope you realize that this amounts to emotional abuse. This is one aspect of Mormonism that I have no patience for anymore. There was some recent discussion on my blog about this. Imagine an abusive husband saying this: “If you leave me you’ll be sorry. I’ll take the girls and you’ll never see them again.” I don’t blame you personally because you hear this kind of thing at church all the time. That doesn’t make it any less emotionally abusive.

    I love you. Randall loves you, and we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you for your love and your thoughts. I hope that you don’t feel like I’m angry with you personally. I’m not. I’m grateful for your friendship with Lacey.

    Your comment has inspired me to put the finishing touches on my latest blog post. This one’s for you. 😉

  3. Green Oasis » Is It Naptime: Announcing Says:

    […] has written another post which relates to this blog. She’s torn over whether she should to the members of the ward […]

  4. Stephen Merino Says:

    Lacey,
    I guess I don’t quite understand why you would want to “announce” your husband’s disbelief. Everyone knows that he’s “inactive,” right? Why is it anybody’s business why? Do you want to do it more for yourself? I hope that doesn’t sound mean, I’m just trying to figure out why you feel that way. I found in my situation that the people I would actually want to know found out from my wife or I. I’ve taken the opportunity to sit down with our closer friends and actually explain it to them and tell them what’s going on. I don’t really give a crap what anybody else thinks or knows.

    After finding out that I stopped going to church and had become something of a disbeliever, my mom had a similar reaction. One of the first things she said (after she could actually talk to me) was that my temple covenants obviously didn’t mean anything to me, and that my wife and kids didn’t mean much to me as they should. That hurt me deeply. I love my wife and kids more than anything else in the world. I don’t think my mom meant to hurt me, and I think she probably should have waited a few more days before talking to me! It wasn’t about ignoring my temple covenants or whatever, it was about doing what I thought was right for me and my family. At the time, I thought that going through the temple was the best thing for me and my family. So I don’t regret it.

    I don’t believe in God, but I think my wife takes comfort in knowing that I am doing my best and doing what I think is right. We can’t worry about what happens to us after we die! We can only do our best, be kind to one another, try to improve every day, and try to make the world a better place. I think that is what the God I was taught about my whole life would hope for. I don’t think he cares about church attendance, family home evening, home teaching, or even being Mormon NEARLY as much as we think he does.

  5. Lacey Says:

    Steve-
    I don’t think Jon’s inactivity is as obvious as yours. He still comes to church with me, but doesn’t partake of the sacrament, support leaders by the raise of the right hand, wear a white shirt and tie, well he’s not even wearing a tie anymore and he doesn’t attend other meetings but, he hasn’t dropped off the face of the world in our ward.
    I suppose I am mostly wondering who has clued in and who has not. I was hoping my last remark would show that I’m mostly just curious about who knows and that I just want everyone to know because that’s easier than bringing it up in conversation.

    I also had an experience with an Elder that was in our ward. (Now you’ll see how I over analysis things as a woman.)
    He was from Rochester New York, where Jon went for his mission, and in in a conversation I mentioned it. Now most people would be polite and wonder when he was there or possibly where he served. This Elder was just like OK and said nothing else. So, and here’s my over analyzing, I wondered if he knew about my husband and was just like who cares if your husband went to my hometown for his mission he’s an atheist anyways, or if he was just not aware of how polite conversation went. He would be going home in about 7 weeks so I wouldn’t blame it on being green, but possibly being a little trunkie.
    You may lose some respect for me, but I still care about what certain people think of me and people as a whole. I don’t really care about what this particular missionary thought, but the experience brought me to wonder who knew and who didn’t. So then I can know if they are being rude and then I can avoid them and if they are just airheads, then I can know.

  6. John Says:

    I wish that there were more safe, honest sharing about faith journeys between husbands and wives. I think that spouses rarely expect change from each other, and it’s not unusual to feel lost, scared or uncertain when one member diverges from the faith that the marriage was started on. I think that even when both remain committed, paths can still diverge and converge greatly over the years.

    My wife and I podcasted about our own divergent journeying. My experience is not unlike Jon’s (I subscribe to his blog feed and am enjoying it). Both my wife and I struggled to redefine our relationship to each other during this time. We wish you all the best on your own faith journeys, and hope that you continue to value and respect each other throughout. 🙂

  7. Stephen Merino Says:

    Lacey,

    I understand a bit better now. Somehow I missed that he was actually attending with you still. I guess I wasn’t reading closely enough! Yeah, that does make it a bit different, though people have to notice that he’s there but not all the way “on board.”

    I didn’t “lose some respect” for you. To a degree, everybody cares what people think of them. To a degree, it’s normal and healthy. I guess my point is that we should choose those people wisely and then not worry about the rest. And our self-confidence/self-image shouldn’t be based on other peoples’ opinions. If I worried what everyone in the church thought about my wife and I, I’d go crazy. I know what I used to think about inactive members! I was convinced that they were lazy or trying to hide something, or whatever. I care about what my family and close friends think about. No one else can possibly know my heart and my real motivations.

    I’ve thought sometimes about doing something like what Jon does – going to at least sacrament meeting but just for my wife. I plan to attend occasionally with her. I haven’t been since the beginning of the year. Going to church really became a burden for me – really uncomfortable and unpleasant. Also, I wanted to be able to attend this Unitarian Universalist congregation I told you about. Obviously, I have no idea what your situation is like and what is best for your family.

    I hope that everything works out for you two and that you settle in comfortably somehow into your new situation. As my wife said, it certainly takes some adjustments and some re-visiting and re-defining of those life-long and long-term goals you have as a couple. But, I think my wife and I are doing OK.