I like to make to-do lists, because I love marking things off of them. Take today’s list, for example:

  • Pay Zipcash
  • Get toll tag for new car
  • Refill prescription
  • Get Prilosec
  • Call homeowners insurance company re check
  • Sarah sit with Denise & review Skip ISA

And it’s 8:37 and I’ve already knocked 3 items off! And I’ve been known to add things onto my lists just so I can cross them off, if they weren’t on the original list, because it’s nice to be able to see what I’ve accomplished.

Last week when I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to tell my mother I’d left the church, I thought I should do more reading, more research, heck, maybe even write a book. But I didn’t get 2 chapters into Rough Stone Rolling without feeling like I wanted to throw up. If it had been a paper book, I’d have hurled it across the room, maybe ripped it into shreds and danced on the remnants. As it was on my Kindle, however, I just returned it. Did you know you could return e-books? I didn’t, but I’m sure glad I could.

I decided that others have written excellent books, and I didn’t need to add to them. I’m not willing to do the research necessary. I’ve done enough research to feel comfortable with my decision to leave the church, enough research to know that I could never go back. I think in my twisted logic I thought that my mother would be more receptive if I could show her a volume of my research and conclusions. She values such things. But because it would be attacking the church she loves and in which she believes, I don’t know that it would have made any difference.

So I have crossed off my list–permanently–reading LDS books and mopologists in an effort to understand. I don’t need to understand. I don’t know if there’s a way to understand.

I have read so many fantastic books on my exit, both fiction and non-fiction.

  • Kay Burningham’s An American Fraud: One Lawyer’s Case Against Mormonism.
  • The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church by Lisa Davis
  • When I Was a Fucking Mormon by Bailey Jones
  • The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look at their real message and methods by Janis Hutchinson (okay, novel written by an exmo kind of fundy, but it was still informative)
  • Forbidden Mormon Coffee by T. Warner
  • Leave Me Alone: Memoirs of an Exmormon by B.E. Hewson
  • Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies by Kristyn Decker
  • Answer Them Nothing: Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs by Debra Weyermann
  • When Men Become Gods by Stephen Singular
  • My Mormon Life: a Boy’s Struggle with Polygamy, Magic Underwear, and Racism by James Sanbourne
  • Hippie Boy by Ingrid Ricks
  • The Mormon Mirage by Latayne C. Scott
  • I Love Mormons: a New Way to Share Christ with Latter-Day Saints by David L. Rowe
  • Mormonism Unmasked by Phillip Roberts
  • All of Natalie R. Collins’s novels

There are more, of course, that I’ve read, but they all confirmed what I was feeling, what I was thinking. I also delved into the writings of some notable atheists, finding they’re not the demon antichrists I was always told they were. I have learned so much over the past year and a half that sometimes I hardly recognise myself.  My world is now full of colour, full of wonder. It’s a beautiful place.

I’m glad I was able to cross telling my mother off the list. That task kept getting larger and more terrifying the longer it sat there. It wasn’t pleasant, but it’s done. And I’ve been able to breathe a lot easier since then. I think I was feeling almost paralyzed because I’d built it up into such an enormous thing that got scarier and scarier the longer I put it off.

I love my mother. I don’t agree with her religion or her politics. But if we can be civil and loving to each other, the disagreements don’t have to matter as much.

And it’s funny, too, thinking of politics. Except for one year, when I was a precinct delegate in our Republican party, I’ve never been too involved in politics. Certainly never made any donations. But part of shedding my mormon identity has involved getting more involved. I’ve posted a lot of things on the book with a face, and for everything I post that is pro-Obama, my mother posts something pro-Romney. I’ve also donated to the Democrat party because I feel strongly enough in this election that I want to help make a difference. So if my puny $4 every two weeks helps, than I’m happy to do it (despite the fact that my mother thinks Obama is a traitor [she hasn’t explained why] and can’t understand why I support a party that throws religion out the window and funds abortions). (I think I have her response memorized, because it hurt so badly.)

Well this post strayed and meandered way beyond what I originally intended. Sorry about that. Thanks for listening, and you may now return to your regularly scheduled life.