The Lost Sheep
Dear lost sheep,
Hey! How's it going? I hope you are living a happy life and that all is well in the 'lost sheep group.' I'm afraid I didn't realise how painful it is to be a part of the herd until I myself joined it recently. Ignorance is definitely bliss and it's something being re-confirmed to me again and again. So I wanted to take a minute to apologise for a few things.
To begin with, I'm sorry that this herd exists in the first place and that your decision to leave the LDS Church meant that you automatically found yourself here. I hope you were able to find like-minded friends and not feel too alone.
I'm sorry for the way you were judged for the choices you made. I'm sorry that people looked at you with eyes full of pity believing so strongly that you had been led astray by Satan himself. I'm sorry that they despaired for your salvation and believed that your place in eternity was now lost.
I'm sorry that people (including myself) assumed that you just weren't faithful enough, that you didn't read your scriptures enough or pray or invite the Holy Spirit to be with you always. I'm sorry that without even realising it we were conditioned to put those of us that were 'in' on a pedestal above those that were 'out.'
I'm sorry for the way people talked about your children and how sorry they felt for them. They thought you were letting them down and that your actions were unfair on them, as if what you were doing was motivated by anything but pure love for your children & the inherent need to protect them. And as if your children couldn't possibly grow up to be good people with a life full of happiness unless they were raised in the church.
I'm sorry that you may have lost friends. I'm sorry that the church preaches about being inclusive and loving all but if you're not part of the club then you do get treated differently. I hope there were some who truly exemplified Jesus Christ and everything he stood for and stayed your true friends no matter what.
I'm sorry that if you ever chose to share feelings, beliefs or other pieces of information online that you believed in, that there were those that took grave offence, judged you, mocked you or talked about you. I'm sorry that some people felt because you were 'out' that you had no right to share how you felt, that it automatically meant you were being disrespectful even though they felt entitled to share their beliefs and would often do so.
I'm sorry that what was already a difficult time full of torment and heartbreak as the religion you had built your life around crumbled to pieces, was made worse by the fact that you knew that the people you had built relationships with for years were both silently & blatantly judging you.
I hope that you don't hold any grudges and can heal from the difficult experiences that have left you wounded and forever changed. I hope that you can forgive and understand that although they were getting it all wrong, most of the time the way people treated you was usually motivated by a genuine love and concern.
I hope you remember what it felt like to walk in their shoes, to have had faith in something and sorrowed for loved ones who didn't. I hope you remember that everyone's journey is different and often people are just trying to do what they think is right. Your feelings of hurt and patronisation are valid and hopefully some of these cultural ways of thinking will change with time. Hopefully one day they will learn that Mormons aren't the be all and end all of happiness and they will be happy for those that choose differently.
Until then, I hope you'll welcome me with open arms into the herd as I lick my wounds and buckle down for whatever else comes my way.
A lost Sheep.
7 comments - The Lost Sheep
Love the words you have written. I've been part of this herd for a number of years now.
"I'm sorry for the way you were judged for the choices you made." They were judging me for decisions before i left.
"church preaches about being inclusive and loving all but if you're not part of the club then you do get treated differently" - oh very much so!!! If you're not part of the clique... i tried hard but never was and eventually realised that maybe they were the ones i should feel sorry for, not myself!
"they were getting it all wrong, most of the time the way people treated you was usually motivated by a genuine love and concern" - i would love to think that this was true, and for a couple of people whom i am still in contact with it was. The rest tho, judgy mcjudge!!
"Your feelings of hurt and patronisation are valid" - I always thought they were but you're the first to say that. Thank you.
I hope that you are ok.
That whatever brought you to this herd will not break you, that you stay strong and be happy.
I came across your touching story from your Mum’s Facebook post & I felt honoured to have read something so personal & so well written.
I believe our journeys will always change direction & the paths we take through choice or even necessity is what defines us as individuals
There are times in life when we would never consider ourself strong until our heart takes over & gives us courage that we didn’t even know we had.
I hope by writing this it has helped you focus on the next steps of your journey.
Sending you all my love & strength
You are indeed a very talented writer, and obviously honest and heartfelt. It was lovely to read and perhaps gave me a little insight into mormon life and their ways. You see, I don't believe in religion. I don't believe in worshipping something that doesn't exist. I don't believe in living by someone elses rules, someone ive never met or ever will meet. How would I know HE really loves me. How would I know the ways HE wants me to live my life is really the way life should be lived. And most of all how would I know HIS disciples are guiding me in the way they should. All of my trust is laid bare and open to an invisible being. Id ruther trust my own instincts. My own feelings. My own thoughts. They can't be clouded by anyone else, rightly or wrongly. Then, and only then, if I judge others and how they choose to live their lives, then I know i judge them from my own views and opinions, not from the opinion kf someone else which has been instilled in me from a young age. My god is my family, my friends, my fellow human beings, who have every right to feel exactly how they want to feel, and thats ok with me. Love is blind, love is forgiveness, love is peace. Family is everything ❤❤❤