“We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other.”

(Marjorie Pay Hinckley)

Long overdue honest social media.

"My husband of 16 ½ years told me..."

"One year and 5 weeks ago, my husband of 16 ½ years told me he was no longer interested in being part of the LDS faith. He cited many reasons, which seemed very believable at the time and kept me awake and nauseous most of the night. This information was all new to me.  I had no idea,I mean NO IDEA any of these ideas about our faith were out there. I have come now to realize they are just the same old arguments used by every anti-mormon website out there and I am satisfied with the faithful answers.Some are not. He is not.  

"I have recently come to realize that the very thing I was hating and wanted to take away from my husband was agency. I wanted him to quit making choices I didn't like. I essentially wanted him to follow Satan’s plan and take his agency away from him. The plan that Satan proposed, that I fought against in the pre-mortal life, was the very thing I now wanted for my husband. Make him 'choose the right' and come back to me, to my way of thinking.  

"He recently said, 'I don't know where my journey will end up--it could be back in the church but I don't want to give you false hope.' I responded,'It's not false hope. That's just the way I am.  I live by faith, hope and charity--these are my core values so I will have hope always and it won't ever be false.'  

"We are still together because I choose to love him everyday. It has never been a harder choice; I didn't know it would ever have to be a choice. Where did my happily ever after go when I walked out of the temple?"  

"I am a 43 year-old single..."

"I am a 43 year-old single, never been married woman in a family-centric church.  

"Every Sunday I come home from church feeling more sad and lonely than I feel any other day of the week.  As if it's scheduled, I cry myself to sleep on Sunday nights, lonely for the life I've always wanted; sad for the reality that it may never happen.  

"It takes me practically an entire week to find the strength and courage to go back to church alone.  I continue to go because I know it's true and I can't imagine my life without it.  Honestly though, it's one of the hardest things I do. Sometimes I wish I didn't know it was true so I could walk away without feeling guilt or shame.  

"Being single and childless in this church makes me feel like a failure.  Like I don't fit in. Like I've missed out on the greatest thing in this life.  I have an amazing life; I've experienced some fantastic things, been incredible places and have met some remarkable people and yet, I still have this missing sense of purpose.  I know I can't be the only single LDS woman to feel this way.  To any other single Mormon women reading this—if you have felt his way, or feel this way now—know you are not alone."

"I am constantly overwhelmed..."

"I am constantly overwhelmed with everyone's (mostly my) need to be 'perfect'. Have the perfectly clean house, the perfect hair & makeup, perfectly dressed kids, perfect relationships. Perfectly raise my kids (to yell or not to yell etc.). Perfectly fulfill my calling, my visiting teaching.

"To the point where I am constantly imploding or exploding out of sheer frustration with myself. Where I don't value my individual uniqueness and opinion."

"...I knew something was wrong..."

"Call it a mother's intuition, but from the first few weeks of finding out I was pregnant I knew something was wrong.

"My fears were confirmed when the ultrasound technician told me our little baby would have a cleft lip, and perhaps palate.

"Naturally I had an image in my head of what our baby would look like, and in a way I've needed to lay that to rest; say goodbye to the baby I thought we would have.

"Now, make no mistake, I felt beyond blessed that our little boy was not facing any health risks. It really put into perspective what many parents go through in the last months of pregnancy knowing that their little baby would arrive with a chromosomal disorder, or a life threatening condition. My heart aches for those families, only having felt a fraction of what they go through.

"I was relieved the ultrasounds revealed no health risks whatsoever, but to be kind and fair to myself, and recognize this is important, and it does matter to my family and me, I allowed myself to grieve.

"I can also acknowledge that a cleft lip and palate are more than just a cosmetic issue. It means handing over my little boy to a surgeon time and time again in his childhood to be put under anesthesia and operated on. It means a lot of pain and hardship for his little body, and potentially challenges in speech and hearing. We are allowed to grieve for a time, as this IS a challenge, and something a parent never wants to put their child through.

"Now that our sweet baby is here, with a wider than usual cleft lip and palate, we've had our time of sadness and grief, and now it's time for action. We have a job ahead of us. We've been chosen as this sweetheart's parents to guide him through these challenges in his life, and to love and comfort him in times of pain and discomfort. We are to empower him, and teach him he is more than just a cleft and not to become a victim of it. We're feeling ready for this. Bring it."

"I started adult life broken...."

"I started adult life broken. It is as if I have had to re-learn to breathe in and out. It has taken years to re-learn the gospel in it's pure form. To process things in an emotionally healthy way. To even speak with people or look them in the eyes was hard and still can be. 

"I still have a long way to go. I have been able to let go of the deep hurt and resentment of having to re-learn things as an adult. I was able to do this when I realized I could see within seconds what used to be in my eyes in others' eyes. Now I know what to say to help them save themselves and how to be there for them. 

"So in the end, I'll hold tight to this life of having to learn how to breathe in and out all over again. And I'll thank Him for it." 

"To all those who have sent in responses..."

To all those who have sent in responses, THANK YOU. Your thoughts and feelings are powerful and I see them touching many lives. 

To those who are considering participation, PLEASE DO. I need you! Keep Real Life Mormon Women strong and effective by sending in your responses. Others need to read what you have to say.

Keeping it real-

"...perhaps it’s misunderstood doctrine..."

“I love the phrase, ‘If sin smelled like smoke, we’d all stink.’ For some reason, perhaps it’s misunderstood doctrine, members of the church tend to measure the severity of sins. White lies? Oh, I give that a three on the sin scale. Adultery? That’s a 20!  The truth of the matter is, sin is sin, doesn’t matter what color it is. ANY sin keeps us out of the presence of God. When we look down on someone for a mistake ‘we would never make’ we exalt ourselves. That is dangerous ground. If I could change something, it would be that church members—especially me—remember we’re ALL beggars at God’s feet.”

"One thing I struggled with..."

"One thing I struggled with for some time, was when my children ended up in detention (as minors), then lock-up detention, and then the court appearances that followed.  For a long time, I felt like a failure as a mother.  How could my kid(s) end up here?  What if I run into someone I know?  Then, one day as I was entering the building it hit me....there were other mothers there, who probably felt the same way!  I suddenly felt at ease, and began chatting with one of them.  We both acknowledged the same feelings in each other, and for the first time, I knew I wasn't alone in dealing with this.  I wasn't a failure, I was simply a mother supporting my child who was learning one of the consequences of a life decision." 

"I never wanted to have children because..."

"My Struggle:  I never wanted to have children because I didn't want them to be obese and have as devastating a childhood/young adult life as I had.  I therefore never got married/had children until I was 40 and too old.  Interesting I found out I probably never would have been able to have children anyway.  So, June 2013...I finally got MY baby...his name is Vader [woman's best friend—Deutsch Drahthaar breed] and I am completely in love. I have two step children who I love and adore. Between the three of them...I am complete!"

"I can only control my own actions..."

"I can only control my own actions, thoughts, desires and feelings, and therefore am not responsible for those people around me that are irrational, ill tempered, judgmental or ignorant. That’s their stuff to deal with, I can only be my best self, and if I fall short, I have to be ok with that. I don’t have an endless emotional capacity for other people's 'stuff.'"

"I did my best to pretend..."

"Most of my life I pretended that I wasn't hurting. I did my best to pretend that I deserved good things all the while feeling like I didn't. Around age 30 I realized I deserved good things and I didn't have to pretend anymore."

"I am so weary of the lack of empathy..."

"I am so weary of the lack of empathy in the LDS culture. Empathy toward people that choose differently than the counsel of church leaders. Just because you might not agree with something that someone does doesn't mean you can't sit down, talk and try to understand where they are coming from. Taking the time to listen to someone doesn't mean you are going to 'catch' their sin, like it's some type of disease."

"I never thought the empty nest..."

“I never thought the empty nest would be this hard. I thought I’d race into the world, free and easy, and do all these things I had planned on doing for so long. I never imagined I’d have a hard time just getting out of bed in the morning and finding purpose for my life.”