The bottom-line here is “when are these girls coming to my son’s hockey matches???
Not everything in the LDS/mormon church was bad. During those 25 years I had the previlege to meet many beautiful people who I consider to be among my best friends / family. While with them I spent moments that I can never forget, moments of cosiness, moments when we told each other secrets, when we cried and laughed together. I had the privilege to meet people who really wanted to live the gospel of Jesus Christ the right way, and they really did their best, and I am so so thankful for having met them.
The period after my mission was very hard because I had a hard time getting back into the real world. I had no strength to go to school, nothing. I felt tired, so tired, I felt discouraged and I missed being a missionary. But at the same time going to church meetings was not as it was before, it seemed that the joy and the warmth was gone, so I deeped myself in studying the scriptures, in praying and in strengthing my friendships in the church. With time I had an awesome group of friends, real friends, who stood by me in good and bad times. We prayed together, we laughed together, we hang out together…
I was lucky to have served in my native Portugal, so once a month I went to my old mission field to visit some friends. I missed them and I needed them. Today we are 22 years later and I still have contact with them! Some church leaders from my ward and stake didn’t like at all that I returned so often to the mission field, but there I was home. None of those friends I met on my mission stopped loving me for my choice of leaving the mormon church. They told me that they respect and accept my decision. Mission companions were shocked. From the Belgian Antwerp Stake only a very few people keep talking to me.
I am happy with life. Although I know that the mormon church is not what it claims to be and that Joseph Smith, its founder, was a fraud, it was thanks to the church that I met my wife and that I have my family. For that I am also thankful. But for all the rest, I would love that I could make a “Delete all” command in my brain. As that is not possible, I need to keep doing what I am doing for almost two years now, rebuild my life and forgive those who have hurt, lied and offended my family and me.
Life is beautiful, and surely, there is a beautiful life waiting for us outside the mormon church. Be happy!
Entrevista com o Prof. Suheil Bushrui.
Program "Fe dos Homens" broadcasted on RTP2 (Portugal), on the 3rd October 2010. Filmed at the Summer School, in Santarem.
Programa "Fé dos Homens" transmitido na RTP2 em 03 de Outubro de 2010. Gravado durante a Escola de Verão em Santarém.
Source: Povo de Bahá
Video taken in November 2012
Many people ask me why do I blog about the negative experiences I went through in the mormon church. The answer is very simple, first of all to get rid of all the feelings I got during those terrible years I went to church in the Antwerp Stake. It’s my healing process. The second reason is to share with others, in Belgium or abroad, about the possible negative experiences they can have if they ever join an organization that presents itself as a place where love reigns but where in fact, prejudice, misjudgement, bigotry, blackmailing and mind-control abound. Mormons not only control the way you think, they also control your entire thinking process, and if you resist and say that you still have a mind of your own, then you are given “a reputation”. Some of the titles they stick to you are “he doesn’t keep the commandments”, “he is a sinner”, “he doesn’t fit”, “he is not a good influence to our children”, just to name a few.
For 16 years many mormons in the Flemish part of Belgium made my family life a daily living hell. So many times we tried to get possible existing (???) issues straight out but never with success. Now that finally we had the courage to say “it’s enough, we don’t take it anymore” some of them are very worried because I publish my experiences with them on the internet. Shouldn’t they have thought about it before they did to us and to our children what they did? Shouldn’t they have thought about it before they were so bigot towards us? Shouldn’t they have thought about it before mining our marriage and family?
I need to re-learn to think without the “inplanted mormon-thinking software”, and so far I can say that it works. Many ex-mormons need to share their experiences with others because leaving mormonism is not easy and they long for a listening ear, for a open and receptive heart. The internet is a marvelous tool because it brings all of us together and we can build a worldwide support network. There are several networks out there and members are always ready for a helping hand and a listening ear. After posting a thought, you get the first supporting mails within minutes. I am so thankful to all those who helped and still help me with their e-mails, their words and their posts. And I am also so happy to be able to help others through their ex-mormon ordeal.