Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Perhaps a Celebration is in Order...

Do you know what last Sunday was? It was three months since May 30th.

May 30th is very significant to me. Sunday, May 30th, 2010, I skipped sacrament meeting as usual and then went to Church and taught my Sunday School class of 12 and 13 year olds.

The lesson went well.

I ended it by giving each of them a full size candy bar.

The I skipped priesthood, which I've been doing for almost 2 years now, and went home.

At noon I returned to the Church.

I waited outside the Bishop's Office for almost 40 minutes.

Finally he had an opening and invited me in.

He chatted a little about my training and such - fluff really.

And then he asked if I had made a decision about baptizing my daughter.

I've shared this before, but the deal was this... I haven't had a temple recommend in over 2 years. It wasn't a problem when I baptized my son. Beginning in 2009, I exercised my right, not to hand over 10% of my income to a corrupt organization.

Not paying into the coffers seems to be the big problem, although he hid it behind, my not having a recommend.

He wanted me to pay tithing in order to be allowed to baptize my daughter.

It's eerily similar to this and I think borders on extortion as well.

I told him that if I paid, I would compromise my integrity and would thus make myself unworthy to have a recommend anyway. I don't think he got that, because he brought the discussion back to tithing.

I didn't give him anything to work with, even though he tried to dig as much as he could to determine my real concerns.

Finally he asked if he could do anything for me.

I told him that I felt it best that I take a break from the Church for a while.

He gave me a long speech about coming to sacrament to resolve my concerns, and then said that as a favor to me, when the ward talked about me behind my back, he would tell them that he was working with me on my problems. He also said they would only do this because they loved me. I think it was a veiled threat, appealing to a desire to conform which I lost a while ago.

I handed over my manual, told him that my teaching partner was covering the next week, and after shaking his hand, I walked out of the building.

I had to go back in to watch my daughter getting baptized by someone else a few weeks later. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. But aside from that, and a couple of cub scout things, I haven't set foot in the building again.

So it's been 3 months of freedom from Sunday services.

Maybe I'll wait until a full year passes before I throw the party though!


  1. Every mile-stone counts!

    You know it is very interesting reading about your 'coming out' experience. You have taken things in your stride, thought things through...
    I on the other hand had a bit of a tantrum and publicly left. I would not even bother to try and assess which way works best (it's bound to work out differently for everyone) but it sure is interesting to read about your experiences as the church probably hasn't known quite what to make of you and has thus interacted with you in some very interesting ways.

    Yay for freedom! wish I was nearby for the party in 9 months :D

  2. Thanks Guys!!

    Maureen, it's definitely hard to say which way works best... Yours may have been more like whipping off a band-aid - over with nice and quick, while mine has been very slow and drawn out. Perhaps not having Mrs Koda at the same place as I was made that more of a necessity.

    Anyway... Speaking of parties and being nearby... I'm kinda hankering for a change of scenery. I figure it'll be at least 5 years for us to get things in order here, but we're thinking Aussie or Kiwi-land might be just the place for a couple of years of change. I may have a favor or two to ask as that gets closer!

  3. So, if I understand this correctly, YOU would usually do the baptizing of your own kid, not a priest?

  4. Yep! It's one of the nicer parts of Mormonism. In most cases when ceremonial stuff like this is done, the father is the one who gets to do it.

    In my case geography played a large part in why I couldn't. I suspect in 99% of other units, they wouldn't have had a problem with me doing it... The local leaders around here, however have taken being anally retentive assholes to a whole new level. (Who me?!!?, upset?!?!)

  5. Congratulations! I think when you hit your year mark you should have a MASSIVE party with all of us ex-mos from blogger land. We can serve all different kinds of coffee- lattes, cappucinos, espresso's etc and if we want to make it REALLY scandalous, we could screen an R rated movie. :)

    I joke, but seriously, congrats!

  6. First of all, yay for you. And Maureen, I love that you had a tantrum and stormed out. Now that's style!

    UK, can you explain why you want your daughter baptized by these people at all?

  7. E... Maureen definitely has style!

    For me... It's complicated... I didn't, but it's a tough call especially living in Utah. Mrs Koda is very worried about backlash from her family who are still very, very Mormon, but very nice people as well. We were also concerned about social ramifications for our daughter. Being 8 and living in a place which is predominantly LDS, means that almost everyone asks about your baptism, and reactions aren't good if you skipped it. I was viewing it as more of a cultural right of passage, than anything else, and it's not like they don't already have her name on their records and everything else... There's a whole bunch of other stuff too, but that covers the main reasons...

    We'd like to move out of Utah in the future, so that when our other kids hit milestones, we aren't faced with the same decisions... We've got two years before the next lot hit - hopefully the economy continues to turn around...

    And... You asked about the blog... I tried running it on WordPress for a while, but I just couldn't get a decent blogroll widget working, and then it stopped being able to import posts from Blogger. I've ended up with a whole bunch of work for a side business I started, doing vinyl signs, but when/if that calms down I may try the wordpress approach again.

  8. That would be just brilliant if you moved to Australia. Ask away! If I can help you get to Aus or NZ then I will do my best.

    Shucks, thanks e and Koda. If I could have a re-do I'd like to have an even more public tantrum, I'm thinking testimony meeting gone awry!