1.26.2016

My escape from religion

I just posted my exit story from Mormonism on postmormon.org
The text has been copied below, and slightly edited.

Creative Block

It's been a few years since I left the fold. To be honest, I don't like thinking about my church days, even though I spent over thirty years in that horrid condition. Maybe by sharing my story, I can repay all those before me who left their record, but alas, I don't know reformed Egyptian so I'm stuck with English. During my transition year, I devoured all the exit stories/videos that I could find. It was the most refreshing experience and exactly what I needed, so like I said, this is payback. As a summary, my wife and kids have all successfully deprogrammed themselves and we exist in the real world of psychological freedom, so there's a happy ending for all those like myself, who hate sad endings or 100% sad endings.
As a brief introduction, I was the golden child, 2nd of 12 kids from Sandy Utah. The first to go on a mission, the one my parents always knew would be a good example to my siblings. I suppose they were right, but not in the way they assumed. Hopefully, the rest of my family will follow my example and find the happiness and relief that I have found. Like many people say, the best thing to happen to me was to find my wife. She never was a true believer, thank god (little g). I shudder at the thought of her being a molly mormon. Then I probably never would have taken the first step on the path to freedom. It really is a nightmare to think of myself still a member, wasting more of my time and money.
My deconversion experience is similar to others. I took the first step by considering the possibility that christianity (little c) was all BS. After taking that leap of faith, everything else just fell into place. I suppose my experience came in a little bit different order. Here's what I discovered, in chronological order: There was no Jesus, the Book of Mormon was not translated from ancient writings. Joseph Smith was a conman.
Since I lived so far away from any family members, leaving the church was easy. I feel really sorry for people who want to leave but live in Mormon strongholds. All I did was just delay telling my family. After a few years though, I got tired of lying to my parents every time we talked on the phone, and I had to tell them how my calling was going and what my wife was doing and my kids. Finally, in February 2014, I wrote a letter to my parents and then a blog post and posted it on Facebook. See the link below:

http://theheadrobot.blogspot.com/2014/02/outside-box.html

There were some rough seas for a couple weeks following my announcement, but the waters finally calmed and we achieved a new steady-state where everyone spoke to me as if I was still a member, but never asked me any questions. I suppose they were afraid I would start an argument with them, which I probably would have. Life's been a big juicy peach since then.
Now for the reason why I named my escape story, "Creative Block". So, I've always liked to write stories. I had finished a few short stories and started several novels which are what I really wanted to write. No matter how much work and effort I put into planning a novel however, I always ran into some mysterious creative block. I just lost interest in every story I started to write. Many of them were either science fiction or fantasy, but even if they were just a novel set in the traditional real world, I never felt like they were what I wanted. They felt empty, devoid of meaning.
Here's a couple theories. First, I think the church sucks all the mystery from life. I like reading books and watching movies where there's something to discover or some form of mystery. In the church on the other hand, eternity is all laid out for us. We know our origination and our destination. It all sounds kind of boring, even if we end up owning a planet of gold and have millions of beautiful wives who never age (wait a second, maybe I haven't thought this through completely).
My second theory which can probably be included with my first theory, is that religion dumbs down life so completely, that trying to make it complicated is possibly going against the rules. There's only two sources of motivation god (little g) or satan (little s). Real life in contrast is complicated and even people themselves aren't even sure what their motivations are, and usually, they are a mixture of good and bad.
So, the good news to me is that once I left religion, my writing motivation just fell into place. I found a theme that I believe in and made it into a novel, published this month called "Silent Subversion I" (shameless plug), available on Amazon. I put some mormon (little m) references into it, but the story really doesn't have anything to do with religion, I just couldn't help make some of the characters have negative feelings about religion and mormanity in particular.

As most of the people who have left religion can attest, Mormonism and religion in general have some nasty side effects, worse than any medication in my opinion. How many times do we here church members talk about the blessings of the gospel and yet we cannot think of one real blessing except for promises of future blessings. All I received from Mormonism was low self-esteem, a distorted view of life, 10-15% less income, 30-50% less time, self-doubt, a false sense of superiority to inferior non-members, constant feeling of not doing enough or being good enough...I could go on for several more lines. On the bright side, all the negative from religion can all be erased pretty quickly once the cure is embraced. Leave the fire and cool off!

10.07.2015

Summer Activities


One of the most memorable activities was just swimming in the Columbia. We went almost every week. The sandbar was the best place to go. Carrie took the perfect picture, including our nephew Dakota.

Building an awning on the back of our garage (after putting new siding and windows).


Putting the sand on the pavers under our new awning.

Recent Jonesisms

Some things the kids have done recently that should be recorded.

Claire - started rock climbing with me. We took our Belay certification class at 'The Source', a place in downtown Vancouver WA, on Sunday morning October 4th.


















Elise - came rock climbing with us, Monday October 5 and liked it. On the way home, we stopped at Fred Meyer in Vancouver and acquired some groceries and ate ice cream in the car. Claire took a picture of me and Elise in the front seat.



Parker - would rather hang out with a cute girl during recess...takes after his dad.














Henry - he just recently started saying the following words correctly, but used to say them like.
  • Gigantic - Ji-Antic
  • Sandwich - Sangwich
He also loves to wear costumes and act the part. In the following, he's totally serious about being Batman.

1.04.2015

Another rainy day at Cottonwood beach

If we ever leave this place, I will miss the Columbia River and Cottonwood beach.
We went there this morning in the rain. The river was so full, there was no beach. As usual, the kids had fun playing on the cement replicas of the Lewis and Clark expedition boats.



Of course, Henry made me play his favorite game, over and over and over and over... 
I pretend to be unable to stop myself after he deftly removes himself from my war charge!

video


Missing Holidays

OK, it's been a while. Here are some pictures since last I post...

Jones Pumpkin Carving before Halloween.








And now for a shameless selfie by the teenager...
while picking our Christmas tree at Farrell Farms
The weekend after Thanksgiving



Several days later, we played at Cottonwood Beach and then went to the Mall in Vancouver.


Claire had a ton of fun taking pictures of the 'other' kids in the back seat.