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Washed Away

Friday, August 3, 2007

I stood naked and vulnerable in the bathroom as I readied myself to take my morning shower on Monday.

"I should have told you this sooner," Donna began. "Marie is being baptized on Saturday."

She waited for my response knowing this was the first mention of the event to my face. She waited, knowing the entire day had been planned, relatives had been invited, and interviews had been conducted. There had been plenty of meetings and conversations with strangers but this was the first moment the child's father had been included. Not so much included as informed. A formality. The last check off the list.

I weighed my options for response.


Her statement had not been an invitation so much as it was a confession so when I said nothing more, she took my silence as approval and left.

Yes, she should have told me. Moreover, she should have asked me. There should have been whole conversations and discussions, both with and without Marie. My strong and valid feelings should have been considered and weighed in the equation.

I've not asked for more details and none have been offered. I'm sure that sometime tomorrow, as Donna hustles the children into their Easter dresses and patent leather, I'll be asked if I'm coming. And when I respond "not on your life", I'll be given some hassle about not supporting my family. As if so much courtesy had been extended to me in this matter.

As if.

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I am sooo sorry. I can't imagine the feeling of being in that situation, nor having that marriage.

In my (totally unsolicited) opinion, it's a betrayal of the highest order. Sadly, I think it's typical for mormon culture. If you are out of the fold, you are not entitled to an opinion or a say. I dread the day that my family has to make life-or-death decisions for my parents... because I know that nobody will be the least interested in the opinion of the "heathen" in the family.

I can understand that the church is this way. I don't understand how a family or - more traitorous yet - a wife can be that way. Shame on her for relegating you to the position of "ignored spectator" in your own family.

I understand that feeling. It sucks big sweat-soaked donkey nads.

that's just wrong

i'm a pastor's wife and my parents and brother are agnostic. they STILL were invited to my husband's ordination (and flew 2500 miles to attend) and i can't imagine not involving them in their grandchildrens' baptisms or anything like that.


No offense, but that seems an entirely different situation.

In her defense...

You knew this was coming, and she knew you knew it was coming (if not because you know each other from fourteen years of marriage then because she read your blog). You could've brought it up as easily as she could've (e.g. "Today I heard Marie saying she's going to be baptized..."). Yes, she should've talked to you about it and much sooner, but if you really wanted to talk about it, you should've.

True Pete could have been more proactive

about seeing to it he was officially informed, since it's not like he had no idea this was coming.

It wouldn't have make the situation any less tragic, though. He would still have the choice of being cast as either the black sheep who is an embarassment to his daughter or as the evil despot that stands in the way of his daughter's joyous celebration.

It would be nice to try to counterbalance this with some sort of non-ideology-based special attention/outing/event that's not too close to the whole baptism-and-turing-eight thing...

Ah, Pete, this is a hard

Ah, Pete, this is a hard one… I had a lot to say because it is a topic that I think about much.

First, please accept my sincerest sympathy and compassion for your situation.

The good news in my assessment is this: Your daughter is only 8 and you don’t believe that the rites and rituals of baptism and confirmation are anything more than an elaborate play to encourage social control—therefore, when she gets some experience outside the home and hopefully the state, she will be able to determine if she really believes or not.

I can say from experience, being an “apostate” myself, that she is more likely to question her beliefs as she watches you, her loving dad, demonstrate ethics and commitment and NOT be a member of the LDS faith. As she sees you doing the good and honorable thing because it is the compassionate thing to do, and not because you are fearful of God or the ever-watching LDS community, she will, most likely, start to question core teachings.

My suggestions:

1). Be sure to expose your girls to highly functional and happy non-Mo members of the community so they see alternatives and can make an informed choice while adults.

2). I also encourage you to avoid muddling the issue with Dona. She believes and you don’t.. Sure, you should have been included in the discussions. But you weren’t…. I think this is a systemic issue not a personal relationship issue. Blame the LDS church leadership, not your loving wife.

Just sucks

It really does. I'm very sorry.

Pros and Cons

Pete, you know my opinion from my post when you heard Marie bragging about being baptized. Donna should have told doubt. You should have asked (again my opinion).

This does suck. It is, however not the end of the world. I work with some folks who got baptized a 8 because of social pressure etc. and they didn't stick. Much less people like you.

I think the whole thing indicates a bigger problem. And you, sir, are smart enough to know that. So is Donna.


WoW is OMG, not as Word of Wisdom! I can respect her wishes to have her daughter baptized according to her beliefs. But she over look you core values. You SHARE a daughter and thereby should be able to consult one another in the core values in which she is raised. A little of "What do you think?" could have gone a long way to ease the situation! MAJOR hugs!!!

Against the unwritten rules...

There are unwritten rules that 2 people, who are raising children together, must follow. One of them is that when one of their children is about to take part in an event thought to be major in said child's life, the other parent must know. If Marie were going to say, be acting in her first play, wouldn't Donna tell you?

It is only my opinion, and you know what they say about everyone having one, but you should have been told a long time ago about this so that, if nothing else, you could talk to Marie and let her know that you love her even if you don't agree with her.

I'm not a mormon but by not

I'm not a mormon but by not speaking up you are saying it's okay for your daughter to being a polygamist god's wife in the future. It's NOT ok is it?

No.. but...

That part is all fiction and will never happen anyway. My real beef is with doing the whole thing behind my back without any attempt to involve me at all. Being treated like half a parent hurts.

you should go... next time

I am semi-active, I left the church at 18 and I now at 32 go to one meeting once a month with my 18 month old daughter. Married a non member. I have my own issues with the church. So, I am saying this not as a morman, but as a daughter.

My dad left the church after my parents divorce, he rarley went to church with us and made his opinions known prior to the divorce. I am the oldest of four. Two stayed in the church and 2 left. My fathers relationship with my siblings that stayed is strained. My dad likes to make comments, wont attend some events and blames the church.
Your children may end up leaving or staying, but if they stay, they will remember that you did not support, made comments or whatever, they may not choose to have a relationship with you that you would like to have. I have had many arguements with my sister about ignoring his behavior and reminding her that he is are only dad..

When I married 6 years ago he said he may not go to the ceremony because I had it at a ward house. He was actually mad that I wanted it there. He did end up coming, but after some crying on my part. Recently my dad did not go to the temple to be part of the pics, for either sibling that got married in the temple. They were dissapointed, hurt, embarassed and somewhat frustrated. Sure he may have his reasons (we heard them all), like you he feels it is all a sham and a joke. However, I think when it comes to your children it is better to be loving then it is to be right.

Good luck.

Wait a minute, anonymous

"Recently my dad did not go to the temple to be part of the pics, for either sibling that got married in the temple. They were dissapointed, hurt, embarassed and somewhat frustrated."

Let me get this straight. The Church tells your dad he is not "worthy" to see his kids get "sealed" in the temple and THEY are the ones who are hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed when he decides to maintain his dignity and not go through the humiliation of waiting outside with the rest of the "unworthy" heathens, jack-mos, and apostates?!? If your siblings cared about family unity and togetherness more than a slavish devotion to an institution, they could have got married civilly first and gone to the temple later. That way your dad and others who don't pay LDS, Inc. 10% of their income could have attended and been in the pictures. THEY are the ones who chose to exclude your dad from this important FAMILY event. You've got things completely ass-backward.

Equality... sure why not

I stood outside myself (not worthy??? - fine with me), I did not get angry. I actually preferred not to go in and have to go through whatever goes on in there. I guess I could of gotten all bent out of shape, but I don't think it would of accomplished anyting. To be honest I don't see it the way you presented it. You are right some family where unable to see the ceremony, no one complained but my dad. I am sure other non members in my family think its wierd, but they keep it to themselves.

Thats the point I want to make. Telling someone all the negative things you believe about ones beliefs only does one thing, causes a problem. If you want to share with other like minded people go right ahead, like this blog. When you talk crap to that person who is your child, you are harming that relationship. Why burden children with your religious issues. If I was him I would pretend it did not bother me and just go along with a smile on my face. My husband wanted to take our daughter to the catholic church to be babtized when she was born ( I had my daughter blessed). I told him to go right ahead. He didn't end up doing it, why because I didn't throw a fit. If he had I would of gone with a smile on my face. So, I think I have a different attitude then you.

Oh, and my dad got married in the temple 30 some years ago and his parents... not allowed in either.

Ever wonder what the church

Ever wonder what the church is telling your wife and daughters behind your back?

i fell off the earth..

but i am back. sorry to hear about the latest events. i have some catching up to do.

now go..and check out our new url.


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