I Wanted Out!
I was born and raised in a polygamist group, which was started by a man who claimed to have a vision from God telling him that the Mormon Church was wrong to give up polygamy and the law of consecration—the laws that God had given to Joseph Smith. God then told him to start a new group and God would lead his chosen people to it.
This group is a very secretive one. We were taught to lie from a very young age, never telling who anyone was married to, or any real last names, the names are mostly made up. We were also taught it was good to lie to protect anyone in the group no matter what was done. I remember always feeling ashamed of something although I didn't quite know what. I only felt comfortable around other members of the group and not all of them, but at least they knew the same secrets and were chosen like me.
We grew up very sheltered! We were only allowed to associate with other members or “insiders." The "outsiders" were all living selfish, sinful lives; this included any family members who had left. Leaving was unforgivable because that meant going against what we had promised God in heaven. We were also told to promise God that we would marry whoever he chose, and at what age and how many children we would have. That was a lot to try to live up to, but the leader, we were told, would talk to God and find out who we were to marry and when.
This group has a lot of rules—fasting every Thursday, reciting memory “gems” every day, we even had to fold our hands a certain way while praying. We were told where to work—always for them; and where to spend our money—only at one of their stores. All of this was to build up God's kingdom on earth. We were reminded all the time how right the group was and how God and placed us there. Also how much we should want to please God. I NEVER felt good enough for anyone, for my parents, other members, or for God. I started hating myself.
The older I got the more I started to rebel; I didn't want anyone to want me for a wife. My rebellion caused a lot of problems with my mom. When my older sister, her husband and his other wife told me that God wanted me to join their family, I said yes, knowing I could finally get away from my mom. Also I wouldn't have to marry someone with 8 or 10 wives. But the closer the wedding was getting, the more I knew I did not want to go through with it. I didn't know what to do, I knew this decision would disappoint everyone including God. We were always told that there was only ONE chosen person for us girls to marry, so I only had this chance to do what was right. But I didn't do it, and I am so grateful! After that (when they started to speak to me again), they had someone new for me to marry, but that went against what I was always told (the ONE chance to marry right) and it sent up red flags.
I was so tired of trying to please everyone all the time and of his or her CONDITIONAL love. I wanted out. But I knew no one on the outside. Then God brought my husband into my life and we have been together ever since. I did not want any religion in my life anymore!! No one was going to tell me what to do or what to believe ever again. But God had other plans. He wanted a relationship with me and seven years later my life changed completely. Jesus showed me the truth, He showed me UNCONDITIONAL love, self worth, and how to be free from trying to please anyone including Him. He showed me that He had made me perfectly clean and totally forgiven by His shed blood, and now my life is lived for Him.
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