Mr. Spencer:

Where do I begin? I grew up a member of the Mormon faith in Oregon--until my high school days where I began to rebel and question everything. I subsequently left the church in my junior year of high school.

Didn't have much contact with church folks except through my mother. Five years ago, my husband, a lapsed Catholic and I moved to Utah to live in the home previously owned by my parents. I began working for a huge government contractor where I have learned the hard way that the church runs everything in this state.

I was so shocked to realize that these people automatically assume you are LDS, speaking of church services, etc., as though everyone is interested in hearing it. If they do learn a person isn't Mormon, there's a campaign to convert them. In my case, I let it slip to a devout Mormon woman that I was but am no longer, and she has begun a campaign of vicious gossip which has maligned me to the point that I am now receiving poor performance evaluations, when prior to that time, I received nothing but outstanding marks. I have tried to reason with her, and I've gone to HR on at least three occasions, where I've asked for conflict resolution. Now I am the bad guy. My vehicle has been vandalized, and this woman has blocked the aisles so I have to walk around her, but she is meek and sweet to everyone else, and has somehow become the victim of a vicious co-worker--me.

What can I as a good hearted person do to survive here with no friends and only a sister left who still hangs on to those beliefs in her heart?

My husband and I so want to get out of here, but we feel stuck. We live in a mobile home park and are constantly receiving knocks on our door with offers to go to Relief Society, gifts being given to us, etc.

I could go on and on but guess you get the picture. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Suzanne

  Suzanne,

Yep, I've heard this story so many times I could probably tell it for you.

But to your question: What do I do?

No easy answer. Getting out is probably a good move. There are lots of good reasons not to live in Utah, not the least of which is that if you have children, keeping them from becoming Mormon is difficult.

I think you will have to be tough. You will have to take the position that in America, you don't have to join the state religion and you want to say that loud and proud.

Of course, the most important think you can do is to make sure you get thoroughly grounded in a person relationship with Jesus Christ and find a good, Bible-believing church to be part of.

The second most important thing you can do is to arm yourself by reading up on this cult. My site is a good place to start. Also, if you will send me your postal address, I'll send you some pamphlets and information you will find

helpful. Hang in there,

Jim Spencer