I want to take a minute to clear up some of the reasons why I left the Mormon church, my view of members now, and how I came to surrogacy.
First let me start off by saying that I had a true and REAL testimony of the church in as much as I knew about it. I would have bet my life that the Book of Mormon was real doctorine translated by a man named Joseph Smith. I loved church, I loved the community, and when I prayed to know if the church was true I felt goosebumps. So that must mean it's true right? But..I get goosebumps when I hear Trace Atkins sing.. does that make him a prophet of God? No. There was SO much about the church and it's history that was not told to me as a convert. Yes I understand that to tell a convert everything at once might overload them.. but should hearing the truth feel overloading? Or should it feel right? I longed since I was a little girl having watched my own family split before my eyes, to be the "Eternal" family I saw my cousins a part of. I learned that families in the Mormon church were "sealed" together for eternity in Temples. Wow! How great! That was my first thought...then the thoughts started coming in that I quickly surpressed.. the "Why would God put us on earth to be separated? Why would he require a physical act on earth in order to keep me with my parents forever? That doesn't seem right." and yet I held to the advice I constantly received from members of the church. "Pray about it.. read the book of mormon..it wont all make sense now, but one day it will." I prayed about it...I read the book of mormon, and I continued in blind faith, telling myself that it will all make sense to me someday, I need to keep going to church, need to keep reading. I was married to a non mormon man who was amazingly supportive of my entire lifestyle. Never once did he make me feel embarassed or silly for my beliefs...and yet I was constantly attacking him in my own mind and heart. WHY wont you read the book of mormon?? Why wont you just come with me to church? Why wont you join the church and be sealed to me for eternity?? I kept telling myself that it would happen someday. "Just keep praying for him" members would tell me, as if he were somehow imperfect and defected now, but someday he was sure to be the husband of my dreams. But he was!! He IS the husband of my dreams! He is amazing, and I was holding these grudges against him in my heart, and feeling anger toward him for NO reason!
When recently snippets of information about the church came to light durring Romney's run for President, I plugged my ears. "La la la la!! Anti-mormon propoganda sent to me by the adversary!! I shouldn't listen to it!" I had been warned about this anti-mormon information by the church, and that I should only trust what I read from certain church approved sources. Ok. Uh oh here comes that little voice in the back of my head again.. Shouldn't I seek information to make a proper judgement from multiple sources? From both church and unbiased sites? If I wanted to know if a spouse was cheating on me, I wouldn't only ask them and then have that be it. I would seek information in multiple places, because surely I would not be told the truth from someone seeking to deceive me.
I first read the book "Rough Stone Rolling" a biography about Joseph Smith that I acquired from the deseret book store. I was shocked to discover that not only did Joseph Smith marry a 14 year old girl, but he also was sealed to women who were already legally married to men serving missions. There were several accounts of his first vision, as well as the fact that he did not mention his first vision until 3 years after he formed the church. All of this was grossly different information from what I was told as an investigating member.
Then I read the Pearl of Great Price for myself (I had not read it before) and was shocked to discover this Abraham 3:2-4
"And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near to it. And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the greatest one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And the Lord said unto me by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revelutions thereof...."
So God lives on a planet named Kolob? This, I also discovered was written on a papyrus paper that JS had purchased from a passing antiques dealer. The papyrus paper has been examined and studied by egyptologists and found to be mistranslated.
Then I began to question why African American members of the church were not allowed to receive the priesthood until the 1980's.. Why would God urge prophets to continue to be prejudiced? That doesn't sound like a loving God to me.
Now on to the surrogacy part. I have wanted to be a surrogate mother for quite some time. I have had relatively easy pregnancies with my kids and know that I can help a family to have their own child. How beautiful to finally see them as a family! A family they have tried to have for, in some cases, years. I was heart broken to learn that the Mormon church was openly against both IVF as well as Surrogacy. That was the last straw on my list of reasons holding me in the church. I finally thought to myself, there is something wrong here. Something is not feeling right to me.
There is much more that I have learned about the First Presidency etc...GA's but its too much to go into detail.
I want to be clear in that NO ONE influenced my leaving the church. I through my own research and prayer, came to the conclusions I have now. I am an intelligent person, and to imply that I was sucked into leaving, or somehow had my testimony of the church stripped from me is insulting. I was HEARTBROKEN when I came to the conclusion that the church was not true.. I felt betrayed, lied to, and angry. I am not angry with any members of the church as individuals, because I believe they are just as misled as I was. They are beautiful caring people who believe that they are following God's law, and that is fine. But I will not follow blindly anymore. I still believe in God, and in Jesus Christ, but I believe that they are a more loving and open, forgiving pair than what I was taught through the Mormon church. I in now way judge members who remain faithful, and I respect all that I learned in the Temple, but it is no longer for me. It is a step in my spiritual growth that I am thankful for, but am grateful to be moving on in my life.
I am so excited to be a surrogate mommy, and to help a couple become a family. I am waiting a phone call any day now saying that a couple wants to work with me! AHH I'm so excited to begin this positive journey in my life, and to be accomplishing what I believe God wants me to do for people. I love my life, and my family, and now more than ever I appreciate my husband, and our marriage. Life is beyond great! I hope that family and friends can understand and respect my life decision. Much love and kisses to all!