123-125: What to do when your husband loses his LDS testimony — Jacque Parts 1-3

February 17, 2010
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In this series I interview Jacque — a faithful, believing LDS church member whose husband lost his LDS testimony last year.

  • Episode 1: Jacque discusses her husband’s loss of  testimony, how they first discussed it, and the lessons she learned from dealing with the immediate aftermath.
  • Episode 2: Jacque discusses the compromises that both her and her husband had to make to work through his loss of faith, and what eternal marriage has come to mean for her.
  • Episode 3: Jacque discusses some of the unexpected blessings that have come to her marriage as a result of her husband’s loss of faith, and some final tips for couples dealing with this dilemma.

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62 Responses to 123-125: What to do when your husband loses his LDS testimony — Jacque Parts 1-3

  1. February 18, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Jacque,

    I’ve only made it part-way through the podcast so far. I just finished your discussion about priesthood and the emotional journey you took to feel comfortable with your husband performing the ordinance. First of all, I find the entire story so far to be very powerful, very real and honest, and it is just so refreshing to hear that kind of honesty. I love it and I wish I got that sort of thing at church (maybe in some wards, but not mine). I am just wondering how the bishop in your ward feels about your husband performing these ordinances. Does he know your husband’s beliefs about priesthood? Do you have to “be careful” about the way that you explain that to your bishop? How would you handle a bishop who would not allow your husband to do it? What about extended family members of friends who are aware and disapprove? Maybe you get to this later in the interview. I just find it very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jay
    February 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Jacque,

    I stayed up until 2:30am last night listening to all of your interview with John. My wife is in the same situation and it was interesting to hear the other side. I was glad you explained why you didn’t tell anyone in your family. Only a close BIL and SIL know about my disaffection and no one on my side of the family knows, even though its been 4 years. Sometimes I wish I could let everyone know, but once they do the judgments comes and you can’t undo that.

    I always knew my disaffection was hard on my wife and that made me feel awful, but I couldn’t deny my conscience. Luckily, she did not leave me and I have decided to support her as she raises our kids in the LDS Church. We both agree our children must eventually know the hard truths about LDS history. Right now we are just trying to figure out the best way to introduce it to them. They are still young (all under 10), so we have a few years to figure it all out. For now we just talk about things as they come up. Thank you for doing the interview, your husband is a lucky man.

  3. Bill
    February 18, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I don’t think those of us who choose to remain faithful can fully appreciate the sacrifices of our disaffected spouses. Just allowing our children to participate in something that she does not believe in anymore is a great sacrifice for my wife. Sitting through sacrament meeting on the weeks she chooses to attend is a great sacrifice. She certainly does not attend because she wants to. At times it is easy for us to cry “Woe is Me” because things didn’t turn out exactly the way we pictured it. At those times it is important to focus on the marvelous things we do have rather than the things we don’t have. I had always said that my family was the most important thing in my life. My wife’s disaffection gave me the chance to put my money where my mouth was and has blessed our lives in ways I never would have thought. She is very sincere in her beliefs just as I am in mine. There is no doubt in my mind that loving Heavenly Parents will be just in the end and that all will be well!

    Thanks for your story Jacque! You are not alone!

  4. Aaron
    February 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I have been enjoying these interviews. There are so many stories of people who lost their faith in the LDS Church and many who left that are married to members of the Church. Unfortunately, most of these stories focuses on the person who lost their faith with little information on how it impacted their family. This was the first time I ever heard the story from the eyes of one of their loved ones. The struggle that you had when your husband began to question his beliefs and how you felt this would impact your life was both sad, but wonderful to hear. Thanks for sharing your own journey!

  5. Henri
    February 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    The best podcast I’ve ever heard. Thank you.

  6. Jacque
    February 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    Glenn, we ARE careful about how we word things with church leaders. But, if push came to shove, I would explain my beliefs about the PH and why I feel that my husband is the only man that should (and would) be ordaining our son.

  7. Eric Comstock
    February 19, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    This was a wonderful show. When I first started listening I thought Jacque would eventually leave the church but as she went on I was very impressed with her compassion and even more her perspective and spiritual maturity.

    When I tell my parents what I have been going through I will have them to listen to this podcast series.

  8. Matt Elggren
    February 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I started listening on the ride into work yesterday morning and I’m finished now. I really enjoyed such obviously hard-won wisdom in Jacque’s thoughts and expressions. The part about measuring your love for spouse against your love for an idea was just perfect and is a hugely helpful idea for both disaffected and non-disaffected spouses. One idea is “the church,” the other is “not-church”, and the third is “us.” Only the third is designed for the human heart and Jacque expressed this idea so well.

    There were several times when I just LOL’d, others when emotion took my breath away. The experience of alarm, fear, secrecy (mine, not Jacque’s), utter aloneness, and new-found intimacy that can rise-up between two people who love each other is too poigniant for words. But Jacque expressed this so well that I relived my own past and came-out of it with a sense of safety and peace.

  9. Patrick
    February 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I truly enjoyed this podcast. I wish I heard it before I told my wife about what I “learned” about the church. It would have helped guide me through that tough process and make it easier on her. However, I do plan to share this with her so we can revisit some of the issues and maybe re-do some of them:)

    Thanks again, very powerful!

  10. George Windes
    February 20, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Good friends of my wife and I lost a child in a terrible accident. The night after the service lying together in bed, I shared with her I would be devastated, if we should lose one of ours. It was a fatal mistake. She became so angry.
    I was to be so strong, so absolute in my faith (priesthood holder), that I would reflect to everyone, a testimony of eternal life. I think this partly came from a ward rumor the child’s father had taken to bed for a week, refusing to speak with leaders, arising only to attend the funeral, a man lost. I understood where he was at, while my wife saw him as completely weak.

    I was disappointed by her anger. To share a secret fear in a time of intimacy, to be yelled at. I never tried to openly communicate personal fears again. She wanted to be a bishop’s wife. She became single (her choice) within a year and lives now (two decades later) in a rented place, mainly supported by our kid’s contributions. I, because of my profession, could have given her a pretty home, a good nest egg & retirement (I love her still). But I had accepted there was a change, rested together on a green hill some day, it might be all there is. My error was in revealing
    my doubt, which she wouldn’t even consider.

    I admire Jacque for the path she has chosen. I guess seeing your husband cry is frightening. I tell this story, because I wonder if my wife had been like Jacque? Is she had but considered we all follow different paths, yet all eventually arrive at the same destination. Jacque’s path is hear in the song, Everything Now Is Love. She is right on. Thanks.

  11. Clay Painter
    February 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    The podcast was very heartfelt, and honest. I appreciate Jacque for being willing to converse about such intimate matters.

    My heart aches for those who let their marriage fall apart over issues of faith. I salute my own wife for being such a support to me during my faith journey. It has not been easy, but with patience, compromise and open communication, we have been able to make it work.

  12. Michael Carpenter
    February 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    John and Jacque,

    Fantastic. Thanks. It makes me realize how much I miss you, Jacque. Next time you are in town, give me a call or email.

  13. Mike
    February 21, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Great podcast, Jacque and John – thanks for putting it together. This will help many, many people.

  14. Adam
    February 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Jacque you are a saint. Your spiritual maturity and desire to be Christ-like in your actions to others is a wonderful example to me. It is my hope and prayer that everyone in the church could be as understanding and christ-like as you are. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your thoughts.

  15. Michael Waltman
    February 22, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Very uplifting and full of hope. Thank you for this.

  16. Christopher King
    February 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Hi Jacque:

    Thank you for doing this podcast. Your insights helped me better understand my wife’s perspective.

    Christopher

  17. Aaron
    February 22, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I really enjoyed this episode. Jacque you are amazing! Your outlook is so positive. I wish everyone could listen to you. I really like your take on eternal marriage.

  18. Eric
    February 24, 2010 at 2:01 am

    As Jacque’s husband I can testify to what a wonderful woman she is and what a great spirit he has. She truly exhibits Christ-like love to everyone around her. I am so thankful that she can find her way to even love such a flawed soul as me.

    John, its time the GA’s address the problems that occur in a marriage when a spouse loses their faith. They need to help these believing spouses understand that the Church values families more than they value ostracizing disbelievers.

  19. Jacque
    February 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Again, thank you for all the wonderful comments. Eric, I love you.

  20. February 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Jacque. You rule! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

  21. Peg Bird
    February 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    As a wife who has been through the challenges of a spouse losing their faith, and coming out the other side, I was encouraged to learn that I was not the only one who had chosen to stay and love my husband despite him losing his faith in the church. I wrestled with what Heavenly Father would want for my family for a long time (always having learned ‘God first’). I also chose that I wanted my marriage to last, and my husband to feel that he was loved and accepted in my heart no matter what he chose for his faith. As a result, I have also experienced a stronger more intimate relationship with him after his disaffection. We have a stronger marriage, and our family life is more positive than it ever has been.

    Thank you for sharing your story, for being so honest. It has been wonderful to remember through you, and to also gain new perspective for the challenges ahead.

  22. February 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Jacque – I really enjoyed your articulate thoughts about a topic that is so important. Unfortunately, too often church members feel that eternal marriage is a reward for obedience rather than the outcome of eternal love. I think that feeling can be exacerbated by negative feelings associated with the idea of eternal polygamy (for those in the church who have that belief); that it must not be important to invest in personal intimate love since it will have to be given up eventually; in this model, anyone worthy will do. As Mormons, our notion of marriage sometimes get separated from the notion of love and mixed up in obedience and rewards and duty. That’s a shame.

    Having been married nearly 20 years now I can only say that marriage without love would not be worth prolonging for eternity. The only kind of eternal marriage is one we build lovingly, one act of service at a time. People must come before ideas. And we have to enjoy our spouses. You really embodied the friendship that marriage should be based on. A spouse cannot take on the role of parent. That is inappropriate and not an eternal love construct.

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.

  23. February 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I loved this. Fantastic.

    My (True Believing) wife wouldn’t even listen to it.

  24. Mark
    February 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Eric & Jacque,
    I have a question for you. Jacque, you mentioned that Eric has remained on the records of the church, so he is still a member and thus obligated to pay tithing. How do the 2 of you handle tithing settlement? In the stake where i reside, when one spouse is a partial tithepayer or non-tithepayer, the temple recommends of both spouses are confiscated, regardless of whether or not the “worthy” spouse is paying a full tithing. If this is policy in your stake, your husband may have to officially resign or just flat out lie to the Bishop come December, in order for you to keep your temple recommend. Have you had to deal with this? Thank you for sharing your experience. It really resonated with my own experience. I came out to my wife a few months ago and she & I are still adjusting.

  25. Jacque
    February 27, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Mark, I am so sorry that your stake leadership feels compelled to behave in this way. I have not encountered anything like this, but have heard similar stories. If church leaders want to keep faithful, worthy members out of the temple based on the behaviour of their spouses, then that is truly sad.

    I guess I will do my best to hold onto my recommend. But, if the church wants it back I will comply. I have to say that the whole idea goes against pretty much everything our church stands for, that each of us is responsible for our own actions and will be held accountable for such. If the leadership sees non payment of tithing as a sin, why punish one spouse for the other’s failings?

  26. Mark
    February 27, 2010 at 6:39 am

    ” If the leadership sees non payment of tithing as a sin, why punish one spouse for the other’s failings?”-
    Jacque, I don’t know if you asked this rhetorically or not, but I’ll just answer anyway. Basically, the thinking is that the income that one spouse brings into the marriage is an increase for both spouses. You know, “whatever is mine is yours”. So, if one spouse doesn’t pay tithing on his/her income, its like the other spouse has not paid tithing either. Thank you for responding so quickly. I’m happy that you haven’t had to deal with this.

  27. Jacque
    February 27, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Mark, I totally understand that point of view, but I have to say its something I totally disagree with. Stake Presidents are given alot of leeway in how they deal with the members in their stake.

    I know of instances where the BP and SP allowed the believing spouse to have a TR even though the disaffected spouse did not pay tithing AND did not allow the believing spouse to pay tithing on her own earnings. They asked: Would you pay if you could? The desires of the heart were far more important to them than the money. This is how it should be for everyone.

    I went in for my TR interview several months after DH’s disaffection. By then I had been paying tithing in MY name only. DH stopped paying immediately after his crisis of faith. So, my BP had to know that as a couple we were not full tithe payers. But, the TR interview questions ask ME if I am a full tithe payer. I answered yes, without any reservations.

    Some of the boards have threads that deal with this very issue. You may want to visit them and get some ideas.

  28. Rich_uk
    March 3, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Hey John

    Fantastic that you`ve brought the podcasts back. They`ve been a great source of help to me over the past few years.
    I agree with the other comments on here that this was not only a good interview but one that is of great importance. Only you could provide the forum for it to take place.

    I do have a comment to make though on the discussion on cafeteria mormons. Is there not a big difference between someone who chooses to accept only certain aspects of doctrine/practice due to the nature of their belief and someone who chooses what to focus on due the pressure/time of day to day living?

    I had this discussion with my bishop about a year or so ago. When discussing what I was happy doing/not doing he made a similar comment that no one can do everything so we prioritise where our focus will be depending on our circumstances. The difference I pointed out though is that for standard church members this is a practical necessity and that they they still maintain a conviction that the things they are skipping on are true. For me it was the case that I was actively avoiding certain teachings,etc because I did not believe they were true.
    From the outside both approaches can appear the same but in terms of motivation are they not fundamentally different? Would both be included under the same category? I`ve not thought this one through too much yet, it was just a thought that really struck me whilst listening over the last couple of days. I`d be interested to hear yours and others opinions on this.

    keep up the good work

    Rich_uk

  29. March 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Rich,

    Could it be that it is also impossible (or highly unlikely) to believe everything?

  30. Rich_uk
    March 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Ah John, you`ve gone all Stage 5ey on me now :)

    I accept completely that for even the most faithful member that what is understandable is finite. life too short, brain too limited,etc. And that if it were possible to know all things, human nature would still cause them to struggle with something.
    I can`t help but feel though that for such a person the response will most likely be “ok, I struggle to understand concept A and if called to live it would have a hard time so I`ll put it to one side in the knowledge that one day it`ll make sense”.

    Maybe I`m being too black and white. Maybe its because I sometimes feel a bit, fraudulent is too harsh a word, duplicious maybe when talking to some hypothetical person at church who doesn`t know how I feel when we discuss something like a practice that neither of us follow. Our motivations are not the same. They`re probably thinking “Deep down inside I believe it’s right and oneday, when I`m stronger, I hope to be able to keep it”, I`m thinking “Nope, don`t believe its right, aint going to do it”.

    I`m still struggling to accept that, if our motivations were laid bare, they would still see me as part of the group.

    Now whether that should cause me any anxiety is a different question.

  31. Flor
    March 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Rich I had the same thoughts as you during the Cafeteria Mormon segment.
    It was interesting to hear Jacque’s perspective on the term, and I agree that all Mormons choose from the buffet. But there is a big distinction between those who reject doctrine as false, and those who don’t have the mortal capacity or enough time in the day to follow it all. As a Cafeteria Mormon/NOM I believe section 132 of the D & C did not come from God and it flies in the face of everything I believe is sacred and holy in marriage. I could not overcome what my conscience was screaming at me when I learned of Joseph Smith’s polygamy and all the teachings on it from LDS Prophets.

    I also do not believe LDS Prophets receive any special witness or ability to define doctrine than the rest of us have. There is no question I would leave the church if mortal polygamy returned, and I currently struggle with raising my kids in a Patriarchal church that still practices spiritual polygamy in the temple, and teaches children to obey Prophets as if they are infallible. But all of my LDS friends would say “I believe it’s a principle from God and one day we’ll understand it.” They believe Prophets are the mouthpiece for God. They may not ever live plural marriage, but they still believe it was a true revelation from God to Joseph Smith. In order to believe in eternal marriage and the sealing, they have to accept that scripture. I don’t believe in the rank and file view of “forever family” (what exactly does it even mean when played out in heaven?), so I can reject it.

    But I can also agree with how Jacque uses the term. Take for example the Word of Wisdom. Most LDS don’t follow the scripture on eating meat only in times of famine, and cherry pick which parts of the WoW they are going to follow. (although this is probably because church leaders have chosen to only focus on certain aspects of it) There are many examples of doctrine and scriptures that LDS do not currently follow or have a testimony of yet; plural marriage being the big one.
    Line upon line.

  32. Flor
    March 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Jacque,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I was very uplifted by it, and felt my own faith strengthened by your words. You are very articulate and have a natural talent for speech. I’m curious about your profession or degree. This is one of my favorite podcasts ever and I plan to listen to it again! In addition to helping spouses of disaffected members, I think your words could help struggling members who have been shaken by church history.

    I was also curious what the catalyst or main issue for your husband’s faith crisis was. Did any of the information you learned on FAIR cause you to feel upset and shaken? My husband remains a believer and was very supportive when my whole world fell apart. I cried for a month straight and hated to wake each morning. Sleeping was the only time I could escape the nightmare of what I had learned. I’m not sure what would have happened if he had been angry or threatened divorce……I was in such a fragile state. I probably would have faked it to save my marriage.

    His views (and yours) make me question my own, and keep my mind open to the possibility that the church is what it claims, and to not make God in my own image. There are times I wish I could go back and put those issue back on the shelf. But I’m so much happier not believing in things that deeply hurt my spirit, that I don’t ever want to go back to the orthodox Mormon I was.

    I laughed so hard when you said something like “my husband thought after I learned the same things he had, that I would march right out of the church hand in hand with him with rose petals lining our path.” That pretty much describes what I was feeling the moment I shared polygamy books with my husband. I expected him to be shocked/devastated and have his testimony shattered as mine was.

    Although I never had one ounce of desire (and still don’t) for my husband to leave the church, it is very hard to understand how he could view the same information so differently than me. I also can’t understand why he never felt shaken or betrayed by the church, when we both had been raised Mormon and learned the same white washed version of history.

    Thank you Jacque. I would love to hear more podcasts with you speaking on Mormon issues in the future.

  33. Rich_uk
    March 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Yes I agree Flor that there are a number of ways of using the term cafeteria mormon and Jacque`s was certainly a valid one. I think when I heard the term used it brought forward my interpretation and some of the my questions I have about it. I feel we all have slightly different issues we are dealing with that colour the way we think about various concepts.

    I too would like to echo your comments on the podcast overall. It was a unique and brave podcast for Jacque to take part in, one that I think will be refered to for a long time to come.
    Jacque your view on eternal marriage was one I`d never really considered before but makes so much sense and is so refreshing.

  34. Flor
    March 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with you Rich.
    Jacque’s view of eternal marriage is beautiful and very enlightening to me.
    I wish this podcast was required listening for every LDS couple.
    The church is going to need more members like Jacque and John Dehlin if it intends to keep families together as more members begin to discover Mormon history/doctrine from the internet.

  35. Flor
    March 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Another comment that really resonated with me was when Jacque said it wouldn’t be heaven without her husband. She wouldn’t want to be in the Celestial Kingdom if he wasn’t there. This is how I have always felt for my DH, who is a believer. If I can’t ever be with the ones I love again, that would be hell.
    Consequently, my world fell apart when I read all the doctrinal teachings from Prophets that plural marriage was required for exaltation, and that it would return at the millennium. My faith was so centered around having a forever family/eternal marriage that I cared more about making it back to them than anything else. My dreams were shattered much like the spouses of the disaffected, but I was on the other side of it.

    My DH is a very good man/husband/father, and I know he loves me dearly, but I think heaven for him is more about making it back to God, much like a missionary coming home. I don’t think he would sacrifice exaltation to hang out with me in the Terrestrial or Telestial Kingdom. Our entire marriage I’ve felt as if he’s been on this spiritual journey alone. Don’t get me wrong though…. his belief in heaven is more about who he becomes, and not which Kingdom he’s going to or the people he’s going to be with.

  36. Jacque
    March 5, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Hi, sorry it has taken me some time to get back to this conversation. So many wonderful compliments and comments. Thank you!

    Flor, you asked what the catalyst was for my husband’s disaffection. It was Prop 8. He simply could not understand why our church would wade into a marriage battle considering our own unique history. So, he started looking into polygamy and the dominoes started falling. The Book of Abraham was the straw that broke the camels back.

    You asked me about my reaction to the apologists. Yes, I did visit the apologist sites, as well as many less friendly sites. The information that I learned was definitely disturbing to me. Some things I have been able to work through and feel ok about. Others I have had to say, “That was wrong. That should not have been done”.

    But, I do not feel that I need to play apologist for the church or any of its former leaders. The 1950’s church held little resemblence to the church of the 19th century. Likewise, the church today looks little like the church of the mid twentieth century. I suspect that the church will continue to evolve and in 50 years will look altogether different again. If Joseph visited and LDS ward today I think he would hardly recognize it.

    I have specific reason for being a believer, but I understand why so many lose their faith. If it were just one thing, or two, or ten, then it would be so much easier for people to hold on to their testimonies. But when it becomes a deluge of faith damaging discoveries, holding onto faith becomes more and more difficult. For many, it proves impossible. I simply cannot look upon those who become disaffected with a critical eye. THEY did not create this mess, they simmply stumbled into it.

    I know you have asked a few more questions and I will try to get back to you on all of them. But I have to go to bed right now.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Thank you EVERYONE for your words of support and kindness. This has been an amazing experience for me.

  37. Martha
    March 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Jacque and John, this was wonderful. You validated many of my feelings about marriage and its importance even in difficult situations. I wonder if you or others have advise for me. I get to teach Celestial Marriage in Gospel Doctrine this Sunday, and I am struggling. Looking at Ensign articles I find talks by GA’s that are so black and white I want to puke (Nelson’s in particular). I know of several in the ward that are in non-ideal situations (in the eyes of church culture), and I don’t want to teach that we have to be in a marriage of two believing people that never have a faith crisis in order to obtain exaltation. I know from years of not meeting that ideal that it is torture to hear that. But at the same time I don’t want to teach the philosophies of Martha or turn it in to a church culture bashing session. How do I do this delicate dance?

  38. campeche
    March 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I attend a Spanish-speaking ward in a Spanish-speaking stake and almost all of our members are converts. I find almost all of them to be “cafeteria mormons”. I suppose it’s because their roots in the church are not deep (ancestrally speaking) and they don’t seem particularly interested in church history, and may, in fact, be a little put-off by people who talk about their pioneer ancestors in a “prideful” way. Most of our members have no problem adhering to the doctrine they agree with, such as the WOW, and ignoring the doctrine that’s not convenient, such as tithing. As a 5th gen. Mormon, I used to find this attitude maddening, but I now realize that the church means something different to them than it does to me. In the end, I think we’re all just trying to do our best……

  39. Jacque
    March 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Martha, I think the best way to approach this issue in your lesson is to bring up the point that eternity is a VERY long time, longer than any of us can comprehend. We have every reason to hope and have faith that sometime,during that incomprehendable amount of time, all things will be worked out. Our task, while on this earth, is to learn how to love our spouses in a way that they will actually want to be with us for eternity.

  40. Martha
    March 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you both. I will let you know how it goes. Part of what I may talk about, if the conversation goes this direction, is to discuss that the church is a vehicle for learning and applying the gospel in our lives. This vehicle may not work for all people (abuse, feeling lied to, politics, etc) and that we need to accept that other ‘vehicles’ such as other churches or approaches to the gospel may be better fits for some. We need to love and respect these choices, just as I hope that those who leave the church can understand that the LDS ‘vehicle’ works for those that stay. Jacque, I really like your last line. Thanks

  41. Jacque
    March 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Martha, how did the lesson go?

  42. Melissa Douthit
    March 28, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Hi John,

    I liked this post because I think it is really great how you are helping people in the Church who are struggling with these issues and still trying to keep their families together. We need more people like you and more websites like yours. I personally believe that if the Church claims to nurture and promote strong families, it needs to provide these kinds of services for families who are struggling with problems when they begin to discover things about the Church that are true, that cause them to have doubts, instead of treating them like they have some sort of disease which ends in splitting apart their families.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.

    God Bless,
    Melissa

  43. Heather
    April 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Jacque & John –

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for doing this interview. I’m the “believing” spouse of a wonderful man who has been struggling with his faith for 8+ years (we’ve been married for 12), and has, in the past several years, become extremely “anti” towards the church. Our situation is a little different (my husband was actually a born-and-raised Mormon who served a faithful mission and married me in the temple, but he has now been disfellowshipped for reasons that exist beyond his disaffection), but as I listened, I still felt — for the first time in all the years we’ve been dealing with this — that someone understands! Words cannot express how wonderful that feels. Our oldest child is going to be baptized in just 2 days (not by her father, obviously), so this has been an especially difficult time for both my husband and I, and my discovery of this podcast could not have come at a better time. Over the years, I’ve become better able to deal with my husband’s disaffection, but it still hurts with each new development (his most recent desire to stop wearing garments and take up coffee drinking, for example). This podcast — and an article on StayLDS.com, which was referenced in the first part of this interview — has helped me to understand things a little better from my husband’s perspective, and given me a lot of great tips for dealing with it. I, too, love my husband more than anything in this life or beyond, and divorce has never been an option. But I have struggled with what his disaffection meant from an eternal perspective, and how it would affect me and our children. Jacque’s words gave me the comfort I needed — Like her, I want to believe tha the power of our sealing is greater than his disaffection. And like Jacque, if my husband isn’t going to be with me in the celetial kingdom, then I don’t want to be there, either!

    I love the gospel, but there are certain parts of our church culture that I feel are just wrong. One of these is the way we exclude those who question, and make them feel like second-rate citizens. We need more people like Jacque in our church — those who allow differences in believe without criticism, those who don’t try to pretend that our families are perfect by church standards! Until we as a church can be more open about our own struggles, there will continue to be people like me who feel very alone, even when in reality, we are not.

    Thanks again for a WONDERFUL program. I’ll be saving this link in my favorites for days when the situation is getting me down …

    – Heather

  44. Jacque
    April 9, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Heather, I am so glad you found the podcast. I am so sorry that you have such turbulence in your life. I hope the baptism goes well. Please hold your husband tight, as this weekend might be very difficult for him. It sounds like you have been a wonderful wife to him, just keep doing that.

  45. Brad
    May 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I finished listening to your story today and must say that it has given me new hope in keeping my marriage together. I am the “cafeteria mormon” in our family and your story has really helped us come to some agreements and to kind a workable solution. I must say the incident you mentioned regarding your husband giving a blesing to your daughter really hit home as I recently had the same experience. My wife (of 26 years), 19 year old daughter and I were traveling in Europe and she became violently ill and made the request of me despite knowing somewhat of where I stand with regards to the church and religion in general, well I complied and she felt “comforted” which was really great. Thanks again for sharing and I hope things are going well for you and your family.

  46. Sandra
    June 5, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Dearest Jacque,

    I should first of all let you know, I am not a Mormon and have never been, but because I married a former Mormon and all his family are Mormon and I am surrounded by Mormons alot of whom are good friends of mine, I have done a lot of research on Mormononism to understand it better. I am in fact a spirit-filled born-again devoted follower of Christ Jesus my Savior God and King, to Him alone I give ALL Glory and Honor. I listened to your entire podcast and I really feel I need to tell you with all the love I have and feel inside for you, that I believe it sounds as if you are loving your husband even more than you are loving God. You put so much emphasis on eternal marriage and eternal love of your husband and even said something like if your husband is not going to be in the celestial kingdom where God lives, than you don’t want to be there either, you want to be with your husband because you love him. Can I honestly say, hearing those words actually made me sick to my stomach and made me really sad inside for you. WE are all commanded by God to First Love Him with ALL our hearts, soul, mind and strength, and second to love our neighbors as ourselves… I believe you have the two flipped and I would even go as far to say you are loving your husband as if he were a god/idol. I believe you truly need to confess this sin to God and repent, I also believe you need to rethink your approach to our Creator God, a Consuming Fire who has made it possible for us sinful creatures to become adopted into His family and be called His children through His precious gift of grace. He loves you, and He wants you to love Him more than anything or anyone. If you love your family more than Him, you are not worthy of Him. God needs to be the one on the pedestal, not your husband or your church. I say this all with the sincerest respect for you and with a love that only comes from above. I am praying for you Jacque, humble yourself realizing you are completely unworthy and surrender to Christ today. He will create in you a new heart, you will be a new creation in Jesus in right standing with God only because of His perfect blood shed for you. He will set you free from man-made religious do’s and don’ts and untrue fables and sealings, and give you a peace that goes beyond all of your understanding. You need only to have true faith in Jesus Christ your Savior as the only way to live with God the Father and you will be saved you and your house, and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. Trust in Jesus, Love and Serve Him only and live in His grace!!!

    Love in Christ Jesus my Lord and King,
    Sandra:)
    John 14:6&7, 2 Corinthians 11:2&3, Galatians 1:6&7, Ephesians 1:13, Acts 16:31-34

  47. Jacque
    June 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Brad, sorry I am just getting back to you. I’m so happy the podcast helped. I love that you were able to bless your daughter. I love to hear about families that are making this work. Best of everything to your family!

  48. Jacque
    June 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Sandra,
    Thanks for your concern and prayers.

  49. Eric
    June 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Sandra. I think your heart is in the right place but your words fall far short. Wouldn’t it be possible that Jacque and I are following God’s will by staying together? We have 3 children…three of God’s precious spirits that were entrusted to us. If we were to split up over religious differences, how would our children interpret this? Wouldn’t they see that God honors marriage over selfish personal needs? Jacque and I believe that we are honoring God by staying together.

  50. Sandra
    July 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Eric,

    Yes I believe you are following God’s will and honoring God by staying together. God hates divorce. I never said you should separate or get divorced. I believe divorce should be avoided at all cost. Forgiveness should abound in EVERY situation. We all need forgiveness, we all mess up, we all sin everyday, we all say and do things to others that hurt them. True love is when we are able to forgive those who have hurt us the most. The only way we can love that way is by realizing God’s perfect, unconditional love for us and loving Him back above all else. It is God who gives us the ability to love and forgive others. Without loving Him first it is impossible for us to forgive and love others with His love. Please stay together, but please put God first in your life. Your relationship with Him is MOST important. Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    With the love of Christ Jesus my Lord God,
    Sandra :)

  51. Mary Ann Schauerhamer
    November 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    It was helpful to listen to this. I believe, however, that it is important to be honest with your children and yourself and acknowledge that when a spouse is not in compliance with the teachings of the modern day prophet, including with the Word of Wisdom, that they are indeed going contrary to the Lord’s will. You can’t just justify everything that they do is somehow acceptable in the church. If your children are offended by your spouse’s non-compliance with the gospel, and that causes friction between them, that is not something you have to control. It is more important to tell your children the truth about the gospel than to justify your spouse’s actions in an attempt to protect his reputation. It’s more important to love God than it is to love a spouse or any other person. It’s more important to go to the Celestial Kingdom than to be with a spouse in the next life.

  52. Jared
    November 10, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Dear Jacque, Eric, and John:

    I wanted to thank each of you for the part you played in producing these exceptional podcasts. My wife and I were profoundly touched as we listened to your eloquent expression of your beliefs and above all, your love for your husband, Jacque. I kept looking over to my wife, and saying, “Man, she just GETS it!” The main point I want to share is that I strongly feel that based on what we know from the New Testament, Jesus would support your actions Jacque. Far too few readers of the gospels understand Jesus’ central message: That we should not let the details of our religion (such as purity laws in the Pharisees’ day or the Word of Wisdom in ours) get in the way of the *central point* of our religion, which is loving God and loving our neighbor. This is actually the point of the Good Samaritan parable… the Priest and Levite were not jerks; they were prevented by their religious roles from touching a dead body. Jesus’ point was that the hated Samaritans (like the worst kind of non-member in our culture) was closer to God and His purposes than the most esteemed members of the religious community. I pray we can all take that lesson to heart, and you clearly have. Well done.

    Your story resonated so much with me, and we were both moved hearing it. I am finishing up my PhD in religion and so my views have become very complicated and nuanced… My wife is going on this journey with me and understands my views, though she herself is not driven to ask these questions. I have felt better loved and understood because of these podcasts, and this was one of our favorites.

    So thank you again, Jacque, for your courage and eloquence, and especially for your understanding of Jesus’ most important message–that we love each other. Listening to this was one of the more spiritual experiences I have had recently.

    As a side note, your thoughts on the Word of Wisdom delighted me. I am actually a vegetarian because of the Word of Wisdom. Technically, shouldn’t *all* addictions (sugar included) render us noncompliant with this commandment, rather than just the official interpretation? Wouldn’t that be something if those guidelines of mastery of spirit over flesh were instituted!

  53. November 11, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Jacque, thank you so much for sharing your story! My husband (Jared, commenter above) and I listened to it together and were both so moved by your openness and love for your husband. You so beautifully expressed your beliefs. I was particularly struck by how you said you believe the priesthood and your sealing are both stronger than your husbands disbelief. I also loved how you spoke of living by faith instead of knowledge. As I have gone on my own faith journey since getting married and confronted more of the messiness that exists in Church history/doctrine, I too feel that I must live more by faith. I no longer feel I can say “I know” as many things as I once did. But I most certainly have faith and believe in what I see as most important–number one being LOVE.

  54. Jacque
    November 11, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Jared and Katrina, I truly appreciate the kind words. I’m so happy you found value in the podcast. So often, people say there is nothing in our mormon upbringing that prepares us for the disaffection of a spouse. In many ways this is true, unless we look into our hearts AND into our own scripture. Our baptismal covenants, as taught in the Book of Mormon, ask us to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, essentially to do what He would do. We promise to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. Those going through a crisis of faith surely qualify as standing in need of comfort.

    Once again, thank you, not only for your thoughtful comments, but for your obvious devotion to each other. Love trumps everything.

    Jacque

  55. Lee
    January 25, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Jaques and John,
    Thank your for you for this podcast. It was an answer to my prayer today. I have recently found myself in a similar situation and felt like I was floundering and was tying myself up in knots of uncertainty. Jagues words and clarity have helped erase those knots stomach, providing clarity of though and strengthened confidence in expressing my faith to my spouse. I am grateful for the resources provided.

  56. Jacque
    January 25, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Lee, I’m glad the podcast brought you comfort. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers, as well as your spouse. Blessings to you.

  57. Uncle Al
    February 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I listened to all 3, and you totally touched my heart. 

    I love my wife SOOOO Much. I would go great lengths to spare her pain.One such length was going to the bishop 2 days ago, and getting a recommend, (Last scraps of faith to answer the questions , shall we say,. . . wishfully) I deccided that the next time I got suprise day off, I would go to the temple. In a couple of weeks when that happ–WHAT? I get a day off? Today? Oh, Ok…. Ok, go in with best intentions, pray and be earnest, open my mind and my heart and my soul. I can do this!!Um, so, The Creation part with the beauty and majesty of the earth and the animals. The Ibis, specifically struck me with the Idea that there just might be a creator God. The Rest of it. . . I TRIED and Tried, but all I could do was find it silly and pointless, and that If the Creator did exist, (still iffy on that) He does NOT have anything to do with what I was sitting through.I prayed in each room, afterward in the Celestial room, I prayed, more earnestly than ever. I read some random Psalms. I prayed for something to make it all true for me.I ate reasonably palatable cafeteria food. I left. I cried all the way home. I’m typing through tears. I know I am going to hurt my dear sweet wife. I could continue to live a lie. I could just “pretend” I believe. I could shut up and continue to do the bare minimum sacrament attendence ( which I will still probably do even if I ‘Come Out”) I could let her keep believing that everything is A-Ok.I could, but I don’t think I can. I’t all been smart alecky intelectual theorizing. Today it is a giant scary Reality. I can’t do it for a while still, we started dating ON Valentines day. Not gonna spoil that, but more and more I feel so false and like I’m deceiving her. Your podcast helps me to have hope, but I know it’s gonna be HARD!!

  58. Jacque
    March 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Uncle Al, I will keep you in my heart. 

  59. Craig
    June 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I’m pretty late to this party, but I had to post here and say how great this podcast was. I am pretty new to this whole faith crisis thing, still trying to pick up the pieces and seeing if there is anything left that I can have faith in. Through it all my own wife has been a model of Christlike love through adversity, and Jacque, your words show that you have those same qualities. That kind of acceptance and respect has gone a long way in helping me to avoid looking down on those who still believe (although it is still hard sometimes not to think “why don’t they see it the same way I do?”). If your faith gives you the strength to show that much love, then that’s something I can absolutely respect.

    I also think you had great practical advice for those on both sides of this coin. Your concept of eternal marriage as love so strong that nothing can separate you is beautiful and profound, and I will definitely be pondering that for quite a while going forward. But I think my favorite my favorite line of the whole podcast might be the one about you being Elastgirl, holding on to the iron rod and your husband at the same time. :) That kind of flexibility and devotion should be found in all marriages, not just mixed belief ones.

    I hope you and your family are still doing well, and I would love to hear you on another podcast. Maybe one with both you and your husband, it would be great to hear his thoughts, too. Come on, John, make it happen! :)

    • Jessica
      October 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I absolutely loved this!

      It’s so good to hear from people that have been experiencing some of the same things my husband and I have been going through. My husband has struggled with his belief in the doctrines of the church for our entire marriage (10 years). Although I didn’t know this when I married him, because I think he was just beginning to question at that time and didn’t really know himself. Our marriage has been tried and tested by a smorgasbord of hardships, one of those being my husband struggle with faith. At one point I actually moved out and completely believed our marriage was over. I can honestly say that was the most excutiatingly, painful thing I’ve ever been through. I can’t even comprehend how people that truly love each other get divorced. Just believing that it was over made me feel as though my husband and my in laws had died, and that I was barely holding on to sanity for my children.
      To make a very long story short, it has now been 3 years since that time, since then, I have realized it would be impossible for me to leave my husband because I love him too much. I had a lot of soul searching to do and figured out a lot of the things that you, Jacque, spoke about. The most important thing I realized was that my testimony was rooted in some very spiritual experiences that has given me absolute knowledge in the existence of God and His son Jesus Christ, and that in the end that was all that mattered to me. There are many questions out there and weird historical issues in the church, but none of it shakes me from my faith in God and His son. With this anchor, I am able to listen to and consider all that my husband and others struggle with, and I can consider the questions and historical issues myself. I am comforted in my absolute knowledge in the love of a Heavenly Father and His son.
      With this knowledge I was able to move forward and find sympathy and understanding for my husband in all the things he was struggling with. He was finally able to open up to me about his feelings and when he finally saw that I was going to love him and stick with him no matter what, our relationship completely changed.
      Today we are happier than we have ever been. We share a friendship and intamacy that I began to think was just found in fairy tales and not in real marriages. I believe this has all been possible because I have leaned on the Savior and He nurtured me and taught me how to truly love my husband like He loves him. I believe all of us need to find that pure love that Christ has for us, so that we can see things more clearly.
      Thank you all for so many great comments and such a great discussion!

      • marie s
        October 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

        i am touched and humbled. i have been going through this for the last 4-5 years with my husband. i still believe. he does not. i have been struggling with fully committing to him. not just because of his disinterest with the church, but because other things have been hard as well. but i am trying so hard to commit and empathize. to look at myself and realize more fully what true chirstlike love is. for him. and for me. and to accept my part in this. to stop blaming. and be a team. it is SO nice to hear others stories. i really appreciate your openness. thank you. i hope to find more peace soon. i want so badly for my husband to feel truly loved by me and i want to have more hope for our life together.

      • sarah
        October 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        thank you for your comment. my husband and i have been struggling with many things for years. i have had a very hard time committing due to that. and i know that hasn’t been very fair to him. i have struggled with respecting him and his choices. mainly because the way he went about things. i want more honesty. but it gives me much hope when i read stories like yours. i would love to stay as a family. i just don’t want all the pain anymore. i hope that change can come soon and i can have more love and understanding. thank you

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