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sin is never ever a good idea

One of thee worst phrases in all of Mormondom is “You chose this trial.” I have heard this phrase many, many times from well-meaning but ignorant people–especially when we found out we couldn’t have kids. Somehow assigning some nobility to my suffering made them feel better. Well, that stupid phrase never made me feel better. Someone has watched Saturday’s Warrior one too many times if they believe we chose everything before we came to mortality. I don’t even care if it is (I doubt it) true because that doesn’t help me get through today’s troubles. It’s akin to rubbing my face in a bowl full of pain.

The second worst phrase in all of Mormondom, the one that makes me bristle because it is so common, is: “I am grateful for my trials.” Now I believe you can be grateful for the lessons you learn from trials; I believe you can be grateful to feel God’s love for you so acutely in your moment of suffering that you can never again doubt His, or your divinity. And maybe when the trials are just a part of everyday life you can be grateful for the actual trial, but I do not believe for one minute I need to be grateful for the sin that, unbeknownst to me, has been a part of my 20-yr marriage.

I will never, ever be grateful to know that my husband is capable of lying to me.

I will never be grateful to know that my husband has seen and lusted after thousands of naked women.

Sin is never a good idea and we don’t have to go looking for it, nor love it to prove that the Atonement works. As Elder Holland has said, “We don’t have to look for sorrow. We don’t have to seek to be martyrs. Trouble has a way of finding us even without our looking for it.”  Bingo Elder H.

men are that they might

To be grateful for this filthy trial that my husband chose (God did not send this to me) would be to be a martyr, happily suffering because of his misuse of agency. We just read this scripture from 2 Nephi 2:27 with my children the other night “… are that they might have joy.” We are supposed to have joy in this life–we are not here to embrace suffering as martyrs because of someone else’s sins. The Gospel makes me happy, sin does not.

Martyrdom is overrated.


his exit strategy

I made an appointment with a therapist at LDS Family Services. I’ll go see him next week. I think I need to make a list of all the crap that I’m having a hard time getting over. But the #1 thing I need to get over it this: why couldn’t my husband ever be honest with me about this problem? We were best friends. How does one keep a secret like this from his spouse and best friend? Why did he never have one tiny bit of clairvoyance  and clear thought and announce to me “I’ve had a problem since I was 12”.

I keep asking my husband what was his exit strategy, meaning, at what point was he going to fill me in on this double life he was leading? He said there was never a plan to tell me. Ever.

I asked him if like the man in this talk he was going to go to the grave with his secret or else tell me on his death bed like a coward trying to clear his conscience before he met his maker. Again, he said he never thought about it.

I asked him if he ever worried that he would get hit by a bus and die and be afraid of hell because of his sins? Again, he never thought about it.

I asked him, “So you were just going around like a zombie? Never having any thoughts or plans for the future? Never giving your addiction a second thought? Never acknowledging that I had a right to know who I was married to?” He acquiesced, saying that maybe once he licked this problem he thought he would tell me. I asked him, “And after 30 years you never once thought, ‘Gee I may not lick this, I better tell Lorena!'” Again, he never thought about it that way. I reminded him that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Sin makes you stupid. It makes you as dumb as dirt. My husband is a brilliant man with a couple of college degrees yet he never acknowledged that a 30 year problem should be mentioned to me, to a therapist, to a parent, no one. Ever. And that’s what scares me about sin. If it makes you so stupid that you can never be touched by the Spirit again, never be touched by this talk, or this talk, or this one, or a hundred other talks or lessons he was in attendance at, then where is the hope in ever changing?