After JR and I were married, we still faced many challenges. Although I was open to the idea of polygamy, I was still afraid of my “monogamous” church. I wanted JR to have more wives, but I thought it may just have to wait for the next life. Unfortunately, I allowed some excellent opportunities to pass me by out of fear of persecution from my family and the church. One such memory still brings great pains of sorrow to my heart. One of my younger sisters was having some trouble with my family and came to stay with us for a week. She was expressing her desire to live a higher standard than her “monogamous” church allowed. Here was a perfect opportunity for me to tell her that I felt the same, and to ask her if she was interested in staying and being part of our family, but I still couldn’t let go of the way I had been brainwashed as a child that if I went against the church I would go to hell, so I said nothing. My sister went on to eventually leave the church anyway, shack up with one guy, then marry someone else, which ended in divorce. She is now engaged to a very nice Muslim man, and while he does not have any other wives, his religion allows it and it still could be in her future. She has had some very hard times in her life and when I think of her all I can think of is how I could have spared her all of those sorrows if I had just let go of my fear of my “monogamous” church.
As time went on, and as JR and I saw more and more of the hypocrisies of the “monogamous” church and its leaders, I slowly started overcoming my fear and started standing up for my freedom to choose and make my own decisions for the welfare and safety of my children. We love spending time with our children and most of the time we would only go to church activities that allowed us to bring our children with us. At church we would keep our children with us and taught them to be well behaved and respectful at all times. We started to be ostracized by church members because we refused to follow their traditions of putting their church before the chastity of their children. The members called us evil because we did not want our children to be taken away and molested like I and so many other children had been at the hands of this “monogamous” church.
Thoughts of freedom for my family were often in my mind and I finally decided to put my family and my God before the church. I wanted my children to be free to live as they felt was the best, and if I followed the rules of the “monogamous” church, they might never find that freedom. I told JR that I wanted to live according to the dictates of our consciences and to do what we thought was right.
By now we had met many other fundamentalists and I had learned that everything the “monogamous” church had told me about them had been a lie. They were normal people just trying their best to live the way that God wanted them to. I saw so much love and kindness that I desperately wanted the same for my family.