“I started a blog to talk about how I’m ‘Faking it’ as a Mormon…I haven’t told my husband I joined for him.”
Calling herself “The Faker,” the blogger describes herself as “Married, childless, petless, late-20s… and, of course, fumbling through life as a make-believe Mormon.” Her blog, Faking It — The Life and Times of a Make-Believe Mormon, is the place where, she says, “I [can] tell the world how I really feel.” And she does.
The Faker fell in love with a Mormon man (returned missionary) and converted to Mormonism so she wouldn’t lose him. Then she married him. She writes,
“I have a handsome RM husband who absolutely adores me. He is an incredibly motivated person who is on his way up in a big corporation. Working is optional for me. We own a nice house. So on and so forth. And I totally wish I was as thrilled with that as I feel like I should be.
“In actuality, though, I’m not. I feel trapped a lot. I have a lot of resentment stemming from the pressure that was applied to me to convert. Worse than that, however, is the feeling I can’t shake that I was deceitful and made my own bed. After all, I pretended I was okay with converting and all that jazz. Much more serious than having pretended to love action films, for instance.”
The Faker isn’t mad at the LDS Church — she just doesn’t believe it and doesn’t enjoy going and being a part of that faith. And she feels trapped. After sending in her Post Secret last week she found she wasn’t alone. People who heard of The Faker’s blog flocked to her site to encourage and empathize. Some of the comments left by other make-believe Mormons are heartbreaking as they express their fears and regrets. A few excerpts:
“I went though the motions to marry the LDS girl I love, even the two year ‘wasted time’ adventure. I go to the three hour death march every Sunday. I don’t have a single true friend in the ward, but [what] I have is a phone ringing off the wall with folks asking me to do things for them…”
“I am a different person at church than I am at home — I am lucky my husband knows who I truly am, but I can’t open my heart to him and tell him how wrong I feel doing certain things. …I haven’t let him watch me weep…”
“I grew up in Utah…lived the ‘faking it’ life for about 5 years, 2 of which was married to the RM husband. I couldn’t do it any longer… It was a huge struggle for me day in and day out to ‘fake it’.”
“I am in my forties, I went on a mission for the LDS faith. Now I’m a faker for my children. I’m not sure how that’s going to go. My guess is that it will go badly.”
So these people find themselves between a rock and a hard place. What should they do? Continue the make-believe or come clean? The Faker writes,
“Whether or not [my husband] really *grasps* the full extent of my discontent is more iffy…It’s not like he has the constant barrage of doubts, thoughts, et cetera that I have. Understandable.
“The other problem is that the whole ‘doing something about it’ is easier said than done. For those of you who have been in the LDS church, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not a part-time religion. Your whole life tends to revolve around it…
“So, have no fear: I’m not pretending to be a Molly [Mormon] to my husband. And trust me, he’s expressed regret for pressuring me back in the day. We were both naïve. It’s just very difficult to know what choices to make from here. Where is my crystal ball?”
Many of The Faker’s readers told her to be obedient to the restored gospel, to fulfill her callings, to seek more diligently for a testimony of the Book of Mormon, to put the best face on her doubts and wait them out — in other words, keep up the charade. I don’t think that’s what Jesus would tell her to do. Nor would He tell her to consult a crystal ball. Finding wisdom in God’s Word, this is what I believe this young woman should consider:
- Regarding her relationship with her husband, love “rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
- Regarding feeling trapped, “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
- Regarding her relationship with her LDS friends, “Speak the truth to one another;… love no false oath,…[and] love truth” (Zechariah 8:16-18).
Jesus taught of the folly of building a house on the sand. When the winds and rain come, the house will fall. But, those who are wise build on the rock. Then when the storms come, the house will stand firm (Matthew 7:24-27). The Faker is building her house — her life — on sand. She fails to trust the words of Christ. She believes living the truth will cost her too much. But Jesus also taught, “[W]hoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).
Truth is often costly. To each make-believe Mormon (and to everyone else), I encourage you to believe and act on Christ’s words: love the truth — the truth will set you free. Build your life on the Rock. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), so lose your life for the sake of the Truth, and by His grace, you will find new life — and be at peace.
I agree with The Faker’s sentiment, “The other problem is that the whole ‘doing something about it’ is easier said than done.” She’s right; it’s easy to say and yet much harder to do. Nevertheless, it is true — and it is worth doing something about.