“I have a family here on earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all Eternity.”− Children's Songbook pg. 188
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe they can be with their
families forever. For Eternity. There are few things as important as being together as a family forever.
Though this emphasis on Eternal Families might seem innocent to the average person, it is a source of
contention and grief for many who have studied, struggled, prayed and ultimately found their way our
of the Mormon fold.
It's a complicated emotion to say the least. What is the best way to explain why family members
and loved ones who, while they may not have always gotten along perfectly, used to peacefully interact,
engage and enjoy each others company, go from a type of love and understanding to hurt, anger,
anguish and sometimes completely shunning of the “apostate?” Perhaps no community knows the pain
of disaffection and silence more than the members of the recovery forum Postmormon.com. Hundreds
of members a day flock to the site daily to discuss, vent, learn, grow, and most importantly, heal.
As one Post-Mormon member points out, it all boils down to simple “truths” learned as a child
in Sunday School. The song Families Can be Together Forever repeats the lines
Families can be together forever,
through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
and the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.
At the heart of this seemingly harmless song lies one major reason both Post-Mormons and their still
believing family members feel such a divide. One user explains, “They [The Church] can get out of
it. If it [the family] doesn't work out correctly, blame the member. You just didn't follow The Plan.”