I Stopped Believing in Santa — Not the Mormon Church too!
Losing faith in the Mormon Church is similar to losing faith in Santa Claus.
By the time I had reached second grade I knew Santa wasn’t real. My parents never pressured me into believing in Santa, but the idea and concept did linger. My best friend was a “true believer in Santa.” Every year he would write a list of toys and games. Then he would give it to his mom to mail off. He was absolutely convinced Santa was real. It wasn’t just him that knew Santa was real, many of the kids in my Elementary class did too.
Just before the holiday break my second grade class had a party. A girl name Megan announced that she was super excited for Santa to come. I could see the beam and glow in her eye. Every fiber of her soul knew that Santa was real. She had a testimony of Santa — he came every year, left her gifts, and one year wrote a note about how great the cookies and milk were. I looked at Megan feeling conflicting emotions. I wanted Santa to be real. I really did. I thought that maybe if I tried hard enough to believe in Santa he would miraculously burst into life. I didn’t know what to do. I spoke up…
“Santa isn’t real. Santa is your Mom and Dad.”
I was sure my comment would devastate her but it didn’t. Instead the class started to argue about Santa. Many students said he was real and knew it. A few like me insisted Santa was made up for fun. My classmates that did believe in Santa were annoyed at us non-believers. They did not instantly give up their belief in Santa like I had hoped. I was only trying to help them. The argument lasted for a while until the teacher told us to be quiet.
I told my teacher in a whisper, “But they believe in Santa and he isn’t real!!” She looked at me and sighed.
“It isn’t your job to tell them not to believe in Santa. In a couple years when they are ready they will find out.”
I had been defeated and gave up on trying to convincing people Santa wasn’t real. Instead I took a different approach and pretended that I really did believe in Santa. I mean if my class mates were so sure he was real, maybe I could will myself into believing it, but I couldn’t. I told my mom I was excited for Santa.
“Sara don’t you remember what we talked about with Santa?”
“No.” I lied.
“I think you remember.” My mom said. She saw right through me.
Even on Christmas day I tried with all my heart to believe a big dude dressed in a red coat had snuck into my house and given me presents but I couldn’t. I could not un-know what I had learned and my testimony in Santa Claus disappeared forever. I would never again be able to believe in Santa.
My belief in Santa Claus will be gone forever. My belief in the Mormon Church is also gone forever. I walked down the dark hallway of knowledge. It’s the same hallway I walked down that rid me of Santa.
In that hallway I discovered things like honest Mormon Church history. I found the Holy Grail of lies and deception. I read and read and read. I discovered things about church history I never knew. Polygamy hurt me in ways I can’t explain as I realized it was part of the ‘fruit’ Joseph Smith had left behind — and a terribly bad fruit at that. I felt crushed to the depths of my soul. I opened something I could never undo. I scoured the internet until 4 in the morning for days and weeks and months. Much of what I read came straight off of LDS.org. Joseph Smith had various accounts of the first vision. I was confused. Slowly I began to sort out my feelings and realized — I had been deceived. I had to stop believing in Santa Claus and at the age of 23 I let go of the Mormon Church knowing that I could never believe in it again.
Unfortunately even if I whisper in someone’s ear, “it’s not true,” the true believer will stand their ground and protest.
However, maybe it’s time to take my second grade teachers words to heart. it isn’t my job to tell them Santa isn’t real.