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In Which I Feel Compelled to Start a Blog Because of a Club and a Unicorn...

My name is Ashley.  I was Mormon for the first 36 years of my life.

Yep, I was baptized when I was 8.  I went to BYU where I received a Bachelors in Theatre.  I married a returned missionary in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple.  We were full tithe payers.  I fulfilled several callings diligently, including serving as Primary President for 2 years.

About a year after my divorce, I was chatting with my new bishop, who I had known for several years prior to that.  He asked me, "So, Ashley, why did you and Matt get divorced?"

I replied, "Matt is a homosexual."

I just looked him in the eye after I said this and waited a few seconds while he absorbed it.

Then he asked, "Well, was there another problem as well?  Like drinking? Or gambling?"
I looked him in the eye a second time and replied, "Nope.  Just that."

He was genuinely confused.


I was in a mixed-orientation marriage- a marriage between someone who is gay and someone who i…
Recent posts

The White Man

Let's leave this ambiguous.

Also, I'm not gonna tell you about experiences that took place with just one white man. For this, I'll make it one lumpy conceptual White Cisgender Heterosexual Conservative Male (cue the music from the 'Beef-It's What's For Dinner!' music).

In the work force, I have to deal with him. I have to play the game of diplomacy without compromising who I am. If it's mental gymnastics, it's the balance beam in heels with someone patting me on the head saying, "Gosh, I just don't know how you do that! I never could do that! But here are some pointers! Hey! Why did you do it like that?? Why aren't you listening?"

...but I just keep doing my thing.

Utah is the type of prime real estate, and certainly not the most prime, where this guy is King. Everything around him is his dominion. He is not a part of a group that is marginalized. For those of you who do not understand what I mean, I'll present you with the ext…

The Counterfeit Experience of the Straight Spouse

The conversation has to continue as long as the wrong people keep bringing it up (April 2017, Ensign pg. 33).

The further I get from my experience in a mixed-orientation marriage, the more acute my understanding of how my experience, as the straight spouse, is/was marginalized.

Don't get me wrong! I'm the biggest cheerleader for the gay spouse, feeling trapped and unable to live authentically.  I'm the one banging on the other side of the closet door, begging, "Sweetheart, come on.  Stop doing this to yourself.  It's 2017 and despondency or depression or suicide is so unnecessary for THIS." 

But there's also the experiences of the men and women who are/were the straight spouse, like Ashley 1.0.  We aren't living authentically either.  And our suffering and scars aren't seeming too important. You may have read about how I super duper wanted to drive my mini-van off of Cedar mountain. 

And if you're just joining this conversation:  No.  It is…

No Paid Ministry (or Hundred Grand Gross Annual)

And lo-

It came to pass that an employee of the Mormon church anonymously shone round about the Mormon/Exmormon community, and the employee said unto them (providing documentation) that the Higher-Ups (General Authorities, Quorum of the Twelve, and the First Presidency) of the church... gittin' paid. 

Is this a big deal?



"Inasmuch as there is no paid ministry in the Church, service opportunities are available to men, women, and children of all ages."- Elder Franklin D. Richards

"In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is no paid ministry, no professional clergy, as is common in other churches." -Elder Boyd K. Packer

"Over the years of my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have greatly appreciated the opportunities for service, for there is no paid ministry." -Elder Derek A. Cuthbert

"I explained also that our Church has no paid ministry and indicated that these were two reasons why we w…

What It's Really About (RE: The New LDS Policy on Gay Couples & Their Children)


It's not that we don't get the point that you're trying to make about protecting the children- which of course we don't agree with.

It's not that we're making a mountain out of a mole hill, either.

It's that the church is reiterating, loud and clear, that these beautiful people who are just as good and kind and deserving of happiness as heterosexuals or otherwise and didn't 'choose' their sexuality anymore than I chose mine, are grievous sinners when they choose to live as their authentic selves.

Shouting from the rooftops. Gay marriage is a grievous sin. We're protecting the children from confusion.

Confusion from what? From the confusion that the church creates by deeming homosexuality a sin. The church creates the confusion. A loving couple wants to raise children of their own- love them, nurture them, champion them, guide them. And when the child realizes the church's rhetoric, harmful disgusting rhetoric about their loving pare…

An Epiphany About My Epiphany to Leave Mormonism Part 2


When my daughter told me that she vehemently wanted to have her name removed (which I have not done), I thought about her Mormon extended family members approaching me and saying, "Why would you allow that?"

And I thought about how I would answer.

"It's her decision."

"She wanted it and I couldn't deny her of that."

"Why wouldn't I allow it??"

And then I realized, as I contemplated possible responses, that I should be able to reply to my OWN reasons for wanting to be severed from the church.  And I do indeed feel as though I've severed myself from the organization, regardless of being on the records or not.

But WHAT could I say that wouldn't warrant the typical responses of, Ashley just didn't truly have a testimony OR Ashley doesn't understand the meaning of Joy (an actual thing that's been said to me) OR Ashley didn't do all the things she should have done.  

So I went back.  I thought very deeply…

An Epiphany About My Epiphany to Leave Mormonism Part 1

"Ashley left Mormonism cuz her husband was gay."

I just gotta think that people wanna simplify my excruciating journey away from the church in this way.  Or something similar.  Regardless of the pain of so many major events for me (the Prop 8 summer, my divorce, this talk by Boyd K. Packer, my bishop rolling his eyes at me when I needed help paying rent although I'd been a full tithe and fast offering payer for 20 years, to name a few).

I also gotta think that a lot of active members that I know have to try really hard to stay in the church.  Like I did for years.  And when I was trying really hard to stay in it, I would see friends who'd left and think, "They're not trying as hard as I am (hair flip)."

Ever since I've considered myself done with Mormonism (i.e., Ashley no longer believes nor participates) one of my greatest distresses has been that I haven't known quite how to articulate to still believing members why I left.  Not to convinc… BYU

I'm feeling pretty fantastic right now.  I just finished off a bottle of Cabernet that I opened a couple of nights ago. 

I should mention-  I moved to Salt Lake City. 

So, I'm in Salt Lake, and that means that I have some of Me Olde BYU friends to connect with. 

They are spread out all over the Spectrum (the Mormon/Not-Mormon-Anymore Spectrum). 

Today, I met with Ye Olde friend, Ben.  He's adjunct faculty at, yes, The BY. 

Yesterday, he had said, "Let's meet at the slab."  For a BYU theatre person, we know that means the slab of granite that resides on the 3rd floor of the Harris Fine Arts Center. 

I spent countless hours in the HFAC.  Countless.  When I didn't have classes elsewhere on campus, I was there.  Theatre classes, rehearsals, performances, watching plays, parties, naps, shooting the shit. 

And, of course, this is where I met Matt. 

You guys know, if you've read posts in this blog or ever ever ever talked to me, that I was happy with…

(NO TITLE) or 2013

I didn't post very much in 2013. My blogger is full of half-done, choppy, unpolished drafts which is quite indicative of how my year went. So to flush these thoughts from from my blogger and to do some mental housekeeping, I've created a post for the end of the year comprised of these 'partial posts'. 

January 3, 2013 on Divorce

(no title) 
The effects of divorce are like the ripples from a disturbance in the water. 

February 8, 2013 on Mormonism and Prop 8 

(no title) 
I remember back in '08 or '09, when I was still going to Relief Society on Sundays at the Mormon church, a friend of mine gave a lesson based on a recent talk by a general authority. 
In reality, her lesson was the talk. She spent most of the lesson time (roughly 40 minutes) reading right from it, because, to paraphrase her words, she just couldn't say it any better than than him. 
The gist of the lesson, I believe, was for those of us members who were not in favor of the Prop 8 festivities, which i…

The Mormon Church Makes a New Statement About Past Restrictions on its Black Members

(For the record: I never believed that God favored white people over people of any sort of color, because I'm not the matron of a plantation home in 1800's Louisiana.)
So, okay...the church leaders of yore were racist. Okay. Sure. They were human beings. Got it.  

Next, it'll be a statement about women not having the priesthood because of sexism and not really revelation or anything pertinent to your testimony of the 'True Church'.  Then they'll take care of all the issues with the gays. Then...what? Will the church start retracting its claim to revelation on coffee and tea? Could it ever be?! 
This very recent statement on the blacks and the priesthood, or the Mitt Romney-inspired statement on diet coke (caffeinated sodas) that was a few decades too late, or the "Oh, but we DO love the gays, even though we've been disowning them in our family units generation after generation, and don't forget the part…

Hi, My Name is Ashley… And I Am… A Working Mom.

A curse of a parent? Your kids never really know how much you love them.

They don't get it. The won't. They can't.

It's okay. It's the order of the Universe:  Fish swim. Birds fly. Your kids don't know how much you love them.

They don't understand the tears you cry. They don't understand your firm manner with them. They don't understand that rules are really for their protection.

And they don't understand the sacrifices.

-Pricey vacations…vacations, at all, really
-Haircuts (mine)
-Pursuing my great love and passion, Theatre
-Matt and I staying married as long as we did…as long as we could

I recently started working 40 hrs/wk again- first time since Cedar City when I was working 2 part-time jobs.

I love my job. I do. I'm now an Assistant Manager at World Market, a company I loved as a shopper, and now as an employee on the management team.

After a couple of weeks, however, I came home and had a breakdown. The kids actually didn&…