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Why would a lifelong atheist suddenly decide to become baptized into Mormonism and be going on a missionary trip? To get married maybe?

The reason I ask is that my adult daughter just told me (in shock) that her dad, my ex-husband, just returned from a road trip he took to Salt Lake City where he got baptized. When my daughter asked him why, he simply replied that he “liked the lifestyle.”

What is it about the mormon “lifestyle” that would appeal to a 65 year old man? He doesn’t smoke nor drink caffeine, and he was never a heavy drinker. A person can surely avoid those “vices” without joining a religion.

We are puzzled. The only thing we can think of is that maybe he is planning to move in with or marry the lady he has been involved with for the past 15 years. He was involved with her for a few years before I asked for a divorce.

Has this happened to anyone else - if so - what were the reasons?

Julie808 8 Aug 5

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The cynic within me tells me that his gonads have overpowered his pre-frontal cortex. (Translation: he is now thinking with his balls rather than his brains.)


Not to be crass, but if you are ever confused by something a man does, look to see if there is the possibility for that action to have provided access to vagina or money. I bet your guess is correct it's for a woman.

Yes, I suspect you are right - however it would be for this woman to have access to his money. He came into a big inheritance after our divorce, and she likely held out on sex until he marries her. I hope he has her sign a pre-nup so that my kids get that legacy, not her.


It's the underwear, he just likes the underwear.

Okay, in this case, you just have to wait until whatever true intentions manifest since his answer is so vague.

For sure he loves the special underwear 🙂


My ex turned very religious before marrying his 2nd wife who happened to be very religious. He's on his 3rd wife now. Not sure if the religion aspect is still there as they met because they are both into triathlons. Training for running, cycling, and triathlon events is the new religion.

So, yes I've seen this happen. As far as the reasons? My ex is a narcissist who needs someone in his life to devalue so he can build up his fragile ego. To hide this, because no one would want to be married to someone like this, he fakes commonality by mirroring characteristics of his partner. His partner thinks they have "found their soul mate," "found their other half," or found their "person" when in actuality they found someone who is good at manipulating and mirroring. He then begins the process of devaluing. I'm seeing signs of it already in this 3rd marriage.

I don't know if this applies to your ex or not since he's been in this relationship over 15 years. It sounds like its a case of ultimatum. More than likely he's pretending to get what he wants from her.


I think you’ve already answered your own question. I would be very surprised if he has converted because he has suddenly seen the Mormon light! His lady friend has more than likely given him an ultimatum.

Putting that ultimatum both crudely and bluntly: "Either fuck me or fuck off.".

So kind of like extortion. That's a solid foundation on which to base a marriage.

@Sgt_Spanky More like quicksand!

@Sgt_Spanky Or a religion...


Could be a lady, and it could also be that if he does not smoke, drink, or do coffee, he is attracted to a lifestyle where he gets easy approval for what he does anyway, though he may find the approval fades when he joins and he is no longer a newby. However a lady will probably be almost certainly involved in some way, most men, and I speak as one, are dragged through life by the testicles.

Pretty sure that's the case. This woman is conniving - my ex-husband has been supporting her financially for years in lots of different ways. I'm guessing she has been holding out on sex until he converts. That was the reason they were "platonic" for all these years, according to what he's said in the past.

@OwlInASack Its easy for me to talk, now I have turned sixty life is starting to relax its grip a bit. LOL

@Fernapple By the time he finally gets through whatever he needs to fulfilling this "mission" he might not have much "drive" left, who knows. Hope it's worth it for his sake. Women are not usually driven to that extreme for a bit of pleasure.


I was raised to be a Mormon. Mormons are definitely helpful. They do provide a sense of community. Of course their helpfulnes does depend on how interested you are in becoming a member.

The church is a bit cultish in that they insist you only read approved church materials about the church. I know a lot of what I was taught as a child about the church history wasn't true. They claimed the founder Hoseph Smith had to keep moving from state to state because of religious persecution. As it turns out he kept moving around to avoid arrest. Before the Civil War a person could easily escape arrest wattnts by crossign state lines. Here is a link to show he moved to flee arrests. []

We were also told that back when Mormons married more than one wife, that the first wife had to approve the additional marriages. However when Joseph Smith died, his first wife, accordign to her letters, indicated that she had no idea of his multiple marriages.

There are also a lot of problems with the "Book of Mormon" as it claims many things which simply did nto exist in the Americas before European conquest. Not to mention many other problems. []

Anyway, your Ex most likely joined for the sense of community.

As animals we evolved in groups, gathering together for safety. Human are still animals and we still have animal instincts and still feel safer and more secure if we belong to a group. It is instinctual residue, if you will.

The Mormon church has managed to tap into the instinctual need to belong and be a part of a community better than most any other religion.

Religion is never a choice of logic, but one of emotions (emotions being an expression of animal instincts).

At this point, I'd say for the sake of your daughter, familiarize her with all the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of the religion, if you don't want her to also become seduced by the sense of community they offer.

Joseph Smith, the church's founder was a con man. However, he managed to form a community that has lasted and grown long after his death. Of course it is all based in the lies her told.

Yes, he always liked to do what others around him were doing, to be popular. He loved sports and played softball, and coached many sports. He likes being a team player. Maybe since he's older now and I'm guessing doesn't do so much coaching or playing of sports. (I don't know - since my kids rarely share news about their dad) Could be. Thanks for that input. -- I can't imagine either of my kids falling into a religion trap - I raised them to be pretty strong free thinkers!


His girlfriend won't marry him unless he joins her church.


Aren't mormons into polygamy? That may be a draw card.

I doubt that this is the case with my ex-husband and his ladyfriend. BUT, yes, some clans within mormonism are and I actually had a srange experience with that by falling into performing a "wedding" for the Kingston family who had traveled to Kauai for multiple weddings/marriages.

It was 6 couples all on their honeymoon. It had to be just a "commitment" ceremony because the bride was only 14, and since her parent's weren't present to sign off on the marriage license, the agent couldn't issue the license.

The leader of the group was my only contact I had prior to the "wedding" and so I had no conversation with the couple. They were very quiet and subservient. The leader, I found out later after some research at that time, had something like 27 wives already, and was next in line as the head of the whole clan, and was obviously on his honeymoon with his 28th during this event.

After that experience, I became interested briefly in the polygamy aspect of this clan, since it was surprising to me that this sort of thing actually still happens, and how I unknowingly participated in such an event. I didn't look into the beliefs or anything really, just was ultra curious of the Kingston Clan and I looked up the family tree, to discover that it seems likely the bride and groom in this case where half siblings.

@Julie808 Wow, I find it amazing that in some religions/cults this is okay. I get mad when it is every only one man and many women. I am looking for a religion/cult with one woman and many men, so far no luck How unfair life is sometimes.

@Jolanta Yeah - I've read that these clans end up having a surplus of young men, who they turn out and the become the "lost boys" not knowing anything but the family. It is a strange way of life and I was really weirded out reading about it and hearing the stories of the women who escaped marrying some older relative.

@Jolanta if you start one they will come!

@TeresaWyckoff Gosh you are giving me ideas but then I have to stop being on this site. Have to think this over very carefully if it is worth it, although I could do with a male "slave" or two.

@Jolanta. I was actually at a Wednesday night ladies meeting, where we giggled over the thought of having more than one husband!! Nothing naughty, but practical!!

@TeresaWyckoff Oh, but naughty is nice.


It's either the girlfriend or the magic underwear... maybe both😂

Oh, yeah, I forgot about th he magic underwear....definitely cheese to a mouse!


Mormon misogyny is attractive to some men.

Well he was physically abusive to me, for 29 years, so hopefully he has more respect for this woman and will treat her well. To be honest, he likes to be told what to do, and I wasn't good at that, but she is. So, perhaps he likes the illusion of power that just being a man in a religion like that would give.


Maybe he's lonely and sees it as a ready-made social group.

Well he's been keeping this lady company for over 15 years, so I'm guessing he's more horny than lonely. If he was just lonely, he could spend more time with his kids, but he's always "too busy" with this lady friend for that.

But yes, there is a ready made social group that spends a lot of time at this lady's house, likely trying to convert him. He is also close to this lady's son (having coached the boy for several years) and I believe it was while helping the boy, now a grown man, move to Utah that he got baptized.

I sure can't see him listening to all that "lord" stuff, but they got to him somehow. It just super shocked my kids, since he's always been so anti-religious. Very weird.

@Julie808 Seems more like a way to fit in so he can satisfy his horny urges. He can fake the religion stuff.


Why do men do stupid shit? To get laid.


It hasn't happened to me, but I am from Mormon Country and a DNA pool full of faithful Mormons and most of my lifelong friends are Mormon.

Personally? I think the beliefs are batshit crazy. That being said? I also think they have a very secure, sound and wonderful way of viewing family and community.

Why would your ex wish to become Mormon? Why would I, a former Bible-thumper want to openly be Atheist? People change. Times change. Maybe he always wanted something he knew you'd not be interested in, maybe he decided last Tuesday he wanted to spend eternity "on high" with his own planet and the ability to allow his wife on up or not. That's what they believe. Maybe he is kinky and thinks those Mormon underwear are cool as shit. Who knows?

The best thing you can do is ask him. Do it respectfully and accept what he tells you. That's really the only way to know. (And Mormon's don't "live together" if they're practicing. That's a no-no. He likely is going to get married, but that's just my guess. *PS: Be prepared. Mormon's like to baptize the dead who are not Mormons that way they'll all end up on some Mormon man's planet or get their own planet. They're big on this planet stuff.

Thanks for your reply, since you are more familiar with the mormon lifestyle than me. He does like structure and a feeling of belonging.

He's been very devoted to her family for 15 years, but sadly not so much his own kids or grandkids. It was an obvious choice to abandon us as a family even while we were married. He was abusive toward me, and our kids felt it was overdue when I finally left the marriage. Hopefully he will be more patient and gentle with this other lady who has twisted him around her finger.

He surely isn't/wasnt kinky, that I can tell you, but I'm tending to think this is the first step in marrying the gal he got involved with while we were married. I'm guessing she's been withholding sex all these years, in hopes of marriage and his/my money.

Pretty sure he could never believe the religious stuff, for real, but he would likely go along with it to have a sexual partner. He pretty much has chosen to abandon his own family, so perhaps see fitting in with hers will ensure more happiness for him.


Is there some early dementia going on?

Haha! I don't know. I've only seen him for a few hours in the past decade. He's always been very gullible and easily manipulated, especially by this woman. My kids are puzzled as to this turn of events, since it's so much out of character for him to be around any religiousness, but we are just guessing that he's doing it for this lady friend.


I notice that everyone here is suggesting social or psychological reasons for his sudden change. But, have you considered neurological causes?

Most of us like to think that we are rational creatures, and that we are consciously in control of our own thoughts. We pay lip service to the notion of brain chemistry, but we figure that it's a minor consideration. We control our brains! ...right?

But what if some small event - a mini-stroke, a new medication - changed your ex's brain chemistry? What if some little glitch caused a release of a neurochemical in response to stimuli which hadn't caused such before?


Maybe he is changing the power of reasoning for sex. He knows that he is getting old and the fantasy of having young women will be easier in the Mormon church and his macho male ego will be safe. 🙏

Yes, she is 4 years younger than him, 3 years younger than me. She had beautiful daughters who dress provacatively. He likes to be around them! He even gave one of them a car.


I think as mentioned previously by Varn, it could be filling a void, that's why I like Or a woman is involved. It is not uncommon for people have change religious affiliation for a partner. But to go from an atheist to a Mormon is quite a shift in beliefs.
Please keep us posted if you find out a woman is involved 😊

AvisG Level 4 Aug 5, 2020

Yeah, I think we all agree it's about filling a void .

Well I know it's the woman he started seeing while we were still married (15 years ago) who is the mormon in his life. She had to "friend" my daughter on Facebook, so she could see the photos of his road trip and baptism.

I think the road trip was to help this woman's son (an elder in the church now) move to his new home in Utah. My daughter suspects that this might be the first step toward marrying this woman. I just hope she/they don't try to convert my kids. They would be a challenge, for sure! I raised them with critical thinking skills!

@Julie808 I hope not too.


Religious affiliation appears to fill a void in some. Since Atheism is not organized, it may appear to some to lack the human guidance or involvement they crave. I suspect you’ve got it right with regard to the relationship driving his behavior. Having prettymuch lived his life, I doubt he cares to make the effort necessary to maintain the standards of an Atheist has drifted to the dark side..

My ex was never religious, but then never much of ‘anything.’ Though remarried, still isn’t ..from all reports ~

Varn Level 8 Aug 5, 2020

If he has a Mormon lady friend and she is unmarried, she requires a husband who is a priesthood holder in order to get in to the highest mormon heaven known as the Celestial Kingdom. (Women cannot get in on their own merits)
Therefore she has probably pushed him in to it by emotional blackmail.
I have known mormon women divorce their inactive or apostate husbands for endangering their eternal families, they take this shit really seriously.
My guess is he is just doing it to give her a Temple Marriage and to keep the peace, and her in his bed.

I admit to not knowing much about mormonism, but your comment makes sense. Thanks. This woman is manipulative and even my ex-husband used to comment on that when we were still married and he started spending more and more time, money and attention on her and her kids than me and our kids.

@Julie808 I left Mormonism many years ago, and have in the years since helped many people leave and or cope with the consequences of leaving.
It is a truly evil cult and Mormon women are brainwashed from birth to seek only to snare and hold on to a man, because their eternal happiness depends on it, which is why in fringe mormon denominations and even in the mainstream church women are willing to accept polygamy so readily and accept the idea that in the hereafter they will have sister wives as a blessing. This is because a woman cannot enter the kingdom without a man, but a man cannot enter the kingdom without multiple wives.
Actual polygamy has been outlawed in the LDS church since 1895, but widowed men are expected to remarry immediately to save another sweet sister.
Female Mormons outnumber male mormons almost 4 to 1

@LenHazell53 Yep, she did "snare" him, haha, while he was married yet. I guess that would explain why he would go on a "mission" for this religion. A challenge with a reward a the end. We are still just shaking our heads in wonder, but it's starting to sink in a bit better now with all this conversation. Thanks for your explanation.


It could be any number of reasons. I was always an atheist until my mid twenties then i became a JW what i giot out of it was a community friends and a strong sense of belonging. After a few years the gloss wore off I started to see the cracks but was trapped for years. It may bee that he sees something beside the religious dogma. The Mormons like the JW are very friendly to each other at first that does not always last though.


Two words, legal polygamy.

Polygamy is illegal in the USA

Polygamy was my first thought as well.

@Moravian True but it is decriminalised in many states.

@Moravian not for mormons in Utah

I want give this a laughy and a lovey response, but I can only give one.


I can't read through all the other comments but I know a lot of people who essentially hang up their beliefs they had when they were younger because they basically got tired of fighting to keep believing in them and the alternative is convenient and/or comforting.
For others it's the "I'm getting closer to dying, what if I'm wrong?" that sets in.
I'd guess it's some combination of those plus his partner.

Thanks for your reply - I can't imagine that he actually believes it - but seems to be a compromise he's willing to make for his lady friend and possibly a partner for the rest of his life.
I guess time will tell, if he discusses it further with our kids, since they have questions as to why he is doing this.
As long as he doesn't try to convert our kids (strong atheists) I don't care what he does with the rest of his life, and can be happy for him. Just is a very weird turn of events that I would never have expected.


He's to old to go on a mission

I was puzzled about that too, but he informed my daughter that is what he will be doing. I don't know where or when, my daughter didn't give me too much in the way of details, she was just flabbergasted at the fact that he became baptized, and was having trouble processing that news. His lady friend's son has one more year on his mission, so maybe the story got confused in the telling of it.


Reason # 118 you divorced him.... thankfully, now you have no need to worry about him!!

Yep - not worried at all about him. Don't care at all. I am concerned for my kids though. I hope he doesn't alienate them by trying to convert them, or that his lady friend will dissuade him from spending time with the kids and grandkids (all non-believers.) I also worry that she will get him to will his money to her and the church, upon his death, rather than leave anything for our kids.

Yep, this lady friend of his during our marriage was actually the least of the reasons I divorced him.

@Julie808 you might tell your kids to talk to him as a group, After consulting a lawyer.....

@AnneWimsey I want to stay out of it, but will make sure my son is aware of the financial possibilities, so he can protect himself, regarding any prospective inheritance upon his death. My daughter is fine, strong and financially secure.

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