I followed all the rules and married young, I didn't know I had a choice…then my whole world fell apart | The Sun

GROWING up, it's not unusual to follow the same lifestyle as your family and community without asking any questions.

Rachel Oliver, 31, was born into life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – often known as the Mormon Church.

Followers believe that other Christian churches have gone astray and theirs is a restoration of the Church as Jesus had intended.

The Mormon Church claims to have over 16million members – most of which are based in the United States – and centres on strong traditional family life and values.

“Sins” such as gambling, smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, tea, coffee, homosexuality, pornography and sex outside of marriage are forbidden.

Rachel, from Dundee, left the Mormon faith around eight years ago. Her family have since moved away from the church as well.

Speaking out for the first time in a brave and honest social media post earlier this year, she said: "When I grew up in the LDS church I didn’t know I had a choice.

"I didn’t know that I could make big or small decisions that went against church doctrine without condemning myself to an unhappy life and afterlife.

"I followed all the rules. I lived the religion the way I was taught to.

"By the age of 18 I’d played a role in converting 5 people to the church. I believed my life was to consist of God, then family, and then everything else.

Most read in Fabulous


I’m a cougar in my 40s & people tell me not to wear a bikini – I don’t care


I’m trolled for my staircase transformation but manage to keep it clean just fine

Top flop

I bought the viral Primark crop top and have no idea what the fuss is about


I worked at Poundland & customers used to constantly say the same rude thing

"When I went to university it was purely to kill time until I could serve a mission or marry.

"I ended up doing the latter at 20 years old and during my penultimate year at university."

Rachel wed her husband Charles in the Mormon temple but always felt like people judged her marriage as "second class" because Charles had not "served a mission".

"I would imagine that many people consider him my reason for leaving when in fact he tried to convince me not to leave once I had made my mind up", she said.

It was in the year that followed that Rachel admitted her "whole foundation started crumbling".

She said: "That was when I started to learn that all that I had known about the creation of the Mormon religion wasn’t as I had been taught.

"My world fell apart quite quickly after that.

"What kept me together was realising all of the good outside of my religion.

"I had always looked at people and their actions through a particular (and judgemental) lens and truthfully with intent to convert them.

"Leaving allowed me to really get to know people for who they were and being able to appreciate everything about them and without judging their words or actions as against doctrine."

She added: "Don’t be gaslit until believing it’s you that was the problem and that you always had that option. I know I did not.

"People may say the blame lies with your parents who raised you in such a way that you didn’t not feel you had choices. But that’s unfair if they too grew up in a similar manner.

"Mines certainly did and I cannot blame them for living the best Mormon life they possibly could when they were taught the same way I was."

Rachel and Charles are still happily married and she said she is enjoying a "far more beautiful and fulfilling" life.

The 31-year-old is the eldest sibling of Emma and Roy Hann's 13 children and makes up part of Scotland's biggest family.

Emma, who has seven siblings, and Roy, who is one of nine, say they would not change their clan for anything.

Emma previously told The Sun: “We don’t have any regrets and we feel very lucky we have as many kids as we do.

“It’s a tough balance, feeling guilty for not being able to give as much as you should to them all, especially at Christmas.

Read More on The Sun

I’m so hot my pals’ boyfriendsblocked me so they can’t see my sizzling pictures

“Some of the kids say, ‘You should’ve stopped after me’. But they all love their youngest sister, so they don’t really mean it.”

Their bumper brood's lives over an eventful 12 months are currently featuring in three-part BBC Scotland documentary, Scotland's Biggest Families.

  • Episode 3 of Scotland’s Biggest Families airs on BBC One Scotland next Monday, November 14, at 8pm

Source: Read Full Article