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An Honest Testimony from a Not So Typical Mormon

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My name is Nikki and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I’ve been approached/emailed several times inquiring to if I had a blog and would I be interested in starting one. I have a personal one and I’ve shared it a few times, but it’s just that….personal. Allowing yourself, your opinions and thoughts to be put on display opens the door to vulnerability and judgements and there is part of me that is frightened about that. I’ve been subjugated a lot of misjudgments and some correct judgements (unfortunately). For starters, I am a convert to the church. I was baptized in June 2009 after several months of debates with the missionaries and scared/insecure feelings about actually belonging to an organized religion, especially the Mormons.

Complete disclosure, Mormons scared me. Sure, I was miserable in how I was living prior to the Gospel, but I had the notion that ALL “religious” people were just as miserable as me, except they didn’t want to have any fun. I believed Mormons portrayed a suburban 1950’s lifestyle that seemed a little outdated and well….boring. I was a strong independent female who couldn’t understand the concept of “Priesthood” without correlating it to some sort of male chauvinism. Without divulging too much into my past (there will be plenty of time for that), I was raised by divorced parents. I have an abusive and violent past. A party girl lineage to compensate for never really feeling loved or accepted. And several naked photos submitted to magazines and time spent on stage trying to allure people into loving me to prove it. Wrap that up in a package that has been marked out of rebellion and voila……Who IS this person?

I’m humbled enough to admit that some of my biggest ambitions in my twenties were to work at the Playboy Casino in Las Vegas, audition for the Pussycat Dolls at Caesars Palace (side note: when I read this to my husband, he was the one who remembered how badly I wanted that) and/or be a Suicide Girl (a pornographic tattooed alternative magazine).

I lived to be called “sexy.” And my worth came from being admired by men even if it meant I would take my clothes off to do it. The problem with living and working within the sex industry is I saw the darker side to relationships. And that “love” I was experiencing wasn’t love, it was lust. Toxic. And it almost destroyed me. I hardly believed in love (especially one that existed Celestially) and after I got married in 2006, that need….that addiction still lingered (That is a hard admission for me). And yes, my marriage had its full share of problems as well, ranging from alcoholism (my last binge was in my apartment on the bathroom floor in Las Vegas, October 2006. I thought I was going to die. My husband struggled through 2009), addictions to pornography (both of us) and attempted suicide (me, January 2008).

So, no…I am not your typical Mormon.

But, I am a Mormon nonetheless.

Keep reading at LDS Women at the Well. 

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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