My mother and her brother were raised by their grandmother after being abandoned by their parents who had separated shortly after my mother was born. While her grandmother was alive my mother was baptized and regularly attended the Mormon church. After her grandmother passed away my mother and her brother lived with an aunt and uncle who were not regular church attendees as far as I am aware.
My father’s parents were really the only grandparents I had a relationship with as a child. I regularly spent time with my grandparents, at their home or camping in their RV, but don’t remember ever going to church with them. I do remember a story about my great grandfather leaving all of his property to the local Church of Christ. This infuriated my grandparents and I suspect that may be the reason they did not go to church.
In my formative years we never attended church as a family. I have a few memories of being in a church nursery as toddler when I suspect my mother went to church without my father, but this wasn’t a regular occurrence. I don’t recall going to services on any of the traditional Christian holidays. I did attend a Montessori pre-school at a Catholic Church so I was exposed to some Christian teachings at that early age. I remember having a Children’s Bible, among many other books, but don’t recall reading it regularly either with my parents or by myself.
When I was about twelve years old my parents had the Mormon missionaries into our home. We quickly progressed through the required teachings and soon after my father, my brother and I were baptized. I took my new found religion very seriously, much more seriously than the other boys in my age group. It wasn’t long before my family made the trek to Utah, to visit the Mecca of Mormonism, Salt Lake City. On that trip my parents would be sealed in the Manti temple and I would perform baptisms for the dead in the temples we visited across Utah and down into Arizona.
By the time I was driving I had discovered the disconnect between what the church taught and how the members deviated from those teachings. I didn’t quite understand why and didn’t really care to. The last place I wanted to spend my time was with a bunch of hypocrites who didn’t live the way they “believed” we should live. I no longer cared for the show, but my father forced me to go. It wouldn’t be long before I left home and left the church.