THE GENTLE ART OF
SEASON 2 HERO CASTING
Now that the teachings they were raised with are incompatible with their family, Kim and Jeremy Borchert are ready to leave Mormonism behind for good.
Kim & Jeremy Borchert
She's a birth doula and teacher, he's a medical device engineer
Transformation and Story Notes
For the first 30-odd years of their lives, Kim and Jeremy Borchert were devout Mormons. Both raised in the Mormon church, they were taught from childhood their greatest purpose in life was to marry another devout Mormon (of the opposite sex) and have children, creating an “eternal family” bound together beyond death. It was God’s one path to salvation.
Kim and Jeremy did just that: they stayed celibate until marrying in a Mormon Temple ceremony when they were both 23, and quickly started a family. As a young couple they faced tragedy early when their first child, Emma, died of SIDS. Their faith, which taught that they would be reunited with their daughter in the afterlife, brought great comfort in their grief, and kept them committed in marriage.
Then, in 2015, the Mormon Church passed a new policy barring any child with queer parents from being baptized - labeled apostates in the Church – and queer couples were now subject to excommunication. Kim and Jeremy’s oldest child had just come out as “not straight”. As parents, they felt there was only one option. After 38 years, Kim and Jeremy officially left the church. Kim: “At the end of the day I want my kids to feel safe. I would die for them.”
Since leaving the church, it’s been a rapid learning curve for the parents of 5 children. Their world and lives are vastly different! Free from the constrainsts of Mormonism, their children are THRIVING; they are independent, loving, and free to explore whoever they want to be.
But as a couple, Kim and Jeremy still have much to unpack. They are trauma bonded - they were forced into marriage and parenthood at a young age, lost their first child when she was only eight months old, and had severe struggles with upholding Mormon values for their entire lives.
They have also discovered in therapy they are deeply enmeshed with one another. Belief that their life purpose is bound to their spouse, is deeply ingrained in each of them— and has kept them from self-discovery. As they deconstruct their faith, they are learning to be individuals while still choosing to love each other and remain married every day.
They are very proud of the life and home they’ve created for their kids. BUT Underneath the happy home and sometimes hiding in plain sight - their religion is still there.. In their clutter are religious scriptures, imagery of Jesus, etc. Each physical remnant of their Mormon faith, triggers old beliefs and old ways of thinking they want to break free of…for themselves and their children.
Says Jeremy, "if you looked around the house you wouldn't know I live here."
They need to death clean their home in order to create a new space for each of them, spaces where they - individually - can explore their new freedom and who they want to Be!
Kim and Jeremy want to break the generational trauma endured by them at the hands of the Mormon church and faith. They want to purge--to deal with and process the Mormon belongings that have been tucked away in their closets and drawers, and forgotten about places in their homes--but they also still struggle with the ingrained Mormon ethos of keeping everything for “posterity.”
The couple grieve deeply about all they didn’t get to do - Jeremy never dated anyone else, never kissed anyone else! Neither of them drank, partied, had coffee, or the independence that we all take for granted until they were in their late 30s. Every experience they had in their lives are connected to the church, every momento they kept from their travels, college years, weddings, family outings, are all church-related. The items they’ve kept to remind them of their daughter that passed, all tied to the Mormon church.
How do they honor who they were, deconstruct their faith and declutter those items all at the same time? They want to death clean to make room for their futures, and who will they be in the future. They both need space in their house to grow.
Hidden in their house and sometimes hidden in plain sight are Mormon scriptures, artwork, books, CDs, personal family heirlooms, correspondence, photos, childhood scrapbooks, Bibles, Jesus portraits, and on and on.
Their wedding cake topper; a glass replica of the Mormon Temple they married in
Wedding photos and memorabilia
Family bibles - with family trees engraved inside
Things to remember their lost child Emma; Photos / Jesus and Baby / Paintings and wall art
Mission scrapbooks their parents made; their Missionary name tags; letters/journals and mementos
All of Jeremy’s mission cards; two years of daily schedules and journals
Jeremy’s granite slab from the Temple built during his mission
Jeremy’s banana stickers from his travels in Ecuador.
Mormon books - Like the Addiction Book, How to Heal Addiction through Mormonism. Kim had been worried about Jeremy masturbating and Jeremy had been worried about Kim’s eating habits and they both had to work on them in the church!
Who is getting their stuff?
Kim doesn’t want to donate anything - she doesn’t want other people to find that rhetoric in a bookstore.
Kim might want to destroy some of it.
Their Thoughts on Death
Death is nothing to be afraid of in the Borchert house. The children know they had a sister that died, and Kim deals with death at work.