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EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10
A very large selection of posts made by those in recovery from Mormonism. Culled from throughout the Ex-Mormon Communities.
| Considering how dysfunctional and powerful the psychological conditioning of Mormonism is for tens of thousands of people.
I was recently speaking with a friend of mine who, during the past 10+ years, has really struggled to deal with the psychological and emotional damage caused by Mormonism (not continuously, but he's had many 'layers' to address). The fear, guilt, and shame planted and reinforced by church teachings wounded his psyche badly, yet he is determined to work through all the crap.
His courage to keep confronting the soul-murdering aspects of Mormonism ('soul' not in a religious sense, but in the sense of one's authentic self) never ceases to amaze me. It takes courage to confront Mormonism and do one's healing work. The field of healing, as it were, is our psyche/mind, which is the most fundamental aspect of ourselves as individuals. It's extraordinary that people are able to break free from Mormonism because the chains it forges in many people's psyches are very strong.
Visiting the FAIR message board and other boards during the past couple of months (to hopefully de-convert some Latter-Day Saints), I've been reminded of the psychological dysfunction caused by Mormonism. I didn't bad-mouth Mormons on those boards (nothing to be gained by doing so), but I did point out numerous facts that do not support church doctrines, teachings, and claims (past and present). It'd been years since I'd been exposed to the twisted 'logic' of Mormons as they attempt to justify their nonsensical beliefs. The apologetic explanations and convoluted rationalizations (there are many on FAIR and other pro-LDS boards) really do create a lot of confusion.
In my own experience, confused was how I felt during my childhood being raised in Mormonism, and after the psychological damage was done, as a teenager and young adult. The LDS religion seemed wrong/unreal to me, but as a young person walking circles in the thick forest of Mormonism, so to speak, I wasn't able to psychologically get out of it and gain an independent perspective. Other people with experience in Mormonism can relate to this reality. How wonderful it is to be free of that restrictive forest that really limits one's vision of so many things! It's been nearly 14 years since I terminated my church membership. Mormonism have changed considerably during that time, and what an impact the Internet has had on it!
The ways in which Mormonism psychologically conditions people is still a subject that strongly holds my interest. Each person's recovery-from-Mormonism 'journey' is fascinating AND inspirational because it says so much about people's need to know truth, be rational, and discover and become their true self.
| Today, August 1st, marks the one-year anniversary of my resignation. I spent the first 66 years of my life in the Mormon Church, very active, temple attending up until the time DH and I mailed our temple recommends to our bishop with our letter of resignation. This post is an attempt to sort out things during this past year and give you an update. If I can help even one person, then it will be worth it for me to write this.
I have never regretted my decision, nor has my DH. I have had some experiences that have been painful; I have basically lost the connection I had with my two TBM sisters; but that's okay because those connections seem to me to have been based more on competition than on genuine love and caring. Our oldest son has become cold and treats us with disdain; that's okay, too. He's pretty much always been that way. Those who loved us before we left, still love us.
I continue to study, though not LDS Church books anymore. I'm gradually getting rid of most of my large collection of those. DH and I read together each evening from books that are inspiring and uplifting.
One of the hard parts about leaving the LDS Church is that for the past 25 years we have lived in this small community where lots of people know me. The way I solve that is I don't shop in the nearby town much; and mostly drive to a larger town for my shopping and business.
During this past year we've sampled many churches, from the Methodist, Unity, Science of Mind, Episcopalian, Unitarian and even an Orthodox Russian Church. So far, none have felt quite right to us. But we enjoy the messages, which are uplifting and interesting. One of the better parts of attending church now, for me, is that I enjoy the emphasis on God and Jesus, rather than on Joseph Smith; also, the music in the Episcopalian Cathedral, especially, is beautiful.
I'm thinking and feeling and learning; I'm experiencing freedom of thought and feeling acceptance for myself and others. It's a wonderful feeling to be out of the little Mormonism 19th Century box. I've had some problems in learning how to use my reasoning powers, which were woefully underdeveloped. I've made some mistakes in using my "voice"; it's something I'm learning to do better all the time. I feel like I have so much to learn. But the good thing about all of this is, that I am learning, I am growing, I am accepting that I'm not perfect, and that's okay.
This morning my daughter in law sent a question to all members of our family on our discussion site. The question is this: "What 10 things do you want to do before you die?"
Here's what I would like to respond:
One thing that I would like to do before I die is this: All that is in my power to help my daughters and granddaughters to know that they are of as much worth and value as any other human, that they are not inferior to any man, and that they have within them the power to be free. I would like to see that all of them understand the evils of polygamy, that it is a slavery of women, wherein a woman is required to expend all of her energy and existence for her husband's "glory and power", she being tied to him ("sealed"--as an animal branded as her husband's property) for all of her existence, while her husband to whom she is sealed, has the right, and the power, to have other wives, and she without power to say anything about his actions, or protest in any meaningful way; and she having no opportunity to ever have a relationship with, or intimately love another man for all of her existence. To put it another way, what I want most for my daughters and granddaughters is that they have confidence, strength, nobility, courage and wisdom, and the vision to see that they have all of these virtues within themselves; they only need claim them! And, secondly, I would like to do all that is in my power to help my sons and grandsons to see and understand fully the evils of polygamy, and to realize that women are just as valued, and just as worthy as any male.
I would like to see the day that Rainer Maria Rilke talks about in the little book, Letters to a Young Poet: "...some day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer signify merely an opposite of the masculine, but something in itself, something that makes one think, not of any complement and limit, but only of life and existence: the feminine human being." He says further: "This advance will...change the love-experience, which is now full of error, will alter it from the ground up, reshape it into a relation that is meant to be of one human being to another, no longer of man to woman. And this more human love (that will fulfill itself, infinitely considerate and gentle, and kind and clear in binding and releasing) will resemble that which we are preparing with struggle and toil, the love that consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other."
If there is any legacy that I would like to leave my children and grandchildren it is this: Freedom! Freedom to think, to read, to learn, to ask questions, to search, to develop their powers of reasoning, to find and develop their spirituality, to discover, to make choices, to explore, to laugh, to play, to love and to allow the same for all others.
How do I feel now? Sometimes it seems that there are a million tears just behind my eyes. Tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of gratitude--I feel a deep and abiding peace within and around my being. I am discovering myself, a little at a time. This journey is deep and full of possibilities I never knew existed. Some things are too deep to express, and so I won't attempt to do that. I send my love to each one of you who read this.
| I have made several observations since leaving church activity. During my departure I have gone through several major transitions in viewing my TBM family. At first I felt anxiety that I would be rejected, next I felt anger and resentment, now I am developing patience and tolerance in dealing with my TBM family.
As I realized that the LDS church and its many claims were largely false, I made several disclosures of my budding doubt to my wife, siblings and parents. Each wanted me to remain an active member of the LDS church. I am forty years old (38 when my discovery occurred) and my life has been previously centered around the LDS church and its teachings. The LDS church was the largest part of my life and the life of my parents.
My budding disbelief blossomed into acceptance and courage and I decided that my path required me to leave Mormonism together with my children. My wife has joined me in this journey. (Thank you sweetheart – if you are reading this).
My parents, parents-in-law and some siblings reacted very poorly at first. My parents and parents-in-law even went so far as to encourage my wife to divorce me so that our children would be raised in Mormonism. Those tactics actually drove my wife closer to me. When I confronted my parents and parents-in-law about their tactics I was met with ugly words which were difficult to hear from those I loved and respected. The ugliness developed into distance and withdrawal. I felt a primal need to protect myself and my family from the aggressive behavior.
As time passed I missed my parents. I had initially decided to treat them as though they had died and fortified myself that I would never see them again. I wept real tears of loss as I accepted that for me, they were gone. But as months passed, I knew they were alive. As I analyzed past communications I began to realize that my parents were suffering too and didn’t know how to react. For them, they had just lost a son, a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren for eternity. Their loss is a real as mine. The more I considered their point of view the more I could understand their words and actions. I am not condoning their behavior but I am beginning to understand it. I may have acted similarly had the situations been reversed. I know who my parents are and I know they love me – although I doubt they will ever accept my decision to leave the LDS church.
My family and I spent a week with them. The ground rules were that we couldn’t communicate about religion. This is a mutual decision that my father and I made and one which my wife required. My mother is a meddler and always has been. I knew she would be tempted to interfere behind my back – and she did. Before, I would have treated my mom’s breach of agreement as a default and we would have left the house causing more damage. I still hold my mother responsible, but instead of leaving, I let it go. My mom approached my seventeen year old daughter and asked her if she would ever go back to the LDS church. Then she asked my daughter to keep the conversation a secret from me. My daughter told her that she didn’t know what her future held and then later that day told me about the conversation. I was very pleased that my daughter was mature enough to stand up for herself and trusted me enough to not keep the conversation secret. My worries subsided when I understood that my mom’s manipulative ways wouldn’t succeedin driving my children from me. I have always known that my mom is less than perfect and handles many situations poorly including my departure. But in all honestly, she did better than I had thought. She never cried while we were there and after a couple of days even remarked to me that she could see that my family was happy. Had I left after her initial breach of agreement, she would have never seen my family’s strength and happiness. I am glad I didn’t do a knee jerk reaction and leave.
My wife reminds me that my family will always view me as in error. Of course they will, they honestly believe that I have made an eternal mistake. They love me and want me to return. I never will, ever. But I am now content with a détente in which my family treats me decently and I accept listening to them discuss their church callings, church friends etc. That is their life. I need to learn to respect it if I want them to respect my life and decisions.
It seems to me that many here, including me, have wanted our families to do back flips about our decisions. I think if this is our attitude, we will always be disappointed. Maybe you guys have already figured this out and I am stumbling upon it for the first time. I know that my parents will go to their graves praying and hoping that I return. I can accept that. I will go to my grave with an appreciation for my parents for all that they have done for me. I want them to see a son who is happy, loving and kind (even and especially when it is difficult).
Maybe we should advocate giving our families a break and to stop expecting them to ever understand our decisions. They won’t do it. Maybe we shouldn’t freak out when they discuss a calling or express their sincere hopes for us – I hope my parents leave the church one day and I feel free to tell them that when they express their feelings to me. I don’t argue or say it with hate. I just say with kindness. I know they will never leave the church. It may be too late for them to relearn to live without it.
It has been a good experience for me to accept my parents for who they are. Once the anxiety, fear and resentment began to leave I was able to give myself some distance to view my parents differently.
I have no doubt that there will be future rough spots which will strain our relationship. Those existed even before I left the church. Also, I am responsible for creating some of those rough spots. I am confident that my feelings will be hurt again, but that is only because I have strong feelings for these people – they are literally my loved ones. I guess hurt feelings are the price of closeness.
It is a pity that we were raised in a church which caused parents to look differently at non-believing children. But that is our reality. Our job, I believe, is to learn to navigate in that environment.
Just my thoughts, for what it’s worth.
| This is just my experience, but those of us who end up leaving for good (including resigning) are those who would rather suffer through some fear of the unknown rather than keep hanging on to Mormonism.
I hung on to Mormonism after it stopped working, and the pain of going to church when I no longer believed was unbearable. It was unbearable - not because I felt like I had lost my testimony or that I was sad I would not have all the blessings the Mormon church talks about - it was painful because I had to watch little children get brainwashed on a weekly basis. I had to watch adults get treated like children, given just enough to keep them hooked and keep coming back. I also had to watch young couples make really poor life decisions on a daily basis.
My life experience taught me some things that not only did not agree with what was being taught at church, some of it completely contradicted it. When I was told that Africans were cursed, but then I saw some of them outperform their white counterparts, it did not add up. When I was told that the only way to be happy as a married couple was to be married in the temple, but I have a happy marriage to a nevermo, it didn't add up.
I think the pain of keeping the blinders on was just too much. That pain was going to be there every week I went to church. It was certain. At one point, I had to take the plunge and decide if I wanted to face the pain of uncertainty. The pain of uncertainty was many things. What's going to happen when my family finds out? What if bad things happen to me when I take off my garments? What's going to happen when I stop paying tithing? Am I going to miss my friends?
Well, the sky didn't fall, my finances got better, and I have met some genuine friends that completely take the place of any assigned friends I had at church. I waited for a long time for something bad to happen, and it still hasn't. So I guess it's going to be OK. I've left. I've resigned. And still - nothing!
This post is not designed to tell anybody they have to resign. I'm just speaking for myself and trying to relate some experience. If it means anything to you, great! If not, there are many more posts to read.
| We Often Talk About The Steps In Leaving Mormonism. This Is My Short Version-From Fog To Enlightenment. |
Thursday, Aug 3, 2006, at 08:48 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| hese are some of my major steps in the exit process from Mormonism, while writing all the way. From the very beginning, I found an outlet for my process and this board was one of them.
1. THE FOG-DAZE STAGE!
What the hell happened? Saw WHAT???
This is what happened while reading on line (Dr. Shades --to be exact) when I realized that there were no golden plates, no translations, the BOM was fiction, Joseph Smith Jr. told such a blatant whopper (while plagiarizing everything in sight) that it was preposterous and totally ridiculous. This was followed very, very closely by....
2. THE STUNNED HUMOR STAGE!
Oh My Holy Garments!
Millions of Mormons are still believing this whopper Joseph Smith Jr. told and paying 10% (minimum) for the privilege, while wearing regulation skivvies, and going to the temple doing bastardized Masonic rituals. This realization was the cause of much snickering around the house!
3. THIS IS NOT FUNNY STAGE:
What a cotton-picking minute here. This is not funny-funny. This is bizarre.
Every one of those scalawags, led by Joseph Smith Jr and his cronies that were in on it lied from the get-go and I am pissed! No -- not just pissed! That kind of betrayal left me in a whole different state of mind. I am furious, enraged, damn angry and I am not going to be quiet about it either! This is where I found out that some TBM's can be really scary! What a shock!
4.THE SPONGE STAGE:
Constant reading, can't get enough, have to know every last thing I can learn about Mormonism's history and how it functions from their own sources. The process is still ongoing several years later! What a hoot that is!
This is also the grateful stage for how they kept records. Those characters wrote everything down! Wow. What a find!
Hallelujah, pass the potatoes, I read while eating and went to bed and dreamed about it.
5. The HOLY COW STAGE!
This is amazingly intrusive stuff. They have trampled on my personal rights, my privacy, my naked body and told me it was what Heavenly Father wanted.
What was I thinking? Time to revamp that thinking!
6. THE SECOND "ONLY TRUE" HUMOR STAGE!
Mormonism is just too funny, goofy, outrageous to take seriously, except when they are killing people, of course.
7. THE SEPARATION STAGE!
This is where I examined my life, all of it; before Mormonism, as a convert, and as a totally immersed, believing Mormon and started the process to figure out what happened on a mental, psychological, and emotional level. I took apart the layers of it's impact, both the negative and the positive and carefully thought them through.
I determined that Mormonism does what they do out of ignorance--a bad case of Gross Stupiditis. They had no idea the mess they made of people's lives.
Now, for my own emotional well being, I have attempted to extend some compassion to them because they have no idea what they are doing. That is, after I have talked and written about their nonsense ad nauseum!
8. THE NEW WORLD VIEW STAGE: ENLIGHTENMENT!!
This the point where I have researched for hours, read books( a couple dozen or so), and read about other people's beliefs and decided what I wanted for myself, knowing it was an evolutionary process, and I could change my mind at any point. What a great concept. I had forgotten that I could change my mind. So I did!
Now, I call myself an Eccentric Eclectic because I like a little bit of a lot of beliefs, notions, ideas. Perhaps a lot of you are a lot like me.
I am part: AGNOSTIC:
This is safe and the most accurate. To say you are atheist is so politically incorrect, and unacceptable in this day and age that it is suicide to try to run for office, for instance, also, so many people believe that atheism is of the devil that many relationships are cut off before they begin because of this prejudice.
I find that calling myself an agnostic is preferable and works best for my own survival on many levels. Because I live in a predominant Judeo-Christian society (like most of us posting here) to be too far out of it causes more problems that it solves.
I am also part ATHEIST:
I have been known to say I am a "soft" atheist - taking the default position of non-belief in the unsupported theist claim of a God - which is not the same thing as taking the position of no gods.
I reserve the term: God for that which is currently unexplainable.
I am part SKEPTIC
I want a lot of verifiable information from state of the art sources before I add my allegiance. I do not automatically believe someone because of who they are, what they believe or just because they said so.
I am part HUMANIST
American Humanist - "Humanism is a progressive lifestance, free of supernaturalism, which affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives that add to the greater good of humanity."
Again, I am not sure about the "supernaturalism" part, because I allow for all possibilities. Again, I want verifiable evidences.
I like a few Buddhist ideas also, especially the notion that the greatest unhappiness comes from emotional attachments to unfulfilled expectations.
I stir all this up with a good dose of humor, satire, and just plain fun!
At this point, I have been on the outside of Mormonism for about seven years.
My official resignation date from the Mormon Church is (get this -- could not have planned it) JUNE 27, 2002! What a way to celebrate the shoot-out at Carthage Jail! Who knew it would fall right in line with my "story" title!
In the exit process from Mormonism, I have become passionate about freedom of religion, full disclosure and informed consent and informed choice.
I have been shaped by some of the prevailing values in my prior beliefs in Spiritualism, Christianity and Mormonism, however, I can find no reason to believe that those values are exclusive to those beliefs alone.
A little study and research showed clearly that there are thousands of gods, female ones long predate male ones and how would one choose? So many gods, so little time, so many heavens, so little time, so many myths, so little time.
It became apparent that we are mostly a product of the geography of our birth.
The closer I get to the end of my life, the more I realize that I do not need answers to where I came from and where I am going.
There are thousands of answers to those questions and not a one of them has any real evidences that satisfy the skeptic in me and I am not interested in just relying on faith. Been there done that, and it is unsatisfactory.
I prefer to place my faith in all things, just not in a supreme being, a God, (personalized or otherwise) or creator. My faith is not limited to a religious notions.
It is not necessary to my sense of well being, my self confidence, my self esteem, my self respect, or how I treat other people, or how I view my place in the world to subscribe to those beliefs.
It is, however, extremely liberating and freeing to know I am not bound by those old myths, teachings, beliefs and am free to think and believe anything I wish without fear of recrimination from some outside source.
I am thrilled that I figured that out with enough years left to totally enjoy it!
| It's a basic fact of life that each of us is in control of our own reactions and behavior once we're adults.
Mormons often don't understand this simple concept.
My mother prays and fasts constantly that her non-mormon children will bend to her will and return to the fold. From what I can tell, she sometimes spends eight or more hours a day reading scripture and praying for this dream of hers. She actually thinks that her adult kids have little will of their own in light of her incantations and the power of the HG.
At the Sacramento temple open house the other day, this mormon thinking was made clear repeatedly. Mormons hovered, cajoled, spied, and micro-managed to the point of not allowing anyone to put on their own shoe cover booties as we entered their "house of the Lord." They even made a women in a wheel chair wear the paper booties after they said their purpose was to keep the temple floors clean.
They provided 7 TBMs to manage our small tour group, almost one TBM official for each two participants some of whom were also TBM. But still they said they would not accept questions until the end of the tour. So as we finished each leg of the tour we stood in silence while we waited for the tour ahead of us to move on. One visitor assigned our group did venture a whispered question to one of mishies and he responded with a hurried little bark before he turned away.
At the end during cookies and water, a women who had been in our tour did bring up questions to each about a half dozen of the mormons milling among the crowd. Each time the TBMs turned away and strode off mid-sentence from her when they realized she was asking hard questions and was not interested in joining the church.
Mormons are taught to be beacons of good cleancut, if faked, behavior. They call this "setting an example" and actually believe their playacting is impacting on the minds and actions of observers. I don't know if there are a few who are taken in by this acting. But I think anyone with sense believes mormons look silly trying to manipulate others with harassment, shunning, emotional pleas, wan smiles and mealy mouthed half truths.
Mature adults are in touch with themselves and know they can only determine what they think and do. They see mormons as silly for never getting over the omnipotant imaginings common to early childhood.
| Understanding Mormonism as a member and as a former member.
As a Mormon, I understood the teachings very well. I had great teachers.Plus I knew the intent of Mormonism's teachings. That is where I differed from many Mormons.
For instance, I knew that when I went to the temple and was given and wore the "holy garment of the priesthood" as a female, I "held" the priesthood just like men, however, I understood that my role as a Mormon female was different. I was refrained from officiating (except with other females in the temple).
Typically, religions assign gender roles that are very specific which, naturally follow the main differences in males and females. Women bear the children. That is set in stone. Men then are assigned something that is seen by some as a consolation role, to act in the name of their God and officiate in the administering of the ordinances. This system follows almost all faith based religions.
I also knew that when a church/religion (in this case Mormon) makes claims, they know they have to simply ,sanitize, rewrite, and turn them onto "faith promoting" form because faith-based notions do not hold up to scrutiny very well. In fact, they would be difficult to believe several generations later.
Hence, the claims are sparse and simple enough for a child to understand. Those "truths" are subjective, however, that does not matter when faith based notions are being presented. They are accepted as a core truth by the believer.
As long as The Mormon Church can hold onto it's members belief by faith, they are OK. It makes no difference what those claims are, just that enough people refuse to deny them. OF course, the consequence of doing that is expulsion, so it is generally frowned upon.
Great effort is made to keep Mormonism in a belief by faith realm because to lay it's history bare before the membership, from the get-go, would not "protect the testimonies of the weak."
That testimony by faith and feelings (the emotional bond/attachment) is paramount to it's survival. Which, can also be said for religions/churches faith based beliefs throughout the history of humanity.
Religion/churches need members. They need their service, and their dedication and their money to survive.
It is not just an idea, just a notion, it becomes the basis, the core for the basic need of all humans: a social, cultural, familial, tribal affiliation in nature that is so strong it claims that it survives even their death.
The social/cultural core is paramount to it's survival.
The claims themselves must be presented in such a manner with such a large backing and such authority that they are accepted just because it would be tantamount to questioning God to challenge the.
Add that to question is a sin, and the faith based ideas become cemented.
To question, to be shunned, to be kicked out of the familial affiliation is to be alone. Something that humans as social/pack animals abhor as survival is dependent on the group.
Now...here we are, on the outside of the faith based Mormon religion, sans the prior accustomed support system, learning to survive on our own in the "lone and dreary world."
It is, indeed, a "new world."
We deal with the anger and pain of the betrayal, the loss of family and friends, business, careers, reputations, shocked by the conditional love of our family which is often punctuated with the most horrific, angry threats of guilt, blame and shame and sin both covertly and overtly. We are called names, falsely accused of all kinds of things.
We have to learn how to take our power back. We have to learn to set new healthy boundaries. All of this is new to us. We study, we gather information and learn what we can about the Exit Process from Mormonism's imprinting and programming so we can preserve our own self respect, self confidence, self esteem taking back our authentic self .
It is almost impossible for outsiders to understand what we go through, what we deal with, how we peal the layers of Mormonism off,one at a time, scrutinizing each automatic script that runs in our mind/brain.
I applaud everyone that makes this lone journey!
The result of this personal process which we have chosen, is for most, a sense of freedom, joy and relief they never felt before in their life.
I am grateful for what I learned and gained from my time as a Mormon. I have a wonderful family and home that is a direct result of my membership.
I had many opportunities to learn new skills and am grateful for that also.
I know that all of my life is part of a learning experience that has contributed and formed who I am today; the good, the bad, the ugly.
I do not believe the claims, nor need religious faith based claims in my life anymore either.
So, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on going, learning something new almost every day and having a good time and a good laugh as much as possible!
I live with and love Mormons/Christians, agnostics/atheist...whatever. It makes no difference to their humanity.
That's my two cents! Your mileage may vary.
| Mormonism is the quintessential closed society. If the church leaders had their way, Mormons would only talk to each other under careful Priesthood supervision. There would be some talk allowed, as long as it was endless praise for the leaders. After all, most Mormons are under blood oath to speak no ill of the "Lord's anointed( I wish I could have that little luxury for myself).
I have learned a good deal about Mormonism from the board. I appreciate it. Between this board, and all the new books being published, one need not remain ignorant of the history of this very strange religion.
But there have been some fun things along the way. Some have made me laugh with delight. And the laughter comes from realizing none of us are alone.
Some of the fun things I have learned are:
I was not the only person who looked at the brunette on "Hooked on Aerobics." I fear my thoughts were less than Celestial.
I was not alone in finding the sacrament a bit gross--Wonder Bread and warm water in a paper cup. Yuck.
I was not alone in finding a certain amusement in the revelations about Paul Dunn, and his fall from grace. I freely admit he fooled me when I was young. I can laugh at myself now, thanks to the board.
I was not alone in being stunned (disbelief) at the Bruce McConkie speech which attacked and destroyed George Pace. I had never spoken to anyone about it, and then this board opened up a whole new world of information. Many were horrified by the speech. Gee, I was not alone.
I was not alone in my misery during missionary testimony meetings. I always found them to be a real struggle, a difficult obstacle to overcome. Each one had its unique twist of the knife. And I learned that many felt the same. Their missions might have been in different places, but the experience was the same.
I was not alone in finding the missionary experience to be a trip through the Twilight Zone. Mormons don't talk about missions honestly. When they do, the truth comes out.
I was not alone in being horrified by the temple ceremony. It was fun--YES FUN--to learn I am not alone. I thought there was something wrong with me. I could not talk to the Bishop, my father, other Mormons. I was sure I was alone. I thought others let it slide of their backs. But they did not. They , too, were horrified.
I learned I was not alone in my loathing of polygamy. There were jokes about it, quiet comments about it--but there was always a grim acceptance. I learned--here--just how deeply the feelings about the doctrine really are. It makes people ill. The members can't say it, but it humiliates them, embarrasses them, and hurts them. It was wrong , is wrong, and will always be wrong. How stupid does one have to be to keep accepting it?
I learned I was not alone in hearing weird stuff in LDS seminary. I thought my teacher had to be the biggest kook on the planet. He wasn't . It seems that "loony toon" thinking is common material. Others taught the nonsense--lost tribes under the North Pole, Cain as Bigfoot, animal sacrifice, blood atonement. Its funny if you look back at it. It was so lame, and I should have laughed much sooner. And I mean I should have LAUGHED. Its not just stupid--its funny. How can people take this stuff seriously?
I was not alone in wondering what was wrong with Spencer Kimball when he wrote his dark "Miracle of Forgiveness. " I hated it. It depressed me. Others hate it too. Others found it godawful, at best. Its a terrible book, and it leaves no-one any room for hope. Its scandalously bad.
I was not alone in fearing Boyd Packer. I think the other members of "the twelve" fear Boyd Packer.
I was not alone in my stunned disbelief during the Oaks/Hinckley Hoffman crisis news conference. It hit me like a Mack truck. It hit others--plenty of others. I kept quiet about it. I should not have. It was appalling.
I was not alone in finding BYU to be one of the strangest places on earth. My God, what a trip. So many strange people, events, practices, and rules. Many zombies are unhappy zombies. One cannot believe BYU is real unless they experience it. A police state within a free nation.
I was not alone in reading the "Book of Mormon,"and asking "What the fuck?" Yes, I asked that often. I read it about seven times. It always struck me as being rather poorly written, with some very strange stories, characters, and history (naughty Jews becoming American Indians). The "Book of Mormon" is not exactly the best novel on the planet.
I was not alone in laughing at the "Pearl of Great Price." I thought it strange when I was young. Joseph's "translations" were pretty damned dumb. I kept my doubts to myself, but when they nagged at a friend, they nagged at me. And they nagged at a lot of us, didn't they?
I was not alone in reading the "Doctrine and Covenants," and thinking the whole thing was a dreadful fraud. I remember telling a neighbor "If you were going to write a book to fool a bunch of frontier believers, this is what you would have come up with." His angry reaction drove me back into my shell.
I was not alone in detesting some of the common hymns. Others groaned at "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel," "Praise to the Man," "I Stand All Amazed,"
and the McConkie classic "I Believe in Christ."
I was not the only one who hated fasting. I was not the only one who would sneak off for a hamburger. I did that on my mission. What, in God's name, does anyone get out of the practice? It made me irritable, cranky, sick, and miserable. Topping it off with a testimony meeting is a humiliation.
I was not alone in thinking that our "divinely inspired' leaders are not so inspired. In fact, I questioned their "powers of discernment" for years. It was laughable. So many screw ups from so many "inspired' leaders.
I was not alone in the anger and weariness at the personal intrusions. "Personal Priesthood Interviews," questions about masturbation, questions about "worthiness." Is this really religion?
I was not alone in enjoying such honest books as "A Daughter of Zion," and "The Giant Joshua." There are some very good Mormon books. They just don't get talked about, or reprinted.
I was not alone in laughing at the popular Mormon culture. Think about how lame it really is. Go to Deseret Book, and try not to laugh. Now, Mormons can buy the "Sword of Laban," action figures, a "Liahona," CTR rings. CTR "mood rings," pictures of Joseph, pictures of Joseph and Hyrum, pictures of Joseph and Emma, pictures of Joseph an Moroni. It never ends. More and more junk.
And I will admit I was not alone in laughing at Sherri Dew.
Gee, its nice not to be alone. And its good to laugh. I laugh at myself the most. I do not dislike most Mormons. They, too, could benefit from a laugh.
They are put under incredible pressure, and no outlet is allowed. They wonder alone, doubt alone, cry alone, and suffer "happiness" alone.
| The Mormon Church conditions its members to thoroughly believe in magic as the governing power of their minds.
This has a tremendously destructive power over much of their lives.
It disables many from attacking and solving problems otherwise rational people handle all of the time.
For instance, my TBM mother's belief in magic, will prevent her from ever dealing with her relationships gone sour. She will always feel that I must "repent" and return to the church, before our relationship can be "restored." It will never occur to her that deep deep insults and slander against me, are the reasons I have nothing to do with her.
No, my mom will continue to pray, and do nothing else. She has all of her chips in the magic basket, and by golly, that's where they'll stay.
Same is true with my mother-in-law.
It will never occur to her that she is the problem.
No, it's me who has sinned.
Once again, she'll just plod on, believing that magic will solve her problems.
I prefer to teach my own children that sweat, persistence, discipline, and hard work are the foundation of problem solving.
Magic is for stage shows, and entertainment; not as a way to govern our thinking throughout life.
Perhaps learning to leave magic behind, is one of the biggest steps in recovery from Mormonism.
| I don't know a thing about Recovery. What I see on this board often reminds of the scene in Forrest Gump where Jenny returns to her childhood home and throws rock after rock at the house. "Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."
I'm not suggesting this is unhealthy or an incorrect method of recovery. The part I question is the tendency to cast stones at our former selves. I don't see everything I did as a mistake. I don't know that it's valuable to view my former actions simply as "stupid mistakes."
I know I regret a lot of what I did and said as a "TBM" - but I'm not even comfortable applying that label to myself. I don't hate myself for who I was. Even at my most obedient, I don't think I would've served the kool aid to the kids, and I know I would not have followed Hitler. I wouldn't have even voted for Bo Grites.
I don't hate my family or my friends for who they are - even if they are "TBM". I really don't want to distort the truth about my past to make me feel better about my current self. I bristle when I see attempts to warp the things I used to believe. While I may not believe them now, I don't think I was an idiot to believe them at one time.
I don't think I was taught to judge people of other faiths. In fact, I firmly believe I was taught to be a very loving person. I was taught that, in part, by mormonism.
I was genuinely concerned about my home teaching families (still am). I even felt a spirit of love while I sat in the temple. I don't think those things were stupid - no matter how silly the garb - because I found some kind of meaning in them.
By the time I was capable of understanding literature, I did not believe that Jonah was swallowed by a fish, but I found meaning in the story. As I began to doubt Moroni's existence, I still thought I saw a message in his promise. For years, I continued reading the BoM, believing there would never be physical proof of its reality - because it was all a story, and its truth was in its pages. I hoped I could find "truth" in the book.
I don't think I was taught to "expect a virgin" upon returning from a mission. Sure, I heard an off-hand remark here or there; I remember a piss-poor object lesson with some cupcakes. But there were other lessons about sins as scarlet being white as snow; there were lessons about me being commanded to forgive all men.
Early in our dating, my wife hinted at a colorful sexual history. My immediate response was not to feel "cheated", but to feel compassion. I felt that she had experienced great pain and insecurity because of her reliance on sex in relationships. Sure she might have had some fun, but she was worried that our relationship would be harmed by her past actions. I tried to convince her that I didn't care about her past. I didn't even care that I had a class with her old boyfriend. I'm sure that some of her hang-ups came from her religion, but I can't say that they would have been erased if she were raised catholic or jewish or druid, etc. From what she told me, her very tbm parents were kind and supportive, even though they knew a thing or two about her "sinful" life.
I even felt grateful that I had stopped short of intercourse on many occasions. I firmly believe that my faith gave me an ability to forgo many of the highs and lows of adolescent experimentation. I won't say I was perfect, but I made it through okay.
So, I guess I disagree with a lot of what the church teaches and promotes, but I don't feel like I have to hate it. I don't feel like I have to hate myself for perpetuating it. And I don't feel like I have to hate my family because they want me to be a part of it.
I just don't have to listen anymore. I don't have to believe that my children will be given to another man in the afterlife because I left "the path" that someone else set in front of me. I don't have to accept a calling that keeps me from my family. I don't have to shave.
It was silly of me to think that God wanted me to learn some handshakes, but I don't hate myself for it.
| I've been renting a room from an LDS family for almost three weeks now, and I realized last night that I have not spoken to them once about religion since I've been there. Sure, they have all the Mormon accessories: obligatory photo of the bride and groom outside the Logan Temple, a framed copy of the Proclamation on the Family, and the usual books on the shelf: Jesus the Christ, Truth Restored, Our Heritage.
But not once has the family held family prayer, family scripture study, or even family home evening. Even prayers over meals have been rather spotty. We've talked about jobs, computers, and baseball (can the Astros make up 6 games before the playoffs?), but never about faith (and no, they don't know I'm an apostate). Lest you think I'm judging, that's pretty much the way most LDS families I know are. The "brethren" were constantly trying to guilt us into the daily rituals, assuring us that our families would be blessed by "the little things." But in truth, I've only known a few families who did the whole program regularly. Even my resident Mormon critic acknowledges that he takes what comes from Salt Lake with a grain of salt.
When I worked for the church, I rode in a van pool every day with other church employees. One of the other riders was a small Salvadoran man who was an electrician on Temple Square. He had 9 children (one of whom was named Abinadi, poor kid), if I remember correctly, and had been a stake president in El Salvador before emigrating to the U.S. He often talked about how heartbroken he was because his older children had left the church, including all of his sons who had been on missions. His neighbor, who also rode our van, said he thought the slavish devotion to ritual had doomed the man's relationship with his children: "They got up early every morning to read scriptures and pray, no matter what, and the kids resented it. They had no time for themselves because they were having long family councils and endless scripture study." He went on to tell me that his family had been much like mine, pretty lax about such things, but his kids were well-adjusted and active in the church. Similarly, an alcoholic friend of mine told me of the rigid hell of growing up in a seminary teacher's home.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the rituals, but it seems to me that most LDS families don't take the "counsel" seriously; if they did, conference wouldn't be full of pleadings for us to do better. But what exactly does all this attention to the little things accomplish?
I'm convinced that, in the end, Mormonism doesn't really affect the way people live their lives, except on the surface. For some people, it's good at changing behavior, but not really good at changing the reasons for behavior. As I've said before, Mormon morality is based on what the prophet says to do, so naturally a person's faithfulness is judged by how much they follow the prophet (he knows the way, you know). But nobody ever talks about why the prophet's counsel is good or moral or important. Why, for example, is having more than one earring prohibited? Who cares? The prophet said it's bad.
Ironically, I think the people who have the best family life are those who follow the prophet only when it makes sense to do so. If I think something will benefit my family, I'll do it, no matter who said it, even if it's Gordon Hinckley. But, I understand that obeying just for the sake of obedience can really harm my family. Common sense tells me that getting my kids up at 5 for scripture study isn't going to help anyone. Just ask Abinadi.
| Ever wonder why Mormons are allowed to be indignant and take insult if you say anything bad about the crutch...but they don't think they're being offensive when they shove their superstitions on you?
Take TOL's father, for example. He is one of the kindest human beings you could ever know. Some people are built like him. You like them. They are sincere. He has a gentle, self-deprecating demeanor that is very appealing.
But AOL -- I'll call him annoying-out-loud, or AOL for short -- does not respect boundaries and when he has to judge someone's worthiness he does so ruthlessly...particularly when he was in leadership positions in the crutch. He could even refuse a repentant soul a temple marriage years after she transgressed the Law of Chastity because he knew she wasn't worthy.
Now that he's much older, he often feels inspired to speak with -- translation: preach to -- each of her children about going back to church. One of the four is seventeen and still living at home.
She's asked him not to. She doesn't want to drive any more wedges between her and her family. She loves them. She's the only exmo of her siblings and they already exclude her/us from the important family activities -- like marriages -- because God has commanded them to choose Mormon acts of obedience to before their loved ones; and they obey.
In my present exmo state-of-mind it is inconceivable to me that they (my TBM kids, too) all become instant martyrs if we respond to a proselytizing engagement like "You really need to come back to church, TOL's son," with "You really need to quit believing in a conman's scam, AOL."
They hold these things very dear...but they don't hold our theological positions with any kind of respect.
When it comes time to eat they do not ask if it is okay to pray.
When it comes time to marry they do not ask -- or even care -- how we can be accommodated.
When it comes time to try to express their love and concern for our lost souls they sure as hell do not want to establish and honor a reciprocal agreement with us.
I have come to believe that when people have God standing behind them telling them what to do, they can even engage in cold-blooded murder without concern for the victim or the victim's family. (See 1 Nephi 4:10 and Joshua 6:21).
So much for letting god's teachings be your guide.
| I am always amazed at how often I got screamed at. And sometimes, it was real screaming.
I was at a "fireside" once, and it was designed to "teach the youth" about the importance of avoiding drugs, alcohol, and morality. Standard church fare.
I made one of the presenters furious--to the point of yelling--when I kept mentioning I was tired of hearing about drugs. As I recall, I suggested they should be legalized. I mentioned it to piss the guy off, and I did. He finally yelled, and I mean YELLED "Stop attacking what I believe fella."
When Kimball go the blacks/Priesthood "revelation," my father called, and told me of his joy. I said. "Its about time the church entered the 20th century."
My father lost it, and screamed at me "You have to believe its revelation, you MUST believe its revelation." Screaming again.
When my mother thought I had not paid tithing, she came up to me and screamed "IN THIS WARD, WHEN PEOPLE DON'T PAY THEIR TITHING, WE DEMAND TO KNOW WHY" Screaming again. And I had paid my dumb ass tithing.
In the mission field, an Assistant to the President screamed at me because I did not want to spend the day playing basketball as part of the program. "You are your usual mean self Elder Louie," he yelled. All this yelling.
Years ago, my wife and I pulled into a grocery store late at night to get milk. I rushed up to the store doors, found they were closed, and said "The goddam store is closed."
There were two missionaries doing the same thing. When one heard me, he SCREAMED "What did you just say? Did you take the Lord's name in vain?" You could hear him scream about a block away. I just looked at him, and walked off.
Why did they go from calm to screaming in ten seconds? The instant someone questioned what they did, or said, they screamed. Is it an "authority thing," or is it fear you are losing your soul? Maybe its both, but the screaming that went on in Mormonism really got old. I hate bullies, and Mormons became bullies at the drop of a hat. I always recall the yelling. It makes me cringe. Why must a "true church" generate so much yelling?
| I recall a girl at BYU, telling me about a church meeting where "the spirit was so thick, you could cut it with a knife." That irked me. I thought it was dumb, and I never "felt the spirit."
I had a missionary companion who could not stand me (and the feeling was mutual). We split up with two other missionaries for a week, and when he came back, he told me "While I was gone, I was teaching with the spirit. I do not want to come back and be with you, and not teach with the spirit."
The irony of this was the fact that it turned out his "spiritual" companion was excommunicated for having sex with some fine young member girls---and he was already under the cloud of sin while he was "teaching with the spirit." I was a reluctant companion, to be sure, but I did not boink the member girls. Maybe if I had, I , too, could have "taught with the spirit."
As a kid, I lived in a ward which loved to put on choir programs. The choir was pretty good, in truth, but not as wonderful as the members thought. The Christmas program lasted longer than a lifetime. It did have a beginning, but I am not sure it ever ended. It could still be going on, for all I know. You went in as a young kid, and came out with white hair, prostate problems, and orders from a the doctor to take fiber. The "Rascal" scooter was not far behind.
During the program, a ward member gave a talk about Mary and Jesus-- and sobbed and sobbed. My mother mentioned how sweet it was that he "felt the spirit." I felt nothing. This same asshole had given me an interview, and asked about masturbation, so it was very likely I could not stand to listen to him. Maybe that was the problem. All intrusion, no inclusion.
Missionary testimony meetings were supposed to be an "outpouring of the spirit." They lasted about three hours, the missionaries told false stories, or put on shows. They were the very antithesis of spiritual. I never "felt the spirit." I felt hungry, tired, disgusted, or amused-- but not spiritual. I heard some --not many--mention "the spirit" at the meeting, but the majority just wanted to leave. I was not alone in this. We just wanted to leave--the meeting, and the mission field.
I heard many members mention the spirit they felt when they went to the temple. Again, I was mystified. I feared the temple, hated the clothes, and did not care for slitting my own throat. I wanted to get out. I felt CULT FEAR, while others "felt the spirit." CULT FEAR is a real thing. It ate at my soul, and nearly tore me apart. I prayed--literally prayed--and asked God to help me through each session. Others "felt the spirit." Something was wrong.
I realize some of this--all of this--was me. Some people can feel things others cannot, and some can claim to feel things others cannot. Some people can become spiritual under very strange circumstances. One man's source of amusement is another's source of spirituality, tears, and testimony.
Maybe I was never meant to feel "the spirit." But I never really did. Maybe I was just a realist. Maybe I was just a sinner. I do not know.
| Cradle Mormons, according to LDS theology, are by birthright more righteous than any other people on the face of the earth.
I remember being taught that people BIC were the most valiant of all God's children. They were a chosen people--with a divine birthright, a Royal Priesthood. Why should anyone be surprised at the depth of Mormon arrogance? It makes perfect sense!
Why should these divinely chosen Mormons, who are more righteous than anyone else, be subject to the normal boundaries of human decency? Is there any man-made conscript that can contain these future man-gods? Is it any wonder then that so many Mormons feel above the law?
| Last night my wife and I were visiting with some friends about their vacation to Mexico and visit with family members in Utah. Like us, our friends have stopped attending the LDS church.
We were discussing the story of the Monticello, Utah couple kidnapping their daughter to prevent her temple marriage to a man whom they did not approve. Our friends had heard of the story while visiting in Utah. We were aghast at the arrogance of the parents. As we were discussing the story, one of us mentioned that so-called “Mormon Arrogance” was a belief held by many LDS that they view themselves above the law.
My friend echoed the sentiment and described the scene as he and his wife departed for Mexico from the Salt Lake International Airport. Despite directives from LDS authorities to avoid large gatherings at airports to welcome returning missionaries, my friend saw many families gathered in the airport awaiting their missionary’s return. No harm here. However, these families, in eager anticipation, would begin clogging terminal exit ways causing bottlenecks for departing passengers. Several times my friend witnessed airport security asking these same families to step back and allow passengers to exit. The requests became numerous and the security personnel became annoyed at having to continuously ask the same people to back away. Once the missionary was seen, mother and others would run past security to be the first to greet the missionary, again causing problems.
I can certainly understand a mother’s excitement at wanting to greet her son gone for two years. Perhaps my friend’s anecdotal experience is not the best for my conclusions. However, I believe that the families’ constant ignoring requests from airport security arises from the source of much perceived LDS arrogance – which is, in my opinion, that LDS view themselves above the law.
Many LDS believe that as holders of all of God’s higher laws and as practitioners of the same, they do not have to trifle themselves with man’s laws. A Mormon might believe that by obeying God, she or he need not fear man and by extension earthly laws.
I saw this behavior from a former mission president in the area I now live. He was young, wealthy and eager for church advancement. He needed to draw attention to himself at every instance. One day he called my law office to discuss a strategy. Many apartment complexes have policies and posted signs prohibiting solicitation. A missionary companionship had been told to leave a gated apartment complex by security. The young missionaries complied when threatened with the police being called. The mission president called to discuss the legality of the removal and whether the government could enforce such private apartment policies. After giving him my opinion, which was to avoid having young missionaries arrested, he told me that he was considering just that – have a set of missionaries arrested to seek publicity in the area (and in my opinion from church headquarters). Thankfully his policy was never implemented. However, his arrogance for the law and the privacy requests of the apartment management surprised me. He could rationalize away violation of law, discourtesy and perhaps ruining two good young men’s lives because God’s purposes are higher than those of our society. (This brash mission president is now an assistant dean at BYU Marriott Business School and has recently teamed forces with others to enter the internet fight facing the LDS Church).
The great danger of such thinking is that such “pious” people decide for themselves what God’s directives are. The Lafferty brothers knew that they were not committing murder as lives were taken, etc. Pious young men and now women strap bombs to their chests and enter marketplaces to detonate themselves in a holy attempt to take life.
The real danger of Mormon and similar arrogance is that the only boundaries are self defined and extreme injury is only avoided by one’s lack of faith. As beliefs become more radical, so do actions. Are today’s Mormons who can kidnap a daughter tomorrow’s suicide bombers?
| If Mormonism is so easily debunked, what next?
1. Do I have a need to believe in Christianity, or other religions? And if not, why not.
Mormonism is based on a "supernatural eye" claim, what about the other religions? Are they similar?
2. Do I have a need to be "saved" and what does it mean.
Mormonism makes the claim that they can answer: "why are we here and where are we going." Are those really valid questions that anyone can factually answer or not?
3. Do I have a need to believe in a God of any sort? If so, what are my choices. If not, why not.
Taking my power back from the grasp of Mormonism's world view of "all intrusion and no inclusion" as lightfingerlouie put it in a recent post,(I had said, for years that Mormonism was an exclusive, expensive, intrusive club) meant that I needed to pay attention to all those red flags that kept cropping up from the first day I listened to the missionaries over 35 years before.
I needed to take Mormonism apart, every single minute layer at a time, examine all those automatic scripts they so subtly implanted in my thinking processes and start taking my life back. And, I wanted it back. All of it!
The level of the deception was so great I couldn't take it in all at once. It turned out to be a huge, long, laborious, emotionally and intellectually draining process.
Sometimes I thought my head would explode with all the new information. One shock was quickly followed by another one. The level of lies, cover ups, crafty explanations that were bologna was endless.
Everything I had used to internally base my life on, from my life before I converted in Christianity and Spiritualism through over three decades of believing, immersed, accepting Mormonism needed to be examined and accepted or rejected in my new world view.
If Joseph Smith Jr. lied about finding ancient records, what else did he lie about? That one lie brought down the whole Mormon Church. It had nothing to stand on. It imploded right before my eyes! The betrayal is still overwhelming at times. It is so far beyond our normal mental processes to understand our world, that, for my own personal sanity and equilibrium, I have to keep my sense of humor set on high, or I would become ill, and go into a depression (well, maybe not, I never could do a depression right!).
The TBM's still caught in the web of Mormon thinking are often so tied up so tight they can't even see out.
The world has gone dark. Their view is just a tiny peep hole.
I would venture to guess that those of you here who have made the same journey I have out of Mormonism's deceptive, insidious grasp have immersed a different person inside with a true knowledge of what it means to take your power back and be free.
It has been expensive in some ways for some. Some have lost families, jobs, kids, grand kids, friends, careers, etc.
However, in the final analysis, even the losses are less expensive than what Mormonism cost me personally in freedom and empowerment, not to mention financially.
Fortunately, initially, it struck me funny. It was a colossal joke, a trick, a scam, a fraud, a hoax of monumental proportions. Unbelievable!
Thousands of Mormons repeating over and over that they knew it was true would never change the fact that it was a hoax and they had been scammed in the best American religious con job of all time!
In the process, I learned why the geography of my birth, my familial, social environment played heavily into my acceptance of the beliefs of Christianity, Spiritualism and Mormonism. In fact, I have posted a few times about how Spiritualism was the contributing factor that made conversion so easy.
My journey over several years has led me to a place that has no fear of recriminations: I don't need a god belief, salvation, or a religion.
I have learned to be very skeptical of any claim, to do the research, to use critical thinking, and not just accept something because someone said it. I learned to trust facts, evidence more than feelings. A testimony of feelings cannot contradict facts and evidence.
I am free to take what I like from any source I like and create my own world view; a new paradigm that suits me and is free of invasion from anyone.
That is why I call myself an Eccentric Eclectic! Maybe some of you are like me!
| Of this I am tired:
1. I'm tired of the 3-hour block for Sunday services, which generally bore me to tears. Nothing but milk (and no meat) these days.
2. I'm tired of being made to feel guilty if I don't brazenly solicit my
friends for Church membership for the sake of meeting some stupid and
unrealistic numerical goal.
3. I'm tired of being asked to go out with the missionaries every month,
when I know the real reason they ask is for me to be their chauffeur and they can save the miles on their car.
4. I'm tired of missionaries who are so fixated on rules and procedures
that they suck at preaching the gospel.
5. I'm tired of GBH trying to make us seem just like any other Christian
6. I'm tired of the Brethren micromanaging our lives (earrings, tattoos, etc.).
7. I'm tired of GA's failing to say that what married couples do in the
bedroom is their business alone, thereby continuing the belief among many LDS (members and leaders) that oral sex is sinful.
8. I'm tired of the prevalent belief in the Church that this is a church of servitude, not service (i.e., everything is "assigned" and no volunteers should be asked for).
9. I'm tired of leaders not saying (or not putting into practice) that family is our first and most important calling, which comes before all other callings.
10. I'm tired of attending meetings that are called just because the Handbook tells us to have them.
11. I'm tired of the Handbook being treated as a secret.
12. I'm tired of temple ceremonies that clearly rip off Freemasonry. I love the covenants and substance like that, but hate the format.
13. I'm tired of the cottage industry spawned by Mormonism, from GA
books on down to kitschy tie-pins. Stop the priestcraft!
14. I'm tired of LDS women/girls being treated as 2nd class citizens in the
Church (and the corollary, of LDS men/boys being puffed up in importance).
15. I'm tired of women being told that they are entitled to all the blessings of the priesthood only "through" male priesthood holders, when I'm quite convinced the oath and the covenant of the priesthood in DandC 84 includes women as DIRECT beneficiaries, irrespective of men.
16. I'm tired of the stigma which attaches to LDS young men who chose not to serve missions (i.e., that they are somehow less worthy in the eyes of LDS girls, etc.).
17. I'm REALLY tired of church leaders who are ambitious.
18. I'm REALLY tired of church leaders who believe they are inspired in
all callings they extend and all decisions they make.
19. I'm tired of the teaching that LDS girls should rather die than give up their virtue.
20. I'm tired of LDS single girls being coerced into giving up their babies to adoption.
21. I'm REALLY tired of the Church teaching that homosexuality is a choice and can be "cured."
22. I'm tired of the Church purporting to offer full fellowship to chaste homosexuals, but then fight like hell for the BSA's ban on all gays, as well as the Church applying rules and procedures to homosexuals that do not apply to members who engage in adultery or fornication.
23. I'm tired of the Church engaging in politics in its fight against gay marriage, including instructing its members to contact their senators and tell them to fight for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
24. I'm sick of correlation, such that we all have the same lessons from the same book, and we are not to deviate from the manual or refer to other sources not cited in the manual. Lessons are now totally watered down.
25. I'm tired of the Church trying to control the Internet.
26. I'm tired of being told to use the Family History Center because it's
not used enough.
27. I'm tired of all the meetings that take me away from my family.
28. I'm tired of priesthood holders having no idea what the priesthood is
about other than Church administration/management.
29. I'm tired of being told not to have a beard or mustache, but to wear a dark suit and white shirt, and generally look and speak like the Brethren.
30. I'm tired of being told Monday evenings are as sacred as the Sabbath.
31. I'm tired of the increasing passion for anything pioneer, and the growing mythology surrounding Utah pioneers.
32. I'm tired of the members' bordering on idolatry when it comes to GA's, and of the GA's not putting an end to it.
33. I'm tired of bap goals.
34. I'm tired of little children bearing testimonies (I know, this sounds mean, but such testimonies are so contrived that it bugs me).
35. I'm tired of people putting pressure on others to bear testimonies, especially at youth meetings like Youth Conference and EFY, etc. A testimony is just too personal to be trifled with in this way.
36. I'm tired of the Church whitewashing (or ignoring) its history in an effort to mainstream the Church in today's world. Truth just is ... so get used to it.
| I think that I am about to cry. I feel that I am close to losing my wife over the feelings I have about the church. She is a person who I love so much. We are soul mates and we have so much in common. She makes me happy and I love her. The best part of our relationship is our two kids, a girl and a boy. They are my life. They make my world go around and I will do anything to keep them happy...
However, to keep myself from losing my wife and potentially my relationship with my kids, I am being asked to ignore the problematic issues in the church and move on. As much as I want to ignore them, I can't. I simply can't do it. I feel strongly that I've been mislead by the church; there is no doubt in my mind at this point. To live my life in a way that requires me suppress my feelings and pretend to be someone I'm not, seems like a life of hell. But losing my family also seems like hell. I really want to say that I will do anything for them but I don't feel like I can do this. It is tearing me apart.
I see no satisfying solution. Every option I have is a bad option. I continue to ask a simple question: Why am I held accountable for the church's problems? Many people tell me that there is a way to get over the church's issues. But why should I have to "get over" them? This is not a logical solution. Despite my feelings, my family is put on the line as the sacrifice I have to pay for choosing what I feel is right. Worst of all, it is "the church" that stands holding the sword, simply waiting to let it fall.
I believe that the church is a cult. It controls minds, behaviors, and fears. Despite what people tell me, we are not encouraged to think for ourselves as Mormons. The thinking has already been done. Sure we can pretend to do it on our own but only as long as we stay within the limits set for us by the church's leaders.
I am so angry and bitter. I know that I can live a happy life without the church. I know it because I've tested it. The consequences of my choices are what make me miserable and unhappy. It's not a lack of the spirit as many people try to convince me. It is the church that teaches people that they can't truly be happy without it. This is wrong.
I strongly believe that my wife and I could SHARE two separate opinions when it comes to religion, and yet agree on so many other things. We could live a happy life. Teach our kids good principles. Have meaningful conversations. Maintain a strong emotional attachment, and so on.
My wife does not agree with me. Based on countless conversations, I sadly sense that our relationship is only as strong as our mutual commitment to the church. Everything else simply falls into place after this. This is wrong.
It is my observation that my wife is getting to the point when she will give me up for the teachings of a dead prophet she has never met. She intimately knows my character. She knows nothing of his. She knows my passion for her, for my family. She knows that I can make her happy. Again, she knows none of those things about this prophet. Yet, he and his church are given a higher priority than what is given to me. Again, this is wrong.
For the last 18 months we have both tried to mend our relationship. Fortunately she didn't give up on me as quickly as she had originally indicated. We've talked with our parents, we've seen multiple counselors, we've even talked with our dear Bishop. I don't think we've made any real progress other than the fact we've stayed together this long.
After another pointless conversation, bitter feelings, and frustration, today I ask myself: at what point should I just give up, if at all? Neither of us want to be the one to say it. She's told me on several occasions that I will never fill the void that I've created by mentally checking out of the church. Even if I continue to try, I'll always fall short.
I want to protect my kids. This is not fair for them. They are so sweet and I want them to have a mom and a dad. But I feel like I should just let my wife go so she can find someone who can fill this void I've created. This is painful but I want her to be happy. She has lived her entire life with one goal in mind: marry a worthy man in the temple and build an eternal family together. I've shattered that dream.
I find peace knowing that I have the courage to stand up for what I believe is right, even if that is in opposition to the church and its sacred teachings. It seems that I am actually betting my life on it. And any church that puts its members in this position, is not a church worth belonging to.
| I confess. I am a lurker. It is part of my healing. Thank you all for your courage and for what you have taught me.
I am trying to learn from all of you, finally, to set boundaries, and when I have learned, I may not need this forum anymore. In fact, I may not need to read, or hear, or learn anything about Mormonism again as long as I live. But just this once…I am going to write instead of read.
If only God had given me gills instead of wings, maybe I would have been able to swim, but he didn’t. I was drowning, suffocating, trying to swim in the Mormon stream.
During one very bad year I had a job in the stake genealogy library above the room the high priests met in on Sunday. I would make excuses that I needed to catch up on work in the library to skip Relief Society so I could sit hidden at the bottom of the stairs and listen to the high priests’ lessons. I may have laughed under my breath at some of the absurd silliness I heard, but at least it wasn’t the quiet, polite, male-written mush I had to listen to in RS.
I tried so hard to explain to my husband why I was hurt by the church, but he simply couldn’t understand. From his view, the world looked so different. He could only see that standard Mormon view of women as “on a pedestal.” He may have been stuck in the Mormon box, but I only had a tiny, tiny space “on a pedestal” in that box. So many of his experiences with the church had been different.
So there I was, unraveling, one tattered thread after another. And I began to realize that I had never been allowed to have boundaries. The purpose of boundaries is to protect and defend ourselves. We have a God-given right to do this. It is a key to being a healthy self-empowered person. I didn’t have them.
- He had a coming-of-age experience. He received the priesthood. This was a step that said “You are now a man.” There was no matching ceremony for me. Was I less important to God?
- When he went into an interview either as a young man or later as a married man, he sat in front of someone of his own gender to be interviewed. I sat in front of someone of the opposite sex, a vulnerable young woman, forced to divulge details about my fragile, emerging, wet-butterfly-wings sexuality to a frightening, powerful, sometimes too-interested older man.
- In my husband’s world, he had never had to consider eternity as less than half a person (one man = many wives). Even as a small child, I could easily compute the meaning of that equation. Either it meant imbalance in male and female energies, or it meant that my femaleness was less important than a single man’s maleness.
- Could my husband understand the kind of abuse that patriarchy can inflict on the innocent? Could anyone understand those horrible intimate caresses of my breasts by my High Priest father that I could never reveal to anyone for fear that someone would think I somehow was allowing the touches? No, instead I had to blank my mind…block the thoughts out. Forget the truth.
- Can anyone who didn’t experience it understand the violation I felt in the temple during the washing and anointing when my naked body was touched under the shield. No one had warned me.
- Don’t think. Don’t talk. Don’t rock the boat. Rock babies.
People without boundaries have difficulty saying no. They take care of others before their own needs. They rely on others in spiritual matters. It’s hard for them to make decisions. They believe other people’s opinions are more important than their own. They feel anxious and afraid. They feel shame.
Mormons are abused by a system that promises to love us and take us home to God. Instead, that system steals our personal power from us. It makes us unable to define ourselves in a healthy way.
The power we are all are seeking comes from within. It comes from learning to set boundaries. That is something that the church has stolen from all of us. Until we, the survivors of the Mormon Church, all learn to develop our own personal identity, to trust our own opinions, to rely on our own ability to speak to God without a middleman, we will not be healthy. When we learn those lessons…we may not need this forum.
| Recover from Mormonism – to where?
When I left the LDS church it was about eight years after I’d mentally quit Mormonism.
“Leaving” for me was sending in the letter of resignation. It came on the heels of many years of giving up and finally deciding that I wanted to live openly with my apostasy. It came after the Church of which I had been a member for more than 40 years told me, “Either get a temple recommend or we won’t give you a job.”
But I began to mentally quit Mormonism about six months after I had received a restoration of my priesthood blessings in the Jordan River Utah temple by some regional representative functionary whose name I can't recall. He restored all my “blessings” except that he did not restore me to the office of a bishop.
“When you’re excommunicated and your blessings are restored, and you'll be a High Priest again when I'm done, that is one blessing that is not restored…although you can become a bishop again,” he told me. “We don’t know why it's not restored with all the others.”
I thought that it was somewhat odd at the time -- that a restoration was a “limited restoration” of blessings – especially because I didn’t receive any special LDS discounts or promotions when I was actually a bishop – but at the time, it really didn’t bother me.
When I was excommunicated in 1987 it was for adultery. The Young Woman’s president flew all the way across the country to Detroit where I had moved three months previously to have sex with me. A year later she couldn’t hold out any longer and wanted to either tell her bishop who the “bad Mormon guy” was (she had already been disfellowshipped and he wouldn't "refellowship" her without knowing who I was) or start playing our own version of “Same Time Next Year”. -- Yeah, really. It seemed very incongruent to me, too.
So I confessed and I was quickly – and somewhat mercilessly – excommunicated.
I spent the next five years trying to figure out what had happened to me. How had I done such a terrible thing? I mean, the only thing worse would have been killing babies, according to what I had been taught. How did it happen?
I embarked on a long journey of scripture study to try to understand how a zealous young Mormon man, who had held every priesthood calling and presidency post while in his youth, had willingly served a two year mission, had become a high priest at 24 and a bishop at 25 could have been excommunicated at 33.
I read the Book of Mormon about every six months during those five years – at least ten more times on top of the more than twenty times I’d read it before being excommunicated. I read all the Standard Works in the meantime and attended church just like I always had – except I couldn’t say a prayer at church in any meeting or pay tithing. There were many times that I got “caught” as an excommunicant when asked to give prayers, talks or blessings.
Despite all of the mental anguish, depression, thoughts of suicide, confusion about how it had all spiraled down to the point where I, of all people, would commit such a grievous sin – I knew I was still a Mormon. That I had always been Mormon and would always be Mormon. It was my culture and my life and it had been the only religion that I knew.
Around the fourth of those five years, I began to read everything Christian I could find. I began to wonder if I had been misled and needed to find my way outside of Mormonism. Lord knows, no one IN the church cared if I ever came back. No one made even the slightest effort to help me figure this out and get my head straight.
I still would not -- could not -- read anti-Mormon literature but I was interested in learning about Christianity and how – just maybe – it was right and whether Mormonism was wrong. Perhaps I had been wrong about my testimony of the truthfulness of the church and that is why I couldn't figure it all out. So I began to attend and study with my best friend’s BAC congregation. I read between fifteen and twenty books by Christian authors like Josh McDowell including Evidence That Demands A Verdict, and More Evidence, the daily devotionals by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, the writings of the early Church Fathers like Polycarp, Tertullian and was surprised at how much had been left out of the Bible and wondered why.
It all looked doubtful to me. There were no ancient witnesses to Jesus and his life that had written anything down. Everything that we knew of Jesus was what was in the Bible and the way the Bible had come into being looked very non-authoritative. At least to me who was struggling still with what the cause of my own vile life and actions had been. I didn't have any more confidence in the dubious origins of Christianity than I had in the promise in Moroni 10:4and5. And besides, I knew the Mormon culture and the BACs and their "just accept Jesus into your life" mantra were very weird to me.
When in the moment of my deepest despair, I saw a light directly over my head, brighter than the noonday sun. – I’m just kidding.
But I could not figure out what to do. I had done lots of studying, had poured out my soul in many tearful – and humiliating – sessions with a half dozen bishops. I was living the commandments of the Church – as I had mostly done all my life – and could not resolve in my mind why I had fallen so hard.
As I said, I was living all the commandments but I did not know if I was forgiven.
I thought about it for several months and finally I decided that I should just ask to be rebaptized. I didn’t know what else to do. I “guessed” that I still believed the church was true. I hadn’t gone off sinning because I wasn’t a member. I went to church. I prayed, read, studied, had family home evening, endured the humiliation of other men baptizing some of my children.
I “guessed” that I was repentant and should be baptized.
I got really, really excited at the thought! “Why shouldn’t I be baptized? Why? I wasn’t sinning? I was sorry for the affair. I hadn’t done it again!”
I was ready! I was certain that I wasn’t going to get an answer so I went to the bishop and asked to be rebaptized. I was sure that this would make everything right in my life! I was elated!
After I was baptized I descended back into depression. I felt horrible that I had been rebaptized. What if I hadn’t really repented? What if I did it again and got excommunicated again? What then? I would/could NEVER be forgiven if I did it again!
I still didn’t know how a chosen son of god like me could have done it the first time.
Financially we struggled. I had a career as a systems programming in Ft. Wayne and made moderately good money, but the burden of supporting six children – and paying tithing, too – was just too much for my modest income.
In the Spring of 1993 I began the life of computer consultant and took a job in New Jersey at about double the pay I had been making.
I was active in the wards that I traveled to. As active as a new member could be who mysteriously knew a whole lot about Mormonism but who didn’t hold the priesthood. People openly asked me and I, feeling that I needed to be honest and open about it, told them the truth. It was always awkward and I tried to buck up under the stress of it.
I spent a year on the contract in Jersey and then took a contract at Bank of America in San Francisco. During the year I was there I worked with a woman who fell in love with me. It was unrequited love but she offered me a room for rent and I took it. We spent a lot of time talking about me. She was clearly in love and I shared all of my life story and how I was trying to “come back” and what that all meant. We spent a lot of time on excursions together and we talked a lot about the Church.
During this time I spent a lot of time reading about forgiveness. I began to accept the fact that I had to forgive myself for what had happened and I was enjoying sharing my knowledge of Mormonism with her. Around Christmas of 1994 I was back in Orem and I decided to talk with the Stake President about having my blessings restored. I still did not know how I had fallen so low and committed adultery but I figured that this was the last step I needed to take to get my life back to normal. At the same time, the woman I was living with in San Francisco had contacted the missionaries and started taking the discussions, unbeknownst to me.
Per the instructions by my Stake President we both wrote letters to the Stake President where I had been excommunicated in Detroit and asking if the High Council there would review my case and let me have my blessings restored. The day I got the letter of approval the woman I was living with told me she was getting baptized. (She has since been a very faithful member of the Church.)
So, that’s how I got to the Jordan River Utah temple and sat in your typical Mormon Bishop’s office and got my blessings restored. March of 1995.
By June I was asking myself, “What have you done?”
| Unlearning The Dysfunctionality Of Mormonthink: Sacrifice Thyself For The Church And You Will Be Blessed |
Monday, Aug 21, 2006, at 06:35 AM
Original Author(s): Bad Boy
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I'm trying to unlearn some of the dysfunctional in my personality that I think is largely attributable to being a 4th generation, total TBM, pioneer stock, Utah dwelling Mormon.
My wife and have been chatting of late about some of the challenges we have faced as young professionals. We've sort of concluded that we both share a similar challenge that is both a boon, but ultimately a bain of our careers. One the one hand, we tend to work harder, sacrifice more, and take on more projects and work than our colleagues. As a result, people like us at work, we get tougher assignments--and we love the praise and attention we get for being the stars of our teams.
However, we get taken advantage of by our bosses: They know we'll get the job done, so they dump on us. They no we won't say no, so they'll ask us to do the job the others won't do. They know we'll work the weekend while the others are out. And they know we won't make that big of a stink about it because we are team players.
If management had real talent, then things wouldn't be so bad: They'd see our skills and dedication, reward us with substantial compensation, and work to evenly balance our workload to retain us.
But management is a hard art. Those who are good at it tend to move on fast up the chain or on to somewhere else where they can make more money so you are usually led by the tolerably incompetent. Further, management is usually stuck with their own politics, assignments, etc from up the chain that they don't have time to really perceive what's going on.
As a result, you end up getting abused--often unintentionally. The managers know your good traits, and they naturally exploit them because they know they can can't on you and won't say no. Sure, you get some recognition, but it drives you nuts and leaves you feeling empty while your colleges live far more relaxed lives, suffering only from maybe a few $100 or $200 less per paycheck because they didn't get the extra 3% raise you did.
I've done a lot to get better at dealing with this dynamic, but its been hard. Standing up for myself to my leaders and colleagues is almost totally counterintuitive to me. However, the less dedicated, far more selfish kid does it naturally--he says no to the new task one day, forgets to get his assignment done the next (leaving it to me), and then goes in and asks the boss for a promotion then next. How can they do it, I ask my self?
I can't think of a place where this happens more regularly than in the church: We are taught from day one to "never say no" to a calling. We judge each other by how loyal or dedicated we appear to the church and its leaders. We scoff at those who don't magnify their roles, and we base our social well being in the organization on the judgment of our leaders: If you aren't worthy--you don't get to participate. And the leaders are just human--they are overworked, have to much to do and are always looking to dump stuff on you or demand more of you. To make it all worse, this dynamic is held up to be done under the guise of revelation and guidance from God. All this is done without any accountability or productive mechanisms for feedback or correction.
I think as a result, I intuitively feel that this dynamic of needing to go the extra mile at the wish of my leaders and colleagues is necessary and divinely appointed way life to survive and stay in the group. Further, I intuitively feel that its not OK for me to challenge my leaders to accommodate my wishes in exchange for my service to them or to hold them accountable for not effectively being aware of or managing my needs. I should just bow my head and say "yes" as that should do.
I've done lots to learn to manage this aspect of my personality, but its a constant struggle. For my wife, as a female, it seams to be many times more complex as well.
Any one else have similar feelings? Any success in dealing with it? Women or Men?
| After all, collectively, it's a cafeteria church.
Joseph Smith's legacy is twofold: he founded the Mormon church and he established Mormon doctrine and theology. The two are closely related, they often occupy the same space and they are certainly mutually dependent, but they are distinct and separate things. That is why there are multiple churches that all claim to be based on the doctrine and theology established by Joseph Smith.
In order to survive and thrive, the Mormon church has adapted over time. Along the way, many points of Mormon doctrine and theology have become rather inconvenient. An outright, official repudiation of those points by the church, however, would be at least as problematic as the points of doctrine themselves. It would call into question their official version of their origins and history, and thereby undermine their claims to authority and legitimacy.
The custom, therefore, has become to leave these points of doctrine in place but ignore them. The church can say that they deny nothing. It's all right there. All the same, they don't want to deal with them or even acknowledge them if they're not absolutely compelled to do so.
All good Mormons, therefore, are cafeteria Mormons. They follow their leaders into the cafeteria, pick up their trays and carefully select all of the items that are strongly recommended. Most of the cafeteria is almost kosher, as the dishes are made from milk, not meat. "Have some Family Home Evening. It's delicious. Try the Word of Wisdom. It's our signature dish - one of the things that made us famous. Doesn't the Families are Forever sound good? Don't forget your daily prayer, scripture study, meetings and tithing. They're your vegetables."
Somewhere in the back corner are two food stations with heavily tinted sneeze guards. You have to be wearing a special wristband to go to the first one. There are meat dishes there, although they seem to come from animals most people don't eat and have been prepared in really bizarre ways. If you don't have the wristband and ask someone who does about what they're eating, they'll tell you it's an acquired taste and try to change the subject. They won't give you a bite, but will encourage you to pay for the wristband and the upgraded meal plan. They keep talking among themselves about how delicious everything is.
The second food station is ignored completely. Most of the people in the cafeteria don't even know what items are on it, although some of it seems to really smell bad. There are items that have been sitting out for decades while everyone pretends not to see them.
Every now and then, one of us decides that we really want to know what kind of cafeteria we're patronizing. We look up the nutritional information and the list of ingredients. We find out that all the regular items that everybody takes aren't so good for us after all, and that the good parts are all available from cheaper cafeterias. Some are even free. For those of us who had the special wristbands, we admit to ourselves that we never really liked the meat dishes under the first food station with the tinted sneeze guard. We didn't dare say so when we were eating them, because all of our friends and relatives were eating with us and talking about what a treat it all was.
As for the stuff under the second food station with the tinted sneeze guard, we find out when we get up close that it smells even worse than we thought.
We can criticize the management of the cafeteria all we want, but they've had a lot of practice deflecting criticism. We can talk about the things that stink, and they just point to the trays of all the people eating there, none of which have the funny food on them. If you accuse them of changing the menu, they will point toward the food stations with the tinted sneeze guards, smile, and say that it's all right there. They haven't changed anything.
Pass the Kool-Aid.
| How Much Unscheduled Time Did You Have As A TBM? Did Your Schedule As A Mormon Look Something Like This? |
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Mine went something like this: |
The old schedule is listed.
Later, week meetings for Primary, Relief Society were held on Sunday with only activities for MIA and RS during the week. All Sunday meetings were included in the three hour block.
Sunday... 2 or more meetings
Sunday School in the a.m.
Sacrament Meeting in the afternoon
Firesides on some Sunday evenings
Leaders met before Sunday School
Choir practice after Sunday School
Invite full time missionaries over for dinner (or on a week day) once a month
No "work" (including studying for school) done in the home.
Take high school children to seminary at 6 a.m.
Go Visiting Teaching with companion to three to six women usually the last week of the month
Weekday ...Evenings go Home Teaching with companion to three to six families... usually the last week of the month
Ward Missionaries went out in the evenings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as much as possible.
Family Home Evening lessons and activities
Primary for 3 to 11 year olds.. before dinner
Relief Society meeting 7 p.m. to about 9 p.m.
MIA: Youth meetings: Boy Scouts for 12 to 17yr old males
MIA for women 12 to 17
Date night for parents AKA Temple night once a month
Prepare for Sunday:
Catch up on all chores in the household
Help with church clean up if needed
Somewhere in the week Primary, Relief Society, MIA, Sunday School Priesthood Quorum presidency's held preparation meetings usually once a month
Daily ... Misc...
Genealogy work -- collecting info
Morning, evening kneeling prayer, scripture study
Prayer over meals
Prepare for "Callings":lessons, music, for meetings
What was your Mormon schedule like?
| I Corrected My Thinking In The Process Of Leaving Mormonism. A Testimony Of Mormonism Does Not Make It's Claims True And Factual! |
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006, at 07:05 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Repeating a testimony, over and over won't change the false claims into something that can be verified factually.
Repeating a testimony won't make it all true just by repetition.
The testimony of feelings does not make the BOM factually true either. Repeating that Mormon testimony just repeats the lie.
The Mormon testimony of feelings is nothing more than a testimony of imaginary characters and imaginary claims.
I also changed/corrected my thinking on the matter of faith.
I realized quickly that I had huge amounts in faith and I placed it in that which is verifiable or experienced in a reliable fashion. BOM and Mormonism's claims failed on all counts.
I also understood, very quickly that there was never any need to place an ounce of faith in something that was not trustworthy, starting with the claims of Joseph Smith Jr and Mormonism.
I have no argument with anything that teaches some kind of ethics or moral character, however, religion/Mormonism/Christianity etc., is obviously not the exclusive place to learn those things.
Besides, the level of hypocrisy, fraud, lies by omission, sanitized history, control by underwear, and dozens of other silliness, (including playing dress ups in old costumes in the temple(, in Mormonism from the top down, renders it untrustworthy.
It is obvious that the Mormon church has been hiding, covering up, sanitizing it's history for "faith promoting" until even the most recent depictions of Joseph Smith Jr look like a modern day missionary in a costume from the 1800's. Rather humorous, actually! :-)
I changed/corrected my thinking and learned that there was no conspiracy to fault Joseph Smith Jr. He did that all by himself! He was not a prophet, did not translate anything, did not see a God or Jesus any other Biblical or BOM character except in his imagination.And what a wild and crazy imagination! Plus his ability to plagiarize other works is now legendary!
His claims were never trustworthy and never will be. No amount of testimony bearing will make his lies become truth!
I am sure glad I figured out that I needed to change/correct my thinking!
What a relief!:-)
What did you correct/change your thinking about in your very individual, personal "Do It Yourself Project" in the exit process from Mormonism?
I changed my thinking and took my power back that I had given to the Mormon church to tell me how to think, what to eat, what not to eat or drink, how to spend my time, money, and on and on and on.
The best thing I did to take my power back was to remove the symbol or their intrusive, controlling, invasive power by taking off that ridiculously confining regulation official 24/7 underwear bought from the church at Beehive
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