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Total Articles: 25
A very large selection of posts made by those in recovery from Mormonism. Culled from throughout the Ex-Mormon Communities.
Reminder: No Need To Go Overboard As An Exmo
Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009, at 01:28 PM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
No one must start drinking coffee because they leave the church. The same goes for tea, booze, drugs, and tobacco.

Being exmoss, doesn't mean we must change our style of dress, our voting habits, or sexual activities. Nor does it mean we must give up religion altogether.

Dumping mormonism opens up possibilities denied to practicing members. Many of these suit some exmos and not others.

I think it might be a mistake to make too many changes too quickly. Better to get in touch with our authentic selves, find out who we are and what we want in life. Then we can make decisions and changes the fit and enrich our life adventure.

I've taken many unmormon-like turns in my life since leaving the morg. But at the core I'm still me, just happier, more confident and assertive, and much more fulfilled than I was before. I do enjoy coffee and wine, but aside from that, my lifestyle and appearance are pretty darned mormon.

How about you? What changes have you made? What others are you considering? Did anyone change to fast and in unwise ways? Do exmos sometimes go overboard?
Religious Harm, Human Rights And Leaving The Church
Thursday, Jan 15, 2009, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
For many years one of the things that have really bothered me most and in fact infuriate me is when people use religion as a weapon. A few years ago, someone pointed out that the reason they did not attend any church was because relion was the most commonly used excuse for war. I read of the crusades, I saw fanatics attack the towers, Israel consistently breaking UN law and the Old Testament is nothing more that a history of brutality in the name of God. When I read and see these things, it fills me with anger. It always has. Using God as a billy club truly pi**es me off.

When I read of racism and slavery being condoned by religion I cringe. I want to scream at these fanatics. I thought you were here to uplift mankind- Not oppress them! When I see book and record burnings by fundamentalist Christians I sneer at them. All of these things have bothered me for so long, and I could only pace the floor in anger.

In my early youth, I saw my mom cutting out the marks on her garments. I asked what she was doing "These are secret marks that you learn about in the temple. We burn them so that nobody will see them. They are a secret and if you talk about them, you will die of disembowelment".

That scared me. I could already picture in my mind, people who might do such a thing-including my grandfather.

Skip ahead to my post 1990 temple prep class- I asked my SP about this. He said "No, of course not, but the members might." He laughed a little and I figured it was a joke. But I never forgot my moms words-was she crazy?

So when I began reading church history, thing like Polygamy and false BoA, the bizarre stories of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon I was shocked and afraid.

It was when I was in the public library sneakily reading the book One Nation under Gods, that I came across for the first time, true accounts of Brigham Young and Blood Atonement. My wife had mentioned Danites and stuff before joining, but I believed that she was wrong.

As I read, I felt such horror and I cried. A woman nearby was watching me and I was embarrassed, but it was everything I ever recoiled at, everything about religious fanaticism that I loathed all wrapped up in the city of Zion. The very haven from the wickedness of false religion was instead, one of the worst ever on the American continent. All of the horror of 9/11, the inquisition, cold blooded murder, and death at the hands of priests was wrapped up neatly in my Mormon heritage. The grotesgue imagery painted by my mother was true and the SP had lied. He himself had made those oaths, and were it early SLC, he probably would have even done it to me.

This was the end. Joseph and his toad/salamander, fake scriptures and whoring around were not really that important anymore. Sure, it was sick and weird but it was his formation of Danites and Brighams delight in such wickedness that made it impossible to remain a faithful member.

This was the reason for my wife leaving as well. All I had to do was tell her that her earlier belief about Danites was in fact true. She said "So if Brigham did these things, what is the difference between him and Satan." A few weeks would pass before I dared share the library book with her because it is so disturbing, but when I did she resigned her calling and will not set foot in the chapel or temple ever again.

So as I read the article about Al Sharpton and his criticism of the church for failing to provide the humanitarian aid that it could, to stand for injustice as it should and to do the things that real Christians should do, I thought to myself: Of cousre we don't. It is not a part of out heritage as a church. It is the opposite.

We are racist, homophobic, clannish, sexist and fundamentalist. We opposed the Christian churches and killed our own people for the glory of God. We are surely not the chosen and we do not have the right to tell anyone how to live.
Apostasy Been Berra Berra Good to Me
Thursday, Jan 15, 2009, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Equality
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
The LDS church teaches that people like me, i.e., former members of the church, are destined to be miserable, and that we are in the clutches of Satan.andnbsp; We are as Judas--traitors who would kill Christ if we could.andnbsp; This sounds harsh, and indeed it is.andnbsp; It sounds like one of those old 19th-century teachings (like blood atonement) that the church has swept under the rug.andnbsp; But, alas, this is one of the old teachings that is still alive and kicking in the modern church.andnbsp; In the current manual Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, published at the direction of the First Presidency (and the only extra-scriptural material permitted to be used by Priesthood and Relief Society teachers in the church) is found lesson number 27, titled "Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy." From that lesson comes this quote, which is representative of the tenor and thrust of the entire lesson:

[A]postates after turning from the faith of Christ, unless they have speedily repented, have sooner or later fallen into the snares of the wicked one, and have been left destitute of the Spirit of God, to manifest their wickedness in the eyes of multitudes. From apostates the faithful have received the severest persecutions. Judas was rebuked and immediately betrayed his Lord into the hands of His enemies, because Satan entered into him.

There is a superior intelligence bestowed upon such as obey the Gospel with full purpose of heart, which, if sinned against, the apostate is left naked and destitute of the Spirit of God, and he is, in truth, nigh unto cursing, and his end is to be burned. When once that light which was in them is taken from them they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas-like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors. . . .

. . .

When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.

I believe that one reason why active Mormons often choose not to associate at all with former members of the church is that they actually believe that former members are possessed by Satan, as the above quote from Joseph Smith unequivocally states.

Given that they are taught this by their church leaders, whom they revere as prophets, seers, and revelators, it is perhaps not surprising.andnbsp; A second reason active member of the LDS church avoid contact with former members is that associating with folks like me would put the lie to the doctrine.andnbsp; For I am demonstrably not "darkened" or manifesting "wickedness" or experiencing misery and anguish.andnbsp; To the contrary, I have never been happier, never felt more peace, never been more free, never felt more alive.andnbsp; And I know many ex-Mormons who feel similarly.andnbsp; The world didn't end for us when we left the church; we didn't turn into hobos and vagrants and vagabonds.andnbsp; The grim picture painted by church leaders of the woeful apostate is as distorted as the rosy picture the church paints of the idealized Joseph Smith.andnbsp; If members of the church associate too much with former members, they will begin to see that their church leaders are, for lack of a more accurate word, lying to them about the "danger" of disagreeing with church leaders about anything and everything.andnbsp; And if their leaders are not truthful about that, members may begin to question some of the other things their leaders have told them to "take on faith" because once the prophet has spoken, the "thinking has been done."

I consider myself Exhibit A in the case against the LDS church's doctrine that apostates are bitter, miserable, unhappy creatures destined to "burn their fingers and go to hell."andnbsp; Here is my personal testament, nearly one year after resigning my church membership, to how apostasy has been "berra berra good to me."

One of the best things to come out of my leaving Mormonism was the profound relief that I was finally free to be me, to embrace what I truly value and who I really am.andnbsp; I recaptured my identity as I broke free from the shackles the religion had fastened so tightly to my soul.andnbsp; Changing my world-view was at times disorienting, and I felt some sense of loss and even sadness upon recognizing that the church and god to which I had given my heart and mind for nearly twenty years was not what it claimed to be nor what I thought it was.andnbsp; But at the same time, I was liberated from church-imposed self-doubt, guilt, fear, and shame–freed from the cognitive dissonance that was my constant companion as I became increasingly frustrated trying to reconcile my knowledge about the way the world really is with church dogma.andnbsp;

Coming to grips with the realization that the Mormon church was not, in fact, the “only true and living church on the face of the whole earth,” as it claims, and that it was not, in fact, led by a true prophet who receives wisdom and guidance and instruction directly from a resurrected Jesus Christ, was a difficult process.andnbsp; It was emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining.andnbsp; And for whatever reason, my spouse was unable to help me through that time.andnbsp; Initially, she added to my pain and confusion, reacting angrily when I tried to tell her about my doubts about the church, accusing me of destroying our family.andnbsp; She made it clear that there were limits to what she was willing to hear from me on religion.andnbsp; After that initial negative reaction, I felt like she had closed the avenues of communication on the subject.andnbsp; She eventually softened, to a degree, but I never felt safe confiding in her my deepest thoughts, concerns, questions, feelings.andnbsp; We continued on in our relationship: cordial, amicable, but never again truly intimate emotionally.andnbsp; We got along fairly well, I suppose, but on the surface only.

I needed support, and I found it, through the development of deep friendships with fellow travelers on a spiritual journey out of Mormonism.andnbsp; I found online a community of caring, thoughtful men and women with shared experiences who could relate to me without judgment or condemnation or disappointment.andnbsp; They provided intellectually stimulating conversation on topics of great interest and importance to me.andnbsp; And they provided emotional support, without which my leaving the church would have been a painful, lonesome experience.andnbsp; Instead, I can say “apostasy been berra berra good to me” because of the rich, abiding friendships I have gained.andnbsp; Through almost two decades of active involvement in the LDS church, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of lasting friendships I enjoy with true-believing Latter-day Saints.andnbsp; Mormons often are friendly on the outside but can be, with some notable exceptions, iron-hearted within.andnbsp; Exmormons, I have found, are the opposite: at first blush, they can appear hostile, but inside can have hearts of gold.

While I was forging friendships and re-discovering my core identity, I was also working a lot.andnbsp; And so was my wife.andnbsp; She and I only rarely talked about my disaffection from the church, and even then only in a superficial way.andnbsp; To avoid contention, we simply took the topic off the table.andnbsp; Mostly we talked about the kids and our schedules and the mundane things of life.andnbsp; I tried to get her to read my blog or join me in meeting my online friends on those occasions when we would get together “in real life.”andnbsp; She wouldn’t (or if she did read my blog, she would not discuss it with me). andnbsp;While I was getting support from others in my journey away from the church, she was alone.andnbsp; She stopped going to church–she felt understandably uncomfortable as the woman with an apostate husband.andnbsp; Many of her so-called friends shunned her; only a few made more than a token attempt to maintain contact and friendship once she stopped going to church.andnbsp;

But though on the outside we now appeared to be united in our disaffection from Mormonism, underneath she was resenting me for leaving the church myself and making it too uncomfortable for her to continue activity in the church.andnbsp; She felt stuck between two worlds, not at home being without an organized religion but unwilling to subject herself to the pain of continuing involvement in the LDS church.andnbsp; But we didn’t address it, and her resentment and anger toward me festered.andnbsp; Our interests diverged–I had my work and my online friends; she started working out and became friends with her personal trainer, a young Muslim man.andnbsp; The number of hours we spent together dwindled, and when we were together, we either fought over substantive issues or ignored them, focusing instead on laundry, shopping lists, and coordinating the kids’ extracurricular activities.andnbsp; She secretly became very interested in Islam; I secretly became very interested in one of my online friends (who has a blog called Thoughts by Sister Mary Lisa) in another state.

Lisa and I had become fast friends when she first entered the DAMU (Disaffected Mormon Underground, the loose confederation of blogs, discussion boards, and web sites populated by Mormon doubters, heretics, and apostates) sometime in 2006.andnbsp; I had started this blog that year and was on a quest to find as many disaffected/exmormon blogs as I could to add to my blogroll.andnbsp; I wanted people to be able to come to Equality Time and link to every good non-evangelical web site or blog critical of Mormonism.andnbsp; In gathering this list, I stumbled on her blog, and was impressed by both its content and her writing style.andnbsp; I left comments telling her so.andnbsp; And she would visit my blog and do the same.andnbsp; We seemed to have a similar take on a lot of things.andnbsp; She began posting at FLAK (Further Light and Knowledge), the discussion board where I’d hang out with so many of my fellow disaffected Mormon friends.andnbsp; Sometimes she and I would email each other.andnbsp; I admired her intellect, her humor, and her compassion.andnbsp; And, I would find out later, she admired me as well.andnbsp; For many months, we were “just friends” with no thoughts of being anything more.andnbsp; She was going through a divorce; I was beginning to question the long-term viability of my own marriage.andnbsp; She left her husband in early 2008; I found my own place to live in August.andnbsp; My wife had converted to Islam, and I had been away for six weeks working on a big civil trial.andnbsp; When I came home in mid-June, we decided to go our separate ways, believing we each would be happier living apart than together, and that our children would fare better with two happy parents living singly than two miserable parents living together.andnbsp;

After Lisa moved out and filed for divorce, we began communicating more often.andnbsp; Over the course of 2008, I fell head over heels in love with her, and she with me.andnbsp; I discovered in her someone who loves me fully, without reservation or hesitation.andnbsp; And I feel the same for her.andnbsp; I discovered someone in whom I could confide my deepest thoughts and feelings.andnbsp; With her, nothing is off limits, no subject verboten.andnbsp; I feel totally comfortable with her in a way I have never experienced before.andnbsp; And she feels the same with me.andnbsp; I feel no need to “put on airs,” to pretend to be something I am not.andnbsp; I feel no need to hide my true self. andnbsp;I can be me and she loves me, the real me, as I am right now; I don’t need to pretend to be “righteous” or self-censor my thoughts and feelings out of fear of her disapproval.andnbsp; And she knows that I love her for her, the real her, as she is right now.andnbsp; She doesn’t need to pretend to be anything she’s not or self-censor her thoughts and feelings.andnbsp; We are able to talk about anything and everything.andnbsp; The power of the love we feel for each other is stronger than anything either of us has experienced before; the intimacy deeper; the connection tighter.andnbsp; This is beyond infatuation, beyond a mere crush.andnbsp; We feel that magical connection given expression by poets and artists throughout time–sappy or corny as it sounds we feel true love.

Lisa and I are now engaged to be married.andnbsp; Our relationship has its complications.andnbsp; She lives four states away.andnbsp; We both have children from our previous marriages.andnbsp; We are not unmindful of the challenges we face.andnbsp; But we are very happy and look forward to facing whatever life throws our way together.andnbsp; If I had never left Mormonism, I never would have found myself.andnbsp; I never would have found so many good, genuine friends.andnbsp; And I never would have met my true love.andnbsp; I’ve never been happier than since falling hopelessly in love with her.andnbsp; I’ve never felt more comfortable with who I am and what I am doing.andnbsp; I’ve never felt more loved.andnbsp; I’ve never felt better about my self or about the world around me.andnbsp; I don’t second-guess my decision, thoughtfully and carefully and deliberately made, to leave the Mormon church.andnbsp; I have no regrets; indeed, it is among the best decisions I’ve ever made.andnbsp; I’ve never been more at peace. andnbsp;And I’ve never felt more alive than I do right now.

The Bitter Fruits Of Apostasy - A True Story
Thursday, Jan 15, 2009, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): Dennis K
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
15 years ago when I married, and ever since, my then-wife brings up her favorite example of someone who "apostatized" and was led away into a life of sin, pseudo-intellectualism and degradation. It was a girl she was friends with as a Young Woman who went off to BYU, started "hanging out with the wrong crowd" and studied her way out of the church. It was said that she went of to northern California, got a masters degree in something meaningless (my ex's family is pretty anti-intellectual) and was just "lost."

Up to about five minutes ago, if I were to hear anything about Michelle Paradise, I would have expected it to include her living in a van down by the river with her *gasp* lesbian lover.

THEN...I stumbled on her web site and all I can say is "Oh my God!". You can't even guess what I found. Michelle Paradise is a successful Producer, Writer and Actor on the LOGO Network's series "Exes and Ohs"! It the gay network and it's a series about lesbians. And she's beautiful!

Anyway, I think it strengthens LDS members to open a critical eye to those that have left the church because it obviously has to be the apostate's fault. She was part of that myth for me. And then to find out that the girl has it going on!

Add Michelle Paradise to the list of semi-famous or at least successful former Mormons and BYU grads.
"Happy Mormon Families" A Picture Perfect Lie
Thursday, Jan 15, 2009, at 02:04 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
Yes, a lie, as far as I know. I could give lots of examples in our ward, which I attended for about 20 years. These TBM families had unwanted pregnancies, which they handled by quiety adopting the baby out to LDS Social Services in Idaho, and continuing as if nothing, (or nobody) had happened. I think this illustrates their lack of love and value toward their great numbers of children. These families are all wealthy, and want large families--so how could they be so cold-hearted to give a child away to strangers? That's my most basic disagreement with Mormon family values.

I can't categorize my own little family as a typical Mormon family, because I was a single parent. Even married, my narcissistic TBM husband didn't pay attention to the chilren, and soon he abandoned us completely, with no money, no contact with him, except 4 years later, and now only a Christmas card with a picture of himself and his current woman and his dogs. My children were raised without the authoritarian Priesthood father, and I feel they were better off for it. They are very independent and successful, and good citizens. We are all close and loving as a family, and we all help each other out. We all resigned together.

My children's Mormon friends seemed to have a tougher life. Some kids were beaten by ther TBM parents, a lot of them got into drugs. Three TBM relatives of ours committed suicide. That changes your life forever, and it makes you think hard. Almost all the Mormon kids we knew were dishonest, and they cheated in school. Most of them were sexually active at a very early age. My children didn't like drunken parties or sexual promiscuity, so they didn't go to the MORMON parties They didn't like kids with a chip on their shoulder, who were realy awful people, but acted like they were better than everybody else. Thank goodness, their high school was large, and my kids could be acvive in academics, sports, cheerleading, art, music, dancing, and all those wonderful school opportunities, while the Mormon kids seemed to fester in rebellion and to step all over each other in jealous competition. The non-Mormons could be real, and unique, and didn't have to be two-faced to their parents. I made good friends with the non-Mormon parents, by volunteering with them in the schools and on the sports teams. Within the Mormon church, we were hounded to have callings, give talks, make cookies, clean the building, the scouts to clean up people's yards, etc. By necessity, my children had to have jobs, beginning with paper routes and babysitting jobs, all through school, and to work their way through college. Little unnecessary "callings" seemed stupid to them. My boys joined a Methodist scout troop and got their Eagle Scout awards. Their project was to rennovate an inner city park, and it turned out lovely. My daughters were into pet rescue and adoption. Looking back, I see a definite pattern, that my children were happiest the farther away they were from Mormonism.

I do not know a happy Mormon family to write about.

My own super TBM GA Mormon Royalty family was very dysfunctional. I was the youngest child, and the next oldest was a brother 6 years older, who had Asperger's and bi-polar problems, but Mormons don't believe in psychology, and my parents made us all pretend that there was nothing wrong with this brother. He acted out in crazy, violent tamper tantrums. He was allowed to beat me up, torture me, break my toys, and scare my friends, any time he felt like it. My parents would blame ME for getting in his way, and tell me that they couldn't help me, because no one could control my brother. My oldest brothers were afraid of him, too, and were out of the house as much as possible, until they went on missions and to BYU, when I was 5. They never considered helping me. I was just a little "nothing." I always had bruises, and went to my prom with a black eye. I was degraded sexually, as he would threaten in detail what sexual acts he was going to do to me. I had horrible stomach aches almost every night (and no help there, either). Throughout all this turmoil, my father was the Stake President, and later my mother was Relief Society president. People would compliment us on our perfect house, and how pretty and perfect we always looked, and how perfectly I played the piano. I got summer jobs away from home, being a nanny, working in Yellowstone, teaching summer school. I was a exchange student for a term. I got A's and finished high school in two years, but had to go to BYU, and not any of the better universities I got into. Hey--I was at least finally free to leave that hell-house. I never went back, because my brother lived there until my parents died. My parents would come and visit me and my children, in the places we lived.

On one visit to Salt Lake City, the Deseret News came to take our picture, and we were on the Society Page of the newspaper. (I was married, my father was a big-wig, and we had another GA relative in the photo with us.) The picture-perfect Mormon family. I remember how my mother screamed and cussed at us while we were getting dressed. In that photo, She tried to put makeup on a huge bruise I had on my arm, and ended up putting a sweater on me. I was extremely skinny, with dark circles under my eyes, and not smiling. I was the family scapegoat.

I am so proud of the people on RFM who have rescued their children from the cult, and have turned their families around, together. We should be "all about the family" too, and breaking the cycle of Mormon abuse.
Inspired Loving Leader Proves TSCC Needs No Enemies
Friday, Jan 16, 2009, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Dubya
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
My wife was called to teach Gospel Doctrine while I was serving in the Bishopric of our ward. At the time, we had two very active young teenage children attending with us. Youth in our ward were scarce, with about four families having the majority of the teen population who were active.

DW was an unbelievable teacher. She was not working, so was able to spend about 30 hours a week reading and studying in preparation to teach her class. She strayed from the class manual that had been dumbed down by the correlation committee. She would bring in a lot of quotes from current and past GA's, and expand the topics. She even prepared an outline each week that documented all of her outside sources to hand out to the class.

She began to attract a following. My old SP, who was a Patriarch, his wife, a member our SP, and many long time members. They loved actually thinking about things and really exploring the material.

Enter our High Council advisor. I will call him King David. Just a note: King David was a very weird character. Brother David was very uncomfortable with lesson material that did not follow the GA-approved manual word for word. He began to ask questions, but since everything being taught was documented on her hand out, it was hard to refute the material.

King David was our advisor, and also a member of our ward. His was one of the four families with teenagers who attended. The David family were there to see that the rest of us sinners measured up. You know the family...I think each ward has at least one: they know more, live the standards better, and are constantly critical of those who's thoughts and actions do not conform. They were the 'chocolate is against the WOW,' holier than thou types.

When I was at Stake Leadership Meeting one Sat afternoon, Bro David addressed us. He said that he was concerned about teachers in the Stake who strayed from manuals, and gave a little diatribe aimed directly at me. I started to feel the spirit begin to redden my face and clench my fists. The spirit whispered: 'take him out.' Feel the love. I did not bother DW with his nonsense.

Well, the Stake SS Pres was in my wife's class the next day, and the silliness grew to the point that we rescued her from the calling after a couple of years. We put DW and the BP's wife in the nursery together, and they had a ball.

In Ward Conf 2004, we had a Bishopric change. About 6 or 7 of us active TBM HP's were interviewed prior to this to help the SP call a new BP. Guess who they called? Yep, King David. The SP said he went to the Temple to find the new BP and left with only one name on his mind: King David. This was certainly on a par with the GA's accepting Mark Hofmann's Salamander Letter as having been written by Martin Harris. There is no inspiration in TSCC. I've been there, and I know for sure. None.

My son was 16, and in hindsight, King David was the best thing that could have happened to him. BP David chased my son from TSCC with his creepy interactions with the Priests Quorum and silly interviews. My son told me many times how much he despised BP David.

DW was asked to teach early morning Seminary for a year. BP David had a child in her tiny early morning class. As with the Gospel Doctrine gig, she excelled at prep and delivery, though this time she stayed with the materials since teens need stimulating lessons at 5am, not in depth probing of the dogma. BP David would bring his child each morning, but he never once attended one of her classes: he just went to his orifice.

DW received a phone call from the Regional CES Coordinator at home one morning. He told her that someone had reported that she was not teaching from the Seminary manual. DW was dumbfounded. No one had approached her from the Ward or Stake. She had not had any visitors to her classes. She told this to the CES dude, along with the fact that she WAS teaching directly from the faith promoting manual.

Turns out this idiot BP's child told King David that the lessons were not from the materials (I am sure he asked based on the previous experience) and without so much as attending a class, talking to DW, or finding out a fact, he went directly to the Stake CES Coordinator who reported it to the Regional. The CES dude apologized for his call and told DW to continue what she was doing.

It was then that I told DW about the Gospel Doctrine 'complaint' by this disfunctional, self righteous, pious, idiot who was our BP. I had been giving my son the old "you have to support him, he's the BP" crap. Because I had replaced King David on the Stake High Council, and my family was there to support me in looking good, damn it.

My son is a talented musician, and his band had an important performance on a Sunday night. Because of BP David's horrible record with my family, I approved of my son going to Sac Mtng, then leaving to prepare for his performance. I stayed home to finish up a talk I would be giving in a different ward that afternoon. Right after I heard my son come in, the doorbell rang. My son answered the door and I could hear him talking to someone, but after a few minutes I heard the door close, and didn't think anything of it.

Here is what transpired after my son got home. BP David had come to our home to find out why my son had left, and was not at PH meeting. When my son, who by now was wearing his 'Sin City' tee shirt opened the door, the idiot BP came in and told him to take off the shirt and burn it, that my son had better attend his meetings or HE WAS GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE A SINNER JUST LIKE HIS PARENTS. The idiot BP tried to put his arm around my son, who politely asked him to leave the house.

Here is a BP demonstrating beyond any doubt that TSCC DOES NOT FORGIVE, no matter what they publish. My wife and I had experienced some 'courts of love' many years before we met and were married in the temple. I did not hold the Melchizidek PH at the time and she was young, but apparently King David had access to our disciplinary records, lapped them up, and shared the information with my son.

I cannot express the anger and frustration I felt: WTF? Thought we had "repented" and that the lord would remember no more. TSCC is apparently NOT the lord, and certainly has no communication with him/her/it.

About 2 years later, King David was abruptly replaced as BP, got a divorce, lost his home, and left the area. Something happened....and I think it was probably of a criminal nature, but I do not know any details: only that this freaking idiot was the only name on the SP's mind when he left the Temple to call a new BP.

DW and I did not need the facts about JS, BY, and the incredible treasure trove of manufactured church history to drive us away. King David did the work for us. If TSCC leaders continue to be inspired to call such worthy, qualified servants, we can unplug our computers and watch TSCC implode entirely on its own. DW and I learned the truth about TSCC one year ago, and 2008 was the first year that not one member of my immediate family set foot inside an LDS, Inc structure.

Thank you King David for all you have done for my family and all the generations to come.
The Truth Is, I So Don't Care What Religious Fanatics On The Street Are Thinking About Me
Friday, Jan 16, 2009, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
Yesterday, I went to lunch with my daughter and little grandson. I noticed a couple of holy-man guru guys in turbans and Aladin-genie-type shoes. They were bowing and bobbing on the sidewalk outside my car. It occured to me how little I cared about what they were thinking.

Anytime I attend kite festivals or community picnic concert events, there are always religious nuts handing out materials or preaching.

The other day I went to a doctor's appointment in a nearby town and some nut was yelling through a bullhorn about how we were all sinners. I guessed he was including me in that assessment. Funny, I don't think of myself as a sinner.

Where I live, religious fanaticism abounds. As a teacher,I had to deal with a fanatical second grader on the school playground. He pulled out a ceremonial holy dagger from his clothing and threatened to kill anyone who didn't let him have his way in a tetherball game. The principal suspended him, and his parents went near postal. They called it religious discrimination.

A little JW girl called me an "evil worldly woman" one day in the classroom. I got a kick out of it and laughed. She felt bad that I didn't take her comment seriously enough. Her mom told her that about me at home all of the time and I needed to believe it. LOL

What religious salespeople think about us does not define who we are.

Mormons usually attempt to be civil around non-believers. That's fine with we. But I don't see a need to teach them anything and I really don't care all that much about what they're thinking about me. I assume they think I'm a "worldly woman," and I take that as a compliment.

Wow, I'm finally part of the real world! I've made it!
"Faith Replaces Fear" - Fear And Mormonism
Monday, Jan 19, 2009, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
My Mission President used to tell us that "faith replaces fear." If you had fear, you did not have enough faith. I took that seriously at the time, and tried to generate more faith. Generating faith is not easy, particularly when you have been raised with fear. I always found that fear trumped faith.

For me, at least, Mormonism was based on fear. I felt it the entire time I was a member.

You are told you don't have a chance of getting to the Celestial Kingdom, but you had damn well better try. You are also told that no matter what you do, its not good enough, but you had better keep doing it----and more. I found I was always afraid of not getting to the Celestial Kingdom. So if you get there, is it fear that punches the ticket?

I recall the fear I had of interviews with the Bishop. He asked all kinds of questions I did not associate with religion. At BYU, it got worse, with Bishops asking about "R rated" movies, and Coca Cola drinking. You also had the fear that came from the realization you were always being watched, and could be turned in for various offenses. BYU students, like Mormons in general, live in fear of what others see, think, and say. You always felt like you were being spied on--- because you were being spied on.

If you read "The Miracle of Forgiveness," you really learned about fear. Every page of that book was written to make the reader afraid. The list of sins was endless, and the chances of being forgiven virtually nil. I have never read a more negative, and less inspiring book. It took a long time until I learned that others had the same reaction. The book scared and depressed them. Later, all it did was make them angry.

One cannot begin to put into words the fear that came from the first trips through the temple. It was designed to be a frightening experience in every respect. Mormons grow up thinking they are going to get a very different experience in the temple . When they actually go, it scares them. I never could come to terms with the negative feelings it left in me. I only went when I was forced to, and I took every chance I could take to avoid going. I never got used to it. I hated the fear I felt.

I had heard people joke about Mormons driving to another state, and leaving their guilt on the sign at the state line. When my wife and I moved out of Utah, that is exactly how we felt. We looked at the state line, and thought "Now, we can hang up the fear and guilt, and start to live." It was quite a sensation. We started to live, and did not look back.

Joseph Smith built a very elaborate system of fear for the members of his church. He controlled who would find "Celestial glory," and who would not. He even used that fear to get women to leave their husbands, and little girls to leave their families. Many did not think it was a great honor to be chosen by Joseph. They did not like being chosen, but fear made them go along.

I doubt Mormonism is all that different from other religions. Fear was always part of the deal. Everyone feared being kept out of heaven, and the clergy used that fear to their advantage. But faith based on fear is a pretty sad thing.

There is no joy or happiness in it.

There needs to be more to life--and religion--- than guilt and constant fear.
In The Process Of Leaving Mormonism
Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
One of the greatest "truths" I learned to practice was to take my power back. It was a completely different mind set. A different attitude that put me in the drivers seat, not someone else. I began to understand that I had no need to defer to others to fix me, and my feelings / emotions.

The realization of this concept came out of the impetus to live a more fulfilled, happy, joyful life on my own terms.- without relying on the teachings of the LDS Church or it's leader's council. Too often it was invasive and lacked boundaries of common courtesy, and sometimes abrasive. The notion of calling someone to repentance was usurping my ability to use my own common sense, and figure out my life on my own. Too much criticism, and fault finding, not enough recognition of our value. Too many closed doors, to little critical thinking skills.

So I began the process of sifting and culling what I wanted to keep and what I needed to discard .. I had lived a life steeped in religious beliefs, (Christianity and Spiritualism) then converted to the LDS Church for many decades. When I decided to leave the LDS Church, as the claims did not hold up to scrutiny, I was faced with changing my whole World View. It was a long process to analyze every bit of teaching that I accepted as right/wrong/etc.

That meant I took total responsibility for myself, as I was the only one accountable for my feelings; nobody could determine how I responded emotionally, unless I gave them permission, (I was not about to give anyone that kind of power over me ever again), nobody could "make" me angry, no one could force me to "take" offense, even if they were offensive. I was not forced to respond in kind to the negative attacks/fault finding/ criticism/etc.I began doing the work to find the triggers, recognize my hot spots, what set me off and how I could change how I responded. I had choices. I could ignore the negativity and/or understand where they were coming from. and why they behaved that way.

When I began to grasp the power of my own mind and abilities I determined never to "take" offense as nobody has any power over me to do that. I didn't like feeling offended. It sabotaged my general emotional outlook. That was a big order.

In addition, it was important to remind myself that my power is over me, not other people. Just as others cannot make me angry or make me take offense, I cannot make someone else angry, or make them take offense They don't get to blame me for their emotional responses as there is a large variety of responses that they can choose. . It's a principle of conduct that took the spotlight off of me, and a need to respond in kind, and recognizes that others are reacting out of their own emotional driven thinking/situation which, very likely has very little to do with me personally. It meant that I didn't take anything personally. Wow. Could I do that? I found some good reading on the subject : "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz.

My experience and observation was that religiosity in general tends to perpetuate a kind of delicate (feelings on the shirt sleeves) believer. They have an expectation that if they "take" offense, that someone must apologize as their feelings were hurt and it is someone else's job to fix their emotions. How many times did I hear a speaker in the LDS Church begin a talk with a statement like: "If I have offended any of you".... followed by an apology.

The truth is that nobody can hurt someone else's feelings unless they allow it. That is a hard thing to understand, especially when emotional attachments generally drive people's responses. The real test is when someone close to us knows how to pull our strings, hit our hot buttons. Could I follow my own advice ? Hmmm.

I have observed, that very often, people who are steeped in religiosity, (their emotional bond to their beliefs and ideas take precedent over facts and evidences), are very easily riled up to take a defensive posture and go on the attack as they feel threatened personally by any challenge.

They often have a propensity for emotional-visceral responses, often react, and overreact with knee jerk reactions, take offense easily, talk a lot about hurt feelings (and often go about apologizing over and over for hurting someone else's feelings, ad nauseam), refusing to maintain a relationship unless a demand for an apology is forthcoming etc.,), with, in addition, the expectation that others will respond as they expect them to.

Probably the greatest unhappiness we inflict upon ourselves is the emotional attachment to our unfulfilled expectations of other people and/or ourselves. When we set expectations that are not realistic, or met, we are the ones that are unhappy.

Fortunately, when I realized how much power I had given to religiosity (Mormonism/Christianity,etc.) and I understood that I could take my power back, an interesting thing happened; the need for others to live according to my expectations disappeared and I was no longer an emotional pawn to be thrown around wrestling with negative emotions, and taking a defensive position. The result is that life is so much easier so much calmer and happier.

My self respect, self esteem, self confidence is cooking on high, and I have no need for regret, anger, bitterness regarding how others live their life.

Taking my power back led in a direct line to making peace with my life ! All of it. I was in the drivers seat! And the view is wonderful!
A Few Of The Things That Always Got To Me When I Was In The Church
Friday, Jan 23, 2009, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I have to look back at some of the things that got to me when I was in the church. When you try to make yourself fit in your assigned slot, you try to overlook the silliness. But when you leave, you can, at least, look back in wonder at what you tolerated. It was not easy.

Who could ever look back with any degree of warm nostalgia at testimony meetings? I am amazed at how many of those horrible things I had to endure. I never did go to one I liked, and each one seemed to bring out liars and mountebanks, hucksters and crack pots.

I recall the details of foreign travel, of how wonderful people thought they were, and how crazy some members could be. I heard about surgery, lost car keys, money coming from thin air, and endless "blessings."

The missionary testimony meetings were the worst, because participation was mandatory, and listening to the various missionaries trying to angle for a place in the mission home could be nauseating. I heard stories I knew were not true, and endless professions of "love for my companion" which were detestable. I also recall the "joy" everyone felt at being able to be on that mission. Yes indeed, during the meeting, when the Mission President was listening, you loved that mission.

Fasting never did anything for me either. All it did was make me hungry and mean. I will, however, give it credit for inspiring some creativity. I found various ways to sneak away, and eat. Even on my mission, a companion and I would eat at a restaurant while the more devoted souls tracted and starved. I grew weary of fasting. It was a useless practice. The more I did it. the more I hated it. I never saw fasting do anyone any good at all.

Another one that got to me was the very ceremonial way members would observe the Word of Wisdom. Watching people turn their coffee cups upside down in a restaurant was always fun. So was hearing people say "We are Mormons, and we do not drink alcohol." I guess they expected instant praise, but I never heard it. Mormons always overrate the positive impact the Word of Wisdom has on non-members. At best, at very best, no-one cares.

Another ritual I hated was the arrival of the home teachers. It always came at the very end of the month, often without any warning. The doorbell would ring, and you knew who it would be. They would enter the house, stay far too long, and annoy the hell out of you. You were never happy to see them come, but you always loved to see them leave.

During the very last months of my time in the church, two home teachers showed up, unannounced, on a Sunday afternoon. It was the last week of the month. I was tired and fed up, and said "You are here the last week of the month. You do not care about us, and we do not care about you. Let's just call the whole thing off." I will never forget the look on their faces. I knew it was time to leave the church. The rituals and intrusions had become intolerable.

Church interviews got old as well. At one time, they caused some fear and apprehension. Then, they become boring. Eventually, they made me angry enough to refuse to go. You can reach a point where you have had your last church interview.

I deeply resented the way they would call, and tell you when you would show up. Your time meant nothing. You did what you were told. If you asked "What is this about," they would say "You will find out when you come."

Did it ever dawn on these morons how rude and infuriating that was? Show up when we tell you, and we will not tell you why you are showing up. It could not have been more inconsiderate and intrusive. I am amazed that people still tolerate it. I am even more amazed that basic courtesy never stuck to "Priesthood authority."

And as for tolerating. . . . Does anyone not recall the sheer hell of a Sunday? You were sick of it by Saturday night, because you knew what was ahead.

You would get up, put on a suit, and and go to the meetings. If you had little kids, you had the terrible struggle of getting them ready, and trying to make them understand whey their Sunday, entire, had to be ruined by dull, stupid, and ass numbing meetings.

Nothing was good about a Sunday. It was the worst day of the week. You got nothing from it, save a headache, and you dreaded every minute you spent in the chapel. Long hours of boredom do not make people righteous. Mormonism seems to test your spirituality by seeing how many hours of boredom you can endure, and how well you can keep a four year old kid quiet during those long hours. It was as far removed from anything positive as anything could ever be. I still cannot believe I tolerated it.

Mormonism is good, I guess, if you don't mind hours of useless meetings, strong feelings of guilt, fear, and regular intrusions into your private life. You have no privacy, no freedom, and no joy. But you do have the chance to get up in a testimony meeting, and tell everyone how much you love it.
All I Ever Wanted Was A Hiding Place
Friday, Jan 23, 2009, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I recall the Simon and Garfunkel song about the kid on a ledge. When people see him, they assume he is about to jump, and so he is "rescued." As he is taken away, he mutters "Oh my grace, I've got no hiding place."

That song hit me very hard as a teenager, because I was Mormon, and could relate to it. I badly wanted a hiding place. So, I discovered, did many of my friends who were as tired of being hounded as I was. We took refuge in the canyons around Provo, or walking the mountain trails. We also took pleasure in a few nips of alcohol, and skipping church meetings. We did not want to be bad, we just wanted to know we were free to be alive.

I hated the constant intrusions. My parents were terribly orthodox, so anything that was contraband could cause a huge problem. I recall a friend wrote a note , and stuck it on my car's windshield. He called me a "son of a bitch"----all in fun. My father found the note, and became angry. He put it in my hand, and asked "Is this the way you talk?" A minor thing, but symptomatic of a larger problem----constant cult intrusion.

Kids had to face interviews, where they were asked about masturbation. They had to go to tithing settlement, where they were asked about money. They had Sunday meetings, which instilled incredible amounts of guilt . The meetings made you think normal impulses----"lust," for example---were dark and serious sins. You were also taught that anyone who "did it" had committed a sin which was "second only to murder."

I recall being reprimanded for Coke drinking, swearing, thinking "dirty thoughts," and for "not upholding the standards of the gospel." Kids were not allowed to be kids, and normal impulses were changed into serious sins.

Going on a mission made it worse. There, I was told what to wear, think, eat, and read. I was told what music to listen to, and how to spend my spare time. I was told when to "bear my testimony," and when to walk, stop walking, or sit down. Every aspect of my life was looked into, and every act had its own admonition. So many sins, so many transgressions. And I was trying to co-operate and get by. I was a pretty decent guy, really. But that was never good enough.

Mormons are taught that they should only have controlled fun, and formal family activities. Real family life is taken over by the church, and changed into "family home evening." Parents who would , under normal circumstances, listen to kids are taught to admonish and correct them instead. I could not turn to my parents. All I got was the "party line. " I learned that if I looked for help, I could expect an answer from the pages of "Mormon Doctrine." It does not get much lower than that.

And so , like many others, I looked for a hiding place, or a chance to get away and just breathe. You spent considerable time trying to find peace, and a chance to be normal. I learned the sheer pleasure that came from breaking rules, and just being human.

Mormonism would have fewer drop outs if the church would get the hell out of everyone's lives, and let people breathe. Not sin, mind you, just breathe. Let people enjoy their families, let people talk without admonition, let people look at a pretty girl without feelings of guilt. It would also not hurt to let people say what they really think, or keep a couple of dollars to rub between their fingers.

So many, in the end. just want a hiding place. And they ditch the church to get it. The church is so controlling, arrogant, and clueless, they never figure it out.
My Exit Story
Monday, Jan 26, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Voiceless
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
From earliest childhood I spent hours each week at church, but my hunger and thirst for a relationship with God were not met there. Sometimes Jesus Christ was mentioned, but faith in him was only the first rung on a very tall ladder leading to exaltation, also known in Mormonism as godhood. Subjects like paying tithing, gaining a testimony, following the prophets, completing temple ordinances, making one's calling and election certain were always given time and emphasis over knowing Christ. We were, however, often urged to be Christlike. That meant we should pay attention to our older brother, who had ascended the exaltation ladder ahead of us, and copy the things he did. That would make us Christlike. As young as age eight and into my teenage years, I had many unresolved questions and concerns regarding Mormon theology.

I was taught that god's father had become god before him, and his father had become god before him, and his father had become god before him, and his father had become god before him,and so on back through an eternity of grandfather and great-grandfather gods. I could not wrap my untarnished young mind around such a concept and starting asking the ward adults where the very first grandfather god came from. Instead of answering the question, the ward adults just patted me on my cute little girl head and chuckled to themselves. Finally the bishop pointed to his wedding band and said all the past grandfather gods go back in a circle until they join up somehow in the future with we who are to also become gods.

I remember sitting week after week in Sunday meetings and being just baffled at how highly respected men of the ward could stand in front of the congregation and with all confidence proclaim they KNEW the church was true. Without a shadow of doubt and with every fiber of their being is how sure these guys were. There for long stretches of time on a wooden pew, I would dialogue within my own mind: "Okay. Joseph Smith could have restored God's one and only true church. It is reasonable that he might have done so. I think it's possible he could have done what they say he did. I might be able to feel it or maybe I can hope he did. But how can anyone really KNOW it like that? Hey, maybe there are some 1830s historical documents that I could read. If I could only see some kind of evidence, maybe then I could KNOW like they do." But without anything to base my knowing upon, how could I ever get to a point of belief based upon something more than mere feelings or wishful thinking. And I couldn't get past the absurdity of the KNOWING I observed proclaimed week after week after week.

I also felt very uncomfortable being taught that I was better than people of other places, races, or religions. This was the 1960s and 1970s in wonder white bread Orem, Utah. My ancestors were some of the first to hook up with Joe Smith back in the 1830s and six generations later I was born under the covenants they had made. I was repeatedly taught that my place in life as a white Mormon BIC girl had been determined in the pre-existance, where my homogeneous Utah county peers and I had proved ourselves to be more valiant than people who ended up being born elsewhere, poor, colored, or without the benefits of the gospel we enjoyed in my home town. As children we never saw a black person. By junior high a couple of Polynesian kids attended our school. We did see a few Lamanite children who had been placed in the white and delightsome families of our ward. But those kids always seemed to be getting into trouble. And they never fit in with all of us white Mormon children.

When my Sunday School and Seminary teachers taught me how superior I was, I felt a weird and uncomfortable combination of pride and shame, but mostly shame. When they taught me I would someday be a goddess ruling my own planet alongside my god husband, I felt weird. The theme from Twilight Zone comes to mind. I also felt uncomfortable at ages thirteen and fourteen during youth leadership meetings, where six of us teenagers who had been called as presidents over other kids our age would meet with six adult advisers and the bishop. We would talk strategy amongst ourselves, discussing ways to activate the inactives on our wardlist. We also made special note of the one or two non-Mormon households shown on our ward map. Being taken into the confidence of my adult leaders this way of puffed up my self esteem. I was a part of the inner circle. But the meetings also brought about that familiar but uncomfortable feeling which I now recognize as shame. These days kids are instructed to tell if an adult says somethingthat makes them uncomfortable. But who was I going to tell? The teachers and advisers who taught my superiority? My Mormon parents who sent be to be so taught? The bishop who led the strategy sessions?

I likely would have hung in there hoping to get past my misgivings, but at age sixteen a crisis propelled my physical exit from the LDS Church. I attended a debate institute at a university in California the summer following my sophomore year of high school. Near the end of my three weeks there, a man employed by the university attacked and raped me. I did not tell because I blamed myself for having broken curfew, thus being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I returned to Orem and began falling apart. I quit the high school tennis team. I quit the debate team. I withdrew into my bedroom. I felt too overwhelmed to do anything more than just get by. My parents were building their dream home and did not seem to notice that I was very depressed. Nearly six months passed since the rape, but I still felt so terrible that I could not bear waiting another couple of weeks until my seventeenth birthday interview. I felt I needed to confess my sins and seek God's forgiveness immediately.

So I asked the bishop if I could have my birthday interview early. Birthdays, pending youth temple trips, or evaluation for ward leadership positions were all reasons for me to undergo yet another worthiness interview. And the sexual questions were always a part of the interview, had been for years. The question "Are you morally clean?" was code speak. It was the method used by adult priesthood leaders whenever they wanted to ask the kids of the ward if they had been involved in any type of sexual activity. This was no secret and not an isolated case. In junior high school the ward boys were always joking, not only about farts as young teen boys will do but also, about having been asked if they masturbate. When the bishop asks "Do you have any problem with masturbation?" the boys said someone should respond "No...Works fine every time." My point is just that after having been asked about sex so often by adults over a five year period since turning twelve, I was accustomed to it and knew that my duty was to confess the sin.

The bishop accommodated my request and set an appointment. I met him on a weeknight at the mostly empty wardhouse where my interview lasted about two hours. The bishop encouraged my to get clean by confessing everything. After telling about what happened in California, he urged me to continue. So desperate was I to feel clean and forgiven, and so naive and trusting, that I complied and divulged every sexual thing I could think of. Risking my own good reputation, I'll admit that there were things to tell. I was nearly seventeen and had some sexual experience, which the bishop, sitting there behind his big wooden desk, seemed to find very interesting. He urged me to purge myself of all that sin, and to do so in as much detail as I could remember there in the privacy of that dimly lit bishop's office. I dutifully obeyed and by the end of my interview felt completely exhausted. Looking back, I was clearly retraumatized by so thoroughly rehearsing my painful experiences for this man whose only professional training was in the area of wiring up phone systems.

Finally, my birthday interview neared its completion. First, the bishop said I should purchase and read The Miracle of Forgiveness. Second, he was not inclined to disfellowship me but would leave it to my judgment when and how I would partake of Mormon sacrament again. I suggested I might skip it a week or two while reading the recommended book. And third, he told me I have a special spirit and that he felt inspired to give me a blessing. My dad was not in the habit of giving priesthood blessings to members of his own family, so this was something awkward for me.

The bishop instructed me to kneel on the office carpet. He stood behind me and laid both hands on top of my head. I closed my eyes when he started to pray. A moment later I could feel a pressure on the back of my head. I could not tell if it was incidental, accidental, or if the bishop was intentionally pressing himself against me. I did not know what to do. I felt mortified. I also experienced a feeling of craziness as my mind screamed out two conflicting messages at the very same time. One, that this middle-aged man had pressed his erection up against the back of my head! And two, that this was impossible because the bishop was called by God and could NEVER do such a thing! His blessing concluded and I pulled myself up from the floor, numb and sort of disassociated. I then politely fled the bishop's office.

After a young lifetime of faithfulness, I now experienced intensely negative feelings and literal stomach problems every time I attempted to enter the wardhouse. After several tries, each which felt something like impending doom, I stopped attending. Following the the rape I withdrew from once loved school activities. Following the birthday interview I withdrew also from church, which in Utah county is tantamount to withdrawing from respectable society. But I had been overwhelmed by trauma. I withdrew to spending time exclusively with my eighteen-year-old boyfriend who felt safe. I desperately needed to feel safe. Within two months I was pregnant.

I had exited the LDS church physically, but years of brainwashing left me carrying a lot of their baggage. I used to dream regularly that wherever I went I pulled along a red wagon containing a rotting corpse. I couldn't seem to fully let go. But since my birthday interview I've learned many things, often very regrettable facts of history, which have compelled me to once and for all leave behind that "one true church" into which I was born. I only had to look as far as my own Mormon family history to uncover the polygamy of which I am a product, fanatical apostles and Danites, blood atonement, wholesale slaughter of native Americans in Utah, Mormon trafficking of native American children, and sexual exploitation of young teen girls, including those working off their trans-Atlantic ship fare to Zion and at least one Native American adoptee, by men old enough to be their fathers.

I could go, on but sexual exploitation of young teen girls by middle-aged Mormon priesthood leaders was my personal reason for walking away from the LDS church, physically that is. It took me a very long time to also leave spiritually and emotionally. Renouncing one's heritage is not easily done. Thirty years have passed since that birthday interview and it's clear I'm not going back. I would rather be outcasted by my family and Utah county community than be agreeably complicit with the "church" that has perpetrated so many evil practices.
Indulging In A Bit Of Self-Pity, And Looking Back
Monday, Jan 26, 2009, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I remember when I got home from my mission, and visited a friend whose father was very inactive. The father said "When I went to your farewell, I thought that you were a kid getting fed to the wolves." I chuckled, and had to agree. In many ways, I was fed to the wolves.

Self-pity is a stupid thing, but I look back after nearly 40 years on the kid that was me, going on a mission, and I kind of feel sad. I did not have a clue as to what I was getting. Lord knows I found out.

I had stars in my eyes. I thought I was going to join a brotherhood of pure love, a group, or fraternity of priesthood holders who were doing God's work. I thought the church cared about me, and I wanted to co-operate, obey, and work. I kind of knew I was taking vows of "poverty, chastity, and obedience," but I felt it was for a noble cause. This, after all was it. This is what I had been told, for years, to prepare for. This was the brass ring. I needed to grab it.

Those who have been on missions know the surprises that await the naive young dupes who go. I certainly got mine.

I found it was easy to be reviled for stepping out of line. I did not "bear my testimony" at the first missionary testimony meeting. I was tired, homesick. and just wanted peace. I did not realize the gravity of the sin I had committed.

I heard a missionary say "Now, they are sending them to us without a testimony." Hell, I had a testimony. It was as valid as anyone else's . We all made them up, and professed knowledge of things we did not know were true. I could still generate a testimony. I could make a "testimony generator," and put it on a website. Testimonies are a dime a dozen. They are just not backed by knowledge.

I learned there were "good elders" and "bad elders," just as there are "good dogs," and "bad dogs." To be a "good elder" you had to obey all the rules, work all the hours, and never, never complain. If you complained, you were labeled, and the label stuck. You had a "bad attitude," and that followed you.

People who had trouble learning the language were also second class citizens. I was fortunate, because I did pretty well, but I saw how those who struggled were looked down upon. Missionaries would exaggerate their language abilities, because they wanted to make a good impression. You did not want to have the label of being a slow language learner. It kept you from getting advanced, and removed your chances of getting to the mission home.

The zone meetings were important, because you were on stage, and it was wise to generate the right impression. The Mission President was watching, and if you played your cards right, you might get the million dollar transfer to the mission home, where you could work at a desk, travel, and say-- not too convincingly--- that you "missed knocking on doors."

Mission testimonies were political statements. You had to "love the work," and you had to be "thankful I am here." You had to praise the Mission President's ditzy wife, and suck up the Mission President in the right way. You had to be upbeat, happy, and ready to obey. You also had to "love" your companion.

The weekly letters could get you in trouble. If you were up and down, you heard about it. I was rebuked in front of the elders in my area because I was "up and down too much." The Mission President humiliated me with great skill. Funny, because I resent his rude behavior to this day. It was mean and petty. I should have called him on it then. What, after all, could the dumb bastard have done to me? He owed me an apology for his boorish behavior.

When I became seriously ill, and found myself in a hospital, I called the Mission President to tell him. He became angry, and said "Thy put people in there when they should not be hospitalized. " I still remember how hard that hit me. There I was, 10,000 miles from home, seriously ill, and I got rebuked for it. I still puzzle at the way I was treated. Surely, they could have done better than that. How important was "the work" anyway?

I guess what I was not ready for was a salesman's world of numbers, statistics, reports, and rebukes. I was not getting paid for this. I did it out of a misguided sense of duty. Funny how unappreciative the church really is. They don't care about anyone. They did care about numbers, and the illusion of rapid growth.

I have no idea what went on my report when the whole thing ended. I was told my whole future in the church depended on it. I did not care by the end. My health was shot, I had to sleep during "study time," and the Mission President had become pretty darned old to me. I just wanted the best two years of my life to end.

So I do look back, and feel a certain degree of sorrow for the naive kid who went on the mission. So many ideals, dreams, and misconceptions. Like so many others, I bought, and dealt with, a bill of goods that was not as advertised. Live and learn---and look back with some compassion . When I see the poor kids knocking on doors today, my heart goes out to them. As long as they don't bother me, I try to be nice. Hell, I was there once.
Creating Our New World View - Redefining And Explaining Personal Spiritual Experiences
Monday, Jan 26, 2009, at 08:08 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
One of the problems with leaving Mormonism is trying to make sense of the "spiritual experiences" and how they were imprinted into our minds as a clear validation that the church was "true." Feeling "the spirit" in some fashion is seen as the epitome of validation of the truth of Mormonism. This is the same kind of validation used in religions in general,. It's an emotional connection: "feel" God's presence, love, etc. which is very common.

It is, indeed, a blow to our whole paradigm to find out that our "spiritual" experiences in Mormonism are and were our own mind creating a kind of expectation from what we have been taught. If we are taught about Jesus, for instance, and we have a "spiritual" experience, our mind will create a Jesus, not some other deity, or character.

This is particularly true as those "spiritual" experiences are so much a part of how Mormonism gains it's power and control over people's lives; thinking, behavior, and, of course, money.

Once I realized that anything I "saw" in my minds eye (or felt clearly) in the temple, in a dream, or anywhere else, was me (my mind-nobody else in there with me!) processing information and coming to natural conclusions (many of which were programmed by Mormonism/Christianity/Spiritualism over 50 years), all those "warm fuzzie" validations of the "spirit" went flying out the window -- along with the Holy Ghost -- and any other ghost! :-)

This was an important bit of processing that I had to understand, as I had specific experiences that I thought could only come because I was in the temple of the only true church of Jesus Christ. I was taught (accepted and believed) a common way to interpret "spiritual" feelings. However, there is no such thing as "one true" place - they happen millions of times a day all over he world in dozens of religions. Religion, in general is territorial and marks it's boundaries by interpretation and validation of what they claim are spiritual experiences from their specific belief in God.

The more I learned about how our minds work, as humans, the more I began to grasp the level of the power of Mormonism's teachings to trick people into thinking they really have something special and true when all along, it is the normal, workings of the mind.

Religiosity (Christianity, Mormonism, other ism's) does a very good job of placing specific meanings on any experience that can be used to their advantage to further it's belief system, and gain support, especially money. No money, no God Myth-church!

Using these kinds of "metaphysical" or "supernatural" experiences as some kind of empirical evidence of a God is one of the most powerful ploys played upon mankind, by mankind to establish the existence of a deity.

Humans seem to have a need for one (or a small group) of humans to take power and control over the rest of the group. The more power they obtain by claiming some higher source, the more likely others will defer to them, generally out of fear and/or honor. Religiosity (claiming direct connection to a God, higher power, etc.), is probably the single most effective way to do it. Every society known to man appears to have followed this predictable path.

My life as an adult convert in the LDS Church, taught me to use the power of my mind to line up categories and columns of right and wrong feelings, (of God or of Satan) with the express purpose of using guilt, fear, shame, etc., to keep me tied into the belief system as the only right/correct way to live, think, behave, etc.

The fact was, however, that it was just a religious ploy. The same one used for eons! If I wanted to be an authentic, adult, free agent (not that incorrect definition of agency (power to choose good or evil) from Mormonism, I needed to let that kind of thinking go, and be willing to consider other ideas. as just as reliable

-The upshot? The restrictive thinking (imprinting of truths) is not necessary for living a fulfilled, authentic adult life. It's a counterfeit. The real joy, happiness, inner peace comes from recognizing we have the only power necessary to do that - our own mind, our own free thinking.

There is no need for an assault on our self esteem, self respect, self confidence to comply with right and wrong, of God of Satan thinking.. It does not bring the greatest joy and happiness. It's manufactured, it's not real. It's parroted, and believed, only because the alternative has not been pursued for any comparison. Fear has taken over and shut the door to real inner peace and joy!

We find our bliss on our own. It cannot be corralled into a bubble. It is not something that can be required, or taught or forced. It is found by letting go of the old ideas and trying out new ones.

It's creating new definitions and explanations for our experiences that are valid and more accurate. It's understanding how the human mind validates our experiences and giving them names and new meaning . through our own criteria, not someone else's. That's my conclusion. It is not going to be the same for everyone.
"For Peace Of Mind - Resign As General Manager Of The Universe." Larry Eisenberg
Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
The natural result of my very personal Exit Process from Mormonism was "making peace" with it.

It was, in a way: serendipity! It evolved out of doing the work to take responsibility for all of my choices, my thinking, and creating a New World View of my own making.

Thinking about the power of peace of mind, I ran across this quote:

For peace of mind...resign as general manager of the universe. Larry Eisenberg

Mormonism puts it's stamp on being the "general manager of the universe" ! It happened so gradually, I didn't even realize that I had a developed an acceptable, cultural, Mormonized view of the universe as part of my new "tribe."! That is not surprising as that is what religion does and does a bang up job of it, so much we don't know, so to supply comfort to the masses, religion takes the position of "general manager of the universe."

A little background: As a young single adult convert, in 1961, it was what I recognized later as culture shock to marry a Returned Missionary, sixth generation Mormon, in the temple a year later and move to Utah to BYU on campus housing!

As I look back, it's clear that living in that community for several years was the single factor in my immersion in the religious culture of Mormonism. We ate, breathed, lived, walked, talked, taught, dressed, shopped, listened to, associated with Mormons and Mormonism. The GA's were part of weekly Devotionals, spoke at our Firesides, etc. I got Mormonized from the "horses mouth" so to speak!

Everyone we associated with was a Mormon of some sort. And there certainly were a lot of varieties! Another shock was moving into a neighborhood Ward in CA after living in Utah in a BYU Ward!

I started as a convert with a big Red Flag; Joseph Smith Jr. Prophet? Ahh, not so fast. I was not so sure. But this was my new church, which we thought was just another Christian Church with a really good youth program similar to the one we all grew up in. The local Ward even had a gym and a stage and a kitchen just like our local Christian Church!

I was raised in Spiritualism along with Christianity in our home, with four generations of Christian Ministers, back to Civil War time. That background played heavily into how easily, little by little I became, what I often refer to as: Mormonized! I began to dress and talk and, the most powerful part: THINK like a Mormon, learning "Mormoneze" the in-house language of the culture. Well, almost. I never could learn to think like a Born in the Bed Mormon because I was a convert!

Many years later, it's 2009 and while reviewing the past year, it is apparent that I have settled into a peaceful, comfortable existence with my fellow human beings, loved ones, friends: Mormons , Christians, non-believers, New Age believers of some sort, Wicans, agnostics, atheists and on and on.

Mormonism is a very important part of what contributed to who I am today. And for that, I am grateful! I understand there are no: wouldas, shouldas, couldas, what if's regarding the past.. It is what it is! We got what we got; no fantasy parents, siblings, life, etc. We play the deck we were dealt.

Maybe it's my stage of life, my age, but the longer I live, the more grateful I am for all of my life: the good, the bad, the ugly, as I often say.

I have found, by a series of processes, the place that I have been looking for: making peace with it! And yes, it was serendipity!

I can look back at all of my life and know that nothing destroyed me, there is no need to take the role of a victim.

I am a human being finding what works for me, discarding as much fear as possible, and guilt and shame as they are not useful.

It's amazingly refreshing to find a new kind of peace and joy and love that Mormonism could not sustain in it's attempt to be "general manager of the universe" with it's religious God Myths and claims.

The human being- mind does not like to be put in a box of restrictive,official rules, policies, codes of behavior, regulations, authoritative ecclesiastical invasive intrusion, while attempting to do the impossible: please a deity created by humans, believing in a savior with a litany of right/wrong, good/bad, of God of Satan lists with rewards and punishments if not in this life in an imaginary after life.

Serendipity? None of that brought me peace and joy like promised. The threats from Mormonism are impotent.

Life outside the restrictive thinking, the "general manager of the universe" as prescribed in the Mormon World View --- is a counterfeit!

Real genuine peace comes from within, not from outside!

Now I have a glimpse of what it means to find your bliss!

If Mormonism is your bliss, so be it. It's my view that there is something more!

PS: I am not sure who Larry Eisenberg is - but I sure like his quote!
Anyone Else Finding Apostates Among Old Friends On Facebook? I Found Two In One Week
Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Mujun
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I'm skeptical that the internet will ultimately mean the death of Mormonism. On a macro level, Mormonism is a sub-culture and institution that has proved itself adaptive and resilient.

On a micro level, however, I can say that the internet was a critical, maybe even paramount, part of my personal journey out of Mormonism. It wasn't so much about information. I had known for years that there were a lot of skeletons in the closet. It was more about connecting with people who had similar struggles and issues to my own. It was about having my assumptions challenged by the examples of others, and borrowing the courage to re-examine the experiences and feelings that were the basis for what I considered my conviction that it was all true.

Mormonism's thought control isn't just about preventing people from reading things that incriminate the church. It's just as much about isolating doubt. In Mormon culture, it's great to have people get up in front of the congregation and say they know it's all true. It's socially awkward to get up in front of the congregation and say you're really not sure about the whole thing. It's downright unacceptable to say that you suspect it's all a crock. Doubt is only tolerated so long as those suffering from it keep it to themselves.

When you're wondering if you're the only one who feels the way you do, they want you to think that the answer is YES.

The internet breaks down those walls of isolation more than anything that has ever hit Mormonism before. This Recovery from Mormonism site has helped so many of us connect and share experiences, and those interactions have launched many of us on our journeys toward the real world.

At the same time, there are many, many doubting Mormons out there who wouldn't touch RfM with a ten-foot pole. This site is most useful to people who are over that initial hump or who have somehow already put some emotional distance between themselves and their Mormon experience. The tone and content here can be a bit raw and for someone who is still culturally immersed in Mormonism, it can quickly trigger the must-stop-reading reflex.

Something like Facebook, however, is totally mainstream and embraced by Mormons everywhere. I've had a lot of fun with it, finding long lost cousins and friends I haven't seen since high school. Since Mormons make up a disproportionate percentage of my old friends and relatives, they make up a pretty high percentage of my Facebook friends. Facebook has a place where users can identify religious views if they so choose, and I have enjoyed being up-front and matter-of-fact about mine. My religious views are listed as Unitarian Universalist / Atheist / Pastafarian. My Facebook page includes pictures from my UU church and even a quotation from Barry Goldwater about how religion has no place in public policy. If any of my Mormon schoolmates or cousins are scandalized by that, they can always opt out of being my Facebook friends.

A few months ago, I connected with a friend who used to be in my ward in the early 1990's. I noticed that his religious views were listed as "To each his own, just keep it your own." That wasn't exactly a bold testimony of the Book of Mormon, so I took it as a strong clue that things had changed for him. I shot him a private message, and he responded that he indeed had concluded that Mormonism just isn't what it claims to be. We agreed to have a beer together the next time we meet.

Just this past week, I got a Facebook message from a friend who was also in my ward in the early 1990's. She confided in me that she no longer believes in the church or agrees with its agenda. She has one child on a mission, one at BYU and two at home. Her husband, who is in the bishopric, is the only one she had told about her disbelief. She is totally immersed in Mormon culture and has no idea what she is going to do. I can't do much other than share some thoughts about my own journey out and let her know that she is not alone.

Also this past week, I noticed one of my old high school friends' religious views on Facebook were listed as "Changing Daily." On a hunch, I shot him a message and jokingly reminded him that god is the same yesterday, today and forever. Then I asked him what was up with him and Mormonism these days, as I could guess that he wasn't 100% believing. He sent me a heartfelt email back telling me that his disbelief has really rocked the boat in his marriage and that he is going through the motions, keeping up appearances for the sake of family harmony. Again, there was little I could offer other than the ear of someone who gets it, but I'm happy to offer that.

People still in the middle of Mormonism have been raised to believe that there is only misery for those who leave the fold. We know that's simply not true. For many of us we can now see more beauty and profundity in life than we ever saw from within the Mormon bubble. Being happy and showing that for us, life is good, is perhaps the best message we can give. Living well really is the best revenge.
I Don't Miss The Mormon Social Circle
Monday, Feb 16, 2009, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I always hated the Mormon social circle, the social interactions which took place during the week, and during church.

I grew up in Provo, so the circle was very tight. Everyone, in one way or another, was a spy, and everyone was a snitch. There was a constant need to talk about, confront, and correct each other. Every public action was noticed and commented on. Mormonism managed to extend the control of the members into every aspect of their public lives.

If a person was dating someone from a different race, it became instant news. An entire ward would talk about it. The buzz was incredible. I saw this happen more than a few times, as word spread like wildfire. It took real balls to take on the racial issues. It was just not done.

If a person was excommunicated, they were expected to get up in testimony meeting, and apologize to the ward. They did not have to say what their transgression was----everyone already knew. Their church court was about as secret as "American Idol." This act of public humiliation was a must, and it was, in some ways, a social event for everyone to discuss. People would say "Of course I forgive him," but they did not mean it. They loved watching the public humiliation.

I recall a kid who got a girl pregnant. The teacher in the priest's quorum spoke about morality, and indicated who the transgressor was---right to the kid's face. The kids were told "We do not have the morality of a James Bond movie in our church."

I also remember being in seminary in the ninth grade, and having the same man who taught the priest's quorum come to the seminary, and force every kid in the class to sign an "anti-pornography petition." And the kids signed, because their signature was public, with the man standing over their desk, arms folded, and scowl upon his face.

As a ward member, I knew who the drinkers and smokers were. I knew who had committed sexual sins earlier in their lives, and I knew those who had been excommunicated, even if that had been years ago in a different state. This stuff leaked out, and became common knowledge.

I am sure man of us heard the conversations: "Did you know sister Jones had been excommunicated? Yes, its true. She is back in the church now, and we forgive her, of course, but its such a shame it happened." Dear God, I heard so many comments like that. It was always "we forgive her, but. . . ."

I recall a man who had trouble with his son. The kid was enamored with a girl in the ward, and kept asking her out. He even gave the girl a very expensive gift. The price of the gift became well known, and everyone talked about it, and wondered where the money came from. A few years later, the kid left home--- and the church. Gee, what a surprise. Even at a young age, his life had been looked into, weighed, and found wanting.

Kids who did not go on missions were in for lasting trouble. There were not many in the 60s, and early 70s. You damn well went. Those few, those brave few, who stayed behind had it follow them for years. I knew a well known Mormon who did not go, and felt he had to spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it.

I also recall a kid I went to high school with, who went on a mission, and lasted about one month. He came home, and spent years trying to overcome the gossip and speculation. His girlfriend dumped him, and he became a laughingstock. I would imagine people would still hold it against him, even though that was 40 years ago.

Another kid came home, and got up in sacrament meeting and brought the ward down upon himself. He said such things as "I do not know the church is true. I want to believe its true, but I cannot know." He also said "The mission was not the best two years of my life. It was miserable, but I finished it. "

He left Provo, and never returned. I have no idea if he is in the "true church " now, but I doubt it. People talked about it for weeks, and he became a vagabond . Perhaps he now lives with Sasquatch, moving from place to place, trying to hid his shame.

Mormonism was not a life, it was a social stress test. It was a constant walk through a minefield, and you had to be oh so careful to make sure you did not step in the wrong place. This all served the purpose of the church, to be sure, but it destroyed privacy, peace of mind, and basic kindness. Forgiveness ceased to exist, and private transgressions and confessions were part of the daily ritual. It was suffocating . I think it is one of the many good reasons people have for leaving Mormonism. Life is too short for that kind of nonsense.
Another Huge Perk Of Being Ex-Mormon: Being Not Obliged To Think That Social Progress Is Destruction
Monday, Feb 23, 2009, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Mootman
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
It took a lotta study and work to realize how delusional this is, but Mormons are taught by the Cult Fuhrer that social changes are signs of the world and society becoming more depraved and going down the path to sure destruction, just like ancient Rome. Whatever.

It was soooo exhausting to have to always take in the news of what's happening in the world and being so mortified and befuddled. It was such an ambiguous message the Fuhrer gave us because on one hand it was "Let your light so shine"/"Be righteous to make Us look good"; but on the other hand it was "All progress that the Fuhrer does not approve of is a sure indicator that your world is being prepared for Armageddon."

That's such a tortured, dichotomous message that I never quite knew what to do with. What's the point of bringing about good in the world if it's all going to be destroyed in Armageddon anyway?

It's such a relief to not have to balance that bullshit anymore. {exhale}

Now, if a black man who favors pro-choice and gay marriage becomes the President of the United States of America, great, more power to 'em all.

Now, if everybody in the whole world is loving watching some show that has salacious overtones (e.g., Chicago), I don't have to think that everybody who gets on that bandwagon is evil or being seduced by Satan.

Now, if I meet somebody who is a gay Buddhist or a feminist Unitarian who is way more compassionate and effective as a humanitarian or otherwise than any Mormon I know, I don't have to figure out why "God's People" or the Fuhrer doesn't possess this greatness.

Now, I can look back at all the painful social progress that has happened in the United States and in other countries (with NO help from the Mormon Church), and I can be proud of all the people that have helped bring those things about and not think these heroes have fought against the Church of God.

Now, I can fully buy into the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. and fully appreciate the clarion call: "Free at last! Thank God Almighty, Free At Last!!!" Why? because the Truth made me free, and how sweet it is. Free At Last.
Quest For Mormon Perfection Destroys Souls
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Paul
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
All my life I've struggled with learning and impulse control. I'm 39 and I finally did some research into my adoptive upbringing. I discovered that my biological mother was an alcoholic and that I am challenged with fetal alcohol effect (FAE). Learning things takes me three times as longer than most people, and understanding social situations and nuances has always been impossible (these are classic symptoms of fetal alcohol effect).

While growing up in a Mormon adoptive home I was constantly chastised, berated, and punished. My father and mother wanted me to be a perfect like other Mormon boys. Mormon doctrine teaches that nothing in life is beyond our ability to endure and overcome. My Mormon parents wanted me to behave and have same desires and discipline as other Mormon boys.

The punished and shamed me for nearly a decade because I was not the same as others. After all, their belief was if you live the gospel and try to be perfect, then God will bless you. For 39 years I blamed myself, nearly took my own life on more than one occasion because of my failures and the condemnation of the church and my own family for not living up to their demands.

My bar of accomplishment will always be a lower one than the masses. I will never have the full mental capacity or physical chemistry to perceive the world as most people do because of the genetic mutations that are irreversible in my DNA due to fetal alcohol effect (FAE). Yet, the church would have those of us with handicaps believe that we are damnable sinners when we don't understand or struggle to develop more discipline within our varying levels of diminished capacity.

When I returned from my mission early, I was told by the church (mission department) that I was bad and hopeless person. I was overseas and they had refused to pay for a plane ticket while I was literally drooling from my mouth and bleeding from my nose because of the psychological stresses I was experiencing.

It only took two weeks after being home that my dad threw me out the house for 'dishonoring' the family. He said that if I only had more faith I would have been healed because 'nothing is impossible to God'. He also said that no trial is greater than our ability to overcome.

How in the hell do I over come fetal alcohol effect? Isn't it easy for Mormons to judge people within their black and white teachings? You don't have to help or understand others in society when you can judge them and cast them out of your congregations. Without science and psychology, it is so easy for Mormons to just say that people bring their own problems upon themselves. It's even so much easier to say that peoples' failures are because of choices.

What greater anti-Christ doctrine can there be? What greater fault can religion have than to judge those who trials they do not understand and cast them away as sinners. Coded deep within our DNA and chemistry are infinite degrees of trials and personal limitations that contain much of what we can and cannot do in life! If Christ taught love, then how is it that Mormons try to qualify love through peoples' actions? How can they say some people are unworthy to be members and others people bring their misfortunes upon themselves? Isn't Christ's philosophy capable of fully embracing every sinner?

Where is Christ who sought the one sheep of the ninety and nine who had strayed? What if the lamb stayed because it was blind, or possessed ADD? Would Christ have retrieved it? Of course, but in the case of blindness the Mormons would not have seen it themselves because they would only be looking at the actions of sheep. Perhaps the Mormons would have blamed the sheep for not having enough faith to be healed?

In the case of ADD they would have judged the sheep and cast it from the fold because the sheep had knowingly, but unwittingly left the fold- therefore, the Mormons would reason that it was the choice of the sheep not to follow the flock. How destructive the Mormon faith is!! How many friends I have had with incurable problems of mental illness and limited learning capacity that have traded their own dignity and self-worth for self-condemnation and shame to appease the doctrinal teachings of the leaders of this church!

The sorrow caused by this religion is unconscionable and tragic in truest sense. If there is a God, may he have mercy on both the church and her victims.
The Stuff I Never Could Accept
Monday, Mar 2, 2009, at 06:58 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I look back on my interminable years as a Mormon, and realize that there were an amazing number of things I simply could not accept. It was just not possible.

I tried and tried, but could not do it. When the real history of Mormonism was finally available, all the pieces fell into place. It was easy to just quit trying to believe the unbelievable.

I never could accept, explain, or understand polygamy. The more the church explained it, the harder it became to believe.

The doctrine behind was such a joke----polygamy in the "Celestial Kingdom," hundreds of wives with resurrected physical bodies having "spirt children." The wives seemed to have no other role---just making babies. How appealing does than sound to anyone? It boggles the mind to realize I tried to accept such nonsense.

I also recall reading the "Doctrine and Covenants," and coming across Joseph Smith's "code names" for himself, his minions, and various places in Nauvoo. He was "Gazeleum," and the printer was "Shinehah" as I recall. The other names elude me, but I still remember laughing about that idiocy as a missionary. It is just pathetic.

And I remember being a kid, and looking at the "Book of Abraham." The names Joseph came up with were incredible, as were his "translations" of the facsimiles . Wow, what a stretch he made. I still look at the "translations" from time to time, and find myself in awe of his audacity.

Another thing I learned I could not accept was the way missionaries are treated. I am still amazed at what I put up with. I went out expecting some spiritual experiences. What I got was abuse. It opened my eyes to the reality of Mormonism, but I kept trying to tell myself it was all part of becoming a good member. It would take off my rough edges and all. In truth, it made me angry and disgusted.

The police state mentality of Mormonism alarmed me. I grew up in Provo, and went to BYU, where I saw "BYU Security" as a bunch of thugs who spied, bullied and snooped. I saw kids turned into informants, and privacy cast aside. Mormonism, I learned, cannot function without taking people's freedom. Get Mormonism by itself ,away from restraint, and you get a police state. That is just the way it works.

The Word of Wisdom always chafed as well. The prohibition against tobacco made sense, but the rest was ridiculous And the exaggerated importance attached to the Word of Wisdom was deeply offensive . Keeping the Word of Wisdom was about as important as not committing murder. To this day, I hear Mormons speak of Word of Wisdom violators with disdain and disgust. They never do get over the false importance of dietary habits.

But the final straw for my strained belief was the temple. What was supposed to be one of the grandest experiences of my life terrified and depressed me. I felt it was wrong and frightening. I never could come to terms, and avoided the temple religiously. I would do anything to not go. I never could accept it.

It is remarkable to look back on all I struggled with. Religion should be calming, uplifting, and spiritually satisfying. I never found it in the Mormon church. In fact, I found fear, anger, anxiety, and depression.
Recollections On Mormonism And Growing Up In The Church
Monday, Mar 2, 2009, at 07:16 AM
Original Author(s): Dave Fairbank
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
My earliest memories of church were from when I was a child. I was the youngest of three kids (boy-girl-boy). I remember going to my brother’s and sister’s baptisms and being told that when I turned 8, I would also be baptized. I don’t recall ever being asked if I wanted to, but had I been given the choice I probably would have gone just to please my parents and follow my older siblings. I occasionally made a fuss about going to church every Sunday, but more because it was boring than because I didn’t agree with it. This attitude continued for me through junior high and high school. I had prayed many times never feeling anything, but I assumed it was just the way it was supposed to be. I didn’t have any strong evidence or reason to believe or not believe in Mormonism, but church and seminary were just so boring (and early in the morning!). “Please don’t make me go mom!”

It was not until college that I really began to investigate the church. I had been attending Colorado State University, but decided to move out and live with my brother and attend BYU. I found the environment there a lot more exciting for students my age. Many people asked me if I was planning to serve a mission. My initial response was either “no” or “I don’t know.” I really hadn’t thought much about it. My brother had served a mission and my sister was planning to. Everyone was so proud of them. I envied it a little. I felt like I needed to really take the issue more seriously and decide if I wanted to go. I was bored with my freshmen level coursework and found it much more exciting to think about travelling somewhere in the world doing service, which is what I thought missionaries did. I got quite excited about the idea and started reading the Book of Mormon six or eight hours a day. I studied “church approved” materials, prayed, contemplated, and I felt I had researched it thoroughly. I became quite convinced it was correct. I knew there were other opinions out there, but I was assured by my leaders the claims against the church were fraudulent and hate filled.

I’ll never forget how excited I was to tell my parents I had decided to serve a mission. My call came two weeks later and I was pleased to find out I would be heading to Busan, Korea, and would be in the MTC at the same time as my sister. When I got to the MTC, the first question we were asked is, “why are you here?” I wanted to give them the “right” answer and impress them, but honestly I didn’t really know. I was pretty sure the church was correct and I wanted to do service. I also wanted to talk with people who were searching for God and share thoughts. I didn’t know that our role was to actively hunt down and convince people of Mormonism. They all said we were just supposed to find “the prepared,” but everyone figured out after a few months you have to be more aggressive to get more than a few baptisms. My two years as a missionary was the hardest time of my life. There was extreme peer pressure to perform and to appear very confident in church doctrine. Missionaries who appeared the most confident and got the most baptisms were given leadership roles. People who looked the part seemed more often than not to be given the part. Everyone was expected to fill their role and accept the hierarchal structure. The mission president seemed a demigod. Anyone to question the mission president’s directions were thought to be siding with the devil. Anyone to question church doctrine or even appear unsure was looked down upon. When I did open up about some of my concerns I was confronted with hostility, even though I wasn’t in any way trying to be hostile. People asked me, “Why don’t you just go home?” I replied that I hoped maybe my own feelings or my situation would change for the better. Some were more understanding than others. I went through periods of confidence and periods of confusion.

My daily study of the scriptures led me to question the god of the Old Testament, who, it seemed, reigned with fear and destruction more than love and forgiveness. I questioned whether I could believe in a heaven that might exclude some of my closest friends. Polygamy just seemed weird, and wrong. I didn’t like the feeling of hiding the more unattractive parts of our doctrine from people until after they were baptized. It made me feel dishonest. I saw missionaries resort to different methods of finding investigators that seemed out of place. We advertised free English lessons but only told parents our real intent was to teach discussions until after they let us in their homes and introduced their kids to us. The mission president organized a rock band with electric guitars and a drum set to play at parks and attract attention while the rest of the missionaries would try to find new investigators among the crowd. The Jesus I knew wouldn’t be playing an electric guitar to get attention. But, despite serious disgust with various aspects of the church, I stayed because I was afraid of the embarrassment of returning home early and the possibility that I could be wrong. Everyone else around me seemed to believe with their whole soul. Why wasn’t I “getting it.” Maybe, I thought, I should just stop thinking about it. So, for the last several months that’s exactly what I did. I stopped thinking.

I couldn’t stand to live in ignorance forever, though, and when I returned to BYU the same and new questions and concerns began to surface. I began to wonder why I believed as I did. I wondered if I would have been so sure about a different religion had I been born in a different time or place. Things just didn’t add up. Mormonism began to sink in my mind like a battleship with too many non-repairable holes in the hull. I found my fear was the only thing keeping me from cutting my losses and abandoning ship. I decided to get out of BYU and go back to Colorado State. I continued to go to church for a while because my girlfriend wanted me to, but eventually I told her I just couldn’t believe in the church anymore. She was accepting at first, but eventually she decided she needed the church and we broke up. I haven’t gone back since. I felt free to think and feel on my own for the first time in my life. I've not regretted it once. I still try to be kind, not because God said so or because I want to go to heaven,but because in the world I want to live in people act that way.

My departure from the church was at the age of 23. It was based on feelings that the doctrine just wasn’t right, or even logical. It wasn’t until later that I even heard of all the evidence that refutes the claims of Joseph Smith so completely it is almost laughable. If only I could laugh about all this…! I just feel…well however you feel when you put your whole soul into something only to find it’s all a lie. At least now I can see the world through my own eyes.
Mormonism Sets Us Up To Go About Life Seeking Permission To Think And Act And To Be Ourselves
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009, at 09:29 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
Mormonism sets us up to go about life seeking permission to think and act and to be ourselves.

I know as a mormon, I tended to hang back and not take action, first waiting to see what authority figures and others around me thought.

As a mormon I never would have tossed out advertising junk left on a bathroom sink for example. I probably wouldn't have asked for two catsups at MicDonalds or spoken up for someone getting a raw deal in my workplace.

After leaving the morg, I found my authentic self, someone who had been in suspended animation.

That's when I started to say no when I thought I should. That's when I began to learn to act based on my own analysis of what needed to be done.

I stopped reading the newspaper to see what others thought and to choose their "best" opinion as my own. Instead, I read for facts and used those facts to form my own original opinion, one which others might not have considered.

After leaving the morg, I felt empowered to make a difference in the world.

I didn't give up on hard challenges. Instead, I did whatever little I could to help. Sometimes it was significant when I accepted leadership positions in my union. Other times it was very minor when I suggested a parenting tip to a mom or dad.

But at least I felt I was not adding to a problem by non-thought or non-action.

Leaving mormonism means we don't need to ask permission to do what is right if we're willing to let the consequence follow.

We're no longer children or sheep. We're fully grown responsible adults.
Mormonism, Economics American-Style, And Larry Miller
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
I read Joseph Campbell's "Power of Myth" more than 10 years ago. While the ideas presented have helped shape my own philosophy in a more abstract way, there is one detail of that book that stands out. It's on the first page and talks about the LDS church, comparing the reality of church history to the myth behind the curtain. There is a picture showing how the church office building (business control center) towers above, and eclipses the original focal point of the church -- the SL temple. I even remember hearing how the top of the COB is the same elevation as the state capital building, further reflecting a mythical posturing.

My own journey out of mormonism started with a realization that the spirituality I was raised with was hollow. As I began to explore and trust my own feelings and observations, a sort of personal spiritual collapse happened inside me. Not because I was being seduced or lazy, but because my spiritual economy was based on funny money... much as the reason why our current economy is undergoing a much needed reality correction.

Now I can look back with clear perception and see the church for what it is. A successful business cloaked in the robes of piety. Mormonism is the natural, mythical offspring of a nation that values domination and greed. The Prophet (CEO) and Apostles (board of directors) don't even try to hide their uncanny similarities to the corporate world, yet the members don't seem to mind.

Consider all the latest hoopla surrounding the death of Larry Miller. Here is a guy with the midas touch, who knew how to make money with the best in business. Based on all the news coverage over the last week, along with a public viewing, and general feeling in the air, you would think Miller a candidate for instant exaltation. It's as if the population unconsciously flocked to grieve the lost hero they've been instilled to worship the financial success he represented without really understanding why.

Larry Miller was a successful businessman, no doubt. He knew how to make money like few others, but he was admittedly a self-destructive and pathological addict of sorts. I might be wrong, but would successful entrepreneurs be grieved like this if money wasn't such a key component of the collective myth? It seems that all his family failure, and various shrewd business behavior (car dealerships... c'mon!) was all forgiven because he mastered the art of acquiring a fortune.

It's seems a strange story to dominate the media, among a group of people who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Sending Back The Telescope
Monday, Mar 9, 2009, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Bernelli
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
The Heaven's Gate cult that committed suicide in San Diego in 1997 believed that a spaceship was traveling in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet, and that they would be transferred to the craft by committing suicide when the comet was near Earth. Before the mass suicide, they purchased an expensive telescope in order to see the craft within the comet's tail. When they were unable to spot the spaceship, they sent the telescope back claiming that it was defective. In other words, their belief in the spaceship trumped all rational evaluation, they were willing to suspend all critical thinking skills in favor of their religious doctrine, and their faith was deemed more honest and true than any and all scientific evidence to the contrary.

In a sense, this has to be the single most dangerous message that religion - not just cults - teach their members: if the telescope doesn't tell you what WE tell you, send it back. It's defective.

In spite of the awareness of the dangers of faith and religious zeal that Americans have gained since 9/11, we seem to be unwilling to acknowledge the extent to which our own pious beliefs lead us down dark alleys, and choose instead to believe that dangerous levels of zealotry only occur in other people's religions on the other side of the world where most Americans can't even identify continents, much less countries.

It would seem that it is almost impossible to have a civil, rational discussion about religion in America. Far too many participants in such discourse consider themselves to be possessed of such faith that they are willing to ignore or excuse problems in the doctrine or the religious culture that would be obvious to an impartial observer.

Place such a person into an otherwise civil discussion about religion, and civility ceases to exist. Believing that you are in possession of complete, unquestionably accurate information about God, his plans for you, and the horrible punishments that await those who don't believe the same things as you do enable the faithful to have the most condescending, most hostile, most downright hateful attitudes toward their fellow man. These attitudes and the behaviors they inspire are rationalized by a belief that God favors some people more than others, and ultimately doesn't really give a shit about people who are not members of one specific religion.

Oh wait, that's not true. He still loves them. They just don't get the same benefits as the "chosen ones."

For decades I've been asking tough questions about the religion that I was raised in. As I sought answers, I continually found myself hitting a wall. The answers either weren't there, weren't spiritually satisfying, didn't coincide with other aspects of the doctrine, were in direct conflict with the behaviors of a good portion of the membership, ignored widely accepted scientific and historical facts, or went against personal experience and observation. Upon reaching any of the above impasses, the advice I was given was, without exception, to send back the telescope.

There's a point where you just can't be told that anymore, and I had reached it.

For years, I had attempted to avoid rocking the boat within my family, biting my lip and playing along while they participated in (and expected me to participate in) the various rituals of our religion. But I had always felt dishonest about it. I was compromising my personal integrity by pretending to be someone who professed to believe in something that had never felt true to me. And, contrary to the expectations of the culture, the more I researched and explored and participated in the religion, the less I found myself able to accept it.

I woke up one Sunday morning and realized that that was it. I was done. I wasn't going to pretend anymore, I wasn't going to participate anymore. I had had it, and I was through, and I wasn't going to hide, and people were going to have to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't part of the in-crowd anymore.

I don't claim to have all the answers. Maybe having all the answers isn't as important as we've been made to believe. I think it is hopelessly naive to think that all the answers are obtainable, or packaged in a neat one-size-fits-all belief system. I've been preached to, yelled at, guilt-tripped, insulted, threatened, disregarded, accused, and confronted with all of the methods that religion uses to attempt to convince itself that nobody in their right mind could possibly be exposed to religious doctrine and still reject it. I'm not a horrible person, I'm not an anti-Christ, and while I'm not perfect and have made some mistakes, I'm a good man who strives to be a better man. And I've found that I can do that, and maybe even do it more effectively, without embracing religion.

So I'll keep my telescope, thank you very much, and you can preach to me until you're blue in the face, but if I don't see a spaceship in the tail of that comet, I'm going to say so.

We all need to be less willing to sacrifice our critical thinking abilities when what we see with our own eyes conflicts with what we are expected to believe.
My Life Is Mine To Live
Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): Amanda
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21   -Link To MC Article-
To my sisters and brothers
who are walking in the light,
Following the footsteps of your ancestors
and choosing what is right;

You say in your testimony
just like all the others in sacrament meeting
That the church and Joseph Smith are not phony,
and like a sheep you keep on bleating.

You keep to your flock and single out the outcasts
with a different color wool,
And gossip amongst yourselves behind their backs
and lay on your hands to rid them of evil.

When I looked inside with tears in my eyes
I saw that there was a great rift;
Manipulated and pressured by their own device,
Repression, depression... I started to drift.

Well I woke up one morning and realized
that the life I lived was not mine;
Placed inside a factory made picture,
afraid to color outside of the lines.

Then I saw what I'd been missing
and I yearned in my soul to be free
From the confines of expectations
and to learn how to be ME.

I wanted to find out for myself
what was wrong and what was right;
To learn from my own experience
that life is not black nor white.

All the while I'd given in
to someone else's wish,
Begging for forgiveness from an angry Man God
and hooked just like a fish.

Fishermen of men
is what the elders all should be,
But I was the fish that got away;
I survived and now I'm free.

The bait that they lured before me
was loaded with a sharp hook.
They programmed me into believing
the truth for a fictitious book.

But my intelligence resisted,
they struggled as they reeled.
Though to this day I'm listed,
from their cruel wounds I am healed.

I'm the author of my own story.
I'm the writer of my own song.
I'm the painter of my own picture
and I decide what's right and wrong.

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Archived Blogs:
Reminder: No Need To Go Overboard As An Exmo
Religious Harm, Human Rights And Leaving The Church
Apostasy Been Berra Berra Good to Me
The Bitter Fruits Of Apostasy - A True Story
"Happy Mormon Families" A Picture Perfect Lie
Inspired Loving Leader Proves TSCC Needs No Enemies
The Truth Is, I So Don't Care What Religious Fanatics On The Street Are Thinking About Me
"Faith Replaces Fear" - Fear And Mormonism
In The Process Of Leaving Mormonism
A Few Of The Things That Always Got To Me When I Was In The Church
All I Ever Wanted Was A Hiding Place
My Exit Story
Indulging In A Bit Of Self-Pity, And Looking Back
Creating Our New World View - Redefining And Explaining Personal Spiritual Experiences
"For Peace Of Mind - Resign As General Manager Of The Universe." Larry Eisenberg
Anyone Else Finding Apostates Among Old Friends On Facebook? I Found Two In One Week
I Don't Miss The Mormon Social Circle
Another Huge Perk Of Being Ex-Mormon: Being Not Obliged To Think That Social Progress Is Destruction
Quest For Mormon Perfection Destroys Souls
The Stuff I Never Could Accept
Recollections On Mormonism And Growing Up In The Church
Mormonism Sets Us Up To Go About Life Seeking Permission To Think And Act And To Be Ourselves
Mormonism, Economics American-Style, And Larry Miller
Sending Back The Telescope
My Life Is Mine To Live
5,709 Articles In 365 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (365 Topics)

  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (37)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (100)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DNA (23)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · FARMS (30)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (13)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VIDEOS (30)
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