THE MORMON CURTAIN
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EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14
The "Opinion" topic was created to separate out recovery from opinions on posts made in Ex-Mormonism. A large selection of posts made by Ex-Mormons that do not fit in "Recovery". These are more considered "Soap Box" posts. While they may be opinions, they are still very important in the steps to recovering from Mormonism.
| We were taught in the morg to follow along with morg commandments. We actually tried to squint and see the world through a crazy morg-made kaliedoscope.
I had a dream years ago about mormons beating me and hacking me to fit me into a pre-made very distorted twisted mummy case.
After I fought my way to freedom in the dream, I looked back at the mormons pursuing me sledge hammers and butcher knives. They were mutilated personages, distorted and shaped like the mummy case.
Among the true believing mormons, I was the only normal one with a strong body, unfettered brain, and clear-seeing eyes.
Never again did I attend a mormon church or depend on mormons to model for me their idea of good sense, proper manners, or spiritual virtue.
There was no need to be obedient to damaged human beings.
From that moment until now I looked at the world in my own way. I learned to came up with my own conclusions. I eventually started making decisions which suited my needs based on my own best judgement.
I realized that just because mormons accept unwanted visitors into their homes any time no matter what, I did not have to follow suit. Every other person born on earth could thrill to having mormons barge into their homes. Yet, I realized I could be free to set my own boundaries in the home I had paid for with my toil.
The same goes for dead-dunking. Everyone on earth could delight in the generosity of mormons baptizing them after death. Still, if the idea sickens me, there's nothing wrong with saying so.
What about polygamy? I've seen it up close and personal. The entire population of the earth could vote to glorify its virture and I'd still think it's a bad way to raise children because I've seen it at its best, which in none too good.
The point is this. As exmos, we have a right to see the world in our own unique and individual ways. We don't have to go along with the crowd.
There's no need to pretend to agree with anything which is ugly to our eyes, smells like sulpher, feels like a crack on the knuckles, and sounds like a snarling dog with rabies germs dripping from his teeth.
We can say, "No, I'm not doing that. It might work for you and everyone you know, but it isn't for me."
The world would be a better place if so many people didn't waste their legitimate observations by going along to get along with those too blind to see and too brainwashed for original thought.
| Top ELEVEN Reasons Why NOT:
1) Their appointment book is FULL
2) They're afraid of Banditos
3) They're afraid that they'll be recoginzed by some 'Bad Spirits'
4) They previously SOLD the LDS franchise for Mexico, and they are prohibited from going to Mex. until the locals 'have things straightened out'
5) Their security doubles are all otherwise engaged/ afraid of the flu themselves / on Vacation-hiatus / not covered by Union Contract
6) They all (secretly) have the Swine Flu, don't wish to have that info public info.
7) Pompus S Monson had a Dream/Vision/'Revelation' telling him that Severe Consequences would follow if they visit.
8) Badges? We Don't Need No Stinking BADGES!
9) Their next shipment of Discernment... hasn't arrived yet, and they happen to be LOW just now...
10) Their HEALING POWERS are 'on probation' related to an Undisclosed infraction; the Clerk 'forgot' to announce / publish this at the last GC...
11) and... the 11th REASON / EXCUSE that the GAs DON't go to Mexico to heal people recover or avoid the SWINE FLU IS: Sorry; there just isn't a Good Reason. They just 'haven't thought of it'.
| I recently had the pleasure of visiting some relatives in Utah. I didn't mind the stupid billboards advertising LDS related books and stores, the garment feel-ups, or hearing "fetch" "flippin" and "Oh my heck" every 5 minutes. But when I went through the Salt Lake City airport I just about lost it.
I was in the line for security and the guy in front of me had forgotten, or so I thought, to remove all liquids more than 3oz from his carry on luggage. He placed his bag on the belt for the x-ray machine, walked through the metal detector, and went to retrieve his bag but was stopped. The screener noticed something suspicious in the bag and asked that it be manually searched by hand. I had to wait in line because the TSA Agent monitoring the metal detector was watching the guy until another Agent got there.
When I made it through and picked up my shoes and laptop bag I sat down to tie my shoes and observed a spectacle that one would only see in Utah. What set off the suspicion of the screener and made them pull the guy out of line? Consecrated oil!!!
He tried to explain that it was OK to have more than 3oz of liquid because it was holy oil that is for healing sick people. The screener said he knew what consecrated oil was but you couldn't bring a 16oz bottle through security no matter what it is. The guy would not give it up. He refused to leave without the bottle of oil and was making a scene over it. I sat and shook my head and watched the scene unfold.
The guy asked for a supervisor and shortly thereafter a lady came over and told the gentleman that he couldn't take the oil on the plane for two reasons. First it was more than 3 oz and second it was in a glass container. Both were no-no's. He wouldn't give up. He pulled the old "see here's my temple recommend" trick, "I used to be in the Bishopric" trick, "God's laws supersede man's laws" trick but nothing worked. The supervisor told him that she was LDS as well but rules are rules. Seeing that she wasn't getting anywhere, she called another supervisor, this one a man, and he came over.
The male supervisor asked the man what he had in the bottle and the man told him it was holy consecrated oil that was used to heal the sick. The male supervisor asked him if he was an Elder or High Priest and the guy said High Priest. He asked what Ward attended, if he served a mission and where, and if he had a current temple recommend.
The guy answered all questions and the male supervisor said, "We are not supposed to make exceptions but I will authorize one in this case due to the nature of the contents of the bottle and your truthfulness." The guy got his bottle of oil, put it back in his carry on, and shook the supervisor's hand. As he turned to walk away he glanced at the female supervisor and gave her a look that said, "Look who's right now."
I shook my head in amazement and stood up and walked away.
| Be it far from me to decide who is "Christian," and who is not. I do not put much stock in what a religion claims. I have known many "born again Christians" who struck me as anything but "Christian," and I have known Mormons who were---or seemed to be.
When people start announcing they are "Christian," I become suspicious. I am also suspicious when one "Christian" group labels another as "not Christian."
Mormons often get stuck with two charges. One is they are "not Christian," and the other is "Joseph Smith worship." I recall both charges when I was a Mormon.
Of course, I bristled when I heard the charges, because I thought they were unfair. And in a way , they are. I don't think Mormons can help what the institution they belong to does to them. They are in a bind they cannot escape from.
Mormonism is based on Joseph Smith, and the "Book of Mormon." As anyone knows, both must be accepted to believe Mormonism's unique claim to be being "the only true church. "
This places a huge burden on Mormons. They must constantly defend Smith, and the "Book of Mormon." And both come under understandable attack.
Mormons have Smith and the "Book of Mormon" pounded into them from the time they are born. It is non-stop. On and on it goes, until many literally become sick to death of it, and leave the organization. There is only so much of it one can take. I became as tired of it as anyone could be. I could not take it anymore. It bored me out of the church. The stories were pretty tall affairs, and after too much of it, I gave up.
Mormons get endless "talks" about Smith, and endless testimonies about the "truthfulness" of the "Book of Mormon." Any Sunday will find "the saints" having this pounded into them.
The church must do it, because they need their members to be missionaries and defenders of Smith and the "Book of Mormon." That is what Mormons do-----tell the "Joseph Smith story," and defend the "Book of Mormon."
There is no respite, no relief. Mormonism does not teach much about Christ, because the founder of the faith is under constant attack. Defending Smith and his book are paramount. It all begins with Joseph Smith, and it never seems to get away from him.
Polygamy makes it even more important to defend Smith. After all, he started the practice. Mormons must defend Smith's adoption of the practice to prove to outsiders----and themselves----that polygamy, a pathetic and sad practice, is, or was, acceptable and divine.
So the defense continues endlessly. There is no end to it. That is what the members hear, that is what they are "taught," and that is what they must defend. It is an unchanging constant, a litany that never changes. It cannot change, or the member will begin to lose faith.
So Mormonism is Smithism, or Smithianity. There is something sad about the inability of the institution to break free from the unending defense.
Many of the members would like more to hang their faith on.
| I had the opportunity to meet Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute at a presentation he gave last night. Some comments on this meeting and hearing him speak...
For those interested, he gave the impression of being a nice guy and his presentation was actually interesting. With that said, some alarming things:
He talked about lobbying for and against bills in the Utah Legislature and said (and I quote) "we killed the Common Ground Initiative" (unquote). The Common Ground Initiative was a set of bills that if passed would have given some basic rights to gays and lesbians such as hospital visitation, anti-discrimination in housing, etc. including civil-unions.
The other interesting thing was he talked about being in favor of illegal immigration, which surprised me for someone who is the president of a conservative think-tank and apparently has a lot of clout as a lobbyist. The alarming thing though was how he reached his conclusion.
He believes that prosecuting illegal immigrants splits up families, which his organization is obsessed with as the fundamental unit of society. He also said that illegal immigrants were not going away. I wanted to ask what he thought of same-sex couples with children. Does he not consider them families? Gay people including same-sex families are not going to go away either. Shouldn't they also be protected?
So how did he come to this position?... He asked a prominent Mormon Church leader what the Church's position on illegal immigration was and this Elder replied that illegal immigrants were considered worthy if they are honest with their local church leaders about being an illegal immigrant. They are therefore worthy to receive a temple recommend and enter the temple (ironically there was an article in the Salt Lake Tribune just yesterday about a LDS missionary, returning after two years of service, who was arrested for being an illegal immigrant when he tried to board his flight home).
Apparently this gave Mr. Mero a lot to think about and he did not want to be at odds with this "Elder" in his position on illegal immigration, which I have to say is a red flag because it means that his religious beliefs are what guide his political beliefs not the extensive research that he claims.
Well, after the presentation we had hodourves, and I was fortunate enough to sit at the same table with Mr. Mero, and to my left sat the parents who's son baptized him into the Mormon Church... Oh and I won a copy of his book: "The Natural Family" which he autographed. He was disappointed that I was not married and had no children. The inscription: "Dear Always Anon, God Bless you in your efforts to make UT a better place to live, work, and raise a family (which he underlined twice and added an exclamation point on the end)... Well, I intend to--seeing that Utah is my home. But if I ever do raise a family, it might not be the kind of family he'd approve of. :)
| I've been reading recently about cognitive therapy and various techniques used to combat the many thoughts we produce that can greatly affect our moods. My interest was initially about the depression some of our thoughts can generate, but I've had, I suppose you could call, an epiphany (or it could be that I'm just slow :P ) and hopefully I'm making some sense.
Cognitions are our thoughts and we have many of them, some are automatic and some are assumptions based on our values and world view. Our mood is affected by our thoughts, it's not the actual event that occurs that's the cause, but how we interpret it that matters and determines how we then feel about it. There are some cognitive distortions that we use in our thoughts that are detrimental to our moods. Here's a few taken from Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns:
There are a few more, but these are the ones I wanted to highlight. When our thoughts follow the above patterns, we risk feelings of depression, guilt, inadequacy or other negative feelings and moods. As I've been reading about these cognitive distortions, they seem to also apply to how we're supposed to think and feel when we sin.
- All or Nothing Thinking: Black and white. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
- Mental Filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively.
- Disqualify the positive
- Magnification or Minification of things
- Emotional Reasoning: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."
- Should Statements: You try to motivate yourself with should and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. The emotional consequence is guilt.
We are told that we are expected to be perfect, that God can't look upon sin with the least bit of acceptance. This demonstrates the All-or-Nothing distortion. How can we be perfect? If we cannot be perfect, therefore we're a failure.
Since we can't do everything perfectly, we begin to dwell on our sins, our faults. We obsess over them, beg for forgiveness, see the bishop, etc. We use a mental filter to see only the sins and so we disqualify all of the positive we are and do. We can magnify our sins to such a level that we feel we're the devil's child. We feel horrible and guilty and try to make ourselves better by saying that we should do better, be more spiritual.
We've been told that these are the thoughts we're supposed to have when we sin. We've been conditioned to automatically think certain thoughts when we sin or aren't as perfect or good as we should be. These negative thoughts affect our mood to be that of guilt and inadequacy. And then we spiral down into a depression. The Church is obsessed with sin, it's what many of the talks are about. Members absorb that and soon they are at least subconsciously obsessed with sin as well and focus on all those sins that they commit every day and feel the subsequent guilt.
Yet, when one changes the cognitions related to the event (the sin), our moods are then affected differently. If we begin to reduce the distortions in our thoughts we become happier and more productive and we can focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative.
Church leaders would say that when you sin the Spirit is telling you that it was wrong and so you feel guilt. In view of the cognitive theory, it's not the Spirit making you feel guilt, it's your own thoughts that have been influenced by church leaders. When church leaders tell missionaries that they are going out to save souls that have been sinning in ignorance what they are really saying is that the missionaries are going out to change how people interpret and think about evens (sins) and thus affect them to feel the guilt that only the Church can cure. Or when someone is less believing and 'sins' and doesn't feel bad, people will say that this person has lost the Spirit because they don't feel guilt for sinning, indeed, the only difference in this person is how they are thinking.
| A few months ago my husband resigned from his leadership calling and we stopped attending church. My older kids who had left home had not attended for years and I had seen the light two years previously so I was delighted. Our two teenage daughters stopped attending almost immediately too.
Well two Sundays ago, younger daughter (17 yrs, 18 in a few months.)attended Church, mainly I suspect because her boyfriend is away and she wanted to see some old friends - we live out in 'the mission field'. Naturally the women in the Ward pounced on this returning lost lamb. The next day she was taken to visit a YW leader with her few hours old baby (What's wrong with these people? When I had a very, very newborn the last thing I was thinking of was activation attempts.)
My daughter was promptly invited, by the post-partum Mother, to work as her mother's help this summer. Sounds not too, too bad, except this family are about to move home, a foreign country thousands of miles from us. Also, I'm not stupid, I know the hidden agenda here. Daughter was regaled with stories of how they would spend most days at the pool, the family would pay for her to attend EFY, make sure they paid her enough to have lots of spending money etc, etc.
The husband is our HT, a a decent guy. He emailed us a few days later saying they probably should have spoken to us before issueing the invitation. I emailed him back telling him we were not happy about it and would like it to be dropped. We arranged for him to come over at the weekend.
In the meantime the wife, despite our email, presses on with her activity, facebooking daughter to describe the delights of the coming summer. Oddly no mention of any work involved in helping a mother with her five kids. The husband will be gone for the summer.
So when the husband arrived we explained we were not at all happy about the whole thing. We hadn't been ever consulted, we didn't want her going thousands of miles away, it would no doubt be some kind of financial burden (they are much wealthier than us - he is a surgeon), also a sibling is getting married this summer and naturally we didn't want her missing the wedding. However as they had gone ahead with this without consulting us first they had now put us in the position of being the horrid parents who are 'ruining my life'.
The husband was fine, apologetic, said he had no idea about it until after the invitation had been issued. Said he'd take care of it in such a way that no contention would be caused in our home etc etc.
So today daughter is facebooked again from this woman. Has she nothing better to do with a newborn? Anyway, tells daughter that they will probably not be able to go through with it because it would damage relationship between them and us. Obviously making it plain who are the baddies in this. Then she goes on to talk about how they would be prepared to help her renew her passport (paying for it) and 'rush it through' in time.
Is it me? I feel like my daughter is being lured away. She will be eighteen this summer, prime marrying age, to some. She is strikingly beautiful. I know all this talk of poolside summer, EFY, trips to Utah etc are all attempts to get her back enmeshed in the cult. I am totally pissed off, as is my husband, but also feel like my family, and relationship with my daughter is under threat.
Amazingly, the following Sunday my daughters trip to the US was announced in YW, again with people knowing we were against the whole idea.
Well, this is what we did. bypassed Bishop - which is what I wanted to do originally - and tracked down the husband. Asked him to come over so we could talk - which he did immediately. I thought that was a bit odd, to drop everything and come running.
Anyway he turns up and is totally shaken by my husband telling him we are furious. Goes chalk white and shaky.
I wont give you a blow by blow account. Briefly, it turns out the plan was to invite my daughter over there to get her away from the non-member boyfriend. They were all under the impression that he would have left the area when she got back. So he admitted that the 'nanny' job was just a ruse to remove her from her environment. Also several of you were right, this was a plot involving the three bishopric wives who were all encouraging each other in it. No doubt the bishop-pricks thought it was a good idea too.
He seemed totally taken aback by our anger, by me pointing out that they were preparing to take 'interventionist action' without even consulting the parents, and by my feelings of humiliation and rage that we were considered such inadequate parents that all this was plotted behind our backs.
We made it quite clear that we were the parents and we wouldn't stand for any more of this crap and that what they had all been planning was illegal (visa wise). I think he genuinely hadn't seen it in that light before, but still.. He also claimed it was all being done out of love for our daughter. I soon told him that we loved her too, far more than they ever did. We also pointed out that just because we no longer believed the Joseph Myth story didn't make us bad parents, incapable or immoral.
I'm sure he got the message. Now we have to deal with any fall-out from daughter, but I will be sure that she knows the real reason for the 'job-offer' was to separate her from her boyfriend.
I have absolutely no doubt at all that it was also to get her enmeshed in mormonism again, away from her apostate parents. If only they could hook her up with an RM. All three of these women got married at very young ages and no doubt think that just turned eighteen is a great time to marry. Get her away from sinner parents for good.
I can't tell you how angry I feel. My blood pressure must be going throught the roof. I also feel humiliated at being judged such an inadequate parent that these cows think it is necessary to plot behind my back to get my daughter to safety.
Reignation letters will soon be written for us and as many of children as will agree. Apart from the daughter in this there is only one under-age son - who stopped going to church over a year ago. Bright kid. I want to get his name off there records so he wont be hassled to attend YM, camp etc.
Thanks for all your advice. BTW, he came over so promptly because he thought we had changed our minds about letting her go.
| Remember the inherently arrogant mo teaching that with regard to the formation of the United States, everything and everyone came together magically under the guiding hand of god, just so Joseph Smith could restore the true gospel?
The list includes Columbus' discovery of America, the Boston Tea Party, the Constitutional Convention, and such individuals as George Washington and the notoriously nonreligious Thomas Jefferson (wowza).
And remember the teaching that "the Constitution will be hanging by a thread and the Elders of the Church will save it"? (I was reminded of this by confused's thread with the link to the SL Trib article). Again, wowza.
I was recently reminded of these teachings during a conversation with two Mormon attorneys. One does a lot of criminal defense and the other does transactional work (never enters a courtroom). The transactional attorney asked how a Mormon attorney could do criminal defense work with a clear conscience, especially if s/he knows her/his client is guilty. (A very naive question to ask, btw, especially for an attorney, but that's a topic for another thread and probably a different forum).
The TBM criminal defense attorney responded, "I'm defending and protecting the Constitution. The Constitution is divinely inspired." The end. No other reason was given.
While there are unethical people in every field, many of the criminal defense attorneys I know have earned my respect. Most of them are not Mormons. Several are ex-Mormons.
They also have a sense of justice and compassion for their clients. That is what really drives them to do what they do in a very difficult and demanding line of work.
They know innocent people are charged and convicted of crimes every day (to date, over 200 people have been exonerated by DNA evidence; read their bittersweet tragic stories on the Innocence Project website). They know that some of those innocent people end up on death row, or end up having years of their lives taken from them when they are wrongly incarcerated.
They know how critical it is that even guilty people have a fair shake -- ranging from the most sympathetic to the most diabolical. They understand that when one person's rights are compromised, we're all at risk.
They have an intimate knowledge about how abusive an unfair the government can be. They know that prosecutors are people who often have political agendas driving their decisions rather than a desire to promote justice. They have seen prosecutors be extremely unethical in their efforts to obtain convictions, who will do everything they can to prevent a jury from hearing evidence of innocence.
They work hard to do what is in their clients' best interests -- whether that means working out a fair plea bargain or taking a case to trial and holding the government to its high burden of proof.
... but the Constitution is divinely inspired? That is the reason given for protecting the rights of the accused?
Funny how the cult taints one's perspective and how the doctrine must justify one's work.
| When is mormon shunning required of all members?
The most obvious example of official shunning is in who is allowed to attend temple weddings. Expecting non-recommend holders to sit outside the temple is a case of official and blatant shunning.
So it's wrong to say that mormonism does not require shunning.
Giving a recommend to some and not others in a church community is also offical shunning.
Informal shunning among mormons is an outgrowth of this mindset. Mormons are forced to adhere to TR rules and many of them extend this idea to anyone who does not fit the stereotype of a faithful obedient mormon member.
This is where the shunning is based on choice. Some mormons shun anyone without garment lines. Others shun those who wear "worldly clothes" or who miss church occasionally. Some very tolerant mormons try to treat everyone cordially in spite of their church activity.
Typically, mormons try to use peer pressure to coerce adherance to church expectations. This is how cults operate. The idea is to "help" members keep their faith and remain strong organizational contributors.
This means sometimes being friendly and giving social encouragements. Other times, it means withholding social contact in an effort to force cult compliance.
Shunning and fellowshipping are two sides of the same coin. It's cult first and keeping individual needs way down the list of priorities.
Shunning and fellowshipping are also used in missionary work. Members are encouraged to reach out to nonmembers and invite questions and participation in church activities. Yet, they're also encouraged to choose their friends wisely so as not to be led into apostasy. This again is an interplay of the duel sides of the shunning/fellowshipping coin.
| Once in a while I go to www.mormon.org and chat with the elders there. Not often, because it is very time-consuming and tedious. But I wanted to see a response to one issue in church history. Here is the chat: |
Elder: Hey! how are you?
RP: Fine. I have a question about the name of your church, the Church of Jesus Christ...
RP: I understand that you Mormons believe that the true church has to have Jesus or Christ in its name. Is that correct?
Elder: I'm going to send you a scripture from the bible real quick...
RP: Can't you just say yes or no?
RP: Does that mean that if a church does NOT have "Jesus" or Christ" in its name (like "The Methodist Episcopal Church" or such) I can be sure it is NOT the "true church"?
Elder: They might have alot of good truths principles and people, but our Church has the fullness of the Gospel. It is not just the name that matters about the Church but the preisthood and truths in it. Although be believe that Jesus did command that this is what the name of His church should be.
Elder: Does that make sense?
RP: So if a church is not named with "Jesus" or "Christ", that church is not the church approved by God, right?
RP: Because it is not following Christ's command to name the church after Him, right?
Elder: Yes, not that those Churchs aren't approved by God but it is that the fact that they do not have the fulness of the preisthood and ordinances that go along with it. Having the name of Christ is commanded by him because it is his church.
RP: That is, if I'm looking for Christ's true church, I can eliminate any church without "Christ" in the name?
Elder: Yes for the most part.
Elder: have you read the Book of Mormon ever?
RP: You imply that God does partially "approve" of churches without Christ's name. But didn't God supposedly tell Smith that ALL the churches of that day were "an abomination"?
Elder: Yes and the reason for that is because they don't have his preisthood.
RP: (I think you need to learn how to spell "priesthood")
Elder: This making it so that we are not able to return to live in his prescence.
Elder: Ha sorry I'm not the best typer
RP: If the name of the church is not important, why make a big deal of it? Or is it really important?
Elder: It is very important. But I think what I have been wanting to explain is that that shouldn't be the only thing that makes a Church true, it should be the principles and ordinances in it.
RP: I'm just trying to see how to identify (and thus eliminate from consideration) a FALSE church. A name is an easy thing to use, if it is a valid test. And you are saying that it IS a test: if a church doesn't have "Christ" in its name, it is not Christ's church. Do I have that right?
RP: Can you just answer yes or no, please?
Elder: Yes, just like in the answer Joeseph Smith got about how the of the churches were true, Christ said they draw near to me with there lips, but there hearts are far from me.
RP: I've been reading some history about your church. I read that for about 4 or 5 years in the 1830s your church was offically named "The Church of Latter Day Saints." No "Christ" in its name. What does that mean? How do you explain that? Was that church a false church, because of no "Christ" in its name?
Elder: It has always been called 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints', but sometimes for short we call ourselves LDS, or in other words Latter Day Saints.
RP: I think you don't know your own history. It did not get that official name until about 1838. DandC 115
RP: Sorry, I have to go. Thanks for your time.
======= End of chat =======
I really did have to go - my wife was in the kitchen and had just called me to uncork a bottle of wine she wanted to use in her sauce.
Maybe I'll go back today.
| Every single issue in Mormonism is also commonplace in some other church or non-Mormon community, usually many of them.
Other churches can be dictatorial.
Other churches can have patchwork doctrine, or doctrine whish changes with the wind or local leadership.
Other churches might lie about their doctrine, their history, or their practices.
Other churches might demean outsiders and set up unfair social strata within their ranks.
Other churches can engage in spying, gossip, shunning, harassment, and have boring meetings.
Other churches shake down members for donations.
Other churches can be secretive, top heavy, and disrespectful.
Other churches can have bad food at their pot lucks and bad music at for their Sunday services.
There are other churches which require sexist, racist, and homophobic behaviors.
And there are other churches with policies and practices which tend to encourage physical and sexual abuse while trivializing the bad behavior or protecting the perpetrators.
I could go on with examples all day listing problems we write about on this board. Every subject I can think of is also prevalent in other church communities somewhere.
Any and every time someone points out the fact that these things happen in other churches, they are stating the obvious. They're telling us something we've known since were maybe six or seven years old. It's like saying grass is green in other lards besides our own.
Those who point out these obvious similarities are trivializing the person who brings up the issue. By saying it happens elsewhere, they're saying the person should shrug it off, deal with it, not bring it up here because it's nothing but a common every day, to be expected occurrence, and that would bother only those of weak character or a subpar level of emotional maturity.
So I'm here by admitting fully and openly that the issues I bring up and the ones I take to heart happen not only within the Mormon church, but also in other churches and in communities everywhere.
My reaction to that conclusion? So what?
Just because something happens elsewhere does not mean we must shrug it off. It doesn't mean we must not discuss it. It does not mean we need not be supportive of those who are recovering from these annoying or sometimes abusive practices.
That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it.
| We hear a lot of criticism regarding whether the LDS Church is truly Christian or not. This post is intended to argue for a more fundamental point.
The god of the LDS faith is not the same being as referred to in classical theism.
The LDS conception of God is that He is somewhat less infinite and eternal than the God of classical theism.
1. I’ll start by very briefly comparing and contrasting the definitions of God as found in LDS theology and classical theology. I certainly understand there will be subtle differences between theological traditions, so I’m trying to leave the definition open enough to include the Catholic and Protestant conceptions (and probably Muslim and Jewish interpretations too).
One of the most important things to understand about LDS theology is that humans have the potential to become Gods. We are gods in embryo, so to speak. If we live faithfully, then in the next life we will be in the same position that our God is now. Lorenzo Snow (5th President of the Church) put it succinctly: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”
This first part of the couplet indicates that God has not always been God. God was once mortal, and became God in much the same way we can. This indicates that there was a God that was our God’s God, and so on.
Joseph Smith in his (canonical version of the) first vision (contained in “The Pearl of Great Price,” considered scripture along with the Bible and Book of Mormon) learned that God the Father and Jesus the Son, two distinct persons, have physical bodies.
God is one. I find this to be the least controversial differences. The LDS church rejects the notion of the trinity, and understands God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be three distinct personalities.
God is an omni-God.
God of Classical Theism: God can do anything except the logically impossible.
LDS God: Having become God, God gained His power somehow. On some interpretations of the Book of Mormon (e.g. Alma 42:13), some LDS believe that God is in a precarious position, and if He were to make any mistakes, He would cease to be God. i.e. God’s power is not “omni” but contingent.
The God of Classical Theism knows everything that is true--past, present and future. His knowledge is not contingent on anything.
The LDS God, having become God, was not always “omniscient.” His knowledge is contingent in that (i) it was accumulated, and (ii) may also depend on the nature of the planet on which he resides (DandC 130: 6-10)
The LDS God resides in a particular physical space and time.
2. My next point is about a crucial ambiguity in LDS theology. Just how much does our God have jurisdiction over? If our God lived a mortal existence prior to His exaltation, then there were, we’d assume, others that were also faithful and were likewise exalted to God-hood. Is the universe sliced up for generations of Gods? Perhaps each solar system, galaxy, or cluster of galaxies each has their own God? More reasonably, perhaps there is a multi-verse–multiple Big Bangs? and each has their own deity? Regardless of which option one prefers, our God is omni, or our God is supreme only relative to us. God is merely relatively supreme.
3. Finally, there are some very interesting and potentially convincing arguments for the existence of God that arise from the philosophers and theologians of classical theism. I’m thinking specifically of the Cosmological argument from St. Thomas Aquinas and the Ontological argument from St. Anselm (and Descartes). Because of the limited nature of the LDS, these arguments cannot apply the LDS God–leading me that the God of the LDS faith and the God of Classical theism are not one and the same.
3.1. Aquinas’ cosmological argument. Aquinas offered five cosmological arguments, I am going to consider only the first two–in fact, because of their similarity, I’m going to conflate them and treat them like they are one.
Aquinas argued that nothing happens without a cause. Nothing moves without an efficient cause. So for something to happen now (at time t) something must have happened before it (at time t-1). For something to have happened at t-1, something must have happened at t-2, and so on.
If we follow the sequence, it cannot go back into infinity; we HAVE TO find a first cause. If we find no first cause, then there was no second cause, no third cause, etc, and there can be no current events.
So there must be a first cause, a first event. God is that uncaused cause–the first event.
Now the question–what does this tell us about the LDS conception of God? Nothing at all. The LDS conception of God is not that He is the first cause, the unmoved mover. “Our” God is simply one in that sequence of events and causes. The cosmological argument might convince us that there was a first God in the generations of Gods, but that’s not a question that is seriously discussed in LDS theology.
3.2. Anselm’s ontological argument. One can simply examine the contents of one’s mind and find a priori proof of God’s existence.
The argument asks you to imagine the greatest possible being. Imagine that which nothing greater can be imagined. Such a being has all attributes to an infinite degree. Not just the smartest, most powerful, tallest and handsomest, but having the relevant attributes to infinity.
Now, in the same way that it would be logically impossible to imagine infinity minus one (try, you can’t), you cannot imagine God lacking any of those attributes. Anselm holds that existence is one of those characteristics, so it is logically impossible to conceive of God not existing. (if you don’t understand, sorry, my intention is not really to adequately explain St. Anselm’s argument, but to emphasize it’s important characteristics.)
So again–to compare the proof to the LDS God. When one imagines the LDS God, He is not the greatest possible being. There are the prior generations of Gods. He is not omniscient nor omnipotent, as His knowledge and power are both contingent. “Our” God may be the greatest relative to our jurisdiction, but is not the greatest possible being.
3.3. The arguments of Aquinas and Anselm do not negate the possibility that the LDS God exists, but they do not offer any support for Him either. Arguments for the existence of God as found in classical theism simply refer to a different being than the LDS God.
Classical God is omni (omnipotent, omniscient), but the LDS God is contingent.
Classical God is infinite, LDS God is spatio-temporally located, and contingent upon a prior chain of beings.
Classical God is infinitely supreme (not sure how else to state this), but LDS God is “supreme” only relative to us.
If St. Thomas Aquinas’ arguments do prove the existence of God, they do not prove the existence of the LDS God. They might prove that there is an Uber God that is, as it were, the God of Gods, but it doesn’t touch the non-infinite, contingent God of LDS Theology.
If St. Anselm’s argument works, it too proves only the existence of the God of Classical theism, and says nothing about the LDS version of God.
In fact, the “theism” of the LDS faith makes no allusion at all (at least in anything I’ve ever read) to this infinite, necessary, and eternal God.
| I've put off making a judgment about this for a few years and now I'm ready to say emphatically that many, if not most LDS couples have children to make themselves look good on the pew on Sundays.
I no longer believe that these particular people care about the individuality and authenticity of their children. In these homes, the will of the mother/father reigns supreme. Rigid obedience to often times unhealthy rules is forced at the hand of insults, threats, and pain.
Teens who should be heard, guided, accepted are screamed at, belittled, and shamed...especially when the natural course of self awareness begins take shape.
Young adults just out of high school are not shown the wonder of the world and it's unending paths of opportunity, instead, they are thrown into a cess pool of early marriage, early childbirth, 2 year missions and then years of unending church service, poverty, career choices that are not compatible with the individual.
As mid life approaches, women are no longer needed or desired. There is no place for them, no program for them. The children are grown and the mother has no marketable skills, no 401k, no net egg. She easily falls into depression because everything she was told she was is now fulfilled.
Men, however still find a place in the priesthood with various callings, although even for them, being a father and rearing children is over.
Mature people over the age of 50 are to be considering full time church missions and service on their own dimes. To not do this is seen as selfish.
Never in any phase of life for a Mormon is there any self fulfillment, joy, peace, or taking the helm of your own ship.
Because of this ridged control the church has over the entire lives of its members, parents see nothing wrong with beating the "self" out of their children.
I see this clearly now.
Today I met a woman from Singapore. She was in her 40's her children in their early 20's. Her "job" was to cook, clean and take care of her kids while they were at college. This to her wasn't a chore, she wanted to take care of them so that they could focus on studying. It was an act of love. I told her that I was basically kicked out of the house at 17 and in my culture (Mormon belt USA), most girls if they don't marry early are on their own as their parents most likely didn't put any money away for them as they weren't worth an education as marriage and babies were to be their future. If you weren't married by age 25 you were thought of as a lesbian and treated as such.
Males were to be ready to be on their own by the age of 19 and were not to be needy every again. After the mission is is strait off to college and then marriage.
I've witnessed so many LDS people between the ages of 17 and 30 being kick to the curb and shoved out the door whether they were ready or not. Life is bloody hard, but even harder when you are given bad advice and are not allowed to "not know" what you want to do.
I digress. Back to the initial reason I started this thread.
I have been processing a great deal about my LDS parents. Any time I showed "self" as a child I was spanked. My mother was constantly ill and somehow it was my job to do most of the cleaning, the yard work and keep the peace. If I dared go to a choir concert at school, or to YW's sports practice I came home to both parents sitting there on the sofa spewing at me. For an hour I had to endure hideous attacks on how I wasn't helping my mother enough, how I was being selfish etc. I couldn't understand that as I was working at the house every moment I had other than about 1 hour a day.
I thought this behavior would end when I left home. But, every single time I came home for a visit, the abuse intensified. If I dared have a problem I was emotionally slapped, demeaned, insulted, gossiped about. When I stood up for myself I was hit...much harder.
When I broke off an engagement to an LDS guy because we were just not compatible, I was forced into a room with my parents and if words were bullets, I'd be dead. The insults were so cutting, so deep I had to literally move, out and leave.
I've had to finally cut off all communication with these people. I've finally decided that the times I heard "I love you", what they were really saying is..."I am happy you are burying yourself, giving me blind obedience and making me happy". It was never about me.
I've discovered that these LDS couples do not love their children. No, they "aren't doing the best they can". No, these people have on agenda, to force their children into a lifetime of subservience in the church. Should they rebel and resist, they can be sure that their name will be slaughtered and they as a person, as a human will no longer exist. You will be entirely disowned for the rest of your life.
Sick, but true.
| In Mormonism, mental illness is first viewed as "what sin have you committed?"
In Mormonism, any behavior other than the "normal" "I know the church is true, and I am as happy as a clam" is viewed with suspicion. If you are not behaving correctly, or you are having any kind of issues, immediately Mormon authority (read Male Priesthood) will begin a breakdown of why you are "malfunctioning":
1. Are you paying a proper tithe?
2. Are you obeying the word of wisdom?
3. Are you reading your scriptures?
4. Are you attending to your callings?
5. Are you praying daily for guidance?
6. Are there any unresolved sins you have not repented for?
Notice above that Tithe is number one. A Mormon will always view themselves in the form of a pyramid - and tithing will always be at the top. You cannot receive any blessings, you cannot receive or have the spirit dwell with you, and you cannot expect to have the Lord help you in any way, shape or form if you have not paid an honest tithe.
In all of this, never is it considered that Mormonism - as a institution as a whole - could ever be the issue - and not the person.
Mormons who are having issues that are not resolved by any of the above are still considered "damaged goods". Medication is then a last resort.
Generally Mormons are counseled to go before Mormon therapists - generally LDS Social Services, as therapists that are not Mormon do not share the same focal point - that the Church is true and that you work backwards from that.
LDS Social services again start with the top core issues - Tithe, WOW, Scriptures, callings, prayer or unresolved sins. This only fuels the depression a Mormon may be experiencing and the root of the issue will never be resolved.
After all - it isn't the Church's fault, for the Church is perfect, not the Member.
Finally, medication is applied to allow the individual to cope.
I have never been more mentally free - depression free - and happier than the last 8 years I have been out of the Cult of Mormonism.
| Actually, come to think of it, this just creates another contradiction, which means that Stake Presidents now have power to Encourage blogs, or Preach against them, and be able to back up either position with quotes from general conference.
Cults thrive on contradictions, which give leaders more power to do whatever they want to anybody under them.
A simple Search on LDS.org for the word "Blog" in General Conference brings up 3 hits
1- Positive reference. Robert D Hales in Oct 2008:
"This provides an opportunity [for members] to present the truth to those whose attention is thus directed toward us.” 1 We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment."
2- Negative reference. Uchdorf in April 09:
"Sometimes the things that distract us are not bad in and of themselves; often they even make us feel good.
It is possible to take even good things to excess. One example can be seen in a father or grandfather who spends hours upon hours searching for his ancestors or creating a blog while neglecting or avoiding quality or meaningful time with his own children and grandchildren. Another example could be a gardener who spends his days pulling weeds from the soil while ignoring the spiritual weeds that threaten to choke his soul."
3: Neutral Reference: Monson April '09
"You have come to this earth at a glorious time. The opportunities before you are nearly limitless. Almost all of you live in comfortable homes, with loving families, adequate food, and sufficient clothing. In addition, most of you have access to amazing technological advances. You communicate through cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mailing, blogging, Facebook, and other such means. You listen to music on your iPods and MP3 players. This list, of course, represents but a few of the technologies which are available to you."
The church in six months manages to mention blogs exactly three times in general conference, and manages to provide a positive, negative, and neutral perspective, apparently covering all their bases.
A prediction I would make based on this is that for other technologies, the church will intentionally make dual references, good and bad, and maybe even run the neutral position as well.
| I have seen it over and over again in my own life. And I have seen it played out on this board for countless others.
Many people see the LDS church as an abusive, or at best, crappy organization that is not worth their time. Many also see Mormons in their lives as abusive, or at best annoying.
I had an epiphany. It's up to me to change the dynamic I have with Mormonism, with TBM relatives, and pretty much with everything in my life.
I had certain relatives that I stayed in contact with out of obligation. I wanted to be the good grandson, for example. But every time I called my grandmother, she would be fine for a few minutes, and as soon as I was all relaxed and feeling safe, WHAM! She'd hit me with a guilt trip.
You know what? I spent a lot of time (way too much time when I think about it now) trying to come up with clever comebacks. I used a few of the more polite ones: "I'm using my free agency" for example. It was a great interim step.
My motto in life now is, "If it sucks, don't do it."* Any time I forget this motto, I end up getting burned. But I just never felt good about myself after talking to Grandma. So you know what? I found a NEW way to relate to Grandma. I send her letters. I send her pictures. I send her cards.
Guess what? She doesn't reply. But even if she did, and had something nasty to say, I can just throw away the letter. What a concept!
I have found a new way to deal with her that works. No more forcing myself to make a monthly call. No more regretting it for 3 weeks after making the call. No more spending a week motivating myself to make another call. I got off the treadmill.
I think this is why resigning is so important. The purpose of this post is not to tell people they have to resign, but to show the benefits and let people decide for themselves. Besides, we have to make the decision for ourselves and take responsibility for it. That way, we can not blame anybody if we change our minds.
Anyway, resigning has changed my dynamic with Mormonism. I told them what our new relationship would be - better yet, non-relationship. I told them I am no longer afraid of their made up consequences for made up sins. What a concept. I told them I do not want to be contacted by them. I told them I am OK with "losing" all the stuff that came with being a member, like baptism and the phony priesthood. It told them I'll take my chances of going to hell. I'd rather be happy in this life than delay it 'til the next life, which might not even happen anyway.
But the most important thing is, I told them I do not believe in Mormonism. I told them I do not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, or (at the time) that Gordon B. Hinckley was a prophet either.
I did not give them the middle finger. I just said no thank you to any more contact. No thank you to any more guilt trips. No thank you to any more meetings. And definitely no thank you to any more callings. I also said that they will not get my money; 10%, free labor, or church building fund. I didn't have to explicitly explain all of this. It was contained in my resignation letter. I just said no thank you to anybody telling me whether I'm a good person or what I have to do to be a good person.
I said no thank you to having an outside authority tell me whether the kind of *gasp* sex I like is ok. (More gasping after, to be sure!) I said no thank you to an outside agency telling me what kind of movies I could watch, what kind of drinks I could drink, or which 300 other people I'd spend my Sundays with.
I changed the dynamic. It did not have to be a knock-down drag out fight. There was no wailing or gnashing of teeth. And some people don't even need to know I've left. I don't owe them anything!
* FOOTNOTE: Not to be confused with "If it scares you, do it." More on that later.
PS. Great book on personal freedom:
How I found Freedom in an Unfree World.
I totally recommend it.
| Many open-minded TBM(s) eventually come to the realization of all the difficult issues that clearly demonstrate that the church is false. They start wondering if there are others in the Wards/Stakes of their present and past and any in their extended family that might have heard of these terrible truths. And they start wondering whether or not their leaders such as the Bishop/SP and the General Authorities have heard of them.
The answer is that many Bishops have. On the Wasatch front I think its almost impossible to find a Stake President that hasn't come across most of the most difficult issues. And you can be sure that the Brethren most definitely are aware of these issues.
But why doesn't it bother them? Its because they don't think or dwell on any of these difficult issues. When faced with them they immediately shut off their thinking and attention to such issues. To them these issues are like the centerfold of Playboy magazine which must be shut before they see any naked woman or other porn. For those who go to the Brethren seeking counsel/guidance they'll immediately shift into the mode of sincerely helping them stay true to the faith, avoiding Satan's temptations, etc. They know very well that many people who come across these issues will leave the church. In their mind the reason is always the same: Satan got to them.
So remember this if you ever are wondering if your leaders know. Yes they know about these issues ... but they know very little about the details. If ever tempted to get some more information they'll contact scholarly sources at BYU. And we all know what happens to any real scholarship at BYU that even hints at any attacks on anything Mormonism-related. If the Brethren get answers that are faith-promoting then such scholars gain esteem in their eyes and all of Mormondom. If the answers are less faith-promoting then such scholars lose esteem and its seriously questioned whether or not said scholars are weak in the faith, suffering from problems like pride from thinking they are learned, etc. That's why Daniel C. Peterson is considered to be a very well-esteemed person in LDS circles. He defends the faith at all costs with plenty of accolades coming from this despite the obvious ethical challenge this brings him. For example on what happens to the LDS reputations of two types of scholars - those who defend theBrethren at all costs like Hugh Nibley, and those who defend truth like Reed Durham.
| I was struck as a backbencher at meetings by the sense that many Mormons confessed themselves predisposed for indoctination into a cult - my mother was actively investigating religion in the 60s when the mishies came a-knocking, and one brother testified proudly that he had been entranced by the mishies on Speakers' Corner at Hyde Park while on his way to a Carols Service.
My senses also detected that many mormons forced into the real world are lightweights, not your slap-on-the-back-have-a-beer-and-some-fun seeker, but needing the prop that cultish adherence brings. You easily imagine the white-shirted reactionary on the front row or the fluffy granny having a large gin and tonic and giggle at the prospect to enliven the otherwise dreary mantra of indoctrination.
A lifetime living and working in multiculture inner-city areas, I try not to stereotype or generalise. Mormons, though, relish their own collective identity. Generalising we know is dodgy, but some people with their purple prose have captured this sense of group identity:
"A good Mormon woman has elaborately curled longish hair until middle age and a permed upswepted coiffure in later life. Either way, the highly sprayed hair moves as a unit like a padded, shellacked helmet protecting the brain from injury or information." Martha Nibley Beck, Leaving the Saints.
Do not rely on this woman to bring a bottle of the good stuff at parties. This woman is preprogrammed to respond with the words. "I know this Church is true. I know this Church is true ..."
"I am referring to a specific kind/type of ‘voice’ that is distinctly Mormon female, particularly Utah Mormon female. Know what I mean? It is soft, sweet, has that ‘nice-nice’ tone.
"I mention this because one of the things that used to make my skin crawl is the number of adult women who talked in that ‘voice’! Most of them used it to some degree.
"You all know it: high pitched, slighter louder than a whisper, so syrupy sweet it drips that sounds like a scared little girl. SusieQ#1, Board post 1st September 2006, As A Female Did Your Voice Change When You Left Mormonism And Took Your Power Back?
I can see her! Alas, not my dream women. Scary. What about the Mormons not cooking doughnuts? Surely we can rely on the Mormon in the real world to do bona fide business?
"Mormons are notorious (at least in Utah) for being the cheapest employers on the planet. They pay incredibly low wages, take advantage of starving students, and cheat on and replace their workers without batting an eye. Provo is run by businessmen who screw students every way they can. Students are basically indentured servants when working in Provo.
"... Mormons love to be in the business of usury. They have more post-dated check places than anywhere on earth. They love high interest loans, loan sharking, and greedy banking practices.
"And the church does not care. If it brings in money , and tithing, then that is fine. Thus the pawn broker becomes a Stake President, and the loan shark a Bishop. All is well six days a week. Only Sunday appearances matter. Lightfingerlouie, Board post 20th March 2006, Will The Church Ever Worry About Honest Occupations?
Where does this schizophrenia stem from? Bastards. Up the workers!
The Mormon 'type' may be explored by humor or prose with the caveat that we know such generalising is dodgy, but the bottom [garment] line is that Mormons themeselves are immune to exploration of type or self-deprecation.
"You can lead a Saint to knowledge, but you can't make him think". Richard Packham
Ah well. I can't help though retaining a disproportionate dislike of white shirts, summer camps, testimony meetings, bishops who want to pruriently enquire into my sexuality ... small paper cups ... public speaking ... sliding partitions ... knocks on my front door ...
Mormon rebels don't last long!
| I just watched a lecture by Dan Ariely about things that influence our decisions. One part was very relevant to our attempts to help Mormons see their religion clearly.
Ariely showed a couple of optical illusions. Most people are unable to overcome the illusion. Then he took away the distracting elements of the illusion to show what is actually happening. Ah, yes, we see it now. But -- here's the important part -- when he reverted the illusions back to their original state, our ability to see through the illusion also went away.
Here's a link. It's in the very first part of his presentation:
This demonstrates why it can be hard to talk someone out of Mormonism. They see clearly for a while, for as long as we show it to them, but then the things influencing the illusion return -- family, culture, habits, fears, hopes, etc. -- and they lose the ability to see clearly
| Does anyone think mormons are aware that they shun?
I'm reasonably certain that not one mormon in any typical ward would think that mormons shun. This is a little strange since the word ostracism is common among mormons, and a word I sledom hear elsewhere.
Do mormons know that they are harassers and trespassers? I think practically no mormons see their "fellowshipping" the way normal people see it, as stalking or at least as diengenuous and manipulative.
Why don't they see it? Because they believe their own spin. They use nice sounding euphemisms and lose sight of how their behavior appears to many of their victims. In fact they're trained to discount anyone who asks them to kindly withhold their attention.
Fake fellowshipping/harassment and shuning are two sides of the same coin. This dynamic is common in cultish organizations where the prime directive is to control members and recruit new followers.
No one must sit down and calculate how much effort should go into fellowshipping before recruiters should turn the coin to shunning.
But the members sense their responsibility is to keep fellow members under control and see that they aren't tainted by outside influenceds.
Members know to reach out to possible new members and pull back if their efforts don't work. I think their inner hope is that by withholding attention (shunning) they might force others to relent and come back to regain favor.
The informal shunning is an outgrowth of the absolute official shunning which divides members into "worthy" and "unworthy" categories.
I don't know of another church which issues a special document to designate some members as more favored of God and to officially tell everyone that these "worthy" church people deserve more admiration than their "unworthy" counterparts.
| Here is a quote from Eckhert Tolle's "A New Earth". It is a little deep but concerns the Ego and how we let our thinking and ego's get in the way of awareness.
"As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your chld with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment as it is. In this way, you make room for Being. In that moment, if you are present, you are not a father or a mother. You are the alertness, the stillness, the Presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking. You are the Being behind the doing."
It is my opinion that many devout members of the Mormon church, as well as many other devout religious people, are hindered when it comes to being present and aware because contructs of guilt and fear have been placed in thier minds. They start to analyse and worry incessantly... rarely resting from thier roles to play like a child.
I know I forgot how to, "play" when I went away to BYU and again after I got married and started having kids and was just worrying much more in general.
I think that this ability to be at peace and ease is what sets devout and strict mormons (letter of the law) from the more liberal seeming type (spirit of the law).
I am so happy to be out! It is hard on some of my friends and family, but I know it is the right thing to not return to the Mormon organization.
| Mormonism became intolerable when it became an fanatical controlling parent. It controls it's adherents by keeping them in a child-like state governed by an authority figure that is a domineering parent. The teaching of "I am a child of God" is taken to a level that does not allow for anyone to become a real adult.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I found that Mormonism is designed for children -- there is no place for a grown up, mature, actualized adult who can function on their own. Instead, it's all about pleasing Heavenly Father. Yup. THE FATHER FIGURE!
And don't you dare mention heavenly mother/s. She is never to be talked about, except when authorized. One hymn is enough!
The religion dictates what you cannot eat, cannot drink, what you can wear, not wear, (no flip flops in church! ), how you spend your time, your money, your leisure time, and on and on. The more controls one obeys, the greater the reward. Even the women often speak in a child-like tone of voice. A soft tone, a soft voice is one thing, but that syrupy, overly sweet, tone is not it!
The Brethern (GA's) and often local leadership most often speak/talk to the members in that condescending drone. How to describe it. You know it when you hear it! The GA Drone, often with that Utah lilt-accent. It's a tone used to talk to children, not adults. When do adults talk to each other like that?
Living Mormonism reminded me of when I was a little kid and my mother would check to see if I had on my undershirt, or my galoshes, or my coat, or ate a proper breakfast before going to school, or out to play. Mother controlled my diet as she knew what was best for a child to eat.
Mormonism can and does become that parent (Heavenly Father) that takes the position that they know what is best for you like you were three years old: tells you what he wants you to wear, eat, drink, where he wants you to go, not go, what to read, not read, what movies to see, not see, what kinds of jobs are OK, what to do and not do on the Sabbath, and on and on and on, because: the first law aof heaven and earth is.......(drum roll).... OBEDIENCE!
Then says Heavenly Father is not going to command in all things! :-)
When I finally realized that Mormonism was keeping me a child turning the screws so to speak to get compliance and obedience, with the constant demands for how I lived my life, leaving it was like getting off of a Merry Go Round - like a kid trying to grasp that gold ring, I could never reach!
What say you? Anyone else notice this?
| MonaVie seems to be hitting my part of the south. A friend posited the question on Facebook "Does anyone know anything about MonaVie? Input welcome."
After praying to the google god for a few minutes, I had the "burning in the bosom" and and I knew it was "twoo"....
First clue: Names such as Dallin and Brig.
Second: Address in Utah.
Conclusion..one of those Mormon MLMs....
Then, because RfM was closed yesterday, I had great fun reading websites, blogs and the comments back and forth between "people of reason" and those doing the "lard's work" through MV.
The MV lovers sounded JUST LIKE the mormon apologetics...the voices of reason sounded just like the RFM folks.
Uplines, downlines...all around the town....ha ha ha ha
Her sponsor/friend posted this:
"MonaVie is the purist form of free enterprise. You decide on your start-up cost. You work as much as you want. You get paid as much as you want. You can’t get fired or laid off. You don’t get performance reviews to see if you are valued enough for a bonus or salary increase that year. You know exactly what the incentives are all the time. And you have people who are willing to show you how to create a successful business."
So I wrote:
"I don't trust MLM's"
And she replied:
"That is the way MonaVie decided to "spread the word" about their product...through "word of mouth". Would you trust someone you don't even know, telling you to "try" something over the T.V.? radio? magazine? or would it "mean more" to drink something that Tracey's friends told her it was good for her and what it has done for her friend? p.s. MonaVie distributors don't "sell" anything, we "share" the MonaVie opportunity! and it's been a BLAST! Drink It! Feel It! SHARE IT!"
Just had to share my interesting Sunday the GCofLDS...Google Church of Latter Day Searchers...
| Tofu is famous for having no real flavor of its own, but in taking on the flavors of foods around it, and providing a unique (though, some would say awful) texture.
How like mormonism that is!
Mormonism has no real "theology" of its own, but instead draws from mainstream christianity, folk belief, occultism, kabbala, swedenborgianism and freemasonry.
And better yet, "doctrines" are adopted and discarded according to the whim of the day, and what is seen to be more accepted by the public at large.
Is polygamy a problem? It's gone. (Except, of course, in the afterlife.) Men becoming gods? Hey, we never actually taught that. Adam/God? BY was just speaking as a man. See how easy it is?
Mormonism is tofu!
| There is a common misconception that to get something good we have to do something boring, excruciating, or annoying. I disagree. I completely disagree with this idea that the natural man is the enemy of God. I have written about that before. I have pretty good instincts. I know what my body wants to eat. I know when it wants to sleep. I know when it wants pleasure (you know what I mean). And I know when I need to leave a bad situation.
Mormonism tells us to ignore these natural instincts. We were told as children that if we didn't want to go to church that it was the devil tempting us. Now I know better. Church was boring and I hated the brain-numbing and soul-crushing that went on weekly.
Now that I've been out for a while and I have better boundaries, I am able to not only say no to boring and blood-sucking activities, but I am able to schedule more fun activities. Today, for example, I took a break from my hectic schedule and went to PF Chiang's for lunch with a really fun crowd. A few of us went to Starbucks afterward. Most of us are self-employed and we really enjoy our own version of the Midwest 'Hamptons' lifestyle. We are 'summering' in the Midwest.
Nobody blessed the food and we still ate. The conversation would have horrified me as a TBM. Now, I think it's funny. These people have no problem talking about their latest fling during lunch on a Tuesday, for example. They are a really fun crowd. Actually, I think they are a bit intrigued by me because I have been married to the same woman for 2 decades. If I knew life outside the morg was so fun, I'd have left a lot sooner!
The greatest thing is, nobody is judging me. I'm not afraid somebody is going to go to the bishop because I said the F word or I drank coffee or commented about the perfect ass on the girl who just walked by. Oh, and I can make a comment about that girl and not worry about them judging me or accusing me of committing "mental adultery." Actually, one of the girls with us agreed! Now, that's a fun crowd!
I think we're going to go shoot guns next week!
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