THE MORMON CURTAIN
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Ex-Mormon News, Stories And Recovery
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UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME
Mormons show up to your door unnanounced, uninvited and unwelcome. Topic devoted to Mormons who call unnanounced, love bomb or otherwise visit uninvited.
| Every Member A Missionary.
This is what I was taught when I was Mormon. Those who were not Mormon were potential converts, or they'd “get their wakeup call” when they hit the Spirit World.
It is embarrassing for me to recollect in 1992 trying to convert two men in a company that I worked for. I pressed my testimony many times. I felt it was the most spiritual time of my life. I had read the BOM seven times that year, and listened to it back to front on tape at least 8 times. 18 tapes, 45 min per side, I was a typist and typed title reports all day, the work was so mundane I found I could listen to books on tape and still achieve a 98% error free document.
I was very good at manufacturing “good feelings” on audio tape. I had a complete mixer system and with a little heart-tugging LDS music and reading an abridged version of Christ's coming to the Nephites, I created an audio that started,
“AND now it came to pass that there were a great multitude agathered• together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land bBountiful•; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the cgreat• and marvelous change which had taken place.”
And ended with:
“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude afell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been bprophesied• among them that Christ should cshow• himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.”
I watched tears flow in every TBM that heard it and my co-worker, non LDS, who heard it, was so touched that he actually had my BOM open, and looking at the pages. It was as if he was on the verge of some kind of spiritual break through when all of a sudden his roudy, smoking, drinking, Greek friend interrupted the whole thing with “what the hell are you reading? Don't read that!” He stopped, dazed, put the BOM down and returned to himself and never again did I have the opportunity.
Wow, manufactured spirit, isn't that what Mormonism is all about?
I made a new one, I'll have to get it posted on Mormon Curtain and I let my two TBM friends who know I'm an apostate listen to it. You could almost see the tears welling up in their eyes. How could an apostate who has been turned over to the buffetings of Satan manufacture spirit? Easy. And the church does it every day and members will fight tooth and nail to hang on to it, even if it means ignoring any evidence contrary to logical thinking.
Now, at work, the Mormons in my office know full well that I'm an apostate. In all actuality, we get along just fine as long as we both keep our distance with religion. I of course, can't always keep my mouth shut and they often find out about changes in the church long before regular members do, but for the most part, we get along just fine without missionary lessons on either side, and only once have I been asked to can it to which I apologized and did indeed “can it.”
Now that we're “out”, now that we're “recovering”, it is my hope that we can find ways to become friends with Mormons again and have the strength to maintain our convictions when faced with Mormon doctrine. We have the ability to say no and mean it without anger or consternation. This is my goal. Mormons are taught to fear us, and with good right, retention is always the highest goal. Perhaps if Mormons can see that even though we are Apostates, we are normal people leading normal lives.
| Culled from The View From The Foyer:
THE HIT AND RUN. Far and away the most popular love bombing strategy, this technique is designed to insult without offending. The subtypes are legion, but better known examples include the-loaf-of-bread-on-the-doorstep, little-paper-hearts-with-affirming-messages, casserole-in-a-throwaway-pan, and spiritually-correct-book-in-the-mail. The idea here is that a random, even bizarre, appearance of a book like "Easy Answers to Gospel Questions" is bound to be provocative. Perfectly anonymous, the bomber is assured that the Spirit® will take it from there and the apostate's stone heart will be warmed back into full fellowship, Book of Abraham notwithstanding. Not feeling right about temple plagiarism, have a casserole. Although counterintuitive, such techniques have long been considered successful in anecdotal accounts from Saturday night stake conference vigils....
The Gushing Testimony. It takes a special kind of person to deliver an effective Gushing. For starters, the successsful Gusher must be able to conjure tears at the mere mention of The Spirit(r), The Gospel(r), or cute puppies. Whether the target is the wayward sibling, sinning son, or perfect stranger, a Gushing 'mony acts on both the aristolic pathos and -- to the surprise of many people -- ethos principles. This is the case because the recipient of the Gushing (which has subclasses including the Foot in the Door Gushing, Drive-by Gushing, e-Gushing, Phone Gushing, and even the rare but exciting Trapped-in-the-Bathroom Gushing) inevitably concludes that no one would be so willing to make such a fool of themselves unless there is some snippet of truth behind the flood of tears and testifying.
Temple prayer role... At times throughout your apostacy, you may be informed/reminded that your name is being placed on the holy of holies where the powers of heaven are being solicited in a chanting like fashion on your wayword behalf. The temple patrons, dressed in white pioneer clothing, bakers hats, veils, and green polyester aprons use their faithfulness ticket to plead with God and His angels to intervene with his Spirit and save you from Lucifer. As you hear this act of true faith on the individuals part, your conscience is to be "pricked", wherewithal you are then expected to feel a rush of guilt and shame that will overwhelm any "facts" you may have learned and bring you back to the status quo. In more extreme cases, the praying may extend beyond temple, and eek into family gatherings as the blessing on the food is being offered: "please bless the food to make us strong and healthy, and Lord, bless Jimmy and his wife, who have been deceived, that they might come to a knoweldge of thy truth andcome back to church"
The "I do not agree with your "choices", but I will always love you" (variation on the "love the sinner and not the sin" theme. Again, the recipient is expected to feel the guilt and shame for having betrayed the family/church, and rejecting the staus quo. Even after sharing some of the "evidence" one has found to explain why one would not believe and want to leave the church, the apostate should expect that this evidence will quickly be dismissed and the conversation will quickly be turned back to the apostate's shameful "choices" and behavior.
Love bombing the children. After you have done all of the suggestions in the earlier chapters, especially the gushing testimony and the plate of cookies, go for the children. After all, every parent wants the best for their child both in this life and in the next life.
Start by getting the help of one or all of the children's primary teachers. Have them call each child on Saturday inviting them to church the next day. If they say they can't come, offer them a ride. If they are non-commital, simply show up on their doorstep on Sunday morning and let them know you have plenty of time to wait while they get dressed. If the parents tell you they don't want their kids to go to church, consider this a challenge. Continue to call and offer a ride every week until the finally break down and let their child go. However, if they start swearing at you and threatening you with trespassing then follow the instructions in the next paragraph.
Have a special lesson in primary sharing time about loving those that don't attend regularly. Open with a prayer asking God to help you bring these children back to the fold. For the activity have the children write notes telling them how much they are missed. Either mail these to the children, or for better results bake a plate of cookies and leave the notes on the doorstep with the plate. Follow up with a personal note from the teacher pleading with the parents to come to church because their children are so very missed. Mail this note.
If there is still no response to all of this loving attention and you are feeling like all your efforts are in vain, don't give up. Remember the lovely quote "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." Also, remember all of those cute ancedotal stories told in conference and in RS lessons about people that came back only because of that persistent primary teacher. Be inspired by those even if half of them were made up or seriously embellished. Call whenever there is a primary activity that isn't numb-skulling boring that might actually be FUN. Use this opportunity to cast your love net around the child so they will feel comfortable with you and with the other children they meet there. After this, they are more likely to come back, hoping that they might have FUN again at least once in the near future.
For boys, entice them to church with Cub scouts. Let them know that unlike non-LDS troops, they won't have to pay any kind of annual fees to join and all of the awards, derby cars, etc. will be free. What parent can refuse an offer like that? You don't have to tell them that you and Thomas Monson know that scouting is ordained of God and helps make boys really great boys. Let them figure that out for themselves when they participate in poorly organized den meetings. Have frequent meetings with the cub scout leaders so you can collaborate on how to maximize the child's participation in church.
Above all, at any non-church function, (like school events) make sure you frequently compliment and otherwise endear yourself to the child so the child feels comfortable around you enough that they will easily believe whatever you tell them at church, no matter how much it makes no sense to them. Eventually if they hear it enough from people they love and respect, they will believe it. And then they have a chance for the Celestial Kingdom.
| The background: I resigned several years ago without incident, probably because the branch president was too scared of me to do anything but promptly process it. :-)
My wife resisted resigning until last year when she got fed up with the missionaries asking for her, and didn't want them following us to our new home ~100 miles away. We did the same thing, got the B.S. letter from SLC saying the local leaders had to handle it, and we waited. And waited. Apparently, the new branch president, who was once my wife's boss, decided it wasn't necessary to honor my wife's wishes.
We moved, and by some means or the others, her records got transferred to the local ward and the missionaries started coming. A couple calls to David Wood were fruitless, as he pretended he couldn't help (and even gave me a brief rant where he falsely accused Kathy Worthington of acting as a lawyer), and I haven't been motivated enough to really beat on them, so it's remained like this ever since, basically, with the missionaries occasionally visiting and me trying to firmly impress upon their delicate minds that no one in our household is mormon.
Well, one sticking point apparently is the fact that it's always me answering the door to talk to them (I work out of my home office, my wife works away from home), and they don't believe the Head of the Household's word, they want to talk directly to the lady herself.
Except, she doesn't want to talk to them. She can't anyway, she's been deaf all her life and can't speak, and none of the missionaries or other folk who come can sign. (which is unfortunate, because this area does have a pair of cute sister missionaries who do sign, and they'd at least make the conversation more accessible :-)
So tonight I had an electrician over to give me an estimate on adding a extra circuits for my computers and he brought his wife who signs, and we're in the middle of talking about that when the door light flashes. And I open the door to find two older men in the trademark white shirt and ties. I don't want to assume anything, but I can lipread enough to see them saying my wife's name. I call the electrician's wife over, and she's nice enough to interpret for me, and this guy wouldn't say who he was except that he was from the CoJCoLDS and wanted to speak to my wife. I again explained that we had resigned, we weren't members any more, and they shouldn't have her name on any records at all. He continued to insist that he needs to talk to my wife to "clarify matters". Right. Like her letter of resignation (which asked for no contact, incidentally) wasn't clear enough.
But the fun part...after they left, I got to explain the situation to the electrician and his wife, and they were aghast that any church would be so disrespectful of someone who didn't want to be members anymore. That led to a brief discussion of the odder aspects of mormonism. :-)
| I was working in the yard today when a couple of JW's came by. It was a father and son team. The boy was probably around 10 years old and seemed uncomfortable. The father was surprised when, after asking me if I believed in a scripture that says God leads his people, I said I didn't. I told him that I considered myself to be agnostic. He didn't expect that coming from someone who lives in Utah County.
The father was very nice and didn't try pushing his religion upon me, other than leaving their literature. I accepted it, mainly because I was curious if it had changed any since the last time I had been given the pamphlets in the mid 80's.
I found it interesting that the literature has become less "doom and gloom" than in the past. It seems that the LDS religion isn't the only one that is shifting towards the mainstream.
I remember in times past, when I was TBM, I would usually feel pity for the JW's in that I felt they were being deceived by Satan. And I didn't understand how come they couldn't recognize that the LDS church had all the answers.
Today, I found myself instead of feeling sympathy for these people, I felt empathy knowing that I had been deceived just as they were, by man.
| When I first started in my calling the ward list was huge and the Bishop made a point of getting the people that had moved out of our ward boundaries off our ward list.
So we mailed a simple letter from the Bishop (the letter was a smokescreen, it was all about confirming addresses) to all the inactives that nobody in ward leadership personally knew.
We wrote on the envelopes "Address Correction Requested"
Those that didn't come back confirmed to us that somebody had received the letter at that address. Those that did come back never made it to the inactive - the post office sent them back with the persons forwarding address on them.
We used those addresses to get the records removed from our list and sent to SLC.
| While reading the articles in the SL Tribune about the decreasing percentage of Mormons in Utah, I could not help but notice the central theme from the Mormons being quoted. They all referred to the non-Mormons moving in as "potential converts".
Does anyone else have a real problem with that? What ever happened to making friends without a hidden agenda?
I think that this is a real downfall of the Mormon religion and any other religion that thinks they are the "one and only true church". In my opinion, any church that says someone has to be a member of their faith to "be saved" is inherently flawed. Such teachings cause its members to overlook the universal good qualities that can be found among all people, regardless of faith.
Just think if all religions spent all of their time and effort fighting univeral problems such as violence, abuse, poverty, discrimination, etc instead of spending so much time and effort on convincing others to join their "one true church".
I say these things in the name of reason and world peace, Amen.
| That's right, Happy Valley. Our neighborhood is 95% LDS and yes, we are considering moving despite the financial strain and difficulty it would cause.
Why is it getting tough?
I'm getting tired of the the morgites who look at my family and I as easy marks for their dumb-ass religion. How many times have I thought a neighbor was finally taking an interest in us simply as friends only to find out that they are just gearing up to bear their testimonies and earn a new story for testimony meeting?
How many times do I have to hear some arrogant prick dump his moronic arguments in my lap and stand there as if waiting for me to collapse in a morgasm of spiritual extasy?
How many times do I have to politely tell people that I'm not interested?
How many times do I have to hear people say they feel sorry for us?
Don't they f**cking realize WE'RE NOT INTERESTED? We have left the Church for cryin' out loud. We actually wrote the letter two years ago but they just can't seem to accept the fact that we're not interested.
YES, we DO tell them! And yes, I AM blunt. But it's a big neighborhood and apparently word doesn't always get around.
I know we need to get the hell out but for business reasons it's just not an option now.
Just needed to rant. I'm feeling better already.
| Me and my wife left the church over a year ago and when we left the Bishop told us in a meeting that he was still responsible for our children. At the time I was a little taken back and shot back and said that we could take care of our children ourselves, Thank you very much.
This situation is not as clear cut as we would like it, our 14 year old daughter likes to go to young women because most of her friends are there and she wants to be with them. She could care less about the religion part she usually stays with us on Sunday but likes the Thursday meeting because of her friends and they do have a fun time. I would like to break loose but we live in Utah in a very heavily mormon area and it would be unrealistic to expect my daughter get new friend since they are almost all Mormon. So we go along with this thread attached.
Now, a few days ago I'm in my office and my daughter comes walking in the house, I ask her where she had been, since I thought she was downstairs and she said she had to go to a meeting with a councilor in the Bishopric so she could get a recommend to do baptisms for the dead that evening. I asked her when this was scheduled because I was not aware of this and I'm sure my wife would of told me if she knew of it. She said that young women's leader called an hour ago and asked her if she could come and pick her up in 10 minutes to get her interviewed. Oh by the way the interview was done at the house of the bishopric member. I called my wife and asked if she know anything of this and of course she said no and was really pissed off as was I. I sorta chewed my daughter out for going with something like this with out asking. She begged me not to make a big deal of it because she did not want to be embarrassed and it was her fault.
As I was thinking of this and fuming, I remembered back when the bishop said that he was still responsible for my kids! It than dawned on me that kids in the church really are not ours but the churches. If your a TBM they will let you have control but just try and leave with them and all of a sudden they want to take them back!!! How dare they call my daughter up and ask her to be ready in 10 minutes to have a personal private interview with a man alone in his house and not inform or ask the parents permission!!!! How do I respond to this with out making my daughter mad at me. Only in the church would this happen. Can you imagine if a teacher did this!!
Editor Note: Parents of children under the age of 18 who no longer believe that Mormonism is what it claims need to exert more control over their children. Mormon authority figures need to learn that they cannot coerce young children into closed-door meetings without parental permission. Mormon authority figures asking sexual questions of minor children should be considered illegal. Do not let your children be interviewed by Mormons. If the above happens to you, immediately contact the Bishop and Stake President of your Ward and warn them that you will contact the police next time your son or daughter is taken into a closed door interview without permission - especially when it is done outside a Mormon Ward or Stake House. Take back your children from this extremely controlling organization. Take back control from this organization created by a sexual predator and pedophile - one Joseph Smith Jr.
| Finally, we "heard" from Missionary SIL. It has been 3 weeks since we sent her e-mail telling her that we are no longer interested in the church and that we will not be raising our kids in the church.
Today in the mail there was a package for our daughter. I thought it was a "back to school" gift package like she sent last year. Nope, it was a lovely Indoctrination Package for our 7 y/o daughter whom SIL had said she'd "hate to see as a convert baptism."
In the package was:
1 LDS item # 33240: Articles of Faith postcard w/ a pic of Jesus and co(kids)
1 LDS Item # 80164: Picture of Christus @ Temple Square
1 LDS item # 35666: Comic Book version of BOM "Book of Mormon Stories"
1 LDS item # unknown: Ripped out page of her discussion flip-charts stating the First Principles and Ordinances as follows: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of Holy Ghost
1 LDS item # 36081: Pamphlet: "The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith"
AND 1 Book of Mormon with testimony on front cover with choice phrases such as:
"I thought you might like your very own Book of Mormon."
"This is a great book and I know it will bring you closer to our savior, Jesus Christ."
"I know this book is true cause, I have felt good when I have read it and the Holy Ghost has witnessed to me that it is true."
"I hope that you will read this along with the Book of Mormon Stories Book."
"If you need help, you can ask Dad, Mom, Grandma, or Papa. I'm sure they would be glad to help you."
Further generic testimony touching on JC, JS, BOM, Prophets and restoration all true, etc.
I really don't know where to begin to express my DUSGUST at this supposed "gift" sent to our daughter when we were VERY clear about our desire to NOT raise her LDS. Some people have no goddamn boundaries!
AAUUGGGHHH! Sorry if there's typos, I'm too pissed and don't care abour spellcheck! AAUUGGHH!
Editor Note: Amazing. Mormons want tolerance from Ex-Mormons but have no problem in stooping to such extreme lows. Early Mormons in Joseph Smith's time did the exact same thing. Mormons feel that their law, their God - supercedes the laws of the land and overrules common decency. There is a very strong psychological behavior pattern in Mormons - they feel compelled to disseminate the message of their pedophilic prophet - at any cost.
I'm sorry Jenny Foo, all of us are in the same position that you are. Your best course of action is to completely dispose of all the Mormon cult material immediately. Inform your SIS that her actions were inappropriate but be kind to her. Because she is a Mormon and is under the indoctrination of the cult, she will be unaware that her actions were inappropriate. To her, she thinks that she is saving your souls.
| In a very touching closed thread, anon was advised that the bishop is a nobody.
Carol said that some local bishop in her neighborhood refused to abide by leash laws. The guy's dog continually rooted through her garbage can, strewing refuse about her yard. When she complained, the nobody bishop swore at her and she had him cited. He eventually tired of paying fines and arrived to clean up the rotting garbage and soiled personal products about the yard. Carol supervised from her top step. Her mormon neighbors were shocked, not at the bishop's atrocious behavior, but at Carol's for not putting up with bishie's swearing and strewn refuse.
The point is that the celebrity bishops enjoy is undeserved. I wouldn't let the a US President or the King of Siam get away with the kinds of offenses bishops do daily against non-believers. These guys are nobodies. They don't respect non-belief anymore than this guy respected leash laws.
I read here everyday, "But MY bishop is a good guy."
So what? Almost all of them are good guys in their way, but they're not above decency or the laws of the land. They're not the King of Siam. They have no powers from God. And they have no right to demand your temple recommend, dictate your underwear, or expect you to explain your personal beliefs, choices, or lack of such.
Bishops only have a right to the respect you'd give your pizza delivery man or the school bus driver. In fact I'd bet that most men walking down the street have more respect for women's rights and leash laws than an average bishop.
If you go to a bishop's office or let him into your home, do it because you need to for your own recovery. Do it on your terms, for your reasons, and at your convenience. Set the time, the place, and the boundaries, then leave or send him packing whenever you choose. You're now the one in charge, not the bishop. He's a nobody.
Editor Note: I agree completely. Never allow Mormons to have authority over you. Bishops are nobodies.
| Backround info...
Since I have moved up to school, I have enjoyed a good deal of peace as far as the Morg is concerned. A few days ago, they found where my dorm room is. The Elder's Quorum president of the student ward, the ward missionaries, and the bishop's secretary showed up to see me. Even though they stuck their noses up at me, I went out of my way to be nice to them and show them how happy I am. I think they even noticed the crucifix I have hanging next to my bed. Anyways, I told them that I have since moved on in my faith and no longer consider myself Mormon (they corrected me when I said "Mormon" with a very snotty "Latter-day Saint, please.). They left and I figured that was the end of it.
About 2 nights ago, at around 11:50 at night, my phone rings (I never gave them my number. They must have looked it up online) - it was the bishop's secretary, asking me to meet with the bishop the next morning AS WELL AS clean the student ward building this week. At this point, I became angry (maybe it was the fact that he woke me up). I asked him why I would want to meet with a man I do not consider my leader MUCH LESS clean a building I never have and never will use. Then I hung up on him.
Anyways, tonight after marching band, I decide I need to by some underpants (probably more info than you needed, but it is relavent), so I head to the nearest Meijer's. For those of you outside of Michigan, Meijer's is kind of like a classy version of Wal Mart. As I am browsing the colorful varieties of underpants, I see someone approach me out of the corner of my eye - it's the bishop's secretary, back for a rematch.
"I think you owe me an apology and an explanation" he said.
Me: How do you figure?
Him: You were quite rude and disrespectful on the phone Saturday night.
Me: Oh, that. You are right. I'm sorry you felt the need to call me in the middle of the night. How inconsiderate of me.
Him: I was shocked you were home. I figured someone like you would be out comitting some sin at a frat party.
Me: Huh. Little did you know I was in bed, so I could get up in time for church the next morning.
Him: I didn't see you there. Not that I was suprised.
Me: That's because I was at a real church. Say, what made you think you'd get some sort of apology from me in the underpants isle?
Him: (you could tell that one threw him off guard) Excusse me?
Me: You heard me. It was ignorance and arrogance, plain and simple. Just like Saturday night, when you called me in the middle of the night. A normal person would think that was rude - you probably thought I would be honored by the phone call. And did you REALLY THINK I would agree to clean a building that I have never even set foot in? Are you that arrogant?
Him: I don't need to take this sort of disrepect.
Me: DISRESPECT?! NOT ONLY DID YOU CALL ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, YOU ARE TRYING TO CONFRONT ME WHILE I AM SHOPPING FOR UNDERPANTS! NOW YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO CALL *ME* DISRESPECTFUL?!
Him: I feel so sorry for you. I hope that you will soften your heart and repent before it is too late. You are obviously hiding some deep, grievous sin.
At this point, I laughed at him. I laughed loud, and I laughed hard. I laughed so hard I had a hard time breathing. I don't really remember him turning around, knocking underpants off the shelves, and walking away.
Honestly, do Mormons think that people like me are just waiting by their phone, hoping someone from the church will call them and invite them back? I used to have a hard time believing stories like this that I would sometimes read on this board until tonight. Now I see people like that for what they really are. It still brings a smile to my face, though, to think about how funny it must have looked to see me red with laughter, him red with anger knocking underpants off the shelf.
Ladies and gentlemen, a true follower of Christ! Apparently since they have their own Holy undies, they can disrespect my Fruit of the Looms, too!
| Okay, I admit I'm partly to blame.
A decade ago, while I was in the Marine Corps, a couple Mormon missionaries helped me out of a jam in Italy. They were a couple nice guys ... didn't even try to convert me or recruit me.
Ever since, I've been nicer to Mormons than most. They seemed harmless.
Sure, I know they were members of a cult. I knew they were brainwashed beyond belief. I've done the research. Bless the Internet. I've even actually *read* the Book of Nutty (er ... Mormon), unlike the barking moonbats that just knocked on my door.
So what'd I do wrong?
Even though I knew better -- even though I knew what might happen -- when a couple dorky young girl missionaries came knockin' at my door last summer, I was nice to them.
I sat and chatted for half an hour. Listened to their silliness, asked a few questions, bid them a friendly farewell.
DO NOT REPEAT THAT MISTAKE.
They - of course - came back.
I had to then let them know I wasn't interested in further discussion.
They came back again.
And then again.
I was progressively ruder each time. The last time I slammed the door in their faces. Even as they were promising to come back, begging to know a good time to find me.
I know the drill. I know about the lies, the deceit, the do-anything-to-recruit plan. But they seemed so harmless.
Until they wouldn't stop coming.
Everytime, its the same. They will NOT ring the bell .... they knock instead. Quietly, so you're not even sure you heard it. You open the door before you're even sure anyone is there.
Then they pounce.
This time, a few minutes ago, it's quitting time on a Friday evening. Six o'clock.
I hear a weird pounding. The dogs go crazy.
What could it be?
I'd reminded myself not to answer the door when I hear a knocking. Normal people ring the bell. Cult members pound on walls.
I opened the door.
There were FOUR of them this time .... and it wasn't coincidence that two of them were men this time, very large men. They were all in suits this time.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
I literally slammed the door in their faces. Even as they were promising to come back.
If there is a Hell, Mormons are all going there. You're in a cult, people. A cult. An evil cult. An awfully rude cult.
NOW QUIT COMING TO MY GODDAM HOUSE YOUR FREAKS!
| The Mormons I've known are by and large the most hostile people I've encountered in life. Most of the mormon talks I've heard and many mormon conversations centered around how much better the speakers and members were than their non-believing counterparts. They often decry how others are missing something in their lives and use slurs of "unrighteous," "gentiles," "apostates," "those who are of the world," "unworthy."
In my experience "love," "caring," and "reaching out" are ways that mormons can lash out and express hostility without realizing they are passive/aggressive and vengeful.
We've had local mormons show up several times on the same day we've been entertaining out-of-state mormon relatives. To me that says that someone called them and told them to bother us at those times. I see this as a hostile action since the locals and those who set them up are fully aware that such behavior is not appreciated.
I also recently discovered that my sister was planning to invite us to a dinner to slam us with a barrage of unwanted mormonism. She hoped to corner us in her house when she thought we'd be too embarrassed to storm out. When we didn't fall for it, she lashed out with hostile phone calls and a scathing letter to every sibling and to our ageing mother.
Other "loving" actions that express hosiltiy.
1. Turning a name in to the missionaries.
2. Visiting with goodies in hand after being told to stay away.
3. Continuing to contact those on the famous, but fictional, "No contact list."
4. Turning names of unbelievers in to the temple.
5. And the final slap, dead dunking those who have said they don't want it.
I talked to a longtime Catholic friend recently. I told her how much I loved her. One endearing thing about her is how she prays and lights candles when friends are hurting. The difference between her and mormons is that she does these things in love. She sincerely wants her friends to be happy in their own lives and decisions. She wouldn't think of praying that someone would change their religion to suit her. She prays that they'll find whatever peace and happiness suits them.
I'm an atheist. I don't pray. But I certainly do send warm thoughts to others, and I hope that they will find peace in whatever way works for them.
The trouble with mormons is that often they can't accept that people want to follow their own paths. Mormons become hostile if someone doesn't want to be mormon, if they don't want pray and obey the dictatorial mormon plan of salvation. I think that the mormon missionary program, many mormon talks, and much of mormon fellowshipping centers on expressing hostility and attempting to force the mormon will on the unwilling.
| At Christmas my husband's family assigns who they are going to exchange gifts with because he has nine married siblings so it would be impossible to buy gifts for everyone. His brother R got us. R is a bishop and an uber TBM. He knows that we are not active and do not wish to become active. Well, on Christmas morning there were 5 gifts under the tree from them to us numbered 1-5 which indicated the order we were supposed to open them in.
Number one: a framed quote from Russell Ballard about the importance of eternal families with our names and two empty spots for names at the bottom of the frame and little velcroed tabs that read 'scripture' 'activity' 'lesson' and 'dessert' at the bottom.
Number two: A family home evening manual.
Number three: a hymnal
Number four: a game apparently for the activity.
Number five: ice cream sundae glasses for dessert.
R was not there to witness us opening this. He was safely tucked away in his own home almost 2,000 miles away from any potential consequences of this completely inappropriate and tacky gift.
However, three of my husband's siblings their spouses and my father and mother-in-law were there to witness this, my mother-in-law beaming proudly as though we'd just won the lottery.
I was literally struck speechless. For about ten minutes I just sat and ping ponged between anger and humiliation. It completely ruined Christmas morning for both me and my husband. Even my sister-in-law who is active but apparently has a clue made the comment that she felt the gift was inappropriate especially given the time and place that we opened them.
I came home and promptly dumped the manual, framed quote and hymnal in the trash and thought that would make me feel better, but it hasn't. I'm so angry and the more I think about it the madder I get.
I have to two questions. One, am I overreacting? Two, what should I do about this? Should I let it slide or should I call them on their presumption and complete lack of tact?
Keep in mind these are my husband's siblings and even though they live across the country, I imagine we are going to have to see them at some point. If they were my siblings I wouldn't hesitate to call them on it, but I'm pretty sure my siblings respect me enough to refrain from humiliating me like this.
| My husband is off to Iraq again. He's been deployed several times during our stay here in this ward. No one from the ward has ever just stopped by to wish him well, until last night.
I recently resigned from the church, but DH is still a member. Before my resignation, we were one of the golden couples in the ward; in other words, we "looked" the part (minus the children). He's an RM, we both went to BYU, both raised in the church, etc. In Utah that's no big deal, but out here in the "mission field" it is actually quite rare. Needless to say it came as a complete shock to many ward members and friends. Ever since my resignation, I've sensed that the ward has focused a lot of attention onto my husband in an effort to keep him in. I suspect they are using my closest friend in the ward as an envoy since she is the only person I still speak to.
Anyway, last night was my last night with my husband before he goes off to the danger zone. My TBM friend knew this quite well. She called my phone last night but I didn't answer because I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, she and her 4 TBM children were at my doorstep with a sunday school manual and copies of "The Family: A Proclamation." We were just about to sit down to dinner with my family so I left her at the door with my husband.
Okay, so maybe she and her kids just wanted to say "goodbye" to him. I'd believe that if they'd pulled this stunt on his last several deployments to the Middle East. But not once have they or anyone else from the ward said so much as "good luck" to him befor he left. Now they are dropping by with church material on our last night together. I'm not that stupid.
Anyway, I was pissed but I held it in because I did not want to make an issue of it before sending him off to war. But needless to say, it ruined our night. Right now, I'm giving DH his space to think about my church status and to come to his own conclusions so we don't disucss it more than we need to. I'm also upset because this woman was my closest friend in the ward. When I left the church I told her I was happy with my spiritual path and asked her to respect my space on religious matters as I respect hers. She seemed to understand. I thought I could expect more from a friend, even a TBM friend. I guess I was wrong. Maybe next time I babysit her kids free of charge on my day off I'll bring them up to speed on the real story of the "First Vision." Perhaps we'll make our own "seer stones" out of macaroni. Damn cult!
| Yes, I found the official LIST. The one that everyone talks about and most of us know to some extent we are on. In my ward, apparently they are so organized that this LIST is in a spreadsheet so they can superdeeduper keep track of everyone.
I accidentally happened upon it when I was looking for a ward list for a phone number. My dh is in the EQ presidency and has been going to PEC meetings. The LIST literally fell out of the notebook that I was looking for the number in.
At the top it has the official church logo so it makes me think this spreadsheet is put out by the church. It is titled "Progress Record- CONFIDENTIAL- Church Purposes Only. For use in providing information on investigators, recent conversts, and less-active members to ward or stake leaders."
Then it has columns for Name, Age, Gender, Children, Address, Telephone Number, Fellowshipper or HT, VT, # of times attended church, Baptism and Confirmation Dates, Priesthood Ordinations, and finally the best one: Comments/Help needed. Oh! And I found one other column! It's tiny and at the beginning. They have codes for everyone! Type I= Investigator, RC= Recent Convert, LA= Less Active Member, PE= Prospective Elder, PM= Part Member Family, EN= Endowed no Rec.
So I of course jumped right to my name (#34 on the list) to find out what comments it said. Pretty lame compared to some of them. "XX's wife, 3 kids, friendly to church members, visited 12/05."
Here's some other comments. Amazing really when you think of the details they record:
"Reads the BOM, watches the BYU channel. Missionaries have spoken with him numerous times, invited him to church. Has not come so far. Born in England. Expecting 1st child in March. YY has been in (another state) working. (EQ member) and the Elders talked with D on Feb 8. YY is back from (another state). (EQ member) and Elders talked with him last Wed. Appt to visit Sunday at 7 p.m `~ 3 weeks away from due date."
and of course my favorite:
"unsure of marital staus; phone busy over hour period. XX talked to her Feb 2004. She wanted to know how we got her number and hung up on him. Phone was always busy when he tried to call back."
There are lots more comments, and lots of details, clearly included to make people feel more comfortable with contacting these people. The one person listed that made me feel truly uncomfortable is an acquaintance of mine from school who is being 'fellowshipped'. It lists her name and her kids' names and ages. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about that, if anything.
So... what do you think the comments are about you on YOUR ward's list? Cause you know it's out there..... (cue twilight zone music)
| I just found a package on my doorstep. Inside there’s a video tape about Joseph Smith’s life and a handwritten note from a neighbor that says, “IT’S NEVER TOO LATE.”
So... “Never too Late” ... for WHAT? For me to become a decent person again? To become righteous after all? To swallow my pride and turn myself over to the Bishop for correction?
Who in hell do they think THEY ARE talking to me THAT WAY? I’ll tell you who they are: They are obnoxious GOD-SNOBS!
GOD-SNOBS are self-righteous, conceited, egotistic people who have convinced themselves that they are so much CLOSER to God than all others, including me, that they have every right (and holy obligation) to be rude, to judge, to snoop, to insult, to invade, to condemn, to define, to instruct, to command, to intimidate, to humiliate, and to lord over as the spirit (i.e. their ego-reflection) dictates!
I recently saw a TV show about the “End Times” when - supposedly - God’s truly loved will suddenly be taken up while He turns the rest of us into eternally glowing cinders! The “Christians” in this show were profoundly proud of how they will be taken up while civilization burns! They couldn’t wait for their Rapture to start!
I hear the same kind of messages from my “Spiritual Superiors” all over Mormonism; They are basically saying:
“I’m a uniquely special person to God, that’s why I’ve been given my impressive church Position and Power. I reassure myself of that fact by exercising my God-Power over others regularly. God wouldn’t let me lie, so I HAVE to be speaking His Words. God expects me to “take His place” on earth, and that’s exactly what I must do. To obey God, others must obey Me, otherwise I fail God - so, they better not let that happen!”
GOD-SNOBS are driving me crazy – am I alone?
| Last week, while in ICU, a vaguely familiar woman came into my hospital room. But I had no idea who she was. She asked how I was doing. When I looked at her, without recognition, she told me her name, and stated she just couldn't believe we had not seen each other in twenty-five years! Doped up as I was, a light bulb went off in my head..."You must be the RS President?"
Evidently the Ward had been split. I had not been to church in ten years, but this is a very small Idaho town! She asked if I knew so-in-so. I told her no. She informed me he was the new bishop of the Ward, and a wonderful man, who would love to come and see me! "He would just love you, Barbara!" I smiled and told her perhaps there was a stranger out on the street who would 'just love' me also. Did she want to send him to visit me too? I could tell she didn't understand my humor, or probably didn't even understand I was trying to be humorous, as she stared at me blankly.
I then explained nicely, that I didn't know the man...he was a stranger to me, and I was not interested in meeting him for any reason. She asked three times, and I nicely told her "no" three times.
I also told her, I did not want assigned women to bring me or my husband food. That I didn't want any "assigned friends" I had not talked to or seen in years, coming to my home or the hospital. I tried to explain that any person, Mormon or not, anyone who knew of my illness because of neighborhood gossip, or because they had seen the ambulance at our home, I would be happy to have visit. She looked at me as though I was speaking a foreign language, and asked if she could bring food in when I came home! She repeatedly asked this, and I repeatedly told her, "No, thank you!"
Now, please understand. This is a lovely woman, from what I could see, very sweet, soft-spoken and caring. I explained briefly that I had studied the church from the church-authorized history ten years ago, and knew, without a doubt, that the church was false. I had nothing against the people, but absolutely no interest in the church!
She returned the next day to see me, but I couldn't talk, as I was busy with meds and procedures, etc.
My first day home, after leaving hospital, I received a phone call. "Barbara, I prepared a potato casserole for your meal this evening. All you have to do is pop it into the oven. May I bring it over!" It would have been so easy to tell her yes, but very sweetly, I told her "No". I explained that I appreciated her kindness, and knew she had done this from the goodness of her heart, but hadn't I told her three different times I did not want "assigned" food brought in by others, or herself, because she was RS President. She agreed I had told her this three times! She then told me she loved me, and we said goodbye. (Do all Mormons really love everyone, or is this just something they have been programed to say? I believe people can "love" their fellow man, but this is different.")
Needless to say, I have been home from hospital for five days now, and I have not seen an "unassigned" neighbor.
Well, come to think of it, I haven't seen a neighbor, period! I would have been grateful for a visit or a treat brought in just because they are neighbors. But I guess because most of them are LDS, they are probably now afraid to darken my door! lol They will think I want nothing to do with them! Yes, evidently I do speak a different language than them!
My adult grandchildren came by last evening to visit. I related this story to them. My extremely intelligent BYU/Idaho granddaughter, looked at me and said. "But Grandma, she just wanted to do a good service!" Hopefully, one day my grandchildren will learn to speak my language!
By the way, I am doing fine! :) Barb
| I remember Love Bombing as a project all of my YW class did together. We kids were used by the church in order to pester some family that obviously wanted to be left alone.
This family had about 4 kids and the parents had gone inactive, withdrawing all of their kids from church activities, and had become impossible to reach. According to our YW teacher, the family was in dire financial straits. (Maybe they said this in response to requests for tithing?) So our job was to make them feel reeeeeeaaally guilty about their inactivity and make them come back to church.
We each had to buy and wrap a toy for one of the kids in this family (it was around Christmas time) because, supposedly, the parents couldn't afford them although they had a nice enough looking house. We went to Michaels and bought a bunch of crafts supplies and made a whole bunch of valentine-type thingies with messages on them that said things like "WE LOVE YOU!", "WE MISS YOU! -Your friends at Church", and "YOU'VE BEEN LOVE-BOMBED!" and littered their entire porch and front yard with them. There were other "decorations" we made too... it looked hideous. They had a couple of cars in the driveway so we were pretty sure they were home. We worked quickly and left all of the presents on the porch as well in a couple of brown paper bags. Then the teacher rang the doorbell... knocked.... Other than a slight movement of the front curtains, that was all we got.
Some of the girls even went so far as to yell at the house, "WE KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE!" We eventually got back in our Mormon minivan and drove away. I felt kind of weird, although at the time I just dismissed my feelings. Now that I'm on the other side of the fence, I am absolutely mortified that I participated in something like that. I'm all for giving to charity, but not like this. If anyone did that to me I'd want to call the cops.
| There's nothing wrong with treating visiting Mormons like honored and appreciated guests if you want to encourage their drop-in visits. Many people like neighbors, strangers, and religious representatives to come by anytime and don't mind dropping whatever they're doing to chit-chat.
Some people like unexpected opportunities to push their own favored religious agendas. My next door TBM neighbor talks to JWs for an hour or so whenever they stop by. She argues her doctrine. They push theirs.
But for those who want to discourage drop-in, there's no easy way to do it without simply telling the Mormons to kindly not visit, or to phone first if that suits your idea of a livable boundary.
Those who know and like the visitors, but want to discourage them have a big problem. It's hard to say no in that situation. But being clear is the only way to teach Mormons that they're crossing boundaries.
Why not simply accept, but then, trash, all of the bags, the wrapped gifts, the foil wrapped Rice Crispy bars, but tell the Mormon friends to kindly discontinue the practice? Because this sends a double bind message. It's like giving a cookie to a kid before dinner and saying "But don't expect one before dinner next time."
That's poor parenting. If a rule or boundary is important, it's better to hold the line. Don't use words to negate your actions. Be consistent.
What if the message you want to send is that you like and appreciate someone but do not want them to stop in with unwanted gifts or church messages? Then, it might be a good idea to refuse the gifts but tell them why and let them know you appreciate their good intentions and the trouble they've taken to make a figgy pudding log for you. Suggest they save the delicious treat for their own family or for someone in need.
Kids and Mormons read actions better than they interpret explanations. That's because it's true, actions *do* speak louder than words.
Mormons are trained to read hope into whatever pleasantry they see. Read the post about the Ensign article which lies and claims that someone appreciated morg visits for years even though they cowered in their home and never answered the door. The article said some woman was touched and eventually returned to church because of the scriptures and goodies left littering her doorstep, month after month, year after year.
Talk about being blind! A person in their home thinks they're giving a message of "Do not visit!" Mormon brains have been tampered with. They interpret not being run off the property as a show of appreciation.
Mormons are constantly told in Ensign articles and meetings that it isn't rude to be rude. It isn't intrusive to return where no one will answer the door. It isn't trespassing to go where someone says you're unwelcome. It's doing the work of the Lord to act like boor as long as you have a smile and a plastic plate of sliced fruit cake.
Stalking is encouraged by promoting it as "missionary work" or "fellowshipping." It's no wonder Mormon brains don't work normally.
| I often read about those who send in their letters because they're tired of having VTs, HTs, mishies, and other mormon busybodies sending them notices, phoning, bringing cheap junk to the door, and bothering them in other ways.
Resignation usually puts a stop to this kind of harassment. I am in no way a member of the morg and I like it that way.
But -- inactives do have a legal and moral right to be left alone if that's their wish.
When I was working, I sometimes received inappropriate calls at home from people who had access to my phone number because of work. Once I was required to take part in a weekly inservice program which lasted three hours after my regular work day for a semester.
Most weeks, the teacher would ring me up on the phone when I finally got home and was cooking dinner and tending to my family. For all I know, many of those in the class might have liked this special "fellowshipping," but I did not.
I didn't have to resign my job to be rid of this nuisance. I considered that this teacher was misusing my phone number and my good graces. To put a stop to it, I only had to tell this person and my boss that I considered it "harassment."
Even an active mormon ought to be able to limit church contact. It's certainly rude for church people to visit unannounced and to phone excessively or at odd hours. Members by rights should be able to say if they don't want dropins from church. Some of them might not care to have HTs or fast offering collectors at their door.
It might be difficult to limit contact when someone is eager to continue activity or afraid of offending church leaders, but it can be done if someone values their private boundaries.
Before resignation was an option, I did limit morg contact for years at a time simply by being adament that I wouldn't allow it. My local police chief said that telling someone their behavior is considered harassment is what makes it so.
So "harassment" is largely in the eye of the harassed. Those who commit the offense don't get to determine the definition of the word.
| For 5 years, the Mormons have been harassing us. During the worst of it (when our family first left the church) I once counted 30 contacts from ward members and leaders in just a two-week period. We had a large family (we adopt/foster special needs children) and we were well-liked. So when we left abruptly, ward members were quick to "fellowship" us.
But things really got out of hand. At that time I had 3 girls in YW. After we left, the Young Women's organization really went overboard. For an activity one night, EVERY SINGLE YW and EVERY SINGLE YW leader wrote to EACH ONE of my girls. When I opened my mailbox, cards and letters literally fell out of the mailbox.
Our house was a circus. The phone rang off the hook. People constantly stopped by unnanounced with treats or things for the kids. A woman from our ward saw me in the hallway at middle school open house and she burst into tears and hugged me (it was so embarrassing)
One of my daughters is adopted from Russia and she has *severe* emotional/behavioral problems. She has mild mental retardation because of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome so she doesn't really grasp social nuances. Because of her chronological age, she was in Young Women's, but she really had the mind of a primary child.
When various Young Women would send her personal messages saying they "loved" and "missed" her, or they were her "best friend forever" . . . SHE BELIEVED IT. And she would beg to go "play" with them. When I said, "No" she would have a screaming meltdown or she would run away and we'd have to call the police. Once she ended up in a psych ward.
I know nobody intended to be vicious deliberately - fellowshipping sounds like a "loving" term, right? But it didn't feel loving. It felt like I was a prisoner in my own home. I had simply changed my mind about being Mormon. We rebaptized all of our children Catholic (the church of my childhood). And I just wanted to be left alone to start fresh.
After becoming more aggressive and rude with the Bishop and being put on a DO NOT CONTACT list, we were able to tolerate the occassional lapse for about a year.
But then some random man I did not know (from primary?) sent my little boy a birthday card and a long, rambling letter on his birthday. As a child/adolescent mental health counselor, I felt that was highly inappropriate. "They" were coming after my littlest kids!
I got mad. I called the Bishop at home. I had been polite up to that point but I was fed up. I threatened legal action and media. I told him we were Catholic now and we were never coming back. He gave me two weeks to resign or he'd call a church court on me and excommunicate me for apostacy.
Our family had chosen not to resign because my TBM father-in-Law was dying and my husband did not want to hurt his elderly parents by officially leaving the church. We wanted to spare my FIL any further pain. When I explained all of this to the Bish his response was, "Well he'll find out anyway when he dies." (WTF?)
So, after more drama, I ultimately resigned and took all the kids with me. My husband stayed on the rolls as a member in name only.
So now it's the mishies that constantly bother us. Since their records indicate that we are a part-member family with a bunch of unbaptized kids/wife, the missionaries come by every time there are new transfers. (The easiest baptisms are in part member families - that's what we look like on paper even though we are all former members).
I've had a lot of fun over the years goofing with the missionaries - I slip 'em the "sure sign of the nail" handshake or chant temple stuff to try and horrify them away permanently . . . but they always seem to come back, just like cockroaches.
But now I'm done. And I'm tired.
The Mission President is crystal clear on the fact that I'm not playing around anymore. And I do believe that, on this fine Monday afternoon, I just made it to the top of his "to do" list.
| People are scared of all kinds of things from creaking in the attic to spiders. Neither of those or most of what people fear are as oppressive and invasive as the mormon church.
Posters on this board are recovering from their sometimes harrowing experiences in the mormon church. I grew up in it. I was beaten, pinched and kicked around for such offenses as asking questions or dragging garments on the floor trying to help with laundry at age six. Or not telling plausible enough lies to cover for my parent's plyg connections or not helping them enough in covering for lies they'd tell in TR interviews. That isn't unusual.
Others were traumatized by being forced to recite fake testimonies starting at age three or being smacked for reaching for a slice of toast before the blessing was done.
We were all part of an orgaization which discriminated against females, blacks, gays, and anyone who wasn't the spitting image of mormon idealism, white, delightsome, extoverted, obedient, unquestioning, and compliant.
On reaching adulthood, I moved away from Zion and married a non-mormon. My fondest hope and most fervent goal was to separate myself from everything mormon and move on.
So after having a job, a child, a happy home, and a new better life, who should show up one day at my door?
Two pudgey mormon women with sing-song Utah accents wearing baggy jumper dresses and carrying something that looked like Ensign magazines.
My emotional reaction was alarming! My heart beat hard. Sweat broke out on my brow. Itchy welts flared on my neck and inner arms.
I decided I wouldn't answer the door and they'd get the hint. But the door pounding went on for a long time. Then they complained loudly that they knew I was home because the garage door was open. So they walked up and down the porch peering in the living room and dining room windows. From the hall shadows, I could see their hands cupped around their eyes talking about my funriture and complaining that no one would answer the door.
They smeared the windows with nose and finger prints and went back to pound on the door again and again.
The worst thing was that my little kindergarten aged boy was home and kept piping up to ask who those ladies were and wondering why mom wouldn't tell them to go away. I was a bad example to him and felt terrible about it.
My husband was furious at the intrusion. As a nevermo, he couldn't understand why a church would track down someone after at least six years just to harass them. Anyone who wanted to go to that church was obviously free to do so or not.
So that's the story as pathetic as it is. Yes, it might seem silly to be scared of Vter strangers at the door. But it isn't as silly as someone who can't understand those feelings when they're on a Recovery from Mormonism site.
Afterall, if this were a recovery from fear of flying site, we'd expect to read stories about goosebumps and nausea caused by being forced to go into airplanes. Wouldn't we?
| I'm not a Mormon and never have been, but within the past year I've somehow become entangled in a seemingly irremediable mess. I'm hoping to find some advice here, and I apologize if I am intruding where I shouldn't be, as I am not an ex-Mormon myself.
I have been a devout (though liberal-leaning) Catholic my entire life, and I'm content to stay that way. I have advanced degrees in Catholic theology, so I'm not the sort of vulnerable, under-catechized Catholic that I'm sure becomes easy prey for Mormon missionaries. Anyway, the problem began when I was working for the U.S. Census last summer for some extra cash. I made friends with one of my co-workers--a young woman about my age, highly intelligent, and an interesting conversationalist. For the purposes of this story, I'll call her Lucy. At first, Lucy did not tell me that she is a Mormon. We shared lunch and coffee several times throughout the summer and enjoyed conversations about many issues we both find fascinating. We talked about the challenges of being a young woman and building careers in academia--I am a beginning theology professor and Lucy is finishing her doctorate in Botany. It seemed like such an amazing friendship.
Then one day, Lucy asked me if I would go to church with her--still no mention of Mormonism. Without even asking what kind of church, I immediately said yes. Being a theologian, I enjoy and appreciate attending other people's religious services just for the experience of it. Even if she had told me that she was Mormon, I probably would have gone with her. Anyway, Lucy drove me to her church the next Sunday and I sat there with her through all three hours of it. On the way home, she kept asking me what I thought of it and I told her that it was "nice." She asked me if I felt the Holy Spirit there, and because I did not want to insult her I redirected the question and said, "Your church seems to be full of passionate people." She must have taken that as a "yes," because the next day, missionaries showed up on my doorstep. Maybe I'm too kind sometimes, but it was a hot summer day and I let them in and offered them a drink of water.
We sat down in my living room, and they told me that they had seen me with Lucy the previous day and they had talked to her about my "interest." I tried to make it clear to them that I have no interest in becoming Mormon, and that I attended church with Lucy because she is my friend. They proceeded to tell me that God had revealed to them how I was touched by the Holy Spirit during their sacrament meeting. After much argument from me, they left my home and left a Book of Mormon on my coffee table--I didn't even notice it until they were gone. In all my theological training, I had never read the Book of Mormon, so I decided to read it as a matter of academic curiosity. Within less than an hour of reading and browsing, I had located numerous problems in the book--names that would not have been used in the Americas B.C.E, animals that would not have been in the Americas, etc. While I was already knowledgeable of the serious theological differences between Catholics and Mormons, I wanted to have something to tellLucy if she were to ask me my impressions of the Book of Mormon.
Surely enough, she asked me about it the next day. I was honest with her about my prior knowledge of Mormon theology and my impressions about reading from the Book of Mormon for the first time. She told me that I needed to read through it completely and pray to see if it is true. I declined, telling her that I believe my own faith as a Catholic is sufficient. I tried to explain to her that I do not believe truth comes completely through feelings, but through reason--and that because of reason, Catholics interpret scriptures in terms of their deeper message as opposed to literally. This was a completely foreign idea to her. She continued to ask me about it for the next several days at work, so I finally gave in and did it--not because I was expecting to find truth, but simply because I wanted to satisfy her. A couple of days later, I told her that I had read and prayed, and that the Book of Mormon does not seem to be true. She wasn't satisfied, and asked me to continue praying until I received an answer from God. The missionaries came to my door again. And again, I was too nice. I let them in and tried to reason with them about why I wasn't interested. They left, but once again managed to sneak literature onto my coffee table. Up to this point I had been patient with Lucy because I wanted to respect her commitment to her faith, but the next day at work I told her that while I still wanted to be her friend, I was not interested in receiving anymore information about Mormonism. Her response was something like this: "God revealed to Elder B. and Elder P. that you're going to see the truth soon. You're so smart and you already want to serve God--his will is going to unfold for you." No acknowledgment of my thoughts on the matter.
I began to see Lucy less and less. Our time on the Census was drawing to a close and school was about to start--I was ready to begin teaching again. I was glad to be out of this situation--or so I thought.
About a week into the fall semester, I was sitting in my office and the missionaries walked in. They must have found out from Lucy that I worked at the university. They started the conversion talks again, assuring me all the while that they were not trying to convert me against my will. I had lost my patience by this time and I told them to leave my office. Later that afternoon I was teaching a class, and one of my students raised her hand and asked me about the differences between Catholicism and Mormonism (this is at a Catholic university) because she had seen missionaries (the same ones) walking around on campus and talking to students. I answered her question, but began to feel guilty because I believe the missionaries came to campus to talk to me in the first place. Now, they were preying on poorly-catechized Catholic kids fresh out of high school. Things got worse and worse. Apparently the missionaries began telling students that they were talking to me, so students began coming to me and asking me whyI was considering leaving the Catholic faith--even though I wasn't. Colleagues began to ask me questions about how I got entangled with the Mormons. The only good that came out of the situation is that for the students who came to me for a talk, I was able to explain the differences between Catholicism and Mormonism. One student said to me, "Wow, Professor Xxxxx, I'm glad I talked to you. They were telling me that as a Catholic, I belong to a false church." I'm not one to tell my students what they should believe, or to degrade anyone else's faith, but I believe students should be given the whole picture on Mormon teaching, Catholic teaching, and all other faiths for that matter.
I have not talked with Lucy again, but apparently she has used the amazing stalking skills that we learned in working the Census to track me down. I am in the process of moving to a new city to take a position at another university, and no sooner than I had bought my house there (won't even be moving in for another three weeks), I received a call from Mormon missionaries in the area. The young man on the phone said, "Your friend Lucy informed us that you have just moved to Xxxxxx. We stopped by your house and you weren't there. Is there a good time to come by for a visit?" I told them no, but I am still receiving voice mails. I'm concerned that when I do move, the missionaries are going to continue coming and bothering me at my new home. This is getting to the point of being frightening. It's amazing how I ended up in this situation: all I did was go to church with a friend, offer missionaries a glass of water, and read the holy text of a religion not my own. How did these innocently-intended actions cause meto get caught up in such a mess? How do I get rid of these people, especially if they can keep locating me? It's getting scary. Thanks for listening to my story.
| I'm a never mormon mom of 5 married to a 2nd generation non tithe paying part/time attending liberal thinking mormon.
My 6 year old never Mormon daughter received a typed letter in the mail today from a new husband and wife Sunday School teaching team. It read how much she was missed and invited her back. She's never been before. It also read to call them, phone number included, if she ever needed anything.
My husband who attends every other Sunday to teach Sunday School was visibly embarrassed that she received this letter. I asked him if he needed to say something to them and he replied that they were probably new and didn't know she isn't being raised Mormon. He didn't know this couple. I question how they got her name. She was never blessed.
I was upset that it was mailed to her and not us as parents and told my husband this. I won't say anything this time but it does raise my guard.
| Yesterday, DD got an e-mail saying their YW class is bringing dinner in to the YW president who is recovering from surgery. It's a nice gesture but DD hardly does anything with YW so we just ignored it. Then, tonight DD's best church friend called and asked to talk to her. DD was at music lessons so I asked who it was, what was wanted, can DD call back etc. The friend was very cagey about why she was calling and I got the distinct impression she didn't want to tell me because she was afraid I wouldn't let DD go. When DD got home, I reminded her of the activity and told her about the phone call but she decided to ignore it because she was tired and had a lot of homework. THEN, without further announcement, the YW leader and church friend dropped by during dinner and invited her to go with them right then. While I didn't really care if DD wanted to visit this woman who was one of her Primary teachers, and help bring dinner, I care very much about the sneaky way they tried to get around me and get my daughter tochurch. Obviously they thought I didn't want her there but they DID IT ANYWAY!
This is just one of a number of similar outrageous stunts pulled by Mormons who assume I am not allowing my child to come to church and STILL try to get my child there. People who, by the way, have never even bothered to ascertain if it's true I don't want my child at church. I don't, but because DH still considers himself Mormon, I let them go when they want, knowing they almost never want to go to church of their own free will. I discourage Mormonism but I'm not keeping my children away from church. Yet it's very obvious from the behavior of the Mormons, they think they have to go around me to get my child to church. It's sneaky, dishonest and completely unacceptable. For example:
One time the Home Teachers were over and I had to take a phone call. They waited until I was out of the room to ask DH if they could bring my kids a copy of the Friend.
Another time, the first minion caught my son alone and told him if he wanted to come to YM's and needed a ride, he could just call and first minion would give him a ride. Bless DS's heart, he said he gave the first minion a weird look and said "No thanks, if I want to go my mom will just give me a ride." DS said the shocked look on the first minion's face was priceless.
And of course, Bishop Jackwagon sending letters to my son telling him Jesus was disappointed in him because he missed church two weeks in a row ... that's a classic story.
Those are just the examples on the top of my head but it's pretty clear that Mormons think I don't want my kids at church and they go all around the houses to try to get them there behind my back. It's creepy, infuriating and inappropriate and yet they can't see it and can't understand why nobody likes them.
| What is stalking?
It is assertive unwanted pursuit.
That's what GAs stand up and advocate at general conference when they implore every member to be a missionary. They tell faith promoting stories about how persistence pays off. Don't take no for an answer. Pursue new converts and lost sheep relentlessly. They can say no in hundreds of ways over many years, but eventually a mormon will catch them at a vulnerable time. They'll come back to the fold. When that happens, they'll thank their pursuers and rue the day they foolishly thought they didn't want contact.
The above is a classic mindset for stalking.
Bishops and others give the same stalking pep talk in local wards.
Missionaries hear that same drivel at the MTC and from their leaders out in the mission field.
Who gets to say what constitutes stalking? The perpetrator or the victim?
Only the victim fully knows if they feel stalked. They know if the attention is welcome or if it feels oppressive.
Stalkers typically assume their efforts are positive and helpful. They routinely misread turndowns and negative hints.
Does most stalking end in violence? Certainly not. Only in very very rare cases and probably never in the case of mormon stalking.
One distinct stalker catagory termed "the naive pursuer." That is someone who is thick, unsophistcated, and simply does not realize the inappropriateness of his/her behavior. The naive stalker's goal is to "help" the object of their pursuit. Thick headed stalkers ignore every clue that their target might not want "help."
Clueless stalkers feel justified because their intentions are pure and they receive validation for their misguided efforts from peers and leaders, although not from the victims they pursue.
Some mormon stalkers vaguely sense how inappropriate their actions might be but still carry out their directives to pursue lost sheep. They hit and run, leaving anonymous notes or treats then dashing away to avoid face to face meetings.
Examples of how mormon stalkers discount rejection:
1. The person who never attends church services. Mormons claim this must be due to lazyness or mild offense. The person hasn't left the cult. They're just temorarily "less active."
2. The target person is home and doesn't answer the door. Mormons claim this means they're ashamed of sinning and are not able to face well meaning concerned fellowshipping efforts.
3. The person doesn't pick up phone calls. This means they're either busy or in denial about wanting church contact.
4. The target says they want to be on a no-contact list. This must mean they feel unready for the time being to return to full activity.
5. The target resigns. This means they were pushed too hard and reacted in anger. Once they cool off, they'll be ready to accept a heartfelt invitation.
6. The target hoses a set of clueless mocking missionary boys. Too bad for the mishies but that will be a good story to tell back home. Next time send girl mishies or an elderly couple. No one would treat them in such a mean way.
Stalkers in the clueless unsophisticated catagory are that dumb! Still, what they do is stalking. They don't know it but the stalking definition remains the same.
It means unwanted pursuit. Perpetrators have boundless abilities of denial. They don't get to decide if their actions are welcome or abhored.
Only a victim knows if he/she feels stalked.
| What is it with mormons and their love bombs? It seems that in the game of mormonism, they only have one idea in their play book dealing with wayward souls and it's called the Love Bomb. The Love Bomb is kind, it never faileth, it seekth the one's who what to be left alone, it is sometimes puffed-up pastries.
It's been about a year since we've stopped attending the ward and it's mostly been the same old, same old with the love bombing. A ring at the door bell, a pie, stale cookies or cupcakes and the whole family standing there with silly grins on their faces. Silly grins that is until they see the look on my face of, "Why are you here on my door step bearing trite gifts like this?" Then they uncomfortably explain (At a very distant arm's length, for fear of catching that damnable apostate bug.) that they miss us so much and wish that we would come back to church. Not once have they asked or even wanted to talk about why we aren't coming to church any more.
It's gotten to the point where even my semi-believing wife says don't answer the door, when there's an unannounced knock, it's probably them. Translation for 'them', mormons bearing love bombs.
A couple of weeks ago the EQP called and wanted to visit. I said fine, and they came by a stayed for a half hour. My rationale for letting them visit was to cause the bulging-eye deer in the headlights look by sharing a few truths about the mormon church with them. What can I say, I get a kick out of that. Sadly, I promised my wife to be on my best behaviour and she said I could only talk about it if they brought it up. Well, they didn't even come close to broaching the subject. It was mostly, we miss up so much, we wish you would come back and a scripture and a prayer.
Afterwards, I asked my wife if miss you's and the please come back's made her want to start going to church again. She said, are you kidding, did you actually believe them when they said they missed us. I said, no, I didn't believe any of it. Inside though, I was so glad that she was seeing through the shallow hollowness of it all.
Anyhow, I think their play book sucks, but I say keep running with it. It sure does help in keeping the inactives and apostates away. What's your opinion? Anyone here been swayed by mormons and their love bombs?
| My wife was working out at the gym doing some cardio on the treadmill, when she gets a phone call from one of her TBM sisters. She usually would not answer it but she does not get phone calls from them and wanted to make sure it was not an emergency. |
TBM Sis - Hi, how are you doing
DW - Fine
TBM Sis - You at the gym
DW - Yes, doing some cardio
TBM Sis - Nice, I just called you to tell you I love you and I love your kids. I want to tell you how much Christ has helped me in my life and I want to bare my testimony to you......
DW interuppts - Wait.... I want to bare my testimony to YOU... YOUR CHURCH IS A ####### CULT....and hangs up.
We have been over this with her family. She has told them she is not a Mormon anymore and has resigned. We have bounderies we do not tell them and tell them how wrong they are and they are not to call us and try to do the Mormon thing.
On with the story....
So several minutes pass and she receives another phone call from another TBM sister...
TBM 2 - Hi sis, how are you doing
DW - Fine thanks
TBM 2 - I called to tell you I love you and that I know the church is true.....
DW - I want to bare my testimony to YOU.... That your church is a ####### Cult!...Click
My wife was really pissed because we thought the boundaries had been set, but of course Mormons know no boundaries. She came home to tell me and I thought it might be part of a Family Home Evening lesson or something. But it was strange she got the same phone call from 2 of her sisters within minutes.
This morning DW goes to the gym and a friend of her starts to complain about her SIL and how she called last night to bare her testimony to them, they are not LDS, and the husband let her have it with both barrels.
DW and Friend had a laugh about getting the same kind of call on the same night.
| Specific instructions for Primary workers on how to reach your inactive Primary child. Outrageous and creepy.
While doing a little closet cleaning, I came across a box old papers, including a file of handouts from my days in the ward Primary Presidency. I’d saved a quarterly newsletter from our Stake Primary Presidency that featured a two page article about how to "reach out to" inactive Primary children. Here are some of the suggestions listed in the directive, given to all Stake Primary workers, on how to “nurture each little lamb into your Primary fold”:
Nowhere does it say to get permission from the parents first.
- Hold special fasts for specific children as a presidency
- Pray for them, frequently and by name
- Visit, Visit, Visit. Make frequent contact. Take them a treat. Take them a birthday gift. Encourage their teacher to visit. Have them make a call whenever the child isn't at church.
- Have the children in their class make a card for the inactive child and go as a class to deliver the card.
- Mail cards to them occasionally – Give the teachers a supply of cards to use for contact.
- Offer them rides.
- Call them on the phone
- Take them an Article of Faith card with a picture of Christ on the front.
- Take a CTR ring to a missing child
- Be willing to get out of your comfort zone. Be brave and not afraid to ask direct questions.
- Be constantly aware of the children. Make contact outside of church setting like at school, on the soccer field etc.
- Build a relationship with the child and the family.
- Invite them to sit with you
- Help them have a friend at church.
- Tell them you miss them and want them back.
- Ask “Will you” questions. Don’t ask “would you like to come to Primary some time?” ask “will you come to Primary next Sunday?”
- Invite children to participate in Scouting or Activity Days, even if they don’t attend on Sunday.
- As directed by the Spirit, call parents of less active children to teach in Primary.
- Use your ward council. Activation is a group effort. All organizations need to be involved. The parents need nurturing and need to feel welcome when they come.
- Bear your testimony to them when you visit. It may be the only chance they have to be touched by the spirit.
Nice, huh? Be warned.
| Whose fault is it if mormons have outdated decrepit records of exmos who've demanded no contact?
After twenty years of not attending a mormon church in this state, a total stranger once phoned me and told me to bring a "hot dish" to some cult event.
This is an example of "poor record keeping?"
No. It's an example of mormons worshipping their records and digging them up for insane reasons.
After six years of never attending and not know a single mormon in this state, I received what I'd tithing bills. They were requests for payments in specific amounts toward what I "owed" for tithing. The local bishopric guys sent letters saying the Lord told them to contact me and that I'd receive blessings for helping them reach 100% tithing contributions in their ward. Can't remember the amount they wanted, but it was in the $200. range.
A little before this two female VTer-type total strangers showed up at my door and when I didn't answer, they continued to pound on the door and ring the bell between walking up and down the length of my porch smearing their hands and noses on my freshly washed windows and saying, "She's in there. She must be. The garage in open and the trunk is up with groceries. Just keep ringing the bell as long as it takes."
Then for DECADES when I would least expect it, mormons would phone, send invitations, and show up never to be allowed in and repeatedly being told to stay away.
What works? Having DH go to their homes and to the wardhouse to harass them. Also, going to the police and writing letters to the newspaper copying the bish. Finally, hosing the creeps!
For those who say EVERYONE must tell them about Joe Smith or MMM and try to "bring them out." NO. Everyone must not do that unless that's their choice.
And for those who say the poor records are somehow the exmo's responsibility. NO.
Exmos have no control over mormon records. I think mormons can refuse to use ten or twenty year old list or they can be hosed.
| I resigned in 2002 and then moved across the country. About five years later, I had a Mormon who called at the gate to visit me. At the time, I lived in a gated community with a guard at the entrance who calls ahead to approve any visitors. I had not spoken to this Mormon before, and I had never heard of him, so I said no. Then I told the guard that this man was not allowed in to see me, and I authorized the guard to throw him out without calling me first in the future. He tried for over a year to get in. Finally he ingratiated himself with some Mormon house guests who were staying with us when they were at church. After they got back, I found him and his wife sitting in my living room. That's when things got ugly. After I threw them out, he actually wanted a hug. Crazy. Later, his son tried to get in to visit us, and my mother in law had him turned away at the gate.
It's possible that my name and address came up after I visited an LDS Family History Library or maybe when I registered at FamilySearch.org. Or maybe my TBM family sent my name in as a referral. I don't know. I just think Mormons have a zombie-like disregard for personal boundaries. I figure just about anything is possible. That's why I was wondering what turn of events could have prompted a tithing bill or a call for a "hot dish."
| You can leave the Church, but... The Church can't leave you alone.
Of course there are members all over the world who’d like to go undercover and be forgotten. But they have relatives–in this life and the next–who will not have it. And we, as ward members, will not just go away quietly, either. Once you have been baptized, you are on our radar and we will try to serve you and love you as long as we can find you. If you hit hard times, we’ll help you find employment and assist you with food and commodities in the meantime. If you need medical help, we’ll get you to the doctor. If you have a baby, we’ll bring in meals and babysit the other kids. As far as we’re concerned, you are our family and we will minister to you as best we can. Until you take your name off the records by a formal written request, you will have Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers assigned to help you. That’s the program, and it’s one many other faiths envy.
I know there are lonely people who actually do fall through the cracks, people whose needs get overlooked, even when their names and addresses are “on the books.” But this is not the plan; rather it is evidence of members dropping the ball. If you’re LDS, you’re supposed to be cared for and loved, even if you say, “No thanks.” There’s no such thing as a “Do Not Contact” list in this church.
During our Ward Conference I participated with 20 stake and ward leaders as we brainstormed for half an hour about how to get a particular 14 yearold boy to come to our meetings and activities. Parents all over the world would love such sincere attention to be given to their wavering children. It’s the very sort of ministering to individuals that Christ did, realizing the value of every single soul. And most parents hope and pray their children will be given similar consideration if they’re ever at risk.
Targeting children without parental permission? Creepy.
Asking sexual questions of minors behind closed doors? Creepy and illegal.
Stalking inactive members? Creepy.
Using retired seniors to hunt you down by phone calls, reversed mail, or question forms to family members? Invasive creepy.
Dropping off letters, cards, food in hopes to entice reactivation? Creepy.
Dropping in uninvited, unannounced and in business suits? Creepy and rude.
Calling on the phone demanding a meeting with a Bishop (that you may never have met)? Creepy and rude.
Crying and showing insincere love toward an inactive they have never met or "We Miss You"? Very creepy.
And we, as ward members, will not just go away quietly, either. Once you have been baptized, you are on our radar and we will try to serve you and love you as long as we can find you.
Creepy Cult is creepy. Mormonism is a creepy Cult.
Two words: Name Removal.
| I'm tired of the relentless YW leader constantly trying to encourage my daughter to participate, without so much as asking how I feel about it, when presumably I don't want her to go since I'm inactive.
I'm tired about shebol (new name for former first minion) who is now the YM leader over my son asking what he can do to make my son feel more comfortable at YM's without considering the fact I might not want him to feel comfortable.
I'm tired of the cute girl at my son's school telling him things like "Please watch conference. I like you so much. I'll never give up on you."
I'm tired of my mom waiting til she has my kids alone to ask if they are going to serve missions and encourage them to do seminary.
I'm tired of bumping into Mormons at the store or at the school and having to tolerate their freaky friendliness or their cold shoulders, knowing they are both being used to try to manipulate me into following their warped lifestyle.
I'm tired of my husband playing possum and acting like it's OK we are inactive now but sooner or later, I'll come to my senses so he's just going to play along til I do.
I'm tired of him making comments like "Hopefully that cute girl will get our son going to church again" especially when DH doesn't go himself.
I'm tired of VTs and HTs stopping by with their "messages" and their loaves of bread.
I'm tired of the fact most of my family and most of the people pretending to be my friends are Mormons and are trying to lure me (and worse, my children) into a damaging lifestyle that will teach attitudes contrary to what the Savior taught and what decent people believe.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I feel like I'm in a constant battle, virtually alone, to save myself and my children. Resigning would help but only to a certain extent and I couldn't resign my kids with my husband opposed. Our TBM family would go after them in a heartbeat if I tried or if I resigned myself, hoping to save them. I feel like I'm in some swamp sinkhole that I may or may not survive. Everything is conspiring to drag me back into a mess I escaped and drag my children too. I am so tired of feeling like I'm fighting and endless battle for right against a major foe that seems unstoppable. I know Mormonism as we know it seems headed for disaster but I worry that like sand struck by lightening, it's going to warp from a quicksand-like danger to something hard and strange and sharper, rather than falling apart like other churches whose weird beliefs have been exposed. Mormonism Inc. has the money and the willingness to lie shamelessly. I'm so tired of battling such a mammoth black hole. I know I'm right and I wish I could just scoop my kids up and move to the middle of Iowa where most people have never met a Mormon and start over with everyone on my side instead of everyone pulling me down. I can truly say I hate Mormonism like you hate a stalker or an abusive ex. I know hate is an unproductive emotion but how do you NOT hate someone who is constantly after you?
| What If...
If Mormons asked for no contact, but we ignored them.
If we brought them love bombs of roasted coffee beans, cakes, candies, cookies and muffins - and left them on their doorsteps. Ok, maybe not coffee beans.
If we left little notes on their doors about ex-Mormon gatherings, or - "We are just thinking about you. We miss you so much."
If we stopped by incessantly hoping that their hearts would soften and they would quit being so stiff-necked and quit being Mormons.
What if we invited their children to fun activities and didn't tell them that they were really going to be attending de-fellowship activities geared around exposing the truth behind Mormonism.
What if we sent our kids by with anti-Mormon literature when they weren't home no matter how many times they told us to leave them alone.
What if we invited them to de-fellowship meetings disguised as "Neighborhood Picnics" in hopes that they would see how "Normal" Ex-Mormons really are. Once they were there, we would do our best to try and get them to attend Ex-Mormon meetings, or to have Ex-Home Teachers or Ex-Visiting Teachers visit them.
If we invited them to a public pool (as a neighborhood) - and they could get in free if they just mentioned that they were with "The Ex-Mormon 14th Group", otherwise they'd have to pay.
What if we just invited ourselves over as friends so that we could see what is going on - "just in case the person needs something".
What if we scheduled Ex-Visiting Teachers and Ex-Home Teachers to them to bring the message of Ex-Mormonism into their homes.
There are no boundaries when the work of helping Mormons get out of Mormonism needs to be done.
People don't really mean NO contact when they say NO contact.
Trespassing, harassment, and stalking are high minded and loving when it comes to helping Mormons.
Mormons do all of these things to us. What would they think if we did the same things to them?
| There was no official DNC function in MIS (the membership computer system), and no standard DNC procedure that I was aware of (anyone...what does CHI say?)
We put our many DNCs into a big home teaching list assigned to myself as home teacher (MIS does not allow them to remain unassigned to a HT list at all, and if the list had no home teacher assigned it showed up on a report to the stake presidency). So I had this list of lots of people and we counted them as contacted every month which greatly inflated our home teaching report. The rationale was that it was the maximum level of contact they would allow. We also tried entering "DNC" in their address/ph# line since RS also used MIS on their own. But, nothing I was aware of stuck to the record when it was forwarded. And, we had some bouncebacks that were forwarded back to us when their new suspected whereabouts fell through, and our DNC info was automatically stripped.
In all those years we never actively propositioned people to resign. There was a status quo of pretended home teaching, many dozens of claimed contacts that didnt occur but were assumed because it was their personal limit...but I also tacidly understood that budget money depended on home teaching.
I think an understanding of the home teacher that appears at your door requires some view of the system.
Contrary to usual assumption, its not primarily the bishop that drives home teaching. EQ, HP, and RS presidencies are stake callings that answer to the stake presidency or stake RS presidency. Every month theres a stewardship meeting and they printoff pages of reports and present them at the meeting. Invariably the stake leadership says do better, let's try this or that, scrub the system for maximum credit, and often they let on that in their own meetings with area seventies they get admonished to apply pressure to us. Sometimes they committed us to specific numeric goals and of course we all felt the lord was not well pleased. So in our own ward we doubled down on evening phone calls, followup on slacker home teachers, and tried to restart "PPI"(personal priesthood intetviews) and used up time to try and talk personally to each home teacher about his assignment. Since that used up alot of good evening time it was counterproductive to both our own and their home teaching. No matter what we did the home teaching #s stayed the same.
My point is, its not just the bishop. Theres a whole departmental corporate system operating and practically speaking, resigning is the only way I know of to remove your record from local circulation. Resigning is no garantee though.
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