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  EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17
Total Articles: 25
A very large selection of posts made by those in recovery from Mormonism. Culled from throughout the Ex-Mormon Communities.
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Learning To Question Authority
Friday, May 18, 2007, at 09:10 AM
Original Author(s): T-Bone
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
This has been one of the hardest things in leaving Mormonism. I was taught never to question authority.

I have learned over the years that it's OK. But at the same time, I've noticed some institutions that really don't appreciate it. The Mormon Church, for example.

Look at the way chapels are built. The bishop is on an imposing stand. He is given all sorts of authority. His 1st and 2nd counselors sit next to him like bodyguards.

Then look at the authority that is given to 19 year olds with nametags. They can conduct all sorts of magic rituals. Baptize (in other words, save your soul), see the future, hear individualized messages from God (the ultimate authority), and even bless people.

Look at the terms used to describe Mormon leaders. General Authorities. My weatherman calls himself the weather authority. And even though he frequently gets it wrong, he is still an authority. People quote him as if he were the ultimate authority.

But bringing it back to church. I remember wanting to know more about how things worked. I used to ask my teachers 'why' quite a lot. They didn't like that. For example, "Why would God require that his only begotten son be tortured and killed when he could magically make everything better?" They didn't like that at all.

"Why did Joseph Smith find a book that prophesies about his coming after he was already here?" They really didn't like that one. They set out to break me.

Throw in 2 dysfunctional parents whose favorite line was "Because I said so" and you have a kid whose natural curiosity is beaten out of him. He no longer asks questions. And he's willing to follow any person who claims to be a leader or an authority.

Then I get out of Mormonism, and there are no strong authority figures in my life. I had to find my own way.

My point is not that we have to go around questioning everything. There is a reason we have speed limits. It makes good public policy. There is a reason we have lines on the road, stop signs, and things like that.

What I'm talking about is questioning arbitrary authority - people who claim power. Priesthood power is a good example. There is no way a bishop who knows nothing about me is going to be able to make better choices about my life than I can. If he can't, what's to make me think an 80 year old guy I've never met can tell me how to live? He can't.

Mormon priesthood authority is fake. What if somebody came up to you in the store and started telling you how to live your life? You'd laugh, right? What if he told you an angel told him to speak to you? Mormon authority is based on unverifiable sources.

Letting somebody who asserts false authority tell us how to live is ignoring our own reasoning abilities. Don't you think you have more experience with your inner workings than an 80 year old man you've never met? Why give him authority to tell you how to live? Why let a middle aged guy tell you how to live your life when he doesn't even know you?

Eventually, I woke up to false authority. It's a lie. It's a sham. I don't even need to know the motivation behind it. I just need to recognize that by following false authority, I'm ignoring my own inner compass. And allowing false authority to get me off track can cost me years of my life. I don't want that. I've already done that.

So my point is, when we learn how to pick our battles and learn how to question falsely asserted authority, we get closer to living more authentic lives. I wish I had more time to elaborate, but I'm on my way to a class.
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The Mormon Church's Ability To Suppress My True Self
Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Esteban
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
After 4, almost 5 years after leaving the church I have a few things that stand out as the biggest experiences. But each one of those experiences is really about integrating back into a decompressed life.

I was disintegrated in many ways as a member. I was drawn and quartered emotionally. I was unbalanced and unable to truly feel the way typical people fell about life, about love, about sex, but mostly about nature.

For me, the biggest aspect of regaining my life after Mormonism was realizing how I was extracted from nature, removed almost entirely from natural things. I was so enmeshed in silly doctrines and silly rituals that I had become void of feelings. I had become absolutely void of nature. My real feelings had be kidnapped and replaced with unnatural fake feelings. Forced feelings. Almost everything about me was forced, unbalanced, and unnatural.

Most of you aren't gay, but I am and I was fighting that battle most of the time. But I believe that after all was said and done, it was not just my sexuality that was suppressed but my "nature". I felt as though I was walking in a removed place from everyone else. I woulod see happy people in the grocery or in the mall and I would be struck by how they seemed to be enjoying life so...naturally.

There is an astounding occurrence in Mormonism that is difficult to explain, but Mormonism pulled me out of real life, and forced me to live in a very odd way. My body had become a vehicle that did nothing but obey the crazy thoughts in my head. Even when I was "acting out", cheating with men and seeking some sort of something to make me feel better I was really seeking nature. My sexuality is my nature. But "my nature" is larger than that. I depend now on a connection with the outside world. I depend on relaxing outside, on focusing on natural things, hikes in the wide open. I am a product of nature, but the very structure of Mormonism is not natural. The ideas are not natural. Nothing about Mormon doctrine is natural. Not only that, but it's the antithesis of nature.

The bizarre church building are not natural, they are closed to outside things, and even if there are windows, they're small and covered and insignificant. The lighting in the chapels is horrific and unnatural. The shapes of the rooms are unnatural, and they way you have to act in them is unnatural. The rituals are unnatural, the garments that cover you up so you can't feel anything are unnatural. The way the leaders invasively probe your very life is extremely unnatural.

If you're BIC, you're REALLY a fucked up person. And as I've said before, we exmormons are really fucked up people because we're recovering from something that will take us, some of us, a lifetime to rid ourselves of. Some of us move faster than others, but we cannot place a time limit on our recovery. And recovery goes WAY the fuck beyond this BB, although I owe this place a LOT of my recovery.

If we all sit and think about it, we can name a huge list of ways the cult removed us from nature, removed us from life in general, ripped us away from who we REALLy are. We are products of nature. We are NOT what they say we are.
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I Admit It. I Left The Church Because I Was Offended.
Friday, May 25, 2007, at 07:27 AM
Original Author(s): Pat Lewis
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
It's true. I left because I was offended. I was angry and I was bitter. At first I told myself I wasn't angry or bitter... that I had somehow just graduated beyond what the church could do for me. But I was just lying to myself. I really was offended, truly.

It angered me to the core that my mother couldn't come to the wedding because she wasn't a member. And for what? NOTHING! Nothing beyond the church's collective masturbatory, self-congratulatory, sick plan to ostracize others for the sole purpose of instilling a sense of massive superiority over the rest of the world.

I AM OFFENDED by being victimized and wracked with guilt for coming home early from my mission. Didn't they know my family was falling APART? My mother's heart had been broken, I hadn't seen her in several years already and now they were shipping me off to South America??? It was too much for her to take and she nearly disowned me forever. I HATE the church for making me feel like I was doing something wrong by going home to her. I'm so glad I did.

I AM BITTER AND ANGRY that my dear mother-in-law, so poor already, still gives 10% of what little retirement income she has, in addition to paying into the perpetual education fund, paying into the missionary fund and every other request that comes along from time to time. In her old age, she shouldn't have to worry about such things. They say that 10% across the board is the Lord's fair way of assessing taxes, but I say that's BULLSHIT. I could pay 10% and live comfortably on the remaining 90%, but for my mother-in-law and others like her, that 10% can mean the difference between getting the toilet fixed or even going to the doctor.

I AM SO MAD that the church knowingly put me in a position wherein I would have to one day tell my teenage son and daughter that their daddy was a fool, and that we've all been fooled, and that everything that we've taught them was a lie.

I AM FURIOUS that after skipping family home evening one night, my 12 year old daughter sadly commented to my wife that "we're really not a very good family, are we, mom?" That is INSANE!

It infuriated me that as a young man, I had decided to follow something bigger and more important than anything I could have ever imagined, only to discover that it was all a total farce. A ploy to get my money and my obedience. Boy was I an idiot! They really got me... I'll tell you.

I was offended that the church felt it was above the need to follow it's own rules pertaining to honesty in all things, DELIBERATELY withholding information, misrepresenting facts, and outright LYING while at the same time requiring me to be honest in all things. I grew to hate the church for that.

I AM OFFENDED at Elder Bednar's continued poisoning of the minds of those whom I still love and miss. I am offended at his manipulation in leading them to believe that my leaving the church was somehow MY fault instead of Joseph Smith's.

Lastly, I am INCENSED BEYOND EXPLANATION that the church has robbed me of my spirituality and the ability to trust my feelings and gut instinct. Why I ever allowed myself to believe them when they told me, "the warm feelings you feel is the holy ghost telling you it's true" is beyond me. I was so stupid. I was a fool. A patsy. A toy and I meant NOTHING to them. All they wanted was my money, my time, and my family.
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Leaving Your Mormon Identity: Adapting Cass's Model
Tuesday, May 29, 2007, at 08:42 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
This has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, but I haven't ever adapted it for Post-Mormons.

Skeptical and I were discussing our identification with the LGBT community due to emotional parallels between "coming out" and leaving the mormon church.

What follows is something I adapted from Cass's model of Homosexual Identity Development (Cass, V. Homosexual Identity Development, 1979). I think it is a fair description of the general trajectory that many people experience when they exit the mormon church, and provides a good framework for understanding different psychological tasks people encounter on their journeys away from a mormon identity.

Identity Confusion
"Could I be an apostate?" Person is beginning to wonder if "apostacy" is personally relevant. Denial and confusion is experienced.
Task: Am I an "apostate"? - Accept, Deny, Reject.
Possible Responses: Will avoid information about controversial issues in the Mormon church; inhibit behavior; deny or rationalize doubts or criticisms ("I'm just an apologist. I'm just reading up on church history.").
Possible Needs: May explore internal positive and negative judgments about people who are critical of the Moormon church. Will be permitted to be uncertain about their "testimony". May find support in knowing that there are many options for dealing with doubt and confusion about spiritual matters. May benefit from being permitted and encouraged to explore spiritual identity as other normal experience (like career identity, and social identity).

Identity Comparison
"Maybe this does apply to me." Will accept the possibility that she or he may not believe in the claims of the Mormon church. Self-alienation becomes isolation.
Task: Deal with social alienation.
Possible Responses: May begin to grieve for losses and the things she or he will give up by embracing their disbelief. May compartmentalize their own spirituality. Accepts "apostate" positions about the Mormon church, but maintains "True-Believing Mormon" identity of self. Tells oneself, "My doubts are only temporary"; "I'm just waiting for a deeper understanding of the gospel," etc.
Possible Needs: Will be very important that the person develops own definitions of what it means to leave the Mormon church. Will need information about different approaches to spiritual identity, post mormon community resources, encouragement to talk about loss of Mormon cultural life expectations. May feel the need for "permission" to keep some "Mormon" identity (it is not an all or none issue).

Identity Tolerance
"I'm not the only one." Accepts the probability of being an "apostate" and recognizes spiritual, social, emotional needs that go with being Post Mormon. Increased commitment to being Post Mormon.
Task: Decrease social alienation by seeking out former Mormon community.
Possible Responses: Beginning to have language to talk and think about the issue. Recognition that being a former Mormon does not preclude other options. Accentuates difference between self and "True-Believing Mormons". Seeks out Post Mormon culture (positive contact leads to more positive sense of self, negative contact leads to devaluation of the Post Mormon culture, stops growth). May try out variety of stereotypical roles.
Possible Needs: Be supported in exploring own shame feelings derived from Mormon cultural stereotypes of apostates, as well as external harassment and alientation from Mormon family and friends. Receive support in finding positive Post Mormon community connections. It is particularly important for the person to know community resources.

Identity Acceptance
"I will be okay." Accepts, rather than tolerates, Post Mormon self-image. There is continuing and increased contact with the Post Mormon culture.
Task: Deal with inner tension of no longer subscribing to Mormon cultural norms, attempt to bring congruence between private and public view of self.
Possible Responses: Accepts Post Mormon self-identification. May compartmentalize their Post Mormon life from other aspects of their life." Maintains less and less contact with Mormon community. Attempts to "fit in" and "not make waves" within the Post Mormon community. Begins some selective disclosures of Post Mormon identity. More social coming out; more comfortable being seen with groups of men or women that are identified as "apostates." More realistic evaluation of situation.
Possible Needs: Continue exploring grief and loss of Mormon cultural life expectations. Continue exploring internalized learned shame about being an "apostate" in the Mormon culture. Find support in making decisions about where, when, and to whom he or she self discloses.

Identity Pride
"I've got to let people know who I am!" Immerses self in Post Mormon culture. Less and less involvement with Mormon community. Us-them quality to political/social viewpoint.
Task: Deal with incongruent views of Mormons.
Possible Responses: Splits world into "Post Mormon" (good) and "True-Believing Mormon" (bad). Experiences disclosure crises with Mormons as he or she is less willing to "blend in." Identifies Post Mormon culture as sole source of support; all Post Mormon friends, business connections, social connections.
Possible Needs: Receive support for exploring anger issues. Find support for exploring issues of Mormon culture-based mistreatment. Develop skills for coping with reactions and responses to disclosure of Post Mormon identity. Resist being defensive!

Identity Synthesis
Develops holistic view of self. Defines self in a more complete fashion, not just in terms of spirtual identity.
Task: Integrate Post Mormon identity so that instead of being the identity, it is on aspect of self.
Possible Responses: Continues to be angry at Mormon culture-based mistreatment, but with decreased intensity. Allows trust of others to increase and build. Post Mormon identity is integrated with all aspects of "self." Feels all right to move out into broader community and not simply define space according to spiritual identity.
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Even From The Time I Was A Child I Just Knew That There Was Something Funny About It
Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at 08:20 AM
Original Author(s): Redorblue
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I was baptised when I was 9, because this was at a point of inactivity for my mom and my dad isn't LDS.

And I thought it was so awkward. There was something about it that scared me. They asked me to pick out a hymn to be sung, and I kept asking, "Aren't there any that are JUST about Jesus, not about the temple?" I didn't like the little white outfit, the water... most people relate the experience of baptism as something positive and something that fills them with joy... for me, even though I was just 9, it was terrifying. I felt like I was drowning.

And until I got to be about 13, I always regarded the church as something like a joke (funny how children see the truth better...). I'd laugh when priesthood holders would put their hands on my head, I'd try to take two pieces of bread at sacrament, etc. It wasn't until I got older that I started getting suckered in. The reason I probably didn't earlier was because I didn't start going to church until I was 9, so the initial brainwashing hadn't been performed on me.

At first I thought all the rules were stupid. WHY couldn't I double-pierce my ears? WHY couldn't I drink coffee? WHY was all the music that my dad listened to (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, etc) considered "bad?" The more I asked, the less answers I got. When my friends would ask, "Man, don't you have like, a TON of rules in your church?" I'd be like "Yeah... it's annoying."

But then eventually, I guess I got taken under the water, because I started thinking like they wanted me to: it's only hard to deal with the rules when you don't accept them! When it gets down to it, the rules are only there to protect us and make us HAPPIER! And is it really bad that I don't get my ears double-pierced, that I can't drink coffee or listen to my dad's music? Not at all! It's all okay!

I'd always held lingering doubts deep-down, but the more times I went to church, the more I liked it. I wasn't ever a Molly Mormon, but I was halfway there.

There was one thing that always held me back from totally fitting in, and that was the fact that I was creative. As I learned the hard way, ultimately creative, thinking-outside-the-box types just don't do well in the Mormon church. I had a leader that desperately tried to get me to conform, to stop wearing black, to stop listening to rock music, to try out for the volleyball team instead of the school play (because theatre, apparently, is were Satan lurks).

I continued in this way until my sophomore year of highschool, at which point I met my husband, a devout atheist. He didn't try to get me to not be Mormon (on the contrary, though he hated it as much as I do now, he would have converted if I'd asked it of him), nor did he tell me I was wrong. But he did encourage me to be myself, to THINK. And that's when I realise that I'd been right as a child: it was baloney.

And now, from the outside looking it, I'm really disgusted with myself that I listened to it for so long. These guys have brainwashing down to a science. My dad, when I told him that I really honestly didn't consider myself Mormon, hugged me and said, "God, I was wondering when you'd come back." And I'm glad that I am. It feels so good to think.
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The Importance Of Developing Critical Thinking Skills Is The Most Important Skill We Can Acquire In A Post Mormon World
Friday, Jun 1, 2007, at 09:20 AM
Original Author(s): Chat Spjut
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
Think about it, you have been through a great deal working through the maze of Mormon deception and programming. You have literally changed the physical structure of your brain by re-wiring your thought patterns to accept a new reality, that of the realization of the fraud of Mormonism. This has been no small feat, no simple change of the mind, for most it was the change of self, at our very core and minds.

As I examine my present situation and compare who I am now to that of who I once was, I see that my mind and the ability to think on a more critical level has increased dramatically. I am not completely cured of false thought patterns, however my continual striving for better, and a more logical and reasoned approach to life is serving me well.

I recently read a book, which I believe should be REQUIRED reading for anyone, but in particular the former Mormon. The book is titled: Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking by Thomas Kida. I borrowed it from a fellow RFMer and found myself enthralled as I read through the pages, debunking and clarifying the human mind and the fantastic abilities we posses. In the end I learned that in many, many ways we can not always trust our own thinking, let alone our “spiritual” experiences unless we can temper them with sound logic and reason.

I read this book following my journey through “Under the Banner of Heaven” and the delusional and disturbing life of the Lafferty brothers. These were men who “knew” that what they were doing was sanctioned by God, and that their spiritual experiences were real and valid to the point where butchering a small child and her mother was completely acceptable. To be honest I could not finish the entire book as the accounts of the bastards were very unsettling, especially since I am a parent of small children.

The following is a description of the book from Amazon:

Do you believe that you can consistently beat the stock market if you put in the effort? –that some people have extrasensory perception? –that crime and drug abuse in America are on the rise? Many people hold one or more of these beliefs although research shows that they are not true. And it’s no wonder since advertising and some among the media promote these and many more questionable notions. Although our creative problem-solving capacity is what has made humans the successful species we are, our brains are prone to certain kinds of errors that only careful critical thinking can correct. This enlightening book discusses how to recognize faulty thinking and develop the necessary skills to become a more effective problem solver. Author Thomas Kida identifies "the six-pack of problems" that leads many of us unconsciously to accept false ideas:
  • We prefer stories to statistics.
  • We seek to confirm, not to question, our ideas.
  • We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in shaping events.
  • We sometimes misperceive the world around us.
  • We tend to oversimplify our thinking.
  • Our memories are often inaccurate.
Kida vividly illustrates these tendencies with numerous examples that demonstrate how easily we can be fooled into believing something that isn’t true. In a complex society where success–in all facets of life–often requires the ability to evaluate the validity of many conflicting claims, the critical-thinking skills examined in this informative and engaging book will prove invaluable.

About the Author: Thomas Kida (Amherst, MA) is a professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of many articles on decision-making.

Understanding how our minds work and how our thinking patterns can lead us into practices and beliefs which may harm us, is vital in my opinion. For those of us with children, this is the most important lesson we can pass on to them, teaching them to think, and think critically.
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How Do You Deal With Your LDS Family Members?
Saturday, Jun 2, 2007, at 09:40 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I treat my LDS family with respect. It is all that I can do. They have spent their whole lives immersed in Mormonism. They cannot fathom why I had my name removed and became an apostate.

My FIL works for the LDS Corporation and is a SLC temple worker. He shakes your hand and pulls you through the veil.

They love my children; actually, they absolutely adore and spoil them.

I am unique because I am strong and very knowledgeable about their religion. By strength I mean I can fully stand up and say - NO. I'm one of the few people who have actually read the entire HOTC and JOD, and pretty much all the works of BY, JFS, WW and more. They know my reason for leaving the Corporation was because I stood up to the Mormon God and said NO. I will not obey this doctrine of hate, this doctrine of abuse, this doctrine of involuntary servitude - a doctrine full of "Obey Or Die" philosophies.

I think they also know that if they began trying any kind of indoctrination, I would yank my children right out from under their noses, and they'd be alone - since my kids are the only grandchildren they have. The strength and conviction to say NO is powerful and in all truth, Mormons are cowards in that they have had a lifetime of being told saying NO is a sin.

My father, OTOH, is a rock in my life and not LDS. Sadly, he lives three States away and that makes it difficult to just be with him for comfort and camaraderie. I truly miss that, as I have no other biological family here in SLC. My wife's family is quite large, but not all LDS.

No, I treat them with respect. While in their home, I do not bow my head or fold my arms for prayers, but I keep my mouth shut, or I eyeball my son or daughter and make funny faces at them. I will always treat them with respect and allow them to follow their religion, even if I fully understand all of the issues that in a whole show their religion is nothing more than a control mechanism. I keep my mouth shut at the pictures of Mormon temples hanging on their walls, or the white and delightsome Mormon Jesus pictures - or even the multiple fresh copies of LDS Corporation magazines displayed perfectly on their coffee table. I understand it, I once lived it, I know it is Mormonism and they know no other way to live.

What else can we do? If parents or grandparents decide they want to follow Mormonism, we have to let them - it is their right. We, however, must be firm with them that our children are not LDS and LDS indoctrination will not be tolerated. This can be difficult when one spouse (such as my wife) is still Mormon. In some cases it works, as some Mormons still have the capacity to think and understand - while in other cases, some Mormons are so hard core that they become instantly offended or will go behind your back to try and indoctrinate your children. Believe me, I have been immersed in the Ex-Mormon culture for six years now - I have seen every manipulative method used by rabid Mormons to indoctrinate children behind the backs of parents (phone calls, little notes, sending of LDS Corporation magazines, taking them for "trips to the park" on Sundays, but really taking them to LDS meetings, or even secretly baptizing them without the knowledge of parents).

Patience with firmness I have found works. Be understanding - the Mormons who are still "faithful" do not know what you know, and if they are not ready to know will not be able to see nor hear your knowledge. It is only something they can seek after.
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Why I Left The Church. The Facts Just Don't Add Up
Thursday, Jun 7, 2007, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Foofighter
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I have many friends that are LDS. I too am LDS just inactive. At one point I was very active. I am a returned missionary and have served in the Bishopric, Elders Quorum Presidency, Young Mens Presidency, and in Stake callings. I was married in the temple and baptized my children. I attended my meetings on Sunday, did my home-teaching, and paid my tithing. I had many countless discussions with my wife about spiritual matters like how to pay our back-tithing when we were unable to pay for several months as struggling newly-weds. Spiritual matters were the cause of much angst and discussion in our home.

Things began to change when I discovered that the facts that the Church claimed were the basis of its authority and made it the Only True Church with the authority to administer the ordinances which gave passage to eternal life were false.

Gordon B Hinckley stated that either the entire story of the Church is true or it is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated. See, unlike most other churches, the LDS Church claims that it alone has a prophet that can speak for God and receive revelation for all church members and the world for that matter. It claims that all other religions while benevolent, do not have the full truth or God's authority which can only be held if one has the priesthood. It claims that only marriages in its temples has any everlasting power. All other marriages performed in any other churches are only for time but not eternity. This extraordinary claim of infallibility and perfection does not give the LDS much margin to admit error. In the LDS Church, things are pretty much black and white. Something is either good or evil, true or false. The prophet can either speak with God or not. Either Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by inspiration or if was a fraud. This is not a standard that the LDS Church's critics or anyone outside the Church has set for it. It is a standard that the Church has explicitly set for itself.

And so, this environment does not give the Church the leeway to admit any type of error. This is the reason why one hears so many extraordinary excuses in the Church for seemingly blatant mistakes. Some notable examples are:

1. Joseph Smith allows Blacks to hold the priesthood. In fact, one black member was even ordained as a Seventy by Joseph Smith. Brigham Young subsequently states that Blacks cannot hold the priesthood because their skin color is a curse handed down from their ancester Cain who was punished for killing his brother Abel. This is official Church policy until the 1970's. Interestingly enough, one of the Articles of Faith states that we believe that men are punished for their own transgressions and not for the sins of their fathers! This change of policy in the 1970's is explained by the Church as the result of revelation given to Spencer Kimball as a result of his fervent prayer. No mention is ever made of the civil rights movement which caused major changes in the US at around the same time or the LDS Church's efforts to start missionary work in Brazil which has a large Black population. Also no mention is made of the boycotts at athletic events in which BYU played due to civil rights issues which did not get the Church good press. These last three reasons were the more probable causes of the change in the Church's policy, not Spencer Kimball's fuzzy pondering and prayer story.

2. In all my years in the Church as a seminary student, missionary, BYU student, and in my temple attendance where supposedly the highest and most sacred teachings of the church are given, I was never taught about Joseph Smith's multiple wives, the fact that he married other men's wives while they were still married to their husbands. And that he did have sex with them. (Which was proven by sworn testimony of several of his wives in court when they were called as witnesses by the LDS Church to support cases regarding separation of Church assets from Joseph's own assets after his assassination). We are lead to believe in our Sunday School lessons and from the pulpit that Joseph Smith had one wife Emma and that he was faithful to her. We learn otherwise from an examination of Emma's own journals and letters written by Joseph himself to the many women and girls he courted while married to Emma. If there is nothing to hide, why hide these facts?

3. Why is it that tithing is so emphasized in the LDS Church along with the companion statement that "The Lord Does Not Need Your Money." I am sure that the Lord does not need the money but why does "His True Church" put so much of an emphasis on it to make it a topic of Sacrament Meeting speeches, to put it in the Sunday School, Priesthood and Relief Society lessons, to create a novel way of teaching tithing to Primary children (i.e. the teacher gives the child ten pennies and she is asked to put one penny in the tithing envelope and give it to the Bishop). If money is not important to the Church why is there an entire complex procedure around collecting and depositing tithing receipts? Why are members called to tithing settlement once a year and reminded to settle their unpaid tithes? Why are ward audits held? Why do Bishops receive letters from Church headquarters warning them that their wards have given out more Fast Offering funds to members than was collected from their wards and that they need to exhort their members to contribute more fast offering?

4. Why does the Church make such a big deal about other church's having paid ministries when in fact, only the local ward and stake leaders work for free? The LDS church is one of the largest employers in the state of Utah. Its General Authorities receive generous stipends, travel on first class airfare, receive chauffered vehicles or a vehicle allowance, and sit on the boards of church owned companies and of course receive director pay as a member of the board. Its CES (Church Educational Service) personnel receive decent pay and great benefits. In fact, the LDS Church president gets to live in a 8000 sqft+ condominium with full-time domestic help, security, and medical staff all paid for by the Church with chauffered luxury autos as well of course. Even lowly mission presidents sent to developing nations live in luxurious quarters, their children attend expensive private schools for expatriots, and the Church provides servants.

5. Why is it that many other churches and most nonprofit organizations disclose their financial activities to their members and the public by publishing financial statements. Why is it that Church members do not know how their contributions are being spent? Why does the Church refuse to publish financial statements?

6. Why does the Church own the largest beef ranch in the country, numerous radio and television stations, shopping malls, a Marriott hotel franchise in Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center (which is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii), and at one time owned a controlling interest in the Times Mirror Newspaper in LA, its own insurance company, etc. The list goes on and on. At the same time it tells the poorest of members that it is important to pay their tithing before buying groceries. Members should have faith that the Lord would provide if they bought groceries. What do these financial concerns have to do with providing for the spiritual welfare of its members? Why is it that members are not told that the Church contributes less than 5% of its annual revenues to the poor? Why is it that investigators are not told of these things before they are baptized?

7. Why does the Church see the need to perpetuate the myth that it is the fastest growing religion when it is not? Why does it try to inflate its membership by counting inactive members in its membership number until they reach 110 years old? Most other churches remove people from their membership statistics when they are no longer active. Why does the Church have such a difficult process in order to remove someone's names from its membership rolls? Why do more than 50% of the Church's new members go inactive rather shortly after baptism if it brings such happiness to their lives? Why are their temples such as the Snowflake Arizona temple that are now "Open By Appointment Only" because they do not have enough demand to keep them open for regular hours? Building temples and splitting stakes sure give the impression that there is growth but ask any member outside of Utah how Sacrament Meeting attendance is and you will probably find that less than 1/3 of the names listed in the ward directory ever attend Sacrament Meeting!

8. On the topic of temple work for the dead. How does the Church explain that the number of baptisms and ordinances for the dead done in all its temples in a year do not equate to the even the number of people that have died in a single day alone. That temple work for the dead and its attendant time-consuming geneology work is futile at best since it is impossible to find all the records and baptize even an infinitesimally small percentage of all the people that have died in the past. The process can't even keep pace with the number of people that die today.

9. How does the Church explain away proof that Joseph Smith really can't translate ancient documents? How does it explain that the original papyrus that Joseph Smith claims to have translated the Book of Abraham from in the Pearl of Great Price is nothing more than an Egyption funerary text written by a priest and have nothing to do with Abraham? How does it explain that the Book of Mormon which is supposedly the most correct book on Earth has been edited many times and in fact the latest version includes a statement that it has been edited to conform more historically with original manuscripts?

10. How does the Church explain why the Word of Wisdom which was given for health prohibits the drinking of tea and red wine which have been proven to be good for your health by modern medicine? Once the Word of Wisdom was supposed to be for the health of the saints. Now, in light of modern research, the new excuse is that it is to test our obedience.

11. How can the Church explain why Brigham Young taught that their were tall aliens that lived on the moon, why he predicted that the United States would collapse, and why Mormons committed the larges massacre in the history of the United States by killing men, women, and children in the Mountain Meadows Massacre near Cedar City Utah?

12. If the warm comfortable feeling of the Holy Ghost is really a witness that the LDS Church is the only true church and that Gordon Hinckley is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true than why do members of other Churches and members of other religions also get these feelings when they pray about their own doctrines and during their own rituals? Why does watching Finding Nemo give you that same warm feeling as when you are watching a heartwarming LDS comemrcial on TV? Let's face it, there are many things that give people a warm fuzzy feeling but that warm fuzzy feeling doesn't mean that that the Church is true or that Gordon B Hinckley is a prophet. In fact, if you go to the website of Bonneville Productions which is a media company owned by the Church you will see that it specializes in manufacturing just that specific feeling that you identify with the Holy Ghost. In fact, any business that is willing to spend money to do so can enlist Bonneville's help. See the following eye-openning link to the secret behind how the Holy Ghost is manufactured. http://www.bonnint.com/story-1467e.ph...

I can go on and on. But as you can see, these are very objective historical and other concerns. 98% of the obvious reasons why the Church is a hoax can be found within the Church's own actions and writings themselves. The Church is very quick to warn its members about "Anti-Mormons" and apostacy, and scheming men but really, the evidence is readily available to anyone in the unbiased historical record for study. If you study objectively and weigh the evidence you will reach your own conclusions.

Again, there is nothing wrong with the members of the Church. Most members are well-meaning individuals who have the same attributes and faults that can be found in a population of nonmembers. I have found members that are great people and some that are not so great. There are angels and scammers in the Church as well as outside the Church. In most cases they or their forebears and family members had been duped by the Church and they are just innocents. But the Church is more than just a social club. It does not just provide a place to socialize. It literally claims to control your eternal destiny and in doing so commands your time, talents, resources, money, and your life if necessary in building itself up. Those of you that have been through the temple recognize this last sentence as a paraphrase of one of the promises that someone getting their endowment in the temple swears. This is the reason why the Church is bad. It is bad because it makes grandiose claims that are not true and claims authority that itdoes not have. In doing so it controls the minds and consciences of those it claims as members. It affects family relationships, it makes false promises and instills false hopes however appealing they may be. I can promise you by my authority that you will live forever but if I really can't deliver then again I am instilling you with false hope no matter how good the promise sounds.

Anyway, I apologize about the length of this post but it is impossible for me to really share with you my thoughts in the context of what I have experienced otherwise. Best of luck in your research and plans. My only advice is that you seek facts and draw your own conclusions logically. Sometime s the truth can be painful.
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To Believe Or Not Believe. That Is The Question.
Thursday, Jun 28, 2007, at 06:58 AM
Original Author(s): Chat Spjut
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
Since leaving the Mormon Church over a year ago, God has been on my mind all of the time. I think about the plausibility of their being a God. I wonder about my existence, my life, my purpose, in general I wonder about everything that everyone else on the earth is wondering about.

I miss the once close connection that I thought I had with God. I thought that there was a loving and caring father who looked out for me and my family. It felt so great to have this father give me the secrets of the universe, and that I was chosen among billions of others to be entrusted with secrets and treasures of knowledge due to my former valiance in my pre-earthlife.

In some ways I mourn the loss of the former relationship, but in many other ways I do not. I found that relationship was very much a one sided affair, and in the end it left me angry and sad. I now consider myself an agnostic, with a hope that there is a God and that there is a continuance of life after this mortal existence, but at present I have no proof of such leaving me firmly in the "I don't know" category.

There is now so much that I question, even my own mind. I have questioned so much, that I have concluded that my mind can not be fully trusted as I have been lead to believe things to be metaphysical, when they were nothing more than an emotional response brought to me by purely physical means. I can't allow myself to be deceived again; fact and reason have now become my gospel.

Several months ago, I came across a small lecture about the nature of God on You-tube. The speaker was a Jewish Rabbi and a scientist. During his lecture he spoke about the development of the universe, the big bang, and how everything and everyone that we know originated in the stars, making an effort to emphasize that we are all at our essential element nothing more than star dust.

Then he said something which to me, has been a subject of internal debate for many months. He stated essentially that although our origins are in the stars, how did star dust become self aware? The rock under our feet began at the same place as ourselves, yet the rock remains unaware of itself, it is just rock.

It is the very notion of consciousness that leaves me to ponder, how did stardust become self-aware? And hence the quest for understanding continues.
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If You're Lurking And Reading This Board, My Dear Husband, I Have Something To Say
Monday, Jul 2, 2007, at 08:08 AM
Original Author(s): Your Wife, Who Still Loves You
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I hope you ARE reading this board, and researching it in a proper manner instead of trolling.

There's a lot of stuff here you need to read, and research, and learn about.

Here's something I want to tell you. I don't think that you participating in the Mormon church means that you are a failure. So many times when I've brought up an objection with the church, you get so offended and take it personally. I'm not attacking you. I'm trying to get you to see that an organization you are dangerously addictive to is harmful, hurtful, and slowly chipping away at our marriage.

If you decide to leave the church, I'm not going to say "I told you so" or shove it in your face. I will, honestly, be thrilled to pieces, but that is all I will say about it.

You can still be proud of the dedication and strength of character it took to serve a mission. You can still remember your trip with fond memories. I don't expect you to act as if it never happened. Learn from it, and move on.

As far as I am concerned there is nothing wrong with still socializing with your church friends, even though I realize that if you leave, their main concern will be getting you back, not being your friend.

Sweetheart, I am tired of our marriage being trivialized by your bishop because you married a nevermo who has no intention of joining. Don't you understand? We both love each other so much, how could anyone have the right to criticize or otherwise assess our marriage. Do you really think that you would have been happy with a mormon approved wife? We both think we got it right the first time. It is none of his business who you married.

I am tired of your professional skills being taken advantage of by those in your church. I have no problem with you helping out every now and again--I'm quite proud of you when you do that, actually--but being gone for hours on end several days in a row trying to unsnarl a problem that keeps you away from your family is too much. They are taking advantage of your intelligence, your skill and it's time to let them figure out their own mess.

The church keeps maneuvering itself so that it is a wedge between us. You know there are more reasons that I won't list here. Please don't be afraid to leave if that is what you decide you must do. It won't say anything against you negatively--the power of this church is that they fool decent, caring people like yourself to give their all until there's nothing left. I love you. Please come home.

With all of my love, now and forever--

your wife
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The World Biggest Van
Monday, Jul 2, 2007, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Vandriver
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I rode the same van for 42 years.

Why? Well it just seemed like the right vehicle for families and I love families, especially my own. The Van’s big, for one thing. Plenty of room for everyone, great air conditioning too. No matter how hot it got you always felt good (or at least you were told you felt good.) And it had a beautiful stereo even if it only played one station. Those boxes piped the sound into every square inch of that van. You couldn’t NOT hear the music even if you wanted to. Too bad the dj sounded like some geriatric case on valium.

All kinds of safety features too. Seat belts on every seat and straps hanging from the ceiling. Harnesses, child safety seats, head restraints. Permanently inflated front and side air bags to further restrict motion. Man, when they strapped you in you couldn’t move a muscle. And the owners manual said it was all flame proof as long as you stayed current on the warranty. As a father who loves his family more than anything, I would have to say it was the perceived safety that kept me riding that van for longer than I probably should have.

But one day I was looking out the window and I got the impression that we really weren’t moving at all. I know that sounds odd but it just felt like we were going nowhere. So I looked a little closer and found a little bb hole. Just a small little crack I could look through.

What I saw stunned me. We were stopped right in the middle of the freeway with vehicles of all types zooming past us going in all different directions! Some were even going in the wrong direction. (It made me glad I was at least going nowhere). Apparently, what I thought were windows were in fact screens onto which a perfect image was projected. That little bb hole was my first look into the real world.

So I told my wife I wanted to get out and look around. I wanted to check the tires, check the wiper blades, look under the hood.

She was terrified but I had to do it anyway so I tried the door and it was stuck! In fact EVERY door was stuck! I ended up having to crawl out a window. (It was sure a hell of a lot easier getting in.)

Sure enough the tires were flat, the wiper blades didn’t work and there was no engine. Amazingly, nobody in the van wanted to hear about it. “There’s no engine!”, I would say. The more I tried to show them, the more scared they got and they started making vroom noises to drown out what I was saying. And the more I tried, the louder the vrooming got. Eventually, I just shook my head and gave up.

But my wife and kids listened. It took awhile but I got them all out. We’ve been out for a long time now and we drive many different cars. Sometimes we walk. Sometimes we even fly. But the bottom line is that now we can go anywhere and do anything we want. The whole world is open to us and all those safety features I thought we needed turned out to be just so much worry over nothing. Life couldn’t be better.

I think I’ll buy me a Porsche.
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Some Of My Memories Of Mormonism
Thursday, Jul 5, 2007, at 06:51 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I recall several experiences I had as a Mormon. They were burned into my memory.

I recall being beaten up by my father because I would not go to sacrament meeting.

I recall a home teaching companion telling me he would "beat me up" because I did not want to go home teaching.

I recall being forced to sleep in the same room with a missionary companion I did not like, because the Mission President said I would "resort to immorality" if I slept alone. I just wanted a few hours of peace.

I recall being insulted and belittled in front of a bunch of other missionaries by my Mission President. He loved to belittle those who were not doing exactly what he wanted.

I recall being called out of the audience to speak by my Mission President, with no notice. He loved that little trick. I came to hate it. A small thing, perhaps, but very irritating. Its a method of control.

I recall my parents arguing over the words of Chauncey Riddle, the BYU buffoon. The point of the argument was whether women or men lacked spirituality.

I recall my parents being worked up about "humanists." It went on for months. Chauncey Riddle had given a fireside speech about humanists, and suddenly everyone was a humanist.

I recall trying to talk to my father about masturbation, and having him explode when I brought it up. He yelled "Who taught you?" "How did you learn about it?" He rushed to the book case, and pulled out " Mormon Doctrine," and lectured me from that text. No understanding, no kindness, no kind words. Just anger.

I recall my mother exploding because I told her I was dating a non-Mormon girl. It was totally intolerable.

I recall the power of ostracism when I dated a girl who was of a different race. The neighborhood, entire, gossiped and talked about it. My parents were hysterical, embarrassed, and sobbing. A major scandal.

I recall BYU Security being used for religious enforcement at BYU. They were the Taliban arm of BYU, and people came to despise them.

I recall the sheer horror I felt when I went to the temple, and cut my own throat. No-one could explain it to me. Why did a church do this? What was spiritual about it? No answers.

Lots of memories of Mormonism. Funny how nasty the "true church" really was.
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Quinn Knowingly Lies In "The Magic World View" And Sundry Sunday Thoughts
Monday, Jul 9, 2007, at 07:19 AM
Original Author(s): Jimmy Rainbow
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I have just finished chapter 6 of Quinn’s “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View” in a continued study of all works I might be expected to have researched as I write my own books concerning some major aspects of Smith’s hoax. I don’t have much time to post on the board now, as I am constantly researching and writing, seven days a week. However, today is Sunday and as most of you are in the States are just getting up, I decided to give anyone interested, something to wake up to, while I vent my spleen a little, as for the last couple of days I have felt quite low, so this morning is a break from the norm for me to just chat about things. I know we all talk about how long it takes to get over the trauma of having been a member; for some it is easier as their brush with the Church was short lived and hardly affects them now; and for others, like me, who enthusiastically joined as a teenager, believing everything without question for forty odd years, raising the next generation to believe the same, only to discover you were lied to; it is not as easy. Everyone you know and love is in the Church and it is only when you leave, you discover that unconditional love is something preached but rarely practiced.

We have no real friends now. Two of my daughters (I have 8 children 21 grandchildren and 2 on the way) one married to a Bishop, the other to a member of a Stake Presidency, keep eight grandchildren from me and have done for over three years now. When children ignore you and keep your grandchildren from you because they don’t want an evil influence near them, you cope; but sometimes you do break down and wonder if life is actually worthwhile any more, after so many years of close loving family relationships. My first wife died a few days after 9/11 from cancer and my youngest daughter married shortly after, so I was alone. I finally remarried, 18 months after I left the Church, (saved my life really) to a young lady, much younger than me, who had also left the Church and understood all I was going through and chose me and asked me to marry her. Although shocked at first, I most certainly would have no longer been alive had I not eventually said yes. I cannot do “alone,” never had been alone and never knew how itfelt. It sucks! Those two daughters have not even told their children I remarried, as they disapprove of my wife being younger than me. Considering the LDS eternal perspective, that seems illogical although I understand their reasoning. The mistake of believing in the Church can never be undone once you have raised the next generation to believe; especially when for all of their lives, they admired you as one of their most prominent Stake and Regional leaders. Anyway, enough of the pity party, this post is supposed to be therapeutic for me so let’s get on...

Quinn’s chapter six is “Mormon Scriptures, the Magic World View, and Rural New York’s Intellectual Life.”

I like Quinn’s other works, (and some of this one) they are really helpful for research verification, references and information. The Magic World View likewise, has some good stuff in early chapters although there is far too much material that really is not needed for him to make the points he covers. A shorter and less referenced book would be far more compelling and enjoyable to read. The overkill seems to mount. However when I read chapter six, I had to admit that it transcended all reason to write so much drivel. I have to admit that I really struggled to get to the end and be able to say I have actually read it. It covers 58 pages and contains 485 references covering a further 43 pages. I have never read such a boring chapter of a book in all my life.

We should remember first and foremost that whilst Quinn was excommunicated for publishing some of his works, (as “they were not helpful”) last I heard, he still claims to be a faithful believing member from outside the Church. In ch. 6., Quinn tries, in his own mind to write all the possible evidence regarding occult references in scripture. He seems to chase his tail, page after page after page, locating the most obscure materials, sometimes published decades or hundreds of years before Smith, as if he may (or may not) have found ideas from those sources that found their way into the Book of Mormon. Bearing in mind that Quinn believes it true, I can’t understand how he thinks the influence (may have) existed so deeply. Smith would neither have had the time nor (judging from his real history) the inclination, to study so much for his ideas. Some perhaps, but probably very little of what Quinn referenced. Coupled with his father’s dream which became Lehi’s, The View of the Hebrew and the KJV, his imagination was good enough. His own knowledge of the occult and folk magic passed on to him through his family was more than enough. Additionally, Quinn seems to feel the need to postulate ideas that are absolutely beyond reason to include. Try getting your head around this idea from page 199:

“This necromantic parallel to the name Nephi may help to explain a historical puzzle in Mormon history. In the 1839 manuscript of Smith’s official history and its printed versions of 1842 and 1851, the name of the messenger who appeared three times in one night of 1823 was stated as Nephi rather than Moroni. Since Smith’s earliest autobiography (1832) gave the angel’s name as “Maroni,” LDS historians have defined the use of Nephi as “a clerical error.”

However, a clerical error is not a convincing explanation. As editor of Times and Seasons in 1842 Smith published the Nephi reference, which he could have corrected but did not.”

Quinn then explains that Mary M. Whitmer for one, always called the angel “brother Nephi” and that the evidence is that after 1830 Joseph and others referred to the angel as Nephi. His explanation is that since “Nephes” was a designation for departed spirits “called out by Magicians and Necromancers,” these Mormon’s could have used the cognate “Nephi” as a generic reference to the messenger Moroni.”

Please excuse me if I do not use apologetic terms, for I am not an apologist: I have never read such nonsense in all my life. I thought Quinn better than that. He still believes and has closed his eyes to two things.

1. There is not a snowballs chance in the hot place that Smith used Nephi (instead of Nephes) as a generic term. He already had the name Nephi well established in his published Book of Mormon long before ever writing an account of the vision and he decided to call the angel by that NAME. It was after all, in his imagination and he made it all up as he went along.

2. Quinn, amazingly, despite his extensive research and thousands of references, chooses to lie outright in order to then bring out his “Nephes” idea. Note that he states “Smith’s earliest autobiography (1832) gave the angel’s name as “Maroni.””

I have already concluded my research and written a full chapter and analysis on the Nephi – Moroni problem. I can tell you that in the original 1832 manuscript, despite Quinn’s assertion, Smith categorically does NOT say that. He says that “the angel of the Lord came…” and then (the visiting angel) specifically said “…there were plates of gold upon which was engraven by Maroni and his fathers…” the angel that was present and speaking with Smith clearly identifying that Maroni (now spelled Moroni) was NOT the messenger * but rather a third party that the unnamed visiting angel referred to. Quinn knows this and yet slips into the same trap he elsewhere accuses apologists of falling into. Although the Church claims Smith settled on Moroni, he actually did not. He only ever used Moroni twice and one of those was penned by Cowdery rather than Smith. The six other authenticated statements ALL refer to the angel as Nephi by NAME not by any manner of necromantic or magical association. Quinn gets some things right about the influence of folk magic but in this chapter he seems obsessed by it to the degree of sheer insanity. Overall, just for information, in my own chapter analysis I have included 25 references that are generally accepted by the Church. From those I get:

25 accounts refer to the angelic visitations (not associated with First Vision accounts). Of these 8 are specifically dreams rather than visions.
  • 1 refers to a dream about treasure.
  • 1 refers to an unidentified ghost in a dream.
  • 3 refer to an unidentified spirit or spirit of the almighty in a dream.
  • 3 refer to an unidentified angel (or angel of light or of God) in a dream.
  • 1 refers to an unidentified spirit in a vision.
  • 7 refer to an unidentified angel. (*One angel says Moroni is someone else).
  • 1 refers to an unidentified personage or messenger.
  • 2 refer to the angel Moroni. (Cowdery and Smith 1835 and 1838)
  • 6 refer to the angel Nephi. (1838 onward, 4 Smith, 1 quoting him and 1 Lucy)
No account, other than one by Cowdery, identifies any name, apart from Smith himself who uses Moroni only once, Nephi appearing the rest of the time in all of his accounts. Lucy Mack follows suit. So, despite the fact the Church later altered all the references from Nephi to read “Moroni” for consistency, Smith had previously settled on Nephi as the angel and consistently used the name. I wonder if they will ever try to explain, no matter what the angels name was, that if he appeared and lighted the room as Smith described, three times throughout the night, considering Smith shared a tiny upstairs attic room in a shanty shack with all his brothers, three in a bed and only two beds, no one else was aware of it all. The little one didn’t say “roll over” but perhaps they all rolled over and took no interest in the room being brighter than noon day, all night long. Or perhaps it was all a bad dream.

Regarding the rest of chapter six, like I said, Quinn chases his tail trying to include every imaginable and often implausible scenario Smith could or may have been influenced by regarding the Book of Mormon, DandC revelations, Books of Enoch, Book of Moses etc., even exploring Masonry in depth along the way. He finds some parallels that go beyond anything that could remotely be called reason. So much so, that any strong LDS member could not be anything but offended by all his assumptions and equally, ex Members would be totally perplexed at such obvious nonsense which proves nothing.

He does all this and at the same time still clearly believes that Smith threw the Urim and Thummim into his hat to translate the first 116 pages (as the specs were too big) and then when they were confiscated, put his old money digging seer stone in his hat for the remainder of the book and that God actually effectively dictated by making appear, the word for word exact “translation” of the plates (while he never looked at them) which He then declared correct. Wherein does the magic and mystery come into the finished work other than by God’s own words? Quinn cannot be implying Smith made it up, can he? Sometimes it appears so and sometimes the opposite. He says it was subtle in the BOM so as to attract the folk believers and yet the God fearing folk who did not believe in magic who joined, couldn’t see the magic connotations. Where does Quinn get the notion that any believing member or any well studied ex member will have any of that nonsense? Again, I think he just lost the plot along the way. I think he gotso embroiled in the idea of finding obscure possible magic parallels, he saw them in anything and everything he came across, whether really there or not.

As an example of the extremes he goes to, beyond comprehension, try to understand this, not just what he is trying to imply, but why he ever bothered. The Jews spoke Hebrew and would have had nothing to do with pagan Egyptians or their language.

Page 200:
“In addition to the magic dimensions of some Book of Mormon names, the opening pages of the text itself suggested other magical parallels. The book’s first historian, Nephi, wrote, “Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Ne.1:2). Thomas Vaughan’s Magica Adamica, or the Antiquity of Magic (one English and three German editions from 1650 – 1749) explained: “the learning of the Jews – I mean their Kabalah.” The beginning phrase of this parallel couplet associated the Book of Mormon with the mystery and magic of the Jewish Cabala.

The second part of this phrase further intensified the sense of magic heritage. In support of the Book of Mormon as an ancient text, some twentieth century Mormon scholars have used Egyptian cultural and historical parallels that were unknown in Smith’s era. But within early America’s magic heritage, the reference to Lehi’s knowledge of Egyptian evoked the popular image of ancient Egypt as the centre and transmitter of all magic. Likewise, pseudepigrapha scholar James H. Charlesworth has referred to “Egypt, that melting pot of ancient magical lore.”

Nephi’s reference to the language of the Egyptian’s inevitably suggested attitudes then current toward Egyptian writing. Encyclopaedias available in the early 1800’s defined “HEIROGLYPHIC, [as] a symbol of mystic Figure, used among the antient [sic] Egyptians, to cover, or conceal, the Secrets of their Theology. See CHARACTER. … Hermes Trismegistes [father of alchemy], is commonly esteemed the inventor of Hieroglyphics … a kind of Cabbala.” (emphasis in original). This also appeared in Rees encyclopaedia on sale near Smith’s home. Again, there was a popular linkage of the Jewish Cabala with Egyptian mystic hieroglyphics. The Book of Mormon’s opening words likewise aligned the cabalistic reference “learning of the Jews” with “language of the Egyptians.” Within the intellectual and linguistic heritage of Joseph Smith, this phrase was equivalent to “the wisdom of the AEgyptians, whereof Magick was no small share.”” (emphasis in original).
For the last two sentences all I can say is NO, they bloody didn’t; and NO it bloody wasn’t! Believing member or apostate, it’s just silly. Smith used the phrase to explain his supposed “Egyptian” characters that were then taken to and debunked by Anthon.

Overall, I can only think to use something here that I have noticed previously in some posts WT you know what...

Incidentally, “pseudepigrapha” relates to books ascribed to Old Testament characters.

I just hope that if Quinn writes anything else, he knows where to draw the line.

On page 219 Quinn locates references for Smith’s use of and explanations for the three degrees of glory (Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial) although I am not sure Smith would have referenced Rheims Bible of 1582 (among the several translations around the 16th and 17th centuries) for this, as Quinn suggests he could have. I reference all of them in my work because they are all searchable from excellent web sites when comparing translations, but Smith? Probably not. Overall, Quinn is quite good here at locating where Smith may have got his ideas. However, he is supposed to believe it is true, he is not an apostate like me, who categorically believes Smith made it up and God was not involved. Quinn believes; so why would Smith need to find these things if God revealed the translation? He would not have even bothered to look. Quinn makes no sense concerning why he references these things and yet retains some sort of “testimony” of Smith and the Book. It makes no logical sense at all.

This next part is funny and just shows that despite Quinn’s obvious scholarly achievements, he is still sometimes a sandwich short of a picnic. Pages 221 – 222.
“Enfield’s History Philosophy explained that “God restored it [the Cabala] to Adam; and that it passed from Adam to Seth … the book being lost, and the mysteries contained [being] almost forgotten, in the degenerate age before the flood, they were restored by special revelation to Abraham … [and] the revelation was renewed to Moses. As previously noted, Enfield’s book was advertised in the Palmyra area from 1804 – 1828. Again, other writers freely appropriated his view, including the Rees encyclopaedia on sale near the Smith’s home.

Of particular interest here is the tradition that an angel gave to Adam a book of Cabala which passed down to Adam’s descendants. In Smith’s 1830 revision of Genesis, he wrote: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam.” Of this Enoch said in Smith’s revision: “For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God.” (Moses 6:5,46).
I know that Quinn would point out that he never said anything was actually so, but that he just referenced what was available and what the references said. But Quinn is so caught up in the idea that he feels it “of particular interest” that magic started with Adam. He does not counter observe that the idea of Adam and Eve is considered by most intelligent people (including most Christians and even some LDS Authorities who freely admit that it may be an analogy that we can understand rather than a reality) and also that the flood was just a story, geologically proven never to have happened. More importantly he does not mention that paleoanthropologically, we absolutely know that 6,000 years ago there were already about 5 million people on the earth so Adam would have to actually have appeared much earlier if he existed. Most important of all is the fact that whilst the earliest art form appears to be etching on smoothed red ochre, tens of thousands of years earlier, actual writing that could communicate thoughts and ideas that anyone would understand (not single character representations) did not start to evolve until 5,500 years ago. No angel gave Adam any book, magic or otherwise. Quinn finishes by quoting Enoch as quoted by Smith as if Enoch really said that and Smith was not making it up. It is all “topsy turvey” with no definitive “position,” just ifs, ands, buts and maybes. You cannot tell whether he believes the BOM or not from paragraph to paragraph. I do not want to fall into that trap so I am taking a leaf out of someone else’s book that I will end with after this final observation which supports what I just said. I don’t always agree with FARMS but Midgley was right in his statement concerning Quinn.

Near the end of the chapter, Quinn tries to counter criticism of him by apologists at FARMS. On Pages 234-244 he says:
“…FARMS reviewer and political philosopher Louis Midgley complained: “Though Quinn claims to believe that the Book of Mormon is an authentic ancient text, he has not set forth an explanation that allows the book to be true and still contain all kinds of magic that Joseph Smith was somehow able to sweep up from his immediate environment…”
Now that is exactly what I would say! Quinn then tries to dig his way out of the extremely deep hole that Midgley correctly observed Quinn had dug for himself:

“Midgley has not made the same complaint against Hugh Nibley for using occult texts and ceremonies to explain the LDS temple ceremony. This chapter’s introduction and conclusion provide (as they did eleven years ago) the best response to Midgley’s demand for “an explanation.”

The following is the introduction as the chapter commences:
“Whether revealed translations of ancient texts or modern revelations, Mormon scriptures are foundational documents that must be included in any consideration of early Mormonism. In this case, it is necessary to examine how the magic world view is consistent or inconsistent with these texts.

The approach of this chapter follows the observation of Howard Kee, a historian of early Christianity. “The essential requirement for interpretation of a text is to read it in context,” he wrote. “Not merely in literary context, but in the wider, deeper social and cultural context in which both the author and audience lived, and in which the language they employed took on the connotations to which the interpreter must seek to be sensitive.”” (Emphasis in original).
The chapter concludes:
“Despite similarities between Mormon scriptures and texts of the occult and esoteric, LDS scripture is no more a canon of magic than is the bible. Yet like that holy book, the Standard Works seem to occasionally contain neutral references to magic and the occult within their revelatory, religious, historical, and devotional texts. No evidence proves that early Mormons explicitly identified the magic connections identified here, yet in 1829-30 Smith’s claims primarily attracted believers in folk magic (see chs. 2,4,5). Occult beliefs continued to influence the first generation of prominent Mormons (see ch. 7). Historians must attempt to explain why, even if the explanations remain tentative.

For example, early Mormon converts seemed to make no distinction between the traditionally religious and traditionally occult elements of the pre –Mormon theological heritage. This synthesis continued with their children and grandchildren born in the Mormon fold (see ch. 7). For Priscilla Parrish Roundy, wife of an LDS Bishop in Utah, “the ‘power of God’ included the use of a magic charm to cure toothaches.” The existence of occult allusions in LDS scriptures may explain why religious seekers from folk religion were attracted to Mormonism from 1829 onward. Diaries and autobiographies clearly show that most of these converted seekers felt at ease in a Church organisation for the first time. The subtlety of these allusions to magic also explains why denominational Christians saw only religious content in Mormon scriptures.”


Personally, I don’t think Midgley would or should be any more satisfied with that than before. Quinn wants to have his cake and eat it. He’s been ex-ed, it’s time he started acting and writing powerfully as an apostate and stopped pussyfooting around with rubbish that as stated, equally offends members and perplexes informed apostates.

The fact that earlier folk magic customs were intertwined with the daily lives of next generation members is not surprising. However, Quinn still doesn’t answer Midgley adequately before moving on to that separate aspect. If Quinn wants an idea of how previous religious (or magical) thinking transcends into a newfound religious persuasion, he should have tried living in Southern Ireland when I was there in the 1970’s. A predominately Catholic country, 90% of the Branch I was in was ex Catholic. You would have had to have been there to believe the integrated Catholic views and memories expounded in testimony meeting. They all had large families (birth control illegal) and it took some quite a time to give up statues of saints, stop crossing themselves and praying to Mary. In Sunday School classes, with an abundance of ex Catholics, many times the idea that Mary was the mother of God still came through. Who knows, perhaps they used the first edition of the BOM which clearly stated that to be the case, until Smith later concocted polytheism and the Church later changed the text entirely.

I learned a great lesson from Richard Dawkins, author of many excellent books and recent national prize winner for “The God Delusion” here in the UK.

On page 20 under the heading “Undeserved Respect” Dawkins quotes the late Douglas Adams who argues that although it is accepted that we can ridicule politicians or government, taxes or most other things as much as we like, we are not used to challenging religious ideas. We “respect” religion and are gentle about it. Dawkins not only questions why but he also sets out his own stall very clearly, stating that he intends to say it as it is. He then starts to do so at the beginning of Chapter 2, in what many would consider an extremely inflammatory statement about their God:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Already an Atheist in my heart, like Dawkins I registered on the internet as a “bright” (someone who believes a natural world, unaffected by any supernatural force or being) and once I got over the shock and a sharp intake of breath as I read his above words; knowing the Old Testament quite well, I not only recognised that God as completely and accurately depicted, I suddenly felt that Richard Dawkins was here somehow giving me “permission” to write in the way I “feel” about what I have learned rather than to write apologetically. I am after all not an apologist; I am one of the victims and still have to somewhat overcome some of the trauma of having subsequently become one of the unknowing perpetrators in Church leadership positions of influence for so many years. My work is an exposé of the behaviour of Smith and his Church regarding polygamy and more particularly, the almost unknown polyandry that he, Brigham Young and others practiced for no theological reason. Many of the other lies that I have discovered are contained in another book which I hope will be ready in a couple of years. So far I have found no truth at all to any of the published Church claims. The lies, I can’t begin to count.

Taking heart from Dawkins courage to “say it as it is” and feeling complete empathy in his declared thanks for the help of his wife when he, like me, had hesitations and self doubts, I now feel the courage to say this, boldly and without any hesitation, excuse or apology and this will preface my own work so there is NO misunderstanding:

Joseph Smith is a proven fraud. His religion was a hoax. From an indolent family, he was a convicted con artist. He lied about visions, gold plates, scriptures and his ability to translate them, constantly changing his wild stories. His Book of Mormon is fraudulent and full of plagiarism. His Book of Abraham was a work of fiction, the papyri he claimed to translate, being Egyptian funerary text written about 50 A.D. rather than by and at the time of Abraham as Smith claimed. His revelations were completely bogus, unfulfilled, often altered, deleted or added to at will. He was a womaniser, a cheat and a liar. He founded and then abandoned an illegal bank, defrauding people of their money and property. At one stage, putting everything in Emma’s name, he escaped his own debts via bankruptcy. He organised paramilitary groups and incited people to riot and murder. He secretly and illegally practiced polygamy and polyandry, mostly kept from his own wife and he encouraged selected others to do likewise, excommunicating anyone who either copied him without explicit permission or who accused him of such, constantly lying about practicing it to the very end, in public speaking, in newsprint and in false scripture. Finally killed in a shoot out when he himself shot three and allegedly killed two men, whilst in prison awaiting trial for treason, Smith’s character was the modern equivalent of Dawkin’s description of the God of the Old Testament. The two go very well together. If Smith’s God turns out to be real and Smith was called, all he did being sanctioned of or commanded by this God, then you can keep them both; they are more akin to the Christian idea of Satan than of a creator who loves His creations. I want nothing to do with either of them. God does not exist and Smith was an impostor. Dawkins does a great job of defining “The God Delusion.” I can and will prove what could also be termed “The Smith Delusion” or “The Mormon Delusion” in my work.

Anyone previously unsure of my standing should hopefully not find that confusing.

“A lie told often enough, becomes truth.” Lennin.

My own mother, a State Registered Nurse, when I was young, would always advocate the known remedy for burns, which was to put butter on them. I remember how it hurt and burned even more. Everyone now knows that running cold water or ice works but butter simply makes things worse. However, for many years it was “true” because that is what the medical books said… Quinn needs to learn not to believe everything he reads, decide on which side of the fence he is on and not appear to confirm belief despite being ex-ed, yet simultaneously appear to sit on the fence in his writing; and get a life.

Now I must get back to mine.
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Faith, Prayer And Fasting
Wednesday, Jul 11, 2007, at 06:50 AM
Original Author(s): Dimmesdale
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
Many years ago when I was in Jr. High School, I was madly in love with the boy next door. He was on his way to becoming the MVP of the high school football team, the most attractive boy in the school, etc.

I was a shy, mousy, but faithful and very devout Latter-day Saint girl. I prayed every night before I went to bed. I started praying about this boy---asking God if he was the right one for me. Every night for years! When “the boy” went on a mission, and his girlfriend was at the airport, it didn’t deter me. After all, good things happen to the faithful.

Sadly, “the boy” didn’t marry his college sweetheart. He met someone on his mission and “brought her home” to go to BYU. I was at BYU as well. I still wasn’t deterred. I was still praying every night. For some reason I wasn’t getting any still small voice. I didn’t have any burning in the bosom. I couldn’t figure that out. Maybe if I fasted seriously, I would get the still small voice, telling me that I would marry “the boy.” So, I fasted for two days. I still didn’t get any “still small voice.”

Eventually, this good mormon boy married his missionary girl, and I, who had been dating all along, but never finding the right person, finally fell in love. This fellow, however, was not a serious mormon. He hadn’t been on a mission. He wasn’t serious about going to church. When my father realized how serious we were, he wrote me a note while I was at BYU, telling me that he didn’t think “this fellow” was right for me.

Of course, I was praying all along. Every night. So now I prayed extra hard. Even more seriously. I HAD to know whether “this fellow” was the right one. After all, I had received no burning in the bosom with “the boy.” That obviously showed that God didn’t want me to have anything to do with him. But, my father had spoken out against "the boy." Was God speaking through my father?

So, I prayed and prayed. But, to my astonishment, I didn’t hear the still small voice. There was no burning in my bosom. I was totally perplexed.

I listened to BYU professors who told me that sometimes you don’t get a burning or a voice. Sometimes you have to figure it out for yourself.

So, that’s what I tried to do. I was quite compatible with “this fellow.” He agreed to become more active in the church. We got married in the temple. (A total shock for me–signs, penalties, and all.)

I heard about “the boy” last time I was in my home town. He has had three failed marriages. He’s gained about 200 pounds. Apparently God was right not to encourage my entanglement with him.

“This fellow,” on the other hand, became such a good mormon that my father wrote me an apology, saying he was wrong. I never did hear from God on that one, however.

Years later, now that my husband has embraced the church quite fully, I have finally come to the conclusion that I don’t believe much of the doctrine. You will never know how much I’ve prayed about that. Still, no word from God.

I was so serious about it that I started writing out my prayers, frantically, during Sacrament Meeting, thinking that if I put it in writing, somehow God would take more notice.

When my first child got married in the temple, I finally realized that my children were going to be stuck in the same belief system I had been in for the last 40 years. I decided I had to break the cycle. I stopped going to church. This wasn’t without much thought, prayer and fasting.

Don’t you think that God would intervene for a faithful mother of many who was so sincere in her pleas? Do you think a righteous God would let wonderful, good, honest, children, be carefully led down to hell by their mother?

I started getting mad at God. I’m a little past it now. After all, how can you be angry at something that you don’t even know exists.
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The Religious Practice Of Venerating Ancestors
Monday, Jul 16, 2007, at 07:04 AM
Original Author(s): Rebeccaj
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I have been thinking lately that the mormon practice of doing things for dead people, it is a form of ancestor veneration.

Ancestor veneration is defined as doing things for your dead ancestors that ensures their well being in an afterlife. The social benefits of this behavior include fostering family loyalty and continuity of family values.

The types of things mormons do for dead people:

-endles hours researching family lines in order to find more ancestors to venerate -baptism: gives ancestors a chance for the best type of an after life sealing: gives ancestors a chance to be with their loved ones, forever

Those particular ancestor veneration ritual I believe are obvious. And they both are aimed at ensuring a good afterlife for one's ancestors. But lately, as I read accounts of handcard reenactments, I believe that this falls into the category of ancestor veneration. What led me to believe this is the recounting by a TBM teen. He said that he was given a leather band to wear on the handcart trek. On the leather band was the name of one of his pioneer ancestors who had actually handcarted it to Zion. The teen related how when he was cold or hungry, he would think of the ancestor who's name was on his wrist. In this way, he gained a love and connection to what this ancestor had done for him.

Venerating ancestors is not an act of worship. Rather, it is a way of continuing to show love and respect for relatives and loved ones that were known in life, and for unknown ancestors as well. By honoring ancestors through veneration it is saying: "Thank you for my existence, for who I am and who I will become."

In mormonism, this sentiment is strong. People feel and describe being "forever grateful" to long dead ancestors who sacrificed or endured many hardships and persecutions.

I don't' know about you, but part of my exit from mormonism was getting over the idea that I owed long dead ancestors something. This idea of venerating my mormon ancestors for their sacrifices and persecutions was instilled into me at a very young age. It took me a while to get to the point where I claimed my own life, this one, as my own. Not one to be lived for long dead people who happened to be gullible enough or crazy enough to follow some charismatic charlatan.
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I Got So Tired Of Hearing About "The Lord," And What He Did, Or Did Not Want Us To Do
Monday, Jul 16, 2007, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
It always amazed me how Mormons could tell you exactly what God --er, "the Lord" wanted us to do. It was mind boggling to know so many had a direct pipeline to the heavens, and could tell us what "the Lord" was thinking.
  • "The Lord is pleased today."
  • "This is what the Lord would have us do."
  • "This is not in accordance with the wishes of the Lord."
  • "The Lord has reminded us again and again. "
  • ""The Lord has spoken, brothers and sisters."
  • "The Lord has made it manifest."
  • "The Lord speaks to us through his mouthpiece, even Gordon B. Hinckley."
  • "The Lord was displeased."
  • "The Lord was pleased."
  • "We must seek the counsel of the Lord."
  • "Fast and pray, and ask the Lord for help."
  • "This is the Lord's university."
  • "The Lord established BYU for his children to gain a spiritual education."
  • "The Lord has called you to the Texas Mission."
  • "The Lord has called you to the job in the nursery."
  • "This is exactly what the Lord would have you do."
  • "No, I will not change the calling.That is where the Lord wants brother Jones."
  • "Elder, I can tell you the Lord is not pleased with your attitude."
And on and on and on and on. It because nauseating. So many speaking for "the Lord." Everyone knew just what "the Lord" wanted.

Did anyone ever stop, and ask just how stupid this all was? They did not know what God wants, or does not want. Its laughable. How could God be so involved in every stupid little detail of a Mormon's life? It was too idiotic for words. You could not go a day without hearing about "the wishes of the Lord."

Do people really want to become "Gods," and have to deal with the petty details they would get as "the Lord?" There were Mormons who would not buy a shirt without asking if it met the whims of "the Lord." My hell, I think "the Lord" would get so tired of it he would jump off Mt. Everest.
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My Post Mormon Orwellian Epiphany. Or How I Learned To Escape Doublethink And Live
Monday, Jul 16, 2007, at 07:17 AM
Original Author(s): Chat Spjut
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
During my years of high school at Viewmont High in Utah, we had an opportunity to read the book ‘1984’ by George Orwell. I did not take the opportunity to read it, as I did not think I would enjoy such a book. During my mission to Germany, a companion of mine read Orwell’s book but he never discussed it with me. It was forbidden literature, so we kept the subject as a don’t ask don’t tell policy.

Finally, in an attempt to begin reading as much classical literature as I can, I recently picked up Orwell’s book, and have begun to read. As I have mentioned before, this book parallels my Mormon experience in so many ways. But the part which has had such a strong resonance with me is the concept of “Doublethink” or the ability to see something which is undeniably true, and then be able to see it almost instantly in the opposite context making it conform to your present world view.

As a Mormon I was constantly finding myself in the world of “Doublethink,” and ultimately it was to my detriment. This constant internal intellectual battle was taking it’s toll on my psyche and mental well being through depression and the feeling of near insanity as I struggled to match reality against my Mormon world view. In short, I was an internal mental mess.

The main character of Orwell’s book is Winston. Winston finds himself in a nightmarish world where everything is controlled by “the Party” under the direction and control of “Big Brother.” Truth is subjective and changed to meet the will and whim of Big Brother, an ethereal representation of the Party in physical form. The concept of he who controls the past, controls the present is a very real existence for Winton and his completely controlled existence. The past is constantly changing, and Winston finds himself as a part of this vast machine in charge of changing truth, by changing the past. Winston struggles to make “Doublethink” a reality, but in the end he fails.

The following is quoted from ‘1984’:

“Anything could be true. The so-called laws of Nature were nonsense. The law of gravity was nonsense. ‘If I wished,’ O’Brien had said, ‘I could float off this floor like a soap bubble.’ Wisnton worked it out. ‘If he thinks he floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously think I see him do it, then the thing happens.’ Suddenly, like a lump of submerged wreckage breaking the surface of water, the thought burst into his mind: ‘It doesn’t really happen. We imagine it. It is hallucination.’ He pushed the thought under instantly. The fallacy was obvious. It pre-supposed that somewhere or other, outside of oneself, there was a ‘real’ world where ‘real’ things happened. But how could there be such a world? What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens.

He had no difficulty in disposing of the fallacy, and he was in no danger of succumbing to it. He realized, nevertheless, that it ought never to have occurred to him. The mind should develop a blind spot whenever dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it Newspeak.

He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He presented himself with propositions –‘the Party says the earth is flat’, the Party says that ice is heavier than water’- and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them. It was not easy. It needed great powers of reasoning and improvisation. The arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as ‘two and two make five’ were beyond his intellectual grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.”

As Winston continues to struggle to make ‘two and two into five’ I see my former self. My anger seethes as I consider all the pain I endured to maintain my mind in a state of denial. But in the end, I can not express with enough emotion and thought how utterly thankful I am to have allowed myself the freedom of mind and life I deserve. No prison could ever be as cruel and dark as the place from where I have come. I am free, and no one will ever take this away from me again.
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Lessons Learned Inside And Outside The Church
Monday, Jul 16, 2007, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Timothy
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
A year ago May, beloved spouse and I paid-off our house. For the first time in twenty-five years, we are completely debt free and loving every second of it. Of course, according to the teachings of the one-true-church, we're supposed to be living in a van down by the river - what with me being an apostate and all - but seeing as how the Lord works in mysterious ways, I’m sure whatever punishment I’m due for my wicked and sinful lifestyle is right around the corner.

Sort of like the “Second Coming” … I guess.

Anyway, we’ve been engaged in remodeling our “castle” inside and out over the last couple of years and, in doing so, have learned many a new trick. As has always been the case in our twenty-nine years (this month) together, beloved spouse and I figure it out on our own and just git-r-done with little or no outside help. We started our life journey together with a 1975 Chevy Van and the clothes on our backs. We’ve never borrowed money from anyone outside our bank or mortgage company and have never missed a loan payment, bounced a check or been late on the credit card.

God help me, I’m such a sinner!

Now, I didn’t learn any kind of fiscal responsibility while a member of the tscc. All I was told is if I give them 10% of my gross annual income that I’d be blessed. Funny that I haven’t given them a dime in many a year, yet have watched my remaining TBM siblings and my parents, who dutifully purchase the Lord’s favor, fall into financial dire straits, time and time again, while my apostate siblings and I never seem to have any such problems.

Ah, the blessing of it all!

So we started overhauling our bathroom a few weeks back and the guy at Lowe’s tells us to expect to take at least twice as much time as we planned. Turns out he was right, yet despite the forewarned wailing and gnashing of teeth it has been a rewarding experience in that the damn thing has never looked better!

I had never done much plumbing, so I relied on my formal training in Bernoulli’s Principles on Fluid Dynamics and a few books to help me fully understand how p-traps work. I just wanted to know. I wish I had understood said principles back in my mo days as it might have better explained why the tscc’s shit wouldn’t flush, but I guess I’m content to know that my theories back then are scientifically founded.

During this process, I’ve also become aware that I’m constantly employing Newton’s laws on motion. I tend to agree with Sir Isaac’s observation that “An object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted on by an unbalanced force.” as beloved spouse keeps this particular “object” of her affection (who would prefer staying at rest) in a constant state of hauling ass.

Not that I consider her “unbalanced” mind you, its just that there are certain parts of my anatomy that I’d like to keep intact.

F = M x A, on the other hand, is a lesson I learned as a Mormon. Knowing force equaling mass multiplied by acceleration comes into play every time I put a nail in the sheetrock, or whack my thumb with the hammer, I first experienced this often painful “absolute” whilst banging my head against the wall trying to figure out certain aspects of Mormon doctrine. I’ve since noted that whacking your thumb with a hammer is like having your trust violated by religious authority. It hurts like hell the first time, so you do whatever it takes to prevent it from happening a second.

Newton’s Third Law has always been one of my favorites as it seems to apply to any and all circumstances. For example, the painful toil and sweat I put into remodeling the bathroom will be rewarded (hopefully) by toil and sweat of a more pleasing nature.

Such are things worth living for.

In Mormonism, there is also a give and take, but the portions are not equal. The faithful follower gives his or her time and money rightfully expecting a like return, while the church does nothing but take. It offers no reciprocal blessings and no reciprocal dividends, just its age-old arrogance that says, “You toil and labor and make bread and I’ll eat it.”

Thanks, Gordo, but I’ll just keep mine. If there’s a problem, then you can call my new “Timmy’s Bread” Complaint Hot-Line @ 1-800-EAT MEEE
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Junk Religion
Monday, Jul 23, 2007, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Dreamer
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
Not far from my home along a farm track across open fields, old decaying farm machinery has been abandoned and left to corrode and crumble back to the earth. Each implement, entwined with grasses and trees looks strangely beautiful in the dying sun of evening. Shining rust, set against the green shades of summer. I stand and look at it all. Some of this junk is piled high and entangled together into twisted limbs of steel and iron. This is a graveyard of metallic bones, scattered around like solders shot in fields – immobile and silent.

I too entered silence and remembered that once, many years ago, my religion was shiny and new and had a strong and rugged application in my life. I used it to plough-up my heart and let God sink into a deep and futile land. Oh Mormonism, why did you die in me? Why did you decay in front of my eyes and become, like these metal bones - useless junk? I sustained your beautifully perfect image, but slowly and inexorably you lost your edge. You started to breakdown and all the repairs and care in the world could not sustain you. If you were divine you would have had life in yourself – even if you were only human, you might have healed yourself, but you could not even do that. You were always brittle and hard but I did not notice for so long. Then, like waking up from a deep sleep, I thought of you, ‘my dream’ and I called you to come into reality – to come out of the night and into the day…. but you would not come. I struggled with you for years, trying to revive and breathe life into you, but in the end I had tomove on without you.

Oh Mormonism, why did you promise so much and in the end, give so little? Why did you want to stifle and control the life that was bursting out of me? Why couldn’t you trust me – why couldn’t you trust God?

Slowly, and with utter amazement, I saw death crawl all over you. You changed, you grew old, ugly and colourless… or was it me who had actually grown up? Me who saw you with new eyes opened – saw past all the crap and rhetoric? Saw the pride and the conceit. Saw the decay beneath the shiny surface. Once, in a summer now gone, I loved you. Now, you rust and disintegrate upon the landscape of my past. As I walk away, you call me back with your dying breath… but I have a harvest to enjoy! – did you think when you helped me plough up my living soil that I would always grow the weeds you recommended?

Richard Rohr, in his book "Hope Against Darkness" said:
“When you see a religion that is preoccupied with security, fear, maintaining a positive self-image, when religion is punitive and thinks that it can lead you to God by threats and coercion, you know it is ‘junk religion’. True religion is ready to let God be in charge and too let God lead us into a new future that we do not yet understand – and no longer even need to understand”
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I Never Could Lie
Friday, Jul 27, 2007, at 07:20 AM
Original Author(s): Tol
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I don't know how it happened really. I had read a book. A book about Richard Feynman. One day as I reflected on his life I accidentally thought: he was so lucky that he was not born Mormon.

Of course as soon as I caught myself thinking such an ungrateful thing I chastised myself. I was lucky. Lucky to have the gospel, lucky to be Mormon, lucky to be married in the temple, to have a worthy priesthood holder as my husband.

But then . . . . I played an innocent game. What if? What if I had not been born Mormon? Would I have done things differently? Would I believe different things? For a couple of weeks I played this game and it became a private and precious time. I looked forward to imagining my different life - free of all the expectations that I hated, free of all the rules and standards and demands.

And one day I knew. One day, just like a new convert knows the church is true, I knew it wasn't. All the facts and figures that had floated in my head came together and like a perfect math equation solved - I knew.

I was in the RS presidency and I was never good at lying. I didn't go to church and proclaim my insight but I also did not state anymore that I had a testimony or that there was a living prophet or that I was grateful for the priesthood.

I stood back, I managed to avoid saying prayers, talks, or comments. No one notice. No one suspected. So when the Bishop released us about three months after my revelation he did not realize that he would never see me in church again.

I did not realize that. The next Sunday I got up to go just like I had done for 32 years. I got my four children ready and we knelt to say family prayer. All of a sudden I just could no longer even pretend.

I got up and asked my husband to go into the bedroom. He asked me what was wrong. I told him that I no longer believed and that I could no longer go to church.

I just could never pull off the pretense thing. I never went back.
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I Call Myself An "Eccentric Eclectic" After Leaving Mormonism. How Do You Characterize Yourself?
Monday, Jul 30, 2007, at 06:53 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
I like a lot of notions, ideas.

I don't think most of us can be characterized by one word.

That is why I chose a term to define myself and my new world view (which is continually evolving) that is more to my liking and takes in a lot of different ideas.

My beliefs have evolved, carefully and with a lot of study and research into the history of mankind.

At this point: As an ExMormon ExChristian - Eccentric Eclectic = Agnostic-Atheist -I take the position of non belief in the unsupported theist claim of a God.

That means: I have no belief in a personalized deities such as man-type or female-type in a robe in the sky watching his/her creations.

I like to throw in a little Humanist and good old fashioned Skeptic, some Buddhist notions, and when pressed for a God-belief; deism, to make up the brew that includes my beliefs.

On a personal, real life level, I have found it unnecessary to say much about my current beliefs. I rarely talk about my change in my religion. I do write a lot about it though, and that seems to be the thing that has helped me define my evolving and changing notions of life.

My observations, predominately on the Internet:

I have found, in talking to people (in this case, mostly on the Internet) there is very little understanding of what the terms agnostic and atheist mean.

Nothing sends a believer into fits of preaching, personal attacks, and false accusations faster than telling them you are an atheist or say God is a Myth!

The general consensus of a believer is that atheist are angry, bitter, hate God, threw the baby out with the bath water, believe in nothing, (how can you believe in nothing) have no faith (faith in their God they mean) or spirituality, morality, ethics, won't follow the constitution, and on and on.

Being an atheist (which is confused with being agnostic) is somehow seen as being subhuman. This is often how a theist will describe an atheist, right after I have told them I am agnostic-atheist.

There is this odd misconception that being agnostic is the same as being atheist and, either way, you have denied God/and or hate God.

It is usually said with great disgust like atheist are a twin of agnostics and are the scum of the earth and not to be trusted. And, no one wants an atheist as a next-door neighbor. How can you trust their kids to play with theirs.

After all, they say, there are "no atheist in fox holes" and when you are nearing death, you will be "calling out to God," said with great glee that when that happens they will be shown they are right.

They also have this misconception that there is some future time that the atheist/agnostic will be proven wrong. They also falsely accuse people who are atheist, in particular of not being spiritual or seeking spirituality.

The theist (in this case, usually Christians believing in the Hebrew God) also makes the point that they must be right because many more people are theist and atheist. After all, they say, only 5% (or some number) of the world are atheist.

I had no idea how well programmed and scripted the theist have become as a whole. They seem to imply that they have a position of power because they are in the majority.

I seems that theist think they can rewrite a dictionary to fit their theist (only) definition! Or they never use a dictionary in the first place.

The theist will proclaim that because we left Mormonism, which they define as a bad experience with God, that we have now turned against God.

They often say things like: "I feel sorry for you, I feel sad, I will pray for you," and on and on.

I have yet to figure out why anyone would feel "sad" because they exercised their right to freedom of religion in a democracy. I can only surmise that their emotional bond to their God overrides other people's choices. And, besides, they know that America was built on Christianity and was chosen by God.

I pointed this out to someone the other day on line and they never did understand that, in my view, it was un-American to be sorry for someone for exercising their freedom of religion!

It seems incomprehensible to a theist that people can have faith in everything else but their God, find spiritual (or no spiritual) meaning in their lives, and be happy, peaceful, content and contributing members of society.

The notion that man can only be moral and decent and respect human rights without a God is only the theist view. Atheist know that is not a valid claim.

When you tell them you are happy and content, they call you a liar! Only their God is the true God, they say.

When I point out that there are thousands of gods, female ones long predate male ones, all claiming to be a true God, they maintain only their true God exists and anyone who does not believe like they do is doomed, dammed, hateful, bitter, believes in nothing, will call out to God on their death bed, and is un-American!

These are my experiences, predominately on the Internet talking to hundreds of people over the last three years who do not seem to know the meaning of: theist, myth, agnostic, atheist, deism, eccentric, eclectic, humanist, etc.

Not only that, they refuse to look up the meanings or research the history of their own religion. They know something is true by faith and wanting facts is a sin and against God and they will be dammed if they question their faith.

It reminds me of the saying: "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's made up."

It is my view that man's humanity to man and it's natural inner-standard of morality, would be much more peaceful and cohesive if left to develop unencumbered by theists.

What is your position? Has it evolved? From what to what?
topic image
The Need To Set Firm Boundaries With LDS Friends And Family
Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
In the last several years as my family and I have gone through the transition of exiting Mormonism, we have learned along the way. One important lesson learned has been the need to set firm boundaries with LDS friends and family.

The boundaries that we are talking about have not been necessarily confrontational, although at times asserting them has seemed to lead to controversy and confrontation. However, the setting and communication of boundaries we have experienced have eventually led to improved relations in many cases.

Having been an LDS member and local leader over many years, prior to our exit, I believe that I understand how Mormons think. First, LDS members believe and want to be in position to help bring a “lost soul” back into the fold. Of course, to LDS members and family members, you and those who leave the church are lost. There is an inherit mission to bring these “lost ones” back into the church, and in their mind, back to Christ. For most LDS members, this effort is not made in an attempt to be unfriendly or unkind. It is probably made with the best intentions, but without an understanding of the hurt that their efforts can cause.

Having undergone this change myself, I certainly can see how offensive my previous actions have been to those who wanted to leave the church. I remember being in a friend's home, as a high priest group leader, pleading with him to return to the church for the sake of his family. I was blind to the hurt that I was causing him.

In an effort to bridge the gap between those we may still consider friends and loved ones, I have been forced to reconsider my own actions. I feel for the times I have acted inappropriately in overstepping boundaries such as the one described above. I believe that we, as former LDS members, are in a better position to understand the changes that we are undergoing than those who remain in the LDS Church.

With this improved perspective we can be a positive force in first protecting ourselves and our families; and second, in establishing new yet healthy relationships with those who wish to remain associated with as friends and loved ones.

In my experience and opinion, LDS members and leaders look for subtle clues in the actions of those leaving the church as indicators for future reactivation efforts. These clues may be through church affiliation, dress behavior and attitudes. If we wish to maintain our own independence, yet keep past friendships, I think it is important for us to be firm in our positions and not send crossed signals of our intentions.

As a result, I believe that the following actions can help strengthen our resolve and shape future relations positively.

First, I believe that the official resignation process is essential. This written communication to local church leaders sends a strong message that we as departing LDS people no longer consider ourselves as official members of the LDS church. Until such a letter is received, LDS leaders believe that they have a spiritual duty to not only visit the homes of every member annually, but also to use all efforts necessary to reactivate such people. By refusing to resign, we can send a mixed signal to these leaders and friends that we wish for them to continue their reactivation efforts on our behalf. Their efforts will likely only lead to increased chances of confrontation, hostilities and hurt. If we send a concise, yet amicable letter of resignation, we can convey a message that although we no longer consider ourselves members of the LDS Church subject to church reactivation efforts, we still remain open to previous LDS friendships based on a new understanding of that relationship.

Second, I believe it is important, that former LDS members live in a manner which they find most beneficial to themselves. This may be reflected in dress, and entertainment choices. Often times, women who depart the LDS Church feel a need to wear “LDS modest clothing” when attending functions with LDS members and family. In our own experience, my wife has struggled with not wanting to be overly confrontational, through her dress. When meeting with LDS people; however, she has determined that the best course of action is to wear the dress that she finds most comfortable. And let others adjust to it instead of her continuing to confirm to their expectations and judgments.

I find this course of action to be the best because first my wife becomes the master of her own decisions and stronger from doing so. And secondly LDS members are not confused by her intentions. Clearly she is wearing clothing that cannot be worn with LDS garments. By dressing in this manner, there is no confusion as to my wife's intentions. No one will wonder whether not she is wearing LDS garments. But more importantly, they will note that she is comfortable with hew own choices and decisions. This action also shows them that she is strong enough to exert her opinion. When this action is accompanied with genuine friendliness, I believe, LDS members and family will be more comfortable in reestablishing bond along non-confusing boundary lines.

We should also seek entertainment that we find most acceptable to ourselves and our values. I do not believe it is healthy to jump into extremes to demonstrate our new independence. Yet I do believe that we should assert our uniqueness to the entertainment that we find most enjoyable. If we continue to confine our choices to LDS standards we may be sending an incorrect signal to others that we wish to conform to LDS church standards or that we view our own choices as “sinful.” LDS members may interpret this conforming action as an invitation to reactivation or need for repentance.

Subtle yet firm signals of new relationship parameters may be sent by the beverages we drink. When our parents and parents-in-law came several months ago, we kept the coffee maker on the counter and had wine bottles in the kitchen. Nothing was said. Yet, the simple effort helped set the parameters needed for future relationships with our families. It takes strength to demonstrate independence and wisdom by being kind in doing so.

Although much more may be said regarding this matter, I think that we individually have a responsibility to not send mixed signals to LDS church leaders, members and LDS family members and friends. By remaining friendly in our communication and tone, and by not sacrificing our unique individuality, I believe is possible in many instances to retain past friendships.

Also, it may take some time and repeated efforts to communicate appropriate boundaries with these actions to those who are or will be inevitably hurt by our decisions. A realistic approach should tell us that in many instances we may not be able to have the same types of relationships that we had previous to our exit for Mormonism. However, if we first seek own independence through this sort of behavior and yet maintain kind relationships with LDS people, it may be possible to begin the building of bridges.

I would seem that we have experienced both LDS membership and the struggle of leaving the LDS church. As a result, we may be in a better position to build or reconstruct bridges than those witnessing our new growth.
topic image
The Need To Set Firm Boundaries With LDS Friends And Family
Friday, Aug 3, 2007, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical (odell Campbell)
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
In the last several years as my family and I have gone through the transition of exiting Mormonism, we have learned along the way. One important lesson learned has been the need to set firm boundaries with LDS friends and family.

The boundaries that we are talking about have not been necessarily confrontational, although at times asserting them has seemed to lead to controversy and confrontation. However, the setting and communication of boundaries we have experienced have eventually led to improved relations in many cases.

Having been an LDS member and local leader over many years, prior to our exit, I believe that I understand how Mormons think. First, LDS members believe and want to be in position to help bring a “lost soul” back into the fold. Of course, to LDS members and family members, you and those who leave the church are lost. There is an inherit mission to bring these “lost ones” back into the church, and in their mind, back to Christ. For most LDS members, this effort is not made in an attempt to be unfriendly or unkind. It is probably made with the best intentions, but without an understanding of the hurt that their efforts can cause.

Having undergone this change myself, I certainly can see how offensive my previous actions have been to those who wanted to leave the church. I remember being in a friend's home, as a high priest group leader, pleading with him to return to the church for the sake of his family. I was blind to the hurt that I was causing him.

In an effort to bridge the gap between those we may still consider friends and loved ones, I have been forced to reconsider my own actions. I feel for the times I have acted inappropriately in overstepping boundaries such as the one described above. I believe that we, as former LDS members, are in a better position to understand the changes that we are undergoing than those who remain in the LDS Church.

With this improved perspective we can be a positive force in first protecting ourselves and our families; and second, in establishing new yet healthy relationships with those who wish to remain associated with as friends and loved ones.

In my experience and opinion, LDS members and leaders look for subtle clues in the actions of those leaving the church as indicators for future reactivation efforts. These clues may be through church affiliation, dress behavior and attitudes. If we wish to maintain our own independence, yet keep past friendships, I think it is important for us to be firm in our positions and not send crossed signals of our intentions.

As a result, I believe that the following actions can help strengthen our resolve and shape future relations positively.

First, I believe that the official resignation process is essential. This written communication to local church leaders sends a strong message that we as departing LDS people no longer consider ourselves as official members of the LDS church. Until such a letter is received, LDS leaders believe that they have a spiritual duty to not only visit the homes of every member annually, but also to use all efforts necessary to reactivate such people. By refusing to resign, we can send a mixed signal to these leaders and friends that we wish for them to continue their reactivation efforts on our behalf. Their efforts will likely only lead to increased chances of confrontation, hostilities and hurt. If we send a concise, yet amicable letter of resignation, we can convey a message that although we no longer consider ourselves members of the LDS Church subject to church reactivation efforts, we still remain open to previous LDS friendships based on a new understanding of that relationship.

Second, I believe it is important, that former LDS members live in a manner which they find most beneficial to themselves. This may be reflected in dress, and entertainment choices. Often times, women who depart the LDS Church feel a need to wear “LDS modest clothing” when attending functions with LDS members and family. In our own experience, my wife has struggled with not wanting to be overly confrontational, through her dress. When meeting with LDS people; however, she has determined that the best course of action is to wear the dress that she finds most comfortable. And let others adjust to it instead of her continuing to confirm to their expectations and judgments.

I find this course of action to be the best because first my wife becomes the master of her own decisions and stronger from doing so. And secondly LDS members are not confused by her intentions. Clearly she is wearing clothing that cannot be worn with LDS garments. By dressing in this manner, there is no confusion as to my wife's intentions. No one will wonder whether not she is wearing LDS garments. But more importantly, they will note that she is comfortable with hew own choices and decisions. This action also shows them that she is strong enough to exert her opinion. When this action is accompanied with genuine friendliness, I believe, LDS members and family will be more comfortable in reestablishing bond along non-confusing boundary lines.

We should also seek entertainment that we find most acceptable to ourselves and our values. I do not believe it is healthy to jump into extremes to demonstrate our new independence. Yet I do believe that we should assert our uniqueness to the entertainment that we find most enjoyable. If we continue to confine our choices to LDS standards we may be sending an incorrect signal to others that we wish to conform to LDS church standards or that we view our own choices as “sinful.” LDS members may interpret this conforming action as an invitation to reactivation or need for repentance.

Subtle yet firm signals of new relationship parameters may be sent by the beverages we drink. When our parents and parents-in-law came several months ago, we kept the coffee maker on the counter and had wine bottles in the kitchen. Nothing was said. Yet, the simple effort helped set the parameters needed for future relationships with our families. It takes strength to demonstrate independence and wisdom by being kind in doing so.

Although much more may be said regarding this matter, I think that we individually have a responsibility to not send mixed signals to LDS church leaders, members and LDS family members and friends. By remaining friendly in our communication and tone, and by not sacrificing our unique individuality, I believe is possible in many instances to retain past friendships.

Also, it may take some time and repeated efforts to communicate appropriate boundaries with these actions to those who are or will be inevitably hurt by our decisions. A realistic approach should tell us that in many instances we may not be able to have the same types of relationships that we had previous to our exit for Mormonism. However, if we first seek own independence through this sort of behavior and yet maintain kind relationships with LDS people, it may be possible to begin the building of bridges.

I would seem that we have experienced both LDS membership and the struggle of leaving the LDS church. As a result, we may be in a better position to build or reconstruct bridges than those witnessing our new growth.
topic image
Is Ignorance Bliss? How Late In The Game Of Life Is It Really Too Late To Find Out The Truth
Friday, Aug 3, 2007, at 07:27 AM
Original Author(s): Rev. Ex-Necrodunker
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
The fact is that the church is a fraud. There is no truth to it's spiritual claims, the B.O.M. was plagiarized by the King James Version of the Bible and the book "The View of the Hebrews". etc.

The more one digs the more higher light and knowledge one receives. For me it has been enlightening and fascinating. However, for finding out what I did and having the integrity to follow the facts and the truth out of the church I almost lost my job (years of battle with TBM relative boss that started the day he found out I no longer believed), had my own parents try to break-up my marriage by telling my wife, TBM mother-in-law, and TBM brother-in-law that I am not to be trusted and made up false accusations regarding my apostacy, fortunately, my wife stuck by my side and called b#llsh#t. Had everything gone as planned by these Mormon zealots I would be out of a job, without my wife and kids just for telling it like it is and for leaving the church. (I am a BYU grad, RM, temple-married etc. have three young children and now have an exciting life outside of the cult to look forward to). My wife and I have had to find all new friends, activities and are enjoying our new found freedom. It is working for us so far, despite the persecution from Morgbot boss and relatives. I believe we are very fortunate and after several battles have found the light at the end of the Mormon tunnel.

The day I told my father that I believed the church was a fraud he told me that he trusted me absolutely before that day and that he will never trust me in anything again and has been acting that way ever since.

I am in California and Mormonism is really not that big of a deal to most so I imagine I'm getting off easier than many others. I've read on the board about several poster's venting about how difficult their life is after Mormonism,some have turned suicidal, and I can think of at least one that actually took her life in the past year.

Is ignorance bliss at a certain level? When is it too late to be able to safely comprehend that one's whole life was wasted giving all of their time, talents and money to a fraud?

For example, my parents are retirement aged, have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cult over the years, still working, little retirement money, all friends are active Mormons, and all their life has been controlled by the church. They are extremely active TBM's and all social functions they are involved in revolve around the Morg. Would their life actually be improved by knowing the truth?

When they tell me "their facts" that my kids are going to be bad off without the cult's influence, I go to battle and throw out facts such as Joseph Smith's child-brides etc.. They cover their ears, call me names and back off for a few months.

Would their lives be better off without the cult of Joseph Smith this late in the game?

I have a 95 year old grandma who is TBM, works in the Temple regularly, all friends Mormon etc. I believe that it would be too late and possibly a disservice to tell her the truth about Mormonism.

Bottom line when is it a a disservice to clue TBM's into the fact that they've wasted their life in a cult?
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The Amazing Ability Of Mormonism To Keep People Isolated
Sunday, Sep 30, 2007, at 10:18 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17   -Link To MC Article-
When I look back on my years in Mormonism, I realize how isolated I was. Mormonism, by its nature, is able to "divide and conquer" its members.

In the first place, no-one really dares talk about their doubts, or fears, or disbelief. No-one dares tackle the thorny problem of not taking "the Prophet" seriously either. By nature, and by temple promise, Mormons dare not "speak ill of the Lord's anointed."

Every now and then, someone would be honest. But instead of having it open the floodgates, it was quickly stopped. It was very rare to have a critical conversation go anywhere. You looked over your shoulder, and wondered if someone was listening. You were not supposed to have doubts, feelings, or questions.

As a kid, I did not dare talk about masturbation. I was ashamed of it. I was doing wrong. I was sure I was the only kid in the church who had masturbated.

I remember a Stake President talking about it during a conference, and I was sure he was directing it at me alone. No-one else in that building could have masturbated. It was just me.

When I finally did try to talk to my father, he exploded, pulled out "Mormon Doctrine," and read me the words of Bruce. I never talked to him about anything personal again. He only had one source for answers---Bruce McConkie. How I hated Bruce McConkie. I still do.

When I went to the temple, and came away horrified, I could not talk to anyone. It was just dreadful. I felt I was part of a sick cult, but I could not tell anyone. I tried an indirect approach, and was told that I just needed to keep going. I did, and it got worse.

You just don't have anyone to talk to. Bishops are just neighbors. They have no training and no answers. To go to them for help, or counsel (as the church likes to call it) is useless. The Bishop can ask you about masturbation, but he can't help with anything important. He is just a schlulb like you. And I would bet he masturbated as well.

Missionaries are also very isolated. They have no-one to talk to. Every now and then, you would get a companion you liked, and could talk to, but most of the time, you clammed up. You were always with someone, but you were always alone. Missionaries are thousands of miles from home, surrounded by fellow Mormons, and unable to show any honesty at all. You are always on the Lord's stage, always "strong," always "free of doubt." What a laugh.

And what a church. They have the most lonely members on the planet. Doubt is weakness, and weakness can lead to questions, accusations, and trouble. The family can't help, the Bishop can't help, and the church does not want to help. The Mercury astronauts were never more alone than Mormon church members. Mormons and astronauts know what its like to be alone in the dark.
 
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Learning To Question Authority
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I Admit It. I Left The Church Because I Was Offended.
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How Do You Deal With Your LDS Family Members?
Why I Left The Church. The Facts Just Don't Add Up
To Believe Or Not Believe. That Is The Question.
If You're Lurking And Reading This Board, My Dear Husband, I Have Something To Say
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Faith, Prayer And Fasting
The Religious Practice Of Venerating Ancestors
I Got So Tired Of Hearing About "The Lord," And What He Did, Or Did Not Want Us To Do
My Post Mormon Orwellian Epiphany. Or How I Learned To Escape Doublethink And Live
Lessons Learned Inside And Outside The Church
Junk Religion
I Never Could Lie
I Call Myself An "Eccentric Eclectic" After Leaving Mormonism. How Do You Characterize Yourself?
The Need To Set Firm Boundaries With LDS Friends And Family
The Need To Set Firm Boundaries With LDS Friends And Family
Is Ignorance Bliss? How Late In The Game Of Life Is It Really Too Late To Find Out The Truth
The Amazing Ability Of Mormonism To Keep People Isolated
5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
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TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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