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EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6
The "Opinion" topic was created to separate out recovery from opinions on posts made in Ex-Mormonism. A large selection of posts made by Ex-Mormons that do not fit in "Recovery". These are more considered "Soap Box" posts. While they may be opinions, they are still very important in the steps to recovering from Mormonism.
| It is amazing to me just how weak and powerless the Mormon God is. He can't even keep track of his own creation he has to have the creation itself keep track for him and the created has the responsiblity to save his own creation for him. At least the EVs have a God that knows what and who he created and has a means for saving his own creation, he doesn't put that requirement on the backs of the mortals he created.
Just like the Mormon God doesn't even know who I am...... unless I am washed and annoited, given special underwear to wear, given a new name, wear temple robes and participate in a bunch of ritual oaths swearing to commit suicide 3 different ways assuring I am able to keep secrets that I have to whisper into the Mormon God's ear at the veil and egads...... if I don't do this and do it right this Mormon God won't know who I am???????? This Mormon God doesn't even know who he created, doesn't even know who one of his children is? The Mormon God is omni-impotent!!!
| BTC is our official mail getter. Left to my own devices - I checked the mail about every two weeks. He keeps us current.
Yesterday he walks in with the mail and what to my wandering eyes should appear – The Deseret Book 2007 Winter Catalog. BTC is just about to throw it in the trash when I grab it. Just curious –
First – the entire church apparently will be once again talking about one subject for the entire year. The first few pages are filled with books on the NT. Prominent LDS scholars offer the truth according to the one and only true church. What – no non-mormon authors? – of course not, who are they – they don’t hold the priesthood or understand the truth.
Next is a section on SWK. Now available – “The Miracle of Forgiveness” on CD. The advertisement copy lacks originality – so here is my version:
Are you feeling happy, confident, and capable – they you need to repent. Trust me, you need to repent. Every soul is a sinner; every one of us needs to beg God to let us in the CK. The only way is to acknowledge your sins, repent in the most humiliating way you can think of, and then grovel. If you are not feeling depressed (a prerequisite for true forgiveness) you can listen to SWK explain to you that you are evil, that god does not put up with any shit and that with enough flagellation over enough time – you too can live in this kind of an environment forever with the very people that will reject and humiliate you.
The section on women is great. Women you are amazing, but stupid. Stupid women are constantly bombarded from the world – NO NO – not the world. YUP! It is not wonder these sweet innocent souls are confused. WHAT TO DO? I know:
– read a mythically story of the ten virgins – yup – you guessed it. It is not enough that you have to read mythical versions of – BOM, BOA, the history of the church – now you can read about 5 women – that were virgins – but that was not good enough – NOOOOOOOoooo – they were not obedient enough and even though they thought they were OK – they weren’t and god deserted them. I feel uplifted already.
For those of you – who are still going to church – don’t despair - read – “The best 3 hours of the week.” That’s right – you can grow into a spiritual giant during boring, repetitious, tedious, melodic droning talks and lessons. Never again will you shake your head and slap your face to try to stay awake. And best of all – no thinking required.
Wait, wait – there is more:
“13 lines of defense” – learn from a stilted, conservative, and uninformed, intolerant, and constipated old man why your morality is of keen importance to him and the church and how they are going to quilt you into hating yourself, your body, your life, your gender, and your sexuality.
The church does not put pressure on young men to serve missions – but in case you want to put pressure on your sons – read “Honoring the Priesthood. “
Trying to indoctrinate your children so that they never think or question – see the children’s section and FHE section.
Want to emphasize how special you are and how special the church ordinances are – read “White Shirts” – about some events that are so sacred you must wear white (white skin is preferable also).
Learn about how marriage is not a promise between two people who love and are committed to each other – but a secret bizarre ritual of promises to the church and a bunch of old men – in “Covenant Hearts.”
Do you ever wonder if you as a Mormon are far superior to everyone else, that you have the truth that no one else has, that you are a poor misunderstood victimized saint? Read – “Peculiar – in a good way.” Learn what sets you apart from the heathens and sinners – and why you are chosen above them and how to make sure you set a proper and constant example of your superior position.
Then there is the fiction section. Learn romantic, inaccurate lies that will let you sleep at night with pictures of sugar plum – whoops I mean lamanite angles in your head.
Deseret book can fill your every waking hour with lies, misrepresentations, fake history, fake philosophy, tedium, saccharine and fluffy stories. You need never question, think, or desire to find the truth.
- - - - -NOW BTC – now you can throw that trash away.
| "Today's lesson is about (insert gospel topic)"
(begin lesson and invite comments)
Comment 1: "I remember on my mission when (insert story where teller's righteousness in highlighted) and (insert blessing received)."
Comment 2: "I work with some people who (insert examples of unrighteousness) but (insert contrasting example of teller's own righeousness)."
| It seems fair to say that 2006 was not a great year for Mormonism.
Two things come to mind. One is "Big Love," which captured a large HBO audience. The other is the arrest of Warren Jeffs.
The church loves to distance itself from the two. "Big Love" is not about Mormons, or so we are told. Its unfair to associate polygamy with today's new and exciting church. Only a rube would believe that there is any relationship. Or so we are told.
Same for Joseph , er, Warren Jeffs. The man is not a Mormon. Mormons would never relate to him. Its just not possible.
But it does not take much effort to see that Joseph, er, Warren Jeffs, and "Big Love" all reflect on the Mormon church.
The Mormons let the demons loose a long time ago, and they cannot get them back. Jeffs practices Joseph Smith's brand of Mormonism--multiple wives, cult of personality, threats of death, and promises of eternal life. Funny how Joseph Smith and Joseph, er, Warren Jeffs turned out to be the same basic loser. Both ended up in jail. Joseph, er, Warren Jeffs will be a bit luckier. He will not be shot in his cell.
I read that Joseph,er, Warren Jeffs even had a "blood atonement room" build into his "temple" in Texas. Now that goes back to fundamentalist days, does it not? The old boys could relate to that. Brigham Young would have loved the whole thing. Make them obey--under pain of death.
"Big Love" is another reflection of Mormonism. To say modern Utah polygamy is separate is laughable. The church winked at it for years. So did the not so secular rulers of the state. Hell, there was sympathy for the losers. There still is. They are just living the law the way Mormons know it should be lived. Its a matter of time, and it will all be back again. Just think of the great times ahead!
I heard a moron call the Bob Lonsberry show a couple of years ago. He spoke with a twang, and told the Bobster that "We are all Latter-Day Aint's ." He then said. "We lost polygamy because we became Latter-Day Aint's. If we would become Latter-Day Saints, we could get it back again." Now there is real Mormonism. The brass ring of polygamy is there. Just reach a little more, obey a little more, pay a little more, and, well, it will be yours. A harem!
I know southern Utah is beautiful, but I cannot stand going there. I mean that, I cannot stand it. It always reminds me of things that haunt me.
I recall the trip, as a kid, to Mountain Meadows. I recall the feeling of horror I felt when I was told the story. And I got the sanitized version. It still left me feeling ill.
I recall driving through Colorado City, and having the locals follow our car, making sure we did not get too nosy. Its a creepy place, and a sick place. Go there, and drive through. You, too, will breathe a sigh of relief when the town sinks into your car's rear view mirror. Its not just weird, its sick. The people in Colorado City suffer from a terminal sickness that one can feel in the air. I feel it in southern Utah, and it makes me ill.
I also think of "The Giant Joshua," Maurine Whipple's novel, when I go to St. George. Her novel first taught me about blood atonement, and polygamy the way it was practiced. Fear of death, and mistreated women. That was early Mormonism, the Mormonism morons want to have restored.
Its all so creepy.
| Religion should teach man about the cosmos. It should deal in speculation about the place of man in the universe. Hell, James Taylor got it right "Planets twirling in space, the smile upon your face."
The world's great religions--which excludes Mormonism--deal with that. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism all established a certain concept, or idea of the cosmos, and the place of humans in that cosmos.
We might not agree. We might find it silly, but it laid the basic ideas of the cosmos, and it also established what correct conduct should be. There is nothing new about the basic idea of correct conduct. Its been around for about 4,000 years, and it has not changed all that much.
Mormonism dabbled in the cosmos. Joseph's "Book of Abraham" was a lame attempt to establish some sort of cosmological speculation. He gave us "Kolob," "borrowed light from Kolob,' and some really weird astronomy.
The church tries to avoid all that now .It has been discredited, and they know it. When the discovery was made in Chicago, it breathed its last. The party was over. If they could find a way to ease "The Pearl of Great Price" from the standard works, they would. About all they can do is ignore it.
That leaves but one thing---behavior. The church must concentrate on behavior.
They have fine-tuned it as much as they can. They added the obsession with masturbation, and put alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea on the prohibited list.
They made tithing a sword over the head of the poor, and and filled everyone with incredible guilt. People who would be perfectly acceptable in other faiths are still losers in the Mormon lottery.
The church can't address the cosmos, but they can control what you do--even in private, in the marriage bed, in the movie theater, and at the dinner table. This is what they do, this is all they do.
Funny that it would lose its appeal to so many. Sometimes people get tired of the nanny, and want to be with grown-ups.
| A Bible, a Bible, we must have a Bible! What is so spiritual, God inspired, about the Bible, the BOM, or any other claimed, sacred, spiritual book? What propels human beings to hang onto these books for their whole belief systems?
Don't these books just state the obvious: a season for all things, love one another, don't kill other people, and on and on?
I am not sure what the lesson is about stating the obvious in the story of the man who wanted a certain woman for a wife and was told to kill a bunch of men and bring back their foreskins. That one is a little hard to figure out. ;-) Eunuchs are another matter... But I digress...
There seems to be a part of human nature that looks for the authoritative declaration of some information; leaders of nations, leaders of religion, leaders in the medical field that gives it credibility. That is often true for people with education in specific fields, especially if they have initials after their names. That authority is so well insulated that careers depend on those initials.
If the average Joe or Jane says that we need to love one another, for instance, it does not have the same impact nor believability, it appears, as a religious leader (priest, a prophet, a pastor, reverend).
People have a tendency to believe that there is only one place to learn morals or ethics and that is from the traditional religiously canonized publications.
But is that really true? And how much craziness do we have to wade through in the Bible, Book of Mormon, etc. to cull the really important self evident statements that state the obvious that we knew all ready?
Some attempt to discount and discredit Joseph Smith Jr, for instance, however, he created an American God Myth that nobody else has done before or since. Some have tried, but they fizzled.
All the analysis of his personality, his motives are beside the point. He did it. And, I contend, he did it because of his understanding of human nature and how they look to a psychic (he was considered a psychic and written into their history by B H Roberts), a prophet, even gave himself military titles and designed his own fancy snazzy uniforms. My favorite photo of him is riding around the temple on a white horse smoking a cigar! And, he must have had great charismatic sex appeal to get that many women to agree to a sexual relationship with him. Surely, it wasn't just the "flaming sword" ploy! What a line!
He was able to take the garden variety cult of Christianity (derived from older more ancient cults of Persia and elsewhere) in upper New York, predominately Methodistism ,and other beliefs (he was an ecumenical plagiarizer of ideas !) and turn it into his own religion. Not just any religion, one that is a major player in the field of religions world-wide today.
He did all of that because of one thing: human nature's propensity to gravitate to people who exhibit and claim religious authority from God. and his total reliance on the gullibility of people to believe him, even eventually, believing his own con.
IT survives because of : human nature's propensity to gravitate to believing the best and discarding the worse. The history of the LDS Church has taken on the attitude of not speaking ill of the dead! Notice that at funerals, the person is extolled, his faults minimized or ignored completely? Ditto for Mormonism! Unfortunately, we who have left the LDS Church are in the unenviable position of speaking ill of the dead which is a huge taboo and generates often, violent rejection from the believers.
Then when he and his brother Hyrum were killed in the shoot out at Carthage Jail (religious authority is seen as an acceptable excuse to break the laws of the land!) he and his brother were immediately considered: martyrs!
Brigham Young, three years later picked up the mantel of Joseph Smith Jr and took a larger group of believers into the desert where they were isolated and "blossomed like a rose" which we observe today!
From a few straggly, poor family members in a little group of religiously minded people in upper New York, in 1830, we have, today, a world wide religion that claims (questionable as it is) eleven million members.
No matter the number. The point is that even for the "inactive" members, it could be easily concluded that most of them believe, but do not live the rules. The belief is always stranger than the ability to comply. "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
It is a new phenomenon in the LDS Church for thousands of people to voluntarily resign their membership. That has never been seen before.
We can give credit to some gutsy individuals and the Internet for giving people another avenue to deal with Mormonism on a personal level.
In leaving Mormonism and it's long traditional culture and heritage, we are left wondering: what next.
And, some end here, on this board sharing information, experiences and support.
Walk a mile in my shoes -- and people often come to this web site to deal with the blisters!
So, here we are,bucking standard acceptable Mormon religious authority with it's wariors attempting to destroy us. They don't use guns anymore (the Danites are no longer riding the range!) but they do use powerful denigration techniques to discredit us.
We are learning new living techniques,new ways to view the world, new ways to establish our own authority in our lives.
And, it is fun, educational, frustrating, maddening, and, hopefully, funny as taking it all too seriously is just.,,, well...not fun! And, life is to be filled with joy, and laughter, right?
So, jump right in, the water is fine, this is the new world you have been promised, the further light and knowledge you have been promised, as man (and woman!) is that he must have joy! :-)
| Top ten beefs I have with the church. Feel free to add or delete from this list, or to add further commentary as needed. I'm interested to see if I'm way off base or if any of this rings true for some of you as well.
1) Authority and Control - Dissent and even questions are discouraged, we are allowed to think for ourselves but we are not allowed to voice that opinion. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Just my presenting this list could theoretically put my church membership in jeopardy.
2) Whitewashed History - The history and doctrines we teach in church are so sanitized that when we encounter our real history we go into shock (at least I did for a while).
3) Nosey - I think the church should let people run their own lives a little more and stop getting into their business (ie. home teachers checking to see if your saying your family prayers, bishops prying into your marital sex life).
4) Gullible - This problem stems from the authority problem above. We are so used to absoute obedience from those in the church heirarchy that we have become targets for scam artists. How many MLM businesses have originated here in Utah.
5) Attitude - Our Holier than thou Attitude turns us into snobs and we often disrespect or ostrasize those of other faiths. Living in Utah for non-mormons can be quite tramatic. We don't have exclusivity on the truth even though we would like to think we do.
6) Tithing - To me it resembles the old catholic system of paying up so our sins get washed away. In our case if you don't pay a full tithe then you don't get a temple recommend, therefore to enjoy the full privileges of mormonhood you must pay up. This should become optional but of course recommended.
I also feel that our tithing requirement hits the poor the hardest since they have little or no desposable income and that extra 10 percent off the top just puts them in a more precarious position (note that the state of Utah has one of highest personal bankruptcy numbers in the nation).
7) Crazy Doctrines - Things like polygamy should be completely expunged from the church, we have removed the practice now lets remove the doctrine (sec. 132 DandC). Doctrines like these only further reinforce in non-mormons minds why we should be labeled as a cult like the FLDS.
8 ) Guilt and Shame - We are a culture of guilt and shame. We are always under pressure to perform and our numbers need to be good (hometeaching stats, convert baptisms, etc...). If I miss church for a few weeks I'm looked upon as "inactive", the pressure is real. My mission president said his wife became very depressed because she felt that she could never live up to expectations. Can I say Prozac?
9) Warm Fuzzies - We teach that emotional responses are perfectly good at teaching and validating truth. To some degree what other method is there for establishing a testimony? But I've seen people make some pretty poor decisions in the real world just because a certain "spirit" told them it was the right thing to do. Instead they should have researched their decision further using time tested methods of reason, logic and common sense.
10) Culture and Politics - We need to separate our culture from our doctrines. In Utah this is more evident than anywhere else. We also need to remain politically neutral, I know the church subscribes to this point of view but we need to do better at it.
11) Hypocrisy and Materialism and Appearances - Supposed to be the top 10 but I have to throw just one more in. If we are going to profess to be mormons then lets not be hypocrites. Seeing mormon stores selling alcohol for the love of filthy lucre is hypocrisy in my books. Also the attitude that God wants us to succeed financially so that we can help build the kingdom is used a lot by mormons who have only one thing on their mind, money. Instead of building fancy meetinghouses, temples, shopping malls lets get out there and help those who really need it.
Closely tied to this is our judging those by their appearances, and our paranioa with our own images which is partly a result of number 8 above. I've seen a lot of good mormons but also a lot of two faced people within the church as well.
Ok to be perfectly fair some of these problems are not the church per say but the people in the church. However, I feel that the church or the culture created by the church helps to foster these problems within the membership.
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. MOSIAH 3:19
(or as Helen Mar Kimball submitted to the so-called Prophet of Gawd almighty whitey, with his flaming sword.)
So apparently Mormon doctrine holds that the "Natural Man" is evil or in a carnal state, since "the Fall" and the only way we can redeem ourselves is through Jesus, who will make us like a child, willing to submit to all forms of exploitation, totally dependent upon big daddy in the sky (or his representative, the so called profit, or your local representative, or just your priesthood leader, or just your lowely husband.)
So the scientific notion that we naturally inheirited altruistic genes through a process of evolution prior to religion, is totally co-opted by religion, which tells us just the opposite. You are inheirently evil and damned to divine destruction from the big scary guy in the sky if you don't start submitting to our pretend authority.
What's worse, anti-Mormon or anti-Nature?
| Repeating an old post for newbies:
A thread on this BB a couple of years ago asked about former LDS apologists who had decided that the church was false, and had left it and gone over to the "anti-Mormon" side. One of the most remarkable examples of that category was Benjamin Winchester, who joined the church in his teens, was an intimate acquaintance of Joseph Smith for many years, and authored apologetic and doctrinal works which were on the same level of those of Parley and Orson Pratt. For details, go to Dale Broadhurst's website at:
Scroll down to Winchester's name to browse his 1840's apologetic productions. Many years after he left the church, Winchester gave two interviews which contain information that is vital to understanding early Mormonism and the true character of Joseph Smith. Winchester's remarks came back to my mind this morning, when I read Van Hale's latest remarks from his radio show, transcribed by Nightingale, wherein he defended polygamy as a holy practice which served a noble social purpose, and defended Joseph Smith's character on the issue. Winchester's recollections of Smith's character are strikingly different from the sanitized, deified image that modern Mormons have been spoon-fed by the church. And of course, apologists like Hale will predictably dismiss Winchester's remarks as the bitter lies of an angry apostate.
Anyhoo, here are a few of Winchester's recollections, for those who don't want to read the entire articles. As I read them, my biggest thought was how similar Winchester's experiences and feelings were upon learning of the fraudulence of the church to those of many of us Ex-Mormons here more than a century later. Enjoy.
From the Winchester interview titled "Primitive Mormonism":
"When I returned to Kirtland the temple was nearly completed, and during that winter -- 1835 and 1836 -- its dedication occurred. That ceremony ended in a drunken frolic -- one of the worst I ever saw. Joseph Smith BECAME BEASTLY INTOXICATED And his father and brother, Hyrum, begged that the wine should be taken away, so that the carousal might be stopped as soon as possible. I did not know Joseph to be what is termed a 'common sot,' but that was not the last time I saw him intoxicated."
"After that dedication the Mormons organized what they termed 'the school of prophets.' A revelation prior to that time had given Oliver Cowdery the privilege of nominating the twelve apostles of the Church. About the time of this organization there was a good deal of scandal prevalent among a number of the Saints concerning Joseph's licentious conduct, this more especially among the women. Joseph's name was then connected with scandalous relations with two or three families. Apparently to counteract this he came out and made a statement in the Temple, before a general congregation that he was authorized by God Almighty to establish His Kingdom -- that he was God's prophet and God's agent, and that he could do whatever he should choose to do, therefore the Church had NO RIGHT TO CALL INTO QUESTION Anything he did, or to censure him, for the reason that he was responsible to God Almighty only. This promulgation created a great sensation -- a schism occurred and a large portion of the first membership, including the best talent of the Church, at once withdrew from it. This was during the summer of 1836."
"In the winter of 1839 and 1840 Smith, in company with Rigdon and with Porter Rockwell, acting as a sort of body guard, FLED FROM THE OFFICIALS That were after them, acting for the State of Ohio, on the charge of criminal practice at Kirtland, and they came to Philadelphia where I was stationed and where I was stake president. There they remained with me in the best degree of secrecy that could be maintained. Smith and I slept in the same bed and Porter Rockwell occupied a bed near the foot of our couch in the capacity of a body guard for the "prophet." It was there and at that time that I had a good opportunity to study the character of the "prophet." It then began to be apparent to me that he was tyrannical by nature, a libertine, in short a gross, sensual, corrupt man, but I was then still young and hopeful and it remained for events in a few brief years thereafter to fully open my eyes to the gigantic delusion I had been drawn into."
"It was a subject of common talk among many good people in Nauvoo that many of the elders were sent off on missions merely to get them out of the way, and that Joseph Smith, John C. Bennett and other prominent Church lights had illicit intercourse with the wives of a number of the missionaries, and that the revelation on spiritual marriage, i.e. polygamy, was gotten up to protect themselves from scandal."
"Joseph was very bitter in some of his public discourses relative to the talk among people about his lewdness, especially the women gossipers. On one occasion he said these women deserved to be threshed. One of the brethren, Badlam by name, took his suggestion in a literal sense: he went home from the meeting and gave his wife a severe whipping, which circumstance became the talk of the town."
"He was possessed with an inordinate degree of vanity and was quite susceptible to flattery. He was a perfect adept in the use of abusive and obscene language."
From Winchester's "final testimony":
"What kind of man was Smith?"
"I have entertained him for a month at a time while we lived in Philadelphia, while he was hiding from a mob. There was not a particle of true religion in him. His talk was never about anything pure or elevating. He liked to talk about be[ing] a great general or leader, and commanding people, and getting before the public. He could not reason on anything. He was well versed in Billingsgate vocabulary. Well versed in blackguard language for his evidences. He liked to use slang and cutting remarks on his persecutors. He loved to give orders to the church and to show authority. As a boy he was wild and curious. His mother and father expected great things of him. He carried what he called a 'Peep stone' through which he claimed to see hidden treasure and etc. This is what he afterwards called his 'Urim and Thummem.' Finally he took the notion to get up a book. Then he claimed to have made the discovery of the plates. Then he got Cowdery, Harris and Whitmer into it."
"Why did you join his church knowing all these things?"
"I was just 15 when I joined it, so as I was young, I was led into it, not seeing any more truth any where else. There were not over 150 members when I joined it. I kept educating myself. I often saw Smith's bad conduct but they admonished me to keep on. They pointed out to me just as bad things in other churches. They pointed to the men of the bible, how wicked many of them were, and how oppressive they were; yet that God approved of them -- so I kept on and thought it was all right.
"They showed me how God 'took the weak things to confound the wise' and etc. After Smith died I left them and have had nothing to do with them since, though I had written much in their defense."
"Was Smith prayerful?"
"No. He often stopped at my house and though I have asked him to say grace at the table or to offer family prayers he always refused. There was not a particle of piety in him. He never wanted to talk on piety or any thing religious or on piety, but always on some ideas of greatness, etc."
"Smith was a perfect libertine. Women got to running after him because they believed him to be a prophet. The whole church is a rotten concern."
"A Professor of the Electic college of Cincinnatti got to running around with Smith. His name was John C. Bennet. They ran with other men's wives so much that much trouble arose over it. Then Bennet got up this revelation on polygamy, which was a fraud, to cover their perfidy. He got out of Nauvoo before Smith's assassination, but he and Smith had a "big time" before that."
| Years ago I woke up to the bogus nature of Mormon claims. In an effort to know where it had come from I immersed myself in Mormon history. I noticed that the "continuing revelation" aspect of Mormonism has really been a "condinuing devaluation." I made the statement to a friend that the history of Mormonism since BY has been a "retreat from doctrine."
My friend reminded me of that statement after GBH started going around with "I don't know that we teach that" and "I wouldn't say that" when asked about something that I had understood to be a core belief.
Now that GBH has said that I notice that the King Follett discourse doesn't show up in priesthood and RS manuals like it used to. It's even been removed from the booklet "Gospel Doctrine" that is given to LDS armed service members and some new converts. The "retreat from doctrine" is no longer just of historical interest but is a continuing trend.
Mormonism used to have new, exciting, doctrines that Mormons could point to and say, "see, Catholics and protestants, you don't have this! You have 'mysteries' but we have answers." Well, now Mormons don't have as many answers as they used to.
With the Book of Mormon no longer meaning what it says (thank you F.A.R.M.S.) and with Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's doctrinal pronouncements being demoted to "opinions" what is there left to attract total devotion? Is all that's left a hierarchal structure reminicent of (to quote Twain) the Prussian Army? Is that enough? Does the fact that the only "cointinuing revelation" that exists any more is just nullification of previous "revelation" bother any members? Is the so-called "true and living church" become a "dead and ossified" church?
| 1- The just and wise “Yoda” character in Star Wars was inspired by Spencer W. Kimball.
When George Lucas was asked to verify the aforementioned, he replied, “Who is Spencer W. Kimball”?
2- Polygamy was needed in the early church because there was an overabundance of single women who needed husbands.
Not so! A check of every census record of Illinois and Utah, from 1840 through 1900 reveals that (like all western frontier locations) men outnumbered the women by a good margin.
3- The LDS church has no paid clergy.
This is true only at the local level up to the stake presidency. The top 90 leaders (General Authorities) do extremely well. They receive a healthy salary, allowances, and also are paid as board members for the vast number of church-owned corporations. In the early history of the church, Joseph had a revelation that God desired "he should not labor" and in an act of nepotism, he named his dad the "patriarch," authorizing him to charge a dollar a blessing.
4- The LDS church is the fastest growing church in the world.
It's certainly growing, but if you are talking real numbers, the Catholic Church is probably growing fifty times as fast, simply from the birth rate alone. If you are talking percentages, the Assembly of God in Brazil went from almost zero to ten million in only four years! It took the LDS over 160 years to reach that milestone.
5- Actor Steve Martin of “Father of the Bride” is a Mormon.
Although raised in a Southern Baptist family rumors persist that Steve is secretly a Mormon. "I'm not a Mormon. That rumor dates back to Father of the Bride," explained Martin. "In one scene the shirt I was wearing was thin enough that you could see the undershirt. Apparently it looked like the garment some Mormon men wear under their clothes."
6- The church name, "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," is divinely inspired.
If it is, God sure fumbled around a good while before doling out a little inspiration. The original church name in 1830 was "Church of Christ." In 1834 it was changed to "Church of the Latter Day Saints." Then four years later, in 1838 it was again changed to its present name.
7- Joseph Smith made a great prophecy in 1842, the Rocky Mountain prophecy, by predicting the Mormons would come to the Rocky Mountains and become a mighty people.
Church historian Dean Jessee produced the original manuscript from History of the Church showing the authorship was in 1845, after Smith's death. Then years later, after the Saints were in Utah, someone penciled "Rocky Mountains" into the document. Jessee was chastised by Church leadership for revealing this historical tidbit.
8-Satan controls the waters: missionaries beware!
The church forbids missionaries from engaging in any sort of water recreation based on the premise that Satan controls the waters. If this were the case, I don’t think the Lord would allow them to baptize in WATER! The rule is designed to keep missionaries away from women in G-Strings and a possible impending erection. Such an arousal might make it difficult for them to concentrate on proselytizing.
9- In the first year of the Mormon settlement in Utah, a plague of locusts threatened to wipe out their crops. God responded with a "miracle", sending an army of seagulls (the Utah state bird) to devour the insects.
This one is true - however the miracle part is somewhat exaggerated. The locusts have a seven-year hibernation cycle, and unfortunately the early settlers hit it on the end of the seventh year. For mutual protection, they had made the mistake of planting all their fields together. Therefore, the locust attack was concentrated in one spot in the valley. And the seagulls, which by their fossil remains have been at the Great Salt Lake for over 2,000 years, simply enjoyed their every-seven-year feast. They still do -- only now it's spread over thousands of square miles. (2001 was a bad year, 2008 is next).
10- And for the last one, I want to collectively group thousands of "magic underwear" tales. When any temple worthy Mormon survives any accident, disaster, or close call, the reason is always attributed to his/her wearing the holy (skid marked) underwear.
Bullets pierce Mormon underwear sold at Beehive Stores just like bullets penetrate underwear purchased at Kmart. The reality is that statistics show that Mormons have the same percentage of accidents per capita, and the same injury/death ratios as anybody else in the general population. But the perceived protection continues to make good “faith promoting” discussion for monthly Testimony Meetings.
11- Jesus drank grape juice-never wine.
There are thirteen original Hebrew and Greek words for "wine" in our English Bible. One of the original Hebrew words for wine is "yayin." This word is first used in Genesis 9:21 where Noah "drank of the wine and was drunken."! Noah got plastered! In Genesis 14:18 we read of Melchizedek – Jesus Christ – who "brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God." God Himself here gave wine to Abraham. And again, the original Hebrew word was "yayin" which always means fermented wine. This same Hebrew word is used in Amos 9:14 speaking of the coming Millennium where the people will "plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof."
| A recent convert spoke in my ward this past Sunday and lamented that her parents aren't LDS, so she can't be sealed to them in the hereafter unless they convert. She's worried that they won't be a "forever family".
That's the church for you, complicating family matters. Until she joined the church, she wouldn't have known, or worried, about such a thing. Her parents were just, well--her parents. Now, they're non-members. Gentiles. The church hasn't brought them closer together as a family. It's brought separation instead of unity. Now everytime she sees her parents, instead of being happy, she's sad. They're now people she needs to convert to LDS-ism so she can be with them in the celestial kingdom. She's worried they won't convert, and she'll never see them after they're all dead.
I listened to this and thought, she hasn't figured out yet that the church has brought her misery instead of joy. Why would her parents want to join such an organization? Why would anybody? (I don't know why SHE did).
And the men who own and operate the church keep telling us that the only source of true joy is active membership in this crazy organization.
Did anyone else ever look at your loving parents, or spouse, and regard them as Gentiles who had to be converted?
| We no longer can deny the middle class in the United States is shrinking and the country sadly will become a country of haves and have nots. If you look at the modern post World War II Mormon church, it has increasingly rellied on the retirement and extra money it's middle class members had. Right now 60% of the staff in the Church Office Building are unpaid retired missionaries. These people run the temples, the canneries, the bishop storehouses, the visitor centers, the missions. I would say retired middle class people run the Mormon church in a real sense even if well to do old men lead it.
Before WWII the Mormon church was not that wealthy and niether was most of it's members. The church in this era was usally in debt or close to it. Money was scarce and tithing in many communities was paid in barter because the members had no money and lived on farms. Pre WWII Mormonism was mostly an agrarian society knitted together with strong families and communities.
Post WWII Mormonism became a church of wealth and took it's members extra money and retirement for granted. Now the church seems even more money addicted.
The problem I see, is a big decline after the older Mormons who currently run the church die off and the baby boom Mormons with less savings are expected to take their place. With the high cost of living and healthcare, there just isn't the disposable income to give the church anymore and because most members don't live on a farm, they are less self-sufficient than they were in past generations.
The leaders of the church will spur the horse and yell "Giddee Up!" but the horse will be exhausted because it no longer has anything to give. Missions, visitor centers, temples, and even the church office building will have to consolidate, change opperations, or even close down due to a lack of willing people to staff them. The mainstream church will errode when it's members see it has nothing to offer them but only wants to take.
In the end, I see the church becoming a social religiouse club amongst a few wealthy people. Maybe that will even die because the thrill of being a celebrity and a religiouse figure to the masses will no longer be there because the masses have left. Face it, church leaders get off on it and even wealthy ones gladly trade their money to "Be the man!".
In the end, the Mormon Church was successful because the United States was an economic powerhouse. The church successfully used family and social pressure to get the money it's members were making and with the dicipline and work ethic, many Mormons did well in the post WWII era. But it's still a middle class church for the most part. The church is based on economics and that too will decline as the US economy declines and China takes over as the worlds economic power. Maybe that's why Gordo wants to get into China so bad.
The church is more mainstream than it's leaders realize. It's all about the money and when it comes down to having healthcare, food, or a home, the members will choose the former over paying tithing. Especially, the self-centered youth who have a big wakeup call comming. Look at the 52% divorce rate amongst the temple married Mormons. Temple marriages fail at the same level as the rest of the country. Mormons aren't that different, they just claim to be. If anything, they get into financial trouble more. Maybe the church should go into banking, that way they can continue to own it's members. LOL!
| I was thinking about the strange difference between the way people treat the "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith and the way they deal with Jesus' crucifixion.
The obvious thing is that the mere mention of Carthage gets people weepy and reverent, whereas the Atonement seems to be just one of those doctrinal things people talk about.
Think about the way Mormons deal with the relics of these deaths. They tells us that to wear a cross is disrespectful because it honors the dead Christ, and we are supposed to prefer the living, risen one. We have no crosses in our meetinghouses. But the church displays John Taylor's watch, makes a shrine out of Carthage Jail, and for years pointed out Hyrum Smith's blood on the floor, carefully protected behind glass.
What I conclude is that for most Mormons, the events at Carthage are more emotionally immediate, probably because leaders and members of the early church were all affected directly by the killings. There's a sense that the deaths need to be kept immediate to remind us of what has been sacrificed for the restoration. Jesus' death, though it's considered infinitely more important, is nonetheless emotionally distant and sterilized by thousands of years of doctrinal discussion about it.
| That goes in multiples for doing such things during the night after anyone who is very young, old, or frail would be asleep.
People in their homes have a perfect right to be eccentric, standoffish, old, decrepit, fearful, or out and out crazy. It's their home. They pay for it. They can paint the inside purple and eat only cabbage and sing John Denver 10 hours a day if they choose. No one coming to their door to recite lies about their church has a right to tell a resident what they must do in their home or how they must feel.
Mormons love to judge others and think they have a right to fix them. They don't have this right. They only have a right to be so strange in their own environment, not in the houses and yards of strangers along the streets.
I haven't lived in Utah for half a century. From what I read here and learn from my 87 year old mother in Ogden, strange intrusive things go on in that insular, quaint, provincial and somewhat seedy setting.
She's had a former MP contractor dump gravel on her lilac hedge and confiscate a one yard strip of her backyard. She's had people frighten her by ringing the doorbell after her bedtime and running off. Three days later, the home healthcare nurse must clean up rotten strawberry shortcake from the front porch. But my mother is afraid to say anything because the local mormons will call her eccentric, unappreciative and rude.
In the real world outside of mormonism, people don't skulk about during the late night hours, knocking on the doors of total strangers, running into the shadows, and watching their victims' reactions. That behavior might be perfectly routine in Utah, but not in any of the other states where I have been and certainly not in Northern California where I live.
That is especially true in cases where the homeowner has contacted an organization and asked to be left alone. JWs have a policy of staying away from houses they've been asked to avoid.
Mormons have a policy of giving more attention, not less, to those who say they want none.
Sad that mormons and even a few exmos expect people in their homes to cater to any and all who happen to clamor to their doors with flyers, salespitches, religious propaganda, and possibly an intent to commit crimes against person and property.
Sad to say that I've known people who have been assaulted and worse for allowing strangers into their homes without good reason. My daughter-in-law's co-worker was murdered in another part of this county last month. His wife was brutalized and the home was ransacked.
I taught a student whose father and brother were murdered and knew a teacher who had a kindergarten student kidnapped, raped, and murdered.
Utah has these same kinds of occurances, but the residents don't seem to take even minimal precautions.
Once I posted that anyone could take advantage of mormons if they claimed to be a mormon authority figure. I was flamed left and right. A few days later, this happened at BYU. The perpetrator was a fake RM, pretending to move in with other mormon students near campus.
I guess it's true that mormon brainwashing runs deep.
This is not 1950. People don't have a right to mess with perfect strangers in their homes, even if they happen to have been baptized into a church decades earlier at age eight. That's a pretty lame excuse.
In the world of reality, we use judgement and take normal precautions. Some who don't, do fine. Others who don't lose everything precious to them.
| It sickens me that Mormons attempt to portray their religion as uniquely American and their lying founders as patriots and freedom fighters.
Joseph Smith continually showed himself a coward. He was a law breaker from a young age, duping hard working, yet gullible, farmers out of their money by "glass-looking" and claiming to know the whereabouts of gold and other treasures.
He fraudulently marketed a religion which he made up for his own self-aggrandizement, lying to everyone around him, and eventually even himself. He was guilty of Federal Bank Fraud charges, theft, illegally marrying dozens of women, he was more than likely an accessory to murder, he formed his own band of lawless thugs, the Danites, and mustered a large military force, the Nauvoo Legion, to protect him and his cronies from the consequences of his actions. He illegally destroyed a printing press.
Each time Joseph Smith ran into trouble with the law or angry disaffected followers, he fled. He possessed not one ounce of honor or patriotism or bravery. In him, cowardice existed side by side and in equal parts to narcissism. He was no great American.
Brigham Young was a cruel, lying, dishonorable despot who was party to the murder of innocent men, women and children. Often portrayed as a great American colonizer, he was in fact attempting to flee the United States and create a new theocracy in the desert over which he would reign as a man-God reminiscent of the ancient Pharaohs. If it weren't for the Spanish American War and Manifest Destiny which sent American interests westward, he may have succeeded, at least for a short time.
Early Mormon leaders were enthusiastic in prophesying the end of the United States and declared several US Presidents were in hell due to their inaction in protecting the Mormon stronghold in Illinois. Mormons, to this day, believe they will come to the rescue when the Constitution "hangs by a thread". For years, an oath of vengeance against the United States was included in the temple ceremony.
Calling Joseph Smith or Brigham Young great Americans or patriots is a dishonor to truly great Americans who, though all the odds were stacked against them, did as honor and valor required. Samuel Adams, organizer of the Boston Tea Party and revolutionary American colonist, was specifically targeted by the British along with John Hancock for his vigor in opposing The Crown. But that didn't stop him. He, along with thousands of other true patriots, was willing to sacrifice his life, if necessary, for the good of the people. He was no coward.
In 1836, at the same time the liar and coward Joseph Smith was out selling his bogus religion, 189 men of real honor and valor were sacrificing their lives bravely fighting for Texas independence against 2,000 of Santa Anna's troops in the Battle of the Alamo. William Travis, the commander of the Alamo along with James Bowie, was one of the first men to fall in battle. He led his troops into battle - facing certain death, never expecting his men to do anything he wasn't willing to do - and died a hero. Also dead in the Alamo were great American frontiersman Davy Crockett and James Bowie.
What a dishonor it is to those real patriots and innumerable others to include Smith or Young among their ranks. It truly sickens me.
Mormonism is no patriotic religion and it's lying, cowardly, founders should be considered traitors to democracy and the Republic. I think, in the same way Mormons baptize people who are already dead to make them members of their cult, we should posthumously strip Brigham Young and Joseph Smith of their US citizenship.
There is an interesting article about Doctors who do not offer treatments to their patients if they are morally opposed to those treatments. They don't refer the patient either. In short, the doctor, makes the decision for the less capable, less righteous person. The doctor in their superior parental role treats that patient like a child. The doctor makes a decision for the patient - that is not his/her right to make.
A TBM responded on a thread about how the Church Courts he had attended were not the awful, humiliating experience that many talked about in the thread.
WHAT - the essence is humiliation. People who have no training insert themselves into another's life and treat them like the "offending" person is a child and the court jesters - I mean the judges - are the parent. These people tell someone else how to live. What gives them the right?
My son attended church with his father until he was 16. I told him that under no circumstances did any man in that ward have the right to talk to my son about his sexual experiences. That is my job and my role as his parent. But of course - these arrogant men (who don't even realize how invasive their actions are) feel it is their duty to make teenagers live as they think the teenager should live - often heaping guilt and shame on the child.
Another thread talked about how women often use a childish voice. Someone stated it is a woman's way of being childlike and sweet in the church. It is an act of submission.
It appears that the mantra - be childlike - means - that - others have the right to tell an individual - who is often an adult and quite capable - how to live.
That is so destructive. We need to - as adults - assume the responsibility of making decisions, to critically think, to come to know ourselves.
The process of being "childlike" interrupts that important maturing process - but - what is good about it - is it leaves the person submissive to the dictates of those who want to control that person.
| Unfortunately, those who claim that mormons don't stalk are in major denial.
What does the word mean? To pursue prey with stealth or determination.
What do mormons do? They "share" (impose) their gospel with (on) strangers they meet in airplanes and they send their young sons and daughters on fulltime missions to pursue converts.
They also systematically track inactives and former members using elder mishies with computers, telephones, family connections, stealth, and determination.
When they find and corner a "lost sheep," what happens? A string of new unwanted "friends" come from nowhere bearing gifts, invitations, veiled threats of losing loved ones in the hereafter, and unspoken threats of pursuing and/or mistreating your children in your real and present neighborhood or school.
Sometimes, the gifts are homecooked morsels on paper plates, left by unnamed phantoms in the night who run away after they pound on the door. They're people who don't know you, but they love you, of course not enough to actually sign their gifts or introduce themselves, however.
What is the TBM answer for this? It's only stalking if exmos define it that way. Besides, it's not a problem because prebuescent kids love to ring doorbells and run away from their hopeful heartthrobs, cheerleader campaign organizers, and secret pretend Halloween phantoms.
So as I see it, mormons do stalk, but their stalking tactics are often shrouded in cowardice and childishness.
| What follows, later in this note, may seem shocking to those beginning to question their faith in the Mormon Church, and may seem far removed from their own reality and perception.
If this is the case, then please, I suggest, go and visit some other LDS awareness forum - a kinder, gentler one - and eventually, when you figure things out, and if you begin to feel an interest in a more active and pointed approach, which is characteristic of this place, then re-visit.
This particular site seems to suite my taste. You can find lots of cold facts in the RfM, and there's not a lot of word mincing.
To those of us who have explored a little more, and are aware of the harmful effects of the Cult, what follows is just a statement of fact.
The LDS Cult brings virtually uncontrolled grief, misery, heartache and depression into the lives of its members. An extreme level of character and personality manipulation is the norm.
Cult members are given orders on how to think, how to act, how to feel, and how to relate to others. Members receive indoctrination on what to do with their time and money. These unsuspecting victims are governed by the Cult in casual relationships, intimate relationships, and family relationships. The Cult even tells its members how to look upon and deal with complete strangers. Orders are given on what types of persons can be trusted, and on what types of professionals can be relied upon. The cultivation of an intolerant, pietistic outlook is encouraged.
Deceit, lies, and half-truths are the daily diet of the Mormon victim. Complete dependence on the Cult is an absolute must, and is engineered from the earliest of moments.
The individual gifts and unique aspects of a person are suppressed, repressed and put down. The soul is slaughtered. The innocent child of God, who is entangled with the Cult, is simply exterminated, like a neglected, inconvenient and unwanted dog that nobody likes or cares for.
An assault on the individual - sometimes subtle, sometimes vicious - is waged by the Cult on a daily basis. Smooth words, silk suits, expensive public relations campaigns, marketing tactics, psychological weapons, smiles, social proof, programming, conditioning, brain washing, legal devices, literature and language, and every known business tool is used to defeat the Victim.
The innocent soul is brought into complete and comprehensive submission. A bit like the taming of a wild elephant, the victim’s will and desire for freedom is utterly destroyed.
There is something very damaging to our souls about living an unauthentic life, and Mormonism is anything but authentic. It’s only hope of survival hinges on keeping its members away from authentic, rational, independent influence, and moulding them into Mormon clones.
Unhappiness, misery, delusion, personality disorder, physical, mental, and spiritual damage, wrecked dreams and ruined potential, lives void of meaning or a higher purpose, attachments to a gospel of utter hopelessness, sincere faith in ever changing doctrines, acceptance of demented, deranged and vile degenerates as prophets and founders of the Mormon God’s one and only true church, frenzied minds racked with guilt, almost without “sin”, but always feeling - because they are constantly reminded that they are the lowest of the low - less then the dust of the earth and never able to become perfect, false beliefs in doctrines and personalities that can never be relied upon, unrelenting despair.
Forget Jesus. Joe can save you. He decides who gets into heaven.
Physically alive, but diseased, dieing, and dead. Drinking toxic potions, with an odd shot of values or a tiny drop of something good mixed in. There is no hope for health, in the highest sense, or in any sense, for the LDS Cult victim.
Show me a happy Mormon family, and I’ll show you a lying Mormon family.
Show me a happy Mormon family, and I’ll show you a Stepford family. Each member a shell of what a human being should be.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Pit Bull of Religions.
It will rip your friends and loved ones to pieces.
It will tear your throat out.
| Just some thoughts/realizations I've made (Male perspective, since obviously, I'm a male).
At first it starts with simply going to church. When around the age of 8 baptisms are used to keep kids in check, this allows parents to set a presidence for the rest of the child's life if they are ever bad.
As the kid get older, they start obtaining different offices, and get involved in Boy Scouts in order to create bonds between other Mormon boys. This helps to weed out ones that are doing wrong by telling them they shouldn't lie to get into a new office or else they'll be in trouble, and to figure out which if any of them are doing anything against "the standards".
Seminary is soon coupled with seminary to keep them guilty/in check throughout high school, when they could start learning about "the world".
Many then get shipped off to BYU (and many against their well, eh-hem *cough*) to get monitored a year before their missions (and to get HEAVILY pressure to go on one; trust me, I'm pretty much blacklisted here to anyone who knows I'm not going).
This keeps them monitored for 2 years in which missionaries report on each other secretly to their president each month, causing paranoia to act better than they really are and helping to brainwash them.
They then come back to BYU and are monitored until they get married to some 18 year old naive BYU Mormon girl, which they encourage heavily right after getting off the mission, as without a Mormon girl there'd be no pressure to marry another Mormon, and "leave the straight and narrow path".
This often leads to quick marriages, and fast divorces. It doesn't stop there. The women are heavily encouraged to take wiving classes (ie home and family life) to learn to be a good obedient little w/e. This in turn helps them keep the men in check after the wedding. Once married at BYU, in comes the BYU counseling.
Basically a bunch of BS that's supposed to help the new couple.
I'm sure this isn't all-encompassing (things like tithing settlement aren't included), but just a rant. Man it gets boring here in "Happy Valley"...
| Case in point. When the rest of the US was openly racist against blacks, the Mormon Church excluded blacks from the priesthood. When the times changed, the LDS church allowed blacks to have the priesthood.
I was always told that the LDS church would do what's right no matter what. Correct principles are eternal. As members, we were told to follow that example. That translated into choosing our standards over our peers. You should be willing to let go of a boyfriend/girlfriend who is not willing to wait for marriage. You should be willing to stand up to friends who drink or smoke. And you should not be afraid of getting beat up for doing the right thing. Stand for something!
We know what the LDS teaching is on sex before marriage. We also know about the WoW. They haven't changed, no matter what the world does.
Why doesn't Mormonism practice what it preaches? Why were blacks excluded from the priesthood? Why did Brigham Young teach that the penalty for interracial marriage was death on the spot? If it's ok now, and if the correct principles are correct no matter what the ways of the world dictate, why the flip flop?
I realize that Mormons will try to explain it away as ongoing revelation, but that still does not explain the emphasis on eternal principles that change with the political climate. They also try to explain away poorly thought out doctrine with flimsy explanations. The prophet was just speaking as a man when he said that. Sometimes he speaks as a man, sometimes he speaks as a prophet. We can't really tell when. The prophet is infallible and will never lead the LDS church astray, except when he speaks as a man.
Reading Mormon doctrine is like reading an insurance policy. There are exceptions to everything, but they only pop up when they benefit the LDS church.
If the correct principles to live our lives by are eternal principles, why do they keep changing?
| Blacks and the priesthood, the status of women, and the treatment of gays. These are moral issues. It is a moral issue when racism keeps certain members from enjoying what all the white members can have. It's wrong to say that if you are a woman, you have to follow a certain path that hasn't worked for a few generations. And treating homosexuality like it's a mental defect requiring therapy and shock treatment is just plain wrong.
I learned that Mormonism doesn't work by being out there in the real world. I had friends from different races and cultures. I met people who did not even come close to the Mormon stereotype. And it showed me that a majority of what I'd seen growing up had been colored and tainted by my experience in Mormonism.
Mormonism taught me what to think, not how to think. Mormonism taught me that all gays are alike, all blacks are alike, all Baptists are alike, and all women are alike. Here's what I learned. Gays don't follow the stereotypes that Mormons have constructed for them. So what do you do? Are all gays bad, like Mormonism says? Are there good gays and bad gays? I had to evalulate for myself.
What about blacks? I made a lot of black friends in my travels. Some were cool, some weren't. Some had no interest in having white friends. But I learned to look at the person, not the race.
The same goes with women. There are some who don't want to have children. So what business is it of mine to tell a woman who wants to be a CEO that she needs to quit and have children? There are some really cool women and some that I hope to never meet again.
I have to look at each person, not the gender. Not the race. Not the sexual preference. I have to look at the person and decide whether I want to be friends. I can't imagine how many amazing experiences I would have missed out on if I didn't have gay friends. Same with my black friends and classmates. And my female friends and classmates. I hear things from them that I never would have imagined coming up with.
Each person brings his/her own unique perspective to the table. Denying that person a seat at the table is a moral issue. Mormonism tells women to stay in the background and make babies. Mormonism denied blacks the priesthood and the teachigns of Brigham Young have tarnished the minds of young people for generations. Mormonism teaches that gays are deviant people who need therapy. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are moral issues. Human dignity and equality are moral issues. And underneath it all, free thought is a moral issue. That's why Mormonism doesn't work for me.
| I've enjoyed reading Steve Benson's posts about his discussions with LDS apostles such as: Dallin H. Oaks, Niel A. Maxwell, and Bruce R. McConkie. Reading these accounts shows the church leaders deffinately have their own doubts about the truthfullness of the church but what they all have in common is a key objective to keep the organization going.
If you have ever seen the movie Wall Street, then you know there is a scene where Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) finds out that his boss Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) has a secret agenda and has been playing Bud like a fool. An angry Bud Fox bursts into Mr. Gecko's office and calls him out. Then Mr. Gecko tries to calm the poor kid down by telling him he's part of something big and who cares about the little lie here and there. Your part of something big and you will be rewarded! Then there's the "cross me and you will regret it!"
In another movie called Thunderheart an FBI agent (Val Kilmer) keeps bringing evidence to the head FBI agent. The evidence is true but it is damaging to the head FBI agent's agenda. As the movie continues more truth comes out and when the head FBI agent is exposed for the fraud he is, he still tries to sell the organization and promote the young lad to shut him up. Val Kilmer spends the whole movie in a tormented mind screw. This movie reminds me of the conflict one has with Mormonism when they finally realize it's not true.
I moved a lot as a member of the church. My experience with church leaders has been varied from good ol' boy types to sophisticated very rich types. I have also seen an attempt to paint the church as a slick sophisticated organization in the past decade and a half. Obviousely the doing of Gordon B. Hinckley who has spent a fortune making the church look more impressive in the media. Going from the historical old Tabernacle to the slick and modern Conference Center and bringing more corporate leader types into top church leadership positions shows us where this is all going.
The people running the church know their organization. They aren't dummies. They know the church isn't going to grow much larger and they also know they have sevral million sheep as members who will do anything they say. Do you really think these guys want to baptize thousands of poor Africans with AIDS? Heck no! Africa and the other PR visits and missions is to sell the core church membership in North America the church is growing and they are part of something big. The expensive buildings are to make these members feel they are part of something wealthy and important.
What the church wants is wealthy, educated, slick members who not only pay a lot of tithing and donations, they can fullfill church leadership positions. Plus, these people produce more of themselves which the church gets.
Gordon B. Hinckley's wet dream is to have millions of Mitt Romney's in the church bowing their heads and saying "YES!" Such people like new, state of the art buildings to take pride in, a historical perspective to be proud of, and illusions that we are helping the poor of the world. Much like how Hollywood is into it.
The main goal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is to retain it's wealthiest members and then throw a bone to the shrinking middle class. Church Welfare will be happy to give these people the grunt jobs the rich people don't want to do. The cardiologist making $400,000 will be stake president. The laid off factory worker will be quilt tripped that they didn't have more education. The shame will run some off but the real dummies will stay where the church can exploit them for cheap labor.
Gordo knows it's going to be a church of have and have nots so he making the gentleman's club nice and comfortable.
| The Internet must have hit the church’s leadership like a freight train. It wasn’t that long ago that their big concerns were intimidating member opinions at “Sunstone”, or attempting to buy the “Salt Lake Tribune” to control its negativity, or forming the “Strengthening the Members Committee” to identify - by name - problem members so they could effectively deal with them. That’s laughable today.
Back then the church’s “skeletons’ were relatively hard to find and there wasn’t much personal help along the way. If you were really smart, or lucky, you might know about a small house on the south side of Salt Lake with a sign reading “Modern Microfilm”. It was a tiny repository of truth. Like David and Goliath however, that house (which is still small) would become “Utah Lighthouse Ministry.Com” and greatly upset the church’s empire only a few miles away. It was the “Dot Com” miracle that made all the difference!
Only 10 short years have gone bye, yet everything is upside-down for Mormonism. Now there’s a massive dissident rebellion pouring down from every direction while the church is virtually helpless to respond. Now there’s an irritating anonymity of voices, easy networking of the opposition, effective information compiling, interpretation, and far-reaching exchange – all supported with digitized documents and videos.
Anyone, anywhere, can now safely vent their feelings worldwide. They can openly mock the church’s secrets. They can directly contact one another. They can share their independent scholarship and, to the church’s despair, warn potential newcomers using solid information that the church’s missionaries are helpless to refute.
Surely this must be panicking the leadership. They know the numbers. They know what they’ve been hiding for generations. Their old tactics are now useless to them, but as the saying goes, they can’t let the members “see them sweat”. Still, they can’t hide forever. What “signs of the times” are the GA’s showing, despite themselves?
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