Thursday, September 20, 2012

Collective sacrifice and Knowledge

How many of you, reading this were thrown out at birth and raised by wolves?  Go ahead, raise your hands...:::waiting, waiting, waiting:::: :::chirp, chirp chirp::: Crickets? I'm surprised, since it has become a popular mantra lately to say, "I am a self-made man, nobody helped me get where I am".

I own a home, a car, a good selection of clothes and a similar selection of other material items you'd see in any other middle class home.  I have worked very hard to get where I am. I work two jobs and often three jobs in a given year to maintain a modest lifestyle. Yet, I would never be arrogant enough to say I have all that I have because I did this all on my own.

I grew up very poor...I was not encouraged to go to college. I babysat to earn money from the time I was 10 years old and worked on the farms at age 11 and in fast food at age 15.  I worked very hard to put myself through college to get two college degrees, yet, I didn't get it all on my own.

My parent's paid for my food and shelter while I lived at home. When I moved out at age 17, they had an open door policy that allowed my to move back home during the summer months that helped me to live at home free of charge so I could save my money to pay for tuition, books and living expenses when I went back to college.  One year, I had to get a government grant to get by.  My brother helped me get a job and he even bought tires for my vehicle when I needed them for transportation.

I had two mentors while I finished college who encouraged me, helped me decide on a major and encouraged me to stay in school when I discovered I was pregnant and didn't think I could finish when I was throwing up everyday, all day long.

My children work very hard to put themselves through college. Yet, they have been very advantaged, also.  We gave them the opportunity to travel around the world, we put money aside in education funds, we encouraged them to think critically and encouraged them to continue their education.

Even families who don't have all these advantages, still have food, shelter and public education afforded to them.  Often there is a teacher, a friend, a neighbor who reaches out and encourages them to be their very best.

We all have what we have because of the sacrifices our ancestors made before us.

No one has ever made it on their own.  We all have the benefits of the collective sacrifices and knowledge of those who came before us.

Let's show some humility and gratitude to this.

Friday, August 17, 2012


More obedience
More sacrifice
More devotion
More perfection
More kids

Less money
Less time
Less patience
Less happiness
Less sex

More anxiety
More depression
More migraines
More suffering
More conflict

Less quality
Less commitment
Less tithing
Less attendance
Less devotion

More conformity
More dissonance
More denial
More contradictions
More abuse

Less acceptance
Less authenticity
Less reality
Less voice
Less boundaries

More anger
More blinders
More walls
More delusion
More submitting

Less collaboration
Less equality
Less passion
Less power
Less respect

More meditation
More pondering
More truth
More thinking
More searching

Less subjugating
Less blame
Less controlling
Less conditioning
Less pressure

More peace
More time
More money
More love
More happiness

Less Fear
Less guilt
Less pressure
Less repression
Less shame

More color
More voice
More communication
More wisdom

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Saved by. . .

Saved by Grace, Works, Knowledge

There once was a library at Alexandria.  It contained knowledge gleaned from all around the world.  It contained books and information on all sorts of subjects, such as medicine, philosophy, math and science.  The library was public and people were encourage to glean as much as they wanted to from its rich resources.

Through fires and war, much of the libraries' books were lost, stolen or destroyed.

The world soon fell into the Dark is too large a subject to tackle here, but in each society where the rule has been led by men claiming religious reign, rights are trampled on, knowledge is suppressed, war is justified in order to force others to believe.  The result is poverty, the limiting of who can have access to knowledge and a regression in rights, liberties and societal advancements.

Here is one quote:

 To see to what depths the human mind is currently devolving, we must understand the true history of what has been called the Dark Ages. Only by going behind the falsifications of historians prejudiced by their Christian beliefs is it possible for us to understand how degraded people's minds had become during the fifth through sixteenth centuries in Europe: the earlier Dark Ages.
      Europe languished in intellectual and cultural retrogression during the Middle Ages, while the light of wisdom was preserved and advanced by those they labeled "the infidel Saracen." The reintroduction of the Classical (Greek) Tradition and the Perennial Tradition through the confluence of European and Muslim thought, beginning around 1000 CE, revitalized earlier conceptions of knowledge as derived from experience--participation in reality.
     As d'Alembert states in his introduction to the French Encyclopedia,
"most of the great minds during those dark ages . . . were preoccupied with a thousand frivolous questions about abstract and metaphysical being instead of thoroughly investigating Nature or studying man."

Today, public libraries and universities encourage the same sharing of information and collaboration on issues, ideas and problem solving.  We have been able to advance medicine, science, technology and ideas on so many areas because of the sharing of information.

Knowledge builds upon knowledge.  Once someone has an idea (often gleaned from something they read, heard, or discussed) they think about it, problem solve and come up with solutions.  This is sometimes done in solitude, but often with a group or organization. Once a new idea or discovery is formed, then a new idea is formed, a new discovery is advanced, etc.  This is how societies are able to progress in medicine, economy, science and technology.

How much further would society be IF the library at Alexandria hadn't been destroyed?  How much further would society be IF wars and religious fighting hadn't plunged us into the dark ages? How further would society regress IF a secular government were once again replaced with a religious government who restricted ideas and the dissemination of information?

Society is saved by let it be.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Mission

I served a mission for the LDS church.  It was the beginning of me leaving the church.  The focus was only on baptizing. Each month, a newletter was put out in the mission with all the names of the missionaries and how many baptisms each companion got.  If a companionship baptized 3 or more people, they were invited to the mission president's home for an overnight stay and given an all-you-can-eat steak dinner and allowed to watch movies all night long (movies were forbidden any other time on a mission).

This led to abuse, as the focus was to only baptize people, not retain them.  In fact, we were told repeatedly by the mission president that our focus was to baptize, not retain, and were strongly discouraged from visiting the people after they were baptized.  Most of the people stopped attending church within months of being baptized. Many were baptized the first Sunday they attended church.

There was this thing instituted in my mission called *purging*.  Each month, each missionary met with the mission president and were told to confess each thing they did wrong, no matter how small or trivial.  You see, we had over 300 rules in a white handbook called our white bible.  On top of that, our mission president had given us an additional 200 extra rules.  These rules consisted of what to wear, what time to get up, when to leave the apartment, what to read, what music we could listen to, what we were and were not allowed to do on our day off, what time to be back in the apartment, what time to go to bed, etc.  We were not free to choose anything on a mission. In these *purging* sessions, we were required to tell the mission president any and all rules we had broken over the course of the month. If we slept in an extra 10 minutes; if we took 40 minutes to eat lunch instead of 30 minutes; if we left the apartment 5 minutes late-all was to be confessed.  I refused to do this, as I saw it a violation of my privacy and it seemed voyeuristic.

The only thing NOT regulated by the white bible and the mission presidents addition rules, was gossip. So, the missionaries gossiped---a lot! Once, my companion and I made cookies for a meeting with people who were looking into the church (we called them investigators).  After the meeting, there were some cookies left over, so we gave them to some of the male missionaries (called elders).  It went through the mission that we had invited the elders over to our apartment and made cookies with them. (This would have been strictly forbidden, and we were now the equivalents of sluts.)

At another time, an elder was doing a kiddie dunk (when you baptize a child under the age of 18 without baptizing his parents--a sure sign he will never return to church again) and we all had to wait for this child to have all the discussions (lessons about the church).  I was in the chapel playing the piano.  Several missionaries strolled in to listen to me play.  The rumors went around the mission that I had met privately with one of these elders and was kissing him, etc.  This, of course, got back to the mission president.  He called me, asked me about it (I of course, had no idea what he was talking about), but he didn't believe me and I was punished by being demoted from senior position/companion and sent out to small cities that have no baptisms for the rest of my mission.

None of this made it into my letters home, as they weren't faith promoting.

Here is an article written by a man about his mission:

The church was about growth in numbers, controlling the missionaries to keep them in line, and it did a great job at both--it just lost me in the process.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The mormon way

Some mormons are able to interpret what they hear from the leaders as advice and not feel as though they have to literally follow everything as gospel.  I had difficulty with this.  When Hinkley said that women should only wear one pair of earrings, I already had two set of holes in my ears.  I thought it was okay to wear earrings in both sets of holes since I already had the holes.  My sister got really mad at me, telling me how evil I was for not following his advice literally.  When I was going through my crisis of faith, I was looking for understanding and love and acceptance from my leaders, what I got instead was being told to *submit* to their authority.  Was the leaders' word the be-all-end-all, or just a guideline to take or leave?

I remember so many times when a temple was going in an area, it often would not meet height codes for the area, or would bring in too much traffic for a residential area.  The neighbors would complain, file a legal motion; and mormon members would cry religious persecution when people just didn't want a very tall building/lots of traffic, etc. in their neighborhood.  Has it occurred to the mormons that by blindly following the lead of their leaders instead of being objective about the opposition, that the opposition has indeed a valid point? Or does any opposition always come down to the church being victims and always being right?

In California, the church fought against gay marriage.  They asked the members to donate money and time into fighting to make it illegal.  When people were outraged against the church, the church claimed religious persecution; not once thinking they were the ones who were trampling all over other people's right to love and marry whomever they wanted; not once thinking they were fighting against the rights and privileges of others who had done nothing to harm them.

Here is an article where the mormons are told to follow their leaders and if they don't, they are told they will suffer:

This week, a neighborhood association was told to back down from its opposition to the building of a mormon church building.  The neighbors had been told the building would never be higher than a certain height.  The church is now proposing to build in opposition to that height limit.  Can the church claim persecution from the neighbors like they have in the past?  Can the church claim they are victims of religious persecution? Hardly, since its neighbors are mormon, in Provo, UT.  The neighborhood association President?  A BYU college professor.

Just submit, members, no questions asked...that's the mormon way....secular or religious, the leaders are used to getting their way.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Discrimination no more

Any privilege, power or money is denied any group of people that is given to another group of people, that is the essence of discrimination.

It is time to end discrimination.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Top 10

Please, mormons, just watch this video.

What do you know about the following:

1. Book of Abraham
2. Book of Mormon--horses, steel, large battles with no verifiable archaeological evidence
3. Book of Mormon translation
4. First vision
5. Authorship of Book of Mormon
6. Blacks and the priesthood
7. Kinderhook plates
8. Polygamy
9. Witnesses to the Book of Mormon
10. Temple

You only know part of the story....the real story is found within the confines of the Mormon church and not from anti- sources, really. Find out what the real story is. Please.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I have done a lot a studying on the narcissistic personality.  It is fascinating to then compare how a corporation can also take on the characteristics of narcissist, as well.  How an organization begins, is how it continues, more often than not.

Psychiatrist Robert D. Anderson wrote a book on Joseph Smith, entitled, 'Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith'  In it, he makes the suggestion that Joseph Smith may have had a narcissistic personality disorder.

'Anderson draws upon the body of literature, especially the Book of Mormon, produced by observation, experiment, theory, and psychiatric experience in his attempt to understand the founder of Mormonism. He says that splitting, a fundamental of personality weakness, is a major psychological defense demonstrated by the prophet. Its most obvious manifestations are 1) the division of the world into polar opposites and 2) the lack of integration of the various parts of the patient's psyche. The individual may oscillate between two opposite positions. This behavior can be seen in the polarized opposites of the Nephite and Lamanite people depicted in the Book of Mormon, as well as in Smith's ability to present one face in public (such as denying polygamy) while simultaneously converting associates and new plural wives to the principle in private. The individual may also exhibit psychological reversal of attitudes toward particular persons, by switching instantly from compliments to vilification, or of oscillation in moral positions, yet not be troubled in the contradiction. Examples are the instantaneous conversions of Alma, Jr., Zeezrom and the whole Lamanite population in 30 BCE in the Book of Mormon. Another example was Smith's strong opposition to Masonry as a young man, followed by his later becoming a Mason himself and drawing on Masonic ritual for temple ceremonies.'

The narcissist spends his life desperately trying to return to that "eternal world of omnipotent perfection." He therefore creates an artificial, omnipotent self, whose fantasies compensate for the failures of the real world. In a vicious cycle, he consoles himself for his failures by retreating into his fantasies, which, while providing comfort, assure continued failure by preventing him from finding more effective ways to seek success. This pattern continues as a technique throughout life. If his family responds favorably to this false self, as Smith's family did, it will be enhanced.

Why, the question then needs to be asked, does a group of people follow a narcissist?  To glean radiant value from him.  People see the charismatic leader as having power and they project that power onto themselves through association.  When that leader also promises great reward through association, (eternal life, becoming a god, etc.) then they are willing to give up their wives (polyandry) their money (tithing and consecration) in order to become omnipotent.

They continue to do so today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oh say what is truth

Well, I think I've heard it all now.  A guest commentator in the Salt Lake Tribune is defending the truthiness of the mormon church based on how she *feels* about it.  Wow.  If only feeling for something made it true.  If only believing in something made it true.  If only sacrificing for something made it true.  
David Koresh's followers believed they were following the truth...Jim Jones' followers believed they were following the truth....Heaven's Gate's followers believed they were following the truth...all to their death. 'Certainly they would not have suffered for something that wasn't true'.      
Be careful about defining truth by what people *feel* *believe* or even *spiritual experiences* they have had.  These things are plentiful in the world and exist in all religions. These are not exclusive to the mormon church.

Be careful.... believing something does not make it true.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Box of Crayons

I have come to define what morality is very differently over the last several years.

I have come to view the world like a box of crayons, full of colors instead of just a black and white crayon.

I was raised to believe that every decision was simple; yes/no, right/wrong, black/white, following rules set by religion.

I do not believe this any more.  Making a moral decision any more, is based on treating people with kindness, being happy, making decisions that do not harm others. For example, it is more important that I spend time with my family than serving in a church calling where I am not with my family.

I have made some important life decisions lately that make me very happy. Yet, I am not able to share these decisions with my family.  Why? Because my family will not be happy for me.  If these decisions make me happy, then why won't my family be happy for me?  Because my family makes decisions based on an absolute moral judgement of black/white and right/wrong.  They will judge me, criticize me, condemn me.  

I hope that one day my happiness will be placed above a set of outdated religious rules.  Until then, I will continue to be estranged from those people who are supposed to love me unconditionally.


What is the definition of morality?


 - definition

How does one go about making moral decisions? Is everything so black and white?  Is it always wrong to steal?  Is it always wrong to lie?  When is it okay to have sex and when is not okay to have sex? Is it always wrong to kill a person?  

I was taught that these moral rules are black and white; after all, the 10 commandments teach us they are, right?  I was raised in a church and a family where we weren't taught there was possibly a middle ground, or moral ambiguity.  Then the same people who taught me these absolutes are the very same people who taught me it is acceptable to believe in the death penalty.  Then I read the Bible--talk about a moral land mine!  God killed or commanded people to kill entire groups of people including children and their animals.(If it is wrong to kill people, then why is it okay to kill even in this situation?) In the book of mormon, god tells a man to kill a man, wars are waged in gods name.

 It was also very confusing to be taught my entire life that sex was bad and evil, then it was okay to have sex the day I was married; very confusing. (Is it bad, or good, or evil or good?) God also allows a man to rape a woman as long as he marries her after. There are concubines, polygamy and rape in the bible. How confusing is that?!

God says to not lie, but in the Bible he tells Abraham to lie about the relationship he has with his wife.  The Bible has many other examples of moral ambiguity sanctioned by god.

In the mormon church, as I have read the history, I have also learned it has a great deal of moral ambiguity.  The founder, Joseph Smith, openly taught monogamy,  yet secretly practiced polygamy and polyandry. 

The church today, covers up this history from its members, actively seeking to deceive its members by not teaching this history.  In 2008, in relieve society and priesthood meetings, they have studied the life of Joseph Smith and not one single lesson talks about polygamy or polyandry.

The mormon church also teaches that it is sexually pure, by forbidding masturbation, sex before marriage, requiring their garments to be put back on immediately after sex, covering a woman's shoulders. Yet, is has a sexually ambiguous background where men were sent on missions and their wives were then told to marry Joseph Smith or Brigham Young (polyandry) polygamy was practiced against the law, printing presses were destroyed to keep these practices secret.  

I was in a state of cognitive dissonance from the time I could read.
Who can read this history and not be in a state of moral confusion?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Most Perfect

I've written blogs before about how, as a member of the TSCC, we were all emotionally stunted.  But I had an epiphany today.  One way it kept us emotionally stunted was by fighting over god's attention.  In the church, you aren't saved by grace, but by works.

You have to bake bread, do a church calling (forced volunteer work within the church), visit other sisters (visiting teaching), have lots of children, keep a clean house, submit to the husband.  But this really isn't enough.  To show how really perfect a person is, they have to serve in a leadership position such as a relief society president or a bishop.  It is really considered a failure if a person doesn't ever get a position like this.  It isn't enough to just do your visiting, you are looked down on if you do it on the last day of the month.  If all you ever do is a nursery leader (work with the children 2 and under) then you are really pitied.

It's not good enough to be good; it's not good enough to be perfect; the people in the church have to be more perfect that everyone else, in order to garner god's attention.

How can people grow, learn to love unconditionally, when they are expending so much energy competing for attention?  How can they really serve others when all they are attempting to do is promote themselves?  How can they outgrow egocentricity if they are consumed with their own selves?

How sad is that?  Is god that petty?  That jealous of a god? That he only pays attention to, and rewards  those who serve in the most prestigious places?  That he will only reward those who not only serve him, but in the most prominent ways?

When I stopped trying to be perfect, I could be good; and good is enough.

It's about...time

There will be a BBC interview of Jeffery Holland that will be presented in the USA sometime before November, 2012.  Here is a link to a summary of it:

Some of the highlights:
*Holland is asked if Joseph Smith was arrested and convicted. At first Holland says, "I have no idea. When the interviewer says there is an actual court record, Holland backs down and says it is incidental to his character.  By the way, here is the link to that document supporting his arrest and conviction:

*Holland is asked if Romney had covenanted in the temple to slit his throat rather than tell what he learned in the temple.  This did in fact existed in the temple up until 1990 and was then taken out.  Since Romney had in fact gone through the temple before 1990, he would have made these oaths.  When pressed, he attempts to back down.

*The church spokesman, when at first asked about the Strengthening the members committee, at first denied any knowledge about it.  When pressed, said he knew about it, but couldn't give any information about it.  When Holland was asked about it, he said its primary purpose was to protect against polygamy.  Do you know what its primary purpose is?

*Holland was asked if the church practices shunning. He said he would not shun a child.  All I can say to that is I have several family members who will not speak to me because I am no longer a member of the church.  I am estranged from the rest of them.  My  now ex-husband told me he would not support me when I told him I could no longer attend the mormon church. Seems like shunning to me.

Can the church stand up to scrutiny? Its about time the media asked these hard questions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Growing up, we were always told contradictory ideas:

1. All knowledge is good and of god vs. fear the internet because some knowledge will lead you away from the church.

2. Teach them correct principles and let them choose for themselves vs. never question church leaders/blindly follow them

3. Men do not carry the stain of Adam eating the apple vs. Eve is to submit to Adam for eating the apple   4. Women are to be equal to men vs. women are to submit to men

5. Man is not punished for Adam's sin vs. all of Cain's descendants and all of Laman and Lemual's descendants were punished for their sins

6. Individual members can seek inspiration from god vs. if church leaders receive inspiration that is contradictory inspiration it trumps whatever the the individual was told by god

7. The church is all about family vs. once you don't believe like us, we will shun you

Monday, June 4, 2012


I don't run into many of my former mormon friends in stores any more, but I used to.  It was uncomfortable because the only questions they would ask is what ward (congregation) I belong to; what church calling I hold (what volunteer work I do in within the church); how is my husband (whom I am divorced from).  I do have a few mormon friends on fb and no matter how many photos I post of me in tank tops (a big no no to show shoulders because for some odd reason, shoulders have become sexual or offensive or vulgar), or how many articles I post about alcohol ( mormons think drinking alcohol and tea and coffee is a sin), my mormon friends cannot grasp the concept that someone can leave the mormon church and so they continue to ask about what my life is like within the mormon church. Sigh.

I was taught my entire mormon life that people only leave because they are offended by something or someone or because they are sinners and do not repent.  I believed this and repeated this diatribe and now this is one of my greatest regrets as I have come to realize it is false.

I have attempted multiple times to explain to mormons that I left because I stopped believing that their leaders speak to a god that hates black people then changes his mind and loves them.  I stopped believing that their leaders should rule in fear and shame.  I stopped believing that people should receive church discipline for having a crisis of faith. I stopped believing in a church that punishes a woman who divorces a man for leaving an abusive husband. I stopped believing that women should be submissive to men. I stopped believing in the patriarchal order.  I stopped believing that god will punish people for not giving tithing to an organization that builds malls instead of water wells.  I stopped believing in a god that makes people gay and then punishes those same people and tells their family to shun them. I stopped believing in a god that helps people find their keys so they will be on time for church yet does not stop an earthquake from killing thousands.

I stopped telling mormons why I left because they believe that all people are supposed to be mormon, all people are supposed to conform to its beliefs, all people are supposed to accept it someday (that is why they do baptisms for the dead).  How do you rationalize with beliefs like that?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. 

That said, if you were god and you were going to trust bringing back your church, would you trust such an important job to someone who believes in magic? Would you trust that important job to someone who had been convicted of treasure seeking?  Would you trust someone who had been convicted of conning people out of money by telling them treasure can be found on their property through seer stones? Then, those same seer stones are put in a hat and used to translate a magical book?  Even according to the church records, this is what happened:

Now, the modern day church shows photos of Joseph looking at golden plates and then translating them. However, all first hand reports say he actually put those same seer stones he used for treasure hunting into a hat and that is how we have the BofM today: (church friendly sources)

The question remains, then, why does the modern day church go out of its way do deceive its members? It depicts Joseph as using gold plates to translate the BofM through photos and stories when in fact there is no documentation to support this.

Joseph was convicted of treasure seeking.

Joseph believed in magic stones long before the advent of the mormon church.

It is time the believing member were made aware of these facts. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I was just thinking about the mormon scriptures in the end of the book, there is a promise in Moroni 10:3-4 it reads:

 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruthof it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

What I was taught my entire life is to ask if those things in the BofM and the church are true and of god; however, a close reading of verse 4 does NOT say it again; read it carefully. It says, "ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are NOT  true;"

I was not taught to ask if they were NOT true, but the opposite, if there WERE true.
Damn~ now I have to go back and re-ask if they are NOT true ::sarcasm::

Just a thought, be sure you know what you are to pray for....

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This is my take on Evolution:

Things change.

In order for a species to survive, it must change or adapt to its environment to survive.  A species that is resistant to change will not survive.

A species that has adapted to its environment is better able to survive.  Dawrin shows this in: Adaptation is the process that makes organisms better suited to their habitat.[153][154] Also, the term adaptation may refer to a trait that is important for an organism's survival. For example, the adaptation of horses' teeth to the grinding of grass.

If a person becomes rigid in their thoughts or actions, then they are not able to accept change.  If they are not able to accept change, they are not able to adapt to survive.

When I was confronted with new information about the mormon church, I had to either accept it, or adapt to it, or become rigid and not accept it.

As I have often contemplated why I was able to eventually accept this new information and adapt to it, act on it, and leave the mormon church, I have wondered why so many others, when given this same information are not able to make the same changes in their lives.

Even though making changes in my life meant a great deal of anxiety, heartache and pain, I was able to adapt to the changes necessary.

I have come to believe that it is this fundamental idea that has helped me accept and change my circumstances and others have not.

I have the genetic ability to adapt and change, and others lack this ability to do so.

This is my working hypothesis and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Irony

From the time I was a teenager, I have been curious about learning all things mormon. There were two things that troubled me. I didn't understand the mysteries contained in the Bible; and the temple. I became obsessed with understanding.  I felt that my eternal salvation depended on understanding the symbolism in the temple and the Bible, especially the book of Revelation.

As a teen, I even read parts of a book called Mormonism and Masonry. I didn't really understand it, however, since I hadn't been through the temple and I didn't understand what Masonry was, at the time.

I obsessed about going through the temple, wanting all things that god had to offer.  After going through, I wanted nothing more to do with it, thinking it bizarre and cult like.  I didn't understand it.  I was told that I wasn't *worthy* enough to understand all of its symbolism.  I was told that, 'all would be revealed upon my righteousness.' I then tried to live in a way to make me worthy.

I studied the scriptures voraciously.  I read the bible, the BofM, the PofGP, multiple times. I read commentaries on all of them.  I found stuff on the internet.  I found stuff written by other religions.  I attended other religions, hoping that all knowledge would open my eyes. I spent hundreds of dollars on books to help my understanding.

 I tried to live the most righteous life I possibly could. I accepted each calling, even when these callings didn't fall in line with what my patriarchal blessing said these callings should be (my blessing said I would be a leader of other women, that I would rise to great heights of leadership; few of the callings I received, however fit into this category).  I questioned everything.  I researched, I studied, I prayed, I did all these things in an effort to understand the mystery of the temple and the Book of Revelation.

I believed the mormon scriptures that said that all knowledge is of god, that if we seek after good things, it was a good thing.  The more I searched, the more confused I was.  I found out that the way the Bible was put together was not how I was taught in church.  It was very fascinating, but not necessarily inspired by god.  I found out that the Greek and Roman and previous gods that were worshiped by other nations had a great influence on the Jews and eventually the religion that became the Christians. I discovered that there were many, many books that could have been included in the Bible.  I found out the books in the NT were not written by the men that carry their names.  The most recent research on the Book of Revelation is the most fascinating.  Its author concludes that it wasn't meant to be an end-of-days book about our time, but a political commentary about the Roman government and about the time period it was written in.  Of course, this only makes sense, once a person is able to step back and be objective.   Elaine Pagel, The Book of Revelation

I found out that Joseph Smith and nearly all of the early leaders in the mormon church were Masons. I found out that all the symbols on the Nauvoo and Salt Lake Temple are not religious symbols, but Masonic symbols. I didn't need to look at anti- sources for this, but to mormon sources:

The History of the Church records Smith's entrance into the Masonic lodge in 1842:
"Tuesday, 15.—I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office." (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1978, Vol.4, Ch.32, p.550-1)
The next day Smith recorded:
"Wednesday, March 16.—I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree." (History of the Church, Vol.4, Ch.32, p.552)
The Mormon involvement in Freemasonry reached its heights during the early 1840's in Nauvoo. In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism we read:
"The introduction of Freemasonry in NAUVOO had both political and religious implications....Eventually nearly 1,500 LDS men became associated with Illinois Freemasonry, including many members of the Church's governing priesthood bodies—this at a time when the total number of non-LDS Masons in Illinois lodges barely reached 150." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol.2, p.527)

I learned that the Kirkland temple was vastly different in design, worship and openness than the Nauvoo temple.  Why?  This is a question that will never be answered by mormon leadership.  Why? Because it means opening up dirty little secrets like polygamy:

I learned that I was lied to.  God doesn't have secret handshakes to get us into heaven.  God doesn't require women to cover their faces to pray.  God doesn't require men to take women's hands to get women into heaven.  God doesn't require polygamy to get into heaven.  God doesn't require women to submit to men. God doesn't have an end-of-day plan written in secret-hard-to-interpret writings.

The irony:  My quest to seek further knowledge, wisdom, truth and spirituality lead me out of the mormon church. Only by leaving, did I find the truth.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Is it possible that Brigham Young, the man that BYU is named after, is not considered a prophet of the LDS church?

If he is no longer considered a prophet, is it possible that the entire church is based on a lie?

Is it possible?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Closed System

Everyone has a need to belong, its part of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  When we belong to any social group, be it a family or an organization, we can often make rational decisions about how we think or feel within that system.  An open system allows for logic, reason, and the sharing of emotions.  A closed system does does not allow for dissent or expression of the individual.

There are 7 stages to a closed system and the emotions attached.

Stage 1: A question is asked to a presented problem, but no real answers are given. The result is anxiety.
If a person is looking to buy a home, they research; look at many options, ask lots of questions, bring in an appraiser, and feel satisfied they are getting what they are paying for.  For many people this doesn't happen, however.  A person has a loss, such as the loss of a child; and they feel vulnerable. In step the missionaries who give them hope. There is no real investigation into all religions or beliefs.

Stage 2: The agreement. The resulting emotion is ambiguity.  This is also known as the Yes-But 
*A person's patriarch blessing says they will get married and have lots of children. They can't conceive. They are told they will have children in the life here-after.
*A person is told if the pay tithing they will be blessed.  They struggle financially.  They are told their blessings are not of the material kind.
*A person develops cancer and receives a blessing that they will be healed.  They continue to deteriorate.  They are told they need to have more faith.
*A person is told if they wear their garments they will be protected.  They are injured in a car accident.  They are told the injuries would have been worse if they hadn't been wearing their garments.
*A person prays to have a testimony. They do not receive a burning in their bossom. They are told they need to pray more and have more faith.

When there is no direct answers, the result is
Stage 3: Identity Crisis. The resulting emotion is confusion and ambiguity.
... in order to become worthy, eventually, you must take an oath that all you own, including yourself, belongs to the Church; this is the hidden part of the meat of the original contract. Once received, the Church promises to give back to you, as a gift, that which you had formerly owned ... if you become worthy ... at some point in the unknown future.

This is a crucial stage; it is the wedge that opens the door to a the final voluntary loss of Identity. It begins with an insertion into the agreement of a 

 Stage 4: The Double-bind. The resulting emotions are guilt and fear.
A promise was made back in stage one, but instead of being fulfilled, in stages two and three, a BUT was put in its place.  Now there is an excuse for not receiving the promise.  The burden is now put on the individual for not receiving the promise. They are made to feel guilty for not doing what they are supposed to do for not receiving the promise.  They are made to feel fear if they do not hold up some end of a bargain to eternity to gain the promise.

This is the double bind; damned if you do and damned if you don't.
*IF you received a burning in your bosom, you now have to work to remain worthy of that; IF you don't work to retain that you will lose your reward and be damned.
  IF you didn't receive the burning in your bosom, you don't have enough faith.

*IF you have sex before marriage, you are violating your body.
 IF you don't have sex, you are evil, since you are commanded to have children.

*IF you speak of the temple oaths, you will be damned
  IF you don't speak of them, are silenced by guilt and fear and are going against yourself.

*IF you educate yourself as a woman, as the D&C says, you are increasing in intelligence
 IF you educate yourself as a woman, you are violating the counsel to only be a wife and mother

Boyd P. Packer said that reason is the enemy of God, and a state of war has been declared against it. He says, "In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary... In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it." (From his talk: Do not spread disease germs!) The Closed System is "one-sided" (only non-brain faith is allowed). On the one hand, it turns its back on reason, the Open System; on the other hand, it claims "reason" in "lip service." The dual personality in Mormonism is the "Yes," reason, "But," at the same time, it is "non-reason."

Stage 5: Denial. The resulting emotion is Humiliation.
There is no more individuality, only the body of the organization.  There is no more unique thought, only the group think.  There is no more questioning or critical thought. There is only silence, obedience and denial.  Words like, 'paradise, new world order, Zion, the Elite, sacred not secret' are used.

But the leaders are only the man behind the curtain, pretending the something that they are not.  There is a Zig to the Zag.

The Zig: The organization is family oriented. The Zag: If you leave the organization, then you leave the family behind, and you will lose your family forever.

The Zig: People feel they have a place to fit in when they join.  The Zag: People who don't belong are ostracized and there's a feeling of elitism within the ranks of those within.

The Zig: The glory of god is intelligenge.  The Zag: Don't look outside official sources for knowledge, they may be evil.

The Zig: faith is the essence. The Zag: Obedience above all else.

Stage 6: Accusation; we can never be good forever, so when we fail, it leads to the emotions of guilt and shame.

In other Christian religions, they believe that Jesus' grace covers sin; works do not get us into heaven.  When it is our works that get us into heaven, it is up to us, the YES-BUT
When we fail to fully live up to the BUT part, the result is guilt and shame.  It just isn't possible to do all that is asked.

There is a bait and switch.  We are taught one thing in the church, (the bait) then an entirely different thing in the temple (the switch). Here is how one person presents it:  "The first time I personally ever had doubts was when I went to the temple for the first time in the l980s. The whole concept of the temple was a great thing I thought at the time. Here I could be sealed to my family forever. Here I could help others who never had a chance to receive "ordinances" necessary for salvation receive them. When I actually went through to get my own endowment however, I was horrified by what went on, but I didn't say anything--similar to many Mormons. Not only was there nothing spiritual about the experience, the way the endowment is presented smells of cultism. You are instructed early on in the endowment that you can withdrawal rather than go through the ceremony. Of course no one withdrawals because you have no idea what is going to happen, you have your family and friends all sitting around you, and nothing has happened yet to incline anyone to withdrawal. The next thing you know, you have taken a series of vows in unison with everyone else which hardly resemble anything you normally do in your LDS experience. Before 1990, you also had extreme penalties or "bloody oaths" associated with the violation of any of these vows." 
Post #12

Stage 7: Punishment. The resulting emotion is subjection/compulsion.

If a member feels the compulsion to leave the group, the result will be shaming that member by telling them they have sinned, they will never know happiness, they will not be a part of the group.

Abandonment, depression, suicide for not conforming are common.

Stage 8: Voluntary Union: Love/Hate is the resulting emotions.
If acceptance of the group is the result, the brain washing is the result and a person loses their individuality for good.

Stage 9: Cannibalism. The resulting emotion is suicide.
This is the most real quote: "The LDS church claims to be led by men of God. They are supposed to receive direct revelation from Him. Yet this is a church that turns away from the needs of both its men and its women, a church that will not acknowledge the child abuse/incest that goes on between some of its members--abuse that destroys children and steals their childhood, that creates wounds they carry the rest of their lives. Women in the church--some women, by no means all--are just as scarred and scared, just as abused. Yet those in authority will not deal with these issues. Nor will they deal with women who feel it extremely unfair that they are still to be "subservient" to their husbands, that they are not equal to their husbands, not even in the eyes of the LDS God. Mormonism is a patriarchy. For some, this is an acceptable way to live. For others, it's a torture chamber. Their treatment of homosexuals seeking help is appalling. While I am not gay, I was involved with a gay member of the church, and the hell he was put through--even as he begged for help--was appalling. Instead of self-acceptance for EVERY member, the church teaches conditional love ... To claim that it's God's will that people be hurt this way is emotionally, mentally and spiritually abusive."
Post #69 See: Stages 2-3, 4, 5. #69.

Fear and shame and guilt are no way to run an organization.

Love and acceptance and an open system.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No more subjugating!

Jimmy Carter recently announced his departure from his long held religious organization due to its treatment of women.  He, like so many of us, tried to bring change from within, but found its leaders entrenched in dogma and traditions counter to the health of equality, unconditional love and fairness.

When it is impossible to bring change from within an organization and a person finds their morals, values, dignity and ideals being compromised by staying, then the only choice is to leave.  I understand this only too well.

Here is a quote from Jimmy Carter:
The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

I hope more people, from all religious groups that subjugate women; stand up and leave. It is the only way to let them know that we are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ten Issues

This is an excellent video that explains ten issues with the church:

Here is a brief summary:
1. Virtually all information about the church comes from the church itself
2. The Book of Abraham--contradictions with Egyptologists
3. The first vision--major contradictions and historical inaccuracies
4. The Book of Mormon
5. The temple-- history and changes

Saturday, March 17, 2012


In the mormon church, we were told, 'be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect.'

Even though we were told this was not to be something to be  achieved in this life, everyone still expected everyone else to pretend to be perfect.

The definition of what it meant to be perfect was also very narrowly defined.

A young man named Henry who lived in California tried so desperately to be perfect.  But you see, he was also gay.  You can't be gay and perfect in the mormon church.  He tried so hard to change being gay.  He couldn't, so he did what so many other gay youth in the mormon church are doing-- he committed suicide.

Although I cannot completely understand his struggle, since I have never questioned my sexual orientation, I do understand his struggle with the concept of trying to be perfect, and especially such a narrow view of what perfection is; and if you can't be perfect, pretend to be something that you are not.

Not being your authentic self, leads to frustration, disappointment in yourself, a life of sadness and unhappiness. Like so many people discover, it leads to suicide or attempts at suicide.

I know how it feels to strive for perfection and always failing; never being good enough for the church or your family; always trying to be someone you are not and feeling as though your authentic self is not good enough for the church, your family or god.

The mantra to be perfect is at odds with loving yourself and others.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


When I was a child, I was put in a program where a college student worked with me once a week. I don't know why I was put in this program or what the purpose was. I was very shy, I suppose she was supposed to help me with my shyness, I don't know; this isn't really the point.

One day, she took me to her apartment and fixed me some Tang. I didn't know what Tang was, I only knew that I had never tasted it before since my Mom never bought it for our family.  I had somehow gotten the impression that if my Mom didn't buy it for our family, it was bad and wrong. I told the college student I couldn't drink it because it was bad for me.  She was incredulous and asked what was bad about it. I couldn't tell, her, only that my Mom never bought it.

I realize now, that I had put it in the same category as tea and coffee and cigarettes and alcohol. Why? Because of the mind of a child; if my family didn't consume it, it must be bad for you. I  perceived it as bad because it wasn't in our home.

I grew up in a church that taught me that drinking tea and coffee and wine is bad for you.  They placed a value on it that I accepted because they told me to.  Even when I would read things in the news that contradicted what I was told, my perceptions didn't change.

Then one day, I grew up and decided that I was capable of changing my perceptions. As I opened my mind to different perceptions, I read and studied and learned that it was okay to value things differently than what I was taught as a child.

I changed my perceptions.
I was told by those in my former religion that I was a sinner.
I told them no, I had only changed my perceptions.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Communication Styles

How to communicate; lesson I
When they ask a question, give an answer or ask a question if unsure of what is asked.

lesson II
When they make a statement, listen.

lesson III
When they give an opinion, respect it.

lesson IV
When they cry, act upset, nervous, ask questions to discover why.

lesson V
When a problem arises, look for solutions.

How to create barriers, lesson I
When they ask a question, demand what they are asking or tell them they are wrong for asking a stupid question or call them names.

lesson II
When they make a statement, tell them they are wrong for making such a stupid or erroneous statement, roll your eyes.

lesson III
When they give an opinion, show contempt for their opinion and demean it, walk away, show disgust.

lesson IV
When they cry, act upset, nervous; fold your arms, turn your head away, cross your legs, walk out on them.

lesson V
When a problem arises, show anger for your partner and let them know that the problem is theirs alone to solve or blame them.

If you want to assure a divorce, the best way is negative communication styles:

Here is the best quote from the article:  "Although there were no differences in the degree of positive communication, there were notable differences in negative communication patterns. Couples who eventually divorced displayed more anger and contempt for their partners. When solving problems, they were more likely to disagree, and blame and invalidate the feelings of each other."

This was the single most defining moments in what led to my divorce.  I was tired of being marginalized, walked out on, being told that every problem was mine alone to be solved, and that my emotions didn't count.