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I hope that one day my happiness will be placed above a set of outdated religious rules.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.