Thursday, June 27, 2013


God is in charge. God is good. God is omnipotent. Unless you're a Mormon.Then the church is in charge. The church is good. The church is omnipotent.

When a person attends protestant churches, they will learn that they can pray and call upon god directly, that there is no intermediary between them and god. Yet in the mormon church, the church receives inspiration, the leaders give forgiveness for certain sins, and the church expects complete obedience.How is this possible? There are several ways that the mormon church has replaced made itself equal with god.

1. Within the mormon church, Joseph Smith is worshiped as a god: Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer. Blessed to open the last dispensation, Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr; Honored and blest be his ever great name! Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, Stain Illinois* while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; Earth must atone for the blood of that man. Wake up the world for the conflict of justice. Millions shall know "brother Joseph" again.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again. --William W. Phelps
Then there is this quote: “If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by Joseph Smith; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him.” -1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142, Apostle George Q. Cannon

This book is an indication of the mindset of the Mormon church...that following the church leaders is what matters, NOT following Jesus or God.

2. The church demands blind obedience to its leaders: President Wilford Woodruff stated: “I say to Israel, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff)
or this: President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident which happened to him:
I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home. . . .Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [In Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78]
Many times, as I have discussed the fact the Joseph Smith practices polygamy as well as polyandry, many mormons, to reconcile this, they have said that Joseph Smith was human and subject to human frailties and weaknesses, yet according to the scriptures, “Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you” (D&C 21:4; italics added).
Brigham Young had this to say, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture” (Journal of Discourses), 26 vols all words of profits scripture

3. When People attend the temple, they make covenants, but they don't covenant with god, they covenant with the church.
this is the law of consecration: The Law of Consecration: You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

4. When People stand up in church and testify, they don't testify of god, but of the church. they say, 'I know the church is true.' They don't say, 'I believe in god.'

5. For the last several years, the church has had all of its lessons in relief society and priesthood focus on the presidents of the church. The lessons focus of the current leaders in the church rather than Jesus or god. In fact, Ezra Taft Benson said that the prophet's word overrides even the scriptures themselves focus on leaders not god
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had this to say on scriptures being less important than the word of current prophets, “You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them.” When he concluded, Brother Joseph turned to Brother Brigham Young and said, “Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the living oracles and the written word of God.” Brother Brigham took the stand, and he took the Bible, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Mormon, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and laid it down before him, and he said: “There is the written word of God to us, concerning the work of God from the beginning of the world, almost, to our day. And now,” said he, “when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books.” profit over scripture

6. Each Easter and Christmas, the church does not teach special Sunday lessons focusing on Christ. Instead it follows the lesson plans and teaches lessons on the prophets and the church.
I have been having a discussion with a friend who remains a mormon, and she cannot comprehend how I can remain a good person at the same time I have left the mormon church. When someone leaves the Baptist church, for example, their fellow church members wish them well on their journey and do not consider them apostates or anti-. So what is the difference? I believe it is this; that the mormon church has usurped the role of god and replaced it with the role of the church. In the mind of the mormon, when one leaves the church, they have abandoned morality and reason that a person ties to god.

Why is this important? Because of autonomy. A person has intuition, inspiration. A person has the right to self determination, but that is usurped when the church takes over the role of god.
The role of the church should be to teach about god, not to be worshiped as an entity of itself, not to be divine in and of itself. Yet, in the eye of the members of the mormon church, that is what the church has become.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Happiness Myth

 This is what I grew up believing, that if I wasn't happy, I should pretend I was. If I was in a miserable marriage, I should pretend the marriage was perfect. If I was having difficulty parenting, pretend everything is perfect. If I was unhappy being a stay at home Mom, fake being happy.

I should NOT, under any circumstances, get a divorce. I should endure the misery and then find my happiness in the next life. This made no sense to me. God really wanted me unhappy? Was happiness that elusive?

The Mormons believe that living the gospel is the one and only way to happiness. Yet, living the gospel is a very elusive thing, as I would learn. To live the gospel, a person must:
* read their scriptures, oh, but you must read them every day, but not only everyday, but with a meditative mind, seeking understanding and insight, open to the holy ghost, with the understanding that they are true and from god and any other answer simple isn't possible
*pray, oh, but not just pray, but in the morning, in the evening, say family prayers, couples prayers, with a mind that is focused and open to the promptings of the holy ghost
*have family home evenings, every Monday, have some fun activities, but teach your children the teachings of the church
*be modest, in thought, in word, in deed. Wear the temple garments day and night
*attend church, not just at Christmas time and Easter, like other religions, or once a month, but every Sunday. Be reverent, don't eat snacks, attend all 3 hours, don't be distracted by electronic devices, pay attention, listen, be reverent, set a good example for the children
*do your church calling, do it with excellence. Lengthen your stride. Never turn down a church calling. Never question whether a church calling is meant for you
* Never question your church leaders, from the general authorities, down to the bishop. When the bishop asks your teenage daughter if she has anal sex, do not question his motives.
*attend the temple, even if it is bat shit crazy, attend anyway. Even if it seems cult-like to dress up in bakers hats and robes and do secret handshakes and mimic cutting your throat, attend anyway.
*visit teach the women and home teach the families, then tattle tale on them to the leaders. Visit families that ask to not be visited, ignore boundaries and the families wishes to not be visited

The list goes on...and a person is to find happiness within all this and more. If a person isn't happy, then they are doing something wrong. Maybe they visited their family on the end of the month instead of on the first of the month. Maybe they turned down that nursery assignment. Maybe they just couldn't attend the temple that month because doing secret handshakes was just too much that month.

When I left the church, I found that happiness is not so elusive and I didn't have to fake it. If I was unhappy, that is okay. If I was angry, that is okay, too. None of my emotions are bad or good, they just are, they just exist. I don't have to fake any of them. By embracing each one as they come, I deal with them, I figure out why I'm angry, I face the reason why, I deal with it, find a solution, and life is that simple.

I have found that happiness is also not so elusive or difficult to attain.Happiness is quite simple. Sitting quietly with my kids watching TV or having a discussion about feminism; having my lover's arm around me after sex; looking at the beautiful colors of a sunset; having a good day at work; all these things make me happy. I have found that each day, I find happiness in something, and it is often something small that brings happiness.

Happiness isn't a mystery or a goal, it is product of living life.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Red Flags

I'm a nice person, a caretaker. I've learned that this makes me vulnerable to people to want to take advantage of me. I've learned over the years to set boundaries, especially with women friends who want to dump all their problems on me, to only use me as their psychologist. In high school I had a friend who would only call me up when she needed me to drive her around. In romantic relationships, it's been harder to set these boundaries. I will go along to get along. This has been my undoing.

I met this guy, James (name changed to protect me). He made me laugh. I also came to learn he is a sociopath. Do you know anything about sociopaths? They are the worst sort of people. They don't care about anyone except themselves. They are very good about faking love. They observe people and James has a lifetime of observing what love looks like. I think by the time he met me, he really did want love in his life, and he wanted what I have in my life; kindness, fun, frivolity, he set about to win me over. He asked around about me, what I liked and wanted in a man. He friended me on facebook and devoured all he read about me; and became what I wanted.

But it was fake, because at his core, he was who he was and he didn't change his core, he couldn't because sociopaths aren't capable of feeling love, only contempt and anger. He was able to fool me for a year, however. I fell in love. We moved in together. His true self came out when he wasn't able to hide it any longer. He began by making false accusations of infidelity against me (was he having an affair? Most likely). He began to try to cause problems between his daughter and me by accusing me of not being a good Mom to his daughter (I wasn't a Mom to his daughter, she had a Mom, I wasn't her Mom--something I kept pointing out to him). He began to chase me, to grab me, to prevent me from leaving.

Then, one night when he was drinking a lot, he strangled me. He pled down from a felony to a misdemeanor.

A good friend who has supported me through all this called me this week to offer to return a prized piece of ceramic that I gave her when James and I moved in together that I had given her. You see, James told me that I could not keep it, that it was a religious piece and since we were both non-religious, he was not going to have that in his house. What I didn't realize was that this is a red flag of an abuser; they do not value your possessions and they give them away...this was even worse, because he was insisting that I give my own things away.

My dear friend, giving me back something so dear to me, brought back memories. It reminded me of red flags that I had ignored in the relationship. I don't want other women to ignore these red flags. Why did I ignore them? Because I was raised to be that nice girl. I wanted to go along to get along, so I gave away something that was very special to me in order to get along. I was raised to be nice, to not rock the boat. I was taught to turn the other cheek. I was raised in a patriarchal society where I was taught the men have the last say, and to submit to men's authority. We are taught that boys will be boys, and, to tolerate men when they act like assholes. The book, How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before you Get Involved has helped me understand red flags, unfortunately after the fact.

James also gave away a mini-fridge, my lawn mower and many of my other possessions. When he came to get his possessions, he even stole things of mine, including some of my artwork as well as some original artwork that my daughter made for me. He drank too much and did illegal drugs. He rushed the relationship.

At one point, when we were buying this house, James had his friend, a realtor, come to me and ask me to hand over my bank information to James. I couldn't believe it! I said no way in hell was I going to do that! I knew right away that that was a red flag. In fact, I began at that moment to look for a house that I could buy on my own, without James. Why, then, did I stay? Why didn't I walk away? Because I'm a nice girl.  Nice girls forgive. Nice girls turn the other cheek and overlook men's asshole behavior.

I stayed, and for staying, I got strangled and am in the process of losing my home and all the money I invested in it. My credit is ruined.

STOP being nice girls, women. Walk away. Walk away as soon as you see red flags. Be your own advocate.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work and Self esteem

This is going to be very controversial, yet I don't intend it to be that way.

I was a stay at home Mom for 15 years. I didn't want to be. When I was engaged, I had long discussions with the fiancee about my expectations of marriage. I wanted a career, I wanted to work, I was ambivalent about having children. He seemed like an active participant in these discussions and would shake his head yes in agreement. I would learn years later that this was his passive aggressive way of telling me to fuck off. What I would learn years later is that he wanted me to stay home and have babies and take care of the house and take care of him and he was going to manipulate me  into doing just that. He couldn't be honest with me and tell me that is what he wanted in a wife.

I graduated from college. I paid for it all by working my way through. I had a child by the time I graduated. I also succumbed to the pressure of my husband, my family and the church and became a stay at home Mom after graduation. I hated being a SAHM. I did a lot of things to survive. I volunteered at my children's schools. I set up playdates for my kids. I participated in women's nights out with my friends. Several of us Moms organized babysitting where we exchanged kid's so we could get out during the day. I had date night every Friday night. I traveled with my husband and with our family. Yet, I was bored, found little enjoyment in my life, and no accomplishment. My self esteem was suffering.

Why was the church so insistent that this life of a stay at home Mom be so fulfilling for me, yet I found it so dull and meaningless and my self esteem was waning and I was falling into despair and depression?

First, housework is linear work. It offers no opportunity for job advancement. I had worked at paying jobs since I was 11 years old. Even though many of these jobs didn't offer a lot of advancement, there was at least some advancement. Even in corn topping, I had the opportunity to move to a position to autonomy to drive myself from field to field and be a field supervisor. As a SAHM, there is no opportunity for advancement. There is no possibility to move into management, to improve in job title, to get better at folding laundry. There is no ladder to climb.

Second, there is no pay scale. There is no pay. The job is inherently inequitable to begin with because there is no pay. The wife must ask for money from her husband, and because of this, she is in a subservient role with her husband. No matter how she sees herself, she is not in an equal role with her husband because the one with the money is in a superior position to the one giving money to the other one. These two positions will never be seen as equal in each others eyes. The wife will not see herself as equal to her husband, and he will not see her as equal to him.

Third, housework is linear. No matter how many times you do the laundry it has to be done again. No matter how many times you clean the bathroom, it has to be done again. No matter how many times you do the dishes, they have to be cleaned again. No matter how many times you vacuum, it has to be done again. When a computer programer creates a program, they move on to a new program, they do not recreate the same program over and over again. When a nurse cares for a patient, they send that patient home. When a teacher teaches a concept, they move on to a new concept, they don't teach the same concept over and over again, or they teach new students. There is improvement in jobs, but not in housework. In housework, there is no improvement.

When children are very young, there is a lot of work, but there is also a lot of down time, too. They take naps, they play. The woman also gets down time. When children are young, I see the need for SAHM's but what's the point when the kids are in school? When I hear women say it's the hardest job, I just laugh as this is so false. I'm a single Mom who works two jobs. Until these women do what I'm doing, they have no room to say such a silly thing. I've done both, and being a SAHM is boring, routine, simple.

Humans need to feel they are accomplishing something to build their self esteem. Housework doesn't fit this need. Once children reach school age, they don't fit this need, and frankly, changing diapers over and over and calming a crying child and feeding a child over and over really doesn't fit this need, either.  Children do need to feel loved and need some attention, to be heard and helped with school work, but I know from experience as a single Mom working two jobs, it doesn't require a SAHM to raise well adjusted kids.

I have raised three wonderful kids that have all graduated with honors. They all worked jobs, have gone on to college, got their homework done, and are emotionally well adjusted, all without a Dad around to help and without me at home to make sure they were doing their homework when they got home from school.