I have friends who have left the mormon church who stay up on all things mormon. I'm glad they do, since I have no desire to. Because of their diligence, I actually read an Ensign article this month. President Monson is the one given credit for this piece that makes people like me cringe.
I would like to tell my mormon family and friends why this article and ones like it make me and others who have left the mormon church cringe.
1. A quote from the Ensign article, "the need to rescue our brothers and sisters who have, for one reason or another, strayed from the path of Church activity
Mr. Monson then goes on to ask what mormon member's responsibility is to *rescue* us. First, the mormon church believes very strongly in free agency, and as such, those us who have used our free agency to leave the mormon church do not want our agency infringed upon by having people attempt to force or influence us back into an organization we no longer wish to be a part of. We left of our own free will. We studied our way out, we anguished our way out. Please do not minimize our agency or our choice by thinking you can pray us back in, or love bomb us back in.
2. "There are, of course, others who need rescue. Some struggle with sin while others wander in fear or apathy or ignorance. "
I can assure my mormon family and friends that this is false. Profoundly false. We do not struggle with sin. We have completely redefined our world so we no longer define our world the same way you do. The definition of sin is this, 'A wilful violation of a religious principle' dictionary We no longer believe in the same religious principles that you do. Where we once believed that drinking coffee was a sin, we no longer do. Where we once believed that taking our garments off was a sin, we no longer do. We are not sinning, we have just stopped believing in the same religious principles that you do.
Just as we do not believe in the Hindu religion, and therefore we do not believe it a violation to eat beef, we do not believe in the mormon religion and we therefore do not believe it a violation to drink coffee, tea or alcohol. Just as we do not believe in the Muslin religion, and therefore we do not believe it a violation to cover our hair, we do not believe it a violation to wear tank tops, bikinis, or shorts.
Although we understand that you believe there is only one true church, we no longer believe this. We understand you see us as lost and wandering in fear, apathy or ignorance, but we do not see ourselves as this. What we see is that we have opened our minds to new paths, new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world. We see now that we were rigid in our understanding and beliefs and we are now free to choose new paths and views and read things that were closed to us before. We feel a sense of freedom that we didn't feel before. We understand now how chained and closed off our minds were.
3. Mr. Monson then quotes a letter from a man who desires to come back to church. Why does Mr. Monson make the assumption that all people who leave are exactly like this man? One anecdotal experience does not translate to all of us. We are not reaching out to the church, to church leaders, or to our family. We want to be left alone. We have made this perfectly clear. We do NOT want to be called to repentance, we do NOT want to be love bombed, we do NOT want conference talks mailed to us, emailed to us or posted to facebook. We do NOT want the missionaries sent to our door or to us on facebook. We want our agency respected.
4. Mr. Monson then makes an analogy between those of us who have willingly left the church and a picture of a man in a boat trying to get back to his family on shore. First of all, we are not lost, we chose to leave a controlling institution that we do not believe in. If we are at sea, this is modern times where we have modern navigational tools at our disposal, including GPS, compasses, radar, sonar and a good captain would plot out his trip and know what kind of weather he may run into. In fact, there are so many modern navigational tools available to boat captains, that most light houses are not used anymore. We have NOT left our families and we do NOT love them less. Please stop implying that our families are left behind. We left the church, not our loved ones.
5. "The less active can’t long rest content with mediocrity once they see that excellence is within their reach."
Really? Those of us who have left are living lives of mediocrity? Is that really what you think of us? We are mediocre and you are excellent? This attitude of superiority is a big part of why we left...do you not see that? You view yourselves as superior to everyone else in the world. Why would anyone really be drawn to you and your church when you look down on everyone who isn't a part of you. Do you really not get it? You sit on your Rameumptom and preach how great you are, and don't understand you are not better than us or the rest of the world. Get over yourselves.
Please understand that there is no one right path. The path we have freely chosen is where we are happy, where we choose to be, where we are free to be us.
Do not put any more barriers between you and us by attempting to rescue us, seeing us as sinners, frail, weak, lost, mediocre, apathetic, full of fear, or ignorant.