If all TBMs (True Believing Mormons) understand is their own rhetoric, why don't we use their own words to get through to them? It would go like this:
TBM: I want you to know I'm praying for you
Exmo (sweetly): Oh, you are so nice! I'm going to pray for you too that you can realize what a cult you're in and become free and happy like I am.
TBM: I've put your name on the temple prayer list
Exmo: Thank you - Do you know that pastor guy, Shawn McCraney, who does the TV show exposing Mormonism? He has a prayer list in his ministry. I'll put your name on his list to return the favor - do you want me to list your children's names too?
TBM: I just don't feel the spirit when I'm around you any more.
Exmo: Well, you wouldn't - your own 11th Article of Faith preaches freedom of religion, your prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, in the Oct 2003 General Conf, preached tolerance to non-believers and the Savior you claim to worship preached "judge not" and "love one another". You can't give the middle finger to your beliefs, your prophet and your Savior and still expect to feel the spirit but you are clearly flaunting their teachings by the way you are treating me. So if you don't have the spirit yourself, that explains why you can't feel it in someone else.
TBM: You will never know true happiness outside the church.
Exmo: But I am happy - that's how I know I made the right decision.
TBM: Well, that is just the adversary giving you false feelings of happiness to lead you astray.
Exmo (laughing): That's stupid. Satan can't give you good feelings.
TBM: Oh yes he can.
Exmo: Then how do you know that isn't what happened to you? Your whole testimony is based on feelings - are you sure you know where those feelings come from.
TBM: The only reason some people leave is because they are offended.
Exmo: Yes, I agree that Mormonism does produce a group of people so offensive that half their membership would rather turn their backs on God himself than tolerate one more minute in the presence of a faithful Mormon. I'm surprised you admit it though - it doesn't say much for your church that you claim the members are so offensive.
TBM: The only reason some people leave is because they want to sin.
Exmo: Have you ever heard the saying "We see the world not as it is but as we are." In other words, what you are saying to me is that you are just dying to sin and only the church is keeping you from doing it. So what are you into? Adultry?
TBM: We missed you on Sunday
Exmo: I missed you too - I was at the lake. Would you like to come with us next Sunday?
TBM abandons cookies on your doorstep with a "We want you back" note.
Exmo leaves cookies on their doorstep with a "Top 10 innaccuracies of the Book of Mormon" note.
TBM: I don't know how you can throw away being with your family for eternity.
Exmo: I don't know how YOU can. You are the one who hasn't studied the church. You are the one who would rather bury their head in the sand and believe what you are told because it makes you feel good. How can you sacrifice your family to your feelings and your ego? Why won't you just look - isn't your family worth it?
TBM: I hope some day you'll tell me the real reason you turned against the church
Exmo: I hope some day you'll tell me the real reason you turned to a cult. What was missing in your life that someone as intelligent as you shut down that intelligence to be guided by feel-good feelings and fairy tales?
Obviously I could go on all day.
1) Sister sends dumb neo-conservative, christian right-wing wacko email.
2) Another sister sends same email. (they both know I am not Christian or conservative.)
3) Sister (another one - I have five) sends a list of my uncle's family names and asks if there is a time for all of us to get together to go to the temple to get their work done. (I won't be going)
4) Brother sends copy of long email to missionary son. Tells him to work hard, but also enjoy Italy (love my brother.
5) Son comes over to ask questions about Mormon church. His friends have been trying to convert him.
6) Dad sends out email - tells us all that this conference was the best ever (he exclaims this each conference).
I can leave the church - BUT it never, ever, ever goes away.
Footnotes (circle superscript in text and superscript letter in footnote)
Blue - (DP) - Depressing Stuff
Green - (GR) - Grossly Illogical Stuff
Yellow - (I) - Ideas or phrases that don't jive with stuff in other places
Orange - (OR) - Modern word clarifications; for example, "translated" means something other than "translated."
Purple - Miscellaneous Confusing Stuff (see The Pearl of Great Price for examples)
Red - (JS) - Joseph Smith's obvious mistakes, mistranslations and such.
Text (circle or underline key words only)
Blue - Personal misunderstandings, crazy ideas, depressing or hated passages, etc.
Green - Plagiarisms
Yellow - Polygamy, Misogyny, Law of Consecration, Authoritarianism, Zionist
Orange - False Promises; Premises, effects of; teaching false doctrine
Purple - Nature, characteristics, personality of a vengeful and jealous God.
Red - Doctrinal discrepancies (temples, rape, incest, zealotry, resurrection myths, etc.)
Annotations (write notes to yourself asking yourself how you could believe all this junk in the margins of your scriptures)
Suggestions about scripture marking:
The LDS Standard Works should be a personal handbook of instructions on how to mess up your head. Annotations (notes you write in the margins) serve to confuse, expound ignorance, and bring attention to ambiguous and strange passages of scripture. Cross-references serve to change the meaning of passages of scripture for changing a principle or principles in order to allow for future changes and editing of these scriptures. Writing should be small because The Lord's words are more important than yours.
Others may look into your scriptures. What kind of an example will those scriptures be? Marking neatly shows consideration for this worthless and confusing bit of mostly unread property. It also helps you to organize and to find things better in this sloppy, mixed-up bunch of so-called sacred writings.
There are many complicated systems of doctrine that have come from this mixed bag of confusion; some use many colorless phrases and many interpretations. Sometimes these complicated doctrinal systems of belief take more time to read than they are worth and require more effort to mark than is easy. Keep your system uncomplicated and useful. For starters you could just use a highlighter and mark obvious bull shit and work up from there.
I left the LDS way of life eight years ago. It took me about two years to get the whole thing out of my system, though it only took a couple of weeks to go from, "Why don't I like going to church?" to "Wait a minute ... this is totally false! Oh thank god!"
I remember one moment when I was standing on the stairs, halfway between one level and the next. I looked out the window that ran along the stairway, at the beautiful green trees glistening with dew, and I realized I was finally free to love the universe. I felt joy.
Another profound moment came to me when I was watching a brilliant documentary about the universe and the commentator said that someday (billions of years from now), the universe as we know it would no longer exist. Our world, our memories, everything we'd done or felt or were would be gone forever. Some people would find this terrifying; I thought it was deeply profound. I realized that I live for now, for the people in my life now, for the world I influence now. I didn't have to waste now struggling to make an eternal later, one that would drag on forever. There is only today. I love today. I can give love today. What a fabulous realization.
I am now free to love unconditionally such a diverse group of people as non-religious friends, Catholic co-workers, romance writers, gay relatives, eccentric artists, and a "Non-Mormon!" spouse. I don't judge them as imperfect or waste time trying to make them as bland as everyone else. I get to spend all my time enjoying their existence!
Mormonism only factors into my life when still-in relatives mention it, or when curious friends ask me about it. It makes amazing dinner conversation, as even the simplest and most ordinary-seeming beliefs leave their jaws hanging open. (Yes, magic underwear. Yes, hot drinks are mostly evil. Yes, they *assign* you talks. Yes, God always chooses an old white guy living in Utah to tell everyone on the planet what to do.)
The memories are fading now. I couldn't sneak into a church and fit seamlessly in anymore. I'd forget the "right" words. I'd get mad when someone was treated rudely based on their clothing or their language. I'd probably wear something that couldn't fit bra straps under it, much less underwear with sleeves. I'd fall asleep during a testimony. (Okay, so I'd still fit in a little bit.)
I no longer spend hours each day trying to figure out if my every move is right or wrong, if God disapproves of yet another thought that's crossed my mind unbidden, if even my dreams are a sin.
I don't spend hours judging who is righteous enough for me to associate with, or who is unrighteous enough that I should bring casserole to their house and invite them to church.
I don't give tithing money to a Bishop who has a very large house and too many cars for his salary range, just to watch him turn down aid to a family barely holding on to their humble home.
But mostly, I don't feel like a hypocrite.
An ugly, lying, hidden hypocrite who constantly bends over backwards in my own brain to make sense of the stuff I know doesn't make sense, the stuff I know doesn't fit the real world I see around me. A sinful shame breathing filth every moment of the day, terrified to touch anyone for fear of dirtying my hands further. Someone who sees the shadows of hell in every corner, and the lust of evil behind every outsider's eye.
I can still remember those feelings. But they're distant, fading. Part of a mythology long since dead in my world. I live in another world now, one where I can look up at the stars and see a billion mysterious points of light. I know nothing about them or myself -- and I have only a brief, beautiful life to study them.
How utterly magnificent.
I am gradually getting to meet new people since leaving the morg (Mormon Church). The thing that has really surprised me is everyone's reaction. They congratulate me, tell me how happy they are for me. The other night one lady said to me that she use to belong to a cult as well.
I had no idea that people all thought we were so weird. At church we were always taught that people look up to us and respect us because of our high standards etc. Not the case at all. They are respectful 'TO' mormons, but they don't respect mormons.
Friends that I have known nearly all my life who are not members have welcomed me into their life. ( I didn't spend much time with them before as being a mormon with six kids took ALL of my time ). I am meeting so many new people and I am having a ball. I feel like I'm going through my teens again. or... maybe its my midlife crisis lol. Either way it sure is fun.
Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Home. I had lunch some time ago with a bright faced young man. He is my friend, he feels like my son, he was my AP (Assistant to the President). I've written about him before. He called me the other day, said he had some news, could I spare some time. Always. I arranged to pick him up. He opened the door with outstretched arms, a warm embrace, one without reservation, one full of love.
"I love you president".
"I love you too", "you don't need to call me that anymore you're a grown man now".
"Don't know what else I'd call you!"
"Well, my name is good."
"OK, I'll try president."
"Thanks Elder" I say with a smirk. He repeats my given name with a silly grin on his face.
The restaurant was uncrowded. The lunch crowd has dissipated, and the dinner crowd was a long way off. The waiter was friendly, and patient, it took us a half hour to even look at the menu. It was fun talking to my friend, my son.
"We are pregnant", he blurted out with a tremendous grin. "You're name will be his middle name."
Tears welled up. "Are you sure?, what an honor."
"I want to make sure that you stand in the circle when we bless him".
My heart skipped a beat, and sank just a bit. An old longing tugged at my chest. I didn't answer, instead "how do you know it will be a HIM?"
His face was beaming, his countenance bright, he didn't miss a beat, "because you're name in the middle would be weird for a girl".
There was that laugh I love to hear. The laugh of an all too serious young man. An incredible young man. It's hard for me to admit that the Church has played a large role in his making. Yet I know it did.
He asked again, "so you'll be there right?".
His smile faded a little, "I know you'll be there." He has no idea.
Sometimes I want to go back. Sometimes I yearn for it. Sometimes I've laid awake at night and thought about what I have lost, what might have been had I continued in faith. Contrary to popular Mormon belief, the road out of Mormonism is not the easier path. At least not for me. I often long for the brotherhood, I miss the surety of the meaning of life. I long for the common goals and faith that bound me so firmly to my community, and to my family. I miss the contentment of faith in a benevolent and loving Father in Heaven. There is much to regret on the path out of Mormonism. It is a road often strewn with sacrifice and tears. It is a road that disappoints so many who love me, and I them. I've often wondered if the sacrifice to myself of feigning belief was worth the benefit of the happiness it would bring to those that surround me. But what of integrity, what of truth to thine own self?
And so it is this very longing, this very loss of contentment, this very affront to the truth which rips at my very heart that brings me to despise the lie. The lie that promised me so much, that exacted from me my very soul, and then is revealed a deception with evidence so clear that the honest mind must yield, at least it is so with me. Where once was brotherhood is now only loneliness, where once was surety is now only doubt, were once was contentment is now only disgust, were once was love is now only spite. And yet one is truth, the other a lie.
Oh what might have been? For me the Church has made the lie sweet, and the truth bitter. There is no turning back. There is no way to gain ignorance where it is replaced with knowledge. And yet ignorance was blissful wasn't it? What might have been had a lie not turned my world on it's end. I can never know. I only know I was happier before. Perhaps it's not bad to be a little naive. Alas, I can never go home for it would require a suspension of reason beyond my ability.
How did your Mormon "friends" treat you after you left?by JBug and others from Recovery from Mormonism - 02/27/2008
After you stopped going to the cult meetings [or if you were lucky enough to have left altogether], did your Mormon "friends" drop you like a hot potato? Or do you still have Mormon friends?
I was dropped, I wanted to know if anyone else was too.
Oh thank you for this forum! - donewiththatcrap
I'm new here and am feeling so normal reading that other people feel the same things I have.
To answer your question, I have noticed that they tend to not 'see' me when we pass each other in the neighborhood. I can tell that some of them have changed and would rather not be seen with me, but I like to make them uncomfortable and go up and say hello whenever I can.
It just proves that they were never "friends" to begin with. We were just there to watch each other's kids and fill in when somebody needed a teacher on Sunday.
I have only 2 REAL mormon friends, but they weren't in my ward. They are both very liberal mormons, which is rare, but still TBM. They are just good people.
Yes, Yes, Yes!!! - Jack
The "not" see us scenario happens to us quite frequently.
My wife has been dissed at the grocery store several times. The last time, she bumped into two members of the church at the store and they literally turned and walked the other way. Without saying a word.
I was dissed by a member at the gas station.
One convert member who is very active talks to us at Home Depot. He is a great guy and likes to stay in touch, at least at the store (he works there).
And a few below mentioned the "scared" attitude. We see this as well. It seems like we have the plague or something. Members are visibly shaken when try to talk to them. They also assume that some great sin has been committed, and that is what is keeping us away. They can't understand that we have left the church but not God.
Friends? Friends don't treat you like you got the plague - Eloher
and are under quarantine until you come to your senses.
I lost every single Mormon "friend" that I had, including relatives that I considered my friends as well.
Mixed reactions - ronaldmaryland85
Since leaving the church I've had sevel friends returning from their mission try to convert me, but the rest of them also ended leaving or becoming inactive, but the ones that are active act like its no big deal, maybe because I'm younger, but I don't know, I think they expect us to leave or go on a mission. I also think they teach members to be nice to us to try and lower us back after all, were all worth 10% of our gross income which ads up quickly.
Yes, I was dropped by almost everyone - BeenThere
My anger caused a lot of it though. But a few of my "friends" didn't want me to negatively affect their testimonies -- (they're like Baklava, you know). So they just blew air my way when we'd talk. And I was expected to accept that shallowness.
I don't communicate with them anymore. We are on very different pages.
Of the people I grew up with - BrerRabbit
I think I'm the only one who officially resigned from the Church.
Most of them seem very, very nervous around me. Although I'm not sure if they're aware of my membership status. They are aware of my apostate status. Two of them call me almost daily because we've been friends for 100 years, but they're condescending. I just keep bringing up the temple neck slit.
99.999% dropped, with occasional attempts at reconverting me over the years. - Julie
They are HEAVILY brainwashed - anonymous NOM
Now I will be sure and not tell my friends I don't believe. That's what the NOM is all about. I hate it, but I do like my friends.
I also don't buy the thing that they aren't my friends if they ditch me if I leave, because they are HEAVILY brainwashed, and it's not really a conscious thing that they are in control of. That said, I wish all my family and friends weren't mormon.....
The Ward promptly decided I was gay - Uncle Max
I had just a year or so moved into a new Ward when I decided it was all a crock.
The Ward promptly decided I was gay and haven't been near me since. This apparently on the basis I am 30, unmarried, not a social misfit and once had a male college friend to stay for the weekend.
I have more and better friends down the rugby club.
Dropped like a hot potato - Cupid's Psyche
My husband was TOTALLY dropped...now when he does occassionally attend his son's scouting events, or trunk or treat...they look at him as if they are frightened...they may say "hi, how are you" and look sheepish, but NOT ONE OF THEM EVER called him or visited to see how he was or anything.
(His Ex-spouse is still in over her head...so his kids are still involved.)
Even his longest, dearest, friendship with a former mishy comp. seems to have ended...they've spoken/written once in 4 years?
Friends? What friends? - Agnostic1
I don't think I ever really had any in the church.
Aren't friends those people with whom you can be yourself and still have a relationship ? To be brutally honest, I've had better relationships with my dogs and cats.
Most of the people who would qualify as such were not Mormons.
They're scared - Cupid's Psyche
I agree with you. My poor husband defends them all- "they're scared". He still counts those people as friends, although I bet if you ask them, they would have lot's of very unflattering names for him. Mormons help other mormons or potential mormons. They were only interested in him when he was "one of them".
He could NEVER be just himself, it was all part of the Mormon fascade, fake, superficial and fragile. Like a house of cards, it all came tumbling down when he left.
my bitterest disappointments - Martha
This was one on my bitterest disappointments. I thought that I had friends for life in the LDS faith, but was dropped like a hot potatoe when I quit attending. Of course, in all fairness, many of my "friends" had started acting cool toward me before I left, because I asked too many uncomfortable questions. But even so, I had expected at least some level of contact/friendly gestures from people I had been sooo close to for 5yrs. Only one has stayed friendly, and she's convinced that I still have my testimony but just don't realize it.
No old Mormon friends, but I do have new ones - darkprincess
All of my mormon friends dropped me. One keeps up touch in an effort to reconvert me but it has hard to be around her because of her very conservative LDS believes (she homeschools to keep her kids from being influenced in bad things)
The weird thing is I have made new friends who happen to be mormon. We met after I had left and in neutral settings. I did not tell them about my history until the friendship had begun. They never try to convert me, and we are able to talk about our experiences, mine with my TBM familiy, and their day to day life in mormonville without having any problems. It is kind of weird.
I left them first. - Stray Mutt
I left them behind when I finished college.
We were dropped like a rock - Jack
Friends that we have spent Christmas with, friends that we helped with money, furniture, home remodeling, housewatching, babysitting, you name it...people I worked with shoulder to shoulder for years. Not a call, not a visit, nothing.
Only a couple of converts we worked with have kept up communication. One is inactive, the other is going through a divorce.
I heard through the grapevine that some of our friends were told to be very careful when around us, that we would try to draw them out of the church. I spoke to the Bishop about this "rumor" and he said he was not concerned and knew in one case that we had acted well with several converts that had called us for direction.
Well, yeah, but - NoLihoma
By that time I realized that I probably only ever had one real Mormon "friend" (who is still my friend).
It's easy to point fingers and say my Mormon "friends" dropped me like a hot potato, and that's what I claimed for a long time, but truth be known... I couldn't stand to be around any of them now so maybe it was me who did the dropping. They were so shallow that if we didn't have church to talk about, we really didn't have anything. I can't think of any of my former Mormon "friends" that I wish I was still friends with, so there's no longer any point of making accusations about who dropped whom.
Most dropped my wife and I - Ed
But there were a few who were still very loving and caring towards us (and not in a condescending "Oh you are sooo going to hell but we still LOVE YOU!).
Still, the good ones were a rather small percent of the total. Loosing 95% of your friends overnight really sucks.
After YBU - Charley
I grew disillusioned with the mormon church after a semester at YBU. While all my friends went on missions I left the church. By the time they got back I had made new friends and didn't have much time for the old mormon friends. I guess I dropped them, but I'm sure they would have dropped me if I hadn't moved on first.
I had a friend that was several years younger than me. When he got back from his mission he took up partying and we became great friends. When he realized that I had gone beyond being a jack mormon and had moved on to full fledged apostacy he dropped me. I think I scare him.
Definitely dropped - Cooper
A good first step for The Cult to get over...well...being a cult...is for them to drop the question about associating with apostates from the temple recommend interview.
The faux friendships in The Cult are one of its most damaging characteristics in my opinion. Nothing like receiving years of training in being a total fake and flake via the missionary program, friendshipping, fellowshipping, home teaching, and visiting teaching.
The ward almost collapsed when I left because I was the Ward - brian-the-christ
Temple Activation/Motivation Phone-caller guy.
I never once did anything on that job...so our ward temple attendance was...well...pretty much the same as if I had actually made any phone calls.
My former HT kept saying, "We should get together..." -- like we were friends or something.
Treated like the purple elephant in the room - buddhist punk
And dropped ever so slowly and subtly. but first they tried subtle love bombing and the tears and testimony show. someone sent me an inane talk by some GA, with a forgettable title and topic. when i responded by pointing out stupidities in the talk, the love bombong cesed.
I was just thinking about this last night - julecakes
Most of my friends were from church. I was completely involved when I realized it was not true. I just pretty much dropped out one day. I knew I would lose friends, but there was one in particular that I thought would still be my friend no matter what. We were very close and could talk about everything. Well, everything changed quickly. At first she was overly nice and acted very uncomfortable when we would talk. I figured she would adjust. Well, now she just acts like she pities me. She looks down on me. This has been my saddest part about leaving.
Good thing is, I have a couple other friends that are totally normal and still my friends. We just don't talk about church.
Also, I have more time now that I am not so immersed in momondumb that I am getting to know other girls that are much more enjoyable to be around than those molly's.
Invisible now - mav
Kind of nice to walk around observing them while they avoid.
My husband left the Mormon Church one month ago, I've been out for over a year. The thing that has surprised me so much is that he is so funny, making jokes all the time, being light hearted. I can't stop smiling at him. I was so worried for him because leaving was so hard for me. I cried heaps because my heart was broken. The church was very precious to me. But he is having a great ol time.
Even my daughter said she could see that our relationship (my husbands and mine) was really good. Not that it was ever bad, just busy with 6 kids etc and of course all those church callings and meetings. Ahhh!
Maybe that's it. Maybe he feels the pressure is off. Having a second saturday makes a difference too. To actually have time to relax and hang out with each other. I love him so much. I'm so proud of him for making the leap. It must have been tough telling bishop that he too didn't believe it anymore. lol. You can never predict the future can you. Who would have guessed this 3 years ago. I'm so happy.
This really resonates with me. I left the church at age 35. I had been a missionary in Germany, married in the temple and very active my whole adult life. When I was confronted with anti-Mormon positions, I always invoked the "liar" moniker. Inside, however, I felt the stirrings of real doubt whenever I actually investigated outside claims.
No wonder the Mormon leaders tell folks to stay away from such materials, the truth can set you free from their grasp. I did not really break free until I carefully compared the doctrine taught in the Book of Mormon with the doctrine of the church. If the Book of Mormon was supposed to be the "most correct book" then why was the church not following it?
That dilemma led me to deeper research into Mormon history and doctrinal evolution. As I discovered the temple ceremony changes, the problems with the Book of Abraham etc., I still clung to the "I don't care because I still want my faith" position.
When I finally let it go, it was heartbreaking. And, it still hurts whenever I think of my family and friends who continue to condemn me for breaking free of half-truths and whole lies. I used to want to change them all, but now I don't even try knowing how much pain it would cause them.
About a year after leaving the church, I was out for a run one afternoon. As I was entering the neighborhood near my parent's home, I saw two male missionaries chaining their bikes to a street lamppost. I instantly had an inspiration.
I went home and got out two full color brochures for the nudist gathering I had been to a couple of weeks ago. Both brochures had plenty of pictures and explanations about the beauty of living the nudist lifestyle.
I went back and put a brochure in each of the missionary book bags. That was 22 years ago. Sometimes I wonder what they thought when they opened their bags later that afternoon. Did they stay Mormons or become nudists?
I went back to church for the first time in years last Sunday. The last time i went was for a missionary reunion in Scotland.
My best friend, and incidentally the *only* friend from church that has kept in touch with me, was baptising his oldest boy.
He asked me to attend because we're best friends, but also because I play the piano fairly well, and to give him some moral support.
The service took place in the afternoon, a couple of hours after the main church service. Normal attendance was swollen from the thirty regular members (this is in England) to well over a hundred, as lots of friends and relatives were attending.
I played some interlude music and a number of people I used to know back when I was a member (I served for many years as ward mission leader, teacher, on the bishopric etc.) came to say... not "hello!" or "how are you?", but "it's good to have you back", "you look good in your suit", "when are you coming back" and various similar comments.
Not a single one of them enquired after me, my family or our life. It was all about appearances and "coming back" to the church. They kept complimenting me about my clothes (my friend had asked me to wear a suit, shirt and tie), my playing, my appearance etc. The phoneyness was so palpable as to be greatly embarassing...
An ex-bishop told me "we still love you". I had to bite my tongue and not lash out at him. I wanted to tell him "then you have a very strange way of showing it - you've never once inquired about me or tried to contact me in all of those years". But I didn't. I felt sorry for him, for doing his "duty", for feeling that loving was about saying empty words.
One thing which struck me, was how superficial everyone was. Like members of a golf club commenting on golf equipment, club fees, but never the actual person.
The service was long, boring, and about as stimulating as watching paint dry.
The "testimonies" were trivial, done by rote, and the sight of young children "bearing" their testimonies about the truth of the church was almost grotesque to behold.
The actual baptism itself was nice in it's simplicity and directness.
Whilst waiting for the participants to get changed we were shown a church DVD about faith in Jesus Christ that was almost comical in its heavy-ladenness and heavy mid-western American accent and the use of "thee'isms". It felt really incongruous and lifeless.
The music during the service was pedestrian and despite my best efforts to lift-it up, never took off. It felt as if the congregation was dragging it down.
The reception afterwards was another eye-opener, just as superfical as the greetings had been earlier on.
I was glad to have been there for my friend, and for the insight it gave me on what sincerity and love really are.
The reception afterwards was another indicator of where the real "values" and priorites of mormonism really lay. There is very little about the significance of this special day for a young boy, or joy for the family, rather it's an orgy of self-congratulation.
Instead of the meaning of this day, the focus turns itself to:
The food: clearly the highlight of the day, as every member makes a beeline for it. A small queue builds up and soon virtually everyone is picking their paper plates and plastic forks and piling their plates up. If feels as if these people haven't seen food in days - I know they have been at church since early that morning, but still...
Congratulations: not to the child, but to the father, and more particularly to the "priesthood", reinforcing the value of "being worthy", of performing the ceremony, of "being blessed".. of wearing a tie and suit. Same thing for the mother, how blessed she must me that her husband was able to perform this "sacred ordinance".
Nary a word is said to the child, who is embarking on a life long journey of faith. No cards from members, no real fuss, the only present a set of Primary CDs and songbook so he can have his own little book when he attends classes.
The "priesthood" gathers in one corner talking about.. not much really, always going on about "doing" and seldom about "being". Certainly no mention of Jesus, faith, doctrine, ideals, but instead talking of how well the meeting went, how well the talks went and once again how well dressed everyone is.
The "sisters" are in another corner, looking harassed and faintly worn - not surprising after trying to keep young children under control for four or five hours. Once again the focus is on the "doing", what a blessing it is to have the priesthood in one's family, how good the food looks and how there is plenty for everyone.
I had forgotten all this, having never realised so acutely how materialistic mormonism is.
Then there are all the fake compliments. I am at best an average pianist, but to hear the members congratulate me you would think I was a concert pianist. Besides the music, all the talk concentrates on appearances - nothing of substance. No one asks me what I think of the service, of the ordinance. I talk to the child, but he has little to say. He is just going through the programme.
I find it impossible to move the conversation beyond banalities. Everything revolves around the church, or rather how well things look. Not a single person mentions their own baptism, or what it means to them. They are too busy comparing food, clothes, jobs, TVs etc.
After an hour of empty talk, it's time to go. Hands are proferred, "good to see you", "we must meet again", "good to see you looking good" spoken, but all is empty appearances and promises, very much like mormonism itself. An ersatz world, where what you do and how you look matters more than who you really are.
I am glad when I leave, and return to a world anchored in reality.
Mormons seems so homogeneous to me now. It's like the men all have the same boring RM haircut and wear cheap wrinkle resistant polyester blend white shirts with out of date ties and wrinkled slacks with clunky black shoes that may or may not match their belt.
I've often lamented over my husband's vanity, but thank God his ego didn't allow him to look like every other goober Mormon RM look-alike. He's always been a very sharp dresser.
I, on the other hand, bought into the anti-frivolity attitude that permeated my ward in the mission field of Oklahoma. Expensive clothes or overly stylish clothing seemed to be discouraged and I got disapproving glances from the other ladies if I ever looked too snappy or sexy or made-up. I didn't wear much make-up. I never had my nails done. Pedicures? No way - only ladies more obsessed with their looks than the gospel engaged in such frivolity!
As soon as I left the church, it's as if I were set free in so many ways. I bought new clothes, not the least of which was underwear - I bought lots and lots of new underwear and colored bras. I got my hair highlighted and got my nails done. I'll never forget my first pedicure. Now I'm addicted to them! I feel better and as a consequence, I look better. Many of you know I've had a sexy clothing crisis of late, but that's just one stage of developing the new, improved cult-free me. :)
My husband has grown a sculpted beard around his jaw as a consequence of my intense crush on the guy who plays McSteamy on Grey's Anatomy. http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/5756/eo25iz.jpg I mean, that hunky actor makes my heart jump. He's sooooo handsome, all I can say is rrrrrRRRRRRRRaarrrr! I have to admit that my husband is also incredibly studly with his new unshaven, hard jawline. mmmmm.... DH has also grown out his blonde curly hair and it looks so much better than his former RM haircut.
So, how has your appearance changed since leaving the cult and having freedom from garments, white shirts, clean shaven faces, maternity jumpers, RM haircuts and the like? Do you feel more like "you" than ever before?
I'm still clean cut, but I dress and think like the old hippie I am. n/t - Agassiz
Longer hair, tank tops, a double-pierced ear, and a general tendency NOT to dress age appropriate. :) Yep, the real "me" has come back to life! - Some Lady
I wear the corporate lawyer costume business casual for school, blue suit for work. Same haircut as when I was TBM. I go for the classic look so when I look at my pictures 10 years from now I am not embarrassed by something that was trendy for a week. I also can't stand paying a premium for worn out clothes. I can't even walk into stores I used to shop at.
But I have rebelled and bought a bunch of multi-colored shirts. I guess I'm just way too much of a yuppy, preppy, or conservative goober to do anything crazy.
Also, no facial hair because my wife would climb the walls if I went to nibble on her neck and she got scratched by whiskers. So I am very clean-shaven. - T-Bone
I dress age appropriate (late 30's) but still fun. I'm not afraid to show a smidge of cleavage. Many people are surprised to learn what my real age is and the Morg women my age (not ALL-just to clarify) look 1 or 2 decades older than me. I love manicures and am happy when I wear my favorite red chanel lipstick and buy too many shoes. I buy my bras from Fredericks of Hollywood. - sunbeam
Haven't worn a dress ever since. I hate em! - cfrench
I've lost quite a bit of weight too. I hardly EVER wear skirts or dresses. I never liked them anyway. - JoAnn
I have never been much for "making a statement" with my outside appearance. I still keep a short haircut and a clean shave. More from practicality than having been a member.
The "real me" are my actions. For me it took more courage to change behavior than looks. Gotta admit though that I have refused to wear a white shirt ever since. - Tom Donofrio
Now I'm bald headed and bearded. - toss doubt
I always had a problem with being told how to dress. That was an issue with the church. I dressed to please myself then and now. - bona dea
Forget all the RS lessons on materialism and vanity. My ward was just the opposite. Those stay at home mommies were in stiff competition to look most stylish and less frumpy mommish. To keep up appearances in those days, I wore Ann Taylor. Sunday Clothes were “Dry Clean Only.” Now that I can wear What I Want When I Want, I’ve toned the super fanciness down quite a bit. I like “J Jill” now --nice, but casual + comfy. - tomthummim
I thought this over and I really can't claim anything. I left at age 22 and it was the early 90's. Of course I look much different now than I did then but most of that was due to the trends of the day.
I wasn't in the church as an adult member ever and wasn't molded by it in that way. - MishMagnet
Lost 40lbs, got very fit, generous full chin & stash beard. No suits or ties! - toonz
Funny thing. Post-Mormonism led to a brief college stint, then four years of active military duty.
Upon leaving the Air Force in 1981, I reverted to the old long-haired hippy days until 2001 when my nevermo wife asked if it might be possible that I, at least, get into the nineties.
Reluctantly, I complied, and now look like a TBM (True Believing Mormon)!
Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes! - Timothy
Lost weight. I have lost about 20 pounds and care more about being healthy than APPEARING healthy, if that makes sense. I have more time to exercise because I am not spending time going to church and reading BOM. I feel better about myself and I think that reflects on how I look. My clothes are much more ME, not MORGISH. - Rachel Midtovne
According to certain people in my life who "care", I now dress like a white-trash whore. But I make a pretty classy white-trash whore if I do say so myself.
I was always a loud dresser, but now I'm loud, proud, and hot!
After tossing the G's, I discovered that I've got boobs- and what things of beauty they are. Good heavens. They've been strapped down so long they needed some time to breath. So I got a wonderbra and stopped buttoning my shirts all the way up to my chin.
It's nice. Oh, and the earrings, all 8 of them, went back in first thing. - TennesseeBuckeye
I grew the goatee/van dyke I always wanted. - Ben Ben
Out of the mouths of babes... My granddaughter told me yesterday "Nana, you don't dress like a granny any more!" - Brigantia
It's been good-bye extra weight, suits, and hello jeans, classic black t-shirt, toned-up, and... self knowledge and happiness. See for yourself: - Rudi
I got a second set of ear piercings to celebrate both my resignation and the divorce from the TBM ex being final. I also lost 30lbs and work out at the gym a few times a week, so I look healthier than I ever did. Since leaving, the only time I wore a dress was for my brother's wedding. Normally, when I dress up, I wear slacks. I also wear more tank tops in the summer, and my favorite type of underwear is a thong. I also don't mind showing a little cleavage on occasion. - Fedelm
There was a big (by our standards) snowfall today, so the kids are home from school. I took the oppportunity of interviewing my ten year old son Enoch, since he's become the center of some attention on here. I've transcribed his answers just as he gave them.
Enoch, do you miss going to church?
"Not really. I was going there for hours listening to things that weren't really teaching me anything at all. And it just wasted time when I could have been playing and stuff. Like instead of going out with the family, we had to go there the whole time."
Are there any valuable lessons you learned at the Mormon church?
"Kind of, because not all the teachings were about the stories. Some of it was about love and stuff".
Were you ever suspicious of the stories you were told in church?
"Yes, of the Noah's Ark story. It is impossible no matter how big of a ship you have, to fit two of every animal in the entire world into it. And even if you did, you wouldn't be able to repopulate every species just starting with two of each".
What about if you had seven of each animal (it says in a few verses there were seven)?
"Then you would even less be able to get them all on a boat".
How did you feel when we first had that chat about the church being a fraud?
"(Pause) I don't really know what to say...The whole time before you told me, I was kind of not knowing whether I should believe it or not, but after you told me, I knew it wasn't true".
Were there any other things other than the Noah's Ark story which made you feel doubtful?
"The Adam and Eve story. You can't populate the world with only two people. If you did all their descendants would go all weird and wouldn't survive."
You mean because of the inbreeding?
"Yeah. Plus they said Adam and Eve were the first people six thousand years ago, but it's kind of been proved that there's been people for like a million years. Plus the dinosaurs were way older than 6000 years, when they said the whole world was created."
Do you believe in God now?
"Not really, but I still think you have to be respectful and stuff."
Do you think there might be a God?
"Possibly, because no one's sure how life began on earth. No one knows how it happened".
What do you remember of the freezer box incident? (Editor's note: Click link for an excellent read about creative and effective parenting.)
"You were driving and then your car smashed into the box and stopped. I'm glad you did that instead of anything else. I bet the girls who complained will think that you forced me to say that." (laughs)
Yeah, I bet they will. What would you say to people who think I traumatized you for life?
Um...I'm just thinking...I can't think of anything that would have done it (taught me the lesson) better. It didn't traumatize me (laughs).
Are you sure?
(More laughs) "Yes".
What if you've *really* been traumatized, but just don't know it, precisely *because* you've been traumatized?
"There's no way to answer that because you can't...I don't know how to say it".
You mean because you can't prove a negative?
Some people regret finding out that the church was a fraud. Do you ever feel that way?
"I'm glad I found out now that the church is a fraud because the longer you believe in it, the more you believe in it, so if you found out later it would be a lot sadder".
Were you sad when you found out?
"I was more like kind of confused, because we'd been going there for a long time. I was confused for about week. Then I understood."
Do you think you'll ever join a church again?
"I don't think so".
"I don't know how to answer that...every religion says different things about God, but...I don't know how to answer that...most of the stuff there isn't what it's supposed to be".
Expect an outraged attack now on my ten year old son from Daniel C. Peterson on the FAIR board..."This ten year old know it all obviously has not read the latest research from Royal Skousen, showing that there is NO WAY that Joseph Smith could have known that Jerusalem had walls!".
Confession: I know I have my sentimental moments and all (sniff), but I'm sorry, I just do not get people who stay in, pretending to believe, "because Mormonism's my heritage". It seems totally pathetic to me.
I know the past inevitably influences how we conceive of ourselves. I get that. But, like, if your dad, grand-dad, and great-grand-dad, were all alcoholics, does that mean you stay an alcoholic because "that's your heritage"? Can't your heritage be all the *good* things your ancestors stood for or believed in or did, but not the stupid or destructive things?
Let's say that it is very admirable to give or risk your life for something you devoutly believe in - and let's say your Mormon pioneer ancestors did just that. Can't *that* be your heritage? Is your heritage *really* the particular mistakes in judgment your ancestors made, rather than their good intentions and their sincere efforts? I mean, to tell the truth, it seems to me that spending your life pretending to be something you are not, is *dishonouring* your "Mormon pioneer heritage", because that is just what they did *not* do. They stood up for what they believed in - they didn't run around knowingly enabling idiot control freaks to sap the life out of as many people as they possibly could, did they? (Jab coming up) I'd even bet that if your pioneer ancestors knew what *you* now know, and then saw what you were doing with that information - namely, living a lie - that they'd disown you!
Can you imagine - with the best of intentions, with sincere belief, your ancestors leave their homes and all their friends and family, to move to some "promised land". They lose their children to disease or deprivation while traveling to Utah. They spend their lives without love as the fourth or fifth wife of some guy who visits them for a total of three weeks a year. They (like Ezra Benson's dad) leave their wives and little kids to travel overseas for two plus years on a mission for a totally fraudulent church. They spend years building up a prosperous business, only to be commanded to relocate to some God-forsaken desert outpost to help build up Brigham Young's ego-driven "Deseret". And they do all that and more, because they think it is right...and now you, their descendant, has a chance to kinda right all those wrongs a bit, by saying no to that, by telling your own kids what you know about the thing.. and you decline?! Come on, people! If your ancestors knew what you now know, what do you think they would want to do? Keep pledging allegiance to the dissembling likes of Gordon B. Hinckley? NOT A CHANCE.
I'm thinking that we ought to honour our *real* heritages, by *refusing to live a lie*; because to live a lie is to help transform a noble heritage, regardless of our ancestor's errors in judgment, into an ignoble one of duplicity and weakness.
(Told you it was insensitive and judgmental, but I couldn't control myself...).
A little over five years ago, I was a faithful Mormon struggling to hold the all the loose ends of an incomprehensible belief system together. I was a deputy county prosecutor in a small hick town making $40K and with no immediate opportunity for advancement. I was in a loveless marriage with an unintelligent woman who had spent our way into bankruptcy with absolutely nothing to show for it. We were renting an old drafty house and spending $250 month trying to heat it to a level so that the kids didn't get sick.
Today, thanks to the blessings bestowed by my new imaginary friend Satan, I am a proud rational believer serving in the most powerful Army in the world. Despite the bite of child support, I make good money doing a job I love. My new and improved wife is exactly the woman I have always wanted and we are happy. We own our home in a nice neighborhood. Our daughter is healthy and beautiful and we just found out that another is on the way.
Satan takes care of me far better than my old imaginary friend Elohim ever did. Best of all, he doesn't require gratitude, obeisance or ten percent of my income. The blessings keep coming without them. Who knew?
After escaping the cult, I've developed a rather exaggerated thirst for knowledge. Any and all kinds! It's like I've developed ADHD after being released as an autistic and parochial-minded Mormon!
Despite my age, I feel like I'm a teen again, you know fearless and stuff. I tried surfing. on a Sunday And when I told my True Believing Sister, she pretended it wasn't exciting, but I could tell she was jealous that I was free of Sunday constraints to pursue what I wanted.
Like a jack russell terrier on acid, I stuck my nose, and dug into, all kinds of things: alcohol, technology, weed, yoga, taichi, the art of katana, religion, cults, the occult, astronomy, quantum physics, web page design, astral projection, brick laying, meditation, geology, etc. I could not get enuff of National Geographic specials on evolution. I watched for hours and didn't feel like I was committing a sin.
Do I need another organization to fill the void? I think I don't even have enough time to study, I am really cramming here. I have recently joined a gym where I have an adequate minimal dose of socializing. I really listen to people now and whether or not I agree with them, no judgement is passed [as in, "this guy is going to a lower kingdom for having his nipple pierced"].
Common characteristics - by substrate
I've seen two common personality traits in almost every exmo I've met:
1. Natural curiosity. People who aren't satisfied with pat answers don't last in Mormonism.
2. Inability to compartmentalize. The church requires that you treat your faith differently than you treat every other aspect of your life. We're out partly because we couldn't do that.
Back to the subject, I took an IQ test in 4th grade and then a different one last year. Got exactly the same score. How weird is that?
Statistically signficant differences? by Punky's Dilemma
I don't think there would be a statistically signficant difference b/wn the IQs of TBMs vs. exmos. If there were a significant difference, it would probably be very small.
I think that if you compared IQs b/wn RfMers and FAIRS/FARMS they'd probably be very similar, too.
And I think that RfMers, FAIRS/FARMers probably have higher IQ than the TBM general population. More of the posters in these forums are white, middle class or higher, male, academically priveleged, and drawn to intellectual pursuits. It would bias the sample.
That's my best professional guess. No one would ever do the empiricals on this, though. There's no merit, IMHO. My IQ is pretty damn high (I've been tested A LOT in my life). One of the kids I grew up with had a similar IQ. He's in a maximun security federal prison. Very smart people have done very bad, short-sighted things.
I just happen to be teaching a university class this week on gifted and talented - by Nolongerin
Here is a collection of research from different experts in the field.
Basic intelligence, which is best measured by IQ tests, “is the best single predictor—and a better one that social class background” (Gottfredson, 2003) of:
Years of education
Performance in job training
Performance on the job
Death from auto accidents
Dropping out of school
Having a child out of wedlock
Smoking during pregnancy
Getting a divorce within five years of marriage
These predictions are valid for all American subpopulations.
Some theories on "who are the gifted":
Implicit Theory of Giftedness (Sternberg, 1995)
“What we mean by giftedness.”
Five necessary and sufficient conditions that gifted people have in common:
Emotional Giftedness, (Piechowsi, 1997)
Strong sense of moral justice
Intensely positive and negative emotional feelings
“To be emotionally gifted is to dare to act on one’s awareness of what is happening with others by alleviating lack and emotional distress, opposing unfairness, and fighting justice.” --Piechowski, 2003
Triarchic Theory of Giftedness (Sternberg, 1997, 2003)
Three kinds of intelligence
Measured by IQ tests
Creativity, insightfulness, intuition, or the ability to cope with novelty
Measured by contributions to society.
The application of analytic and/or synthetic abilities to everyday situations.
Measured by common sense and day to day accomplishments.
Wisdom (added in 2000) centers on a concern for the needs and welfare of others.
Most people possess a blend of the three intelligences; the blend can change over time.
Most often included in state definitions(Stevens and Karnes, 2000)
1. superior intellect
2. high achievement or high performance
3. specific academic ability
4. advanced potential
5. creative, artistic abilities
6. visual and performing arts
Characteristics of gifted students (Silverman, 1997)
Exceptional reasoning ability
Rapid learning rate
Facility with abstraction
Complex thought processes
Early moral concern
Passion for learning
Powers of concentration
Keen sense of justice
Capacity for reflection
Need to understand
Need for mental stimulation
Need for precision/logic
Questioning of rules/authority
Tendency toward introversion
When we use the US Congress definition of giftedness, typically 2-5% of the population is gifted. In most states, an IQ of 130 is the cutoff for "gifted and talented education." However, more and more, we are realizing that giftedness is multi-faceted.
Note that a person with an IQ of 130 is just as different from "average" as a person with an IQ of 70, who would be considered mentally retarded.
The highly gifted are generally thought of as those having an IQ of 145 or above.
Leta Hollingworth, the "mother of gifted education," noted that the optimal IQ is between 120 and 145.
Anyone with an IQ of 150 or more makes up the top 1% of the population.
It is often more helpful to identify people with high IQ by characteristics, rather than by IQ score. My personal preference is to use both.
My own IQ is 154. As I've read posts at RFM over the years, I would say that, based on the logic, creativity, high vocabulary, passion for learning, intolerance for the illogical, voracious reading styles, and high level of leadership, YES, most RFMers are gifted. The lack of those same traits in most TBMs convince me that they are, on the whole, of lesser intelligence. Of the intelligent Mormons I know, by far the majority of them are either cultural or social Mormons, or, they have been raised in an environment so dysfuncitonal that the LDS church, with its high levels of rules and conformity, gives them craved structure.
IQ vs. personality by 2cents
Of course RfM-ers are a highly biased sample of exmos.
Exmos who are out for non-ideological reasons etc. (or who are simply not into the internet thing) will not be here.
Therefore a comparison of RfM-er IQ to generic TBM IQ would not be valid.
I suspect there is little if any IQ difference even for RfM vs. TBM.
The differences (for the selected case of ideological dissinters) are probably more highly correlated to natural curiosity and a resistance to compartmentalizing. Thus even for RfM types the differences are more due to personality, and at most very indirectly if at all related to IQ.
Occam's Razor by Belle
I'm going with Occam's Razor - one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.
Simply put, in my book, if you are EXmo, you win the challenge.
TBMs are geniuses and exmos are dunderheads by Baura
The reason we are exmos is because we were too stupid to perform the mental gymnastics needed to stay in. We just looked at the evidence and said, "Duh, this seems to all be pointing in one obvious direction."
The TBMs on the other hand were able to say, "Even though all this evidence seems to point in one direction I really know that blah-blah-ba-de-blah-blah . . . so, you see, actually black is a mottled shade of white and truth doesn't necessarily follow facts . . . hermeneutics . . . exegesis . . . expansion of an ancient text . . . tapir . . . macuahuitl . . . de-blah blah."
I don't know about you but when I see them do this I hook my thumbs in my suspenders and say, "Gosh, gee whillikers, you sure must be smart to be able to do that."
Albert Einstein as LDS Prophet by cricket
If Albert Einstein were the Mormon prophet he would have revealed the Law of General Authority Relativity which states:
E=mc2 or in other words, Exaltation = Mormon Con Temple Squared
I'll be the first to admit that I had many "spiritual experiences" as a believing, practicing Mormon. What I considered spiritual experiences were those rare moments when I felt touched at the deepest levels of my soul. In those moments, I really believed that there was something happening that went beyond human emotion, a fleeting chance to live in the moment and experience the divine. I had many such experiences in connection with my participation in the Mormon church, and I took them as further confirmation that it was all true.
One of the biggest cracks in my faith, however, appeared when I began to realize how often I had had these kinds of experiences in contexts and situations that not only had no connection with the church, but were sometimes even in conflict with it. These moments would occur when I was hiking through a pristine forest on a Sunday instead of attending sacrament meeting. They would occur when I was listening to an exquisite musical performance, even in a room full of people who were violating the Word of Wisdom. The feelings and the way I was touched were indistinguishable from the ones that came in a Mormon context, but I felt compelled to file them separately in my mind. If it wasn't in line with "the Gospel," I reasoned that it couldn't be "the Spirit." Every experience had to be manipulated and reinterpreted to fit the all-defining Mormon framework.
Now that I no longer subscribe to the claims and beliefs of Mormonism, the artificial dividers have been removed. I don't have to manipulate and reinterpret these kinds of experiences. I can simply appreciate them without making them fit anything. Regardless of the situation or context in which they occur, they are all good and they are all valid. I don't know exactly what they mean, and I don't have to know. They just are. I don't know about God. I don't see any evidence for a traditional, Judeo-Christian anthropomorphic type of deity, but I'll allow that there may be forces out there that we don't understand. In the meantime, I've learned to find so much of the sacred in the secular. I see beauty and profundity all around me. I am inspired and uplifted by it. Somewhere in all of that, I think, is God.
Last night, my sister-in-law and I drove to Davis, California to see the legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins in concert. (Dr. Mujun is less enthusiastic about jazz, so she wasn't interested in joining us.) This show was my sister-in-law's treat, and I was grateful for the opportunity, especially since Sonny is 75 and not likely to be touring for many more years. Like his music, Sonny's story has always impressed me. In the late 50's, he was being hailed as the heir to Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins. He didn't feel worthy of the pressure or the hype, but he wanted to be. He stopped performing and completely dropped off the public radar screen for three years. On many nights during this period, he would take his horn and walk from his Manhattan apartment out to the middle of the Williamsburg Bridge, where he would practice for hours above the East River. Sonny Rollins has always known how to take what he was doing seriously without taking himself too seriously.
The main hall at the Mondavi Center seats 1,500, and we were in the very back row of the highest balcony. The distance from the stage hardly mattered. Sonny came out to the stage, somewhat bent over with age and hobbling as much as walking. But when he started to blow, the tone from his tenor sax was as rich, his fingers as nimble and his improvisational genius as evident as it was in the 40's, 50's and 60's when he played with people like Bud Powell, Clifford Brown, Max Roach and John Coltraine. The energy was amazing and the emotional connection with the audience was deep and poignant. My eyes welled up several times, both from the music and from the realization that this consummate artist was truly giving us everything he had to give.
At the end of the show, Sonny spoke briefly into the microphone and thanked everyone for coming. He said that he hoped to see us again "in the next life." There was an eight-year-old girl sitting next to us with her father. I told her that it must have been hard for her to sit through the whole thing, but that when she is older she will meet people who will be amazed and impressed that she once saw Sonny Rollins in concert.
I know I felt the Spirit. My sister-in-law plays the saxophone, so I think she felt it on an even deeper level.
We wanted to meet Sonny if there was any chance at all. One of the staff at the venue told us that we would have to wait forty minutes before we would even know if it was a possibility. We didn't mind. By the time they got the word, there were only five people hoping to crash the backstage party. We were taken back to the lounge where about twenty people were waiting while visiting with Sonny's amazing sidemen. After we had been there about twenty minutes, Sonny came into the room. Everyone applauded, and he looked almost embarrassed. We stood back and listened as other people met him, took pictures and asked him to sign decades-old vinyl LP's. He was gracious, and had kind words for everyone. Those who told him that they play an instrument got a few extra words of encouragement. At one point, he looked down at his picture on an album that a woman wanted him to sign and said, "Who is that handsome man? And what happened to him?"
My sister-in-law asked me if I had any ideas about what we should say to Sonny Rollins. I said, "After that show, I really don't know. What do you say to God?"
Finally, it was our turn. Sonny stood for a photograph with each of us. He autographed the jacket from my "Saxophone Colossus" CD, and signed my sister-in-law's program, adding a little drawing of a saxophone for her. I don't recall exactly what we said to him in those few minutes, but I think that "Thanks for the music" was in there somewhere. Just as we were about to leave, I told Sonny that my sister-in-law wanted a hug, as she hoped that maybe some genius would rub off. He cheefully obliged.
We left with the feeling of euphoria that comes from an intimate encounter with the divine, and I told my sister-in-law that we had just been blessed.
Despite this feeble attempt, I can't begin to articulate what I felt and experienced last night. Did it involve some kind of supernatural deity? Does it matter? I don't think so. It was beautiful and profound. It just was. I can be grateful for it and humbled by it without having to figure out to whom or by whom.
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you, but I know it's mine.
Thus spake Mujun
My mother has been devastated to say the least about our apostasy. Noting could be worse in her mind than her oldest child leaving the church and tearing her eternal family apart. We have been chastised, told that our children will not lead productive lives, and that we will turn into alcoholics and drug addicts. The first time she saw that I wasn't wearing garments she broke down and cried and couldn't function the rest of the day. She is the ultra-TBM mom that puts the church first in her life.
Yesterday my cell phone rang. I looked down and saw on the caller ID that it was her and debated whether to answer or not. But I decided that I'd listen to her pleadings once more so I picked it up.
After I answered the first words out of her mouth were: "I love you. I want you to know that. I am so proud to have you as a son and am happy that you are living your life in the manner that you live it. As my firstborn you hold a special place in my heart and I've been watching you and waiting for you to stumble. But you haven't. And I'm proud of you."
I asked her if her menopause was acting up again or if she took too much Nyquil but she said no. So I offered to take her to lunch today.
So this afternoon we met for lunch at our favorite restaurant. After we ordered, she started in on the lovey dovey stuff so I asked her what brought it on.
She said that when she was back in Utah she saw how dysfunctional her own family was and how they weren't really living the church's standards like they want everyone to think they are. She grew tired of the SUV's, anti-depressants, hypocrisy, and holier-than-thou attitudes her family had. When she returned home she looked at all of her children and realized who really lived their lives as they should and who was just going through the motions. She came to the conclusion that although we aren't members anymore we are the pinnacle of honesty and true love among our family members. She said that she thinks that we will have no problem reaching the Celestial Kingdom if we keep living the way we are.
I thanked her and reminded her that we are the same people that we always have been. The only difference is what we do in our personal lives.
She said that she will no longer judge us for our decision to leave the church and hopes that the rest of our family would look at our examples as the way to live their lives.
I was dumbfounded.
So I guess we are OK after all. It has been a tough road to hoe but I am glad that we traveled it. Because when my ultra-TBM (True Believeing Mormon) mom says that we are tops in her book, life just got easier for us.
Thanks for listening.
After a successful test program, the LDS church has decided to go worldwide with its program of using spouses to act as a buffer between wavering members and web sites critical of the church.
The program is called Church Assisted Spousal Restriction, version 8 (or CASTR8 for short) and involves a few simple steps:
1. Monitor the spouse's Internet habits. Be aware especially of sites containing the phrases "exmo," "research," or "critical thinking." If you're not sure of a site's evil intent, look for quotes from Carl Sagan or the Journal of Discourses, which are a sure sign of apostasy. Do not get sidetracked if you find evidence of pornography. The sites your spouse has been visiting are far deadlier to the spirit.
2. Confront the spouse. Make sure they know that you consider their activities a betrayal of the marriage covenant. Be ready with quotes from their own posts and the sites they visited. Repeat over and over, "You know that this will destroy your soul and our family, don't you?" Use all the emotional manipulation skills you learned in church, as they will benefit you greatly.
3. Help them cut all ties to critical sites and people on the Internet. Remove bookmarks, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and unregister for any forums or blogs where the spouse may be posting. In difficult cases, never let your spouse near the computer if you aren't sitting beside him or her.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 as needed.
Asked for comment, A. Lyon Pendejo, director of the program, explained that such an approach was consistent with the Lord's counsel in the scriptures. "We are told to read out of the best books and then study things out in our minds. This program will help members focus on the best books, those that are uplifting and useful, so they won't be distracted by so-called facts."
The program thus far has been judged a success. In 3 test programs, all 3 members using CASTR8 had quickly desisted from their nefarious activities. Cr@ig P@xton was able to use the program to come to an amicable agreement with his wife, though church authorities are puzzled as to why he hasn't returned to the fold. Cicero can be judged a partial success, as his blog remains standing and he has hinted that staying away from the boards may be difficult.
There's one really exhilarating thing about being a former Mormon. I imagine it's the same for former Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Scientologists, etc.
I'm talking about the freedom to be wrong. I spent my whole life not being able to afford to be wrong about what was most important to me in life, but never really even realized it. It's no wonder we all sounded defensive to the point of near insanity whenever we defended the church, and no wonder why now Mormon apologists sound the same. They can barely type anything without saying, "you're mischaracterizing my position", or in some other way actually just shutting down the conversation so they can continue shouting. In fact, all deluded fanatics sound the same.
I feel a great freedom now to swap ideas, advance opinions, consider where I might be wrong when I am criticized (disclosure: I do however limit my consideration of criticism to those who value concepts like "fact", "logic", "reality", etc.). I guess I feel a sort of "unafraidness" I never did, though as I said I never really was conscious of feeling that way until I didn't anymore (like you only notice the fridge was humming if it stops suddenly). If the day ever comes that some member emails me with information about why I'm wrong on something, all that would happen is, I'd admit I was wrong, change my opinion, and then adjust my life accordingly.
In short, it feels great to be able to contemplate the possibility that I'm a complete idiot, with nothing really to lose (except idiocy) if it turns out I am. I've already lost more face than I ever will again (I HOPE).
Recovering Mormon Support (RMs!)
Anti-Mormon Support Society (ASS)
Helping Overcome Mormon Experience (HOME)
Mormon Indoctrination Recovery Foundation (MIRF)
Mormon Recovery Society (MRS)
Mormonism In Light of Facts (Don't kick me! M.I.L.F.)
Truth of Mormonism (TOM)
The Foundation of Recovery Outside Mormonism (FROM) - by Matthew
A ctive &
S ociety - by Robert B
Yes, according to many hundreds of church members who have posted on apologetic bulletin boards, sent letters to Eric Kettunen the founder of www.exmormon.org, posted as trolls, or who just try to keep the faith teaching classes in their local wards. One teenager last year posted on the Recovery from Mormonism Board, saying that when he mentioned me to his YM advisor, the man immediately said, "he's a liar. Don't believe him".
Yet, what lies have we told about the church? I find there to be very little damning information which is not either explicitly or tacitly conceded to exist by most informed LDS historians and apologists. They may still retain belief that Joseph was a "prophet"; yet they concede that he fundamentally changed his stories, that the text of Hor's funeral scrolls have nothing to do with Joseph's "translation" of them, that Joseph lied about his sexual liasons, that he had himself anointed king, that he had sex with a frightened, 14 year old Helen Kimball, that Joseph knew his foray into the world of banking was illegal, that it resembled more a counterfeiting operation or harebrained Utah-style get-rich-quick attempt than anything respectable, that Joseph's behaviour was sufficiently shown to constitute criminal misconduct and thus warrant a formal trial in 1826 for "disorderly conduct" as a confidence man, that he did convince farmers to pay him money to find them treasure in his magic peep stone though he never found any, that his emendations to the KJV text bear no relationship whatsoever to the oldest manuscript texts available, that the witnesses included genuine religious flakes, men prone to hallucinations, Joseph's relatives, men who in some cases later denied they had seen any plates with their "physical eyes", etc.
In many cases, the only difference between us, and the dudes still drawing church salaries (who our accusers seemingly sometimes revere as demi-gods), is we filled in the blank after the "equals" sign: "Everything I Just Mentioned =.....Joseph didn't tell the truth about his sacred experiences". Some people, it seems, feel that as long as they don't fill that blank in, that "the answer is inherently unknowable", or that Mormonism may still be - or actually will remain - the world's only true religion. (And yet, what, other than an unwarranted belief that our feelings meant God told us Joseph never lied, could ever stop us from acknowledging that answer? Our informed friends must have all thought we were insane...)
If Mormonism really is all it claims, then the truth is, we must loathe forever as hellish deceptions the principles of inference, induction, deduction, elementary logic, prediction, observation, hypothesis testing, mutual criticism, evidence, probabilities of human behaviour, and catalogued physical laws which disallow things like regeneration, de-materialization, and spontaneous language decoding. We must also regard as hellish deceptions the methodologies of astronomy, zoology, metallurgy, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, botany, biology, geology, etc., since they all too lead to a conclusion that Joseph didn't tell the truth.
In short, if Mormonism is the truth, then everything else in the entire world is a lie. No wonder we've been lumped in then, in the Mormon mind, despite not having told any that we know of.
What can make the immediate accusations of lying sometimes hard to take is that the accusers, so often, have not even read their own church's literature. If they did, they wouldn't label it as a "lie" when it is simply read back to them. When Joe Fairboard reads the EQ manual at church, it's "true"; but somehow when I quote it to him, "I'm lying". How can that be? How can quoting Brigham Young constitute me "lying"?
Answer: It cannot - and yet, at the same time, anything can become anything when we are in such a psychological state, that the prospect of finding out we have been wrong about all that was most important to us seems is so unthinkable, so nightmarish and exruciating. So, in a flash, to protect us, our minds can transform horses into tapirs, reason-spawned-doubt into "the temptations of Satan", previously clear "translations" into "unclear processes which we should stop focusing on", ex cathedra pronouncements into "personal opinions", fundamntal changes in doctrine into undisturbing new "insights", BOM chiasmus into evidence of Hebrew origins but not chiasmus in a Danielle Steel novel...and truths into lies.
So of course, truthtellers can instantly become liars for someone in that state. Black can become white, square can become round. O'Brien says it best to Winston in Orwell's "1984", when he says that Winston's mistake is that he thinks reality is something external, when in fact it can become infinitely malleable to serve the ideology, and one's subscription to it. DonLoy Q. Gormless over at FARMS couldn't have said it better.
Heck, I once existed in that state myself. I didn't need reason or facts to form conclusions. Anything could become anything. For example, I "knew" the Tanners were liars, notwithstanding I had never before in my life read one single word they had ever printed. Why did I need to, when I already "knew" they were liars? Right? It's just like Joe Fairboard with Grant Palmer's book. He doesn't need to read it because he already knows Grant Palmer's a "liar", and besides, the FARMS "reviews" said about the same thing. So, no problem. It's all "lies", so why waste the time?
This all leads to a few discernible ends. One is the embarrassing (and very obviously counterproductive) habit of Mormon defenders, including Richard Bushman, to utilize approaches to defending Mormon "truth" borrowed from (oddly, often atheist- and Marxist-inclined) philosophers who attack Truth as a component of a metaphysical reality and deride it as nothing more than a fiction qua instrument in a global, animal-like struggle for power. (It's no wonder defenses of Mormon historiography so frequently refer to utility...).
But, as Einstein once said of idealism, does the sun cease to shine when we stop looking at it? Either "the sun exists" is a true statement, or it is not. And either "Mormonism is all it claims" is a true statement, or it is not.
I submit that it is not a true statement. One reason to conclude that Mormonism does not qualify as "true" is that its truth claims do not accord with reality as we can discern it through the most tested, reliable means we have of doing so. Its physical claims embedded in canonized scripture, such as that our sun produces light not from internal nuclear processes but from borrowing light from an as-yet-undiscovered star called Kolob, or that the entire human race was wiped out a mere 4500 years ago, are now so obviously false that even devout members have had to render them "not essential to our salvation" and then pretend they're not in the scriptures anymore. Not even FARMS will touch those. They too, of necessity, must make them "not matter" anymore. That alone says a lot.
Not even Mormonism's claims for testimony withstand scrutiny in light of Mormon history itself; they are exploded by incidents like the Paul Dunn episode, the church's 150 year championing of the Kinderhook Plates as authentic, and GBH's judgment that the Salamander Letter - putative "scripture" - was genuine.
Maybe most devastatingly (dangling modifier), Mormonism does not qualify as true because it carries within it mutually exclusive truth claims; that is, its truth claims do not cohere with each other, and internal incoherence alone proves falsity absolutely. "A" and "not A" cannot both be true (a piece could be written just about how Mormonism fails by this criterion).
The sight now of so many sincere members, many of whom have no idea those they trust most in the world - church leaders - are authorizing the misrepresentation of a history those members *deserve* to know, must cause pain to all who long for every last shackle upon human enlightenment to fall away. And that those sincere members immediately shout "liar!" at any who try to show the misrepresentation for what it is, only makes the feeling worse. I really await the day when I never again have to see another institutionalized superstition so seize upon, and inhibit, human imagination and potential.
That the religion I devoted my whole life to isn't what it claims was a conclusion born of many hundreds of hours of study and prayer and anguished contemplation, and the most sincere consideration of apologetic rebuttal attempts. I believe my conclusion is true, though it broke my heart to admit it; and I often think how great it would be to meet God (supposing he exists) and talk with him all about my experience. It's hard to describe, but I feel a peaceful but sure confidence, that if I ever do meet him, he won't describe himself as a member of the Mormon church.
That is the truth as best as I can see it.
Leaving the church over 50-odd years ago left me stripped of all identity. Literally. No faith, a multi-generational mormon family who disowned me to a person, no job once people found out I was "antichrist", and an extremely bad taste in my mouth from disfellowship. I could have simply sidled out the door. I could. But I held on, trying to reconcile the ugly facts of LDS falsehoods to these new, terrible thoughts that would not stop whispering in my heart. There is no one true church but God's universal one, open to all who trust Jesus Christ, freely. The trinity is real. God is blind to race, position, gender. God cannot be a man-god. He is Holy.
No, I stayed and tried fighting, trying to work through these beliefs. Being shouted at by my bishop in front of my family, pointed to in testimony humilated me. But I could not stop reading the Bible. I tried going on a retreat, a new concept in those days, with BOM alone in hand. By the end of the two weeks, I'd tossed it in the trash bin and didn't feel a thing. I'd found what I didn't want to find. Reality.
Then I met my husband who was also exiting the LDS, for his own reasons. We clung to each other, adrift in a unfamiliar sea without the false LDS safety anchor around our necks. Five years later I broke down after my grandmother, the one person who offered me love after the LDS exit, passed. Jesus became my gentle solace then. I admit it. He came into my heart through a Christian radio station, comforted me, patiently showed me I didn't have to fear the Bible, religion, denominations and their differences, or the LDS. HE was the real one. Rest assured.
That's when both our families started asking questions and questioning their faith. More and more, we saw them leave, one by one. Today there is not a single family member in the LDS. And I praise God for it. The last was my father, a mule's mule, but he submitted his resignation, citing complete lack of faith in LDS doctrines. Shortly before he died of a sudden heart attack just like Gran, he casually asked for my forgiveness for how he treated me and my husband after leaving the LDS. It took a lot for him to do that. So, I casually gave it to him. God forgive me, but it felt good to hear my dad say he was wrong in that instance. It felt better to see him accept Christ as Savior and Lord a week before he died. He never got a reply from the church re: his withdrawing his name from the church records. We know, though, he's free in heaven, out of reach of the LDS. Let them keep the paperwork if that's the way they see it. Jesus has Dad!
Life has been very different since then. We moved away from UT. Bought our dream ranch. Raised seven strapping, gifted children who know the Lord well and the LDS's tight grasp only through secondhand stories. Gradually my husband and I were led through two other churches that gently taught us much of what we didn't know--everything. The truth of the Holy Spirit, for instance. Hardly a common name spoken among LDS, even today. God finally led us into the vibrant, growing house church we attend today. No denomination, of course. Lately, in our 'declining" years... we've realized we've deliberately ignored the majority of mormons who are still bound by Satan, outside the occasional missionary who returned to ask questions. Ministering to them is frightening at times. Their deadly pull is instantly recognized now. It's one of those things, that, the more you do, the easier it gets, the more love you have for them, the more you see them as you were once. Not as devils. Just hurting, empty.... people. - 10/25/2010 - c.
Wow. Has the adversary got a hold on this site. Look at what the faithful mormon is saying kindly on this site, and look at the rude remarks from the anti-mormon and ask yourself who is acting more Christ-like and who is using words like hate, and other unloving things. Christ loves all of us and wants us to listen to ALL of his words. If you give the book of mormon a chance with an open heart, you will understand the truth of it. John 10:16 (bible)...... 3 Nephi 15:21 (book of mormon) they work together. I love you. - 07/06/2010 - Truth
Hey I am a buffet mormon but girl you have gone to far hating the mormons. I can't congratulate you but you did make me laugh and saw many cool things. The hate though not cool. You can be anything you want OK is fine no problem but to hate any church that strives to please the Lord is a mistake and is not a cult you know that. Mormon culture is not real truth so why did you get so offended? Al lot of this LDS or majority of Christians are not real friends if their motivation is to just convert you. I agree and see that. So, when you attack any church or prophet you are pleasing nothing but Satan. Satan loves your hate towards the mormons oh, he delights. Why would you want to please him instead? Instead is Ok for you to be a buffet mormon not to believe controversial teachings or be a christian who respects all who strives to turn their hearts to Jesus. http://staylds.com/docs/HowToStay.html Peace and you know try not to see all Black and White, nothing is like that only crazy people see it as such. - 06/07/2010 - Buffet Mormon
I find it funny that all the people on here, ex-mormons or whatever put so much time and effort into a web page talking about it. There must be something true or you wouldn't be so obsessed about it. - 04/01/2010 - anon
If you are hanging out at a web site and still bitching about mormonism, you are not over it. A real Jack Mormon doesn't talk about mormonism because it isn't part of their lives anymore. I think you folks are suffering from Moroni guilt.
my family is full of mormons but I never dwell on not being one anymore. I never talk about it either until I came to this site... My ex wife has been involved in just about every odd ball religion and belief system out there, and still rants and raves about mormons. She isn't over it, isn't post, isn't ex. The true Jack Mormon is silent, content, and loving life outside the ward house. Not like you guys. Hope it gets better for you. - 11/15/2009 - grayjohn
"I know the church is true" Right...very valid argument. Kind of like: "I know the earth is flat" - 06/29/2009 - JR
Thank you for all of your posts. This has been very informative with regard to family structure and the expectations placed on you as a member of the Mormom faith. I work in the medical field and I am researching the Mormom faith in an attempt to provide other health care providers the knowledge to be culturally competent. I have personally known only one person who engaged in a relationship with a Morman man (she was Catholic) and he was effectively rendered a disgrace to the family. I personally believe that one's religious convictions have no bearing on love, whether it is an issue of race, gender, etc. You love who you love and your beliefs in a higher being will carry you just as far. Congratulations to all of you who have accepted your lives as you see them - you must live the life you were given, as you see fit, and should not be a victim of others' personal convictions. Be true to yourselves and those you love... the rest will fall in line! - 09/30/2008 - J
Joseph Smith Jr. as a youth robbed and desecrated one Indian grave to many. This foolish young Man when looking for golden artifacts, disturbed the bones of a powerful and wicked War Chief, by the given name of MORON I, This ancient power was steeped in occultism, and used it's wiles and guise. to get Joseph Smith to present to the World a plan of ruination and self damnation. This is all explained in the Book of Mormon. Do not be mislead by the invocation of the Name of Jesus Christ, that is a ruse to gain favor and trust in the heart and eye of the general public. In 1830 there were few well read and educated persons, When Brigham Young directed Temple builders to have inscribed stones with occult symbolism's on them put into the facade of the Salt Lake Temple, He was knowledgable from a dream given to Him. These symbols are open invitation for occult power to dwell within these Temples! The Mormon Members who frequent these Temple sites, give their hearts and souls and minds over to evil occult influences, that use their life energy (Mormon Members) as food for their substance. Beware what you get seduced by, It could be your worst nightmare, Eternaly So Big 'nightmare'!!! - 09/24/2008 - Ramled
i am apart of the Mormon Church...i understand how you may feel like the church isn't true that it is a big lie to get your money and time but it isn't just trust me pray about it i am 13 and i know this church is true. my brother is on a mission right now and he has made my faith stronger then ever....the story You Can Never Go Home Again breaks my heart how can you do that.... i encourage you to go back to church..... and whoever says that yes god does choose some old white man in Utah to tell the planet what to do is totally wrong i live in Utah and find that HIGHLY offensive... i don't see how people can sit here and bash on the Mormon church i am not saying i am molly Mormon i still swear when i get mad and i still act like any other teenager... i still wear tank tops every once in awhile, i do stuff that the Mormon church says not to sometimes everyone on this website needs to chill....THANKSS!!!!! - 09/21/2008 - MORMON LOVER!
This is a great website and has helped me psychologically prepare leaving the church as I expect to become excommunicated by publishing some papers. In short, I feel at home on this website and as several others have mentioned, its nice knowing your not alone. - 09/07/2008 - Michael W
I am grateful that God interceded in your lives in order to save you from such a disgraceful cult. My company (a publicly traded corporation) has become the target of Mormon greed. Our leaders are Mormon, they moved the financial/accounting/purchasing functions to Utah in 2006, they are promoting and hiring only Mormons, and they have begun a Fascist initiative in order to cleanse the company of the old employees in order to make room for the new. I am attempting to fight them on my own through the NLRB and the EEOC. I would like to see the U.S. Government rule once again (Edmunds-Tucker Act) that mormonism is not a religion but a con game. I believe the LDS non-profit status should be revoked. As a Boy Scout leader I have to deal with LDS insanity. Hopefully the BSA will garner the courage and strength it will need in order to sever their ties with this insane group of people. - 08/17/2008 - Thank God U.R. Safe
I'm not a Mormon nor will I ever be. My sister, whom I have always loved with all my heart, is. She has a wonderful husband and beautiful children. I respect her values but not her religion. I have personaly felt the "outsider" feeling of being a non mormon. Our family suffered the tragic death of my mother when we were young. There came many hardships with her death, but we pulled through it. I took so much pride in being an older sister, ever since the day she was born. On the day my sister got married my father and I sat in the lobby of the Mormon Temple. I "was" the maid of honor...What a joke. Maid of nothing. His family was in the temple with her...They had no clue what we have endured with that little girl. I believe in my heart of hearts there is no God, especially my God that would ever separate a TRUE, through the thick and thin family as the Mormon faith did us. I will never sacrific my relationship with my neices and nephews. I love them too much. I know I will sit in the stupid lobby again so they know I'm there for them. I wish my sister and her husband would see what real love is about through the eyes of Christ without that stinking religion behind them. - 07/31/2008 - anon
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