Wednesday, January 16, 2008


"A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes- and it will come- may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system." Jane Smiley

Thanks, Michael, for posting this quote on your MySpace page. When I read this, I almost fell off my chair because it was me to a tee...

When I was growing up, I was Mormon. I had no choice. My mother was devout to the point of not caring who she offended in the name of the "truth". I was extremely sheltered. I and my siblings were not allowed to watch any TV without explicit parental permission. To my mother, a picture of a woman in a bikini might as well have been a XXX movie. As such, I was not even allowed to watch Starwars: Return of the Jedi because of the scene with Princess Leia in her golden bikini. No joke.

As much as I love my mother, she had no tolerance for anyone who was not 100% in compliance with the church. I can't blame her for being that way. She was raised in Mormonism too and didn't know any other way.

In order to keep me from the evil influences of the world, I was home taught. Seriously, the only kids that I knew existed were those at church. When I finally went to public school at about age 13, I was blown away by how many kids there were. It was there that I met the fore mentioned Michael, who has become my lifelong friend.

One time, walking along the road near my home, I found a porno magazine lying on the road. It was not XXX, but solo girls posing in the nude. Curious, I took it home and hid it in my room. I looked at it often, knowing how wicked, and yet how awesome, it was. As luck would have it, my mom found it. She asked me where I got it and I truthfully told her it was on the side of the road. She told me that if I had gotten it from a kid at school, that she would have immediately pulled me out of school.

Somewhere during my high school years, my father apostatized from the church. That was VERY hard on my mother. Her intolerance of his new beliefs drove them to divorce. Of course, I have to admit that even being an apostate myself, I would never do some of the things he did. I don't need to mention them... you can probably figure it out.

So for a long time I lived with the belief that the devil had deceived my father and that only made my resolve to be a good LDS member even stronger. I went on a mission, against my fathers wishes, and had some eye opening experiences, which I will share in some future post. At one point on my mission, I wrote a very chastising letter to my father but I could not bring myself to mail it. I'm so glad now that I didn't.

As you can probably see, my "decision" to join the church and get baptized at the age of 8, was not really a decision at all. I was born Mormon; I was one of the lucky few who were born into the truth. Almost all the rest of the people in the world were heathens. I remember being asked in church and in seminary, "If you hadn't been born into the church, would you have embraced the truth once it was presented to you?" I think most of us believed that we would have.

I recently took a psychology class where I was able to get some very good insite into myself and some of the possible reasons for my apostacy. Most normal adolescents go through the "identity crisis," where they discover who they are. They try alternate hair styles, wardrobes, friends, hobbies, etc. Most people come out of this period just fine, with a true sense of their identity. However, in some cases there is an event called "identity foreclosure". For example, this referrs to the kid who always wanted to be a doctor and grows up to be a doctor. Or someone becomes a police man because his father and grandfather were policemen.

I now strongly believe that I experienced identity foreclosure. I was Mormon. Bottom line. There was no need to experiment with different lifestyles, because they were all wrong. So I never found my identity. I was never Mormon because I wanted to be... I was Mormon because I had to be. So here I am, half my life later, struggling to find my identity. Interestingly, people who experience a "mid-life crisis" are usually those who experience identity foreclosure. Me to a tee. It is very likely that the same thing happened to my dad.

So even though I am into my 30's, I am 17 at heart. I have the desire to go out into the world and try all the things that I never got to before. I want to explore the world and see it from a non-LDS point of view. I wasted my entire childhood trying to please god and obey all the Mormon commandments. As Michael can testify, I was not always perfect. I looked at his dad's girly magazines which were easily accessible, although I always felt guilty for doing so.

My childhood, while not bad by any means, was extremely sheltered. Naturally, when a person is told that something is bad, they are curious about it. So when I find a girly magazine on the road, naturally I want to look. But if I had grown up being taught that the female body was beautiful and natural, I might have a totally different outlook today.

My philosophy, which most people will disagree with, is that life is life. Why do we have to hide sex from our children? It's not like I sit down and watch a porno with my son, but our household is liberal about being nude. I don't try to hide nudity from my son. I want him to understand that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis. It's not ugly and sinful; it's just a fact of life. Why should I hide facts of life from my children? I don't believe I should. They were hidden from me and I don't believe it is healthy.

I'm not saying I'm a sex freak, but I honestly believe that rapists and pedophiles become what they are PARTIALLY because our society says those things are bad. They grow up curious about the facts of life and when they are finally exposed to it, it becomes a fascination which they are never able to break away from. I honestly believe that if our society was more open and liberal about sex and nudity then rapists, pedophiles, and sex offenders would not be nearly as common as they are.

It is especially bad in Utah. There is no sex education in public schools. Kids grow up not knowing what a condom is. I didn't know what one was until I had a girlfriend who explained it to me. Mormons live with the delusion that if they don't talk about it, it will go away. Therefore, Utah has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. Kids experiment with sex and have no idea how to protect themselves. Sure, they learn abstainence in church, but come on! These are horny teenagers we're talking about! I was one. I fooled around with Mormon girls with their complete concent. Let's face it, kids are horny and are going to experiment. Even me, myself, one of the most believingest Mormons did. So with no education, kids mess around and end up getting pregnant. I never actually had sex until I was married, but I touched girls in private places (and knowing what I know now, I would have touched a whole hell of a lot more!)

I hope my point is clear. Don't shelter your children. Don't hide the facts of life from them. Teach them what is right and wrong, but don't teach them to hate themselves when they do wrong. Teach them that everyone makes mistakes and it's okay to be wrong as long as you learn from it. Teach them that it is okay to be human. It's not a sin. You're not evil just because you were born. That's a lie.

If god made me and god is perfect, then I am perfect. A mistake is simply an opportunity to try again.

This is more valuable information than you will ever hear in General Conference.

Just another evil apostate...


Long Ben Avery said...

As my Dad always said "Trying to stop adolescents experimenting with sex, is like trying to keep dry in a monsoon by holding a teaspoon over your head!"

Mormon411 said...

How true is that!