Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Fruits of Mormonism

I once had a very bizzare conversation with my TBM mother. At this point, I was seriously doubting the church but was still a semi-believer. Now the things I am going to say in this post are scary and will make my mother look bad. That is not my intention. I realize that her viewpoints and opinions come from being a deluded Mormon all her life.

My mother was dying. I knew it and so tried to have as many conversations with her as possible while I still could. I don't remember much of what we talked about. It was just spending time and making sure that when she died there were no issues unaddressed. I do, however, remember one conversation because it was so unique and really brought out many of the reasons why mom acted like she did.

It was all about the devil and his evil spirits. Once the conversation was over, I was seriously creeped out.

It started when she recalled the time when my father left the church. During that time, she had dreams and visions of the devil celebrating his victory over our family.

One such dream was about the devil dressed in a suit and disguised as a very handsome man, visiting our home and "selling" something to my dad. My dad was anxiously buying the story. As my mom watched this take place, the devil would glance at her and give her a huge evil smile. She new it was the devil and he was cheating my dad's soul. The devil knew that she knew and so would give her a sneering glance whenever my father wasn't looking.

Finally the devil and my father walked away together. But before they were gone, the devil turned around and changed into his true form (whatever that was). He then spoke to my mother saying, "I have deceived your husband and I will come back for the rest of your family!"

It horrified her and she swore that she would fight the devil to her dying breath.

My mother believed that this was no dream but an actual vision of what was happening. She described how the spirit realm is all around us and we are surrounded on a constant basis by evil snarling devils who would very much like to rip us to shreds. Of course, we can't see them but they are literally there.

She spoke of when a person thinks a bad thought, that it's not really you, but the devil speaking in your mind, using your voice to temp you and lead you astray. The devil is able to control many people in this way because they think that they are thinking for themselves. Therefore she warned against angry thoughts because that allows the devil to get one of his evil spirits inside you to mimic your voice in your head.

The devil hates you so much that he will do anything to get you out of the church. Therefore, my mother was very devout in her church life. In order to keep her children pure and clean (naive and innocent) we were not allowed to watch TV.

When my father left the church, my mother had an extremely hard time dealing with it. She did anything to keep him out of our lives so that he could not influence us. She hated him. She absolutely could not accept his new beliefs or lifestyle so she reluctantly divorced him. She expressed extreme emotions over having a broken home and she was sure that the devil was responsible. Even though she did absolutely everything she could to keep the family together, the devil won, and I don't think she ever forgave herself for it.

After they divorced, she would never see him again unless it was at a wedding of one of their children. She would not speak to him. He was now completely overtaken by evil spirits and so should be avoided. Whenever she caught him "sinning" she would fly into a rage and go absolutely berzerk. I heard one story where she pretended to go out of town just so she could sit outside the house and spy on my dad to try to catch him in a sin.

I heard another story where she followed him to work and publically screamed obsenities and threw his Playboy magazines all over the ground.

In my mothers eyes, when it came to sin there was absolutely no tolerance. No forgivness. No love. The sinner had to be punished immediately. Whether that meant a public face off, tearing the house apart, over-turing furniture, or pretending to go out of town, she was determined to see to it that no one in her house was involved with "sin".

In her desperate attempts to "save" the family, I believe that she was ultimately responsible for it's failure. Just as Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side to gain more power to save Padme's life, it ended up that his turn to the dark side was the reason for Padme's death. By trying so hard to save her, he ultimately killed her. Mom was not much different. If she had simply been tolerant and understand of my dad, things would never have been so bad. But she was absolutely incapable of that. Her Mormon programming would never allow it.

Naturally, my mom was selective about what friends her children had. She disliked non-members, but even more, she disliked Mormon kids who weren't completely active. She down right despised any of our Mormon friends who were not 100% in the church. She was more tolerant of our non-Mormon friends because, I guess, she figured that they didn't know any better.

In fact, as I look back and compare my mothers behaviour with that of many TBM's, it isn't that different: complete intolerance. I can't say that she was a bad person. She wasn't. In fact, she was a wonderful person. But when it came to the Mormon gospel, she stood her ground and would not budge, no matter what the outcome or consequence would be; no matter who it offended.

So I can't sit here and condemn her. She was Mormon. She was in the true church that the devil was working 24-7 to tear apart. She literally believed it. It was all she knew. To consider any other reality was not even an option. She knew the church was true. To her, and to the LDS church, the end justified the means.

My mother carried around so much hate and guilt and anger that it's no wonder she died. She was completely intolerant to anything non-LDS. But again, I can't blame her. She was raised in a cult that taught her elitist thinking. It was all she knew. And even though the system abused her all her life, she never turned away from it. It was true. The priesthood holders that abused her were acting unrighteously, but it never even occurred to her that it might not be true.

I don't think she ever forgave my dad for his apostasy. I don't think that she had the ability to. She did not attend my sister's wedding, simply because it was not a temple wedding. Talk about intolerance. And yet, I blame the church, not my mother, for this incredibly irrational behavour. It's a cult and that's what it does to people when they turn their complete will over to it.

It's very sad. People are so convinced that the church is true that it doesn't matter how you retaliate. I have seen ex-Mormons threaten to kill apostates. I have seen them throw insults and call names. To a TBM, it's okay. You're defending god's kingdom so anything goes.

I love and miss my mother dearly. But inside I'm glad she's not here to see my apostasy. It would break her heart.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see why many exMos become atheists. I compliment you on your ability to compartmentalize your mother's behavior as LDS indoctrination and still hold on to what was good in her. For anyone to come out of Mormonism and still have a faith in God, in my point of view, is indeed a miracle.

Fern RL said...

I hope you do not suffer as your mother did with so much hate and anger, if not guilt, that it kills you.

Having been a Latter-day Saint all my life (60 years), I have still never seen anything like you describe, and I am sincerely sorry such things had to happen even once.

Mormon411 said...

I'm not sure what the numbers are of exmo's who become atheist vs. those who join some other Christian church. I've said this before, but I couldn't just point the magnifying glass at Mormonism without pointing it at Christianity too. Leaving Christianity as well as Mormonism was the only logical thing to do.

Fern, thank you for that comment. I don't know how I come across in my posts... hopefully not angry. Well, yes, I am angry but not to the point of going postal or anything. I'm just angry because I wasted the first 30 years of my life. I want those years back so I can actually have some fun and enjoy myself instead of being afraid of this angry and vengeful god.

That being said, I have found my inner peace. I follow a moral code and give service whenever possible. I am in school again and am doing fantastic. I can honestly say that I'm happier now than I have ever been before.

My mom was more extreme than most, I will definitely admit that. She had some interesting ideas. But she was talented, very smart, and a caring mother. We children were her number one priority and I'll always be grateful for that, even though I now disagree with the way she reared us.

Seth R. said...

Your mother has a rather extreme and one-sided view of the "Mormon world" that most Mormons I know do not share.

Perhaps you need to further compartmentalize here. The Mormon Church is not always responsible for the unhealthy zealotry of it's members. In fact, such extreme members often annoy other active Mormons just as much as they annoy you.

Mormon411 said...

Yes, I realize that my mothers case is not the norm, but I do have to disagree with your statement that the church is not responsible for "over zealous" members.

Would my mom have been that way if raised in a different religion? Perhaps, perhaps not. We can't really know for sure. But would she have been that way if the church did not have all the radical claims that it does? Again, we can't really know, but I would wager that she would not. The church is an elitest group and it's members have the elitest attitude. Some take it further than others. I believe the church is sole responsible.

Berean said...

Why did you decide to put Christianity in with the same garbage can as you did Mormonism? Do you think they are both one and the same? They are not. Sadly, as you now know, Mormonism is a non-Christian cult. There is a God and His Son Jesus Christ did die on the cross for your sins over 2,000 years ago. The Mormon Jesus is not the Jesus of Christianity. There is only one Jesus and He is in Christianity.

I am thankful that you have walked away from Mormonism, but spiritually speaking you are no better off because you are still lost. I pray that you will come to Him.

Seth R. said...

Typical Evangelical.

Always so eager to tell us why we suck and are going to hell. But never forthcoming about why we should even give a damn about his religion in the first place.

I have yet to have any Evangelical try to tell me what is even attractive about "their Jesus" in the first place.

Paul Manning said...

I would recommend reading 'Heaven and Hell' by Emmanuel Swedenborg. He says even athiests may go to heaven. Its not what you beleive but what you do that counts. Selfish people will be with other selfish people = hell and selfless people will be with like minded people and will therefore make the place a heaven.

personally I think LDS views are the closest to reality. Good luck with your life. If your a loving person no one will really care what your religion is.

Mormon411 said...

Berean,

You obviously haven't read much here, because I have answered your question very thoroughly. And in my opinion you are lost, so we'll just have to accept each other no matter what our beliefs.

And I've said this before as well, don't pray for me. I find it insulting. I don't need your god's help. I've been just fine ever since telling god to take a hike and I like it that way. Don't pray for me.

"Heaven & Hell"? I've been given a lot of reading assignments lately so won't be able to get to it for a while. However, if you simply stop and think about it, it makes sense. For example:

Who would you want staying in your house? A professed Christian who lies, cheats, and steals? Or a full blown atheist who is honest, kind, and service oriented?

Which would god want?

Berean said...

I understand your anger towards God. God isn't the one who did this to you. It was the one who mimics Him - the destroyer - Satan. If you keep your eyes on mankind you will always be disappointed and upset because man will do that. There are many fakes and frauds out there. There are many true Christians out there that would do anything for you while an athiest would cut your throat open for a $5 bill.

When you stand before God you won't be able to blame it on Joseph Smith or anyone else. He was a false prophet. Don't let Joseph Smith keep you out of heaven. Eternity is a long time to spend in outer darkness.

Mormon411 said...

Berean,

No offense, but I find your comments condescending and insulting. You really think that atheists are all mindless zombies who run around doing nothing but evil? I've got news for you. There was a study done, and I can't remember where I read this, that an atheist is more likely to be a good Samaritan than a believer!

And if you think all Christians are wonderful, perfect people, then again, you need to rethink things.

You are stereotyping atheists and you think you are so much better than us just because you have "god". If you're happy with your god, then great. But leave everyone else alone. It really is true that you Christians are obsessed with making everyone believe what you believe. And yet there are mountains of evidence, not only against Mormonism, but Christianity as well. The Bible is full of nonsense stories and really bad people. So I'll allow you to believe what you believe and I expect the same in return.

And please try to get past this whole "Christians are better than atheiests" thing because it does nothing except make you look like a condescending pharisee.

Mormon411 said...

Berean,

One more thing. I do appreciate your concern for my everlasting well being, I really do.

But I just find it insulting when you state that any atheist would slit my throat for $5. That's anything but true. There are plenty of so called Christians who would do just that.

I would be much more inclined to listen to your message if it was one of love, not intolerance.

Seth R. said...

As far as I'm concerned, being an atheist makes you no more likely to "cut someone's throat open" than being a Christian.

Mormon411 said...

Thank you, Seth, I agree with you 100%

Rey said...

This is the message of the gospel - if the righteous scarcely be saved where shall the ungodly and the sinner stand. The gospel is a message of repentance and faith. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Ye must be born again. Obedience to God's commandments is a fruit of salvation. God is going to come seeking vengeance on all those that do not obey the gospel. Be forewarned of the cults - Jehovah witness, LDS, Roman Catholicism (which is the whore of Babylon), Protestants churches - Presbyterian, methodist, Anglican, Lutheran, and all others who have committed fornication with the whore these are the 10 kings these all have the blood of martyrs on their hands. There is a false gospel in the world today of easy believism and millions are perishing daily - search the scriptures, search history, no one has an excuse in this age of massive information. God's day is coming and it will be revealed by fire. Today is the day of salvation. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Call unto God in truth for forgiveness of your sins. Don't play with God he knows your hearts and when God does save you, you will know. Many shall hear in that day, I never knew you. Narrow is the path. Remember Lot's wife. Anybody that say's salvation is easy is a liar, we are to suffer for Christ's sake. This means taking up the cross and following after Jesus. Christ did not save and heal all that came to him, what makes anybody different. If ye continue in my word then ye are my disciples indeed. There is a famine in the land, and not of meat or drink but of truth.