Friday, February 24, 2012

I Was Asked To Pray

I was at a family dinner a few weeks ago and I was asked, in front of everyone attending, to say the blessing for the food. It has been so long since I was asked, that I was starting to think that they never would. Not that I wanted them to, of course, I was just thinking that maybe they had accepted the fact that I don't do the religion thing.

It caught me by surprise and at first I didn't know what to say. That is when your true convictions are put to the test. I almost offered the prayer just to avoid the embarrasment of saying no. But then I caught myself and politely asked the host to ask someone else.

He asked his 2 year old grandson. Let the brainwashing commence. The prayer was whispered in his ear and he repeated it, just like testimonies are whispered in their ears until they can repeat them verbatim like a robot... but I digress.

I have no problem sitting quietly while a prayer is offered. I respect their right to talk to their imaginary friend. But I never say "amen" and I certainly won't ever be the one offering the prayer.

I'm kinda upset that I was asked because they know I'm not into the church thing (and I really don't appreciate being put on the spot like that), but on the other hand, I'm kinda glad. I'm hoping that it will help set the boundaries of what is appropriate to ask me and what is not.


Andy said...

Bart Simpson said grace once in an episode of the Simpsons. It went something like "Dear God, Thanks for nothing because we worked for this food ourselves."

WingAbouts said...

You're right, that was a cheap shot and you did the right thing by saying no to their request. It can be difficult to stand up for your convictions with family and friends who hold different views.

Karah said...

After I left the church and was asked to attend by my family, I'd almost always avoid going on the first Sunday of the month. Seeing those young, impressionable kids stand up there and have their convictions dictated for them affected me to the point of angry tears. I, too, was born into the LDS religion, and still find myself having to beat some of its teachings out of me. I wonder what my life would have been like had I been exposed to every kind of theological idea and then had the freedom to choose which to follow (or not to follow.)

I, also, rarely get asked to pray, but when I do it's REALLY awkward.

Mormon411 said...

Yes, that angers me as well. I understand totally what you mean.

Does your family know that you have left or are you more of a closet unbeliever? And when they ask you to pray, do you do it?

There is nothing wrong with it if you do. I'm just wondering. There are many ex-Mormons who continue to go through the motions so that their family doesn't shun them.

It's just too bad that supposed good Christians are the ones who always cut the ties. I have NEVER heard of an ex-Mormon who made that choice.

Smorg said...

Good on you not giving in! Your integrity counts, too!

The misshies I had discussions with pulled that on me one day (the day they brought a less active with them) and wouldn't take no for an answer. After a while I quit saying no and just sat there and let the silence perturb everyone involved. One of the misshies finally gave in and said the prayer. They learned the lesson and never asked me to pray again. :oD

Mormon411 said...

Mormons are taught that if they keep going back no matter how much someone tells them they're not interested, (or in this case refusing to accept your answer to not pray) that they will eventually feel the spirit and join the church. It's nothing but manipulation. I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns!

I had a missionary companion do that to me. When we would visit less actives, he would always want us to sing to them. I was very uncomfortable with this (not to mention that it was extremely cheesy) so I asked him, privately, to not ask me to sing anymore.

The next time we were at someone's house, he asked me again anyway. I told him, rudely and in front of everyone, that I had already asked him to stop asking me. That was when he finally learned his lesson and stopped asking.

This guy was an asshole on every level imaginable. He was the ultimate Peter Preisthood "You will obey me" type of guy. Three months with him seemed like three years.

If they are that willing to show that level of disrespect and manipulation BEFORE you are a member, just imagine what they will do to you AFTER you join!

They do interviews where they want every detail of your private life. Unlike other churches, where you can confess if you want, the Mormons call you into the bishop's office sometimes at random and sometimes by appointment.

And you can't say no because they are priesthood leaders, called by Jesus Christ himself, so if you refuse them, you are refusing Jesus. I will NEVER set foot in a bishop's office EVER AGAIN!!!!!

WingAbouts said...

I realize that I'm probably butting in here where I'm not welcome and possibly don't belong. But I feel I need to point out something here.

You said: "It's just too bad that supposed good Christians are the ones who always cut the ties." I wanted to interject here that Mormons are really the only ones who think Mormons are Christians. And while there are a LOT of different kinds of Christians, those who honor the true teachings of the Bible, know that Mormons are not Christians.

I'm not saying this to be inflammatory, I'm just asking that you not judge Christians by what happened to you in the Mormon church, because with all their additional teachings, they've never been considered Christian by anyone but themselves.

The Bible is the only basis of any Christian church's teaching. Whenever something else is added, it has ceased being Christian.

Please don't toss out the Bible, or Jesus, just because the followers of a false religion mistreated you.

Mormon411 said...

WingAbouts, you are welcome here. And I appreciate your input. As far as the Mormons aren't Christian debate, I'm not sure where I stand. One one hand, they do believe in Jesus even though their beliefs about him are admittedly different. On the other hand, I do strongly feel that it is a cult.

Mormons don't officially practice shunning, although their attitude of "we're right and everyone else is wrong" certainly makes it hard to be humble, especially towards those who "walk away from the truth and light".

JW's actively practice shunning (they are a cult as well). If someone leaves the church, their family is forbidden to have contact with them. If they do, they are shunned as well.

I am sure that in all churches, shunning takes place even though it is not doctrinal.

My leaving Mormonism had nothing to do with my leaving god, I assure you.

jalissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karah said...

I'm open with my family. They know I'm no longer a believer. It was very hard at first. They were very violent toward me, and I was actually estranged from them for about two years or so. But it's to the point where it's tolerable now. They don't bother me too much and I live at home with them. Occasionally, I'll have to listen to some nonsense. Mostly, I just smile and nod because there's no arguing with people who think their religion is absolute truth. I just try to keep things amiable (for the most part.)

Karah said...

And no. I refuse to pray if asked.

Steven Bently said...

wingabout said, "Please don't toss out the Bible, or Jesus, just because the followers of a false religion mistreated you." Talk about not calling the kettle black? The Buybull and Jebus is just as false as any other religion, there is no true religion, they are all man made!

Which god invented the one true religion may I ask? The one you were indoctrinated to believe in, of course.

Mormon411 said...

Karah, I'm sorry to hear you've had to go through that. Again, I stress that when families experience tension due to religious differences, it is always the believers who cause the trouble and cut the ties... anything but Christlike.

Good for you for not praying.

If your family won't be there for you, we will!