Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Planting Seeds of Reason

A very bright young man by the name of Mark (Mark, please let me know if you don't want your name published here and I will gladly remove it) has recently discovered the truth about the LDS church and we've had a great discussion about how to bring our family and friends out of this dangerous cult.

For 183 years, since the church was established in 1830, people have been deeply deceived by it's alluring teachings and promises.  It has such a strong hold over people's minds that many of them would do anything to protect it.  And for that same amount of time, people have been trying to expose Joseph Smith for the dishonest man he was and get their loved ones out of this very destructive organization.

We aren't the first - and we won't be the last - to try to figure out the exact right thing to say that will shed enough light to open people's eyes to the truth of their enslavement.  I have a feeling that there is no such answer to this nearly two-centuries-old question.

Church members are taught that those who leave the church and fall away were deceived by the devil and now seek to tear it down.  This places us in a precarious situation.. If we try to share our enlightenment with our family and friends, it only reinforces to them that the church was right about us: that we are trying to tear down their faith in our bitterness and rage.  If we share what we have discovered, we will be viewed exactly as the church has predicted.  No doubt, they have recognized this from the very beginning and have used this so-called "persecution" as a fear tactic to keep the rest of their sheep from going astray.  It's really quite the most ingenious system.

Not only have those who have left the church been deceived by the lies of the devil, they are now devoid of the spirit, which means they are in a perpetual state of confusion.  They are unhappy souls who feel so guilty for all their sins that they deny god in order to escape this horrible burden of guilt that is tearing away at their souls!

Yes indeed, the LDS church paints a pretty horrible picture of those who leave.  This is yet another tactic to keep their members strong and obedient (and to keep them from hearing the truth).  I've often wondered what they are so afraid of... If it's true that we have been deceived by the devil, then their truth should prevail over our lies.  However, their best tactic is to stick their fingers in their ears and walk away saying "I know it's true! I know it's true!"  Mormons are not interested in truth.

So what can we do?  We can go back to that old adage of "actions speak louder than words".  We can show them, not tell them.

We can be the exact opposite of what they think we are.  We can show them that our lives are not shrouded in darkness and confusion.  We can show them that we are happy and that we respect their beliefs.  Unfortunately, even this will not convince most that the church is lying to them.  You see, as we appear to be happy, it is really a delusion created by the devil inside us so that we think we are happy.  But maybe, just maybe, one or two people might see past the lie and realize that we are still good people.  We are productive members of society who obey the law, are honest in our dealings, and have morals.  They just might see that we are capable of functioning without the influence of the church in our lives and that will hopefully start a thought process inside their head.

We can set the example for reason by not being ashamed of our new found lack of belief.  That doesn't mean we go tooting our horns.  It means we respect their beliefs but do not let them manipulate us.  If they ask why we don't go to church (and many will ask), we simply be honest.  We do not press the issue, but we answer truthfully if they ask.  We know they will view us as having been deceived, and another tactic of the church is to instill in us the fear of what other people think.  We must learn to get past this fear.  We DO NOT have to feel guilty or ashamed because we no longer believe in their superstitions.  They may look down on us, but that is only further conviction that we made the right choice, as true followers of Jesus do not judge "sinners".

For those who wish to take a more aggressive method, we can approach family and friends with "concerns".  Tell them you heard something and it has been bothering you.  Then share whatever this item is and ask for their opinion about it.  Again, this will probably only plant a small seed in a very select few people, but one small seed is all it takes.  Your concern might make them think.  It might make them turn to the internet to find the answer.  This might help expose them to the truth.  The beauty of this idea is that while they are trying to help you overcome your concern, they are actively exposing themselves to new ideas.

I read an account of an ex-Mormon who had no problem letting people know he was out of the church.  He was able to bring several people out as well by simply sharing a concern and then sincerely stating that he would come back to church if they could prove him wrong.  Many people would set out to do just that and would end up having to admit that they couldn't.

But the best way to get people out is just to let them find the truth for themselves.  No one got you out.  No one got me out.  Those who are ready to find the truth will find it on their own.  We can simply be there for them when it happens.

We must remember that, while we view the church as complete nonsense, it still means the world to our loved ones.  They are not yet ready to be unplugged.  Many never will.  But if they live and die in the church and were happy there, then really, what does it matter?

The wise Dalai Lama once said, "People take different paths seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they are not on your path does not mean they are lost."

We want religious people to respect this of us, so we must also respect it of them.

Some people might ask me, "So, Mormon411, why do you blog against the church if that is really your stance?"

Because I am seeking those people who are ready to find the truth.  To LDS members who are truly happy in the church, I wouldn't get you out even if I could.  However, there are many who are on the LDS path because they were born into it and were never given the chance to discover their own journey.  Those are the people I am trying to reach.  I'm trying to be there for someone who feels the way I did...



Mark Hill said...

As always, great post with amazing advice. I like how almost every religion has great leaders who speak out for acceptance of others, and yet mormons are so intolerant of "sinners". Jesus forgave the adulterous woman without shaming and guilt tripping her. I'm fine with my name being used. There's tons of Mark's in my area who are real estate agents and lawyers with billboards everywhere. There's even another mormon mark in my ward a grade older than me.

Brad said...

Thank you for posting. I've enjoyed them and they've have helped me handle my own situation.

Mormon411 said...

It truly is sad how many supposed followers of Jesus are so clueless about what his message really was. It's sad that atheists and apostates understand and follow Jesus' teachings better than most of his devout followers.

Brad, you're welcome. It's always nice to hear that my words have been useful to someone.

senigami said...

Just as honest Mormon's suffer from negative publicity from spin-off polygamist groups the good Atheists also suffer from the negativity of radical atheist groups who post intolerant anti-christian billboard signs and other provocative slogans. We get unfairly lumped into the same group of 'evil' who represent the 'anti-christ'. Of course these are the same people who would openly agree that all christian religions are not the same either but can't extend the courtesy to the 'wicked'.
When I was a child my mother would often cautious us against the 'silk-tongue' of the devil and that even though the unbelievers seem nice and friendly it is really the devil's tool to worm his way in to corrupt you. After all the road to hell is paved with good intentions is it not?
It boggles my mind that this thinking comes from the same people who are supposed to love and attempt to bring to Christ all non believers, while at the same time fearing and despising them. As you can tell me mother is your typical average traditional Mormon.
This topic that Mormon411 has addressed is probably the single most important topic that weighs heavily on the minds of all of us 'enlightened' former believers. He is right, the church has done an amazing job at plugging up the leaky holes in the belief system. I can't help admiring the simplicity of it's effectiveness while at the same time despising and cursing it as well.

Mormon411 said...


You really should blog. You have a great way of expressing yourself.

I have always maintainted that every group has it's good and bad apples and that you can't judge the credibility of the entire group from these.

Yes, I heard the same talk.. Those who are not in the church and appear to be happy, they are under Satan's influence so they think they are happy. The
"goodness" they pretend to portray is simply a tool by Satan to deceive you into thinking that good is evil and evil is good.

Yes, that too is ironic. Mormons are generally not allowed to interact with non-Mormons unless they are trying to convert them. But until they are safely converted, they are the enemy.

Every tactic that is used against the church, the church uses to back up it's claims that evil is trying to destory them. It is an amazingly effective tactic. Most people born into the church will die in it, having lived their entire lives believing that they are the elite and the special.

When you "know" you're right, that makes everyone else wrong by default. And that feels good! Oh, what an amazing system it is! I share your sentiment: it is both worthy of great respect and utter abhorance!

senigami said...

I've been giving thought to your suggestion that I start up a blog and I realized that I do have a lot of suppressed sentiments that I would love to give voice to. You have inspired me. I will begin setting up a blog and will let you know.

This train of thought in this post reminds me of a joke.

A man died and was spirited to Heaven, where he met St. Peter at the gate. "Welcome to Heaven. I'll be showing you around." They walked a short way and came upon a group of people singing, shouting and raising their arms in the air..."This is where the pentacostal followers worship." They walked a little further and saw some people taking holy communion "Over here are the Catholics". They walked by several more groups of followers openly worshiping in their own ways. Then Peter said "shhh, be very quiet now" as they walked past a long, tall brick wall. On the other side they could hear shouting and singing - what sounded like a big party going on. The man asked who was behind the wall. Peter said "Oh, those are the Mormons...they think they're the only ones here!"


Mormon411 said...

That's great! When you have the address, please send it to me and I'll link to you.

Yes, I've heard that one!

senigami said...

well Mormon411 I finally took your advice and have set up my blog. Not a lot of posts as yet since I only finished getting it set up today but the site is at: