Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I want to talk about freedom.  I'm not even sure what I want to say really.  I just remember being taught that to obey the commandments was not a restriction - as it seems at first glance - but rather it is freedom.

It does seem like a restriction to the young boy or girl who wants to explore forbidden things.

But on second thought, it does make some sense.  Abstaining from sex and alcohol definitely does have it's pluses.

As an ex-Mormon, I never cease to feel the overwhelming sense of relief that comes from having the oppressive church off my shoulders.  But, ironically, I continue to live a moral life that is not unlike the teachings of the church.

I partake of the occasional alcoholic drink.  I have a coffee almost every morning.  While I do engage in sexual activity, it is responsible and careful.

Yes, in many ways, living the Mormon gospel is somewhat freedom.  It may seem restricting but the avoiding of these things very well could prevent real disaster in the future.

However, engaging in these activities is also not wrong if done carefully and responsibly.

I would argue that it is not the action itself which is dangerous.  Nor is it the possible negative outcomes.  We all need to live and learn.  Sometimes the only way is the hard way.

I would argue that the dangerousness of it all is the horrible guilt and shame that the church heaps freely upon those who slip.  It is the being made to feel unclean, unworthy, and unrighteous.  Putting a child through this guilt is ABUSE!  It takes a long time, if ever, to undo all the self-loathing and feelings of failure and despair.

If you are a Mormon parent reading these word right now, I would encourage you to look past your need to defend your beliefs and take a good, hard look at what you are doing to your children. 

You are teaching them to hate themselves simply for having normal feelings and desires.  Guide your children in their young decisions.  Correct them if necessary.  But DO NOT EVER make them feel like less of a person.  It does damage that could easily affect them for the rest of their lives.

The Mormon gospel is supposed to be the only source of true joy and happiness.  Yet, I look at Mormon people, and I do not see happiness.  I see a bunch of people with self-esteems shot to hell.  Each of them is running around desperately trying to appear worthy and righteous.  To keep up appearances.  This is not healthy and it certainly is not freedom.


Heather said...

I remember hearing that too while growing up, that obeying the commandments will make you free. And I agree that things in moderation, like alcohol, can keep you free of addiction- BUT the church goes about "freedom" totally wrong.

It's taken me so long to rid myself of guilt and my self esteem is finally developing. I finally feel free with my body and have chosen to get tattoos and a nose ring, and maybe its a way to say screw it! Its my life and I want to live it.

Setting huge restrictions on every aspect of your life, from what we wear, who we have sex with, and what we eat, etc, is not freedom. Freedom is choice. Freedom is to choose what you want to do- and being responsible for the consequences.

Great post 411.

Mormon411 said...

Well said, Heather.