Friday, November 9, 2007

A Little About Me

I suppose I should tell you a little about myself. I've had a few commenters now and I enjoy replying to you. Many of you tell me it's apparant that I "have an axe to grind" and that I am "hateful". I thought that if I share a little about myself, hopefully some of you will understand me a little better.

First of all, growing up in the Mormon church I was basically trained to not ask questions, not voice my opinion, and just do what I'm told. As a result, I am somewhat of a people pleaser, afraid of what other people think of me. Of course, I know now that MY opinion of me is the only opinion that really matters and I have been working to overcome that weakness. I've progressed by leaps and bounds since I began my journey.

I have always been a good writer and I have found that I express myself much better through written words rather than spoken words. So I blog and I let my opinions freely flow. I guess the appearance of my axe to grind comes from the fact that my entire life I have always held it in. I have never voiced my opinion and I have never told others how I feel. In the Mormon culture, you just shut up and obey. So I guess that basically I have discovered my "freedom of speech" so to speak, and am just experimenting with it.

There are many who might say that I feel the way I do about the church because I was a weak member and didn't really follow the "commandments". That couldn't be further from the truth. People who had doctrinal questions often asked me. I was, and still am, very knowledgable about the scriptures and the Mormon gospel. I went on a mission for it, I defended it. There was a time when I would have wagered my life that it was true.

On the other hand, I always felt that life as a Mormon was extremely demanding. I used to wish that I had not been born Mormon so that I could "have my fun" and then discover the "truth" later and join. I always believed and obeyed but in the back of my mind, I was resentful that I was born into such a dictatorship. In the "gospel" you really don't have free agency. You obey or you fry. What choice is there really?

The exact reason why I'm right here today is complex. My mission was a HUGE eye opener. It was really the beginning of the end for me. There was clearly no inspiration and even then, I knew that. It was full of politics and manipulation. The mission rules were not inspired of god, because everyone who followed them to the letter was a pure asshole. Follow the little white hand book was more important than following the spirit. On my mission, I saw, for the first time, that the church was definitely flawed. I had strong feelings about things, but I still believed it was true. I finished my whole two years and then got married in the temple.

To be quite honest, I dreaded my mission my whole life. Even though I believed in the church, I didn't want to go. But I knew what the "right thing to do" was so I went anyway. Perhaps if not for my mission, I would still be a TBM to this very day. It's hard to say for sure because there are other factors as well.

One of those factors was that after I returned home and kept attending church, I began to realize how unrealistic everything the church teaches sounded. I began to question the idea that Christ walked on water. Or that he brought people back from the dead. Surely, if he was such a great and powerful man, history would have remembered him a little better.

Then the idea that only Mormons have the true priesthood began to bother me. I began to look around and wonder why I never saw anything miraculous. I was a believer who never asked for signs and still I never saw any signs. I eventually realized that Mormons have no more special powers than anyone else.

Then came the hardest period of my marriage where we did not get along well at all. But every Sunday we would go to church and put on our "happy faces" and pretend that life in the Mormon church was fantastic and wonderful. After doing that for not too long, I got sick of lying and pretending. My life wasn't fantastic and I was miserable.

To top it all off, we would endure Sunday after Sunday of tithing and hometeaching. I went to Elders Quorum and sat there listening to guilt trips week after week. That is all they talked about and I was getting extremely fed up with it. Sunday school started sounding more and more like a trip to fantasy land.

Then I was assigned a calling where I was required to come to church early for PEC meeting and then stay after to run errands for the bishop. I was also required to come to several meetings during the week. I sat through those awful, boring meetings where absolutely nothing got accomplished except a huge waste of time. We talked about the same things again and again, week after week, and it only took a month of that before I was completely sick of it. It was a huge waste of time and nothing was getting accomplished.

It is ironic because all of these things were happening at exactly the same time! It must have been fate. So I stopped going to church, cold turkey, and haven't been back in that building for almost three years now. And shit, I don't miss it for one second. I have had to sit through 3 or 4 sacrament meetings due to a baby blessing or a missionary homecoming and I can honestly say that one sacrament meeting a year is about all I can handle. I don't know how I ever did it before without blowing my top! Before my mission, I was even attending two wards FULL TIME! Six hours of church, completely voluntarially.

So that's why I get pissed off when TBM's accuse me and apostates in general of never having a testimony. I had one and I never questioned or doubted. Even when I quit going to church, I still semi believed it was true.

Right around that same time, the Tsunami hit and Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans. I thought it was ironic that all the Mormons were sitting there saying things like, "It's about time god destroyed that wicked city." But I was asking, shouldn't a true prophet have given them a chance to repent first? Why didn't Gordo warn the world of so many terrible natural disasters? Prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon did. But Hinckley goes on national television and denys doctrine and constantly says, "I don't know". Then he comes up with the mind blowing ear-ring commandment. At that point, my faith in the man was practically gone. A true prophet of god and all he can say is, "Girls, only one pair of ear-rings." Give me a fucking break! The world is at war and there are natural disasters happening all over the place and all the guy can do is "reveal" gods wishes on ear-rings. What a fraud! What a worthless piece of shit and what pathetic advice! Girls, your eternal salvation depends upon the number of holes in your ears. Truly pathetic. At that point I was 99% convinced that the guy was a fraud and about 50% convinced that the church was not true.

I did hours and hours of reading and studying real church history. Some of the things I discovered left me feeling sick to my stomach. I discovered many horrible things in Mormon history and my testimony was fading quickly. It was barely hanging by a tread when I discovered the Book of Abraham issue as I discussed a few posts back. Needless to say, the thread was broken and my Mormon world came crashing down around me. Mormon "prophets" have been lying for the last 187 years, starting with Joe Smith and ending with Gordo. The entire church is a fraud, a lie, a hoax. Not one word of it is true.

So naturally, when one disovers that the first 30 years of their life was based upon lies and fraud, it tends to upset them. So if I come across as angry, it is because I am. Those lying fuckers stole my youth. I wasted precious years trying to please god and follow every Mormon commandment. I wasted my youth for the sake of obeying all the "commandments". It then turns out I was born into a cult which demands un-questioning obedience from its members. So I fight and I blog against them because they do nothing but take money and steal lives. I blog in the hopes that I can help that person who felt the way I did, a believer who still believes and yet has those subtle doubts and questions.

So excuse me for putting my feelings down into words. Excuse me for wanting to help a doubter. Excuse me for saying "fuck". It's my right, and if "god" wants me to stop, then I will, just as soon as he tells me personally. Until then, I'll just keep on saying whatever the hell I want.

Free yourself from the Mormon lies and discover a whole new world!

Just another evil apostate...


Julie said...

I have not read nearly all of your posts, so you may already addressed this. But I'm just have such hatred towards the Mormon faith, have you looked into other denominations? Which, I would think you would have - and if so, which ones/what did you feel about them?

Just another evil apostate... said...

Hi Julie, welcome back.

It amazes me every time you "guys" accuse me of being full of hatred. Yes, it's very clear that you haven't read all my posts, and even if you have, you surely have not understood them. I dislike the church, granted, but don't you think hate is a little much?

Go and read my "Changing Mormon Stories" posts. If presenting evidence and facts against the church is your definition of hate, then yes, I am full of hate.

I have taken a few quick looks at other faiths. Did you mean for the intent of joining one? or just for information? With the realization that the LDS church is not true, I had to apply the same critique to Christianity in general, and sadly, Christianity does not hold up either. Therefore, the need to explore other Christian faiths is rather pointless. If I ever do join another faith or religion, it will most likely be Buddhism.

Just another evil apostate... said...

Now that I'm sitting here thinking about it, I have to ask you if you've really read anything? Didn't you read my story about WHY I left the church? Didn't you read my very clear explanation as to why I strongly feel Gordon B. Hinckley is a false prophet? All you do is accuse me of being full of hatred, but have you even sat down and considered the possibility that I might be telling the truth? Do you read everything I say and shrug it off as a lie? If I'm lying, then call me a liar and not "full of hatred." If I am lying, then dispute me. Every single one of you has told me I'm full of hate, but not one of you has even tried to refute anything. If I am wrong about Gordo and the amazing earring commandment, then show me! I am open and willing to accept criticism, if you can back it up with evidence.

I'm not meaning to snap at you, but seriously, read what I have written and think about it. You don't have to agree, but if you're going to take the time to leave a comment, then I also expect you to take the time to at least think about the issues I raise. Calling me "full of hatred" is never going to help me feel the spirit and want to come back to church.

In fact, the only reason you TBM's keep telling me I'm full of hatred is because that is what your infallable church leaders have taught you, right? From my point of view, you are anti-truth and so it would be very easy to accuse you of being full of hate. The only difference is that I use my brain and I realize that you are NOT full of hate; you are just here expressing your opinions as am I. So does that make me a hater?

The next time a TBM comes in here and accuses me of being "full of hatred", I will delete their comment and not even waste my time to type up the same reply that I keep saying every time. If you can show me where I have promoted hatred, then I stand corrected, but if you can't then quit accusing me of it!

Just another evil apostate... said...

"Many of you tell me it's apparant that I "have an axe to grind" and that I am "hateful". I thought that if I share a little about myself, hopefully some of you will understand me a little better."

This was in the very first paragraph of the post that you replied to. Seriously, did you read it with one eye closed? Even when I try to put across a very simple message, you TBM's JUST DON'T GET IT! I make a very simple statement about my wishes to increase mutual understanding and it's like it was written in Reformed Egyptian, because none of you have a damn clue. I mean, I make a statement about hoping to reduce "hate" and you reply telling me I'm "full of hatred."

Unless you can leave a more intelligent comment next time, I am going to stop wasting my time replying to you. Seriously, get over the hated, you TBMs! All of you are obsessed with it! And then you tell ME, that I have issues. Sheesh!

Just another evil apostate... said...

Well, it looks like I chased Julie away. Too bad, I was hoping she would actually dispute me.

Julie said...

Sorry, I'm a photographer so this is the busiest time of year for me. I've been working crazy hours all week.
I'm sorry you took my comment of you having hatred towards the Mormon faith and morphed it into saying that YOU are full of hatred in general. Not how I meant you to perceive that. (Not how I worded that.) And I have said in comments past that I realize this is your blog with your opinions, which you are entitled to.
Being that I have no knowledge whatsoever about the Mormon religion, when you talk about Gordon B. Hinckley as a false prophet, that does not honestly mean anything to me, not in a derogatory manner, but just that I have no idea who the man is in the first place. I am not a Mormon trying to prove to you that Mormonism is the right way. In fact, I agree with everything you say claiming that Joseph Smith is a fraud. From what little I know about him, (which I'm sure I have the facts all wrong), but he found tablets claiming the truth and then threw them away?
I am a Christian. I was raised Pentecostal to be precise, and believe in the gifts of the Spirit. I know that has nothing to do with what you speak about, but just from how your comments are worded, it seems that you are trying to debate with me on how the Mormon's believe, which is not what I'm trying to do at all.

Just another evil apostate... said...

Hi Julie,

Looks like we got off on the wrong foot. I'm just tired of being accused of being a hater. If I had said something like, "I am planning to blow up Temple Square," then I could understand why people would consider me a hater. I disbelieve in and have strong feelings about the LDS church, but hate is not one of them.

Gordon B. Hinckley is the current "prophet" of the LDS church. LDS people believe that their leaders literally walk and talk with god, although they will never admit that they do or don't. Since these holy men are the literal mouthpiece for god, the LDS believe that you must obey them at all costs.

"he found tablets claiming the truth and then threw them away?"

Not quite. He claimed to have found the golden plates and after "translating" them into the Book of Mormon, an angel came and took them into heaven. A pretty convenient excuse for no actual gold plates.

"it seems that you are trying to debate with me on how the Mormon's believe, which is not what I'm trying to do at all."

If you're not Mormon, you sure made it sound like you were in several of your last comments. What are you trying to do, exactly?

Julie said...

I guess I'm not trying to "do" anything, but when I read some of your comments on your blog about Jesus & God and disagree with them, I just like to ask the questions that come to mind when I read them. The things you write about Mormonism are really over my head, as I said, since I have no ties with that church whatsoever, but when you direct your dislike towards God personally, and mock Him with comments like, "You hypocritical bastard! You're going to damn me to hell when you've killed people and impregnated a woman outside of marriage?", those are the kind of remarks that my comments are directed towards.
My impression from your blog is that your dislike with God all boils down to your frustration with the Mormon church - the rules and regulations that man has put on the believers of the Mormon faith, which is why my first comment on this post was whether or not you had looked into other denominations that do not require nonsense rules in order for you to be able to love the Lord, like stating that girls cannot have more than one ear piercing. Obviously Christ takes you as you are - I'm pretty sure He's not going to count my piercings on Judgment Day.
I know you've already addressed that question about looking into other faiths, but being raised a Christian my whole life, without specific regulations over my head causing me to question man vs. God's authority, I have put my faith in the Lord and I have been so unfairly blessed. It's really sad that your frustration has caused you to give up on the Lord because He has so many blessings to give. Not sad in a pity-party way, but just honestly, I wonder if you seek the Lord even on your own terms, not in a temple/public situation, if your heart would soften at all towards Him alone. I'm sure you don't want that and have moved beyond even caring about that, but I know that God has promised to never forsake us, and of course He desires your heart, so my belief is that if you tried seeking His approval, and not human leaders', that He would change your life like you've never known before. And of course I'm not saying that a person worships the Lord only for blessings, bad things happen just as often to Christians too, of course. But just the daily life of walking with the Lord is such a blessing, knowing that your Creator longs to be with you and guide you. There is such a richness in that alone.

Just another evil apostate... said...

Hi Julie,

"those are the kind of remarks that my comments are directed towards."

OIC, thank you for clarifying. Now when I make a statement like that, naturally the first thing you feel is shock that someone would dare say such a thing, but does it ever occur to you that I may have a point? According to the Bible, god kills people. Don't you have a problem with that? Coz I do.

"My impression from your blog is that your dislike with God all boils down to your frustration with the Mormon church"

That is mostly true. I know that other religions are not nearly as demanding as the LDS church. I do not, however, feel "dislike with God" because that implies that I believe in him. Frustration with belief. Actually, it's just venting coupled with non-belief. I mock a god that I do not believe is even there, so there really is no blasphemy at all.

With my discovery that the LDS church is not true, I also turned a critical eye to the Bible and found that Christianity in general is not true as well. Ever since making this discovery and kicking "god" out of my life, my self esteem has only improved. I am kicking ass in school, pulling nearly straight A's, in some cases at the top of the class.

See, you believe in god and have been "so unfairly blessed." That's great and I am very happy for you; however, I do not believe in god and am still blessed as well. So where do these blessings come from? Can't be from god, because I am a reciepient as well.

Perhaps if I had been raised in a religious circumstance similar to yours, I would not feel the way I do today. But maybe I would. That is impossible to determine.

I do not feel the need to seek the lord on any terms. If he has an important message for me, then I am sure he will make sure I get it. If I receive no communication from god, then I must only assume that either 1) there is no god, or 2) if god is there, he/she/it wants me to figure things out for myself. Believe it or not, I am a humble person, openly awaiting a message from god. But it can't be some preacher, or some sticker on a bumper, or a neighbor who did a nice thing. It has to be from god himself. Otherwise, it's just a coinsidence.

If/when I receive such a message, I will humbly follow it. But until then, no deal. I refuse to believe in god just because someone "says so". Especially a Mormon prophet who laugh's all the way to the bank with my hard earned tithing money. The gospel is free, and if Christianity is true, the sect that is true, will charge nothing for it's members to participate.

I don't see it as sad at all, because as I have explained in posts past, the absence of "god" in my life has not had a negative impact at all. In fact, the opposite. I am advancing toward a successful career and have never been more sure of myself than ever before.

I guess it is because I have put aside all fear of this angry, vengeful god who just can't WAIT to damn me. Realizing that there is no god has seriously been one of the most liberating events of my life. I can now pursue my own path without fear of damnation and judgement; no more looking over my shoulder, seeking the approval of said god. I'm over it and it is wonderful.

I know my views are not very traditional, but just because a tradition exists, does not make it true. Just because society as a whole accepts certain actions and rejects others, does not mean said actions are necessarially "good" or "bad".

Perhaps one of the most liberating discoveries is the concept of "sin". There is no sin; there is no such thing as good or bad. I realized this when I realized that some god on a planet (as the Mormons believe) millions of light years away seriously doesn't care about every little thing I am doing.

The proof of this idea comes from taking a lesson from the animal kingdom. They live in perfect anarchy, and yet in total harmony. One animal may kill or steal anothers dinner, but that is neither good nor bad. It is just life taking it's course. Animal's do not get married or baptized. They don't worry about pleasing god. They even work and survive on the sabbath. If you want to know true religion, look to nature. Nature has every answer you will ever need, if you are willing to look and accept it.

My comment is now long enough to be a post!

I'm sorry about snapping earlier about the hate thing. This type of an intelligent discussion is much, much more stimulating. Please continue whenever you have time.

Long Ben Avery said...

There always seems to be a subtext to telling a believer in any religion that you are an atheist.
Where I live is run by a CofE Housing Charity, fortunately being a believer is not necessary, and there are no "morals" clauses in the lease. I was introduced to the local vicar(He is the head trustee), he asked me which denomination of religion I belonged to, I told him, honestly, that I was an atheist. Good grief, you'd have thought I'd spat in his beer.
It is not the first time I've had this reaction from believers and I doubt it'll be the last!