Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ah, Brotherly Love of the Conditional Variety

I recently had an email exchange with a TBM sibling. Allow me to share some of the highlights:

"I've got news for you...LIVING THE GOSPEL MAKES YOU HAPPY... Look back on your life. When were you the most happy?"

Certainly not in church. I was most happy when I had a hot and sexy girlfriend who let me play with her tits like there was no tomorrow.

"Pornography will destroy a marriage. Satan will make you believe that there is nothing wrong with it and that it is your freedom of expression. That is exactly how he wriggles his way in. If you want REAL happiness...LASTING happiness, get rid of the pornography."

Wow, I am being accused of being ravingly addicted to porn. After a few email exchanges, I get this:

"At least be honest with one thing. Are you involved in pornography?"

First of all, they are implying that all my responses are nothing but lies. Secondly, why do they accuse me of being addicted to porn and then later ask me if I am even involved with it?

In an email sent concurrently to my TBM wife:

"Doesn't he see that he has nothing now and no happiness? Nothing in his life is good..."

"He is so involved in pornography that he is blinded and cannot see the beautiful things that are right in front of his face..."

Interesting... I can see more clearly now than I ever have before. All this is coming from a sibling that had a MAJOR rebellion as a teenager and was heavily involved with sex, drugs, alcohol, and parties.


"I sob as I write this..."

"I am so saddened..."

So if the gospel makes you happy, why are you sad?

"Please give the "good side" another chance. I can promise you that it is worth it."

There is nothing about Mormonism that I want to "try again". Why would I want to go back to all the pressure, expectations, and endless guilt?

"You are probably steaming in your boots right now wondering how I could be so bold to say these things to you..."

I understand that you're just doing your "duty" as a TBM to stand boldly for the "truth". Mormons have no concept of personal boundaries when it comes to defending the faith. Interestingly enough, I am not the one who initiated this exchange.

This sibling goes on to describe how their marital relationship was miserable (just like mine is) until dear spouse finally joined the church:

"It is like I am married to the [person] of my dreams! We barely ever fight anymore, we tell each other we love each other and really mean it, we are playful with each other. We actually enjoy each other's company. I didn't know marriage could be like this. We are happy."

I am thrilled that you're happy. I truly am. However, LDS, Inc. is not the source of your happiness. If it was, then every non-LDS marriage would end in disaster. Maybe you get along now because you are no longer condescending to dear spouse anymore. You certainly haven't had a condescending tone for me:

"I guess my feeble attempt to get through to you was really about your marriage."

Condescending with a touch of humility. I like that. Referring to the church:

"Take the word "truth" out of it and it is still a good way to live. If all members of the family try to live the gospel, there will be so much more peace and happiness in the home."

You mean have a set of morals without religion? That's exactly what I do.

Next it is implied that I'm a big asshole who bans my wife from the computer simply for talking with dear sibling:

"...she got in big, big trouble for talking to me and she is banned from the computer for life."

In the email to my wife:

"I know that you are alone in most of the important things of this life."

Yep, I left the church and suddenly shunned my entire family. It's amazing that when you're not Mormon, what a failure you are in your family life:

"[Your children] just need a good example for a father... To be a good example of how a husband should treat his wife."

Yep, since I left the church I treat my family horribly. Referring to their pre-Mormon spouse, dear sibling had this to say:

"I wanted to leave so many times but I was always told by the Spirit to "be patient and steadfast". I cried myself to sleep almost every night."

Wow, the spirit spoke to you and you still cried? That doesn't make any sense. Isn't the spirit supposed to be comforting? I am supposed to be the one who is miserable and yet this sibling describes many different times how sad and miserable they are/were.

"The difference between [my spouse] and you is that [my spouse] ...was willing to put the marriage and our family first because we were worth saving..."

I guess my family isn't worth saving. I am such an asshole.

Has anyone else ever received a letter of this nature from a family member?

Healing, Life Until Death, and Raises

I haven't had much time lately to blog about the church. School and work are keeping me plenty busy.

I recently had an email conversation with a TBM who stated that she could never deny the church because of all the miraculous healings she and her children have experienced.


If her logic is correct, then every religion in the world is true. If your ability to heal and recover is an indication that you belong to the true church, then everyone who heals must belong to the true church. Since Mormons, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, and even Satan worshippers all heal, then they all must be true.

Why does god bother to heal her AFTER her surgery, but doesn't seem to notice that she needed a surgery in the first place? If his priesthood is so powerful (and he is obviously willing to heal you because he did) then why did he wait until after your surgery? Why can't he just make the problem go away so that you won't have to go bankrupt trying to pay off your hospital bills? God always seems to step in after the doctor has done his job and take credit for all the healing. My point is, if he could help you recover so well from a surgery, why didn't he just fix the problem in the first place so that you wouldn't need surgery?

If the priesthood is so amazing in its power to heal, then why are there so many sick Mormons? Why do they get sick, recover, or die at the same rate as every other group of people? Why can't the priesthood heal genetic diseases? Why is there a hospital in SLC named "LDS Hospital"?

I had a surgery once and I recovered just fine without a blessing. I was even pain-free after the surgery with no pain killers. That must be proof that atheism is true!

Isn't that amazing!? Either my body can heal itself just fine OR god heals everyone equally, including atheists. Since everyone gets equal treatment from god, then how can that be evidence that your church is true?

Ok, so you had a miraculous recovery. The only way that would impress me would be if it ONLY happened to Mormons. But since people around the world of different religions all experience this, then it simply means that Mormons are not special.

So basing your testimony on such a fragile foundation is not only stupid, but also dangerous.

While we're on the topic of 'faulty logic' why don't we discuss another aspect that really gets me. Mormons believe that they live until their "job" on earth is done.

For example: Hugh Nibley believed that since he was still alive, his mission to defend the church was not finished.

For as smart of a man as they say Hugh Nibley was, that sounds like the belief of a raging idiot! Hitler survived several assination attempts. I guess god must have wanted him to stay alive until he had conquered the whole world! God must be a Nazi! But somehow Hitler lost the war. So was it god intervening or was it just a natural course of events just playing out?

My point is that god doesn't keep anyone alive. What if I had a time machine and went back in time to kill Hugh Nibley when he was just a kid? Could I blast him full of holes with a machine gun but he would just walk away unharmed because god knew that someday he would grow up to be a professional excuse maker for the church?

If you are going to use logic, then use logic. Don't take a stroke of good luck as a sign that your church is true. If you look around, you will see that good and bad things happen to everyone, regardless of their religion. Good luck, to a Mormon, means the church is true. Bad luck, to a Mormon, means they are being tested. Either way, the church is true. That is some extremely faulty logic.

The same is true of tithing. You can always open the Ensign and read a story about someone who paid their tithing and then got a raise at work or something like that. That would impress me IF it only happened to Mormons who paid their tithing. But since people around the world get raises all the time, then it simply shows that paying tithing, by itself, is not the reason a person got a raise.

Mormons think they are so special. They are favored by god with healings, life until they die, and raises. And they are so caught up in their arrogance, they fail to see that everyone in the world gets exactly the same thing. No one is favored.

So get off your temple-shaped soap boxes.

What Would You Do?

Here is a hypothetical scenario. Say that you find a genie in a bottle, but instead of a wish, you get to ask one yes-or-no question. No matter what you ask, the genie will give you the correct answer.

So, in order to end the debate of debates, you ask, "Is the LDS church true?"

To your great horror, the genie answers, "No."

What would you do?

To all the LDS people out there, I would genuinely like to know what you would do if this was ever the case. I know it's a hypothetical situation, but answer the question as if it actually happened.

Very much looking forward to what everyone has to say...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Follow the Prophet, ex-Mormon Version

The following lyrics should be sung to the music of Follow the Prophet:

Joseph was a prophet, horny as can be.
Emma didn’t buy his polygamy.
Joseph searched for treasure with his magic stones.
Better hide your daughters, or he’ll jump their bones.

Brigham was a prophet, racist as can be.
If blacks and whites should mingle, death’s the penalty.
“Adam is our god, with whom we have to do.”
That was a false doctrine, so what does that tell you?

Gordon was a prophet, always on the news.
Everyone who heard him, was so confused.
“I don’t think we teach that,” was what he liked to say.
He couldn’t call disaster, before it came our way.

Monson is a prophet, with his charming voice.
When the members hear him, they all rejoice!
When he’s in the spot light, he is a great guy.
But when he is alone, we all wish we could die!

You always must remember, that the church is true!
Jesus loves your money, more than he loves you.
Listen to the prophets. Do just what they say…
Follow with exactness, and don’t forget to pay!

© Mormon411, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Was Joseph Smith Involved In Magic?

I just read this article posted on MormonCurtain and found it to be very interesting and worthy of re-posting here. Was Joseph Smith involved in magic? Read on and decide for yourself.

Conjuration of Moroni?
Posted by: confused

Professor Quinn feels that Joseph Smith may have been involved in "spirit conjurations" when he received the visitation concerning the gold plates which he used to translate the Book of Mormon:

Smith began praying late Sunday night on 21 September 1823. According to astrological guides, Sunday night was the only night of the week ruled by Jupiter... Jupiter, Smith's ruling planet, was the most prominent astrological symbol on the Smith family's golden lamen for summoning a good spirit....

Oliver Cowdery wrote that Smith began praying earnestly that Sunday night about "eleven or twelve" in order "to commune with some kind of messenger" (1835, 1:79). Scot's frequently cited 1665 instructions for conjuration (the edition upon which the Smith family's "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" parchment was based) specified that spirit conjurations should begin "at 11 a clock at night," and in describing a particular conjuration "at 11 a clock at night; not joyning to himself any companion, because this particular action will admit of none... providing beforehand the two Seals of the Earth, drawn exactly upon parchment... but if he desires it, they will engage to bring him the most pretious [sic] of their Jewels and Riches in twenty four hours; discovering unto him the way of finding hidden treasures and the richest mines"... The Smith's "Holiness to the Lord" parchment has those two seals...

Smith's prayer "to commune with some kind of messenger" on 21 September 1823 occurred once the moon had reached its maximum fullness the previous day and just before the autumnal equinox. The 1665 edition of Scot's works... specified, "And in the composition of any Circle for Magical feats, the fittest time is the brightest Moon-light"... the hour and day in which Smith prayed "to commune with some kind of messenger" was pinpointed in magic books as being ideal for the invocation of spirits. Also, the angel of that hour, Raphael, figured prominently at the center of the Smith family's most significant lamen... which was constructed to aid in a treasure quest... Young Joseph walked alone to that hill on 22 September 1823, when the moon was in its second day in Aries, which astrology specified was a day "good to find treasures hid"...

Significantly, Oliver Cowdery's account, the first published history of early Mormonism, sketched a folk magic context for the events of 22 September 1823 on the hill: "he had heard of the power of enchantment, and a thousand like stories, which held the hidden treasures of the earth"... Cowdery's report that Smith was prevented from obtaining the gold treasure by a thrice-repeated "shock [that] was produced upon his system" echoed treasure folklore of the 1820s that treasure-seekers could be "instant[an]eously struck, without attaining their object, as with an electric shock"...

All official and unofficial,... sources agree that Smith was not able to obtain the gold plates on 22 September 1823. Instead, he returned to the hill on exactly the same day each year until 1827. None of these accounts explains why the visits had to occur each year on exactly the same day. Magic provides a possible explanation: "Should nothing result [from the attempt at necromancy], the same experiment must be renewed in the following year, and if necessary a third time, when it is certain that the desired apparition will be obtained, and the longer it has been delayed the more realistic and striking it will be"...

(Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pages 120-122, 125, 133-134) [2nd Ed. pages 143-145, 147-148, 158]

Thursday, September 3, 2009

...He Knows the Way

Follow the prophet.
Follow the prophet.
Follow the prophet.
Don't go astray.

Follow the prophet.
Follow the prophet.
Follow the prophet.
He knows the way!

To the LDS, the prophet might as well be god. Whatever he says is gods will. They line up by the thousands at General Conference to have the pleasure of being in his mighty presence. They come from near and far to hear his voice and council. They watch on their television or listen on their radio. They marvel at his magnificence. They awe at his aura. This is the man who speaks with god face to face and reveals his will to mankind; the mouthpiece for god.

It's all so perfect that there is only one flaw...

He never says anything new.

As a TBM I used to buy into the whole "mouthpiece" thing, but deep inside I used to wonder why it was always the same old crap: obedience, missionary work, & tithing.

I used to wonder, "What is the reason for a 'living prophet' if there is never any new revelation?" I wasn't trying to find fault with the lords anointed (a covenant that you swear in the temple to never do). I seriously wondered.

Sure, occasionally they give good advice like get out of debt, or spend more time with your family. But that's not prophetic. Any old geezer in a suit could say those things. Twice a year, I used to listen to conference in the hopes that the "meat" would finally arrive.

How about a prophesy of a major event, like a natural disaster? Or how about reveal where missing children are? Or murderers?

Okay, even if they didn't do that, how about some real guidance in matters of life? How about revealing the next stock boom? How about tricks to use the priesthood to pay off your mortgage faster?

Sure there's "food storage". But again, what idiot couldn't tell anyone to do that? How about give a date of when this food will be needed? How about reveal the safe places to be when this event occurs? How about the winning score of the next Super Bowl?

He knows the way, right? So what is it?

But all you ever get is pray more, pay more, obey more. The only path he is leading me on is the path to bankruptcy and intellectual dishonesty. The path that benefits the church but damages the home.

No, there is absolutely nothing prophetic in his advice. Nothing. Any old fart in a suit could stand at the pulpit and tell everyone that they need to be more faithful, more payful, more obedient, more whatever. A clown could do that. In fact, clowns are doing it!

Now, when I view General Conference (which I avoid as much as possible) I don't see prophets and apostles. I see clowns dressed in expensive business suits. I see actors and con-men. I see deliberate deception. I see them being everything except what they claim to be: men of god.

In fact, I see evil men. I see men who would let a family starve just for another $10. They promote the destruction of families just because one of them doesn't believe or won't take out that second pair of earrings. They hide and supress anything that makes them look bad. They are truly the wolves in sheeps clothing, grinding upon the faces of the poor.

He knows the way...

...MY ASS!

Here is a link to that horrible song, Follow the Prophet. It's a catchy tune, but that's the whole idea...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Opportunity

Utah is heavily influenced with MLM, business opportunities, get rich quick, schemes. Some of them are good. In fact, I've been involved with one for years and years and have been semi-successful with it. They thrive in Utah culture because they are so similar to the church: recruiting. Mormons are natural born recruiters.

A few years ago I joined an opportunity that I really thought had potential. It was so similar to Mormonism that I noticed it, even as a TBM.

As an investigator of this opportunity, I felt rushed into joining. The upline was manipulating.

As a new member, I was told that the opportunity was a "plan B" business. You kept your job and built your business in your spare time. Only when your new income surpassed your job income, did you quit. However, once I joined, I soon discovered that the leadership expected us to go to every meeting, every convention. We were to jump into the opportunity with both feet. Whatever happened to "plan B"?

As a new member, naturally the leadership helps you learn the business and goes on appointments with you. However, those who joined and did not immediately jump in with both feet were told by the leadership that they wouldn't help them. I especially remember hearing this regarding the large convention in Anaheim, CA.

Anyone who didn't attend convention were shunned by the leadership. So, I spent money that I didn't have and attended the convention, sick. It was an 8 or 9 hour drive from SLC to Anaheim and I was stuck in the back seat of an extended cab pickup truck, both ways.

Leadership promised that the convention would change our lives. All it did was give me a numb rear end. I failed to see what all the hype was about.

One other thing that bothered me was how much the leadership or upline was praised by everyone. The guy who introduced the opportunity to Utah was a young, returned missionary and he was cocky as hell. While I was stuffed in the back of a truck, he drove an Escalade. I was appalled at his vanity.

Hopefully you can see the parallels between this opportunity and the LDS church. It wasn't long before I just quit going to meetings. They wanted me early every Saturday morning to attend a meeting (which was nothing but hype) and was exactly the same every time.

It was eating away at my life. The final straw was when I received the annual renewal form. I was supposed to pay every year just to keep my membership active. That was it. I let it expire and haven't regretted it for a minute.

The LDS church is no different. They want your time, talents, and money. They don't tell you the whole picture until you're already committed. Then they suck everything you've got.