Saturday, September 29, 2012

LDS Marriages

Non-LDS marriages are fun and joyous occasions. The bride and groom are able to enjoy their engagement anyway they want without all the pressure to “stay worthy”. If they did have sex before marriage, it is not a big deal. Even if people know they “did it”, no one cares and no one judges. They are still allowed to have a happy wedding. It is a happy occasion.

In a Mormon marriage, it’s just the opposite. If the couple has “fooled around” at all (and we know that 99% of them have), they must keep it secret and have to lie to their bishops in order to get a recommend to get married in the temple. After all, if they confess their sins, the bishop will deny them their recommends and since they aren’t getting married in the temple, everyone will know they “did it”. Since sexual sin is very serious in Mormonism, it is kept secret. I suspect that many “unworthy” couples go through the temple anyway, because confessing brings a ton of public shame on them.

In the wedding itself, only worthy family members can attend and there is not a Bride’s Maid or a Best Man. There are no rings exchanged and there are no flowers. There is no special music. There is no giving away the bride and there are no vows. The ceremony takes place with the bride and groom fully dressed in their temple garb; the bride’s gown is not even visible. The ceremony is verbatim and is preformed while the couple kneels across from each other at an altar, holding each other’s hand in one of the secret handshakes they learned earlier in the endowment ceremony. Afterward, there is no “you may kiss the bride” and there is no applause from those in attendance. The couple is hurried out of the sealing room, and the next couple is hurried in.

This cookie cutter ceremony is the pinnacle of Mormon existence. It is your purpose for living, literally. There is a great deal of shame and gossip if someone’s kid is married outside of the temple. For the couple, especially if they have done “anything” before hand, there is a great deal of guilt. If they lied to their bishop to have a temple wedding, they feel guilty. They feel dirty and wicked.

On top of that is the tremendous pressure to marry as soon as possible. So many Mormon youth rush to the temple for their marriage before they are mature enough for marriage (that would be me) or financially ready (that would be me too). The LDS council to marry young and pop out babies before you are financially ready is STUPID ADVICE!

As a side note, members of the LDS church are taught that their leaders have what they call “the gift of discernment”. This means that if you go into an interview, the bishop will know if you are lying to him. They can see into your soul and tell if your “light” is very bright or very dim. Interestingly enough, every time I fibbed to a bishop, he never figured it out. But this is one of the “scare tactics” they use to keep the members in line.

No, a Mormon wedding is not a happy experience*. When I got married in the temple, my fiancĂ© and I fooled around a little before. She used to cry and we would pray together for forgiveness. We decided together that we would not confess our sins. After all, what would the family say if we announced that we were having a “civil” wedding?

*On the surface a Mormon wedding is happy. Everyone is thrilled that another "celestial family" has been created. But under the surface, it is sad, depressing, and lonely.

To a non-member it is difficult to explain just how serious this is. Your existence for the rest of eternity depends upon this one event. If you do not carry it out (or if you carry it out unworthily), you will be alone for eternity. You will be cut off from all your worthy loved ones. You will live in guilt and shame forever!

A Mormon temple wedding is not performed as “until death do you part”, but “for time and all eternity”. A couple married in the temple is only temporarily parted by death. In the hereafter, they will be married for eternity and will progress together to godhood. This is called a “sealing” or being sealed. It is one of Mormonism’s main selling points: Eternal Families. This idea by itself is not a bad one. It’s just that the process to get there is so full of stress and sacrifice.

Every Mormon home has at least one picture of the temple on the wall and the children look at it adoringly, looking forward to the day when they will go inside and learn about its marvelous secrets. The only thing they really know is that they will go inside and make special covenants with god. Before a person goes to the temple, they have no idea what those covenants are. In the ceremony, they are presented and the receiver must commit to live them on the spot.

Even in a blessing of a new infant born into Mormonism, the child is blessed that he or she will someday marry in the temple. It is the ultimate goal of Mormonism. The only thing that must be done after that is staying worthy and enduring to the end. If you die faithful, you have passed the test. Those who leave the church and fall away, “It will be better for them had they never been born”.

That’s the way it is in Mormonism.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A May 2012 Calendar

Unfortunately, I have found myself on the mailing list of the local ward in which I reside. The following image is the calendar schedule for the month of May (yes, I am a little slow getting it up here). Notice how nearly every day has something planned.

Meetings, religion classes, mutual, scouts, temple trips, etc.

No wonder I felt exhaused as an active member! On top of the famous 101 Mormon Commandments, there is a ton of extra to do!

I have not altered this list in any way other than to remove a few items that were not related to the ward. Is Mormonism a demanding religion?

Decide for yourself.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sacrifice for the Church

One of the covenants that LDS members make in the temple is to “sacrifice anything with which the lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

While this has not actually been asked of the members that I am aware of, the church does require some of its members to sacrifice immensely. The main goal of Mormonism is to get to the temple. Here in Zion, it is a hop, skip, and a jump to any temple, but in other places, it is a MAJOR undertaking to get there.

They proudly publish stories of families living in third-world countries who literally have to sell everything they own just to get to the temple, including their homes. They then undertake a two-week journey through the jungle to the temple. They face starvation, the elements, insect bites, illnesses, and more. Once the precious saving ordinances are complete, they undertake the return, two-week journey home, only they have no home to return to. Some of them do not survive the trip. For all of them, this will be the only trip they ever make to the temple in their lifetime.

Should the LDS church be allowed to encourage their faithful members to sacrifice so much? A lot can be said about the dedication of these members. If the temple truly was what the LDS claim, then these members would surely receive the highest rewards for their faithful dedication. But what kind of a god would want a family to be homeless just for a chance to attend the temple?

The LDS corporation, which is loaded to the gills with cash, could easily finance these members on their journey. Hell, by American standards, these expenses are very low. But no, the members must sacrifice everything in order to go. They must suffer nearly the ultimate price for the privilege of a few hours in the house of god. Again, while their dedication for doing so is truly noteworthy, this just sits wrong with me.

The general authorities of the church fly around the world in private jets and live in lavish penthouses. There is no reason the church could not spare the expense of these humble families to attend the temple.

I have been in a third-world country and I have seen the poverty. A family that does well will only make the equivalent of USD $5.00 a day. And they battle ever increasing inflation, making it difficult to even put food on the table. Americans do not realize how much people in other countries suffer. While we are worried about keeping up with the Joneses, they are worried about where their next meal will come from. And they do not have any welfare programs.

Should people already living in conditions like this be burdened with the extra stress and expense of a trip to the temple? I don’t think so. No loving god would require that much sacrifice from his most humble of subjects.

But when these expeditions to the temple occur, the church uses it as propaganda to the rest of its members, telling them that if the poorest of people in the world can make it to the temple, then they can sacrifice more too. One would think that the church would finance these people. But they won’t. They would rather have families with starving and homeless children so that they can use it to motivate their members to give more.

And that just sits wrong with me.

In fact, it pisses me off!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's One Thing to Have Your Own Set of Personal Morals...

... but it's another thing to force them on everyone.

I spent a few days out of town with family a few weeks ago, and, of course, they are Mormon. It's amazing to me how they expect everyone to follow THEIR morals all the time.

Case in point... Several other family members were staying there as well and on Sunday morning, the patriarch of the family was grumping because not everyone had brought church clothes. He offered to let me wear some of his. Several of the grandkids have not been raised LDS and grandpa was even trying to make them go, even though they clearly didn't want to. Although grandpa was quite unhappy about it, I ended up staying home with all the unfit-for-church-because-of-their-clothes grandchildren, and they all expressed their relief at not having to go.

As they were walking out the door for church, the only instruction I received was, "Don't let the kids watch PG-13 movies because they MIGHT have sex in them. Their parents let them watch it at home, but I don't let them watch it here." That's all fine and good. I respect their right to choose which movies are watched in their home, but what does she think we're going to do? Pull out the pornos and have a family incest fuck fest? Really! If a PG-13 movie shows nudity, it is always brief and usually only shows boobies. For crying out loud, we all sucked our mommies titties when we were babies; what is so evil about seeing a pair?

These same non-LDS grandchildren went swimming with the family and one 10-year-old granddaughter wore a bikini swimming suit, and she is not even starting to sprout her feminine features yet. Even though the child's mother was there (who is an ex-Mormon), grandma made her put on a shirt over her immodest body.

This bothers me. What gives grandma the right to go above the head of this child's parents and demand what she wears, especially when they are NOT at grandma's house? If grandma doesn't want to wear a bikini, then she doesn't have to. But to force your views on others, especially those who are not of your faith, really bothers me.

Mormons claim that we all have our free agency, which is the god-given right to make our own decisions. Yet at every turn, all I saw was Mormons trying to force their views and standards on everyone. I am an atheist and yet I still allow them to pray to their god and say a blessing on their food when they eat dinner at my house. I don't force them to eat unblessed food, even though I don't believe blessing food is necessary. When they bless the food at their house, I sit quietly and respectfully. I don't throw a fit that not everyone is staunchly following my religious standards.

In my opinion, this type of behavior is very unChrist-like.

This is the very reason why I am terrified of having a Mormon in the White House. They can believe whatever silly nonsense they want all day long, but they are not happy until their standards have been shoved down the throats of every person in America.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adorning Your Churches

I bet the Mormons just hate it when a passage from the Book of Mormon is used to show what hypocrites they are!