Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas with the Mormons

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas.  Mine was good.  I was able to see family that I haven't seen in a while.

I had a few interesting experiences that I thought I'd share.

For our annual family Christmas Eve party, we gather and listen to someone read the traditional story from the Bible of the birth of Jesus, exchange gifts, and eat.

This time is not, of course, without a fair amount of religious talk.

One nephew has his ears pierced and wears very large earrings in them.  We all know how much the Mormon god hates earrings, so, of course, this leads to many comments.

I overheard one uncle talking down to this nephew and making comments about how he would lock his children outside if they dared come home with earrings.  If the example of a Mormon parent is any reflection of how god treats his children, then NO THANKS!

This same uncle called one of his own children "rebellious" simply because they were wearing a "U" shirt instead of a "Y" shirt.  (In Utah, the big college rivalry is between USU and BYU (correction: that's U of U and BYU.  Thanks, Eli).  Of course, any true blue Mormon roots for BYU.  Clearly you're a rebel if you don't root for god's true university).  This uncle may have been being sarcastic, but that really is the attitude of many Mormons.

This same earring-wearing nephew confided in me that he is seriously doubting the existence of god.  As such, doesn't want to attend seminary.  And as any good Mormon parents should do, they are punishing him for it by not letting him get his driver's license.  Anyone who will not comply with the gospel needs to be punished.  This only reaffirms my childhood belief that the Mormon god is vengeful and angry.  If you don't kiss his ass, you will pay the price.

This nephew lives at home and has been told numerous times by his mother that he is going to hell, disregarding the fact that she has recently had an affair on her husband.  Not only do Mormons feel the need to punish those who don't comply, but many of them are guilty of far worse sins.  She cries when he doesn't want to go to church but feels just fine sneaking around having affairs. 

Seeing this blatant hypocrisy only reaffirms my belief that the LDS church produces liars and fakes.  If you sin, it's ok as long as no one knows, but it is still ok to exact punishment on others.  I read a quotation on recently where someone said, "This is the only church I know of where people lie to belong and get kicked out for telling the truth."

I had a short talk with this nephew and told him that everyone has freedom of religion, and that includes the right to NOT believe.  Mormons don't honor that.  They do not give their children the right to choose.  I had a cousin years ago who HATED church.  His parents didn't make him go, but did make him stay home and dig holes in the yard the entire time they were at church.  Their hope was that he hated digging more than he hated church.  Nope.

One uncle shared a story about how he had his femur shattered in an accident while on his mission.  He recounted how the doctors told him he would never walk again.  After a few surgeries and several months, he was finally able to walk without even a noticeable limp.  But all the credit for this amazing healing is given to god.  Not one word about the doctors or drugs which were the real cause of his recovery.  He shared how many years later in the temple he was given a revelation about this accident:

He was "told" that he would have had an accident whether or not he chose to serve a mission.  The reason god healed him was because he had chosen to serve a mission.  If he had not gone on a mission, god would have left him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The whole time I'm hearing this story, I'm just mentally shaking my head in disgust.  Really?  God only gives favors and healings to those who kiss his ass!  If you rebel in the slightest, you are no longer worthy for any type of love or blessing.  How absolutely arrogant is Mormonism!  While Mormons deny it, their god and their belief system is not one of love but one of intolerance and hate.

All these Christmas experiences really brought home to me the reality that the church is a mind controlling cult which has it's members so firmly in it's grip that they would rather die than get out.  They are all judgmental and arrogant.  They are all hypocrites.  They do not respect any choices of others that do not conform to their worldview.  They gladly cast stones at the sinners when they, themselves, are far more guilty.

As they gather to celebrate the birth of their saviour, they have no idea about what his message even was.  They just arrogantly strut around in their true church, judging and casting stones.  Even if I did believe in god, there is no way in hell I would ever be a Mormon again!

As I was leaving the party, grandma hugged me (she is unaware of my defection) and asked how my wife hunt was going.  She then urged me to "make sure you get married in the church, whatever you do!"

I simply nodded and smiled.  Puke! 

It's just amazing how seeing the same thing from two different perspectives yields such different opinions.  The stories I shared above are all faith-promoting for the TBM, and to me they are disgusting and revolting.  To them, it makes the church even more wonderful and true; to me, it makes me cringe and wonder how I ever believed in it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Name Removal Process, Update 2

Last night I was sitting at home enjoying myself when my bishop stopped by unannounced to drop off a letter to me.  Why it couldn't be mailed, I don't know.

In my resignation letter, I specifically asked to receive no contact other than mail.  I informed them in very clear language that "...personal visits ... are not necessary and will not be entertained."

Right now I live with a family member, and when I received a knock on my door telling me that the bishop was here to see me, I actually refused to go out.  If they can't respect my request to leave me alone, then I have no guilt about giving them a complete cold shoulder.  Besides, I also stated in my letter that "I no longer recognize any priesthood authority over me."  They have no right to come to my home, against my express wishes, and think that I have to entertain them.  The beauty of resigning is that I no longer have to acquiesce to their demands.

Now, the letter that the bishop came by to deliver.. He wanted to hand it to me personally, but since I wouldn't go see him, it was left for me.  The letter is one brief paragraph explaining that resigning cancels all the effects of baptism, confirmation, priesthood, and temple blessings, and that if I wish to rescind, I need to write a letter to the stake president within 30 days.

So, a 30 day waiting period.  In my resignation letter, I also specifically asked that this matter be handled promptly with "no waiting periods."  It seems that they just can't respect any of my requests!  Ask me if I am surprised...

In this church, members do not request things of the leaders; the leaders request things of the members.  So I'm not surprised at all that they can't honor my requests.  They don't view me or anyone as a human being with feelings.  I am a sheep to them; and sheep do not command the shepherd.

Now, since I stayed in my room for this entire visit, I am going to relay the story of what happened as it was told to me.

My brother in law was enjoying a beer as he answered the door.  He said that he immediately felt uncomfortable as he could feel a huge amount of judgment and disdain from them the moment they entered the house.  This brother in law is a nevermo, so he is not aware of how the church really operates.  Fortunately, they didn't try to ask questions and pry (that's a first).

I let him read the letter and he was shocked saying, "They take away your blessings?"  Yes, they do.  If they can't control you, they take it all away to make sure that you suffer for eternity for your non-compliance.  The more I think about this church, the more I despise it.

Most other Christian religions will honor a baptism even if it was performed in a different denomination.  Not Mormons.  It is now as if I was never baptized, and all of my former sins are now placed back upon me.  Truly, the Mormon god is a despicable deity.  He does not forgive and forget.  He holds your sins over your head and uses them to blackmail people into conformity.

I'm just hoping that they got the message and don't ever come back.  I was hopeful that I could walk away from the church with at least a shred of respect for the local leadership.  But nope, they have proved that they are just as cold and disrespectful as the rest of the church.

I'm thinking about writing a letter to the stake president asking him (again) to forego the 30 day waiting period.. But that would just be a waste of a stamp as they have already demonstrated that they can't honor one simple request from me.

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...


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Please Come Back

So yesterday, in response to my phone call to the church inquiring as to why I had not received any correspondence regarding my resignation letter, I found a letter in the mail from them.  Enclosed with the letter was a pamphlet entitled "An Invitation".

The letter is short and to the point, stating that they have received my letter.  It goes on to say that "the Church considers such a request to be an ecclesiastical matter" which must be processed by my local bishop and stake president.  Whatever... I don't care what they do as long as it gets done.  It does go on to say that the bishop will contact me.  Why contact is necessary, I don't know, especially since I requested no contact.  But they have a long history of not respecting people's requests to be left alone so I'm actually not surprised at all.  I'm hoping they don't contact me though.  I really just want to be left alone and for all of this to be over.

The brief letter closes with a plea to please prayerfully consider the eternal consequences of this request and to refer to the enclosed message from the First Presidency.

The letter is not signed by anyone.. It simply ends "Confidential Records".

The "An Invitation" pamphlet:

Appears to be a sincere plea from the "brethren" to all who have fallen away.  It states that their interest is in the individual man or woman and to make sure that all are "remembered and nourished by the good word of God".

"If any have been offended, we are sorry."

Yes, I am offended.  For details please read my post entitled, "I Am Offended".

Further along, it states, "We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew."

So arrogant.. They are assuming that I am now unhappy since I am inactive and no longer wish to be a member.  Only in their wildest dreams!  Not only is it arrogant, it is manipulative.  Who are they to know what makes me happy?  Who said I ever knew happiness when I was active?  At the time, I would have said I was, but I would have been lying.

In short, this pamphlet is a perfect example of Mormon arrogance and manipulation, and it makes me all the more determined to NOT go back.  What makes them think that a person who has voluntarily requested name removal is going to suddenly want to come back with such an assumptive and impersonalized message?

I remember sitting in meetings as a believer discussing ways to reactivate ward members.  One of their favorite tactics is to make the person feel "needed" by offering them a calling.  This pamphlet stresses that "The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, and devotion".  Jesus doesn't need it.. God doesn't need it.. THE CHURCH needs it.  Nope, nothing has changed.  They want my loyalty to THEM!  NOT GOD, NOT JESUS.. THEM!

I wonder if this pamphlet has ever convinced anyone to go back? I'd be surprised if there are any at all. Leaving the church means you turned your brain on and stopped allowing yourself to be manipulated by them.  After reading this pamphlet, I am all the more convinced that LDS, Inc. is nothing but a cult.

My sarcastic moment: The inside of the pamphlet has a picture of the three big Mormon cheeses.  When I opened it, I felt a shockwave of priesthood power and I knew I was looking at true prophets.  I have been so deceived!  I have been prideful and arrogant, thinking that in my own weakness I can stumble through this life without their divine guidance.  I had better run back to them right now with my 10% and subject myself to their judgments while I beg for forgiveness!

I'm actually very relieved to receive this letter.  It means that my request to have my name removed has been officially received.  According to US law, I became a non-member the moment they received my request.  They are now just wasting their own time and resources by jumping through their own hoops.  Makes no difference to me.  I'm just hoping the time soon comes when I receive the final notification that my name has been removed and I am no longer a member!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Name Removal Process, Update 1

So, I sent in my resignation letter a month ago.  I convinced someone I know to send in theirs at the same time and we could go through the process together.  Well, within days, this person received their "Please Come Back" letter with the "Invitation" pamphlet.  I received nothing.

I checked the mailbox every day for a month.. Nothing.

I finally decided to call the church and ask them what was going on.  I spoke to a nice and helpful lady.  I asked if they had received my letter and after getting my basic information, she told me that they had not received it.  I told her that I had sent it via certified mail and that delivery was confirmed.  She was very apologetic and said she would contact her supervisor to find out if anyone knew where it was.

About an hour later, they called me back.  Apparently they found the letter!  The lady who called was, again, very helpful and courteous.  She informed me that she would expedite getting things going, which included sending a copy of my letter to the local bishop.  She informed me that he might be contacting me to confirm that I really want my name removed (Of course I want to!  Otherwise I wouldn't have written the letter, signed it, and mailed it to them).

Whether this is a tactic by them to stall the process or if it really was an honest mistake, I'll never know.  The two ladies I spoke with both seemed to be very kind and helpful.  I didn't feel talked down to or judged, perhaps because they deal with issues like this all the time and are used to it.  Either way, I was impressed with how anxious they both were to help me.

Note: I have read reports that the people in member records are difficult to contact.  That was not my experience at all.  They answered my call immediately and called me back very promptly.

I'm hoping to receive my "Please Come Back" letter early next week.  I'll post updates...

Update: I checked the mail today and, voila, there it was!  I've heard that sometimes giving them a phone call can make things happen fast!

Tomorrow I'll write my feelings on the letter and pamphlet.

Friday, December 13, 2013

LDS Church Renounces Doctrine of the Dark Skin Curse

The LDS church has renounced the Book of Mormon teaching that dark skin is a curse from god.

Read more about it here:

Here, on the official church website, you can read where the church admits (for once) about it's racist past and openly admits that those teachings and doctrine have been changed. Thank you, Senigami, for providing this link:

From this link above: "Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form."

Theories, huh?  This was doctrine.  I was openly taught this.  These were not "theories".  Although they are finally admitting to some fault, they are trying to make themselves look as innocent as possible.  I was clearly taught, in church, that the whiter a person is, the more valiant they were in the pre-mortal existence.

By condemning racism in the past, they are condemning Brigham Young who was very open and blunt in his racist statements.  Many prophets after Brigham Young also made similar statements.

I find it so amusing that they can change their doctrine whenever it suites them but if any other religion does it, they scream apostasy.

I thought that LDS doctrine is eternal, perfect, and unchanging.  If the church had truly been established by a perfect god, then there would NEVER be a need for the doctrine to change.  The very fact that the church has a very racist history is only further evidence of how man-made it really is.

It was President Hinckley who said (in paraphrase) that the church is either completely true or completely false.  If a teaching in the Book of Mormon is now believed to be false, then the entire book is not true.

Joseph Smith even claimed it is "the most correct book on earth".  If that is the case, why is the church distancing itself from core Book of Mormon teachings?

Every believing member should be asking that very question.

As a child, I was what people call a "toehead".  My hair was so light, that when I was in the sunlight it literally looked like a light bulb.  I still am very fair complected.  I grew up being taught that I was one of god's elite sons since I was so white.  I was literally taught that black people were the least noble in the pre-existence.  The lighter a person is, the more valiant they were in the pre-existence.

I have encountered many young Mormons in my blogging days and none of them are aware of this doctrine.  They outright deny that the church has ever taught that a person's skin color was determined by their level of valiancy.  This is a doctrine that the church is desperate to distance itself from.  However, there are those of us who remember it well.  I remember being so proud that I was elite.

Again, I have to ask the question.. If god loves everyone, why is he so damn racist?  If the church is perfect, why does it change it's doctrine once again?

People, the writing is on the wall!  All you have to do is open your eyes and read it!