Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Proud Missionary Mom

Within the last month, I have had a cousin enter the MTC and travel to his assigned mission.

His mother - my aunt - is one proud missionary mother.  Almost every day she posts on FB something about his mission, how choice and righteous he is, how proud she is, blah blah blah.

I have noticed that the LDS church isn't just a church.  It isn't just a lifestyle.

It is their identity.

I know that her proud feelings as a missionary mother are genuine.  I'm not trying to downplay them or make her look bad.

She is a missionary mother!  It is her short moment to be in the spot light.  To a Mormon parent, there is almost no higher honor than raising a child who serves a faithful mission.  And she is certainly taking every opportunity to make sure every body knows it!

I just can't help but think that if a person received true joy from their child serving a faithful mission, wouldn't that joy be it's own reward?  There would be no need to smear it all over FB.  It almost seems to me like a desperate cry for validation.

Because that's what Mormon life is really all about.  Fitting in.  Conformity.  Appearances. 

I would really appreciate your thoughts.  Am I reading too much into it?  Am I being too critical?

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.