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Mormon Hate Mail–Recently, I’ve been having some email discourses with a mystery Mormon. I might have had no idea whether this Mormon is male or female (the AOL header doesn’t give actual names) because all of his posts are unsigned. I found, though, that Outlook Express (which I use sometimes) does, so I know he’s a he.

Since he obviously didn’t mean for his emails to be public, I won’t write his email address, or his name. Rather, I shall assign him a pseudonym, for his own protection, of course.

We will call him Dick.

Dick wrote me to say this: (Important note: All the typos in the message below belong to Dick. And I have not edited or altered his email in any way. Were I to do so, I would be accused of taking his email out of context, or twisting his words. That wouldn’t do. So, you can read his email in its entirety just as he wrote it.)

message: I found your site by chance or misfortune maybe, -I found it all the same. I have read others with feelings for the mormon church and I must say I find your feelings to be rather vindictive in nature. It is with passion and disdain that you speak of the church, yet at times you choose to sugar coat it. Living in Utah, you know several of your statements are blatant exaggerations almost to the extent of complete lies. I am sure you have your reasons, yet I could not find them in your writings- suffice it to say you had issues. I find it humorous that you insinuate the church invents members nd maintains your name on file. I know my uncle had his removed and it is long — long gone. I hope that you live the rest of your live with the passion you have for the Mormon church. For all of its’ fallacies – it is not what you insinuate- not even close. I am curious to know what your issues wih the church were that caused your dissention. Although you appear to be a talented writer, it does appear that your rationale and basis for leaving is not well supported or substantiated. I wonder if something happened that caused these powerful and harsh feelings ?

Now, when I first got this email, I found myself having to read it several times. It really confused me. I was unsure what he was saying. I’ve decided HE was, too. Something about my writing and my Web site upsets him, although he’s not quite sure what. Truthfully, how could he judge my writing by the small amount on my site?

So, he focused on my TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS story. This story recounts my “OFFICIAL” leaving from the LDS Church, and how I suddenly found my name BACK on the records. It all really happened, and none of it is made up, despite what Dick thinks. Although some of what he wrote angered me (I hate being accused of lying, when everything I wrote in that story was factual), I’ve learned it’s kind of dumb to get involved in email exchanges with Mormons. So I wrote something kind of vague and dismissive, and thought that would be that. I should have known better. Here is what I wrote: (Note: I have altered the email below in one way only. I changed the writer’s real name to Dick, to protect his identity.)

Thanks for writing, Dick. Couched in fancy words and language, you are repeating what ex-Mormons have been told from day one. If you leave, it’s because someone made you mad. It CERTAINLY can’t be because you don’t believe it, or disagree with the theology. I disagree with the theology. Everything on my Web site, at least as far as my personal experience, is factual, and can be backed up with proof. As a Mormon, of course, it does not surprise me you took offense. Differing viewpoints are not welcome inside mainstream Mormonism. Surely if Mormonism is so true it can stand up against a critical test.

Dick wrote back: (Again, this email has not been changed, edited, or altered in any way.)

My you are quite the presumptious one aren’t you ? You know what they say about assumptions – you make an ass out of you and umption. – Anyway I did not mean to insinuate that you did anything wrong- Although that is the case in many instances – either someone cannot maintain obedience to say the word of wisdom or law of chastity or they feel slighted or offended by leadership or members of the church. That is not always the case and I did not say that because that was not my intent or point. My point was, as I intended to state, I did not see any logic or rationale for your sudden decision to leave the church and begin to speak out against it. Now that you have stated theology, I would ask for examples. As far as all of your claims having factual backing Iwould openly dispute that as you make claims I find too far fetched to believe and if they did occur, it would be at the expense of an individual- who will answer for those errors one day — but the church philosophy and guidelines do not support your claim as far as my experience goes.

Now, several things about this confuse me.
1) Where does it say I left or decided to leave suddenly? Talk about presumptuous. My leaving took place over a period of time that began when I was 15, and was supposed to end at age 36, when I thought I had my name removed. Nothing sudden about that.
2) He said this: “I wonder if something happened that caused these powerful and harsh feelings ?” I’m not being presumptuous because he made this comment. Something HAD to have happened that gave me these “powerful and harsh” feelings. It couldn’t be that I just disagree with the theology?
3) Why is he “openly disputing” what happened to me? He claims the facts are too far-fetched to believe. What claims? That my name showed back up on the Church records, after I was sent the letter that said it was removed? Far fetched? Tell that to the Mormons who dropped by last night with a Christmas card addressed to me (in my maiden name). I have seen the ward directory, complete with both listings. They know my birthday. Where would they get that? They don’t list that kind of information in the phone book. Nor do they have my children’s names and birthdates in the phone book. And yet the Mormon Church KNOWS who my kids are, and a lady shows up pretty regularly with invitations for my daughter to go to Church. I have talked to a neighbor, a member of the bishopric, who confirmed that indeed my family is listed as members, both under my married name, and under my maiden name, with a mysterious son named Robert, who I appeared to have left on the bus. All this is confirmed. So why is he disputing it?

After discussing these emails with a never-Mormon friend, she suggested maybe Dick really IS just curious. Maybe I should try to discourse openly and honestly with him, and see what happens. Stay tuned.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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