A Serious Post About Non-Believing Mormons

When I first discovered I found the whole Joseph Smith story a little sketchy, I figured it would be easy enough to straighten out my concerns. A little research, some deep thinking, and all would be right with the world.

Instead, I discovered that:

A) I was not supposed to be researching it
B) Only those with strong testimonies could visit other churches
C) I needed to spend a lot more time on my knees talking to God, and less time reading books

I heard this from:

A) My parents
B) My seminary teacher
C) My parents, my bishop, my seminary teacher, my young women’s leaders, my Sunday school teacher, etc.

My concerns however were deep enough that I chose to research, and what I found convinced me, beyond any shadow of any doubt, that Mormonism was one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on Mankind. Right next to that whole Scrubbing Bubbles hoax, because I am telling you, those bubbles do NOT do the work for you. I have tried it. I know.

When I revealed my skepticism to the abovementioned people, the word was overwhelmingly, STOP. Stop reading, unless it’s Church approved. Stop researching, unless it’s faith-promoting. Don’t listen, unless they are telling you it’s TRUE. But that sort of makes research a little futile, don’t you think.

Because, in short, they were telling me to JUST BELIEVE IT, BECAUSE WE SAY IT’S TRUE nameofjesuschristamen.

In any other aspect of my life, my father would not encourage me to jump in feet first and not first weigh the options and look at the pros and cons and KNOW what I am getting into. IN all other aspects of my father’s life, and my mother’s too, they are quite sensible.

Except for here. For they want to believe. It gives them peace. It gives them answers. It gives them purpose.

I guess I understand that. I’m kind of a “pantser,” I guess, because I don’t really need all the answers. You won’t find me driving off cliffs, of course, but I don’t have to know what is going to happen when I die. My big concern, rather, is what will happen to my CHILDREN when I die.

I’m not so worried about my salvation. I have tried my best to live a good life. I’ve tried to instill good Christian values in my children, while not really embracing “Christianity” myself. I don’t see the sense in praying to a God to save us, when he pretty much does what he wants no matter WHAT you want. Yesterday was the funeral of an 18-month-old girl who was strangled in a blind cord while at the babysitter’s house. God’s will? Apparently, according to Mormons and Christians alike. So what is the point of prayer, if it is not to ease our own minds and help us get through dark moments?

Don’t get me wrong. I still find myself praying. I do. But I’ve come to accept that what is going to happen will happen. And Christians, that is what YOU believe, too. You just don’t want to admit it.

I’ve discovered that along the way, there are a lot of people that feel the same way I do. Some of those people are Mormon. Some of them are even ACTIVE Mormons. They go to Church. They hold Temple recommends. They participate in priesthood and temple rituals. But they are not believers.

They sit among you Mormons at Church. It could be your neighbor. It could be the doctor that everyone holds up as the “well he believes it and he’s smart so it must be true” example. It could be your home teacher. It could be your Elder’s Quorum president.

Why would they do this? Because Mormonism is a culture. In Utah, especially, it is very difficult to NOT be Mormon. It is hard on kids. It is hard in business. It is just hard.

Raising my children as non-Mormons in Mormon Utah has been a challenge. So much so, that for a while they attended a private Christian school.

Now, my youngest is in a public school, and thriving. She is strong, willful, determined, and she wanted the opportunity to go to the school in our neighborhood, rather than the small, Christian school she had been attending. She knows many of her friends are Mormon. She knows they know she is not. And as of yet, it has not been an issue. I feel she is strong enough now, with the base I have given her, that she can declare her own feelings with honesty and yet give those of different beliefs space to believe in what they believe.

I think the days when Mormons and Utah were isolated are at an end. The world is looking in, and this closed culture is opening up.

Even in the past twenty years things have changed tremendously. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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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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16 Responses to A Serious Post About Non-Believing Mormons

  1. MLBower says:

    Natalie, you have really put doubt in my heart and I’m not sure what to believe. I’ve gone through most of my life wth what I understood to be common knowledge. Now, after all these years, you tell me that those little bubbles won’t really clean my bathroom for me? Does this also mean that I can drink KoolAid without the fear of that giant pitcher coming through my wall?

    Like

  2. Wendy says:

    Yes! Those deceptive “Scrubbing Bubbles”! I fell for that scam too. 😉

    Mormons who go through the motions but don’t really believe, are kind of like gay people who are still in the closet. I’d love for those Mormons to “come out” of the closet and quit pretending. Utah would look a lot different. My family alone is full of Mormons who don’t believe, yet you’ll find them at church every Sunday. It’s bizarre. I’ve jumped off that hamster wheel, but they’re in it for the long haul. Sad.

    Like

  3. Natalie says:

    ML, I’m sorry to have planted that seed of doubt, but you’ll feel better to just admit THE BUBBLES DON’T DO THE WORK FOR YOU! See? Doesn’t that feel good? LOL.

    Wendy,

    I know exactly WHO you mean, too. It’s such a hard spot to be in, though, and if you aren’t a certain personality type, it just doesn’t come easy to say “No more. This is stupid.”

    I was treated VERY differently for years after leaving the Church, and there is still that “uneasy” accord at family gatherings. I guess I get why some people simply don’t leave. I only know that it didn’t work for me.

    Like

  4. Cele says:

    I’ve cursed the little bubblies for years. Cute, loud, boastful, full of shit. Hmmm, like so many things in the world…probably even me. I try not to be that way. Okay, for your bath tube (I swear this works) try easy off no fumes (must be the blue can) on your bathtube. I have terrible what ever that crap is that won’t come off build up from over 26 years of shower usage. The stuff took it off. Shock the shit out of me. Now if it would just clean the dog.

    Like

  5. Laura L says:

    Ah, you have saved me from a harsh revelation. I have never used those bubbles and now I know the sad truth!

    Seriously, this post touched on some of the same thoughts I have.

    Like

  6. Ammon Waters says:

    I pretty much was bludgeoned and mistreated every moment of my life growing up Mormon by other Mormons. My parents were pretty mellow and relaxed about most things but church was a pit of hell for my so-called rebellious mind. I’m different,always will be but not different in a crazy way. I just don’t naturally believe everything everyone else tells me. Often that has proven to be costly if I did so. I understand how you must feel. Although I’m mostly surrounded by bible thumping protestant jackasses. They all act the same,not one church above the other. All superficial and judgemental. Tried to do it all and live up to it but it’s too heavy and it’s too much at times. I could burden you with a 100 stories of how fake some Mormons can be!

    Like

    • Ammon Waters says:

      I am Ammon Waters and I feel regret for writing these things in the bosom of anger toward a few select people not a people as a whole. Forgive me.

      Like

      • Ammon Waters says:

        And in the proper context, I feel I was angry particularly at a few leaders in the Mormon church in Florida. I was entirely tired of their judgements and failings in trying to help me understand some things. As a whole I find my family and most friends which are Mormon are very supportive and some of the most fantastic people I’ve ever been privileged enough to know.

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    • Ammon Waters says:

      To further clarify I was protesting against them personally and not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints itself. I was never taught in this church to abuse others like I was abused so I know the guilt is with them. The Church’s teachings applied in my life is all that has really gotten me through hard times.

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  7. queen o' hearts says:

    what is a bathtube?

    Like

  8. Lee says:

    I relate it to a business based on a cult folowing. When we first moved here, they swarmed in around us, bishop, ward members, and so forth. Told them we weren’t interested, so thank goodness, they went back to their callings and left us alone. The whole Joe Smith, and the” golden plates” story is a hoot! No proof it ever happened and still millions follow blindly. Let me see…..how can I start my own religion?……….

    Like

  9. Lee says:

    Natalie,
    Almost forgot to ask, any proof you know of that the magic underwear really works? Heck, if it does then the church needs to market it to the military, or the police forces. Make them blue with a red S………hmm. Oh,bye the way, has anyone ever casually mentioned to a missionary they think the Kinderhook plates were a good one on Joe? A seer, a prophet, a book writer, con man, bigamist, and who knows what else? Old Joe had it going on. Who would’ve dreamed he was a CEO of a soon-to-be thriving industry?
    Keep your blog going. We don’t feel so isolated knowing there ARE people out there that don’t live and breath church callings, home teaching, and all that other self serving crap people hide behind to affirme their salvation.

    Like

  10. Rachel says:

    Yay!!! Someone out there with a like mind.

    Like

  11. Birdman says:

    Welcome Rachael…lots of us out here

    Like

  12. Ammon waters says:

    Verses by TopicPeace Bible Verses
    Peace Bible Verses

    Bible Verses About Peace – Read verses that offer guidance on subjects such as peace of mind, love and peace, peacefulness and joy. Read verses from the Holy Bible about peace in relation to God, Jesus Christ, and the Christian faith.

    Use our Bible verses by topic page which allows you to quickly find popular verses from the Old and New Testament on subjects relating to peace and joy.

    Psalm 29:11
    The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
    Read Psalms 29 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Psalm 34:14
    Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
    Read Psalms 34 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Psalm 32:17
    Read Psalms 32 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Psalm 37:37
    Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
    Read Psalms 37 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Psalm 85:8
    I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints– but let them not return to folly.
    Read Psalms 85 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Psalm 119:165
    Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
    Read Psalms 119 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Isaiah 9:6
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Read Isaiah 9 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Isaiah 26:3
    You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
    Read Isaiah 26 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Isaiah 26:12
    LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
    Read Isaiah 26 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Isaiah 54:10
    Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
    Read Isaiah 54 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Isaiah 55:12
    You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
    Read Isaiah 55 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Matthew 11:28-30
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    Read Matthew 11 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    John 14:27
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
    Read John 14 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    John 16:33
    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    Read John 16 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Luke 7:5
    because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”
    Read Luke 7 | View in parallel | Compare Translations
    Romans 14:17-19
    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
    Read Romans 14 | View in parallel | Compare Translations

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  13. Ammon Waters says:

    There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.)
    The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or
    even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word
    is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).

    (2.) Metanoeo,
    meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
    This verb, with (3) the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a
    change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
    Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and
    sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred
    of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and
    (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way
    of his commandments. The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of
    pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he
    apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares
    him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an
    apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1;
    130:4).

    True repentance is to change one’s heart, not to feel remorseful. Feeling remorseful doesn’t change anything. To me, it’s an inner growth process, not a way to release guilt and shame. Sin is not condoned so that we may keep on sinning, but through a change of heart a multitude of our sins are made annul. Repentance is a change of mind and heart, to become selfless through loving kindness, and allow our lack of integrity and selfishness or egoism to subside, through which comes the cleansing of an evil conscious.

    We are born to make mistakes, but this sin does not lead to spiritual death, rather it is necassary for spiritual growth. When we lose integrity and truthfulness, when we are selfish and egoistic (an evil consciousness), This is sin that leads to spiritual death.
    Sin is committed inside the heart before sin is ever externally committed. A person is not made a sinner by their external actions (works), and a person is not made holy or righteous through the same. It is from the heart and mind that evil originates, and this is what makes us sinners. But when we repent, we allow the circumcission of the mind and heart, and our evil consciousness is washed away through love and forgiveness, and through our unity in which we are made one body through the blood of Jesus. Not on a literal sense which many Christians have been mistaken, but the “blood” and even baptismal water is symbolic of the spirit. [We are made one family through the spirit of God]. This is the original teachings of Jesus.

    This is not a new teaching, but a re-establishment of a traditonally old, mystical Judaic teaching, in which we each have a personal connection with God who is infinite, is everywhere and manifest in all things [in other words God’s spirit]. The priests and pharisees of Jesus’ time had become corrupt: They lacked integrity, were hypocritices, and were driven by things such as prideful indignation and self-gratification. They relied on traditions, sacrafices, legalistic dogma, their services, and external laws as a way of living a righteous and spiritual life, which led to the absence of true spirituality. The historical Jesus was a rabbi who opposed the dogma of the priests and pharisees at the time, creating a spiritual movement which was systematically disruptive for the priests and pharisees.

    Anyways, repentance as a way of releasing guilt and feeling remorse, does not lead to anything, but such is the repentance of Judas. This is not dissimilar to the sacrificial offerings of Jesus’s time. Scapegoating [one that is made to bear the blame of others], does not lead to repentance. The crucifix of Jesus was not meant to be a sacrificial offering that condones sin. I believe that in early Christianity it was only seen as such in an abstract, symbolic way, however Paul emphasized it. I believe it is the life of Jesus that leads us to repentance, not his death.
    __________________
    “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” -Einstein

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