So long, farewell, or… NOT

Comments can be very amusing. Like the one below.

I won’t say whether or not I’m Mormon, because I don’t want my being Mormon or not being Mormon to be an issue in what I’m about to tell you.

People like you are pathetic. Why cynics and liberals alike get off on the “everyone sucks but me” mentality is beyond me. It’s like the only way to for you to win the race is break everyone else’s legs rather than try to run fast. You’ll find that by pushing others down the hill, you only feel like that moves you closer to the top because everyone else is so far below. But you’re not moving anywhere.

Whoever sent you that message is probably legally retarded. But since you rarely encounter anyone with your supposed intellectual prowess, it’s so like you to exploit them for your gain. Yeah a lot of Mormons don’t know much else about life than mormonism. Yeah a lot of mormons make you feel trapped because of their lack of tact. But you know what I think? You’ve never belonged. You’ve never had friends, a group or anyone who really cared about you. The only sense of belonging you can find is creating this God-awful blog so that you and others like you can pat yourselves on the back for how witty you think you are.

Let me guess, the next thing you’re going to do in cursed Utah is become a lesbian, because that’s a great way to stand out and draw attention to yourself. And then I suppose you’ll say you were born that way and have always been that way, ignoring a host of scientific and psychological evidence. But this blog and most any action you do is likely nothing more than an attention grabbing scheme. You were ignored as a kid. You were picked last at games. You weren’t talented and didn’t fit in. You weren’t the smartest in the class so never got attention from the teacher. You were socially awkward and couldn’t get a boyfriend. You so desperately wanted people to pay attention to you that you would do anything.

And so here we are. The sarcasm and cynicism is just dripping and oozing from your blog. You post the comments from the morons to show how intellectually superior you are. You just have to be completely self gratifying because no one else ever liked you or paid attention to you, so you’ve had to take care of yourself. You are your own best fan. Then there’s your “fan base.” I bet the Gothic putrescence of society really enjoys your blog. You know, the boys who wear girl jeans, the ones who try to look as different as possible just so that people will look at them. And then when people do they pretend not to care because they are too cool for that. You painted your face to look like you have two black eyes yet? How about unnatural color streaks in your hair? Do you just revel in the look of disgust people give you when they see your appearance? I bet you’re getitng off on this comment right now!

Let’s draw a parallel with “Survivor.” This season, each tribe was asked to rank their members from most useful to least useful. If society as a whole had to rank it’s members, you and people like you would be the bottom dwellers. Does that hurt your feelings? Going to write an emo song about it?

If you feel so “trapped” and hate mormons so much, get the hell out of utah. Since you don’t, you must like your current living condition and the utterly amazing blog posts your life must provide. My guess is that you secretly need mormons. You need the validation that comes from hating them. You need others to tell you mormons suck to verify your own feelings, and that’s why you stay in crusty old utah. Thats why you maintain this ridiculous blog. And that’s why all your friends are nothing more than names and avatars to you. Or did I leave out the filth that hangs out at Hot Topic all day? Sorry, you guys must be real close…

Have I offended you yet? Do you hate me yet? Have I hurt your feelings? Maybe amped up something inside you that’s telling you I’m a huge jerk?


Now you and all the other mormon haters, religion haters, anything haters got a taste of your own medicine!! How does it feel to have everything about you trashed? How do you like people hating everything about you unjustly? Yet you go own in perfect complacence to destroy and tear down and criticize everything some people hold sacred and dear. I could care less what your opinions are about mormons, me or anything or anyone else. What I care about is when you and people like you have to tell the world for absolutely no reason at all. The mormon church did nothing to you. No church did. Why the hatred and animosity? Why the need to tear down these people? It sickens me how trendy and cool it has now become to hate everything, to be fault finding with everything and everyone.

Your crazy commenter did say one good thing- the news only reports all the deaths, not all the births. They tell you how many Americans dies in Iraq, not how many Iraqis the Americans saved today. Why does this mentality rule our society? Why can’t people respectfully disagree? Where did civility go? Why do people need to maintain an entire blog to perpetuate hatred and tear down an entire group of people?

I dare you to post this comment on your blog. I dare you to let your readers read this. And you know what? I know you’re going to post it. You want to so bad so that your readers can tear into me and tell you how stupid I am and how unintellectual my comments are. But then you don’t want to give me the satisfaction of being right. You would hate to post this just because I told you I know you will. Quite the predicament. Well, rest assured your “friends” will still be there for you no matter what. I mean, it wouldn’t be cool to agree with me. It wouldn’t be cool for them to tell you the truth about you and your blog as I have. I’m sure someone will find something witty and clever to say about me and my comments.

So I challenge you to grow up, be an adult, and discontinue this blog. Make this comment beyour last post and apologize for hurting so many peoples’ feelings just for your own self gratification. Then go do something constructive with your time. Read a good book. Pick up some garbage at the park. Exercise. Do whatever, just remember tha random stranger who told you how it was, and remember the crossroads you now find yourself at. Keep living life the same way, or make a change and start building others up rather than tear them down. The choice is yours, but I know you will do the right thing. Thanks for reading.

The Concerned Conservative

Dear CC,

You ALMOST made me realize the error of my ways. But then I REALIZED that actually, the fact you took the time to write such an eloquent, dismissive, morally superior comment on my blog means I managed to PISS YOU OFF, which means I managed to make you THINK. And hey, I am all about the thinking.

So, sorry, but I won’t be shutting down the Trapped Blog. If I did, whatever would you do with all YOUR time?

Happy New Year! (Oh, and FYI? Nobody is wondering whether or not you are a Mormon. Just thought I’d make that clear, Brother CC.)


IMPORTANT NOTE: All of you RESPONDING to CC and his various proponents should be aware it’s a case of MPD, or whatever it is bored Mormons in Lehi suffer from. ALL of the comments that are pro CC are coming from the same ISP down in Happy Valley. Just thought you should be aware. I find it interesting that people who can’t find validity in their belief system resort to BACKING THEMSELVES up. “Yes, self, I agree. You are one smart dude.”


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.
This entry was posted in Natalie's Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to So long, farewell, or… NOT

  1. Michelle says:

    Hey! I just stumbled upon your blog. I’m also a recovering mormon. I will add you to my blogroll. While I don’t have a lot of readers, I’m sure they’d enjoy what you have to say. Thanks for writing!


  2. Cele says:

    You mean you figured out if CC was Mormon or something else? Wow, the stance was so obfusticated I was stumped.

    But, CC really, dont’ wasted a dare, posting your comment was a total given.


  3. Scared says:

    CC has some very staggering mental health issues. I hope that he gets the help he needs.


  4. Michelle says:

    PS. I started reading this blog because I like it. Because I want to. Sadly for CC, it seems that somebody is forcing him to read Trapped and have his feelings hurt.


  5. Erica says:

    Bahaha! I cannot believe that person! Concerned Conservative? Is that a joke? Anywho- I am a very young mormon recovering from the mormon church. Many of my friends are mormon and don’t know I am agnostic, so we will see when I will come out of the closet. This blog rocks. We need more free thinking people in this closed minded country.


  6. justme says:

    So I must know. Are you going to write an emo song? Are you? Are you?

    Happy New Year!


  7. Elaine says:

    And that screed, CC, is what you consider to be “civil” and “respectful disagreement”? Hon, I think you need to get a life. And maybe, like Scared said, a little professional help. Because, as far as I can see, you’re the only hater in this vicinity at the moment.

    Oh, and by the way, I still don’t know and couldn’t care less whether you are Mormon.


  8. Congratulations, wrong again! I’m a Christian who spent a year at BYU and so I know mormons, but if you want to call me Brother CC then feel free! Funny how I was completely right about you and your friends and you were, well, wrong about me!

    You know what else I find interesting? Have you read any of the comments, or even yours for that matter? No rebuttal. No one refuting a thing I say. No one making a counter argument. It’s the typical ad hominem rhetoric that those on the liberal left of the spectrum truly enjoy.

    I have staggering mental health issues? This coming from someone who responds to paragraphs with a mere two sentences? However will I recover from such an attack? I am a joke, am I? Did I sound like I was joking? Care to point out the “joke” that you refer to?

    Do you not completely hate yourself for doing exactly what I said you would? Aren’t you angry that you are exactly as I told you? You enjoy pissing people off! It’s your goal in life! Would you consider yourself a good person for it? I know plenty of mormons, yeah, some were assholes. Some made me feel bad and unwelcome. But there were so few to pay attention to that acted that way. The majority are nice, enjoyable people. Maybe their doctrines are different than most, but I am willing to wager that there are a lot more anti-mormon blogs than anti-anti-mormon ones. Does that make sense? I hope so.

    Really, I can’t wait for the sarcasm oozing comments surely to follow this one. Maybe I need to say something intelligent in order to get mocked….hmmmm….oh I’ve got one! How about this- why is it that the only people right in the head are you and people like you? Why am I the one who is dillusional, deranged and otherwise mentally unstable? Am I unable to think for myself because I disagree with you? You claim I throw moral superiority in your face. Well earth to the “morally inferior,” you go around throwing intellectual superiority in everyone else’s face! The double standard is astounding! Everything is fine so long as it’s convenient for you, isn’t that the liberal motto? Church’s are ok if they teach equal gay rights, but if they don’t, well…you get the point. Or do you? I really wonder about you folks sometime. Do I need to explain what double standard means too? I mean, in order to evoke an intelligent comment perhaps I have to speak to your level.

    You all suck! Everyone is dumb but me! Religion rules! Everyone here is mentally unstable and sick in the head!

    How’s that? easier to respond to those remarks than the meaningful ones?


  9. Wednesdays Child says:

    I couldn’t agree with the Concerned Conservative more. You people who waste your lives fighting an organization you no longer belong to are a joke. I’m no longer Catholic, but do I waste my time tearing them down? No. It doesn’t help them become a better church nor does it improve my life. Wallowing in anger and dissatisfaction breeds more anger and dissatisfaction. I’m sure you all have miserable life’s even after you’ve left the Mormon Faith.

    Life is what you make of it. Sorry it sucks so badly for some many of you “recovering Mormons”

    Remember when you eventually take your life the razor blade goes “up the street, not across the road!”


  10. Janie says:

    Our dear Brother CC says: “sarcasm and cynicism is just dripping and oozing from your blog”??? After his long-winded diatribe I think it is fair to say there is now definately some oozing.

    Another example of a Mormon who doesn’t think Christian fellowship should go any farther than his front door.


  11. Natalie says:

    Dear Brother CC,

    Hey, you have your own blog! Now we know why you came here, and posted so eloquently.

    And by the way, I could refute and present an argument to everything you said, but WHY? I’ve done it a million times before, and NO ONE LISTENS. Not one.

    That said, I should make clear that your comment did not anger me at all. It was civil, and well-thought out, and although one-sided, still….. You said it well.

    I respect that. I guess you wanted to make me angry, but sorry, I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and now I’ve moved on.

    As I have said before, this STUFF does not make me angry. IT IS FUNNY. F-U-N-N-Y. Sheesh, why don’t you people get that?

    Anyway, good luck with your blog, Brother CC.


  12. K*tty says:

    Just for the record, Brother CC, you have not read the complete blog. I don’t know how many times Natalie, et al., have to say this, “We don’t hate Mormons.” Our family and friends are Mormons. As a whole they are good people, doing the best they can. Walk a mile in our shoes or shut up.


  13. JulieAnn says:

    I have to add this. CC….no one refuted anything because everything you said was, well, made up. I can’t refute an illogical argument based on a person’s opinion and misled assumptions.

    You made assumptions about Natalie and her readers that are baseless and unfounded. So, here I am, taking you on. Tell me, where are your facts? Do you have PROOF Natalie hangs out at Hot Topic? Do you have PROOF that she was a dissatisfied misanthrope in high school? Well I have proof–she was not any such thing in school. My husband went to high school with her. That’s a hell of a lot more proof than you have, friend.

    Whether you are Christian, Mormon, or a Spaghetti Monster follower I don’t really care. Your self-righteous comment was not worth a line-by-line, blow-by-blow. You think you can’t be refuted? You think someone like me couldn’t take you on? Please. Take a look at her Prop 8 blog comments. Take a look at the banter that goes on there with a person, an LDS person, who has class and dignity enough to use his real name, manners and FACTS (even if they are a bit…convoluted.)

    Oh and this is to ‘Wednesday’s Child’….are you rocking rhythmically on a rocking horse right now? Drooling a bit?

    I thought so.


  14. It’s not Lehi it’s Provo actually, and I can’t control what the hundreds of other people on this network do. Anyone can walk by and see my screen. I would guess a couple did, took interest since almost everyone here is mormon, and read it for themselves.

    The funny thing about not posting an argument because no one listens is that I’ve heard that exact line, nearly word for word, literally hundreds of times. Don’t kid yourself, I’ve posted on hundreds of blogs. I’ve posted hundreds of times in facebook groups, and guess what? Same thing every time, everyone tells me they won’t say anything back to me because they have before and no one listens. Well, guess who else feels that way? I’ve argued Prop 8 to rights to bear arms to defneding religions and whatever else. I almost never ever get a decent response to an argument. My comments to you were more venting than presenting an argument, but I was hoping you might feel just a little bad for doing what you do. I mean, you said it yourself, people in Utah are FUNNY.

    Glad you can get a laugh out of degrading entire groups of people for your self gratification. Mormons and everyone else deserve better than that.


  15. Natalie says:

    Quite honestly, CC, your “I’m not a Mormon” bullshit means you don’t get a lot of respect. Be honest. Then we’ll talk.


  16. Scared says:

    Dear Mr. CC,

    I am very concerned about your attitude towards women. That is why I stated you have staggering mental health issues. I do not need to go through your screed to name all your sexist remarks.

    I suggest that you get some counseling, fast.


  17. Todd says:

    Hey All! Happy New Year!

    I’m glad you’re all starting off 2009 in bang-up fashion.

    My only comment is that CC has scored a point. Well at least a partial point. Natalie was a misanthropist in high school, but a very satisfied one!

    Oh, and I went to high school with Natalie, same graduating class and all, and even had a crush on her, so this is an first-hand eye-witness perspective and all. 🙂

    Be that what it is, we still love ya, Nat! And we’re glad you’re back from the deep and defending the faith again!

    ur friend,

    P.S. JulieAnn…. Nice nails girl! Christmas present from K?


  18. Todd says:

    Oh… And

    WAY TO GO UTES!!!!!

    Whoooo….. Hoooooo…..


  19. JulieAnn says:

    Todd….are you lurking on my blog?

    Yes the nails are new. K indulges me. 🙂

    I concur Big T–way to go UUUUTTEESS!!!!

    CC….you are a delusional. I read your latest comment and you are completely out in left (or should I say right) field. Do you even know what an IP is? “Anyone can walk by and see my screen. I would guess a couple did, took interest since almost everyone here is mormon, and read it for themselves.” What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    I disagree with Natalie. I don’t think honesty is the issue. I think the issue is your need to spew hate and call it righteous indignation.

    Okay so you’ve argued about Prop 8, and all of the other misspelled drivel you stated. …….AND? You’ve never had a decent argument? Really? I would bet that that really indicates is that you were talking to yourself the whole time, like you’re doing here, on this blog. Minds are like parachutes–they are only useful when open.

    If a man is known by his fruits, then we can see who and what you really are. Natalie is pathetic? Please. You are the one on HER blog. What are you doing here? What do you suppose you are accomplishing?

    Typically when we loath something in someone, it’s a mirror-reflection of what we loath in ourselves. You accuse her of things that are clearly your issues.

    Do what Scared says–get help. Get help, or get gone.


  20. Todd says:


    What can I say, I love the poetry and pictures on your blog. And, well, it is a public entity. (But talk about ocassionally spewing hate… sometimes I wonder about your double-standard).

    My new year’s resolution is to spread peace and good-will!



  21. JulieAnn says:

    I don’t spew hate, silly. I spew ‘dislike intensely’.



  22. Natalie says:

    Todd, at what point did you decide I hated people? You, quite honestly, never knew me at all in high school, as I never really knew you. I had lots of friends. I still do. I do not hate. Hate is for weenies, people with hardness in their hearts, and losers who play Defender of the Faith on other people’s blogs.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ACTIVELY goes out to tell people they believe they have the ONLY TRUE THING. And everyone else is WRONG. An abomination, even. So, answer me this one simple question.

    If YOU have the right to tell everybody you see, know, run across, etc., that it THE ONLY TRUE THING, why do I not have the right to say I believe it is false?


  23. Natalie says:

    Dear CC,

    By the way, people were WALKING by your COMPUTER and saw what you were looking at? ROFL. Funny.


  24. JulieAnn says:

    Well said Natalie. I think it’s interesting that we are bombarded by beliefs that are not ours, yet we’re castigated for speaking out against the onslaught.


  25. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: vacation’s over edition! | Main Street Plaza

  26. Cele says:

    Okay, I have to say this.

    CC, there is no way you are not a Mormon, because all other Christian religions count Mormonism as a CULT. Ergo they would not support the tenets of Mormonism, would not claim to support the tenets of Mormonism, and while you believe in Jesus and God the Father, they would distrust you for all your other religious beliefs. So a conservative Christian wouldn’t touch the mythology you pass as theology – they would just shun you out of the pew. Why is this sad?

    Todd, wow, you think Natalie doesn’t have friends. Dude, get a life. I count Natalie among my best and dearest friends, I know that won’t mean jack to you, but I can assure you she innumerous friends who count her as a valuable and cherished part of their lives…just like I do. And you’re not the only person here who went to high school with Natalie, so please don’t claim your expertise.


  27. Todd says:

    Okay… Okay…

    I rescind the “misanthropist” comment that I made against Natalie above. It wasn’t a sincere comment when I made it anyway. I actually had to look the word up, cuz I didn’t even know what a “misanthrope” was.

    (Cele – I never implied that Natalie doesn’t have friends. So, please get your own life and don’t get your information about me by reading what others say. I’m best represented by my own words.)

    I heartily concur with all that stuff about haters being weenies and losers, etc.

    I love you, Nat! You’re not a hater.

    I continue to classify you as “spinner.” And comments like the following show that only too clearly:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ACTIVELY goes out to tell people they believe they have the ONLY TRUE THING. And everyone else is WRONG. An abomination, even.

    The LDS heirarchy often and ACTIVELY reiterate that there is much that is good and right and true with “everyone else.” Your statement is at best misleading and you know it, which is the really disappointing part.

    The answer to your “one simple question” is: you do have the right to speak up about what you believe.

    Let me make it very clear that I’m all for free speech. I know you are, and you’ve always been very fair to me on this blog, TYVM.

    Without hate,


  28. Rick says:

    Nice post Todd. Really! I must say I enjoy “chatting” with you — most Mormon defenders are quite rude and inevitably turn to name calling and lose all credibility in my eyes. You have shown a degree of respect unique to internet Mormons in my experience.

    Iwould like to comment on a pattern I see regarding church teachings. First I will say I agree that many of us critics will point out statements and teachings made by former LDS leaders that by today’s standards are quite racist, bigoted and clearly false.

    I will also concede that one strength of today’s LDS church is the ability to adapt and evolve. Many argue that that factor is the reason the “mainstream” LDS church has thrived — despite many comments by former leaders (“prophets”) declaring that if certain key doctrinesand commandments are rescinded, the church will be in apostacy (eg, John Taylor and plural marriage).

    Your point in the above post (and others) about the church’ modern “emphasis” on other faiths’ strengths and truths does not eliminate what was taught in the not too distant past. You could say it “trumps” what was said, but history stands firm in the contradiction of the “one true church” topic. I don’t know your age, but at least a few “apostles” in my youth that were emphatic about “we = right; others = wrong” include Bruce R and LeGrande Richards. I can post comments if you need them, but I think you get the point.

    So to the “trump” strategy. If the “church is true,” why would it be necessary for God to change his mind so often? You’ve really only got two reasonable scenarios: either the leaders got the message wrong (I’ve heard that quite a bit, but there’s also the statement “God won’t let the prophet lead the people astray…so which is it?), or God really did change his tune.

    To me, if I incorporate this as one of hundreds of contradictions in logic regarding church history, it simply serves as an indication of the falseness of the “God at the helm” claim of the church.

    Then there is the justification again that a testimony must be by faith, not a sign, or evidence. If that is true, God is doing a superb “fake-out job,” and I really can’t accept that he would give us a brain to use, then tell us not to use it when it comes to matters of the spirit….

    But maybe that’s only me.

    Hapy New Year, all!



  29. Todd says:


    I guess I would disagree with the premise that “hundreds of contradictions” in logic regarding church history is an indication of a false “God at the helm” claim. But, I can understand how a reasonable person could reach that conclusion.

    Wasn’t it B. R. McConkie who was the first to admit on June 2, 1978 that, in effect, he was plain wrong with respect to blacks and the priesthood. That must have been a very humbling experience for him. My guess is that John Taylor might take back a few things he’s said in the heat of the battle, as would Brigham and a few other LDS leaders.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with the human aspect of church governance. I’m happy to sustain imperfect men and women as they seek to do the Lord’s will the best they know how under often trying circumstances. In fact, it gives me hope that my own feeble offering will one day be acceptable to God.

    I’m not sure I agree with your comments on testimony, faith, a sign, and evidence. A testimony implies some aspect of real knowledge related to the object of that testimony, whereas faith really implies mere belief in the object and, by inference, a lack of real knowledge. In a very real sense, belief can transition to actual knowledge through the process of faith.

    Please indulge a analogy…

    As a toddler I learned to walk via a similar process of faith. I believed that I could do it, my parents encouraged me to try, and so I leaned away from the wall and took that first step. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the second step, because I lost my balance and fell. But, encouraged on by wise parents who knew I could do it, and with real intent I made another attempt, and then another, and so on, until I eventually became an expert walker. I can now bear fervent testimony that walking is possible.

    The point is, of course, that I never would have learned to walk if I’d waited for a sign. The sign, or evidence came only after I’d taken those initial steps of faith based only on a belief that it was possible, and then only by degrees as I learned to harness and further build upon this newfound knowledge.

    Now THATS using your brain!

    Best Regards,


  30. Rick says:

    Agreed…our brains ARE quite amazing. Of course your analogy obviates the fact that humans CAN learn to walk, and there is sufficient evidence that most of us can go into a process with reasonable belief that we will be able to accomplish the task with proper training and practice. Otherwise we, or our parents, would not go forward with the task.

    Using your line of thinking, if you as a child decided to pattern yourself after the birds you saw flying from the cliff, with faith that you too could fly, the consequences would be catastrophic. I submit that in most instances you could come up with regarding “learning,” I could show you that there in fact were “signs and evidence” that you could accomplish the task with appropriate practice — if only evident to your parents that it was safe to do so.

    I’m an eye doctor. There is a common procedure today that many choose to have called LASIK. It’s quite amazing science when you think about it. A patient chooses (and pays good money) to have a surgeon slice the most sensitive tissue in the body, peel back a 130 micron flap of corneal tissue, turn on a computerized pre-programmed beam of invisible light aimed at the eye for about a minute, then replace the flap, send the patient home and tell them they will see quite well the next day….and millions of people have done it!

    There is sufficient evidence that the procedure works. There is “testimony” by many satisfied patients that it worked on them…sufficient enough that non-medical, non-scientifically trained people undergo the procedure everyday.

    But those people also have faith and hope that it will work. I talk to these people daily, and they pray, hope and believe that science has done its due diligence to allow this process to be performed. They base their decision to go “under the laser” on years of evidence that it WILL work.

    So, (thanks for indulging my analogies…), to put a twist on a religious phrase, “faith without works is dead.” I believe this principle applies to all things in life. We’re okay with medicine and other science disciplines to require rigid evidentiary testing before trusting the processes. Why is it okay to suspend our skills of reasoning when it comes to matters of religion?



  31. Rick says:

    Oh, regarding the mistakes ad mis-statements made by the prophets” through the years. I’m okay with them too. Today. Yes, they did the best they could with what they had been taught and given.

    But from a distance today, it is a simple bit of “evidence” (darn, that word again!) that they are what we all know.


    But the problem arises that they claim they speak uniquely to and for God…a perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, never changing supreme being. And again, they will not lead the church astray. Right?

    I agree they (mostly) try to get inspiration from above as to how to proceed with important decisions and actions daily. They (and I include extremely dedicated and selfless local leader…I was once one of them, I like to think) do amazing work for the members and others. I still have great respect for the church system.

    But so do other organizations in the world. Other groups that are working hard for the poor and less blessed than you or I. I admire them too. I believe they are just as in touch with Spirit (however you choose to define “it”) as the LDS leaders. No more. No less.

    They (we) all do the best we can. We seek for guidance from various sources. It is only when we seem to fight over whose “God connection” is better that we get into trouble… and hate happens. To me, that indicates that “God” is less present. I do see, and applaud the faiths (including Mormonism), that are evolving to respect and equalize all beings on the planet.

    To that end, I think we agree.



  32. Todd says:

    Your example regarding flight speaks directly to my point. We CAN fly. I see that process as one essentially marked by faith. Someone believed flight was possible (probably based on observing birds), acted on that belief, and ultimately gained the knowledge essential to master it. Nowadays, wise men fly all over the globe based on the knowledge that they’ll arrive safe and sound and in infinitely shorter times when compared to the pre-flight modes of transportation.

    If we had waited for a sign beforehand, we never would have made the attempts.

    I could argue that LASIK surgery was also derived in a like faith-filled process of discovery. I also suspect that some of that discovery led to unprofitable places that were ultimately abandoned.

    So, why do we take for granted the concept of faith in our scientific processes of discovery, but reject it outright when it comes to spiritual matters? Because it requires real effort? Because it sometimes requires a shift in, or complete abandonment of, our paradigms?

    Is it any wonder why Jesus oft bemoaned a lack of faith among His followers?

    There is ample evidence that Joseph’s claims are true. Yet, I can see how a reasonable person might question those claims. Many Jews questioned the claims that Jesus made regarding Himself, where the evidence in His favor was MUCH stronger, IMHO. I think the Jews were probably reasonable people.

    I don’t disagree with the essential element of your “how hate happens” comment regarding when we fight over whose “God connection” is better. I truly believe that God is “no respector of persons.” However, I do believe that in order to “receive a fulness of joy” or attain to the highest level of happiness, the path leading to those objects must be followed. I also believe that faith (or acting on what we believe to be true) is an essential part of it’s discovery, and that God will ultimately be the judge of whether or not we acted in good faith and get to continue.

    I sincerely hope that we’re all there at the “end.”



  33. Rick says:

    I guess we could go ’round and round about this Todd, and that’s okay.

    Yes, somebody observed birds flying and I’m sure it triggered the thought “could we put wings on and do the same thing?” I remember the old movie clips about the bizarre flying contraptions that gave brief glimpses of the flying techniques that work, then with practice and learning the science of aerodynamics, today we don’t think twice about risking our lives with a pilot in a large metal tube…having conviction — and faith — that we will get to our destination. Alive. Quite fascinating, and IMHO, a testimony to good science.

    But it all started (I assume) with an observation. Birds fly, so there may be a scientific process that would allow us to as well — and the learning began.

    I believe (and I could be very wrong, as the story of Jesus is so old I’m sure a few have embellished along the way…) that Jesus’ “miracles” were still based in science — or they were metaphors told for a purpose, but were not literal events. But that’s for the historians to figure out.

    For me it is sufficient to read about the ancient masters (Jesus, Siddhartha Gatama, etc.) and learn what is helpful for me in my life. Fairy tale or historical truth…we can learn principles that help us live with peace in our daily lives. I understand the propensity for many to attach to a presumed literally accurate religious story. It gives a degree of hope and guidance that may be difficult for them otherwise.

    The evolution I am seeing is that we are becoming more accepting of other’s stories; that has to be good for humanity. We have a long way to go (particularly in the middle east, sadly) to get past the ingrained battles for being “God’s chosen.” I think we can learn from history though, and recognize that it is only when we stop claiming to have more truth, or chosenness, than others, that we can live together in true peace.

    I have “faith” that that day will come.



  34. Kirk says:

    The war between science and religion is best seen as a battle between a shark and a tiger. On its own territory, each is invincible: but stray into the opponent’s kingdom and the enemy is bound to prevail. – Steve Jones

    Tragically, this war will rage on, indiscriminately destroying what we humans hold close to our hearts: lives, relationships, health and happiness – even possibly our very existence on this planet. And possibly the most difficult to understand in Excuse the simple, perhaps unnecessary metaphor – but it appears to me that we are all guilty of looking through very jaded eyes. We too often perceive feelings, and this perception becomes our reality. As humans, we are often unable, perhaps unwilling to look beyond our jungles, our oceans. Yet we are anxious to yell across the borders, quick to insult and belittle those outside of our limited territories. We reign supreme in our own environments without the desire or ability to perceive truth outside of this perceived reality. Truth becomes irrelevant in our quest to justify ourselves. I will say this as a basic tenant of human nature – If we search diligently enough, with enough conviction and need, each one of us will find and justify what we are searching for. And we will find it and justify it often regardless of truth. The saddest part of the war is that it is being waged on a foundation of perceptions. If we look deeply enough into our hearts, I believe that we will be able to admit that we simply don’t have the answers. God simply does not have a “chosen” people. Maybe we will be able to admit this to ourselves before we destroy each other.

    For me, religion is currently far outside of my realm of reality. This belief did not come easily for me, nor did it arrive at a cheap price. For over forty years, I was heavily involved with the LDS church. I was raised in a very conservative, active LDS family in the heart of Utah. I served a proselyting mission for the church in Europe, returning home eager to serve in the various leadership positions that I was called to. I graduated from the University of Utah, married in the Salt Lake City temple and have three beautiful children. Concerning church activity, my wife had a very similar upbringing, also in Utah. Her father served as an LDS bishop, Stake President and later on as a mission president. So, our decision to “leave the church” actually was an extremely difficult one. As we have continued to live in Utah, the decision has involved many aspects of our lives – not just our time on Sundays.

    To clarify an important point: We don’t believe that we have left the church. We believe that it left us. Our decision was not based on anything other than what we consider to be an intelligent, informed decision. We did not commit grave sins. We were never disciplined in any way by the church. Our decision was purely based on prayer, study and our complete love for our children.

    We have read and studied faithfully over the past three decades. I have been an active participant in FARMS publications, forums and debates. I practically know the Book of Mormon by memory. (I will leave it up to the reader to research FARMS acronym and purpose) I choose not to participate in a lengthy discussion about the thirty years of prayer and study that has led me to my current position regarding religion, but I will say this much: I believe that the world is a very dangerous place today, due in large part to the “chosen people” attitude of religion. Everyone wants to belong to the private, exclusive club. We all want to believe that our lives are blessed, that our existence has a validating God. And we justify horrible deeds in the name of this God. We fly airplanes into buildings, killing thousands of innocent people. We argue endlessly trying to defend our positions on metaphorical musings. We add historicity into religion metaphors, and then spend too much of our valuable time defending our positions. Do any of us really know? Why and when did it become more important to say that we believe something, than it is to be a good person? Too often, we loose the importance of a message taught through metaphor as we argue the historicity of events taught in the metaphor. Is the beautiful message of renewal, spiritual rebirth and repentance less important than standing up and shouting that one believes in the actual resurrection of Christ?

    This blog is far too long, and I apologize for this. At the same time, I am grateful for the opportunity to share some thoughts.



  35. dejaj says:


    What a funny email. As one of your non-existent friends who don’t love you, I do agree that you most certainly use this blog to draw a whole lot of attention to yourself. You horrible self-promoting author you. I bet you sell a lot of books and are crying all the way to the f-ing bank!

    What an awful cynic you are.

    Wish I sold as many books.


  36. K*tty says:

    Kirk, Wow! I think you have summed up life in a nutshell. I don’t mean to sound stalk-er-ish, but I would love to read anything that you have written. If you have a blog, I am on board. Thanks for taking the time to post on this site. You have literally made my day. Kitty


  37. Rick says:

    Kirk, thanks for your thoughts. The spiritual journey of one leaving a dogmatic religion such as Mormonism is indeed challenging…and I submit gratifying at the same time. Like you said, the death/rebirth metaphor can even be applied to the transitioning exmormon — the “death” being frought with pain and conflict, but the rebirth bringing new and unseen color to life.

    A little twist on a story from the Book of Mormon regarding the “great and spacious building” was posted on a blog by a friend of mine:

    One quote: “The view from where we are is breathtaking. We look down and see so many in the wilderness, struggling in the storm, holding on to a cold railing to keep from falling into the mud. We look out and see the vast view from where we stand. From our perspective we see beyond the path and the rod and the valley. We can see past the trees and hills to the sea and the stars. Then we look down again and we hear the cries and prayers. We see the fruit and, yes, it is desirable. We know because it is also in here where it is warm. In here there is fruit and meat and chocolate and wine and warmth and music. In here we sing and meditate and read and learn and sometimes even pray. We live and we love and we celebrate.

    We laugh because there is joy. And, this I promise you, we are not pointing with our fingers, we are beckoning with open and outstretched hands.”

    I love life today…not to say I didn’t “love it” as a Mormon. The truth is, most of my activities haven’t changed much. I still go to work, hit the gym often, hang with friends and family, get excited as the Utes win the Sugarbowl, etc., but the attitude is soooo different.

    I am much more accepting of others beliefs and lifestyles. I don’t point fingers at those who believe and act differently than I. I have gratitude for simple things — things that I felt entitled to before…don’t know why that is, but it is palpable. I love nature more than ever — perhaps because I see the possibility that this is all there is? I live in the moment with very little thought of what I should have done differently, or what I should do to be worthy of a better tomorrow.

    My “morals” are similar, but for a different reason. The golden rule is a simple paradigm to live by, and works for almost every conceivable situation. “Guilt,” once an emotion that drove most of my actions, I now view as a fear-based, taxing feeling that creates despicably low self-worth and self-love — an attitude that neccesitates external intervention of never-sufficient forgiveness. Thus we have…


    Funny how that works.



  38. Kirk says:

    Rick, I can’t express to you how deeply some of your thoughts have touched me. I stumbled upon this blog site quite by accident, as I have never attempted to participate publicly in discussions of this nature. You shared some aspects of your life through your writings, which inspired me to take a chance and reveal something of myself. This past June, in southern Utah I was involved in a small airplane crash that nearly took my life. My son was the pilot of the plane. Through this trial, and the daily struggle dealing with physical and emotional hardships, our family has grown immensely in ways that I never could have anticipated. I know that this next statement will sound strange to many, but it is true….If I could somehow transport back in time, to a period prior to the accident, I would choose to have it occur all over again. I would easily sacrifice my health for the close bonds that my family has developed as a result.

    Visits from friends and family have become treasured moments – actually most moments in life have become much more treasured and somehow deeply personal for me. Life truly has taken on perspectives and viewpoints that are difficult to explain….especially considering my limited writing abilities. Believe me, I’m not saying that my experience is unique – or even of any more importance than what others experience on a daily basis, with health issues, personal conflicts etc… But, for me it has changed forever my perceptions of life, and will forever influence how I view relationships, hardship, love, life and death.

    Thank you for taking the time to write. Kitty has become an instant friend. Rick – you and I could hang with friends together.



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