Sunday musings….

Today is Sunday, the day I DON’T go to church and the day I DON’T worship anything but sunshine, long naps, and time spent with loved ones and good friends.

My hometown is a ghost town on Sundays, unless you happen to live within two blocks of any Mormon church. And in my hometown, EVERYBODY lives within two blocks of a Mormon church. That, folks, is where it is all happening. Those parking lots are full. The restaurants, the stores, the parks… pretty much a ghost town. Completely deserted. But the church parking lots are full, and you can see people dressed in their “Sunday best” coming and going most of the day.

Birdman and I share a similar take on the purpose of Sundays. He is not worried that one day I am going to try to drag him to the temple, and make ritualistic threats to disembowel myself. (Disclaimer. I have heard that tasty little part of the temple rites has been removed. Just saying.) In fact, he shares my own thought patterns. We drive by the crowded church parking lot, on the way to get some lunch, and he will say “Oh, we forgot to go to church today!”

I used to say this to my daughters all the time, and they still say it to me from time to time. Considering everyone around us who DOES go to church, we are very forgetful people.

The truth is, for many years after I left Mormonism I could not go inside an LDS Chapel. I had a very real, very disturbing aversion to anything that had to do with Mormonism, and all that comes with it. I made many excuses not to attend family functions held at Churches, and for a long time I believe my family thought I was just selfish, but the truth is: I COULD NOT MAKE MYSELF GO INSIDE.

I would have panic attacks just driving by a church, which led to my joking about “Hey, we forgot to go to church. I hate it when that happens.”

But somewhere along the line you begin to heal, or fix yourself. The reason I could not go inside a Mormon Church for so many years is very clear to me. I knew it wasn’t true, and I knew there were so many unanswered questions regarding it, questions that I would never get answers to. From people who SAID they had all the answers.

This is the only TRUE CHURCH, and the proof lies in this fiery passion and burning in the bosom.

It is sheer lunacy to base your life on an emotional fallacy, and all around me were people acting like lunatics, and treating ME like I was the one who had lost all reason.

Reasoning skills allow you to see that there were three different versions of the “first vision,” and know that somebody (Joe Smith) was pretty much making this up, because I’m telling you, if I saw God, and there wasn’t alcohol involved, I would NOT be changing the details. If GOD told me that all the other churches were an abomination, I would sure as hell NOT be joining one months later. To do so would be SHEER LUNACY.

There is little in the base Mormon doctrine that can be supported by facts and reason, but this does not stop thousands of people from getting up every Sunday, putting on their church clothes, and going to meetings.

How does this type of phenomenon happen? I mean, HOW do you convince yourself that something so ridiculous is so real?

I think I have it figured out. For example, after I had children I would watch episodes of Touched by an Angel and SOB. No, I am not making this up. This hopelessly hokey, “God Loves You,” show brought the tears just about every week.

Then my hormones righted themselves, and I got a grip on reality and realized that while Roma Downey was repairing that fractured relationship of a mother and daughter, some child somewhere else was being brutally murdered, with nary an angel in sight to step in and save them.

As my friend Deb pointed out the other day, “Why would God answer prayers about lost keys, and ignore the prayers of a child lost in the woods?”

It’s lunacy. These things could not be more random.

Realizing this made me realize that the horrible stigma of Outer Darkness, and the term “Apostate” and “Anti-Mormon” were the things that were keeping me OUT of Mormon churches, and even causing me panic attacks.

I am NOT an Anti-Mormon. I love many Mormons. I think Mormonism is silly, but I no longer feel the extreme panic and fear I felt for years after “leaving” the Mormon Church at the age of 18. I can walk inside a Mormon church today, and not feel the world crushing down around me, because I know that they were wrong. That this is NOT the only way.

That there simply isn’t one truth. Truth has many sides to it.

I can go inside a Mormon Church and stay there for more then a few minutes. I don’t DO it often, but I can.

Because I realized that what lies beneath the trappings of Mormonism is utter bullshit. People are all so damned afraid of dying and going NOWHERE, that they cling to this belief system that doesn’t have one shred of reason or sanity.

But many around me still cling to that bullshit. Smelly or not.

As for me, on a beautiful day like today, I drive by a church and casually say, “Damn, we forgot to go to church.”

I will never remember that. I have more important things to think about. When my youngest daughter discovered there was no Santa Claus, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Well, then how do I know there’s a God?”

Good question.

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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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45 Responses to Sunday musings….

  1. worm says:

    This goes along so well with our common friends assumption that if God appears to be wrong, surprised or caught off guard in scripture, then we should disregard that scripture so as to make God infallable…wait, so we disregard all scientific evidence that shows your scripture to be flawed, and blindly believe that God is perfect and our understanding is flawed…so in essence, if we are questioning our own belief system, it’s not the system that is wrong, it’s us???? I am so confused by the blindness of this understanding of faith…when the tangable is disregarded for the sake of a belief system?
    I don’t want Santa Claus back, but Dance girl has a point…if there is no Santa how can we be certain there is a God?? Mom and Dad swore by Santa the first 8 years of our lives…and they still swear by their belief system…

    Like

  2. Seth R. says:

    I’ve been a Mormon my whole life and active. Intend to stay that way.

    I have never once, in my entire life, experienced a “burning in the bosom.”

    I stick around because I like the doctrine – at it’s core. Everything else is incidental to me.

    Like

  3. WendyP. says:

    I love Sundays in Utah! Fewer people at the grocery store. Fewer people at the movies. More room for ME. Without fail though, I see my Mormon neighbors at the grocery store on Sunday. It’s hilarious. They’re so guilt-ridden.

    Yesterday was beautiful in my area. I cannot imagine spending 3 precious hours at church going through the motions of something so man-made and ridiculous, yet I did it for 20 years. What a waste.

    Like

  4. worm says:

    Seth,
    To each their own…the Mormon culture/core has its value…I just can’t buy into a religion with so many holes in the fabric of the it’s doctorine. But if you are happy…well, that’s what counts…after all, life is just a matter of the moments we truly enjoy.
    I’ll enjoy mine in the empty stores, streets and the outdoors of Utah on Sunday.

    Like

  5. JulieAnn says:

    Loving it, Worm. Great…

    Like

  6. Elaine says:

    I’ve got this theory about Sundays. Even though I don’t practice any religion, I completely believe the thing about Sunday being a day of rest. I take that very seriously. So, I spend Sunday resting when I can.

    Mormon’s don’t get to rest on Sunday. Anyway, when I was one, I didn’t. It was always meeting after meeting after meeting, and when not in meetings it was doing visiting teaching, or this or that or the other church thing.

    Now, I get to rest most Sundays. And when I don’t, it’s because I choose to work in the house or in the yard, or do some writing or meet with a tutorial student. I’m active because I choose to be, not because someone else expects me to be.

    Elaine

    Like

  7. Clark says:

    Empty Sundays are one of the pluses to living in Utah.

    And I’m really glad to see you so active with your blog again!

    Like

  8. Natalie says:

    Thanks, Clark! I’m enjoying blogging. As some might say, a LITTLE too much.

    Like

  9. kjourney says:

    I swear in one of your old posts you wrote that you lived in Davis county… so I’m wondering where all the empty Sunday stores are (I live in the area). Every time I go to Walmart on Sunday it’s packed! This past Sunday my husband and I decided to skip church and take our kid to the zoo (we are still closet doubters at the moment) and it was so crowded we couldn’t find a place to park. Please share the unpopulated sabbath hot spots!

    Like

  10. worm says:

    Kjourney,
    Any where there is water…fishing, hot potting, swimming…
    Sizzler before church gets out at 4:00…
    Smith’s, Fresh Market (used to be Albertson’s)…
    Golf Courses, Secondary roads, hiking trails…
    Of course, my favorite is the backyard…all the neighbors are at church, and all is calm and quiet.

    Like

  11. Barbara Parsons says:

    Thank-you for your comments. I am still i n the “I can never walk into a Mormon church again” phase. My poor sister died in February, was cremated, and her daughter held a memorial for her in a local ward. I did not attend, did not drive from Ga. to La and all because of where the servicce was held. But I know my sister would have understood. How long does it take to get over the sense of betrayal and loathing I feel toward the church and a lot of its people (mainly the GAs who perpetuate lies and keep the myth of JS alive)? I like your attitude and hope to one day I can let it all roll off my back but I was in too long, lost so much and still have nightmares. I did do the temple thing, the symbolic disembowlment and throat slashing gestures (I just aged myself, I fear) and lived too long in fear of being thrust into outer darkness or the telestial kingdom. The more I tried to be perfect, the harder I was on myself every time I failed. I thank God, if there really is one, for getting me out of the madness. Hope to read more of your thoughts. Thanks again for writing and radiating hope for recovery to us who are not as far along the road to there.

    Like

  12. Just the Facts, Ma'am says:

    Hey, can ex-Southern Baptists play, too?

    I know the Southern Baptist culture isn’t nearly as extreme as Mormonism, but my journey away from the brainwashing of my childhood has been difficult, and still is.

    My 87 year old mother still tells me that she prays for me every morning while I drive the 43 mile commute to the office. She credits my continued existence, unscathed as yet by a car accident, to her prayers, NOT to my driving skills, my undivided attention to the traffic around me, or the fact that I drive in at the butt-crack of dawn so I miss the worst traffic. I know, she has believed this stuff her whole life, and I will not destroy her support system, but it’s just nonsense to me.

    I, too, have trouble with classifying myself, because Atheism is a belief just as Theism is a belief. My thoughts fit into the Agnostic category pretty well since the premise is that it is not possible to KNOW whether or not a god exists, and if one does, the nature of that god. So when I am approached by the door-to-door folks, whether Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness or just plain evangelical busybodies at the Target store, I tell them I am a Scientific Pantheist. Since all of them are throroughly unfamiliar with the term and it is sufficiently vague, this usually stops them in their tracks. If they are able to stammer out a question, like “what is that?”, I smile and say, “Look it up” as I close the door or turn to walk away.

    Your statement “People are all so damned afraid of dying and going NOWHERE, that they cling to this belief system that doesn’t have one shred of reason or sanity” is entirely correct. I am fond of the lines from Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” uttered by Gene Wilder as he prepares to take his creation up to the lightening storm. “Since that fateful day when stinking bits of slime crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, ‘I am Man’, our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our own mortality.” It amazes me that humans, in the face of ever-emerging scientific data, still cling to religion, ANY religion, to make themselves feel better.

    If I am feeling stressed or worried or hassled, I turn to alcohol. Its effects are measurable, it’s dependable, it’s legal, and as long as I don’t drive and my liver holds out, I am, for a time, euphoric. It doesn’t change the situation that has made me stressed or worried or hassled, but it’s a nice break, and afterwards I can get back to taking action to change the circumstance instead of asking god to fix it for me.

    Have you ever noticed how little action religious people actually take to address the ills of the world? Their “actions” consist of prayer, and saving peoples’ souls. Geez, how about feeding the homeless, or better yet, building affordable housing for humans instead of huge houses of worship? Stop praying and DO something, for humanity’s sake. Flush toilets did not drop from the heavens, a human being developed it and sanitary conditions the world over improved.

    Well, thanks for letting me rant just a bit. I really enjoy your entries. It helps me know that I am not alone. There are other sane, thinking, rational people out there.

    Like

  13. Glen says:

    I see a lot of myself in your post. I’m only 18 as of right now, and I left the church only 2 years ago. I still hate going inside. I’m always afraid someone’s going to make me “have a talk with them” or something.

    It’s just the norm to do around here — go to church. I think many people don’t even really abide by the standards of the LDS church; they just do it so they can “feel” better than their non-religious counterparts, and that is what I hate the most about the whole thing. It’s silly that you can brand yourself, behave exactly the same, and feel superior.

    Can’t wait to get away from here.

    Like

  14. STEVE MAYFIELD says:

    dear cousin …….and I have the photos to prove it! (smile)

    Like

  15. Miss O says:

    You got a bunch of great comments on this great post! I am just about out of the anger stage, and when I picture HAVING to go up to the church for some family thing I don’t start dry heaving… so I’m just about good.

    I stayed in because of the “core doctorine” until I learned that the core we are being taught is VERY different from the original core taught.

    Bless everyone for hopes that we all can be happy no matter what we do on Sundays. 🙂

    Like

  16. Kathie says:

    I am going inside one tomorrow for my TBM mom’s funeral. Mormons have hijacked it all, but I appreciate your words “sheer lunacy” because I agree totally with you. I go into casinos which I don’t really enjoy, so I can go into this stupid vacuous expensive one-on-every-corner building that enriches the few at the expense of so many duped lives. I will remember that outside this building is real life, and many who know the truth is not Mormonism. Your posts make my life better.

    Like

  17. Natalie says:

    Seth, the doctrine AT ITS CORE? You mean:
    Blood Atonement
    Polygamy
    Adam God Doctrine
    Blacks and the priesthood
    Bible Plagiarism
    Three different versions of the “first” vision
    The missing first manuscript
    The way Joe Smith got around the missing first manuscript (which, should it ever turn up, would be absolutely FASCINATING)

    Just to name a few. Those core doctrines?

    Like

  18. Natalie says:

    Kathie

    Sorry to hear about your mom’s death. My thoughts are with you. Sometimes we have to give in and go against our core beliefs to respect those of others. It will probably NEVER be returned. That’s something that is hard for Mormons to comprehend. Just how disrespectful their disrespect of US really is.

    Like

  19. Natalie says:

    KJourney, you know, it really IS starting to get that way in lots of Davis County. My little town is still pretty quiet and ghost-townish on Sunday, but Layton is often hopping. Guess it’s because of the diversity there, with HAFB and all that.

    Like

  20. Natalie says:

    Miss O,

    You are in a good place. When you can finally just LAUGH about how silly it all is.

    Like

  21. Natalie says:

    Hey Barbara,

    There is hope, and you will get there. I never thought I would, and I did. Just remember that you have the RIGHT to the way you feel, and you have the right to allow yourself time to heal.

    Like

  22. Natalie says:

    Don’t try that blackmail, Cousin Steve! Heh. I have my OWN pictures with my own camera that prove I was there.

    Like

  23. Lisa says:

    Wow. I am absolutely loving all of your blogs. They sum up Mormonism perfectly. I am 30 and was raised in the church my entire life. I had about 8 years of inactivity from 16 to 24, but due to TONS of family pressure I found myself attending again. I NEVER in my ENTIRE life had that “burning of the bosom” that the church talk abouts. I always thought that there was something wrong with me….my entire life. Well, anyway, I later married in the temple (talk about an insane surprise) and things have slowly been going downhill since then. I don’t think that ANYTHING can prepare young women for what happens in the temple. You are groomed your entire life to think it is so special and wonderful, but you have to cover your face with this ugly thick veil because God can’t handle you as well as he can the men, or something to that effect. In February of this year, my super TBM RM older brother sent me a link about how the church used to use slaves as tithing. I was in so much shock I had to look it up to see if it was really true. That is what opened up Pandora’s box. I found out things that I had never heard in all my years of church attendance. I was never told that Joseph was a polygamist. I was told that Joseph ran home and told his parents about the first vision right after it happened, not years after the BoM was found and not that it had three different versions. The story about Joseph not drinking alcohol during surgery for his leg, that was all a pile of crap because he was drinking even after his Word of Wisdom “revelation”. I have found out so much in the last few months regarding the church and where it really came from. The temple and how it borrows Masonic rituals. I just can’t stomach to go anymore. I haven’t made it official yet, but I have with my husband and he is understanding at this point. I just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your blogs. They really “hit home” with a lot of us that were raised in the church and finally found out what a scam it all is.

    Like

  24. worm says:

    Lisa, if you like Natalie’s blogs, you will love her books under the name Natalie R Collins.
    I haven’t been active for over 35 years, and there is still the continued insistance by the family that one day I will “return to what you know is true”…
    Whatever happened to their 11th Article of Faith…

    Slaves for tithing…I hadn’t heard that one, now I have to go research.
    Blacks and the priesthood was my wake up call.

    Like

  25. Lisa says:

    M. If your post is aimed at me it makes no sense whatsoever. Presently, I am very upset with the LDS Church for teaching me things that either were not true, white-washed, or covered up. This is a personal battle that I have been going through. I have been reading church history almost non-stop since the end of February. Some nights staying up until 5:00 in the morning to soak everything in. My dad passed away eight weeks ago and my mother has macular degeneration, so she cannot drive. Yesterday I told her that I would drop her off at her church, because I have made the decision to no longer attend, after reading the church history I have read. I do not “criticize” people who are members of the church. I just want them to be happy. I feel far more truth from the hisory that I am reading now, than I ever felt while reading the book of Mormon. If you want to declare I don’t know some miraculous truth because of my “intellect and five senses” that is your perogative. But guess what? You don’t know me, so I would greatly appreciate it if you would back off and stay on your fluffy sites or keep your mouth shut. I have gone through a personal hell that you don’t even dare glance at, and that was the real truth of the LDS church and where it came from. Hat with a rock anyone? Or maybe a romp in the barn with another man’s wife? I also love the self-proclaimed prophecy Joseph inserted in the Bible (Genesis 50:33)….

    Like

  26. M says:

    Wow, Lisa, I’m sorry for the loss of your father and I’m glad my comment could serve as a target for getting some of your anger out. You are correct–my comment doesn’t make any sense directed at you, because it was not directed at you at all. It was directed at the author of the original post (I thought in the blogging world that was the general assumption unless a comment specifically calls out another commenter? My bad if my assumption was incorrect). But it applies to anyone who comes in and says “You believers cannot KNOW anything. You are all deluded. I KNOW that your religion is false.” Can’t you see the obvious logical double-standard in such statements when a non-believer claims that he/she KNOWS that a believer is wrong? It’s rather amusing, in a sad kind of way.

    This blog is obviously a place where people with a chip on their shoulder against the LDS church come to rant and fume. So be it. But if anyone happens to visit here honestly seeking to know the truth (and not just wanting to hear their own negative opinions reaffirmed by others who are likeminded) then I thought it was worth pointing out the obvious hypocrisy and logical fallacy in saying “You people who claim to know the truth are all deluded. You cannot know the truth. I know the truth.” It’s a logical circle that leads to nowhere.

    The real truth is, it takes the external witness of the Spirit of God to truly discern truth from error. Our puny little brains just aren’t great enough to do it on our own. Those who reject and fight against God with their intellect are likely to eventually drive themselves mad as their minds race in endless circles. But for someone who really does want to know, there is a way out of the pointless spinning–but you have to humbly seek the truth with enough patience to find it. I would suggest starting by reading the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart to know whether it’s true, rather than with an agenda to prove that it’s false. I’m not going to spend any more time reading the pointless diatribes on this blog, but from the couple of posts I did read, it looks like the complaints against LDS church doctrine and history here are really very lame. There are such easy answers to the old, tired arguments levied here for someone who truly wants to get to the bottom of the truth. As just one example, Joseph Smith’s alleged “three first vision accounts”–actually there are many more than three. Shockingly, for an event as important as Deity visiting man, Joseph Smith told the story more than three times. And one time he mentioned seeing a light–and another time he mentioned seeing fire–and another time he mentioned a pillar of light–and other a pillar of fire–wow, the discrepancies are shocking!!!! Read this page I found if you want more resources about this “controversy”: http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_first_vision.shtml#odd.

    But it would be a waste of time to rebut every point made here because otheres have already done a much better job of it than I could, and most of those reading this blog don’t want to hear the truth anyway–they just want to Baaaa loudly and hear others Baaaa back (I am indebted to a commenter on a more recent post for bringing up the sheep analogy, which fits so well here).

    Like

  27. Worm says:

    M
    and just why do you suspect “your” truth to be “the” truth?? Really, study the BoM…are you kidding? I spent half a century doing that…and finding falsehood and lie after lie…but, you go right ahead and condem the knowledgable author, disregard all the other proof the would weaken the foundation of your conviction. Disregard your own 11th Article of Faith. Claim that people of color became equal be devine revolation and not civil rights law suits, claim that slaves were not traded to equate for tithes.
    Go back to your reading, wait for the burning in your bossom, and on death’s door when you realize it was only heartburn, see how you have wasted your life and your energy in attempting to convience others they are wrong and “your” truth is the only truth.

    You poor sod

    Like

  28. Carl says:

    M –
    If possible, you really should step back a few steps and try to read Jeff Lindsay’s writings from a dispassionate perspective. His apologist twist and doctrinal spin on LDS theology concerning blacks, polygamy, church history and the beginnings of Joseph Smith are amusing at best.

    Two questions that will require you to use some of the “puny” (your inference) brainpower.

    1 – Does your mind ever question that God would create a world where such a pathetically small amount of his children ever accept his “one true gospel?” I mean, with around 110 billion people (approx) that have lived on this earth, “God’s chosen people equate to less than .00001% of the total. Consider that this percentage is shrinking drastically each year, and I would consider this a very failed project. Maybe he will have better luck with Mars on the next go-around.

    2 – Does it ever bother you that the “doctrine of God’s only true church” has changed so very much since he revealed his ever-lasting revelations through J Smith? And it seems to change even more through each interview and theology book written? I mean, just listen to GBH’s interviews on man progressing to become Gods. Listen to his interviews regarding polygamy and blacks. Compare these discussions with the 175 plus years of doctrine and practice, and then ask yourself why and what does the LDS church really teach.

    I read voraciously, spent more than 5 decades as an active LDS member, and am now absolutely astounded at the quantity of basic teachings that are modified or discontinued each year.

    God’s only true church. I think not.

    Like

  29. M says:

    Trying again for Worm…

    Worm, being an unsophisticated Yankee, I have never been called “sod” before. I had to look it up on wikipedia to realize that I was being called a mild insult in the Queen’s English, rather than a piece of grass. It said it is often used as a term of endearment among Brits. So I guess that means that you like me (worms do like sod, after all), and I should say “thanks.”

    To set the record straight, I don’t “suspect” my truth being “the” truth–I know it. My witness comes from external evidence–from evidence that no word-spinning can refute. You can call me crazy, deluded, a liar, etc., but I know things from the witness of the Holy Ghost just as surely as I know that grass is green and the sky is blue. A person blind from birth would have a difficult time understanding what I mean if I tried to describe the colors of grass or the sky, but that doesn’t change the truth of it. I know the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that God lives, that Jesus is the Savior, and that Christ’s church is on the earth today, led by a prophet of God. I certainly respect anyone’s right to believe differently, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree, nor be happy about it, nor remain silent when others loudly attack what I know to be true. Since I happened to stumble across this blog and found it to be full of rather silly statements attacking Christ’s church, I don’t feel bad offering a dissenting voice in favor of the truth. I am sorry, and I apologize, if I ended up being offensive at all in my approach–sometimes our best intents are foiled by our human weakness. The truth is, I care deeply enough about the welfare of the human family (all of us here on earth) that I have wasted my time writing what I have.

    Mormon critics love to attack the BOM because it is one of the pillars that Christ’s restored church is built on, but if you bother to investigate the anti-BOM arguments at an objective, scholarly level, nearly every complaint eventually comes around to discredit the attackers and support the validity of the BOM. In some ways, critics of the BOM have done more to elevate its status in scholarly circles than believers have.

    As for wasting my life, well, my intent is to “waste and wear out my life” in the cause of Christ because it brings immense joy to me and to any whom I might be able to steer in the right direction. I love my life, and I hope that you eventually come to love yours too.

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  30. Natalie says:

    I don’t even see M’s comment. Maybe my spam monster ate it. LOL.

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  31. Natalie says:

    Okay, M, I went back in and tried to recover any comments I saw you left. Spam Karma sometimes randomly eats comments. It’s happened to both sides of the debate, so don’t take it personally.

    I welcome opposing viewpoints. Even when you are obviously smoking crack.

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  32. worm says:

    M…I think my dear Natalie got it right, M must stand for Moron…WTF?
    That would be sod…as in sodimist…get a clue!

    “your” truth is not “The Truth”…no matter how you twist it…Witness of the Holy Ghost?? You need to quit listening to the “voices”…

    Reality as shared by Carl (a very scholarly sceptic of your “faith”) 1/100,000th of the population shares your “truth” and that number is deminishing annually. Any idea why???

    Love life…you have no clue about what you speak…life is the greatest joy…from its creation to its being extinguished…and then??? if I don’t believe as you, I am left to outer darkness??? I don’t buy your non-logical plan…having been on a first name basis with death for many years, I can’t buy your here-after…it doesn’t exist, when the light goes out, the light is gone…
    Love every minute of your life, don’t plan to enjoy it in another greater future life…it ain’t coming, get out there now…smoke, drink alcohol, chew tabbaco…you, or your wife doesn’t have to clean up, then be overcome by the spirit to create a word of wisdom, additional dogma to keep the little lady happy, kind of like the whole plural marriage idea. Enjoy the pleasures of the body…all of them…cause, it’s the moments that make life worth living…

    I can always look back on a full life…you look forward to the possibility of an afterlife…
    Bring yourself joy somewhere that doesn’t include this group of knowledgable people who have discovered for themselves that Mormonism is a scam, a lie, a burden many of us were born into and took most of our adult lives to rationalize and overcome…don’t place your guilt with us…we have escaped and become free of the guilt associated with living that lie. If you believe, then go preach to the choir…if you end up on my door, I will let the Great Dane preach to your ass…

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  33. Lisa says:

    M. Well, your post was pretty vague and right after mine and on another of Natalie’s blogs I saw that you had pounced on the poster above you with lots of “Baaaaaaah” stuff, which mimiced the commenter above you, so I was unsure. Yes, I am upset. It is one flipping thing after another that I come across. Two nights ago it was the Kinderhook plates that I came across for the first time, along with the “faith promoting” poster that the church made regarding them. It just never ends. No amount of prayer or faith could cover up what I have read. All of this information is way too damaging, because it is based on journals, quotes, church history, newspaper articles, the BoM itself, the BofA, and so much more…..

    Like

  34. JulieAnn says:

    Well…hmmm. From a humanist standpoint, I’d say M is neither a Moron nor a…whatever else he was called. He was simply a believer seeking embittered, angry people to justify his beliefs. Did we give it to him, folks?

    Not that I’m a perfect specimen of anything, but if you can look behind his words and see from where he comes, it’s easier to say your truth and not get angry.

    He wrote ” I KNOW…. just as sure is the grass is green…”
    My response would have been, “And I know it isn’t true, as surely as the grass is green, so tell me, M; how do we dialog about two, mutually exclusive, subjective truths?

    Because I’m willing to dialog. I’m willing to talk. I’m not afraid of anything he has to say; nothing he tells me will bring up ghosts of Beliefs Past that will haunt me. THAT’S how you know you’re past it all, folks. When you can dialog without anger, without blame and without nit-picking apart random facts about BoM editions or first visions.

    You come at it from a point of love and from a place where you don’t have any investment in changing his beliefs. Maybe he’s happy where he lives? Maybe he just needed some angry ex-mo’s to give him an inspirational story for Fast and Testimony meeting? Either way, don’t give them what they want. Show them with our words that we’ve moved on. The best revenge is the life well lived. *off my soap box now*,

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  35. Todd says:

    Well said JulieAnn. You go girl!

    Todd

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  36. Ben says:

    A little more than an outsider, and in the spirit of disclosure here, I also live in Davis County near Natalie. We aren’t even acquaintances and she certainly wouldn’t even recognize me if we met. Actually, we did meet once at a book signing where I obtained a book with her autograph.

    I consider myself a little more than an outsider in these religious discussions as I have spent more than 5 decades dedicated to LDS theology and practice. Through various missionary callings and nearly 6 years as an LDS Bishop, I feel like I have enough background experience to make some fairly sound observations concerning this topic.

    As I have stated in the past; I didn’t necessarily “leave the church”. I feel that it left me. It left me after a lifetime of leading me through theological and emotional paradigms that were routinely and systematically misrepresented, altered and changed.

    What “m” needs to realize is that there are billions of people on the planet that “know as certainly as anything tangible or intangible” that their truth is God’s truth. Thousands die for this belief every year. This “belief / knowledge” is dangerous. The m’s of the world fly airplanes into buildings. On a smaller scale, through ignorance and arrogance, they destroy relationships, cause inner turmoil through guilt and fear. And, they do this in the name of Christ and God.

    Simple fact here: nobody truly knows. They feel through emotions. We all need to love and accept. And, we need to understand that if there truly is a God, he would certainly resent the idea of a “chosen” people.

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  37. worm says:

    JA…I am working on my anger management…it only comes out through religion…=D
    Ben…Thank you for a more insightful way of handling this issue…and I want to steal your last line:
    “if there truly is a God, he would certainly resent the idea of a “chosen” people.”

    Like

  38. JulieAnn says:

    I know worm :0) But that’s the beauty of comments. You can think before hitting “submit”. LOL We want to win the war, not the battle, so to speak.

    Ben, I agree with most of what you say. However, to lump all believers into the “flying into a building” group is as myopic and prejudiced as them lumping us into “all going to hell”. They aren’t all like that, and WE are not all going to hell. BALANCE.

    There are many knowledgeable and humble people who are religious. They have lives, families, values and morals that supersede what they are taught at church. There have been plenty of people who are murderous wretches who did their deeds without God as their motivation.

    I urge people to be careful with generalizations. I don’t agree with Todd up there (hi Todd–long time!) But he and I are able to dialog quite effectively, if not circularly (LOL) about religion.

    The problem is with the word “Know”. What does it mean “to Know”? Not much. There isn’t much we DO know. You may think you know the grass is green. If you ask people all over the world “What color is the grass” they will invariably say “green”. Okay, so that may be a “truth” with a capitol “T”. Ah, but wait–what if one person’s green is another person’s blue? If we could skip inside a person’s head and see what they see, we may say “You’re seeing green ALL WRONG! That isn’t right at all! No wonder your socks never match!”

    And there’s the rub. We can’t ever know a person’s experience or knowledge. Who’s to say that M’s “witness” wasn’t indeed that –FOR HIM? Does it have to be for you because he experienced it? No. If he tries to tell you that, you can choose to take that on–or not. He can tell you “You’re wrong” and you can either nod and say, “Okay, thanks for your input” and walk away, or you can engage and have circular arguments to no avail.

    It’s where you want to spend your energy–and ultimately what you’d like the outcome to look like.

    Like

  39. Natalie says:

    I know that I need to finish this book. Now THAT I know is true!!!

    Like

  40. worm says:

    JA…I feel properly admonished and asshamed…(I KNOW there is an extra “s”)
    You must have been highly enlightened by meeting my mother at church =0)

    I’ll just go have another glass of MEAD and think before I push the submit button…thanks…lol

    Like

  41. Lisa says:

    I agree Julie. When I discuss these things with my family I remain calm and if they get upset and the dialogue stops there. I just told my mom this week that I will no longer be attending church, but I am available to drive her (she is blind). We discussed this some. She asked some questions. I answered them…..gently….and even then it got a little hairy. Not horribly hairy, like what others have dealt with, but enough to where I felt like a teenager again that had been caught drinking a beer (and no I haven’t touched one drop of alcohol since making this decision and don’t play to, already found out I have a weakness for it in my late teens). AND, she was also worried that she had been part of a “farce” for all these years. I could not condone helping my mom leave the church, especially since my father just died. She needs any comfort she can get and she actually gets comfort there, unlike me. But she was very upset by some of the stuff I told her, so I literally backed off and said the conversation was over. I didn’t want to harm her faith.

    M’s post, which is no longer up, just seemed almightier than thou, and when it is someone I don’t know, I have had a bad week, and I just barely find out ANOTHER truth about church history….well I stand up for myself. LOL! M’s post was so vague, I really could not tell exactly who it was aimed at. But anyhoo, I definitely agree with keeping a cool head. I just think that since I only found this stuff out in February and I am still doing research, I can be a little touchy with strangers if treated like I don’t know what I am talking about. hehe Funny how human behavior is…. 🙂

    Like

  42. Lisa says:

    Ugh, my grammar is horrible when I am tired. I should proofread before hitting enter, but my laptop battery is about to die. lol Sorry about that…

    Like

  43. worm says:

    Lisa,
    That’s one of the reasons we come to this blog…a sense of understanding and the lack of a requirment to conform to the farce.
    Glad you are doing so well with your self discovery!

    Like

  44. JulieAnn says:

    worm–I just read this. No admonishments came your way. Silly. You have to have read all of these comments before-hand, right? You are not the worst offender!

    Like

  45. Worm says:

    Dang! I’m not?? Thanks JA love you by any name

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