Beliefs Faith Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

An open letter to my Mormon family and friends

A guest post by Mette Harrison

To begin with, don’t be worried that I’m going to try to get you to leave Mormonism or come closer to my side of the fence. I have zero interest in causing anyone a crisis of faith like the kind I went through. I’m happy that you are happy in Mormonism.

When I returned to church after being an atheist, I had thought I might come back to a more orthodox Mormonism, but now acknowledge that isn’t going to happen. I’m still active in the Church, but nontraditional in my beliefs. I have some problems with the Church’s truth claims, history, and treatment of women and blacks. My biggest complaint is the new policy toward same-sex married couples and their children.

What can we do on both sides to try to make things work now that we are where we are, you suspecting me of some sinful behavior which I must have committed to lead me to my current place, and me frustrated that you can’t see what seems to me a direct violation of Christ’s loving nature?

Perhaps you’d be willing to meet me halfway. Here are some thoughts on what I would like from you:

  1. Family activities. Consider planning more that aren’t related to General Conference, visiting temples, or doing temple work/genealogy, etc. Does this mean I expect you to stop doing those things just because I’m not interested in them? I realize that isn’t fair, even if a part of me genuinely wishes that everyone could just stop pressuring everyone else to stay in Mormonism. You can continue to invite me. I will continue to politely decline and wonder if you might consider just asking me to lunch without the side dish of Mormon guilt.
  2. Judgments. The current assumption among orthodox Mormons is that anyone who colors outside the lines wants to “sin.” Can you please not judge me that way, even privately? I’ve learned some really important lessons on my journey, and you could ask me about those. I’ll try not to press on you the view that because I’ve been where you are and you’ve never been where I am that I know more than you do or that my current place is superior to yours. This may be the hardest thing for both of us to change and the one we resist the most. It’s going to take a lot of work.
  3. Prayers. I’m willing to say a prayer at a family event (though not all who have changed their views on Mormonism are). But my prayer may be different than what you’re expecting. If that bothers you, then rather than the typical spur-of-the-moment invitation, you may need to decide this in advance.
  4. Food/drink. My food habits are different these days. I’m not a drinker myself, but I no longer see drinking as the sin that I once did. I can see that you wouldn’t want to buy drinks for someone coming to a family event, but can you find a way to allow others to bring them and drink in front of you without being angry or judgmental? Can you find a way to accommodate my vegetarianism?
  5. Church stories. I don’t expect you to never talk about your life in the church. I know that you have callings and that your church service is important to you. However, I may not see “miraculous events” in the same light that you do. It would be nice for you to acknowledge that—and maybe even be able to laugh about it together.
  6. Boundaries. I know that Mormonism has taught you that my life is your business, especially men who are used to patriarchy and “stewardship.” It’s not your business if I have a temple recommend, if I’m still wearing my garments, if I keep the Word of Wisdom, if my kid is going on a mission, if I had an affair, or if I had a problem with pornography. Don’t ask me those questions. Don’t ask my kids those questions. It’s not your business.
  7. Gossip. I can’t stop the family from gossiping about me any more than you can force me to go back to the Mormonism you love. But consider what message you’re sending to anyone else who has questions and may be within earshot. The binary in/out rhetoric of Mormonism is stifling for open, honest relationships of love.
  8. Money/Inheritance. I know Mormon parents who have written into their will that children can only inherit if they are “temple-worthy.” I don’t care about your money. I don’t want anything you have. But can you not see how manipulative this tactic is, how you are trying to control people from beyond the grave?
  9. Weddings/Funerals/Blessings/Baptisms. For various reasons, I won’t be coming to all of these. I will be more likely to attend if there are parts that are designed around those who aren’t full believers. For instance, if you have a temple sealing ceremony, consider doing a ring exchange later for those who can’t be inside the temple. Consider having funerals at a funeral home instead of a chapel, where all members of the family can participate, instead of one Mormon bishop presiding over all the content. If you have a blessing or baptism, maybe you could also try to make sure there is plenty of time and space for family time afterward?
  10. Social Media. You think of social media as a great way to bear your testimony and to share essays and news items that bolster your view of the church. I sometimes find these things offensive and rather than talking to you about each one of them, I might choose to disconnect with you on social media. This is going to be better for all of us, I promise. I’ll come to family gatherings with less anger on board, and so will you.

I know a lot of those who go through faith crisis say that they’re “the same person” and wish others could see that. I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like I’ve become a very different person, but that others pressure me to pretend to be the same.

I want people to let me be who I am, and to acknowledge that the path I’ve been on has led me to goodness, even if it’s not what they once recognized. I am a kinder, more compassionate, more service-oriented, and less judgmental person than I once was. I have learned to be excruciatingly honest in my writing, including when talking about the Mormon church.

I know that level of honesty can hurt people and I’m sorry to hurt you. But I’m not sorry to be who I am. Maybe we can find a new way to relate to each other. I would like that.


Other posts by Mette Harrison:


 

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

77 Comments

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  • Live and let live and don’t try to control another’s life. In attempting to convey that message, the author has come awfully close to embracing the opposite.

  • The more I read stories like this the more I realize Mormonism is becoming more and more like every other religion in the world.

  • As one who was a convert to the church, but who is no longer a member of the LDS Church, I don’t see anything of what you first three commenters claim to see. I see someone who would like to continue to have a relationship with devout LDS family members without the outwardly over piousness that card carrying Mormons tend to exude.

    I know that most of you don’t see it in one another, but it’s there. And it can be very offensive when there really isn’t any need for it. It would be similar to one of your family members joining a large Evangelical community church and constantly trying to witness their faith to you at every opportunity. It drives wedges between folks who would like to remain family but can’t because you won’t accept them where they are.

  • Telling people where to have their funeral and how to celebrate their wedding crosses the line to me.

  • Great article and bullet points that highlight just how very intrusive the Mormon Church pushes its members to be in the lives of “less active” Mormons or “Jack Mormons.” (I prefer the old-fashioned term that church-going Mormons tried to use derisively a century ago, but us Jack Mormons readily adopted.) My one regret is every letting any Mormon bishop ask my kids the horribly intrusive questions that I was asked as a teen.

  • Not in the least. It is spot on to the experience of the average “Jack Mormon,” who feels a cultural connection to their Mormon heritage but has no desire to supported the bigoted BS that the Church promulgates as “The Gospel.” Your unwelcome judgment is exactly what she decries.

  • It already was. The age of information is simply bringing the icky parts of Mormonism to light.

  • If someone doesn’t allow alcohol in their home, it seems extremely impolite for you to bring it to a function there, regardless of religion. On the other hand, if you’re a vegetarian, the polite thing for the host is to accommodate you to the extent feasible. Again, this is regardless of religion, although I am a little surprised that Mormons would not be at least somewhat understanding, considering that the Word of Wisdom discourages eating meat more than “sparingly.”
    It’s also not uncommon for people of various religions to condition inheritance on their children’s religious conduct. There have been many cases exploring the legality and even constitutionality of these clauses.

  • Agency is a great thing when exercised. Most Mormons just dream of it and like their faux quest for perfection shall never realize it..

  • The reality of Mormonism and why it should not be called a religion: (should solve a lot of issues with current and ex-Mormons)

    Bottom line: Mormonism is a business/employment/investment cult using a taxing i.e. tithing “religion” as a front and charitable donations and volunteer-mission work to advertise said business. And the accounting books are closed to all but the prophet/”profit” and his all-male hierarchy.

    Tis a great business model i.e. charge your Mormon employees/stock holders a fee/tithe and invest it in ranches, insurance companies, canneries, gaudy temples, a great choir and mission-matured BYU football and basketball teams.

    And all going back to one of the great cons of all times i.e. the Moroni revelations to Joseph Smith analogous to mythical Gabriel’s revelations to the hallucinating Mohammed !!!

  • I agree . For my wedding, we had temple ceremony and nice dinner after with family and guests at JS building . Majority of the quests and some family members could not go to temple yet having ring ceremony so they feel included was the last thing on my mind . We did what was good for us with time and money we had . Looks like if she was a quest she would be the one who were judging us for being to much of an Orthodox Mormon cuz of this arrangement , instead of enjoying the wedding and being happy we are doing what’s best for us .

  • I’d love to see a modified version of this list for bishops and ward councils. They are generally ill-prepared to handle anyone who doesn’t fit in their box. (Really, it shouldn’t be that hard. Just treat people with compassion and care, and don’t worry about the rest. Why is this rocket science?) Case in point: our recent interactions with ward leadership where it was so obvious that they were trying to not-so-subtly nudge us toward being “better” Mormons. They truly aren’t sure what to do with us or how to categorize us.

    In the “active” column: family shows up at least 70% of the time; parents hold callings and don’t flake on them; kids come to YW/Primary; parents and youth-aged kid all accept assignments to speak in sacrament.

    In the “inactive” column: they don’t want home teachers; husband asked not to be a home teacher; kids miss mid-week activities if they conflict with sports; no recent record of tithing; parents have no interest in obtaining temple recommends; family never comes to stake conference.

    Our Midwest city has few enough Mormons that I don’t run into ward members regularly. If I did, they would also see: Mom likes coffee; Mom regularly wears tank tops. Also, it’s a good thing Dad’s iPhone is password-protected b/c we have a lot of juvenile, R-rated movies in our collection – silly ones along the lines of “Superbad”. People seem honestly flummoxed by how to categorize us. It’s all so silly. Different strokes for different folks, people! We’re happy the way we are, and there’s no need for you to come along and try to make us conform to some arbitrary standards. (It’s not like we don’t know how to tick off those boxes. We just choose not to.) None of this affects our belief in Christ. Mormons love to sweat the small stuff.

  • Mette:
    This is what Christ taught about for s/s couples. It is another example of how He does not endorse the sin. You need to learn what Christ taught, and stop looking at what men want.
    1 Corinthians 7English Standard Version (ESV)

    Principles for Marriage

    7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    That is the only place where the Lord allows sex.

    Also, s/s “couples” are not able to have children together. God didn’t make them with the ability for such.

  • These all seem like your problems. You want to laugh at what someone thinks is a miracle? No testimony type stuff on social media? Offensive? Really? Seems like it is you who struggles to be accepting of others with different beliefs.

  • So who exactly is getting rich off this exact business model? Most of the apostles would have made more money for themselves by staying in their professions or businesses.

  • I believe the apostleships are small part time jobs. Their fulltime jobs typically
    Involve being upper management in a Mormon owned business.

  • You believe, huh? What’s the basis of your belief? And one of the ironic things about Mormon Leaks has been that it revealed just how much the Apostles make, which is about equivalent to a tenured professor at a mid-level university.

  • Meh. Even as one who’s stepped away from the Church and has experienced a bunch of these things from believing friends and family I still think this article is kind of ridiculous. It’s a scattershot of petty grievances. Half of these things could be re-titled, turned on their heads, and the same arguments used against progressive Mormons or former Mormons.

    And 90% of the time Mormons don’t even recognize that they’re doing these things. Punching them in the mouth with a somewhat snarky list in an “open letter” isn’t going to change anything or make things any better for progressive Mormons or former Mormons.

  • I actually think just the opposite is true. I think the apostles are wrapped up in the rituals, traditions, exceptionalism and expectations of their “office” so much that they lose touch with reality. I do not believe any of them ever dress up in a t-shirt, jeans, and a ball cap and go grab a burger and a milkshake with a neighbor where they are OK if the neighbor drinks a beer. I don’t think they make it safe for anyone to give them honest feedback–inside or outside of the church. They under-estimate the power differential they have with all church members and they do a lot of things to cut off honest feedback. They reinforce all sorts of practices and rituals that give formal reverence to their own office–including usually unwritten, but never-deviated-from dress codes, allowing people to stand up and sing when they enter a room, messaging that they aren’t about “listening”–they are about telling you the will of God. I think they mostly mean well, but they are so isolated from honest feedback and so steeped in hierarchy within their own group and they have lost almost all understanding of how to see themselves as others do–they are out of touch.

    I believe the businesses are mostly delegated out of their hands. They are over-focused on their ministry as they have defined it. The businesses are handled by others–with some interjection/interference from them whenever they feel like it–oops, I mean “feel inspired”. Admittedly, these little interjections are always given incredibly great weight. But they are pretty infrequent.

    And yes, I do believe this even though I still view myself as an active church member.

  • I appreciate your honest voice. I am glad you choose to stay engaged and I believe the church can greatly benefit from people like you. I also like your books!

  • The leaders of the Mormon Church/”Cult” are not paid much? Actually, they are paid a lot via being executives of the large Mormon-owned businesses:

    e.g. http://207.224.220.202/excerpts/hier2.htm

    “The Quorum of Twelve’s president Ezra Taft Benson was a director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co. Apostle Howard W. Hunter was president of the Polynesian Cultural Center (Hawaii), and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Continental Western Life Insurance Co., of Deseret Federal Savings and Loan, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corp., of Heber J. Grant & Co., of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Watson Land Co. (Los Angeles), and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Thomas S. Monson was president and chairman of the board of Deseret News Publishing Co., vice-president of LDS Social Services and of Newspaper Agency Corp, and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Commercial Security Bank, of Commercial Security Bankcorporation, of Continental Western Life Insurance Co. (Iowa), of Deseret Management Corp., of IHC Hospitals, Inc., of Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., of Murdock Travel, of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Pioneer Memorial Theater, and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Boyd K. Packer was chairman of the board of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co., while also director of Murdock Travel and of Zion’s First National Bank. Apostle Marvin J. Ashton was president of Deseret Book Co., chairman of the board of ZCMI, and director of Beneficial Development Co., of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, of Laie Resorts (Hawaii), and of Zion’s Securities Corporation. Apostle L. Tom Perry was director of American Stores Co. (which operated Skaggs Drugs and Alpha Beta supermarkets), of ZCMI, of Zion’s First National Bank, and of Jewel Companies, Inc. (Chicago), and trustee of LDS Social Services and of Nauvoo Restoration. Apostle David B. Haight was director of Bonneville International Corporation, of Deseret Management Corporation, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, and of Valtek, Inc., while also a trustee of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation. Apostle James E. Faust was vice-president of Deseret News Publishing Co., director of Commercial Security Bank, and of Commercial Security Bank Corporation, while also a trustee of Ballet West and of LDS Social Services. Apostle Neal A. Maxwell was director of Mountain Fuel Resources, Inc., of Mountain Fuel Supply Co., and of Deseret News Publishing Co. Apostle Russell M. Nelson was director of Zion’s First National Bank. Apostle Dallin H. Oaks was chairman of the Public Broadcasting System (national), while also director of O.C. Tanner Jewelry Co. and of Union Pacific Railroad.”

    Bottom line again: Mormonism is a business cult using religion as a front and charitable donations and volunteer work to advertise said business.

  • Wow, you’ve dumped a lot of information, but most of it irrelevant. Many of these are Church holding companies, which are owned by the Church as an institution as a way to fund programs well into the future. For legal reasons, each of these has to have directors, and so it naturally falls on the leaders of the organization that owns the holding companies to take those positions. Many boards, especially of holding companies, meet only occasionally (maybe once a year), leaving the rest up to managers, many of which are managed as a portfolio by a single person or small group of people (e.g. Bonneville International Corporation, Deseret Management Corporation). Other entities listed are not at all related to the Church, and so there’s likely no connection between their membership on the board and their Church service (e.g. Union Pacific Railroad, O.C. Tanner Jewelry Co., American Stores Co.). Others are boards of philanthropic/arts/charitable/arts institutions, which leaves me wondering why you included it at all (e.g. LDS Social Services, Ballet West, Nauvoo Restoration).

    In short, you have demonstrated (1) that some apostles serve on boards of organizations owned by the organization they run (a complete non-surprise), but you haven’t shown that their time is consumed by these positions or that they are paid much (or anything) for their service on those boards; (2) that some apostles, through their personal business connections, ended up serving on boards of some businesses; and (3) that some Apostles serve on the board of non-profit organizations related to the Church or in which they have a personal interest.

    Nice try.

  • And all done because of the hallucinations of one Joe Smith and his mythical angel Moroni. How anyone believes this mumbo jumbo in the 21st century boggles the mind.

  • It’s as though I didn’t respond to your comment. Anything relevant or responsive to add, or are you just going to change the subject and move on?

  • The subject was not changed
    To clarify, tis mind boggling how any Mormon apostle or any Mormon for that matter continues to believe that J Smith was anything other than a con man.

  • What in the world does that have to do with my rebuttal of your unsupported claim that church leaders spend a substantial amount of their time running businesses or that they are paid much money for doing so?

    Edit: To be clear, you said “Actually, they are paid a lot via being executives of the large Mormon-owned businesses” and then listed a string of organizations LDS apostles have sat on the board of. I pointed out that your list is mostly irrelevant for the reasons listed. Then you said it’s mumbo jumbo, without responding to my rebuttal.

  • Actually, that is supposedly Paul, not a quote from the Lord. Paul has often been personally biased about things that aren’t in line with any known teachings of Jesus.

    Thanks for stating the obvious, no we can’t procreate with each other, which begs the question on the obvious, why is it that we continue to exist in every generation of humanity in every race and culture? Because God has created us!

  • Something as simple as a ring exchange at the reception, would have cost nothing and taken very little time, but would have spoken volumes to non-Temple going friends & family. During the planning of your wedding you could have taken a moment and thought more about your non-Temple going friends and family than as just another invite to someone else who would possibly bring you an expensive gift.

    Love doesn’t seek after it own and it always finds a way!

  • The point is that any time or money spent on any religion is a waste of time and money.

  • Oh, well now you’ve moved the goal posts to something nonfalsifiable. I will take that as conceding your original assertion as bogus.

  • I am speaking from the experience of someone who joined the LDS Church at a young age (I was a kid) and became inactive as an adult. I continue to be inactive and I think Mette is paranoid.

  • Oh, look, the “professional” anti-Mormon Sandi has turned up like a bad penny to preach against the Mormons and the LGBT. She must really be pleased with herself.

  • Good thoughts. I’m happily actively but keenly aware of some of the off-putting things those in our flock unwittingly do to alienate others. But raking them over the coals for it isn’t going to help anything.

    As you said, I saw this, too, as a list of “petty grievances.” I think there’s plenty of room for us to be more accommodating in our meetings and cultural practices, but sometimes others just cross into an area demanding the Church be something it’s not. I really don’t get the funeral gripes.

    I also don’t get harping on social media. It’s basically saying, “I can publish this blog or ‘open letter’ and expect you to read it (since it’s an open letter), but you don’t have the right to publish your side of things without me blocking you.” Makes no sense.

  • The goal has not moved: Said goal: Convince Mormons that their beliefs are based on the hallucinations/cons of one Joe Smith and therefore their religion is nothing more than a business cult supported by unlawful tithing by a bunch of old white men called apostles led by a non-prophet.

  • When it comes to pure anti-anybody horse manure, you are the expert, absolutely. You know how to make all lawns grow greener like no one’s business.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17English Standard Version (ESV)
    16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    Galatians 1:11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.[c] 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,[d] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to[e] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;[f] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus

    Homosexuality is a choice.

  • Scripture. Of course when that was written their was no New Testament, there were no Pauline “scriptures.” So it’s a bit self-serving to think that Paul was saying that about his own writings.

    Also, that isn’t the Gospel, which is the Good News of Jesus Christ and the in-breaking of the Realm of God. That again, was Paul’s opinion when he believed that the 2nd Coming was soon. That was 2000 years ago and it hasn’t yet occurred, so is the better way to live still celibacy? Or has there been a revelation superseding Paul telling folks that was all water over the dam? Oh wait, polygamy?

    Just like heterosexuality is a choice? When did you choose to be straight? At what point in your young life did you have a choice between being attracted to men or attracted to women?

  • *Facepalm* I don’t care what your ultimate goal is; you presented information to support a claim that said information doesn’t support.

    PS You are failing spectacularly at your goal.

  • Your god isn’t smart enough to know that He was writing scripture through Paul?
    Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin. If it comes between going to Hell, and having sex, I’d choose celibacy.
    I suggest you read Romans 1. It explains how homosexuality is not “normal”.

  • It’s strange to me the things that you do and don’t believe that God controls.

    I’m not aware of anywhere in the four Gospels where Jesus speaks about anything same sex. Well, I do know of one, but it wasn’t against.

    That likely isn’t at all what is happening in the first few chapters of Romans, but I have my doubts that you are familiar with the NT in anything but English translations. Just out of curiosity, do you read Koine Greek?

  • Good to hear it. Soil needs to be good for something to grow in it. Perhaps this will help you to belong to Jesus then. Blessings to you too Riding!

  • Why do you confine Jesus to the 4 Gospels? And He did speak about immorality:
    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.” He was speaking to Jews. They knew the sins he was discussing and that they include homosexuality.
    I don’t need to read Greek. I have english translations and a pastor who reads Greek, thank you. That excuse doesn’t pass either; David.

  • The Gospels share the ministry and teaching of Jesus. As to what sexual immorality includes, that’s your opinion and there is nothing to support what you read into the word.

    As to English translations, as a pastor who also reads Greek, I find many English translations bring the translator’s preconceived ideas and predjudices into the translation and are faulty, inaccurate and sometimes out right lies.

  • No. I support scripture’s opinion David. Christ taught that homosexuality is immoral and perverted:

    Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire
    Romans 1:26 – 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men…
    As you see, I agree with God.
    I have a feeling with the translations, that they don’t agree with what you want to believe, hence, you disregard them.
    And, if you are truly a pastor, ahem, why didn’t you know that Jesus is God and the Word of the Bible. I think you tell stories.

  • Christ never taught any such thing. And neither does the Bible. You read into the text what you want to be there when it isn’t and you misinterpret text to make it say what you want it to say because you only know the text in English.

    You follow the teachers that you wish to follow, who continue to support your extreme personal prejudices and your great need to flounce around the internet to condemn other human beings and to promote your perverted version of the Gospel.

    As for me and my house, we shall follow Christ who said that the first great commandment was to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength and that the second was similar, to love our neighbor as ourselves, because on these two hang all the Law and the Prophets. The Gospel is love, not condemnation.

    I’m moving on my dear, I grow weary and bored of fake Christians who know only the same things over and over. Scholars dispelled those arguments 30 and 40 years ago!

  • You know…sounds like some someone on here is just a little j-e-a-l-o-u-s of your knowledge of God’s word.

  • how long ago did you become bored with yourself, that you needed to make up fantasies about yourself, and then about God’s word?
    May the Lord lead you into His truth.

  • Like I always say: “If you can’t stand the heat get out of the field of fire.” And so he did.

  • There was no heat involved. When you’ve dealt with the same clobber passages over and over, it just gets boring. She isn’t saying anything that I haven’t heard literally hundreds of times. I don’t live in a fantasy world, as a follower of jesus, I have a much different understanding of what he was about than she does. She isn’t going to convince me and I’m not likely to convince her. So I’m moving on.

  • I think this article comes as a non sequitur to some members. The church culture blurs (and sometimes obliterates) appropriate boundaries of acceptable behavior. It never occurs to them that somebody might choose not to be publicly shamed by waiting outside a temple while “worthy” members of the family are inside. Instead they sigh piously and utter cliches about choices and consequences. I did that to my in-laws to my great and lasting regret. I don’t particularly like them. But it was a callous and an ungracious thing to do, no matter how I draped Mormon rationalization around my decision.

    I don’t think many members realize just how exclusionary their everyday discourse is to those who don’t think like them. I also think it would be a shock of they really knew how utterly disinterested most people are in what they have to say. Newsflash–nonmembers smile and nod out of politeness, not interest.

  • Once again the bottom line: Mormonism is a business/employment/investment cult using a taxing i.e. tithing “religion” as a front and charitable donations and volunteer-mission work to advertise said business. And the accounting books are closed to all but the prophet/”profit” and his all-male hierarchy.

  • If you are participating in homosexuality, you are not following Jesus, David. That is the point.
    You can hope the Bible agrees with you, but it is much easier to agree with the Bible.. Christ is faithful to forgive and heal us of our sin, should we repent.

  • I agree with you on this. I’ve studied several translations and am beyond shocked at how some translators got so much wrong. Translators aren’t the only ones who distort, even deliberately. Passages of Holy write have been re-written also. Jesus spoke Aramaic.

    I’m shocked by some of the comments here. Who knew Mormons were just as mean and hateful, rude and misguided as other religious groups? Spiteful too. And yes, I’m being judgmental. I’m judging righteously. And judging by what I’ve read . . .

  • The article is thoughtful and should be helpful, but from reading it and others you have written, you are not really out of the Mormon Church, you are seeking, but seeking something that never will come about. I have, by the way, read almost all of your articles, so I have a clear insight. Religion is not being a Mormon, a Baptist, Presbyterian or anything else, it is living up to what Christ expects of you. What Christ expects from you comes from the Gospels and not from either the Old Testament, the books after the Gospel in the New Testament, the Book or Mormon or any of the other books that you have mentioned in your articles. To be a Christian, you don’t even have to go to a church, it is simply leading the life that Christ suggest and this has nothing to do with the Beatitudes. Amongst other things, it means loving one another, being kind to one another, helping those who need help, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick. It basically means that you are to help anyone who is down, regardless of race, color or creed. Church is synthetic. Most churches will not even talk about their theology because their theology is so harsh it will chase you out the door. Few in Mormonism know their theology, the missionaries surely do not. A church that makes you show your income taxes so they can assess tithes is not a true church, it is nothing but a money mill. I even know of a non-denominational church near me that to be a member of it, you have to give them access to your bank accounts. For thirty years I basically called on churches of all denominations and I have heard so much blubber from all of them that it makes me sick.

    I was a member of the Mormon Church for two years before attending BYU. To be specific, I was treated like a red headed bi-racial stepchild. I worked in an off campus job that required me to install windows in the dorms at BYU. I was charged with stealing money out of one of the rooms, but I never had to enter into the rooms. I was fired from my job because the Provost of the University told my boss, his father in law, that I was a “suspect.” The owner of the place I worked was a bishop and a member of the 70’s, but he was, in no way, Christian. I never got the job back. If that is what religion is, then I don’t need to be a part of it.

  • I think parts of the list are reasonable and other parts not as much. I think it’s very reasonable to have non-religious activities with non-religious friends and family. It’s not reasonable to expect to be allowed to drink in someone’s home that believes it to be sinful. Reading your list, it kind of sounds like you want other people to be more sensitive to your beliefs than what you’re willing to give out to others.

  • Just so that you are aware, much of the ugliness here is not from Mormons, but fundamentalist christianists who come here to hate on Mormons and anyone else with whom they disagree. Sandi Luckins is the primary non-Mormon hater in this thread. A couple of the others you see arguing in almost every LDS story here.

  • Thanks for explaining. I’d like to visit again. Some of this is actually interesting. And enlightening? : )

    Be well.

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