Monday, December 6, 2010

Mormonism Has Issues Part 1

I guess I'll work in reverse. I'll now make a post briefly about some issues with Mormonism, at least in my mind. Then I'll work backwards and start posting my 'exit story' in parts, and hopefully by the new year I'll do a post on Patriarchal Blessings! I forget all the other posts I've promised to do. Oh, here's a new one, so maybe in two months or so I'll do it - Lady GaGa.

So Mormonism. It would be handy to know that I didn't lose my faith due to Mormonism. I lost faith in a God (and gods in general). The idea of a higher being is inviting and can help to make sense, but also doesn't make sense in a lot of ways. A literal Biblical god is a tyrant regardless of which sect you come from. A loose one is just a hater and incomprehensible, and a deistic god is something so alien to us and so apart from us why should we even care about it if it obviously doesn't care about us? This is a different rant for another time though. I will say that my idea of a God is nice and warm and fuzzy, but it doesn't make it real. And it took me a while to figure that just because my God in my mind worked, didn't mean it actually existed.

Again, rambling, but it's important to know that I didn't really have a beef with Mormonism. No anti or anything. Lot's of reading, some taboo, but really Mormonism was helping me to believe in a God and when I began doubting Mormonism it opened the way for me to admit that I didn't really believe in a God.

Growing up and maturing in high school I had lots of Christian friends, some who didn't care, some Indian spirit friends, friends and relatives interested in eastern thought and philosophy, and later some atheist and agnostic friends. Which, I can say all the ones I've asked as of now are agnostic atheists. It isn't necessarily fair to put all gods into one bucket and doubt them all, but being how similar they all are, and how similar religions are in the basics, especially with how they all know their god or gods is/are the right one(s) ... I think it's prudent to be brief with them. Especially since if you spent a good week researching a religion to know if it was true or not you'd spend the rest of your life looking at them all.

So that's partially, fractionally, how I moved from agnosticism to agnostic atheism. Almost nothing to do with Mormonism. But having moved on from God I decided to look where I had been counseled to never look. And things got interesting.

I had already gotten into the Women and Authority articles, thanks to Demosthenes, and Rough Stone Rolling thanks to some missionaries, and the Setting the Record Straight series from some members on my mission, so I had begun looking into the gray areas of the church and it's history but I hadn't moved to what most Mormons call ''anti.'' Word of caution: some anti is stupid. Pure, idiot lies. Usually from Evangelical Christians. Anti like this actually kept me in the church cause I was like ''wow, this is a lie and i know it is, anti is dumb. these people are dumb. satan must be using them." Thank you Evangelical Christians who keep Mormons in Mormondom. Mainly you Southern Baptists.

No, I'm talking about good, researched, scientific maybe, honest, personal, smart anti. And maybe it takes some research classes to get a bearing on how to differentiate the good from the bad, but I recommend trying. And always being open to the fact that something you learn could be have been wrong on a point, or all together incorrect. Now, one problem with Mormons and anti is that anti, to them, is ANYTHING against the church, or ANYTHING that they 'feel' is against the church. Therefore most Mormons, especially TBM, don't ever see the stuff. They may hear about it once or twice, but move on cleanly.

So I had gotten into the rough history stated in Rough Stone Rolling and had discussed some things about Fawn Brodies No Man Knows my History book, but I still felt that it was all okay. Blood atonements, okay. Blacks and the priesthood, okay. Women in the church, okay. Gays, okay. Sex is almost as bad as murder, okay. Do your home teaching or you won't be exalted, okay. As I said before, I'm the all of nothing type, so it made perfect sense that if I couldn't do my home teaching I wouldn't be fit to be a god with eternal numbers of children. Miracle of Forgiveness was one of my favorite books.

But all this put together was heavy. And taking God out of the picture opened the floodgates, so I got into it. And only since this last spring, months after I really made my transition. The two biggest ones that ruin Mormonism for me is the Adam-God theory(AGT) and the Book of Abraham. Most people say this, and I'm no different. I can handle racism with the blacks, women getting the priesthood in heaven, Joseph Smith stealing Hydes wife while he was on a mission, and Brigham Young getting other people's homes. But people always skipped around the AGT and would give ambiguous answers. The Book of Abraham was almost not even known to me, only a snipit from high school, till this last summer. That would have been all the nails in the coffin for me if I had learned everything I know now (about the BoA) back two years ago or even on my mission, though not in the first half. For me the BoA is tenfold, it ruins so many levels. Joseph Smith as a later character overwhelmed by the church he had made, pleasing the populace, but also loving and using them. Making specific claims with the hieroglyphs which survived and are obviously wrong. Finding most of the original sheets and having expert opinions on them that disagree with everything the religion holds dear, even BYU professors disagreeing. The present-day corporation of a church covering it up as best they could to bury it and keep it out of the minds of the members, throwing doubt on the doubts.

But that will have to be it for now. Most people don't even really care. I guess once you get into disproving something like Mormonism you really get into it. For me it was never really about that, and only once have I ever tried to throw doubt on the religion to someone who wasn't looking for it. But being asked why I left or how in the world I CAN'T believe anymore makes me go out and reinforce my reasoning. Till we meet again ;)


  1. You know, these kinds of stories remind me that people have wildly different reactions to different sorts of things. For me, things like BoA, Kirtland Safety Society, Kinderhook Plates, peep stones, and such were instrumental in deconstructing the True Church narrative, but they ultimately had nothing to do with my exit. Contemporary culture was the deciding factor for me. I'm much more of a pragmatist than you are, and if the culture worked for my family and accepted open doubters I'd likely be there still. I can't participate, however, when my presence is predicated upon my silence.

  2. Yeah, the culture really did it in for me. When I found out I could be a better person outside the church, in mine eyes, it became a reality that I could leave. Though, for me, I know the BoA would have gotten me out if I had found out everything. I just can't live a lie in any form, which leads me to say things like 'basically' and 'probably' a lot cause I'm generally very unsure about things.

    You definitely are much of a pragmatist, but you've helped me to see some worth and value in it and relativity.

    For me I noticed the problem of silence when I felt like I couldn't say anything when a bunch of guys in Sunday school made a joke, during the lesson, about putting gays to the curb and laughed. No one else said anything, and I felt like I couldn't speak up. In fact, that may have been the last time I was ever at church, lol, it certainly is the last time I remember.

  3. "And it took me a while to figure that just because my God in my mind worked, didn't mean it actually existed."

    I like this part... because I think I'm still going through this. It is interesting how everyone has their different idea of god.

  4. I like that cartoon, that was pretty good.

  5. I'm glad you read "Rough Stone Rolling" in my opinion that is the most honest book on Joseph Smith ever written.

  6. AJ - yeah, one little gem in my blog, a small insight, lol. i don't really believe cause i don't really do this. i know what my God would be but he never was that, and i think that's one reason i don't really believe. lol.

    weston - ugh, the cartoon? it's horrible, lol. and rough stone rolling was an excellent book, one of my top 5. problem with him being so neutral is that joseph smith takes a backseat and is kind of 'neutered.' but still great.