"what is SO HARMFUL about being LDS?"
Below, "Mormonism" refers to cultural and religious practices, wholeheartedly practiced with sincerity over long time periods. Impact is lessened for those less entangled or less sincere in their attempts to be perfect Mormons. These are assertions presented without support or data to keep the rant short...but hit the button and I'll send you supporting sub-rants... :-)
1) Mormonism stunts growth by denying people the opportunity to explore, practice and learn
a) normal sexual exploration and personal standard development is denied
b) normal emotional boundaries and preferences are not allowed expression
c) normal spiritual exploration and doubts are rigidly repressed
d) normal intellectual exploration is silenced by appeals to higher authority
2) Mormonism creates rigid, defensive, judgmental personalities--painful to be and painful to be around
3) Mormonism creates self-critical, perfectionist, self-hating personalities, who often then battle depression--very painful to be and painful to be around
4) Mormonism creates obedient, submissive personalities who lose the ability to generate their lives on their own and seek guidance from outside for simple and intensely personal things, resulting in a sense of helplessness and disassociation from one's own feelings and preferences. See stunted growth above.
5) Mormonism encourages premature, inappropriate and inauthentic commitments, which creates enormous levels of guilt, shame and loss when the growing healthy soul finally begins to question those commitments and begins to dismantle them--or submit to living a shriveled, stunted, inauthentic life
a) heterosexual marriage for gays and lesbians
b) marriage for young people still learning who they are
c) marriage for people who shouldn't marry, or shouldn't marry until later in life
d) child-bearing/child-rearing for young people still half-formed themselves
e) child-bearing/child-rearing for people who just don't want/shouldn't have kids, or not herds of kids
6) Mormonism betrays its most sincere adherents, destroying their ability to trust and to relate, and taking from them unrecoverable years, energy and freedom. Because Mormonism is based on a false and misleading founding story/set of scriptures/principles for living a full life--those brave enough to question will eventually uncover the fraud and confront their unwitting losses. These individuals suffer a devastating sense of betrayal, often losing their ability to trust and connect to teachers, institutions, leaders and mates until the betrayal is understood and healed by time and insight. If this insight comes mid to late in life, lost opportunities, inappropriate commitments and other leftover baggage from one's years as a Mormon must be grieved and let go--a necessary but often very painful process accompanied by bouts of rage and resentment...leading to problems in relationships with others that on the surface have nothing to do with Mormonism, but very much do.
LDS church harmful? How about when your parents can't put you ahead of their
own church service?
I had a serious car accident on a Saturday several years ago. When informed
that I wasn't going to be admitted to the hospital, but still needed to be
watched overnight (my head cracked the windshield), my dad decided they didn't
need to come up until after he could attend to his sunday duties as stake
president the next day.
OK, that's minor compared to when my sister (who had a 4 month old daughter and
a less-than-supportive husband at home) miscarried a couple of weeks before
this last christmas. On the Friday before christmas, she went in for a D&C
procedure. Were my parents at her side? Hell no. But were they in town the
very next day for their monthly temple service? Hell yes. (It's a 3 hour
drive from my parent's house to the temple, one way.) Did they stop by to see
my sister at all while they were not more than 10 minutes from my sister's
house? Hell no. When I asked my mother why, she replied, "Well, they're just
coming home next week...we'll see them then."
Serve the lord ... to hell with your family and your family values.
Let's see ... the dirge-like "Follow the Prophet" primary song that's pounded
into the children's little heads. The whispered testimonies for kids to
parrot. 12 year old boys being taught that they have more authority in their
home than their mothers. The constant invasion of privacy by the incessant
interviewing processes. The lesson learned by all those prying interviews? You
have no right to keep anything private. Everything is fair game for
questions. Anything you keep private is a sin.
1. In my opinion, Mormonism teaches conflicting messages about
the "specialness" of being Mormon. On one hand, you're taught that
you were more valiant in the pre-existence if you were born into the
church, but on the other hand, you're plagued with feelings of self-
doubt and feeling like you're never good enough because the ultimate
goal of perfection is always hanging out there.
2. The idea that when someone "doesn't get it", they must not be
living worthily. I see this flawed thinking among depressed Mormons
especially - they think that they're suffering from depression
because of some spiritual flaw that they have.
3. The church also teaches that the "The Glory of God is
Intelligence", but then they go off and label intellectuals as "The
enemy of the church".
4. The concept that the teachings of certain prophets are doctrine,
but the teachings of others are "opinion" or even "false doctrine".
How do they justify drawing that line?
5. Last but certainly not least - Mormon women are marginalized, and
most certainly not seen as equals with men in the church. The
oppression I experienced as a Mormon woman was stifling, and yet, I
just assumed that that's the way it was supposed to be.