Subject: On Verge of Baptism--SCARED!
Date: Jun 05 14:19
Author: Giselle

Hi,

I hope someone can help me. My daughter and I have just finished the discussions, and are due to be baptized soon. My husband and son are not. My son (20), became extremely distressed at this news because he said his research shows that as taught by the LDS Church, we will be in different levels of heaven, eternally separated. He asked why I would join a church that would hurt us that way. I was horrified and devistated at the thought.

I researched this in my Gospel Principles book and it looks like he could be right. I found it under Assignment to Glories. The missionaries did not make this clear. We are a very close family, and I would not want to ever do anything to hurt my husband and son. I thought that the LDS Church supported family, not separate it.

Could someone please tell me if this is true, and any other repurcussions of a mother and daughter joining without the husband and son. Please dont hold anything back. I am extremely worried now and wonder if this is just the tip of an iceberg. I feel very sad, as I thought I was doing something positive.

Any help, deeply appreciated, Giselle


Subject: Re: BE AFRAID, VERY AFRAID
Date: Jun 05 14:24
Author: Switz

It is VERY true if you believe what they tell you. But then you wouldn't be able to ever get to the Celestial Kingdom anyway because you would be married to a nonmember. So you wouldn't qualify.

Take it from a convert, you are about to make the biggest mistake of your life if you are baptised. My husband wouldn't submit to the pressure and I was an outcast in church because I was in a "part member" family.

The mormons promote everything BUT a "family together forever" campaign. They will give you every calling they can heap on your shoulders and if you diligently do the work to fulfill them you will never see your family.


Subject: Don't Do It
Date: Jun 05 14:31
Author: beaglie
Mail Address:

My husband and I are both evangelical Christians. My husband was a 9th generation Mormon from Utah. He served a 2 year mission in Rome, Italy for the Mormon Church. It is all a crock. Don't let them manipulate you. The Mormon church does indeed divide families.

May I suggest you peruse this board completely to view the wreckage left behind in the lives of those run over by this cult. Check out http:\www.utlm.org for some info.

Feel free to e-mail me rowsby@optonline.net

beaglie



Subject: Don't join yet! Here's why:
Date: Jun 05 14:28
Author: hello kitty
Mail Address:

While there are some aspects of the Mormon church that are indeed positive -- most the missionaries and the members are very nice, for example -- the church has many weird doctrines that the missionaries have not told you about, and the church is not true. Yes, the church believes that if you are a faithful member and your husband never joins, you will be separated for eternity -- you'll be in the "celestial kingdom", he'll be in a kingdom below you. When you go to the temple to get your "endowment" they teach you secret handshakes that they claim that you need to get into the highest level of heaven. If your husband doesn't join the church, he'll never go to the temple and learn the handshakes. Ask the missionaries about this. The weirdness of the temple is what made me really start to realize, after a lifetime in the church, that it probably wasn't true. Take a couple of months to really research the church's doctrines and practices before you join, because it is very hard to leave the church once you've been baptized.


Subject: RESEARCH time- suggest you devote about 4 to 8 hours to get WELL INFORMED
Date: Jun 05 14:29
Author: SusieQ#1

Here are some sites to explore. They are the best ones on the Internet. Ignore tone, bias, agenda and go for the primary documented Mormon sources.

What Mormon missionaries won't tell you about the Mormon or LDS church
http://www.exmormon.org/tract2.htm
Much more info on www.exmormon.org - see the HOME PAGE

lds-mormon.com - tons of information on mormonism and the lds church
http://lds-mormon.com/
Very comprehensive web site. Clear, consise, accurate.

Dr. Shades' Mormonism Page
http://www.connect-a.net/users/drshades/mormon.htm
One of my favorites for good info.

Temple Ceremonies
http://www.helpingmormons.org/temples.htm
New Mormon temple recommend questions
http://www.lds-mormon.com/new_temple_questions.shtml
Get full disclosure of what goes on in the temple. This is as accurate as you will get on the Internet.

From Mormonism to Eccentric Eclectic or from Saint to Ain't http://hometown.aol.com/sllestodd/myhomepage/profile.html


Email me if you would like to discuss this more.


Subject: Understand the Role of Women in Mormonism (from my prior posts)
Date: Jun 05 14:33
Author: SusieQ#1

I have heard Mormon women admit that they did not like or understand Date: Apr 11 02:53 Author:SusieQ#1 Mail Address:sllestodd@aol.com
their position in the Mormon Church but it was how "heavenly father wanted it" and they went along with it thinking it was the only right thing to do. So, they defer to the priesthood, thinking they are laying up treasures in heaven! The woman's place is foremost and always to follow and support the priesthood in all things.

Their role is clearly defined, heavenly father meant for them to be the mothers, and for the men to officiate in the priesthood. There is a lot of lip service to the notion that they are equal, but every woman knows that only applies in certain areas. They might share equal chores in the home, or have equal input on decisions in the home, but when it comes to the church hierarchy and how the priesthood functions, they might be listened to, but their recommendations can be and are overruled on the whim of the leaders as they are the representatives of the Lord. What the priesthood leaders say goes as they claim inspiration given to them as the Lord's mouthpiece.

I find it is impossible for my older Mormon husband to understand how differently Mormonism treats women than men.
I have tried to get him to imagine himself in my shoes but he never really "gets it."

Women have no authority in the church and no place in the hierarchy and only serve under the men. If the men in charge do not like something, the women are told to do things differently. If they do not agree, they are pridefull, think they "own" a calling, and not obedient to the priesthood. All of which is unacceptable! Her agency is held in a very small box of do's and don't all determined by how the men interpret the scriptures, how they supervise the organizations, and how they make "callings" and give "council." There is a "vote" but it means nothing as dissent is not accepted either. The men's "inspiration" overrules anything a woman says or claims as an answer to her prayers. There is also no need for the priesthood brethren to tell the truth as they have the privilege of "lying for the Lord."

All of Mormonism is governed by men with very little input from the women, who are predominately used to follow orders - with a dust pan and broom to clean up after the brethren - in more ways than one!

Even the temple rituals do not make her equal to her husband. She is to be a priestess to her husband who will rule over her in righteousness!

I always knew this did not make sense and was contrary to the nature of men and women! I tried for over 30 years to make these foolish ideas work! But they always failed. Even though I was a very feisty woman, pushing the limits and demanding respect, that also failed. The typical TBM priesthood leader has no respect for a female who uses her own mind, challenges them, or corrects them. Women are accepted in the Mormon Church and loved and respected and admired only if they comply with the role they are given.



Part 2 - Role of Women in Mormonism-Motherhood,Sexuality,Temple Memories (long) Date: Apr 11 17:18 Author:SusieQ#1 Mail Address:sllestodd@aol.com
Part 2 The Role of Women in Mormonism: Motherhood and sexuality defined, and temple washing and anointing memories.

Women accept their role in Mormonism with a promise that borrows into her heart and is the essence of motherhood - the absolutely belief that they will never loose their children and their family if they comply with the doctrines taught them.

She willingly submits to these beliefs even though, to an outsider, they seem to infringe on her independence, her honor and her good sense. Some outsiders, even call it abusive.

Women who are well entrenched and strong believers in Mormonism, often with several generations of Mormonism in their DNA, see these accusations as silly and false. She absolutely knows she is not abused, not programmed and can "think for herself." What she may not realize is that she is restricted by the doctrines and what she considers "thinking for herself" means she thinks long and hard and prays long and hard to obtain a "witness of the spirit" so she is "worthy" to obtain eternal life. A mother is often willing to go to any length to save, protect, and keep her family.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their sexuality.
The underlying message about sexuality is that you will give your life to keep from being raped. The worthy, honorable thing to do, if sexual assaulted, is to fight to the death to preserve your vagina from dishonorable intrusion.
An honorable Mormon father teaches his daughters that he would rather see her dead than violated. It is worth noting, however, that this not a concept solely held by Mormonism.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their attire. Their whole wardrobe and their sense of their bodies is determined by the temple garment that is to be worn next to the skin as a protection and placed on her body in a ritual in the temple. It is also seen as a protection against her sexuality being defiled or assaulted in any way. She is told she is to remain chaste and worthy in thought and deed with the temple garment a constant, even Mosaic reminder that she is a daughter of Heavenly Father and this is what
is expected of her. Again her sexuality is given a place before her life.

The temple garment, with it's Masonic markings is seen as holy and sacred and is never to be put on the floor or abused in any manner. In fact, discarding of used, and worn garments requires a further ritual as the markings are to be cut out and burned. Then, and only then, can the remaining material (now devoid of their sacred element) be used as rags to clean the floor, or wash the car.

Once dressed in the 'holy garment of the priesthood" - an interesting title, as she has no rank in the priesthood or any right to officiate, only as a servant - she then must make her attire comply with it's restrictions. That means, every part of her body that is covered by the garment must be covered - modestly. Because the garment comes do mid thigh or knee, and has a cap sleeve, and is designed to fall several inches above her natural bra line, she is now confined to buying (or in many cases - making) clothing that covers her underwear. She has now become subservient to "Heavenly Father" - her God, who controls her (and men also) by her underwear. There is the underlying message that women (and men) behave according to the clothing they are wearing, so the subtle indoctrinated script says that the woman in Mormonism is wearing a holy-sacred reminder to dress modestly, and act accordingly and worthy of the blessings promised her.

These are some of my memories of the Washing and Anointing Ceremony in the Temple. (All of these rituals are easily accessed on line also)

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly. The oil is done in the same fashion. There are promises given, with each part of the body that is washed-dabbed with water and anointed-dabbed with oil. These have to do with promising the female that she will be a priestess to her husband etc. Nothing untoward, or of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual still amazes me.

I can still see the rows of tiny lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me. This is a true tunic - open at the sides and no seams. To walk in and out of the washing and anointing room, most people hold the sheets together. I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women. The were like a grandma dressed in a white uniform, false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint I could feel their breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil. I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialogue.

This is not about a tiny tap on an imaginary dot of the skin. Your body is stroked in a 2" to 3" area in a downward motion.and all down the legs onto to the toes. You do not know exactly where they will touch you. You only know the general area. It is very uncomfortable as these women are usually older-retirement age of 65 to 75 and their head is outside the sheet. They cannot see where they hands are unless they look under the tunic where the sides are open. They open the sheet on the sides to begin.

Imagine a woman's hand under the sheet (for women-man for men) each time they say a body part, making a sliding motion of about 2" to 4" in some areas...with the four fingers of the right hand over the body part -probably trying to be very careful they do not touch the actual breast-nipple area for women, or the pelvic hair-penis scrotum area for men when they get to the words that correspond with that part of the body.
Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands. Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet. When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I was often hugged had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

The washings and anointing are only required the first time you go to the temple now as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions.

If you go through as proxy for any dead relative (post-mortem conversions)! you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening. Sometimes doing two sessions for two deceased people.

The part that is so unethical and disrespectful is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time. You go and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.

Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield-tunic, as it is called, and carry your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper memorized, ritualistic dialogue, usually with a breath mint in their mouth. Then help dress you by helping you put on the temple garment.

The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins. I maintain if these practices were made public, very few people would be interested in going to any of their temples - ever!

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs.

There is no redeeming value to it. There is nothing spiritual about putting on a tunic, open at the sides, made from a sheet and carrying your skivvies into a little room to have your naked body touched by someone you do not know.

This is about total submission, control, stripping you down and dressing the surprised, new initiate with physical touching under a flimsy tunic then dressing you!

To even suggest this bazaar, outlandish, absurd act is spiritual reeks of a complete lack of common sense and respect. It is humiliating. I have never been so mortified in my life. It is a flagrant assault on one's self respect and dignity.

The arrogance of Mormonism to assume that they had any right to touch anyone's naked body without full disclosure and full permission is out of the realm of common decency. This is the most despicable, horrid, spiritual abuse of another human being imaginable but it must be done if they are to get your total submission. This is the final frontier of breaking down boundaries - your naked body!

It is an invasion, and done in a setting with a lot of other people so you go along because the rest are doing it, at least the first time anyhow. You are programmed to believe that there is nothing that can harm you so when you feel violated and invaded, you are stuck with the mental gymnastics of trying to make sense of it. Somehow, you must make a bizarre experience seem spiritual and good. Surely it is not the church that is doing bad things, it must be me. So it goes on, around and around in circles. Always making you the one that is at fault, never the church.


The genius of the temple, especially the washing and anointing and the endowment is to keep the person totally committed, paying tithing and under their control. And it works.
How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch your naked body under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle?

The unbelievable thing is that the church does such a good job of programming the new converts and new initiate to the notion that this is spiritual, a higher law, you are special, God wants you to do this. They get thousands of members to go to the temple thousands of times over their lifetime to continue this programming and brainwashing.
What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!




The only way you get people to do this is through extreme programming and no prior specific information. It must be done while a large group of other people are doing the same thing so it is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the Mormon God.

Once you stop going to church, stop attending any function, stop reading any of their programmed literature, you begin to separate and disconnect and break the code. Then you can see it for what it is. Blatant cult or cultish activities, although very subtle and well designed to subjugate to them forever.


Subject: I was just coming back to thank you......unbelievable!
Date: Jun 06 01:01
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

First,I was just coming back to thank all of you who had answered my question this afternoon. I am incredibly grateful for the information you gave me. In fact, I just hung up the phone with the missionaries after telling them that I have cancelled our baptism for this Friday. I was shocked to find out that the question I had was indeed just the tip of a huge iceberg.I spent the afternoon referencing the links that many of you gave me.

I feel incredibly betrayed by the missionaries whom we had become very fond of. It was not an easy phone call. I am also sad that my daughter has to suffer the fall-out of ending friendships that had just begun. I dont wish this experience on anybody! I am sick to my stomach.

If this werent enough, I then came to the board to find the "Follow-Up" message thread. Double whammy shock to the system today.

You stopped me from making what would have been a HUGE mistake. Please......consider carefully before you jump on someone. I was only 2 days away from being baptized!!! Giselle


Subject: Missionaries aren't such bad guys!
Date: Jun 06 01:07
Author: Kristen77

Good for you! But please, don't feel betrayed by the nice missionaries, for all they know, they are spreading the "word of God" and they believe that what they are doing is right and good! They're probably good nice kids, poor guys. But I am so glad you made the decision you did. Only because, as a girl who was raised in the church, I think you're better off doing this now rather than have miserable experiences and leaving later. You will be happy w/o the strict confining policies of the church. Good Luck!


Subject: Re: Missionaries aren't such bad guys!
Date: Jun 06 08:46
Author: Stray Mutt

These 19-to-21-year-old guys don't know that much about the church themsleves. Like any good salesman, they're taught to stick as close to the script as possible and not to get into issues that just "confuse" the message. They're doing what they were told and most of them really believe it and want to do what they think is the right thing. Others are conflicted and trying to convince themselves while they try to convince others.

The trouble is, their view of the church has been as carefully crafted as yours. A lot of them just grew up in the church doing what Mormons do without giving it much thought. They spent their formative years in classes that first told them what their questions were and then gave them shallow answers -- a lot like your missionary discussions. Being a Mormon for many of them is cultural, it's their heritage, and in the same way most people never really question their nationality, they don't really question their religion. If they have problems with certain aspects of the church, they're more likely to blame themselves for not having enough faith.

So I wouldn't hold a grudge against them. their only faults are being poorly informed and eager to please.


Subject: Re: I was just coming back to thank you......unbelievable!
Date: Jun 06 01:19
Author: RichardSLC
Mail Address:

I agree with what Kristen77 wrote about the missionaries. They are just doing what they think is right, or at least what they think they should be doing. I also think that what Susan wrote about not jumping on people harshly, even if they might be a troll or post out of some other agenda. Erring on the side of compassion is always better than showing our expertise at recognizing trolls and dealing with them in a non compassionate way.

You came close to taking an unfortunate step, but you saved yourself from much future grief. You showed courage to investigate right up to the last minute, and you made the right decision even as you were about to take the plunge.

Congratulations!


Subject: P.S.
Date: Jun 06 01:12
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I forgot to tell you that the reason I came here, is that the pro-Mormon sites were giving me nothing but trite platitudes. Giselle


Subject: Trite Platitudes is all the Mormons have as you found out.
Date: Jun 06 02:05
Author: SusieQ#1

All the Mormon Church has as it's foundation is alleged-claimed visions. Nothing else.


Subject: thank you for sharing (nt)
Date: Jun 06 10:10
Author: then again
Mail Address:

 


Subject: you made the right decision n/t
Date: Jun 06 11:04
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Same here, Giselle
Date: Jun 06 11:17
Author: Lilith
Mail Address:

In trying to understand the religion I went to their sites first. Found they really taught nothing of the doctrine there. Their answer would be that they give you what you can handle, but in truth they give only what the thinking person can stomach. Of course their answer to that (because they have an answer to everything)is that the Holy Ghost has just not given me the greater understanding, but I believe..no I KNOW...that what I have been given is a brain..AND the power of discernment...called a BS detector..Thank you, God, for this Gift of Spirit. :)


Subject: Re: P.S.
Date: Jun 06 11:21
Author: 2bot3bot
Mail Address:

Just be careful who and what you believe on this site as well. I came here to get the “other side of the story” however I have found that a lot of what people say here is fueled by emotion instead of logic.


Subject: 2bot3bot - you just described the Mormon Church Very well,.
Date: Jun 06 11:30
Author: SusieQ#1

I would only add one thing -
ALL of what they say (the Mormon Church) is fueled by emotion instead of logic. Mormonism is based on feelings (the burning in the bosom)which they tell you is confirmation from the Holy Gost of a witness of the truthfulness of their story. How truthful is that, really?

The whole thing is based on using our normal natural inclinations as human beings to be nice to people, and to enjoy warm associations and to feel loved and accepted. Then it is used to extract a very high price,and not just the 10% of your income for you life. You are expected to be obedient, not to question and to give all that you have to the church, to dedicate your whole life and to die for it if called upon to do so.
All this just because you have warm fuzzies???


And yes, people are often extremely angry when they are treated badly with no recourse but to leave. They also sacrifice a lot. Some loose their family, their contracts, their career, etc. Some have to move and start over. And for what? Just because TBM's well entrenched in the cult-like mind set are unable to respect freedom of religion!
Does not say much for Mormonism, does it?

So much for the pretty picture they paint!


Subject: Right, leaving a falsehood doesn't guarantee that one will then find the truth.
Date: Jun 06 13:52
Author: DeafGuy
Mail Address:

This is why we need to maintain a healthy skepticism of all claims out there.


Subject: Emotions are valid
Date: Jun 06 15:38
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

and some here have some very strong ones as a result of the BS they have gone through. True, you must figure out logically that the church is not true, but often that comes after initial emotional turmoil.


Subject: Hope You'll Hang Around
Date: Jun 06 11:52
Author: SL Cabbie
Mail Address:

You sound like a nice, open-minded person, and we can never have too many of those. There's a lot of interesting stuff that comes out of this place.
Have to disagree with 2bot3bot about there being a lot of people whose postings should be taken with a grain of salt. On the factual stuff, I've found overwhelming accuracy with a few insignificant exceptions. On the opinion stuff, who cares? I think my opinions are right, but it's the church whose hidden agenda is to make everyone a Stepford clone of everone else with 5.7 children and a minivan and aspirations to own an SUV.
Course, what do I know. I'm just a dumb cabdriver.


Subject: You'll never get a straight answer from the Morg...
Date: Jun 06 12:03
Author: CO2
Mail Address:

In fact, you'll be made to feel "unworthy" if you don't believe in the same myths that they do.

Good luck!


Subject: The LDS Church is threatened by the internet
Date: Jun 06 15:31
Author: Kim

Giselle, just be glad that you have resources available on the internet like this so that you can educate yourself about things...in this case, religion. Of course, you should always objectively look at all sides of an issue.

Before the internet, information about the L.D.S. Church pro and con, was obviously much less easily obtained. If you just listen to the missionaries and members who are befriending you, you are only getting one side of the story. Of course if you just base your decision on what you read on this website, you are also only getting one side of the story, the other side. Investigating both sides is the important thing to remember that is necessary. Don't make any decision to please anyone other than yourself. You, yourself, get to choose what makes YOU happy.

You may be interested to know that the LDS Church does not allow its missionaries to have their own computers. Think how easy it would be for missionaries to have their own laptops and communicate with their families weekly by email rather than by regular mail which sometimes can take weeks. The missionaries are young and impressionable. Think why the "church" sends young men at age 19 and women at 21. Perhaps the "church" would be too concerned that the missionaries themselves would stray if they started reading sites like this. They probably honestly are more concerned that they'll be too tempted by porn online. In any case, the church likes to control its members thinking. It hates sites like this that point out its negative aspects, obviously. The LDS Church would get more of my respect if it trusted its own members and especially its missionaries enough to allow them access to all information available. After all, if it is so confident to be "the one true" church, what does it have to fear? What is it trying to hide?


Subject: Stake Relief Society Pres. just called.....too much stress!
Date: Jun 06 12:20
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Hi everyone,

I just walked in the door after dropping son at work. I haven't even had time to read your posts yet (thanks BTW), and there is a message on my phone from the Stake Relief Society Pres., she wants me to call her!

I have barely been able to get out of the bathroom since yesterday (don't mean to be crude), cuz I am a nervous wreck from all of this.

Now what?? Any advice for talking to her? Will people keep calling me and questioning me? I told the missionaries last night that I was not willing to make any other apptointments or anything at this point. I don't want to be rude.

Thanks again, Giselle


Subject: Re: Stake Relief Society Pres. just called.....too much stress!
Date: Jun 06 12:24
Author: Switz

You will be inundated now for awhile. If it were me I wouldn't return the call. Just ignore it. If you get more, do the same. If they do get through to you simply tell them you aren't interested in their message and hang up on them. They WILL get the message.


Subject: You may have to be rude.
Date: Jun 06 12:26
Author: Zapotec
Mail Address:

What they are doing is putting on a "full-court press." They thought they had a "golden" convert when you agreed to baptism, but now that you have wriggled off their hook they are very reluctant to let you go.
Stand by your guns, and don't let them pressure you. Don't return the telephone call, and when they call you back (which they will) tell them to leave you alone. Don't give them ANY control over you.
It will be stressful on you, but remember that the Mormons don't give a damn. If they can get you into the water by browbeating you, they will do it. You may even have to threaten to call the police and report them for harassment before they back off. But, don't give in to them.


Subject: How about this.
Date: Jun 06 12:27
Author: Lilith
Mail Address:

Just tell her that you believe a life changing decision this big should be given more time, AND finding what you did about the deeper beliefs of the church, you don't want to join unless and until you can bring your whole family together...families are most important in the church, RIGHT?


Subject: Wouldn't this be an open invitation to harass her and her family for the next 10 years? nt
Date: Jun 06 12:55
Author: Socrates
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Unfortunately, rudeness may be necessary . . .
Date: Jun 06 12:30
Author: Schweizerkind

These people apparently think they have a "live one" on their hands and that if they apply just a little more "love," which really means emotional manipulation and pressure, they will have you.

To make it clear to them that you are off their hook, I would call the RS pres and keep the conversation to a short and sweet declaration that you will not be baptized, period, and that you desire no more contact. Any attempt on her part to prolong the conversation beyond that should be cut off, and if curtness is necessary, curtness is necessary.

Now-is-the-time-for-assertiveness-ly yours,

S


Subject: here's how I would respond.... will leave them speechless
Date: Jun 06 12:47
Author: Mr X
Mail Address:

In looking up information about Joseph Smith, I found out that he not only started Mormon polygamy with a so-called “revelation from God” but he married over 30 women, including about 10 who were married to other men at the time, and about another 10 teenagers (ages from 14 to about 20). Also, most of these marriages of Joseph Smith were done in secret behind the back of Emma.

This is disgusting. If a religious leader today tried all these wacky marriages, he’d be on trial for numerous crimes, and few would join his religion.

So why should I join a religion started by a guy like Joseph Smith, whose marriages are highly objectionable to any normal human being?

I simply can’t trust a guy like Joseph Smith who had dozens of strange marriages, and now the modern Mormon church tries to cover it up or pretend it didn’t happen.

This is actual history, uncovered by many Mormon scholars, and not an “anti-Mormon trick.”

Any members who deny the strange marriages of JS simply don’t know what they are talking about, or wish to avoid uncomfortable facts.

End of story


Subject: Been there, done that...
Date: Jun 06 12:50
Author: Aerojeen
Mail Address:

I've had a similar issue, with all "forces of goodness" rallying to "love me" into submission. I'm sure you've heard the "we just want to make sure you realize how much we care about you and your family"-type stuff.

Let me assure you of this: they don't respond in the way you want them to (e.g. leaving you alone) unless you DO get rude. My story includes a year-long struggle trying to be nice about it, when it finally took a call to the local police department (who also thought I was a nut-job, as they are also mostly TBMs). But they're required to take me seriously, so it worked.

Don't get stressed over this. It's just not worth it. Muster up all of the guts you can, and let them have it, once and for all. Don't leave any room for misinterpretation. Make sure they understand that if they contact you again in this regard, you will take action. Don't hesitate to mention that in this country we have a little right called Freedom of Religion which they are making a strong attempt to influence against your will. YOU CAN DO IT!

You are not alone. Good luck!


Subject: Been there, done that...
Date: Jun 06 12:50
Author: Aerojeen
Mail Address:

I've had a similar issue, with all "forces of goodness" rallying to "love me" into submission. I'm sure you've heard the "we just want to make sure you realize how much we care about you and your family"-type stuff.

Let me assure you of this: they don't respond in the way you want them to (e.g. leaving you alone) unless you DO get rude. My story includes a year-long struggle trying to be nice about it, when it finally took a call to the local police department (who also thought I was a nut-job, as they are also mostly TBMs). But they're required to take me seriously, so it worked.

Don't get stressed over this. It's just not worth it. Muster up all of the guts you can, and let them have it, once and for all. Don't leave any room for misinterpretation. Make sure they understand that if they contact you again in this regard, you will take action. Don't hesitate to mention that in this country we have a little right called Freedom of Religion which they are making a strong attempt to influence against your will. YOU CAN DO IT!

You are not alone. Good luck!


Subject: Here's what I did
Date: Jun 06 12:55
Author: Makurosu

When I left the Church and people started coming to my door, I told them that we would no longer be attending the LDS Church. They asked why, and I said "Because we don't believe in it." That's all I said. When they asked for more information, I said "I'd rather not get into it."

I think simply saying "I don't believe in it" is a good cutoff point. It frees you from induced guilt and fear, but doesn't give them enough information to start an argument with you.

BTW, I was shaking the first time I said that to someone. The next time it got easier. Now I'm able to tell them to get off my property before I call the police.


Subject: you are not required to talk to anyone; You gave your...
Date: Jun 06 12:58
Author: Brenda
Mail Address:

answer to the missionarys and as you can see the news spread like wildfire. Sometimes it is best to just walk away.
They will be pressuring you endlessly if you give them the chance. Returning their calls only opens the door for them to harass you and your family. And don't think they will stop with you they will move the pressure tactics to all members of your family so forwarn all of them.
And just relax DO NOT LET THEM MAKE A NERVOUS WRECK OUT OF YOU.
Good luck and be thankful, Brenda


Subject: Phone soliciting
Date: Jun 06 13:00
Author: Xman
Mail Address:

I would treat calls from the RS pres and any other
church folk just like I would an unwanted phone
solicter. Either screen the call or politely and assertively
cut them off if you do answer. They'll learn.


Subject: You all ready told the Missionaries, NO NEED to say another word.
Date: Jun 06 13:05
Author: SusieQ#1

That is, unless you want to tell them EXACTLY why you are not joining.

It might be interesting if you wrote a two or three page letter about your reasons for not joining and mailed it! It probably won't change their minds, but might help you sort it all out in your mind and at least give them definitive reasons. Feel free to quote me if you want to use anything I have said here.

Just an idea!


Subject: I am the PERFECT investigator....my story
Date: Jun 06 13:05
Author: Giselle


Subject: CULT, CULT, CULT!
Date: Jun 06 13:11
Author: J. (not logged)
Mail Address:

send the clothes right back immediately!
i'm sorry 'bout the cost of p&p.
you've taken control now. see them off!!!
you'll soon make new, honest friends. it won't take too
long.
how desperate these people are for converts.


Subject: Agreed, send them back.
Date: Jun 06 13:33
Author: larryex
Mail Address:

If they were charged to a credit card, have them reversed. You made the right decision. These people pray on your vulnerabilities.


Subject: Re: I am the PERFECT investigator....my story
Date: Jun 06 13:17
Author: Switz

Giselle, I don't know where you live or your circumstances but..... when I officially left the mormon church (I hadn't been attending for 10 yrs) I joined the Catholic church and have been very happy ever since. I was raised a Lutheran so wasn't far from the Catholics while I was growing up. I too was at a vulnerable time of my life, 4 kids at home, husband totally disabled when the missionaries arrived on my doorstep. They offered me friendship and caring when I desperately needed it. It was all false. As soon as I was "wet" they left me totally alone. Where was the friendship and caring then? There wasn't any. I recommend you go back to your home church and condemn the Priests who were involved but hang on to your roots. There is pedophilia everywhere including the mormon church.


Subject: Unfortunately Gisell the LDS has been hiding child abuse as well
Date: Jun 06 13:20
Author: CX
Mail Address:

have a look on this page... I think there's one case that beats the RCs hands down. Eleven children were abused over forty years and the church leaders were told NINE times. No one told the authorities!


Subject: Send them right back!!
Date: Jun 06 13:33
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

Unfortunately they will now either pressure you more to commit or get frustrated with you and drop you like a hot potato. Keep coming here to this board for support-it really helps!


Subject: OMG those despicable people! Check out this site..the BRT
Date: Jun 06 13:42
Author: SusieQ#1

method I was telling you about and lost. I finally found it!

Discussions http://www.lds4u.com/Discussions/Discussions.htm

Scroll down to PREPARE Building Relationships of TRUST~~~!!


I hope you get your shipping cost back! If not $25 was a small price to pay for what you said would be a huge mistake!

ALWAYS ALWAYS listen to yourself when you feel SCARED, it is a BIG OLD RED FLAG!


Subject: Link: Building relationships of trust
Date: Jun 06 14:22
Author: Linker
Mail Address:

http://www.lds4u.com/Discussions/brt.htm


Subject: I don't mean to diminish what you have gone through but my last check to the Church was
Date: Jun 06 13:40
Author: Socrates
Mail Address:

for $12,000. I suspect that in a month or two you will be laughing over this bizarre and insulting cult. Some of us have nothing BUT LDS family and friends and will NEVER fully get over the Church because it will NEVER leave us alone. I wish you all the best.


Subject: Writing off your loss and moving on.
Date: Jun 06 15:45
Author: Xman
Mail Address:

I don't mean to minimize your pain and frustration either but consider yourself lucky to have made this important discovery and decison now rather than later with literally thousands of dollars (and hours) lost to the morg. I hope they give you a refund. It's worth a try. I wish I could get a refund for all the money they screwed me out of!


Subject: Ouch!
Date: Jun 06 15:51
Author: Makurosu

Did you perchance do the same thing that I did? Which is, pay a full tithe as a final resort to know if the Church is true? I only got bit for $1400, but I'm rankled about it to this day. I try to think of it as $1400 well spent to gain certain knowledge that the Church is not what it claims. I know that seems gullible now, but I think I had to do that to end the fear.


Subject: Its worse than that. I knew the Church was a fraud when I paid the $12,000.
Date: Jun 06 16:09
Author: Socrates
Mail Address:

But my wife was still a believer (I hadn't told her yet of my unbelief) and I had made the decision that I would do NOTHING to jeapordize our relationship. That included telling her about my conclusion that the Church was a fraud.

I was determined to wait until she figured it out on her own(with a little help from me). It took another year but she is out now and life is great. And yes, I think paying that last $12,000 was helpful for my wife in her journey out but for me, I'm still irritated.


Subject: By the way, where do you live? There may be some local exmos willing to help out. nt
Date: Jun 06 13:42
Author: Socrates
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Maybe I'm just being dumb here
Date: Jun 06 13:47
Author: LauraD.

but I never knew you had to buy your own baptismal clothes? I always thought the church had their own and used whatever was available.

Never mind I reread your post but I still have to question why you would spend that much money when there is something already available no matter how ugly it might be?


Subject: About the dress...
Date: Jun 06 15:51
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

....I had a feeling it had something to do with the temple -- if you look under PRAVDA's post, Giselle mentions that the RS pres. said she could wear the new dress to the temple later on... what a sham......


Subject: Don't give in!!
Date: Jun 06 13:50
Author: MoNoMo
Mail Address:

Giselle,
Though you are vulnerable at this time you have to make a very important decision which is to either give your power to the Mormon church and let them push you into the baptismal font or make a stand immediately and claim your sovereignty that you are entitled to. Believe me, they will not let up just because you decided not to get dunked. You will find out how REALLY sincere these people are once you draw the line. Be strong in your convictions and make the choice that benefits you, not some conglamorate corporation who could give a rats ass about you. I wish you the best. If you're lonely, hey, there are lots here to give you support. This is a great place to learn as the "wiser" generation is plentiful here. You will meet folks on this board who have spunk, humor and insight. Stick around.


Subject: Giselle, please read this!!
Date: Jun 06 14:00
Author: PRAVDA
Mail Address:

Years go I was a teenager disenchanted with the Catholic church. In a new town and without friends, I was searching for something.

Along came the missionaries. I liked them a lot at first. Very friendly people, made me feel that they had something special and were sincere.

I got baptized in just a few weeks. I was converted trhough and through. I built my life on the mormon church. Eventually I served an "honorable" mission and later got married in the temple.

But soon after my baptism things weren't quite right. The original feeling of "family" was replaced with an endless list of things to do. Stake leaders became demanding for their monthly reports (I was a clerk). I found out about blacks and the priesthood, but at first I was so gung-ho about my newly discovered "truth" that I found a way to rationalize it (shame on me).

I also found out that the so-called prophet didn't believe in evolution. I rationalized that too.

In my mission I was as friendly as they come. I taught and converted many, even some of the toughest Jehova's Witnessess you'd ever meet. I was made an AP. I had the "golden touch". I coud persuade practically anyone using both "logic" and appealing to the spirit. I refined and perfected the lies (which I didn't know were lies at the time) I had been told about the church.

I have held many positions of leadership in the church in Europe and in the US. My testimony was strong and I was headed for even higher places. I was an expert at expounding the flaws in other churches so people would see that they needed the true Gospel to have all of God's blessings. One day I decided to turn all my know-how on the church itself, confident that, being the true church it would easily withstand the scrutiny.

But not so. Horrified, I found confrirmation to the fears that had nagged me all along:
-Joseph Smith's vision did not stand the scrutiny of real history.
-Brigham Young was just what the way Jack London depicts him in his writings.
-The Book of Mormon was a work of fiction.
-The Book of Abraham, an alleged ancient record found and translated by Joseph Smith is also fictional. The hyerogliphics from which he got his "translation" have nothing to do with what he wrote.
-Seems that almost every bit of positive contribution claimed by the church fell appart under scrutiny, including the word of wisdom, the literal interpretation of the Bible, the temple ceremonies, the gifts of their prophets and local leaders and so on.

I was devastated.

My spouse was in denial and eventually we had to go our separate ways.

I don't usually post anything here about my personal life, and I've already said too much, but I want you to understand that what it boils down to is a choice between a well presented fantasy and life as it really is.

In reality no one knows if there is a God, and if there is one no one knows if he/she/it cares abut us. And no caring god would separate you from your child just because you choose to live your life based on truth, rather than lies and myths.

Don't waste your time on religion, and just go on and live your life. Find joy every day and help others. You will be much happier.

Good luck, and chance bless.


Subject: Giselle, If you back out now, once you're this close...
Date: Jun 06 15:04
Author: Kim

Giselle, If you back out now to being baptized, once you're this close, you may want to pay close attention to just how desperate the missionaries and the LDS members you've met become to try to convince you to change your mind. You need to be able to step back one step from the situation and look objectively at what is going on, setting all emotions aside. I suspect they'll begin dishing out large amounts of guilt and try to make you believe that by not being baptized you will be forfeiting your chance for eternal salvation, true happiness, etc. Perhaps they'll even steer toward their perceived negative results, such as telling you that you will face certain damnation. If they become confrontational at all like this, it's probably a good sign that they just want you for another statistic.

The mormons cite over and over a scripture (I'm no scriptorian by any means, so I can't tell you where it is) that says, "how great shall be your joy if you bring but one soul unto me..." I know that they honestly believe that they will be getting an extra scoop of ice cream or something in heaven. Do realize that they are in this as much, if not more, for themselves than for YOUR happiness. I've seen it many times that people get all kinds of attention BEFORE they are baptized, but afterward, they are dropped like a hot potato. They're moving on to the next "soul to save."

They likely sincerely believe that what they are telling you is the truth. There are too many bizarre facets and negative aspects about the mormon church that they try to hide under the rug for it to be that "one true church" that they love to claim. You certainly should not join if you have any doubts at all, and it sounds like you do.

My suggestion to you is to bow out gracefully. I would just explain to them that you have thought long and hard about it and it just isn't going to work for you. Period. To become confrontational at all really gets you nowhere. If they were smart, they would do the same and politely leave you alone, but I think you'll see that they won't let you go quite that easily. That right there will be the biggest clue that they are in this for themselves and NOT for you...otherwise they would simply respect your wishes.


Subject: "....just go on and live your life..."
Date: Jun 06 15:12
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

Thanks for sharing your story, PRAVDA -- I needed to hear that today.
Subject: What's GOD got to do with it?
Date: Jun 06 17:49
Author: PRAVDA
Mail Address:

jcubes, I don't blame God, I just don't believe in religion anymore, and it's because personal, carefuly thought-out convicions, not because of how the events of my life have unfolded.

You are right, I probably wouldn't be able to convert you. I make no apologies for having been gullible enough to believe in it at first. I am glad you didn't.


Subject: "What's GOD got to do with it?" That's my favorite Tina Turner song. ;0) n/t
Date: Jun 06 19:02
Author: Booger King
Mail Address:

 


Subject: some cures for loneliness
Date: Jun 06 15:32
Author: tri girl
Mail Address:

When I got divorced and left the church, I had no friends other than coworkers. I was very lonely but once I got involved in some fun things, I started meeting people and I soon had a new circle of friends. Here are some ideas for you:

- if you are fitness inclined, sign up for local fun runs/walks. You will find all kinds of people who do them.

- if you are not fitness inclined, volunteer for fun runs/walks. They are always looking for people to man the gatorade stations, hand out race numbers and cheer people on.

- take some community center or college classes for fun. I took some photo classes and had a ball.

- get on the web and check out your community chamber of commerce. They have lots of activities to get involved in such as gardening, performing arts, festivals, recycling projects and civic projects.

- if you work, check to see if they have any recreational clubs. I work for a large company and they have clubs for anything and everything you can think of. They are open to spouses and families so if you don't work but your husband does, his company might have clubs.

I always found friendships in the mormon church to be very shallow and fake. They were there because they had to be. When you get involved in clubs and the community- people are there because they want to be. So get out there and participate in life : )


Subject: I understand about being new in town and lonely
Date: Jun 06 15:36
Author: Violotron
Mail Address:

When I first moved out of Utah, I felt very lonely and was vulnerable. I was no longer mormon, so I wasn't vulnerable to any missionaries. However one day a cleaning salesman knocked on my door.......

That was over a dozen years ago, I still have some of those cleaning products!

It will take time, but you will meet new friends and eventually feel less lonely. Take a community class this summer if possible, or get involved in a club. Take care Giselle (btw, I LOVE that name)


Subject: Wonderful thread for the archive.
Date: Jun 06 20:07
Author: girl in the box
Mail Address:

Your words may help other investigators in the future decide what's right for them. Thanks for sharing!


Subject: Stake RS Society phone call.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 06 23:25
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I can hardly type this as my hands shake with anger. All of you were right, the pressure is starting. As I mentioned this morning, the Stake RS Pres. called as I was barely rolling out of bed. I had not intended to return the call, but my daughter got a phone call from one of the girls in the young womens group. This young woman, who had barely had time for my daughter left a message saying that she lover her. Both were messages on our machine. I felt I had to return my phone call to run interferance for my daughter.

What happened next is beyond unbelievable! It seems that last night, as soon as I had hung up from telling the missionaries that our baptism was cancelled, they called her. They proceeded to tell her WORD FOR WORD what I had told them my reasons were. This was private, sensitive, family information. I know, I guess I am a fool, but I never thought they would just go and repeat EVERYTHING without at least asking me if it was ok!!!! I actually thought we had a relationship that was respectful.

She proceeded to tell me that I had only part of the information, that I simply misunderstood, my information was sort of correct but not complete, and that this was the Adversary working on me. And as I lost control and sobbed to her that I could never do anything that would devide my family, or deny my husbands presence at our daughters marriage, she proceeded to tell me that I would feel TREMENDOUS RELIEF AFTER BAPTISM!!! Then she asked me if we could just meet and straighten this all out. I said no. She said ok, and then she said she would call again to check in. Click.

Did she not hear me?????? And could you please tell me what you think this girl might say to my daughter? I will NOT let anyone hurt her!!

I am horrified. Sorry to sound so out of control....thanks, Giselle


Subject: Simply hang up
Date: Jun 06 23:32
Author: J. (not logged)
Mail Address:

next time this moron calls. no ifs, no buts, just put the phone down
on them next time they call (should you be there) or don't return any
messages.
blank them.
because if you don't say anything they won't be able to twist your
words to hurt them.
i'm a never mo so can't suggest what exactly they may say to your
daughter. but i expect they'd try to guilt trip her and twist anything
she may say too.
it IS a CULT. be glad you've escaped.
take NO MORE from them. they are sick. you are not.
stop shaking. reclaim your life.


Subject: Very Good Advice!
Date: Jun 07 00:24
Author: Free At Last!
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Stake RS Society phone call.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 06 23:38
Author: Kristen77

Giselle, I am not as good as the rest of the gang in helping you out, but I just want to tell you that I am so sorry you are having to go through this. They think that what they are doing is the ONLY right thing and that you MUST join the church or you will be forever lost! They think they are helping you. I think it's very strange that they go chatting about your conversation word for word- that sounds alot like poeple in the church, tho. What's this about your daughter? Why are you so afraid of what'll happen to her? Clear me up on that part. I am 24 years old, and I was raised completely immersed in the church in every way possible, and it has taken me alot of time to finally realize that it was dragging me down and making me MISERABLE! I am still working through the after shock of it all. Just be glad that you never got that far, and try not to be so upset. I hope I can help you in whatever way I can! Please let me know. Are you in AZ??? :o) -Kristen


Subject: No Privacy in Mormonism
Date: Jun 06 23:46
Author: Gail
Mail Address:

Giselle:

Mormons do not have the same respect for
confidentiality that other religious groups have. What is
said to one is said to the collective. They do not have
respect for boundaries most other people take for
granted. Just something to consider. Meet people at
the YMCA. Family stuff there. Also, get kids into soccer
(rec league). Meet the moms and make friends that
way. It takes longer but the relationships build and
strengthen over time. Lovebombing wears off fast. The
minute you show igns of disagreeing with the group,
you are ostracized by the LDS. Good luck to you!

Gail



Subject: Re: Stake RS Society phone call.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 06 23:50
Author: jolimont

I didn't follow your threads, so I don't know what to say about your daughter, but it seems to me you are doing a good job resisting the pressure. Missionaries will do anything to get someone baptized, but the fact that they are asking the RS Pres to help them get you back tells me they know you're going to be a tough nut to crack! Hold your ground, next time someone calls tell them to back off that you're not going to change your mind. Congrats for escaping the smoothest cult in the world!


Subject: Your outrage is well placed . . . and this may not help but . . .
Date: Jun 06 23:50
Author: sonoflds
Mail Address:

aren't you glad you found out now instead of 1-2 years from now?

Glad you dodged that bullet.

Welcome to the Board. =)


Subject: Hang in there Giselle.
Date: Jun 06 23:54
Author: Dark Sparks
Mail Address:

These people mean well, but they will try subconscously to manipulate you with every means possible...especially guilt.

Remember, this church is a man made bunch of cow fodder and the only real effect they have on anyone is on those who allow it.

You don't have to allow it. Just ignore them and they will eventually give up.

Warm feelings from Dark Sparks.


Subject: Get mad!
Date: Jun 06 23:55
Author: Norm

Just plain get mad! Tell them to get the f... out of your life! You made a decision and they have to respect it. Tell them to stay away from your house and children. If they don't quit, you will call the bishop and give them hell. You'll get in touch with the local newspaper and show how much they harrass your family.

Let me tell, that will work!

Keep us in touch!


Subject: Does anyone have the statistics on how many converts per missionary?..
Date: Jun 07 00:17
Author: Just asking
Mail Address:

I have heard that some missionaries have no converts, some as many as 15 if lucky, but more likely the average is about 4 or 5. Do I remember correctly?

So Giselle, your missionaries just lost 2 golden opportunities to go home and brag. That's why they are desperate. You may be their last hope. Who knows, maybe they will start to wonder why so many people are turning them down. Stick to yer guns, gal, and stick with us. We'll help you through this.


Subject: I think that the average mishie
Date: Jun 07 01:08
Author: Ex Lax Joe
Mail Address:

gets around 4 baptisms (either per year or per mission?) This came up a while back, but I don't have time to find the thread right now. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Ex Lax Joe


Subject: baptisms vary wildly depending on the mission
Date: Jun 07 08:51
Author: someone
Mail Address:

some missions average 2 (mine in illinois) some in south america probably average several times that per month.


Subject: The Relief Society lady and the young woman
Date: Jun 07 00:29
Author: Lenny
Mail Address:

probably feel awkward doing what they are doing. They've just been guilted into doing it because they think it's their responsibility as Mor(m)ons to help get you baptized. They probably aren't bad people and will give up when they realize that you are firm in your decision. There's no need to panic or worry about them causing harm to you or your daughter. The missionaries probably thought in desperation that some additional "fellowshipping" (as they call it) from these two ladies would be enough to turn you around again. Just be calm and firm. Tell them you know what you're doing and do not want to be contacted further and that if you change your mind you will contact them.


Subject: Protecting my daughter
Date: Jun 07 01:03
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

What I mean about my daughter is that I feel very protective of her emotionally. She has tried so hard to make friends since we moved, very hard at 16, people don't let you in. She left a best friend behind. So I am just worried about anybody using friendship as a way to guilt her back to the church, or anybody questioning her and making her feel guilty. Perhaps even worse, eternal damnation and such. Thats the stuff I meant. Thanks, Giselle


Subject: Re: Protecting my daughter
Date: Jun 07 01:07
Author: Kristen77

Believe me, she does not want to get involved with that crowd. Nothing she will do will ever make her feel completely accepted. Even I, who was raised in the church, always felt "not good enough" among those girls in the church (not in school! I had tons of fun in H.S. without those prissy mormon girls!) But around them I felt inadequate! She's better off.


Subject: I understand. I hope your daughter can
Date: Jun 07 02:06
Author: Lenny
Mail Address:

find some good friends through some nice organizations or activities.

Maybe you can download some of the materials linked on the first page of this website and become an expert at the facts of Mormonism. When you know more about Mormonism than the Mormons do, they often become scared of you and don't try to bother you because they are afraid of the facts you know and are afraid of losing their "testimonies."


Subject: Re: sadness, sickness, betrayal.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 07 01:00
Author: Nightingale

Hi Giselle:
I tried to respond to you last night, having been impacted by your posts, but when I hit "send", my reply just exploded and as it was 2:00 a.m. I gave up. Let me try again, especially as you have posted again tonight. I'm sorry that you've had a challenging week and it sounds like you're going to have to get really tough to withstand the pressure that is sure to continue coming your way after cancelling your baptism. I have read all your posts and identified somewhat with your situation as I have felt the extreme pressure to be baptized, the doubts and the intensifying pressure to ignore my own gut feelings, etc.

I took the discussions and was baptized a few yrs ago, in spite of misgivings before, and certainly at, my baptism. Basically, things just went downhill from there. I am just managing to work thru some of the negative stuff now, over 2 yrs after leaving the church.

I'm glad your son did some research on the church and that you followed up on it. You did well to cancel the baptisms despite feeling so badly about it, despite your warm feelings for the missionaries and despite the pressure to change your mind. It's good that you recognize why you are "the perfect investigator" - that will help you to find other avenues to meet the needs you (understandably) have.

I too felt "betrayed" by the missionaries. I thought I had been so careful in my "research" before I consented to baptism, and so "strong" to withstand the high pressure sales techniques to get me baptized. (The intensity of the pressure should be a BIG RED FLAG OF CAUTION. What possible GOOD REASON could there be for that?) I made the great mistake, though, of asking the MISSIONARIES to answer most of my questions. After the 6 discussions, I asked them to tell me the rest of the church's doctrine. They assured me, "that's all there is." I well knew "anti" points to bring up with them; points re JS's personal life, church history, doctrinal matters. They clearly and seemingly honestly refuted every point, telling me it wasn't true, it was just anti-Mormon lies. To my continued shame, I believed them without questioning them closely enough or utilizing other resources.

After my baptism, I stumbled across teachings that the missionaries either hadn't told me about or had said were NOT taught, teachings that went against my deeply held spiritual beliefs, teachings that if I had known about, I would not have been baptized. I was rigid with shock, feeling that I had been purposefully deceived, lied to, by people I had trusted, who I thought cared about me. I suffered with terrible feelings of betrayal. I kept saying, "It's not like I didn't ASK them." I came to accept later that the missionaries don't necessarily know about their own church history and doctrine and that they are taught a very narrow focus of what to discuss with "investigators". That helped a little to allay the shocking feeling of being personally betrayed.

Prior to my baptism, I had several very negative experiences, which continued even more strongly on the day and evening of my baptism service. The missionaries acknowledged this was true, but when I said my gut feeling was that I shouldn't go thru with this, it feels so wrong, their reply was, "Satan is trying to keep you out of the true church." I bought it. Seemed like a good explanation for the chaos and dissonance I was already experiencing. After my baptism, when my church experience wasn't getting any better, the missionaries told me, "Satan is trying to make you go inactive." Of course, to counteract that, the solution was to keep very busy in the church. (!!) They even said, "You must have been so valiant in the pre-existence to be going through such trials."

I started my trek out of the church when I finally realized all the negative experiences, anguish, hurt, lost sleep, anxiety, etc. came into my life BECAUSE OF THE CHURCH. In a sense, it was like taking my own power back rather than conceding to the convenient ploy that "Satan" was trying to destroy my faith.

My reply last night, Giselle, was going to warn you not to be surprised when missionaries and/or church members call and tell you that you should go ahead and get baptized and then you'll feel better. Looks like that has already, predictably, happened. Outrage is good. It will increase your strength to withstand the inappropriate pressure that people will try to lay on you. As several posters here have said, what's the rush, if it's the right thing, it'll still be there tomorrow, next week, next year.

I generally try hard not to give specific advice, as everyone's situation is different and, of course, no-one can tell you what you "should" do. BUT, I'd like to state the following, hoping it will be of some help.

To try and get to the "you'll feel better after baptism" part (that never happened) I plunged into member missionary work, callings, church activities, and blazed a trail speedily to the nearest temple as soon as I was "worthy" to go, thinking that would somehow expunge the negative experiences. It made things much worse. And I kept going back to the temple, thinking that if I could just have a wonderful spiritual experience, all the pain would be of no consequence. This was not a healthy action plan for me. I can see now how illogical it was for me to plunge repeatedly and more deeply into the very pool that was making me so sick, physically and spiritually.

So, now I offer my "non-advice":

1. I would think twice about taking phone calls from church members, including missionaries. Don't feel obligated to do so. Ignoring calls is not avoiding the issue, as you have already clearly indicated your decision to them. They just aren't going to readily accept it.

2. In my experience, no amount of discussion will get them to respect your decision. Whatever you say, they will keep trying to persuade you to change your mind. They think they know "the truth" and that you need help to see it. They will not hear your explanations as a "no" answer. As long as you keep trying to explain, they will consider that you are open to persuasion. So, it seems necessary to just say "no", without using up vital energy in discussions with them that could be literally endless.

3. Remember that they all have vested interests in you and your daughter getting baptized. It is not about what is right for you. What seems like personal interest in you is largely just an interest in getting another baptism.

4. It sounds like you have made a firm decision to back off from the church. So, what else is there to talk about with them? (This relates to #1.) You don't need to hear all the stock phrases they will use to persuade you to go ahead with baptism. And for your own peace of mind, you don't need to keep talking to them about it.

5. Part of the wrestling I did with all this was thinking that "they mean well". So what. That may be true but it's no reason to make wrong choices for your life.

6. I have found that space/distance from the pressure helps to clear your mind. As long as you are using up energy dealing with the pressure, you can't think straight to process all this.


Giselle: New converts I have known, whose husbands are not church members, seem very unhappy. Generally, they have trouble staying "active", feel distressed because of being constantly told that their family will not be together in eternity unless they can convert their husband, feel overburdened by church callings and activities when they are dealing with being a "part member" family and generally seem to be struggling all the time with one issue or another. I have never seen these circumstances maintain or improve a marriage. In fact, a friend of mine whose husband stated categorically that he would never join the church, was actually counselled by church members, including the bishopric, to leave her husband and remarry a TBM so she could make sure of spending eternity with her children. This from a "family church"??!! Unbelievable to me to this very day.

Yes, there are sadnesses to all of this. I have cried plenty myself today reading your posts, Giselle, which have obviously brought to the forefront for me a lot of the issues I am trying to work thru myself.

Part of your great sadness, you say, is that you thought you were "doing something positive" (by joining the church.) Well, you did something very positive by choosing to put your family first. That is a great value to uphold. It is astonishing to me that a church that so vocally claims to put families first wreaks such havoc within families. This fact is not readily visible from outside.

Hope to see you keep on coming back to the board for support and assistance. So glad you are so strong. Please feel welcome to Email me if that could be of any help to you. Take care!


Subject: Re: sadness, sickness, betrayal.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 07 03:14
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Nightingale, I can't thank you enough for the time you took to answer me so thoroughly, the information in your post sent chills through me. They used, almost verbatim, the phrase that "I had obviously been a very valient spirit in the pre-mortal to be picked now, to join the true church in such adversity." Sigh.....I had no idea, I fell for it.

The thing that is so very painful for me is that I feel like I am watching a movie of myself, and I almost couldn't stop the fast forward button. The early life trauma that I referred to in my "Perfect Investigator" thread makes me feel overly responsible for people, obligated, afraid to say "no". I struggle sometimes with boundaries.

Combine that with unhappiness in my home faith, moving to a new area, loneliness, and then BAM! These people want me, "love" me, even though I am damaged. They further hook me by telling me they all ready bought baptismal gifts. I can't possibly ruin this now!!

But, I have been experiencing that same sick feeling of anticipation you described, especially when my "friend" glazed over when we couldn't find baptismal clothes and simply said to overnight them from Utah, at my great expense. She implied that if I did not do this as a solution, I was not listening to the Spirit. And of course, it would be perfect to have for my first temple trip, how sentimental.

I truly take to heart all you said, about part-member women being the most unhappy. I am so sorry you had to go through such agony. And you must know, that your post (and the posts of others) has strengthened my resolve, though I still feel vulnerable and scared. I know you said distance would help.

Thank you Nightingale, and everyone. Giselle


Subject: Hey, Giselle: You sound like me!
Date: Jun 07 03:53
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

Hi again, Giselle:
Obviously, we're both insomniacs, unless you are on another continent where it is daytime - I didn't catch where you live.

I'm sorry you're still feeling scared. Can you sort out what that's about? Yes, you're vulnerable but KNOWING that gives you strength too. Some replies here contain good suggestions for decreasing that vulnerability, healthy choices to help meet needs. Remember one reply that said there is no reason to feel scared, like physically afraid. "Cult" can be a scary word, I find too. The topic has been discussed here a fair bit lately. Many people don't consider Mormonism a cult - at least, not one of the hard-core types - guess it depends on your perspective. So, if that's what's causing you anxiety, maybe you can relax a bit on that score. I never felt afraid of the people and, honestly, I still think they don't mean any harm. Most of them do what they do out of good motives, they believe it's the truth, they don't realize how unpleasant it is to experience the pressure they exert.

You sound like me - easily feel obligated to people, trouble with boundaries and saying no, unhappiness in home faith. So far, you've done a great job of saying no and it gets easier with practice! I've been working on the boundary thing and it feels good to become more assertive.

So now I'm angry too - how ludicrous is it for them to say you can't "ruin" this for them, they've already bought your gifts. OK, really, I mean, isn't that RIDICULOUS, and it is the worst reason to get baptized I've heard in a very long time. It also bugs me that THEY tell YOU what message "the spirit" has for you - like "the spirit" can't just tell you without the intermediary??!! If you even believe that's how God works (for those who believe God exists/is active.) Reminds me of my visiting teachers who had a message for me from "the spirit" every month and always tried to convince me to take it seriously as the divine plan for my life. SO happy not to fight that battle every month!

Thanks for your sympathy. My experience of the church was very distressing and disillusioning, with lingering effects of some traumatic events. But I would feel a fraud claiming "agony" because, unlike many here, I got off fairly lightly, only in for a few yrs, no husband/no kids (part of the reason I REALLY didn't fit in), no relatives there, now - nil church presence where I live, very limited contact with the church, no TBMs in my town - really fortunate compared to many here, who can't get completely away from the church because of family/work circumstances.

Sleep tight, Giselle. Tomorrow, think of the positives as much as possible. Leave that phone on the answering machine if you like! Keep in touch with your BB pals here. Do something nice for yourself to celebrate a good non-baptismal day. Take care.

Nightingale


Subject: Re: Hey, Giselle: You sound like me!
Date: Jun 07 04:04
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Hi Nightingale! I am a California insomniac, how about you, what area are you in? Yes, I am off to bed now too. More tomorrow, and thanks again! Giselle


Subject: I'm wide awake in Western Canada, n/t
Date: Jun 07 04:07
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: I'm wide awake in Western Canada, n/t
Date: Jun 07 04:16
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

This is just too funny!! I keep thinking, NOW I am going to bed....then I saw your message. Best/only giggle I have had all day! My insomnia is worse since all this happened.




Subject: I'm going to be really crabby in a few hours when I...
Date: Jun 07 04:23
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

...have to get up for work. We have to quit this now. There's a poster here called Insomniac who makes me laugh too. He often says "Now get some sleep." Let's listen to him!

BTW: I wish I had insomnia before my baptism - it would have been preferable to the terrible nightmares.

Now really, GET SOME SLEEP!!


Subject: Re: I'm going to be really crabby in a few hours when I...
Date: Jun 07 04:27
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

On my way....(grin)...see you all tomorrow! Giselle


Subject: Re: Stake RS Society phone call.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 07 01:07
Author: tom

Remember, these people can't stand to see their own impotence. They think they have power. The most effective
thing you can do is demonstrate their power has no effect.
Dissmiss them firmly.


Subject: Oh Brother!
Date: Jun 07 01:07
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

Satan got to you! ....But we LOVE you!....But that's not REALLY the doctrine!

GAG!!! I can't count the times these lines were said to me.

They are incapable of realizing some people simply do their homework and don't want to buy their product.

If you think it is creepy that the missionaries blabbed all your personal information all over, you'd just LOVE the temple interviews. Talk about intrusion!

I'm proud of you Giselle. I hope soon you will be able to claim back your emotions. Using your emotions is their greatest tool.

If they call again, tell them you do not want to be called, and if they do, you will consider it harassment. Believe me, they are not good at taking a hint.


Subject: Just a thought
Date: Jun 07 03:46
Author: Ex Lax Joe
Mail Address:

if your daughter is new in the area, why not let her be friends with the Mormon girls? If you explain to her the truth about Mormonism, it might be the best way for her to see it first hand.

Just make SURE that she understands that you and her are NOT getting baptised. To counteract the Mo-bot influence, perhaps you could attend another church. I've heard good things about the UU groups, and although I'm atheist, I attend an Episcopal service occasionally, and I find it fun and non-pressuring.

Ex Lax Joe


Subject: I used to be a missionary
Date: Jun 07 09:00
Author: someone
Mail Address:

I think back to when I acted similarly to the way yours are acting and just want to tell myself to wake up! lol!
To stop the pressure, here are some magic words that can be used on the missionaries, the stake relief society president or whoever:
"I don't want to be nasty, but I told you already I am no longer interested in being a member of your church. I do NOT want you to call me, or stop by my house any more. If you do so again, I will contact the police immediately and request a restraining order so I do not have to deal with your harrasment".
That aught to end it right there. It's not very friendly, but to the mormon mind, friendliness = invitation for more religion, and some measure of recognition of their authority. Not very realistic, but that is how their mind works.


Subject: oh one more thing about the ignoring them suggestion everyone is making
Date: Jun 07 09:04
Author: someone
Mail Address:

I think ignoring them is sort of the wrong thing to do. I think this because I have found in my own experience that ignoring them still leaves the impression in their mind that you recognize their authority, that you have a belief in their church, but that you don't want to follow through on that and that you are someone who is weak and can be manipulated into line, provided they can just catch you at the right moment (which means they will continue to try and contact you for a long while, probably off and on for several months, before they give up). If you are firm, and let them know that they are harrassing you and you will contact the police about this harrasment, they WILL stop. And they will stop now, which will spell immediate relief for you.



Subject: IF they can't get the whole family...they will take it in pieces...the hard way...defend your family...keep LDS out! nt
Date: Jun 07 08:58
Author: In Focus
Mail Address:

 


Subject: niceness is seen as a weakness
Date: Jun 07 09:01
Author: blondie
Mail Address:

you can't be nice.
re-read gail's post! she is correct on the boundries/privacy issue.
think about how catholics confess in a booth privatly, no names, no faces. but, w/ lds they make an appt. face to face w/ the bishop who writes it down!!!!!!
if you are nice to them they only see this as a weakness to gain control.
one lady on this board had to squirt the garden hose at a missionary who practically dared her to as he was totally uninvited on her property. she gave him fair warning.
also they don't respect women. even the women don't respect the women.
i exited w/out any issues, or problems. i stood firm.
you must stand firm & get tough.
use your husband if you must. sadly as a man he is more respected and may be more listened to.
get caller id. scan your calls.
use caller blocking.
use your answering machine.
"this is the ----- residence. leave a meassage. if this is a message from the mormon hang up now. we refuse to accept your phone calls & will take legal action."
yes threaten legal & public action.
send the mission president a letter from your attorney.
put a cross on your door.
wear a cross.
go to another church.
tell them you are attending another church & you are happy there.
if they say they will pray for you. tell them you will pray for them.
if they send you lds lititure give them your new church's stuff, or print out stuff from this site.
do not weep. do not scream. stay strong.
you can do it!!!!!! you are woman let's hear you roar!!!!!


Subject: Re: Stake RS Society phone call.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 07 09:05
Author: geekpimp

ok this is my idea

as the missionaries have told the local members (rs pres and your daughters 'friend') word for word what happened, and they contacted your family on that information. how about some of us on the board contact the rs president and talk to her? if you have her number pass it on and we can all call her.

i would tell them if they dont stop i will come over and rip their heads off and s**t down their throats.


Subject: Re: sadness, sickness, betrayal.....outrage!!!
Date: Jun 07 03:14
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Nightingale, I can't thank you enough for the time you took to answer me so thoroughly, the information in your post sent chills through me. They used, almost verbatim, the phrase that "I had obviously been a very valient spirit in the pre-mortal to be picked now, to join the true church in such adversity." Sigh.....I had no idea, I fell for it.

The thing that is so very painful for me is that I feel like I am watching a movie of myself, and I almost couldn't stop the fast forward button. The early life trauma that I referred to in my "Perfect Investigator" thread makes me feel overly responsible for people, obligated, afraid to say "no". I struggle sometimes with boundaries.

Combine that with unhappiness in my home faith, moving to a new area, loneliness, and then BAM! These people want me, "love" me, even though I am damaged. They further hook me by telling me they all ready bought baptismal gifts. I can't possibly ruin this now!!

But, I have been experiencing that same sick feeling of anticipation you described, especially when my "friend" glazed over when we couldn't find baptismal clothes and simply said to overnight them from Utah, at my great expense. She implied that if I did not do this as a solution, I was not listening to the Spirit. And of course, it would be perfect to have for my first temple trip, how sentimental.

I truly take to heart all you said, about part-member women being the most unhappy. I am so sorry you had to go through such agony. And you must know, that your post (and the posts of others) has strengthened my resolve, though I still feel vulnerable and scared. I know you said distance would help.

Thank you Nightingale, and everyone. Giselle
Subject: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:08
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I awoke to find flowers on my kithen table, at first glance I thought my husband had surprised me because I had been so upset recently, but no note. I called him and he said the flowers were on the porch at 5:30am when he left, no note. We have absolutely no family occassion that would warrant flowers at this time, nor do I know anyone else well enough yet. And in my town, florists don't deliver at 5:00am.

Today was to be my baptism. Is this some cruel manipulation? Am I to assume that these are from MY RS Pres., the one who "be-friended" me and took me to the temple clothing store? Why isn't there a note? Would they do something like this??? Are they trying to get me to call out of a sense of obligation so no one will go unthanked?

I thought there would be a reprieve today, after the emotional phone call yesterday....Giselle


Subject: Aaaaaaaargh!!!!!
Date: Jun 07 13:10
Author: J. (not logged)
Mail Address:

but i really couldn't speculate on why they didn't leave a note.
this must stop, you know. what will you do?


Subject: More manipulation, I'm afraid . . .
Date: Jun 07 13:13
Author: Schweizerkind

I'd bet the farm the flowers are from someone connected with the church. I'm afraid you're going to have to get rude to get them off your back. Threats to go to the police and/or the media may get them off your back.

Hang-in-there-this-too-shall-pass-ly yours,

S


Subject: Its common to surprise people like this
Date: Jun 07 13:25
Author: Knucklehead
Mail Address:

recently there was a post on the BB that spoke of a Young Women's president who would "Heart Attack" girls who were inactive. They would sneak over early in the morning armed with little paper hearts on stick. Each heart would have a little message on it like, "We miss you!' or "you're the best!" The idea was that the girls would be overwhelmes with all the "love" shown them and become active in the church again.

This is just like that. There end goal is to get you dunked and in the pews, paying your ten percent (Which you will be given no accounting for, ever).


Subject: I was heart-attacked...
Date: Jun 07 13:46
Author: JeffH

My TBM girlfriend a few years back did this. I found hearts all over my car one morning. Our relationship had been fine, but she was growing desparate since I wasn't buying into the church. I try to remind myself that it's the thought that counts, and I think her intentions were good. She was trying to make me feel good, but I think the only feelings it gave me were those of embarassment and pity for her desparation. I was glad that I left for work early in the morning and could get those things off my car.


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: Peanut
Mail Address:

Gosh Giselle, you've really had a tough couple of days, haven't you? Sounds like you've got a persistent one to deal with, kind of like my old visiting teacher. I couldn't believe how persistent she was. I came real close to reporting her for harrassment. Aren't you glad you found this out BEFORE getting baptized?


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: Peanut
Mail Address:

Gosh Giselle, you've really had a tough couple of days, haven't you? Sounds like you've got a persistent one to deal with, kind of like my old visiting teacher. I couldn't believe how persistent she was. I came real close to reporting her for harrassment. Aren't you glad you found this out BEFORE getting baptized?


Subject: from a never-mo's POV
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: geordicat
Mail Address:

this is equal to the beginning stages of stalking.

When I was going through my divorce, I came home one day to a huge bouquet of flowers on my front door. Let me tell you I was FREAKED. My soon to be ex had a restraining order against him, and I know he wanted to get back together, and I was on that emotional roller coaster.

Turns out the flowers were from a friend since that day was my birthday (lol I forgot).

Still, getting flowers with no note or message, especially THAT early in the morning is very freaky and intrusive. I'd call the church people up and tell them to stop everything, you will contact them if you want/need anything.


Subject: A nit: She's not YOUR RS president. :-) Disassociate yourself from them, she's just A RS president. N/T
Date: Jun 07 13:33
Author: DeafGuy
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:42
Author: Cherry
Mail Address:

I moved away from California 6 months ago. The whole time I was there, despite requesting no contact, I received to visiting teaching message in the mail regularly, with NO RETURN ADDRESS. I though that was done, but they have now been forwarded to me in Washington state. Can't wait until my forwarding order runs out. Unfortunately, I can't return it because there is still no forwarding address......
I sympathize.
I'd pitch the flowers.


Subject: Giselle, what does your husband have to say about all this? n/t
Date: Jun 07 13:48
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Giselle, what does your husband have to say about all this? n/t
Date: Jun 07 15:07
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Well, untill two or three nights ago (when we discovered all the doctrinal stuff that had been hidden from us), he was ok with it. He has not been a practicing Catholic for years, I continued to be for many years by myself. He knew I was lonely going to church by myself.

Enter all the circumstances of moving, the child molestation in the RC Church triggering my trauma issues, loneliness, etc. All this initially made it look to him (and me)like this just might be a great answer. Suddenly, I had friends, I was doing things, it all looked very nice and innocent to him. He was happy for me. Then it all blew up.

He was, as we ALL were, terribly against all the doctrine we had uncovered through the help of this board. Then of course he agreed with us that we should cancel our baptism. When we talked this morning, he was creeped out too and asked if they would really do this. He is very disturbed by it all now. Giselle


Subject: this is common...
Date: Jun 07 13:52
Author: tri girl
Mail Address:

Cookies, little gifts and the like showed up on my doorstep at various times too. Often there were no notes but they usually were from the relief society to help cheer me up.

From their perspective, they are trying to get you to see the light and this is the only way they know how and they don't think that what they are doing is intrusive. The R.S. president probably feels terribly guilty for not doing enough to get you baptized. If you have read other posts, you might have seen where people in the church blame themselves if something goes wrong. The mishies and pres probably are beating themselves up for not having enough faith to overcome the advesarial forces that they believe have gotten to you. There is probably tremendous pressure, either directly or indirectly from the bishop to do something to get you back. It's a panicky feeling because they honestly believe you have been deceived. I saw this happen all the time when I was in the church. And I think that on some level, they are frightened because you rejected something that deep down bothers them too.

You were a golden contact and they don't want to be judged in the next life for failing. I don't think flowers on the porch is equal to stalking at this point. They are truly grieving for their loss and what they believe is your loss. They might try for awhile and they will pray and fast for the spirit to turn you heart. It sounds very strange to an outsider, but to member, it makes perfect sense.

Just continue to be polite and firm- try not to judge them harshly- they aren't malicious, just entrenched.

Hope this helps : )


Subject: Re: this is common...
Date: Jun 07 15:20
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Yes, I think they all ready know this about me. I feel bad that THEY are dissappointed. See, there is that boundary issue....I must be polite, put their feelings first...yada,yada,yada. I actually have moments where I have thought I must be wrong, cuz they were soooooo nice. Then I just have to re-read all the posts about warning me. Thanks, Giselle


Subject: Throw the flowers out on the porch...send them a message. N/T
Date: Jun 07 15:27
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Don't fall for the Love Bombing!! n/t
Date: Jun 07 14:36
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 15:26
Author: Judy

This IS my email address and you may contact me anytime.
Several days ago on the exmo email group, we were discussing how the morg goes after new converts rather than trying to reactivate current members.
One possible reason that reactivation isn't that big a priority is that new ones are more likely to tow the line, while inactive ones may never really "come" back totally.

I left over a year ago. My husband and son also became totally inactive. Did anyone try to get them back? Only my son for a short time. They obviously were a dead issue, living w/ an apostate mother. Well they were right, they also left a month ago.

In my opinion, they will continue to bother/stalk/harrass you until you let them know to leave you alone or else.

I would send a certified letter to the bishop and the stake president telling them to have the goon squad to back off or I would file charges and alert the media.

Obviously, this is your decision. I feel for you and your family.

The missionary baptisms in your area must be practically nil. Good luck to you. Just remember, when you are under emotional stress, your entire body suffers in one way or another.


Subject: Remote caring.
Date: Jun 07 15:29
Author: Stray Mutt
Mail Address:

When someone is a real friend you sit together and talk about what's on your minds, you share your hopes and fears, you expose your secrets, maybe you get a little mad at each other, maybe you cry together. But Mormonism has a tendency to create really superficial friendships.

First, there's the assumption that since you share a religion nothing else is necessary to build friendships. You go to the same meetings, you hear the same lessons, you attend the same activities -- not because you actually like all those people, but because it's what you're expected to do. It's not the same as finding people and befriending them. It doesn't require social skills, only that you show up. It's assumed church members can fulfill all your social needs -- and for many that's true.

Then there are the special assigned friends. The RS officers, preisthood leaders, home teachers, visiting teachers, etc. It's their job to "care" about you. But if you ever need them like you do a true friend, you soon learn the limits of your friendship.

So in your situation, Giselle, a real friend would come and talk with you, on a deep personal level (as opposed to talking at you), about why you decided not to join the church. They'd listen, they'd try to put themselves in your shoes, they'd share their own doubts and fears. And in the end, you'd still be friends even if you disagreed.

My experience has led me to believe few Mormons are capable of talking about their spiritual lives on anything but a superficial level. They resort to the catch phrases and jargon they've been taught. This is one reason the various efforts over the decades to have members share the gospel with their nonmember acquaintences have all been dismal failures. Speaking from the heart to people who don't already share your beliefs and experiences is terrifying.

So here are ward members charged with the responsibility (formally or informally) of guiding you into the waters of baptism. Everything's fine as long as you're on their turf, following their program. They know what to do and they're comfortable. But then you deviated from the script, leaving them to ad lib and flounder. Since they're unprepared to talk with you like a real friend, they resort to hollow gestures, like leaving flowers --without a note -- because they don't know what to say. It's kind of sad.


Subject: Re: Remote caring.
Date: Jun 07 15:38
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Stray, you said it beautifully, it really IS sad. The fact that they did not care enough to leave a note has left a pit in my stomach. Thanks, Giselle


Subject: One of the better posts today, Stray. Thanks. n/t
Date: Jun 07 15:45
Author: someone
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Common reaction.
Date: Jun 07 15:38
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

Not long ago, I told a neighbor who came to our door that I did NOT want them coming over to invite my daughter to activities. She seemed taken aback. The next day they left flowers in a vase on our porch for us just to let us know they "love" us.

I really think they mean well, and they don't know what else to do. They actually think Satan is working overtime in these "latter days" just to keep people from joining. Sigh.

The mentality of thinking that a plate of cookies (or flowers) would make the doctrine somehow acceptable just annoys me no end. Gee, the church is bogus, but look at these nice cookies! Sign me up!
They don't realize what an insult that is. I can't be bought with flowers if the product is not acceptable.

Hang in there. They will find another shiny object eventually to divert their attention.


Subject: Since I was not aware of custom....
Date: Jun 07 15:45
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I was just wondering, since I was not aware that this is the common custom, the leaving of anonymous goodies. What do you think they expect me to do?? Please understand, I am NOT asking to please them. But it just suddenly occurred to me that it is like talking to me in another language, how would I even really know it came from them, how would I know how to respond?? I hope I am making myself clear. Giselle


Subject: Yes, you are clear...
Date: Jun 07 16:25
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

You don't need to do anything. They think they are doing nice "love" deeds. They are taught if they just keep doing everything right and praying, people will join. There is nothing you can do about their mentality.

Just ignore the anonymous goodies. They are too uncomfortable to be confronted about them anyway. You don't need to thank them or say anything. With no note, they intend not to be thanked. They somehow think that anonymous good deeds will make you more impressed. Don't think you need to acknowledge it in any way.

BTW, I usually throw away the cookies and crap they bring. You don't know exactly who made it or if their poopy kid and cat helped (if you know what I mean).


Subject: customs
Date: Jun 07 16:38
Author: tri girl
Mail Address:

The sending of anonymous gifts probably goes back to the good samaritan idea but instead of coming across as sincere, it feels shallow. We were not taught how to listen to people. The spirit is supposed to convert you so all we had to do is bear our testimony and everything would be taken care of. Debating doctrine has always been seen as a form of rebellion and getting caught up in the "learning of men." I'm sure you have read on the board "the brethern have spoken so the thinking has been done."

I think the fake friendships when I was teenager were the first things that alerted me to the problems of the church. Everyone seemed so superficial. The girls at church teased, harrassed and excluded me until I stayed home and then they tried to get me back to church by sending me "secret pal" gifts. I saw right through it. The same thing happened when my mom died from cancer- no one at church would listen to me cry. They would just tell me how I shouldn't grieve because she was in a better place. Luckily I don't live in Utah and my most meaningful friendships have always been outside the church.

Sorry for the ramble- I know exactly how you felt when you saw those flowers. Luckily there are lots of people here that understand : )


Subject: If you're looking for an non-offensive way out...
Date: Jun 07 15:46
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

...I have found good luck with TBM's by saying that the research I have done regarding all the unique characteristics about the LDS church (stuff that makes them different from mainstream Christianity) leads me to believe they are merely the philosophies of Joseph Smith and are not divine in nature. That is all I had to say to my RS president -- she hasn't shown her face since. I, too, have found it hard to find friends since I quit going to church (my whole life was the LDS church), but I'm getting along ok & slowly finding friends the old fashioned way. Good luck in whatever you do & I hope you get some peace soon.


Subject: Getting them to leave you alone
Date: Jun 07 19:42
Author: Kim
Mail Address:

You will likely have to put up with their niceties for awhile now. Hopefully they'll just forget about you before too long, but it may be awhile.

I think the best way to deal with them is to politely tell them you simply are no longer interested. Period. You don't have to explain any reasons why. As long as you are polite and not accusatory of them mis-leading you or trying to divide your family, it is harder for them to be defensive and even possibly confrontational in return. There is no reason for you to give them the reason that you have joined an anti-mormon crusade of any kind. If you are kind and they start lecturing or preaching to you, just say that you're sorry that they think that way and end the conversation. It would be preferable though to end the conversation when you say you're simply not interested.

I have to think that you perhaps "owe" them at least that rather than hang up on them altogether since you obviously DID give them reason to think you were indeed VERY interested, with a baptismal date only two days away. Otherwise, they may rationalize to themselves that since you haven't talked to them, you may still be interested. You don't "owe" them anything, but I'm trying to say that they still need a clear message that you're not interested which they may not get if you just hang up on them.

If that doesn't take care of it, by all means tell them that if they don't leave you alone, you will contact the police.


Subject: They think they mean well..
Date: Jun 07 15:52
Author: ex of ex
Mail Address:

...but they just don't get it.

If the RS calls again tell her excitedly that Satan sent you some beautiful flowers and now you're sure the Church is NOT true. Isn't it wonderful!

heh


Subject: This thought struck me...
Date: Jun 07 16:50
Author: Algernon
Mail Address:

In abusive relationships, the wife might get beat and later the husband will give her flowers. The wife will then think that she should forget about the beating because the flowers are so pretty.

In a symbolic way, the Church is an abusive spouse, the members are the victims. Are they still giving out flowers for Mother's Day?


Subject: Mother's day flowers
Date: Jun 07 19:16
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

YES! They are still doing the Mother's day flowers...this last mother's day, I was sitting in my living room about 8 p.m. enjoying some peace and quiet when the doorbell rang. Standing there was a neighbor, unannounced and uninvited. She had a piece of cardboard full of corsages. She told me on the porch(I do not invite them in) that the bishop had noticed I hadn't gotten a flower...huh? I haven't been to church in over 5 years and he noticed...hahaha. So, she just pushes it on to me. My daughter was visiting, so she said to give her one, too. This struck both my daughter and myself as very odd, even bizarre...what did she think I would do with this corsage, wear it to work the next day? Both flowers went into the trash immediately and we laughed about it.


Subject: And which "fund" does the money for flowers
Date: Jun 07 21:13
Author: J. (not logged)
Mail Address:

come from? Is there a fund in each ward to cover this
"free gift" lure?




Subject: Its common to surprise people like this
Date: Jun 07 13:25
Author: Knucklehead
Mail Address:

recently there was a post on the BB that spoke of a Young Women's president who would "Heart Attack" girls who were inactive. They would sneak over early in the morning armed with little paper hearts on stick. Each heart would have a little message on it like, "We miss you!' or "you're the best!" The idea was that the girls would be overwhelmes with all the "love" shown them and become active in the church again.

This is just like that. There end goal is to get you dunked and in the pews, paying your ten percent (Which you will be given no accounting for, ever).


Subject: I was heart-attacked...
Date: Jun 07 13:46
Author: JeffH
Mail Address: jhammel@adelphia.net

My TBM girlfriend a few years back did this. I found hearts all over my car one morning. Our relationship had been fine, but she was growing desparate since I wasn't buying into the church. I try to remind myself that it's the thought that counts, and I think her intentions were good. She was trying to make me feel good, but I think the only feelings it gave me were those of embarassment and pity for her desparation. I was glad that I left for work early in the morning and could get those things off my car.


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: Peanut
Mail Address:

Gosh Giselle, you've really had a tough couple of days, haven't you? Sounds like you've got a persistent one to deal with, kind of like my old visiting teacher. I couldn't believe how persistent she was. I came real close to reporting her for harrassment. Aren't you glad you found this out BEFORE getting baptized?


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: Peanut
Mail Address:

Gosh Giselle, you've really had a tough couple of days, haven't you? Sounds like you've got a persistent one to deal with, kind of like my old visiting teacher. I couldn't believe how persistent she was. I came real close to reporting her for harrassment. Aren't you glad you found this out BEFORE getting baptized?


Subject: from a never-mo's POV
Date: Jun 07 13:31
Author: geordicat
Mail Address:

this is equal to the beginning stages of stalking.

When I was going through my divorce, I came home one day to a huge bouquet of flowers on my front door. Let me tell you I was FREAKED. My soon to be ex had a restraining order against him, and I know he wanted to get back together, and I was on that emotional roller coaster.

Turns out the flowers were from a friend since that day was my birthday (lol I forgot).

Still, getting flowers with no note or message, especially THAT early in the morning is very freaky and intrusive. I'd call the church people up and tell them to stop everything, you will contact them if you want/need anything.


Subject: A nit: She's not YOUR RS president. :-) Disassociate yourself from them, she's just A RS president. N/T
Date: Jun 07 13:33
Author: DeafGuy
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 13:42
Author: Cherry
Mail Address:

I moved away from California 6 months ago. The whole time I was there, despite requesting no contact, I received to visiting teaching message in the mail regularly, with NO RETURN ADDRESS. I though that was done, but they have now been forwarded to me in Washington state. Can't wait until my forwarding order runs out. Unfortunately, I can't return it because there is still no forwarding address......
I sympathize.
I'd pitch the flowers.


Subject: Giselle, what does your husband have to say about all this? n/t
Date: Jun 07 13:48
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Giselle, what does your husband have to say about all this? n/t
Date: Jun 07 15:07
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Well, untill two or three nights ago (when we discovered all the doctrinal stuff that had been hidden from us), he was ok with it. He has not been a practicing Catholic for years, I continued to be for many years by myself. He knew I was lonely going to church by myself.

Enter all the circumstances of moving, the child molestation in the RC Church triggering my trauma issues, loneliness, etc. All this initially made it look to him (and me)like this just might be a great answer. Suddenly, I had friends, I was doing things, it all looked very nice and innocent to him. He was happy for me. Then it all blew up.

He was, as we ALL were, terribly against all the doctrine we had uncovered through the help of this board. Then of course he agreed with us that we should cancel our baptism. When we talked this morning, he was creeped out too and asked if they would really do this. He is very disturbed by it all now. Giselle


Subject: this is common...
Date: Jun 07 13:52
Author: tri girl
Mail Address:

Cookies, little gifts and the like showed up on my doorstep at various times too. Often there were no notes but they usually were from the relief society to help cheer me up.

From their perspective, they are trying to get you to see the light and this is the only way they know how and they don't think that what they are doing is intrusive. The R.S. president probably feels terribly guilty for not doing enough to get you baptized. If you have read other posts, you might have seen where people in the church blame themselves if something goes wrong. The mishies and pres probably are beating themselves up for not having enough faith to overcome the advesarial forces that they believe have gotten to you. There is probably tremendous pressure, either directly or indirectly from the bishop to do something to get you back. It's a panicky feeling because they honestly believe you have been deceived. I saw this happen all the time when I was in the church. And I think that on some level, they are frightened because you rejected something that deep down bothers them too.

You were a golden contact and they don't want to be judged in the next life for failing. I don't think flowers on the porch is equal to stalking at this point. They are truly grieving for their loss and what they believe is your loss. They might try for awhile and they will pray and fast for the spirit to turn you heart. It sounds very strange to an outsider, but to member, it makes perfect sense.

Just continue to be polite and firm- try not to judge them harshly- they aren't malicious, just entrenched.

Hope this helps : )


Subject: Re: this is common...
Date: Jun 07 15:20
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Yes, I think they all ready know this about me. I feel bad that THEY are dissappointed. See, there is that boundary issue....I must be polite, put their feelings first...yada,yada,yada. I actually have moments where I have thought I must be wrong, cuz they were soooooo nice. Then I just have to re-read all the posts about warning me. Thanks, Giselle


Subject: Throw the flowers out on the porch...send them a message. N/T
Date: Jun 07 15:27
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Don't fall for the Love Bombing!! n/t
Date: Jun 07 14:36
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Re: Flowers at 5:30am.......anonymously
Date: Jun 07 15:26
Author: Judy

This IS my email address and you may contact me anytime.
Several days ago on the exmo email group, we were discussing how the morg goes after new converts rather than trying to reactivate current members.
One possible reason that reactivation isn't that big a priority is that new ones are more likely to tow the line, while inactive ones may never really "come" back totally.

I left over a year ago. My husband and son also became totally inactive. Did anyone try to get them back? Only my son for a short time. They obviously were a dead issue, living w/ an apostate mother. Well they were right, they also left a month ago.

In my opinion, they will continue to bother/stalk/harrass you until you let them know to leave you alone or else.

I would send a certified letter to the bishop and the stake president telling them to have the goon squad to back off or I would file charges and alert the media.

Obviously, this is your decision. I feel for you and your family.

The missionary baptisms in your area must be practically nil. Good luck to you. Just remember, when you are under emotional stress, your entire body suffers in one way or another.


Subject: Remote caring.
Date: Jun 07 15:29
Author: Stray Mutt
Mail Address:

When someone is a real friend you sit together and talk about what's on your minds, you share your hopes and fears, you expose your secrets, maybe you get a little mad at each other, maybe you cry together. But Mormonism has a tendency to create really superficial friendships.

First, there's the assumption that since you share a religion nothing else is necessary to build friendships. You go to the same meetings, you hear the same lessons, you attend the same activities -- not because you actually like all those people, but because it's what you're expected to do. It's not the same as finding people and befriending them. It doesn't require social skills, only that you show up. It's assumed church members can fulfill all your social needs -- and for many that's true.

Then there are the special assigned friends. The RS officers, preisthood leaders, home teachers, visiting teachers, etc. It's their job to "care" about you. But if you ever need them like you do a true friend, you soon learn the limits of your friendship.

So in your situation, Giselle, a real friend would come and talk with you, on a deep personal level (as opposed to talking at you), about why you decided not to join the church. They'd listen, they'd try to put themselves in your shoes, they'd share their own doubts and fears. And in the end, you'd still be friends even if you disagreed.

My experience has led me to believe few Mormons are capable of talking about their spiritual lives on anything but a superficial level. They resort to the catch phrases and jargon they've been taught. This is one reason the various efforts over the decades to have members share the gospel with their nonmember acquaintences have all been dismal failures. Speaking from the heart to people who don't already share your beliefs and experiences is terrifying.

So here are ward members charged with the responsibility (formally or informally) of guiding you into the waters of baptism. Everything's fine as long as you're on their turf, following their program. They know what to do and they're comfortable. But then you deviated from the script, leaving them to ad lib and flounder. Since they're unprepared to talk with you like a real friend, they resort to hollow gestures, like leaving flowers --without a note -- because they don't know what to say. It's kind of sad.


Subject: Re: Remote caring.
Date: Jun 07 15:38
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Stray, you said it beautifully, it really IS sad. The fact that they did not care enough to leave a note has left a pit in my stomach. Thanks, Giselle



Subject: Common reaction.
Date: Jun 07 15:38
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

Not long ago, I told a neighbor who came to our door that I did NOT want them coming over to invite my daughter to activities. She seemed taken aback. The next day they left flowers in a vase on our porch for us just to let us know they "love" us.

I really think they mean well, and they don't know what else to do. They actually think Satan is working overtime in these "latter days" just to keep people from joining. Sigh.

The mentality of thinking that a plate of cookies (or flowers) would make the doctrine somehow acceptable just annoys me no end. Gee, the church is bogus, but look at these nice cookies! Sign me up!
They don't realize what an insult that is. I can't be bought with flowers if the product is not acceptable.

Hang in there. They will find another shiny object eventually to divert their attention.


Subject: Since I was not aware of custom....
Date: Jun 07 15:45
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I was just wondering, since I was not aware that this is the common custom, the leaving of anonymous goodies. What do you think they expect me to do?? Please understand, I am NOT asking to please them. But it just suddenly occurred to me that it is like talking to me in another language, how would I even really know it came from them, how would I know how to respond?? I hope I am making myself clear. Giselle


Subject: Yes, you are clear...
Date: Jun 07 16:25
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

You don't need to do anything. They think they are doing nice "love" deeds. They are taught if they just keep doing everything right and praying, people will join. There is nothing you can do about their mentality.

Just ignore the anonymous goodies. They are too uncomfortable to be confronted about them anyway. You don't need to thank them or say anything. With no note, they intend not to be thanked. They somehow think that anonymous good deeds will make you more impressed. Don't think you need to acknowledge it in any way.

BTW, I usually throw away the cookies and crap they bring. You don't know exactly who made it or if their poopy kid and cat helped (if you know what I mean).


Subject: customs
Date: Jun 07 16:38
Author: tri girl
Mail Address:

The sending of anonymous gifts probably goes back to the good samaritan idea but instead of coming across as sincere, it feels shallow. We were not taught how to listen to people. The spirit is supposed to convert you so all we had to do is bear our testimony and everything would be taken care of. Debating doctrine has always been seen as a form of rebellion and getting caught up in the "learning of men." I'm sure you have read on the board "the brethern have spoken so the thinking has been done."

I think the fake friendships when I was teenager were the first things that alerted me to the problems of the church. Everyone seemed so superficial. The girls at church teased, harrassed and excluded me until I stayed home and then they tried to get me back to church by sending me "secret pal" gifts. I saw right through it. The same thing happened when my mom died from cancer- no one at church would listen to me cry. They would just tell me how I shouldn't grieve because she was in a better place. Luckily I don't live in Utah and my most meaningful friendships have always been outside the church.

Sorry for the ramble- I know exactly how you felt when you saw those flowers. Luckily there are lots of people here that understand : )


Subject: If you're looking for an non-offensive way out...
Date: Jun 07 15:46
Author: Ann
Mail Address:

...I have found good luck with TBM's by saying that the research I have done regarding all the unique characteristics about the LDS church (stuff that makes them different from mainstream Christianity) leads me to believe they are merely the philosophies of Joseph Smith and are not divine in nature. That is all I had to say to my RS president -- she hasn't shown her face since. I, too, have found it hard to find friends since I quit going to church (my whole life was the LDS church), but I'm getting along ok & slowly finding friends the old fashioned way. Good luck in whatever you do & I hope you get some peace soon.


Subject: Getting them to leave you alone
Date: Jun 07 19:42
Author: Kim
Mail Address:

You will likely have to put up with their niceties for awhile now. Hopefully they'll just forget about you before too long, but it may be awhile.

I think the best way to deal with them is to politely tell them you simply are no longer interested. Period. You don't have to explain any reasons why. As long as you are polite and not accusatory of them mis-leading you or trying to divide your family, it is harder for them to be defensive and even possibly confrontational in return. There is no reason for you to give them the reason that you have joined an anti-mormon crusade of any kind. If you are kind and they start lecturing or preaching to you, just say that you're sorry that they think that way and end the conversation. It would be preferable though to end the conversation when you say you're simply not interested.

I have to think that you perhaps "owe" them at least that rather than hang up on them altogether since you obviously DID give them reason to think you were indeed VERY interested, with a baptismal date only two days away. Otherwise, they may rationalize to themselves that since you haven't talked to them, you may still be interested. You don't "owe" them anything, but I'm trying to say that they still need a clear message that you're not interested which they may not get if you just hang up on them.

If that doesn't take care of it, by all means tell them that if they don't leave you alone, you will contact the police.


Subject: They think they mean well..
Date: Jun 07 15:52
Author: ex of ex
Mail Address:

...but they just don't get it.

If the RS calls again tell her excitedly that Satan sent you some beautiful flowers and now you're sure the Church is NOT true. Isn't it wonderful!

heh


Subject: This thought struck me...
Date: Jun 07 16:50
Author: Algernon
Mail Address:

In abusive relationships, the wife might get beat and later the husband will give her flowers. The wife will then think that she should forget about the beating because the flowers are so pretty.

In a symbolic way, the Church is an abusive spouse, the members are the victims. Are they still giving out flowers for Mother's Day?


Subject: Mother's day flowers
Date: Jun 07 19:16
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

YES! They are still doing the Mother's day flowers...this last mother's day, I was sitting in my living room about 8 p.m. enjoying some peace and quiet when the doorbell rang. Standing there was a neighbor, unannounced and uninvited. She had a piece of cardboard full of corsages. She told me on the porch(I do not invite them in) that the bishop had noticed I hadn't gotten a flower...huh? I haven't been to church in over 5 years and he noticed...hahaha. So, she just pushes it on to me. My daughter was visiting, so she said to give her one, too. This struck both my daughter and myself as very odd, even bizarre...what did she think I would do with this corsage, wear it to work the next day? Both flowers went into the trash immediately and we laughed about it.


Subject: And which "fund" does the money for flowers
Date: Jun 07 21:13
Author: J. (not logged)
Mail Address:

come from? Is there a fund in each ward to cover this
"free gift" lure?


Subject: One hour and counting till cancelled baptism
Date: Jun 07 20:25
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I would have been baptized about one and one half hours from now, California time. (sinking/sick feeling in stomach). I just had to come here and thank ALL of you who have spoken with me the last few days and tell you how incredibly grateful I am that I am sitting at my computer, instead of getting in the car to go to the Stake Center.

My husband just finished mailing my baptismal clothes back. I have been feeling so sick to my stomach over how close I came, that I needed his help. I know that I will eventually get over it and stop feeling so shakey.

I had another phone call today and the flowers are now sitting on the back porch. Cant even discuss the phone call right now.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!!! Giselle


Subject: Re: One hour and counting till cancelled baptism
Date: Jun 07 20:31
Author: Ray A

But for the grace of God....


Wish someone had stopped me in Feb.1975.


No wonder I wonder about God.


Subject: hello giselle
Date: Jun 07 20:37
Author: msmom
Mail Address:

haven't read many of the posts concerning your situation, but warmest wishes on avoiding a bad situation.


Subject: Good for you!
Date: Jun 07 20:37
Author: Pretend TBM
Mail Address:


Give it time. The calls will stop. So will flowers. That's my prediction. The missionaries should move on fast. The RS president will be released eventually and she will have forgotten all about you.

Hopefully it will pass soon and you can get on with what sounds like an otherwise happy life!


Subject: Re: Good for you!
Date: Jun 07 21:16
Author: Jay Z
Mail Address:

Giselle,

I was just thinking about your whole experience and these words to an old Kenny Rogers tune came to mind. It was from his early days and if you aren't as close to the age of dirt as I and don't remember the First Edition, the words are as follows, close as I can recall.......................

I lost my soul in a deep dark whole
and so I followed it in
I just dropped in to see what
condition my condition was in

How fortunate for you that you saved yourself the drop, it's not the fall that gets you it's the hitting bottom that does. I hope you come to a place where you can truly celebrate the freedom that is rather than dwell on fall into the deep dark hole that could have been. Been there, done that and am very, very happy for you!


Subject: Great. You can be free of the Mormon church, now. nt
Date: Jun 07 21:18
Author: Matt

 


Subject: why not have the family decide who to give the flowers to?
Date: Jun 07 21:27
Author: SusieQ#1

Maybe you can take them to a hospital or to a shut in that you know, a senior center, for instance. Make good use of them!


Subject: You'll be fine!
Date: Jun 07 21:38
Author: Kristen77

Giselle, try not to feel so scared and sick! What you did was good for you and your family, be happy and confident that you made the right decision. Eventually they will realize that you are not going to commit to them. You may hear from them every once in awhile but you'll learn to brush it off. I still get a little nervous when someone calls me out of nowhere to ask me how I'm doing and ask if they can send over some home teachers or missionaries to get me active again. UGH! Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

Subject: Missionary phone call just ended, AWFUL!!!!
Date: Jun 08 17:29
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I didn't know it would get THIS bad, it was awful. Thank you for your suggestions, it helped me formulate what I wanted to say.

I calmly said: 1.) I feel you betrayed my trust when you called Stake RS and repeated entire conversation. 2.) I realize you put a lot of time into my baptism and that you are dissappointed BUT, 3.) I will not join a church that devides my family on earth and in heaven and 4.)I will not join a church that does not give FULL disclosure of it's entire doctrine BEFORE baptism. 5.)Please do not contact me any further about this. He broke into soft cry, then almost full sob.

I asked him if he was ok. He said he was so sorry, he did not mean to betray my trust and he also KNEW I had felt the spirit during our discussions. I said that at face value, yes perhaps I had. BUT, when I discovered the rest of the doctrine behind, that spirit had LEFT!! He cried a lot. Said that without MY baptism, there would be NO relationships in heaven....BINGO!!! I told him that the God I believed in would NEVER do that!!

He kept repeating that he knew I had felt the spirit and if I would just get baptized he could promise me that I would progress, my family would feel the spirit, and it wouldn't pull us apart. But he said in the same breath that he can't promise me that they would follow, huh?

He continued to cry, saying he was so sad for me several times. I told him that I felt I had shown tremendous respect for their beliefs, and that I would ask the same respect from him.

When he repeated that he had seen the spirit in me for the n'th time I said, yes, untill I found out that my daughter would feel tremendous pressure to choose a marriage that would EXCLUDE her Dad and her brother!!

I guess the spirit was me being happy, feeling at least initially, that I HAD found something good, something that could heal the devestation left in me from trauma. It was me being happy that my daughter and I were making friends, finally.

How twisted, how cruel.....I feel even more manipulated by his crying. And this is just the wreckage BEFORE baptism???? He even managed to make me feel guilty. Through sobs....could he please call me tonight if he finds out he is getting transferred??

They don't get how devastating this is for me!!! When you have a history of trauma, you feel responsible for everyones feelings. I honestly don't get how I let this happen to me, I feel like a complete fool. Shellshocked, Giselle


Subject: you are NOT a fool!
Date: Jun 08 17:35
Author: J.

please don't feel like that. you were great – really
strong. even in the face of his tears!
sorry, but it was manipulation again.
how dare he have been so rude as to not accept what
you said and to go on and on.
more fool he, i say.
well done, you. you're great and strong and you'll be
able to look back on this with just mild irritation, i hope.
continue to rebuff their ridiculous attenpts to drag you
down with them.
wishing you the very best, J.


Subject: Oh! and i wouldn't accept any further calls
Date: Jun 08 17:39
Author: J.

you've told them you want no further contact and they
would be wrong to continue to do so.
just hang up next time, IMO.


Subject: Don't feel the slightest bit of guilt!!
Date: Jun 08 17:38
Author: Zapotec
Mail Address:

You did the right thing. That missionary was using his "sobs" as manipulation. This crap about "the spirit" is just more Mormon-talk that has no meaning.
I'm sorry that I can't feel the slightest bit of sympathy for that young missionary, but what is really bothering him is that you got away, and his stats won't impress his MP.
But, you might just have planted a seed of doubt in his young mind that might someday blossom into reality.


Subject: Re: Missionary phone call just ended, AWFUL!!!!
Date: Jun 08 17:38
Author: Judy
Mail Address:

Giselle,

You didn't LET this happen to you. You can't avoid hitting the car before you know its coming and you had NO idea what the morg was. In the end, you made a very wise decision. The elder is probably genuine in his feelings. He is in the dark on sooo many things b/c it just isn't discussed. And he is pressured to get the numbers up.
Give yourself permission to pat yourself on the back for making a wise informed decision.


Subject: Might be time to write a letter with the same reasons you told us here and send
Date: Jun 08 17:49
Author: SusieQ#1

it to the bishop, stake president, mission president, church headquarters, etc. and tell them not to contact you again ever, and if they do it will be considered harassment and you will take it to the media - they hate that!

Sometimes writing a letter and having a paper trail is the only way to get them to leave you alone.

That missioanry is a real piece of work. The audaucity of him crying like a damn fool!

He was the fool, NOT YOU!

Pat yourself on the back! YOU are in control. You have taken YOUR POWER BACK!!! :::::clapping::::


Subject: Excellent points, Kathy. I contacted an attroney, the police and then . . .
Date: Jun 08 20:56
Author: Free At Last!
Mail Address:

called my SP, bishop, dad, and the mission home and told them that I have a paper trail of harrassment and abuse. Therefore, it is in their best interest to leave me alone.

A very spiritual friend of mine, who is in charge of the prayer circle I go to, said that they want to take away my power. You made the same comment. I do feel like crap after talking to them. I hate to be mean, but that is the only way that they seem to get the message.


Subject: They (missionaries) are JUST KIDS. Don't sweat it
Date: Jun 08 20:08
Author: exmo
Mail Address:

At the oldest, they're 21 or 22. With no life experience. Just brainwashed into what to say/when. Don't give it any more thought.


Subject: Good work, Giselle! Look at it this way
Date: Jun 08 17:58
Author: Breeze
Mail Address:

you got through the hard part early. Didn't have to go
through the New Member phase. Didn't have to try to fit
it with the RS with a non-member husband. Didn't have
to make busy friends.

I know it's hard for you. The missionary experience is
pretty intense. Those guys really need family and they
will glom on to anyone that will open their home to them
and cuddle in and make themselves feel like they
belong to YOU. It's kind of nice, but they really should be
doing all that adolescent bonding in an environment
where they can carry those relationships into
adulthood, not constantly get transferred away from the
bonds. Kind of sad for them, but the intensity and the
transfers leave wakes behind them as these kids move
from one innocent investigator to the next.

I guess it's good for their indoctrination, but not a great
way to envelope brand spankin' new members into the
regular church experience...which is nothing,
NOTHING!, like taking the discussions.

Count yourself lucky and quit taking their calls. Let them
form their unhealthy fruitless bonds elsewhere.


Subject: Re: Missionary phone call just ended, AWFUL!!!!
Date: Jun 08 18:01
Author: Tyler

Wow - Great conversation with the 2 yr old missionaries.

How is it that baptism which is just a symbol, becomes the end all be all? The church is so into appearances. That proves that the missionary program is not an outreach to lift others based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is merely to add numbers irrespective if internally you had become more christlike or spiritual, or more anything! He was reduced to tears?

Can you still be kind towards your fellow man?
can you still have empathy towards others?
can you still live your life being honest and true?
can you still follow ethics in business and personal relationships?
Can you.....oh you get the idea. The power of these spiritual things is already within you! Nothing external brings it out or is dependent for it to function.


Subject: Oh if Baptism were only the end...
Date: Jun 08 18:54
Author: whatever
Mail Address:

...unfortunately its just the beginning.

Baptism isn't the "end all be all", but rather it's the "do more or be damned".

After baptism come the meetings, the rules, the callings, the tithing, the temple trips, the geneology, the home teaching, the missionary work, and on and on and on, and every item is somehow always "the MOST important principle of the gospel". Once you start down the busy-bee path, you can do no right, and it's very tough to head back.

Congratulations for seeing things how they are, and pulling back in time to stay out of the abyss!

whatever


Subject: You are certainly NOT a fool. Why?
Date: Jun 08 18:10
Author: Matt
Mail Address:

Because you decided that you wanted to do some independent research.

Selecting a religion or a philosphy by which you intend to live the rest of your life is vitally important.

If the Mormons (or Morgbots as we call them! ;o)) ) call again ask them if they really believe in the "milk before meat" doctrine? -That's where they tell you none of the stuff that makes you go: EEEK!!! about the Mormon Church, when you find out about it.

Ask them if they believe this is a good way to choose a religion, without researching from other sources?

They'll probably witter on about the Internet being under the control of Satan, etc., etc.

If so, say: "Well, would you buy a house from a Realtor who said he believed in selling houses: "Milk before meat?" Or buying a used car from someone who believed in selling used cars: "milk before meat?"

Or buy an insurance policy or a pension plan from someone who believed in selling their financial products: "milk before meat?"

Of course they would not! So, they'd want independent advice on buying a car, a house or a financial product -but they wouldn't want independent advice on buying into a religion which, if true, would last them for all eternity???

No, Gizelle. You are not the fool. Far from it.


Subject: rejecting "milk before meat" normally called full disclosure n/t
Date: Jun 08 19:40
Author: nwguy
Mail Address:

 


Subject: Unfortunately, mormons can't grasp the concept that...
Date: Jun 08 18:15
Author: DeafGuy
Mail Address:

...feelings are perfectly natural responses to the stimuli in our environment. Instead, they think that all good feelings are from god by way of the holy ghost, and all bad feelings are from satan.

The missionaries deliberately teach things that sound and look good. Families together forever. Heavenly Father's "Plan of Happiness" for us. Love. Peace. Joy. Etc.

And you naturally feel good when you hear about things like that. The missionary is just confused when he tells you that those feelings are "the spirit". It isn't so.


You've handled it well, all things considered. You're definitely not a fool, and you're not at fault, either. Mormons think they mean well, but they're manipulative, they completely disregard ethics, compassion, consideration of others, etc, when it doesn't suit their goal in life, which is to convert others to their church.

So don't blame yourself. Just be happy you and your daughter got a good life lesson without getting too committed.


Subject: Congrats Giselle !
Date: Jun 08 18:20
Author: Zeke
Mail Address:

You have just crossed an almost impossible hurdle by declining under unreal pressure. When you mentioned how it affects the rest of your family, you've hit the nail on the head.

Mormonism is a self centered religiion. It gives the "promise" of making YOU happy while completely ignoring others about you ... or your future.

Unfortunately, how if affects your FAMILY directly affects YOU! This is what leads to the eventual fall and crash of the whole program. It's quite a shock to wake up one morning and realize how utterly foolish you've been by blindly playing the Morg numbers game.

You have done not only yourself, but every one of your FAMILY a huge favor .... you've just avoided the nastiest part of mormonism --- a lifetime of entrapment.

You deserve the highest praise !


Subject: You did a good deed yourself, Giselle.
Date: Jun 08 18:22
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

Not only did you save yourself a whole lot of problems by not joining, you were honest with him.

Understand that the poor little missionary is overdosed on religious opiate while on his mission. He really doesn't know much and the pressure he is getting to convert is tremendous.

Sure he is crying, and his tears were probably genuine. He really believes you blew your chance for godship. However...

Mormons have a way of interpreting everything in their favor over time. Chances are, when he gets home and gives his welcome back talk at sacrament meeting, he will tearfully tell the congregation about his experience with you and about his personal knowledge of how strong Satan is working.

Here is where your good deed comes in. Just maybe down the line he will start thinking hard about his mission experiences. Why did nice people reject the church? Why is the failure rate of God's "one true church" so incredibly high? What church doctrine was he not told? Then, just out of curiosity he might do some digging. Then maybe he will end up here.

Giselle, my husband converted a bunch of people and feels horrible about it. But there were people who rejected the gospel who got him thinking. Thank God for people like you.

Now I hope you will slow down and not bend to the urgent feeling that you need to find a religion and instant friends. Take your time to find out what you want out of life. Enjoy your family. Notice nature. Study. Read and study more.

There is no rush to do anything but be you. Eventually you will decide exactly what YOUR needs are and not need to be what a religion decides you should be. Find God (or not) in your own way on your terms. Maybe you will find the right church for you, maybe not. That's OK!

Enjoy the quest!
You did a great job doing your homework about the Mormons. Again, I'm very proud of you. It took me 40 years of Mormon membership to be where you are now.


Subject: The Spirit
Date: Jun 08 18:33
Author: Pretend TBM
Mail Address:

Giselle wrote:
> He kept repeating that he knew I had felt the spirit...

The Mormons take simple good feelings and turn that into "The Spirit". They take your feelings and stamp "Property of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" on them. Everyone has good feelings when they hear something that sounds good. The only way the missionaries can get anyone to feel good about Mormon doctrine is to only tell them half the story, or even less. Essentially they lie to you to make you feel good and then say the feelings you felt about the lies are from God. It is horrible behavior.

And crying on the phone? Wow. Even I wouldn't have done that on my mission. :-) This guy is a real trip.

I wouldn't take any more calls from them if I was you. They really are trying to push your buttons. Hopefully the Elder will be transfered and the whole thing will blow over. If not, you may need to write letters.

Just remember, they are only salesmen and not God's elect. They are selling a false product, so you have *nothing* to feel bad about in telling them to buzz off.


Subject: Somebody Misquoted Me on This, But It's Worth Repeating . . .
Date: Jun 08 18:41
Author: SL Cabbie
Mail Address:

It is impossibleto simultaneously set a boundary and take care of feelings (and I freely acknowledge this statement didn't originate with me). You set a boundary--as you felt you must--and that's the end of your responsibility. I'm certain there was no name-calling or other abuse or deception on your end, so any sackcloth and ashes, while undertandable, would be out of place (and Caryn, I hope you're reading this as well!). To your credit, you have a lot of compassion for those kids. On the surface, they seem to be doing what they and their culture view as a whole lot more worthwhile than, say, what I was doing at the same age. Give yourself some more credit for being willing to look beneath the surface.
A lot of people who've reached the point where you are have spent a lot of time gleaning as much information about the Mormon Church as they can. You may find that worthwhile even though it'll probably bring out a lot more anger. Reminds me of a time when I was trying to sort out my relationship with a particularly dysfunctional individual in my life; I had to reach the point where I could say, yes, by God, that person was way out of line (and didn't realize it), and I had the right to that anger. As a civilized individual I also have the responsibility to channel and process that anger in directions that do the least harm to myself and others. That's part of the human condition. I think much of our society is pretty schizoid on the subject of anger, confusing it with abuse and childhood threats to our person. The LDS culture is a particularly neurotic manifestation of this with its emphasis on perpetual goodness and alleged eternal cosmic happiness; appearance becomes everything despite underlying reality.
Aargh! See what happens when I play hookey from work (nap didn't help, J, but thanks for the kind words). The cabdriver-as-philosopher comes out and begins pondering the imponderable.
Wish I had more answers to share, but it looks like you'll have to start on your own journey and find them for yourself. I hope you'll come back and share some of them with us.


Subject: Remember this on your daughter's wedding day
Date: Jun 08 19:28
Author: Deb
Mail Address:

Giselle,

The thing you may not realize is that it might not just have been your husband sitting outside on your daughter's wedding day, but possibly you too. You may have been in for a few years before you realized what a crock it all is but in the meantime your daughter may have become so hooked that she couldn't shake it. She would want to find a "worthy" Elder to take her to the temple. You'd have to decide between playing the game to be able to go to your daughter's wedding or waiting outside also.

A great many of us here on this board have been through that. When I got married in the temple, I just visualized my future daughter's wedding day as a day I'd move into my parents spot and have the silly proud grin on my face. Instead I was waiting outside because, after a lifetime of indoctrination, by the time I saw the light it was too late to stop my daughter from feeling like she had to find "Mr. Worthy." Since I had been in there and knew what I wasn't missing, I'm sure it wasn't nearly as bad for me, as it would be for your husband or a nonmember, but it was bad enough. Funny thing is that after 5 years of marriage, my daughter is having her name removed from church records also and all that was for nothing.

I'm sorry for what you've been through, thanks for trusting us enough to share with us. Best of luck to you.


Subject: I think you're a hero!!! I wish I had done that before my baptism!! n/t
Date: Jun 08 19:30
Author: sunny
Mail Address:

 


Subject: That degree of manipulation by the missionary...
Date: Jun 08 19:35
Author: Proteus
Mail Address:

is way out of line. It reminds me of a guy that dated my wife. He wanted to get engaged and threatened suicide if she refused. She was smart enough to refuse and he's still alive.

You're not responsible for their happiness. Repeat this until you believe it. Tell them if they would like to contact you to do it online in this forum!


Subject: I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself...
Date: Jun 08 19:41
Author: kymba
Mail Address:

and for keeping to the point of, "I will not join a church that excludes family and doctrinal issues".

You're okay, why not just hang around here for awhile and work through your feelings, then your head will be more healthy for dealing with other traumas.

If it makes you feel any better, the LDS church prays for people who have emotional traumas, they are "better bait", because they're looking for answers.

Well, you found answers, didn't you?

:)

You rock on, Giselle.
I give you a pat on the back.


Subject: You've witnessed an example of mind control
Date: Jun 08 19:48
Author: larryex
Mail Address:

Attempted mind control and manipulation of you (False promises & and withhold information, and mind control of the missionary. Now you realize what a cult Mormonism. It's sad. But, be happy you found this site before you (no pun intended) took the plunge. Many find out too late.


Subject: Crying missionary
Date: Jun 08 20:38
Author: Stray Mutt

His reaction seems way out of line to me. I wonder if his reaction was less about you and more about him. Here's what I'm thinking:

Missionaries are sold a bill of goods by their leaders. They're given a long list of things they're supposed to do, ways they're supposed to live and work. The big promise is that if they do those things they will be filled with the Spirit and the Spirit will, in turn, fill the people they teach. Their leaders are on their backs a lot. In spite of their best efforts, though, few missionaries ever feel like they have the Spirit with them. They start beating themselves up over their imagined lack of worthiness. (Why the Lord would be so unwilling to help his supposed messengers is a mystery.) They follow the plans, try all the approaches, do everything their leaders claim will result in baptisms, but nothing works as advertised. When it doesn't, they wonder if it's their fault, because, surely, their leaders can't be wrong.

So along you come and bingo! everything works like it's supposed to. They've found a golden contact and the discussions are progressing nicely and you've committed to baptism! Oh boy! The missionaries are elated because it validates their worthiness. They feel the Spirit flowing all over the place, you feel the Spirit, it's the situation they dreamed about. Woo-hoo, they're real missionaries now! The magic is finally working! They're floating on air.

But then it all falls apart. Like so many Mormons, they internalize it, they blame themselves. Evidently they're not worthy after all. And maybe they question whether they were really ever filled with the Spirit. It can be a horrible experience for them, like a fiancee walking out just before the wedding.

Sure, they might actually be concerned with your eternal wellbeing, they may think all is lost for you, but I think it's more about being so close and then losing it all.


Subject: Yes, that's what is really sad.
Date: Jun 08 21:57
Author: Dagny
Mail Address:

The poor guy is probably confessing some naughty thought to his mission pres right now and might feel guilty for years because his actions kept someone away from the gospel. The poor kids never realize they did things just as they were told and it STILL doesn't work.

What a twisted situation for everyone involved. Guilt on steroids. Seriously, why people would think a god would stoop to operating like this is beyond me.


Subject: Re: Crying missionary
Date: Jun 08 23:30
Author: Gemii
Mail Address:

This breaks my heart. My son is leaving on July 3rd. I know he will internalize all the things mentioned. I hate this manipulation that he will go through and then perpetuate on the people he teaches. They are of a totally different culture, so it will be even more manipulative.


Subject: I feel guilty too...
Date: Jun 08 20:57
Author: Caryn

Giselle-

I really love that name...anyway, that missionary you spoke too was manipulated. I felt sorry for him and I do know a great deal about trauma. But, Giselle, my first year in the church, I realized it was a mistake. I almost committed suicide. Do you want to know why I had such a miserable time. Because I always think and I did research. But then I decided to let go of my research...simply let go and let them take me. I spent months with blinders on in a dream to only awake to more misery because of the truth. In a way, you are lucky...you didn't get baptized. Think about it. You are saving yourself so much pain. You have guilt now that's inflicted not really by the missionary but whomever is speaking through him. I think you handled the phone call correctly but it might be best for a while to screen your calls. I wish I never got baptized...I wish I was where you are...before I got baptized and could make the decision not too. There are a lot of people like that. Now I pray to God and I read the bible for comfort and it still feels chaotic to me. I feel so ashamed every day that it hurts. I feel like a horrible person and that I might end up in hell. But that's the illogical part of me. I however know that things will be ok. I know you will too.


Subject: Re: I feel guilty too...
Date: Jun 09 00:34
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Oh Caryn,

I am so terribly sorry that you have so much pain, to be pushed to contemplate suicide is unconscionable. I understand the shame too, trauma just sucks, plain and simple. I think I understand that the manipulation originated from on-high, if I weren't still such a raw nerve, I would feel even more grief for the missionary than I all ready do. I just want to offer you some words of comfort. I just don't think any of this comes from God, like one of the other posts said, God does not operate like this. This has to be man-made! I too understand the feeling of chaos, I hope that feeling will fade a bit each day, for both of us.

Thank you for your words, oh, and for liking my name. I took ballet for 9yrs. while growing up, it was one of my favorite ballets. Giselle


Subject: Re: Missionary phone call just ended, AWFUL!!!!
Date: Jun 08 21:57
Author: Nevermoinjello
Mail Address:

Giselle, the bishop told my daughter that I'd "come around" after she went to him in tears at her open house. That was in '96. And guess what? I've instead found this board and after what I too have learned, there is NO WAY that'll happen. Your missionary was just trying to sell you "a bill of goods". Give yourself some credit for being able to decide for yourself and your family, and get an answering machine and start screening your calls.


Subject: Crying, the last resort
Date: Jun 09 00:33
Author: tom

This crying Elder just discovered his powerlessness and the
confusion in his mind is illustrated with tears. His mind cannot integrate reality at this time. The pressure to make
sense of his situation is unbearable. His tears are a plea to you to "fix it" for him by reconsidering and getting baptized. This psychological quagmire is the destiny of all
nonthinking TBMs. Congratulations on being firm.
Subject: You are remarkable....thank you
Date: Jun 09 01:07
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

I just finished reading all your posts in response to my missionary phone call. You are remarkable people, thank you. Caryn talked about chaos, I am astonished at the amount of chaos they managed to create in my family in such a short period of time. I keep alternating between thinking they did something wrong and I did something wrong. Someone mentioned mind control? The more hours that tick away, sometimes the more freaked I feel at what almost happened.

I hate to think if I had not found this site....

I am just beginning to get a tiny grasp on how this power-game came to pass, and I mean tiny. I would like to accept your invitation to stay awhile if I may, I am not sure what the next few days might bring. I would like to be able to come back and talk.

And yes, my answering machine is now my best friend. Giselle


Subject: Stick around and give yourself time to proces everything that happened
Date: Jun 09 01:23
Author: SusieQ#1

It will take awhile for it all to make sense, how they snare people, and how they try to manipulate and control you with emotional attachments, taking your rejection of their presentation personally. It is a slimy, despicable process and not a very pretty one as you found out.

Also, pat yourself on the back for taking charge of your life and your family and setting priorities and sticking to them and not being fooled by a couple of young men who thought they could manipulate you. They are used to getting their way.

The only "spirit" you felt was the "spirit of friendliness" and even that had an ulterior motive. How friendly is that anyhow?

The only integrity and sincerity you find in the LDS Church is in the people's ability to believe it.

A testimony of a hoax and a whoppper is never going to turn into a testimony of facts.

Repeating a falsehood over and over will never make it come true, but they keep trying anyhow.


Subject: Checking in
Date: Jun 09 02:28
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

Hi Giselle - was thinking about you today and am glad you're keeping us up to date. Please DO stick around. I don't think subscriptions expire around here! Sorry the contact with the missionary was so stressful, but we're not surprised, right? Sounds like you came up with a good plan and followed thru on it - great news!

I know how difficult it is for some of us to be assertive, but it does get easier with practice. I had to struggle hard to learn to put myself first - so busy trying to meet everyone else's needs and please them, not hurt them, etc. So the old me would worry about the missionary, the new me says, I'm sorry for somebody else's pain but I have to do what's best for me FIRST. I have to admit to myself that a little tiny piece of why I went thru with baptism, even though I felt like backing out just before the service started, was because I didn't want to inconvenience everybody who was already in the chapel and I thought, here I am in my pretty dress, some guy just told me, "You look like an angel" and so it's too late to cancel. Ignoring your own brain and doing something that didn't turn out well can make you feel pretty stupid on reflection. See - you can look back and feel GREAT that you did the right thing for you and your family. Me? I feel ashamed at times for being such a wimp and sad still about bad experiences post baptism. You? Spared any of that.

I don't have anything inspiring to say - was just thinking that Sunday might be a tough day for you too, so wanted to check in and say hang in there, Giselle. I hope to hear that every day is getting better for you. I'm glad you have a close family. Keep in touch!


Subject: Re: Checking in
Date: Jun 09 03:33
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Hi Nightingale,

I've been keeping a look out for you, insomniac buddy. Don't worry about having anything big to say, anything is good! As you can see, I still feel out of sync and weird. And yes, I think tomorrow will be very odd for me.

The missionary was going to call me tonight if he got word of transfer, no call. Gosh, I hope that they don't hold him over to work on me, or would they do such a thing?

And I know exactly what you mean about the baptismal clothes and all. I had this really weird feeling sending them back and I felt obligated to the people who were going to be in my baptismal program.

Did you happen to catch that I was Lovebombed #2 today? I got an invite to a baby shower for the RS daughter, postmarked the day of my cancelled baptism, no personal note of course. Sigh....what a day. Thanks for saying "hi", I had been hoping to catch you.

Oh, and thanks for that late night post last night, I didn't catch you before you signed off. Giselle


Subject: Sunday
Date: Jun 09 12:22
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

Hi Giselle: It's a lovely sunny day in my neck of the woods. Nice to wake up to. Yes, I've caught all your posts and am glad to see all the replies and support for you. Coupla quick thoughts before I rush off to work.

The no name thing on the flowers, etc. - The RS here did that all the time too - something about not taking personal "credit" for a "good deed". Maybe it's something harmless like that, again, them meaning well, but not realizing it doesn't come across well to the recipient, especially in your case. I don't think it will last long with you.

The missionary transfer thing - "my" missionary was transferred a few days after my baptism, even though I was very unhappy and not going to church. I'm sure they wouldn't hold yours over for you - but his replacement will likely take over from him and start calling. I didn't go to church again after my baptism and several weeks later, THREE missionaries arrived at my door unannounced quite late in the evening and asked me how they could help me. After a few visits from them, I did go to church again (a new ward, didn't know anybody) and that led to me taking a calling and eventually going to the temple. So, in hindsight, I would choose not to talk to the missionaries and definitely NOT to go to church meetings.

For you, I think they will keep calling - you will still seem like a good prospect to them. Again, I don't see anything sinister in it. They think if they are nice to you, it will influence you to do the right thing, as they see it. And it works enough times for them to keep doing it. SO, that's where writing a letter to the bishop comes in, if they continue to call after you've told them you're not interested, WHICH THEY LIKELY WILL.

Feelings of obligation - Yes, we share that unfortunate characteristic, feeling responsible to others even when WE'RE NOT. As I said before, even though you feel like that, if you can overcome it (like you did when cancelling your baptism) it gets easier the next time and easier again after that. It's like rewiring your brain to think in a different way. I always thought disagreeing with someone, expressing a different opinion or need, was "confrontational" and "wrong". Still to me, it feels confrontational at times, especially when it causes disagreements. But, the alternative is to be a doormat. Either way, you're still unhappy.

About the love bombing - a really nice lady I became friends with (thru going to her discussions with the mishies) wanted to leave the church after her baptism, as several strange things happened to her - more a result of TBMs not knowing where other people are coming from. She is a sweet and simple and trusting lady - the lovebombing worked on her. She's well in to the church and now doesn't even keep in contact with me. As bad as it felt at first to me to reject the "kindnesses", it feels great not to be getting the notes and cookies and calls. It is my impression that if any of that is accepted, TBMs take it as permission to keep calling you, like a potted geranium will influence what religion you are going to choose.

Must rush off now - BTW, it's also great to be going to work and not feel guilty about it, just sorry to be missing the sunshine! For me, no LDS = no guilt, no burden, no feeling "unworthy", at least not in the way they lay it on you.

Happy Sunday, Giselle. Thanks for keeping in touch.


Subject: you must read SuzieQ#1's story about baptism
Date: Jun 09 02:39
Author: a fan
Mail Address:

Maybe she will re-post it.

You can almost feel and smell it - it gave me strange dreams.


Subject: Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the fact that you did not go through with it.
Date: Jun 09 03:08
Author: sandisu
Mail Address:

I know within the first month that something was wrong after I was Baptized. I had 3 kids under the age of 4. We did not go to Sacrament meeting a couple of times and a women called me to tell me did I know that it was a commandment to be at Sacrament meeting ? I told her my kids were taking naps and I did not want to wake them up to go. She just insisted that it did not matter, I needed to be there.
This womens husband ended up being the Bishop and she even got worse with her telling people what to do. She and her husband were responsible for my starting to question things until after many years, I got the courage to leave.
THANK YOU NORMA MOURITSEN, WHERE EVER YOU ARE TODAY !

GISELLE, You will not have to do that, thank goodness !


Subject: LOL! - I would read a book with that title n/t
Date: Jun 09 03:15
Author: a fan
Mail Address:

 


Subject: My story I post was about the temple, washing & anointing & role of women in Mormonism
Date: Jun 09 11:36
Author: SusieQ#1

I do not recall posting anything about baptism.
But here is the one I think "fan" is talking about. I believe I posted it in one of the first posts for Giselle.

Women's Role in Mormonism and Memories of Washing and Anointing
Women's role in Mormonism has to be one of the most important facets of Mormonism that is least understood by outsiders. It also is one of the biggest reasons women leave Mormonism. Women are, by definition, the back bone of Mormonism as they produce the children that carry on the legacy. Without their complete cooperation Mormonism would soon wither and die.

One of the elements of Mormonism that is also not understood by outsiders, is the subtle indoctrination that is an integral part of how a woman lives her religion. It is so subtle and carefully done, from birth in many cases, that it is not recognized as a form of control and programming by what some call brainwashing.

What she is willing to do for her beliefs - her "testimony" and "heavenly father" and how she internalizes those messages and scripts she hears repeated ad nausium determines, to a large degree how compliant she is and how difficult it is for her to leave Mormonism. Women in Mormonism are defined by their role and their willingness to be subservient to it.
I have heard Mormon women admit that they did not like or understand Date: Apr 11 02:53 Author:SusieQ#1 Mail Address:sllestodd@aol.com
their position in the Mormon Church but it was how "heavenly father wanted it" and they went along with it thinking it was the only right thing to do. So, they defer to the priesthood, thinking they are laying up treasures in heaven! The woman's place is foremost and always to follow and support the priesthood in all things.

Their role is clearly defined, heavenly father meant for them to be the mothers, and for the men to officiate in the priesthood. There is a lot of lip service to the notion that they are equal, but every woman knows that only applies in certain areas. They might share equal chores in the home, or have equal input on decisions in the home, but when it comes to the church hierarchy and how the priesthood functions, they might be listened to, but their recommendations can be and are overruled on the whim of the leaders as they are the representatives of the Lord. What the priesthood leaders say goes as they claim inspiration given to them as the Lord's mouthpiece.

I find it is impossible for my older Mormon husband to understand how differently Mormonism treats women than men.
I have tried to get him to imagine himself in my shoes but he never really "gets it."

Women have no authority in the church and no place in the hierarchy and only serve under the men. If the men in charge do not like something, the women are told to do things differently. If they do not agree, they are pridefull, think they "own" a calling, and not obedient to the priesthood. All of which is unacceptable! Her agency is held in a very small box of do's and don't all determined by how the men interpret the scriptures, how they supervise the organizations, and how they make "callings" and give "council." There is a "vote" but it means nothing as dissent is not accepted either. The men's "inspiration" overrules anything a woman says or claims as an answer to her prayers. There is also no need for the priesthood brethren to tell the truth as they have the privilege of "lying for the Lord."

All of Mormonism is governed by men with very little input from the women, who are predominately used to follow orders - with a dust pan and broom to clean up after the brethren - in more ways than one!

Even the temple rituals do not make her equal to her husband. She is to be a priestess to her husband who will rule over her in righteousness!

I always knew this did not make sense and was contrary to the nature of men and women! I tried for over 30 years to make these foolish ideas work! But they always failed. Even though I was a very feisty woman, pushing the limits and demanding respect, that also failed. The typical TBM priesthood leader has no respect for a female who uses her own mind, challenges them, or corrects them. Women are accepted in the Mormon Church and loved and respected and admired only if they comply with the role they are given.

Part 2 - Role of Women in Mormonism-Motherhood,Sexuality,Temple Memories (long) Date: Apr 11 17:18 Author:SusieQ#1 Mail Address:sllestodd@aol.com
Part 2 The Role of Women in Mormonism: Motherhood and sexuality defined, and temple washing and anointing memories.

Women accept their role in Mormonism with a promise that borrows into her heart and is the essence of motherhood - the absolutely belief that they will never loose their children and their family if they comply with the doctrines taught them.

She willingly submits to these beliefs even though, to an outsider, they seem to infringe on her independence, her honor and her good sense. Some outsiders, even call it abusive.

Women who are well entrenched and strong believers in Mormonism, often with several generations of Mormonism in their DNA, see these accusations as silly and false. She absolutely knows she is not abused, not programmed and can "think for herself." What she may not realize is that she is restricted by the doctrines and what she considers "thinking for herself" means she thinks long and hard and prays long and hard to obtain a "witness of the spirit" so she is "worthy" to obtain eternal life. A mother is often willing to go to any length to save, protect, and keep her family.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their sexuality.
The underlying message about sexuality is that you will give your life to keep from being raped. The worthy, honorable thing to do, if sexual assaulted, is to fight to the death to preserve your vagina from dishonorable intrusion.
An honorable Mormon father teaches his daughters that he would rather see her dead than violated. It is worth noting, however, that this not a concept solely held by Mormonism.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their attire. Their whole wardrobe and their sense of their bodies is determined by the temple garment that is to be worn next to the skin as a protection and placed on her body in a ritual in the temple. It is also seen as a protection against her sexuality being defiled or assaulted in any way. She is told she is to remain chaste and worthy in thought and deed with the temple garment a constant, even Mosaic reminder that she is a daughter of Heavenly Father and this is what
is expected of her. Again her sexuality is given a place before her life.

The temple garment, with it's Masonic markings is seen as holy and sacred and is never to be put on the floor or abused in any manner. In fact, discarding of used, and worn garments requires a further ritual as the markings are to be cut out and burned. Then, and only then, can the remaining material (now devoid of their sacred element) be used as rags to clean the floor, or wash the car.

Once dressed in the 'holy garment of the priesthood" - an interesting title, as she has no rank in the priesthood or any right to officiate, only as a servant - she then must make her attire comply with it's restrictions. That means, every part of her body that is covered by the garment must be covered - modestly. Because the garment comes do mid thigh or knee, and has a cap sleeve, and is designed to fall several inches above her natural bra line, she is now confined to buying (or in many cases - making) clothing that covers her underwear. She has now become subservient to "Heavenly Father" - her God, who controls her (and men also) by her underwear. There is the underlying message that women (and men) behave according to the clothing they are wearing, so the subtle indoctrinated script says that the woman in Mormonism is wearing a holy-sacred reminder to dress modestly, and act accordingly and worthy of the blessings promised her.

These are some of my memories of the Washing and Anointing Ceremony in the Temple. (All of these rituals are easily accessed on line also)

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly. The oil is done in the same fashion. There are promises given, with each part of the body that is washed-dabbed with water and anointed-dabbed with oil. These have to do with promising the female that she will be a priestess to her husband etc. Nothing untoward, or of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual still amazes me.

I can still see the rows of tiny lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me. This is a true tunic - open at the sides and no seams. To walk in and out of the washing and anointing room, most people hold the sheets together. I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women. The were like a grandma dressed in a white uniform, false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint I could feel their breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil. I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialogue.

This is not about a tiny tap on an imaginary dot of the skin. Your body is stroked in a 2" to 3" area in a downward motion.and all down the legs onto to the toes. You do not know exactly where they will touch you. You only know the general area. It is very uncomfortable as these women are usually older-retirement age of 65 to 75 and their head is outside the sheet. They cannot see where they hands are unless they look under the tunic where the sides are open. They open the sheet on the sides to begin.

Imagine a woman's hand under the sheet (for women-man for men) each time they say a body part, making a sliding motion of about 2" to 4" in some areas...with the four fingers of the right hand over the body part -probably trying to be very careful they do not touch the actual breast-nipple area for women, or the pelvic hair-penis scrotum area for men when they get to the words that correspond with that part of the body.
Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands. Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet. When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I was often hugged had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

The washings and anointing are only required the first time you go to the temple now as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions.

If you go through as proxy for any dead relative (post-mortem conversions)! you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening. Sometimes doing two sessions for two deceased people.

The part that is so unethical and disrespectful is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time. You go and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.

Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield-tunic, as it is called, and carry your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper memorized, ritualistic dialogue, usually with a breath mint in their mouth. Then help dress you by helping you put on the temple garment.

The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins. I maintain if these practices were made public, very few people would be interested in going to any of their temples - ever!

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs.

There is no redeeming value to it. There is nothing spiritual about putting on a tunic, open at the sides, made from a sheet and carrying your skivvies into a little room to have your naked body touched by someone you do not know.

This is about total submission, control, stripping you down and dressing the surprised, new initiate with physical touching under a flimsy tunic then dressing you!

To even suggest this bazaar, outlandish, absurd act is spiritual reeks of a complete lack of common sense and respect. It is humiliating. I have never been so mortified in my life. It is a flagrant assault on one's self respect and dignity.

The arrogance of Mormonism to assume that they had any right to touch anyone's naked body without full disclosure and full permission is out of the realm of common decency. This is the most despicable, horrid, spiritual abuse of another human being imaginable but it must be done if they are to get your total submission. This is the final frontier of breaking down boundaries - your naked body!

It is an invasion, and done in a setting with a lot of other people so you go along because the rest are doing it, at least the first time anyhow. You are programmed to believe that there is nothing that can harm you so when you feel violated and invaded, you are stuck with the mental gymnastics of trying to make sense of it. Somehow, you must make a bizarre experience seem spiritual and good. Surely it is not the church that is doing bad things, it must be me. So it goes on, around and around in circles. Always making you the one that is at fault, never the church.

The genius of the temple, especially the washing and anointing and the endowment is to keep the person totally committed, paying tithing and under their control. And it works.
How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch your naked body under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle?

The unbelievable thing is that the church does such a good job of programming the new converts and new initiate to the notion that this is spiritual, a higher law, you are special, God wants you to do this. They get thousands of members to go to the temple thousands of times over their lifetime to continue this programming and brainwashing.
What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!

The only way you get people to do this is through extreme programming and no prior specific information. It must be done while a large group of other people are doing the same thing so it is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the Mormon God.

Once you stop going to church, stop attending any function, stop reading any of their programmed literature, you begin to separate and disconnect and break the code. Then you can see it for what it is. Blatant cult or cultish activities, although very subtle and well designed to subjugate to them forever.


Subject: Backing out of baptism must be fairly common...
Date: Jun 09 13:51
Author: Cyber friend
Mail Address:

Some friends of ours went on a Sr mission and we got the usual mass email accounts. I remember several times they mentioned they thought they had some golden contacts but they changed their mind within a few days of the scheduled baptism. One of these they had been giving us blow by blow accounts of their conversion for several weeks, thought they had them hooked, then we got the "despairing" email that this person was talked out of the baptism by a relative. So Giselle, you are in good (smart) company.

And if you ever have any doubts that you made the right decision, ask yourself why these missionaries are not finding many, many more converts than 0 to 15 during their whole 15 months to 2 yrs. Some may convert 1 whole family and that is all they get the whole mission. As others have said before, if the product doesn't sell, there must be something wrong with it. I'm so glad you did your homework.

 

Subject: Quite common where I am
Date: Jun 09 13:57
Author: Guy_from_Alberta
Mail Address:

I used to work with the missionaries and almost everytime the investigator backed out. They always had a friend or relative that set them straight or so they told us about mormonism. At the time I found it frustrating because I knew for sure that they were believing all those lies the anti's were telling. Now I realize that they were smart people.

 

Subject: Giselle and "Feeling the Spirit"
Date: Jun 09 09:41
Author: alex
Mail Address:

I now really find it aggravating when missionaries use the "you felt the Spirit" line on investigators. The missionaries in the present-day must know they are no match for ANTI materials. In my day (1990-1992) we had a tough enough time dealing with it and I'd just strongly warn investigators that ANTIs take things out of context and really don't know what they are talking about. But now the Internet has changed all that. The truly golden families who fit the characteristics of the dream baptismal candidates of missionaries who are someday going to be the leaders in the Ward and Stake have Internet access at home or at least at the library. If they discover Mormonism and feel overjoyed at it (i.e. the so-called feeling the Spirit) they will get online to find out all they can about their newfound truth and then these good feelings will depart as they realize that the church hides its doctrines.

The missionary program of the Church has been around for a long time and comes up with ways to combat many of the concerns. During my mission the programme was to use the Book of Mormon to resolve all concerns. Now with the Internet's wealth of information its not possible. The only possible plausible tool these boys have left is the "Feeling the Spirit" doctrine.

But what is the source of this "Feeling the Spirit" doctrine? Its from the church themselves. Its nothing but circular logic. Not even the Bible (which I don't believe anymore anyway) says this. Its a doctrine without any foundation except "I told you so and because I'm Joseph Smith the great Seer this makes it so".

Frankly this was the toughest issue for me to get over in my testimony of Mormonism. This whole "feeling the Spirit" mumbo jumbo had been so ingrained in me. Why was I on this struggle with my testimony of Mormonism? (1) I came to believe in April 2000 that the Book of Mormon was definitely fiction. (2) The church lied bigtime about polygamy. (3) Joseph Smith was a fraud. Its not easy to keep a testimony under those circumstances. But I had "felt the Spirit". I had heard great stories of visions and great manifestations. I had seen/heard about miracles.

But Mormons alone don't have miracles. I also started to carefully scrutinize some of these vision/miracle stories and found out that they were seriously exaggerated. One of the men in my Ward who had seen the dead people in the temple whose work he was doing had actually just felt their presence. I remembered the definite "feeling the Spirit testify of truth" I had when Paul Dunn lied or I gave 2 priesthood blessings to individuals on my mission where the Spirit guided me to promise them recovery but they died, I was on the path to overcoming this final hurdle for me to let go of my testimony of Mormonism.

When missionaries tell a wavering investigator that they "felt the Spirit" I think it would be helpful to know and understand this "Feeling the Spirit" doctrine better. Their purpose is to remind you that you had received the so-called undeniable witness of truth. But in reality this "undeniable witness" is manmade without any foundation in truth or reality. Its just emotions. Its the tool that politicians and television evangelists use to sucker people into giving them money or letting them raise taxes or increase control over their lives.


Subject: Feeling the "impostor" feeling......
Date: Jun 09 10:11
Author: kitcat
Mail Address:

I do know that all the times I "felt the spirit" it was more like crying because I saw people crying and more of a socially forced thing. The minute I began reading all of this "anti" literature, I snapped and realized what a bunch of lies I'd been fed:(. THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!!1


Subject: One more thing ...... what might be happening to your missionaries now
Date: Jun 09 10:20
Author: alex
Mail Address:

There is alot of subtle talk and activity geared in LDS missions towards baptizing lots of people and building up the church full of temple-attending converts. Mission management strategies vary worldwide so it might be different for you. But here is how things happened in my mission 10 years ago in the Southeastern USA.

Our mission covered a region of about 50,000 square miles with a population of 3 million and 5 Stakes & approx 35 Wards & branches. We had about 170 missions in 10 Zones (2 per Stake). The mission office had 8 missionaries: Mission President, his wife, Senior couple who did the finances/reception/mail/apartment management/cars management duties, 2 Elders who were the Mission Secretary & Administrative Secretary and the 2 Assistants to the President (called APs or Apes). Each Zone was made up of 2-3 Districts and the Zone Leader was the companion of one of the District Leaders. Each District had 3-4 companionships. We probably had around 20 sisters (in 10 companionships - 80% age 21-25 women), 5 Sr. couples (older retired couples who serve 1-1.5 year missions) and 140 Elders (90% were 19-21 year old men). The leadership positions (2 APs, 10 Zone Leaders - i.e. ZLs and 22-25 District Leaders - i.e. DLs) were always these young men because they held the Priesthood.

We had an ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM in our mission. One thing about the church is that accountability is always upstream and never downstream. Once a night around 9:30-10:00 the District Leaders would call the companionships in his District to get their numbers for the day (how many discussions taught, investigators seen, activities, time goofed-off, etc) and go over the names of their investigators who have made the commitment to be baptized. Then the DLs get called by the ZLs after 10pm and the ZLs compile the statistics and progress notes on each individual by name who has made the commitment to be baptized. The APs would call the ZLs in the morning and compile the statistics for a daily report to the Mission President (MP for short) on the numbers and a weekly detailed report for their weekly meeting of the MP with his 2 APs. Our MP would usually read the daily reports but he would definitely read the weekly reports in-depth.

In a typical week we'd have around 40 people in the mission make a commitment to get baptized. The focus of these weekly MP-AP meetings was to review the progress by-name of these people from the time of commitment til they've had all of the 6 new member lessons or one of the APs or the MP had visited their home personally and determined that it was best to not track these names anymore. About 10-14 would keep their original baptism date as scheduled. Another 6-8 would eventually get baptized within the next 1-3 months after lots of follow up work by missionaries, leaders and members. About 20 of these people would eventually dropoff the list and not get baptized. Of the 20 who would get baptized we'd usually lose about 5-7 before the New Member lessons were completed.

Basically about 30 out of the approximate 40 committers each week would need follow-up work and progress reports made to the mission president once or many times throughout the cycle. Only the MP had the keys to take a person's name off of the baptism/convert action list if they hadn't completed all of their new member lessons after making a commitment to get baptized on a certain date. He would only do this after the APs had given him a convincing report or on the rare occasion he was in the area himself and checked it out himself. There was no malice in this at all. The MP really sincerely cared about the salvation of every soul (particularily those who had made the baptismal commitment). So as the APs would go over each name he'd assign the APs to either visit each dropout themselves that week or assign the Zone Leader to do it personally and also to bring along at least 2 members in the area to help out in resolving the concerns that are procrastinating the baptism or progress on completion of the New Member lessons.

That afternoon and the next morning the APs would spend alot of time on the phone with the ZLs passing down the follow-up marching orders and scheduling times for the APs to come out on splits to the zones/districts. For the next 5 days the APs would be on the road following up, saving souls and doing splits to keep things moving forward. Any investigator who had made the baptismal commitment was going to receive follow-up and the missionaries responsible for them (plus the District leader and his comp) were expected to turn over every stone possible, exercise faith, have special fasts, be more obedient, etc. to help this person they've taught get back on track towards progression in the LDS kingdom. Alot of time would be spent in weekly district meetings and on the phone between the missionaries and their DL, between DL/ZL/APs, between missionaries and Ward Mission leader, between DL/ZL and Stake mission leaders on how to help the Investigator feel the Spirit and get recommitted towards progression. Once a month each DL and the MP will interview each missionary and go over these names too. Sometimes the ZL and APs will call too. Very often the conversation switches to how obedient/faithful the missionary is being.

If the investigator gave up ...... missionaries feel lots of guilt. Surely they hadn't been obedient enough to the mission rules. Surely they hadn't tried hard enough. Surely they didn't have enough faith. Its all the missionaries' fault. Poor Sister Giselle won't get to goto the Celestial Kingdom because she didn't get baptized because the missionaries didn't do their job.

Personally I feel really bad for the missionaries. But its not a good reason to make your life miserable and get baptized. Because once you get baptized you are on their permament membership records which get stored electronically in the church databases. With investigators the missionaries would file away their old records (always handwritten and never electronic except when missionaries are disobedient and have PalmPilots) and eventually these records get thrown away. But for members you are on the list and eventually from time to time they'll be a surge in reactivation efforts to remind you that you made a baptismal covenant and to guilt you back into faithfulness in the Kingdom.

How sad and terrible this is .................. I pity the missionaries.


Subject: Not so in France
Date: Jun 09 11:25
Author: Brian R
Mail Address:

I have to laugh every time I hear stories of missions in the Western hemisphere where there is an formal system in place to keep track of all those investigators that are progressing towards baptism. I was in the France, Paris mission from 83 - 85. I taught AT MOST 30 formal discussions my entire mission, most of them the 1st discussion. There were 4 people that I taught who eventually got baptized, although one of them was baptized the week after I transferred in, so I really had nothing to do with it. Among the people who did get baptized (in general, not just my 3 victims) the time from first contact to baptism was anywhere from 6 months to several years. A commitment to baptism in the 3rd (or 4th ?) discussion was unheard of. These folks wanted to read all the standard works and "Jesus the Christ", and get answers to all their questions before they would commit.

So it would seem that using guilt tactics on the poor missionaries would be futile since NO ONE was hacing much success to hold up as a shining example. My two MPs tried things more akin to pep rallies, but this varied with MP. I used to work with a guy whose wife had been sentenced to the Paris mission several years after me. After they got married, she refused to talk about her mission, and every time he mentioned anything about missionaries she would burst into tears and be traumatized for days. He did get enough information out of her to find out that her MP had had totally unrealistic expectations and had told the missionaries that it THEIR fault that the baptism rate was so low, and if they would get their act together they would be swimming in new converts like in latin america. He also apparently had a vendetta against sister missionaries and would have liked to drive them out of his mission.

Anyway, the point is that emotional manipulation like telling people that they are feeling the spirit is only successful in a culture where the victim is inclined to believe you. The Europeans are generally much to skeptical to buy the "feeling the Spirit" line and want some facts to back up your claims. This being the case, the kind of people who actually do get baptized are often emtionally (or financially) needy people, or in the case of two of my victims, learning impaired adults who were on state disability and were thrilled to join a new club where people were friendly to them. (They still took about 6 months to get baptized however).


Subject: Re: Giselle and "Feeling the Spirit"
Date: Jun 09 14:30
Author: Giselle
Mail Address:

Hi Alex,

Thank you so much for posting all that information for me. The information about the follow-up system is truly tragic. I am very grateful to have that information though. Not only will it help me be prepared for any eventuality, it gives me a much greater grasp of the "church as a business" picture.

I would almost welcome the opportunity to defend my missionaries to the MP or AP and ask them how they can ask well-meaning kids to do such dirty work for them. How can they send them out with lessons that don't disclose what my life and MY FAMILYS life would truly become if I were baptized.

And then the stuff of the "Spirit", that was the first thing out of his mouth.....I KNOW you felt the Spirit!! Like you said, it is not even Biblical (I am pretty Bible knowledgeable for a RC, grin). That was deffinitely going to be his plan of attack . And I am perfect for that as I am sensitive and easily swayed by others emotions. I was at first tricked by this as really being evidence of the "Spirit"!

I was wondering, do you think this visit from "The Holy Trinity" will happen this week, or will it take a bit longer? I think I should probably expect it though, right? Afterall, they were POSITIVE I was getting dunked. Thanks again, Giselle