Subject: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 26 22:05 2002
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

This is my first posting. I have lurked about many boards for almost two years and this is my first move to speak about my current process of leaving the church--which I have not officially done.

I was born an bred into a multigenerational mormon family with pioneer heritage. I have served a mission and have served in callings at church.

Currently I no longer wear my garments, have told my wife that I no longer believe in organized religion, not just the mormon church, and none of my six siblings or my parents has a clue that I am anything other than a stalwart member in good standing. As a matter of fact, my parents are currently on a mission in Houston Texas serving as the financial clerk and reception person of the mission, rubbing shoulders daily with the mission president. My father is a former bishop and high councilman and my mother has been relief society president, etc. etc.

My mother is an emotional basket case and always has been. I want to tell them that I no longer believe in mythology as truth but I'm scared to death of sending my parents into cardiac arrest. They are in their seventies.

My wife is not with me in this. Just three days ago she went to get a blessing from a member of the stake presidency to give her strength. We have two very young children together and we both love them dearly and want to stay together for them. I honestly don't want to unduly influence my wife in her own beliefs. I believe everyone should have the right to choose based on their own reasoning.

I am afraid.

Now that I have said all that, I have a particular gnawing doubt that I would like to receive responses on from this forum.

Having grown up in the church, I know that the members and its leaders are, for the most part, sincere and good people. But one of the things that confuses me most is how church leaders who are born and raised in the church (which I am sure most of them are) and have been taught the same principles of honesty and integrity that I was taught growing up, can then support a fraud so grand. It must certainly come to their attention, at some point in their ascendancy into positions of greater power and leadership (e.g. seventy, apostle, prophet) that when I got the job as apostle, I didn't become a special witness in the way I thought I would. (i.e. see Christ)

Everytime I see Jeffrey Holland stand and talk, I feel a genuine respect for the man along with many of the other leaders. I have met and shook hands with Hinckley, Faust, Monson and been in the same room with Packer and Haight. None of them strike me as evil, fraudulent people. How could they come from the same background as I and then turn and deceive millions of people.

I know that if I went from bishop to stake president to area president, to seventy, to apostle -- at some point a long the way I would most certainly expose the fraud when it came to my attention that something was seriously amiss.

Why then are there so few of those men who drop out. Is seems like I could count on one hand the apostasies among the upper ranks.

Is there some evil and secret culling process or is it that in their desire to be obedient and believe they choose, in fear of losing all, to support the fraud. I don't care, I couldn't do it. How is it that so many can?

It seems impossible that all these mortal men could hold up for long under the lies that must tell.

It can't be for money. These leaders were trained to work with no pay.

Look how they live too. What would drive a person to live such an ascetic lifestyle. They seems to travel the world giving religious speeches, giving blessings and saying prayers all day long and all while wearing a white suit, shirt and tie. Ugh. How boring. Historically, priestcraft was invented so the priest could secretly indulge themselves in lascivious living. Maybe a National Enquirer for mormon uppety-ups should be started just to realy be certain of what goes on behind the veil.

I guess what I want you forum members to give me is some intelligent, credible to believe that at some point along at GA's journey they have to make a conscious choice to go bad (some kind of secret combination) or that some kind of drug is administered that fries all the former training of their lives. What else could it be. It seems to defy reason.

I now find it easy to disbelive in religious books including the BoM. I can see how religion is essentially the most powerful sales tool ever invented (either you buy my product or suffer eternal fire and live in oblivion without your family, which would you prefer? great sign here). Religion irritates the heaven out of me.

But the scaredy cat in me wants to know, not take on faith, that the brethren are false and these are the real reasons. And I'm not talking about "fruits" as evidence. I am sure you all have stories of rotten fruits dropping off the GA tree. I want "inductive reasoning." I need some sociology of religious hierarchies and the blinding of the conscience.

Well, anyway, do the best you can. I look forward to your responses. In a way, I am very excited about the unlimited possibilities that I can glimpse in the great hereafter of exmormondom, but the cost still seems too dear. Your help is welcomed.


W. WinDriven Taust
Subject: everyone draws the line somewhere
Date: Dec 26 22:39
Author: dialectic

Your question is good. I can offer a couple of thoughts. I have a close relative who is a GA. Bright guy - highly educated. Good family. I have a lot of respect and love for him.

I think the whole thing just boils down to belief. If you start with a belief in an invisible God, then an invisible resurrected Jesus and invisible ideas like the atonement, and invisible golden plates etc. are not huge steps.

Everyone draws the line somewhere. I think the induction part of it comes into play when one accepts that, if feelings can tell us about God, they then can tell us about these other things too.

A GA might be considered a person where feelings dominate pretty strongly over a reasoning process using observable, physical facts.

 

Subject: Re: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 26 22:31
Author: Mujibur

Read "For those who wonder" by D. Jeff Burton. It is available on amazon and in many utah bookstores. Just because a person is a good man like many of the GA's are doesn't mean that the church is true. They have little reason to question what brought them to the top of the heap. He answers a lot questions that people like you have. I had them too and I have come to peace with it all. Once you realize that the church isn't true you can relax and stay or get out but they won't control you any longer.

 

Subject: Re: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 26 22:37
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

Thank you for your response. I will check that book out right away.


Subject: I am married to a 5th generation TBM, related to the first members
Date: Dec 26 22:33
Author: SusieQ#1

of the church. His mother was born in Alberta, Canada when the polygamist families were sent up there to avoid prosecution in Utah.

I hear what you say. I am continually baffled by how steadfast my own husband clings to his beliefs. He is an engineer-scientist-mathematician, however, he is sure that Joseph Smith Jr. had real golden plates from an angel. He is sure that a vision is real and leaves real evidences.
He is positive that the statement of the witnesses in the Book of Mormon that testified they were "shown by the power of God" and "hefted" them is factual. The fact that they were recorded as visionary events (John Whitmer said: "shown by a supernatural power") only leads credence to the power of Heavenly Father. That is his claim and he does not deviate. He claims a spiritual witness that has seared this knowledge into his soul which he will never deny. Just as the original witnesses. He claims the same sure knowledge by the power of God.

I too have spoken with many GA's, shook a lot of their hands, sat in small Fireside's with several over the 30 + years I was a believer.They all take the same position my TBM husband does and they do not waiver.

I have wrestled with how this is possible. How do grown men accept a story that is not even remotely plausible?
There is no explanation other than they choose to believe it because they believe that it is from God. And, God works in mysterious ways. To them, that is just as it ought to be.

It is my opinion and belief that the leaders, GBH included know full well that there is not an ounce of evidence to backup the claims of Joseph Smith, but that makes no difference to them. Faith is never, never, never about evidence of facts. Religion is not dependent upon either of those. It never was and it never will be.

The GA's etc. are in the business of witnessing for Jesus Christ and they will go to their death doing it.They have given their word and will not back down.

I envision a little box in a TBM's brain that is shut off from the rest of the brain and only takes in Mormonism until it recodes all the rest of the information the brain receives into the Mormon World View.

I am convinced that the motivating factor for the GA's and others not to leave Mormonism is fear. The fear of leaving and displeasing their God is so great that they cannot contemplate it. They are in for the long haul and will endure to the end.

The more I point out that Joseph Smith Jr made it all up, it is a hoax, bogus, a sham, the more he digs in and hunkers down in his garment-laden security blanket.

Maybe it is because I was a convert at about 20 years of age that it was not possible to program me like he is. Maybe it is in his DNA! I do not know what it is, but it certainly is puzzling and frustrating! I guess there is no explaining it!

 

Subject: Re: I am married to a 5th generation TBM, related to the first members
Date: Dec 26 22:47
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

Thanks for your reply.

I guess the main question is--How do they rationalize their job as "special witnesses?"

If I am a brand spanking new apostle, I would expect to be seeing Jesus right away or I technically can't be an apostle right?

A lot of "regular" people in the world have seen Christ in dreams and visions and felt warm fuzzy's, but the special witness is supposed to be a physical fitness, right?

As a new apostle, I would be pretty ticked off if President Packer called me into the office to tell me that "the real challenge of the character of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is to seek for that confirming 'special' witness while serving faithfully as an apostle."

I can see your point, in that most of these men who have come so far that, no matter what they were told, they would accept it just out of fear of the horrendous loss they would likely suffer.

I guess if you have essentially given away your freedom for that long, you just don't miss it.

 

Subject: Pride does not seem to be a motivation that you easily register...
Date: Dec 26 22:48
Author: Brian B.

Your question is answered in examining all of the other cults that exist, and political leaders, etc, where truth is not an issue for you there. Do politicians run for money? For power? What power exactly? There is ego-power in being in charge, and it is for THEIR OWN EGO. They are really weak and shallow men in the real world, and where else could a two-bit car salesman get the awe and attention from so many across the world?

Also, most professional motivational speakers are there to motivate you to follow themselves, as leader, and you may have had some other goal in mind for them, as if they were there to motivate you to follow an idea. As far as the Morg goes, remember that they pre-defined what was dignified for you, not the other way around. You are a victim of your childhood imprinting stage.

 

Subject: Re: Pride does not seem to be a motivation that you easily register...
Date: Dec 26 23:05
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I see your point here.

I can see how you could have a pretty big ego about your humility. As a matter of fact, that's the only kind of ego you could have as a GA, I would imagine.

A lot of these men were more than bad car salesmen before they went full-time in the church. So many of these men were successful in business, law, medicine. Maybe those things aren't ego trip enough for them.

 

Subject: This reminds me of someone asking why someone would want 'more money than they could practically enjoy'...
Date: Dec 26 23:48
Author: Brian B.

And the point is, no religiously-centered lawyer, used car salesman, doctor or business leader would turn down the chance to be worshipped. The same motivation drives a billionaire to be the RMITW. Consider also the measure of validation that being worshipped has for a zealot.

It would be like me wanting the Morg to go bankrupt. Not just in debt, but with temples converted to animal shelters. We are all proud of something.

 

Subject: Have you read Steve Benson's story about his meetings with Maxwell and Oaks?
Date: Dec 26 22:52
Author: Cattle Mutilator

If not, you might find it informative on these questions.

http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon115.htm

 

Subject: Steve Benson
Date: Dec 26 22:57
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

Yes, as a matter of fact, I just read it two days ago. It is helpful.

From the responses I have been receiving it does occur to me that there must be a special mindset, that is easily recognized by the hierarchy, is allowed into those higher (or lower) realms.

 

Subject: The part where his grandfather's autopen was used to usurp authority should give you some clue. n/t

Subject: BINGO!! The MORMON Mind Set - the all inclusive Mormon World View
Date: Dec 26 23:09
Author: SusieQ#1

You nailed it! Exactly. Only those who can be obedient to the line of authority in the church, and are well school through generations of Mormon hierarchy in their genes are deemed eligible for the top positions. If you were to check out the GA's and how many are related to other GA's and to each other, you would be astounded! Nepotism rules!

 

Subject: Re: BINGO!! The MORMON Mind Set - the all inclusive Mormon World View
Date: Dec 26 23:22
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I read that somewhere. I think I read it from someone's commentary on Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy that there are a lot of family connections.

My problem is that I know there is sufficient "reason" to just toss it all away, but as an opened minded person, I can't rationally know how much feelings, warm fuzzy's and the heart play into the truth.

I guess ultimately you have to make a choice. The choice I have recently made is based on the agony I have felt being a member of the church--suppressing my disgust with the shallowness of thought at church. The narrow mindedness of my family. I tried to show my sister a video of Johnny Biscuit that I got when I was a BYU student, which makes harmless jokes about LDS culture and she told me that she made a covenant to avoid all lightmindedness. My family has always put the church ahead of our own relationships.

The only thing I have in common with my family is the church and I guess that is a major part of the reason I worry about making the move.

But I also feel that within me, there are hidden psychological issues that won't resolve until I face this fear.

 

Subject: I do not think there is any expectation of talking face to face with Jesus Christ
Date: Dec 26 23:03
Author: SusieQ#1

by the GA's. The spiritual witness does not involve such things. I doubt that any of them have ever felt they are perpetrating a fraud. They are sure that Joseph Smith Jr was a prophet and he restored the only true church of Jesus Christ. That is their claim.

Mormonism is a well established culture. That is something many of us forget. Initially, I thought it was just another church. It is not.

 

Subject: I think some of them have even admitted this
Date: Dec 27 12:33
Author: Dave in Hollywood

I can't remember off the top of my head but I think it was Spencer Kimball who said that revelation for him as a prophet was just as it was as a "regular person" in the Church, i.e. pray and warm fuzzies.

Your original question seems to approach the Church logically. There is no logic there and they're proud of it. The more outrageous the claims, the more outrageous the faith.

 

Subject: Da Big Bad Leaders
Date: Dec 26 23:23
Author: Awena

Interesting thread.

First, let me say that I used to be kind of gentle in my leaving... It's not for me, but let the Mormons have their beliefs. But one day I realized that the leaders, the ones at the very top, HAVE to know it's a fraud. How do you run the Church without knowing? How do you know what info to cover up, which parts of history to bury, if you aren't in on the secret (the Church isn't really true)?

That's where my anger really began (after the anger at the persecution of gays and the use of my tithing money to root them out and torture them at BYU.) That's when I began to see it as a cult and an all-around nasty business. People being controlled and fleeced and destroyed. By knowing and willing frauds.

It may not be the money (or is it? They're in control of a lot of damn money!) but I'd bet it's the POWER. They're freakin' KINGS up there in their leather and mahogany offices, directing every detail of the lives of MILLIONS of tithe-payers. That's gotta be more addicting than playing The Sims. ;) They get to use the Mormon voting block to further their politics. They get to use their prestige to the advantage of their busisnesses (notice they're all businessmen). They get to use their authority and god-like influence in many, many ways.

Even if they were raised like you and me (although probably not exactly, since it's a whole other generation... it gets less strict as time goes on), you must remember how power can corrupt. And I bet you don't get to get into the club unless you're a conniving, manipulative bastard, anyway. You probably have to show you know how to "play the game" (appearing righteous while being nastily ambitious) and exhibit loyalty to the good-ole-boy club rather than to the "gospel". Then, congrats, secret-handshake, calling and election made sure, you're an Apostle. Come to the back room with me and lets talk stock options.

And for the GA's, just remember how you used to fool yourself that you were recieving inspiration while giving blessings, and how you would take any fortunate outcome to prove your priesthood "power". I myself remember plenty of spiritual experiences that I eventually admitted to myself, after leaving the church, were all in my mind and just me convincing myself that my own thoughts and feelings were promptings of spirit or sensing spirits or a connection to God. Oy, the brainwashing!

I wish I could pick the brain of my uncle who is (was?) a GA. But I hope this gives you more things to think about, and that it makes sense to you.

 

Subject: Re: Da Big Bad Leaders
Date: Dec 26 23:39
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

Good Post. Thanks.

I mean,Wow! They would have to be pretty damn evil. But anything's possible.

I have uncle who from his post as a BYU Spanish professor became a mission president in Buenos Aires and later as the MTC president in Santiago Chile.

He is one of the most personable human beings you will ever meet. But he got exed about 10 years ago and is the only member of his immediate and extended family to now disagree with the church. This always puzzled me and may have led to some of my doubts because of its closeness to home.

But at the story goes, my uncle sent a letter to some GA, I think Monson, about how he thought the temple ceremony ought to be changed (to remove penalties). I don't know all the details (as a matter of fact, I think I'll give him a call to hear the story from his lips), but he got a nasty letter back basically telling him to mind his own business. My uncle had some further correspondences with them, which evidently less than inspiring, and shortly thereafter he was exed.

He says he was mistreated by the powers that be. I believe him although, since I am just coming out about my doubts, I have ventured to call anyone, like him, yet.

This forum has been my first stop.

 

Subject: What makes you think they are insincere?
Date: Dec 27 00:00
Author: Jim

I agree with your general assessment. For the most part the GAs of the church are good, intelligent individuals. Why do you believe they are intentionally fraudulent?

One thing Mormonism taught me is the incredible power a "testimony" has over rationality. Just read through some of the apologist responses to various church concerns, and you will see what mental gymnastics are possible in the name of a testimony.

The first lesson I learned as a missionary is that people could not be converted through intellectual means. It had to come from the heart through a "spiritual" (what I now believe to be an emotinal) experience. Once that emotional experience has occurred, people will set aside any number of contrary facts, because they KNOW the church is true and thus there MUST be some rational answer to those concerns. A testimony drives away every shred of contradictory evidence, even in the minds of intellects like Neal Maxwell and Dallin Oaks. Emotion is far more powerful than rationality where religion is concerned.

So I don't think the apostles believe they are perpetrating a fraud. They are sincere in their efforts, because of their "spiritual" experiences, and no amount of evidence to the contrary will sway them.

Jim
Read "20 Truths about Mormonism" at: trialsofascension.net/mormon.html

 

Subject: my all or nothing thinking
Date: Dec 27 00:13
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I guess I just find it hard to believe that men of such apparent intellect can be so irrational. I mean, even in advanced stages of the "de-reasoning of church leaders" with regard to truth, these leaders still need reason to lead. And even a strand of reason should be enough to indicate that "maybe something is wrong here."

And since my personality leads me to be an all or nothing thinker, I feel compelled to believe either these seemingly highly capable men are really very shortsighted (a paradox to me) or they are deliberate in their fraud.

The site you just sent me to (thank you, by the way--I will thoroughly review it)says in the intro that the church has "intentionally misled". Who knows for sure. I just wanted to see what others thought on this matter

"In fact, the truths cited herein show that the church has intentionally misled its members as to the character of its founding leaders, the truth of its doctrines, and the divinity of its origin. "

 

Subject: I'm convinced that there is some group psychosis going on...
Date: Dec 27 00:46
Author: bored

at least in the rank and file, and going on experiences with a close family member who has been told his whole life that he is chosen for a special work in the last days. He has been regularly hearing voices, and having visions for 50 years. The fact that none of his voices or visions have panned out, fazes him not at all, because his testimony is so strong. The "brethren" black balled him years ago, presumably because they are moving away from that type of testimony, and wish to at least appear more mainstream. Anyway, when I happened to look up the symptoms of your garden variety psychosis I was quite shocked to see the personality traits of my dear faithful relative I just mentioned.

 

Subject: Re: I'm convinced that there is some group psychosis going on...
Date: Dec 27 03:28
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I think you are right. I was told from a very young age that when I was born, my grandfather held me up and prophesied that I would be a "great man" someday. Those words have never left my mind. Why? Because they are so seductive. Who wouldn't want to believe that.

Somebody started that chain letter a long time ago and it remains an effective hook.

 

Subject: Don't lose your family over this.
Date: Dec 27 00:22
Author: dcpott

You can still attend Church and embrace those aspects of the faith you don't find objectionable. Abstain from callings that require you to defend the faith. Ask for callings where you can serve without putting up a false front. Your Bishop will understand.

Breaking up a marriage that began with both of you under the same yoke is not the answer. If your wife truly loves you, she should respect your feelings. If you truly love her, you should tolerate and even respect her desire to remain active in the Church. Above all, your children deserve an intact family structure.

Some of the saddest stories told on this bulletin board involve couples breaking up over loss of faith or belief by one of the partners. Please proceed very carefully.

Best wishes ...

 

Subject: I sighed in relief as I read this
Date: Dec 27 00:35
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

It helps to know that I can have respect for my own thought and still love and respect those of my wife. Of course, I knew that, but it helps to hear it from someone else.

A part of me believes that I need to distance myself from the church as much as possible just like an aloholic shouldn't stray near too many bars.

I feel that I might discover a new me if freed from "mind-head" and that staying close is dangerous.

I said in another post that I tend to be an all or nothing thinker, buy I will have to establish some kind of middle ground until my wife comes of her own choice, if ever.

 

Subject: An emotional attachment-bond to traditional beliefs overrides reason
Date: Dec 27 00:46
Author: SusieQ#1

and logic when immersed in "truth" talk from someone in authority. That is how Mormonism flourishes. It is the truth of faith. Not the truth of facts.

It is a very precarious step you have landed on and it will most likely take some very deliberate behavior on your part to keep the family together. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it does not. It depends on whether, in your case, your wife, digs in and refuses to budge. Some people are capable of allowing other thoughts germinate, others are not. This might require some very slow and calculated steps on your part. It is good that you understand your thinking processes and your personality. That will work to your advantage. Some have found that telling your wife that you love her more than anything, including a church, gives her the emotional basis she needs to deal with unexpected changes that she is facing. She had expectations, and they are not being met. That can be very scary.

 

Subject: Great Expectations
Date: Dec 27 03:25
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

My wife does have great expectations, but fortunately she wants to keep our family together. This is all new to her and me for that matter.

Because of my LDS training I got married really fast with no thought of money or career and brought kids into the world really fast. Although I know it's all water under the bridge, I am furious that I didn't question these beliefs sooner. No wonder you are "counseled" to go on a mission and then get married, because then leaving becomes exponentially more difficult.

Cunning if you ask me.

 

Subject: Links on having Mormon spouses.
Date: Dec 27 14:07
Author: girl in the box

http://www.geocities.com/heartwisp/morgwspouse.htm

Subject: I agree
Date: Dec 27 00:40
Author: on the way out

And also check out the nom board for members who chose to remain commited even though they no longer believe.
http://www.aimoo.com/forum/freeboard.cfm?id=319220&NoCaches=Yes

Subject: Re: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 27 00:42
Author: porkrind

Let me tell you my situation. I also have two young kids, and a TBM wife. I was a true believer, RM, and married in the temple. After some study, and just the process of getting older and wiser, I decided the church was a lie. It was very traumatic for my wife, less so for my family.

I think they just go through a mourning process that you can't protect them from. Just be honest with yourself, keep a sense of humor and perspective, and take it slow. It will take time for your wife to accept it. She might never agree with you, but you can come to some understanding.

I know it's tough breaking it to your family. They will probably attack you out of desparation. Just be honest about your doubts, and don't be antagonistic or fight with them. They need to process and accept your new beliefs, and this will take time. Remember Mormonism is a very emotional, very irrational state. Arguments and reasoning mean nothing because they have been conditioned to be emotional and feel thier way along. Good Luck. You are more fortunate than they are.

Subject: Thoughts from, "The Guru Papers"
Date: Dec 27 01:36
Author: John Corrill

If you want an interesting read that thoroughly discusses this issue (and many closely related ones), I suggesst, "The Guru Papers" by Kramer and Alstad.

A few quotes pertinant to your question:

"Being treated as a knower is one of the most seductive and difficult places to be. One is treated very specially-for what is more special than being considered a vessel of the truth?...which means it is not propitious to acknowledge, even to oneself, that one may at times be uncertain or wrong."

"The higher up one is in the organization, the more one's power and even livelihood are hooked into it...This makes it very difficult not to accept, rationalize, or deny any incongruent, greedy, or corrrupt behavior on the part of the ...organization as a whole."

"Adulation, the ultimate form of special treatment, has an addictive quality difficult to resist...Whether for a [religious leader] or rock star, this can be a more powerful experience than the strongest drug. It is also one of the great seductions of power"

 

Subject: Re: Thoughts from, "The Guru Papers"
Date: Dec 27 03:16
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I immediately went to Amazon and filled out an Interlibrary Form to email to my local library to get "The Guru Papers."

That is exaclty the kind of thing I was looking for. Thank you very much.

 

Subject: They are stuck with no escape
Date: Dec 27 02:32
Author: JayT

These people believe they are part of a great and marvelous cause. They look at the accomplishments of the church and see God’s hand in everything. Most have been brainwashed from the time they left the womb. Brainwashing of this magnitude transcends intelligence and position.

They believe they are led by the “still small voice” that every Mormon believes he or she has heard at one time or another. (And every other religious person has “heard” ).

They could not leave the church even if they wanted to. Their entire posterity is linked to their stature, position and testimony. To abandon their faith would be to decimate everyone and everything they love. Can you image what their children and grandchildren would think, not to mention their friends and countless members. Their entire reputation and life’s work would be shot to pieces. There is no escape for these people. They’ve gone too far and there’s no turning back.

Just be glad you have a choice. Think of the rift you are creating, or potentially causing, in your own family (and I fully support your decision). Now magnify this by at least 100 times. This is what a GA would face if he were to leave. The cost is too high for them. They would never do it.

 

Subject: Agreed
Date: Dec 27 03:20
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I have to believe that some of these men are tormented inside knowing what they know. Maybe one day we'll see one of the "noble and great ones" come to his senses and leave the quorum of the twelve. What would that be like?

Of course scriptures will be cited that even the elect can fall.

And chances are that some kind of high level "blood atonement" would be threatened should it come out.

Just wild specualations, of course. They're fun.

 

Subject: The older I get (I am 65) I realize how easily our minds are munipulated
Date: Dec 27 03:21
Author: Primrose

If we want to believe in something, we manage to convince ourselves it is true even if it is not. This is not just a religious thing either. If we have faith in what a leader says we defend them no matter what they do. I see this all the time in all walks of life. We are easily led by those we admire.
I think the GA's are so intrenched that they don't dare ask questions and they are so afraid, they don't want us to ask any either for fear we will learn to much. they say everything that disagree's with the church is anti-Mormon. It is black and white, You are either for me or against me.
there maybe higher up's that have doubts but can't leave because they would be disowned by their family's and disgraced by being excomunicated. So they just go along.
We have Gordon Hinkley who does not even know what we teach according to his interview with Larry King. That is pretty bad when the Prophet will not tell what they believe and make stupid statments about well known teaching, saying he does not know that we teach that. (God was one a man doctrine)
As time goes on and people have access to the internet they are going to look up things when the missionaries come and try to tell you about Mormonism. they will find out the meat first and just not join. If I had known the real history of the Mormon Church, I would not have joined and wasted 20 years of my life being upset and frustrated about so many things I could see that were not right.
I think the GA's have way more to lose then us peons do so they just don't explore outside the Mormon box and I think they know it is a dangerous place to go.

 

Subject: It all makes sense
Date: Dec 27 03:34
Author: Waverly WinDriven Taust

I have been on this board half the night because I just can't leave. I appreciate all the comments.

Even though there is so much rational thought here, I still have that nagging thought that I might be wrong and doomed to hell. Does that ever go away or have we just "seared our consciences?"

 

Subject: Seared but happy
Date: Dec 27 08:54
Author: Kosmo

If I have seared my conscience so be it, I am happy. I had not been attending for a year and my kids were almost raised when my wife and I separated earlier this year. I just couldn't stand pretending to believe any more and I couldn't live in a situation where I knew I wasn't respected for who I was. Since that time there have been a lot of long, lonely nights and countless moments of second guessing.

But not any more. I eventually worked my way through that and now I am very clear in my mind about what I believe and where I am going. The world is an amazingly beautiful place and I am more in awe of the mystery of my existence as each day passes. I have unbounded faith and hope that 2003 holds great promise for me and those I love.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying you should leave your wife and start all over. Take your time, let go of the guilt and see the beauty that is before you. You may likely find the things you most want are there within the walls of your own home. However, you are probably going to have to find a new paradigm of existence before you can see it. Let go of the control, keep talking to people here and talk to your uncle. Slowly but surely you will start to feel yourself becoming the real and complete you.

 

Subject: Have courage.
Date: Dec 27 14:04
Author: girl in the box

Do you believe in a God that would condemn you for wanting to know truth, even if truth turned out to be something different than what you currently believe?

Press on. Confront every man who claims to speak for God; demand proof. No God worth following is going to condemn you for using your brain to expose frauds in the search for real truth.

The first thing a fraud will claim is that if you disagree with it, you are wrong or bad. Why? Because otherwise THE FRAUD WILL BE EXPOSED. The second thing a fraud will claim is that you don't need outside evidence to believe in it. Why? Because if you go to outside evidence THE FRAUD WILL BE EXPOSED. A fraud protects itself first before anything else. A fraud will *hide the evidence of its lies*. Is the church hiding anything?

Do not accept anything as being truth without proof; without questioning every doubt, without examining every aspect of so-called truth. Because *truth will stand up to examination*. It is only a lie that will be brought down by questioning, doubting, and researching. Which is why the perpretrators of lies will harrass, threaten, scare, and condemn you if they must to keep you from looking too hard.

 

Subject: Re: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 27 10:49
Author: DarkAngel

Your question is easily answered, your marriage on the other hand is another matter. Once the wife moves out of the home for "support" be it a blessing or whatever the machinations of Mormon leaders begins. Here is why GAs stay "True to the faith."

1. Masonry attract people with no renumeration. The GAs get a salary and an expense account. This ups the anti on membership in a "brotherhood."

2. I once read that Bill Clinton's obession was finding out who shot JFK. He used his office to do this. There are millions of members that think that GAs have "further light and knowledge." Some people who can't get it in the church seek elsewhere. To have arrived at the "mysteries" in Mormonism is to be a GA. There is a lot of motivation in that direction.

3. There are many stake presidents who know about the "second blessing" many have received it. It is promised in the temple that you will get it if you are faithful. They "get it."

4. Apostles have more "ordinances" that seal their brotherhood. After all anyoen above a bishop knows they are in a fraternal organization. To turn on it would be ridiculous. They worked hard to get there. Have you noticed the higher the calling the faster the falling? The church knows who will "serve" and who is a risk. They never take risks. They call close friends and family to keep the loyalty and avoid anything like George P. Lee from happening again.

If you study secret societies the loyalty to strange belief and arcane ritual pops up over and over. The hierarchy is no different. The only reason masons fall from grace and give up the secrets is because they weren't trained from their mothers knee usually to be masons.

 

Subject: Are you doomed to hell?
Date: Dec 27 11:57
Author: EJH

For a few months after finally making the decision to leave once and for all and have my name removed from records, an occasional "But what if the church really is true and you are on the path to Outer Darkness?" thought would pop into my head.

At that time I would rely on the type of thinking that got me on the path out in the first place: "Would God really send me to hell? Will I really be sitting down to tea with Hitler in hell? What have I done? Used my God-given brain to think and reason. I've been honest with God about my doubts. Any time I might have thought I "felt the spirit" was likely my own conscience working things through."

I'm at a place where when I hear or read things about God (with or without mormonism) and things that have happened as a direct result of God's intervention (or further "proof" of the "truthfulness of mormonism"), I can quickly reason an earthly explanation and continue on my merry way.

You are an articulate writer, I have no doubt you rank among the higher I.Q.s on this board and in the world, and you obviously have reason to be afraid of what will happen in your future. I am very fortunate, my hubby is a nevermo, I've been inactive since my late teens and my family knew it. Most of my siblings are inactive. This has been a very easy road for me. If I were in your shoes, I would follow the excellent advice on this board from those who have circumstances similar to yours... tread lightly and lovingly and slowly. Many mormons take the church very literally (I and my family always did) and others on faith. You will have to gauge exactly where your wife and family are on that scale and relate to them accordingly. (Those who go on faith will be the most difficult to deal with)

Very best wishes to you,
EJH

 

Subject: Re: Gnawing Doubts
Date: Dec 27 12:42
Author: Amelia A.

Many years ago I encountered a young man who thought god was testing him. Out of great sincerity he performed an Abrahamic sacrifice. I can't go into more detail, but associating with this man in the aftermath of his action taught me alot about religious motivation and about myself.

I stopped praying because I realized that a person's emotional needs are hard to dissect from spiritual yearnings. In the mormon church people don't seem to be able to recognize how their emotional needs drive their "spiritual" activities. They mistake one for another.

My point is, the need to be "special" or "chosen" is often based on emotional factors of childhood.

I myself realized that my need for a close relationship with my father propelled me to go overboard in trying to please god, a father substitute. I was a driven true believer because I was trying to prove that I was special to god, since I clearly wasn't special to my father.

These GA's are fulfilling a powerful emotional motivation to be "good". They prove their specialness by their obedience and increasing rank. How could they possibly pursue an intellectual course of proof when it would destroy their emotional stability?

I believe thay are incapable of going there.

For many of us here on the board, we simply cannot ignore facts, regardless of our own emotional issues. Perhaps pursuing factual knowledge is our emotional security? I know for myself that I feel most secure when every avenue of thought is open for my perusal. To have so many doors closed to me when I was TBM was suffocating. But to my family around me, it gave them a feeling of control and safety.

Perhaps we're all just going where we need to go in order to thrive. The GA's are thriving. What would it take for you to thrive? Your wife? Your children?

I am thiving outside of the morg. I was dying within. I didn't leave to live a hedonistic lifestyle. I left to breathe.

Sorry this is somewhat dis-jointed.

 

Subject: LOL...you have the reason written right in your post to this forum
Date: Dec 27 13:10
Author: Bob

I'm not surprised at your questions. You basically have the answer to your own question in your own post to this thread.

1. "I'm scared"
2. "Why do the GAs continue without exposing the fraud?"

They continue because they are scared. Just like you. They are not only afraid of losing their salvation, but they are afraid of what it will mean to them if their entire life philosophy was proved corrupt. They are afraid to admit that everything they believed and taught for all these years was a fraud. Even considering this conflict may be too much for some people to bear.

There is a conflict between the evidence and the feelings. If the feelings don't come around, then the evidence doesn't matter. If you go to church, read, ponder, pray, avoid reading anything not published by the church or its apologists, then you can retain your feelings and ignore the evidence.

So, if a person has relied on a warm fuzzy all their life, then how can they be satisfied with the cold hard facts? A person needs to come to grips with the idea of acting with integrity. A person needs to feel good about coming to a knowledge of the truth, even if the truth comes from outside sources. A person needs to overcome the fear associated with this stuff.

The more one advances within the leadership of the church, the more they have invested in having been right. The more they have invested, the more stuff they have to be willing to unwind as they consider this stuff.

Bob

 

Subject: It's sometimes easier to live a lie
Date: Dec 27 13:52
Author: girl in the box

than admit you've been supporting a fraud. In fact, people will go to great lengths to support a fraud even when they know it's a fraud; either because they get something out of it (profit, power, etc.) or because they are afraid that if they leave it, everything in their lives will fall apart.

Some GAs may be complete cons; it would be easy enough to pull off. Some may half-believe or avoid thinking about it b/c they get so much power and respect that they don't want to have to give it up. Some may be die-hard believers who just don't do any research or deep thinking (pretty easy in a church that teaches you to avoid even the appearance of thinking). Some may be insane, and so it's easy for them to believe wacko philosophies (and teach them from the pulpit *cough*).

The truth is the GAs are human beings, not God-like beings, and are capable of the full range of emotions that everyone else is. They can lie, cheat, and steal as easy as the next guy. They can believe, pretend to believe, and bullshit as easy as the next guy. Being Mormon doesn't make them any more honest or introspective than the next guy. They are as capable of avoiding the truth as the next guy.

IMO, those who would gain doubts too strong to ignore by moving up the ranks generally don't move up the ranks. The people who move up the ranks are going to be those who ignore glaring discrepancies that are incovenient to them, who are capable of weaving one lie into another lie into another lie, who are mentally unbalanced, and/or who get so much $$, power, and ego out of being leaders that they will do *anything* to go higher on the pyramid. Such people exist in droves on this planet; they aren't hard to find and they aren't hard to prop up into leadership positions (whether they are positions in business, religion, or politics).

Everybody lies. I'd say in the case of being a GA, it's just a question of how much you're willing to lie.

 

Subject: Ahh, that feeling that you might be wrong, I understand how that can be a nagging
Date: Dec 27 14:11
Author: SusieQ#1

thought. I initially had those thoughts too.

I was so well programmed to think that only Mormonism was "true" that I had to rewrite those scripts that ran automatically in my head. And, it was great fun.

It was all a lie from the get-go and just reviewing the outlandish, bizarre whopper Joe Smith told would make me snicker! New information right from their own history was the clincher. I was thrilled to know that I never once had to be concerned about being wrong again.

It takes awhile to rid our brain of those scripts that have been programmed into our thoughts by years of Mormonism. Sitting in countless meetings listening to that hypnotic drone say the same things over and over and over as if repeating them made them true is hard to shake at first.


When someone asked me how I could break my sacred covenants in the temple, I replied that they were not binding as they were made on fraudulent claims!

Do I berate myself because I lived Mormonism? NO. Do I think I wasted my time and life? NO Was it a mistake? NO. Do I think I was gullible? NO. I did what I thought was best at the time with the information I was given.

I was proud to be a Mormon and I am proud to be a Former Mormon and I see no conflict as they are both completely OK.

I changed my mind about what I was willing to accept as a blueprint for my life. The constitution guarantees me religious freedom and I used it fully.

My self esteem, self confidence and self respect won't allow me to tear myself down for my choices and decisions.

I bought a faulty used car, it failed, so I took it to the dump because it could not be repaired. Mormonism is like that faulty used car. It came from the factory faulty and did not perform as claimed. Taking it to the same shop never fixed the problem. It was a lemon! :-)

Now Ihave better transportation to get me through life. :-)

 

 

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