Typical comfort from the church; I am angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed and
Date: may 31 2003

SICKENED once again by the LDS minions. The mother of one of my TBM staff members has been terribly ill with an aggressive set of metasatic cancers. She passed away yesterday and I just came back form her parents' house, where I had taken some food. The mother and daughter were extremely close, and she is taking the loss of her mother very hard. Her mom was only 48 and had spent the last 11 months valiantly fighting cancers of the brain, cervix, uterus, spine, lungs, and liver. At last, she is at peace.

While I was at their home, several male church members, including the bishop, came over to pray with the family and to give them a blessing. My staff member broke down and asked for the bishop to please give her a special blessing for having insufficient faith. She went on and on and on telling everyone that she was totally to blame for her mother's cancer, because she had not kept the WOW and she had been dating a non-LDS man.

What words of comfort did he offer her? HAH - I am sure you all can guess

He told her that her mother's faith was clearly not strong enough, and that her family's testimony was not strong enough, either. He told her that this was Heavenly Father's way of using her mother's illness and death as a tool to show them the way back to the truth of the one true church.

Weeping, she kissed his hands. Her father, also weeping, agreed and then told me that he was glad I was there, as he knew I was an inactive member of the church (I did not take the opportunity to tell him I was an exed member) and that his prayer for me was to take his wife's death as a message to me that I needed to regain my covenants.

What a crock! How dare these priesthood holders use a tragic, painful loss of a lovely woman in the prime of her life as an opportunity to tighten the bindings of the church on her survivors? How do they look at themselves in the mirror, knowing the egregious manipulation they daily employ? How can they look upon this poor 23 year old SUFFERING girl and encourage her to blame herself for her mother's illness. For that matter, what kind of God is it whom they worship so devotedly, who would consider such tactics to keep his sheep in the fold? He surely is not the benevolently loving Heavenly Father they claim him to be!

I left, truly physically sick, and had to pull over on the side of the freeway on the way home, to be ill. This is just one more reason why I hate the church and its wicked minions. They hurt so many that it makes me weep. I ache for this family and for the pain they will continue to suffer, thanks to their belief system.

How many of us have personally experienced such a situation? For how many of us has this been a turning point - I can well imagine that there are many who truly turn back to the church in the face of such loss and such "wise and compassionate" counsel from church leaders. Thankfully, we are gone, but scenes like this one show that the long arm of the church guilt provokers never truly leaves us - even in death, it is somehow our fault.

Saddened in Texas -

Subject: I'm a peaceful guy, but I would have...
Date: May 31 16:00
Author: Stray Mutt

...kicked their asses. The blindness and arrogance of it all! But what is to be expected from a bunch of amateurs.

Looks like you have some work to do with that young woman to help her understand her mother's illness and death are NOT punishments. That's just terribly, terribly twisted.

Subject: Oh my god... I'm beyond knowing what to say to express
Date: May 31 18:48
Author: Saucie

my disgust at what those men said. It's just beyond my comprehension that they would blame a loving, grieving daughter for the loss of her's so obscenely horrid.

Subject: I can't believe they get away with this stuff...
Date: May 31 16:13
Author: kymba

it really ought to be illegal.

I can only say this - be there for your friend. Just be there, then come here to complain, yell, scream, feel sick, like you did today.

This is the best course of action for you to take, IMO.

Subject: Re: Typical comfort from the church; I am angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed and
Date: May 31 16:14
Author: Wag

I've been very verbose on the board all morning long but this has left me truly speechless.

This is worse than any horror movie I've ever seen.


Subject: words escape me, too
Date: May 31 16:32
Author: sasusanna

and that is why I took the chicken-s*** way out and fled the scene. I don't have any words to comfort them and I wish I did. I truly can't understand what I witnessed today. Are they so desperate to keep this young girl in the church that they will use any manipulation possible?

I know her mother was disappointed that she had been dating a non LDS boy and was really encouraging her to settle down and to get married in the temple. I know that is what most of our parents want for their daughters and sons. So she did not keep the WOW, so she doubted that JS was a prophet and that the church was true. BFD - that does not give anyone the right to use her mother's TERRIBLE suffering and death as a tool to get her back to the church.

I am kicking myself for not finding the right thing to say to them at the time. My only thought was to run fast and far and away. My own cowardice is upsetting to me, as well, but I will continue to seek the right words to offer this person - not to lead her to or from her beliefs - but to help lead her to a peace and acceptance that her mother's suffering is finally at an end.

IMO, a death is not the time to engage in any form of religious debate or warfare.

Subject: Re: words escape me, too
Date: May 31 16:55
Author: Switz1

sausanna, don't kick yourself, most people would have done that same as you.

Here are some ideas to build upon to talk with her since she does believe in God.

God did NOT make her Mother sick to punish the family. God did NOT make her sick at all, the cancer did. BUT that God let her die to end her suffering knowing the family is strong enough and the daughter has the support of her boy friend and father to let Mom go.

But mainly stay close to your friend by showing her love, listening to her and giving her hugs (if she likes contact). Get her to talk and not shut up like the mormons like them to do. She needs to talk, talk, talk her feelings out.

Subject: Re: words escape me, too
Date: May 31 20:44
Author: Amanda P.

First, I was just saddened and disgusted to hear this account. What needless suffering is being heaped on this poor family! The death of the mother is hard enough to cope with without adding all of this other crap onto it!

I guess the thing that I wanted to say, and that I think is truly scary, is that I doubt that the bishop actually sees what he said as manipulation, but rather sees it as truth. Ah, the damn church is just filled with twisted, twisted thinking.

I'm so sorry that your friends are being vicitimized by this type of twisted thinking at this time. My heart truly goes out to you all. Best wishes.

Subject: That was example of taking the Lord's name in vain.
Date: May 31 16:46
Author: Lilith

Blasphemous!!! If God wasn't such a God of Love, She'd have struck those assholes down on the spot.....

I don't blame you for you reaction of pure shock. I hope you will find the words to help your friend to understand.

Subject: I'm so sorry for your friend and her family
Date: May 31 16:53
Author: BestBBQ

and for you, too, susanna.

When Mormons (or anyone else) say things like this do they think that if somone has enough faith that they'll be immortal? Everyone dies and sometimes people die especially awful deaths. That's just the way it is. Do they really think she'd have lived forever if everything was just right?

That bishop is an abomination of a human being.

Subject: This sounds too harsh even for insensitive LDS types.
Date: May 31 17:48
Author: Dude

> He told her that her mother's faith was clearly not strong enough, and that her family's testimony was not strong enough, either. He told her that this was Heavenly Father's way of using her mother's illness and death as a tool to show them the way back to the truth of the one true church.

I can see a Bishop or priesthood visitor saying that maybe this is God's way of saying someone should go back to Church (chez LDS, that's about all God ever says to a non-attender). But I can't see even an LDS Bishop, in the grieving family's home the day after someone passes away, saying (essentially) she deserved to die, or that she died because her faith was not strong enough to heal her.

The poor woman who lost her mother, who is grieving and feels responsible (although she shouldn't), clearly might have heard things that way at the moment because that is how she is thinking. Did you hear the conversation yourself, or was it recounted by the grieving woman? Just curious.

Subject: Re: Typical comfort from the church; I am angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed and
Date: May 31 18:17
Author: njy

don't beat yourself up about not saying anything at the time. you are right. such a time and place was not the right one for starting a religious debate.

however, there will be opportunities in the future for you to talk with your co-worker. her grief isn't going to go away any time soon. in fact, it has probably been prolonged due to this experience. but i bet that in a few days the bishops and others will have forgotten about her and moved on to condemning some other grieving family. that's when you can be a real friend to her and step in and talk to her about her mother's illness and death not being her fault. maybe she'll see that you are right -- especially since you will probably be the only person still concerned about her welfare and wanting to know how she is doing. your actions can speak louder than the hateful words of those bishops.

Subject: So incredibly cruel!
Date: May 31 20:54
Author: smo

But really, it's just an example of pushing in the same direction that church leaders have suggested.

"Many attend funerals who do not come to church regularly. They come subdued in spirit and are teachable. How sad when an opportunity for conversion is lost because a funeral is less than it might have been." (Boyd K. Packer, “Funerals: A Time for Reverence,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 18)

"The bishop will know that as he plans the funeral service. He will be sure that testimony is given of the plan of salvation, of the atonement of Jesus Christ, of the Resurrection, and of glorious reunions, because that will bring comfort and hope. But such teaching will do more than that. The word of God will be heard by people with hearts softened by love and by grief and so more likely to choose living it more fully. And from doing that, faith will increase and the changes will come in people which move them toward eternal life." (Henry B. Eyring, “To Touch a Life with Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 37)

"As taught in this scripture, an eternal bond doesn’t just happen as a result of sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we conduct ourselves in this life will determine what we will be in all the eternities to come. To receive the blessings of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given to us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities. The family relationships we have here on this earth are important, but they are much more important for their effect on our families for generations in mortality and throughout all eternity." (Robert D. Hales, “The Eternal Family,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 64)

Subject: I've experienced it recently's unbelievable
Date: Jun 01 05:31
Author: mikemgc

I first experinced this about 10 years ago when my mother died of pancreatic cancer. A day or 2 before she died, my TBM sister told me point blank, "it's your fault, with all the worry you put her through." WTF? Didn't know I had the power to inflict cancer on people. Very ugly comment by a very TBM sister.

The latest and recent experiences have been over the death of my brother. His death has been a pretty big spectacle and the spectacle has gone on for about 2 months now. A lot of mo's have flocked to all this event for whatever reason. Some with decent intentions and some to take a ride in the parade. The one thing I have noticed about all of this is that the most of the Mo's (including my TBM sisters) detach from their feelings. They don't know how to grieve and they don't know how to let people grieve. The comments they make are astounding. On the other side of the coin, the non-mo's seem to know what to say and they seem to know how to feel. The stark contrast hit me like a ton of bricks.

I have no desire to ever return to a life in the morgue. My focus is not set on an afterlife. I'm right here right now and intend to live right here, right now and take advantage of everything I can learn. I'd rather feel pain and achieve happiness that is real, not based on what someone else tells me it should be. Anyway, just letting you know you're not alone in seeing this and you're not alone in being outraged by it. It's really kind of sad.

Recovery from Mormonism -   

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