|Date:||Dec 11 13:06 2003|
|The young bishop of the ward I'm in and his second
counselor came over to my home the other night and delivered a nice card
and a loaf of Great Harvest Bread and homemade jam to us. They were
pleasant, sort of in a hurry, but obviously mostly wanting to wish us
the best since we are members of the ward and never attend. They invited
my 15 year old son to play on the basketball team. They need him because
there aren't too many kids that age in our ward. He was flattered and
wants to do it.
As they left, I got on the board and started reading all of the clever little bashes about the family that we have left behind and I felt sick inside. The rank and file members of the church are pretty good people who are trying to do their best.
My goal from now on is to be more of a Kirby. To love them, understand them, point out some of the problems in a constructive, sometimes humorous, loving way, and help those who are going through what we have gone through, but I'm tired of bashing anyone except Joseph Smith (and a few other nazi leaders).
|Subject:||Good point Doug|
|Date:||Dec 11 13:20|
|Thanks Doug, I agree the overwhelming majority of
LDS people are good honest people. I've seen posts here about local
bishops and how they use the "guilt factor" when visiting or
meeting with less active people. I can't speak for all but when I was a
TBM in leadership and callingsI was genuinely concerned for the
"stray sheep" and I sincerely worried about them. When we
attack them in trivial ways like a previous poster questioned why "TBM's
don't dispose of dirty diapers" I think it actually weakens valid
arguments and points.
|Date:||Dec 11 13:24|
|We all have our issues with Mormonism ... but isn't
the point of "recovery" to find peace and move on? Have we
truly found peace if we continually feel the compunction to nitpick
every aspect of Mormon culture, doctrine and belief?
I have been wondering about this since I found the RFM board ... In a recent post I asked about displaying greater tolerance toward TBMs and other believers. I got exactly TWO responses. Now if I had posted something about "What is it with Mormons and purple socks?" and went into a diatribe on how evil purple socks are and how warped and twisted Mormons are, I probably would have had 20 responses!
When we can't tolerate those who still believe, we are becoming the evil we fight against!
|Date:||Dec 11 13:33|
|Author:||Truth Without Fear|
|I've only been posting for a week or so, and am in
the infancy of my recovery. I probably won't fully come out until after
Christmas or tithing settlement, which ever comes first this year. TBM
wife is the only one who knows, and it has just thrown gasoline on a
marriage already going down in flames.
I have been in so long, almost all of my friends are LDS. We'll see how long they stay in contact with me/us. Shunning is part of the local Southern Baptist culture.
I hope I don't get bitter, although it is extremely difficult not to be so inclined. I want others (especially my family) to see that recovering from mormonism is far better than converting ever was.
|Date:||Dec 11 13:30|
|Doug, Thank You. It is the leaders not our friends
we should be bashing.!!!
|Subject:||Your right. However, did they just bought your son for a loaf of bread and jam?|
|Date:||Dec 11 13:33|
|There was someone on this board saying they used
that same 'come play basketball' pitch successfully as a missionary.
Let us know how things progress with your son, if you will.
|Subject:||When I was in the bishopric, and later as a bishop....|
|Date:||Dec 11 13:58|
|one of things that was taken seriously was to visit
the members of the ward in their homes. This included the active
members, the less active, the not active, the sick, etc. It was always
done in a spirit of being interested in the individual...not in the
spirit of putting a guilt trip on anyone. If folks specifically requested
no visits, we left them alone.
One thing that I think a lot of folks on this board do not realize, is that is often difficult for bishops when they visit those who are inactive, since it is rather uncomfortable for both parties...but at least an effort is made to stay in touch. We were always welcomed, and never did anything other than to say we wanted them to know they could contact us if they ever felt the need.
There were those who had not entered church for years who suddenly needed help...and we reached out to help them in any way we could. For fifteen years, while I was the director of a substance abuse treatment center, I witnessed the hundreds of times bishops would pay the way for those so addicted...even though they did not choose to go to church.
I guess what I am saying, is don't be too eager to sell bishops or others who want to do some good in the world, short. Most of them are pretty good folks who operate with some pretty good intentions.
What I reject, are those things about the Morg which I find untruthful, secretive and designed to be controlling. If a bishop, or any church leader, attempts to exercise "unrighteous dominion" over anyone...then they should be put in their place. I have done this in a polite, but firm way. You don't have to be a jerk in order to make your case.
Well, that's my rant for the day. Best Wishes!!
|Subject:||Oh I quite agree...wait did we just call me a jerk?|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:15|
|I meant not to personally offend anyone by the
subject line. Well no more than needed grab an attention.
I was playing devil's advocate with Doug, while it all may have been nice, and sincerely so, it is also sounds like many a story here of the ol' bait and switch.
I am not advocating judging others, nor do I judge. The mormons I've met have all been polite curteous people, the ones I know I are my friends genuinely. However, I see them often in conscience and subconscience conflict with their religion. Therefore, that their are many good folks trying to do right within the church, does not preclude them as acting with a dual motive, their genuine motive of friendship and love, and the church's motive of control and money.
"Forgive them Lord, then know not what they do"
I meant no offense here, exept to the 'Church' and have taken none either. Quite frankly, I can be a jerk.
|Subject:||Hey there, Pan. Absolutely no offense meant. Actually,....|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:38|
|I meant to post this as a general reply to the first
entry, but accidentally posted it under your comments. In the world of
"jerks", I'm often the KING.
|Subject:||Why not just be a friend with no ulterior motives? Why?|
|Date:||Dec 11 16:17|
|The Catholics seem to be able to do this. (Except in
Ireland. Sorry my Catholic friends on the board but I find the
fanaticism of the IRA totally despicable and evil.) Why do we have to
care whether a person is of one religion or another? Why label people
into camps of "inactive" or "active"? Why not see
whether or not this person is honest, good and use that as the only
guide as to whether or not they should be friends?
I am tired of being labeled by outside external appearances. (Which is all the superficial church is about. It is about playing the "LDS game.") Look at my heart and see what a generous and honest and good and loving person I am and then decide to be my friend -- no strings attached.
|Subject:||Be careful, be very careful|
|Date:||Dec 11 14:21|
|In my experience, and generally speaking, members
are incapable of genuine friendship with "apostates." You are
important to them ONLY to the extent you are seen as a prospect for
reconversion. Underlying all contacts, friendships, gifts, etc. is a
hidden agenda: to bring you back into the fold.
The offer to your son is made less because they genuinely need him on the team, but because it is a way to get the camel's nose under the tent, so to speak. Once they've got your son to games, then the fellowship begins in earnest, and soon they're inviting him youth night, next to church, next to scout camp. The end objective is not genuine friendship, but reconversion. First the son, then the rest of the family.
I do not say this because I assume them to be evil, manipulating conspirators (I agree they are genuinely good people, at least most of them), but because they are indoctrinated into an organization in which individuals and their needs do not matter--what matters is serving the needs of the organization, and the organization needs bodies. Never having had their individual needs ministered to, they are incapable of ministering to others' individual needs. They know only service to organization, that is their duty, and that duty frames their relationships with others, especially apostates. That duty, by the way, is not friendship, but reactivation. Once the latter is perceived to be out of the question, there is no need for the former.
|Subject:||I totally agree!|
|Date:||Dec 11 14:30|
|Most of the TBMs I know don't fit the stereotypes
that are often perpetuated on this board. However, recently, I've found
myself expecting them to react in ways consistent with those
stereotypes. I guess you could say I was starting to buy into those
stereotypes because they are spouted so often by a select few posters
here. I have recently decided that I do not want to place such
stereotypes on people I know and love. I just want to take people as
Some TBMs are real jerks and so are some emos and never mos. But I firmly believe that there are good people of all walks of life and that most people, if given a chance, can debunk a lot of the stereotypes about whatever group they belong to. I mean, how many ridiculous stereotypes exist in the mormon community about exmormons?
That's it! I'm with Doug on this one. I don't believe that the mormon church is what it claims to be, but I'm no longer going to demonize those folks that have not come to realize this.
|Subject:||don't judge because you're being judged|
|Date:||Dec 11 14:39|
|Doug, I have always enjoyed your posts! You bring a
sense of compassion and empathy to this board that is sorely needed.
I discovered the truth about the church when I lived in a great ward. The bishop was great, the relief society president was wonderful. Me and hubby were house-sitting for my parents as they served their mission, and were a bit overwhelmed in trying to maintain a lawn, garden, and several flower beds. The bishop's second counselor came weekly to help us with a stubborn water system, and twice the whole ward turned out to weed, prune, till and mow until the grounds looked great. I still find it very ironic that we were surrounded by great LDS people and still chose to leave. And I think that is also the most damning reason to leave -- that we still felt strongly enough about the church's betrayal that the great people in it couldn't keep us.
And maybe that's the reason I get a little uneasy about the amount of mormon bashing that goes around here. I understand that as this is an ex-mo site, that most people would not have positive experiences with TBM's (understatement, I know.) But I still try to take each person I meet as an individual and try to not assume what or who they are based on face value. This is done repeatedly to us ex-mos (we must have left because we want to become fornicating, swinging, beer-swilling, weed smoking degenerates), but that doesn't mean we should do the same to TBMs. Yes, being mormon says something about a person, but perhaps one should reserve judgment until the person shows their true colors.
|Subject:||I agree, too.|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:33|
|We left while in a very loving ward with some good
friends. It was really tough. Some of those people have dropped us as
their friends, but others haven't. Many of them are truly good people
just doing what they know and doing what they think is best.
I know while serving almost 2 years as compassionate service leader, I TRULY cared about everyone and wanted to help regardless of whether they were active or not. I didn't even care if I helped them and they never came back to church; I just wanted to help. And I know there are plenty of TBMs out there just like that.
|Subject:||I love many Mormons - I HATE Mormonism...|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:35|
|...there's a difference.
|Subject:||I live with and love Mormons. Some of the behavior of some Mormons is grossly out of line|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:52|
|however, for the most part, people are people every
where, no matter their personal religion or bias and respond more
favorably to a thank you and kindness than anything negative.
Now I am going to go practice what I advocate! :-)
|Subject:||Where does the institution end and the members begin?|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:46|
|I do think most of the rancor on this board is
reserved for the institution and not the membership. But I also think
that some of the most offensive things Mormons do, usually with complete
sincerity and a complete and utter indifference for the feelings of
others, are those things which are pushed on them by the church
organization. I.e., I'm gonna visit that inactive family because it's
the last day of the month and I HAVE to, even though I know they don't
want to see me. It's the rules.
The church institution influences the individual mormon to a significant degree, don't you think? And, yes, they may be sincere. But does sincerity always excuse bad, inappropriate and/or inconsiderate behavior? I'm not so sure that it does.
|Subject:||Here's the bottom line on this:|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:46|
|Author:||Søvnløsener - Insomniac|
|It is the kindness of the people who happen to be
members of LDS, Inc that makes the church look good,
NOT, the church that makes these people good.
|Subject:||I agree - but|
|Date:||Dec 11 15:55|
|the generalizing and black and white perspective
that tells us people are either all bad or all good is a remnant of lds
culture, I think. The "if you're not with us you're against
us" mentality. It's erroneous no matter what you are paterning your
There are some wise statements in these posts. Treat everyone as individuals...mormonism and mormons are not the same thing...people are at the core good. It's nice to hear it here for a change.
|Subject:||Here's the problem. That bread and the basketball is all a ploy.|
|Date:||Dec 11 16:12|
|My Catholic friends will allow my wonderful little
girl to play with their children whether or not I join the Catholic
church. The LDS children will not play with your child unless you
conform totally. And if you do not pay your tithes, you better watch out
for some real back-stabbing.
Who needs this kind of love? I say it is phony. Even my own family members do not hang around me now that I am out. But it is their loss.
The love bombing is oh, so wonderful. I know. But you better realize that this is a cult and that the love is conditional.
|Subject:||Re: Mormon Bashing|
|Date:||Dec 11 16:29|
|Think twice before you let your son join the church
team. They'll make him feel needed and loved and in 4 years you'll see
him go off on a mission. Yes, some Mormons are good people but that
doesn't change the fact that much of their behavior is manipulative and
designed to bring people into the fold,your son is a prime target. You
say he wants to join the team afer just one hurried visit? They've got
their hooks into him already.
|Subject:||A few thoughts on Mormon bashing.|
|Date:||Dec 11 17:11|
|I've been fighting a bronchial infection and the
harsh effects of antibiotics while dealing with Christmas, so I haven't
been posting lately. I think I'll sit down and sip herbal tea and reply
to this issue.
Ideas to consider:
1. Every exmo I have ever met (including myself) loves mormons and thinks they are the salt of the earth. It's the organization that causes them and us strife.
2. When we first leave the church, we still feel an attachment to it. I know I bristled if I heard it criticised for years after being totally away from it. I think most of us still relate to and feel connected to the culture. It can feel like we as individuals are being insulted when people talk about our former church.
3. I think some exmos have trouble dealing with what they did as members. They had good intentions. They meant well. But they need to face the fact that some of what the church foisted on them was not in the best interests of humanity. I'm not saying they have to be ashamed or beat themselves up. Just realize that giving away bread to buy friends for the church is just that: Giving away bread to buy friends for the church which needs to keep its friends to return to full activity someday.
4. The Mormon church indoctinates members to act in certain ways to serve the needs of the organization. When members are serving their church, they are not always fully aware that their own instincts and personalities are being dominated in subtle, but real ways. Many times their intentions are pure, but are not in the best interests of any individual, not them or the person they are interacting with.
5. Many people and especially Mormons think that good intentions excuse harm done to people. The purest intentions in the world can't make up for damage done to others. Intentions are as wispy as thin air whispering over and around concrete deeds and real results.
6. Every exmormon I have known leaves the church in stages. No one can see the whole Mormon perspective with four toes in and sixteen out. We all surge and retreat as we recover. We plunge into new awareness and glide back into familiar territory. Back and forth it goes. When exmos see something unfavorable about mormonism, it does not prove they are a mean, bitter people out to unfairly bash their former church. It usually means they're coming into new levels of awareness and growth. They need to process this learning, not deny it. Then, they can take the next step forward.
7. I will never have to recover from my next door neighbor, the charming Hawaiian TBM Mormon and friend of 30 years. She is a lovely lady who does not mistreat anyone in the name of religion. But many Mormons unfortunately do succumb to the temptation to think their one true religion and their pristine intentions entitle them to intrude unfairly on others. Exmos have good reason to recover from their deeds.
8. I don't see recovery as giving up what someone else sees as "bitterness." I tend to measure recovery more in terms of comparing myself to never-mormons I admire. As my attitudes and opinions grow closer in line with people who were never Mormon, I think I am getting closer to recovery. Never-mormons think garments are a hoot. One day I finally thought about them that way. For a moment I tried to pull back and conjure up a bit of the old respect or even nonchalance I once had. Nope. Garments are really a hoot, just like never-mormons had been telling me for years. This is my opinion. If others want a different recovery, they certainly have that right.
Finally, no mormon stranger, be they bishop, missionary, RS sister, deacon, GA ever has a right to come to my door after being told for a lifetime to stay away. Certainly, not with the idea that I might be in some imagined dire circumstance in need of free drug rehab, or food, or any other fool thing. That is insulting and galling to the extreme.
I think calling fellow exmos "bitter" makes them afraid to explore their real opinions and attitudes. Avoiding real feelings stalls recovery and keeps us tangled in old thought patterns.
|Subject:||Well maybe the reason I have had such grief in my neighborhood|
|Date:||Dec 11 17:20|
|is because the LDS women I am around are all fat,
miserable and stay-at-home moms. It might be pure jealousy. But these
women (and may I add, their husbands) put me through HELL. They have
been true b*tches. But that is O.K. because I am free, and they aren't.
Yes, there are some really wonderful LDS people, and I can name some outstanding ones -- but they are locked up in the LDS Inc. and it is an institution that lies.
And finally, may I add that when it comes to be really strong and doing the right, my leaders failed me. So much for integrity and discernment. But I am past it now. Life goes on and it is better outside the Motrix. My only regret now is that there are some good people inside the Motrix that I wish could be free.
There is a cost to being free. Your extended family and some friends will not be there anymore for you. But I too have resolved this in my mind as I know that I am better off and have made new true friends and have an extremely close-knit family of my own.
Do you think that truly good people would drop you as a friend and family member? I have one extremely good aunt who loves me unconditionally (but she never says a word to me about the HELL my family has gone through in the LDS corp). She is just a purely good woman. She loves everybody unconditionally -- including her homosexual son.
|Subject:||A Lot of People Are Singing Your Praises on This One, Doug . . .|
|Date:||Dec 11 17:48|
|And you won't get much disagreement out of me . . .
I do wonder what the rank-and-file members would say if they realized
this view was fairly representative of the people on this board . . .
I have listened to a long list of the abuses people have been subject to at churchgoers' hands, myself included among the victims, and the one issue I still feel strongly about is the misguided sense of loyalty that drives them to knee-jerk defense of the church or indefensible actions by church members or church leaders . . .
This single factor often serves as a smokescreen for much of the wrongdoing, and even the nicest and sincerest of the saints are guilty of perpetuating it.
I see you mentioned Kirby, and as I'm in the midst of a cyber-dialogue with him on this subject (which I've already given several days' thought), I appreciate the opportunity to put some of my ideas in writing. Too, a message such as yours is always welcome as a perceptual check to prevent slipping too far into negativity . . .
And underneath everything is the nagging feeling that certain powers-that-be in LDS Inc. would far rather we were shouting from the extremes rather than speaking quietly from the middle.
Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church - www.exmormon.org