Subject: A Bishop's Message
Date: Dec 19 14:27 2004
Author: bob mccue
Given how often I do this sort of thing, some might think that I post an excerpt here of most of what I receive by email. That is not the case. But occasionally I receive or write something to someone else that has such broad application that I think it would be useful to share it. Such is the case here.
What follows is a message I received a while ago. I will comment respecting it below. Here is the message:
"I discovered your web site (http://mccue.cc/bob/spirituality.htm) last week. It has been therapeutic to read your essays because I have been struggling with the same thoughts and conclusions you present.
I had been searching for the truth regarding church history and I realized I wasn't going to find it within the church. What tipped me over the edge to begin my investigation was the recent DVD sent to Ensign subscribers on Joseph Smith's First Vision. My family and I watched it for Family Night and I was appalled to realize they had completely eliminated the part where Satan almost destroys young Joseph right before the vision. I can only surmise this was done for missionary purposes because some investigators may have been turned off by the reference to Satanic influences. This caused me to wonder what else has been withheld from me for my own good and in the name of promoting more blind faith. I had also often wondered about Polygamy, magic, Masons, Kinderhook Plates, and the book of Abraham, among other things.
I have been trying to assimilate any reputable information I can find to arrive at my own conclusions regarding church history. So far, I have been very disheartened at what I have found. My faith and perception of reality for the past 40 years has been based on the erroneous assumption that my church leaders had provided me with a true, full and accurate representation of real historical events regarding church history. I feel betrayed and insulted. I have wasted a major portion of my life being controlled by a manmade mythology.
What's worse, is that I am so deeply entrenched with my wife and 6 children that my perceived cost of exit is incomprehensible. My wife is the epitome of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias when it comes to Mormon religion. She thinks Satan must be working on me overtime since I have become "obsessed" with accurate church history from sources other than "the only true church". Her weak spot, however, is Polygamy. If I could show her from church sources that she must eventually submit to polygamy in the CK, then she might wake up to reality. She seems to believe that recent authorities have inferred that Polygamy will not be mandatory. I wouldn't be surprised if we receive a "new" revelation pronouncing this very fact, because it sure would help the current missionary and retention efforts.
How would I plan an exit without losing my wife and children? How did you do it and what would you do differently? The most disturbing thing is that I am now living a lie because the truth would hurt the ones I love so much. Your quote from Henri Poincaire is taped to my computer monitor at work, "We also know how cruel the truth often is, and we wonder whether delusion is not more consoling." Would your advice be any different if I told you I was currently serving as Bishop?"
This individual subsequently phoned me to chat. He is in a place remarkably similar to where I was a couple of years ago, with the exception that he is a currently serving Bishop and I was a recently self released Stake Mission Pres. and former Bishop. He called me from a phone in his Bishop's office (using a calling card so as not to charge the Church) in order to avoid the risk that he wife or kids would interrupt the call.
Ironically, his study of Mormon history was prompted by his calling as Bishop. Until then he relied upon his leaders advice that he need not look. As a leader himself, he felt he should do the work necessary to be able to answer the ward members' questions about things like polygamy, and was horrified by what he found. Seeing the Church's latest production regarding JS was part of the process, as indicated above.
He is proceeding in a calculated manner. He is in the heart of Zion where membership percentages are well into the 90s. His family will go through a special kind of hell if he goes public with his change of faith while serving as bishop there. So, for the moment, he lives a lie and is sickened by what he has to do.
I am not sure how he will handle things. He is feeling his way along. But I was deeply impressed with the manner in which he explained to me what he is thinking about at this point, and how he is dealing with the feelings of physical illness etc. that go along with this process for the fully conditioned who for whatever reason are blessed (or cursed) with the ability to "wake up".
Reality is indeed far stranger than fiction, especially if you are Mormon.
All the best,
Subject: Bob, thanks for sharing
Date: Dec 21 22:18
Author: Peter Wring
As you know, I have chosen a slightly different path (still serving in the bishopric), but there are still good moments for me as well.
Sunday, a college student, back home for Christmas break and I spent over an hour discussing her new found knowledge of church history. I cannot describe her gratitude in finding someone that was willing to talk openly about the issues.
I don't know if she will stay with the church or decide to make a clean break, but it was refreshing for both of us to talk so openly about the issues in the chapel (there was some irony).
Yesterday, one of our high councilors asked me for a copy of Palmer's book. Our local newspaper picked up the AP article last week. Thankfully, more and more are agreeing with me that the information can no longer be suppressed. I still may be in the minority in my stake, but more and more of the members know, at least minimally, about my knowledge. (Remember that 2 high councilor and the former bishop opposed my calling as councilor just 2 months ago). They may have been right as I have been reading Southerton's book during sacrament meeting.
Now all of them have come to me since and two of them are reading Palmer's book. I know this is supposed to be slow going but the pace is really picking up in our stake.
With the growing talk about the issues and with my (and a few others) taking a strong position towards an open honest discussion about the information in private discussion groups, my situation may come to a head.
Through this all, I realize that I really do hope the church can turn the corner to honesty about our history, even if just locally. I know Bob's efforts are more heroic and noble, but I am just echoing bob's thoughts--the information cannot be suppressed.
Keep the websites up. Keep the articles coming.
Good Luck to us All!!!!!
Subject: I can commiserate about the feeling of physical illness
Date: Dec 19 15:00
Author: Ken S.
I really had little or nothing to lose when I came to the realization that the church was a fraud. I am BIC [Born in the Covenant], but had been inactive for many years, I was prone to berating myself for being so weak, and still believed the church to be true. I fully believed that I would someday eventually go back. One evening I was doing some online research to answer a co-workers question about the church. As I researched I found answers to some of the questions I'd had for many years. This lead to 2+ weeks of intensive research. I remember the evening when it all clicked together and I had the epiphany... the church was, not as I had been taught, but an organization founded in deceit and lies. I felt physically ill for days. I couldn't sleep, I spent hours on the net trying to find information to un-do what I had found, to no avail. I can only begin to imagine the horror that must go through the mind of someone whose life is completely enmeshed in it.
Subject: Thanks Bob for sharing this story.
Date: Dec 19 17:03
First of all I'm happy to see others who are actively pursuing the search for truth but at the same time I feel the pain that they are going through after being confronted by truth.
The path is painful at times. I too have suffered a great deal after finding out what the church is all about. I didn't eat for three or four days and didn't sleep very much either. I had bags under my eyes and my stomach was in knots. My family thought I was nuts but after a few months I was able to get my act together as I found the RfM website. Eric basically saved my sanity along with those who cared enough for me to get me on the road to recovery.
Most of us know how much it hurts when we found out the fraud that we loved and supported all these years. I hope others will follow suit and set themselves free regardless of the cost. As far as I'm concerned the church is an evil institution that is only interested in growth, profit and pursuit of service to self under the guise of doing the Lord's work.
To all those who are hurting remember you're not alone.
We shall overcome!!!
Subject: Re: Thanks Bob for sharing this story.
Date: Dec 20 16:05
I believe the recognition that the Church isn't all it claimed to be is most painful to those of us who were extremely devout. In my case, I am a 4th generation Mormon, BIC, RM, sealed, converted my wife and was even an apologist for years where I often debated Ed Decker and other critics. I was so entrenched in Mormonism, and unwilling to admit the doubts despite the extreme cognitive dissonance, that it took me 10 years until I finally admitted that the Church was a fraud. I even questioned the reality of a God and became atheist/agnostic for years.
I've got to say those years were hell. My emotional and physical health and marriage suffered. My wife now feels very betrayed and no longer trusts me because she put all of her trust in my testimony of the Church. She has since begun to have her own doubts; but she blames me for her pain and has recently been bring up the topic of divorce.
The sad thing is that the Church does have some good things going for it if they would only jettison all of the BS that they insist that members believe. If I were this bishop, I might consider retaining my position in the Church and use my influence to force change from within... at least at the local level. I think Grant Palmer's view of the Church and his suggestion to focus on Jesus Christ exclusively is the only chance for the Church's long term survival.
Subject: Thank you
Date: Dec 19 17:45
for all the hard work you put into your posts and essays. You help many many people, as I'm sure you are aware.
I've just come out to my nineteen year old BYU-Idaho attending sister. She took it pretty well, but she is flying home for her semester off as I type this and will probably tell the rest of the family, then we will see how well that goes over.
I went through the physical and mental illnesses over the deceptions a few years ago. The last year I was active in the church I was Relief Society President in a single's branch. Every meeting I had to attend and every decision I had to make was painful.
Now I just agonize over this next stage; coming out. Part of me feels relief, but I know this is just the beginning.
I feel for this man, who has so much more to lose than me.
Please keep us up to date on his progress, if possible.
Subject: For me (bishop's councilor), the cog dis was hardest...
Date: Dec 19 18:07
when I had to conduct F&T meetings. I did three of them during the time I was waking up to reality and each one was harder than the last. The third time (Sep '02) and the need to organize and conduct the monthly stake baptismal service for 8 year olds is what pushed me to resign all of my callings. I feel both sorrow and joy for this man - the road is hell but the rewards are worth it!
Thanks for sharing and best wishes!
Subject: Bob, you are like Zorro:
Date: Dec 20 00:24
I remember a quote from Zorro that makes me think of you: (my list of great authors and books is much smaller than yours) "when the pupil is ready, the master will appear"
Thank heavens your material is there when people, like this bishop, are ready for it. Keep up the diligent work.
Subject: My heart goes out to this poor guy.....
Date: Dec 20 01:13
Author: Herbert Philbrick
The highest calling I ever had besides a full-time missionary was that of a Seventies Quorum President. Mainly, I was a teacher in the primary. But I can relate to the agony he is going through with regards to his own wife and children. At present still only my wife knows I am a non-believer, and that is a big help, since only in the past year has this happened. Due in big part to the DNA vs the B of M issue. None of my 5 married children or 15 grandchildren know Dad/Grandfather is a apostate. One son-in-law was just put into a Bishopric.
I am still trying to figure out where to go from here. And while I feel tremendous freedom from now knowing the real truth. The trials of living two lives is sometimes extremely difficult. The name I use for posting (Herbert Philbrick), is from the 1950's TV serial, 'I led three lives.' Philbrick is a double agent, one for the US Government and also for the USSR. I often feel I am living 2 different lives with not great options for either one.
Subject: bob, first I want to compliment you...
Date: Dec 20 12:48
for the beautiful job you did on the Post-Mormon website (the main page anyways-Jeff said he had to give you the credit for it!) it looks and reads wonderful!! Now, to the point-my husband had always had some suspicions, but it wasn't until a few years ago when he was serving in the EQ's pres. that he decided that it was wrong. He didn't have the info that we have now found, but he just knew. Anyways, he kept going and pretending because I was a TBM-totally! And he didn't want to hurt me or have us end up divorced. He would however, drop little hints to me while we were doing FHE or just studying the scriptures and I believe this helped to slowly open my subconscious up and prepare me for the day that something I would hear would not sit right with me. I would suggest maybe he subtly do the same, my husband would focus on polygamy and WOW, also when the DNA came out he would very softly discuss it with me. Eventually I was VTing when something someone said struck a nerve and caused me to do some research and of course that was the end. We have three children and I had just been released shortly before as 1st coun. in the RS and just put in as Primary Chorister. I asked to be released right before the program. We still haven't come out publicly for fear of losing some friends and for our children's sake, but we haven't been going for about five months, so I think it is becoming obvious. It is not an easy thing even when you are not in a position of leadership, but when your spouse is not on the same wave length it is that much more difficult. Joining the Post-Mormon group has helped us so much, I am so grateful for the strength they lend. Maybe he could get some support from one in his area, even if he can't make it out to the gatherings it is still nice to know that there are people who understand and that you can talk openly with. Tell him to hang in there.