|Subject:||Hello and thank you... and an apology for judgmentalism and hypocrisy.|
|Date:||Jan 20, 2008|
|"Hello and thank you... and an apology for
judgmentalism and hypocrisy..."
For my first post, I thought I'd say hello... and more importantly, to say thank you. I'd also like to deeply apologize. Let me explain.
I have been amazed at the personal stories here, and how many of them remind me of some of the things I've experienced. Many of you have been helpful to me just by sharing the emotional journeys you have been on. This has not been an easy road for any of you, and I appreciate your willingness to reach out. To those who have had the courage to share their stories, I thank you the most.
What continues to strike me today is how many GOOD and DECENT people seem to post here. But that's not quite correctly phrased... it's not that it strikes me today that there are good and decent people that post here, but rather that according to LDS doctrine and culture, you are not supposed to be so good and so decent. It strikes me that for so many years I "judged" people like you, and for that, I deeply apologize.
I shake my head in amazement at how judgmental I've been in my life. It seems like I could write volumes about what I've seen recently, now that I've been trying so hard to eradicate this judgmental, warped lens from my eyes. I have robbed myself of many of the wonders that I could have experienced in relationships, all due to my judgmentalism. And now, the days that I can see more clearly without the distorting judgmentalism that I've had for so many years, have been some of the most amazing and enlightened days in my life. I have a lot more work to do, but ridding myself of judgmentalism, as hard as it continues to be, has been one of best things I've ever attempted.
Yes, there's a lot more goodness out in the world than I was led to believe all these years! A lot more goodness than I ever allowed myself to see.
I've seen that there are a large number of people here that seem to deeply care about and understand the pain and suffering others have gone through on their personal journeys. But how can that be?
You're supposed to be evil apostates, "kicking at the pricks," on the highway to hell, right? There's no way you can emotionally (or dare I say "spiritually") connect with people, help them, share uplifting or remotely good advice or comfort, right? You aren't supposed to be able to mourn with those that mourn, and so forth, right? The seeds planted that lead you to places like this aren't supposed to blossom into good things, right? We could talk for days and days about all that...
But in fact it seems there ARE a lot of people here that do care, that do help, that try to share good counsel, that do... dare I say it? Comfort.
While I see plenty of anger and even plenty of mocking of the LDS church from time to time, I can attribute much of that to the effects of pain or anger so many people feel when they "wake up" and begin to see more clearly, for example. That pain is palpable. I've felt that anger, that pain, and haven't fully dealt with it yet, so I can understand better than ever before. But that's not the prevailing form of expression here, from what I've seen.
Rather, there is more often a fearlessness about facts and seemingly genuine desire for truth, plus a willingness to confront very tough philosophical, intellectual or emotional, "human" issues, which is something that, ironically, the very church some of you criticize should be willing to do on a daily basis. But also, as a group, you always seem to warmly welcome and support someone who has experienced pain and suffering here. In LDS doctrine, culture and mythology, is hell supposed to be so welcoming? Is hell supposed to nurture an environment that is so willing to try to tackle the tough truths of life?
So there's something paradoxical to imagine that according to some of them, here you are... in hell right now. To the most strident of them, you are collectively possessed and/or evil, to be condemned and judged. To others, you need to be re-activated, re-converted, or perhaps in some cases, to be avoided, feared or ostracized. The hypocrisy of it is astonishing. What's more astonishing to me, is that I was once such a hypocrite. I lived the paradox... as many of you have too.
Now I am searching for a way to reconcile and heal, and then search for a new, deeper peace. I hope all of you find your own peace, whatever that may be.
I am so sorry the LDS church hurt those of you (or your loved ones) who were hurt, betrayed or wronged in any way. I am so sorry for having been remotely, directly or indirectly involved in something that might have hurt any of you.
I know that while I was a highly active, proselytizing, knowledgeable, true-believing mormon, I did a lot of good things for people... some things that I'm proud of doing. What I now know doesn't take away from the good things I did accomplish. But I also now know that I caused some level of direct or indirect harm in ways I'm still discovering. Some of it very harmful, so I am now working on how to repair what I can. It may take me my whole life, in some ways.
I have always tried to follow the truths of my heart, and now I know why I experienced a growing sense of dissonance with the LDS church as life's difficulties presented me with endless choices.
One of the greatest ways I'm beginning to discover to right some of the harm I've inflicted, is to try to learn to live my life to the fullest. Emphasis on the word "try." I think there is peace and joy to be found out there, and the times I connect with it, I can see the profound affect on those I love. So I do think there is healing to be had, and I am now learning more every day.
Again, I want to thank you. I ask you to please continue. From what I have seen, this is clearly not a "dark" place. It is not to be feared. There is a lot of good here, and you are appreciated.
Peace to all of you,
|Subject:||Welcome, life redux! And when you wonder why we're so sympathetic and generous with|
|Date:||Jan 20 22:22|
|those who come here needing something, always remember
the old adage: "Heaven for climate, Hell for society!"
But seriously, thank you for writing — your post was beautiful, and I hope you find your equilibrium. It looks like you're well on your way.
|Subject:||Welcome, Life Redux|
|Date:||Jan 20 22:38|
|Opinions vary, but I think that although the church as
an organization is a crock most of the members are trying their best. Some
of them are rather arrogant and annoying and others are just weird, but
there are some very giving people there. It's just a shame that the message
isn't worthy of the messengers.
As for healing or recovery, I'm not really into that, but I enjoy intelligent, thought-provoking posts as well as sarcasm and irony. Oh, and any news about people leaving the church or growth stagnating is great too. After all, once you realize the truth, you just want to share it with everyone.
|Subject:||Re: Thank YOU!|
|Date:||Jan 20 22:41|
|Author:||Hap E. Heretic|
|I appreciated your post.
Very candid and insightful. Your honesty is very refreshing
and humble. Thanks so much for sharing.
I have also learned, in my journey out of Mormonism, how much wonder and goodness is in the world, beyond the scope of the LDS church.
And I am also painfully mindful of my own judgmentalism as a former active Mormon.
But, we all have to remember we were taught to think and act within a very tight little box of conformity. The strict doctrines of Mormonism leave little room for "live and let live".
Many here are still healing, and dealing with unresolved anger, like me.
But I've also discovered some very compassionate, insightful individuals who have taken bold and difficult journies out of the LDS church, who are so willing to lend an ear or a shoulder.
Goodness, compassion, even spirituality, don't automatically die with one's departure from Mormonism.
Personally, I've found so many wonderful philosophies beyond TSSC. Yes, the world is a complicated, chaotic place.
But, the inner peace and autonomy I've gained from charting my own course is priceless, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Welcome, my friend, and may you find similar peace and enlightenment in your own personal journey.
|Subject:||Don't be too hard on yourself. Most of us here did some of the same things. nt|
|Subject:||Re: Don't be too hard on yourself. Most of us here did some of the same things.|
|Date:||Jan 21 12:14|
|Ahhhhhh..... yes, a carry-over from the mormon mind-set. I've probably now got a genetic propensity for perfectionism, but I am learning to be easier on myself. :) At the same time, I know I've got things to fix. Or at least in some cases, make sure they never get repeated or get passed on to my family.|
|Subject:||This post is beautiful - thank YOU!!|
|Date:||Jan 21 09:16|
|Really, your post is just wonderful. It says what I am feeling (but you say it so much better!) I'm having a difficult time with it all - and at times feel such shame over how judgmental and hypocritical I used to be.|
|Subject:||Re: This post is beautiful - thank YOU!!|
|Date:||Jan 21 12:28|
|Yeah, I have definitely felt SHAME as I've started to open my eyes and look back at events that I've been involved with. It has not been easy to realize that something I did or didn't do (the ol' active/passive argument) while being so enshrouded in the cloak of infallible mormonism, could hurt someone. It is not lightly that I've apologized and have things to make up for. At first I just had anger towards the church, but I've realized I have to get on with living first and continue to learn how to become a whole, complete person so I can help some of the people I might have injured. It's not entirely the church's fault, of course. I was a consenting adult who should have been able to see things better back then, so I'll own my mistakes. The part that's the church's is in cultivating and perpetuating a judgmental world-view. Anyway, I try not to dwell on the guilt and shame side since it is in fact the very programming I'm trying to fix in my system! But I definitely know what you mean.|
|Subject:||That was cool!|
|Date:||Jan 21 09:25|
|Thanks and welcome!
Just started my second cup 'o' coffee. What a nice way to begin the day!
|Subject:||Thank you for the responses!|
|Date:||Jan 21 12:11|
|Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments and thoughts! This has definitely been quite a journey. I'm amazed I've even posted something. I never imagined I'd be where I am today in my thought process with my new, still-evolving point of view, but I'm glad I'm where I am. I do regret the lost years of living without "full-bandwidth" thinking, but at least I have a lot more to look forward to... It's strange to "see" life in technicolor 3D now, after I've spent so long in black and white 2D.|
|Subject:||thoughtful post . . .|
|Date:||Jan 21 12:19|
|losing your former beliefs really does open up new
understanding. It's like seeing the world with new lenses. And the world is
a better place that I had ever imagined as a member.
No need to apologize for your past judgementalism. It was a product of the beliefs you had. I think a lot of us here participated in that judgementalism when we were believers. What goes around, comes around. What I would like to see is for the CHURCH to discourage that judgementalism. But I have doubts that will happen. Villifying those who leave is one of the most powerful tools the church has to keep people in.
|Subject:||Re: thoughtful post . . .|
|Date:||Jan 21 12:41|
|So sad, but true. Like many of you, I have many people in my family who are true-believers, and I know they are basically good, decent people. For their sake, I really do hope that the church is able to change, especially in the areas that cause judgmentalism to thrive. Whether or not one agrees with the history, doctrines, culture, structure, leadership, etc., there are a lot of people "in there" that we love. I've been through many stages of emotion about them and their relationship to the church, but recently, I've started to feel more compassion and love for them than before. Ironically, I'm not supposed to feel this, am I? :) So ironic and sad that while so many of them chant the mantra of "judge not" many of them can't help themselves. And some of the ones they judge, judge the least.|
|Date:||Jan 21 13:00|
|After many years on the board, I am now feeling
'normal' for the first time in my life. I have to thank this board for that
also. But I too also need to apologize as you did, I spent 40 years as a TBM
zealot, lost in false beliefs for years where I never reached across the
table to understand the other side. Of course I was as 'mind controlled' as
anyone could be, having been raised to be a Mormon.
I liked the comment. 'that it is too bad the message is not worthy of the messenger', because I find Mormons to be honest, loyal and with good intent but unfortunate victims of a false belief system which has superimposed a mission, with rewards at death that will never be realized. I feel bad for these lives hi-jacked in the misuse of faith. Mormonisms coercion under the guise of losing family and eternal salvation in the Mormon scare causes great redirection. These false beliefs require unconditional abandonment to follow Mormon theology, control and influence in the honest lives of good people who are reduced to drones. They lost their independence and their own worthy pursuits for truth. Their are many ways to explore 'what the purpose of life is', Mormons answer will hi-jack your life on faith and a prayer and what we now know is that you can believe any fraud in faith. Using our God given logic and reason is the best way to live and believe. We are the best we can be when we are seeking truth and growing towards it, not when we think we already found it embracing false ideology. Humanity doesn't need faith in false beliefs to be good people, we need honest people who seek truth and expose false claims and I find those are the best people.
For lurkers, I say stay true to yourself... do the research and then embrace what you believe to be true.
|Subject:||Re: 'mind controlled'|
|Date:||Jan 21 20:02|
|There's that inevitable phrase: "mind controlled"....
a.k.a. "brainwashed".... this has been something I haven't fully come to
terms with yet. On the one hand I can see what many here mean by this, and
on the other hand I was a consenting adult, and I want to take
responsibility for some portion of it. On the one hand I really was blinded,
but on the other hand I know there were times when something felt out of
sync or just plain wrong, and I should have listened to my heart more
I think that even for those born and raised 100% in the church in the most mind-controlling of atmospheres, at some point everyone has to "own" their own thoughts and actions. While this is mitigated by the depth and breadth of their programming and environment, even the church pays lip service to "free agency." Again, one of the paradoxes to reconcile for many people. And even though they may steer you away from that into conformity and "faux" free agency, I think each thinking human has to eventually take full responsibility.
In my case, I also want to maintain the illusion of myself that I wasn't a complete, knuckle-headed idiot. :)
While we all share a lot of similarities in our stories -- and my journey to awakening is far from complete (so who knows what's going to happen in the months and years to come) -- I also realize how everyone's situation is unique. Someone in another response mentioned that I shouldn't be so hard on myself, and I definitely need to moderate my reflexive guilt complex... but at the same time, I now know how hard I was on some people (and sometimes still am, like a pre-programmed knee-jerk reaction). And I also can see clearly some of the real harm I did in other ways. So I don't want to give myself a "free pass" for all of it.
|Subject:||Wow. What a great post and its really appreciated.|
|Date:||Jan 21 20:53|
|I'm shamed for the times I DID get pissed and
articulated what I felt on this board. In fairness to myself it hasn't been
often but I'm glad to hear there are those who see the good on this board in
spite of the sometimes heated discussions.
|Subject:||Thank you for your understanding.|
|Date:||Jan 21 21:06|
|I'm angry at most of the the mormons, either, and most
of my family are still active in the LDS church. Everyone's experience is
different, and I have had to deal with being abused as a child, and also
being abused by my RM temple husband. All this abuse was excused, and even
condoned by the church doctrines and the behavior of church leaders.
Sometimes, I don't think I'll ever recover.
We understand the active mormons, because most of us have been there. How can the actives label the inactives as "satanic," when we were once one of them?
When I read angry posts, or post an angry comment myself, I realize that a lot of it is anger at ourselves. It is like laying all the pages on the table to be carefully scruitinized and evaluated, and we need that exposure to get all the lies out of our brain and out of our heart. You have to acknowledge something before you can change it.
None of us listened to our heart, because the church used techniques to teach us not to listen. We were taught to only listen to warm fuzzy feelings that confirmed what they were teaching us in church. As you read more, you will be less and less self-blaming.
I was BIC, and was not to blame for obeying my parents, being a good little girl, and for not ever knowing any other way of life. I thought that was just the way big bully brothers and grumpy husbands behaved, and we women just had to take it in silence, keep up the family image, and never tell. I did save myself, though, all alone, and went against the family, got a divorce, and ran away.
You are saving yourself, too, now, and maybe you will help save others from the depression, self-loathing, perfectionism, family conflicts, judgments and punishments, and the resulting unhappiness the LDS church can cause.
Congratulations for what you are doing right NOW.
|Subject:||Re: Thank you for your understanding.|
|Date:||Jan 21 21:46|
I am so saddened to read that you suffered abuse and the resulting life-altering and painful consequences from the hands of people you trusted, and then to have it excused to any degree is just disgusting and heart-wrenching. My heart goes out to you and I deeply hope that you will be able to recover and find all the peace you deserve.
I am amazed by your strength and heart to be able to break away and no longer "take it in silence." You are a wonderful example, and I admire you, respect you and thank you.
The types of abuses, large and small, that I know of personally towards women are some of the most disgusting things I've ever encountered, and I am so saddened that innocent people have suffered things like this at the hands of church members, particularly when it is magnified or perpetuated because of church policy, culture or even doctrine. It is so wrong, there are almost no words to describe it.
As you describe the depression, self-loathing, and other painful consequences of this, I can only think that you deserve whole redress from the church itself and of course everyone involved. The fact that you won't get it is tragic, but I hope you will be able to find your peace and total recovery without it. You, among the most disaffected of those hurt by all this, deserve it the most.
I've seen enough myself. I will not let this happen to my family, I will not let this happen to those I know, as far as I am able to. I've seen enough of this type of thing, and I don't want to say more than that, but enough is enough.
What little I personally can do is to start by deeply apologizing for helping to perpetuate the myth that created the environment that hurt you. I didn't know it at the time, but I was part of that system that made it easier for those things to happen to you. Yes, I don't know you, but I was part of that whole engine, culture, mindset, and I am so, so sorry.
Even though I was mostly obliviously following what I thought was right, I have seen enough that I knew there was something not quite right in some cases... and now I know what I should have done in the cases I know about myself. At least now, I know what to do going forward.
|Subject:||Welcome! & Thanks! However it is NOT your judgmentalism or our judgmentalism, rather it is|
|Date:||Jan 21 21:16|
|the judgmentalism foisted upon is by the Mormon
So it was never us (I include you in this us) in the first place! ;o))
|Subject:||I feel the very worst for what I did to my poor children!|
|Date:||Jan 21 21:30|
|I had them baptized, and made them go to Primary and
Scouts and Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting, and made them learn all
those lies. They even had to memorize some of those so-called "scriptures."
They worshiped that evil Joseph Smith. They sang the brainwashing songs
about "I hope they call me on a mission" and "We are as the armies of
Helaman" (murderers--and everyone else is the enemy). I played the organ,
led the songs, taught the lies in class. My childrens' teachers told them
that because their parents weren't married in the temple, that they would be
separated from their family for eternity, and we would all be strangers to
each other in the hereafter. I told the children these were lies, and
rescued them from that scary fate designed for children from "a broken
What fear and dread these idiots instilled into my children! My daughter used to have nightmares about the devil, and that all our neighbors turned into zombies and chased her down the street. The deacon leaders used to burst into our house and drag my boys out of their beds. Can you imagine being a child, sound asleep, and suddenly waking up to some big men grabbing out of your own bed? One of them beat his own son in front of my son, and my sons were terrified of him. In the LDS church, my kids learned nothing about Jesus, but, instead learned all the rules and regulations that they must obey in order to be perfect and maybe EARN God's blessings, if they were very, very obedient and unquestioning. The mormon Hev'nly Father is not a kind, loving God at all.
How often do you hear the words "love" and "Christ" in a church talk or lesson? Not counting the insincere Bro Scott blathering, "Weeee luuuuuuvve yeeeewwww." and not including the mumbled, "inthenameof cheezuzkristamen."
Fortunately, I did teach my children the Bible, and of Christ's atonement, and that God loves us all unconditionally. They also went to a Christian school for a while, and to Summer Bible School, with their non-mormon friends. My children all escaped the cult, except for one daughter who married a TBM.
My children forgave me, when they got older and understood better. I'm sure those whom you judged and criticized have already forgiven you. People are basically lovely and kind. As you said, maybe we did some things that were helpful.
Like another poster said, we need to give ourselves credit for becoming wise, somewhere along the line, and getting OUT!