Subject: We're not weird and we're not doing weird things.
Date: Apr 10, 2010
Author: Nightingale

(Yes, I know this is a very long post. Sorry 'bout that).

Years ago in an interview GBH [Gordon B. Hinckley - a Mormon prophet, church president] felt the need to say, "We're not weird". This week the Mormon Church spokesperson at the LDS Temple Open House in Langley B.C. (Canada) told assembled media, "We're not doing weird things here".

Why do they have to tell people "we're not weird"?

Who feels it necessary to deflect potential criticism by repeatedly saying "we're not weird"?

Like repetition wards off criticism or proves the statement they're making?

Here is a local newspaper article about the LDS Temple Open House that started yesterday:

I noticed that some of the phrases the LDS spokesperson used can carefully craft the message, such as a term I have never heard before, "ancestral baptisms", instead of "baptisms for the dead". It certainly has a better ring to it. Unfortunately, it's not completely accurate as many temple-goers, as we know, are not performing the baptism rite only for their own family members, just as ordinances such as weddings and sealings are performed for strangers by LDS proxies. I was consumed by anxiety when doing the proxy "work" as I am not blessed with a great memory for names and I was always afraid I would forget the dead person's name or state it incorrectly at the veil. So I know personally that it is not just "ancestral" ordinances that are carried out in LDS temples.

Another term I haven't heard before is "instructional rooms". What the heck are they?

Excerpt from the newspaper article linked above:

[William R. Walker of the church’s "temple department" said] "A very important purpose for the open house is to get people to understand us," he said. "We're not doing weird, strange things here."

Walker said there are many common misconceptions around the church, including that they practice polygamy. In reality, the church abandoned that practice more than a century ago.


The temple features ornate furnishings throughout, including Spanish marble floors, stained-glass windows and crystal chandeliers. ... The temple will be used for the sacraments of the Mormon church such as ancestral baptism and eternal marriage. It will also offer instructional services during the week, which will include video teachings on creation and life, in-person instruction on eternal life and quiet reflection and meditation in the temple's Celestial Room.

...The upstairs features preparation rooms and a "sealing room" where eternal marriages are performed. Mormons believe that marriage endures beyond death, so their wedding ceremonies are designed to reflect that.

"The bride and groom kneel at the altar and hold hands across the altar," Walker said. "They're bound together not only in life, but in eternity."

The top floor also includes instructional rooms and the Celestial Room. Walker said the Celestial Room, a brilliantly white meditation room filled with decorations and highlighted by a massive crystal chandelier from Austria, is the heart of the temple.

"For Latter-Day Saints, this is the most sacred place on earth," he said.


As an aside, I've never liked the term "wedlock" as to me it connotes a situation you can't easily get out of if you need to. But "bound together for eternity" trumps "wedlock" in revving up my claustrophobic aversion to eternal contracts. {{shudder}}

Along with many posters here, I found that there was no rest even in the Celestial Room of the temple. Rather, every time I went scarcely anyone took the time to even sit down at all. Part of the tremendous cog diss I felt with Mormonism was that questions were not only strongly discouraged but asking them cast me in a bad light with other members and church leaders. (I didn't realize I was joining a church that averted or even disallowed questions, not my experience elsewhere in most churches, where questions abound). My one TBM friend kept assuring me that we could talk about my questions in the temple when we got to the Celestial Room. However, every time we went to the temple - we didn't talk. We rushed through the CR and left as rapidly as possible after a session. Then, outside, we couldn't answer my questions because apparently they needed to be addressed only in the CR. So questions would go on hold until the next temple trip, when we would rush on through the CR without stopping to talk about anything, never mind address my questions and confusion. And again, and again and... And my TBM friend never acknowledged that that was happening. As often in Mormonism, I would almost literally give my head a shake to see if it was me or them when nothing - ever - seemed to make sense to me.

The only time a Mormon ever attempted to converse with me in a temple was when I went through with an RM who I had been friendly with during his mission. We met up at a temple once and he took me into a sealing room (where I'd never been before) and we got promptly kicked out by an irate temple matron who told us we were "being irreverent in the temple", a crime equal to high treason, it seemed, from the disgusted glare she sent our way.

So, it sounds good, I guess, that "the Celestial Room is the heart of the temple", as Walker says. But what is it in reality?

As for being "the most sacred place on earth" to Mormons, I understand that is their theological belief. But wow. Having been there, done that, it makes me sad to think that is anybody's idea of "sacred place". I have - honestly - felt more "spirit" at concerts and plays, etc, or even when reading a great literary passage. I have felt the "spirit" (of joy and happiness and peace) at an outdoor musical show in a village park (especially when a cute guy with a great voice sang "Brown-Eyed Girl" - a sweet song with a nice melody, perfect to get the crowd bopping in the fresh air). As God is my witness (!) I felt it at the recent Randy Bachman concert when they cranked up the audio and beat the drums til the sound travelled from Randy's mike, through the ground, up into my feet and coursed upwards from there (talk about "surround sound"!). With the appreciative crowd swaying and singing along and Randy smiling his smile and belting out his hits and the drummer drumming and the sun setting, it was a time. I felt as if I was being caught up by sound waves, at one with the crowd. It was truly one of those sublime moments out of time that happen every once in a while if you're lucky.

And Randy's an "apostate". So - go figure! (Maybe they should pipe "Taking Care of Business" into the Celestial Room and see how much spirit they can rouse!).

I felt similar passion and peace when taking in Les Miserables at a local theatre too.

In the Celestial Room, as an active member of the LDS Church, yearning to connect with God - never. And it wasn't for lack of belief or lack of desire or unfaithfulness or unrighteousness (or lack of humility either!).

If that was the "most holy place" to me, I'd be sadly disappointed.

Now I think the most holy place is anywhere you are when you feel a connection to the Great Beyond or between you and nature and between you and fellow humans.

Temple spokesperson Walker's description of the CR's "brilliant whiteness" sounds more like a near-death experience to me - or a close encounter with Scientology - than a place to go to be at peace.

It's sad to me. I don't look for reasons to criticize someone else's faith/beliefs/practices but I'm just reporting on my own experiences, that are similar to what I have read from other ex-members, about how disappointing the temple is, after all the build-up and promises and expectations.

There _is_ something weird about it. First, the secrecy, even with other church members, especially those attending for their first time. Next, the withholding of even basic information. Then there are the outright lies. To me, secrecy, withholding of info, and lies do not add up to anything the least bit sacred.

I had a seriously bad baptism experience that nearly derailed my membership from day one and then other negative experiences piled up from then on (now _that_ I'd call WEIRD). Still, I tried to stick it out and remain a member and follow the path as it is laid out. I focused on getting to the temple within a year of my baptism - as I thought was the custom and as part of my quest to have the supernal life experience. Only after I travelled to SLC to receive my "endowments" (and I still don't know what those are exactly) did I find out that the usual practice is that you go to the temple if you are going on a mission or getting married. Neither was the case with me so when I became more fully informed later I was retroactively embarrassed about my intensity to go. Why did no-one tell me that single women don't "need" to go and usually do not? (I think the bishop figured it would counteract the awful baptism. Or something like that?).

Because of all these negative experiences that kept occurring for me in the Mormon Church (acknowledged by the bishop, not just my imagination or faulty perception) I received more help from the missionaries after my baptism than otherwise is the usual case (my interpretation of what was going on). So, one of my favourite mishies kept meeting with me, even after he was sent to a different ward (but still in my stake area). In particular, he was supplementing the temple prep classes (that I wasn't impressed with) by trying to give me more info or at least to answer some of my questions. He was nervous and careful to parse every word he uttered, torn between trying to be honest with me yet without giving any info that was considered "sacred" and therefore not able to be spoken of outside the temple.

The mishie's obvious difficulties in discussing the temple with me made me very apprehensive. How is something supposedly sacred so challenging to explain and discuss I asked myself. At our last meeting, just before I was leaving on the temple trip, he was red-faced and flustered and obviously apprehensive. My impression was that he wanted so much for me to have a positive experience but he wasn't sure if that would occur. His level of discomfort and air of being torn (between helping me and keeping a secret, whatever it was) scared me, frankly. I tried to think of the WORST possible occurrence that would be scary, freaky, weird or otherwise discomfiting. Being a repressed Christian type (lol) I came up with NAKEDNESS. I had heard vague rumours about nakedness and other horrors in Mormon temples (from BACS and maybe Walter Martin - a BAC prone to exaggeration and misinformation). I wasn't the type to engage in any kind of weird religious behaviour (over and above what I would consider "normal", heh), especially anything to do with nakedness.

So. I looked my mishie friend in the eye and specifically asked him "Is there any nudity in the temple?" (being the WORST thing I could think of that would be causing his discomfort and also being the stuff of some vague rumours that swirled around Mormonism, in my experience with EVs). Mish looked me back in the eye, hesitated, and said, "No".

Well, that's all right then I thought.

Except there is nudity, of sorts. Not like dancing around a fire in the woods type nakedness. But still, being THE ONLY ONE in the temple change room to be instructed to don a wafer-thin transparent bilaterally open-sided hospital examination gown type of covering that flapped in the breeze as I walked from a cubicle down the passageway and into a little room with three senior females I didn't know was what I would call NEKKID. That is what it felt like. Side views of my naked anatomy were visible to anyone standing nearby and observing my progress (like the sis mish - RM - who was my companion for the event). Being naked and not knowing what to expect next was not what I would call peace-in-the-temple. Then one of the senior temple workers fiddled with the oil or water or oil and water fluid that got dripped over my head and then by finger touch/gesture over my breasts and groin area (or whatever it is they do - I was kind of in a panic zone at this point - not knowing what is going to happen is one of the facets of the ritual that incurs dread, not peace). When a stranger's fingers are hovering over your private areas, under the "gown", while you are not otherwise clothed, I categorize that as being nekkid. Fingers hovering over or apparently or nearly touching my bare flesh is me being nude, in my book.

To be absolutely specifically accurate, the woman did not actually touch (or caress or anything else horrendously inappropriate) my bare nakedness that I could be certain of. (Panic and claustrophobic feelings tend to decrease one's level of awareness). But having the fingers of a stranger under a gown, hovering over my naked flesh, is not my idea of a spiritual experience.

It wasn't over.

Then these THREE (why does it take THREE) women I did not know "helped" me to don the holy g's. I was a mere toddler the last time I required assistance to clamber into my own knickers. This temple ritual I would also classify as nakedness. Me - naked. Them - putting my underwear on my body for me - like I can't do this MYSELF?

To clarify about the garments, as I think it may have been confusing when I described my SLC temple experience here previously, I did know about the existence of garments before I went to the temple - you had to buy them ahead of time but promise not to open the package! - and also my TBM friends had mentioned them and I'd seen them peeking out of their shorts and tops in the summertime - but I didn't realize they were considered "underwear" or that they were a 24/7 deal or that you didn't wear your usual underwear underneath them. I thought I would be wearing my regular panties/bra, then the g's over top - like any other "religious clothing" that people in some other faiths wear. Uh, nope. Not only do you wear these Mormon garments 24/7, but they replace your panties altogether and you have to wear your bra OVER TOP of the top garment. This is an anatomical challenge, depending on your build. I, for one, have long legs and even buying a bigger size for more length did not get the bottoms anywhere close to my knees (as required by the LDS church). Then, of course, the extra material has to be stuffed into your panty hose, that also needs to be worn over top of the g's, which makes your thighs look like you speed skate for a living. Next, try stuffing the non-custom-made-and-likely-ill-fitting top garment into your bra along with your breasts and see how much comfortable, reliable and fine-looking support you can achieve. (Answer: Not much).

Is there any reason in this world that Mormon religious garb has to be UNDERWEAR?

I was ill-informed and ill-prepared for these rituals in the temple (called endowments but murky as to meaning, even yet to me) and did not find it the least bit spiritual.

But worse than any of that was the realization that my missionary, to whom I felt close, who knew me better than any other Mormon, had LIED to me.

NG: Dear Mish - Is there any NAKEDNESS in the temple?

Mishie Friend of NG: Uh... No. There is no nakedness.

NG at home: All righty then. How bad can it be? (Travels to SLC to go through the rites at the this-is-the-place place).

NG at the SLC temple: Wait a minute. Whaddaya mean strip off? Put on this poor-excuse-for-a-hospital-gown-and-call-it-sacred? Hold on there, ladies. I can put on my own underclothing, thankyouverymuch. (What the heck was THAT all about?).

And then after all that - sit down in the Celestial Room and meditate? Feel spiritual? Commune with the Creator? Uh no. Don't think so. Gotta keep moving. Out you go. Just like Mormonism - busy, busy, busy, don't stop for a second or you might think of a question.

The most holy place on earth?

Oh my. Sorry, Mormons.


Subject: A living prophet has revealed that the LDS Church is not weird. And you--YOU--have the arrogance...
Date: Apr 10 23:17
Author: Gorspel Dacktrin

to make your own judgment, to offer your own opinion, based on nothing more than your own direct experience, instead of relying on the words of a living prophet (or at least a guy who was sustained as such and was for the most part living when he said what he said)???

It is so very rare for a Mormon prophet to reveal anything these days (probably due to our failings), so when he opens his mouth to reveal that the LDS Church is "not weird," perhaps we should give heed.

I must confess, though, that I too have sinned. Unfortunately for my prospects of getting nice housing in the Mormon Celestial Kingdom, I agree with your view of the temple ritual completely. I too, to the detriment of my chances for an eternal membership in the Celestial Kingdom Country Club, have relied on my own direct experience and point of view and have denied the Hinckley, or at least have denied the validity of his revelation concerning the unweirdness of Mormonism. (I hope it's not as bad as denying the Holy Ghost.)

Here below is what I've said before about the weirdness of Mormonism, so we are both sinners in denying the normalcy of Mormonism. ;o)


When I finally concluded that the LDS church was most definitely not a healthy belief system, I stopped going to church meetings and temple sessions, etc. Needless to say, my devout Mormon relatives thought there was something wrong with me that needed to be fixed.

Looking back now I have gained some helpful perspective by realizing that when I left, most of my TBM relatives considered the following activity to be the highlight of each month and perhaps even of their entire lifetime, if their hyperbolic effusions concerning their temple experiences are to be believed:

(1) On a monthly or more frequent basis they would slip into some long underwear that their Church sold to them, drive an hour to a building that they called the "temple" (and which reminded the locals of the big building in the Wizard of Oz) and then go into the temple and get dressed up in white polyester jumpsuits. (First they had to show the "temple" receptionist a card that was proof that some guy who called himself a "bishop" (when he was actually a medical supply salesman) was satisfied that they had behaved themselves well enough that they deserved to have access to the temple fun.)

(2) The climax of the event was to then go into a room where, for the several hundredth time, they practiced giving each other odd handshakes, while chanting in unison about what the handshakes were called, after which they then made pantomime throat-slitting and disembowelment motions while chanting in unison that this is how they would be slaughtered if they told anybody else what the names of the handshakes were.

(3) Then they would go up to a big gauzy polyester sheet hanging from the ceiling, stick their hands through holes in the sheet and embrace some mystery guy on the other side. They made a point of also making firm knee-to-knee contact with the mystery guy behind the sheet. They even had a special name for this embrace. They called it the "five points of fellowship."

(4) After this, they would pass through the sheet and the mystery guy to go into a room that looked like a funky hotel lobby, where they would meditate for about 3-5 minutes about what they had just done on the other side of the sheet.

(5) Later, they would tell other people that what they had done in the temple was too special and sacred to talk about.

And my Mormon relatives think I'm the one whose abnormal and nuts because I rejected all that fun.

- - - -

----(1) Mormons buy their longish underwear from their church and feel a special obligation to wear this underwear wherever they go.

The underwear they buy from their church has compass and square symbols next to the nipple areas (one symbol per nipple), it has a little slit thingamabob symbol next to the belly button and one knee has another little slit whatchamacallit symbol. Symbols are good and normal. (This is so normal! How can anyone say this is weird?)

----(2) Mormons believe that the coffee bean is Satanic or virtually Satanic.

That's why you can't enter a holy Mormon temple if you've ever had a cup of coffee and have not repented of it. Anything made from that demonic bean is a substance that, if ingested, can cause a person to be disqualified to live in God's presence. It's like drinking in damnation. Damnation in a cup. That's what it is to Mormons. The damned demonic bean is pretty evil. Same thing applies to green tea. Those vile, demonic, twisted, dirty little tea leaves will work corruption upon one's soul and cup-by-cup lead habitual drinkers to an inevitable destruction, until, one day, the tea-bibber finds himself face-down in a gutter, with sewage washing around his face, sobbing in the last moments of his life, as his soul fills with remorse thinking about that supposedly "harmless" cup of green tea that he drank last summer. Harmless indeed! Yes, it was that cup of green tea that set the whole process of eternal damnation in motion. Why didn't he just chug-a-lug a gallon of wholesome root beer and polish off a plate of brownies instead of violating God's divine prohibition against green tea?! (So are you going to try and tell me that this kind of belief is weird? How much more normal or normaler can you get?? This is like totally mainstream. Not weird at all. Deep in their heart of hearts, all normal people realize that coffee and tea are inherently and irredeemably evil.)

----(3) Mormons believe that, if you are worthy (see number (2) above) to go to the Mormon temple, you can learn a set of handshakes and passwords that will enable you to enter into the grandest and most blessed heavenly kingdom there is in the afterlife.

Those handshakes and passwords make it possible for God to confirm whether the people knocking on his door are worthy to be in his presence. Mormons also believe that they are under a sacred duty to prevent unworthy people from learning about these extremely important secret handshakes and passwords. In fact, until 1990, they even acted out the types of executions they would willingly submit to (i.e., throat slitting and disembowelment), if they were ever to slip up and reveal the handshakes and passwords to unworthy people. (Now, please!!! Don't even try to tell me that this isn't one of the sanest, most reasonable beliefs you've ever heard of! These people are so well-balanced and normal in their beliefs that you find yourself wanting them to be your neighbors!!)

----(4) Mormons believe that dark skin is the result of:

(i) a failure to be courageous and righteous as a spirit before one's birth on earth; (ii) your ancestors being wild and crazy Christ-rejecting heathens; and/or (iii) your ancestor being Cain, the first murderer on earth. The darker your skin is, the more evil your spirit was and/or your ancestors were. Darkness of skin has nothing to do with protection against UV rays. (Now what's NOT completely wholesome, well-grounded and, yes, very normal, about this belief concerning dark skin? Weird? Who could accuse Mormons of weirdness after finding out that they believe in such normal things as God making people's skin go dark as a curse?)

----(5) Mormons believe in a "keystone" book of scripture, the Book of Mormon, which has many pages that are nothing more than passages copied verbatim from the KJV of the Bible.

It is also full of concepts that were common at the time that the book was published in the early 19th century (and it contains a lot of stories that are hard to believe, such as stories about barges that were "tight like unto a dish" and that had holes in the tops and bottoms, but were suitable as transportation of humans and livestock together for extended periods of time under water). The Book of Mormon is a book whose story is unsupported by any real-world archaeological evidence. Mormons believe that this Book of Mormon is so remarkable that the only plausible explanation for its miraculous creation is that their founding Prophet, Joseph Smith, had its contents revealed to him through a magic rock that produced glowing images that could be seen when the rock was placed in a hat. (This belief is is soooo not weird! You just have to agree that it's completely normal! To say that someone is a Mormon is basically synonymous with saying that he or she is the epitome of reasonableness and belief in normal things. It's the opposite of weirdness!)

The word Mormon rhymes with Norman. Likewise, the word Mormal rhymes with normal. So at the heart of things, you've got "Morm" on one hand and "norm" on the other hand, meaning that, with a few minor adjustments, "Mormon" is really close to "normal" and normal is not weird. In fact, if you spell normal backwards, you get the name Lamron, which is so much like a name from the Book of Mormon that you almost can't believe that it's not in the Book of Mormon. Coincidence? I thinketh not.


Subject: It IS WEIRD to build lavish edifices while bros&sis starve :-( nt


Subject: It not just weird, it's contrary to the teachings of the Book of Mormon ...
Date: Apr 11 01:48
Author: Fetal Deity

... and it's one of the distinguishing features of corrupt churches in the "last days." Ooops!!!

"They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries ...."


Subject: Oh, Nightingale! That was priceless! My feelings exactly!
Date: Apr 11 01:54
Author: forestpal

Though I couldn't have expressed it as well.

I do remember the woman actually touching me on those places. It was demoralizing and humiliating, and I wanted to cry. The touching was narrated with whispered, intimite, body-talk, describing my private parts. I stared at the top of the closed curtain. I could hear other old women whispering about loins, breasts, the navel, being fruitful, multiplying, bla-bla. It made me want to throw up.

I think they changed this part of the ceremony, and they touch oil to your head instead of your body, but the invasive, graphic narration is the same, and you are helped into your underwear the same, I think.

My daughter did it all in one day, and after everything was over with, and after the obligatory wedding photos, highlighting the ugly granite temple exterior, she fell into tears, and said, "This is NOT what I thought my wedding day would be like." I hugged her, and said, "That's why we had you plan such a great reception for!" I told the photographer to stop taking pictures--that we wanted photos of the reception, instead, where everyone including the bridesmaids would be in attendance.

Yes, the Holy Temple was the most DISAPPOINTING experience of my life, and my daughter's life!

We were all lied to!


Subject: Excellent post! Did you ever...
Date: Apr 11 10:18
Author: Duffy

...go back to the mishie that told you there was no nakedness and ask for an explanation? I would love to know how that lie was rationalized.

Thanks for sharing your story. Anybody who says that what goes on in the temple isn't at least a little weird by ANYBODY'S standards is lying.


Subject: No I didn't. What goes on in the temple stays in the temple!
Date: Apr 11 13:18
Author: Nightingale

I did not go back and ask that mishie what's up with that. Can't talk about temple outside of temple, right? :/

It is just another reason members have to exchange bewildered looks and other indecipherable expressions and silent communications (including repressed screams), especially adult converts.

I often read critical, not to say brutal, comments from exmos about converts. Pretty much every week, at least, some poster somewhere calls converts stupid or worse, such as that converts are "low quality people" or that they are joining just to get whatever freebies they can from the church, etc. While taking a long time to think over my temple experiences and compose an accurate account of them with this post, a lot of memories and feelings came rushing back. I recall how much I and other converts I knew tried to make things all work out. We were committed and dedicated and went along with the program. I've explained here at length before how we would be unlikely to soon discover any of the information about Mormonism that is so available here and on other sites (it was pre the PC-on-every-desk era - I didn't even own a computer at the time). You have to realize that there is something there to research before you go and check it out. If you start with the impression that you've joined a Christian church you make a lot of assumptions. Once you've made commitments (especially baptism, which was a Big Deal to me) you don't lightly just turn your back. For anyone with a "spiritual" reason to join, such as a special experience or an affinity for a particular aspect of Mormon belief (in my case that included the concept of ongoing revelation and there being "more truth", as well as some unique experiences I have yet to disclose here) there is a bond that is not easily broken.

At the point where you have gone to the temple, it is understandable that you feel attached in many ways and leaving the church, despite negative occurrences, many questions and the presence of cog diss or unpleasant feelings, isn't likely to be the first option you consider to resolve your issues. In fact, in my case, the more cog diss I felt the more often I went to the temple. (It always did/does take me a long time to feel uncomfortable enough that it finally occurs to me there is an option to change course). I think that if I had better understood the "covenants" and the "promises" I would have had a harder time leaving as once I have promised something I tend to stick to it, especially in regard to religious belief and practice. Fortunately for me, as the principles and ideas were not well explained (go ahead, Mormon apologists, and say that was _my_ fault), I had less trouble choosing to leave than I would have otherwise. (And yes, now I understand much better, and agree, that "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome" is a fast track to insanity).

Depending on how your thinking processes work (mine can be slow when it comes to getting out of situations that aren't going well for me, especially when religion is involved) your first conclusion is not necessarily that the Mormon temple endowment ritual is "weird" or that dead dunking feels "creepy". Rather, you try to reconcile it or worse, tend to blame yourself for not being spiritual enough or for lacking faith. It can take time to move away from that mindset and see things more clearly. I think that for many members, including some converts, there is a disengagement process at play before they decide to leave, and perhaps in many cases it is subconcious. That could account for why there is a "final straw" that prompts a seemingly sudden departure. While it may seem to other members, and perhaps the leavetaker themselves, that it was an abrupt and radical reaction to a single event, for many it can be just that things boiled over, finally, and leaving finally became a viable option or the only one.

Somewhere in all that is my explanation for why I didn't ask my mishie what the heck about the temple. I *understood* why he couldn't tell me, in his mind, because he was trying to be faithful to his promise not to spill his guts to outsiders about the temple. So we gave each the look that communicates that there are things to talk about but that we are sworn to secrecy. That in itself is weird, in my view. That is partly why I detest secrets (even "good" ones). I just like to have everything out on the table. Evil can exist where unrighteous secrecy abounds. I'm done with that now.

I had met Mish's family while he was still on his mission - his cute sibs and his hard-working, faithful parents. His dad had a church calling that demanded a lot of his time (what else is new) and his mom had a houseful of kids to look after but had also taken on an evening cleaning job to help pay the extra expenses for their son's mission. After a couple of days' stay at their home they were taking me out to dinner one evening. On the journey by car, his mom turned around from the front seat and said to me, "Now I know why we're making sacrifices" (meaning, so son can proselytize and baptize people like you). I know it's a cliche but that humbled me greatly, and tears followed for all of us. I couldn't even speak, I was so moved (and me being silent is a rare event!) I _still_ feel bad about all their sacrifice and then I end up leaving the church. Of course, at that point we didn't stay friends. We're not *not* friends but we just lost touch. In Mormonism it seems, you can only be friends if you toe the line. Better to cut you off than risk you "infecting" other members.

Before that, though, while still trying to be Mormon, I arranged to meet Mish in SLC some time after he had returned home. He knew I was struggling to stay in the church and still wanted to help me. We had planned to meet at the SLC temple. I was driving there from my home in B.C. Curiously, although I had made the trip before, I got quite lost and ended up taking a much longer time than I had estimated to get there. Also, my cell phone died off so I couldn't even contact him. (It didn't occur to me to find a public phone. Besides, once I finally found the right road I didn't want to get off it on a possibly wild goose chase). When I finally arrived at the meeting place I was many hours late and he wasn't there, after having waited around for a long time. When we connected the next day we both agreed that Satan (of course) was trying to prevent us from going to the temple together! (No, not the Angel of Light, but more a case of me being chronically geographically challenged and also somewhat ignorant of the "roaming" realities of my new cell phone, and devoid of any alternative plan like finding a phone booth).

We did meet again at the SLC temple but neither one of us felt like going in. We just wandered around Temple Square chatting but, of course, not about the "secrets", err I mean the sacred stuff. So, even then I didn't ask him about the nakedness.

Nice guy. Dedicated missionary, above and beyond in my case. I'd love to know if he is still a member. If not, maybe sometime we could have a long overdue little chat about things.

I know why he lied. I just wish he was a member of a church where that wasn't necessary. Or that he was in circumstances where he is free to speak his mind absolutely.

This is why I often long to run into one of "my" mishies here. Nice people. Hope they are doing well in life. But if not happy in Mormonism, I hope they have been able to get out. And if so, that someday they will post something here that helps me to recognize them.

Oh Happy Day, in that case. :)


Subject: Brilliant post! n/t

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49. Help, I am in Shock

47. The Final Straw  

60. Mormon Urban Legends

61. Mormons say, "I know"  

63. Were you active Mormons? 

65. Mormon Food 

69. Unconditional Love 

71. Testimony Meetings

72. Wedding Invitations + Receptions

78. Mormon 30+ Years

81. Mormons and Boundaries

82. Busted at the Market  

83. Loving Church more than Kids 

87. Pay Up you Lowly Peasants

90. Grandson of the Prophet

91. Garment 'Police' 

92. Exploitation of Older Mormons

98. Caste System 

104 Loss of Individual Identity

105 Bishop Dad and Boy Scouts

107 Fast and Testimony Meeting

109 Women - 2nd Class Members

110 Lost without the Gospel

122  Why do they keep holding on?

123 Mormon Leaders define emotions

125 California Mormons 

129 Negative Impact on Children

131 Mormons don't Wear Crosses

133 The Sacred Flow Chart 

134 Sabbath - A day of Rest for Women?

136 Tithing - 10% of Gross?

137 Seminary  Have a Large Family 

143 Feeling Guilty Visiting Here ( 

147 Mormon Church and Free Speech

161  Sunday's Youth Message

156 Girls Camp "Faith Promoting" Activity 

167  Funny Testimony Meetings

174   Silly or Annoying Church Callings

201  Cut Back on Leisure Time!

202  Mormon Grandparents

204  Satan Stories

207  Obsession with Numbers

210  Where are the Michelangelo's? 

218  Life in Polygamy - 2003

219  Loss of Passion

220  Mormon Ignorance of Judaism

223  Confessing to the Bishop

225  Ridiculed at Sacrament Meeting

226  A Bishop's Blessing

228  Fanatical Things We Did

229  Embarrassing Testimonies

231  Mormon Myths on the Fly

235  Fear of Losing a Testimony

236  Manipulative Mormon Women

237 .General Authority Visit to the Stake. 

247  Mormons - Guilt and Shame

249  Mormon Funerals

254  Sacrament Prayer Repeated 

260  Father-in-law:  Me in 20 Years?

270 Forever Family® versus Reality

271  Never Happy as a Mormon

273 Was Sunday a Day of Rest?

277  Life Inside General Conference 

278  High School Seminary    

280  Remember Evils of Card Playing?

281  Drinking Coca-Cola is a Sin?

283  'Court of Love' - Experiences 

284 Amazing Letter in The Ensign

286 What is Mormon Culture?

290 Life is Better in Zion

296 A Mormon Spouse Writes

300 Ward Boundaries

307 Mormons Feel Superior to Others

311 Limiting Family Size

313 Tithing Never Brought My Family Blessings

316 Breaking the Will of Members

318 Stories of former Church Custodians

319 A Mormon Writes: "My Wife Wants to Leave the Church"

324 Selling Our One Year Supply of Food

326 Bishops Asking Sexual Questions

332 March 2004 Ensign on Tithing

334 A Mormon Father's, who is a Bishop, Cruelty

338  A Personal Look at Polygamy

347 Central Control and Ward Budgets

349 No Testimony?  What is Wrong with You?

350 Types of Mormon Testimonies

357 Changing History to Bolster Faith

356 Utah Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies

355 Mormons' Lives are Micro-Managed

367 Breaking Down Personal Boundaries

369 Mormon Bishops are Untrained

383 Never Turn Down a Church Calling

403 Jesus Needs $1 Billion for a Shopping Mall (now $3.0 billion)

422 Rape in Utah above National Average - Mormonism connection

439 Mormon Belief Interferes with Rational Decision Making

443 The Grape Juice Myth

456 Mormons Unaware Joseph Smith Used a Stone in a Hat

464 Mormonism is an All or Nothing Religion

461 How Stake Presidents and Bishops are Called

493.  Mormon Mother Wishes Her Son had Died Instead of Leaving the Church 486.  Women who Know - Relief Society President Speaks at General Conference
485.  Mormon Church Keeps its Members in Isolation 484.  Is Relief Society Relevant? Women Role Models?
499.  Utah now Leads the United States in Depression 521.  More on Utah Leads the Nation in Depression
536.  Experiences on Being Single in the Mormon Church 547.  A Visit to Sacrament Meeting after Resigning 5 Yrs Ago
543.  Striving for Perfection 551  Church's method of determining truth: prayer.
558.  Concise Summary of Mormon Life - Male Perspective 561.  An Inactive Mormon Mother Accosted by the Bishopric
562.  Logical Fallacies Commonly Employed by Mormons 574.  Bishop Attempts to give a Lame Calling to Reactivate a Member
578.  Fear of Phone Calls after being a Mormon Leader 589.  Can a Shy Person Succeed as a Mormon?
593.  Tales of Mormon Ward Clerks 596.  Is the Goal of Becoming a God Selfish?
599.  Mormontimes (2010):  Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain 600.  Mormontimes (2010): Declining Baptisms - not a Problem
602.  Pay Your Tithing or No Priesthood for You - Ensign Feb. 2010 604.  Mormonism Creates Severe Hardship for Many Members


Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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