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Posted by: siflbiscuit ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:00AM

Probably a vein in my head. My husband had sent an email to his sister awhile ago telling her how he views our exit from the church. She wrote back, saying she had months of notes and how she'd read stuff that would make us see the light and then spent paragraphs basically bearing her testimony. Not sure where the months of notes came in. But she talked about how she loves having an honest relationship.

So I wrote back sharing my own beliefs, referencing stuff she said in her own email. She writes back that I'm attacking her and demeaning her and that I never would have talked to her like that if she was a catholic or muslim. That she doesn't appreciate having the negatives in her religion brought up. What the hell happened to the honesty!? Is it supposed to only be one sided? I wrote my entire email probably in a harsher tone than I meant, which I specifically apologized for. I never said anything about her specifically, just said "the church believes or teaches". I mentioned mormonthink and cesletter and "i've read your little websites, as a pr person in the church i have to read those anti mormon websites" UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!

I'm seriously about to lose my shit. What the hell is with the persecution complex in the church? You can't say a damn thing to this woman without her viewing it as an offense to her sensibilities. Everything and everyone is out to get her and attack her. It's so unbelievably frustrating. And if you try to tell her that's how you feel, well that's attacking her too!

Dear god in heaven, I'm seriously just sick of people. All of them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2015 12:06AM by siflbiscuit.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:21AM

The Catholics that I have known have been perfectly comfortable with criticizing their church. When I tell them about the issues that caused me to leave, the most common reaction is, "I understand." Your SIL is making the mistake of thinking that everyone treats their religion in the same manner as Mormons do.

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Posted by: siflbiscuit ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:26AM

I mean, she said in her original email that people tend to go their own way and try to find the truths that fit their own agenda, and that people aren't willing to make the sacrifices necessary to live the gospel.

I didn't go off on how that was an attack on us. I easily could have flipped it around and told her she was accusing us of being lazy and arrogant. But I didn't, partially because I recognize mormon-speak when I see it, but also because I know that pointing it out would make her go off about how everyone always thinks the worst of her and how everyone makes her the bad guy and she wasn't trying to offend us. But in my mind, those statements are demeaning to me. Those statements are offensive to me. But I wasn't about to throw a temper tantrum over it.

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Posted by: johnnyboy ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:41AM

woah woah woah..

your sister in law does "PR work" for the church?

Just ask her why she thinks God's church needs a "PR department"? What the hell are the apostles and Prophet for?

If she has supposedly read the CES letter, ask her to address one specific issue within the letter. All TBM's say they have read "all that stuff" when they really haven't.

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Posted by: dydimus ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:53AM

Those were almost my exact thoughts. Mormons claiming to have read or studied on the "assigned" reading material or sources you gave and they flat out lie.

The worst are the few such as Dan Peterson who does read the items, but never answers the questions. He goes off on some tangent, attacks the questioner himself or says something like "it has been addressed before". Yet none of the BoM apologist have provided one single piece of archeology, DNA, language, metal works, anything that can back up the Book of Mormon Nephite / Lamanite cultures. The same for the Book of Abraham.

And what is this PR Department??? Who's in it? Who or which Q15 is in charge (cuz they're slippin in their ratings). PR Commercials? Would these be anti-commercials for Book of Mormon Musical? Anti-information for CESletter??? Anti-information for Historical researchers???? It just boggles the mind why they would send their PR people to READ and STUDY anti-Mormon literature.

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Posted by: johnnyboy ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:01AM

exactly. It is so 1984 that it boggles the mind.

What is the purpose of the PR machine? And why would you have to study "anti-mormon" material? All of it isn't anti-mormon, it's just historical facts!

ugh... so frustrating.

It's like the Strengthening the Church members committee. Would Jesus really need a secret spy organization in his church? REALLY?? REALLY???

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Posted by: siflbiscuit ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:10AM

I can guarantee she hasn't read it. Not to mention, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how someone CAN read it, and still believe it all. How does that even work?

I guess her job is to answer people's questions. If this is the attitude she has every time she's faced with something difficult, good lord...

She went on in her original email about how she bears her testimony and people are so grateful for her words. But we're the arrogant ones for "going waywardly and seeking truths that fit our agenda".


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Posted by: johnnyboy ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:18AM

Well, I am amazed every day in the past few years at the people who were TBM's that have up and left now.

There really is an exodus so you never know when she will finally "get it".

My brother was inactive but still believing for years. He was totally shocked when my wife and I left and I detailed to him all the reasons. He didn't believe me and thought that the church was still "good".

Fast forward a few years later and now he calls me breathlessly panting on the phone "DUDE!! HAVE YOU READ ABOUT THE CES LETTER? HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GRANT PALMER AND TOM PHILLIPS? HAVE YOU READ ABOUT THE ESSAYS??? THIS CHURCH IS MESSED UP!!!"

I just smile on the other end of the phone and in classic Mr. Burns voice mumble "excellent my boy..."

Then I turn into the Emperor from star wars and say "now use your hatred and anger!"

He called me a few days ago and says he is now on a new mission to spread the CES letter to everyone he knows..

He just converted one of his best friends. His friend called him crying and said, "bro, I don't know what to do... my life is ruined.. but I am so glad I know this now. Joseph Smith is a bastard!"

It makes me happy to hear these stories.

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Posted by: bona dea unregistered ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:36AM

Tell her it works both ways. If she doesnt want your input on why you left, she needs to stop trying to bring you back. Simple.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:41AM

Oh boy. Here we go again. It's the same thing over and over.
Communicating by email or phone or reading stuff with a TBM has the same results. The former non believer is asked to explain, they explain then they are bombarded with the TBM's testimony, and claims of persecution.

I did this nonsense once. Then I learned a valuable lesson.
Do not discuss religion with a TBM. Explain briefly if at all why you left in one sentence: I changed my mind! (or something similar)
Then - refuse to engage. There is almost always a ploy to get you to engage so they can attack then say they are attacked and claim they love you and want a relationship etc.sprinkled with their testimony ad nauseam.
Nonsense. Don't believe it.
They even claim they read your materials then claim they had a dark feeling and it came from Satan.

I finally recognized the ploy and refused to play along.
A few truths exist in these situations. One: you can't reason yourself out of something you didn't reason yourself into.
You are using reason, the TBM is using feelings and faith. It's like flour and water. They don't mix!

Save yourself from their insanity!!

Now go do something that you like to do or have some wine if you like that... and relax -- recognize the TBM's are on another planet! :-)

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Posted by: siflbiscuit ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:13AM

It's like you're living my life. Seriously, it's so insanely frustrating, and my problem is I try to relate to people, especially people I care about, and I tend to think that when they say they want an open honest relationship, they really mean it.


I get so worried about people being mad at me. If it wasn't family I probably wouldn't care QUITE so much, but we do have to deal with these people a few times a year.

I just...I don't even know.

You know the hilarious part is that if I was a nonmember and confronted her about these issues, she would be taking a completely different tone.

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Posted by: Ex-Sister Sinful Shoulders ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:42AM

She is her religion, so she thinks you are attacking her. She cannot have a rational discussion about any of it. You are evil for not agreeing with the church/her.

It's like trying to communicate with a child who still believes in Santa, the tooth fairy...

All she knows how to do is vilify you in order to continue to feel safe and secure. It doesn't make it any less crazy-making.

You aren't alone. Don't give her any control by getting stressed out about it... Maybe one day she will wonder how she could have defended the church, hopefully.

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Posted by: madalice ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 12:42AM

Well shame on her for being soooo offended!

Apparently only mormons who stay in the church are allowed to be offended. Nothing they say, do, or teach is allowed to be called offensive. If you do, they get all offended and lay into you about offending them.

Does she think you left mormonism because you were offended?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:03AM

Ask her who is in charge of purchasing the ads in the playbill for the BofM musical, and then she go learn at the feet of that person how to get along with the "enemy."

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:15AM

Rational debate will get you nowhere because that's not what she wants. It has to be about her because that's the level she's at. She hasn't matured past the "it's all about me" stage, which as you may have noticed is a common thing in LDS circles.

Once you're beyond that stage, you don't need all of the religious crap because you know who you are. You made the logical assumption that she knows who she is. She doesn't. She needs an organization to give her an identity. Facts and knowledge are a threat to that identity.

I don't know how you should proceed. I would humor her because some things can't be fixed. You can't agree so don't try and don't let her idiocy get you down. She'll move on when she's ready.

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Posted by: siflbiscuit ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:20AM

I did respond, almost immediately. Because I was angry. And really, I'm hurt. I've been nothing but respectful to her since the day we met. The fact that she thinks I would attack her for her beliefs, just tells me what she really thinks. But I have a feeling she only thinks that because I left the church.

I told her I never attacked her, I told her I never said anything about her personally, etc etc. I'm sure tomorrow she'll either email or call bawling about how everyone hates her, or she'll tell me to never talk to her again. She's told my husband that several times, then gets over it after a few months.

I have no intention of begging her to forgive me. I have no intention of begging her to stay in contact. If she emails with a no contact demand, I won't respond. If she calls, I'll say fine with me, and hang up. I'm done being the punching bag for people and their emotional manipulation. I'm done feeling like the only way I can have a friendship with her is to make sure I pat her on the head and tell her how she's perfect and wonderful and everyone wants to be like her.

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Posted by: cpete ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:29AM

I mean don't set them up to fail. You know better. Your kids are what the morg needs. Damn the marriage. Your a father. Rear your children.

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Posted by: cpete ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:44AM

Nvm. Wrong thread.

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Posted by: Delila ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 01:38AM

Here's this from LDS authority J. Ruben Clark that may help:

"If we have the truth it cannot be harmed.
If we HAVE NOT the truth it OUGHT to be harmed."
(Sorry, I don't have a reference for it.)

There's a couple of other excellent, similar quotes from LDS leaders that I've heard but can't remember. Some one here can probably fill in the blanks.

My brother had a similar reaction (personally offended when church wrong doing was exposed) and I responded with something I read by someone in a chat room along this tac:

"Why are you offended? YOU didn't start polygamy, YOU didn't raise your hand in support and YOU didn't live it. THE CHURCH did it. YOU didn't start the racism; you didn't support it. THE CHURCH did that.
Why should YOU feel bad when none of this was your fault.

I was in the church for 20 years and never felt guilty about anything the brethren decided on doing, especially when they did it without consulting me."

This approach didn't change his mind but it did shut the conversation down.
And we're still friends...How it's phrased (calmly and unruffled) I'm sure, does go a long way.

Just plug in the topic that applies.
Good luck

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Posted by: Al Shiffler ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 03:39AM

I like to break wind.

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Posted by: Tillymint ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 04:10AM

As a nevermo (my interest is in all things religious and a good friend was caught for a while) I have never understood why a testimony is considered proof. Why would I believe something just because someone I neither know or respect says they "know" it?

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 08:55AM

It's unique to Mormon religious culture. A Mormon whose testimony is not very strong might "lean" on someone else's testimony. And I agree, to an outsider it's a very odd thing.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 09:55AM

siflbiscuit Wrote:
> a pr person in the church...

So, basically, she spends her time at ground zero of the persecution complex, defending the church from the evil forces of truth.

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Posted by: tenaciousd ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 09:58AM

There was Baghdad Bob.

TBMs have the same mindset.

Salt Lake Sally and Provo Pete.

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Posted by: breedumyung ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 10:36AM

If I were you, I would go ahead and break something.

You ain't gonna change her Mormon Mind one bit.

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Posted by: scarecrowfromoz ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 11:12AM

The problem is that mormons grow up learning, believing, living that mormonism is not just their religion, it is their culture and self-identity. That's one of the things that makes it a Cult.

When you state facts about what you believe, or why the mormon church is not "true" she views it as an attack. TBMs are not able to separate their religious beliefs from their self-identity. It doesn't matter whether you comment about some religious belief of theirs, or state that you *don't* like green jello, funeral potatoes, or fry sauce, or *do* like sleeveless dresses, spaghetti straps, multiple ear-rings and flip-flops.

It all gets jumbled together as an "attack" on not just their religious beliefs, but on their self-identity as a mormon. Tell her that you think wearing a sundress (or heaven forbid- shorts) and fancy flip-flops to church when it is 105 degrees out is fine, and she will view it as a personal attack on her and her beliefs.

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Posted by: Tupperwhere ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 11:34AM

scarecrowfromoz Wrote:
> The problem is that mormons grow up learning,
> believing, living that mormonism is not just their
> religion, it is their culture and self-identity.
> That's one of the things that makes it a Cult.

They also fully believe that they are superior to you in every way.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 11:39AM

siflbiscuit Wrote:
> Is it supposed to only be one sided?

From a Mormon's point-of-view, yep, absolutely.

They're excellent at dishing it out, but they can't take it at all.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2015 11:40AM by Greyfort.

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Posted by: Clementine ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 11:59AM

Why is she choosing to be offended? Maybe that's all you should reply. If she's offended, then that's on her. Wasn't that a Mormonism go-to at one point? If someone is offended at the church or a church member, it certainly wasn't the offenders fault? I don't know how you possibly deal with that crap and haven't broken something already. Maybe your new tact should be always make it uncomfortable for her when she brings up church crap. This should be everyone's tact. That way Mormons don't get away with treating others so horridly. Like training a dog, make a consequence for bad behavior and keep it consistent. Until she learns. But in my experience, it takes humans much longer than dogs to learn good behavior, so your mileage may vary.

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Posted by: Book of Mordor ( )
Date: May 17, 2015 02:34PM

If she does contact you again, ask her if you offended her. My bet is that she will say "yes," fully expecting you to apologize and grovel to be forgiven.

Instead, trip her up with this quote and ask her why she is disobeying counsel from an apostle.

David A. Bednar, October 2006 GC (November 2006 Ensign, p. 90):

"To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else."

Then turn it right back around on her and call her to repentance. Her reaction ought to be priceless.

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