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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 02:28PM

I was recalling how my father and his 'lady friend' (someone, in our ward growing up, whom he had converted, and a close 'family friend') were disciplined for some sin of theirs.

(Of course nobody has ever said what it (the sin) was, but when my mom at the same time was given permission for divorce from the church authorities, you can guess what it was!)..

Anyway they were not allowed to partake of the sacrament for some time (don't remember how long it was).

I was maybe 10 years old at the time. Old enough to notice and of course I felt all of the shame they were projecting and the misery my mom was enduring. But the fact that neither of them would take the sacrament when it came around was of course a very public way of pointing out to the whole congregation that they had sinned and likely together! (I think how horrible this really was for my mom in particular, what an embarrassment for her and a blow to the charade she tried so hard to maintain of the 'perfect Mormon family.)

And to not take the sacrament it usually means a pretty big sin right?

So of course we were all in shock and I remember feeling fearful. Why wasn't my dad taking the sacrament? What happened? What will happen to our family? It was horrifying on this level of survival, like the church is the tribe and we were outcasts or had the potential to be outcasts and to be banished and so banished from God and then what would happen to our family, to me AND to our eternal hereafter?

Scary stuff for a little, believing kid.

Anyway I was remembering that and it got me thinking about how crazy that is. What a clever tactic on the part of TSCC to use that as a 'disciplinary' measure. Something that is really so public! Very controlling.

I thought the members problems/sins were between the member and god (or rather the member and the bishop or whatever other elder who might be involved in the judging and condemning)? Why then do something like that to make sure everyone at church knows?

The people who aren't taking sacrament must surely be noticed by the rest who are and they of course will wonder and probably gossip but also keep some distance from that person who then seems so 'unclean'.. almost like they are carrying a disease you might get if you get to close.

I remember feeling that way myself towards the 'lesser' members.. the ones who attended sporadically, who were married to non-members, women who worked outside the home, people who didn't take the sacrament, etc, etc.. I was afraid of them. Like they might contaminate me. Because I, I was going to be PERFECT, just like god wanted me to be! And I wasn't going to let any of those lepers take that away from me.

It's a lot like the book The Scarlet Letter.. public shaming.. pitting the members against each other..

It's pretty awful!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2017 09:36PM by shapeshifter.

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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 03:43PM

So many good things lately to archive. Thanks for writing this.

I should add: sorry for the pain. This will help others to see the cult aspect of Mormonism.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2017 03:45PM by Eric K.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:00PM

I was asked to not partake of the sacrament because I was not showing up to ward activities. As the ward activity director, the only activity that was occurring was EQ basketball games. I had little interest in it and they told me to start showing up with a good attitude. I refused to go down to the stake center. So I got called in by one of the BP counselors. He told me that I was setting a poor example. So we prayed about my attitude about the celestial sport and I told him after kneeling that I still felt the same. So he told me not to partake for a month. My parents were devastated and blamed me for being difficult and pig headed. They were embarrassed and I am sure that others wasted no time speculating about why I didn't partake.

The funny thing is that many times during SM my parents would not partake. A lot of people used to judge themselves unworthy to partake.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2017 04:03PM by messygoop.

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 09:32PM

WOW, that seems like a lot for such a minor thing! But so typical.. blowing things out of proportion like that, incredible! So now you have to attend basketball games to be in good standing with the 'lord' and with the 'church'.. Wow!

'Celestial sport' exactly, lol!

So ridiculous!

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 11:28PM

This just proves the level of inspired revelation received by these "leaders".

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 09:37PM

Thanks Eric!

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Posted by: Myron Donnerbalken ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:06PM

Well you should have been around when they used to announce excommunications and disfellowshipping in sacrament. Then they limited it to priesthood, after the Aaronics filed out. Then they quit altogether, although I don't remember when. I just remember that one of my friends was excommunicated and nobody said anything. The thing about Mormons is that it takes them forever to figure out that people who are really shamed never come back and probably take others with them. I think they probably stopped with the public excommunications as a sort of preservation tactic.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 11:32PM

That was a leftover from the time that there really wasn't anything but the church, those good old pioneer days when King BY had absolute power over the people. Yu know what they say, it is better to be feared than loved...

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 11:55PM

I was sitting next to a friend. It was priesthood meeting and a high councilman showed up. He announced the dis-fellowship of the man sitting next to me. I have no idea what I said to him when the meeting was over. So, just for good times sake--holy fuck! The Unholy Boner.

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 02:03PM

Man Boner, that is CRAY CRAY!

I didn't know they used to announced disfellowships and excommunications, WOW!

Amazing too that someone would be there for their own 'sentencing' in a way.. weird.. Super awkward!

And if they weren't there.. of course everyone will hear it who knew them and gossip like crazy.. so humiliating and shaming, I would just be livid now if I were to see something like that go down,

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Posted by: pollythinks ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:23PM

Yes, that is what it is.
I remember when our ward organist was (temporarily) removed from the job.

It appeared to me that she was a lesbian, and used to live in an apt. with someone of like kind.

I guess sensing that we (my husband and I) hadn't condemned her (as we had personally gone to her apt. to welcome her to the ward, and met her parents visiting at the same time), she began to sit next to us at Sacrament mtgs. This was fine with us,
but---like you said---'everyone' suspected what the problem might be, and her exclusion from the organ (for a period of time), seemed to verify this reasoning.

To the end, she was devoted to us, including willing to play at my husbands funeral service.

But, prior to this, she had been 'forced' to move out of her apt., and pay more rent next door, as she had to live alone.

Sad stuff.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 01:04PM

When I was "dating" my gay ex in the singles ward, I was suicidal trying to figure out how I was going to save him.

We didn't often sit together in SM because I was supposed to act like we weren't close so other guys would ask me out. I had dated my gay boyfriend for 7 months before I found out, so the whole ward thought were were an item and I was supposed to make it possible for other chances if we failed at "saving him."

So one Sunday I decided I was just going to sit with him as I was sick of the whole situation. He didn't take the sacrament. Then I had to know what he had done. He had done something, so he was told not to take the sacrament.

That was 6 months before we finally ended up getting married.

Since my father wasn't very active lds and my mother wasn't mormon social, our whole family was shunned all the time. Many of my siblings left the church as teenagers because of how we were treated, but I JUST HAD TO BE DEVOUT.

I was treated better in mormonism while I was with my gay husband and he was cheating. He knew how to play the mormon social game. He is EXCELLENT at it. We were one of the best liked families in the ward. When I knew my ex was cheating, I became inactive and quit taking my kids as I know how they would be treated once our marriage fell apart. Imagine the shock of the ward members. Of course, as usual, I was considered the problem. Somehow I failed.

I still can't figure out why I stayed in for so long considering how I was treated. I'm actually treated better by the ward members NOW than I was back then and I've been inactive/resigned for over 20 years.

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 02:01PM

Wow, c12, I am sorry you went through that, thanks for sharing!

I was 'dating' a gay friend at BYU for about a year. I didn't know he was gay yet, he told me years later, but I figured it out before he told me. At the time I just thought he was shy. I finally had to say something and it was SO awkward. I had to ask why nothing had happened between us it seemed like he really liked me. And he said, yes he did really like me and just couldn't explain things to me! (We are good friends now and laugh about that). But I was really hurt at the time. Finally I figured I needed to let go.. and I distanced myself a bit. Next thing I know he's 'dating' this other girl in one of our classes. She looked really different from me, so I figured I wasn't 'his type' (which was very much the truth, but neither was she, LOL!)…

I was heartbroken but dealt with it best I could. Poor girl had dumped her fiancé for a chance at our mutual friend. Well just like everyone had thought we had been an item, I also, from the outside thought that THEY were… He kept delaying his mission, delaying a decision to marry her.. delaying, delaying. Luckily he did neither and finally came out, but only after we had left the Y. That woman though really held out for a long time with him, hoping he'd come round. Not sure when he told her or why she thought they 'broke up'.. but it was all very hard. It's really so terrible when men or women feel they have to stay in the closet (because of repressive so called churches especially!). It's hurtful for everyone involved.

AND it is COMPLETELY Unfair to both people in the relationship when the church condones and encourages hetero-homo marriages. Neither partners needs ever get met and knowing that the other one, as much as they may love you, can never really be attracted to you and can never have passion for you. You just feel constantly wrong and rejected.. never 'good enough' when really it's nothing to do with that.. Sorry you had to endure such a mind fuck!

There was this couple I met new in my parents' ward, some years back, when I was out about being an ex-Mo.. I still agreed to go to some church dinner function.. Anyway the husband was CLEARLY gay, there is just NO way he wasn't. He was just SO nice to my mom and they were sharing recipes and he was flattering and gossipy and I could just see that my mom had NO clue. It was pretty funny to watch really. But also sad for the man and the couple.

But like you said about your ex, seemed like this man could really play the game and charm everyone and they would just not notice.. Reminds me of this funny movie from the 90s called 'Waiting for Guffman'


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Posted by: desertman ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 09:11PM

EVERYTHING in that religion is gossip fodder. EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 09:40PM

You said that your mother was "given permission by church authorities to divorce him"....

Would you please explain to this nevermo about this permission to divorce him? This is something that I'm not familiar with.
Is it a requirement for divorce to receive the permission of "church authorities", and is this still the case?

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 02:09PM

Well that was like 30 years ago. So I have no idea how it works now. But I've heard other stories (again nothing very recent, so I don't know the current policy).. so.. the thing is that in terms of the civil marriage aspect of course the church can't really do anything about that.. but the 'eternal' temple marriage 'sealing' can only be undone by a church authority (not sure which it would be or how it's done) and in that case of course you would need permission. And I think it must be like that still, because there must be some kind of application process and I would think that would mean interviews first with your bishop and then probably stake president, etc.. I know there is at least one person on this board who related how hard it was to get her divorce even when her husband was physically beating her! The authorities said she should 'forgive' him and not break up the family.
I've heard similar stories to that one.. really awful situations for the woman and her having to fight pretty hard to 'get permission' for the divorce.. in some cases when it's too difficult to do that they leave and get a civil divorce and sometimes are NEVER divorced in the Mormon church's eyes (temple ceremony portion) and the man goes on to remarry in the temple (polygamy IS very much allowed for the hereafter with Mormons… not for 'polyandry' though even if it was practiced by Joe Smith and Brigham Young as they were married to women married to other men.. wasn't the woman's choice though so I feel like it's not in the true sense of the word)..

Anyway yeah, so it's a bit crazy, like pretty much all things Mormon!

So if my mom had been allowed to divorce him it's likely he committed adultery. Since they don't allow that easily at all.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 02:12AM

I was put 'on Probation' for testifying at a public hearing....(Washington) state parks & recreation commission....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2017 02:42AM by GNPE.

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Posted by: shapeshifter ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 02:11PM

Damn they've got their eyes and ears everywhere haven't they?!

Sounds like it was something they weren't happy with politically and so 'against the church' in that sense.

Just another level of BS and control. I mean you can't even have your own political opinions and life outside of the cult.

What a circus!

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