Date: June 12, 2019 07:02AM
Like Wally, I grew up outside the Moridor, in California, in the same ward, until I left home to go to BYU. I found the Mormons to be very nice people--outstanding, really. They were active in the community Kiwanis Club, Assistance League, Hospital Auxiliaries, The PTA. The mayor of our little town was a Mormon. Mormons there had a reputation of being wealthy, yet our ward included a poverty area of town, which kept the RS women busy. The RS did REAL service to those in need! We were close, like a family, and there were a lot of marriages within the ward. I still have lifetime friends from that ward--they are Mormons who have not shunned me. Many left the cult, as young married couples, and have taken their children out with them.
Besides the different locations, I think the times are different, now. The Mormon church in California, and even in Utah, with my GA relative and my cousins' wards, the church was much more liberal--so much so, that I hardly recognize it as the same organization at all. It used to be more positive, and much more fun for the youth. The fanatical cooks took over, with ideas that we thought were weird and reactionary, in those days. Now, those ideas are mainstream.
Still, Mormonism was pretty horrible, in the old days. The Blacks were denied the priesthood, and were accused of being "descendants of Cain" and "lesser spirits" in the spirit world, who sat on the fence during the War In Heaven, and who didn't follow Christ, like the "white and delightsome" people. Yes, we were taught that! There wasn't the hatred of gays, but no one ever talked about them. Later, I found out that they were being tortured with shock treatments at BYU, when I was there, but it was kept secret. Hatred was at the core of some of our Sunday school lessons. For example the Mormons hated "the great and abominable" Catholic church. People were accused of being Communists. Women had even less respect than now, and mothers who worked were looked down on. Divorced people were wicked, and my mother would get upset when the ward divorcee would talk to my handsome father. I was too young to see all the lies. They used to take away 10% of my hard-earned babysitting money, and 10% of any money I got for my birthday, when I was barely old enough for Primary. My Mormon parents spanked me for every little spilling accident, every little bout of forgetfulness, every little mistake that children normally make. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was the Mormon motto. I had no self-esteem; I was a nothing. Nothing what I did mattered, unless I did it to obey my parents and the cult.
The Mormon cult has always been horrible, since the days of polygamy, MMM, and the handcart deaths. I figure it will take me another lifetime to recover from it.
We can help each other improve, however! Thanks to RFM and my loved ones, and thanks to learning the Truth--I can cope better with what happened to me. I saved my children! That helped.
I think it helps us to think we're helping others--perhaps even planting seeds of hope and truth, that will help Mormon victims realize that they are being lied to, used, and scammed out of their money. We try to do that, not just idly gripe and criticize. There are some scholarly posters, who answer posters' questions about Mormon doctrines and Mormon history. RFM keeps us abreast of all the many changes in the doctrines and history. It's also good to laugh, when we can! Some of the stories here and hilarious. Some are upsetting. Some make us cry. Sometimes, someone will tell my exact story! That makes me feel I'm not alone in this journey. Many of us are here to save our dear ones who are still trapped in the cult. Some are here just to deal with it, and vent. That's OK, too.
No, I think most ex-Mormons work hard to not hate, anymore. It was such a relief to me, to let go of the racism I had been taught. We are so much happier, free of all that bad advice, those bad examples, all the lies and deceit. I think we are well aware of what we once were, or what the Mormons were grooming us to be. For example, most of us consciously try to not hate others--no not hate the Mormons who once abused us, and the Mormons who are harassing and shunning us now.
Here Again is right. Mormonism is "The culture that professes kindness and love while spewing so much hate."
I honestly don't think that RFM and the ex-Mormons do that at all.