Survivor of Mormonism
Date: August 13, 2019 03:00PM
***Moderator Note: We ask that links to CHI or large excerpts from it are not posted at RfM. Thank you.*** (But meanwhile, great topic and discussion - carry on).
Does anyone have a copy of the Church Handbook of Instructions?
I’m curious, because in a recent thread, someone mentioned that the advice the bishop gives to members is correlated, and comes directly from the printed bishop’s handbook. This advice is given regardless of the person’s individual circumstances. The example in the thread was that a bishop is instructed to never suggest divorce as an option—never—except if the husband has left the church. Another example was to try to keep the man—the primary tithe-payer and priesthood holder—and the sons—future tithe payers—in the church. I’ve read that poster Cl2 was advised to marry a gay man to change/save him, resulting in her being thrown under the bus, and the marriage ending.
Some of my personal experiences were:
1. Females should get married, instead of going on a mission. I was advised by the bishop and stake president to not go on a mission (I’m female), and, since I was dating several young Mormon males, who were interested in marrying me, to stay home and pray for guidance, quit being so picky. I was 23, and the Mormons told me it was time for me to plunge into marriage. (The young man I loved wanted to wait until after he got his PhD, and didn’t want children.) It was a Mormon female’s DESTINY to marry and have lots of children, and the sooner the better. I’m thinking that ALL Mormon women are given this same counsel, right?
2. Marry the Mormon with the “qualifications”. I knew I was not ready for marriage, but I selected the RM who gave me the hard-sell, and had the best (fake) credentials, was from a GA family, but had a hidden past of assault and battery. My parents chose him, the bishop chose him (a complete stranger), and Brother Pace, the institute director was “inspired” to tell me to marry him. I had known him only a few months, but conned me into thinking it was True Love sanctioned by God. He began beating me, only hours after we were married. I’ll spare you the details, but I was in Hell, and contemplated suicide at one time, as divorce was not an option, in the cult we were in.
3. A wife-beater is the woman’s responsiblity to fix; it’s her fault that he is beating her; in fact, JS recommends spousal abuse in D&C 132, and in his personal lifestyle as a polygamist. I went to my new bishop, in our married ward, and told him that my husband was beating me, and that I was so unhappy, that I wanted to die. He advised me to have a “date night” twice a week, with my husband, just the two of us. Well, we didn’t have children, and we already went out three or four times a week. He said to pray together, which we did, my ex quoting the vows of obedience I had made to him in the temple, and quoting the Doctrine and Covenants 132. My ex would pray and preach at the same time, telling me that I was his “possession”, and that he had a right to do anything he wanted to do to me. The truth was, I wasn’t doing anything wrong at all. He would walk in the door already angry at something that had nothing to do with me. We moved twice, and I went to two other bishops, and they also said “date night”, sex, and serving the husband were the answers. Of course, none of the bishops told me to leave, or call the police, even though I was being harmed. My ex put me in the hospital several times. The abuse was extreme, and the bishops pretended that it was no big deal. They also told me it was my fault. They interrogated me about our sex life—if I gave my husband sex when he wanted it, if I initiated sex, if I pleased him, if we practiced any “unusual or perverted” sex. They would me ask if I wore my garments, attended church, paid tithying, if I cooked my husband good meals, did his laundry, etc. They said I could control the situation. None of them ever wanted call in my husband and talk to him about it! I thought it was because my ex had a Mormon GA name, and that he was very large and scary. But now, I think it was because bishops never hold any of the males accountable!
4. A man can get married many times in the temple; a woman only once. Over the years, I went to numerous bishops, asking if I could get a temple divorce. Nope. Never. My ex had beaten me severely, and almost killed me, before I finally got a legal divorce, to save my life. My ex ended up having two other temple marriages. He beat all of them, and his children, and other victims. He was a huge tithe-payer, though. My second Mormon husband and I were never allowed a temple marriage, even though we were moral and qualified and obeyed all the rules. Is it STILL the rule that men can get married in the temple many times, but a woman only once?
5. Mothers should not work outside the home—no matter how badly she needs the money. Another bad piece of advice happened when my second Mormon husband abandoned me and our four children, with no money. I was frightened that my children would go hungry. I was new to the area, had only a new start-up job, and could just barely get by—if I didn’t pay that 10% tithing. The bishop called me into his office, to take away my temple recommend for non-payment, and I asked if I could be “excused” from paying tithing, until I got on my feet. The bishop told me to quit my job, and stay home with my children, keep paying tithing, keep going to the temple, and to find a Mormon husband as soon as possible. I told him that we would not get by financially if I did that, even for one month, and that I would never risk marriage again. Next, he asked if I had parents or family members who could support my family, so I could continue to pay tithing. I said no. Then, told me to apply for government welfare. For various reasons, I didn’t qualify for any kind of assistance. As his last resort, the bishop advised me to go on church welfare. I had pride, and I wanted security and confidence for my children, and being dependent on church welfare seemed like a very unstable existence, so I said no to that. I didn’t follow the bishop’s counsel, but kept the new job, which turned into a great lifetime career! I was back on my feet, and able to afford tithing again, within a year.
Other divorced single mothers here on RFM have receieved the same bad advice from their bishops, also. Do bishops still tell ALL single mothers to not get a job, and stay home with their kids and go on welfare, until they find another Mormon husband? Several women in the Mormon Singles group who have done that have ended up in disastrous hasty marriages, and/or financial ruin, depression, and/or have lost their children.
Mormon advice seems to be “one size fits all” with the cult’s financial benefit as the number one consideration.
Does all of this so-called “inspired” advice come out of a standardized, Mormon Handbook of Instructions? I suspect it does.
I would love to read the handbook for myself! Does anyone have a link or a copy?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2019 12:45PM by maude.