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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 02:29PM

There was a version of me that was created before I was born, and I was expected to grow into that version. I did not.

That me was carefully crafted by five generations of religious zealots. These men believed that they had stumbled onto the perfect instruction set for making humans. Children were to be raised in perfect obedience to both parents and church. The church made all the calls, and the parents accepted those calls without question. The plan:

The child will love Jesus and attend church indoctrination meetings without complaint. He will accept corporal punishment and the withholding of parental love for any violations against the church. When he becomes a young man, he may choose the religious track or poverty, because he will receive no help if he doesn't revere the prophets and the gods.

I know all about the punishment part of the plan, because I don't believe. If what they told me about god is true, I don't want anything to do with god. I don't want anything from their god, nor do I care to give him ten percent of my income. So my inheritance was nothing. Same as my father's love for me. The church always got their money from him, so I think the whole fucking thing was a lesson for me.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 02:57PM

manipulative parenting is something that has been going on for eons. The old English way of Primogeniture inheritance. Where the favorite son (or oldest) gets the Kitten-caboodle and everyone else is turned out into the cold. It's a way to keep an estate in tack. Harry is somewhat in this situation, he will always be in the shadow of William and Prince George. In old testament times the patriarchs were extremely mean to their concubines. Abraham threw Haggar and his son out into the desert without any water.

Hopefully times are changing. And these traditions will go extinct.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 13, 2019 08:30AM

I don’t think example from the royal family and the OT are really relevant to today’s society. And neither is the mormon way of doing things relevant to how most families operate, whether they are emotionally healthy or not.

Times have already changed.

Of course it is true that there are unhealthy, dysfunctional families everywhere. Manipulation and passive aggression to me seems common in old fashioned, and overly conservative religious families.

But psychology is complicated. The average Jo is not concerned with things like inheritance, and the landscape of both healthy and unhealthy human relationships is more complex.

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Posted by: cricket ( )
Date: October 13, 2019 08:51AM

pithiest points of light. For example, you wrote.

"There was a version of me that was created before I was born, and I was expected to grow into that version. I did not."

Damn, that's so spot on! Thanks for your post.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 11:26AM

Hey I was the chosen generation and not yours!!!

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: October 15, 2019 03:01PM

Don Bagley explained the root of our Mormon angst in one sentence.

For BIC's, and especially those of us with Mormon pioneer ancestors, this burden was thrust upon us before we were even born; therefore, we were helpless to do anything about it, until we learned the Truth. Most of us didn't know any truth about the cult when we were 8. I didn't know, until I was a parent, myself. Many Mormons live their entire lives not knowing, and they demonstrate this ignorance by withholding much-needed love from their children, or spanking them, or ultimately rejecting the kids who are too imperfect. Everyone NEEDS unconditional love, but there's more to it than this.

The Truth--meaning the facts of reality and how the world works--is absolutely NECESSARY, for human survival! Parents who hide the truth from their children are failures as parents! They are not giving their children the necessary tools for them to grow and learn and leave the nest. Survival is the bottom-line for all living creatures. A bird or a lion is a better parent.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 13, 2019 08:58AM

This is certainly how it seems to work in the mormon world. You have to fit the mold, or you are faulty.
Outside of the mormon church, it’s common for parents to project onto their children and to have certain expectations for them before they are even born. This is not unconditional love, which we all know is absent in the mormon religion.
I didn’t grow up mormon but it took me a while to learn as a convert that certain things and behaviours were expected of me. You can’t just be yourself. This is quite a subtle form of abuse and manipulation. I still deal with this now. If I do something agreeable and which fits the definition of ok, I will be noticed and validated. If not, I get ignored. If I wasn’t wise to it, I’d respond to this “positive” reinforcement. Thanks family.

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: October 13, 2019 03:26PM

That sounds like Satan's plan. It always confused me in Mormonism that they preached free agency when I was an investigator but when I exercised it I was chastised. If I'd been told before I was baptized that the rules would be changed after getting dunked I'd have never done it.

Being raised from birth in Mormonism seems to me like a recipe for insanity. Continually changing the rules (doctrine, practices, teachings) is head spinning. And constantly being forced to conform would have made a wreck out of me. After we converted my mother (also a convert) never forced anything on me. She bought into the free agency line too. Thank goodness or I'd be a mess.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 13, 2019 07:31PM

I was out walking today and meditating on the meaning of life and such thoughts (as usual) and (unfortunately) a mormon song came into my head called “Ive got to find out who I am”. Does anyone else remember it? I looked it up and it’s a seminary song, which I wouldn’t have known as a convert. But twenty years later it’s in my head (brainwashed much?)

Here are the lyrics:

The melody’s familiar,
I’ve heard this song before.
It’s been around the thousand years,
Or maybe even more.
And everybody’s sung it,
At least I think they’ve tried,
But even when the singing’s done
This song goes on inside.
I’ve got to find out who I am
I’ve got to find out who I am
Got to know. And got to see what’s making me, me
I’ve got to when I do I know I’ll be what I can
When I find out who I am.
I’ll be all I can.
When I find out who I am.
And when I do know
I’ll be what I can.
When I find out who I am.
I’ll be all I can.
When I find out who I am.

Now when I was a mormon and listened to this, because of the ways it’s sung, it seems so spiritual, nice and fuzzy.

But isn’t this just so ironic and hypocritical? The mormon church teaching people they are supposedly unique, and need to search for their authentic self...But if you realise you’re gay, don’t believe, want a full time career as a woman, or don’t want to go on a mission, or not have kids - because this is who you are - then you are guilt-tripped, shamed, not accepted, shunned, and possibly excommunicated.

But if you look at it, it’s actually more subtle than that. The “melody” has been around for thousands of years...and the song goes on inside”.

Um, yeah, it’s still in my head.

Basically, for mormons, the “plan of salvation” is there to taunt you forever until you accept it.

The song should be called “I’ve got to find out what they want me to be, and pray, otherwise this f***** song will go on and on, until I give in and obey”.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 01:47AM

My family had a similar plan for my sisters and I growing up. Honor thy father, even though he is a narcissistic abuser; honor thy mother, even though she was a fanatic who would hit a child; heed the wise counsel of bishops, no matter how foolish they are; choose to obey the prophets, even though you were forced to.

If there is a Mormon god who approves of plans like this, he doesn't deserve to be worshipped.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 04:07PM

"Messy, you agreed to be obedient before you came to this world. You're expected to do...You made a covenant to..."

And all of it sounded like a totalitarian regime called the mormon church. You weren't free to choose anything or be yourself or follow your own path. You had to choose to do everything that the church told you to do.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 06:37PM

Living in the garage was part of the plan. It is written.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: October 15, 2019 03:36AM

Ha ha!

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Posted by: Cathy ( )
Date: October 15, 2019 02:31PM

Don, you do have a way of stating things in a relatable way. This applied to me exactly. I was a constant disappointment to my parents (converted when I was three), even though I did do everything asked and required of me. I never understood it, but I figured I was such a faulty human being I was to blame even for not grasping the concepts. I kept trying, until I was in my late 40's, although, as time went on, more and more things simply didn't make sense. I was going out of my mind trying to square what I was taught with what I knew in my heart. When I finally broke free it was one of the happiest days of my life.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: October 15, 2019 06:36PM

Satan won the War in Heaven, and the earth as we know it is the result. See, for example, the BYU Honor Code, or The Good Place, end of season 1.

Mormons are not yet in on the joke.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: October 15, 2019 06:43PM

ban religious zealots ~

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