Date: March 30, 2021 09:11PM
You gotta believe that every time someone does something wrong that there’s a heavenly ledger somewhere keeping track of every little thing in order for you to think that beating the Son of God to death for it does anything to blot out the bad marks. It is a permanent record, like the kind that your principal used to threaten you with if you didn’t stop being such a rebellious little shit. There is a ledger, and every little sin deserves eternal punishment all by itself for some reason. Scared for your soul, your back straightens and you resolve never to do or say or think anything that need be placed on that ledger, and almost immediately you begin to disappoint yourself.
You get into weird definitional problems and boundary-marking issues pretty quickly as well. When is something a sin and when is it just people doing people things? Cuz the difference is a drop of Jesus blood needing to be spilled for it and an appropriate amount of godly sorrow on your part. It leads Mormons, the only sect of which I have intimate experience, to embrace a hard spiritual legalism that is oppressive to live under. “I will do what I can not to add to Christ’s pain,” they tell themselves. “Because maybe one day he will thank me for that.”
It’s not that forgiveness is theoretically impossible in Mormon doctrine. It’s just that it’s a miracle if you ever genuinely think that you have found it and then manage to keep it and feel it for any lengthy amount of time and enjoy the easy yoke and light burden that Jesus promised us before you screw it up somehow and have to look for it again. It’s very discouraging to do this multiple times in a day every day years on end. Every deed and word and thought out of keeping with the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets demands justice, which Jesus pays with a drop of blood for each little one. You may quickly repent many times in a day in silent prayers to your Heavenly Fsther, but you become insecure. For example, “serious sins” require confession to a priesthood holder. Good luck personally defining that phrase in a way that leaves you feeling secure and not needing to run to bishop often, and after you have confessed good luck dealing with the self-doubt that you went into enough detail, and if you convict yourself at this stage good luck dealing with the guilt of bothering your bishop so much and being such a needy, sinful, and broken soul.
If you are tired of this broken process, if you feel like the bishop’s office is a revolving door, there’s a better way. This way requires sacrifices on a scale you’ve never paid before, but it will objectively make you happier and heal your soul if you willing to pay the price. Ready? You have to let go of the idea of a heavenly ledger. You have to stop thinking that God has any interest in the little things you do, in order that you may save yourself from the oppressive belief that everything you do (or are not able to do well enough) disappoints him. You may have to let go of a hope in the afterlife, because you’re going to have to let go of the toxic beliefs that make you think you need a savior in the first place. Your belief in the Fall of Adam, original sin, and the natural man being an enemy to God — these have to offered up on the alter. After they are gone, you will realize that an atonement technically does nothing, which is ok because it never did anything for you anyways.
All the permission that you need to commit these selfish acts against God and his church have been before you the whole time, and you have been dimly aware that there is a body of evidence and information out there that you’re not allowed to look at because it destroys testimonies most of the time that people look at it. What do you think it is? Black magical belief-changing spells? Lies that are so cunning and words that are so flattering that most people fall for them, even the elect? Or, could it be, perchance, a body of facts that speak for themselves that show that Mormonism is not true? You’re not gonna know unless you go look. Consider it a rite or an ordinance, like baptism.
You wanna be happy? Here’s your first article of faith: “I deserve to be happy.” Because you do deserve to be happy. There are no conditions on it. Just be happy. If you’re not happy, figure out why and remove the problem. You haven’t done anything (probably) that anyone outside of the LDS church gives two shits about, so remove yourself from church and from that Mormony environment that is the only place where any of your self-torment makes any sense. You’re not a selfish person; you’ve never given any thought to your self-care in your entire life. You’re always trying to please others, and it has to stop. Your only sins are against yourself. You deserve to be happy, and you’re committing every sin against yourself that you could possibly devise. Stop it.
You probably feel like you’re an imposter. You feel like your idealized Christian self (which is your facade), in other words the Peter Priesthood or Molly Mormon version of you, is a lie. It feels like a lie because it is a lie, but the solution is not to keep faking it until you make it. This idealized version of you is an unrealistic standard that set you up for unhappiness. You have to start a journey and discover where your beliefs really come from, how they did this to you, what normal human beings are like, and discover a more realistic definition of right and wrong. The biggest hookup is probably that you think God talks to you through your thoughts. He does not. Those are just your thoughts and your incredible skill at self-deception and confirmation bias. If you have a turbulent mind, you probably have impulsive, instructive thoughts, usually thoughts of self-doubt and self-blame. That is not the Spirit of God. That is you, that’s the part of you that still wants the church to be true. It is in the way of your will to live, and it has to go.
So, you will purposely commit the atheist sin of denying the Holy Ghost. You will realize that no one is up there in your head but you. Your mind is what your brain does. Your consciousness does not reside in a separate spiritual part of you; it’s in your brain. If you are depressed, that’s because your neurochemistry is out of balance, not because the Spirit of God has withdrawn from you. There is great power is realizing that your soul is a physical thing, your brain, whose health is tied directly to the rest of your body. Take care of it by nourishing it with good food, exercise, human connection, and literature (anything but the fucking Scriptures).
The part of your brain that you call God will kick and scream and accuse you of blasphemy and heresy and anything else he can think of to keep you from doing what you need to do for your own sake. That’s not God. That is your conditioned brain engaging in thought-stopping behavior to avoid committing the ultimate sin, which is non-belief. You have been told over and over and over again that this is the worst possible sin that you can commit. So, you know, your brain which is traumatized by all the many sins that you’ve committed so far recoils and withdraws at the thought of committing the ultimate sin. Oh, the guilt and shame that must await you for committing that one too. But, dear one, I already told you if you change your mindset to the one I have described where your “sins” don’t make any sense anymore, you’re not going to feel bad about it.
The first feelings you feel after you genuinely bring yourself to believe that nothing exists except material objects (the things which can be tested empirically), are relief and joy. Your thoughts that you have hitherto interpreted as the Spirit of the Lord will recondition into something else. You will still have that part of yourself, and so in a sense you will still have the Spirit, but it will be kinder to you and won’t mistake it for God scolding you. It is your brain, and your brain is only afraid of more pain. But you know what, at some point you hit rock bottom and you realize that there is no pain that you fear anymore. You might even have sunk to a place where you welcome pain as some kind of atonement, because maybe things will get better if only sufficient atonement can be made. Think of this as a new experiment. It might be painful, but the only way to settle it in your mind once and for all whether or not God is speaking to you through your thoughts is to stop praying and stop trying to listen for an answer in the still small voice. Stop it. Stop it, and only listen to the still small voice anymore the way you listen to a rock as it falls down the dark well so you can figure out how deep it is. Listen to it “die.” You’ll realize it doesn’t die; it was just you the whole time, part of you conditioned to talk yourself like that and take it as divine communication.
If you try these experiments in unfaith and you like the results, then you must be baptized. This is a different kind of baptism, though, because instead of drowning your natural man in the water, you’re going to drown your spiritual man, or the idealized Christian version of yourself. This doesn’t need to be a real, actual ceremony. But in your mind at least you have to take the Saintly version of yourself who torments you, grab it by the collar, and shove its head down into the water. Do it, because this person doesn’t exist. They’re not real. Keep that head under the water until the bubbles stop, which symbolizes you rejecting the need to torment yourself to try to be this person who was never a practical goal for you to set in the first place. Drown the lie, which means accept yourself as you are. You’re still going to be a good person, and you’ll be a much happier person once you accept that your journey to make your saintly facade into flesh and blood is what was killing you from the inside out. That was the exact thing, and ceasing such hostilities towards your own self will save you.
It will save you. What do you have to lose, the afterlife? Is that even a certain reality that you need to be worried about which church has the authority to promise you the good part of it? No one knows what happens after death. Anyone pretending to know not only that life goes on minus a body but also what it will be like in great detail is deluded or is a liar. The null hypothesis is that there is no such thing as an after life. The burden is on them to prove otherwise, and no one ever can. All they can do is scare you. The God you believe in is a real asshole if you really think that he would require all this misery of you in this life or else he has even greater miseries in store in the next life. You already think that most people pretending to have your eternal welfare in their hands are lying to you. It’s not such a huge leap to extend that to include everyone. Are you giving up on the afterlife or are you admitting that no one knows and choosing to live for this one in the mean time?
Again, it will save you. It will probably piss off your parents if your parents are true believers. But you know what’s more important than your family’s happiness? YOURS. What about your happiness? Think of it this way - you cannot love your neighbor as yourself if you hate yourself. Imagine berating your neighbor for every little thing that you think they do wrong. You would never do that (which is how I know you’re a good person with or without religion). But you’re not a good person to yourself. You’ve got to treat yourself the way you treat your neighbors. You’ve got to use some of that kindness and empathy on yourself for once. And you’ve got to keep doing it.
Salvation is the cessation of hostilities is between you and yourself, and the keys are laid out here for you and the path forward is clear. You will reject God, and you will reject appeals to authority, and you will ask tough questions of everybody and everything, and you will only accept answers to your questions that can prove themselves true with empirical evidence. You’ve already seen what happens to your mental health when you let people who can’t prove their claims true have access to your mind - they light it on fire because they don’t know whereof they speak. They just say shit because faith compels them, because they’re too afraid of the ultimate mind experiment which might have set them free. You will make these and other realizations as you become a free agent for the first time in your miserable existence, and your existence will also cease to be miserable. It happens by degrees and in waves, because your soul has been traumatized end it takes time. But the healing cannot begin until after you kill God. He never existed anyway. Kill him with prejudice. Kill him for your own sake. If he is offended by this, let him come down and speak for himself. If the best he can do is send these stupid assholes who you can tell are in the throes of delusion and ignorance and are constantly on the rack because they’re scared of hell, then you may know for certain that the God they’re here to speak for a figment of their own troubled imaginations, just like yours was.
Do these things for your own sake because the Jesus that you used to believe in promised you that he would do these things for you and he has yet to deliver the goods. He is not going to. He does not exist except in your mind. So you have to make that decision to make these things happen. That is always how it worked. Had you been able to achieve a positive spirituality, that is still how it would’ve worked, whether you realized it or not. So cut the shit and get to work in the most direct way, the evidence-based way, rebuilding your soul without any of this bullshit in the way. Take joy in the journey. No one is Lord over you but you. No one can read your thoughts. No one can send you to hell. There is no hell. There is no Satan. There is no God. The angels are not watching you. No one has any idea what you did or said or especially what you thought if no one is around to watch you do it. No one can read your mind in any setting. Try experimenting with that too. You may try to tell believers about what it’s been like to be you, and they will simply refuse to believe you. They didn’t see it, and since believing your story to be true causes them distress, it’s much easier not to believe you, so they won’t. It won’t matter how honest you’ve been with these people, they’ll treat you like dirt. You’ll see how shallow the believing mind is and always was and you’ll wonder if you weren’t the only one taking the scriptures seriously sometimes.
Don’t believe in God; believe in yourself. Believe your rights, beginning with the right to be happy. Next believe that you have the right to know anything you want just because it is true and that is no sin to know things. Then, teach yourself the highest standards of how to tell truth from error. Then, the rest just kind of falls in place. You can do this. I know, because I was like you and I already have.