Date: September 09, 2022 04:05PM
Mormonism is an incomplete, self-contradictory narrative about how the world works that a certain small group of human beings is desperate to keep alive to justify why they historically in the past and metaphorically in the present fled into the wilderness to be alone to be with the lousy company they keep to this day. They say they prefer it this way, but really they never felt at liberty to have it any other way.
The religious narrative doesn't withstand the barest scrutiny, but instead of owning this fact, the culture -- at the self-serving behest of a powerful and influential and well-connected elite who benefit from this culture -- has instead made a habit of forbidding too much critical thought. It tears into anybody or anything that threatens its religious feelings with overtly desperate viciousness. Mormons can gaslight you while blaming you while morally begging their own case while inviting you to church with them next Sunday while pleading with you to keep any inconvenient truths to yourself while seeming oblivious of how pitifully they come across to others all at the same time in the same interaction. It's a window into their collective mental state if you wish to untangle it.
I'm obsessed with understanding this stupid behavior, since I can't have a relationship with anybody I've known since childhood without being able to put up with it. The Mormon mind is generally a brain yearning to understand things while also chastising itself for being even that curious, because it risks upsetting their entire social life. It tends to devolve into self-blame for everything they feel is wrong but aren't at liberty to properly explore, because when they articulate their feelings and questions and ask what's wrong they're always told it's them. It's a very lonely existence hungry for human authenticity and human connection but unable to see beyond its self-depriving dogmatism for fear that socially everything will just get worse than it already is.
Or, that's if you actually listened to the narrative and tried to live it authentically like I did. I'm beginning to understand that there are other ways of tackling the Mormon conundrum but without making people validate your subjective reality or leaving the church. Some people just lie, and they know they lie. The lie eats some people up; but for others the lying is routine and it means nothing to them, because their rites of passage into the only society they were allowed to have depended on them telling certain authorities certain things at the time appointed. Perhaps this is what you're noticing in some people. It's very potent in Utah of all places. Idaho too.
I was enraged when I learned about the Second Anointing, because the smugness and fake certainty and duplicity and self-exculpatory attitude of the Q15 finally made sense to me. There is a kind of personality that tends to radiate from some of the higher-ups where they know, they genuinely feel in their bones, that they can do no wrong as long as ultimately do everything they do for the furtherance of the church's ends. They are explicitly told to think in secret holy ordinances that the means justify the ends. The only way they won't be saved and exalted is if they turn against the church.
People like you and I, and others on this board, well, we were made examples of to discourage anybody else from entertaining our modes of thought or following our paths. We had crud thrown at our faces because when we tried to make our cases to our friends and family, they were faced with either the existentialism of empathizing with us which they were purposely culturally ill-equipped to figure out or the sadness of categorizing a loved one as fallen and apostate for purposes of easy dismal. The peer pressure is massively in favor of the latter, and their every conditioning screams to go that way, so it's no surprise that most do.
Mostly, I think, everybody does whatever is best for themselves. In Mormon culture, that takes the form of allowing the church consensus to subsume everything they would otherwise think and feel. It's only so many people who martyr themselves socially for an idea of truth that runs contrary to the received one, even though every Mormon would imagine themselves to be that person. That is the narrative Mormons think they're living in the context of the broader world, but they usually don't have enough multi-cultural exposure for this narrative not to be based on straw-men. We're all the heroes of our own stories or else the victims of our living tragedies. It takes a lot of mental work to think in other terms and be self-critical on principle.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2022 04:17PM by Cold-Dodger.