Talking To My Zelph

My quest for freedom from the LDS religion.

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Location: OA, Offworld

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another "Pop In" Visit By The Bishop

Sunday night around 8:00. The wife and kids and I had just settled in to watch The Polar Express since we wanted to get into the spirit of the holiday season.

Knock, knock, knock.

Damn. I've learned that a visitor on a Sunday night is never a good thing.

It was the Bishop. This is the second time in about a month he's just "dropped by" for one reason or another. This time it was to extend a release to my wife who's been serving as our ward's Compassionate Service Leader for the past year or so. I thought maybe he was letting her out of the job because she hasn't been to church for a couple of months (my influence!)
But nope, he wanted to toss yet another meaningless "calling" her way. I wasn't in the room at the time to hear what the job was, so I wasn't aware of it until I'd later asked her what else it was that he wanted. She told me it was for another calling and that she'd turned it down. (Yay!)

Since the Bishop seems to be getting a little bit more bold about just coming over whenever he damn well pleases, I went ahead and finally composed my letter of resignation yesterday morning. All I need to do now is mail off a copy to the Bishop and one to the Stake President in order to set things in motion.

My wife was a little upset when I informed her of the letter.

"I was hoping it wouldn't come to this." She told me.

I told her that it was just the next logical step to take since I knew I'd never go back to the LDS church again.

I was hoping that I'd be able to show her the things that I'd discovered about the church, things that it tries so hard to suppress from its members by brushing them aside or pretending that they don't matter, or even worse, that they don't exist. But she has yet to read any of the books, visit any of the websites, or watch any of the videos.

"I hadn't intended on doing this alone, you know," I said. "I wanted us to resign together, as a family, but the Bishop is forcing my hand here. I've got to take a stand for the sake of my own sanity and emotional well-being, as well as for the sake of the kids."

I then began a lecture about how I believed the church can actually be a harmful influence on children. Richard Packham has an excellent essay concerning this topic and can be found at:

She didn't have much to say in response. I think she's just still in shock over all this, just as I was for a period of several weeks once I realized that everything about the church I'd accepted as truth was actually one enormous lie.

So, my letter is written and ready for submission.

Soon, I'll be free.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Conversations With Bob

The following is some correspondance between me and a TBM apologist named Bob the Anti-Anti Mormon who runs the blog "".

What initiated this conversation was a comment that I had made on his blog about his views concerning the evangelical Christian, Shawn McCraney, and his television show, "Heart of the Matter." At first, I was of the impression that Bob was being overly critical of Shawn's responses to honest inquiries and corrections, but as I learned more about the story, I realized that Shawn is just as guilty of playing the "I'm right and you're wrong no matter what you say" game as die-hard Mormons are.

Bob, I hope you don't mind my posting this! Let me know if that's the case.

From: Al Jordan
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 7:41 AM
To: rvukich
Subject: [Anti-Mormons] 11/09/2006 06:41:01 AM

Hi Bob, me again.

Thanks for your email concerning my comment on your previous post.

This recent post of yours sheds some much needed light on Shawn's behavior,
and it's actually helped to somewhat alter my opinion of him.

He invites criticism, then kicks it in the shin when it knocks on his door.
Very childish indeed.

He obviously has an're right about that. I won't defend him.
But I also won't defend mormonism for doing pretty much the same thing.

Shawn asks for donations, while the LDS church makes tithing a requirement
to get into heaven.

Shawn waves away facts that don't support his views, but so does the
even more so if you ask me.

In the end, both parties is striving to do what they think is right,
allowing the ends to justify the means.

Sometimes I wonder if the world would be a better place without religions
and all the zealots that come with them.

Posted by Al Jordan to Anti-Mormons> at
11/09/2006 06:41:01 AM

From: "Robert Vukich"
To: "'Al Jordan'"
Subject: RE: [Anti-Mormons] 11/09/2006 06:41:01 AM
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 13:56:32 -0700

I responded on line. I really appreciate your comments. And though I
probably sound stupid the way I said it three times in my response online,
truly see your point.
Thanks again. Well said.

From: Al Jordan
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 5:29 AM
To: rvukich
Subject: RE: [Anti-Mormons] 11/09/2006 06:41:01 AM

Hi Bob! Sorry for the delay in responding...I don't check this email very

I went back and listened to all the previous episodes of "heart of the
matter" online and finally came across the one with your phone call. I
thought it was a good one! Shawn wasn't as argumentative with you as he can

be with other pro-mormons.

Do you still watch the show, or have you since boycotted it?

I don't necessarily agree with everything Shawn says on his program, or the
way he deals with some of his callers, but I think he makes some good

I'm in the process of leaving the church and while I'm finally past the
"anger" phase of my recovery, I'm still interested in opposing views and
opinions, so I'll probably keep watching.

Thanks for writing me back...good luck to you!


From: "Robert Vukich"
To: "'Al Jordan'"
Subject: RE: [Anti-Mormons] 11/09/2006 06:41:01 AM
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 23:19:40 -0700

Hi Al,
Thanks again for the notes. I am not boycotting or anything like that. If
I have time, I will watch. My frustration is that it is just so grossly out
of the norm for what Mormonism is. No big deal.

Sorry to hear you plan to leave the Church. From your responses I am
guessing it is not a Mormon vs. Christian thing.

Honestly, I did not have an opinion about the Church when I was 18. I had
been baptized at 16, was not active, and really did not know how the Church
was going to relate to my life. My best friend has since gone on to become
a minister at a Four Square Church up in Idaho. But at 18 I started to
study LDS doctrine, and compared it to the things of Evangelical and also
the anti-Mormons teachings. Frankly, I came to realize that LDS doctrine,
regardless of physical evidence, is just more in line with the Bible. I
believe there is some physical support of the Church as well, but I would
not really pay attention to it one way or the other, because there can
always be questions raised about any philosophical point of view. On the
other hand, there is no way to explain things like the LDS doctrine's of
plural gods and the exaltation of man, the role of prophets and the role of

I look forward to hearing more from you as you have time. Good luck.

Hey Bob,

You're right, my decision to leave isn't based on a conversion to "mainstream" Christianity. I was born and raised in the church and believed in it, but only because that's all I'd ever known. I didn't go on a mission at age 19, not because of any unbelief, but because I felt unworthy and didn't want to cheat anyone out of an otherwise spiritual experience. I felt that I would be a disappointment to the Lord if I lied about my "worthiness" in order to go on a mission.

Instead, I enlisted in the Army and served a total of 4 1/2 years on active duty and 6 on reserve status with the National Guard. This gave me an opportunity to explore different parts of the world outside of Mormondom and make friends with a myriad faiths and backgrounds that were different than my own.

But I was still a believer.

I married in the temple, had some kids, went to church every Sunday and tried to fulfill my callings as best I could.

Then something happened. I can't pinpoint any event or trigger in particular, but none of it seemed to matter anymore. I wasn't getting anything worthwhile out of church attendance. I actually started to resent going, so I started to skip out on the other meetings after Sacrament and avoided any additional assignments such as home teaching.

It may be that the older I get, the more valuable my spare time is to me. You know how the church likes to keep people so busy. For an organization that claims to support the strengthening of the family, it was taking me away from my family...and that really started to bother me.

So maybe I'm selfish...I won't dispute that.

It wasn't until I stumbled on what some consider "anti-mormon" material on the internet. I remember that distinctly. It was the whole "men on the moon" debacle. At first I couldn't believe what I was reading...a true prophet of God couldn't have possibly believed or taught something as ridiculous as that!

So I began my research. Moon men led to Blood Atonement which led to the temple's Masonic origins which led to Joseph Smith's ties to the occult which led to the facts behind the "translation" of the plates which led to polygamy which led to the DNA issue...on and on. There seemed to be no end to amount of evidence against the church, much of which doesn't even come from sources without the church, but within it!

I started to doubt, so I sought answers from the web's best mormon know, FARMS, FAIR, Jeff Lindsay. Their answers seemed flimsy and speculative at best.

Then my doubt morphed into unbelief and I began my journey of recovery. It really is amazing how similar this experience is to that of losing a loved one...all the same steps, or "phases" are there: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Acceptance.

I think I'm finally over the anger phase, but now that I no longer accept the church as being true anymore, I'm constantly seeking new information about religious truth, even from all the sources that I once were thought "taboo".

I'm interested in just plain old Bible thumping Christianity, but not enough to just dive right into it I guess. I'm now suspicious of every religion. So I have to ask myself: do I even need religion in my life? Does anyone?

The most difficult part of all this is that just about everyone in my immediate and extended family are all TBMs. I don't even feel like I can talk to anyone about anything for fear of causing an argument or animosity between us.

Well, there's my story. You didn't ask for it, but I gave it to you anyway. I hope you don't mind. You seem like a really great guy and I appreciate your understanding.

I do find it extremely interesting how you said you found truth in the church even after seriously researching it. Had I known the things about it that I do now, I would have never stuck with it for as long as I did. And I think that most members, be they newer converts or "cradle to the grave" types, are just as in the dark about these issues as I was.

I can no longer put my trust or faith in a church that attempts to sterilize its own history in order to gain or retain members. In light of the evidence, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young just aren't the great prophetic men the church wants us to believe they were.

Okay, I'll stop now. I welcome any comments you may have.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Campy Religions

Once upon a time, I enjoyed camping.
The fresh mountain air, the warmth and smell of a raging campfire, and the clear night sky illuminated with endless twinkling stars.

Then I joined the army and was forced to go on weeks of outdoor "field" exercises where we were exposed to the harsh elements.

I've never been colder, wetter, hotter, dirtier, or generally more miserable in my entire life.

Camping has thus been ruined for me.

Given the choice between comfort and camping, I'll choose the former from now on.

Religion, it would seem, has suffered the same fate. Now that I've voluntarily excused myself from further participation in the LDS church, I just have no interest in seeking out another church to attend. I no longer see the point in it.

For years, I've resented Sundays because of all the meetings I was expected to attend. It's been years since I found anything resembling joy at church, which may be why it was so easy to up and leave once I discovered it was all just a colossal fraud anyway.

I've discovered a newfound freedom on Sundays, now that I know I don't HAVE to go to another Sacrament meeting, ESPECIALLY those lousy fast and testimony meetings where I have to sit there and listen to people whine and cry about the trials they have in their lives. (Hello! We've all got problems. Get over it and move on with your damn life!) Oh, and now that I've sufficiently detached myself from all the brainwashing techniques, all the lies and bullshit have become blatantly apparant. I mean, come on "I KNOW the church is true." Give me a damn break. Unless God or Jesus personally appeared to you and told you that, you don't KNOW it. You BELIEVE it to be true, or you WANT it to be true, but that doesn't make it so.

I've given some thought to testing out some local Christian churches in my area, but I just don't want to get sucked into something else. Do I need church (i.e. organized religion) and all its related legalism in my life? Not really. I can get by just fine without it.

But I guess if Jesus ever dropped by the house with a sleeping bag tucked under one arm and a package of marshmallows in the other and invited me to go camping with him, I'd go.

I'll just bet He likes s'mores.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The LDS church is like a box of chocolates...

I came into work a little early today. There's always something left behind from the day before so I'm constantly in "catch up" mode.

Someone had left a bag of what looked like chocolate covered raisins on a table in the office's commons area, so I thought I'd help myself. It's not unusual for people to bring in goodies to share with their co-workers, so I didn't think it would be a problem to pop 4 or 5 of the treats into my mouth.

They started out good...all chocolatey and everything, then the sweet taste suddenly disappeared. I thought, "that's odd," and then the burning kicked in.

"Son of a...!" I spit them out into the trash can.

Double checking the bag, I noticed the label hidden on the bottom: "Kopper's Cayenne Pepper Savory."




A coworker's idea of a joke, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

It only took me a moment to make a parallel between this situation and the one I faced with the mormon church.

It looks innocent enough, and if you just focus on the surface, it's sweet and "savory."

But if you dig just a little deeper, into it's core, you'll find something much more diabolical and disgusting and you realize that you've been had.

The moral of the story: look a little more closely at the ingredients before taking a bite. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trunk or Treat: The Aftermath

Okay, so the Trunk or Treat activity in the ward parking lot went very well. All three wards who meet in the building were involved with the activity, so there were an absolute ton of people.

Nothing bad was said. No invasive questions were asked. It was just a fun experience.

Sometimes I get myself all worked up about how perverse Joseph Smith and the origins of mo-ism were, that I forget that most of the people caught up in this religious cult are decent, well-intentioned, good people. It's not their fault that the church has been lying about its own history since it's conception. I'm betting that most of them are completely unaware of its shady past, just as I was for so many years.

What's sad is that they've also been programmed to resist anything that conflicts with what they've accepted as truth and the very devoted members will never allow anything to damage or alter their "testimonies" in any way.

God, I can't help but just feel bad for them. I wish there was something I could do to help, but I'm not much of an activist. All I can do now is just try to maintain damage control within my own family and keep the cancer that is the mormon cult out of the minds of my children.

I still don't know if there's any hope for my wife. I've managed to keep her from church for several weeks, but she still wears her temple garments (I understand that it can be difficult to let go of the superstitious crutch that is the enchanted underwear), and from what I can tell, she's still a believer.

There are still several hurdles that must be overcome in this journey to religious truth/freedom.

I'll have to take them one at a time.