Talking To My Zelph

My quest for freedom from the LDS religion.

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Location: OA, Offworld

Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Primary Persuasion

On Monday of last week, a flyer appeared at our front door. It was an invitation to our ward's primary activity which took place yesterday. The flyer was addressed to my oldest child, but the primary leaders must have remembered later that we had another child old enough to be in the primary (but hasn't been going because I've made every effort to keep my family home instead of attending church) because another flyer addressed to him arrived on Tuesday.

Then a member of the primary presidency called on Wednesday and left a message reminding us of the event.

On Thursday, a different member (I don't know if she's part of the primary, or just a "concerned" parent of another primary-aged kid) called to ask if she could come pick up my two oldest children and give them a ride to the activity. (Thanks to the miracle of caller ID, I recognized the number, assumed it was church-related, and let the machine answer it.)

On Friday night, the "concerned parent" called again, leaving another message, asking to give the kids a ride to the activity.

On SATURDAY MORNING, shortly before the event took place, the same lady called AGAIN to ask if the kids were coming to the activity at the ward house.

GOOD GRIEF! These well-intentioned TBMs just don't give up, do they?

I suppose the matter would have dropped had I answered one of the calls and politely declined the offer, or flat out said that the kids would not be attending. I didn't think that a daily effort would be made to get my kids "activated" for a single primary activity for 6 straight days!

Anyway...its just one of those odd little post-mormon situations I find myself in from time to time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Taking out the trash

Spring cleaning isn't usually a major activity in my household, but last week I decided to finally straighten our downstairs because it was starting to get too cluttered.

One project turned into two, and then a third, and before I knew it, I was reorganizing our bedroom in order to make room for some stuff. I didn't want to do it, but I knew it was time to clean under the bed. There was a lot of stuff under there that I hadn't seen for years. Literally.

In-line skates I've never used (complete with matching knee and elbow pads!)

Old luggage (my way cool Army garment bag!)

Old magazines that would never be read again.

And here they are! The bag full of temple garments that I stopped wearing two years ago!

No sense in hanging onto those ridiculous things, since I know I'll never make it back to the temple. No more cult rituals for me, thanks! I'm doing just fine out here in the real world with the sane folks.

I suppose that instead of simply tossing the garments into the trash, I could have done something more malicious with them, like burn them or donate them to some crazy evangelical Christian street preacher to stomp on and wave around come next General Converence. But what good would that do?

Nah, the trash can is right where they needed to go. And since I no longer beleive in all the hocus-pocus superstition concering their "sacredness", I didn't bother to carefully remove the little Masonic symbols and burn them in reverence. I say "pshaw" to all that nonsense.

Yep, it's nice to have a clean spot under the bed, an organized basement, and wearing boxers again!

Thus sayeth Al.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thoughts on "anti-Mormons"

The following is a comment I left on the One Living Truth message board under the "Response to new anti-Mormon DVD" thread.

I'm tired of the "anti-mormon" label as well. It's overused, and yes, the very term acts as an "off switch" to an otherwise candid and honest (and civil) discussion of the differences between Mormonism and other faiths.

Someone or something that questions, challenges, or disagrees with Mormonism is usually aimed at the doctrine and/or teachings of the church, NOT the people themselves (well, maybe with a few obvious exceptions, such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.)

The problem is that faithful TBMs are so CONVINCED that they have the absolute truth, there's just no changing their minds.

I can only speak from my personal experience as a member for 30 years, but it took me an entire year of inactivity to even accept the mere POSSIBILITY that it was all a farce and based only on lies and deception.

Then it took me another year of research and study before I concluded that the church simply wasn't what it claimed to be...what I'd been taught to believe it to be.

The undeniable fact is that Joseph Smith was a con man...pure and simple. Once an honest seeker of truth comes to that realization, it becomes so easy to recognize the rest of the fallacies of the church and its teachings.

When the tendrils of church doctrine have so completely invaded every aspect of one's life, it's so difficult to even imagine any alternatives. The LDS church is all about rules and control and work (oh, the never ending WORK for salvation and eventual "exaltation") and once you get on that little hamster wheel to heaven, it's almost impossible to get off.

Once a TBM has surrendered his or her rational thought processes and replaced them with church doctrine, a near-impenetrable mental barrier is erected between them and everyone else. Herein lies the "us versus them" mentality. Herein lies the origin of the "anti-Mormon" belief system.

I no longer subscribe to the idea of the LDS church as being "the one and only true church on the face of the planet", nor do I support any "prophet" or other church leader as being an inspired mouthpiece of God here on earth.

So what does this make me?

An "apostate?" Sure.

An "anti-Mormon?" In the eyes of TBM's, probably.

But if I'm an anti-Mormon, then True Believing Mormons like Ron and Bob are anti-everyone else.