Does Mormon Culture Have To Define Us For Life?

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Some people think, and publically advocate, that Mormonism is a culture as well as a religion, and as such should be retained for its cultural aspects even if the religious mythology is recognised for what it is as a big fat fraud.

Is this a good thing?

I’m not so sure.

Consider….

Hobbits have bare feet.
I was born with bare feet.
I am a Hobbit.😉

Our identity is interesting….

Human brains are not fully developed at birth and take years to fully develop.

Culture forms a large part of human development.

Humans are born expecting culture. We have evolved with brains which have the capacity to learn vast amounts of information, more so than any other living species. We are born with brains which need culture to fully develop. It’s our childhood culture which enables our brains to develop fully.

Since a large part of who we are is formed during our early development, it seems natural that many people born into Mormonism would retain that culture as part of their identity.

I think that’s part of the reason ex-Mormons are the best people in the world…… for other ex-Mormons. Because they understand us like no other group of people can or do.

Since Mormonism is basically a belief system born out of the vivid imaginations of a few people like Joseph Smith, Sydney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and Brigham Young, and is a cynically sick con, I think it would be almost tragic for a child born into this twisted and contorted worldview to have to retain their allegiance to it after discovering the fraud. Much like I think it would be tragic for a child born into the Mafia, Scientology or some weird UFO cult to continue to feel they are defined by their birth culture.

In some countries the dominant culture is prescribed by the religion, for example Saudi Arabia.

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Is it right to retain the culture when objectively we know that certain aspects of that culture are not good for human thriving?

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I’m sure we do not have to continue to retain Mormonism as our main cultural identity, though I imagine it will always feature somewhere in our thought processes, due to the way our neurology develops as a child.

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On the other hand I was also born part of the human race. A child of this planet. With the innate and wonderful capacity to learn, and relearn.

I believe we all have the ability, as humans, to re-define ourselves according to a chosen set of paradigms rather than those of the culture we were born into.

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Just like in the analogy of Plato’s Cave, I believe leaving the Mormon Bubble of the religion and culture can totally redefine us and expand our perspective of life and attitude whilst giving us rich new vistas of opportunities and experience.

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I now prefer to consider myself a terran and feel connected to my huge extended family of around 7 billion humans all over the world.

Instead of being limited by the expectations of the cynically self-serving and restrictive religious culture of Mormonism, I am free to define myself. To live my one life according to the dreams and aspirations I decide. To truly become all that human beings have the potential to become.

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26 Responses to Does Mormon Culture Have To Define Us For Life?

  1. I like how you explain things in simple, very direct, and understandable ways. And I agree with your position. Personally, I have moved beyond Mormon culture.

  2. dbundy says:

    This is such crap. You are a hungry man Steve, or you wouldn’t be fighting against Zion like you are doing continually. Finding the alleged fraud so repulsive should drive you away. Instead, you can’t leave it alone, like a moth to the flame.
    Haven’t you read that all those who fight against mount Zion are just deluding themselves? You dream that your soul is being fed and that you are drinking deeply from the springs of truth, but your inevitable fate is to wake up and find that your soul has appetite.

    • SteveBloor says:

      I’m sorry dbundy, but you really need to leave the ‘Cave’.

      It is impossible to conceive of what I and many hundreds of thousands of others have come to understand.

      That is why my statements are met with contempt and you question my sanity.

      It is rather like trying to teach a congenitally blind person what colour is.

      It is NOT my purpose to try to deconvert you. I would be deluded if I thought I had a chance.

      Your own perception of me and my motives is filtered through your own subconscious cognitive biases.

      I’m sorry to say, but your comments reveal more about you and the fear-induced irrational mind control you are susceptible to, than it does about me and my motives.

      You may not appreciate my observations and deductions, but they are my authentic reflections on my journey out of the harmful cult that is Mormonism.

      You are tragically just as much a victim of Joseph’s con and fraud as I was.

      I hope one day you will come to realise this, as I have.

      When you do you will be most welcome, till then I wish you well & bid you adieu.

      Steve

      • Well done Steve. Thanks for demonstrating compassion and patience. Many will reach the awareness of which you speak. Some won’t.

      • dbundy says:

        Ask yourself this, Steve: Does God live? Is the only living God the God of Israel? Did he truly tell his people what would befall them, before it did? Did he promise them that he would raise them up, cleanse them of their sins and establish them in the latter days?

        If so, and Joseph understood it enough to fake it and take advantage of it, where else do we look for the fullfillment of the promise?

        I have never found anyone that can give me an alternative to Joseph’s claim that Jesus, under the direction of the Father, is gathering his sheep into one fold, that they may prepare for his return. That Zion can be redeemed, before the return of Christ, because the land of America is Zion, is the only argument on the table. If you know of another, please let me know.

        The only alternative I see was clearly exhibited here in UT last Thursday. As soon as the video is available, I will be glad to share with you. In the meantime, here is a taste of its flavor:

        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=38DNcJLUjbI

      • SteveBloor says:

        dbundy,

        You are welcome to peruse my personal blog.

        It’s purpose has been clearly defined in the Rules For Comments page.

        As much as I don’t come onto your blog to challenge your perception of reality, this blog is not an invitation for you to challenge mine.

        Since you raise the question of belief in the supernatural, may I ask you what is your evidence that your so-called God exists?

        Cheers,
        Steve

      • dbundy says:

        Well, thanks for the invitation to re-iterate the many evidences for the existence the God of Israel, Steve, but you and I both know that would be a waste of time, because you have hardened your heart against the many witnesses you have received. What more could be given one than you have been given?

        When I see the creations of heaven and earth, I see evidence of God, but you don’t. When I see the course of nations following the paths he said they would, I see the evidence of God, but you don’t. When I see the wisdom of the wise perishing, and the understanding of the prudent vanishing, I see the evidence of God, but you don’t. When I see Lebanon turned into a fruitful field and the fruitful field esteemed as a forest, I see the evidence of God, but you don’t.

        I see the children of Jacob sanctifying his name and sanctifying the Holy One of Israel, because those who erred in spirit have come to understanding, and those who murmured have learned doctrine. The ears of the deaf are hearing the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind are seeing out of obscurity, and out of darkness, causing the meek to increase their joy in the Lord and the poor among men to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

        But you see none of these things, neither do you rejoice in them, but because of your learning you think you are wise and you set aside the counsel of God, supposing you know of yourself, but your wisdom is foolishness and profits you nothing, because you shall perish, if you don’ repent. God says “Wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish.” And he also says, “Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also.”

        And that’s the problem, Steve. It’s not that there is no evidence that God exists, it’s all around you, but you will not receive it. It’s a matter of your will, not your eyes, not your ears. You see not and you hear not, because your heart will not let you, lest at any time you should be converted and the Lord should heal you.

        Sad, so sad.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Dear dbundy,

        Thank you for your concern, I am flattered you have taken the time to compose your comments.

        I hope I can reciprocate. I am concerned for you. That you have been unable to recognise the delusional effects of the Mormon belief system.

        The difference between us is that I’ve tested my epistemology and found it fatally flawed.
        We both see the same things and yet I’ve changed my perception based on a different viewpoint.

        I used to think like you, but that changed when I became doxastically open.

        “He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail.” ~ Abraham Maslow

        Confirmation bias is a powerful influence over a believers mind.

        Stepping back to look at the bigger picture reveals more than we can ever imagine.

        As a believing Mormon I believed I ‘knew’, just like you.

        Don’t forget, ‘as you are now, I once was. As I am now, you may become.’

        There is a principle well understood in psychology called self-deception. It’s a process which our subconscious minds use to protect us from potentially painful knowledge or information. A form of confirmational bias.

        The brain’s objective is to maintain a feeling of happiness & security. Our subconscious minds filter information which could threaten our sense of reality, mounting a defence by creating the ‘Vital Lie’.

        This happens all the time in situations where it’s just too painful to accept the truth. Where neutral parties are able to clearly see the objective reality, we are blind to the truth because our emotions drive our thinking.

        The uncomfortable truths I discovered in my initial foray into Church history were just the tip of a very big iceberg of lies & deceipt which continues upto this day.

        ‘Lying for the Lord’ is an established principle in Church leadership.

        One I abhor with a passion.

        For me, I loved the Church because I believed it epitomised truth.

        I loved the church because I believed it was True! Not just because there was a lot of good in it. The truth was something I felt I possessed and truthfulness was, & increasingly is, something I feel is worth standing up for &, if necessary, sacrificing for!

        It’s not about whether it “feels good!” Truth is never about how it feels! Truth stands independent & doesn’t care how it makes us feel. Truth is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow. The Church can, & has changed, but truth stands firm & immovable.

        When you consider why we believe in the Church, & the gospel it teaches, really consider, honestly. It’s all about ‘feelings’!

        If ‘feelings’ indicated truth, then all religions would be true, & every quack with a delusion would be a prophet.

        If you want to leave Plato’s Cave & really experience reality then you need to have the courage to face your ‘Vital Lie’ & honestly seek the truth.

        Most will prefer their perception of reality & sense of security.

        I never desired, nor ever imagined that truth existed outside of the Mormon Bubble to the extent I have discovered it.

        It has been a wonderful & exciting surprise, which grows ever more beautiful & is far better than it ever was inside the mind-control cult of The Church.

        If you are open to truth check out:
        http://MormonThink.com

        Best regards,
        Steve

  3. Camille Biexei says:

    How very grateful I am that there is life after Mormonism! And, a happier, more fulfilling, less stressful, richer life it is. As a 5th generation Mormon (my great-grandfather was 1st cousin to “The Prophet”) the leaving was long and painful, but each year it gets better and easier as the healing continues.

  4. Stormin says:

    Excellent presentation. Living among Mormon is like living in the twilight zone —– they cannot even imagine Mormonism is wrong because they have been brainwashed like I was. Praise God I was able to read/hear evidence with an open mind and ponder and pray about it versus ‘know’ that it was of the devil to begin with and totally ignore anything negative about LDS incorporated.

  5. David says:

    The comparison between Mormonism and Islam is frankly ludicrous. Sorry Steve I know that sounds harsh, but a soldier was beheaded on the streets of London last year by a couple of Islamic fundamentalists who began quoting passages from Qur’an directly after the attack as a justification.

    Could you imagine a couple of Mormon missionaries doing something as despicable and then reading passages from the Book of Mormon?! It’ll never happen. Not in my lifetime. Indeed The Book of Mormon musical is currently running in London for example and the Mormons I’ve met (in my capacity as an investigator) have generally taken it in good spirits: they’re aware that they have some strange believes and they’re using the musical as an opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like qualities such as tolerance and turning the other cheek. Some Mormons have even gone along to see it! Compare this with the Danish Cartoon controversy a few years ago. People lost lives over that and the cartoonist had to eventually go into hiding.

    There’s absolutely no comparison between Islam and Mormonism other than the fact that they’re both religions. Sure, Mormonism isn’t perfect. But it’s nowhere near as brutal and inhumane as Islam. Read the Islamic Republic of Dewsbury (you can get it on ebay) for a glimpse of what the an Islamic UK might look like in 40-50 years time if present trends continue. It makes for grim reading I can assure you. Give me Utah any day of the week.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Dear David,

      I’m not saying Islamic states are the same as Mormon culture, only that culture should not be used as an excuse to retain one’s religious identity, using Islamic fundamentalism as an extreme example.

      I believe that humanism is our best chance of promoting the best in human thriving and wellbeing. Because humanism focuses on the commonalities of all human beings without the distracting and sometimes crippling cultural and ideological beliefs and practices which are associated with religion.

      You may have heard of the dreadful suicide rates of 16-25 year old males in Utah. Mainly because of the despicable attitude Mormon religious beliefs and culture has with regards to the LBGTQ community.

      Plus the tragically high rate of clinical depression in Utah.

      Many people believe these are evidences of how religion is not good for human thriving, no matter how innocuous it at first appears.

      Best wishes,
      Steve

      • David says:

        Steve, humanism (or atheism I guess) denotes a lack of belief as you know, it’s quite difficult to foster a sense of community and well-being on the understanding that the only commonality between the people involved is that they don’t believe in X. It’s a bit like football I suppose. Many fans are passionately devoted to their teams and enjoy a certain degree of camaraderie with their fellow supporters on the basis of a shared ideal: they all want to see their team succeed. Non-football fans don’t tend to galvanise in the same way because there’s little that unites them, other than their ambivalence towards football.

        I’ve been an atheist all my life ~30 years, and I’ve never felt that it’s been an active force for good, all atheism says is that you can do whatever you want as long as you’re not breaking the law of the land. This is fine in a way, but it can sometimes leave you feeling a little lost. Atheism doesn’t help you find answers, it doesn’t offer spiritual guidance, it doesn’t provide you with an outlet to express yourself through words and music and it doesn’t provide a framework that’ll help you make some of the most important decisions in your life (allowing you to draw upon the wisdom of the ages). It basically says: “you’re on your own” and leaves the individual to get on with it without so much as a road map.

        Of course going from a Mormon Bishop to a secular humanist you are going to notice a big difference – the freedom to really question must be liberating! Bu I don’t see atheism as some form of uniting force that will draw the best out of humanity. If we want people to tap into their ‘potential’ we still need to find a way to encourage them to do so, Mormonism – as a structured religion- seems to be one way to do this because it’s been designed to achieve certain ends: obedience, a focus on the family and individual health, a platform to develop musical and oratorical talents and the chance to debate ideas (therefore developing critical faculties) through the various classes that take place on Sundays. Humanism is just too loose a concept to promote universal well-being.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Dear David,

        You raise a good point for consideration.

        However, I think you may have completely missed the point of humanism.

        Atheism and humanism are NOT one and the same things.

        Atheism is NOT a belief system, a moral code or reason to unite in a common cause, as you rightly point out.

        The whole point of Atheism is to state what it is NOT:

        It is NOT a system of belief based around unsubstantiated claims.

        It is NOT a system of irrational superstitious beliefs motivated by fear or desire of eternal reward.

        It is NOT a mythical fantasy story upon which people gain their collective purpose of life and sense of security.

        Atheism as a term shouldn’t even exist were it not for the all pervasive influence of religion in society.

        Atheism is really just a baseline for a life lived without the supernatural belief in gods.

        Humanism, on the other hand, is a powerful force for galvanising the best in human endeavour and purpose without the crippling distractions, biases, phobias and prejudices involved in belief in a supernatural mythological dictator god.

        Check my next blog post for more detail on humanism.

        Best regards,
        Steve

    • Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all “people of the book.” Muslims view Christ as one of the greatest prophets.

      There is a difference between Islam and Islamic Fundamentalists. Also, did you know that Islamic prayer is held five times daily at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS?

      http://www.keesler.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=4977&page=1

      A good book to learn about Islam is: “Islam” by Caesar E. Farah. Best wishes in your research. Based on what you wrote above, you’re in for a lot of interesting finds.

  6. Kemari says:

    This is great. I always enjoy reading your blogs! I can relate! Leaving religion has been freeing in everyway.

  7. Patrick says:

    I really, really enjoy reading your blog Steve — Thanks for sharing. While reading it today I thought of the following: Perhaps being born again is becoming a freethinker, and receiving your endowment is leaving Plato’s cave.

  8. Patrick says:

    Over the years several people have asked me why I don’t participate in the LDS Church anymore and I’m okay with that. It’s mainly because I learned some facts – things that I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Some of the specifics were even uncomfortable, negating part of my faith and influenced me to re-examine my beliefs and loyalties. I decided to acknowledge truth wherever it took me and to keep it in proper perspective. My beliefs, perhaps my way of life or philosophy is continually evolving, and it’s how I can relate to the Mormon Church. I began about 15 years ago putting pen to paper when I took some serious private time to consider what I actually believe and why, whose agendas I was actually living and scripts I was following instead of being true to myself. Up until that point I was active in the church, served a mission, held various callings, sealed in the temple, divorced, so on and so forth. I support and respect Mormons and those of other religions in their own quest for spiritual fulfillment. I realize their way is for them and mine is for me. Many of my extended family and friends are strong members of the Mormon Church. Considering my Mormon heritage, culture, family and friends, and the influence the Mormon Church has in the community, I feel I can participate in meaningful and healthy relationships of love and support with those who have similarities and differences in belief. This includes active Mormon people and is how this church has a place in my life.

    Currently, I don’t believe in the concepts of sin, justice, and mercy the way many churches do, whereby men are required to pay the price for their sin unless a savior does it for them upon certain conditions. I think our earth life is about such things as, learning, sharing, evolving, make mistakes, and growing both temporarily and spiritually among other things.

    I believe Jesus Christ was a great leader & teacher who taught and exemplified the good way a person can live.

    I believe God doesn’t place one person in authority over another regarding spiritual matters and salvation – authority from God is inherent in each human being. Individuals have the God given right to manage their own path in life the way each sees fit, without the requirement of an intermediary.

    I believe churches and other organizations, which promote standards, such as, morality, ethical behavior, decency, honesty, integrity, service, etc., can assist people in their personal development and betterment.

    I believe goodness & truth exists in many organizations, churches, peoples, cultures, etc., that I will utilize. I still like to listen to general conference talks and read church publications. I will take teachings from them that will contribute to a better life, yet, I’ll leave those things behind I disagree with.

    During childhood into adulthood I learned to be untrue to myself by fulfilling the agendas of others while disregarding my own. Eventually, I knew I needed to remove my mask to experience my authentic self and live according to my own true nature and purpose. I refuse to let people, religion or cultures determine what I should think, believe, feel and do with my life, especially regarding my relationship with God, service in a church, community and government. I will retain the power to manage my own life, in my own way, while being a responsible citizen, accountable for who I am and what I do. I won’t pretend to be something I’m not. I am asserting my rightful place in this world as I protect my God given right to enjoy the simple things in life, and freewill, while on my life’s journey. I believe God creates each one of us with unique attributes and gifts to do with responsibly as we choose, especially in the service of others. I support giving others the dignity and respect they deserve to choose their own spiritual journey in this world as they see fit and appreciating them as they are – as they choose to be.

    On numerous occasions I’ve responded to invitations from friends to study the Book of Mormon and pray concerning the truthfulness of LDS theology. After several sincere efforts of study, prayer, and conformity to LDS culture, eventually, I realized it was time to move forward and live according to my core beliefs, values and authentic self. Interestingly enough, during my quest for authenticity I found that no church has a corner on the market when it comes to righteousness and truth. Moreover, many religions teach that they and their doctrines are the one true way and others aren’t – no wonder there are so many wars. In fact, some people will fight to the death because they believe they are right. I believe that everyone has the right to enjoy his or her own perspective, which is important and valid to each person, respectively. I have an open mind in the study and validation of new worthwhile ideas; nonetheless, feel it is pointless to repeatedly go through the motions of testing familiar belief systems that I’ve already made an informed conclusion about, unless there’s new credible, compelling information to do so. I like the free exchange of ideas with others when mutual respect is involved. I hate it when others use guilt, fear, shame, manipulation, shunning, and other strategies to influence or coax me into adopting their beliefs as my own while attempting to negate my own faith and convictions. I wonder if any of my friends and acquaintances would reciprocate, by heartfelt testing of my paradigm and consider changing their beliefs and way of life.

  9. SteveBloor says:

    The final image used in my blog of the chain fence becoming birds was found here:

    http://openborders.info/blog/open-borders-logo-contest-finalists/

  10. vikingz2000 says:

    Comparing the Mormon church to the Mafia and weird UFO cults, etc., is not accurate, nor fair.

    Listen, I am no longer an active Mormon, nor in fact consider myself a Mormon any longer after being active for more than a half century. But in fact, I am grateful that my parents converted to Mormonism from Roman Catholicism because I fared a lot better as a Mormon than I ever would have as a Catholic. I had a mission experience, I feel I had a more heightened sense of God and Jesus and religiosity for various reasons, I had opportunities to develop teaching and leadership skills, Mormonism kept me away from experimenting with drugs, alcohol, tobacco (the Word of Wisdom) and things of that nature, etc.. In other words, Mormonism afforded me with a lot of good experiences and was a positive influence in my life. Sure there were issues and problems that arose because of certain members and leaders, and even because of some doctrines or policies, but even this forced me to think deeper and compelled me to live on a higher, Christian plain, which made me a better person.

    To be sure, you bring up some interesting points about the church, but instead of your attempts to destroy it, you are staring to destroy yourself with your vitriol and hatred for said church. My advise for you is to move on. Trust me, you are not going to bring down the Mormon church anymore than others wanted to bring down the Catholic church. You may put a few dents in it, but the Mormon church is monolithic and central to the lives of millions of people. Take what’s good from the religion as well as other belief systems and make peace, not war.

    I mean, sure, I left the church and really do think that it’s based upon fraudulent claims, but really, what church isn’t or doesn’t have something to rally against? After all that has been said and done, it can be a church, or some kind of cult, or whatever, but people will leave or stay regardless of what you say against it, or what someone else will say for it. People will figure it out for themselves.

    So, again, like I said, you bring up some interesting points, but I have to wonder if all this stuff really matters at the end of the day. However, in the meantime you come across as someone that delights in this rabble rousing, or is angry and just itching to get his teeth into the Mormon church’s leg and tear it apart. I don’t think Jesus would sanction this. You are trying to destroy something that over-all does a lot more good than bad in many people’s lives. And if it doesn’t for some, then those people will figure that out on their own and leave.

    Just my thoughts.

    • SteveBloor says:

      “Self-deception operates both at the level of the individual mind, & in the collective awareness of the group. To belong to a group of any sort, the tacit price of membership is to agree not to notice one’s own feelings of uneasiness & misgiving, & certainly not to question anything that challenges the group’s way of doing things. The price for the group in this arrangement is that dissent, even healthy dissent, is stifled!

      “In order to break through the cocoons of silence that keep vital truths from the collective awareness you need courage. It is the courage to seek the truth & to speak it that can save us from the narcotic of self-deception.

      “It is a paradox of our time that those with power are too comfortable to notice the pain of those who suffer, & those who suffer have no power.

      “To break out of this trap requires the courage to speak truth to power!” ~ Daniel Goleman

      http://www.mormonopenletter.com

      • vikingz2000 says:

        Listen to what you quote of other people:

        “….those with power are too comfortable to notice the pain of those who suffer, & those who suffer have no power.”

        I mean, with all due respect, you sound like a mid 60’s neo-Marxist hippy waving signs that say, “Ban the Bomb” — “Power to the People” etc.. “…the pain of those who suffer,” — Come on, it’s religion we are talking about not a prison camp. There are no barred gates; anyone is free to leave at any time for whatever reason–and *millions* have! They have moved on. They didn’t suffer; there was no pain except what’s in some people’s pathetic minds.

        And you quote someone who says, “Self-deception operates both at the level of the individual mind, & in the collective awareness of the group”

        Again, what “self-deception”?! Do I sound like I’m being deluded by the Mormon church? I left it, for crying out loud, and moved on when I discovered facts and was made aware of behaviors that flew in the face of what I would ever consider to be Jesus’ one, true, church (regardless of whether someone believes that Jesus is a Divine being, or not).

        I am not against anyone doing investigative enquires and sharing what they discover with the world. This is what knowing “the truth and the truth shall set you free” is all about. I’m out of the church not because I’m deluded, but because the logic of my brain says that something is rotten in the State of Denmark from what many people who are a lot more disciplined to do the research and smarter than me have brought to my attention. So, I am not against this. Indeed, I am grateful. And then I made my decision to leave, although there are many who choose to stay. And if a person chooses to stay because, for example, of fear of their spouse divorcing him or her, or whatever, then that’s still that person’s choice. That person can still leave and take his or her chances, or end up being divorced perhaps, forcing them to make a new life for his or her self. And if it was a church official who influenced the believing spouse to seek the divorce that still does’t justify an attitude of anger and hate toward the church. You move on! And I am saying this ***because I was in that very situation***!! As a result I didn’t end up hating the Mormon church because hate only begets hate and ends up destroying the hater. In the end, praise God, I was led to a way better spouse and now, “HOW SWEETER IT IS!” However, I had been seething with hatred towards the Mormon church she would never have wanted me as her husband and I would have really lost out.

        My point in posting is that you come across as someone who is so angry and frothing at the mouth to destroy the church. However, if hypothetically the Mormon church ever did fall I think that would end up doing more harm than good for the world. The Mormon church has brought a lot of people out of the dregs. I taught and baptized one such person who never would have been brought up out of the gutter had he not embraced Mormonism (and Mormonism in particular because of its leadership training opportunities and standards). Knowing what I know now, do I regret bringing him in the ‘Gospel’? Of course not! What I introduced into his life was indeed ‘good news’ that ended up saving his life (literally!).

        If you disagree with this and really are seeking to ‘take out’ the Mormon church, then my feeling is that that’s an evil venture, not one for the good of mankind. And you know what else? Even if I was still in the church because the leadership managed to keep the man behind the current hidden, would that be so bad? Absolutely not. I, like many active Mormons would still cherry pick (tailor) our membership to suit our own desires and needs. I would think that every Mormon does this to some degree or another. Sure, there are the a$$ hole, fanatical Mormons (usually the local, lay leadership) and nut jobs, but over-all there are a lot of great people in the Mormon church who are ‘great’ because of the Mormon Way (life style and memes).

        What I think you are doing, Steve, is more about evil than good. You can bring people to enlightenment, but you don’t have to hold the cloaks of those who are stoning the Christians.

        Just my thoughts.

        Peace.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Dear vikingz2000,

        Your comments to me convey hate and anger against my campaign for truth, honesty, transparency and acceptance.

        Your words say one thing, but the tone says quite the opposite.

        You honestly sound like a Mormon apologist defending the faith, despite your assertions of having left.

        As I’ve mentioned before, there is a principle well understood in psychology called self-deception. It’s a process which our subconscious minds use to protect us from potentially painful knowledge or information. A form of confirmational bias.

        The brain’s objective is to maintain a feeling of happiness & security. Our subconscious minds filter information which could threaten our sense of reality, mounting a defence by creating the ‘Vital Lie’.

        This happens all the time in situations where it’s just too painful to accept the truth. Where neutral parties are able to clearly see the objective reality, we are blind to the truth because our emotions drive our thinking.

        The uncomfortable truths I discovered in my initial foray into Church history were just the tip of a very big iceberg of lies & deceipt which continues upto this day.

        ‘Lying for the Lord’ is an established principle in Church leadership.

        One I abhor with a passion.

        For me, I loved the Church because I believed it epitomised truth.

        I loved the church because I believed it was True! Not just because there was a lot of good in it. The truth was something I felt I possessed and truthfulness was, & increasingly is, something I feel is worth standing up for &, if necessary, sacrificing for!

        It’s not about whether it “feels good!” Truth is never about how it feels! Truth stands independent & doesn’t care how it makes us feel. Truth is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow. The Church can, & has changed, but truth stands firm & immovable.

        When you consider why we believed in the Church, & the gospel it teaches – really consider, honestly…It’s all about ‘feelings’!

        If ‘feelings’ indicated truth, then all religions would be true, & every quack with a delusion would be a prophet.

        If you want to leave Plato’s Cave & really experience reality then you need to have the courage to face your ‘Vital Lie’ & honestly seek the truth.

        Most will prefer their perception of reality & sense of security.

        I never desired, nor ever imagined that truth existed outside of the Mormon Bubble to the extent I have discovered it.

        It has been a wonderful & exciting surprise, which grows ever more beautiful & is far better than it ever was inside the mind-control cult of The Church.

        My friend and fellow ex-Mormon blogger says it well: http://churchofthefridge.com/blog/2014/02/23/to-my-children/

        Best regards,
        Steve

      • vikingz2000 says:

        “Your comments to me convey hate and anger against my campaign for truth, honesty, transparency and acceptance.”

        What I hate is people who are enmeshed in hatred for something that need not be hated.

        Again, I don’t think the Mormon church is deserving of any hatred levied against it any more than does the Catholic church despite its abysmal history in the name of Christ.You seem to think that the merits of truth and transparency justify an attitude of denigrating a church that does a lot of good regardless of warm fuzzy feelings that its supporters purport to have experienced that substantiates its so-called truthfulness. If there is pedophilia in the Mormon church then yes, of course, that needs to be exposed and redress is to be demanded, but esoteric truth claims about its Divinity relative to historical events and canonized scripture? Come on; again, it’s religion!

        “You honestly sound like a Mormon apologist defending the faith, despite your assertions of having left.”

        This is what you don’t seem to grasp. I have left the Mormon church. I will NEVER go back for a plethora of reasons. Did you really read everything I wrote?? But I don’t hate the Mormon church because I look at all of the good it did/was for me and a lot of my kids. What’s wrong with that? For example: I know a guy who was really raked over the coals by his ex-wife (like I was), but he doesn’t hate her and never did even while going through the protracted and very costly divorce. Why? How is this possible? Answer: Because this guy lives the life of a true Christian. In fact he feels and has always felt sorry for HER because of what she did to him (because of the law of Karma that will eventually come back and hit her hard)! And I too, now feel very sorry for my ex because she’s in the process of rapidly coming to a very sad ending with no dignity or respect from any of our children and others who knew her. So likewise, I don’t hate her, I feel sorry for her. And so likewise again, I don’t hate the Mormon church; I fee sorry for it in some ways because it has such great potential to be so much better than it is, i.e., far more Christ-like. And maybe one day it will get its act together like perhaps the Reorganized LDS church did (now the Community of Christ) and be that better RELIGION. Remember, its RELIGION we’re dealing with; it’s a belief system and people will ALWAYS believe in what they want to DESPITE what the ‘real story’ is — Catholics, Mormons, JWs, Scientologists, UFO cultists, or whomever.

        You’re to hung up with stuff like “lying for the Lord.” So what! I’d lie for my wife to protect her for any reason. Hence, there are people who LOVE their Mormon church (especially the top leadership) so if they want to lie, or if a lot of the general membership wants to remain deluded, that’s their decision. I wouldn’t lie for the Mormon church, or it give it one more cent of my financial support because clearly I have fallen out of love with it. But that doesn’t mean that I have to now hate it; that I have to try and destroy it or make all out war against it OR even hope that it fails. I don’t really care anymore about the Mormon church per se, but I do recognize the good it is for a lot of people AND I have a lot of confidence in people being able to decide for themselves when, if ever, it’s time to leave the church.

        “Most will prefer their perception of reality & sense of security”

        Yes! So leave them alone. Give them the knowledge to make an informed decision when they are ready or want to, and leave it at that. Why? Because I’ll repeat what I said before: I think in the end this so-called ‘campaign’ that you have going with Tom Philips et al will eventually harm YOU. I’m thinking about YOUR welfare, not so much about the Mormon church’s because believe me, the Mormon church is going to be around for a long, long time. It has an amazing ability to constantly reinvent itself AND again, it’s about R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N. And religion is one of the very irrational constructs that appeals to a lot of people for various and sometimes bizarre and illogical reasons.

        If you want to campaign against something that needs campaigning against there are a lot more worthy causes than some kind of religion like the Mormon church.

        Again, just my thoughts and if you don’t agree with them, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree in an agreeable manner.

        Peace.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Dear vikingz2000,

        I apologise if I’ve given the wrong impression.

        Where you seem to see hate, I am actually trying to promote change.

        I am only doing what I can to help others.

        Often conflict is required to encourage or stimulate progress.

        When humans stop being human and stop showing compassion and understanding for those family and friends who change beliefs, someone needs to speak up.

        All too often members of the Church prioritise their love for policy and obedience over family, their defence of the Church overshadows their love for one another.

        It saddens me to the core, when I see this happening around the world, and within my own family and among those I know are acting out of character.

        I hold no blame for the actions of local members. I love Mormons.

        As for the fraud case against the ‘Corporation of The President’, we’ll let the English courts decide whether the law was broken.

        We all hold automatic subconscious cognitive biases which filter our perception of reality. Those biases are heavily influenced by religion. It is these biases which I’m hoping to influence by my actions in my campaign for openness, honesty, transparency and acceptance.

        Wishing you well,
        Steve

        Check the:
        http://MormonOpenLetter.com

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