Thursday, September 27, 2012

I MISS YOU LDS CHURCH...er...I mean...I miss your potlucks!





Okay...soul baring time.

Last month a former LDS friend, now an Exmormon asked me a question.

"Norm, dont you sometimes wish you didn't know so much?" Referring to what I know about the fraudulent historical aspects of LDS history and doctrine.

His question kind of got me thinking....again:)
It must be said however that life in the Thompson home in so many ways is much less complicated than when we were members. Its also much more leisurely and more free.

Is it more fun? Yes!

Is it more comfortable? Yes

Is it more simplified.....ABSOLUTELY!

However, is it more fulfilling? Not sure how to answer that one. When your so busy and active as an LDS member you can often feel very fulfilled. Even if its all a fraud, you cant help but feel fulfilled when your so dedicated to serving the members.

Now it must be said that some of the members made this experience of service, truly beautiful in many ways.

Names? Sure, why not!

Members like the Bouwhuis family, members like Tom and Ruth Kebick, like Ken Stephens family or John Dunstall and the Crabbe family or Tim and Dave Davies family and many others (please forgive me so many others Rattray's, Nantias etc if I miss some names). They made it all worthwhile. These are generally good hearted, back row members with other things in their lives besides the LDS Church. Humble, good hearted people who have a broad variety of friends and associates.

The ones that did not, well that list is just as long and no......too much class in this 'ass' (hey its in the scriptures!) to give there names. No hard feelings now though. For the most part these are the most 'in' members in the area. Totally in....no room for anything else in their lives such as balance or caring. I kind of feel sorry for most of them now. They are the ones that if they found out, in an undeniable way that it was all a fraud, they would likely jump off a tall building or something because their entire world would collapse in an instant.

I was more like the people of the 'back row' group up until I was called as bishop I had not held any significant callings and was in the back row quiet comfortably, I had lots of non-lds friends, but....I believed.....I believed EVERYTHING "book", line....and sinker!

WHAT DO I MISS?

Yes, I miss some things, well, more....I miss some really fine people. I cant really associate with them, and they cant really associate with me.

Why? Not because they want to be mean or that I wish to be an angry Exmormon. The truth is....I know too much! And their belief system would not benefit from what I know. Additionally, me simply existing, and breathing and being alive and happy kind of conflicts with everything they have been taught about those who 'leave the fold'. It kind of messes with their 'cog-dis' (aka cognitive dissonance, see this blog regarding discussion on the subject http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/04/28-mcs-dissonance-101/)

Basically, its not easy hanging around an exmormon family while you see them spending more time together, having more blessings (money prosperity etc) and basically seeing their lives, overall.....move forward. HOW CAN THIS BE?

Now, its important that you understand something. I am no longer angry at the LDS Church for its deception. Sure, it stole lots of time and money and talents from me, but to be fair, it also gave me some skills and experiences which will last me for a lifetime in a positive manner. I cautiously say that I am content with my time in the LDS Church. I might even admit, as my friends statement above indicates....that there are even some things I actually miss!!!

I am shocked to see this in writing from my hands.

I miss some of those amazing members, because really I have nothing good to offer them as far as 'my truth'. I don't want to cause them pain, like many of us have felt, due to finding out what I know.

Leaving the LDS faith was quite painful. In some ways, it would have been easier to simply look away from fact and history. It was simply something I could not do, once I noticed the big cracks that are part of the LDS culture.

I miss the 'next  big activity'. Gabriele (my wife) was involved in activities while I was a bishop and...well......we had some pretty fantastic events supported by a bishopric who believed fun was a three, not four letter word! (guess who that bishop was :))

There was always something coming around the next corner on the calendar, okay well....all those meetings in between......uggg! Not fun! Not cool....and truly....not purposeful.

I don't know how to say this, but as I come to appreciating my former LDS life as part of who I am, instead of trying my best to simply burn the memory.......there are some things that I miss.

"Too bad" as my good exmormon friend said....."that we know so much".

Rebuilding a new life is not easy for many former LDS members. Especially for those more socially inclined.

My wife, well she was always more happy in a book or alone, then at and LDS activity. She does not miss it at all. The fact that friends disappeared overnight since our departure, is simply a truth for her that they never were 'real' friends to begin with.

I dont care, I miss my casual relationship with good hearted LDS people and families. I miss their hopeful attitude in the face of glaring truths, heck I still have family members......'preparing for the second coming' even after the LDS institute teachers stopped that type of conversation. The dates.....keep changing for the 'big event' but.....they have been preparing and still keep doing so into their seventies.

Might not have nice clothes to wear, or always have enough gas for the car....but they have their wheat and storage. I was one of them...now....trying to figure out.....who I can dump the stuff on to clear space for my potato chips and chocolate bars!

I miss your potlucks LDS Church..

Don't miss most things about it....but I miss some of the amazing, truly kind hearted people like those I mentioned above and many others.

Its hard to leave the LDS church because it really never leaves you alone? What with family members still so involved....you can never really get away from it and when you finally do, well....you are indeed.....alone.

There will always be a hole in my heart for the LDS church. I suspect that though the rest of my heart is strong and well....there will always be a small hole. Finding out that it was a fraud.....wow.....that was tough. You cannot imagine how tough that was.

I dont blame those who stay active in it though. It has some redeeming qualities about it.

Truth....NOT being one of them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to NOT host a teenage Graduation Party------OR Why to stay Mormon





Yeah, this was a really stupid idea. Yeah.....I tried to tell everyone this in my home......yeah....no one listened.


The good news.....no one died, only very, very minor damage (cigarette burn) everyone had fun......and......there will never be another one here again!


Setting The Scene
We used to be Mormon right......leave out the second 'm' and your getting close to our brain-power on all things related to teenagers, parties, alcohol and......danger! I remember the Book of Mormon having something about alcohol and the Lamanites being taken advantage of by the Nephites free booze ways....but nothing specifically dealing with teenagers of either the Nephites or the Lamenites.


Our son was graduating, alright his friends were, he was technically going back for that special thing known as 'the extra lap' to help improve his grades, recover from major knee surgery and generally, as many kids seem to need.....take more time to grow up.


He is a great kid, no drugs, no major police kind of issues, generally respectful towards adults (alright not always towards us) and he had never asked for a big party before.

He was smart.......he asked his mom......not me :)


I did not think this was a good idea from the start but.......as I live with an butt kicking super hero hottie....I seldom win these discussions. Yep....she really is a super hero.......wanta see? She is the one on the right.


.......anyways........my son, then 17 (now 18) thought he had it all under control in June 2011. He had it all planned! He would invite, maybe 50 people and things would not get out of hand....he promised! Every time I asked him about it...he was like 'dad, I am not stupid....don't worry....its all good! I am going to have body guards at the end of the driveway to make sure that no one uninvited shows up, I am letting my friends setup tents so that no one is encouraged to drink and drive......STOP BOTHERING ME ABOUT IT FOR PETE SAKES!!!!



SETTING THE SCENE.....PART DEUX!

Oh yeah....I almost forgot one tiny detail....the only day my son could have the party,  and really have it count was grad day itself. So the idea was...all his friends (50 tops right!) would show up after the actual grad, some in buses, some in their own cars etc. etc.

One minor problem, his graduation party was scheduled for Wednesday evening but.........he had (already delayed) major knee surgery on the Tuesday morning before the party or.....36 hours before!!!

You wonder why I thought this was a bad idea???????

He is a super hero too....just ask him "Mom and Dad....come on....no big deal....I will be fine....I am a tough guy...you know me....I will be fine for the party".

Again I was against this idea....but....again......(look at picture above).
Yep....in the summer of 2010 at a finals soccer game, he hard torn both his left and right meniscus and completely torn his ACL at the same time. For those not knowledgeable about knee surgery....for a 17 year old teenager....this a pretty damned serious surgery.

Now, I also had numerous knee surgeries in my day.....being type A and all....and I went to work in a wheel chair the very next day. I did not last long as I realized at a big local Home Show that no one is going to talk to the salesman in the wheel-chair....but I still worked on my feet demonstrating through 4 months of casting due to an Achilles tear so.....I really did not have firm ground to stand on when it came to telling my son how stupid an idea it was to plan a party the day after his own surgery.

He is a tough kid.......he had been through lots of dings and bruises and always handled them pretty well, there was the soccer cleat to the face requiring nose surgery (he never let the ball in the net though!). There was the huge speaker to the face when he was smaller running around and around our older homes octagon like main floor. There was the other normal minor things that happen to kids....heck his friends laughed at him as the kid in grade school who ate motor oil and steel wool (hmmm I am now better understanding why its taking him five years to complete high school).

Before his major knee surgery, sports was everything to this kid, and it was a lot of fun being a parent to his athletic achievements throughout his life. Soccer and volleyball (volleyball was his dads sport in high school too so it was pretty cool attending all of his games) were his main sports of choice.....well....second or third choice. Since we purposely never taught our kids to skate.....there we no early morning trips to the arena. He loves hockey though.....ever the ultimate Toronto Maple Leafs fan.........he knows all the stats.....every single one. He knows everything there is to know about hockey, past, present and future......but alas.....his parents never taught him to skate! Bad Canadians!

The Party

Back to the party.........so one day after major knee surgery......Ben in crutches, in massive pain, on major drugs....knee still bleeding everywhere......we prepare for a big, crazy teenager party like we have never had before.

We are thoughtful about things, we talk to our friends the West who have two older teenage boys, they say.....'run for the hills....don't ever have that party'. I look at my super hero wife.......I get the 'dont you dare say a word look' and I...............decide to rent a port-o-let or Johnny-on-the-spot. This it turns out, was one of the few good decisions we made. I even rigged a light up inside of it, just in case the party went a bit........later then planned (oh do I feel stupid typing this now).

The night approaches, cars are showing up throughout the day with kids who drop off or drop off and setup tents on our large country property. Some even drop off cars? I began to scratch my head and ask what this is all about but......I really, really have no idea at all.

I did go and speak to my neighbour who is next door just to let him know our plans so that if it gets rowdy he will complain to us and not the cops. He was really cool about it all, said he had his boys go through all of this (now grown) and all I can remember him saying that stuck in my head was this

"Yep.....did it once...........only once....would NEVER DO IT AGAIN!". Hmmm I thought...like...how bad could it be? I wonder what he means by that?

Darkness approaches..........there are tents everywhere, with no-one in them, cars lined up on our lawn with no one around.....this was kind of strange I thought.....but oh well. I turn on the backyard lights in our finished and fenced pool area. The outdoor entertainment area we dreamed about was finally coming together after years of work, planning and tens of thousands of dollars in money that Gabi had invested of her own. We now had an amazing tropical paradise with a massive 20x40 in ground pool, a hot tub, a large outdoor kitchen with all the features you would see in the nice backyard magazines.....even a recent waterfall had been installed at one end of the pool.

But.....I thought......they wont have too much booze....right....like.....how bad can it be? We have had more then fifty people here in our backyard when we were Mormons. Heck I think we had one summer barbecue with the church folk where there were at least 100 people and we never even had an outdoor toilet. That was a big issue as...well.....some of those nice church ladies.......obviously needed a bit more fibre in their diets.

Ten o'clock...still no one here yet? Hmmm like, how late do these parties start? Maybe nobody will show up, maybe we have over planned, and it was going to just be like the other parties we had here for our 14 year old daughter where maybe 20 kids showed up.

We had tables setup outside the fenced area for snacks and goodies to go on.....we had put away some things we were worried could get damaged, we had prepared for a big party where kids might be drinking......I was a bit worried at one point with the whole Facebook, social media world that maybe there might be more then fifty kids show up, but now.....10:15pm......those worries began to fade. All seemed well until........

TWO HUGE LIMOUSINE BUSES SHOW UP WITH ABOUT FORTY PEOPLE EACH IN THEM.


Now...they showed up, dropped almost 80 people off...then left.....just left? I had no idea what was going on but was like....oh well, way more people then planned but....we can handle it.......right?




We had made a deal with Ben that if more the 70 people showed up, his 'bouncer friends' would send the rest away.

I went and talked with my son....he was barely mumbling, in pain, on drugs.....he had no idea about his friends who were supposed to be bouncers.....he did not remember saying that at all, heck....he likely barely remembered his own name.

As the cars kept coming and kept dropping kids, now already drunk from the school grad party off we saw kids all over our property carrying alcohol. I saw teenage girls carrying the hard stuff, the vodka, the whiskey........I saw....cases....and cases of beer.....I saw people stashing stuff in tents.....I saw.......wow.......I saw things already...that began to scare me. Kids were everywhere I was guessing more than 150 now....and the cars....kept coming.

I saw people getting into cars and trying to leave...............this is about midnight or so now......and then.....I began to panic.......I realized that this party....was quickly getting out of control.

I saw my wife and 14 year old daughter breaking up a fight between two boys who actually seemed happy and drunk and were just....going to have a good old fight....just for fun!

I was quickly seeing my home....get out of control and my fears about an out of control party.......being made ten times worse then I ever could have imagined.

Luckily no one was swimming in the pool, but people were smoking on my wife's very expensive patio furniture.

I quickly told everyone no alcohol in the pool area and began to kindly enforce it....but that was difficult and people were beginning to get drunk and no one listens to some buddies parent at this point.


I take a quick look at my wife who I can see is finally, finally admitting that maybe....just maybe....this was a bad idea.

At this very moment a teenage girl who was obviously having a fight with her boyfriend, ran out of her tent to the street in nothing but her bra and panties.

OMG This is insane!

I was almost ready to go back to church...............NOT!

The Rescue Plan


I went into talk with Ben who is either in a drug induced world or......is kind of freaking out...realizing that there is nothing he can do and that his home is being turned into a massive, crazy, alcohol mess.

Gabi and I have a quick chat.......get past the 'who's right and who's wrong' and have to decide.....do we call the cops on our own party which is getting completely out of control or.........do we agree with Norm.....that its finally time to implement........safety measures?

We quickly work together and formulate a plan.

Gabi will get every ones keys, label them, hold on to them. Norm will block the two sides of the driveway with cars so that no more can come into the property. They can park  outside but cannot come in. This also means that no one can leave without first passing a breathalyzer test, yep.....when we started drinking, not really knowing much about this stuff, I wanted to know......what I could handle.....so I bought a fairly high quality tester.

Unless you were well below .05, you were not going to be given your keys and allowed to drive.


That was also easier said then done, as some kids tried to refuse giving us there keys, not trusting or knowing us, and others tried to get keys from us without taking a breathalyser.  Some got upset because they were supposed to be home by a certain time and we were not letting them leave because of drinking.

One kid who refused to give us his keys...gets stuck on the front of the lawn trying to drive through the ditch as cars were blocking the exit.

One parent showed up in a big truck.......just parking in the middle of the road, yelling at me as to why I did not allow her.....drunk son to drive home in his own car that was....contained? I said.....well.....what does it matter what I said to some idiot like that. She took her son in her truck and left the car to be picked up the next day.
By this time it was now about 3:00 am. Gabi was thinking it was time to try to start the process of winding down the party. Her friend Anna had showed up to help, who was more experienced with these type of parties then we were and those two, along with my tough assed smart daughter Alanna (14) were going around and trying to convince people to give them their booze to either be emptied or held until the next day when they went home.

This process was not going very well. For every bottle they removed....four more were appearing.

I was running out of steam and patience......I was trying to keep things from getting damaged, both humans and property. By four thirty I was done, Gabi was determined not to simply end the party, how do you do that at this point? But to simply let them, drink and party themselves out.

I went to bed.....at 4:30 a.m. and hoped that my wife (her friend had left) could handle the party on her own at this point.

Well, when I woke up at 9:00 am they party had slowed quite a bit, some were still drinking when she was not looking, but she had worked the entire night, cleaning up bottles and messes and other gross teenager related type of things.

I went and started scooping a huge massive blog of barf out of the swimming pool. Ben was asleep somewhere.

The worst was over........the final cleanup and send off was to soon begin.

The sun was shining, no major damage had been done to the property or any ones person as far as we knew (only one cigarette burn in my wife's high end patio furniture).

No one drove home drunk, everyone seemed safe, bags of bottles and garbage. At the biggest point we counted well over...........

200+ drunk teenagers
My wife says now.......'yeah but it made for a great story to tell'

That's why I am telling it.

I have to agree with my neighbour, even my wife agree's

NEVER AGAIN

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Norm Thompson has started his own church


Today is an amazing day on the path that has brought me on this journey outside of the LDS faith.

I have decided to start my own Church.....and I have translated and written a modern day version of scripture entitled "The Book of Norman"




For those who wish to have copies.......I only let you see this holy book in person, one on one.

Service's begin this Sunday morning at noon (give people more time to sleep in and all) and normally we have an opening prayer and some sacrament (albeit either red or white wine will be served) in our 8 passenger hot-tub. As you can tell we allow the Sisters to perform priesthood duties. Here is one of our services being conducted.

Swimsuits are required (by hairy males anyways) and we will ask that a donation of any kind of money or 'service' be offered to help our church....grow.

Alright now....before any of you get too offended this is obviously in jest and it’s a valid jest since I have been told from a variety of sources that after I left the LDS church, being so distraught and feeling so alone without such a guiding force in my life, I decided to start my own church.

When I was initially told of this new rumor within the 'faithful ranks' of the LDS members I had a complete breakdown. I mean......I started rolling on the floor, alright I have some tight abs since I left all of the pot-luck and priesthood dinners so maybe not rolling per se more holding my six pack and doing some serious ab laughter exercise’s.

It hasn't stopped, it’s been the best ab workout of my life this Norm started his own church rumor. It’s been a month or two since I confirmed this rumor and yet.....my abs seems to get tightened daily due to this comedic rumor.

I mean really, can anyone that knows me.....ever see me....starting my own church? Alright it would likely be quite popular because as most of you know, my life and my religion and my......god sort-of....is fun! Thats really the only thing I preach or follow.

Doesnt mean my life is only ever full of fun but certainly the pursuit of cool experiences, travel, unique moments with my family etc are all part of our new life perspective.

Sorry LDS friends....I know many of your were ready to jump on board the new 'Norman Church' but sadly......it did not get off the ground....at least past hot-tub height.
In my last blog I indicated that I would soon begin to focus on the more positive aspects of the journey that has truly brought our family such amazing peace and clarity, that of leaving the LDS faith.



On a more serious note:
I must start by updating you and where we are at and where my heart is currently at as it relates to our former religious faith.

As many of you know, and were an important part of, I was hurt upon our departure from the LDS faith .Not offended and not sinning (oh yeah the rumor at the time we left was that I had my own porn site....now to be fair....you know...my wife is pretty hot....can’t deny the thought never crossed my mind to make a profit (not prophet silly) with the wonderful image of my lovely wife which got me in so much trouble to being with lol.).

Like many who leave I felt completely and utterly betrayed by the lack of honesty that I had discovered between the actual authentic historical record and that taught to my childlike and believing mind seen in LDS manuals, literature and official history.

It was as though I had woken up from some....documentary of my life...to find out I was living in a fictional novel, the entire time. For those who have not experienced this, it’s hard for me to explain, it’s likely impossible. I am not saying that the LDS Church is a cult or that we were brainwashed....but certainly, brainwashed...well describes the feeling many of us have after departure.

It felt as though my entire world had collapsed and that I was hanging on by a string while building an entire new planet below me. It was as though my heart were torn asunder and mutilated and that the God whom I had spent so much private time communicating with was simply having a great jolly laugh at me, innocent beliefs my faithfulness. I felt really, really stupid for giving so much of myself, my resources, my family time and my devotion to an organization that would simply, take, take, take until there was nothing left to give and simply toss me aside when I had no more to offer.

Even to this day, though pain and anger is completely gone, and I have a new appreciation for the amazing LDS people themselves, when I look at back at certain things I cannot help but feel really stupid for not allowing myself to see the entire picture before I chose to give so much.

Soon after our family left we quickly came the realization that there were so many others like us, faithful good members who NEVER SINNED!!!! (Alight not in the capitalized version of those words anyways lol). That these people were leaving in droves and that the entire choice for those who did find out the truth was simply is it easier to stay knowing there are many authentic issues yet unresolved or..... leave and live a life completely open to them but terrifying, leaving behind everything that often their entire lives were devoted to and built upon. This change often comes with loosing family, friends, reputation and history all in one single swipe of a pen...... a signature on a resignation letter.

Looking back now, I am humbled, grateful and amazed at the courage my family and others like me have to, in our minds; make the issue one of integrity not acceptance. For many who find out this information and decide to stay the path is no easier, years of internal emotional and intellectual conflict, enjoying the sometimes family friendly culture of Mormonism while hiding their true knowledge and questions in the dark corners of the chapel, sometimes hoping to never be discovered. In fear that if they are......the first thing that will come to many members and leaders mind is the old "they must really be sinning" thing instead of the "they must be seeking for more truth" thing.

A major survey was released by the Open Stories Foundation and Mormon Stories Podcast only a couple of days ago. It’s a detailed look at why LDS members leave the Church and what their feelings and motivations behind the decision were.

With 3086 participants in the study, it’s the most comprehensive of its kind to date.

The survey results and information can be found here:

http://whymormonsleave.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/WhyTheyLeave_30Jan2012v4.pdf


The bottom line...clearly the reason that people leave the LDS church has little or nothing to do with offense or sin. It has to do......sorry to say this....with their brain!

They find out the entire LDS history and other related and significant Joseph Smith issue's are NOT the way the LDS Church has promoted them to be. And at this point its hard for the Church to ignore the facts or say they have not had time to correct the problem.

It can be viewed in only two ways, either the good leaders of the LDS faith are being deceptive or.......they are protecting the innocent and imperfect testimonies of the faithful. Either way......they have continued to use deceptive tactics to forward their cause. I don’t think this is too strong or unkind. I think it’s pretty fair. Good motives be damned. Truth means something to me and to my family!!!

There have been some interesting and recent articles on the LDS Church in major publications such as the Washington Post calling on the Church to make major reforms found here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-mormon-church-in-need-of-reform/2012/01/27/gIQA3s44aQ_story.html

Or 'Special Report' in Reuters just a couple of days ago where the official LDS Historian and member of the seventy Marlin Jensen is asked

"Did the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints know that members are "leaving in droves?"

He admits "We are aware" which is found here:

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2012/01/31/special-report-mormonism-besieged-by-the-modern-age/

It was so refreshing to read this article and hear at least a willingness to discuss this important issue for the LDS Church as it enters a new challenging relationship with its own growth worldwide. I commend him and his willingness to discuss the tougher and more current issues of Mormonism. In my opinion.....it’s a start.....a very small and careful start but a start nonetheless.


The truth is if you read the article you quickly realize that the LDS Church is beginning to admit that its likely better to tell its members when they are primary age about some of these issues and 'control the message' then it is to have then find out that they had been lied to most of their lives.

The move appears to any unbiased outsider likely to be stubbornly pragmatic.

Either way, I wish the LDS church well on this path. I have some sympathy for the position that its leaders are in and the challenge of facing up to the truth and pushing its members....and money possibly....away.

The only major criticism I had after reading Reuters article and doing some review was the discussion about Thomas Monson's new "Rescue Plan" mentioned in the article.

After some discussion on the "Plan" from some friends of mine who are....shall we say 'in the know' in the LDS church they indicated to me that it is nothing, absolutely nothing more than the old style reactivation programs that many past generations of the LDS faithful have been part of. They seldom work or have much teeth to them but they serve in keeping the faithful......busy.

The plan has nothing to do with an admission of history or doctrinal issues but it is simply ‘visit the less active then get those amazing young men and women, the missionaries to visit.’ I did not mean that disrespectfully, those young people truly are the best leadership that the LDS church has to offer, in my opinion.


Now before I go into the entire...."What I feel at the moment and where our family is at?" thing. Let me state clearly.

I LOVE THE LDS PEOPLE I love the values the kindness, the overwhelming sense of wanting to 'do good' that I saw as beautiful my entire like. The LDS culture has a number of critical concerns within it as far as emotional health and well-being go, however there is no doubt that the vast majority of the LDS faithful are sweet, kind and wonderful human beings. I am grateful for my association with them, and for those faithful in the online communities that I infrequently venture into now from time to time.

If you’re an LDS active member and former friends reading this blog (as I was quite surprised to hear how popular it was among the local members who likely did not like it but......found it 'topical'). I hope you will remember the Thompson family fondly and that you will take the opportunity to call, email, or visit and say hello.

We love you and we miss you and wish you only the most happy and content lives.

Our lives as some of you are aware have transitioned, completely. For the first while, we literally thanked our lucky stars that on Sunday we had a day to spend more time together and develop closer family relationships. While previously we were constantly involved in a myriad of meetings, phone calls and LDS leadership discussions (about thirty hours weekly in total while in leadership), now we had our own lives to figure out 'what to do'...instead of 'how to do it'.

As I have stated in online forums, our home life went from the constant tug of war that is normal in LDS homes with family and teenagers in regards to their church activities, sports, non-member friends and life in general, once the expectation of perfection disappeared and the concept of 'patriarchy' was found to not be useful, our familial relationships within the home dynamic simply flourished.
For those who remember us well, may remember that my oldest son, at the time Priest age, never passed the sacrament, seldom went to Sunday School or priesthood and was always, always late for the chapel time no matter what we did. Even getting him to go to youth activities was challenging. Add to this his father’s insane expectation for early morning seminary and this became a toxic mess of unrealistic expectations for his particular personality.



Funny, now I hold such great respect for his willingness to stand by 'his beliefs' and not have LDS 'peer pressure' force him as it does so many others, to follow the path he was told to follow.

He was not a sinner, not really even rebellious, he was intelligent, and respectful but never believed any of it to be more than good people practicing their faith in families. I don't think he ever would have served a mission, he was pretty clear about that before we left and after we left. I being a return missionary myself and so desiring to have an obedient, and faithful son serve, continuously pressured him to do so. It was already causing great contention in our home, him wanting to be true to his beliefs and me wanting him so badly to be true to mine.

This all created a powder-keg of ideological soup that was bound to turn into a massive explosive mixture once he turned 19. I likely would have been the controlling and demanding patriarch that is exemplified by not all, but by many like me who were taught over the years in so many subtle ways that success in the church required success in the home, and that this required discipline and control.


He likely would have been kicked out of our home when he was 19 and chose not to go on a mission, or the marital relationship would have taken a massive and sincere blow as likely his loving mother would have prevented me from doing so, therefore questioning my desire to be a good father husband and 'head of the family' as I was instructed by the doctrine, lessons, practice and example in so many ways during my 44 years as a member of the LDS church both overtly and subtly.

Now before you think I was a dictatorial jerk, in my home, I was not, but I struggled to find the balance between LDS expectation, and Christ like love, most especially when I was in leadership and had the added burden of needing to have the perfect looking family.

When we left the LDS church....and all the pressure for perfection disappeared, so also did the apparent need for 'control' in our home. That was replaced with acceptance and love. Complete acceptance of their choices in all areas. School, friends, job, education, alcohol consumption, partying, hobbies, activities etc. etc.


Now we did not control any of those areas when we were active LDS members but, certainly it became clear to them that now, we were only here to counsel and advise not have rules and expectations pertaining to these issue’s.

Their lives quickly became their lives. And they made excellent choices.

That's not to say that there were no mistakes made by them or by us as parents, heck the graduation party at our home with 200 drunk teenagers and Norm blocking the driveway and Gabi taking everyone's keys until they could all pass a breathalyzer test (for some that was not until noon the next day, never again!) was a good example of that but we got through it, we learned better how to parent, what things mattered and what things did not matter.

I have to say, our children, have been amazing! There values no longer being dictated to them and there morals being something from inside of them, instead of externally dictated.


We have gone on cruises and other vacations together, we enjoy one anthers company, and we are truly connected. I never, not ever remember my oldest son Ben coming into my office and just saying "Hey dad how's your day' when we were members, he and I were far more disconnected.

Our master bedroom seems to be everyone's (including our two dogs lol) favorite hangout place, and although it drives me crazy.......and sometimes, you know....it would be nice to have more......Gabi and Norm time (lol) it’s quite comforting to know that they feel that way about us as parents. Our relationship with our children is far, far closer than it was as LDS members as a result.



Some of you know when we left I took some of the new found money and bought a classic toy (a corvette). Yes....I love that car.....sorry I know that's a sin! Simply put, and in the most respectful way, we just found that we had more time and money to do those things that we always wanted to do and that LDS culture actually encouraged!

Be Happy! Enjoy Life! Grow closer as a family!

Life is pretty good, not perfect, we still have fights we still have disappointments there is still challenge as a result of all the new choices we have to make now, but.......we would never, ever go back to where we were before.

For some, they would truly miss it. I sometimes miss the people, but cannot ever think of one time I missed all the meetings, all the perfection competitions or expectations. For us it’s been a great thing to get out of the 'organization'. Life is far more fulfilling, far more rewarding, far more enlightening and far, far, far more FUN!!!!

Some of you know we travel quite regularly using some of the previously spent church funds to see the world, spend important time together as a family and give something back to our planet (volunteer vacations for instance).

We have always been a family that traveled, but now.....we are doing far more of it. Cancun this past November (Gabi and I), family Florida over Xmas holiday, another Caribbean cruise in a month, Alanna is in Europe with the Vimy Ridge Veteran 95th Canadian anniversary of WW1 and traveling to Amsterdam, Paris, Holland etc. in April. Gabi is in Africa for a month on her own working on an animal wildlife reserve in April, then it’s the fun summer trips to Algonquin and the family cottages, then our normal fall vacation spots and possibly another cruise. Let’s not forget our love for jeeping and the normal attention and weekends away Gabi and I are doing together. We love to travel; thank goodness we now have the time and resources to do so.

Since Gabriele is fulfilling a lifelong goal of working with the Lions and Tigers and other animals in Africa in May, I decided it was time to add some more running goals and I am running the Chili Half Marathon at the beginning of May, Around the Bay 30km (Hamilton) end of March, then the Toronto Marathon when Gabriele is away in May. I will finish my running season with a team (eight members) 100 mile trail running event the end of May at Sulpher Springs.

I am now, for certain, in the best overall physical condition and health of my life. More exercise, less stress, more sleep, better eating and more fun then ever in my entire life.

Life, love relationships, business, money, time, and most of all.......contentment, are likely at a peak in my life at the moment.


To say there are days that I literally pinch myself and can hardly believe my own joy and fulfillment, would not be a big stretch.


I am grateful for all that has transpired here that has brought me to this point of joy.

Alright now one of those cheesy, shirtless pictures....not bad for a guy turning 48 don’t you think?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm BACK!!!!!!! No Longer Mormon, No Longer Ex-Mormon Just NORMAN!!!!


That's right.....I am not yet quite dead yet!

Where have I been, what is up in my life, how do I feel since my last blog entry.

Am I mad? (well yes....but not in the way I used to be!)

What would you like to hear about?

Where have I been, what is up in my life, how do I feel since my last blog entry. 

Am I mad? (well yes....but not in the way I used to be!) 

What would you like to hear about?  

I am re-starting my blogging career with a different, more likely positive focus. Here is the main point I want to address. 

CAN YOU LEAVE THE LDS CHURCH AND STILL GROW, BE FULFILLED AND LIVE A WONDERFUL JOYOUS AMAZING LIFE FULL OF LOVE FOR OTHERS AND KINDNESS KEPT IN-TACT?

It’s coming......tell your friends.....tell your neighbors....

NORM IS BACK!!!


I am re-starting my blogging career with a different, more likely positive focus. Here is the main point I want to address.

CAN YOU LEAVE THE LDS CHURCH AND STILL GROW BE FULFILLED AND LIVE A WONDERFUL JOYOUS AMAZING LIFE FULL OF LOVE FOR OTHERS AND KINDNESS KEPT IN-TACT?

Its coming......tell your friends.....tell your neighbours......its coming....NORM IS BACK!

STAY TUNED!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I think I am done!




Short post.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog.

I think I am done.

I no longer have the anger, the passion or the care to continue the blog, because well, I am no longer angry.

I spent 46 years advocating the beliefs of the LDS church.

I spent one year questioning their validity.

I am done.

I am however, completely shocked, surprised and.......somewhat honored, that so very many active LDS members within my community took the time to read and comment.

It was almost enough to make me want to continue....but alas......I am sort of done with it all.

I apologize to those who felt I was unfair or angry towards the LDS Church. I do not think anyone has made a valid point about my blog being unfair, but it is true, I was a little angry at what I felt the LDS church had stolen from me.

I no longer feel that way.

I am at peace...... completely.

I had many good years within the LDS Church, there are certainly some things I benefited from. There are also some things that I feel 'cost me' if you will, that were neither necessary, nor valid.

For those who wish to leave the LDS church and try to explain why you have done so and what makes you feel hurt by the process, I support you.

For those who wish to stay actively involved in the LDS community, recognizing the many possible things that might make reasonable minded individuals at least question....I support you.


For those who continue to mindlessly follow the LDS Church without any questioning and possibly in a position that is likely not healthy for self or family, I still support you.


I am sorry to those, of my friends who were upset in anyway by reading my blog. This was more for me....then for you. I needed to get the stuff out.....and now......it is done.

Now onto the beauty service and joy part!

Finally I bid everyone adieu :)

Sincerely

Norm

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moriant Post: Documenting D&C Changes, Were The Revelations Changed?

NOTE TO READERS!!!

Sadly as a result of some internet hacks I have lost most of the necessary documentation for this blog. I have some of the items but they are so small as to likely be worthless to the naked eye.

Should the original author (who has now pretty much gone underground as a result of publishing further and important LDS family ties) decide to provide them once again, I will repost the higher quality images. For now, you will have to trust me that I have actually seen with my own eyes the documents to which he discusses in the blog. NT




One of the things that was very important to me during my research, was to do the best I could at locating and finding the source documents and references many LDS church historians and other authors often cite inside their books.

I did so because I wanted to be sure I could see for myself with as little Bias as possible and then come to my own conclusions without trusting anyone for or against the church. In so doing one of the things I remembered reading about was some of the claims David Whitmer said about some of the reasons why he left. So I put on my researcher hat and tracked down a copy of the book David Whitmer wrote, called "An Address to all Believers in Christ." (See Image Below)


As you can see one of the reasons why David Whitmer was so upset and left the church was not only because, "They changed the revelations", BUT that the changes gave Joseph far greater power than what the revelations had originally stated. Granting Joseph greater power through "keys" which were non existent in the original revelations. So I decided to "test" Whitmer's claims to see if they were indeed true.

By this time I had tracked down several editions of the early Doctrine and Covenants including the 1833 Book of Commandments, but even with all these early scripture editions, I still couldn't thoroughly test Whitmer claims until I had bought, a book that I think any serious LDS researcher should own, Joseph Smith Papers (facsimile edition). This is an unbelievable resource and an excellent tool. In essence it provides full sized in color facsimile scans of the handwritten original revelations of the church. While the book is costly it is well worth purchasing. Now I had all the information at hand and I could finally test Whitmer's claims. The following are just a fraction of some of the things I discovered over weeks of doing side by side comparisons.

Book of Commandments Section 4


What I did to make it easier to create a side by side comparison of the two revelations was to splice them into one document as they were published. Each of these images are the actual photocopies of the early revelations as published. Thanks to scans and some photo shop work, I could place them side by side making it easier to see and compare.

There is more to this section of the D&C but this page alone does illustrates the main changes and problems. First I want to point out that yes it is true many of the changes or tweaks inside the D&C versions will be grammatical in nature and I have highlighted those here so you can see, BUT I am not interested in talking about grammatical issues.

In the original 1833 version, the Lord clearly says that the ONLY gift he has given, or will ever give, Joseph is the gift of translation. Specifically, the Lord says: "I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift." What is interesting is that somewhere between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed from what the Lord supposedly told him in March of 1829. These changes are significant. Now Joseph will be allowed to receive other gifts after the work of translating the Book of Mormon, and specifically says that Joseph "shall be ordained".

Now the standard Apologetic response will revolve around the idea that we have progressive revelation, and so changes are not that big of a deal. But who decided that? Did God come back a few years after 1829 and say, wait a minute we need to change this, I didn't mean what I said? Or did Joseph decide to make the change? You see one of the main things we forget was that God basically dictated the early revelations. So who decides to edit what God had already previously said? Simply stated by 1835 Joseph had much bigger grandeur views for the church, the church was now in Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon was on the scene and there were also internal leadership issues brewing. So Joseph simply needed more gifts to bolster his authority, and very soon the idea of Priesthood authority would be introduced to the church, which previously did not exist.

Book of Commandments Section 6

The Book of Commandments Section 6 or D&C 7 apparently clarifies what Jesus said to Peter about John the Apostle. Joseph translated this revelation through a "visionary" parchment not an actual manuscript and so the actual parchment is unavailable for investigation.(See Below)


Again, what I have done here to make it easy to understand is to do a direct side by side comparison of these 2 revelations and compare the differences, between them. What I found absolutely became very interesting indeed. There are over 100+ words that have been added to this revelation alone! Note, in the original 1833 version, Jesus never says anything to Peter about any "keys" for Peter, James, and John, and never says that John will be a "ministering angel." Rather, in the original 1833 version of the revelation, Jesus simply tells Peter that his apostle John will be allowed to "tarry". BUT, sometime between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed and now John will be a "ministering angel" that will not taste of death and Peter, James, and John will be given "keys" by Jesus. Keys that Joseph would later say were restored to him.

The other interesting side idea is the clarification or change to what "tarry" means. Many General Authorities within the church have explained that John was "translated" and so he can come and go to perform his mission on the earth as he or the Lord sees fit. This is because John by 1835 is linked to the "Restoration" as being one of the Angels or translated beings along with Peter and James in restoring the "keys" or Priesthood which in the original revelation did not exist. However the NT does clarify what Jesus did say to Peter.

John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

John 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Note the clarification in Verse 23..Jesus didn't say that John wouldn't die, instead it's an IF statement directed towards Peter, and also note there is nothing here to indicate any "keys".

Besides all this we come to the Original handwritten version of this revelation




As you can see there are absolutely NOTHING that indicates that this revelation should read in the way we currently have it in our D&C. Rather instead it matches WORD for WORD the 1833 version. There are no editorial remarks or revisions, no margins nothing to indicate why there is a need to add over 100+ words into the revelation. There is nothing to indicate any keys for Peter and James or that John should be a "ministering angel".

D&C Section 13


The revelation concerning the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration. Completely missing, not only inside the 1833 Book of Commandments but also missing in the 1835 D&C. In other words in the early days of the church there is nothing to indicate John the Baptist ordained Joseph and Oliver with Aaronic priesthood keys.

Now Apologists will argue this was never recorded because of persecution or Joseph was often on the run. On the surface that sounds like a legitimate explanation. But further examination reveals this to be problematic. First off they started recording revelations as early as 1828, so why not record something as critical and important as Priesthood authority? Instead the whole thing is just plain missing period. Yes there are a few pages missing inside Revelation Book 1, but nothing suggests the reasoning to delay the idea of Priesthood authority. Secondly, why hide it from the faithful, even if you were on the run? Instead there is NO diary record, NO church minutes, NOTHING to suggest any kind of "Priesthood authority even existed" until after.

D&C Section 2


Another simple example of a revelation gone AWOL. Yes it is true and in fairness I will grant that they didn't start recording revelations until 1828, but I have to ask why include this SO late? Why create such a late revision to the Moroni story? Again let's ask ourselves what is missing, and what is not. Immediately we can see what is added to the Moroni story is the idea that Elijah will shortly come and reveal the "Priesthood" and restore even more "keys". What is missing is that for the early church the concept of authority and keys just plain didn't exist and wasn't even in the minds of the members prior to a brief mention inside the Times and Seasons in 1834. Instead what we can see is Joseph backdated the story of Priesthood restoration.

Book of Commandments Section 24


A small interesting change but I think showcases the power of changing 1 simply word. I am not so much interested in all the GREEN additions as I am to the changes inside verse 9. Emma was concerned at this point in how were they going to take care of their family. After all Joseph was a farmer, not a schooled preacher and now he has taken up a profession unfamiliar to himself, so how are they going to pay their bills?

Note the subtle yet powerful change 1 word makes. Thy husband shall support thee from the church OR Thy Husband shall support thee in the church. Two completely different implications.

Instead Emma need not worry Joseph will take on the full mantle of leadership, and Joseph will care for Emma and their family through the financial benefit of being "Prophet, Seer and Revelator."

So in conclusion to all this research I had to ask myself the following questions. Was David Whitmer wrong? Did the church change the revelations? Were the revelations changed in such a way as to grant Joseph more authority and keys which previously in the original revelations did not exist? I think the answer to both of those questions in simply yes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

'MY NAME IS MORIANTON'.......The 'Secret Author' Begins His Journey.



I would like to introduce myself on this blog as Morianton. Who is Morianton you ask? Well he was one of the leaders of the dissenters inside the Book of Mormon (Alma 50), and in many ways I have become him although many Mormons would most likely refer to me as, “Apostate”.

You see my story began several years when I struggled through a spiritual crisis but not a faith crisis. I maintained an active status within the church yet I was hurt by local leadership. But somehow through it all I held on to the idea that though locally the church may not be true, somehow the higher ups knew what they were doing and all is well. Until one day during quiet personal introspection while sitting in Sunday school I thought perhaps the problem was me. Perhaps it was I who needed to repent and re find the testimony that once burned so brightly. This is precisely what I resolved to do. Being someone who thoroughly enjoyed research and study I resolved to understand church history like never before. I would tackle the hard questions and develop a stronger testimony then I ever had before, but ultimately this would never happen.

Why do I choose to write behind a name such as this and not my real name? Well the answer is easy. I still have many good friends, family members, associates and acquaintances inside the church. So even though I am no longer a member, I fear not only for what could impact my own relationships, but also for those whom I love. For anyone who has had a crisis of faith you understand what I mean. The glaring stares, the out of the corner of your mouth comments and whispers. Not only towards myself but also towards even those whom I love. That old saying is so very true, within the fringes of Mormonism, “Guilty by association.”

The question as to the motive behind my posts will invariably be asked, “Why bring to light things that are not faith promoting?” “What do you possibly have to gain?” some might even go so far as to say, “See you can leave, but you just can’t leave it alone.”

I think the best way to answer those questions, is to ponder one in return, “What is the cost of silence?” What is the cost to maintain the current status quo in the LDS church? I believe that cost is numbered in souls. People who are made to feel unworthy because they do not measure up, women who continually get oppressed by bad leaders and gays who feel marginalized to the point of suicide and all for what? Truth they say, the one and only true church. “Protect the good name of the church.” At all costs is often the motto. Oh, how dangerous and narrow minded, to bury down and marginalize and oppress all those who struggle to live and maintain a faith inside a manufactured reality. Who wins within this continued silence and pretence that all is well in Zion? Sure, the good name of the church, but is that worth the cost?

It could be you one day, when you discover the truth as you have been taught is not what it claims to be. It could be your son or daughter that one day says, “Mom Dad I am Gay.” It could be your wife who quietly obeys without knowing the freedom to live with equality and voice. But whatever the cost you have to decide within yourself, “Is it worth it?”

I am reminded of a very popular LDS song called choose the right. How do the words go? Oh yes,

“Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o'er you,
When in the right your heart confides.
Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.”

What do I ultimately hope to gain by presenting documents and source material that could potentially change someone’s perspective towards the church? Is it notoriety? Fame? Or just to be able to point a finger and say, “I told you so, na na na na na!” No, rather it is my hope to create an open sense for truth and discussion. To help those who struggle, question or sit in the fears of silence to understand it’s OK. That it’s OK to be different, it’s OK to question, and that it’s OK to stand up for oneself in the face of adversity without retribution. That it’s OK to stand up for others, it’s OK to face legalism, injustice and self-righteousness even when it seems all you can do is, “kick against the pricks.” To do nothing means nothing will change, when change is inevitable.

My idea is not to tear down but to raise up one’s understanding to a level that creates an open sense of what is truly true across both sides of the equation, relationship.
There will be those who will disagree with what I will post. There will be those who will brand me an enemy of truth, and a swine not worthy to even wallow in the mire of the light of the restoration. For all those people who may view me in this light may I remind you that Jesus said, “Love one another.”

I think if Jesus were to return today, it would probably be a safe bet to say that he would blow off Sacrament meeting, Sunday school and even Priesthood class. You won’t catch him dozing off inside the temple sessions nor giving high five’s to all the brethren for showing up at the stake high council meeting on time. Instead, he probably would be downtown with the homeless, working in the soup kitchens, extending love and kindness towards the drug addicts and the prostitutes. In short, “Lifting the heads that hang down and strengthening the feeble knees.”

If truth is to stand as noble as a sword why do we continue to sheath it with unrighteous judgment and pride for the sake of bolstering the Ninety and Nine at the cost of the One?

So all I ask in the upcoming posts on this blog is for you to just have an open heart, an open mind and one willing to do what the song truly says, “choose the right let the consequences follow.”




Norms comment:

I am honored to have 'Morianton' join me on my blog. His first release of documentation and commentary regarding the issues that surround it, will likely be released within the next week.

Please feel free to use the Facebook link on the right side of this page to link to your profile if you are comfortable and wish to help spread the word.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sssshhhhh.....Dont tell anyone! (just kidding) Really, really big NEWS




Alright some very exciting things are about to happen on my blog. I am hopeful that all of my regular readers will support me when 'it' happens. That they will post links on their Facebook and help me get the word out.


I am going to have a secret, guest author add some content, commentary, and documentation on my blog.


Why my blog? Well because although small and relatively new I already have a regular audience and I am allowing him to keep his anonymity. for familial reasons which I will not get into here, this individual has chosen to keep his identity a secret. What he decides to share about his story is his choice but I will state that we have connected because of similar experiences in the church.


My experience with LDS people since we departed the faith shows that they feel that they MUST believe that an ex-Mormon was offended, or committed serious sins to decide to leave the LDS church. They cannot accept that these things seldom have much to do with anything about that at all. Especially when one determines or says that simple study and reasoning.....are indeed the reason for departure!


This individual (my soon to be guest author) sought the background and source information of Mormon History to prove to himself it's authenticity, to validate its claims in a hope that he could strengthen his testimony and once again become a more faithful and believing LDS. Because his past experiential life in the Mormon church and culture had shown him many things that caused him concern and problems.


He is a researcher of sorts by trade and knew how to locate the actual documents better than the rest of us.


The documents speak for themselves, some you have seen or heard of them before, however he presents them in their chronological order in a manner that raises many problems for LDS apologists and faithful members to defend.


I won't say too much more, I will allow the documents to speak for themselves, and have him add his commentary.


What is my purpose in doing so.


Recently, some so-called 'friends' have complained that I am questioning their beliefs. They are not happy with some of the things I post on my Facebook page which they deem derogatory towards the LDS faith.


Now to be fair, having been a former LDS member and serving in Leadership, my focus has been on the financial and cultural issues as I see them within the LDS organization and community. I guess they don't like the fact that I ask some pretty tough questions and they likely feel 'offended'.


I do not believe that the LDS church is acting as a religion......I believe it is simply acting as a business and I feel that I can rightly predict how the LDS org. will act in just about any situation, simply by using a financial model as my 'looking glass'.or 'seer stone'.


I have not as of yet discussed much of the historical, doctrinal or documentation issues that really were the major items that got me really thinking about the authentic history of the LDS Church verses the obvious sensitization that has transpired over the years since Joseph received his *third* vision (LOL).


Authors like Palmer, Brodie, Vogel, Whitefield all present a case for Mormonism's authentic historical and doctrinal problems. However, they often do not show the actual textual material side by side in chronological order. This is preciously the direction my guest author took during his discovery and research into early Mormon history. Rather then simply trusting in authors like Palmer and Brodie, his question was always, ok you make an interesting point, now let's see your backup!


For 'some people' (using one of my 'friends' exact words) any type of questioning is far too difficult to accept. I do not see it that way, and neither do many former LDS leaders (H.B.Brown's famous statement that LDS people members need not be afraid to have people question and that they themselves should indeed question in the "marketplace of idea's").


However its fair to state that current LDS leadership have changed their minds on people actually 'studying' anything but approved LDS created material. (isn't LDS material from early church history still approved LDS material?)


Why? Why do they no longer encourage the members to review both sides of the debate?


Due to the Internet, so much accurate, historical information has surfaced that create many valid questions regarding the LDS church's beginnings and authenticity that it is quite likely that 'faith' could possibly be destroyed with truth, in the way I see things. Otherwise, why be so afraid to actually 'look', at their own honest history?


Growing up in the LDS Church, I remember the saying "If you have the truth on your side, you have no fear".
It would seem that this has changed dramatically in the LDS organization over the past several years since the Internet.


Is it possibly fair to state that for some, often multi-generational LDS members who are educated, that Truth may indeed be destroying Faith?


I think it is possible that this is transpiring. The enemies of the church it was said are whom? (women, gays and intellectuals, see Packer).


I like the comment by Duwayne Anderson in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-welker/gay-activists-bear-their-_b_806542.html)


"Today, Gays and Feminists are under attack from the church -- both members and non-member­s. But the LDS Church also targets intellectu­als who don't support the party line and disagree with the "Brethren" on matters of science and history. Few religions are as inconsiste­nt with science as Mormonism, which teaches that the ancient Americans were Hebrews, domesticat­ed horses, and fought massive Roman-styl­e wars with steel swords".


Duwayne Anderson
Author of "Farewell to Eden: Coming to terms with Mormonism and science"


What most members do not know is that this goes on behind closed doors where truth, integrity and honesty are not always part of interviews where leaders care about one thing, and one thing only., that is specifically 'protect the image of the LDS church at all costs". There is no higher calling in the church, no greater priority for the brethren, no more prevalent written or unwritten rule than this one.


Truth goes out the door, integrity is meaningless, kindness is simply not an issue and honesty is seen as apostasy in these meetings where leaders care about one thing only......."Can this information do harm to the Church"? If it can.....WATCH OUT! Your membership is likely over!




One such incident occurred recently in the area in which I live. Someone who I vaguely knew, had started to research the source material information within LDS history in order to 'improve his back-row testimony', or to make a more valiant effort than he had done in the past to align himself with traditional LDS values and doctrines.


He has a special 'skill' for finding information difficult to find in the online world, and so he began his honest and sincere search for documents unwilling to accept others interpretations of such source information.


It was all going just fine, until he put some of the information side by side in a chronological order. (something many researchers and authors have not yet published). Once he did this....well....it all fell apart very quickly as it became apparent that early LDS leaders simply added and manufactured information when needed.


He will be a guest blogger if you will, on my blog......very, very soon!


I can assure you......its worth your time to have a read. It will be very interesting to see how many of you on both sides of the LDS issue, view this information.


Now I wish to make clear. Anyone who does not appreciate my blog, or who does not agree with my viewpoints, or my guest author, should feel at liberty to say so. They should have the right to stand up and make comment.


As long as it is not personally disrespectful I always publish the comments whether I agree or not. However any personal attacks will be moderated, unless their name is added.




STAY TUNED FOLKS!! IT'S ABOUT TO GET FUN AROUND HERE...............'ME-THINKS'

Friday, April 8, 2011

Profit or Prophet? (City Creek Mall). Which one matter's more to the LDS Church?



I have been thinking again, and counting. In 2005 it was only supposed to reach 500 million but obviously over budget and wanting more of the really cool construction things, the LDS Church keeps funneling money to the downtown rejuvenation/shopping mall project. Recent church owned media outlets are quoting the cost now of over 3 Billion 'tithing free' dollars (see note below). The pedestrian Skybridge alone is worth over one billion dollars alone. Imagine the good works and service to the planet that could performed if the LDS church were to call and pay for 300,000 "Service Missionaries" to be called at no cost or burden to their families. This is how many service missionaries could 'flood the entire planet' and serve mankind, were the LDS church to invest in more appropriate causes than giving the good people of Salt Lake City another place to purchase more things they likely cannot afford and do not need.
Imagine the good image this would have given the LDS church in the world, imagine the help to the poor and the needy and the care for humanity that would and could be provided. Wouldn't this have been a more appropriate cause for an organization that calls itself a religious institution then another massive business for profit investment. Which drives the LDS church more? Profit or Prophet? NOTE: Although the 'Prophet' has stated that no tithing funds are used, the LDS Church accounting department does not consider any monies to be tithing once it has sat for a period of more than 24 months. Strange accounting, but technically sound.
Construction Analysis.
 Mohammed Bin Zayed City: $7.1 Billion or $132/sq. foot Sears Tower: $105 Million or $142/sq. foot ... Petronas Twin Towers $1.6 Billion or $367/sq. foot Taipei 101 Tower: $1.8 Billion or $405/sq. foot Burj Khalifa Tower: $1.5 Billion or $450/sq. foot City Center Las Vegas: $11 Billion or $655/sq. foot City Creek Center, Salt Lake: ~$6 Billion or ~$3000/sq. foot
WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY REALLY GOING? NO ONE REALLY KNOWS!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SUNDAY The Absolute Most Fulfilling Day Of The Week!


This will quite likely be a humorous blog, why, because its Sunday Morning!

Its funny, on Sunday mornings I have that old feeling I once had as a missionary for the LDS church, I want to go and share something with the world, kind of feeling.


Its an amazing and powerful feeling, I seem to experience each and every Sabbath day as I consider now indeed what Sunday means to me. Now, I realize that to do so I must be careful and respectful of the delicate feelings that those who do not feel the same way as I do and whose experience is quite different then mine each 'Sabbath day'.......BULL-CRAP!(no that's not the word I was thinking)


Just as I am making my world the place I enjoy and love, there are millions in filling pews all across this continent that are hopefully doing the same with theirs.


Its 10:49 am here in Smithville, as I woke up, actually pretty early for my now normal Sabbath risings. I sit here in my robe, thinking......."hmm what am I going to do today?".



The sun is shining, snow will be melting, I have so much to do, like always......na....the Sabbath is MY DAY OF REST! There is a scripture in there somewhere right, like
.......

Mark 2:27 - "The Sabbath Was Made For Man"

That's right, finally something biblical I can latch on to! I am most certainly following this command at this point in my life. No laboring, (trust me I served as a bishop, Sunday felt like 'labor' to me, every single week!), no work, no worrying about all the crap I have to do the rest of the week. I can sleep in, I can catch up, I can plan my life, I can enjoy my kids and jump into the hot-tub or catch a flick with the family, and on and on.

Life is so full of choices so seldom had in my former life, controlled by callings, obligations, guilt, indoctrination, the long list or rules and obligations. How did I ever put up with it for so long.

I am trying hard to have my blog, as one LDS friend kindly reminded me show the advancing side of our family or....
 

"a place of enlightenment, beauty, service and joy."

In my opinion, that's exactly what I am referring to. At least the enlightenment, beauty (alright I don't look so hot at this moment) but joy.......hell ya! I have more joy right now in just one of my chewed off finger nails then I formerly had in my previous LDS life in my entire closet of blue suits, white shirts and ties (and rather ugly underwear).

I mean, come on lets be honest for just a moment, who the heck really enjoys sitting in church for three hours every Sunday morning, trying to keep our kids quiet, trying to look the part, while some very nice elderly lady with obvious bowel issues continually passes gas. Or if your in leadership, meetings upon useless meetings afterwards.

Sure okay, ya, you get to 'feel the spirit' once in a long while and feel good about things.

I feel more joy in the spirit sleeping in on Sunday mornings and thanking the universe for my freedom of current choice then I ever did in any F&T meeting, or priesthood meeting, Sunday school class, tithing settlement, current calling meeting, special youth meeting, evening leadership training meeting, or bishopric meeting, welfare or ward correlation meeting, or 'bishop I have a problem abusing myself' type of meeting or, 'your members donations are low' meeting, or.......well you get the point, I hope by now.

The only meeting I have on Sunday now is the 'choice of boxers' meeting which is conducted usually in the PM after lots of lazy lounging around, snuggling with the wife, chatting with the teenagers about what is happening in their lives, then the walking the dogs with with my amazing spouse meeting, or the meeting to acquire a Starbucks white chocolate mocha.

Or the "which bathing suit to wear" to the backyard 'staycation' we are going to have in the hot tub or the pool (in just a few more months). And very, very soon the warm weather is going to allow me the privilege of the 'where to take the vette for a spin' meeting.

And you know what....it is far, far, far more peaceful around our home, more 'eternal family' feeling kind of stuff, then ever before on any formerly LDS active Sunday.


Man I sure love my Sunday meetings now!
If I were reading this right now I would likely be thinking "man Norm, it seems like Sunday's is all about you! Kinda selfish inst it?'

YEP!

Sundays are a day, to spend....with me. Where I get to do what I want to do. Isn't that what the scripture above says.....who is the sabbath made for? 


THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR ME!

I love Sabbath days, NOW!

(sorry if this appear a 'your rubbing it in' post, that's not what its meant to be, its meant to be more......YAY me!)


Please feel free to add your comments in regards to what you enjoy about your.......Sabbath!