Monday, February 21, 2011

An attempt to bring me back to the days of gossip, cruelty and unkind actions.....YOU NO LONGER HAVE THAT POWER OVER ME!!!

Oh my heck, to use a wonderful Mormon description.....I received today a couple of comments from a cowardly former member of our ward in which I was personally attacked and spoken of in a very unkind and disrespectful manner. I state it was cowardly because, well, they would not leave their name. They left it as anonymous.

It has been now a full and amazing year since we left the LDS church, and three years since I served as Bishop of the Stoney Creek ward, I was called all kinds of names in the post, such as egotistical, condescending, etc. etc. I am so sad that this former member of our ward, is still experiencing so much unhappiness and guilt regarding what I can only assume is their own unkind actions towards my family that they felt it necessary after such a long time to leave such a post. I have no problem with anyone adding critical comments but the arguments in the comment were not arguments at all, they were simply personal attacks with the precise opposite content of anything relating to "Christan kindness" which is what Mormonism claims to represent.

To think that they would be so miserable for them this far after the fact as to leave such a rant on my blog is quite humorous to me now. I had formerly put up with this type of behavior from members of the LDS church, I no longer feel it is of any value for me to sit back and have this occur without doing something about it. For 46 years, I allowed myself to be told what to feel, what to believe, what to do in my life. I have no intention of sitting back and supporting this type of cowardly and sad behavior anymore.

In truth it is likely a representation of their own miserable existence. I believe, that this individual feels unfulfilled in his circumstances and unable to make changes to enhance their own situation as we did, 12 months ago, when we discovered the untruth of the LDS organization. I have not been bishop for three years and they are still so angry with me? Wow...that's kind of......flattering!

"IF" and I mean if, they had any belief in their own words I would think they would have left their name. Funny thing was they referred to other members of the unit in a way that were unmistakable and yet they themselves were very careful to keep their own identity, secret.

This is not a surprise, as the gossip and speculation and the "conspiracy" that I referred to in our exit story showed the type of individuals that we were dealing with. It would appear, that since we have left, that not much has changed in this regard.

I have been very lucky to have many wonderful LDS friends since I have left, that made clear that these type of individuals do not represent the many good and faithful active members of the church. I think they are right. This likely was an isolated incident and does not reflect for the most part the many excellent quality members that still are part of the LDS organization.

Regardless, I have removed the comments, as it is my blog, and I have now changed the settings on the so that people who do comment must be registered in order to leave a comment and therefore make their identity clear.

It would seem only fair, that if your going to gossip in a public online forum that you have no right to have your opinions given any value unless you are willing to stand up and take accountability for them. Unlike in the LDS church, where gossip, speculation, unkind words and actions, were regularly a part of the social dynamic.

It feels today, so amazingly fulfilling and wonderful to no longer be part of that cruel and unkind group of individuals and in an organization in which, at times it would seem, they properly represent.

The good news, for me personally, is that even this type of cruel and unkind behavior is such a distant past to me now. I feel secure that this will not prevent me in any way from having a deep fulfilling sleep and enjoying the end to a wonderful weekend at home with my wife and family.

We are doing what brings us true joy and happiness. I would only humbly suggest, that those of my former acquaintances, try to be authentic in their decision making in doing what brings them more peace and happiness. Because this person did not truly reflect in their communication that their life was bringing them a level  of joy or contentment.

Trust me, I have been where they are at now.........it was not easy  to change that unhappiness, but they have not yet been where |I am at now, and I truly wish that they could be!

I am so thankful for the many and amazing supporters of our journey. You far outnumber and out serve the few former detractors that are still conducting the same behavior and sadly receiving the same reward as they always have.

51 comments:

  1. Oh and thank you.....MR ANONYMOUS for giving me the kick in the butt to write another award winning (LOL) blog!

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  5. I am posting a blog on Marty's comments, please feel free to add your opinion.

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  6. Marty, do you consider yourself a Christian? Would Jesus condone the words that you wrote? The Jesus of the New Testament who said the one without sin cast the first stone?

    Mormonism brings out the type of attitude that you display here. Condescending and holier-than-thou? And why? It is the ill-conceived notion that your religion is the best and all others are inferior. You may think that is a lie but simply read the words of Joseph Smith and your leaders.

    If you want to help people, do it in a way that Jesus would do.

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  8. Marty,

    I am so sorry you feel that way. I recommend a review of Matthew 7 and the words of the master, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

    If you won't take it from me, take it from your own "Apostle" Oaks. http://lds.org/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging?lang=eng&noLang=true&path=/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging

    BTW- I haven't known Norm for long, but what I do know of him is that I would have been privileged to have had him as MY Bishop.

    Best wishes,

    El Chupacabras

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  9. Marty, thank goodness the world is full of incredibly righteous people like yourself, who are blessed with the uncanny ability to find fault in others and "shout it from the rooftops" as prophesied in the scriptures. Thank goodness people like you can save us all from sinners like Norm and his wife who are a real detriment to society. I just wish more people would be willing to set themselves as a light before men, as a true example of the absolute @#!*% that is known as "mormon" christianity. What right do you have to come on Norm's blog with these accusations and judgments. Why don't you share with us some of your shortcomings so at least we'll know that you're not the promised Messiah you son of a @#!*% . David J Haralson, DMD MD

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  10. My goodness. This exchange illustrates very nicely how utterly hypocritical religious "believers" are. Especially Mormons, with their infantile anthropomorphic "theology," seem to think that "God" is just another middle class North American they can barter with. They "obey" what they consider "divine" orders in order to "earn" their way into heaven. Their "God" is just like them -- small-minded, uncultured, and provincial. There is nothing transcendent about "Him." Mormonism really must be quite close to the lower end of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradtion -- perhaps the Wallmart version . . .

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  11. Wow Marty if you were the last person on earth, you'd be proof that Mormons aren't Christians! Where's the love? That was a vile attack on a family -- a family -- that has been put through the mill, b/c you "don't like" someone? You are the "pervert," Marty.

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  12. So, let me get this? You can't take sexual photos of your spouse? Does that mean you can't look at them either? Sounds like the kind of repression that has produced generations of child-molesters. And we all know that Mormon Polygamist and Fundementalist Polygamists have produced a remarkable amount of incestuous famiiies. Figures!

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  13. Marty,

    I am so sorry you feel that way. I recommend a review of Matthew 7 and the words of the master, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

    If you won't take it from me, take it from your own "Apostle" Oaks. http://lds.org/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging?lang=eng&noLang=true&path=/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging

    BTW- I haven't known Norm for long, but what I do know of him is that I would have been privileged to have had him as MY Bishop.

    Best wishes,

    El Chupacabras

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  14. To me, the telling sentence in Marty's interesting take is, “I really believe to this day that the way the events have worked themselves out is truly a testimony to the fact that the Lord is at the helm.” Ask yourself what “the Lord” is. Then, once you have answered that question, place him at “the helm” of the Church. Reread the sentence with your present thoughts in mind, and you’ll see that Marty is correct. When a nonexistent entity is at the helm, those who continue to follow it have no choice but to view those who have spotted its absence as condescending. Both Marty's and Norm's positions are indeed a testimony to the way things are. Developing the strength to leave behind the thing that others follow and will slight you for not following requires you, in many ways, to be your own biggest fan. Who else will be? And everyone either becomes a hermit or seeks out a group or friends with whom he or she can feel compatible. Endearing oneself to one’s friends is almost a tautology. It’s to be expected. The only shame, aside from willfully harming others, is to fail to fulfill oneself, to live up to one's own potential. Each of us has to decide how we get there. There are more than two roads that diverge in a yellow wood.

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  15. Marty's comments scream, "I AM IN A CULT!" That's all i get from them, really. The cult mind must do anything and everything possible to protect itself, lest the illusion shatter.

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  16. When it comes to criticizing church leaders, Marty has sinned in the worst possible way with such nasty and hateful rhetoric. He didn't even wait until Norm had left the church to back stab and condemn him. At least I resigned first before I started poking at the leaders in such cruel ways. That way I wouldn't be disobeying Elder Oaks' wise council.

    I'm glad that Marty is getting it out now. It seems like he has been harboring all sorts of vile frustration and anger all this time. I hope he feels better. And then I hope he steps back and looks at the bigger picture of what he wrote and perhaps think about his responsibility in all that has transpired over that time.

    Perhaps, in time, we'll all come to some understanding that we are all human. We really don't know what we are doing on this planet. The church really doesn't give us the best answers and there is no way anyone can know anything for sure. And with that understanding we'll start to give each other some slack.

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  17. Wow!!! people who have to hunt others down on the internet to discredit them are surely lacking something constructive to do with their time. maybe instead of slamming a non-member you could spend your thots and time to actively make your ward the best place it can be. i couldn't even finish your rant. i guess i can only stomach so much gossip and slander at a time. i guess you need a little education about what pornography is all about. it is the intent behind the picture. if you took a picture of your naked baby in the bath noone would say that that was pornographic, except maybe a pedophile. The same with pictures of your legally and lawfully married spouse- as long as it wasn't hung in a public area of the house. Some families believe it is ok to walk around their own house with no clothes on at all. nobody says that is pornographic. it may not be to your taste, or to mine, but since when does someone's preference become law for everyone else.

    i am glad you went around the ward comforting all those who didn't like their bishop. hopefully you learned something from that so maybe one day when you get the mantle of bishop, you can be perfect.

    karin sumbler

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  18. I am saddened to see that someone would feel the need to do this to norm. I am sickened to see that people are still going on about the pictures that he had taken with his wife from long before he became the bishop in stoney creek. the pictures were for no one else to see or even know about.they were personal and that is it. I think that norm should be enraged that they became common knowledge around the ward. Which tells me that a whole lot of people in the ward gossip which is if I remember correctly is frowned upon more than anything else. Gossip is cruel and is not always the truth and if the fact that norm had naked pictures of his wife got around that fast and a bunch of memebers decicded to judge him because of it shame on you. You will have to answer for that when you die not norm. As, i am sure norm will have his own things to answer for. It is ridiculous that people who are not God are feeling the need to judge and persecute him because of it. When he was the bishop, he was there because he was called by god and not by anyone else. He was there for 3 years because God wanted him to be there. There may have been something for the ward to learn and or norm to learn. I can't believe that anyone who is a "good mormon" would even been commenting and saying something like that. I still happen to be a member for now but not for long. I am so tired of seeing people in the church put their noses in the air as if they are better than someone else. the church is full of people like that and of people who think that they get to pass judgement on someone else. That is not our role as humans. It is our job to live our lives to the fullest and help others along our way. It was norm's decision to leave the church and no one made him, or forced him too. He felt it was what he needed to do as did a bunch of other people. I was a memeber of a different ward when he was the bishop of stoney creek so, I do no know all of what happened but I do know this. He is a good man, and did what he felt needed to be done. He listened to all the people in the church and to God. Now, he doesn't care what people in the church say cause they don't run his life anymore. And, I don't think he has given up anything special by leaving the church. He still has his family and is happy. I don't feel that you need to be sealed to your family to be wih them forever and i don't think that you need to be in the church to have inheritance. The only thing that you can take with you when you die is your talents and that is it. I may not know norm personally but i know what i have been told by my family who knows him and by what i have seen him do for others. He is a nice guy and cares about others and how they feel. I can't believe that you Mr. Marty do not have the right to judge norm or make him feel like he was in the wrong. Again I say if he had been doing wrong god would have told the people who called him as bishop to ask him to leave not almost have him in the stake presidency.


    Jacqueline Crockford

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  19. This is a good example of someone leaving the church, but the church not leaving them alone. Check yourself, hypocrite.

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  20. Mr. Marty,

    As a mere bystander, I must say that your comments were rife with many things you apparently have never liked about Norm, even when he was part of your church. It appears you never supported him as a church leader. Perhaps he was chosen for a leadership position you felt you better deserved? Your comments seem to indicate you have been harboring a great amount of hatred and animosity toward him for some time now.

    Or perhaps you feel justified in finally making your contemptuous feelings known now that he has chosen to leave your tribe, and your initial attempts to bring him back, which you considered selfless and christ-like behavior towards him on your part have gone unheeded? After all, how could he be so unappreciative of you and others extending the olive branch and magnanimously inviting him back, when he really didn't even deserve it, no?

    Isn't it true, though, that Norm's leaving Mormonism is him exercising his 'free agency', which you claim to believe in? Yet in reality, free agency in the Mormon Church is simply a marketing term for 'the choice is yours, but you better make sure you choose what we told you to choose'.

    Hopefully, by now, Marty, you have been able to thoroughly vent all of this hatred that has obviously been held inside for some time now towards a man who was a leader in your church. Perhaps now you can get back to helping yourself and your church with changing the unfortunate image much of the world has of you, that is, of being a great Mormon, but a very wanting Christian. A Christian would not have written what you did...but a Mormon would. Maybe Norm isn't so wrong after all...by Doug L. Alder

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  21. All I would like to say is "Gee, I'm glad I don't have any LDS friends to torment me in this way with their self-righteous bullshit!" I normally temper my words to be gentle to such people as Marty but, frankly, I'm sick of it, too. Life is too short to be bothered by such unloving and unkind people, who are so full of their judgments and false sense of "RIGHT-eousness" that they don't see their very own ego-centeredness and arrogance. The LDS church instills in its people, through its cult tactics, an "us vs. them" mentality, which deludes and divides. Norman, I commend you for leaving the church based on the fact that the LDS church is NOT what it purports to be...in too many ways to make mention...and in spite of the fire that we all face from members when we leave. In the short time that I've known you, you have only displayed love, care, and compassion for others...too bad you're not perfect, huh!?

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  22. Have I done any good in the world today?
    Have I helped anyone in need?
    Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?

    Now...having refreshed these lyrics in your mind...I have this question for Marty. Have you accomplished anything good by coming to Norm's personal blog and writing the things you have? Did you take joy in exposing his personal business to the world? Was it absolutely necessary for you to mention the infamous pictures?

    Point one...the individual who went poking around through Norman's belongings is little more than a sneak-thief. That this sneak-thief decided it would be a good thing to talk about it adds gossip monger to that label. You have also proven that you are also a gossip monger by mentioning this incident on Norman's personal blog.

    As for the infamous pictures...what a man and his wife do in the privacy of their bedroom is nobody else's damned business...whether they are peers in a specific church, or leaders in that specific church.

    I could fill PAGES in this blog about the damages done to me, and my family by the idiotic actions of church peers, lay ministry, and even one of the so-called apostles...but I'm not going to.

    First of all...this is Norman's blog. Not mine. Not yours.

    I have oft browsed through LDS blogs and forums. One of the chief complaints I see from LDS apologists and TBM's is that people who leave the church can't leave the church alone.

    But how many times have I witnessed people just like you who can't seem to leave people alone after they leave? Too many to count.

    Your actions on this blog are slanderous, Marty. You have slandered Norman, and you have done so needlessly. Why would you feel compelled to come to his blog, and make hurtful little digs at him? Why is it important for you to tell everyone who reads Norman's blogs that you overheard other Mormons stating that they were glad he wouldn't be a part of the ward anymore?


    Janice Gordon

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  23. The lack of humility that is still running amok through the Stoney Creek Ward is frightening!

    How dare anyone presume to pass judgement on another? Jesus said "Judge not, lest ye be judged, for as ye judge so shall ye be judged." Simply put whatever means of measure you use to judge another will be used to judge you. Scary thought Marty? It is best to remove the mote from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brothers', is it not?

    Private matters between man and woman, husband and wife are just that, PRIVATE. Gabby is an intelligent and talented and BEAUTIFUL woman, if she is comfortable with her body in a way that allows her to pose for her HUSBAND then why is that anyone elses' business? As an older woman and wife and mother, I applaud her for her confidence and ownership of her own body and actions. I have the utmost of respect for this young woman, who I have known since she was a small child. She is neither easily lead nor deceived and if she says it was appropriate, the who are you or me or anyone else to say otherwise?

    While I do not know Norm personally, I know his wife, and my brother knows their family VERY well. Their famiies are close and my brother is very choosy about who he associates with, ergo Norm et al must be pretty decent folks or else the friendship would not exist.

    Three years later people are still going on about this kind of nonsense says volumes about the kind of minds that truly leading in that Ward, and Stake. How sad that it is still the subject of rumor, innuendo and gossip, after all this time has passed. Small things really do occupy small minds, I guess.

    Norm was much more generous in his response to this cowardly attack, name or no name, than I would have been. I would be raising Cain at this point with both Bishop and Stake President, regarding this VERY UNCHRIST-LIKE behaviour. I have no fear of reprisals from these small minded folk any longer, and while still a member, this is really the final straw for me.

    Marty, I feel sorry for you, for your lack of comapssion, your false righteousness, and your lack of Christian love; otherwise known as CHARITY (the TRUE love of Christ). You will be responisible for this attack on a kind man, a faithful wife, and their innocent children. They are better off now than they were before, with you and those like you in their lives.

    I will pray for your enlightenment.

    VICKI

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  24. Side note: Don't the Aticles of Faith require that you "allow other to worship (or not to) according to their own conscience"

    Check your actions and your beliefs, Marty.

    Vicki

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  25. Actions always speak louder than words. The one known as Yesua Ben Yosef taught this. Words and claims are empty and useless unless they carry the weight of action behind them.

    Norman has proven his love, and his concern for others a number of times on a certain private forum. We know him as a man of kindness. And a man of his word.

    He has left the LDS faith of his own accord, because of what he had learned through study, and serious contemplation...just as many others have.

    And just as many others have...Norman believes that he must speak about the abuses he and his wife endured, at the hands of other members of that faith.

    Marty's words have served as an example for observers, that Norman wasn't exaggerating.

    Well done, Marty.

    Janice Gordon

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  26. He won't post back. It's the typical Mormon idea to post and split. I'd be surprised if he came back at all.

    Marty, I honestly think you are a coward and a jerk. To treat Norm and his family like this is ridiculous. Do you not even follow your own religion?

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  27. Since when is what a husband and wife does in the privacy of their own home a religious congregation's BUSINESS??! That is so creepy that the ward obsessed so much with Norm's sex life. Weird.

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  28. And apparently Marty is still thinking about Norm's sex life all these years later... Maybe he has some sexual repression going on in the home that causes him to obsess so much about another's sex life. Oh snap.

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  29. Well, it seems to me that some have not quite let the departure of Norm and Gabi go. Guess that could be because when people of intelligence and self assurance are able to remove themselves a bit from the fog that the church tends to impose it is very disconcerting for those that are left behind. It causes a stir within themselves that they are not capable of allowing. Norm, I am glad you reposted his comments. I do believe when you decide to go public in this type of forum you do have to be able to allow both sides to be presented and be prepared for the comments ..even the hurtful and dillusional ones that are sure to come. In your willingness to allow Marty's voice to be so heard you show your confidence in not only yourself, but you wife and your decision. You show a stability in your choices in your life. It does not matter what others think of you. What matters is what you know in your own heart. What YOU think of you. This is NOT arrogance. This is being true to who you were created to becoming. So, worry not what Marty or any of the other members think...worry not what even us as friends think. Only live in a way that allows you peace in what YOU think. Finally, the freedom to think for YOURSELF!! THis is the difference between you...and them.

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  30. Unbelievable - and very sad. So much of what Christianity teaches is lost on members of the Mormon Church.

    "Judge not that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

    "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34

    "And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled." Isaiah 5:15 (and 2 Nephi 15:15)

    Even other "Mormon" scriptures speak of love, humility and judgment:

    "See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires." D&C 88:123

    "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

    Obviously Marty needs to concentrate on "Marty" and not judge others or show lack of love and humility. As is taught in AA, he needs to work his own side of the street and stop worrying about what others are doing or saying.

    Norm, for Marty to seek out your blog to post such hateful things is a perfect example of what, unfortunately, is so typical of members of the LDS Church. A very sad commentary, indeed.

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  31. marty, why are you still so conserned about what went on with my family 3 years ago?
    i SAW what my parents went through because of what you guys did. im so glad i dont have to be a member of that organization anymore because had i still been in it, i would be in young womans with your wife as my leader, and dont know how things work in your home, but i really would not want to be lead by someone who's husband treats OTHER people this way. you say that my parents were hypocrites for teaching morality to the youth when they took a picture IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR BEDROOM- which doesnt have ANYTHING to do with pornography, given that pornography is exploiting women and portraying them as nothing but sexual objects, and they were using it to show how PROUD they were of it- yet you teaching the youth to be kind to others and treat everyone equally, then coming onto here and trying (but obviously failing) to reopen the wound of which was created from all of the shit that happened, isn't considered to be hypocrisy? why is that?

    why is it that i, a 14 year old girl, can see how ridiculous you are being, yet you cant seem to know it youself?

    just stay away from me and my family and GET OVER IT! WHATS DONE IS DONE AND YOU CANT CHANGE IT!!!

    Alanna Thompson:)

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  32. Marty, does it bother you in the least that a 14 year old is able to see straight to the heart of your staggering hypocrisy... yet you can't see it at all?

    Alanna, you're awesome, and amazingly astute. (I guess all girls with that name are awesome, since it's my daughter's name too. :) ) You've got a great dad, who has helped a lot of people, and you seem like you're on the same track as him.

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  33. I have not read All these comments, only a few. I must say I am absolutely amazed that ANYONE would consider taking pictures of one's spouse wrong or a sin. Norm loved his wife and was attracted to her. THat was personal and between husband and wife. What about the youth who snooped and then spread the gossip? I really can't believe the hypocrasy!

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  34. Marty,
    As an active member in the faith, you have completely embarressed the church and what it represents. i'm truly sickened we share the same faith.
    I guess i have to question if we really do worship the same God.
    As for private pictures of his wife.... Who the F are you to judge a person's private life? The church does not ask questions to your sex life, why do you get too?
    Marty, i'm sure you are patting yourself on the back for your comments but I am guessing you have no idea who Jesus Christ is....

    By Paul Arnell

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  35. Marty,

    Why don't you try to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem?

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  36. Such wisdom from a 14-year-old, in understanding that having a nude photo of your wife was not pornography by any definition, including the good one given by your daughter. You can be very proud of her Norm.

    You are a very open person, Norm, but I don't think you need to keep Marty's judgmental nonsense posted in your blog space. It's OK to moderate your own blog to edit this kind of ugliness away, even if someone does post it under their real name.

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  37. Norm, I think that our relationship to this point has established how much I feel for your story; it is tragic and makes my heart ache. In your position I may also have left the Church. You truly have my sympathy and full support.

    From what I can tell from your story, you were right and deeply wronged. About this particular instance, you know that I feel that young man who saw the pictures is the only person at fault here (and then all the hooplah that came from it). What a married couple does within the marriage is their business.

    This comment comes from trust that in addition to attention and affirmation, you also created this blog seeking thoughtful discussion. We talked before about my concern that if you create a blog “Name, the ex-Mormon”, you consciously or unconsciously establish that as your primary identity, at least on the blog. It is worth noting that so you can factor in the other (perhaps more important?) aspects of your identity as well... I would like to see your "Norm, the happy, enlightened, loving individual" blog!

    This post helped me put my finger on another issue I have… it seems somewhat inappropriate or even indecent to air such sensitive and intimate details on a forum such as a blog. It would be like me writing a blog about my first marriage in all the paintful details… it might be therapeutic and even help others, but that just isn’t the forum. It would not show respect for my ex-wife or children. Now, I am a very open person, and freely share the details of my past and present life where appropriate. The Mormon church deeply hurt you, and you are justified in being hurt. I support you in doing what you need to to make peace with your past and present life. But you still have loved ones in the community, and perhaps those relationships and even the flawed institution that hurts you deserve some discretion. You know that I do not flinch at discussing any problematic aspect of the Mormon Church or religion as a whole. I am on your side about the particular details of your situation. But that is what was on my mind, and hopefully it may lead to productive reflection on your part about the purposes, tone, and content of this blog.

    I am so happy that you and your family are in such a good place, Norm. It delights me that you are experiencing such joy right now. I am glad to know you. And your daughter's comments were superb; I agree you should be proud of her.

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  38. Hi guys,

    This whole thing was just brought to my attention by my wife. As a rule, now, I don't get involved in these conversations, as I don't see the growth in it.

    I need to address Marty's comment: "Part of the reason i even bothered to make comments to your blog was a conversation i had with a friend of yours and fellow "apostate". He told me when you were still both members of the church that i needed to talk with you to help you see how you were hurting the members of the ward. He thought that perhaps i could share with you how you could better win friends in the ward. I have felt bad that i didn't take the time to do that...although i do believe that it would have made little difference."

    Unless I am mistaken, and please correct me if I am, I am the fellow "apostate" that Marty is referring to. That's ok, I don't mind being referred to as that, I've been called worse before, and will be in the future too. To be Clear - I believe my comments to Marty were simply "If you have an issue with Norm, then you need to discuss them with him. To not deal with rumours or gossip, but with the man directly."
    I know the previous Stake President BH to be an honourable man, intellectual and full of integrity. He had taken my hand as a young man, cried with me over my own fathers behaviour, and had always had a Heart as big as he was. If the Stake President BH counselled a Bishop who served under him to go forward and not to feel guilt for a personal picture of the Bishop's wife, than, IF I believed the Stake President to be ordained of God, than I'd be a fool to not listen and obey.

    Do I believe Norm has had issues with "People Management Styles?" Yes. Does Norm know that? Yes. I also spoke with Norm a couple days later, and discussed my Conversation with Marty, leaving out personal items Marty & I had discussed, honouring our friendship (Marty & I were home teaching companions).

    There are many snide comments anyone could make, either about the Thompsons, or the Cerisanos. In the end, if both Family's are happy in where they are at now, c'est la vie.

    I still think the world of Marty and his Wife, and enjoy conversations with his wife publically on Facebook. I Love Norm and Gabi and their family. I believe both families do the best they can to raise their children appropriately, and though I haven't seen the Cerisano children in a long time, I would say their Children and the Thompson Children are balanced and well-nurtured. If we were to judge people (and we all do it) and did so by their childrens' strength of character, both the Cerisano & the Thompson are on equal ground.

    As for me and my family, we will continue to follow the example of Christ.

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  39. I just want everyone to know,,,,,all of you, how much I value and appreciate your comments every one.

    Jared, now that I have started the blog....is there a way to change the name without losing the existing following? Any suggestions? I am very, very new to this environment but as I have formerly indicated, I value you opinion and have second thoughts about an identity that is so derisive to some. Sincerely

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  40. I haven't read the other comments... I wanted to say what I wanted to say first.

    I have only "known" Norm since October of this past year. I love Norm because of the way he has treated me. I have felt loved and supported and lifted up. I am grateful for all of his kind words to me.

    I don't know Marty at all. I can guess that he means well and wants to help, and still... even in his good intentions causes harm. Marty talks as if he can read Norm's mind and know Norm's thinking, emotions, motivations, and feelings... I don't think you can do that.

    And the same for Norm.

    I'm angry at Marty for saying hurtful things to someone I care about. In my opinion, Norm was very honest. Nothing in Marty's accusations was news to me... Norm had already said everything you said. You repeated it with a vengeful twist. I don't understand how that helps.

    Thank you Norm for sharing your story and for your support these last five months. I would not be where I am today without you and the Others.

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  41. Wow, Marty! When I read Norms story I was blown away by how badly he was treated. I kept wondering when he would explain the awful sin that had put him in such a position but then the story ended and I was like what!!!!???? are you freaking kidding me! All of that fuss over some hot pictures of his wife taken in the privacy of their own bedroom. Are you kidding me Marty!? There is absolutely nothing wrong with them having taken these photos (I wish they had kept them and taken more!). I am appalled that the church felt they had the right to treat Norm and Gabby in this way. Let me say it again, I find it to be an absolutely sick joke that you and your LDS comrades interfered in their life in this way. DISGUSTING!

    I think that Gabby felt creeped out in that interview for a very good reason. It was creepy. All those men. Questioning her about her husbands sexuality. I would have been creeped out too. Interviews like that should NEVER occur. Again, DISGUSTING!

    From Norms story I got the idea that he would much rather serve in YMs than on the bishopric or Stake. I am sure the youth loved him. You probably are only thinking about the jaded members who believed the photos were a sin! Seriously, check out the church in Australia some time, even the Stake leaders here would laugh at the photo incident. A complete non-issue. I'll bet you guys even think oral sex is bad! Lighten up buddy, Mormonism doesn't have to be as rough as you make it. Even better, get out of there altogether, I promise you you'll feel so much better.

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  42. Hey Marty,
    I have been a member under many bishops, and with pretty much every single bishop/ward there is always a faction that gets pissed off with the bishop and gossips and causes problems. And they always believe they are right. And if they are powerful enough, they even get bishops released! Congratulations for identifying which group in your ward you belong to. Often, these people then don't like the next bishop...or the next...or the next. Certainly in the people/groups that I have observed, a lot of it is fuelled by jealousy - they are wannabe bishops (or whatever calling it is that they are criticizing.)
    Bedroom habits. Pornography. Hmmm.
    Don't recall any literature that mentions taking a photo of your wife (and by the way, as far as I recall it was one photo - not a whole heap.)
    Pornography - this doesn't come close to fitting the definition. Go to any art gallery and you will see pictures of naked women. Go to Italy and you're liable to have an eye poked out by the myriad of marble penises on display (what it is with Italians and naked statues?)
    However, something that the church has come down on quite heavily (pun very much intended) is oral sex. Now seeing as this is a popular pastime amongst most couples in terms of foreplay, perhaps those criticizing Norm for one tiny photo should be interviewed with regards to oral sex. Perhaps a lie detector test would be better actually - people tend to lie about these things.
    I know! How about you take the first one!!!
    While we're at it, seeing as Norm was outed for his behaviour and then publicly crucified for it, and apparently other people are so concerned about who is doing what in the bedroom, all of the people in your ward who have gossiped about this can take a lie detector test.
    Mandatory questions? Masturbation and oral sex.
    Then we will know who is without bedroom sin. It'll just make it easier when we decide who can cast the first stone. ;0)
    Enjoy your hypocrisy!

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  43. Oh my fucking GOD Carolyn! You just made my day! You have such an knack for nailing the situation. I love that you took it all in and summed it up in one glorious and side-splitting crack, LOVE your work :D

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  44. I feel that since Marty posted his words on my blog, in a public forum that it is my decision as to whether they are deleted. The context of the entire situation cannot be properly understood for the purpose's of my blog without his language and attack. I am therefore reposting his words, others can make comment if they wish.

    I will not as I have accepted his apology. That however does not mean that his words directed at many of my friends whom he has as of yet, not apologized to them.......yet. Hopefully his heart continues to soften, and he will realize the offence that he made to many others also.


    Marty's words

    Now that I have an account I will glady take accountability for my comments.

    There was not one word of gossip in my comments as they are all first hand information from my experiences with you.

    You demand to be heard and to be able express your opinions freely, but you deny the same right to others.

    Now that you know who made the comments...you can decide whether i am an unhappy or unchristian mormon or not.

    Your delusions truly run deep. Its been three years since you were released and if you are flattered for being remembered as a bishop who had a tremendous negative impact on the ward, then you really are your own biggest fan.

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  45. Original post that was deleted:
    Part 1:

    I find it really interesting to read your take on things and to hear your description of the events you describe.

    While i cannot argue with your perceptions and feelings i do think there are some serious flaws in your analysis. Not the least of which is your description of the "creepy" interview with Elder Nelson. My wife and i would have gladly spent time in interviews with an apostle, together or separate. Describing your experience as creepy is really telling...especially now that your intent is clearly to disparage and denigrate at every opportunity.

    I Have struggled with whether I should make any reply at all to your blog. I don't think that anything i will say will make any difference ultimately. I can't change the way you think or say something magical to make all the pain and problems go away. I do think that there are a couple things that may be relevant to your assessment of the events though.
    You say a few times in this blog and in other spots that all you ever cared about was serving faithfully and humbly. That you only cared about the little guy on the back row and that you are a man of impeccable character and kindness.

    I cannot help but think that you are clearly your own biggest fan. I personally dealt with many situations while you were "humbly" serving as bishop where members wouldn't come to you. You where the most arrogant, condescending and self-indulgent bishop i have ever had. It didn't really surprise me that people couldn't come to you. We never had a meeting where there wasn't some amount of drama. You constantly reminded people that your were in charge. We grew so tired of hearing you say "as the bishop" it become a joke to count how many times you would say it in a meeting or a talk. I honestly believe that there was never a meeting where you didn't remind everyone that they needed to follow the bishop even when they didn't like what he said. The two years i spent serving with you were the darkest of my life.

    Your impeccable character was clearly evident when you pulled the chair out from underneath and 80 year old man when playing musically chairs. It was further displayed when you didn't even help him up.

    It became clear over the two years that i spent watching you that the only thing that really mattered to you was your position. You are to be commended for those few people you did reach out to. But what can be said of a bishop who was destroying the ward from the inside out. You said that the numbers were up and that the ward was better spiritually because of your service. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I spent many hours in conversation with active, faithful members who painfully wondered how long the Lord would allow you to have such a negative affect on the ward and the members. There was no spiritual growth, there was no unity, there was only drama, contention and frustration.

    I really believe to this day, that the way the events have worked themselves out is truly a testimony to the fact that the Lord is at the helm. I will never forget the day of stake conference when you were called into the stake presidency...one of your counsellors in the bishopric expressed how grateful he was that you were no longer going to be in the ward. And yet there were others who couldn't understand how a bishop who had done so much spiritual damage could be called into the presidency.

    At the time this was a great challenge of the faith for many people. All the while i had the strong impression that everything would work out for the best, although i couldn't see how.

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  46. Part 2:
    As a side note, i must confess that i also received a noticeable spiritual impression that you were indeed called by god to be the bishop of our ward...even though i didn't like what was going on.

    Even though i hated the way you led the ward i was willing to support you as a member of the presidency...in spite of the rumors we had heard about pictures. I did wonder how you would be able to credibly teach the youth about morality when it was known that you had taken pornographic pictures of your wife.

    Another side note: I think the person who did the greatest disservice to you was the previous stake president who said that the picture issue was not a sin. In my opinion the fact that you had the picture(s) would have disqualified you from being called. Whether you like it or not leaders are held to a different standard...in and out of the church. You should know this from your business experience. Had the new stake president known you had pornographic pictures of your wife and that 'everyone' knew about them i don't think he would have called you as his counsellor. This is just a guess. I do know that the new president also interviewed some less prominent members of our ward and certainly discerned the extent of the underlying negativity that was so tangible in our ward. I know the new president personally and from experience, and i am certain that he would not make the decision to release you lightly especially since he was the one who chose you.

    Part of the reason i even bothered to make comments to your blog was a conversation i had with a friend of yours and fellow "apostate". He told me when you were still both members of the church that i needed to talk with you to help you see how you were hurting the members of the ward. He thought that perhaps i could share with you how you could better win friends in the ward. I have felt bad that i didn't take the time to do that...although i do believe that it would have made little difference.

    Your story is almost a picture perfect example of cognitive dissonance and the fable of the fox and the sour grapes. I remember when a certain Texan told me after you were released, that you felt that you were now no good to the church. I knew that day, that you would eventually leave the church. You entire testimony was based upon position and stature in the hierarchy. And since you perceived that you would never have part of the hierarchy again...they were sour grapes.

    I know my comments will likely fall on deaf ears or even draw the ire of the apostate crowd your are so faithfully trying to endear yourself to. This doesn't matter to me much...i am actually reminded of the salt sermon delivered by Sidney Rigdon when referring to the enemies of the church, i think those sentiments are not entirely inappropriate now.

    I am saddened by your departure, whether you think i should be or not. I am saddened that you have been short changed by the adversary. I am saddened that you have exchanged your inheritance for a mess of pottage, that you have bought into the idea of short-term 'freedom' instead of enduring for the long-term reward. Shame on you for being so short-sighted. Shame on you for abandoning your testimony and for setting such a poor example to my family and the families in the ward.
    It is clear to me now that you never really understood what the church is really about. After all of the years spent "humbly" serving you missed the whole message and even now, not surprisingly, you have still have missed the message.

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  47. Yawn.
    Key point?
    Your Stake President - a judge in Israel - told you that the photo issue was not a sin. Presumably he had more information than the gossip and backbiting you have sought out. And yet, you were not willing to take the spiritually guided direction of your priesthood leader. Hmmm. Isn't that one definition of apostasy?
    The rest of it is just justification of your own actions and judgements, like a kid who has been caught out and then tries to deflect blame to another. You did the wrong thing. You got involved in judgement and backbiting. You did not take the advice of your priesthood leader.
    And again, take a lie detector test and let us all know just how well your bedroom habits can stand up to the sort of scrutiny that you are so eager to inflict on Norm. The photo was meant to be private, and if it had not been for the dishonest actions of another would have remained so. Where was the discipline of that member for looking and then gossiping? Why was this person even looking through their personal stuff in the first place? My first question would have been what was he looking for? Jewellery? Money? His actions were disgusting, and were only eclipsed by the actions of the people who eagerly listened to his tales and then spread them farther afield.
    I recall another priesthood leader who was taken down by the actions of church members gossiping and backbiting until it all reached a fever pitch.
    His name was Jesus.

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  48. Wow, norm reminds you of Jesus? What an ignorant comment.

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  49. It was not my comment, someone else's. My only statement would be, that I admire the Jesus that I worshiped most of my life. I do not believe I am anywhere near his type of enlightenment yet, but....I still desire to make progress towards that place that he so obviously better understood than most. Whether I actually believe him to be a god, a man, a historical myth of a Savior, I will still am humbled by his example and by all that he represents.

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  50. And once again, I think Mr or Mrs. Anonymous, that you are completely missing the point.

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  51. Hey Norm, just found your blog. Quite the read. And as for me, I'll sit back and be educated. My family history "is" the Mormon church but I have never been a member. It's interesting to sit back as an outsider and get a view into what people on [or use to be] the inside experience.

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