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.

43 comments:

  1. Well said, Morianton! Coincidentally (or maybe there are no coincidences), just this past weekend i was pondering what i believe about Jesus now that i've left the LDS church and learned to think on my own.

    I think he was an enlightened being, not unlike the Buddha. And i think that after he died, stories circulated and were wildly embellished to the point that no one really knows what actually took place. Same scenario with Joseph Smith. We all know the various versions of the first vision and how each version got more and more impacting. Lies gets propagated and stories get exaggerated in order to create that sense of awe and mystery that allows for belief in the divine or supernatural or to make the whole event seem more important than it really is (and thereby drawing people in even more).

    So, back to Jesus. I think as an enlightened person, he really "got it." He knew what was important...like you said: spending time with the sick, the homeless, the needy. And LOVING them, helping them. All the rest of the story after that is just that: a story, embellished like all other religious dogma, in order to control people.

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  2. "What is the cost of silence?" -- that is why I speak up against mormonism. Not because I want to belittle someone's belief system and not because I want to destroy a social network, but because there are people out there, like me, who were silenced -- who gave up believing in themselves because they were told there were 'others', righteous men, who could tell me better what to think and what to feel. I no longer trusted my own instincts and gut feelings. As a young child I was vibrant, self assured and confident. But as I grew in the church, that confidence and vibrancy grew smaller and smaller. Through the culture of the religion, through men chastising the way I dressed or demeaning my opinion, I learned that I was not 'a soul of worth' with opinions and ideas that held merit. Instead I learned to sit in the background and observe and listen. I stopped listening to that voice in my own head and trusted that voice of a leader, who I thought, had a more direct line to God. Why trust my own concept of modesty, when I had leaders tell me exactly - to the letter - what was modest and what wasn't. Why trust my own intellect in figuring out a problem when you are told to go to your leaders for answers -- and what happens when your answer is different from theirs? Why determine your own future, when you have a patriarchal blessing telling you what to do? All these things chip away at your own confidence in yourself. Slowly you give up your individuality, your ability to think. You fear making mistakes because 'to sin is wrong'. So instead of embracing life, you live in fear, fear of being wrong, fear of making a mistake, fear of failing. I felt all of these things.

    Now that I have left mormonism, I am re-learning to trust myself - to have faith in me. I am learning that making a mistake is just that -- a mistake -- and there are no dire consequences to be had. There is so much to see, to experience, to do, now that I have left. I am not afraid of life, of different people, of choices -- it is absolutely marvelous.

    Now, some people didn't have that experience of losing their identity to mormonism. Good for you. You were more assured of yourself. But many of us gave up our identity to conform and be accepted. Those are the people I am trying to reach out to -- to the one's who are giving up their true selves to be something they are not. If you are happy in mormonism, continue on. But to those who are not -- instead of looking at yourself, as if you are the problem, think just for a moment that perhaps the religion is the problem.

    Most of what I learned as a youth regarding mormonism was untrue. Like Sandi above stated -- history was embellished -- I would never have joined had I know the 'real' truth about mormonsim and its inception, not some white washed version. I wonder how I might have grown differently. Sure, I would have made some mistakes, but I don't fear mistakes anymore. You learn and grown through all your experiences, the good and the bad. Mormonsim doesn't want you to experience anything that isn't controlled by them. And if you do, they use shame, guilt and sin to get you back in line. Growth comes in many different ways -- there are many different paths, many different roads to travel -- I don't want my family to erroneously take the wrong path because they have been told for 20 years that it is the only way. If they chose to after hearing the truth, so be it, at least it is their choice. But right now, they are making choices based on lies and deception, not truth. The truth needs to be told -- then people can make an informed decision what they want to do with their lives. That is why I won't be silent.
    Gabriele Thompson

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  3. Great comment Gabriele, I wholeheartedly agree. If you feel joyous, completely fulfilled and truly happy staying in the LDS church.....why are you even bothering to read my blog?

    Here is what I honestly know. Gabriele is correct, she is growing in such beautiful ways. I feel like I am growing, like somehow for me the confines and 'controls' of the LDS church were holding us back from gaining our true potential, as human beings, as spouses, as parents.

    I am sure that there are many, that truly feel they need these 'controls' that feel it gives them a sense of boundaries and direction. I respect that. I say 'carry on' just do so wisely and open-eyed, knowing the issues of the past and learning from them (LDS history and doctrine). To do so ignorantly would be a travesty to your posterity. You cannot say that what I believe is wrong....until you seriously consider it.

    I have been where you are at, you however, have not been to the wonderful place I have found.


    How have things been since Gabriele found 'her voice' and since the values and beliefs of patriarchy have all but disappeared from our home?

    We have more love, more peace, definitely more harmony....then ever before. It is as if our already strong relationship has transformed into something truly wonderful.......because we chose to leave all the meetings, all the expectations, all the rules, all the 'it's best to do it this way'......behind....long, long behind.

    No rules does not mean no boundaries.

    It simply means we get to choose the boundaries that are most useful for our families needs, not the ones that help the LDS church, but the ones that help our home.

    Norm

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  4. The pressure to be silent is huge. I just watched 'Fair Game' last night (Naomi Watts and Sean Penn) a very good film regarding speaking out. It can be very hard to speak out but I believe that we must. Those of us who have seen and heard things that are wrong must speak out. Thank you Morianton and everyone else who won't be silent!

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  5. Brother Thompson, I couldn't help but notice the photo you have on your blog with Elder Nelson in the chapel.

    In doing this you went against the policy in the handbook of instructions. I believe it is this sort of open rebellion and disobedience that ultimately led you to lose your testimony.

    You will (I am sure) be pleased to know that I have implemented a policy in my stake to ensure that this sort of unfortunate occurance does not happen.

    http://stakepresident.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-policy-for-stake-over-which-i-am.html

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  6. Yes President, I am glad I could 'inspire' you!

    Norm

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  7. Oh hey Pres....buddy, forgot to mention, this was at the big shots request (Nelson). I guess I am sort of a celebrity around here (he must have been inspired...me-thinks). Standard stuff when your called into the Stake Presidency, you would have a photo too.....if you were real! LOL

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  8. "If I were real" I've never heard such blasphemy!! I'll have you know that President Monson has a picture of me right on his fridge. I saw it in vision just the other night.

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  9. Now that you have an anonymous voice of agreement that is attacking the church and it's members, I suppose you will allow anonymous dissenters the same freedom?

    Or, as I suppose is the case, you will exercise your editorial privilege and "moderate" the comments with a heavily biased hand.

    To answer Your question why faithful members would bother to read your blog if they were indeed fulfilled? I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that we are not actually fullfilled. First I don't think those who are actually happy and fullfiled need to advertise how happy they are and second I would liken this situation to watching a train wreck in slow-motion. It's awful to see but it's hard to avert your eyes.

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  10. (Pres) Where is the like button

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  11. Facebook as conditioned us all to need "like buttons".

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  12. Doesn't anyone find it curious that there are no dissenting voices in this blog? The fact is that the blog owner has censored all dissenting comments if made by anonymous users.

    This hypocrisy is glaring since the 'guest' blogger has not left his name. Screen names are. hardly an indication of identity. It's fairly obvious the blog owner has fabricated the dilemma of controlling the mean spirited comments so that he can 'manufacture' the reality that everyone agrees with him.

    The truth is that most other anti-Mormon or blogs in general do not moderate contributors for disagreeing, because they are actually interested in open discussion, whereas this blogger only has the appearance of delivering on his intentions. Much like the fig tree that Jesus cursed on his way to Jerusalem.

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  13. @ David K I assure you I am actually working on delivering on my intentions as we speak. The main problem I fear is you have difficulty in understanding preciously why I have chosen a screen name..If you cannot appreciate the fear and pressure many TBM LDS will place or have placed on myself and my family relations, then you probably are not in a position to see anyways.

    If your views work for you, hey that's fantastic and I applaud that, but on the other hand aren't you simply just providing as evidence the reasons why I feel so pressured and marginalized and hence, why I have chosen to do this under a pen name.

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  14. David_K


    Thank you for your comment; I appreciate everything you are saying. The only time I moderate the blog is when there is no argument made regarding the blog entry, when it’s simply a personal attack.

    If you’re upset by my arguments in the blog, then please feel free to form a rational argument against it. I posted your comment because it actually did. If I remove the personal slams and general tone, you asked about my guest author and why I am allowing this person to add to my blog in secret, thereby breaking my own rule or seemingly appearing hypocritical. That’s a valid question.

    I have stated at the outset, that only derogatory comments require a name. I don’t consider the guest author's post to be derogatory towards me in any form. I therefore am allowing it.

    If someone has an argument to make, that is specifically about the blog entry, and it does not include any form of personal attack, I will post it, with our without name attached.

    I truly value the other side's comments and I completely agree with you that it is needed.

    I have deleted about 4 or 5 comments over the entire length of my blog. All of these included personal attacks as the poster did not include their name.

    I will continue to do so, as is my editorial privilege. Yes I agree that someone could make a fake name if they wish but most people just are not like that, in the real world.

    It is my sincere hope that you will continue to follow the blog and feel free to add comment.

    I would appreciate it if you could restrict your comments to the blog post and not a personal slam, but again, with your name it will be posted.

    It’s funny, really, looking back now, after seeing the very few but sometimes nasty comments from the pro-lds side directed towards me personally, I have to honestly ask myself, if I also was like that, one day so long ago.

    I hope not, I always had friends in the exmormon community, even when I was a leader while active as an LDS member, and generally I was not knowledgeable enough (often there was no real argument to make as their logic was fairly strong) to answer their complaints with anything accept the 'but I know it’s true' sentence.

    For others it seems when that type of argument is not appropriate, they simply attack and get angry.
    I am simply grateful to no longer be part of an social environment that encourages such behavior in its members.

    Please everyone, feel free to make good arguments, not attacks, and I am more than motivated to post your comment.

    Why wouldn’t I? Isn’t this good for the blog? Luckily I am friends with many LDS faithful who I am certain will properly stand up and defend their beliefs with far more than simple angst or testimony. They are bright, wise and studious people who can offer an alternative viewpoint which is needed in the blog and which is appreciated. I fully expect, when the documentation is shown, that they will use their wisdom and logic to refute certain aspects.

    I expect no less, from the many wonderful thinking and faithful members of the LDS church that I know.

    Sincerely

    Norm

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  15. Thanks for correcting the strong impression that your blog was heavily biased to those that agree with you. I would like to comment on the guest bloggers remarks, and will do so with your gracious permission.

    My comments will be forthcoming; when I get a chance to tear myself away from all my church responsibilities.

    You say "I am simply grateful to no longer be part of an social environment that encourages such behavior in its members.": this is a flawed statement at its core and a faulty generalization.

    The inability of a few people to articulate a given position and to respond emotionally to a critical situation is their own doing. I dont recall any sunday school lessons that describe how to respond to hot-button issues put forth by anti-mormons and apostates.

    When you say " feel free to make good arguments" do you mean any baseless, speculative, emotional or out-of-context comments that I make while speaking words of affirmation to a given side?

    Or do you mean accurate, non-emotional, well researched facts that have a high degree of consistency and credibility?

    I am obviously being facetious and would assume that you are seeking the later. However, Morianton's opening remarks are not devoid of baseless, speculative, emotional and out-of-context comments.

    Morianton is also another example (self-documented) of an apostate who was offended by a negative experience with a priesthood leader. Which adds some credence to the claim that it is often the case with apostates that someone "stepped on their toes".

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  16. David K,

    While I appreciate your comments, I do say that I find the term, personally "Apostate" to be quite offensive, and not very Christian like. If you personally wish to view as that, fine..but it hardly creates an open dialogue..

    Yes I would be the first to agree with you that the crisis I had within Mormonism started with having my "toes stepped on" but that's hardly grounds to extend that into the only reason.

    Gee it has nothing to do with my repentant heart, my desire to re find and build my testimony..all of that just doesn't come into the picture...for you it's simply oh he was offended.

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  17. Morianton I wasnt referring to you when I said "this blogger has only the appearance of delivering on his intentions". You are the guest blogger not the blogger.

    I also am guessing you meant to write "precisely" not "preciously".

    I am having trouble following the logic of your reasons for anonymity. Many TBM LDS (this is a new one) will or have placed fear and pressure on you for leaving the church? Which is it?

    It appears that your declaration as an ex-mormon is a red-herring. Or at least you are still a member but pondering your options. Stand tall and stand firm...don't hide your convictions. I would guess that your family and friends already suspect your intentions.

    The rest of your comment is irrelevant since you misunderstood my comments.

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  18. Since you have added your name....I am happy to add your comments regardless. I am just encouraging more, shall we say, healthy debate than the judgmental tone that formulated your previous message.
    No problem, I get it, really, when someone questions the organization that you have spent a lifetime devoted to, it can feel, like they are questioning......you, personally. It’s difficult to pull ourselves away from that fact and realize that questioning, institutions, any institution, and looking at it from many angles, is likely healthy to our worldview in general.
    I would absolutely agree with you that non-believers (apostates is unkind and derogatory, when used against a specific individual) often begin to view things in the LDS history or doctrine from a more unbiased viewpoint after some personal calamity or injury. To state that this is the entire reason for their newfound non-belief, is likely short-sighted and possibly unhealthy.
    They have been hurt and question.....ultimately, they ask simply why?
    Then they determine as did our guest author, to strengthen their testimony and build it up again, and look deeply and honestly at the beginnings of the LDS faith, to get to know the early prophets better, so as to respect them more. They often begin in official LDS publications such as the JofD or books like Mormon Doctrine (or many other highly successful publications that the LDS church simply stops publishing when it suits their doctrinal or historical sanitization purposes). Maybe they even read RSR or a newer apologetic approach. However things have changed!
    Often once they do so, it all falls apart quickly as they are no longer as willing to view things through the 'polished stone' of Mormon cultural and family traditions and beliefs.

    Why?

    Because from the outset their purpose was to ‘honestly and fully’ review the information to obtain and even stronger witness.
    To say people are offended and that is why they leave....well, it’s just not my experience after communicating with thousands of former Mormons. And though I am certain your feelings and viewpoint’s about these ‘apostates’ as you call them are likely not very charitable, let me assure you, that they are the most amazing, and kind group of people I have ever met, in or out of the LDS Church. They are or were the absolute best and most sincere people that the LDS church helped to create. Often the LDS Church and their families did such an amazing job of teaching them honestly and integrity, that it is the very reason, why they chose to leave. Do you really think that making such a choice for you and for your family is easy? Do you really believe it was in their own selfish best interest? If so…..how? Is sinning worth losing your ‘eternal salvation’ and the salvation of your posterity? Maybe, just maybe there is more to it than that.

    Think about it.

    Anyways glad to have you reading my blog, and to have your participating.

    Sincerely

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  19. David_k

    You are mistaken on your.......judgement.

    There is no 'red-herring' here. He is no longer a member. I have seen the documentation with my own eyes. Our blogger is indeed a former mormon

    You might say....I am a 'witness' to those documents. LOL

    This happens when we judge, in my experience.

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  20. I will attempt to address your replies to my comments as they are received to try to maintain some clarity of discussion flow:

    Morianton you said "..."Apostate" to be quite offensive, and not very Christian like".

    This is very weak reasoning. The term Apostate in any online dictionary reads something like: "a person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc." In other words a dissenter...you are the one who chose a pen name of a known apostate or dissenter not me. To then turn and attempt to label me un-christian for calling a self-proclaimed spade a spade is a real stretch. The term 'apostate' is not unkind, derogatory or pejorative, it is merely a statement of fact.

    I will agree that a person, more than likely, does not abandon their beliefs for one reason alone. I have two thoughts about this issue. First, its a shame that there are some leaders who have trouble dealing with people and sometimes have a very negative affect on the people they are supposed to strengthen. Second, its a further shame that those who are offended become so disaffected that they abandon their beliefs. A little love and forgiveness and repentance would go a long way.

    I disagree whole-heartedly that a repentant heart and a desire to rebuild your testimony would lead you away from the gospel of jesus christ.

    Norm, I havent diluted myself to think that your questioning the LDS church has anything to do with me. I don't have a problem with questions and searching for truth and looking at things from different sides or views. The problem happens when you and others present speculative, specious, out-right falsehoods, partial truths and out-of-context information as fact. These kind of facts have been made available many times on your blog and is really the only reason I bother to make comment.

    Additionally your accusations that I am being judgmental are probably true. Judgments and being judgmental is a dominant theme in your comments. Why do you feel the need to point out my judgments in light of the fact that you do the same so frequently?

    It may be beneficial to ask the questions you really want discussed one or two at a time. Grouping multiple questions in one huge post is hard to respond to.

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  21. David, your comment "I disagree whole-heartedly that a repentant heart and a desire to rebuild your testimony would lead you away from the gospel of jesus christ"

    That is your opinion, what do you base this on? Have you met or spoken with very many ex-Mormon's before? What has been your experience, what have they claimed that happened? How many were involved.

    My experience, represents thousands within this community. Recently an online pole was conducted with a variety of questions for ex-Mormons as to what there reasoning was for departing the faith. Thousands participated. I will look for it to provide the data more accurately than my poor memory. However if my memory serves about 95% claimed a historical, or doctrinal reason for departing. Only 3% claimed to have left due to offense or hurt.

    Even less that that claimed their departure was out of a desire to sin....this last accusation made in many Sunday School manuals, is simply a silly and ignorant notion and reflects an unkind judgement that is unbecoming of any organization which claims to follow Jesus Christ. What evidence do you or the LDS church use to create such a completely baseless deception?

    Reviewing your blog name, it does seem questionable to me that your blogger name was only created this month.

    I have to ask, since as I am friends with a David K that is an active member, is this really your name? Or is it something you are hiding behind? Just wondering, as not being upfront about that would show only a person that is extremely deceptive.

    Lets remember the guest blogger was upfront about keeping his name secret. How about you?

    Sincerely

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  22. It is unclear to me why I need to further validate my identity. Is it now because some valid arguments have been put forth that you raise this issue? Not everyone is blogging...it's only those with something to say. Your blog has given me something to say.

    Will you implement further restrictions in order to keep the comments in check?

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  23. David K,

    While I do not think this is ultimately creating an open discussion I must address two points you made in your last comment.

    David K Said..its a further shame that those who are offended become so disaffected that they abandon their beliefs.

    To suggest that my abandoning my LDS beliefs was because I allowed an offense to so affect me so, would only show your limited capacity for understanding. How would you know? Do you know my full story? (I chose to keep most of it out of the blog, because I only wish to deal with the facts from early LDS history).

    I only provided just enough of my story so that people could see. To jump the gun with such an absurd statement, without knowing who I am, only shows your lack of understanding, compassion and fear.

    David K said...I disagree whole-heartedly that a repentant heart and a desire to rebuild your testimony would lead you away from the gospel of jesus christ

    Who said I abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Again do you personally know if I have or have not? Again your making assumptions based on...nothing...In fact as Norm can attest I have accepted Jesus Christ and his Gospel, but I don't see how my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ has anything to do with personal accusations based on bad assumptions.

    In the end...let's see what the documents I will be posting say..Show me that I have misrepresented the information, and I will be glad to discuss..

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  24. David, no I have not heard much of an argument against anything stated in my blog to this point, with the exception of the reason I was willing to post your first comment, in regards to the author.
    I am truly hoping at some point you come up with more than the accusatory statements without backing them up such as the your following words-
    "you and others present speculative, specious, out-right falsehoods, partial truths and out-of-context information as fact." That is nothing more than opinion, it is certainly not, in my opinion, good argument worthy of debate.

    But I am hopeful that you will do so at some point.

    At this point, I am just asking you to be forthright in your convictions of truth and honesty. I am not threatening.....I am asking you.

    Is your birth name David_K or is it a made up name?


    Sincerely

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  25. It is refreshing that Davids remarks were permitted on this blog as were mine although I remained anonymous. Like a tornado destroying everything in its path it becomes ever more important that we not get caught up in the vortex of what is going on in this blog. The basic principles of the gospel are what need to be remembered. Love, faith, forgiveness, repentance. There will never be any amount of reasoning, blogging etc. that will bring someone back that has chosen to leave. I think Ezra Taft Benson said it best, and I mean this respectfully: "The proud are not easily taught. They won't change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong."

    The Savior denies none that come unto Him.

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  26. PS ~ Why did you name your blog such a filthy name? I can see by its name you are angry. Maybe even hurt Norm. It speaks volumes. It insinuates the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is debase, evil, filthy. You don't have to post this but do you really feel that name tells the truth?

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  27. Dear Anonymous

    Why would you say

    "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is debase, evil, filthy"

    Thats so unkind.....I was just teasing you...all in fun!

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  28. Now see that is a clear example of out of context. Others that view your post will not see that I asked you why you named your blog as you did. Be fair.

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  29. I will post anonymous original post in its entirety later. For now I will just say that I quoted Anonymous, precisely.

    However if you watch the blog tomorrow, you will see a posting of early Church leaders doing exactly as I have done, in a far, far worse context. Stay tuned for the definitely 'out of context revelation' and the removal of prophetic language.

    Yes I am guilty, likely due to my evil apostate ways....I am having a bit of fun with Mr. Anonymous! :)

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  30. I would like to address some of the responses to my statements before I point out some of the speculative, specious, out-right falsehoods, partial truths and out-of-context information found on this blog.

    My response to:

    “To suggest that my abandoning my LDS beliefs was because I allowed an offense to so affect me so, would only show your limited capacity for understanding. How would you know? Do you know my full story?”

    To apply my statement directly to your situation is to misrepresent what I said and give way to your emotionally charged response. You did little to acknowledge the “unchristian” comment that was clearly out-of-order and unwarranted.

    I agreed with you that people abandon faith for more than one reason and expressed sadness that some so disaffected ultimately leave the church. Never once did I direct the comment at you personally in a feigned attempt at showing that I understand your situation.

    Your further attack on me illustrates a degree of hostility that is often found in those unable to articulate their position accurately.

    My response to Norm’s:

    “I am truly hoping at some point you come up with more than the accusatory statements without backing them up”

    I haven’t really had a chance at this point. I have spent my time addressing some glaring holes in statements made recently. Once a hole was pointed out there has never been a valid response.

    Like I said previously, I think we should focus on one or two issues at a time. Firing multiple questions off at once doesn’t allow for responses in a coherent manner.

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  31. I never once called you evil or an apostate. However they say that half the battle in repentance is first recognizing you've done wrong. Just having fun ; )

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  32. In response to your previous comment:

    "They often begin in official LDS publications such as the JofD or books like Mormon Doctrine (or many other highly successful publications that the LDS church simply stops publishing when it suits their doctrinal or historical sanitization purposes)"

    This is perfect example of a speculative, partially true and judgmental statement used in an attempt to illicit a negative response, and trip up people who may not know the whole story.

    The JoD is not recognized as official church doctrine, see here:

    http://lds.org/study/topics/journal-of-discourses?lang=eng

    If the Church was indeed attempting to sanitize history by hiding the JoD, the have carefully hidden it here:

    http://mormonlit.byu.edu/lit_work.php?w_id=8000
    The book Mormon Doctrine is official church doctrine and was last published in 1978.

    Much speculation and false statements have been spread by anti-Mormons indicating that the second edition was published, against the wishes of the first presidency, in 1966. If this was in fact the case it seems unlikely that Elder McConkie would be called as an apostle in 1972. In fact President McKay asked him to republish the volume after making changes to the tone of the content.

    After more than 40 years in print Deseret book opted to cease printing of MD because of poor sales.

    Additionally, extensive portions of the current bible dictionary borrow heavily from Mormon Doctrine.

    On the initial reading of your "sanitization" comment one could draw an easy conclusion from your incomplete and misleading facts that the church was trying to hide something. When in reality the church is in fact hiding all of this information in plain sight in the bible dictionary and BYU websites.

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  33. @ David....are you going to bother answering my question on honesty? Cat got your tongue?

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  34. Do you submit all bloggers to the same series of questions about their identity? Should I submit my birth certificate to you before making any more comments? As if this has any bearing on the comments I have made.

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  35. David_K is not being truthful. That is a poor example of what the teachings of the church would instruct. I think I may refer him to our resident Stake President above.

    :)

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  36. Norm said "If someone has an argument to make, that is specifically about the blog entry, and it does not include any form of personal attack, I will post it, with our without name attached.

    I truly value the other side's comments and I completely agree with you that it is needed."

    It's seems quite obvious that David_k has made some valid points that have raised the ire of the blogger and his guest. Now David is strangely silent.

    If you really do value open discussion as you say I hope you will continue to allow comments from those who disagree. Otherwise there really is no point to following your blog.

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  37. Anonymous, as you previously indicated buddy, you need to get a life. I have one....am simply not always...on here to approve of your comments! Heading on a cruise today so please as you spend you many hours coming up with important information for the comments section....please be patient. It will get approved in between pina-colada's and bikini's :)

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  38. @David_K … I believe Norm when he says that he only disallows anonymous personal attacks. It takes some tinkering to settle into a format that suits each blogger and even after blogging for 18 months I still change my settings sometimes when a mean spirited commenter chooses to have a go at people. Sometimes I want to open it up and allow anyone to comment but sometimes I feel like requiring people to be registered to comment.

    The number of dissenting comments is low because there simply aren’t many believers who are willing show that they are reading an anti-Mormon blog let alone comment on one. I had believing friends told by leaders that they would have to stop following my blog if they wanted to keep their callings/temple recommends. Some of them told me that they still read though ;D

    The comments section looks like any other anti-Mormon blog to me.
    Regarding LDS members treating ex-Mormons in poor manner I do believe that this is taught in Sunday School. Do you remember the ‘milk strippings’ story? or maybe members believe Brigham Young’s take on us -

    JOD 12:94 (Brigham Young) “If there is a despicable character on the face of the earth, it is an apostate from this Church. He is a traitor who has deceived his best friends, betrayed his trust, and forfeited every principle of honor that God placed within him. They are disgraced in their own eyes. There is not much honesty [within] them. They have forfeited their heaven, sold their birthright, and betrayed their friends. [Even Satan despises apostates] That is all I wish to say on that point. Let apostates go.”

    Paints a pretty awful picture doesn’t it. From the experiences of thousands of apostates (as Norm has also attested to) time and time again LDS members show that they despise apostates. They abandon/shun/humiliate family members. If someone quietly and slowly leaves the church they continue to receive cookies and visits from the members. If someone dares to speak up about the terrible betrayal that they have felt due to the false Mormon church then they are treated very unkindly by the membership. Not to mention the awful cruelty dealt by Mormons to the LGBT community. Go and read about the gay Mormon youth who are homeless, some take their own lives. Shame on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Such a stain on Jesus’ name. No, the Mormon church is not known for it's kind treatment of apostates and gays.

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  39. @David_K… next I’d like to share w/you my reason for leaving the Mormon church. I was not offended by anyone (well except for Joseph Smith et al). I was reading in the second chapter of Jacob (for like the 50th time) except that this time I actually paid attention to the polygamy reference in v.30 where God says that sometimes he permits polygamy. I was intrigued. I followed the links to D&C 32 (another scripture that I had read many times before) and this time I actually took in what was being said. I read that God would destroy me if I would not agree to participate (whether in practice or theoretically) in polygamy then I would be destroyed. I felt such a crushing sense of pain. I felt like I was totally worthless in the eyes of God. I felt like a piece of meat. I thought that the Mormon church was true and so in believing Joseph Smith I suffered incredible pain upon reading this scripture. Through much study, trying to find the evidence that I needed to overturn the horrendous things I had read in D&C32 I instead found damning evidence again and again that Joseph Smith was a most despicable fraud. How do you think I felt when I discovered the deceit? I was pretty darned mad and for me keeping quiet about it was NOT an option.

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  40. @David_K… the dictionary may be quite straightforward in it’s definition of apostate but I think that you will find (and already know of [refer to Brigham Young’s comment above]) other connotations. e.g. looking up Apostasy on Wiki you get this - Apostasy ( /əˈpɒstəsi/; Greek: ἀποστασία (apostasia), a defection or revolt, from ἀπό, apo, "away, apart", στάσις, stasis, "stand", "standing") is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy apostatizes and is an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday use. The term is used by sociologists to mean renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, a person's former religion, in a technical sense and without pejorative connotation. The term is sometimes also used by extension to refer to renunciation of a non-religious belief or cause, such as a political party, brain trust, or, facetiously, a sports team.
    Apostasy is generally not a self-definition[citation needed]: very few former believers call themselves apostates because of the pejorative implications of the term. Many religious movements consider it a vice (sin), a corruption of the virtue of piety, in the sense that when piety fails apostasy is the result[citation needed].
    Many religious groups and some states punish apostates. Apostates may be shunned by the members of their former religious group[1] or subjected to formal or informal punishment. This may be the official policy of the religious group or may be the action of its members. A Christian church may in certain circumstances excommunicate the apostate, while some Abrahamic scriptures (Judaism: Deuteronomy 13:6–10, and Islam: al-Bukhari, Diyat, bab 6)[citation needed] demand the death penalty for apostates. The death penalty is still applied by some Muslim states (such as Iran[2]), but not in Christianity or Judaism.[citation needed

    But again I am sure that you are already quite aware of the negative associations of the word. Personally I call myself an apostate and wear the label with pride.

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  41. @David_K… you said “I disagree whole-heartedly that a repentant heart and a desire to rebuild your testimony would lead you away from the gospel of jesus christ.”

    You have now read my story. Bishop knew of my torment. I stayed home from church the day I read those scriptures. I couldn’t bear to be there. My husband was worried about me and went to Bishop about it. They spoke for about 10 minutes. My husband relayed Bishops words (something about living in different times now, i.e. 1830s was a different world?!) and Bishop never brought it up with me. Months went by. I searched at home, mostly online since the Sunday School manuals all go silent about the second half of D&C32. I attended church, served in yws, prayed, fasted, read my scriptures, attended the temple, paid a full tithe. When I was called in and asked to be the second counselor in relief society I brought up my concerns with Bishop. He reassured me that all would be worked out in the Lords time! Fuck me!!! not very helpful (as I am sure you would agree which is why you said something about leaders not doing a great job w/these things). So I accepted the calling and soldiered on. A few months later I couldn’t take it any longer. I felt an increasing sense of disgust when I was at church. The stench of the lies and the betrayal was just too awful. Whatever good existed in that place with the people that I loved could never outweigh the truth.

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  42. @Anonymous who is having ‘jokes’ w/Norm… you said – “There will never be any amount of reasoning, blogging etc. that will bring someone back that has chosen to leave. I think Ezra Taft Benson said it best, and I mean this respectfully: "The proud are not easily taught. They won't change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong."

    I think that your comments (and Ezra’s) could be just as easily turned around to refer to the believers. IMO you (and all Mormons) are in a trance that you will only come out of it if and when you are ready to. I think that a different spark is often needed for each person to snap them out of the trance. I honestly wish all TBMs a speedy spark.

    I think that the title of Norm’s blog is funny. Humour heals wounds. Yes we are hurt and wounded. Joe Smith has a lot to answer for.

    @David_K… I think you might need to be more specific when you say that things you have said have gone unanswered. I didn’t come across any unanswered ‘valid points’ as Anonymous would like to call them.

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