The Mormon Church and Me

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,

I was born in January of 1979. My parents were absolutely wonderful people, and were not very religious people. My Mom went through periods of being active in the Mormon Church, but it never lasted long. When my brother and I were 8 we were both baptized into the Mormon Church... mostly because it was "the right thing to do" and to keep my Grandparents happy.

When I was a teenager, I started going to church with my little brother. Just the two of us. We would go to Sunday School Class and Sacrament Meeting and be bored out of our minds. Most of the time we played games like tic tac toe and dots.

One summer I was invited to go to "Girls Camp." Girls from the whole stake (a large area of local churches) went into the woods and lived in tents to study the gospel and roast weenies. It was a pretty nice time... until the incident. Ahh... the incident.

The last night of camp we were asked to get out of our tents in the middle of the night. With nothing more than flashlights and the girl in front of us we made our way to a small gathering of girls and the local church leaders (all female except for one male who is always present because he holds the "priesthood"). We were told that we were going to be blindfolded and we had to listen for the right voice to lead us to safety. We also got to hold onto a piece of string to the side...

Off we went into the night. I tripped two times, but listened for my friends voice to lead me to safety. There were other girls trying to trick you along the way, saying things like, "Let Go!" and "You Made It! You are Safe!"

The Book of Mormon, and a Photo of the Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I finally made it to safety and found myself under a huge tree lit with white Christmas lights. It was "Heaven" and I listened to the right voice. I sat there in heaven waiting for my friends and only a few of them made it. I got sick of waiting for the others so I went down the path alone to see where they were. I found them in another clearing getting a lecture on how to listen to the Holy Ghost. Most of the girls were crying.

The next morning we had a sunrise testimony meeting. When you go to a testimony meeting you know you are going to hear the words, "I would like to bear my testimony, that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and he restored the gospel through the Book of Mormon..." blah blah blah. What I didn't expect was to hear girl after girl get up to the microphone and cry about how she didn't make it to heaven because she wasn't good enough... or cry because she tried to trick her friends into letting go of the string and straying them from heaven. It was a mess. I went home from that trip feeling like I had been manipulated. I have read many accounts of other LDS girls camps from across the country and this "game" is played often to teach the kids a lesson. It taught me that the church would manipulate you in a heartbeat.

I never went back to church... my Mom and Dad didn't mind. They were both cool with whatever my brother and I believed as long as we were good people and treated people as we wanted to be treated. If I am half the person my Mom is and my Dad was, I would be happy.

My Mom was raised in the Church. My grandfather was very strict about going to Church on Sunday, and even made the rule that if you didn't go to church, you couldn't live in the house. He was an avid follower of the Mormon Gospel My Grandmother didn't care for the church too much after she went through the temple for the first time. There was abuse in the home... my Mom has only told me this recently. When my Grandmother was pregnant with my Mom, my grandpa found a coffee pot (a huge no-no in the Mormon religion... coffee is of the devil!) and pushed Grandma down the stairs. The church didn't really bring their family together... it tore them apart.

When my Mom married my Dad they were very happy. They both smoked (which they hid from my Grandfather for 20 years!) and drank occasionally. My Dad's father was a recovering alcoholic turned born again Mormon... it was hard for him to handle. I think my Dad was the only one of his siblings to not turn to the Church. He didn't buy it, not one bit. He told me that on more than on occasion. We were happy being who we were, and we didn't need a church to tell us any different.

The year I graduated high school my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was caught way too late, and once the doctors made the diagnosis they gave him three days to live. My whole life stopped. Nothing mattered except making my Dad well again... and it simply wasn't to be.

He stayed 3 weeks in the hospital and finally came home and traveled to and from treatments 2 hours away. His family and friends all took turns driving him into the city to have personal time with him. He couldn't speak towards the end, and he used a notebook to write down what he wanted to say. One day I was driving him home from radiation treatments and he wrote down that he missed driving. I didn't think about it for a second... I stopped the car, walked over to the passenger side and told him to drive me home. He smiled the whole time. He didn't want to die, he fought hard... but there was only so much they could do. He passed away 4 months after his diagnosis.

My Mom was shaken. We planned his funeral and took care of all the arrangements. She was scared that she would never see him again, and the things she was taught as a young girl in the Mormon church were scaring her. She started going to church again, and reading the Book of Mormon. I was very upfront with her that I didn't believe what she believed, and she understood... but begged me to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

A few months after my Dad passed away, his sister called my Mom and told her that they were getting him sealed to them in the temple. They didn't bother to ask us how we felt about it, or how my Dad felt about it... it was simply going to be. My Mom was understandably upset because she wanted to do his temple work herself. She knew she wouldn't be temple worthy in time for the ceremony, so we sat outside the temple while the "worthy" people went inside and did work for my Dad.
The Temple In Manti, Utah where my Dad was sealed in the LDS Church.

My Mom was upset... yes. I was really pissed. How dare his family do this to us? To my Mom? To my DAD! He didn't want to be sealed in the temple. I find this morally wrong, as well as the baptisms for the dead the Mormon church does as well. What you believe is important to you as a person... who is anyone to decide what they want for you after you are gone?

On the way home from the temple I was steaming about the whole thing. I had to get out of Utah for my own sanity. I met my Roommate and he offered to let me stay with him in Orlando... only to move back with Roomie 7 years later.

I am now back in the Beehive State and getting used to the culture again. Missionaries have stopped by three times, and most of my co-workers have asked me about my religion in hopes of getting me to go to church with them. I refuse.
Joseph Smith

The Mormon Church is lying to it's own members. They claim Joseph Smith recieved a visit from the angel Moroni, and showed Joseph where the golden plates were buried in a hill. Joseph supposedly found these plates, dug them up, and translated them into what is now the book of Mormon. What they don't tell you is that Joseph Smith didn't have the plates anywhere around him when he was "translating" the plates. Joseph used a "seer stone" inside a top hat and told someone else what to write down. If you have ever seen the South Park episode "All About Mormons" (and it's really funny...) you will see how the Book of Mormon was created.

Polygamy is another huge issue for me. Joseph Smith hid his other wives from his first wife, Emma, for many years. He married these extra wives in secret, and some of them were already married to other men. He also married a young girl of 14 named Helen Mar Kimball. He promised her family eternal salvation if she married him, and damnation if she didn't. She didn't really have much of a choice, did she?

I have a hard time believing in a prophet. Members of the Mormon faith put all their heart, soul, time, and money into helping the church grow and succeed. The Mormon Church is extremely wealthy, and is currently building a mall in Salt Lake City that costs approx. 2 billion dollars... yes, billion. Where did that money come from? The members of the church. How is that helping the poor and needy? It's not.

I have a lot of anger about this due to the pain it has caused so many people. I would love to have a few minutes with some of the apostles of the Mormon Church... I have so many questions I need answered.

Thanks for listening to me rant. There will be more... no doubt. This is only the tip of the Mormon Iceberg.


2 comments:

  1. Sierra Says:

    ok, so, what? I really dont understand! Do you agree with our church or not?!?! Im totally fine with your opinion, but, the money to build the temple came from tithing. And building the temple was a good thing. I have a lot of questions so if you can some how get back to me that would be great!

  1. Sydney Says:

    I am sorry you didn't understand.

    I am a member of the church, but not for long.

    I know where the money for the temples came from. People in the church give 10 percent of everything they have to the church and then the church decides what to do with that money.

    My point is that there are millions of starving people in the world. There are people who need Health care, and a place to live. Medicine. That money could do a lot of good. Unfortunately, that money is going to temples and billion dollar malls in Salt Lake city. It makes no sense.

    Why do you need the finest of marble in a temple? The most expensive artist for murals? You don't. God certainly wouldn't care about that, would He?