Half of Sect's Teen Girls are or Have Been Pregnant

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Let me start with the article , via CNN.com...

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- More than half the teenage girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant, state officials said Monday.

A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. He didn't specify how many are pregnant.

"It shows you a pretty distinct pattern, that it was pretty pervasive," he said.

State officials took custody of all 463 children at the ranch controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, saying a pattern of teen girls forced into underage "spiritual" marriages and sex with much older men created an unsafe environment for the sect's children.

Can I get sick now? Seriously.

I completely agree with the state's decision to take the children away from the compound. I know it was stressful for them, and scary as hell... but it had to be done. No one in that compound had their best interests at heart, they had their own ideas of what was important.

As I have mentioned many, many times before... this is child abuse in the worst way. Not only child abuse, but mental and emotional. These poor girls have been told their only way to their salvation is to marry and have children at such a young age...

Where are their Mothers? Surely there are women who have left, Carolyn Jessop for one, and took their children with them. Surely there is some sort of spark or light that goes off in a wife's head at some point to make them realize that they should protect the children they bring into the world. Why are not more of these women stepping up?

I know they are afraid, I would be terrified if I were in their position... but the authorities are already involved now. There is no turning back time. They now have the opportunity to talk and take their families to safety... why aren't more women doing it?

Because they are brainwashed into believing they are living God's word...

I must bring up the fact (again) that these people are simply living the life that Joseph Smith taught them to live. The Modern Mormon Church tries its best to convince everyone that they have nothing to do with polygamy and this sect's practices... but it's not true. They still believe Joseph Smith to be a true prophet of God. How can you claim him a prophet and then not practice what he taught?

Yes, Mormon friends... I do know that you will say that the church received revelation that the practice was to stop... but think long and hard about the reasons behind that so-called revelation. They knew they had to stop, and they stopped. The FLDS didn't and stayed true to the lessons of the first prophet.

Polygamy is supposedly practiced in the celestial kingdom, it's supposed to be a reward for living a good life and living faithfully to the gospel. Why do they consider that a reward? Why do they think women want this for themselves for eternity?

I just want to shake some sense into people. Open your eyes!


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Photo Update!

Posted by: Andee / Category:






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Modern Mormons and Polygamy

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


The recent raid on an Fundamental sect of the Mormon Church has brought many conversations with my family, friends, and co-workers. A few days ago I caught a conversation about the topic on PostMormon.org, and I agreed with something that "no testimony" had to say. Much of this article is taken from her statement, and I thank her for the inspiration.

You always hear believing Mormons claim something like... "I wish people wouldn't assume we all practice polygamy. We stopped that practice long ago, and we don't agree with it."

Sorry, I disagree. Mormon's still believe polygamy to be an eternal principle. Mormon's believe they will practice polygamy in heaven. When I asked my Mom's ex-bishop about the practice of polygamy in heaven, he admitted that it was true. He even went as far as to tell me that most men are "Jerks" and wouldn't make it to the celestial kingdom. Riiiiight. Polygamy is a sexist and degrading practice, and you are kidding yourself if you think it's positive in any way, shape, or form.

What happens when a true-believing Mormon's wife dies and he re-marries in the temple? He has two women sealed to him in the afterlife, doesn't he? Doesn't that count as polygamy? Certainly does in my book.

When Mormons claim they don't practice polygamy, they mean... "We don't practice it right now." It's misleading to claim that they church doesn't practice polygamy and it isn't a part of their doctrine. It is. What is worse is that this isn't discussed with most converts before they are baptized into the Mormon faith. Most Mormons would have heard the phrase, "Milk before Meat" meaning that you teach a convert the easy to digest doctrine before giving them the full and complete doctrine of the church. It's as good as lying.

Things like this are not discussed openly. If you want to discuss polygamy in the afterlife, you don't ask questions in church classes... no. You talk about it quietly with the bishop, or family and friends. Why? Because they don't want other people to learn about it.

If polygamy is an eternal principal, I want no part of it. I don't think sharing some guy in heaven with tons of sister wives and raising our spirit children is my idea of a good time. That is supposedly heaven? Are you kidding me? No thanks.

The FLDS communities are basically practicing what Joseph Smith preached. They are still true to his teachings, and the modern church is not. You can say what you want about Mormons and polygamy, but it exists, and it's wrong.


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Colorful Coffins

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Yeah, I guess I am a little morbid at times. After deciding to leave the LDS Church, I have been thinking a lot about what to expect when it is my turn to "cross over." Instead of the funerals that I am used to (LDS Chapel, Bishop presiding, church hymns, and Book of Mormon quotes) I decided that I want my memorial to be a celebration of who I was, and what I liked and believed in.

I have always wanted something unique, and I think I am leaning toward a graveside service with a chocolate dessert bar. Then it occurred to me that I could design everything... I ran across this website called Colorful Coffins, it's based out of England. They make coffins designed to your specifications. Instead of a plain wood coffin or casket, imagine one of these decorated with the things you enjoyed during your lifetime. Here are my favorites...







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Questions

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

I have been receiving unannounced visits from my Bishop for a few weeks now. Most of the time I am not home and he leaves a not on the door. A couple times I wasn't exactly ready for company and didn't answer the door.

Side note: Why don't these guys call first? Ugh!

I decided that eventually I am going to have to have this conversation with my bishop. He is going to ask me why I am not active in the church, he is going to ask me about my non-existent testimony, and he is probably going to ask me to a church court of "love" if he knows about my blog. I am not ashamed of it, and I will stand up for what I believe in. He will, like my Mom's ex-bishop, believe he has the ability to change my mind, or give me answers to the things that bother me...

I spent some quality time writing out the questions I had for him. Here they are:

Questions

  • Do you consider it lying when someone does not tell you the complete story and purposefully leaves out certain details?
  • Why was I taught an inaccurate version of events from church leaders regarding the first vision and translation of the Book of Mormon?
  • Why was I not taught about Joseph Smith’s past regarding treasure seeking with the same seer stone used in the translation of the Book of Mormon?
  • Can you understand that when people realize the church didn’t share all the facts regarding this matter it makes the church seem as if it is covering something up?
  • Now that many people have admitted that Joseph Smith used a seer stone to translate the Book of Mormon, as well as treasure seeking facts, why don’t they teach and promote the accurate version of events?
  • Why does the church use tools, like paintings, that depict the translation of the Book of Mormon in a false manner to teach children and investigators?
  • Why not show paintings depicting the actual events of the translation of the Book of Mormon with Joseph Smith using a seer stone in a top hat?
  • Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe the Book of Abraham to be scripture?
  • Why doesn’t the church tell the complete and full story regarding the Book of Abraham?
  • Why did Joseph Smith translate the Egyptian papyri and claim it as scripture when many Egyptologists have studied the papyri and translate them to common funerary texts?
  • Do you find it troubling that a “Prophet of God” could get this wrong?
  • Do you understand why so many people see this as a giant red flag in regards to being able to trust Joseph Smith and his translating abilities?
  • What kind of a god helps Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon using a rock that he used previously to rob and deceive people with?
  • Is this the kind of god that is just and holy and that avoids the very appearance of evil?
  • Why did Joseph Smith believe the Kinderhook Plates were record from God and make plans to translate them?
  • Why don’t most Mormons know about the situation regarding the Kinderhook Plates?
  • If Joseph Smith did nothing wrong, why not talk about it?
  • Why does the Mormon Church teach that polygamy will be practiced in heaven?
  • Why would it even be necessary to be married in heaven?



  • Why would God or an angel of God command Joseph Smith to practice polygamy?
  • If an angel of God commanded Joseph Smith to practice polygamy, why was it necessary for him to keep it secret from his own wife?
  • How could a “Prophet of God” deceive his own wife?
  • Isn’t lying to your wife breaking a commandment?
  • Why would Joseph Smith practice polygamy even though the 12th article of faith clearly states: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Even though polygamy was never legal?
  • If the current prophet were to receive revelation that polygamy was again necessary, would you or male family members take on other wives?
  • What if your own wife were against the idea of taking on other wives? Would you do it anyway?
  • Why were 33 of the know women sealed to Joseph Smith in the temple already married to living men?
  • Why would a “Prophet of God” think it to be a good idea to take on two wives (Helen Mar Kimball and Nancy Winchester) when they were only 14 years old at the time?
  • Do you know it was uncommon for 14 year olds to be married, even in that time period?
  • Why did the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) include a section denying the practice of polygamy?
  • Why would it be necessary to lie about polygamy being practiced by Mormons if it was truly needed to reach the celestial kingdom?
  • Can you understand why it is so hard to trust an organization that was clearly being deceitful?
  • Why would God command people to break the law and then ask them to lie about it?
  • If polygamy was truly essential to reach the celestial kingdom, why was the practice stopped?
  • Why has the church changed it’s position on gospel doctrine so many times?
  • Why did Brigham Young repeatedly teach that Adam was God the Father?
  • Why do most Mormons who talk to me about this issue believe it’s either a mistake or something that was taken out of context?
  • Brigham Young clearly believed and taught that Adam was indeed God the Father. He told people he had revelation on the subject. Why do Mormon Apologists deny this?
  • Since the church has officially distanced itself from the comments about the Adam/God theory, how do you know what will be true doctrine and what will not?
  • Bruce R. McConkie claimed that Brigham Young’s views about the Adam/God theory were “out of harmony with the gospel,” He also bluntly stated, “…anyone who received the temple endowments and who yet believe the Adam/God theory does not deserve to be saved.” (BYU devotional 6/1/1980). Does the church believe certain types of people shouldn't be saved?
  • If anyone who received the temple endowments and still believed the Adam/God theory didn’t deserve to be saved, where does that leave Brigham Young?
  • One prophet teaches that Adam is God, something “which God revealed to him” as well as that his teachings are scripture. When then have another prophet who condemns the doctrine that Adam is God. Finally, we have an apostle who feels that the prophets can be an unreliable source of information. Therefore, he says, we should rely on the scriptures-- which themselves originate from prophets and apostles. How are we supposed to know who to believe and when?
  • Do you understand how that makes anything hard to believe?
  • When does one know to believe the prophets and apostles? It seems that it just depends on whom and when?
  • How can one believe the famous saying, “The prophet will never lead you astray” after Brigham Young led people astray?
  • Don’t you think God would have designed a clearer system than this for receiving his divine messages?
  • Why has the temple endowment ceremony been changed if it came directly from God Himself?
  • Why were death oaths once used in the temple ceremony?
  • Why was it that people of color could not hold the priesthood until 1978?
  • Why would God not want all of his children to be treated fairly?
  • Why would God allow certain kinds of people the priesthood and not others?
  • Many people have mentioned that the Church was about to lose it’s tax-exempt status and that is the only reason the prophet suddenly received revelation to allow men of color to hold the priesthood. What is the official reason for the change of heart?
  • Do you understand why its hard to believe this decision was made purely from revelation?
  • Why were missionaries taught not to baptize people of color on their missions before 1978?
  • Do you understand why many people will always consider the Mormon Church to be a racist organization due to the comments and actions of previous prophets and apostles?
  • Why was it taught that people who were born with dark skin were being punished in this life because of their actions in the pre-existence?
  • Do you understand why it is extremely offensive to people to judge their character because of your beliefs about them in the pre-existence? How can you judge someone on something that you have no personal recollection of?
  • Why was it taught that dark skin would turn lighter and more “delightsome” once they learned and accepted the gospel?
  • Now that we know for certain that skin color has nothing to do with any curse, how can we believe anything else these specific apostles and prophets said? How can we trust anyone who was so horribly and inhumanely wrong?
  • Why has the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never officially apologized to people of color for this mistreatment?
  • Do you feel that the Church should apologize for their mistreatment of African-Americans and other races after the harm and hurt it caused many of them?
  • In the past it was taught that birth control was “wickedness” (Joseph Fielding Smith) and that if you used birth control “destruction was inevitable” (Joseph Fielding Smith). If these words came from a prophet, why do we now believe different things?
  • Yet another prophet has it wrong, how can we trust the things they say given this track record?
  • If temple garments were so important, why has the design for the garments changed over time?
  • Why wasn’t Joseph Smith wearing his temple garments when he was killed?
  • Originally, the Word of Wisdom asked members not to have alcohol, tobacco, hot drinks, the use of wine only with communion, and meat only in the winter. How did that evolve into the no coffee/tea/alcohol/tobacco Word of Wisdom we have today?
  • If the word of Wisdom is so important, why did Joseph Smith have alcohol with him in Carthage Jail? It was not intended for communion. (History of the Church, vol. 7 p. 101)
  • If the word of wisdom was intended to teach Mormons not to have hot drinks, why is drinking hot chocolate allowed but not coffee? Is it the caffeine? If caffeine is the issue, why do many Mormons drink Mountain Dew or other caffeinated soft drinks?
  • Why were many of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon later quoted as saying that they saw the golden plates through “the eyes of faith?”
  • If church leaders think this isn’t an issue, why isn’t it discussed openly and honestly?
  • Why isn’t this information shared with investigators?
  • Don’t you feel that it is important to be honest with people that are deciding if the Mormon Church is for them?
  • Shouldn't everything be out in the open before someone is baptized? Isn’t that fair and moral?
  • Why are items mentioned in the Book of Mormon not in the Americas at the time (Pre-Colombian)? None of these items have been discovered or verified in any ancient American archaeological expedition or historical investigation in the last 200 years?
Silk (Alma 1:29)
Chariots (Alma 18:9)
Seven Day Week (Mosiah 13:18)
Cimeters (old world two-handed steel blade) (Mosiah 9:16 and other verses)
Land kept from the knowledge of “Other Nations” (2 Nephi 1:18)
Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11)
Brass and Iron (2 Nephi 5:15)
Breast plates and Copper (Mosiah 8:10)
Gold and Silver Currency (Alma 11)
Silver (Jarom 1:18)
Steel Swords (Esther 7:9, 2 Nephi 5:14)
Cattle, oxen, donkeys, horses, goats, and wild goats (1 Nephi 18:25)
Sheep, Swine, and elephants (Esther 7:9 and 2 Nephi 5:14)
Plow agriculture such as barley (Alma 11:7) and wheat (Mosiah 9:9)
Absence of foods known to ancient America such as chocolate, lima beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
  • Do you understand why its so hard for people to believe the Book of Mormon as true historical record with all of these problems?
  • Why are women not allowed to hold the priesthood?
  • If the color of skin (to hold the priesthood) is no longer an issue, why is gender an issue?
  • Why does gender determine so much in the Mormon Church?
  • Why are women basically groomed from a young age (I speak from experience) to be wives and mothers?
  • What happens when a Mormon woman decides she doesn’t want to be a wife or mother and instead focus on a career or education?
  • What would you say to a young woman who didn’t want to be a wife and mother?
  • How does anyone know what God wants for someone else?
  • Why are women only allowed to occupy subordinate roles to make priesthood holders?
  • If women are only allowed to serve under male priesthood roles, how is there any equality?
  • Why are women who raise their voices about this inequality receive disciplinary action?
  • Maxine Hanks, excommunicated, editor of “Woman and Authority: Reemerging Mormon Fundamentalism.”
  • Deborah Lake, excommunicated, author of “Secret Ceremonies.”
  • Lavina Fielding Anderson, excommunicated, collected stories of people (mainly women) who have been abused by the Mormon system. Edited the book, “Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective.”
  • Is it the Church’s position to say that one person has more power, control, and responsibility based on gender?
  • What do you think about the talk given by Julie B. Beck during general conference in October of 2007 titled, “Mothers Who Know?”
  • Do you think women in the Mormon Church have unrealistic expectations?
  • What if I don’t want to be married in the afterlife and have spirit child after spirit child?
  • Why are women supposed to tell their husbands their temple names, but men are told to keep their temple name from their wives?
  • What is the purpose of the temple name?
  • Why must we have a new/different name in heaven?
  • Shouldn’t God know who we are without secret handshakes and secret names?
  • Do you understand why many feel that women are second class citizens in the church?
  • Why was I told multiple times that my life wouldn’t be as fulfilling if I didn’t marry a return missionary and raise my kids in the church?
  • How would anyone know what would make my life, and others, more fulfilling?
  • Does the church know what will and will not be fulfilling to women?
  • Why can’t a women bless her own child?
  • Why is it that women don’t get to make any decisions about church wealth?
  • Do you think its fair and equal to not give women equal say in how this money is spent?
  • Can you understand that this inequality is an extremely valid reason to leave the church?
  • What is so horrible and evil about homosexuality?
  • How is the church threatened?
  • Why is the church so patriarchal, when it is clear that patriarchal societies foster abuse of women and children?
  • Why do women have no clear voice in the church, especially in the upper echelons?
  • Why do church courts have no female representatives in them, even when females are being judged?
  • Why did the church actively oppose the ERA and the marriage amendment, when it is supposed to not be a political institution, and becoming politically involved could jeopardize its tax exempt status?
  • Why did it try to cover up this opposition?
  • Why after 200 years is there still no archaeological record of any BOM peoples?
  • Why is the genetic evidence so compellingly against the BOM peoples being descended from Israelite peoples?
  • Why is the temple ceremony so close to the Masonic ceremonies JS participated in prior to his starting up temple ceremonies?
  • And why have they been changed so much?
  • Why are women still subjugated in the temple ceremony? They have to veil, and be responsible to their husbands, not to the Lord.
  • Why does the church talk about JS so much, and neglects Jesus Christ so much (count the references to JS in any General Conference, and compare them with references to Jesus Christ)?
  • Why does the church feel it is acceptable to Christ's teachings to spend $2B on a mall, when so many of its own members are unable to feed their families?
  • Why is tithing so important to the Mormon Church?
  • Why must church members report annually to their bishop to promise they paid a full and complete tithe for the year?
  • Why is this necessary in order to go to the temple?
  • Since temple covenants are so important to Mormons, do you understand why many assume you are literally paying for your salvation?
  • Why does the church need this money?
  • Why does the church make claims that paying 10 percent tithing to the LDS Church gives you more blessings in your life?
  • Why are family members kept away from ceremonies in the temple (like weddings)?
  • Why would God want this?
  • Why does the Church spend so much money on it’s businesses instead of donating that money to people who need it to survive?
  • Why does the church need a 2 billion dollar mall in Salt Lake City?
  • Couldn't that money be spent helping humanity?


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A Response

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


I was recently asked a couple questions about some statements I made, and I would love to take the time to answer these questions.

Joseph Smith married young girls, he also married women who were nearly 60. Why would he take a 60 year old if he could take all 16 year olds?

Joseph Smith married young girls because he liked young girls. I sincerely believe that he scared these girls (along with their families) that they should marry him or else be damned to hell. Why would he take on 60 year olds? To make it look better, of course. Even the most believing Mormons of his day would look at him marrying woman after woman and assume the worst. By marrying 60 year olds, he made it look like he was actually trying to help these women. I will never believe polygamy was commanded by God. Never. He just claimed it was.

Joseph Smith was polygamous, but those marriages happened near the end of his life around when he was 38. After he was commanded to.

It doesn't matter how old he was, does it? He had multiple wives, and he even hid those wives from his first wife, Emma. If polygamy was ordered by God, why did he feel the need to keep it a secret from Emma?

Since you think it does matter, here are some things I learned about polygamy and Joseph Smith...

It is not exactly clear when it started. Former Church authorities have suggested that his first polygamous marriage was with Fanny Alger, probably in or around 1831. That would make Joseph about 26.

Personally, I think his actions with Fanny were just a good old fashion affair and it probably began in around 1838. That would make Joseph about 32. -John Larson

**********

He was born in 1805. The Fanny Alger incident was in 1833. That's the first polygamous wife that we know about. He died in 1844. -Winyan


I believe polygamy was a result of Joseph liking the ladies. He had an affair, got caught, and then suddenly had revelation about polygamy to make things okay again. Nothing adds up, nothing. God would never ask anyone to do that to someone they love. I will never buy into that mode of thinking. After all, God doesn't want us to lie, does he?

You say that the church distracts from family time with activities. You always seem to keep out family night on Mondays. Time specifically devoted to family time.

The church does distract from family time with activities. Think about it for a minute. Sure, you have family home evening on Monday nights... but what are you discussing and learning about during that time? Mormonism. Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon. I am sure many Mormon families have family home evening and once in a while just simply have fun together, but most of the time it would be centered around the church.

You go to Church on Sunday... then their are priesthood meetings, as well as other meetings on Sunday. You don't watch television, you spend the entire day focusing on the religion.

Mondays you have family home evening. Again, pretty much focusing on the church. You might play games, or make desserts together... but the whole idea of family home evening is to get your family together and learn more about the church.

Tuesday nights, my brother usually had boy scouts. More church.

Wednesday-- Young Women's and Young Mens. Activities lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours for me when I would attend faithfully. Again, we learned tons of things about the church, and I was taught who I should marry and how I should marry them.

If you hold a calling, you have to put in time to get that work done. You spend your private and free time focusing more on the church... not to mention the fact that you spend your money on it as well... If your calling is something like Relief Society president or Bishop, you rarely have time for anything other than your job and your calling. Bishops usually spend just as much time at their ward that they do at home.

During the summers there are camps for kids to attend...

It literally goes on and on. The church takes up time, and lots of it. I am positive I have left things out here... if I took more time I would add more, but I am working on something else at the moment.

The church did keep blacks from having the priesthood, but the responsibility of the priesthood had also been restricted to certain groups in biblical times. Why God does this I do not know.
I don't believe for a second that God would allow certain types of people to have a "power" over others. There is no priesthood. I don't buy it. God wouldn't play favorites like that, especially over something as silly as skin color or gender. Think about it, why in the world would He do that? There is nothing you could ever say or do to make me believe otherwise. My God wouldn't do that.


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Emotions as Evidence

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


I have posted on this before, but I just had a conversation with someone about it and it's on my mind... I am pretty sleepy, so if I ramble and stop making sense it's just due to an extreme lack of sleep.

I was always taught that the Holy Ghost would speak to me in time of need. I would feel a sense of urgency if I were in danger, or a sense of peace if I did something that God wanted me to do. Somehow, I would get a feeling leading me in the right direction as long as I was true to the gospel, and stayed on the straight and narrow.

How do you explain it when people get those feelings and they are not true to the gospel, or are on the straight and narrow? For example:

What if someone totally random walked into a church office building and spray painted all over some original works of art, or maybe some statues... even cars in the parking lot... (in no way in the world am I suggesting this is a good thing to do, by the way). They would be stopped eventually. What then, if this person told others that the spirit asked him to do it? People would probably assume this person had a mental illness, or was high on drugs... right? There are many other explanations of someone doing something like this.. maybe they felt that God told them they should lash out at the Mormon Church. It could be anything.

If you were to ask this kind of person what the "feeling" felt like, it would probably be something similar to the experiences that Mormons (and many non-Mormons in other religions) feel when they say they are being visited by the Holy Ghost.

How do you tell when your feelings are truly from the Holy Ghost, or if it something else? Your imagination? Intuition? Mental illness?

Truth is, many non-Mormons feel this kind of prompting, too. Why do most of the Mormons I know feel this is strictly about them? I know many Mormons wouldn't think that... just the ones I know...

In my truthful opinion, emotions are emotions. If something happens it makes you feel. It's human, it's how we operate. We all love, we all get jealous, everyone has a sense of fear. Sometimes those emotions come out of nowhere, and it would be easy to attribute these feelings to something supernatural.

This is a funny shot of Abbey Road... it has no relation to the topic above, I just felt like sharing it. -Syd


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Photo Update

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Time for a photography update. Most of these were taken within the last month. With the computer trouble I had a few weeks ago, I am still trying to catch up with the editing and uploading to my flickr page... argh.







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Stuff Nobody Likes

Posted by: Andee / Category:


Thanks to The Unknown Highway for posting about this blog titled, "Stuff Nobody Likes." Stuff Nobody Likes is exactly what it sounds like... Stuff Nobody Likes. Here are some examples of things this blogger has touched on...

Writers Block (I hear that!)

Douchebags with Bluetooth Earpieces

Wet Sock

and my personal favorite... The President.

Check out the blog. You will be happy you did.


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The Mission

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


Growing up I was always taught that I shouldn't get married unless it was to a return Mormon Missionary. I have mentioned that over and over again, but I think it's important to keep saying it. God forbid you marry someone because you love them, right?

Anyway, I have heard many stories of people who went on their missions at the age of 19 (roughly) and paid their own way on top of it. I asked some of my friend on PostMormon.org to share their experiences in the field as a Mormon Missionary. I asked them to share one positive thing and one negative thing. I wasn't prepared for the amazing response, and the incredible stories. I will let their quotes do the rest of the work...

************

I would say the best part of my mission was the people - especially the people who opened their doors to ME. Whether members or not, those that I could have a relationship with and unwind from the stresses of missionary work I found to be the best place to be. I was never a pushy missionary - I can never remember challenging any member to "set a date," "pray which friend they would like to approach," or the myriad of other tactics used to find coverts. I only went on splits once. Because investigators and converts were so far and few, I saw my role to be a part of the congregation and lend my support.

My mission president was the worst part. One companion sums things up fairly nicely. When he was asked by the MP why he was out here, my companion said: "To love the people." The response: "No Elder, you are here to baptise." We were instructed to follow the "suggested schedule" exactly. We were forbidden to get in larger groups of missionaries than six. We were told that we had to eat at 5 PM with members, and instruct them that this was the way it had to be. The only time he showed any emotion (and that is from his own recounting) is when missionaries returned all the money they didn't use on their missions - yes we were told that it didn't belong to us, and we had to return it. By the end of my mission, I wasn't concerned with anyone else but myself as following the "letter of the law" led me to the utmost despair. Finally, by abiding by the spirit of the law, I found a happiness I had never known before. And, being entirely convinced that "wickedness never was happiness," and that the gospel was called the "plan of happiness," I knew that God was pleased. BUT, when it was time to go home, the MP said he didn't think I was worthy of a temple recommend (I was the only one going home that month that hadn't been one of his zone leaders). He finally consented on the 11th hour (literally) with the plane leaving shortly. I never believed as a TBM that my mission was accepted of the Lord. -Carter

**************
I have never been on a mission, but the points I would make, I don't know if you can use them or not is that you are learning how to be salesman while on your mission. I know a lot of return missionaries that have done very well for themselves as car salesmen. The bad side is that it just doesn't make sense that you can't have contact with your family other than letters. It just seems a little ridiculous that you can't have easier access to your support group. I think a lot of missionaries would do a lot better if they had to option to call home if they needed to. -Kristi

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Good thing-it ended

Bad thing-I talked a lot of good people into mormonism. Good thing-they probably all went inactive (most mormons where I "served , dishing out lies, were inactive) Bad thing-what if one stayed active? I'm sorry -God


*************

For me, the best thing was being able to serve in a place where my ancestors came from. I really felt an affinity to them and the country, and still miss Sweden more than I probably should, 15 years later.

A bad part was being sent home four months early for clinical depression (well documented), but the worst part was having my bishop ask me several times, upon return, if I'd really been sent home early for sexual misconduct . I realized then that that is what everyone in my family and ward would probably think, because isn't that what TBM's secretly think when they find out a missionary has been sent home early?

I should have just left the church then, and stayed gone. But within nine months I'd be married, and I wanted to make my new TBM husband happy, so I went back to church. Dumb me. -nessid

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The worst thing: putting off my university degree. It was to be 13 more years before I would be able to go back and finish. There was a good deal of disillusionment with a smidge of guilt thrown in that I had to battle my way out of.

Several "best things": met some very cool people both in and out of the church, got an opportunity to use the French language I'd been studying since high school; got a fresh perspective on life, love, and truth; began to seriously question the Corporation of JC of LDS; met DH.

Our MP tried very hard to be human and treat the missionaries like humans as well. -hartlyn


*************

Best aspects- Learning Spanish, Castellano and English. Had to learn them proper rullles of English in order to understand, comprehend, and think in Spanish. This ability or lack thereof has given me an incredible advantage in every job since my return. In my career this has also proven to be a lifesaver as I was able to get the better of 2 idiots who decided to see what they could get away with. I overheard one of them ask the other if he was ready to play and to just say go when the time was right. I gently and politely asked the one closest to me if he would kindly inspect the inside of my Glock .45 for debris. I was yelling like a vienna boys choir soprano whose finger was stuck in a door but they got the message really quick. Anyway, I would say the language opportunity and the country and people of Argentina was truly a lifetime experience.

Worst- Argentine medical system and my MP who basically showed me the way out of the church with his incredible lack of candor and basic human kindness. That opened a door that a few years later I entered and then 12 years later I turned around and closed. Still have injuries to this day, while not the fault of the church, a little better understanding and compassion might have prevented. The emotional scars will last a lifetime and at times I use them to my advantage but not always.

Keep on keepin on! -Dawgma

**************

Best thing the chance I had to meet some great people and learn to speak in public well. Worst thing, the time I spent as an AP. I was such a dick, I thought I was doing the right thing, but in retrospect I realize I was an ass. I hope I didn't scar any of the missionaries I was over too badly... -CDN Mike


**************

Best: Living in different cultures. Learning a new language. Making friends, and laughing a lot with the other silly missionaries. Being totally engaged in something I believed in.

Worst: Living in roach-ridden filthy places. Working as a female for a moronic patriarchal system. Getting doors slammed in our faces every day. Riding mopeds in the rain and snow. Telling a bunch of lies (even though I thought it was true at the time.) -Winyan

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The Good: The people. As a missionary, so many members open their doors to you. A smaller percentage open their doors to you as a person, and not just because your a missionary. They want to get to know you, where you came from, and who you are. I know missionaries are asked these questions mindlessly, but there are those people who actually will actually develop relationships with the missionaries. There are people in my mission who I will always be grateful for.

I also enjoyed the beauty of Colorado and Kansas. The weather and scenery were much different than the southeast/sub-tropics I grew up in.

The Bad: The missionary program. Even before joining the church, I seriously considered entering in the ministry and becoming a pastor or chaplain. Holding the priesthood and serving a mission seemed to fit in with this desire, but the missionary program was nothing like I expected. Most times, I didn't feel like a minister; I felt like a salesman. As an LDS missionary, I was out to sell religion. There were opportunities where I was able to minister to someone in need, in a variety of ways, but I mostly felt like a programed drone. I always felt that God expected more of me, but the missionary program of the church was so restrictive that I never really became the minister I felt God wanted me to be. -nxtOracle

**************

Best thing about my mission:

-Meeting some wonderful people that I will always hold close to my heart.

Worst thing about my mission:

-Teaching untruths to people
-Feeling superior to others not of my religion
-Selling my '69 Mustang Mach 1 to help pay for my mission (still hurts to this day!)
-Allowing my Mission Pres and his wife control me with their stupid petty rules
-The amount of time studing and researching the scriptures
-Delaying college
-Attending mission reunions (what the hell was I thinking?!?)
-Giving blessing after blessing thinking they actually were doing something

Oh, did you only want one response...sorry. -L. Tom


*************

The best thing: I met my wonderful wife-to-be along with making a few great friends.

The worst thing: I am not an arrogant person, but I allowed myself to think like missionaries do and I thought that I understood so much more than all those poor non-Mormons out in the mission field and I viewed them all as so lost and misguided, but if they would just accept my message they could be as all-knowing as I was. Missions turn so many nice but inexperienced young men and women in to such pricks, even if only temporarily. So embarrassing. -PeaceOfMind

*************

Best: Met Daria (DW) in the MTC and enjoyed learning a new language, living in a different and rich, historic culture and the warmth of the people (especially if you left religion out of the discussion).

Worst: Endless, depressing, unsuccessful finding work day after day where we would bother and disturb people who were generally happy and living fine lives. As I think back, we were so arrogant to think they were miserable and lost and needed to listen to us or their lives would be worthless, meaningless and terrible. Ugh. -Clusterfetch

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The Good Thing: I went to Spain. I don't know how I would have managed being in some nasty place like Boise, Idaho or something. But I'm sure I would have found something of report or lovely there. But I really do thinki the location saved my sanity. It was terrible enough having so much cog dis freaking me out continually, so Spain was my saving grace. That country is gorgeous, the people are gorgeous. And I say that from *me*, not from the schtick they always say in the church and in the MTC.

I became a huge fan of the language and I followed *that* route as my major in college and ended up with a degree in Spanish Linguistics from ASU. I'm glad I had that edge, because my dad wanted me to become a dentist just like *all* of my three brothers did. What a joke, they've all admitted to me that they did it for dad. My dad has turned out to be a complete and utter f*ck up, no integrity at all, asked me to pay for my mom's funeral because I *owed* him for raising me well.

The Bad Thing: Realizing that it was all a terrible waste of time, a terrible mistake. I altered other people's lives for the negative! -esteban

*************

The Good:

I learned Spanish. To this day, I continue to benefit from having learned it. In fact, I'm going on a business trip next week to Puerto Rico because I'm the only one in my office who speaks Spanish.

I learned to appreciate other cultures and, believe it or not, other religions. While I still believed that we had the one truth, I still recognized and understood that some people were happy in their faith traditions. Some of that also may be due to the fact that my family converted so all our cousins and grandparents were non-mormon. I was always taught to respect that.

I made a lot of good friends. Many of my closest friends have also left the church which might say something about birds of a feather. On the other hand, two I can think of actually work for the church so who knows. At least one of my mission buddies posts here.

I think I learned to be a better husband. I remember thinking at the time, "If I can get along with this dickhead, I can get along with anyone." Marriage is way easier.

I had a good mission president. He was not a numbers pusher and he was genuinely kind. After hearing stories from a lot of other people, I can't believe my luck in getting a decent one. For that matter, my branch president in the MTC was also a singular human being. I got lucky twice.

I was lucky enough to be called on a mission during the time when they were 18 months for elders also. I don't think I could have done the full two years.

The Bad:

It was stressful. My dad died right before I left. I never dealt with the emotion and thus was left to deal with it in the mission field. I barely made it. I was seriously depressed. I was homesick a lot. My friends, for the most part non-mormon, would write me letters about their college experiences and all the sex they were having (no joke) and that was hard to take.

I was sick a alot. I probably lost 30-40 pounds. I was pretty unhealthy most of the time I was there. I pushed myself to work through the pain because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Faith only gets you so far though.

Unlike some I've heard about, my mission experiences probably helped to keep me active for years longer than otherwise. I was truly converted. Shoot, I already totally believed in it all, but I believed even more afterwards. Some of my experiences and feelings from the mission kept me on cruise control for years.

Companion issues. Out of all of the companions I had, I really only had two or three that I truly liked and got a long with well. One that I definitely couldn't stand and a couple I just tolerated.

I was way behind with school. I didn't go at all before the mission because my birthday was the fall after high school. I thought they more or less just shipped you off. By the time I learned otherwise, it was too late. I could have gotten two full semesters in if I had known that. As it was, I didn't start college at all until I was 21. -Zim

*************

The very best thing about my mission? I didn't have to go on one!

I took control of my own life at seventeen and never more was burdened by the morg. Damn fortunate I'd say. Wasn't cursed with a BS degree in Bigotry from YUB either. -MooseHaus

*************

The Good:

- Argentine culture, people, language - loved it!
- Food in Argentina (mostly Italian, with a ton of beef)
- A few companions
- Learning patience, endurance, self-control

The Bad:

- Constant rejection
- Feeling like a clown in my suit/tie
- Seeing mangy dogs humping on every street corner
- Feelings of occasional depression, unworthiness, confusion, etc.
- Missing good friends, family, dating, fun, school

-6th Sense

*************

Best Part - nice hard transition between high school and real life. Alot of good lessons in there

Worst part: DSB. Deadly sperm buildup. -Mr. Zip

*************

I went to Spain as well, Barcelona 1998-2000. I was done with the "mission" side of it after just a few months. I decided to turn my attention to the people and cutlure and that is the only reason I made it through two years. I loved the food, the people, language, the Footbal (soccer), festivals, flamanco music and walking through the cobble stone streets in the old parts of town. I will always have a love for Spain and will not be able to really put a close on my mission until I make it back there to see it through more mature and open eyes. I'm sure I missed so much because of all of the rules I had to follow and my companions who were attached to my hip. I was lucky in that most were pretty cool but some were too anal to have any fun.

Bad part: Zone Confrence, morning study, hearing "tango prisa" 50+ times in a day, getting spit on, having to practically hold hands with another guy 24/7, delaying school (still working on my degree) and helping baptize people into TSCC.

I mainly went because it was expected of me. I think there is a negative stigma attached to anyone guy who does not go or comes home early. My mom taught in Young Womens for years and she always told her girls to find and marry a RM and that that should be one of the first things they look for in a guy. If you don't go, then you will always have that hanging over your head and people will always wonder why. More mind games from the Morg, using shame and guilt to get you to do what they want. -Es Pura Mentira

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Mission. I loved my mission. Had a great time. Fell in love with a beautiful woman, going on 9 years of marriage now, and there is a lot more to that story. Learned an obscure southeast asian language. Most of my comps were of the fun variety.

Worst part. The guilt I felt for acting like any other regular 20 year old. I was doing things, sans the drinking, that any other guy my age was doing, but because I was breaking rules to do it I felt kind of bad.

Staying out late, watching movies, having a girlfriend, making out (among other things), playing on non-p-days, going to the mall-o-america (but we didn't make it, I broke my neck instead), bar-b-ques, hanging with "investigators" and never once mentioning the gospel... and more.

I look back on all that stuff now and say, "that was fun, I'm glad I wasn't a very good missionary." The worst part of my mission was the breaking my neck part, cracked my c-6 vertebrae right down the middle, and that wasn't even the worst of it. I had to go home for a couple of weeks **should've been longer but I whined my ass off to the SP to get me back out to the mission** and my MOM had to be my companion. Do you realize how annoying that was? Worst companion I had my entire mission. Even worse than the kid who took naked pictures of all his comps while they were in the shower. -tbiter jack scott

*************

1. I didn't go

2. I married my wife instead

Oh, wait, those are both good things...

Here's a bad thing -- I felt guilty for years about this decision. I dreaded meeting new people at church because thier second question (after my current calling) would inevitably be to ask where I served. I was relagated to second class status -- in my own mind at least. -Groucho

************

Good: It got my mind off of my fathers death somewhat for a couple years.

Bad: It was a complete waste of 2 years of my life and I wish I could sue and get those years back. -Bag_Race

************

The best:

The opportunity to meet and interact with people from a different culture: Alabama. Many of the characteristics of northern Alabama folk and eastern Idaho folk are strikingly similar. I meet some really neat people, TBMs, baptists, non-members, etc. The first two months I had a lot of fun with my trainer; him, like me, were the rebellious types. We broke a lot of rules, but I was only 20 and trying to enjoy myself, the only way I knew how. This fun would also be a significant factor for the worst.

My second area I spent 6 weeks in a three-some (no pun intended) One elder was mostly blind and couldn't bike on his own—yet we still had to bike—so I had the painstaking duty of biking him everywhere on a tandem bike. I didn't care for it then, but I laugh about it now. There's a post here about the tandem bike wreck.

The worst:

My (ex)girlfriend dear j'd me three weeks out of the MTC. It broke my heart. It was for this reason that I quit caring about the “stupid mission rules” and incidentally had all the “fun.” However, I started to feel horribly depressed and guilty about what I had done and decided that the best thing for me to do was repent to the mission president and say that “I'm sorry.” I wasn't expecting the intensity of the rebuke that he gave. Honest to god, he called me an Anti-Christ directly to my face and he almost sent me home. He didn't though and he decided to let me stay, as I wanted to give it another shot (go figure). He took my temple recommend away. For the next 10 months, I tried, (I mean I really tried) to be a good missionary. But I was still depressed! I felt lonely, undesirable, unworthy, and confused. How could God let this happen to me? Why am I here? Where is Christ when I need him? I'm trying to do whats right; why wont you answer me?? Is it true? I prayed and I tried and nothing. I never got that “I know its true feeling” that I was telling people that I 'had' felt and that they could know its true too. I was lying to them, I knew it, and I hated myself for it. After 13 months on a mission I called my MP and said “this is enough, I can't do this anymore, please send me home.”

I left feeling like a complete and total failure, a worthless scum bag that would be lucky enough to have his own family love him. Fortunately, they did, and still do. It took me damn near four years and a deployment to Iraq to get over the negative impact that mission had on my mind, soul, and character. I would choose a one year deployment to the nastiest place in Iraq, then serve two years on a LDS mission. -GK

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My thanks (again) to everyone who lent their experiences and thoughts about their mission!!!


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LOL Animals

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

You have all seen them. The photos of cats that say things like, "I can haz cheezburger?" or "Can it be treatz time now pleaz?" Here are some of my favorites, hope you like them. Click on any of the photos for the source!!!








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This Sucks

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


As many know, I have been blogging about my experiences in and out of the Mormon Church since November of 2007. I have talked about things that I never dared talk about when I was a child, or even a young adult. It was a big step starting this blog, and it has helped me immensely... even when that scary stalker-guy was bugging me.

At work today I was asked about what I like to do in my free time. Of course I mentioned photography right away, and then I told my co-worker that I have a blog. I didn't think before I spoke. I am not ashamed of my blog in the slightest, it's just not in my best interests to let everyone at my new job know my feelings about the church yet. It would be career suicide.

My point is that it sucks to even have to worry about it. Why should people care if I disagree with their religion? I might say things, but it's my opinion and what I believe... right? The Mormon Church can send out missionaries to preach their gospel, but I can't have a simple blog?
It's emotionally draining to think about how many people who know me either at work or in social settings would ignore me or stop talking to me because of what *I* believe.

Isn't it sad that I have to worry about that?

I know of many people who have wanted to leave the church but couldn't due to business reasons... they would lose their livelihood. Many people had to move to a new town to start over because everyone stopped talking to them and their kids. What is wrong with this picture? Why should people have to do that?

Sorry... needed to rant.


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Fresh Fire Ministries

Posted by: Andee / Category:


I just found this blog titled, "Fresh Fire Ministries." The owner of the blog seems to be a minister or priest of some kind, and according to his articles he is healing people from all over the United States.


dozens of deaf ears open… more scars disappear… rods & metal plates become "flexible"… oxygen tanks left behind… grapefruit sized tumor disappear… Amazing Prophetic Word released!!!

Hmm, seems a little too hard for me to believe. Sure, miracles happen. But if this guy has the power to heal people, what are all my TBM family members and friends going to say? Hehehe.


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Priest Disappears While Flying Attached to Helium Balloons

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,



You can't make this up... you can't.


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Ice Cream Please!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

My throat hurts. I have a headache. This sucks. I can't call in sick for work tomorrow, I just started working there. Damn. I hope I get over this quickly.

I am sitting here daydreaming of a big huge tub of ice cream. I decided that I would do a search and see just how many awesome flavors there are out there and here are my favorites...


Cupid's White Chocolate and Raspberry ice creams swirled with a raspberry ribbon and loaded with raspberry-filled chocolate hearts and chocolate chips at Baskin Robbins.
Tingle your taste buds with Mint-flavored ice cream swirled with a dark chocolate mint ribbon and mini York Peppermint Patties at Baskin Robbins.
Girl Scouts® Samoas® Cookie Ice Cream is a delicious way to give something back to your family. It's Samoas® Cookies in Caramel Ice Cream with Fudge. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this product goes to support Girl Scouting.
Girl Scouts® Tagalongs® Cookie Ice Cream. Enjoy the irresistible experience of this Limited Edition flavor featuring Tagalongs® cookies (you may also know them as Peanut Butter Patties) combined with vanilla ice cream and swirls of peanut butter and fudge.

I would add more, but I can't focus. Maybe I should turn in for the night. Take care out there!!!


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Wedding

Posted by: Andee / Category:

I think it's time for a completely random post because I have been focusing on my thoughts with the church so much in the past week. Since I was just ranting about polygamy and marriage inin the afterlife, lets talk about the wedding.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves... I am not getting married. I am not even dating anyone... I just think it's fun to look at this stuff every once in a while. Hell, it's what every little girl dreams of, right? Maybe I should be a wedding planner? I could take the photos, too!


Love this. The flowers look like you gathered them outside yourself. Nice and natural. No need for frills and lace or tons of babies breath. Simple is perfect.



I like this cake. Green is my favorite color, and I would use green a lot in the wedding. Maybe pale green dresses for the bridesmaids, and green tablecloths on the tables at the reception. Instead of fake sugar flowers I would love to have real flowers. Only if they wouldn't poison my guests, of course. Maybe fresh mint? That might be interesting. My cake itself would be chocolate (of course) and I would definitely go with a raspberry filling. Delicious.The Ring. Enough Said.



I like this hairstyle because it's not too fancy. Soft curls and kept out of the way. Instead of a barrette, I would probably use a flower of some sort (or cover the barrette with a flower) the only downside to this is that the hair would drive me nuts by the end of the night and I would end up pulling it back. I suppose some women have more than one dress (different dress for the reception) and I could have two hairstyles... but that seems like a lot of work and extra money.


This dress, designed by Monique Lhuillier has lovely detail without going overboard. You don't need millions of sparkles and pearls... this simple yet lovely lace is gorgeous... well, it better be for the price tag. Upwards of $5000.


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Polygamy in Heaven?

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


A month or so ago, I had a meeting with my Mom's bishop. During this meeting I asked him many questions about polygamy, and every time he answered he would phrase his answers with, "This is what I believe," or "This is how I see it." I wasn't looking for his opinion, I was looking for the official word on what the church believes. I don't think he had those answers, and I don't think anyone else would either. Every time I ask a bishop, missionary, or stake president a question they just give me their opinion! Why is that? They always sugar-coat the answer too, but that is another post for another day.

Polygamy.

I don't believe for a millionth of a second that polygamy was anything more than Joseph Smith wanting to shack up with more ladies. He knew he would get caught, so *surprise* he had revelation that God wanted him to practice polygamy.

When he went about this, he hid it from his wife, Emma. Would God want that? Nope.

He went to woman after woman and he was sealed to them. Two of these women were 14 year old girls. Some of these women were still married to their living husbands when he married them. Would God want that? Nope. Just common sense.

He told some of these women that if they didn't marry him they would be damned to hell. Would God want or do that? Nope. Makes no sense.

So, when I asked Mom's bishop about the practice of polygamy in the celestial kingdom, I was expecting him to deny it completely. After all, I had never heard anyone talk about it openly in my entire 29 years of life. I wasn't expecting him to admit it.

He told me that he believed the reason polygamy would be practiced in the celestial kingdom was because more women than men would make it to the celestial kingdom. What? Who says we have to be married up in heaven? Why is that mandatory? What if we didn't want to be married? Hell, I am a perfectly happy single girl right now... I am not looking around for a mate. Why would I need one in the afterlife?

He told me that he thinks men are jerks. He says they are more likely to stray from what God wants for us. What? Really? Why are men more likely to stray than women?

If I have to be married off to some guy in heaven (that I probably don't even know) and to top it off I have to share him with a bunch of other girls and serve him in the afterlife... I don't want to be there. Count me out. That is supposed to be a reward for being a good person? Polygamy?

Obviously, not one of his answers made any sense to me, and they have just added more questions to my list... it's frustrating to say the least.


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What The Hell? It's April!!

Posted by: Andee / Category:


I just looked out the window, and here is a little glimpse into the weather that is trying to drive me crazy. It's snowing. Not just little tiny-baby snowflakes... big huge flakes. It's April 20th for crying out loud! What the hell?


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Freedom of Religion

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


I was doing some research on the FLDS situation in Eldorado, Texas and found a blog written by an extremely religious Christian woman. She dresses differently than others, covers her head, home schools her kids, and submits to her husband. She believes that the bible asks her to do these things, and she seems very sincere when she mentions that she isn't brainwashed. Here are a few quotes taken directly from her article:

I show my separation through my my behavior, my words and my dress. Yes, I am submissive to my husband. He is the authority in our household. I am not submissive to all men. I do not think men are inherently more valuable or intelligent than women. The bible specifically instructs women to submit to their own husbands as unto the Lord.
I do understand that is her personal belief, and I respect her for living her life according to her beliefs, even though it must be difficult at times. I do not agree that women should have submit to anyone, especially their own husbands. They should be thought of as a team, a couple. Not an authority and a follower. It's just my opinion.
Submitting to my husband in no way makes me brainwashed. It doesn’t make me less of a person, or display my lack of value. On the contrary, I am especially valuable and God’s instructions are evidence of how special I am to Him. Yes I dress funny, but this also is evidence of my value. The bible instructs us to dress modestly and says specifically that women should have long hair.
I honestly don't believe for a second that God cares what our hair looks like. I don't think she is brainwashed, and I believe everyone is valuable to God.
I believe that Christians, as a group, have an obligation to protect others religious freedoms because if we don’t protect theirs, who will protect ours? By making it illegal for FLDS to practice their faith openly we are fostering an environment of secrecy and darkness which promotes abuse in the first place. When a man (Warren Jeffs) sets himself up as God, there will be consequences. God will see to that. But that is God’s job, not the government’s. Persecuting these people, instead of allowing them to live openly, merely tightens the hold Jeffs has over them. It confirms his authority instead of diminishing it; forcing the women deeper into secrecy instead of allowing them to blossom in the light.
I believe that people should be able to practice their religion without harm. Religious freedom is an amazing right to have, and most of us take it for granted. I find it hard to believe when I see two or more groups of people fighting about what God would want. Do you think God would want us to fight? Probably not.

I just don't think she realizes that the girls in this flds compound were being forced into marriage as young as the age of 13 years old. Does she realize there were "marriage beds" found on the top floor of the sects temple? Does she understand that these young girls had no choice of whom they married or when they married?

Where does religious freedom cross the line into abuse?
I do not trust the government to have these children’s best interest in mind. I think they have political motivations, which are not universally well intended. My government is betraying it’s people. Ebbing away at our fundamental rights a little at a time, and expecting us to turn a blind eye.
What kind of political motivations is she talking about? I wonder about that. What does the government have to gain by taking 400 plus kids into state custody? They are paying out the wazoo for this case, especially since the women and children are not being honest about who their mothers are and the state now has to do DNA tests. Those are not cheap... just multiply that by 400.

The state has a responsibility to stop abuse. The evidence is there. Certainly there is proof that the phone call that stated the raid was faked, but the investigators have found young girls pregnant, and those who have given birth already are as young as 15. It's against the law, it's abuse, and no one should turn a blind eye to that.

FBI Agents and Texas Rangers Enter FLDS Temple

The only time I was slightly concerned that the FLDS communities' rights were being ignored was when the FBI and local authorities entered their temple. After the raid, they found marriage beds on the top floor, and I was thankful they made the decision to go in there. It's proof of abuse, and it was now in the hands of the authorities.

Also, these women in the flds community obviously know that they were breaking the law even though they claim otherwise. Why else would they avoid answering questions about their husbands and the ages they were when they (or their daughters) were married. If these people are so religious and close to God, why are they lying at all? Why are their husbands who supposedly hold the priesthood authority hiding like cowards?

The flds women HAVE been brainwashed, it's painfully obvious by every single television interview that makes its way to the networks. They all speak in the same, meek, calm, singy-songy voice, and they always look around like they are in a daze. The women giving the interviews were chosen by the men because they knew to obey their husbands and to say only what they were told to say.

One of the women here, show on Larry King Live, giving a tour of her home in the FLDS Community speaks as though she is a robot. My roommate even mentioned to me that she showed little to no emotion, and when she described the places where the kids played and put their shoes she cried. Neither roomie, nor I, saw any real tears. It's almost as if these women show no emotion. Just a personal observation.

The whole time she gives the tour of the home, everything is almost over the top. I know these women love their children very much, but these same women put their children in danger. Why choose religion over your own child's safety and well being?

Since the show is an hour long, the videos had to be broken into 4 segments. They are all amazing, and if you have the time to watch them, you should!









I would love to share some comments from my friends on PostMormon.org about the situation in Eldorado, TX as well as the blog that I am quoting. I use their comments with permission:
I'm all for Freedom to practice one's chosen religion. What bothers me in this case is that these young children didn't necessarily choose this lifestyle. It bothers me that in following this religion, these people are doing things that are illegal in this country.

The issues here, as I see it are child abuse and polygamy. Both are illegal and neither can be proven with just a phone call alleging them.

I don't think young women under the age of 16 are fully capable of understanding what being married is all about. I don't think they are emotionally ready to be mothers.

Sorry if this seems kinda disjointed... i'm haveing problems concentrating today due to recurring depression issues. -Kansas Kitty

Here, Magi shares a thought that hadn't occurred to me. These communities sometimes survive thanks to the state's welfare system...

When the Bill of Rights were written, our founding fathers had never heard of religions where men raised young females for each other. If they had even foreseen such a thing, there would have been something put in it about organized pedophilia masguerading as religion.

This cult is breaking the moral and legal laws of our land. Those children have a right to protection.

A few years ago, in Utah, a man got a vision from God to start a religion with strict dietary rules. If you remember, someone turned him in because his children were mal-nourished. God had told him to feed them only lettuce and watermelon. Under some thinking, rescuing these children from death is tampering with the man's religious freedom.

There was a group in Northern Idaho whose tenet to follow was "spare the rod and spoil the child." They took this literally and regularly beat children during church services. One of them was being beaten to drive the demons that were causing his pain out of him. His appendix broke and he was taken to the hospital. The law investigated this cult and found children with healing bones that had been broken, permanent scars from beatings and scared out of their little minds.

I start to see men with permanent erections running around looking for young meat. That is crude, but that is what it looks like.

Where do we get off being concerned? It is child abuse and against the laws of Texas. These people draw heavily on the welfare system. If we are feeding them we have a right to make sure those children are safe. -Magi

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If our society wishes to begin viewing 13 year old children as adults...Well, we live in a democracy. We can vote on it. I'd like to think the majority of Americans are smart enough to kill that idea! Freedom of religion is all very well, between mature adults, but when you force behaviors that are extremely abnormal and evidently unhealthy (I know I have read at least ONE thing by someone in the medical community that talks about the negative physical ramifications on a young girl's body should she give birth) on children, that is when we as a society have to step up and do something about it.

Her comment about the gov't is very reactionary. IMHO she is already defensive about the life she leads. (This is natural; she is clearly in a minority.) Texas is generally viewed as unapologetic about their "Cowboy Chrisitianity", for lack of a better term. I am NOT trying to use the term offensively, BTW...just putting out a general view of the state that I think "other" people commonly have.

I wouldn't doubt that the men and women in charge over there are happy to have an excuse to raid the compound. I am happy they have an excuse to raid the compound. Child abuse is sickening. The whispered call that sparked this whole thing is something that I would have jumped all over, too.

That being said, I would venture to say this woman is correctly picking up on the relief the people in charge are feeling...they finally have an excuse to do something about the cult... and she is personalizing it. She is not seeing the trees for the forest. She sees the state raiding a religious minority compound. She doesn't see the state removing girls they truly believe are in danger.

She is entitled to her opinion. Like everything else, I think her viewpoint is complicated. She is correctly picking up on attitudes about the cult, and incorrectly transferring those attitudes in a paranoid way to her own life. -Mashiara

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I try to "empathize" with how these women feel. Again, the children come
first, but they are not without some true principles here. My best instinct
after reading the comments, came from agreeing basically with the Islam
mother who gave other options for the way that things should have been
done. I am so upset by the whole thing..mainly because we are all basically
in conflict with our patriotism and conscience. Does that make sense??

Right now, I feel, that whether there could/should have been other ways
to deal with this..(men taken out)! The children are out now..I am for
keeping them safe and out of this environment..at least until their mothers
are deprogrammed. -My Turn

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The issue that really bothers me is my taxes are helping to feed, support and sustain these people (and their children) and then society as a whole has to somehow try to fix the psychological and sexual abuse these children have had to live under with the lie that it was "God's will"--and then listen to some made up bs about it being "religious persecution"!!!

The cost to society at large, all of us, cannot be estimated easily. I am sure it is astronomical and far-reaching into future generations of people. - Susan D.


Thank you again to all my buddies who let me add their points of view, and thanks to everyone else who reads the blog!


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