My Real Name

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,



Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I have an announcement to make.

My name isn't Sydney. Shocking, I know. Actually, I have mentioned this many times over the course of these months that I have been publishing WindySydney...

When my Mom was pregnant with me, she and my father had agreed to name me Sydney if I was a girl, and something else if I was a boy (I can't remember...). My Mom went into labor in K-Mart if I remember the story correctly, and in her hand she had a t-shirt. What was on the label of that T-shirt made my Mom change her mind about the name Sydney. Instead, my Mom and Dad named me Andee (pronounced Andy) and it isn't short for anything.

The reason I used the name Sydney online is because I knew my blog might cause tension in my family. Little did I know that my Mom would end up resigning from the church long before I did!!

I also used the name Sydney for security purposes (and it's a damn good thing I did!). I knew what I had to say wasn't going to be popular by any stretch of the imagination, and I wasn't sure how fanatic people would get. Some people might remember that this past March I received threats via this blog to my personal safety. I even had to contact the FBI. There are some real crazies out there!

It's important for me now to use my real name. I don't want to make it seem like I am hiding my true identity, or that I am ashamed for people to know who I am. It's simply not the case. The reasons behind using a fake first name are not important to me anymore.

I want to take a stand, publicly, with my real name.

This is me, this is who I am, and the is me taking a stand.

Thanks for those who are taking the stand with me.

With the Mormon Church trying to help the ban on gay marriage, I want them to know who I am. Who I REALLY am. I am not ashamed of my point of view, or of anything here on this blog. This is me. Andee.

Nice to meet ya.


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Without Thinking

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Today I bought a new book. Escape, by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer. I haven't even opened the cover yet, so I can't give a review of the book. I am sure it will be amazing and eye opening when I read it, and I promise to post about it. Anyway... at a meeting someone noticed the book sitting on my desk, and a conversation brewed about polygamy.

I have both Mormon friends and non-Mormon friends at work. Notice I used the word friends. I consider these people friends. They are kind, honest, hard-working, and above all they are good people. I am honestly honored to work with them.

Two of my Mormon friends joined the conversation, and immediately made comments that the polygamy in the book would be nothing at all like the polygamy Mormon women had to endure in the past. They said that the FLDS was a cult, and they were horrible and treated women in a bad way... but the Mormon Church on the other hand only had women marry into polygamy if it was their choice. They even claimed it was because women needed men to take care of them when their first husbands died.

Their comments were almost identical to each other. Each entered the room at different times, and they didn't hear each other talk about it at all. Here is the thing...

Joseph Smith basically forced some of these women to marry him. I said some... not all. He went to the home of a 14 year old girl, and told her that she and her family would burn in hell if she didn't marry him. Do you think it was something she wanted to do? At 14? There were two 14 year olds, by the way.

There were never more women than men, it's been proven with census reports... an no matter what anyone says, it wasn't a "pleasure" (yes, someone used that word) for these women to be in polygamous relationships.

I have to ask the Mormon readers of this blog some questions...

Would you enter into a polygamous relationship/marriage if the current prophet received revelation to do so?

Would you allow your 14 year old daughter to marry a prophet if he knocked on your door and asked?

Do you think it's easy to share your husband with multiple wives?

Why is it that people are so eager to believe what the church gives out? They don't even check... heaven knows I didn't!! I sure took their word for everything, and now I am kicking myself for doing it.

Now, for all those out there who are absolutely convinced that I am raging anti-Mormon who is out there to destroy other's faith, I have to tell you that I didn't even enter the conversation. I didn't bring up my point of view. I just let it be. It bugged me, but I kept my mouth shut.

Those who know me know how hard that must have been... hahhaa....


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Read This!

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Here we have a really awesome post by a really awesome blogger. She is discussing the same issues I have been thinking about for the past week. She has eloquently shared her opinions on the Mormon Church vs. Gay Marriage, and I couldn't have said it better myself!

Really!

I tried, but she actually took the words out of my brain, arranged them in perfect order, and gave them flair. Thats right folks, flair.

Check it out, don't miss it. You will thank me later.

A Never Ending Battle.


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We Have No Idea

Posted by: Andee / Category:


I am watching an amazing documentary on MSNBC called "Meeting David Wilson."

A young black man journals his quest to find and meet the family who owned his ancestors during slavery. He meets a white man with his same name, David Wilson, and they have honest and frank discussions about meeting each other under such stressed and unique circumstances.

The film brought me to tears more than once. Imagine being a slave, being something that could be bought and sold to the highest bidder. Something that was disposable... and when I use the word something, I imply that they were not treated as human beings with souls and hearts. they were treated as objects. They were nothing more than property.

How could have human beings done that to other human beings? Where were their hearts? Their souls? Their brains? Was it all about greed? Money? Power? I believe so.

Man's inhumanity to man is the saddest thing imaginable.

As hard as it was to watch the film at times, I realized that I hadn't even come close to seeing how it truly was for David Wilson's ancestors. I only had an hour-long glimpse back in time, and they lived it... day in and day out.

I fight for equal rights for everyone... including all races, genders... no matter what. We need to be good to each other. We need to take care of each other. What is wrong with us?

We should all be equal. Everyone. No matter what. Your skin color, gender, sexuality... that stuff shouldn't matter. Why do so many people think that matters? So what?

Sometimes I have a hard time understanding my fellow human being. Equal rights. For everyone. No matter what. You can disagree with what they do, you can believe whatever you want, but we have no right to judge or limit another person's rights in any way simply because we can.

It's so wrong.

This is why I am so passionate about equal rights. We have no right to treat our fellow man this way. We should have learned from the past. Why didn't we?


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Mass Resignation... Update

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

I took this photo with my new camera lens!! I love it!

I would like to thank everyone that has been so supportive of the mass resignation idea. After throwing around some ideas on PostMormon.org, other organizers and myself have decided to create a website people can go to for updates, as well as the letter you can print out and send in yourself if you would like to. We plan on sending the letters on July 24, 2008, on pioneer day. For those who don't know, pioneer day is a holiday in Utah that celebrates the pioneers making it to Utah after walking across the plains. We hope that we will be pioneers in our own right.

Now comes the part that is hard to sell...

In order for this to be taken seriously, and we want it to be taken seriously... we need to be able to verify all names that sign onto the petition online. If you want to take part in this event, we will need to get your name and possibly your address/telephone number in order to prove we are not fudging the numbers.

I know how hard it is for Mormons and Ex-Mormons to give out that information. Not only is it a huge step mentally and emotionally, it's hard when your family and friends realize you are stepping away from the church for good. It causes conflict, so you would have to be prepared for that. People will know if you signed the letter, because the media might just take this and run with it.

If you are still interested, please email me at windysydney@live.com. I will add your email address to those who are also interested and I will email you updates as soon as I have them. Also, please keep in mind this is a group effort. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make this noticed by the church, please feel free to email me at the address above, or leave a comment here on the blog.

I have had people from all over the country offer their support in this, and I am happy that so many people are willing to take a stand on the gay marriage issue.


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Mass Resignation

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,



There are many Post-Mormons, like myself, who don't consider themselves Mormon by any stretch of the imagination, but still haven't officially resigned from the church.

After reading about the church's stance on Gay marriage, I decided that I have had enough. I will no longer be linked to an organization that could treat people so horribly just because they happen to love someone that shares their gender. It's not just gay marriage... it's equality in general. Heaven knows women have had a hard time in the church, lets not even get started on the whole ERA thing...

I asked some folks on the board if we should have a kind of mass resignation... some were very cool with the idea. We will all have the same cover letter, expressing our distaste for any church to tell people they shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else, and then attach a more personal resignation letter to the cover letter.

We would also have a place at the bottom of the cover letter for those members who have already resigned to list their name if they want... so if you have already resigned, but were once a member of the church, you can still be a part of this if you want to!

If you are interested in taking part of the mass resignation, please email me at windysydney@live.com so I can add your name to the list. I will post updates on the mass resignation when more decisions are made!


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Post-Mormon Hate Crime

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

I have the day off today, and I immediately made some breakfast and hopped online to chat with my friends on PostMormon.org. I saw something that made my skin crawl, and lose my appetite. I was starving 45 minutes ago, and now the thought of food makes me physically ill.

A friend of mine found this on his lawn yesterday when he came home from his 36 hour shift as a firefighter:

It's hard to read, but this one says "Apostate."

"Evil."

Oh yes, most Mormons are loving people. I know that. What gets me is when sh*t like this happens.

When we leave the church, we are treated like spawn of Satan himself! We haven't done anything wrong, the church is the one that lied!

My friend made a report with his local police department, and I really hope they catch the bastards who did this to his lawn...


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Something Else I Spent My Money On

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Someone on PostMormon.org brought these rings to my attention and I had to have one. For those who don't know, the Mormon Church has a quote, "Choose the Right," and they sell rings engraved with CTR. Check out my new ring... Choose the Left!

Click here to order yours!!


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Random Temple Stuff

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Firstly, I know this is going to automatically become an issue of me speaking about the secret (I mean sacred) stuff that happens in the temple. It's my right to talk about it, and there is no reason to keep it secret (I mean sacred.) This is how I feel, and if you don't like it... tough.

Why is it that you have to wear special clothes in the temple? Does God really care what clothes you are wearing when you make covenants to him? Should it matter? Why must everything be just so? I just have a hard time with this, and the amount of money people spend on renting or buying their own temple clothing. (By the way... let me just mention that you *can* buy your temple clothing from the church... how convenient!?!)

Women must wear dresses. Why? Why must I wear a dress? Am I less worthy if I wear pants? What the hell?

The whole thing wastes a lot of energy in my opinion... not to mention money. Here is a story I found online about a young woman's trip to the temple:

I was with a group of women who drove for an hour and a half to show up for ward-assigned duty at the Seattle temple. In our group was a woman who was very, very close to her due date with her first child.

Any woman who's been pregnant can back me up on this - there is NOTHING that will lift a waddling expectant mother's spirits like a new outfit!

Sister Due-any-minute had such an outfit on. Her husband had lovingly picked it out for her. She loved it and felt pretty for the first time in months. It was a most unusual outfit. It looked like a salwar kameez (an Indian long tunic & pants set), but it was actually all one piece. The dress part came down past mid-calf, and somehow the bottom folded over with two short "cuffs" attached at the bottom. It looked like a long dress over fitted trousers, with just a couple of inches of cuff showing at the ankles.

The temple worker at the front desk told her it was disrespectful to try and "sneak in" with pants on, and to go and "take those things off this minute!" Sister Due-any-minute explained that they weren't pants, they were just cuffs at the bottom of the dress. "I don't care what they are, either take them off or wait in the parking lot for your friends!"

Again, she explained that she couldn't take her feet out of the cuffs without taking off the whole dress. She was still refused entry.

She went back to the car, and in her terribly pregnant condition, somehow managed to get the outfit off and then get back into it with her ankles out. She took the two cuffs and tied them together so they wouldn't flop around as she walked.

"That's better!" sez the temple worker, "now, you ARE wearing pantyhose under there, aren't you?" She was wearing knee-his, but answered yes anyway. Thankfully, the temple worker didn't feel the need to check just how far up the nylons went, and Sister Due-any-minute was admitted to spend a grueling afternoon, sitting, standing, getting dressed and undressed and playing handshakes at the veil.

What was that all about? The poor woman went to the temple as directed even though she was due to have a baby at any time... why do people feel the need to do this kind of thing? Just let the woman in the freaking building!! She paid her 10%!

Now, here is something I have heard many times in my life:

"You will understand everything better when you get through the temple."

Just tell me now, please. Why the need for all these secrets (I mean, sacredness...)? Do you really think some ceremony is going to change things? It doesn't. Does. Not. Happen. If anything, the temple ceremony raises more questions... that people won't answer... why? Because it's secret! (I mean sacred.)

Read this story:

It is true that I completely removed myself from the endowment ceremony in 1991. I was called to Colombia Bogota mission while at BYU in "Deseret Towers - R Hall" to be exact.

I was leery of the mission, but hey colombia sounded like a great experience.

Speed up til May 1991 one month before the MTC. My parents and I were having discussions about the temple. I was very nervous and had many questions. I wondered why not much information was available to the virgin temple goers. Why was it so hush hush?.

My mom tried to explain it me and used words like gowns, annointing of the body and sacred rituals. My dad just told me it would be a new and exciting time in my life. Nevertheless (phrasing BOM) I was utterly confused.

I didn't have any resources available, but one friend who had gone through and had told me it was really weird and awkward. He wouldn't say anything else even after bugging him over and over. What was so secret? I kept thinking about it and why GOD would want to keep it so sacred. I was also studying the new testament and tried to find clues to temples and endowments, etc. I couldn't find my answer there either.

I spoke with my Bishop and he said I had common symptons of many first time temple goers. I felt some assurance with his answer, then again I was 19 and kind of moldable.

The day came and I went into the dressing room. I was handed a shawl like poncho gown. It was bizarre and was led into the initiatory phase. Man I was freaking out. What the F was going happen? My heart was racing. I got to the area and a couple of old brothers began their oil sponge bath. I was very uncomfortable and upset. Why wasn't I told about this?


I finally got dressed to go into the endowment. I had my "pink" tag on and was led from the chapel to the endowment room and was led to the front row.


Then it was quiet and I heard on the overhead speakers the uttering a few simple instructions and then the request if any would withdraw please raise your hands. I can't remember the exact words, but something like that.

I thought for a split second. I raised my hand and the usher came over. He whispered in my ear if I was requesting to be escorted out. I said "yes, I prefer to not participate". A blank look came across his face. He motioned for me to come with him and we went out of the room. My mom and dad were almost frozen.

Out in the hall, he asked me if I was uncomfortable or not felling well. I told him I would prefer not to participate in the ordinance until I understood what it was about.

He ushered my back to the dressing room, quiet as a church mouse. He probably was in disbelief about it all.


2 hours later, I was waiting for my parents in the foyer. They were devastated. My mom was crying and my dad was very perplexed.


They asked me what happened and I told them I felt uncomfortbale and unsure of the oridinance. I had a few weeks to re-decide my endowment and my mission, but each day I got further away from the mission plans. My MTC date came and passed and then a year and two and three.


I don't regret my decision. I didn't do it out of disbelief. I did it because I felt weird. Years later I stumbled across this site and have been a silent lurker ever since.

For 13 years I considered myself inactive. I drank a few beers, got a great career and lived life.

I married a non-mormon and we are happy.
Wow. I totally give this person props for walking out of the ceremony. Usually people are so consumed with peer pressure to act on their feelings. Instead, they are frozen in their chair, scared to death, and thinking... "What the F*#@ was that? Why am I wearing this baker's hat? What's the deal with the secret (I mean sacred) handshakes?"

This person actually stopped on the spot and told the temple workers that they wouldn't go through the ceremony until it was explained to them. I wish more people would be this way! Not just in the secret (I mean sacred) temple! Make those missionaries explain it all to you before you are baptized! No milk before meat, eat the whole effing meal! Then let them know if you are interested!

While I am on the subject of the secret (I mean sacred) handshakes, let me go off on a little sidenote here.... What in the world are people thinking with the handshakes?

  • People are going to learn the handshakes... people outside the group... you can't stop it, they can't stay secret (I mean sacred) forever.
  • Do you really think God is up there waiting for you to use your secret (I mean sacred) handshake? What about your secret (I mean sacred) temple name? Why can't he just use your regular name? It's not secret (I mean sacred) enough?
Maybe it's just me, but these things seem extremely silly. Silly isn't even the word, but I won't use the word I am thinking of.

There is more...

One woman tells this story about her temple experience:
I'll never forget my first temple session with my friend that converted me to the Church.

As if I wasn't stressed enough as is trying to tie a sash in a bow and it had to be over top of the apron and the robe had to be from this side to this side.
I figure stepping into the shoes was simple enough. Just slide 'em on. Thank god something simple that I know how to do.

Wrong!!!

I had made the god awful mistake of putting my left one on first. I got sternly tapped on the leg and my friend nudged me and said TAKE THAT ONE OFF AND PUT THE RIGHT ONE ON FIRST.

Talk about a look of bewilderment.

I was even more confused. I hated that whole experience.

I am just wondering if any of you were ever told such a silly thing.
Later when I asked her about it when we were allowed to talk. (AKA OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE), she said it was just like passing the sacrament -- that you were to use your right hand. Ha -- I had never paid attention to what hand I used to pass the sacrament to the next person.

That bugged me for so long but I studied the ward minions and many of them indeed always passed it with their right hand. And once the friend mumbled something about "Right hand of God" having something to do with why to put the right shoe on first.
Does God care what shoe you put on first? Why would that matter in the slightest? Come. On. Are we or are we not being a little OCD? There are so many more things I could rant about, but I want to play with my new camera lens for a while.


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Whoot!

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Guess who just got a brand new camera lens?

ME!

HAHAHAHA!!!!

*happy dance*


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How Can You Not See It?

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


At the extreme risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to get something off my chest about the roles of women in the church...

Women are not equal in the Mormon Church. Period. If women *were* equal, they would be able to hold the same kinds of leadership positions as the men in their lives. You would walk in to a Sunday Morning service and see a female bishop. Women would be blessing the sacrament.

I have mentioned this to some of my Mormon friends before... they claimed that women were respected equally, and that women did have power. Obviously I disagree.

Equality means being equal. Men and women are not equal. How can they not see it? Are they in denial? Do they delude themselves into believing that women have an equal voice?

At the age of 19, most Mormon young men go on a mission for the church. It's pretty much expected of them, it's not something they would even consider not doing most of the time. It's just how it is, something they are supposed to do. Why doesn't this same thought apply to the 19 year old girls? Why are boys expected to go and not girls? Where is the equality in that?

The same thing pretty much applies to being a wife and mother. I grew up in the church in Utah, and it was generally just assumed that the Mormon girls would get married and have children. They didn't exactly get the same advice when it came to careers... girls are taught at an early age that they should be mothers. What if they didn't want kids? What if they didn't think they would be good mothers? Why pressure someone to be a mother if they dread the idea? Don't you think that would do more harm than good in the child's life?

When I was speaking with my Mom's bishop about this issue last March, he basically told me that his wife didn't mind not having the priesthood. He told me that she didn't want the responsibility. That might be true. She might not give a damn about this, but that doesn't change the fact that there is no equality. How can you claim there is equality if it's so obvious there is none?!?

Why should gender determine so much?

Boys do things that girls can't do. How can you not see it?


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Could I Ever Be an Atheist?

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Could I ever be an atheist?

I honestly don't know how to answer that question. I have become a very jaded and untrusting soul after my experience with the Mormon Church, and I now find it hard to believe in anything I can't see for myself.

At times I find myself angry... angry at myself! Angry that I ever fell for the whole Mormon theology and doctrine. Why did I ever believe that God spoke through a prophet? Why did I believe that not drinking coffee would help me get into heaven? How dumb was I? Don't get me wrong... I don't think Mormons are dumb. It's just that what I believed then and what I believe now are so far apart from each other that I can't even imagine that I believed it to begin with! (Sidenote: I wonder how many times I can use the word believe in one sentence... believe believe.)

There is a song that I am sure everyone is familiar with called, "What if God was one of us." Do you think that God pops in and out of our lives without us knowing? Checking up on us to make sure we are treating people well? Testing us? Do you think he just knows everything automatically?

Is God up there? Is there some guy living in the clouds watching everything we do, and listening to everything we say? When we die, are we going to be held accountable for everything? Or is it just over when our hearts stop beating... do we just cease to exist altogether? Becoming one with the earth that created us?

I don't trust anything in scriptures. The Bible isn't really believable to me... I certainly don't believe in stories like Noah's Ark. It's physically impossible. Adam and Eve? No way... and while I am on the subject of Adam and Eve, let me just say how much I love the fact that Eve gets blamed for everything. If we needed any proof that men had a part in creating the Bible, it would be right there.

I have a hard time with this. I go back and forth constantly, because I still don't know where my heart and mind will come to an agreement.

When my Dad passed away 10 years ago, we were all surrounding him in his hospital bed. My Mom, brothers, grandparents and a couple aunts and uncles were there. We all knew it was the end, and we all wanted to be there for him. As we took turns holding his hand and telling him how much we loved him, he looked over at the hospital room door. His eyes grew wide, almost child-like... like he was seeing something wonderful. The door to the hospital room opened, and then closed. No one was there. Then it did it again. No one came in the room, and no one left the room. My Mom, uncle and I were the only ones to notice. A few minutes later my Dad passed away.

My heart was at peace at the time, believing that our dead family members and friends had come to take him to heaven. I wanted nothing more than to know that he was okay. That he wasn't in pain or discomfort anymore, that he could breath. That he could talk. I wanted him to be him again.

A few years ago, while working in Orlando, Florida I met a little boy named Nathan on a Make A Wish trip. He was dying of cancer and his biggest wish was to meet Barney the Dinosaur. Did that little boy just cease to exist? Or did he go to a place where he felt no pain or sickness? I can't help but hold onto the wish that his spirit is out there somewhere waiting to see his family again. He touched more lives in his short 5 years than I could ever dream to. Was his short life meant to come to earth and teach us, or was that just the way it was? Nature... something that just happens?

Everyone in the world has probably had experiences like this from one time to another. They see or experience something that is almost impossible to explain away... some attribute this to God or angels, and some attribute this to our mind being the very powerful organ it is.

In my heart I do believe I will see my family and friends again after we are done in this world. I don't believe it will have anything to do with any religion, I think it might just be a surprise to everyone. I often wonder what my first thought will be when I get there (if it exists). I really hope it's something like this:

"I get it now. It all makes sense."


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Whoops!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

I accidentally erased the "Where is the Handbook of Instructions?" article. It was an accident, and I apologize to those who had their comments erased. Unfortunately, I can't get it back. :(


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Equal Rights

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a real problem with equal rights. It's happened continuously throughout history, and it's still happening. When they finally woke up in the case of African-Americans receiving the priesthood, they issued no apology for their past racist beliefs and statements. Admitting they were wrong is impossible, but it's obvious to everyone they were. They still are.

Women also have a hard time getting equal rights in the Mormon faith. Men only hold the priesthood. Women cannot do things like bless their own babies, women cannot attend priesthood sessions of General Conference. Women must tell their husband their temple names, but they must be meek and not know their husbands' temple names. Women cannot hold leadership roles, they have no control over lessons (they can teach the lessons, but they are first approved by priesthood members).

The Mormon Church was an outspoken opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment. When Sonia Johnson, a Mormon, spoke her mind about the church's views of how women should be she was excommunicated. She didn't obey, so she couldn't stay in the church. We can't have someone who speaks openly mixing in the church general membership, can we? Obviously not.

Why is the church so against equal rights? What is the problem here?

African Americans were labeled as "cursed, wild, and seemingly deprived of all the blessings of intelligence." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.) Not only did they have to deal with intolerance and ignorance, they had to deal with comments like this. Let me mention here, that the previous statement came from a Mormon prophet. Was he speaking for God there? Mormon's then said yes, Mormons now say no. Hmmm... seems a little convenient.

Now we are upon a new kind of Equal Rights argument...

The Mormon Church is actively supporting the California Amendment to ban gay marriage.

My problem lies with trying to control how other people should live their lives. There are many religions, not just Mormons, who disagree with gay marriage.... I need to get that statement out there. But shouldn't religions who claim to be close with God stop trying to judge other people and tell them how to live their lives? Is that truly what Jesus would do? Instead of loving the gay and lesbian community, they judge and limit the things they do in life. Where is the equality?

I have gay relatives, friends, and acquaintances. They are fantastic people, and they deserve to be happy. It makes me insanely angry when people feel they have the right to decide what my friends and family can do in their lives.

As Noggin said on PostMormon.org, "will someone please explain how two men or two women who love each other and decide to wed affects my heterosexual marriage? My devout LDS wife is up in arms that gay men and women are marrying in our state. I asked her what the big deal is. I presented to her how horrible it would be if the societal/ marital tables were turned and she and I were not allowed to marry because marriage was only sanctioned (by the government no less) between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. She stutter stepped and said something about how it's written in the bible. So is that the big outcry then? Gay humans cannot marry because of the religious text of the bible that is completely self- contradictory, chalk full of errors, Soddom & Gomorrah is a make believe city... that book? Is that the underlying reason why society thinks gay marriage is so horrible?"

I really couldn't have said it better myself. Really. I tried, but I couldn't!

Truly Confused said: "There are starving kids all over the world. People die because they cannot get $2 antibiotics and immunizations. Thank GOD the church is taking on an important issue like fighting people having equal rights, and realizing death of a child is minor in comparison."

Coffeenow: A 15 billion dollar mall and fighting against gay rights is more important. Is this really what Jesus would do? Really?

Being intolerant and ignorant is something the church can't get away from. Simply claiming these decisions are made from love and God is ridiculous, and most people know that. Why is it that the older, white men in Salt Lake City, Utah are so threatened? Oh, wait... nevermind. I know the answer to that. They are threatened because it would limit their power. My bad.

Gay marriage won't hurt anyone. Period. White people can get married, black people can get married, white people can get married to black people. Who cares what gender these people are? Why is that such a big deal? If you think it's wrong, fine... but you don't get to decide that for everyone else.

Why is it that the church believes heterosexual marriage is at risk by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry? If you are against something, you are against it. Fine... but telling other people what they should do and believe is really messed up! Limiting their rights because you don't agree with it is just insane! What right do you have to do that to another human being?

They don't have that right. Will someone let them know? Thanks.

The church being so forthcoming about this issue, asking it's members to actively write their leaders asking for the marriage ban, is another way the church tries to tell it's members what to believe. "The church thinks gay marriage is wrong? Well, it must be wrong then!" It happens, and people do think that way. They let the church make decisions for them.

If there are any active, believing Mormons reading this article, I ask you to think long and hard about agreeing with the church on this issue. We are all human, and we all deserve to live our lives and be around people we love. Don't let someone do your thinking for you...

I truly believe that the world will eventually come to accept gay and lesbian relationships more and more. It's already happening. More parents are being open and accepting of their gay and lesbian children, more grandparents and extended family are being there for them no matter what. It will continue, it should continue.

When we all finally realize that we don't have the right to tell people who they can and cannot marry, the church will just stop talking about it, and they will again offer no apologies. It's what they do, it's who they are. It's going to alienate themselves even further.


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A Quick Thought

Posted by: Andee / Category:


I spent a good portion of the day at work, and we didn't get breaks... it was busy all day. My brain is somewhat out to "lunch" so forgive me if I ramble or spell things incorrectly.

I just wanted to pop in an share something I was thinking about after my 7th hour on my feet helping customer after customer. People come in all shapes and sizes. Some are nice, some are assholes. Some are smart, and some are very, very stupid. Some people understand that things happen, and that everyone is entitled to mistakes, and some people believe that it's all about them all the time... complete egocentrics... "What? I have to wait in line for 7 minutes? You people are incompetent!"

I wish that people could step outside of themselves every once in a while. I wish people could see how they really are. I am sure I could use some of this therapy as well. It would do most people some good. To learn how they come across to others...

I am sure the egocentric guy who got all annoyed because he had to wait 7 minutes would probably realize how rude he was to everyone else in line if he could just step outside of himself. I am sure the really nice woman who apologized over and over again for messing up part of her transaction would realize that she was just fine, and she didn't need to apologize for doing something we have all done at one time or another...

Just a thought.


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Beating A Dead Horse

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


I know I have talked about this before... but I have to bring it up again. Forgive me, my brothers and sisters, for beating a dead horse... (I just realized how truly sick and sad that phrase is. Who would beat a dead horse? Nevermind...)

There is definitely a reactivation effort. Most of the inactive Mormon friends I have, have been receiving unannounced visits from stake presidents, bishops, EQ Presidents, Relief Society presidents, as well as visiting and home teachers. Others, like myself, have had visits from random missionaries, and people from the ward. It's obvious that the church is asking/pressuring/telling members and leaders to contact the inactive members and "get to know them better."

One friend even mentioned that a couple relief society members stopped by her home and said something like, "We didn't see you in the relief society meeting, so we wanted to stop by and bring you some cake..." Cake? Um... thanks? The kicker, is that this person hadn't been to church in over 2 years. Did they expect to see her in the meeting? They shouldn't have. Why did they bother to start caring about it now?

The one thing that upset this person was that how nice and kind they were. Don't get me wrong... being nice and kind is great. I wish more believing Mormons would be nice and kind to me on this blog! What bothers her about it is how they were NOT nice and kind when she WAS active. They didn't give a flying rats ass about her until they stopped seeing her in church!

It's so fake.

It's almost like a used car salesman trying to find common ground with you, to make you his friend, so he can talk you into buying something.

Here is the thing... we don't buy it. Not anymore. We know the truth, we have made up our minds.

We don't leave the church because we didn't have friends. We don't leave the church because someone offended us and made us cry. We have honest problems with the doctrine and the way things were and still are handled. Stopping by with a slice of cake isn't going to help... even if that cake is double chocolate cherry with whipped cream. And... while I am on the subject of people bringing over food, I know it's done to be nice... to share something... but do people really thing a slice of chocolate cherry cake with whipped cream is going to change our minds? Do they think we are going to take one bite out of it and think, "Wow! That was delicious! That had to come out of a kitchen of someone who belongs to the one true church! I was so wrong! I feel the holy ghost through this chocolate goodness!" Yeah, I know... sarcastic and random, and I know they mean well, but it's just weird sometimes.

Instead of the "lets get to know you better" approach, the church would be much better off addressing these problems head on. Publicly. Write honest articles in the Ensign, explain that Joseph Smith had more than one wife, that 2 of them were only 14, how the translation really happened (and why they haven't talked about it before). Talk about these things at General Conference... talk about them in the press. Admit you were wrong for these things... they were not commanded by God, that much is obvious. God would certainly never tell anyone that they were cursed because they had black skin. Has the church ever apologized publicly for that? No. Maybe it's time... I would much rather hear that kind of message at my doorstep than, "Can we share a message about the first vision?" (Which version of the first vision are you talking about...?)

If the church loves me as much as they claim they do, why can't they find it in their hearts to be honest with me? They lied to me for years!

When missionaries or other members find out someone has left the church, they immediately start questioning and chastising them... challenging them as to why they "really" left. Most of these kinds of people are told what they "should" do:

  • You need to read the book of Mormon again!
  • You need to pray more!
  • Joseph Smith is/was a true Prophet!
  • I know this church is true!

Don't members realize how arrogant these comments are? How do you know we are *not* reading our scriptures or praying? Why must active members assume the absolute worst of those who don't believe?

We must be a group of really bad/evil people, huh?

Ugh!


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Seminary

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


I am not sure how this works for everyone else, but when I was in high school we received what is called "Released Time" to leave the high school for one period and attend a seminary class taught by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

To be completely honest, I never liked the fact that this occurred, even when I was an active teenager. Why was it that Mormon kids got to do this, but no similar classes were being offered for other religious studies?

I never went to Seminary. I told my parents that I wasn't interested in going to a church class every single day, and they were cool about it. My little brother did attend, and stopped after two semesters. He wasn't getting along with the teacher, and since he had stopped attending church, the teacher was trying to call him out on it in front of the entire class. Did the teacher believe that they had the right to do that? How horrible!

Since my school was extremely small, and mostly Mormon, the other religions were pretty much left out. The released time was usually 6th period, the second to the last class of the day, and when the seminary kids got back to their regular class, they were usually still in the church frame of mind. Most of the time they would call each other "brother and sister" until they snapped out of it.

Some of the kids in seminary tried hard to tell me how much fun it was, and how I was missing out on some wonderful things. They told me they missed me, which was pretty ridiculous because I was right there... how can you miss me if I am right here?!?! When I stopped going to church on Sundays, most of the project work done to make me active again was done after seminary class. I was stopped in the hall about it about 3 times a week. I guess the seminary teacher made a point to tell the students they should make inactive friends active again.

Seminary classes like this are not offered all over. Some communities don't allow for released time, (I don't believe they should... if you offer it for one religion, you should be willing to offer it for all religions. Period.) and students attend seminary early in the morning... before school. The teacher of the seminary class wasn't hired by the school... it was a calling given through the church. Wow, what a lucky calling... "You mean I get to get up at 5 am and teach a group of teenagers about Mormonism? Lucky me!"

Anyway, here are some quotes taken from the recovery from Mormonism webpage about seminary experiences...

I remember one time when my seminary teacher threw the bible across the room and said it was just a book, but the BOM was the holy book and we should respect it more than the bible any day. He also tried to tell us Joseph Smith was better then the disciples of Jesus because they sinned and denied him too much.. What a bunch of crap.. He also got a divorce from a wonderful woman and I last heard he was a lush somewhere, My other seminary teacher committed suicide after his wife left him and took their 5 kids. My other seminary teacher was a great guy who made a grip of money and they lived quite nicely. She was just bored and found a even richer guy to take care of her greediness. Brother Johnson was actually a nice guy and he did not always believe what the prophets said, so he always encouraged us to follow are instincts and to question somethings the prophets taught. I still believe he was a closet disbeliever in the church but went along like the other countless closet disbelievers do.. -Debbie

That quote from Debbie is outrageous. I don't believe for a second that this happens all the time, and I am not claiming it does. Why would her seminary teacher throw a Bible across the room? Isn't the Bible just as important to Mormons as the Book of Mormon? Well... I was always taught that we believed the bible... but I certainly don't remember learning much or reading much about it. It was all Book of Mormon all the time. Weird. Just my experience, though.

...Seminary was within walking distance from the High School. On the class schedule, it was titled "release time"--which meant, as a student, you were legally permitted to leave school grounds for that particular class period. Which also meant, you didn't legally need to attend Seminary. You were granted one class period away from school. That being said, I didn't attend Seminary at all my senior year because fifth period Seminary meant I had a two hour lunch period. -Who Cares


This is exactly what my little brother would do... he would simply go to a friends house and watch television. What a rebel. :)

Seminary was like Sunday School every day. It is one of the ultimate indoctrination tools the church has. However, because of the advanced "Doctrine Education" I received there as opposed to normal church attendance, I was able to see more clearly why the church is false. Most of my knowledge of Mormon scripture, doctrine and expectations came from Seminary. We were told a lot as we were leaving class to resume normal High School classes that we were "re-entering the world", so Seminary was really looked upon as non-Sunday church meetings. In the town I lived in, it was practically a commandment to attend. I always thought it was a little strange that the teachers that taught me the most about the "gospel" were being paid. The church makes such a big deal about everybody being a volunteer, but at the place that I was getting my real church experience, the teachers were paid. -My Song Angel


Seminary classes are a great opportunity to teach the teenagers in attendance of the real Mormon history they don't get in church. Can you imagine the time you have available to these kids? Why isn't that opportunity taken?


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A Public Statement

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


A reader named James left this comment for me on the thread titled, "They Push It, Why Can't We?" His comment is something I deal with constantly, so I decided to reply to it here instead of simply replying to the comment itself.

I agree. I think members should try to present their beliefs but not be intruding.

Although I don't think that giving somebody a book is pushing anything in anybody's face. They have the book, it is their choice from there to read it.

Oh, and just because it has been on my mind. You claim that what you post is not "anit-mormon" but in reality it is. You compare sharing your beliefs to missionaries sharing theirs. That is a fair comparison but the elders are trying to build the church. That makes them "pro-mormon". So when you post something that will lead people away (pulling somebody who is on the fence is still moving somebody away from the church) this makes what you say "anti-mormon".

It is basically impossible to make "neutral-mormon" statements. You can present facts but interpretations of these facts, being selective about what facts are presented, and assumptions made behind these facts are not neutral.
James,

If a Mormon offers a non-Mormon a Book of Mormon, and that Non-Mormon says, "No, thank you." and that Mormon continues to offer the BoM over and over again over time, it's wrong. That is what this article was about.

Now, lets get into the meat of what your "Oh, by the way..." comment.

It is obvious that you subscribe to this belief: "You are either with us, or against us."

That statement, kind sir, is absolutely wrong.

Lets put this into context... You don't believe in the Catholic Church, or the Jews, and you might take the time to debate their doctrine. Does that immediately make you an anti-Catholic or an anti-Jew? No. It doesn't.

The elders are trying to build their church, but they are not doing this honestly. They are deliberately leaving out key points and information to keep members and potential converts in the dark. More and more people are learning about these things thanks to the internet, and they can't stand back and watch it happen to other people.

In your world, everything is black and white. It's right or wrong. It's not that simple, and we all know it. That isn't how the world works.

I am not an anti-Mormon. That term was specifically created to lump everyone with church doctrine questions together and label them. "Oh those anti-Mormons, don't believe a thing they say, they just want to lead you away from the church." I would tend to guess that you first heard that word in church yourself, huh? What is the purpose of labeling people like this? To discredit them.

My problems with the church and it's doctrine are valid. More than valid. People share in my opinions, but that does NOT mean I am out here because I hate Mormons or the Mormon Church. I disagree with Mormons and I want the Mormon Church to tell the truth.

There is a huge difference between me and a so-called "Anti-Mormon," James. Take a step back and think about it.

I actually take offense when people lump all Mormons together and tell them they are going to Hell. I step up and speak out when I see this happening. I defend Mormon members of the church, my beef is with the leaders who keep things from these members.

I am not an "Anti-Mormon." That term is offense, and I am offended.


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Overheard Comebacks

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


I am a huge fan of the website Overheard in the Office. People from all over the world type up overheard conversations at their place of employment and share them online. Most of these are funny, every once in a while you will read one and just say, "Wow."

Here are some of the funniest comments listed on the site. Hope you like 'em.

Office drone #1: What's a funnier prank -- if I tape the the receiver to the boss's phone, or if I fix it so she can't open the drawer?
Office drone #2: Um, maybe you should... [looks pointedly at returning boss behind drone #1].
Office drone #1: I know! I'll glue her coffee mug to her desk. Bitch'll be spewing!
Boss, standing right behind drone #1: Bitch is behind you.

CSR, sighing at computer: Jesus hates me. [Alarmed when notices customer] I didn't mean that.
Customer: No, it's okay. He probably does.

Exasperated meeting contact: I think the temp I hired is mildly retarded, so I'm going to need your help with this.
Concierge: My mother drank and smoked while pregnant with me.

Clerk: Ma'am I can't take this money.
Lady: Why not? It's good American money.
Clerk: Ma'am this money is from Canada.
Lady: Is Canada not the 50th state of the U.S. or are you stupid or something?
Clerk: I'm not the one that's stupid.

First-grade teacher: CHARLES! Give me those! Those are NAILS! Nails are unsafe and do not belong in your hands.
Student: Pshhh, unless you're JESUS!

Co-Worker #1: Hey, I got a new joke. Anyone want to hear it?
Co-Worker #2: Not if it involves poop.
Co-Worker #3: Or chickens.

Employee: Can I help you find something?
Customer: No, you don't have it.
Employee: Then why are you still here?

CSR: Do you like my dress? The website called it a muumuu, but I call it a dress. I don't like dresses, but I wanted to wear one today. Did you know I don't like silk dresses? They make me feel naked, and I don't like feeling naked except when I'm naked -- like when I'm naked in the shower... I ordered this dress from a website I found at work, and I got it in a box a week later. I don't think it should have been in a box, because the box could have been damaged and then my dress would have been ruined, because boxes don't protect anything.
Annoyed coworker: Um, you have a stain on your muumuu.

Overworked CSR: Sir, at any point in our conversation today did I provide you with my name?
Customer: No.
Overworked CSR: Good -- fuck you [hangs up].

Cashier, handing customer a receipt: And here's a memento of our time together.

Rep on phone: Sir, the character limit for your domain name has nothing to do with your World of Warcraft game.

Patron: Ummm, I'm looking for a book.
Librarian: Okay, well, do you know what it's called?
Patron: No.
Librarian: Do you know who wrote it?
Patron: No.
Librarian: Are you just hoping that we have some sort of book?
Patron: Yeah.
Librarian: You know you're in a fuckin' library, right?

Caller: I just arrived at my lake house for the summer, and the satellite TV isn't working! Why is it off?!
CSR: Sir, please stay calm. It's simple: we just need to reset your receiver since you've been away for a while.
Caller: How long will that take?
CSR: It's easy, sir. Do you have a potato handy?
Caller: Um, let me see... [Pause] Yes, we just picked some up at the store on our way in -- stocking up.
CSR: Great, sir. An apple would also work. Now, what I need you to do is to cut that potato in half. Then I need you place one half of the potato face-down on top of your receiver. Please make sure it's dry.
Caller: What?
CSR: Trust me, sir, I'm a professional. We'll have your service back on in no time.
Caller: Okay... [Long pause] Alright, done. Now what?
CSR: Great, sir. The potato will act upon your receiver's magnetic field and will bring the service back online momentarily. It's a built-in security feature so that no one can use your dish while you're away for most of the year.

CSR presses service reset button, remote satellite transmits 'wake up' signal to inactive receiver, TV comes on.

Caller: That's amazing! Who'd have thought... a potato! Will this work every time?
CSR: Just give us a call if you have any problems in the future, and thank you for using this service.


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Watchdog Web Site Goes After the Mormon and Scientology Churches

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,


This is just a paragraph of the story printed on FOXNews.com, written by Michael Park. Please click here for the link to the full article. It's good stuff! (My thanks to AZ_RM who shared this on postmormon.org.)

Wikileaks.org — a watchdog Web site that leaks corporate and government documents — hasn't officially launched, yet it has already uncovered human-rights violations in China, claimed to have swayed Kenya's Dec. 2007 elections and exposed the inner workings of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

So many were surprised when it recently turned its sights on two lawyer-heavy religious groups: the Mormons and the Scientologists.


As someone on PostMormon said, "I'd like to see Joseph Smith burn down this printing press!"


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I Am Not Your Sister!

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


This might be a really short little vent, but it's been driving me nuts all day long.

Why is it that every faithful Mormon calls their friends and neighbors "brother" or "sister" outside of the church? Use their name!

This happened to me at work 2 times... well, not to me, but to two sets of customers going through my area... why do people feel the need to bring the LDS Church into every single thing they do all day long? Do you really need to call the guy in line next to you Brother Smith? Call him Bob. It's his name. God isn't giving you brownie points.

The second group this happened to actually stopped to roll their eyes and share a moment of silence while their "brother" ran to meet them in the aisle. It's not just me! I am not the only one that gets annoyed by this!

When I was in high school I became inactive. My Young Women's leader went nuts and did everything under the sun to get me back. She even used "Sister" to me at school and while I was at work. I never responded.

Needed that vent, thank you.


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Snappy Comebacks

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Abbey Road says, "If I had a dime for every time someone spoke these very words to me... I would be a wealthy kitty-cat."


Here are some snappy comebacks to those not-so-original things Mormons say to those who leave the church. There was no available author for this list, but I don't want to take credit for it! Here is a link to the original page.

"I know the Church is true."
"That's not a statement about the Church, that's a statement about YOU."

"You need to have more faith."
"I never thought you'd stoop to using the F-word!"


"But, you used to have a testimony."
"'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.'" (I Corinthians 13:11)


"Oh no, you've fallen away."
"No, I've risen above."


"Don't you want to be with your family in the afterlife?"
"Not if they won't allow me to think my own thoughts."


"But the three witnesses never denied their testimony."
"O. J. Simpson never denied his testimony either."

"Then how do you explain the Book of Mormon?"
"Can my explanation be just as absurd as a guy translating secret golden plates by putting a stolen peep-stone into his hat?"


"Do you think you're smarter than the leaders of the church?"
"I don't think I'm smarter than the College of Cardinals but that doesn't make the Catholic church true."

"But what possible reason could Joseph Smith have had for making it all up?" "You're an intelligent, creative person; I bet you can think of ten possible reasons all by yourself if you put your mind to it."


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Doughnuts?

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson wrote the following in the May 1999 edition of Ensign Magazine, a Mormon Church publication. He was talking about the priesthood session that took place in the prior General Conference...

"Tonight I am attending with a son, sons-in-law, and grandsons. Where are their mothers? Gathered in the kitchen of our home! What are they doing? Making large batches of homemade doughnuts! And when we return home, we will feast on those doughnuts. While we enjoy them, these mothers, sisters, and daughters will listen intently as each of us speaks of things he learned here tonight. It’s a nice family tradition, symbolic of the fact that everything we learn and do as priesthood bearers should bless our families."


Wow. I am really annoyed by this.

First of all, why is it that men should have a meeting that women must stay out of? Are they talking about super-secret things that women need to stay out of? Are women to stupid to "handle" the priesthood session?

It's blatant discrimination. If this happened in a company, there would be a lawsuit, but since it's a church and people must be obedient, nothing is said.

Now... what is up with the idea that these women are making doughnuts for these men while they are at this super-secret meeting they can't be a part of? What is wrong with this? Why don't women stand up and say something for crying out loud!

Doughnuts?

Why do these women make doughnuts from scratch and reward these jerks for keeping them out of their secret little meeting? What the HELL!?@#!?!!

Here are comments others have made about this same topic from the Recovery from Mormonism Short Topics page:

Maybe later, we'll honor them some more by having them do the dishes and bathe the kids. I love honoring women - it's a "tradition" in our home! -Idiot #2

If Nelson is so interested in sharing with the women what they learned, wouldn't it be better if the women could attend the priesthood session also then they all go home, make donuts together and enjoy each other's company over donuts and coffee (decaf, of course)? -an126

Even a clueless dope like Russell Nelson knows how silly and sexist this sounds. I know one thing for sure, if I was to utter those words, my wife would turn me into a permanent soprano and I'd be starring with either Motab or appearing on HBO. -activejackmormon



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Neat Products...

Posted by: Andee / Category:

It's been a looooong time since I shared some of the nifty products out there. Some of these items I wish I had, and some of them make me mutter the word, "Why?" to myself over and over again... Hope you like 'em. I found these items via Unique Daily!


Thanks to its ultra-bendy legs and flexible rotating joints, the sturdy Gorillapod is capable of stabilizing a camera on all kinds of uneven surfaces - sand, rock, whatever. It will also cling to nigh on anything you'd care to think of - from branches and chair legs to railings, banisters and bedknobs. Compact $24.95, SLR version $49.95

Slurping down ice cream mixed with fizzy soda has got to be one of life's greatest pleasures. In terms of quintessential summer pastimes it's right up there with lolloping in the sun, splashing about in a paddling pool and driving your '58 Chevy to the drive-in. Or is it just us that finds ice cream sodas incredibly '50s? $8.95 for a six-pack
Weighing only 42 pounds, this sturdily built backpack won’t kill you (if they can do it in the Army, you can sure as hell do it for a vacation.) Each pontoon clocks in at a full 8′ long and can hold up to 350 pounds together. $237
Somewhere between college and careers, our standards of drinking cups drastically changed. Maxim Velcovsky manages to combine these two eras by adding a delicate long stem on what looks like your average kegger beer cup, adding a bit of class (and irony) to an otherwise mundane glass $49.00
We've glued two random hardcover books together, drilled out several hundred pages, and boom-shanka! You've got the perfect hiding space for nearly 80 cubic inches of stuff. Place these books crammed full of treasure on your bookshelf, and nobody will be the wiser. $34.99


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Disiplinary Courts... The Records

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Spooky Bear says, "These records will make you mad!"


I have been on my PostMormon journey for almost a year now, and the wealth of information that has been at my fingertips is staggering. The internet is an amazing tool, allowing people to learn about things they normally wouldn't have known. The Mormon Church is deathly afraid of this wealth of knowledge being available, and warns it's members not to trust everything you read online. I actually agree with that statement... some of the websites online are a little "out there" and need to be taken with a grain of salt. Some sites are created out of anger, they have an obvious interest in bringing people out of the church, even if they are happy. One thing is for certain about these sites, they all contain some level of truth about the Church that the church wishes people wouldn't know.

Yesterday I became aware of a website called the Mormon Alliance...

The purposes of the Mormon Alliance are to identify and document ecclesiastical/spiritual abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church), to promote healing and closure for its survivors, to build more sensitive leadership, to empower LDS members to participate with more authenticity in Mormonism, and to foster a healthier religious community.

The primary purpose of this site is to make the Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance available online. Three volumes of the Case Reports have been published on paper; two additional volumes have been written and are awaiting publication. Although the Case Reports document cases within the LDS Church, this organization has no monopoly on ecclesiastical and spiritual abuse. Thus, anyone who has been affected by religious abuse or has an interest in this topic should find these reports of interest.


These case reports include hearings from excommunications, courts of love, and disciplinary councils. Some of these reports are shocking to read, but I do think they are all real. The common theme from these reports is abuse in any form. Child abuse, sexual abuse, even ritualistic abuse.

In no way am I claiming that all Mormons believe in or practice abuse on a regular basis, there are bad apples in every bunch. These are just reports on how the church handled these specific cases. It gives great insight into how the church sometimes hurts the victim again by not handling things the right way. Again, not all bishops and stake presidents are like this... in no way am I claiming that. But this shows that there should be definite formal training for all clergy, and they should be held accountable if they don't turn over information to the authorities in abuse cases.

Sometimes you need to prepare people that what they read is about to make them angry, and in this case I would like to warn you. Some of the cases make me see red, so consider yourself warned if you have high blood pressure :)


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They Push It, Why Can't We?

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


I came across a post on PostMormon.org about a young woman visiting her believing Mormon in-laws...

They constantly ask her if she would like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, and she always politely refuses. It's starting to bother her, because it seems they keep pushing the religion and they won't let it go. She believes her sister-in-law to be the biggest culprit, and she fantasized about telling her what she really thought... this is what she said (loosely)...

"How would you feel if I gave your husband a big book on how Mormonism is full of crap? Would you like that? Would it make you feel bad that I went behind your back to try and get your husband to agree to my belief system? This is exactly what you are doing, please stop. I don't know how much longer I cannot tell my husband about what you are doing in my effort to avoid a rift in this family. I have done my part by keeping quiet, now you do your part by not trying anymore."

I loved what she had to say. She is exactly right.

When Mormons are trying to pass out that Book of Mormon to non-members or inactives, they are pushing the religion in their face. How would they feel if ex-Mormons did this to them? They wouldn't care for it, would they?

It's not my goal to bring people out of the church who are happy. It's my goal to be here for the people who have problems with the church, and to let them know they are not alone in their thoughts. What the church is doing is going to people who are happy outside the church, and trying to convince them they would be happier *in* the church.

My issue comes when people politely say, "No, thank you," and the church member ignores it. This most likely happens in Utah, Idaho and Arizona... people who were raised in the church and have never known anything but the church trying to convince otherwise happy people they are not really happy. What right do they have to do this?

This isn't really an issue I have with the church leaders. It's an issue I have with members of the church, taking the "every member a missionary" thing way too far.


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What?

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,


My friends at PostMormon.org mentioned this little tidbit early this morning. I couldn't wait to get the time to share it with everyone here. Just for reference, I have not seen this message personally because I don't go to church anymore. If there are any practicing Mormons who read this blog, please post and let us know if this is 100% truth!!!

A letter recently read in Sacrament Meeting:


Dear Brethren and Sisters:

Use of Scriptures and Visual Aids in Sacrament Meeting and Stake Conference
We are encouraged by the number of Church members who are actively studying the revealed word of the Lord as found in the scriptures. We note with appreciation that many are also bringing their scriptures to Church meetings and using them as the basis for speaking and teaching.

In order to maintain an atmosphere of reverent worship in our sacrament and stake conference meetings, when speakers use scriptures as part of their talks they should not ask the congregation to open their own books to the scriptural reference. Also, members should not use visual aids and their sacrament meeting or stake conference talks. Such teaching methods are more effective in classroom settings and leadership meetings.


We believe these adjustments will enhance the spirit of our worship services,
Sincerely yours,

The First Presidency

Okay, I really don't understand where they are coming from here! As my Mom mentioned, when people followed along in their own set of scriptures while you were giving a talk (speech) you felt as if people were listening. Visual aids are great for keeping minds wandering from your topic at hand.

What do they have to gain by asking members to stop reading along with their scriptures?

What?


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Things I Should Have Known...

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Buddha asks, "Yeah... Whats up with that?"


There are things I should have known. Things they had the opportunity to tell me, teach to me, but chose not to... probably because these things look bad. As a matter of fact, these things look more than bad... they look horrible.

I say over and over again that not telling the complete truth is the same to me as lying. I learned that from my Mother and Father as I was a small child. One day, I hit my little brother in the arm with a heavy basketball. When he ran into the house crying, Mom asked me what happened. I told her he got hurt playing ball. Was that the truth? Technically, but it certainly wasn't the complete story... and once little bro stopped crying enough to tell my parents I threw the ball at him intentionally I learned the full importance of telling the complete truth.

Truth is something we take for granted from the Mormon Church. We assume they will always be truthful to us, because that is what *they* expect from *us.* In every temple recommend interview are you not asked if you are honest in your dealings with your fellow man? Why are they not held to the same standard?

Why did I have to learn these little tidbits of information only when I really searched?

I should have known there was more than one version of the First Vision.

I should have known Joseph Smith used a seer-stone in a top hat to translate the Book of Mormon, and not shown paintings that depict this in a completely different manner.

I should have known that Joseph Smith had many, many wives. I should have known some of them were only 14 years old, and married him only because he threatened their salvation along with their families.

I should have known Joseph Smith was married to women who were already married to living men.

I should have known that Joseph Smith ordered the destruction of the printing press of the Expositor because they exposed his lies about polygamy.

I should have known Joseph Smith lied to his first wife, Emma, about his affairs with other women. He kept the fact that he was practicing polygamy at all from her for a very long time. I should have known he would lie to his wife.

I should have known Joseph Smith was known to drink wine and beer as an adult. He even drank wine in his jail cell in Carthage... it was in his personal diary, and it was documented by others as well. This wine wasn't sent for sacrament.. Why then, was it taught that he would have never touched the stuff? It was made clear to me over and over again how righteous he was... even as a small child turning down alcohol while having surgery on one of his legs. That story seems true, but shouldn't all the info be present?

There are MANY more things I should have known, and they get repetitive. You have listened to me bitch and moan about them over and over again.

I still can't get past the point that members of the Mormon Church don't know things they should know. I am looked at like an "anti-Mormon" because I believe they should know these things, especially people who are still deciding if Mormonism is for them!

Why is it that talking about things that really happened in the past is considered anti-Mormon? If anything, we are discussing things that are extremely Mormon. The things that formed this religion into what it is today. These are things that shouldn't come as a shock to those practicing Mormonism... why don't they get that? Isn't that the big picture?

Where is the honesty here?


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Why People Leave the Church, and What We Can Do About It...

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I came across this video this morning. This presentation is almost an hour long, but it gives good insight into why Mormons think their fellow Mormons leave the church. This was written and presented by John P. Dehlin, who is a 5th generation Mormon.

Mr. Dehlin is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and at the time of the recording, he was living in Logan, Utah. I like most of the video, because he actually takes the time to point out that those leaving the church are not doing so because they are sinning, weak, or because they have come across so-called "anti-Mormon" literature. He goes on to mention that using these excuses to talk about ex-Mormons is highly insulting, and I agree. It is.

He does go on to mention that his video isn't meant to draw believing Mormons into believing "dangerous things," that might sway them from their beliefs, but to give them an insight on the mindset of people who have serious issue with the way the church has handled things both in the present and in the past.

The video is long, but well worth it. It gives insight into how and why people leave the church, without casting stones or damning them to Hell. It does strike me how many times he has to add disclaimers to Mormons... making sure that he is telling them things that are actually from Mormon sources... and the stuff he is about to share won't prove the church is untrue... don't forget to go here and read the comments from some of the people who have viewed the video!!



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