Yesterday I came across a thread on PostMormon.org that asked members of the website to share some of the craziest things you were taught as a member of the Mormon Church.
Yes, believing Mormons, I know that these things are not "doctrine." BUT (and this is a big big butt... hahahaha) the people who taught these things to members were leaders. They were bishops, stake presidents, seminary teachers... people with authority. This is what happens when it's so hard to figure out what is doctrine and what isn't... members have to pick and choose what to believe.
Here are some of the crazy things members were taught:
Once when I was like 12 [my Dad] told me that really evil people, you know, like people in bad Rock Bands, could be on stage and force their spirit to leave their body and go into the crowd and actually watch themselves perform. He then went on to say how dangerous that was though b/c while your spirit is out of your body, a Spirit has to be in the body to control it, so the Spirits that followed Satan and didn't get bodies would temporarily go into your body. Cause, you know, those evil Spirits that followed Satan wanted a body so bad that they would try to steal or at least try out a real humans body. But sometimes they wouldn't leave and then the real spirit that origionally left the body wouldn't have his body to go back into and the origional Spirit would be lost and trapped on earth without his body.
It's amazing how many scare tactics people use to keep their kids in line and in the church.
My dad also told me that Satan's spirits wanted bodies so badly that they created ones... That is where aliens come from. Aliens are Satan's spirits who created a body and have tried to come to our earth to study us to perfect their alien bodies that they created. UFO's and aliens are real, they are Satan's followers. My dad use to sit up for hours telling me these weird kind of things. And 20 years later I still think about them. And until a few years ago I actually believed most of these stories and was totally freaked out by them. I had nightmares about some of this shit when I was a kid.
When I read about the alien stuff, I responded with this:
Someone once told me that they believed aliens came from a planet that was run by a very righteous Mormon. After all, that is what the celestial kingdom is all about, right? Being like God and having your own planet/world?
Can't remember who said it, though... I believed the person for a long time.
Anyway, here are more quotes and crazy things we once believed...
- One of the things I had trouble with was that I had to have special priesthood keys to access special blessing from god. Shouldn't god be open to all? Also, that you had to use consecrated oil to bless the sick. It didn't make sense then, and doesn't now. It is all just wacky. The further I stand back and look in, the crazier it looks.
- Jesus died for my sins... because god isnt powerful enough to just forgive people out of kindness.
- And how about that 'Satan rules the waters' crap? If that's true then watch out for tsunamis because, dude, you're going to hell.
- How about the whole "god lives on Kolob" thing. Talk about weird.
- That black women were so sensual that they would easily lead faithful white priesthood males astray. Thus the entire Negro race was denied priesthood and entry to LDS temples. I was seventeen years of age, the place was Long Beach, California in a MIA class. I swear it happened, all the guys stared at each other and back to the instructor.
- That if there was a "heavenly manifestation" in your room that to determine if it was an resurrected being or one of Satan's minions...you asked the "spirit" to shake hands....if it was solid, it was resurrected and angelic, if it refused to shake hands...it was Lucifer's servant.
- That we shouldn't use birth control
- That you should have sex with your garments on, or the child you might conceive would not be born under the convent
- The earth is 6,000 years old. The reason scientists find all these fossils and date them to be billions of years old is because Jesus/God created the earth from spare parts in the galaxy. So dinosaurs are actually alien lifeforms who lived on other planets billions of years ago.
- The Three Nephites, as someone else mentioned. Part of me did want to see an episode of the Highlander TV series where Duncan fought the Three Nephites, though.
- Angels were seen in the temple.
- Garments protect people from grievous bodily harm.
- Masturbating was going to condemn me and that I should confess any such instances to my bishop so I could repent and not do it again.
- That if you're not exalted in the CK that you lose your genitalia and become a "smoothy" for all eternity.
- That we chose our own parents...
- That single people would become eternal servants to the married mormons because they are more "worthy."
- Everything is made out of two things: intelligence and matter (or material or something.) This means everything is made of intelligences: people, animals, rocks, trees, dirt, ETC. This is how miracles are performed. God speaks to the intelligences and telles them what to do: turn water to wine, split the red sea, bring back the dead. Intelligences only listen as long as they have respect for God, so He has to live by certain rules or he would cease to be God. This is supposedly why he can't save everyone. It wouldn't be just and the intelligences would no longer listen to God. Christ had to be a sinless sacrifice in order to win the respect of the intelligences. While our bodies are made of matter anmd intelligence, our "person/entity" consists of a single intelligences with no body. When someone goes to outer darkness, they are stripped of their physical and spiritual body and reduced to their single intelligence.
- As I was told, if it refused to shake hands it was God's angel that had not yet recieved a body and did not wish to try and decieve you. However if it tried to shake hands and you didn't feel anything, it was lucifer's angel attempting to decieve you. Apparently evil spirits have no subtlety.
- I guess the thing that weirded me out most was that we were part of a plan to create and populate infinite worlds, but no one ever said why. To what end? For what purpose? And if the "god of our world" was just senior management, then who was the president/CEO, and what was THEIR agenda? A very unsatisfying mythology, as these things go. My seminary teacher loved me, can you tell??
- That your blood changed when you were confirmed a member. IT was the blood of the tribe you were in, and it was more pure than that of the rest of society.
- I remember learning in seminary that the Eagles song "Hotel California" (which I happened/happen to love) was satanic and that we shouldn't listen to it. I was listening to it the other day in the car and it seems so obviously about the california music industry (?) In any case, I don't see how they get satanic. Where do they come up with some of this stuff?
- So many bizarre things, how to choose? Kolob is definitely up there, also polygamy. Most hurtful to me was that those born in Asia, Africa, etc. were less valiant in the pre-existence so they had to basically be born in lives that suck as opposed to me who must have been really valiant in the pre-existence because I was born to a white LDS family in Provo, UT.
- A "suicide" can't be buried facing east. not worthy.
- To always remember that [Heavenly Father] is a man and to always dress appropriately when kneeling before him in prayer. this includes no "nightgowns" allowed . this was taught to us last year in a modesty lesson in RS.
- My wife read a great one supposedly attributed to Brother Brigham which warned women that the baptism of the holy ghost could get them pregnant. I think he was making reference to the holy ghost overshadowing mary to bring about Christ's conception.
- The church was big on the fact that we had purpose in our lives because we knew the plan of salvation. God's purpose is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man", and we are to help with this. Well, I always wondered, if the purpose of life is eternal life, what's the purpose of eternal life? To perpetuate the cycle? Never made a lot of sense to me.
- And whoever would want to be a god/goddess? To be in charge of your own world and watch your children suffer at one another's hands? Plus, running a world sounds like a lot of work.
- Our bishop last year preached from the pulpit during SM about Bette Midler's song From a Distance. how she doesn't understand who God is or how he works. he drew parallels to the song that made me wonder how the hell did he get that from it? i loooooove Bette (have seen her live 3 times) and i love that song. i was uber-annoyed to listen to him tear it apart. i told my hubby that he'd better let him know i was not happy in their next bishopric meeting.
- I was taught in Seminary that this earth served as the Paradise/Spirit Prison waiting room before the Second Coming. So all those who had lived before on the earth were wandering around the planet in a different dimension.So, yeah... weird, huh?
- Dinosaurs died in the flood because there wasn't room for them on Noah's ark. Also, dinosaurs were created and killed just so we could have fossil fuels.