Born A Mormon

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


Know what I am going to say to someone the next time they ask me if I am Mormon? I am going to say these five words:

I was born a Mormon.

Did I choose my religion? Nope. I had no choice. My Mom had no choice. Those decisions were made for us. We didn't get to research and look into other choices, as we all know that is frowned upon, so we went with the flow. We kept attending, fulfilling callings, and in my Mom's case, paying tithing and fast offerings.

How many people are not born into Mormonism? A lot more people that are born into it, right? These people might be born into Catholic families, or even born to atheist parents. These children are more than likely going to do the same thing Mom and I did... go with the flow and assume your religion has it right.

I believe this is the very reason the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tells it's members to marry as young as possible and to have large families. Converts to Mormonism are much less likely to stick around as active tithing paying members. The church has more staying power if children are born into the church and forced to listen to testimonies every day.

The return missionary thing is another big contributer to this issue.

A young man/woman goes out into the world for two years. Every single moment of his time has to be accounted for. The rules are strict, and they are not allowed to do "worldly" things like watch television, go on the internet, or just hang out and take a day off. This changes the thought process for this person. They are in church mode 24-7 for 2 years... when they go home, they are told to get married in the temple. This return missionary is much more likely to follow the church's teachings of marriage and children.

I would love to see a study done about converts leaving the church vs. the people who are born into it. Converts don't have as much pressure (usually) to play the game and make the family and friends around them happy.

If someone like myself, born into Mormonism, leaves or decides to be open about the fact that they no longer believe, they run the very extreme risk of drawing a line between them and the people they love the most.

I wish more TBM's would understand that.

We don't leave because we want to sin or because we couldn't hack following all the rules and regulations necessary to make it to the temple, we leave because we have integrity. It's really messed up that church leaders like to point out that we must be offended in some way.

They are right, though. I am offended. I am offended that I wasn't given the truth, the full story, and all the facts so I could make a decision that was best for me. I am offended that blacks couldn't hold the priesthood until 1978. I am offended that women are treated as second class citizens in the church and most of them don't even realize it. I am offended that church leaders hide and cover up things that everyone has the right to know.

But what do I know? I am just someone who spent 2 years studying everything I could get my hands on. Ignore me. Listen to those white guys in white shirts who are clearly more concerned about mega-malls and condos than the well-being of people around the world. Listen to them talk about how they have the right to limit the rights of so many people.

It's ridiculous.

Andee


9 comments:

  1. Maelstrom Says:

    Several religions are building their empires in this manner.

    The Crusades are not over.

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Yeah, I agree. And if I hadn't been guilted into going on a mission and had tons of pressure heaped on me my whole life that I HAD TO GO, I would have left the church a lot earlier. Once you get back from your mission, it's almost too late. You've been to the temple, made "sacred" (HAHAHAHA) covenants, and the guilt and fear is so ingrained that you can't imagine living without it.

    I hate what Mormonism does to people. It destroys their potential, ruins their lives, and turns them into howling bigots.

  1. Andrew Callahan Says:

    I wasn't born a Mormon, but all four of my children were. Now all four have resigned, and I'm very happy. I was a convert, but my wife was a 4th or 5th generation Mormon. She has resigned too.

    You, Andee, and others like you give me hope for a better world.

  1. Seth R. Says:

    You know, I've been involved in reactivation stuff in standard LDS wards and I can tell you that they're a different breed than those who commiserate on the internet.

    Most of them just left because they got tired of coming and lost interest. Nothing earth-shattering, no cognitive dissonance about Joseph Smith, no outrage at Prop 8 or other past controversies. Just stopped coming because they didn't feel like it, or because they didn't have enough friends at church.

    And that's usually it.

    My experience is also that newly converted Mormons can often be even more fanatical than 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation Mormons. In fact, the longstanding Mormons are often more laid-back about the whole thing than the fiery new converts.

    When we do lose new converts, it's usually because we didn't provide a strong enough social structure at church.

    I almost never encounter the concerns I get from the internet ex-Mormon community.

    Take that piece of data however you want.

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    That's not so much "data" as anecdotal experiences, but I do agree that many inactive Mormons simply just don't care enough to go, and don't care to research the history or politics of the church.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know who I am, I know God's Plan. I'll follow him in faith.
    I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ, I'll honor His name. I'll do what is right, I'll follow HiS light, His truth I will proclaim.
    Nothing's gonna bring me down.

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    um. ok...

  1. HeatherTN Says:

    Sorry you have felt so marginalised. Well, I was a drinking, fornicating, steely eyed 'no bloke is gonna opress me' sort many years ago, and especially not fond of those polygamous, Osmond loving, women opressing MORMONS!!!

    Well, guess what? I am happily married, no kids, full on career, great friends, and a MORMON!!!! Not a fanatical one mind you, so don't worry I won't be round your place screaming nonsense and burning your effigy on a stick.

    Why? Because it speaks to a greater truth than any of us can dream up, and often how we see ourselves is born from perception than what actually is. Ok, I know the history of the church, have read all the for's and against's. But still I have never been in any place or institution where I have not been treated with the greatest of respect, courtesy, love, understanding, patience and encouraged to make the best of myself. I have not been made to feel a lesser person because I have chosen not to bear children, or because my husband is not a member of the church. I know my place in the universe and I know now that I am a special unique daughter of my Heavenly Father. The priesthood? The men need it, I get to share in it but as I have a womb and common sense I don't need to be ordained. It's a patriarchal religion for sure, but the men have to know that as a position of great responsibility, not power and they will get absolutely nowhere without their women.

    You made your choice, and I respect that. But I also have intelligence, independance, and the ability to decide for myself and make my own choices, and I am very glad I made the choice to become LDS 14 years ago and have not regretted it since. And before you all roll your eyes, I am not brainwashed or an idiot. But there you go. Maybe you should be adressing your anger towards your family and community perhaps?

    Anyway, wishing you well and hoping you will eventually not feel the need to be so angry all the time at one particular group of people.

  1. Andee Says:

    Heather,

    Thank you for the comment. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I appoved the comment and then erased my email link to the article. I knew I had a floating message I wanted to reply to but I couldn't find it. Finally did.

    You said that you think I have hatred for a certain group of people. This isn't completely true. The thing I have hatred for his the lies and the men who promote the lies.

    If you are a Mormon and happy I am happy for you. I really mean that. No bullshit.

    You might never come to the same conclusions about the Mormon church that I did, but you might. This blog is a place for me to share and vent my feelings and frustrations about the lies and the large impact the church has had on my life.

    Good luck to you.