Tuesday, November 11, 2008

California and Proposition 8

Members of the Mormon church, who were strongly urged by church leaders to contribute to the Proposition 8 campaign, had an undeniable role in the measure's victory. Opponents of Proposition 8 have accused the church of discriminating against homosexuals, but the backlash against the denomination has also sparked accusations of discrimination.

During the campaign, a website established by Proposition 8 opponents used campaign finance data and other public records to track Mormon political contributions to the Yes-on-8 campaign. Opponents estimated that members of the church had given more than $20 million, but the amount is difficult to confirm since the state does not track the religious affiliation of donors.

Leaders of the No-on-8 campaign said they did not believe they were engaged in Mormon-bashing. "This is not about religion," said Jacobs. "This is about a church that put itself in the middle of politics."

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said she had grown up in the Mormon Church and thought it was "very disappointing what the church has done and the alliances they have made with churches that don't even like them and have called the church a cult."

More than 40 people demonstrated in front of a Mormon church in Seattle's University District on Sunday morning, expressing anger at the role the national church played in the passing of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage in California.

They lined the sidewalk, chanting slogans such as "Tax the church!" and holding signs saying "Shame on the church" and "All marriages are equal."

"I don't tell them what to do in their religion. They shouldn't tell me what to do in my life," said Chris Campfield, 27, of Seattle.

Matthew Wilson, 26, of Seattle, who organized the protest, said: "We want to make it very clear to this church that Washington will not accept divisive or discriminatory actions."

Proposition 8 defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and overrides a California Supreme Court ruling that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. It passed with 52 percent of the vote and throws into question the status of about 18,000 same-sex couples who wed in California.

Proposition 8 drew a range of opponents — including some Mormons. Proposition supporters, in addition to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), included the state's Roman Catholic bishops, some evangelical churches, and others.

But the Mormon church drew special attention after its top leaders issued a letter in June read in every congregation in California, asking members to "do all you can to support" the proposition by donating "your means and time." The church's position, the letter said, was that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan for His children."

During the campaign, a Web site created by Proposition 8 opponents using campaign-finance data and other public records estimated that members of the LDS church had given more than $20 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. That amount is difficult to confirm, though, since the state does not track the religious affiliation of donors, the newspaper said.

Similar protests occurred Sunday around California — at the state Capitol in Sacramento and outside the enormous Saddleback Church in Orange County. In Oakland, a protest at the city's Mormon temple prompted the California Highway Patrol to close two highway ramps.

There are calls by gay leaders to boycott Utah and an online effort to challenge the church's tax-exempt status.

Section 501(c)(3) of US Code Title 26, which governs tax-exempt organizations, reads (emphasis added):

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

(The “otherwise provided” clause does not apply, as the LDS Church, being a church, is a disqualified entity as described in subsection (h).)

The LDS church, through inciting its members to donate time and means to support Proposition 8 (resulting in millions of dollars of cash contributions from its members and countless volunteer hours), and in-kind campaign contributions to a group that supports Proposition 8, has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation.

(Wanna Help? File a complaint with the IRS and protest the Church's involvement!)

Gay-rights supporters, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, along with cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, have filed lawsuits asking the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8. (YaY)

(oh, and listen to this crybaby)

"As a member of the LDS church we have known [and still do] the feeling of being ridiculed and mistreated because of our faith."

***My Thoughts***

Are you f**kin kidding me? Cries of persecution against YOU because you are persecuting the GAY community by stripping them of the rights to marry, have families, and be HAPPY!!?
Poor persecuted Mormons, getting picked on again for their faith. Maybe if you didn't overtly exercise your voting bloc power to make laws forbidding freedoms to those who don't share your particular views and faith, you wouldn't get "persecuted" in return. Haun's Mill Massacre was a great example of how Mormons brought persecution upon themselves by threatening to exert political voting power to control and limit the freedoms of the neighboring population, especially because they didn't share the same beliefs and faith. When will Mormons ever learn?

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" made this topic the centerpiece of his nightly Special Comment segment. I really liked what he had to say. Even brought a tear to my eye. This guy is a giant of a man, over 6 feet tall, very menacing if he wants to be. But his emotional appeal to the folks who oppose spreading Happiness to all men (and women), because of their personal religious faith, really set him apart in my eyes. I admire him greatly for making a stand against Prop 8, and I sincerely hope that the California Supreme court does overturn it. A right that was once enjoyed by all has been selectively restricted and removed from some, based soley on religious beliefs of others. Church and State should remain separate, not infiltrate every aspect of our lives. And the Mormon Church should DEFINITELY loose their tax-exempt status for using their church as a political platform.

Transcript of Keith Olbermann's comments, as aired on November 10, 2008:

A Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics.

This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage.

If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry...black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then spread Happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of...love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person...

Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ranting against the Mormons

Recently, an anonymous commentator to this blog (they're almost always anonymous) pointed out to me that I haven't spent any time cornering Catholicism, Islam, or any other major religion, just this one church.

Well, duh, DipShit. This is MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. I focused on the Mormon Church because that's what I was raised with. And, if you haven't noticed, I haven't ranted about it for quite some time. And, one of my last posts was about Christianity as a whole being ridiculous. Why should I go on to bash Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, or Buddhism? They are not part of my personal experience. Otherwise the blog would be titled: Everyone's Opinions on World Religions.

Poor Baby. Feeling persecuted again? Are all the Bloggers picking on Mormonism these days?

I'm sure if you dig around you can find some other blogs that target the other forms of religious beliefs (even anti-Wiccan ones), and then you can feel better about not being the only one persecuted for your beliefs. Unless feeling persecuted helps cement the belief that your church is the one-and-only true church on the face of the earth, which Mormons believe theirs to be.

That's a fact, Jack. Mormons are taught to feel special, feel select above all others, and feel like the "chosen" people. Kind of like Pharisees. And, they even get up in front of all the others one Sunday a month to talk about how blessed they are to be Mormons, and how unfortunate it is for the others who stay away, or leave it. As a matter of fact, it's actually better for those who remain outside and refuse to join, than it is for those who join and then leave it later. The first group still has a chance to be redeemed through Mormon proxy-baptism after their deaths. Those who leave after joining are cursed to spend eternity in the 'lake of fire'. Knowing this, it would seem more appropriate for missionary work to cease entirely, and just quietly process the dead into Mormondom, rather than spread the message, get them to join, and then condemn them to hell, torture, damnation, and 'outer darkness' for looking beyond the approved reading materials and speaking points and digging further into the doctrine, history and background of Joseph Smith and finding out he MADE IT ALL UP!!!

As to your assertion that your beloved prophet Gordo warned us all to get out of debt as soon as possible, you can say the same thing about Suze Orman on CNN, and she's no prophet. I don't feel any more pressure to obey Gordo than I do Suze, and it's just good grandfatherly advice as far as I'm concerned. What idiot WANTS to be buried under tons of debt, really? And because I am in debt for my house and my car (student loans, and some medical bills too), does that mean I'm going to HELL? What's your deal anyway? Everything Gordo speaks is a "prophecy"? Unless, of course, he's speaking as a man. Which he always did.

I don't live under a cycle of guilt and shame anymore. And I even quit bashing the Mormon ideology for a while. And all over this country, thousands of people like me hide their beliefs and practice in secret, because persecution of WITCHES is real. Documented history. Mormons also believe their persecutions were unwarranted attacks soley for their beliefs. My opinion is that if the Mormons hadn't arrived in Missouri haughtily claiming that all they survey would soon belong to them because "GOD" was giving it to them for being the 'chosen people', then maybe the current occupants of that land wouldn't have had any cause to freak out.

Imagine what would happen if some Muslim Extremists moved in to a house in your neighborhood, and brought with them ten other families who soon bought up all available properties in your town. Imagine hearing them speak to each other about how the whole town would soon be Muslim, by "Allah's Will". Then you might get an idea of what brought on the Haun's Mill Massacre in Missouri.

The Mormon Persecution Complex doesn't end there. Being driven out to Utah under disasterous circumstances (who the hell leaves for a cross country trek with handcarts in FEBRUARY??) , they arrived totally convinced that Utah was their own private country, separate from the U.S., and that they would be completely autononmous as a "Kingdom of God".
Rumors that the government was sending the U.S. Army to beat down the Mormons yet again, caused the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which incidentally happened on Sept 11, 1857.

I don't know any Muslims personally, but I don't have any reason to believe they all would take their religion to the extreme, and force everyone around them to adopt the beliefs or die. There are SOME radicals who would do just that, and feel justified in the work. Just as there are extremists in any religion, even Christianity. Right now, the Right-Wing Christian Conservative movement would do almost ANYTHING to turn over Roe v. Wade and bring women down to there most primitive biological level: baby machines. How far could women advance in the workplace if they had to take 6 weeks off every 9 months to pop out a kid? How much equality is there for women if they have ZERO ability to stop the 'Baby Train'? I'm not just talking abortion rights, but birth control of any kind. And they can just say no to sex, right? Tell that to the thousands who are raped and molested every year. Tell that to the twelve year old who has to carry a baby to term because her stepdad got her pregnant. Tell that to the woman who was gang raped and left for dead, only to live through it and then be forced to carry a baby to term, give birth, and raise it knowing that it was a product of violence, not love. Imagine being the child, growing up knowing you weren't wanted and came from an action of hate and violence towards your mother.

Look, there are TONS of things I could rant about on a daily basis. There is LOTS of injustice in the world. And Mormon or not, persecution will come your way. Injustice will cross you. Shit Happens. Thinking you're being tested on your affirmations of Mormoness when you come across something that makes you doubt your beliefs is a trap to keep you tied to those beliefs. The Mormon Church is more afraid that you will look behind that curtain and see the old man pulling the levers and speaking into the mike, pretending he's the Wizard of OZ.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Moving On

I've been studying at a website I accidentally found, and I'm hooked. It's given me so much more to ponder and analyze than Mormonism ever did, and I am hoping to spread the word about it.

The Library of Halexandria :

"Halexandria is a Synthesis of new physics, sacred geometry, ancient and modern history, multiple universes & realities, consciousness, the Ha Qabala and ORME, extraterrestrials, corporate rule and politics, law, order and entropy, trial by jury, astronomy, monetary policy, scientific anomalies, religion and spirituality, and a whole host of other subjects ranging from astrology and astrophysics to superstrings and sonoluminesence to biblical and geologic histories to numerology, the Tarot, and creating your own reality. Halexandria makes the assumption -- an assumption which will be mathematically proven -- that all aspects of the universe are connected and that there are no limits to what we can possess or what we can become.

I have spent a few weeks at this site, reading everything I have time too. So, Mormonism goes by the wayside. I have better things to do now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Satan has left the building

I just had a stray thought that I'd like to share.

It seems to me, all the time while I was Christian, and even the 20+ years I was a Mormon, the common mantra was that Satan was looking for ways to keep me from the "one true path" back to God. I was constantly vigilant, on guard against Satan, because I didn't want to be "trapped" or "led astray". I lived in fear of losing my toehold on God's narrow path, and I worried about my immortal soul perishing in Hell for my petty sins of lust, envy, greed, sloth, pride, gluttony, or wrath.

I'm now Mormon-free, Christianity-free, and you know what? The devil leaves me alone.

No more worries, guilt, shame, or fear. No more attending church because of what the neighbors or the minister might think. No more participation in endless meetings, temple rituals, scripture studies, and Bible classes to make sure that Satan doesn't "get" me.

Now I'm actually feeling sorry for the folks who think I'm the one going to Hell. Seems to me they're already living in it here on Earth.

As a practicing Wiccan, I have heard the occasional comdemnation from Christian folks. "Thou shall not suffer a Witch to live" etc. And I've even been accused of having Satan over for parties.

He must be way too busy teasing the Christian zealots. I've never met him. We do not share zip codes.

Something else that bothers me is the use of Bible quotes to prove that I'm wrong in my understanding of the human purpose. Because I don't acknowledge Jesus as my personal savior, I'm going to be burned. Well, then I guess there will be plenty of folks there with me, and I'm not so hip to acknowlege a God that would punish me simply for living a simple life free of drug and alcohol use, free of harm to others, free of polluting the earth, and doing what I can to improve the lives of others and the world around me.

In alot of ways, I'm more like Jesus than most Christians I've met. What if that was the point? what if Jesus really wasn't trying to tear down Judaism, but uplift it, or improve it? What if there was never supposed to be anything like Christianity, just a new and improved Judaism? He was a Rabbi, a teacher, and a JEW. And Christianity didn't even put down modern roots until the Council of Nicea almost 400 years after his death.

Christianity is stupid. I have to agree with a recent post found on The Gods Are Bored:

How Fundamentalist Christianity Works

You want to travel from Detroit to Tampa.

There is only one route from Detroit to Tampa.

It is Interstate 75.

You may not take any other route from Detroit to Tampa.

There are certain exits from the Interstate that you cannot take, because they may lead you to a store that sells fireworks or some such. Or worse, those exits might lead you to an alternative route to Tampa.

There is no other destination if you are leaving Detroit, except Tampa.

No other city is as great as Tampa.

Don't listen if anyone tells you that, say, Indianapolis is just as nice, or that you can actually proceed past Tampa to Sanibel Island. Or that you can get to Tampa by taking a little detour and winding up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and maybe in comparison to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Tampa suddenly doesn't seem as appealing.

My Thoughts Exactly.

Thanks to Anne Johnson over at The Gods are Bored. She is very witty and thought provoking, and I encourage everyone to go see her.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mormons are Christian, right?

Then why is it that in order to obtain the Celestial Glory and be reunited with our Heavenly Father, we not only have to have faith and belief in Jesus Christ as our personal savior, but we are also required to have faith and belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet and as a instrument of restoration in bringing the temple ordinances previously unknown in the Biblical writings or teachings of Jesus?

Doesn't it strike any LDS member as strange that faith and belief in Jesus Christ alone won't get you there? Didn't he say that he was "the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me" ?

Jesus forgot to mention Joseph Smith as the "replacement messiah" for the latter days, didn't he?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Explaining the Miniscule Differences Between the LDS Mormon Theology and the FLDS Mormon Theology Pertaining to Polygamy and Priesthood Authority

From the Dallas Morning News

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has more than a century of history and a system of beliefs and practices that have long set it apart. Here's a look at its roots and beliefs:

Is the FLDS Mormon?

Members say they represent the only true Mormon church – a claim otherwise rejected by people who consider themselves Mormon. As Mormon historian Martha Sontag Bradley of the University of Utah puts it: "The FLDS is as foreign to contemporary Mormons as they are to outsiders."

[ I don't personally believe this to be true. While the FLDS members maintain that they are the only true form of Mormonism because they did not relinquish polygamy, I do not accept the premise that the more well known Mormon Church based in Salt Lake City claims that they have no connection to the FLDS church. They will be forever tied to the FLDS polygamists because the original "prophet" of both organizations is the one who began the practice in the first place. If rejecting polygamy had not been a condition of statehood for Utah, we wouldn't even have to discuss the differences between LDS and FLDS faith and practice. They both tout the Book of Mormon as scripture, they both use the Doctrine and Covenants as a basis for their revealed doctrine, they keep all of the same observances for Joseph's birth, life, ministry, and death. The main distinction between them is that the FLDS still believes that separating from the mainstream is the only way to keep themselves elect and pure, and the Salt Lake City Mormons are trying very hard to appear mainstream and to integrate themselves among the many different Christian sects throughout the U.S. ]

What is the connection between the FLDS and the mainstream Mormon church – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Both churches trace their origins to Joseph Smith. They believe that in 1823, an angel visited Mr. Smith, son of a farmer in upstate New York, and told him to reboot authentic Christianity, which was lost shortly after the deaths of the original apostles.

Among the teachings: Israelites came to what is now America more than 2,600 years ago, and their descendents were visited by Jesus after his resurrection. Both churches also believe that God was once a mortal man. The LDS church has more sacred texts than the Bible, including the Book of Mormon.

And the president of the church is considered a prophet, no less than Elijah, through whom God can deliver new revelations.

Where did the FLDS come from?

The FLDS, formally incorporated in 1991, is one of the largest splinter groups that rejected new Mormon revelations.

One of the early tenets of the LDS church was polygamy, patterned on the Biblical patriarchs. In 1890, as Utah was trying to become a state, the Mormon president announced that polygamy was no longer acceptable. But the FLDS believes that a former head of the LDS church instructed a group of Mormons to continue plural marriages.

A second major revelation occurred in 1978. Until that time, black men were not allowed full membership – "priesthood" – in the LDS church. The FLDS also rejects that change.

Are there differences in how the churches are organized?

The LDS president is closely advised, as a matter of church doctrine, by a group of more than a dozen other men. The organization that became the FLDS started with a group of advisers. But the father of Warren Jeffs, the current prophet, declared in the 1980s that the leadership should be held by one man.

Does the FLDS president hold powers that the LDS president does not?

One important power is the "placement marriage," according to historian Marriane T. Watson. Mr. Jeffs has the right and responsibility to assign girls or women to their husbands.

[The LDS church based in Salt Lake City had leadership that did the same thing while polygamy was practiced. It was normal for young girls to be assigned to the elders of the church, as young as 14, just to reserve them for when they reached maturity, and to prevent them from being available to single men within the church, who may not have earned their right to practice polygamy, or may not have sufficiently demonstrated their loyalty to the church. There may not have been sex involved, but there wouldn't have to be, so long as the young girl's affections were for her spiritual husband only, and any young potential suitor was cut off from approach.]

Are there other differences between the FLDS and LDS?

The LDS church once taught that its members should be self-sufficient and greatly restrict contact with nonmembers. The FLDS still holds those teachings, as shown by the substantial Eldorado compound. The compound may also represent a location for a "gathering of the saints" to precede the return of Jesus. LDS teaching no longer emphasizes the need for a literal, physical gathering place.

[Although Adam-Ondi-Ahman is still spoken of as a gathering place when the time is right to fulfill the prophecies for the building of the "New Jerusalem". This is still a widely held doctrine and belief within the Salt Lake LDS Mormon church.]

The following paragraphs are from RfM, because they only keep archives for 10 days. My comments will be in []

Marriage Mormon Style and the Role of Women.

Author: Susie Q #1

The Mormon Doctrine of The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, Plurality of Wives continues to define a women's role.

Is any of this information in the Temple Preparation Class?
Does anyone fully understand what is going to happen?

Don't we deserve Full Disclosure for Informed Consent and Informed Choice? Are the covenants binding if you have not been given full disclosure? I maintain that they are not.

This post comprises parts of the endowment and the actual marriage ceremony and the D&C 132 references that support the doctrine of eternal marriage or the New and Everlasting Covenant which is Plurality of Wives.

The only part that meets the requirement of the law, that I can find is:

authority vested in me, I pronounce you ______, and ______, legally and lawfully husband and wife.

Without that wording, the ceremony would not be legally binding in the US.

Married in the temple, to each other, are you sure? Where's the love?

After passing two interviews to get the temple recommend—
(see Temple Recommend Questions here ) either on the day of the marriage, or earlier, and going through the Endowment Ceremony: Washing and Anointing ceremony where the Holy Garment of the Priesthood (notice ladies, you wear the same garment of the Holy Priesthood!), is placed on you and covenanting to obey:

The Law of Obedience
The Law of Sacrifice
The Law of the Gospel
The Law of Chastity
The Law of Consecration --which is:

(I am only including this particular one on this post as it has it directly applies to the marriage covenant.)

A couple will now come to the altar. We are instructed to give unto you the Law of Consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with the Law of the Gospel and the Law of Sacrifice which you have already received.

It is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square.

You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

Each of you bow your head and say "yes."

Then and only then may you be sealed in the marriage ceremony.

Sometimes, the officiator will allow an exchange of rings at the end of the ceremony, and a kiss.
(I don't know the current policy on this practice. Maybe someone else does.)

Here is the ceremony:

Officiator: Brother ______, [naming groom] and Sister ______, [naming bride] please join hands in the Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail.

Marriage Couple:
Joins hands in the "Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail."This token is given by clasping the right hands, interlocking the little fingers and placing the tip of the forefinger upon the center of the wrist. No clothing should interfere with the contact of the forefinger upon the wrist.

Officiator: Brother ______, do you take Sister ______ by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

Groom: Yes.

Officiator: Sister ______ do you take brother ______ by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

Bride: Yes.

By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you ______, and ______, legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality and eternal lives, and I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining unto the New and Everlasting Covenant, I seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, through your faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

To make sure one understands exactly what the "New and Everlasting Covenant" is, see: D&C 132

REFERENCE for easy reading: http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/132

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. History of the Church 5: 501—507.

Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.

[INSERT: compare introduction to the 1969 edition of the Book of Mormon.]

Here's the 1969 version:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.

-------The Prophet’s inquiry of the Lord--He is told to prepare himself to receive the new and everlasting covenant--Conditions of this law--The power of the Holy Priesthood instituted by the Lord must be operative in ordinances to be in effect beyond the grave--
Marriage by secular authority is of effect during mortality only--Though the form of marriage should make it appear to be for time and eternity, the ordinance is not valid beyond the grave unless solemnized by the authority of the Holy Priesthood as the Lord directs--
Marriage duly authorized for time and eternity to be attended by surpassing blessings--E
ssentials for the attainment of the status of godhood -- The meaning of eternal lives--Plurality of wives acceptable only when commanded by the Lord--The sin of adultery--Commandment to Emma Smith, wife of the prophet. http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/132

1981 edition:
1—6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant;
7—14, The terms and conditions of that covenant are set forth;
15—20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods;
21—25, The strait and narrow way that leads to eternal lives;
26—27, Law given relative to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost;
28—39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation made to prophets and saints in all ages;
40—47, Joseph Smith is given the power to bind and seal on earth and in heaven;
48—50, The Lord seals upon him his exaltation;
51—57, Emma Smith is counseled to be faithful and true;
58—66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.

Did you catch it? Celestial Marriage is Plurality of Wives! The Mormon Church has never, ever stopped practicing their law that applies to polygamy or plurality of wives as that is what Celestial Marriage (The New and Everlasting Covenant) is! It is clearly an eternal principle for the Celestial Kingdom.

Did you notice that the marriage sealing ceremony not only continues the practice of plurality of wives and, because of the covenant of the Law of Consecration, married you to the church and it's commandments by covenant, not each other?

Investigators BEWARE:
Demand full disclosure for informed consent. You won't get it from the Mormon Church, so do your own research.
Know what you are doing, and what it really means!


The Role of Women in the Mormon Church - Motherhood, Her Sexuality and how the Temple Ceremonies of Washing and Anointing Define Her.


Women accept their role in Mormonism with a promise that borrows into her heart and is the essence of motherhood - the absolutely belief that they will never loose their children and their family if they comply with the doctrines taught them.

The believe they will have their children for all eternity of they adhere to the Mormon teachings. In fact, to have a child leave the Mormon Church is a personal failure that is to be avoided at all costs, as this is a personal assault on her by the adversary, and she must do everything in her power to keep from loosing her offspring.

She willingly submits to these beliefs even though, to an outsider, they seem to infringe on her independence, her honor and her good sense. Some outsiders, even call it abusive.

Women who are well entrenched and strong believers in Mormonism, often with several generations of Mormonism flowing in their veins, see the accusations of abuse, and lack of independence and freedom of thought from outsiders as silly and false. She absolutely knows she is not abused, not programmed, not brainwashed, and can "think for herself."

What she does not realize is that she is restricted by the doctrines and what she considers "thinking for herself" means she thinks long and hard and prays long and hard to obtain a "witness of the spirit" so she is "worthy" to obtain eternal life. A mother is often willing to go to any length to save, protect, and keep her family.

The teachings of the Mormon Church make it clear that the Holy Priesthood of God is never to be questioned. To question a male Priesthood holder, especially the top leadership is tantamount to questioning God. Even to have doubts is unacceptable. Doubts are never to be spoken or written. They are to be kept inside. (That is one of the reasons, in my observation that anger brews and explodes when people finally get out from under the thumb of Mormonism's control.)

I have heard Mormon women admit that they did not like or understand their position in the Mormon Church but it was how "Heavenly Father wanted it" and they go along with it thinking it is the only right thing to do. So, they defer to the priesthood, (some more so than others) thinking they are laying up treasures in heaven. The woman's place is foremost and always to follow and support the priesthood in all things.

Their role is clearly defined in Mormonism's in it's doctrine and is one area that has not changed and will never changed.

Their role is defined in Doctrine and Covenants 132, as part of the official doctrine and even though polygamy or plurality of wives is not lived outright (technically it is still lived according to the marriage ceremony --exact wording from D&C 132 in the temple.)

She wears the same garment day and night of the Holy Priesthood of God, and covenanted to be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom, but that is as far as her authority or equality goes. It teaches them that Heavenly Father meant for them to be the mothers, and for the men to officiate in the Priesthood.

The temple rituals and covenants (called Endowments) do not make her equal to her husband. She is to be a priestess to her husband who will rule over her in righteousness! The message is clear. She is taught from a young age, beginning with a blessing when she is just a few weeks old to give her a name, that she is to go to the temple and be married for "all eternity."

There is a lot of lip service given to the notion that they are equal, but every woman knows that only applies in certain areas. They might share equal chores in the home, or have equal input on decisions in the home, but when it comes to the church hierarchy and how the Priesthood functions, they might be listened to, but their recommendations can be and are overruled on the whim of the leaders as they are the representatives of the Lord. What the priesthood leaders say is accepted as they claim inspiration given to them as the Lord's mouthpiece.

She may be the "neck" that moves the "head" in many areas, but not when it comes to officiating in the Priesthood. Her role is to support and remind and see that he fulfills his Priesthood functions but not to question or direct it. After all, her eternal place with her children and family is dependent on him honoring the Priesthood.


Men overrule women.
Women have no authority in the church and no place in the hierarchy and only serve under the men. If the men in charge do not like something, the women are told to do things differently. If they do not agree, they are considered: "prideful" think they "own" a calling, and not obedient to the Priesthood. All of which is unacceptable.

Her agency, the doctrine of freedom to choose between good and evil, (free agency is n a misnomer and not part of the teachings) is held in a very small box of do's and do not's, all determined by how the men interpret the scriptures how they supervise the organizations, and how they make assignments-- "callings" and give "counsel."

There is a "vote" in their Sacrament Meetings, but it means one is promising to support the member in their calling. Dissent is not accepted either. The vote is only intended to obtain the support of the members by raising their hand to the square.

The men's "inspiration" overrules anything a woman says or claims as an answer to her prayers.

All assignments or "callings" as they are called have a right to "inspiration" and one is expected to "magnify their calling." However, it is important to note that "inspiration" is only given for their respective "callings." No one is entitled to any "inspiration" or direction from the Lord about anything other than the "calling" they currently hold.

There is also no need for the Priesthood brethren to tell the truth as they have the privilege of "Lying for the Lord" a well understood underlying concept in Mormonism taught in their scriptures.

All of Mormonism is governed by men with very little input from the women, who are predominately used to follow orders - with a dust pan and broom to clean up after the brethren - in more ways than one!

The typical Mormon Priesthood leader looses respect for a female who uses her own mind, challenges them, or corrects them. They are threatened by the misuse of her position as it means he is not doing his job as a Priesthood leader and he is then expected to call her to repentance and make sure she changes her ways and never does it again.

Women are accepted in the Mormon Church and loved and respected and admired only if they comply with the role they are given. Once they are seen as disobedient, rebellious, take a different interpretation than the official one, explain themselves, they are no longer considered "worthy," and can loose everything, including their children, especially in divorce.

If the husband is "worthy" which generally means that he lives all the commandments, in particular: the Word of Wisdom, and pays tithing and can answer the temple recommend questions in the affirmative,(or correctly as they are asked) in the eyes of the Mormon Church it is acceptable for him to leave his "unworthy" wife and take her children away. The worthy Priesthood holder is entitled to a worthy wife.

Once the woman is accused of not being "chaste" she is no longer "worthy." Never mind that the man might be having an affair, or has abused his own children, or is a pedophile. It is the woman's fault these things happened. It is not uncommon for a Relief Society President for instance, to tell a woman to "be a better wife" so her husband won't beat her or stray.

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their sexuality.

The underlying message about sexuality is that you will give your life to keep from being raped. The worthy, honorable thing to do, if sexually assaulted, is to fight to the death to preserve your vagina from dishonorable intrusion. Often, an honorable Mormon father teaches his daughters that he would rather see her dead than violated. It is worth noting, however, that this not a concept solely held by Mormonism.

Mormonism has found the key to controlling generations of it's members. It is a typical ploy of religiosity since time began; control the sexuality of the female and control of the family for generations to come is maintained. This also solidifies the influx of money.

Women are also taught that they control "the spirit" of the home. It goes along with the old adage if "mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and Mormonism takes this a step further imprinting and programming young females from birth that they are to be sweet and worthy to have "the spirit" with them at all times. Of course, this is solidified at age eight with baptism, when they are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost as their constant companion and continues with the rest of the "ordinances."

Women in Mormonism are also defined by their attire.

Their whole wardrobe and their sense of their bodies is determined by the temple garment that is to be worn next to the skin as a protection and placed on her body in a ritual in the temple. It is also seen as a protection against her sexuality being defiled or assaulted in any way. She is told she is to remain chaste and worthy in thought and deed with the temple garment a constant, even Mosaic reminder that she is a daughter of Heavenly Father and this is what is expected of her. Again her sexuality is given a place before her life.

The temple garment, with it's Masonic markings is seen as holy and sacred and is never to be put on the floor or abused in any manner. In fact, discarding of used, and worn garments requires a further ritual as the markings are to be cut out and burned. Then, and only then, can the remaining material (now devoid of their sacred element) be used as rags to clean the floor, or wash the car.

Once dressed in the Holy Garment of the Priesthood, (worn day and and night)- an interesting title, as she has no rank in the priesthood or any right to officiate, only as a servant - she then must make her attire comply with it's restrictions.

That means, every part of her body that is covered by the garment must be covered - modestly. Because the garment comes to the lower thigh or knee, and has a cap sleeve, and is designed to fall several inches above her natural bra line, she is now confined to buying (or in many cases - making) clothing that covers her underwear. She has now become subservient to Heavenly Father - her God, who controls her (and men also) by her underwear, day and night.

There is the underlying message that women (and men) behave according to the clothing they are wearing, so the subtle indoctrinated, imprinted script says that the woman in Mormonism is wearing a holy-sacred reminder to dress modestly, and act accordingly and worthy of the blessings promised her.

Temple ceremonies -- define the woman's role

The following is how the Washing and Anointing Ceremony was carried out during the times I attended the temple from 1962 to 1990 when it was changed. I have written extensively about these rituals prior to the change, (as have many others) and am happy to know that our fellow human beings will no longer be subjected to this ritual.

Now the tunic is sewed up at the sides, and the naked body is no longer touched and anointed with water and oil. Hopefully, we all had a hand in seeing this ritual discontinued in our efforts to "give back" to humanity, especially our Mormon friends and loved ones.

These are some of my memories of the Washing and Anointing Ceremony in the Temple - beginning in 1962.

(All of these rituals are easily accessed on the Internet, also) I have attended nine temples from 1962 to 1995, eight of them in the US and one in Switzerland, doing hundreds of "sessions" as they are called.

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly.

The oil is done in the same fashion. There are promises given, with each part of the body that is washed-dabbed with water and anointed-dabbed with oil. These have to do with promising the female that she will be a priestess to her husband in the Celestial Kingdom if she is faithful to her covenants. Nothing untoward, or of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual still amazes me.

I can still see the rows of tiny, narrow lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet-tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me. One of the oddest things about the temple is that the lockers have keys, so in the whispered ambiance of the temple, one of the only sounds heard is the soft jingling of the keys attacked with a safety pin to your clothing..

Now back to the tunic used at that time. It is a true tunic - open at the sides and no seams. To walk in and out of the washing and anointing room, most people hold the sheets together.

I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women assisting us. They reminded me of a grandma dressed in a white uniform, often with false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint. I could feel her breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil.

I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the ritual of anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialog.

This ritual is not just a tiny tap on an imaginary dot of the skin. Your body is stroked in a 2" to 3" area in a downward motion over specific areas of your body from your head on down to your legs and onto to your toes. You do not know exactly where they will touch you. You only know the general area. It is very uncomfortable as these women are usually seniors-retirement age of 65 to 75 and their head is outside the sheet. They cannot see where they hands are unless they look under the tunic where the sides are open. They open the sheet on the sides to begin.

Imagine a woman's hand under the sheet (for women-man for men) each time they say a body part, making a sliding motion of about 2" to 3" in some areas, with the four fingers of the right hand over the body part -probably trying to be very careful they do not touch the actual breast-nipple area for women, or the pelvic hair-penis-scrotum area for men when they get to the words that correspond with that part of the body.

Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm, oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands.

Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet. Repeating in sing-song monotone, the blessings associated with the rituals.

When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I was often hugged had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

The washings and anointing were only required the first time you go to the temple as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions as proxy for the dead. They are the first part of the Endowment.

After the washing and anointing ceremony, the initiate dresses in all white clothing from neck to wrist to ankle and follows the group of people all dressed the same, into the Endowment session which follows and includes a video and promises-covenants made which, until April 1990, included hand movements signifying ways in which your life could be taken - cutting throat and disembowelment if you divulged certain parts of the Endowment.

Those, fortunately were removed, along with the Five Points of Fellowship at the Veil which required the initiate to stand embraced with a man (unseen and representing the Lord) behind a curtain-sheet - ear to ear, hand to back knee to knee, etc. to review the covenants made earlier in the ceremony - then the curtain would open and you were led in by your hand to the Celestial Room of the Temple.

If you go through the Temple as proxy for any dead relative (what I often refer to as postmortem conversions) you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening, sometimes doing two sessions for two deceased people.

The part that is unethical and disrespectful, in my experience is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time. You go along and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.

Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield-tunic, as it is called, and carry your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper memorized, ritual dialog, usually with a breath mint in their mouth, then help dress you by helping you put on the regulation temple garment to be worn day and night.

To even suggest this bazaar, outlandish, absurd act is spiritual reeks of a complete lack of common sense and respect.

It is humiliating. I have never been so mortified in my life. It is a flagrant assault on one's self respect and dignity.

The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, including their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins.

I maintain if these practices were made public, disclosed ahead of time, very few people would be interested in going to any of their temples. I am sure some would, it's tradition and they won't break with tradition.

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs. There is no redeeming value to it. There is nothing spiritual about putting on a tunic, open at the sides, made from a sheet and carrying your regulation underwear into a little room to have your naked body touched by someone you do not know.

This is an obvious invasion of your complete being and done in a setting with a lot of other people so you go along because the rest are doing it, at least the first time.

You are assured by the members and leaders to believe that there is nothing that can harm you so when you feel violated and invaded, you are stuck with the mental gymnastics of trying to make sense of it.

Somehow, you must make a bizarre experience seem spiritual and good. If you don't the implication is that you do not have the right spirit. Surely it is not the church that is doing bad things, it must be me. So it goes on, around and around in circles. Always making you the one that is at fault, never the church.

The arrogance of Mormonism to assume that they had any right to touch anyone's naked body without full disclosure and full permission is out of the realm of common decency. This is the most despicable, horrid, spiritual abuse of another human being imaginable, but it must be done if they are to get your total submission.

This is the final frontier of breaking down boundaries - your naked body! This is about total submission, control, stripping you down and dressing the surprised, new initiate with physical touching under a flimsy tunic then dressing you!

Once that is accomplished, there is nothing you won't do and it does include giving your life if you divulge certain parts of the temple ceremonies. For this privilege you pay 10% + of your income for your life.

Generally, the women that object most vehemently to a husband changing his beliefs, have gone through this ceremony many times, some of them, hundreds of times. This is, in my observation, the crux of the power that motivates a Mormon female to be completely unable to deal with an apostate husband.)

The genius of the temple, especially the washing and anointing and the endowment is to keep the person totally committed, paying tithing and under their control. And it works.

How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch the naked body of strangers under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle?

The only way you get people to do this is through extreme religious teachings: programming, conditioning, and trust and no prior specific information. It must be done while a large group of other people are doing the same thing so it is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the Mormon God.

(Note: even though the "naked touching" part is removed, the power of the initiation is still there.)

The unbelievable part is that the church does such a good job of convincing and programming the new converts and new initiate to the notion that this is spiritual, a higher law, you are special, God wants you to do this - that the members go along with it.

They get thousands of members to go to the temple thousands of times over their lifetime to continue this programming and, yes, what some call-brainwashing. They use a tried and true method. They call it "Building Relationships of Trust" or BRT. Get someone to trust you and they will believe anything you say and do anything you ask of them, especially if they are convinced it will guarantee them a place of honor in the Mormon Celestial Kingdom after they die. What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!

The interesting thing is that once you stop going to church, stop attending any function, stop reading any of their approved literature, you begin to separate and disconnect and break the code. Some call it blatant cult or cultish activities, although very subtle and well designed to subjugate you to them forever.

If a woman wants her place solidified in the after life with her children and family. she must, at all costs, have a husband that is "worthy" and honors the Holy Priesthood, and will, in the resurrection, call her by her "New Name" given her in the temple at her marriage, into the Celestial Kingdom.

Therein lies the power of years of imprinting, and programming by rote repetition, repeated temple attendance, talks from the "mouthpiece of the Lord" (the leaders) etc., and is the impetus for the disconnect when a Mormon woman is faced with an apostate husband.

Escapee Describes Sex Horrors of Mormon Polygamy

Author: Deconstructor

Her story is very touching. She is an Ex-Mormon hero in my book, for leaving the tight mental grip of the FLDS Church.


"But even though I hadn't wanted to marry [50 year-old] Merril, didn't love him, let alone like him, I still believed in the FLDS doctrines."

"I thought my husband was the revelation the prophet had received for me. I believed I was destined to bear his children and serve him until he died."

"I also realized the only way to protect myself in my marriage was by remaining of sexual value to him."

"Sex was the only currency I had to spend in my marriage - every polygamist wife knows that."

"A woman who possesses a high sex status with her husband has more power over his other wives."

"If she becomes unattractive to him, she is on dangerous ground - usually winding up as a slave to the dominant wife."

"So although I hated Merril touching me, I knew I had to make myself attractive to him, even though there was no chemistry between us and our sex life was always perfunctory."

"Nevertheless, I did bear him eight children - all of whom were regularly beaten by their father."

"The only way I could stop Merril beating my children was to have sex with him."

"But when my seventh child, Harrison, developed cancer as a baby and was whisked away to hospital, I finally realised that no one in our community cared about him."

"This whole experience was a wake-up call for me. For 32 years I'd been brainwashed into thinking that every person outside the FLDS was evil - but suddenly I saw the only people willing to fight for Harrison's life, and stay at his bedside, were outsiders, the wonderful doctors and nurses who saved his life."

"I secretly started to make plans to flee - from my husband, from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints and from its leader Warren Jeffs."

"And so, in April 2003, at the age of 35 and with just $20 to my name, I ran away with my eight children."

"I packed my eight children into our van and drove away from the compound, even though my 12-year-old Betty was screaming: 'Mother, you're stealing us. Uncle Warren will come and get us. We don't belong to you, we belong to the prophet.'"

here's the story

Reading her story really puts context to the talks of Brigham Young and other Mormon Church leaders that created these doctrines that the FLDS try so faithfully to follow.

Compare her modern experience with polygamy with what Mormon women felt about it during
the time of the great prophet Brigham Young.


Author: Christy219

I have a new appreciation for the polygamy doctrine. I have finally come to realize what it is, and how ridiculous the current church members act about it. I was just like them not too long ago...one mention of the word polygamy and I was recoiling, explaining how it is no longer doctrine, and taking it the obligatory step further by saying the LDS church takes a clear stance that polygamy is wrong, etc.

But I realize now that Mormons STILL embrace polygamy. While they all talk about how "horrible" it was and think how glad they are that it is no longer "the word of God," in order to be a faithful Mormon you must fully embrace it. Not only are they taught that they will live in polygamy in the CK FOR ALL ETERNITY, but they are also taught to adhere to the teachings of the prophets.

Suppose in 25 years marriage is 'as you like it.' In other words, gays can marry, and polygamy is okay if you choose it to be. Bottom line, it's legal. So the new prophet reinstates (not institutes) polygamy again. The TBM's MUST believe in it and go along with it. It doesn't matter if this never happens, Mormons need to realize that if it did, they would have to be okay with it or find a new church.

So why they all pretend like polygamy is a thing of the past is a real weird thing to me. They're all subjecting themselves to hell on earth in order to be polygamists in the CK. LOL


For the "regular" Mormon, this would be true

Author: ruthm

The regular Mormon or average Mormon wouldn't have studied anything, or rarely reads the BOM, or anything else. They have no idea what the doctrines of the LDS church are. So for them, the current thing they are being told would be what they believe. But for those who have actually read or studied past "prophets" know that is not the case. There is a deeper doctrine that joe schmo doesn't know, and that the hardcore fanatics don't really share with everyone. It is still a doctrine as long as it is in the D&C, everything that any LDS prophet said is still a doctrine, no matter what the current prophets say, and anyone that is a hardcore member will tell you that.


Mormon Doctrine 101 - D&C 132 is official Cannonized doctrine.

Author: SusieQ#1

It is a continuing part of the current temple sealing/eternal marriage ordinances, performed daily in all of their temples

There is no way it can be considered anything but official church doctrine.

If the average Mormon does not know this, they do not know their own church teachings/doctrine/official scriptures and probably have not read D&C 132!
(Very possible, and probably very likely!):-)


Author: Use to be Mormon

So, if this is true why can a man "today" be sealed to another woman in the Temple and receive the Everlasting Marriage Covenant? [If the first wife is deceased] Because Mormons do believe in polygamy just not here on earth, only in heaven "the highest degree of heaven the Celestial Kingdom"! The Mormon church can hide behind it's facade about we don't practice polygamy today it was banded over 100 years ago, but the real TRUTH is they DO BELIEVE in polygamy and must accept this practice or be burned to damnation, just like Joseph Smith told Emma in D&C 132!

So did God and the Prophets divorce their wives?

Author: Deconstructor

According to Joseph Smith and other early LDS Prophets, the law of plural marriage is "everlasting." According to LDS scripture, God and the prophets practiced polygamy. It is the only marriage system in heaven.

So when the church stopped practicing polygamy, did God and the prophets in heaven divorce their wives?

Is God the Father now a monogamist in yonder heaven?

Inspired Church leaders spent decades condemning monogamy as the devil's marriage system - a counterfeit to the celestial way of the Lord.

See here

Did this change? Did the Lord end polygamy in heaven?

Of course not. That's why D&C 132 still LDS scripture.

As Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explained:

"Obviously the holy practice (of polygamy) will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium."


The long time it took to realize what polygamy really was, and is.

Author: lightfingerlouie

I grew up in a very orthodox family, full of the usual stories about "the Prophet," his greatness, and all he did.

I learned how the Mormons had been badly persecuted, and how everyone who spoke against the church was a "liar." So many liars. So very many liars.

I was told that Joseph Smith had numerous wives. But I was told the sanitized version, with "marriages" that did not involve sex, 14 year old girls, the wives of other men, and a life of lying, cheating, and skulking around from bed to bed.

I was even taught most of the problems were Emma's fault. She was the "weaker vessel," who could not come to terms with the Lord's program. She was so weak, I was taught, she left the fold when Joseph died. Brigham Young said "Joseph will have to go into hell to get her."


On my mission, I was constantly asked about polygamy. I gave the standard answers. I believed them myself. I could not understand it, but it "came from the Lord."

The first sense of just how awful it all was came years after my mission, when I read "The Giant Joshua," Maurine Whipple's novel about early Mormonism and polygamy in St. George. I first learned about the way arrangements were made, and how they were enforced----"blood atonement."

It made me question. I was not taught this. It sounded awful, but it made sense. How else could the stupid and pathetic practice of polygamy be enforced? It had to involve threats.

I have since read the good books about Mormon polygamy. That includes "Under the Banner of Heaven," 'Tell it All," and "Wife No. 19." It hit me very hard. Polygamy, as practiced by Warren Jeffs, is the same kind of polygamy practiced by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It did not change at all. The same methods used by the early church are used now. To make it work, you must remove all freedom from the women. They must become property.

Women were, and are, chattel. Girls are married off young, and assigned to the role of slacking the lust of 50 year old lechers who should be arrested and castrated. They are not patriarchs, they are child molesters. They operate under the guise of the 'holy Priesthood," which is just an excuse to pick and choose the nubile girls. Some sacred authority that is.

The whole damned thing is sick. It is beyond pathetic. But it goes on and on and on. Joseph started it, and it never would go away. It took on a life of its own, and became a huge monster that cannot be controlled. One man's desire for sexual experimentation led to hundreds of ruined lives, child molestation, and a sick, sick theology. How utterly nauseating it is.

I cannot stand to hear Mormons talk about it now. "We will practice it in the Celestial Kingdom," or "It will come back when we are worthy,"

Can't these dopes figure it out? It is not holy, pure, or moral. It is just sick. It has, at least done one thing. It has prevented the Mormon church from ever having a shot at being mainstream. They will never be accepted as a normal faith. The baggage of polygamy will hold them down forever.


Subject: Top 10 Reasons Smith Likely Had Sex With His Teen Brides

Author: Deconstructor

One of the most common denials regarding Joseph Smith is that he did not intend to have sex with his 14 year-old bride Helen Mar Kimball.

The fact that Joseph Smith married 14 year-old Helen is undisputed by church historians and apologists. That he did so by promising her family salvation is also accepted by Mormons who know church history.

Yet some still try and argue that because there is no physical evidence of sexual relations between Smith and his bride, that the relationship was merely "dynastic" and was not about sex.

No, there is no stained dress or other physical evidence of a sexual relationship. But the history record is pretty clear what Smith's polygamy was all about.

Here are the top ten reasons why I think Joseph Smith intended to have sex with his teen bride, Helen Mar Kimball:

1. According to current LDS scripture, sex was the only reason Joseph Smith was commanded to marry virgins "a hundred fold" in this life. See D&C 132:62-63.

2. Smith received this "Divine Law" to only take virgins, which also exempted him from adultery (a sex sin), during the very same time he married Helen. He married Helen in May of 1843 and wrote D&C 132 a month later!

3. There is no recorded revelation during Joseph Smith's lifetime that he should enter into polygamy for dynastic or any other purpose other than "raising up seed." To those who say Smith married Helen for something other than sex, I ask: "where is the revelation?"

4. In the Book of Mormon the Lord expressly forbids polygamy for any other reason than to "raise up seed." See BoM Jacob 24-30. So a dynastic-only marriage would have violated God's commandemnt.

5. Joseph Smith had sex with his other teen wives, including Fanny Alger, age 16, Sarah Ann Whitney, age 17, Lucy Walker, age 17, and Flora Ann Woodworth, age 16. So why not Helen? (In fact, Smith secretly married Helen in the same month he married Lucy and Flora!)

6. Helen said it was more than just a ceremony. In her own testimony, she wrote "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it."

7. Joseph Smith did not describe his plural marriages as mere dynastic. He told his close friend and scribe William Clayton that Helen and the other teen girls "were his lawful, wedded wives, according to the celestial order" and "his lawful wives in the sight of Heaven."

8. In Nauvoo, Smith bragged about the pleasure he got from his teen brides, saying one "had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed."

9. Everyone Joseph Smith taught his polygamy doctrine to had sex with their secret brides. None of them thought they were merely dynastic relationships.

10. Those close to Joseph Smith understood he married these women for sex. When Helen's father, Heber C. Kimball, asked Sister Eliza R. Snow the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith, she replied, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that."

So why didn't Helen get pregnant?

It's likely that at age 14, Helen was still not physically mature enough to get pregnant. Girls that age in the 19th century did not start menstruating until age 17 to 19.

See: here

So where is the evidence Smith's plural marriages were about sex?

There is more evidence to suggest that Joseph Smith had sex with his wives than there is that he saw God and Jesus in 1820. If Mormons will believe that story with such weak support, why will they not accept such a strong case for Joseph Smith practicing polygamy as the Lord commanded?

If you read D&C 132 you'll note how it bestows upon Smith the "blessings of Abraham," which, in Mormon theology, was the blessing of endless posterity. The "revelation" goes on to command Smith to "go and do the works of Abraham."

Also, verse 63 gives the *only* reason for Smith to plural marry: "for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment..."

Again, ALL of Smith's statements to those to whom he introduced into polygamy affirmed that the practice was to have sex and children, rather than to care for old widows. Following are several statements from early Mormons which help to explain the concept. Benjamin Johnson was a close follower of Joseph Smith, and the brother of one of Smith's plural wives, Almera Johnson. Benjamin wrote in his journal that Smith had taught:

"The first command was to 'multiply' and the prophet taught us that Dominion and power in the great Future would be commensurate with the number of 'wives children & friends' that we inherit here and that our great mission to earth was to organize a [nucleus] of Heaven to take with us. To the increase of which there would be no end."

Mosiah Hancock, another disciple of Smith, wrote "Bro Joseph said 'the Lord has revealed to me that it is his will that righteous men shall take righteous women even a plurality of wives that a righteous race may be sent forth upon the earth preparatory to the ushering in of the Millenial Reign of our Redeemer---For the Lord has such a high respect for the nobles of his kingdom that he is not willing for them to come through the loins of a careless
people.' "

Another example is from the journal of Helen Tracy, who wrote of a conversation between herself, Lorenzo Snow, and apostle Rudger Clawson:

"The Principle was quite a trial to Sister V. K. [Vilate Kimball, wife of apostle Heber Kimball] but she essayed to submit to it and went and chose two very old maids of quite plain and homely appearance for her husband Bro K[imball] spoke to the Prophet Joseph about it and he said, Bro K that arrangement is of the devil you go and get you a young wife one you can take to your bosom and love and raise children by. A man should choose his own wife and one he can love and get children by." (As quoted in "Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson," p. 12.)

Brigham Young re-affirmed this doctrine when he preached:

"Birth control----There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles [bodies], now what is our duty?---To prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can. This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, so that the noble spirits which are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth."
(Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 197.)

Maybe Smith only INTENDED to have sex with Helen?


As Randy Jordan has pointed out:

"We have no indisputable evidence that Smith had sex with the 14-year-old Helen; but considering Smith's sexual activities with other women, including teenagers, there is no reason to believe that he didn't intend to have sex with Helen and produce children, just as he did with others."

"It was common during the polygamy period for men to go ahead and plural marry desirable pre-pubescent girls in order to secure them into their harems and prevent them from marrying other men. Then when the girl had reached puberty, she would begin having babies. This is likely why Helen, even if she did not have sex with Smith, complained about not being able to socialize like other girls her age: it was her after-the-fact realization that she had been deceived into joining Smith's harem, and thus becoming ineligible to be courted by young, single suitors."

Let's also remember that

a) At the time Smith "plural married" Helen, he had many other women with whom he could have sex with; so he could have kept Helen "in reserve" for the time when she reached puberty, or perhaps when Smith was horny and no other woman happened to be available

b) Smith was killed 13 months after his sealing to Helen, so he simply may not have had the opportunity to consummate their relationship before his death. However, it's a virtual certainty that he would have if he had lived.

The bottom line is that it is futile for Mormon Apologists to argue that Smith's sealing to Helen was "dynastic" or "spiritual" only, in an effort to show that Smith's plural marriages to young girls were proper. Helen's own complaint that she was "deceived" into the sealing, and that she would not have agreed to it if she had known in advance that it was to be anything other than "spiritual," is enough to show the impropriety of Smith's motives and actions.

There's simply no good reason to believe that had he not been killed, Smith would not have had sex with Helen just as he did with his other so-called wives.

Details here

Sunday, April 06, 2008

General Conference April 2008: Thomas Monson Wants Ex-Mormons to Come Back

Mormons who have strayed from their faith were invited to return to the fold Sunday by the church's new president.

President Thomas S. Monson said members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are ready to welcome "the less active, the offended, the critical, the transgressor" into fellowship.

"Come back," Monson said in his first address to the full church membership since becoming president in February.

WTF? It’s as easy as that, huh? All I have to do is step in to my old ward next Sunday and my newly installed bishop, (who never laid eyes on me in his life) will just welcome me with open arms and no questions? Why? Because Tommy said so?

They still don’t get it do they? Those of us who left, did it for a reason! A real, honest-to-goodness reason not to believe in it anymore! Mine was because they refused to seal my children to me because my ex-husband objected. Has THAT requirement been removed yet? So, what’s in it for me anymore? If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have had any reason to become “critical” of the church in the first place. I probably would have happily continued to “believe in the absence of evidence to the contrary”, because the evidence would have remained tucked away and hidden in the books and websites of the dreaded Anti-Mormon conspiracy, (aka Satan’s minions) and I would never have known that it was Joseph who started the practice of polygamy, and it was Brigham Young who insisted that he was Joseph’s rightful heir to the presidency, by virtue of his placement in the church heirarchy. I would have never known just how many offshoots of the “one true church” there really were, back in the days of Nauvoo. I wouldn’t have learned anything about the Kirtland Bank folding, the Kinderhook plates, or the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper office that lead to Joseph’s arrest in the first place. I’m being labeled as “critical”? Why is that Tommy Boy? Because I had an opportunity to discover what you would have happily held away from my eyes for the rest of my life, and all because of the chauvinistic attitude that prevented me from having my children sealed to me JUST BECAUSE I divorced their father?

I just wish that something equally “offensive” would happen to my sister or my mother. Because at this point, that’s what it’s gonna take to send them on the path of discovery. They are going to have to jump through some mighty flaming hoops to obtain some sort of blessing that they have been promised, and when they finally get tired of being the blame taker for the failures of that promise, they might take a serious look at how they got there in the first place.

Here’s a suggestion for you, Tommy Monson: How bout if YOU take a few steps in the right direction, in order to make the So-Called “true” church, as open and inviting as you pretend it to be….

Exmo Community Urges Mormon Leadership to Come Clean

The COJCOLDS, also known as "The Mor-mons" and by the former Mormon community as LDS Inc., urges President Tommy Monson and his fellow executives to come clean with the public about the truth behind their successful marketing ploy to run a corporation masquerading as a religion.

The church, which is actually a multinational corporation that receives 10 per cent of the income of its naive adherents, no questions asked, is among America's most successful cults wherein the top leaders benefit but are secretive as to how their income and lives are led. They give the impression to their faithful flock that they have a direct link to God and Jesus, meanwhile are in the real estate business, involved in building shopping malls and other developments, running colleges and universities, other tourism related ventures such as the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. They are also reported as being the original bankers of the casino business in Las Vegas, which is highly ironic due to their anti gambling, smoking and drinking regulations for average members.

The corporation-masquerading-as-religion imposes strict lifestyle rules on their members, taking up large quanitties of their time and money, meanwhile claiming to offer peace, happiness and close families. In reality, they tend to divide families by keeping them together only when engaged in Mormon activities, otherwise encouraging them to spend time segregated in various "jobs" known as "callings" and focusing on church activities rather than actual time spent together, despite their "Happy Family" rhetoric in TV commercials. They are also prone to dividing families when one or more family members decides to depart Mormonism or speaks out against its so-called doctrines and various impositions on individuals and families.

As for me, this is what it would take personally to get me to stop being “critical” and come back to the church that claims it wants me so bad.

I’ll Come Back to the Church When….

1. My children and I can be sealed together WITHOUT a husband/father figure.

2. My non-member family can witness weddings in the temple.

3. All members are invited to take part in the Second Anointing ordinance.

4. My temple recommend is not renewed based on amount of tithing payments.

5. True history is discussed. Joseph Smith's life is open for analysis, as well as all other leaders of the church.

6. Prophets are no longer considered the great communicator and intercessor between us and God.

7. Bishops remove all "notes" from personal files.

8. Forgiveness is something between God and the individual, and no longer requires Courts of Love to process.

9. My sons can wear whatever damn color shirt they want to and no tie. And my daughters can wear flip flops and have their ears double-pierced without condemnation or judgment.

10. I can have a meaningful relationship with the members that is NOT based on how well I follow the crowd and conform to the Mormon standard, or whether or not my husband is an active member, or how many children I have, or what my particular calling is within the ward.

This is a short list. There are MANY more things that I would have to see discussed, evaluated, and possibly removed, (like the washing/anointing part of the temple, or having to wear a thick suffocating veil over my face, and an ugly green apron over my dress, so I can pretend to be ‘fallen’ and ‘under Satan’s rule’ while on earth). Maybe this list is considered fighting against the holy order of the true church. Maybe I am requiring God’s will to be bent to suit me. Maybe God really is this narrow and expects complete conformity and obedience in order to be admitted into heaven. But it sounds an awful lot like the alternate plan that was supposedly rejected and got Lucifer thrown out of heaven in the first place. This God that requires complete obedience conformity, who uses secret combinations to bind the hearts and minds of men into covenants with him, who will not tolerate the use of their own intellect and insists on complete faith as a substitute for reasoning and doubt, is a God I’d rather not be involved with. It’s too similar to what the Christians call Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, the Father of Lies. No thanks. I’ll just stick to an old Abraham Lincoln school of thought:

When I do good, I feel good.
When I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion.

Simple. Not flowery, not proud, and certainly not against any Biblical commandment that I can think of. Unless, of course, I’m being carefully led down to Hell anyway, by a master trickster who uses “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture”. God sure is vague isn’t he? Even the Bible itself is a mess of contradictions, missing portions, and outrageous laws spelled out in Leviticus. Go ahead, peruse that section of the Bible and see if God is “full of love and grace”.

I’ve had enough of this. I’m going full throttle again, against the LDS church. I’m going to use these talks given in General Conference this weekend as my propeller. I’m gonna make them answer me once and for all. I want to know from my mom and my sister: What’s in it for you? Why do you remain committed even after you see that I cannot obtain (by their OWN decree and rules) what they promise EVERY convert? How is it that you can remain when you KNOW that you can’t obtain it either? Why do you stay and put up with the pressure to conform, the warnings and the bitch-out sessions from “those in authority” when you fail to measure up? What the hell is it going to take for you to look out the window and see this church from the outside?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hypocracy and the Holier-Than-Thou Attitudes of LDS Members

I've lived it. I was one of the most valiant members of my ward when I decided to leave the church. I made many changes to my life in order to obtain the golden carrot of celestial bliss. I paid my tithing, upheld my callings, attended many leadership meetings, fulfilled the requirements of receiving a temple recommend, and I had the approval of my other LDS family members. All of it began to crumble in the year after my temple marriage had finally been accomplished.

I was sealed in the Winter Quarters Temple, near Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday, October 13th, 2001. It was the ward's assigned temple weekend, so I felt enormous pressure to be ready by that date. So I plowed ahead with it, not sure I liked the idea of being married on a traditionally bad omen-bad luck day, but bowing to the pressure of my bishop. The day I was sealed was the day I went through the endowment ceremony, and we got to sit in the Celestial Room for all of 15 minutes afterward. I was one of 5 brides going through that day, so I had to wait my turn for the sealing portion. My dress was customized to be temple-ready, so I didn't have to cover it up (except for having to wear the green apron). I was so giddy that I actually blurted out my "new name" (Rachel) to my LDS family who had gone through the session with me, not realizing that they had received the same name on behalf of the dead ancestors they had gone proxy for.

At the time of my marriage, I was in constant battle with my husband's ex-wife, who was no saint by any means, and often spread rumors about me and my children throughout the small community of 700 people. She and my husband had a very public drawn out divorce when it was discovered that she had been carrying on an affair with a co-worker for two years. None of that had ANYTHING to do with me. I didn't know her from a hole in the wall. But as soon as I arrived on the scene with "her husband", she fought me tooth and nail every chance she got. She still carried on with the man she left my husband for, (and eventually married him), but it was extremely difficult to hold my head up in the community after she got done trashing me by her rumor mongering. It didn't help that she was also the girl's softball coach, so my girls had to drop softball because she was so cruel to them. It didn't help that she was the girl-scout leader, so that my girls had to drop that too. Her boyfriend was the boy's baseball coach and the boy scout leader, as well as one of the school board members, and best friends with the elementary school principal. So, my sons were unable to join anything either. This woman made my life hell for over 4 years, with the final culmination of an accusation that my oldest son was molesting her son, and seeking a restraining order against any visitation rights unless my son was not present. Which she got. Without so much as one visit from a social worker, or any doctor's examination, my son was branded a deviant, and she was seen as the brave victim. Only my son hadn't been living with me at the time, he had been living with his father for 7 months at the time of this decision. But, I had another son, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the accusations swept towards him. So, I did the only thing I could do to preserve my sanity. I left my husband of four years behind, and started over in my own home town, where her influence and lies could never reach us.

During this time of tremendous stress and anger towards my husband's ex wife and her web of lies, I was a Holier-Than-Thou Mormon. I believed with 'every fiber of my being' (yada-yada), that I was better than her. I believed that being Mormon made me more blessed, more chosen, more spiritual and more worthy than her, and it was my only defense against her. So, I used it. We fought constantly about being able to take her children to church. Sometimes she would show up right after boring SM to take the children to lunch or the park and they would happily go with her, even though it was my husband's legal visitation time. She undermined my position many times by taking over control of the children at any public event we attended. If we took them to the store, she would show up and take them around the store with her, where we would either have to force the children to come with us, or make some sort of arrangement for her to bring them back. I had to stop letting her children travel with me anywhere because if we met up with their mother, she would just whisk them away and I would have to come home and explain to my husband that his ex wife had the kids again. She would sit with us in the stands at games, music concerts, any possible public events, and would have her boyfriend come right along and sit there too, with their kids right there between them. I might as well have been invisible. But I still felt superior to her, through it all. She was only a Catholic, after all, and a beer drinker, smoker, and a party girl, not to mention an adulterer. But somehow, I ended up with the reputation she deserved. I completely withdrew from participation in the community and instead, I substituted all things Mormon, so my kids and I could have a place of respite away from the constant chaos.

She, of course, blocked our efforts to have the children baptized. She waited until the day before to send a letter to the bishop, threatening legal action if he went through with it, and petitioned the court for sole custody because of our involvement in the church. She was a one woman campaign against the Mormon cult, and soon had the entire small community we lived in completely against us for wanting to baptize her children as Mormon. She became white and pure almost overnight, joining a popular community church and attending regularly, even planning her lavish wedding there. And, of course, her children would rather go to the fun church with all their friends than to the Mormon church 30 miles away. All this hateful and spiteful behavior only strengthened my belief that I was morally and spiritually superior to her, and I proclaimed it from the pulpit whenever I had the chance.

I have had five years now, away from her, away from my weak ex-husband, away from that small town of 700 people who never knew what became of me. The bitterness and anger that consumed me has completely abated. I have no reasons to fight her and no interaction with her world.

The whole time I fought this battle of wills, I had the passion and desire to prove myself worthy beyond a doubt. I wanted every possible blessing as proof of my righteousness and my status as an LDS faithful member, as opposed to the adulterous, slanderous, Catholic demon-spawn. It was a race, to be sure, and I got plenty of sympathy from my fellow members. When I dared to question the church's policy against baptizing my husband's children, I started to doubt. When I was finally confronted with the church's policy that my children could not be sealed to me and my new husband without consent from their father, I doubted even more. What was I striving to accomplish, if I couldn't have my children sealed to me, and my husband couldn't have his children sealed to him, then what purpose did the church serve in our lives? It slowly became clear to me that my involvement with the church was the tool that she used to destroy my marriage. Our ultimate goal of family unity would never be realized. And no one on the earth could override "God's restored plan".

Over the past four years since I have left the church, I have tried to explain to other LDS members that I left when I realized that I can't have what they have. And I've even tried to talk with my former friend "Mary", that even she cannot obtain it, according to the standards and procedures that are currently in place. Being married to a never-gonna-be Mo is preventing her from being sealed to her children. The fact that five out of six of her children have left will prevent her from obtaining the promise of being sealed to her family. And who do you think she blames for this? That's right, the rebellious children, the hard-hearted spouse, and her own failure to provide the example they all desperately needed as they were growing up. She blames HERSELF. And is is sad and wrong, and completely despicable that she feels this way because some "loving" church has conditioned her to take responsibility for the division of her family, when all they have to do to fix it is come off their lofty heights of self-righteous divinity, and allow families to be ceremoniously bound whether or not they are members of the church. But, that takes away the only thing of value that the temple brings to the church. It is a control mechanism. Members live in fear of having to sit outside at a family wedding. Thousands of members suddenly start to pay tithing or attend meetings a month or so before a big family event, knowing that if they fail to do so, they will not regain or renew their temple recommend, and will be excluded from the wedding. To allow people in without the TR removes this fear and destroys the effectiveness of the control mechanism. And, the whole reason that couples chose to be married in the temple, away from those who cannot enter, is because the church has a policy of forcing a one-year waiting period between civil marriage and sealing if it is not performed in the temple. This one-year wait period is waived in countries that require marriages to be performed by magistrates, or in public places, and in these cases the couple can go to the temple immediately afterward to be sealed. So, what purpose does the one-year waiting period really serve?

It's a fear button. It's power and control. They use it to coerce and manipulate couples into choosing the temple marriage and excluding those who choose to be rebellious, or those who won't convert to LDS. They will paint a picture of pain, despair, and possible tragedy for the entire year of waiting, and convince the couple that they will be blessed more and strengthened more if they commit to the temple above their own desires. The couple sacrifices family relationships from the very beginning of their marriage by choosing this path, and it often becomes a very painful thorn in the side for non-member family and friends who are excluded merely because they aren't members of the same club.

I waited the year because my husband had converted for me, and had to wait a year from his baptism to attend the temple. But, they kept him busy remaining worthy to baptize his oldest daughter (by a different mother) and to pass the sacrament every Sunday (provided he remembered to wear a white shirt and tie). I was never told that it would be next to impossible to have my children sealed to me without first gaining written permission from both fathers, (one a lax inactive member, the other completely gone from the picture). I felt SO deceived when they finally revealed to me that I could not make my family eternal until they each reached the age of consent and individually decided to link themselves to me and my new husband. So, ultimately, it would rest on my shoulders to ensure that my children would be raised to believe all of this was necessary, and to compel them somehow into thinking it was the most important covenant they could make (aside from marrying in the temple on their own), and that this would be the only way I could obtain Celestial glory with them. I would have to assist the church in convincing them that this would be the only way we could partake of "God's restored plan". If they refused to join with me when they turned of legal age, it would all fall back on me and my failure to remain with their natural father, and somehow compel everyone to remain together in that original family unit. They learned to hate my husband and his ex wife over the four years we were part of that world, so what would compel them to want to be with him as the leader of our Celestial family in the hereafter? Not high on my list either, as it turns out.

Then there is "Sally", the last remaining LDS member of her family. Somehow, she managed to obtain what I could never have. Somehow, through lots of legal wranglings, her husband adopted her kids, she overcame the stumbling blocks of a previous sealing to undo (by which she had to revisit every past sin resolved over a 10 year span, even the ones she had been previously forgiven for, and were supposedly forgotten) relive the circumstances of her own dis-fellowship-ment 10 years prior (even though she had been forgiven, and went through a year of scrutiny and goal-setting). She now has the 'assurance' that her family will be together forever. But, at what cost did she obtain this? Several times she had to confess her deepest, darkest sins, reveal very personal painful information and experiences, and run through the gauntlet of supervision, confession, and judgment by men who were strangers to her in any other capacity, and she had to submit herself again and again as a child begging for forgiveness, love and attention. And when she was just about at her lowest point, they finally grant her their "permission" to obtain the promise of the golden carrot. And she was THRILLED to have been given this chance. Does that sound Christlike? Because of all the agony she went through, the pain and torture of not being good enough, of having to constantly prove herself worthy, of having to jump through whatever flaming hoops that they laid out for her, without complaint or murmuring, she has paid a very high price for her salvation, and NOTHING is going to convince her that it was all for nothing. Her heart and soul will not allow her to even entertain the thought that she was deceived by those who claimed to have loved her the most, even though they treated her worse than anyone in her natural family would have dreamed. She is bound to them eternally because love is only demonstrated by how much they punish you for falling away. Acceptance in the fold is based upon the level of conformity you can obtain and how much you can impress the current bishop.

"Sally" and "Mary" are not perfect, and neither was I when I was Mormon. I cursed. I drank Iced tea. I played cards. I yelled at my kids. I said unkind things about others. I skipped church occasionally, and I sometimes didn't bother preparing a lesson for Sunday School. But when Sunday rolled around, I was the perfect hypocrite. I personified everything good and holy about a Celestial Family. We collectively brought nine children with us to church, and on those days, we were the best example of large Mormon families who make the gospel work in their lives. We were shining stars. I would wear myself completely thin every Sunday morning, making sure six girls had their hair clean, dresses neat, and tights with proper shoes worn. I ironed shirts for three boys and my husband, and still managed to look like it was the most effortless thing in the world. I remember being teased that I would eventually be the bishop's wife someday, because my life was so put together. (on the outside). When I got home, I literally fell apart every time. It was exhausting to work so hard on being so fake. Now, I do just exactly what I damn well please on Sunday, just like any other day. No lesson plans, no spending my own money on class materials, no stress, no uncomfortable garments and proper long dresses. I am exactly the same on the outside as I am inside. As for "Sally" and "Mary", they still tread the Mormon Hampster Wheel. A different persona exists for those they see at church, and for those they deal with at home.

I've taken the time to ask them what compels them to remain part of a church that is so bent on excluding those who don't adopt their specific beliefs. I've asked how God could possibly be so narrow in his acceptance, and why his one true church is so hard to believe in. Of course the answer is that they simply choose to believe it, and anyone else can simply choose to believe it just as simply and easily as they have, and then everyone could share in God's blessings. They really do think it's just a matter of choosing to believe it, and poof! You're in. The fact that 98.3% of the world needs more evidence to go on, just serves as proof of their own rebellious nature, and by extension, also serves as proof of how valiant and special those who choose to believe really are. My problem (as it has been explained to me numerous times) is that I choose to allow my own understanding to interfere with God's lesson plans, and I have rejected the messages simply because of the method by which they are dispensed. Take for example, the character of Joseph Smith. It can be said that he was a glass looker, treasure digger, and vagabond of sorts. But I shouldn't ignore the message contained in the Book of Mormon, just because the source of it is of questionable moral character. Nor should I dismiss it because of similarities to other texts and ideas by other authors at the time. And I shouldn't put away the basis of the Mormon belief system because it uses rituals and borrows concepts from other organizations. And it's not supposed to be judged by wordly thoughts or using logical reasoning. It's supposed to be a process of conversion that can only come from humble submission to the spirit, and the acknowledgment of the good uplifting feelings one has when surrounded by others of similar conviction.

Well, looks like I'm never going back. I don't know how to cut my brain out of my head and live off of feelings alone. And I just don't know how one could possibly claim to know everything about the church, just as I have learned, and still be able to maintain the fundamental beliefs that make a Mormon. Surely one would grow and change and perceive the world differently as each piece is revealed and put in its place within the scheme. It makes me feel as if I'm being lied to again. I can't come to the conclusion that it's still a true copy of the original church of Christ. I can't make the connection between the God of the bible, and the one portrayed in Mormonism. I can't accept the there are living prophets on the earth that have special powers and keys to holy priesthood powers if they are never going to exercise them out in the open for everyone to witness. I can't follow the lead of a man who is proclaimed to be a living prophet if he never makes good on that claim, either by making a prophecy of some kind (which his title implies) or by using his priesthood authority to bind or control some other evil aspect of this life, like famine or disease. That's a prophet in the biblical sense, and I don't know why it would be any different in this life, if the church wants to make the claim that all the keys have been restored. We should be living in a marvelous and wonderous age, if it were true. But, all I can see is 15 old, white men, each in control of some aspect of the church business, and all grouped together for a common goal, maintaining the base and keeping those tithing dollars coming in every month.

Can anyone tell me why it's worth it to remain in the church, even when most of your family has left it? What's in it for you? Can you honestly say that you know you're going to the CK and that all your sacrifice in this life will actually be doing some good for you in the next one?

Here's the most important question: If the church was not true, would you want to know?