Monday, January 24, 2011


There's a lot to be said for knowing who you are and living your life accordingly.  It seems to me that too many times, people try to conform to what they feel is "expected" of them.  I know I used to do that.  Being born and raised Mormon by extremely TBM parents, I tried so hard for so many years to be the perfect Mormon.  To do what was expected of me.  To follow the prophet without question.  To be a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints.  Not really thinking for myself, but rather simply accepting what I was taught.  After all, they wouldn't lie to me, would they?  No, the prophet knows best... right?? 

I guess that's what upset me so much when I finally started researching church history (at the age of 50).  Discovering that I had devoted my life to a religion that is a total fabrication was a real shocker, and it hit me like a thunderbolt.  When I realized that Joseph Smith was simply a shyster and a con artist who "invented" Mormonism as a way to gain power and money, I became nauseous - literally.  I mean, I had stood up so many times over the years in Fast & Testimony meeting and said "I know the church is true, and I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God" - thinking that I really knew those things.  So when I discovered that everything taught by the Mormon Church is based on a stack of lies, it really pulled the rug out from under me. 

Of course, I had always heard that everyone needs to "gain a personal testimony" of the gospel - so having been born and raised in the church, I attempted to do that many times.  And many times, I thought I had gained that "personal testimony."  But in reality, I was simply adhering to the programming that had been so deeply imbedded inside me.  After all, I had fasted and prayed, following what Moroni had promised in Moroni 10:4, to wit:  "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

But even though I thought I had received that "burning in the bosom" that is talked about so often in the Mormon Church, once I realized just how many lies there are laced throughout Mormonism, I also realized that my "burning in the bosom" was simply part of the programming.  After all, the "warm fuzzies" are not a reliable source of "confirmation" of anything.  And besides, if I had admitted to myself that I had not actually received such a "confirmation," then I would have also had to admit that I must not have asked with a sincere enough heart, lacked real intent, or didn't have enough faith in Christ.  In reality, isn't that what the church wants everyone to think?  Don't they want people to talk themselves into believing that they really did receive that "burning in the bosom"?  Because to believe otherwise would mean that there is something wrong with the Book of Mormon or that Moroni's promise is lacking.  No, neither of those options were even possible.  So even if the "confirmation" wasn't really received, good little Mormons profess that they did receive it.  An outgrowth of the old "It's me, not them" philosophy.

Once I finally realized that the whole thing is a scam and a fraud, though, I felt as though an enormous burden had been lifted from my shoulders.  For so many years, I felt as though the weight of the world was practically suffocating me - and in some respects, I didn't understand why.  Many times, I blamed situational circumstances in my life, even thinking that perhaps I was simply a flawed individual who couldn't appreciate happiness.  I spent so many years looking for peace of mind, but found that it eluded me constantly.

But once I came to terms with the fact that Mormonism is nothing but an enormous fraud, I also realized that the reason I had felt so discombobulated over the years was due to cognitive dissonance.  Trying to rationalize out so many conflicting ideas had really done a number on me - and when I shed myself of the many years of programming, it felt as though a huge cloud lifted and the sun shone in on me for the first time.

And now, I am living an authentic life.  My beliefs correspond with my thoughts and vice versa.  Things that make no sense have been assigned to their proper place - not in my belief system, but rather in oblivion.  The one thing that remains, though, is an occasional "return to anger," not only at the Mormon Church itself, but also at myself for allowing myself to be majorly duped for so many years.  I still struggle with being angry at myself for not realizing sooner that it is simply a pile of rubbish, and that part still irks me to this very day.

But even my sporadic bouts of anger at my former "Mormonness" can't diminish the sense of peace and tranquility that has pervaded my soul.  Yes, living an authentic life is quite simply a reward all its own.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After realizing that Mormonism is a sham, I began wondering about an "Afterlife."  Not believing that those types of beliefs are exclusively Mormon anymore (as I was programmed to believe), I have sometimes wondered whether Christian beliefs are even plausible.  I've gone back and forth, sometimes calling myself Agnostic because I have not been sure whether God really exists, and if there is a God, I am uncertain as to what his/her form really is - and simply calling myself Spiritual but not Religious since I am very much against organized religion now because I believe it's all about money and power. 

My questions about an Afterlife came to a head the night before my father passed away in May 2006.  He was 92 years old, but had been in relatively good health up until a month before his death when he had a stroke and began to decline.  In mid-May, after hearing how he was deteriorating, my brother Jim, his wife Daisy, and I decided to go to Utah to see him.  I had just moved from California to Georgia that January (to live near my brother, his wife and several of their children and grandchildren) so I was living relatively close to them at the time.  My father had remarried a year or so after my mother passed away in 1977, and he had lived with his new wife Bonnie in American Fork, Utah since 1978.

When we arrived in Utah, we went to the hospital to see him - and I was immediately struck by how frail he looked.  He was paralyzed on his left side and his speech was so bad that it was very difficult to understand what he would say.  Of course, his wife Bonnie was there and was very distressed by the situation.  While Jim, Daisy and I were at the hospital, my father's doctor asked if he could speak with us.  He proceeded to tell us that our father's condition was very tentative, that his prognosis was not good, and that there was very little they could do for him.  It was at that point that the doctor recommended that my father be taken home and that hospice care should be instituted.  At first, hearing the doctor talk about hospice care was difficult for me, probably because I realized that meant the end was very near for him.  But then, I knew that if my father was relegated to living the way he was right then, and was indeed permanently paralyzed on his left side and unable to speak well enough to make himself understood, it would be tortuous for him.  He had always been a very active, vital man.  He had golfed from the age of 55 until 82 when he was forced to stop because of problems with his knees.  Laying in bed day-after-day, unable to take care of himself or even make himself understood did not seem to me to be a life my father would want to continue to live.  So after discussing the realities of the situation, we all decided that taking him home and beginning hospice care was best under the circumstances.  When we told him that we were going to take him home, he was very happy.

On Saturday afternoon, my father was transported to his home in American Fork.  But once he was home, it began to seem that he was improving.  His demeanor became much more upbeat, and although he still wasn't easily understood, he just seemed better.  Not long after he arrived at his house, his Mormon Bishop and some other men from his Mormon Ward came to the house.  After going in to his room and visiting with him for a while, the Bishop took me aside and began talking to me about how much better my father seemed and that it was obvious he was improving - and then he proceeded to tell me that we should not be doing hospice care on him but rather life-sustaining measures should be taken to keep him alive.  I remember looking at this Bishop and thinking that he was spouting the Mormon rhetoric as well as the official Mormon position, but he wasn't taking into account the reality of the situation or the quality of life that my father would be subjected to if "life-sustaining measures" were taken. 

At the time, I had not been to a Mormon Church for over a year and a half, so I had not had to deal with the rhetoric typically spouted by Bishops and other Mormon leaders.  After leaving the church, I had stopped being intimidated by these men and so decided to tell him my opinion - which was that quality of life was extremely important, and that if my father was forced to live the remainder of his life in a semi-paralyzed state and unable to speak coherently that it would be tantamount to holding him prisoner.  Naturally, the Bishop didn't respond well, and told me that it was obviously the Lord's will that my father live, so whatever I had to say on the subject really didn't matter.  Shut me down quick.  Of course, I felt like asking him why he was even talking to me about this since he didn't really want to hear what I had to say, but I decided to end the conversation rather than take it into those avenues.

Finally, the bishop and his entourage left, and just family was left in the house.  A short time later, two of my nephews arrived and visited with their grandfather.  One of my nephews, Todd, was visibly shaken up by how frail his grandfather seemed, and I was very touched when I saw him in the hallway crying.  Not long after that, Jim and Daisy decided to leave to go stay at one of their son's houses for the night, and my two nephews left as well.  But I decided that I wanted to stay there with my father and Bonnie, so I asked Bonnie if I could spend the night on their couch, and of course, she said yes.  Because of what happened later that night, I am very glad I stayed.

The first event of the night was the arrival of my step-mother's son, Jay Paul.  He's a very nice man, and I like him very much.  My father had always spoken highly of Jay Paul, and I knew that they had become very close over the years.  After arriving, Jay Paul immediately went into my father's room to visit with him, and Bonnie accompanied him.  I stayed in the living room while they were in there because I wanted to give them some privacy.  They were in there for quite a while, and after they came out, they both seemed very distressed.  They sat down on the couch and began discussing whether the right decision had been made, questioning if hospice was the right route.  Of course, my step-mother sounded just like the Bishop, almost quoting him verbatim, so I knew that he had confronted her with his opinion as well and made her feel that hospice care was not the right route.  I could feel their distress, and I empathized with them totally.  After all, this was not an easy decision.

Deciding to stay out of the discussion at that point, I decided to go back into my father's room and sit with him again.  I tried carrying on a conversation with him, but it was very difficult since he couldn't communicate very well.  So I just sat there, talking to him, nodding my head a lot, and holding his hand for quite a while.  Finally, I told him that I needed to go to the bathroom, and I left the room for a few minutes.

When I returned to my father's room, it was as if I was walking into an entirely different world.  My father was looking at an area just above his bed, was holding his right arm out as if he was touching people, and was speaking (albeit incoherently) to what seemed to be spirits hovering above his bed.  When I entered the room, I went over and sat down in the chair by his bed again, although he seemed to be unaware of my reappearance in the room.  As I sat there watching this for quite a while, I was convinced that there really were spirits visiting him.  As he spoke to these spirits, he would smile and laugh - his signature very robust laugh that I remember so well growing up.  He seemed so much like his old self again, and it was very endearing.

After sitting there observing this for what seemed like a very long time, I got up and went to find Bonnie.  Jay Paul had left, so now it was just me, Bonnie and my father in the house.  I told Bonnie what I had been observing and asked her to go to my father's room with me.  So we both walked back there, sat down and watched what my father was doing.  After 10-15 minutes, I reached out and touched my father on the arm, startling him.  In fact, he was so startled that he seemed perturbed with me that I had interrupted something so important.  Then Bonnie spoke to him, asking him what was happening - and he just stared at the two of us for a minute or so.  It was very evident to me that we had brought him back from another place, perhaps from the threshold of the spirit world. 

Finally, Bonnie began asking my father to whom he had been talking.  Of course, since it was very hard to understand him, we couldn't make out what he was saying.  So Bonnie asked him whether he had seen my brother Bobby (who had passed away in 1961 when he was 14 years old) - and he nodded yes.  Then she asked him if he had seen my mother - and he nodded No, looking a little bewildered.  Then Bonnie asked him whether he had seen Bonnie's mother (who had passed away a few years earlier), and he again nodded yes. 

After that, Bonnie and I walked out into the hallway and talked for a little bit.  We were both awestruck by what was happening and didn't quite know what to make of it.  I told her that it was obvious to me that my father was at the brink of the spirit world, and that people he knew who had passed away were coming to visit with him, possibly as a precursor to his passing away.  Of course, she didn't want to believe that he was being drawn that close to the spirit world because that would seem to mean that his death was imminent.  At 92 years of age, though, and particularly after a month of struggling physically following a severe stroke, it was apparent to me that his death was most likely very close.  Bonnie is a very dear person, and she was a wonderful wife to my father, always taking care of him very well, but she is also 20 years younger than him, so there was always the possibility that he was going to pass away long before her life is over.  But she always seemed unwilling to accept that fact.

After we finished talking in the hallway, I walked back into my father's room and sat down beside him again.  As I sat back down, it became more and more apparent to me that he was disappearing further and further into this other world, seeming not to even notice my presence again.  But regardless of that, I spent the next two hours sitting there, watching what was going on.  It was 1:30 am before he finally wound down and fell asleep.  And he never woke up.  The following afternoon, he passed away.

When I relayed this experience to my brother and his wife, I found their reaction to be very interesting.  They immediately started telling me that this experience was confirmation that Mormonism was true and that I needed to go back to church.  Basically, they asked me how I could continue to turn my back on the Mormon Church when I had witnessed such a miraculous event.  Of course, this is a typical Mormon response since according to "them," any type of spiritual experience is inherently Mormon in nature.
At first, my Mormon programming began to kick in.  Hearing them talk about this experience that way made me almost begin to believe them, and I began to ask myself the same questions they had posed.  But then, almost like an epiphany, it struck me that this experience doesn't mean that Mormonism is true - it simply means that after this life, we will go to another place, whether you want to call it an Afterlife... or the Spirit World... or Heaven... or whatever... and a person doesn't have to be Mormon to either recognize those facts or go there.

Looking back at this experience now, I am still struck by the feeling that there is indeed an Afterlife of some sort.  Of course, since I know that Mormonism is not true, the Mormon view of an Afterlife or Spirit World or Heaven cannot be accurate - and perhaps Christian views in general aren't accurate either.  After all, those who die aren't coming back to talk about it (even though some people would disagree with me on that, believing in mediums and seances).  Also, people do occasionally speak of Near-Death Experiences and seeing a bright light that they feel drawn to walk toward.  While I do not claim to understand what exactly it is they have seen, I do find the details of these types of experiences to be very interesting. 

But regardless of what Mormons, Catholics, Episcopalians, Buddhists, Muslims or any other type of religion may teach, and putting all "religion" aside, I still believe that our spirits continue to live after we leave our mortal states even though I cannot claim to know the form or nature of that Afterlife.  Atheists, of course, disagree with me on this -- and claim that this life is IT.  Nothing more.  When we die, we go into the ground, and cease to exist.  I guess that conclusion is simply too sad for me.  It seems to me that the implications of that conclusion are that our lives here have no purpose, no meaning, no reason for being.  So futile and moot.  Not a mindset in which I feel comfortable. 

For me, it all boils down to watching my father the night before he died.  And since I don't believe that he was hallucinating, I have to believe that he was indeed conversing with people on the other side.  That experience answered a lot of questions for me.  And no, it did not make me realize that Mormonism is true. 

Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another. ~Socrates

I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have often thought about how incredibly wonderful it would be if Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was real, meaning the ability to have a procedure to remove from my brain the memories of certain people and events in my life.  Of course, the procedure turned out to create many more problems in the movie rather than solving them, proving not to be the great process that it was originally purported to be.  But isn't that the way it is with most things in life?  The grass is greener syndrome.

But still, at first glance, removing certain memories from my mind seems like a good idea.  Ones that have gotten caught in my consciousness and won't "let go."  Like my three ex-husbands.  Boy, would I like to forget them and what they put me through.  But of course, since my marriages to them permeated my life during my daughter's growing-up years, removing memories of them would also alter memories of those years in general, and I don't ever want to forget the wonderment surrounding her and being her mother.

And then, there are my many mind-numbing years as a Mormon.  What a can of worms that is.

But in reality, since what a person goes through becomes part of who they are, taking away any type of memories would alter the woman I am today - and I wouldn't want to do that either.  I am very proud of the woman who I have become, especially since I consider myself to be a very strong, competent woman who can take care of herself.  Without the experiences through which I have gone, though, I often wonder if I would have ever arrived where I am today.  Probably not.

One of the events that I have thought about including on my list for "Memory Expulsion" is my "Court of Love" which took place on April 11, 2002 and culminated in my excommunication from the Mormon Church.  But then again, even though it was an extremely humiliating experience, it did serve its purpose (and actually, it served several purposes).  At the time, I was going through a "crisis of faith," and I stupidly thought that perhaps if I "put myself right with the Lord" that I would also be able to come through that "crisis of faith" with my Mormonism intact.  At that time, I continued to hold on to what I had been told about "sinners" and their inability to have the "Holy Ghost" dwell with them.  You know... the prevalent Mormon theory that if there's something wrong, then it's YOU, not THEM or MORMONISM.  No, I bought the premise that all of the problems lie with ME, and that if I submitted myself to the process, and showed that I was ready to completely repent and do whatever was necessary to "make it right," then I would also be able to sort through what I had begun to discover about the history and certain doctrines of the Mormon Church. 

Some backbround.  In July 2001, I went on a Mormon Church History Tour with my then-husband.  His mother is a travel agent, and at the time, she was an annual organizer of these types of tours, having put together many during the preceding summers.  Since I had never been on one of these Church History tours, and didn't know very much about actual Mormon Church History, I decided that prior to going on this trek, I would do some reading and research so I would be more well-versed about certain historical events when we visited the key places.  What I began to discover, though, really "shook my faith," and I started to realize that I had been born and raised in a church with a very sordid history.  Of course, the more I discovered, the more I was also mad at myself for not doing reading and research about Mormon Church History prior to that time.  I had been a Mormon for 50 years at that point, so I began to feel very negligent in the way I had simply accepted everything about Mormonism from birth without actually researching on my own.

During this research period in 2001, not only did I discover the truth behind the many versions of the First Vision, but I also discovered that Joseph Smith wasn't really a religious martyr as I had been told over the years.  No, he was actually a criminal - and the reason he had been arrested and placed in Carthage Jail was because he had ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press (and the burning of the building in which it was housed) after William Law and several other disaffected former Mormons had printed a story exposing the truth behind Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy.  When I discovered these facts, I began to realize that if I had been lied to about these events, then there was the very strong possibility that there were other very disturbing facts being hidden as well.  And boy, was I right.

So for several months before my "Court of Love," I struggled with what I had discovered about actual Mormon Church history.  In the same time frame, my then-husband (#3) and I were doing some things that were very questionable from a moral standpoint as far as the Mormon Church is concerned.  So while I was going through my "crisis of faith" because of what I had begun to discover about church history, I decided to "confess" certain things to my Bishop with my then-husband in tow.  In the process, he "confessed" as well, and naturally, the Bishop told everything we had said to the Stake President.  Before long, we were in the Stake President's office - and not long after that, we were told that we would need to have "Courts of Love."

As I stated above, the actual "Court of Love" was an extremely humiliating experience.  There I was, in the High Council Room in the Stake Center with 17 men - including the Stake President, his two counselors, 12 High Councilmen, my Bishop and my then-husband.  And when I say that I decided to "submit myself to the process," I mean that I told them my entire story, no facts withheld, from my first marriage (at 22 to a TBM RM who turned out to be a porn addict and who later was the cause of my daughter being exposed to porn at a very young age) to my second marriage (to a non-Mormon man who turned out to be verbally, physically and psychologically abusive... and who "converted" to Mormonism after 4 years of marriage when I was on the verge of leaving him) to my third marriage (to another porn addict... only now we're talking internet porn... as well as a sex addict and an alcoholic... and also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who worked with teenage boys who were incarcerated for drug and alcohol problems... and with whom I ended up doing things that led to our being summoned there that day for the "Court of Love").  The things I told them that day made their eyes practically pop out of their heads because, believe me, I went in there with a "no holds barred" attitude.  I figured that if they wanted me to go through the "Court of Love," then I was going to give them their money's worth in addition to showing that I was, indeed, "submitting myself entirely to the process."  But more than anything, I remember the feeling I had during the time when I was in the High Council room with those 17 men.  Looking at them watching me, and listening to my rather sordid story, I couldn't help but think that they were actually simply "dirty old men" who were enjoying the details of my story and were somehow "getting off" on hearing what I had to say. 

After I finished telling my very sordid story, we took a short break before my then-husband's "Court of Love" was to begin.  When everyone returned and was walking back into the High Council Room, I began to walk back in there, too.  But then my then-husband turned to me and said that he didn't want me in his "Court of Love."  Of course, I was shocked because I had allowed him to attend mine - but when I told him that, he said that was my choice, but that his choice was to not have me in there for his.  I have often thought that he had things to tell these "gentlemen" that I didn't even know about - and that has always bothered me.  I mean, he knew everything about everything I had gone through, so to be told that I couldn't be there for his Court was very disconcerting to me.  To this day, I don't know what he said in that room, but I remain convinced that there was much, much more to his "story" than I know.

Of course, after the "Courts of Love" and the 15 men had met to consider our stories, we were told by the Stake President that we were both to be excommunicated.  At first, I was devastated - mainly because I had been Mormon my entire life and knew what typical Mormons think of people who have been ex'd.  I went through a very rough period for several months, and even separated from my then-husband for 6 months or so, but then I went back to my "Mormon place" and began to work on getting re-baptized.  That mindset lasted for a little over two years during which time the things we had done together continued to plague us to varying degrees, and because of that, the process was delayed over and over again.  Finally in 2004-2005, I started to face up to the fact that I had discovered deal-breaking information about the Mormon Church starting back in 2001 - and that's when I began to realize that my excommunication was actually a blessing.  So that's when my Mormon-ness began to shut down entirely, and I decided to leave well-enough alone and not seek to be re-baptized.  Best decision I ever made.

Looking back at my "Court of Love," I realize that it helped to cement my opinion that the Mormon Church is a male-dominated, male-oriented organization that deals in blatant double standards and tries to control people through guilt.  Making people feel like "sinners," and in particular making them think that they need to confess certain things to their Bishop and possibly their Stake President, and that depending on what is confessed, they may end up in a "Court of Love" is simply wrong.  In my opinion, this mindset shows a lack of boundaries, and is a total invasion of privacy.  I know that the reason I ended up in my "Court of Love" was because of the way in which I had been brainwashed over the years.  And it really pissed me off that I had succumb to the programming.

But regardless of that, here I am, 6 years later... and very happy with my decision to disassociate myself from Mormonism.  Of course, during the past 6 years, I have done even more research and have discovered even more about my religion since birth.  My catharsis has been aided by my writing 3 books - (1) one about my exit from the Mormon Church and my mountain of issues with it, and which is contained on this blog; (2) another one about my life in general, with obvious Mormon themes running through it; and (3) a third one containing poetry I have written over the years, including 6 "story poems" about various events in my life.  And it has further been aided by going on discussion boards at both and the RFM board (at, as well as attending the ExMormon Conference in SLC in October 2010.  Indeed, I am not alone.

And now, I'm blogging... in Outer Blogness where so many other ExMormons share their thoughts and experiences.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind may not be a possibility (and may not even be advisable), but I do know that Eternal Sunshine of the Informed Mind is a very powerful thing.  Discovering and uncovering what I have about Mormonism, and then ridding my life of its influence, has given me a new lease on life.  And talking about it all has provided me with the closest avenue to obtaining the peace and serenity that is alluded to in that process.

Yes, I'll take Eternal Sunshine of the Informed Mind every day... over blind submission to a religion that takes away actual thinking and all individuality.  As Oscar Wilde said, "A man who does not think for himself does not think at all."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."  Gerry Spence ("How to Argue and Win Every Time")

What a great quote.  Very thought provoking.  Of course, as an ExMormon, it brings up a slew of thoughts about the many ridiculous things I was told to believe "by faith" over my 52 years as a Mormon.  "Just believe."  In fact, that is what my very TBM father always told me when I was growing up and would ask him questions about certain doctrines taught by the Mormon Church - like Blacks being denied the Priesthood, differing versions of the First Vision, why polygamy and polyandry were okay, and other questionable Mormon teachings and doctrines.  When I questioned certain things about what the church teaches, if I didn't instantly accept what he would tell me, he would say, "Well, you better believe it because it's true."  Case closed. 

My father was very good at shutting me down - like when I would tell him I felt a certain way, and he would tell me, "Well, don't feel that way."  Very helpful.  As I got older, and I continued to question things, he told me that my "liberal thinking was going to get me into trouble one day."  I guess he was right - at least as far as TBMs are concerned.  Lucky for him, I didn't discover the real truth behind polygamy, or the fact that polyandry was also practiced by both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young as well as some others, until after my father passed away.  But then, because he was so pious and dogmatic about the whole thing, I never told him that I had left the church in 2004-2005, which was 2 years before he passed away at the age of 92.  And of course, I never told him that I had been excommunicated in 2002 because I knew what he would say (like I was going to HELL).  Since he passed away, I have thought about several conversations I wish I had undertaken with him before he was gone - but then again, as I said, he was very pious and dogmatic about Mormonism, so it probably wouldn't have done any good, and may have actually driven a wedge between us.   

To my detriment, when I was younger I never carried my questioning far enough.  In the end, I always buckled under and tried to accept it all by faith.  I believed what "they" said, believing that the problem was me - that if I prayed more, studied the scriptures more, and was a better person, it would all become clear.  Yes, the problem was ME and not the ridiculous doctrines and teachings.  It amazes me now that I was able to "accept" it all for so long.  But then, I was truly a Mormon Slave, which is very typical of so many Mormons - and unfortunately, it was true of me as well for a very, very long time.

In the long run, though, I continued to question the advisability of simply accepting things by faith.  Was I really supposed to do that?  Even things that have been proven false?  No, to me, when all the facts contradict what you are being told to believe by faith, it's not faith anymore but rather denial.  People whose minds are "closed by belief" are prone to simply accept what they are told - without questioning and without thinking.  In my opinion, that is very dangerous because it closes a person's mind off to the possibility that what they're clinging to is actually false. 

I'm so glad I finally realized that very important concept - and continued my questioning by actually starting to think, research, and analyze what I discovered.  Otherwise, I would probably still be grasping at straws and burying my head in the sand, like so many Mormons do so well.  And being a Mormon Slave.

In this day and age of the internet, though, things have become much more accessible.  So to paraphase a popular "Mormon" scripture, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Google."

Thursday, January 6, 2011


When I think of the word “truth,” it reminds me of a great line from the movie “A Few Good Men” as spoken by Jack Nicholson’s character.  When put on the witness stand and told (by Tom Cruise’s character) that he wants the truth, he exclaimed, “You can’t handle the truth.”  To me, that is a profound statement – and when examined in a broader sense, it seems that many people can’t handle the actual truth, preferring to live in fantasy worlds, created to protect their own version of truth and reality.

Of course, part of my fascination with "the truth" these days has to do with my discovery of so many lies perpetuated by the Mormon Church over the years.  For a religious organization that professes to highly value truth, honesty and integrity, it amazes me how fast and loose they play with actual truth.  The fact is that the Mormon Church not only lies about its history, teachings and doctrine, but it also lies through the omission of facts, distorting the total picture to suit their purposes.  After discovering this, I decided that I could not continue to associate myself with such an organization - one that professes to believe in Christ, calling itself a Christian religion, and yet lying and covering up certain things on a constant basis to protect its image.

I guess some people are not bothered by lies and deception.  After all, some active members of the Mormon Church have told me that they know "the real truth" behind the history of the Mormon Church, including its obvious problems, and also the many contradictions within its doctrine.  To me, discovering the lies and deception was a deal-breaker.  To me, that is not Christianity, but rather insanity.  Perhaps the inability to overlook lies in order to continue to believe in a religion is a character flaw of mine?  No, expecting that a religious organization will tell me the truth is a fundamental principle.  Otherwise, how can they profess to value the very principles they are very obviously mocking through deceit?

“The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth, so help me God."  This is the oath made in court before a witness is due to testify or give evidence, and it is usually sworn on a Bible with the right arm raised to a square.  Very ominous stuff.  The idea is that, once the witness has taken this oath, they must tell the truth or be charged with perjury (and there is also, of course, the underlying threat that the person will be struck down by the wrath of God if he/she does not speak “the truth”).  Looking at the phrase, a question was raised in my mind as to why the wording of the phrase is so long.  One would think that by saying "the truth," the additional of "the whole truth" and "nothing but the truth" is essentially redundant.  But in fact, after doing a little research, I've realized that there are probably several reasons for including the additional verbiage.

For one, the repetitive wording is most likely for emphasis, to convey the importance of the matter.  Rather than simply saying “I swear to tell the truth,” the witness has to say that they will tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” – and in that way, the repetition adds more weight and credence to the oath in the eyes of those testifying. 

Also, in actuality, the phrases “the truth,” “the whole truth” and “nothing but the truth” refer to different aspects of the truth, which means that they are not redundant and not just for show or emphasis.  Clearly, "the truth" is very simply the correct information as far as a person is aware.  However, "the whole truth" is different to this because although “the correct information” is still being elicited, adding the word "whole" means that nothing must be omitted.

Finally, "nothing but the truth" refers to opinion based on truth (which may not be well-informed enough) and assumption based on truth (which may not be correct).  Assuming that something happened based on limited information is not fact.  Hearsay falls into this category – and although someone may tell a person that something happened, since that person did not see it happen, they cannot state it as fact.  Regardless of whether the assumption is accurate or not, it is simply not fact.

Yes, I want THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, no matter what the consequences may be.  To me, anything less than absolute truth is an insult to my intelligence.  As I've heard said, "Don't sugarcoat it... give it to me straight."  Bottom line -- don't hedge, bob and weave... don't do a soft-shoe for me... just tell me the truth.