Friday, November 30, 2012

I KNOW THAT IT'S FILLED WITH DECEPTION - LDS Hymn Parody #76

Here's another LDS Hymn Parody... #76.  Writing a parody of "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet" has been on my "to do" list for quite a while now.  Naturally, since I was born and raised Mormon, I remember singing it innumerable times over the years.  In fact, I even remember singing it during general conference in the Conference Center when it was still fairly new.  Of course, it has been sung at most general conferences since it was published in 1863 - and has been sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir many, many times (and is included on several of their albums, including an album entitled "Praise to the Man," which includes many hymns honoring "the Prophet" Joseph Smith). 
  
Since I no longer believe that the Mormon Church is led by a living Prophet (just as I don't believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God or "the Prophet of the Restoration" as Mormons refer to him), it gave me great satisfaction to write this new version.  As this hymn parody says, I KNOW THAT IT'S FILLED WITH DECEPTION, and I'm so thankful for that knowledge.  When I was questioning and as the conflicts I felt inside began to diminish, I began to feel a peace, joy and tranquility that permeated my life and finally made me happy.  After years of struggling, trying to "just believe" and accept it all with faith, I finally came to the conclusion that I was living in denial - that I was clinging to religion that was built on a stack of lies that made no sense.  It was such a relief to finally reach that point.  And so I bid Mormonism adieu - and I have never regretted that decision.  As the last line of this hymn parody says, "I could not continue to follow religion that works to deceive."

I KNOW THAT IT’S FILLED WITH DECEPTION
I know that it’s filled with deception,
So clear from the research I’ve done.
Examining all of the doctrine,
I know that of truth there is none.
In going through its sordid history,
The facts that they try to disguise,
I fully reject Mormonism
Because it is nothing but lies.
I know Joseph Smith was a shyster,
Who made up an enormous fraud
By claiming that he was a Prophet,
And saying that he had seen God.
By researching, it is apparent
That none of what he said was true,
And what others say in the present
Are lies they continue to spew.
I'm thankful that I know the truth now,
Tranquility fills me inside.
Resolved are the conflicts that plagued me,
A joyousness I cannot hide.
And though I am labelled apostate
By Mormons who blindly believe,
I could not continue to follow
Religion that works to deceive.
© Diane Tingen, 11/30/12

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OH WINTER NIGHT - Another Alternate Carol


OK, here's another alternate Carol for the Holidays.  "Oh Winter Night" (sung to the tune of O Holy Night).  This version was inspired by a comment by someone in the ExMormon Facebook group that I mentioned yesterday (when I posted my version of Silent Night), who said that he would appreciate it if I could write secular words to O Holy Night since it is his favorite and it is "just too damn religious" (with which I have to agree). 

To me, there is a huge distinction between being "religious" and "spiritual."  My version of this Carol dwells on love and the beauty of nature.  A person doesn't have to be spiritual, or even believe in God, to appreciate the beauty in the world and the wonder of nature.  Whether the world was created by God or is the result of the "Big Bang" doesn't matter to me.  It is awesome and beautiful no matter how it came to be.

Since this Holiday song is not in the LDS Hymn Book, my "revision" is not an LDS Hymn Parody, so I won't be adding it to my ExMormon Hymn Book...

OH WINTER NIGHT
Sung to the tune of O Holy Night
Oh Winter Night, the stars are shining brightly,
The falling snow lay in drifts on the ground.
Everything white in its glistening glory,
Majestic scene, picturesque and profound.
In Wintertime, the world is cold and icy,
So beautiful, a frozen wonderland.
Gaze on the world, and view all of its beauty,
In awe, serene, so infinite and grand.
Oh night, oh Winter Night, oh night serene.
Beauty infused in every waking moment,
With glowing hearts we rejoice every day.
Life is a gift so cherish every remnant,
Treasure each breath and don’t ever dismay.
In Wintertime, the world in solemn slumber,
Is draped in snow, magnificent and white.
Sing and rejoice, let's celebrate in Winter,
Behold the world, reflect on every sight,
And fill your heart with joy forevermore.
© Diane Tingen
11/29/12

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SILENT NIGHT, PEACEFUL NIGHT - LDS Hymn Parody #75

Can't believe the 2012 Holiday Season is upon us!!  Recently, Jean Bodie posted something in an ExMormom Facebook group about needing alternate words to "Silent Night," because she can't choke out "Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child" anymore.  So of course, my brain cells started churning, and below is the result.

Of course, since this "Carol" is in the LDS Hymn Book, I'm including this one in my ExMormon Hymn Book and counting it toward my goal - which, with this one, I have now reached since this is #75.  Of course, since I have already have ideas for others to write, I'm going to just keep going until I totally run out of concepts.  There are a few other Holiday Songs for which I am going to attempt writing new words, including "O Holy Night" (since someone else in that Facebook group said that he would appreciate it if I could write secular words to that one since it is his favorite and it is "just too damn religious").  So stay tuned for that one... and some others...

And now, without further adieu, here is my version of Silent Night
(and there's not a virgin in sight)...


SILENT NIGHT, PEACEFUL NIGHT
Sung to the tune of Silent Night, #204
Silent night, peaceful night,
All the world, draped in white,
Drifted snow all over the ground,
Such serenity, nary a sound,
Fills my spirit with love,
Fills my spirit with love.

Silent night, peaceful night,
As I gaze, such a sight.
Peacefulness is filling my soul,
Love surrounding me, making me whole.
As I stand here in awe,
As I stand here in awe.


Silent night, peaceful night,
Fills my heart with delight.
Fantasies play out in my mind,
Winter wonderland, beauty defined,
Pure tranquility now,
Pure tranquility now.


Diane Tingen, 11/27/2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WHEN I WAS QUESTIONING - LDS Hymn Parody #74

Looking back on the days when I was questioning whether what the Mormon Church teaches is true, I remember many moments when my gut feelings were that it is not.  But I continued to struggle with my conflicted feelings, wondering if I was misunderstanding the history and doctrine.  After all, I had been conditioned my entire life to just go along.  So in essence, my feelings of possible inadequacy were placed inside my psyche by Mormonism over the years.  They wanted me to think that it was all me.  They wanted me to think that I simply didn't have enough faith or wasn't "righteous enough" to fully comprehend the meaning behind it all.  Of course, that's how the Mormon Church traps people.  They work hard to make people think that if they try harder, pray more, read their scriptures more, attend church more, etc., etc., ad nauseum, then they will understand and it will all make sense.

But alas, that didn't work for me.  I continued to feel conflicted until I began to research it independently, and after a while, I realized that it is actually a fraud.  It wasn't me or my lack of faith that created the questioning inside me - it was the sordid history, doctrine and tenets of the Mormon Church.  The Mormons choose to believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God in spite of the facts and evidence against that assertion.  They choose to believe that Joseph Smith "restored the everlasting gospel to the earth" although the facts and evidence demonstrate otherwise.  To me, when the facts and evidence are against something that a person continues to insist is true, they are not demonstrating faith, but rather denial.  And as far as I'm concerned, TBMs  (true believing Mormons) are steeped in denial, big time.

Realizing that I had been lied to my entire life was a very painful revelation, but it is one for which I am very grateful - and I am very thankful that I will not be spending the rest of my entire life devoted to a religion that is obviously false.

My latest LDS hymn parody is set to the music for "Where Can I Turn for Peace?"  This used to be one of my favorite LDS hymns.  As I wrote this hymn parody, I kept thinking about the inner peace I found when I turned away from Mormonism.  No longer am I questioning.  My conflicted feelings have been replaced with a firm belief that Joseph Smith made the whole thing up - and others have spent many years perpetuating his lies for their own purposes.  I just wish TBMs would look at their religion with open minds, researching and examining its history and doctrine on their own, independent from the choke-hold that the Mormon Church imposes on its members.  Then, just maybe, they would come to the same conclusion as I did.

So here is my 74th Hymn Parody...


WHEN I WAS QUESTIONING
Sung to the tune of Where Can I Turn for Peace? #129
When I was questioning, looking for answers
To all the queries racing through my mind.
When with a wounded heart, seeing the errors,
I finally recognized, no truth I’d find.
The Mormon Church is filled with such deception,
When I examined it, I saw the lies.
Through sordid history to its false doctrine,
It is so clear to me, there’s no disguise.
I know that Joseph Smith was not a Prophet,
He simply made it up, that was his scheme.
He was a charlatan, there was no limit
To what he’d say or do, shyster supreme.
Why did I just believe in Mormonism
When it’s so obvious it is a fraud?
Opened my mind and then, there was a schism,
I knew without a doubt, not Word of God.
© Diane Tingen, 11/20/2012