Friday, September 26, 2008

It's not fair.

For this blog, I have taken an extreme hiatus on blogging about Mormonism. I'm glad to say that is a chapter in my life that I have truley lost interest in. I don't really care to keep up on the issues that once bothered me so. I really just disassociate myself from that all together.

But, I do have a great passion when it comes to politics. But I admit, I'm not naturally smart or naturally aware of all the details when it comes to these issues. I have to do a lot of reading and research to make sure I'm well aware and informed of any stance I might or might not take. As for the bail out, for a while I wasn't sure what to think. But I have made up my mind that I am not for this bail out. When President Bush addressed the nation (yes, I DID watch it) he painted this picture that made it seem that if the bill did not pass, our nation would be doomed, which would in turn, bring an end to the world as we know it. I just don't believe that is true.

Before that bail out appeared, Suze Orman explained that the market would level out in a few years. It would take a few years, but it's gonna level out. I think that our economic world will level out without a bail out for our richest Americans. I believe that George Bush is just giving his best CEO buddies a "get out of jail free" card. It's not fair.

It's not fair that, while I do not own a home, and do not have a job, that soon I will be having to pay the price for this economic bail out. John and I do not work now, but we will soon. And that's exactly where our tax dollars go.

It's not fair that while John and I scrape together our ends meat to live on our student loans, the investors on wall street will be bailed out by the government and be able to continue to afford their life styles of the rich and famous.

It's not fair that while John and I have been investing in our education ever since (and before) we've been married that housing values have tripled, or quadrupled.

It's not fair that there were not more regulations on home loans during that time. It's not fair that people I knew with very low income and no education were being able to buy these seemingly unaffordable homes. And all the while, I stood back cautiously observing the risk takers. Being smart.

It's not fair that I did not take that risk and now I will be responsible for bailing everyone out.

It's not fair that when John gets a job AFTER 3 YEARS OF POST GRADUATE SCHOOL will only be making 60k a year. While I know some people with no post high school education who started jobs making 55k a year.

It's not fair that the average house cost more than 250k- more than 4 times our potential annual salary.

It's not fair that 40 years ago a house cost only twice an annual salary.

It's not fair that in the past year the cost of staple grocery items has surged between 25-40%.

It's not fair that while income and salary seem to stay the same that cost of living is almost unaffordable.

It's not fair that someone as qualified as a lawyer will have a struggle looking for a job because of the extreme shit hole the government has put our economy in. At the Clark County Prosecutor's office, there are 5 positions that need to be filled, if they had the funds to do so. But they don't have the funds.

It's not fair that something as essential as a HOUSE is seemingly unaffordable. A house.

It's not fair that after law school we won't be able to afford it.

It's not fair.

Monday, September 15, 2008

For those of you who missed it

My favorite part is:

Clinton: "And I don't agree with the Bush Doctrine"
Palin: "And I don't know what that is..."

If you're not familiar with THAT, check this out

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I was pleasantly suprised when I learned that McCain picked a woman to be his running mate. I quickly got worried though, that this would sway swing voters, the more liberal ones, to vote for McCain because of this fact. My pleasant surprise turned to dred. My dred is turning into disgust. As time progresses, I learn more and more about Sarah Palin that just infuriates me. I can't really bash her lack of experience, for obvious reasons, but there are certain things that bug me. These reasons include her teen daughter's pregnancy joined with her stance on abstanence only sex ed, and the issues she had with her own pregnancy. I don't like the fact that she didn't tell ANYONE, even her own children, that she was pregnant til her third trimester. I also don't like that she didn't tell her husband he had down syndrome until long after she knew herself.

I know she's "only the VP nominee and not the Presidential nominee", but it's not too logical of a thought that she is closer to the position of being commander in chief than most other VP nominees, that being because of McCain's age. I think it's bad enough that she has a 4 month old while trying to run for VP, and it would be even worse if she were the president trying to raise a 4 month old. This woman needs to be this special boys mother, not Vice President. Sarah Palin is not ready to lead.

Also, while blog surfing, I came across this information:

"Apparently, as a mayor, she approached the town's librarian to find out how to ban books. Then, it seems, she fired the librarian when said librarian didn't offer support for Palin's campaign to ban certain books that had "inappropriate language." Then, after a show of support from the locals, the librarian got her job back. Read about it in a TIME magazine article here. The American Library Association promotes the Freedom to Read and I wholeheartedly embrace their statement on the issue -- which is just another reason I can't support the McCain/Palin ticket."

Me too.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Shun the non-believer! Shunnnnnnn."

someone else's words, not mine.

"What I see in the video is that Candy Mountain can be looked at as a couple of different things. It can either be the temple, the celestial kingdom or the Mormon church itself. It looks sweet and full of “Joyness” and it is built up to be this great thing but inside it is really dark and hollow. The two unicorns are like missionaries or leaders and Charlie is the unsuspecting investigator/uneducated member.

They hype the Candy Mountain and make it sound so great but along the way the things they say don’t really make much sense when you really think about it like following what the Magical Leo-Pluradon says. When “Charlie” reaches the point where they want him to enter Candy Mountain he is not sure he believes it or buys all the hype but he enters anyway because the other two have made it sound so great. When he does finally agree to enter look what happens. There was nothing good about what was inside.

The song really says it all and mirrors the idea many Mormons have about life within Mormonism…

'It’s impossible to wear a frown in Candy Town.'”

Monday, August 4, 2008

sharing thoughts

One of my friends who is a fellow Barack supporter informed me of Obama rally going on in Lansing. Unfortunately I was in DC (actually driving back from DC) at the time and had to miss it. I think the funny part of this though, is how she found out about it. She wrote a very cool thought down on her blog that I really agree with. I hope it's ok with her that I share it. I know many of my readers already read her blog anyway, but I wanted to post a link to this post anyways just to show how much I liked what she said. Thanks Janee.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dog Poop- posted by Amberly

This post might go a little far, but I had a thought and I really wanted to stretch it out. Upon leaving the church, I have heard testimonies from many that go a little something like this:

"Regardless of members who might bug or offend me, regardless of things I may not understand, I believe in the whole Church. So if there's something that's bothering me, I just remind myself that I have received that knowledge for myself that this is the true Church"

To me, this is like a story I once heard about chocolate chip cookies.

A sunday school teacher was making chocolate chip cookies to illustrate her point for a lesson to a group of young kids. She put all the yummy ingredients in and was just about to bake them. The kids were very excited. Then she said "Oh wait, I forgot one ingredient". And put dog poop in the cookie dough and mixed it up. Obviously, the kids didn't want the cookies after that. Now, my conclusion doesn't really align with what the Sunday school teacher was probably trying to say, but consider this. Some people seem to just ignore that thing that may bother them (like the dog poop) with the Church (like "cookies"- to some) and eat the cookies anyway. They seem to think the whole cookie is good, regardless of any dog poop that is in it.

I personally would never eat a cookie with dog poop in it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Big One

So, John and I FINALLY finished this movie last night. It was alright. I didn't know alot of stuff that was in that movie, particularly about how the government gives money to companies so they can expand, and then out sources their jobs to other countries. Or something like that. All in all, I pretty much thought this movie was mostly about Michael's book tour that he did in 1996 for his book "Downsize This". It was still entertaining, but not as good as his other documentaries that I've seen.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

2nd Amendment

Alright Eric. John and I watched Bowling for Columbine last night by Michael Moore. Even after watching it, I still don't think that Americans should have their guns taken away. But, maybe limit what kinds they can own. I don't think the average person needs a semi-automatic anything. Also, I don't feel that John or I will ever own a gun. There are several extreme republicans we know out here in Lansing that we met through church who carry hand guns on them. To class, to church, to family fun friendly church activities. One time, one of the responsible gun holders had his gun fall out of his pants while playing kickball at a get together. It's a little ridiculous.
There is a quote from this movie that I like- it goes something like this: "when a kid can get a gun and take it to school and kill other kids, there is a problem".
But here is a VERY enjoyable cartoon that was in the movie that I liked.

Tonight, we'll be watching "The Big One" by Michael Moore and we'll let you know how we like it.

defenders of marriage: posted by Amberly

Ok- I'm on a gay marriage kick. But this is funny.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

COFFEE!!! - Posted by Amberly

As I sit here drinking my creme brulee blend of foldgers coffee, I stumbled upon this article.

"Good news for coffee lovers. About two years ago, researchers from the University Innsbruck in Austria found caffeinated coffee can temporarily sharpen your focus and memory. After giving volunteers the caffeine equivalent of about two cups of coffee, they observed that their brain activity was increased in two locations—one being the part responsible for memory. Results were observed using MRI technology. Without caffeine, there was no increase in brain activity.

Then, earlier this year, another study published in a leading Neurology journal, found the effects of coffee may be longer lasting — specifically in women. This four-year long study involving about 7000 participants... all participants went through thorough baseline evaluations – cognitive function was tested, along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other vascular issues. Participants were re-evaluated at the two-year mark, and again at the four year mark.

At the end of the four year period, researchers found that women age 65 and older who drank more than three cups of coffee per day (or the caffeine equivalent in tea) had 33 percent less decline in memory over time than women who drank one cup or less of coffee or tea per day. The results held up even after researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect memory abilities, such as age, education, baseline cognitive function, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, medications, and other chronic illnesses. This caffeine-memory association was not observed in men — the authors hypothesize that perhaps that’s because men and women metabolize caffeine differently.

So if memory problems are a major concern for you, and if you don’t have a medical condition that precludes caffeine, feel free to indulge in a cup or two in the morning to jump-start your brain."

So lets see.... that is 3 out of 4 Word Of Wisdom substances that have been debunked (coffee, tea, alcohol, & tobacco). Coffee, tea and alcohol have now all been proven to be good for your body, in moderation. I'm not putting any bets on tobacco going that direction, but I still enjoy my occassional cigar.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mass Hysteria- posted by AMBERLY

Another dialog...By AMBERLY

I've been having a cool dialog with my brother about my post on Obama, and that stupid video that was made about him. The comments have gotten very interesting and I just wanted to post it here to see if anyone else wanted to shed some light on this topic or comment on our ideas. My brother is a smart man, and although I disagree with him, I still give him credit for actually knowing why he believes the way he does. Many republicans aren't so intellectual.

"Here's my opinion on a couple of your points:

People look at the people Obama associates with to try and determine his character. They do this because his resume is short, almost non-existant. In his 1 year as a senator, he didn't accomplish much, if anything. He went to his pastors' church for 20 years. To think this has not affected his character or the decisions he makes would be an incredibly naive thought. The video was pretty retarded though (no offense to any dis-abled people) and I am ashamed to be politicaly associated with those who created and distributed it.The video did not need to speak to the actions of Bill while in office to discredit Hillary, everyone knows full well that he's a moron. The fact that she is married to him discredits her more than adequitly.


July 7, 2008 7:31 PM
the terrys said...

I think the funniest thing that Mormons can say about Barack, is things relating to judging his character in regards to his church or pastor, when so many Mormons were pulling so hard for Mitt to be president. Could you imagine if Mitt was in McCain's shoes right now? I guarantee you that no Mormon would like, or understand, if everyone judged Mitt on being associated with a sexist, discriminate, and homophobic society.

July 8, 2008 6:34 AM
Brooke said...

Yes, the extreme leftists would go there, but not out of necessity due to a lack of other references to judge his character. If Obama had a resume of similar depth to that of Romney, the pastor would be brought up momentarily, but larger issues regarding his political career would drown out and downplay that association. In regards to Romney being judged as a Mormon, I doubt he would dis-associate himself with the church to become more centrist, as Obama did with his church.


July 8, 2008 12:15 PM
the terrys said...

I don't think so. First of all, people in the public eye are judged CONSTANTLY regardless of their reputation and/or resume. Also, Obama can leave his pastor and that church and still be a Christian. Christian churches, besides Mormonism, are ran differently. Believers choose which church they join by the pastor, or whatever they are called. So, when Obama's pastor said things Obama disagree's with, Obama leaves to find a different pastor. Still a Christian.

And I don't believe Barack left his pastor to become more "centrist", I believe he did so because he disagreed with what his pastor said. Like I have said before, Obama adapts. He's not afraid to change things that aren't going right. Shows good character if you ask me. And I bet if he stayed, conservatives would criticize him for that too, if not even more so. He was pretty much in a loose loose situation due to something he didn't even say. If Mitt left the Church because his Bishop said some weird things, he would be leaving Mormonism all together. Mitt can't leave or disagree with what his Bishop says. If he did leave, he wouldn't be Mormon anymore. However, I bet Mitt would just swallow it and agree with what his Bishop said to appease all the other Mormons.

July 8, 2008 7:21 PM
Brooke said...

The difference is that
1) The coments made by Obamas pastor were not unusual for him, or new in any way. Obama had listened to this for 20 years. Before leaving his flock, Obama tried to dismiss the ramblings by relating him to a crazy old uncle that nobody takes seriously. When that didn't fly, he decided to leave.
2) Most christian churches have only one pastor, and the docterine taught is his/her interpretation only. If people don't agree with that interpretation, they find another church that conforms more with their individual beleifs (or in this case, one that will cater to more voters). This says to me if he is willing to flip on his religious beliefs, why not anything or everything else(as he is doing daily)? Yes, still a christian, but the definition of a christian varies widely. If Romneys bishop said some weird things, he would only need to refer the matter up the chain (stake pres, etc). One bishops wierdness doesn't alter the doctrine of the church as a whole.
3)Yes, presidential candidates are judged constantly. They should be, they are applying for the most important paying job in the world. Obama was in a lose lose situation because he put himself there. His decision doesn't show adaptation, it shows a lack of conviction in his belief system of 20 years. If he's not sure what he believes religiously, philisophicaly, fundamentaly, or (as recent events have shown) politically because the media put pressure on him, he does not have the experiance, maturity, or tenacity it takes to lead the greatest nation this earth has ever seen.


July 8, 2008 10:06 PM
the terrys said...

1) Cool. Fine by me.
2) I still don't believe that Christians finding new pastors to align more with their character, is flipping on their religious beliefs. Obama is still a Christian and still believes in the bible just like he did when he was listening to "Uncle Crazy". I still don't see any difference between the different personalities of a pastor compared to the different personalities of bishops. Bishops get up all the time in sacrament meetings and start "advising" their ward to do things that aren't doctrine at all.
3) First of all, I really don't believe that America is the greatest nation this earth has ever seen anymore. Middle class Americans are having to decide whether they can buy gas to get to work or groceries.

I have no doubt in my mind that Barack is sure what he believes in religiously, fundamentally, and philosophically. Did you know that Mitt used to be pro-choice? And now he's not. He changed his mind. He actually changed his mind a few times about it.But you know what? That's fine by me. I used to be totally republican. And I changed my mind too.

The point is, people are allowed to change their mind on important political views. To me, that shows the ability to have an open mind. This presidential election has had a great influence on my political views as well. When Obama was first announcing that he was going to run for office, I was republican, and didn't think America should have a black president. But once I started researching the candidates, I changed to liberal. I think those who have an open mind, and can decide to vote for the best, and not just because it's whoever is running for their party, are the smartest ones. It really bothers me that republicans are only going to vote for McCain because he's republican. It bothered me when Mormons wanted to vote for Mitt just because he's Mormon. One of my LDS friends out here actually prayed for Mitt to be president. Then those SAME Mormons criticize Obama for changing his mind, when Mitt did the exact same thing.

To me, pulling the "flip flopping" card is an idea borne of desperation. Just one last note though, not to be pulling that same card, I just want you to be aware that just as many people accuse McCain of flip flopping as they do Obama. It's a double sided sword that won't accomplish anything, except petty name calling.

If you don't believe me, here's what McCain has flip flopped about:

"McCain, until recently, was pushing for a reform law that would require conservative groups to reveal their financial donors. But, after fielding protests from evangelical Christians and antiabortion activists, McCain decided a year ago to strip out the provision.McCain in 2000 assailed Bush's proposed tax cuts as a sop to the rich, and a year later, with Bush in office, he voted against those cuts, declaring that "the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans." But two years ago, he switched sides and voted to extend tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain in 1999 said that, "even in the long term," he would not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade because "thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations." But two years ago he said that he now favored repeal because "I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade."McCain in 2000 was incensed when a pair of Texas businessmen, Sam and Charley Wyly, bankrolled some Bush-friendly TV ads that distorted McCain's record. McCain declared at the time that their "dirty money" did not belong in national politics. But two years ago, McCain decided that their dirty money belonged in his campaign; he took $20,000 and allowed them to chair a McCain fund-raiser. (McCain later had to give back the money, because, it turns out, his new friends are reportedly under federal investigation.)

McCain, who has long deplored negative politics, defended John Kerry in 2004 when the Democratic candidate's war record was being impugned by the Swift Boaters. But today, one of McCain's top advisers is GOP hardball specialist Terry Nelson, who has worked as a consultant with one of the principal Swift Boaters. Nelson also produced the notorious `06 TV ad that implied, in the Tennessee Senate race, that the black Democratic candidate cavorted with white women.

McCain has voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but last fall, regarding his own state, he supported an Arizona referendum that would have banned gay marriage.McCain in 2006 suggested that creationism was not a fit topic for the schoolroom: "I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not." But he suggested the opposite in 2005 ("all points of view should be presented"), a year ago he was a keynote speaker at a confab sponsored by the Discovery Institute, a prominent creationism advocacy group."

Just so you're aware now that McCain is a flip flopper too."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

In regards to the homophobic letter read in California sacrament meetings today (Posted By AMBERLY)

"A growing number of active Mormons, who have gay friends and family members are coming to the conclusion that our current leaders are as mistaken in promoting discrimination against gays and lesbians as was the Mormon hierarchy in the 60's when they opposed equal rights for people of color, and our Mormon leaders in the 70's when they opposed full legal equality for women.

"No one is asking that you condone a behavior that might violate your religious faith, but we need to allow everyone the freedom to live their life as they see fit.";_ylt=AiC68A.0dZkgv4Q8y2xyzn6s0NUE

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Republicans...Scared of Change Since 1854, By AMBERLY

Seeing how Barack's campaign slogan is "Change," this is probably why so many of the GOP are scared to death of this candidate. I was republican for quite a few years, and I admit that I was scared of change. But now I welcome it.

I don't expect all republicans or even all mormons to get behind Barack. I do know for a fact that many republicans and mormons are supporting him because McCain is an exact replica of Bush, who has a 20% approval rating, which no one wants. Also because I have heard them say they support him.

But I never expected to see anything like this. I found this on a blog. I have so many issues with this video that I MUST post about it.

This video is a 13 minute attack against Barack Obama which is attempting to illustrate how he may be unfit to run for presidency.

I was first shocked to see that their first attack was at his name. Barack's full name being Barack Hussein Obama, was named directly after his father who was a muslim from Kenya. As the video describes this they show a disturbing picture of his father (hold on to your skirts everyone)... studying at a desk with a book. How terrible huh?

The video makes the connection that all three of his names are muslim, and muslims tend to be terrorists and the US is in a war on terror. First of all, Barack had no choice over his name. Ann Coulter, a screaming republican, calls him B. Hussein Obama. Probably to manipulate it just enough to make him sound more like Osama bin Laden, or to sound more muslim. Ann's response for that remark is "that's his name, B. Hussein Obama". No.... his name is Barack Obama. I don't believe in Jesus Christ, but even I know that it would be disrespectful to go around saying J. Christ. I'm sure Ann wouldn't like that too much, or any other screaming Republican. To make this part of the video look even more appaling and juvenile, they show pictures of muslims with decapitated heads. I just can't explain any further how disrespectful this is.

The video goes on to explain a Cuban flag with a picture of Che Guevara on it hanging in a Houston campaign office. At first even I was saying to myself "what the hell?" But it takes no longer than a second and the intelligence of a magot to find the truth of the matter. Barack's official statement regarding the matter was:

"This is a volunteer office that is not in any way controlled by the Obama campaign. We were disappointed to see this picture because it is both offensive to many Cuban-Americans -- and Americans of all backgrounds -- and because it does not reflect Senator Obama’s views. Barack Obama has been very clear in putting forward a Cuba policy that is based on one principle: freedom for the Cuban people." -- Obama Campaign.


"The office featured in this video is funded by volunteers of the Barack Obama Campaign and is not an official headquarters for his campaign."

I really don't think I need to explain this further.

Barack is also criticized for not wearing a flag lapel pin on his coat. Hmmm, I didn't know that was a requirement for running for president.... oh, right, it's not. This may seem odd at first, but again, do some research people. Barack was quoted saying this regarding the matter.
"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks... 'I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.'"

Barack was yet again criticized, this time for the incident of not putting his hand over his heart at a ceremony where the national anthem was sung. I'm not sure as to why he didn't do that. I couldn't find an accurate reason. But I did find many sources who say this is an outdated custom and it’s not required. Even George Bush Sr. has been caught not doing it.

Then there's the popular attack about Barack’s Pastor and wife making questionable remarks. People can complain about things that people other than Barack has said all they want. I think the most important thing to remember is that Barack didn’t say any of the questionable remarks. This video is not judging Hilary by what her husband did in office, so why is it judging the actions of others against Barack? I personally don’t even see anything wrong with the remarks made. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone knows that. Why do republicans have to nit pick at these simple opinions?

Barack's Paster said “Barack knows what it is like to be a black man living in a country that is controled by rich white people.” This statement is actually very true. This country was founded by rich white people, it has been run by rich white people, and when Barack becomes president, it will be ran by rich black AND white people!

The video goes on to spend about two whole minutes out of the mere 13 on other remarks that Barack's pastor made.

I really do try to keep my sources objective. Whenever I see a documentary that may have been put out by someone from a particular political party, I always watch the documentary put out by the counter part. For example, I watched An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore (liberal). A very good and well made movie, very accurate and credible as well. I then watched the Great Global Warming Swindle (conservative), which was so POORLY made, and included sources and testimonies that were made up! I also watched Farenheit 911 by Michael Moore (liberal), which contained accurate information. I then watched Farenhype 911 (conservative) which was mind numbingly boring, and spent most of the movie disrespecting my intelligence by first (respectably) showing pictures and clips from 911 that had nothing to do with Moore's documentary. It was only there to get the emotional support of the viewers. Then the video went on to attack Moore personally! It barely made any come back to what Moore had originally said. Ugh...

Anyway, this all relates to this video on Barack. The video is by far the worst one yet. It is full of partial editing and cuts out the whole story, the whole quote, or the whole video. It gives unsuspecting viewers a partial representation of Barack. This is just sad, because I know many mindless republicans will view this and then think Barack is bad.

And to clarify, I watched the biography of Barack. You should too. It's about 45 minutes and is quite objective. The video this post is about is so far off it's not even funny. It's just lame.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Heaven (Posted by AMBERLY)

A man dies and goes to heaven. Saint Peter meets him at the gates and takes him on a tour. They enter a long hall with doors lining either side of it.

Saint Peter opens the first door they come to they see the Hindus reading the Rigveda. The next door they open they see the Buddists reading the The Diamond Sutra. In the next room contains people of various Islamic faiths reading the Qur'an, and the next has Catholics reading the Bible.

Then they pass a door that Peter doesn't open. This rouses the man's curiosity and he asks,

"Who is in that room, sir?"

"Well," Peter replies, "that is the room with the Mormons. Don't go in there; they think they are the only ones in heaven."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

using the 11th article of faith to my advantage, By AMBERLY

"Why do you feel the need to persuade others to leave the Church?"

“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

I guess… unless it means the way they worship includes denouncing Mormonism. Why is it that the Church can have an LDS website on the internet for whoever wants to view it, but I can’t have a website proclaiming my beliefs against Mormonism? Why is it that Mormons can proselyte- even knock on the doors of people’s homes, to persuade them to leave whatever church they are a part of, but I can’t simply have a website where I express my feelings, and perhaps persuade them to believe what I believe?

If one were to leave Catholicism to be Mormon, he would be praised. But if one is to leave Mormonism to join another church or none at all, he is looked down upon as a sinner. The church may claim to have and know the truth, but I claim the same thing. The church does not have a copyright on “truth”. You can’t have a double standard just because you go around saying your church is the only true one. Anyone can say that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

South Park Quote (Posted by Amberly)

"It proves he DID make it all up, are you blind? It's a matter of logic. If you gonna say things that have been proven wrong, like that the first man and women lived in Missouri and that Native Americans came from Jerusalem, then you better have something to back it up. All you've got are a bunch of stories about some [guy] who read plates no body ever saw out of a hat and then couldn't do it again when the translations where hidden!"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An educational video (Posted by AMBERLY)

I found this video from a fellow blogger and I just HAVE to put it on mine. It's just too hilarious. I advize that everyone invest about 20 minutes of your life and watch this.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yo Soy...(Posted by AMBERLY)

Someone with the profile "Yo Soy" posted some cool comments on the blog. But when I went to publish them, they disappeared along with the approval email I got. It was very strange. So whoever you are "Yo Soy", feel free to post more totally awesome comments. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance (Posted by AMBERLY)

"Cognitive dissonance is a psychological state that describes the uncomfortable feeling when a person begins to understand that something the person believes to be true is, in fact, not true. Similar to ambivalence, the term cognitive dissonance describes conflicting thoughts or beliefs (cognitions) that occur at the same time, or when engaged in behaviors that conflict with one's beliefs. In academic literature, the term refers to attempts to reduce the discomfort of conflicting thoughts by performing actions that are opposite to one's beliefs.

In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs. In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these have examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict."

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Inspired (Posted by AMBERLY)

These questions were found on another blog much like mine. I was so blown away and impressed by these questions that I HAVE to share them here. Any and all are free to try to answer these questions as they feel so inclined. Thanks for reading

Do you consider it lying when someone does not tell you the complete story and purposefully leaves out certain details?
Why was I taught an inaccurate version of events from church leaders regarding the first vision and translation of the Book of Mormon?
Why was I not taught about Joseph Smith's past regarding treasure seeking with the same seer stone used in the translation of the Book of Mormon?
Can you understand that when people realize the church didn't share all the facts regarding this matter it makes the church seem as if it is covering something up?
Now that many people have admitted that Joseph Smith used a seer stone to translate the Book of Mormon, as well as treasure seeking facts, why don't they teach and promote the accurate version of events?
Why does the church use tools, like paintings, that depict the translation of the Book of Mormon in a false manner to teach children and investigators?
Why not show paintings depicting the actual events of the translation of the Book of Mormon with Joseph Smith using a seer stone in a top hat?
Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe the Book of Abraham to be scripture?
Why doesn't the church tell the complete and full story regarding the Book of Abraham?
Why did Joseph Smith translate the Egyptian papyri and claim it as scripture when many
Egyptologists have studied the papyri and translate them to common funerary texts?
Do you find it troubling that a "Prophet of God" could get this wrong?
Do you understand why so many people see this as a giant red flag in regards to being able to trust Joseph Smith and his translating abilities?
Why did Joseph Smith believe the Kinderhook Plates were record from God and make plans to translate them?
Why don't most Mormons know about the situation regarding the Kinderhook Plates?
If Joseph Smith did nothing wrong, why not talk about it?
Why does the Mormon Church teach that polygamy will be practiced in heaven?
Why would it even be necessary to be married in heaven?
Why would God or an angel of God command Joseph Smith to practice polygamy?
If an angel of God commanded Joseph Smith to practice polygamy, why was it necessary for him to keep it secret from his own wife?
How could a "Prophet of God" deceive his own wife?
Isn't lying to your wife breaking a commandment?
Why would Joseph Smith practice polygamy even though the 12th article of faith clearly states:
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Even though polygamy was never legal?
If the current prophet were to receive revelation that polygamy was again necessary, would you or male family members take on other wives?
What if your own wife were against the idea of taking on other wives? Would you do it anyway?
Why were 33 of the know women sealed to Joseph Smith in the temple already married to living men? (I guess there were 33, I was under the impression that there were 24. oh well)
Why would a "Prophet of God" think it to be a good idea to take on two wives (Helen Mar Kimball and Nancy Winchester) when they were only 14 years old at the time?
Do you know it was uncommon for 14 year olds to be married, even in that time period?
Why did the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) include a section denying the practice of polygamy?
Why would it be necessary to lie about polygamy being practiced by Mormons if it was truly needed to reach the celestial kingdom?
Can you understand why it is so hard to trust an organization that was clearly being deceitful?
Why would God command people to break the law and then ask them to lie about it?
If polygamy was truly essential to reach the celestial kingdom, why was the practice stopped?
Why has the church changed it's position on gospel doctrine so many times?
Why did Brigham Young repeatedly teach that Adam was God the Father?
Why do most Mormons who talk to me about this issue believe it's either a mistake or something that was taken out of context?
Brigham Young clearly believed and taught that Adam was indeed God the Father. He told people he had revelation on the subject. Why do Mormon Apologists deny this?
Since the church has officially distanced itself from the comments about the Adam/God theory, how do you know what will be true doctrine and what will not?
Bruce R. McConkie claimed that Brigham Young's views about the Adam/God theory were "out of harmony with the gospel," He also bluntly stated, "...anyone who received the temple endowments and who yet believe the Adam/God theory does not deserve to be saved." (BYU devotional 6/1/1980). Does the church believe certain types of people shouldn't be saved?
If anyone who received the temple endowments and still believed the Adam/God theory didn't deserve to be saved, where does that leave Brigham Young?
One prophet teaches that Adam is God, something "which God revealed to him" as well as that his teachings are scripture. When then have another prophet who condemns the doctrine that Adam is God. Finally, we have an apostle who feels that the prophets can be an unreliable source of information. Therefore, he says, we should rely on the scriptures-- which themselves originate from prophets and apostles. How are we supposed to know who to believe and when?
Do you understand how that makes anything hard to believe?
When does one know to believe the prophets and apostles? It seems that it just depends on whom and when?
How can one believe the famous saying, "The prophet will never lead you astray" after Brigham Young led people astray?
Don't you think God would have designed a clearer system than this for receiving his divine messages?
Why has the temple endowment ceremony been changed if it came directly from God Himself?
Why were death oaths once used in the temple ceremony?
Why was it that people of color could not hold the priesthood until 1978?
Why would God not want all of his children to be treated fairly?
Why would God allow certain kinds of people the priesthood and not others?
Many people have mentioned that the Church was about to lose it's tax-exempt status and that is the only reason the prophet suddenly received revelation to allow men of color to hold the priesthood. What is the official reason for the change of heart?
Do you understand why its hard to believe this decision was made purely from revelation?
Why were missionaries taught not to baptize people of color on their missions before 1978?
Do you understand why many people will always consider the Mormon Church to be a racist organization due to the comments and actions of previous prophets and apostles?
Why was it taught that people who were born with dark skin were being punished in this life because of their actions in the pre-existence?
Do you understand why it is extremely offensive to people to judge their character because of your beliefs about them in the pre-existence? How can you judge someone on something that you have no personal recollection of?
Why was it taught that dark skin would turn lighter and more "delightsome" once they learned and accepted the gospel?
Now that we know for certain that skin color has nothing to do with any curse, how can we believe anything else these specific apostles and prophets said? How can we trust anyone who was so horribly and inhumanely wrong?
Why has the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never officially apologized to people of color for this mistreatment?
Do you feel that the Church should apologize for their mistreatment of African-Americans and other races after the harm and hurt it caused many of them?
In the past it was taught that birth control was "wickedness" (Joseph Fielding Smith) and that if you used birth control "destruction was inevitable" (Joseph Fielding Smith). If these words came from a prophet, why do we now believe different things?
Yet another prophet has it wrong, how can we trust the things they say given this track record?
If temple garments were so important, why has the design for the garments changed over time?
Why wasn't Joseph Smith wearing his temple garments when he was killed?
Originally, the Word of Wisdom asked members not to have alcohol, tobacco, hot drinks, the use of wine only with communion, and meat only in the winter. How did that evolve into the no coffee/tea/alcohol/tobacco Word of Wisdom we have today?
If the word of Wisdom is so important, why did Joseph Smith have alcohol with him in Carthage Jail? It was not intended for communion. (History of the Church, vol. 7 p. 101)
If the word of wisdom was intended to teach Mormons not to have hot drinks, why is drinking hot chocolate allowed but not coffee? Is it the caffeine? If caffeine is the issue, why do many Mormons drink Mountain Dew or other caffeinated soft drinks?
Why were many of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon later quoted as saying that they saw the golden plates through "the eyes of faith?"If church leaders think this isn't an issue, why isn't it discussed openly and honestly?
Why isn't this information shared with investigators?
Don't you feel that it is important to be honest with people that are deciding if the Mormon Church is for them?
Shouldn't everything be out in the open before someone is baptized? Isn't that fair and moral?
Why are items mentioned in the Book of Mormon not in the Americas at the time (Pre-Colombian)? None of these items have been discovered or verified in any ancient American archeological expedition or historical investigation in the last 200 years?
Silk (Alma 1:29)
Chariots (Alma 18:9)
Seven Day Week (Mosiah 13:18)
Cimeters (old world two-handed steel blade) (Mosiah 9:16 and other verses)
Land kept from the knowledge of "Other Nations" (2 Nephi 1:18)
Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11)
Brass and Iron (2 Nephi 5:15)
Breast plates and Copper (Mosiah 8:10)
Gold and Silver Currency (Alma 11)
Silver (Jarom 1:18)
Steel Swords (Esther 7:9, 2 Nephi 5:14)
Cattle, oxen, donkeys, horses, goats, and wild goats (1 Nephi 18:25)
Sheep, Swine, and elephants (Esther 7:9 and 2 Nephi 5:14)
Plow agriculture such as barley (Alma 11:7)
and wheat (Mosiah 9:9)
Absence of foods known to ancient America such as chocolate, lima beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
Do you understand why its so hard for people to believe the Book of Mormon as true historical record with all of these problems?
Why are women not allowed to hold the priesthood?
If the color of skin (to hold the priesthood) is no longer an issue, why is gender an issue?
Why does gender determine so much in the Mormon Church?
Why are women basically groomed from a young age (I speak from experience) to be wives and mothers?
What happens when a Mormon woman decides she doesn't want to be a wife or mother and instead focus on a career or education?
What would you say to a young woman who didn't want to be a wife and mother?
How does anyone know what God wants for someone else?
Why are women only allowed to occupy subordinate roles to make priesthood holders?
If women are only allowed to serve under male priesthood roles, how is there any equality?
Why are women who raise their voices about this inequality receive disciplinary action?
Maxine Hanks, excommunicated, editor of "Woman and Authority: Reemerging Mormon Fundamentalism."
Deborah Lake, excommunicated, author of "Secret Ceremonies."
Lavina Fielding Anderson, excommunicated, collected stories of people (mainly women) who have been abused by the Mormon system.
Edited the book, "Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective."
Is it the Church's position to say that one person has more power, control, and responsibility based on gender?
Why are women supposed to tell their husbands their temple names, but men are told to keep their temple name from their wives?
What is the purpose of the temple name?
Why must we have a new/different name in heaven?
Shouldn't God know who we are without secret handshakes and secret names?
Do you understand why many feel that women are second class citizens in the church?
Why was I told multiple times that my life wouldn't be as fulfilling if I didn't marry a return missionary and raise my kids in the church?
How would anyone know what would make my life, and others, more fulfilling?
Does the church know what will and will not be fulfilling to women?
Why can't a women bless her own child?
Why is it that women don't get to make any decisions about church wealth?
Do you think its fair and equal to not give women equal say in how this money is spent? Can you understand that this inequality is an extremely valid reason to leave the church?
Why is the church so patriarchal, when it is clear that patriarchal societies foster abuse of women and children?
Why do women have no clear voice in the church, especially in the upper echelons?
Why do church courts have no female representatives in them, even when females are being judged?
Why did the church actively oppose the ERA and the marriage amendment, when it is supposed to not be a political institution, and becoming politically involved could jeopardize its tax exempt status?
Why did it try to cover up this opposition?
What about the Greek Psaltery?
Why after 200 years is there still no archaeological record of any BOM peoples?
Why is the genetic evidence so compellingly against the BOM peoples being descended from Israelite peoples?
Why is the temple ceremony so close to the masonic ceremonies JS participated in prior to his starting up temple ceremonies? And why have they been changed so much?
Why are women still subjugated in the temple ceremony? They have to veil, and be responsible to their husbands, not to the Lord.
Why does the church talk about JS so much, and neglects Jesus Christ so much (count the references to JS in any General Conference, and compare them with references to Jesus Christ)?

Why does the church feel it is acceptable to Christ's teachings to spend $1B on a mall, when so many of its own members are unable to feed their families?


These questions were found here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a life long struggle, By AMBERLY

Some of my previous posts, I admit, were seemingly full of anger. This may seem a little confusing especially when i seem to also portray an image that everyone is entitled to believe what they want, and no one should care. i tried really hard to just leave it all alone and to just go on my way, but i couldn't. i had to make a blog and express my feelings. i have been thinking a lot lately about why i feel this way. it wasn't until last week when i finally talked to my dad that i realized something. i realized it the moment i started speaking the words. and i don't know why i never realized that i should say this before, or to even say it to my mom. but what i realized was this: i have had a life long struggle with mormonism. let me explain.

Growing up, i never had a firm and faithful testimony of the church. Some of you may or may not know that. Most of you know i left the church at 18 for a period of 3 years. But, this starts way before then. Growing up, i hated going to church. i hated praying on my own, reading the scriptures on my own-or with my family, i hated family night, i pretty much hated anything that had to do with the church. i didn't care, and felt like it was a waste of my time. i only did these things because my parents made me and i knew if i didn't do them i would get in trouble. I don’t feel I chose to be baptized. I did it because I was supposed to and everyone else in my primary class was doing it. There was just not choice in the matter. i hated going to mutual, young women’s, seminary and other church activities and firesides. And i especially hated girl’s camp. The only thing i remotely liked doing, was going to the dances. i hated that i couldn't wear tank tops or date boys until i was 16. i broke every rule set for me. i started having boyfriends when i was 12, and occasionally snuck out in tank tops. i experimented with cigarettes at 13.

When i got into high school it only progressed. i went to seminary because i HAD to. It wasn't until i could drive myself that i started ditching almost ALL of the time. i felt like at school, i didn't portray myself as a Mormon at all. i hated that i couldn't wear a two piece bathing suit or a prom dress that showed my shoulders. i thought it was so lame that all my prom dresses had to be altered to cover me up and then sport them around at the prom- i felt ridiculous. By the age of 18 i had no testimony, resented my parents, and wanted out of the house. i don't fully blame my parents for this, but i honestly feel that they shouldn't not put some of the blame on themselves. They just sent us off to church and seminary and expected us to learn everything for ourselves. They never took the time to teach us separately or give us their insight. The most I ever remember them trying to teach us the gospel themselves, was when we got those cartoon Book of Mormon tapes. We would watch them for family night. Also, one time we “read” the book of Mormon as a family so we could go to Disneyland. I vividly remember laying my head down and trying to sleep because I was so bored as we sat in a circle and read aloud. i never felt that my home was a place where "the spirit was" as they say. Home and all things church related were completely separate for me.

I don’t see how any of this is completely my fault. I didn’t understand anything I was doing because no one took the time to explain this stuff to me individually. I didn’t get it at all! It was like I was sent off to all these meetings and was just supposed to get it. I didn’t.

But all this time, growing up and feeling all these feelings, i felt like i knew the church was true, i just had a hard time "knowing" it was. Like, i was too weak to follow the commandments. i always felt guilty for what i was doing. i always felt like i was going to be punished in the next life for what i did. It was as if Mormonism was the only possible explanation for everything, so it had to be true. i wasn't taught anything else, just what the church teaches. So that's all i knew. It was just too hard to follow.

I left the church at 18 out of pure desire to be able to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t under my parents rule anymore and could make my own choices. Even then, I went about my life as a “non-Mormon” but knew somehow that what I was doing went against everything I was taught and that I was sinning. Not only that but that I would again, be punished in the afterlife. How is one not supposed to feel this way when that is what they are taught their whole life? I justified it by reasoning out that I would at least make it to the telestial kingdom because Joseph Smith himself said that kingdom was for murderers and the like, and that it was so nice he would kill himself just to go there. I knew I wasn’t as bad as a murderer, so I could at least go to some sort of heaven that was supposedly terrific.

I spent those three years partying and working to make ends meat.

I knew my parents were disappointed in me, and that was hard to live with. But, approaching the age of 21 and seeing some friends who were my age graduating from college and having real jobs made me feel like my life was meaningless. I was also a smoker and felt like I was just gross. I felt like I needed a change. At that point I met John who was an upstanding Mormon. Hanging out with him, which meant not drinking or smoking (which I was already trying to give up) was refreshing. He introduced me to some of his friends and I soon found myself on a different road. It felt good. John helped me out with scheduling some classes at the local college (I had already registered though). I felt happy, like I was finally getting somewhere. In the mix of all that, John and one of his friends decided to start talking to me about the gospel. The closest in my life I have ever gotten to feeling any kind of confirmation of truth or what not, was a comment John’s friend made in relation to God. At that point I decided to give Mormonism a try.

Shortly after that John and I started dating. At this point I still had never read the BOM and really didn’t have a “testimony”. I was impressed by John, happy that my parents were proud of me because I was coming back to church and dating an upstanding Mormon, and felt refreshed about my change. I did all the steps necessary to finally gain my own personally testimony of the Church. I read the BOM and prayed. I still never felt anything, but kept going through this process in hopes that it would come. I felt like this is what I was supposed to be doing and that everything would fall into place.

I still had very little knowledge of the gospel and noticed that I was starting to hear things in church that I never heard before. People were using terms and phrases I didn’t know about. I almost felt like a fish out of water. But, I kept praying and followed all of the commandments faithfully in hopes that I would someday get it. John and I got married shortly after, and had Daphne shortly after that.

It only got harder after having a baby because I wasn’t able to pay attention in Church as I had before. I also started having questions about lots and lots of things. I would ask John. John was just so shocked at how little I knew about the Church. It was almost like I was a new convert. Soon, I started getting questions that John didn’t know the answer to.

Not only that, but I started figuring out all the facts about the Church that you can only find if you dig around for them. When I started asking John about the information I knew, he was taken back and couldn’t figure it out either.

I felt like I had been given this extremely washed out version of the gospel my whole life. I never knew or was never taught the deep doctrine that made up the church. I felt like I was fed half truths my whole life. I felt duped, lied to, mislead, and taken advantage of.

I started to realize all these things about my life that I have written here on this blog. I never did have a testimony of the church. Ever. At first, it was that I HAD to have a testimony of the church, and then it was that I WANTED to have a testimony of the church. Mormonism has always been a struggle for me; a life long struggle. I feel now that something inside of me was trying to keep me away from the church. Like somehow inside I knew it wasn’t true. I hate to say this, but I’ve said it before- it’s almost like I have been gay my whole life, but at the same time, my whole life I have been told to not be gay. And now I’m realizing that I’m just gay.

I’m not gay though. Just so you know.

Ever since I have been able to realize this about myself, it's as if a ton of bricks is off my back. I feel like it all makes sense now. I feel like I am living my life as I am suppossed to. I am being true to myself and am thinking for myself. It is such a liberating and ironically a "spiritual" experience.

I hope this helps you all understand why this has been so hard for me. I really feel like through my upbringing I was manipulated to be Mormon. I never ever had a choice. I am so glad that my little Daphne gets to have a choice. What a happy life she will have. Even if she’s gay.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sites, By AMBERLY

i have been taking into account what people say and think about my sites that i put on the side of my blog. from what i have researched, what is on those sites is true. however, if you continue to disagree, find the TRUTH. if you can find me information proving that those sites don't provide the exact truth, i will take them down. but, if you can't contend them, or find that they are false, they stay up.

so, in addition to that, i have some feelings brewing inside and will get a post out about that shortly. i just want everyone to know that i am really focusing on making this blog on what i feel and believe and am going to leave all the offensive "anti-mormon" stuff out of it. we'll see how that turns out. i have taken off rude comments, the offensive posts, and edited some other posts. i hope that makes this blog a little better off now.

more to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

addressing some comments and questions, By AMBERLY

I have heard it twice now in the last week: Women can be sealed to more than one man as of 2008- this only makes my feelings about the church worse. First of all, I have asked two people about this information. The bishop of the Lansing Ward and my father who is the first counselor in a single’s branch. Both men said they NEVER heard of this new “revelation”. So, whether or not that is true is still up in the air. I heard someone say a while ago that people in high authority in the church are discussing the matter of allowing women to hold the priesthood. Both this idea and the idea of women being allowed to be sealed to more than one man are classic examples of how the church changes to be more main stream. To gain popularity and acceptance. Not unlike when they let Blacks hold the priesthood in the 70’s.

Many of you hate my sources. You know what? It doesn’t matter because the information is true. If I could get all that information off the LDS website I would. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because the church doesn’t deny ANYTHING I have said. I just like these sites because it says the information in a way that is both easy to find and easy to understand.

Someone posted this comment that I’d like to address: “Just like Wikipedia, has been opened to allow anyone to post information about anyone's geneology, including Joseph Smith's. I personally did a search of him and got at least 5 different versions of the same man, born in the same town on the same day. How can that be? The only explanation is that someone is wrong!”

As far as familysearch goes- I know there are lots of Joseph Smiths on there. The Joseph Smith I looked up, was born on December 23 1805 in Vermont. Died on June 27th (my birthday) 1844 in Carthage Jail, Hancock, Illinois. Parents are Joseph Smith and Lucy Mac. If you search it right, there is only ONE Joseph Smith with all of this correct information. This IS the right Joseph Smith. Under “events” while clarifying your search, enter “marriage”. Maybe that will help you find the right one. But like I said- it doesn’t matter. ALL this information is true and is not denied by the church.

One more thing to add about my tithing post. The church IS spending over 1 billion on a mall. I know the church probably has a lot of places that tithe money has to go towards, but I really doubt that (1) tithe payers write their tithing checks thinking “gee, I hope they use this to build a mall” and (2) God requested the prophet to put a billion dollars into a mall. Sorry, but I just don’t agree with that. So, for all you full tithe payers, you better get out to that mall when it’s done. After all, you did help pay for it!

Someone asked me if I believe that God loves us. Of course I do. If there is a creator, I’m sure it loves us.

“Do I believe he wants what is right for us?”
  • Yes. But I don’t believe that what is right for me is what is right for everyone. I don’t believe that what is right for you is what is right for me. Why would God put a cookie cutter judgment mold on billions of people who are all unique?
“Do you believe if there is a God, could you communicate with him through prayer?”
  • No. Because so many times I have prayed to God and it doesn’t matter. I don’t hear his voice. I don’t feel him. I don’t see him. If I pray to God for something to happen, and it happens, I am supposed to believe that he answered my prayer. But if I pray to God for something to happen and it doesn’t happen, then that was just God’s intentions for me. I find that a convenient “out” for Christians and I do not believe in that.

“Do I believe in faith?”

  • In regards to religion-No. I feel that faith is a manipulative and convenient tool as well. It’s a convenient way for Christians to get everyone to believe what they believe.

John already addressed some things about Daphne. But someone asked: “If Daphne wants to be a drug addict when she is 14 are you going to let her make that decision or are you going to teach her what you think is right?”

  • First of all, I think that it’s funny that someone might think that since we left Mormonism that Daphne has a higher chance of being a drug addict, or doing drugs. I have seen just as many drug addicts/drug users inside the church as outside the church. But, ultimately, I want Daphne to make decisions that will benefit her life. Choosing her own religion is not something that will harm her life or her body so she has free reign over that. But leaving it up to her to choose whether or not she is going to abuse drugs IS something that will harm her life and her body. I want her to know to respect the laws of this nation, and that they are set up to help us be civil and healthy. So, I’m guessing this commenter was talking about illegal drugs. So I will probably not advise Daphne to do illegal drugs. Marijuana is a different story. That is a totally different post in itself. But, if Daphne wants to try cigarettes or alcohol, I will encourage her to wait until she is of legal age. I myself didn’t wait until I was 21 to drink, so I really can’t be too harsh on Daphne if she doesn’t wait until she is 21 to drink. That would be really hard. But I did wait until I was 18 to smoke and get tattoos and piercings.

Anyways, I hope this answers the question. I really want to say that “there aren’t stupid questions, only stupid answers”… but I’m having a hard time being able to admit that with this one. LOL.

SO- for all of you out there who aren't afraid to IDENTIFY YOURSELVES... ask away!

no more, By AMBERLY

I went to a client's house today for an all day cleaning appointment. I started to have some thoughts and now have time to share them.

I am wasting too much time using this blog to defend anonymous comments. This blog was not made to defend anonymous comments or to defend my beliefs. This blog was made for me to express my beliefs. I know I enabled the anonymous comments earlier. I did not do so to be slandered by mormons. I did so for those who wanted to ask questions about what I believe in could do so anonymously. Not to anonymously disrespect me because you're too much of a coward to stand up for what you believe in, or disagree with. Thanks Janee for having the balls to show your identity. It was a mistake to enable anonymous comments and I shouldn't have done it.

From now on, if you feel it appropriate to disrespect me, you could at least have the balls to not hide yourself in an anonymous comment. In addition to that, those who are making up blog addresses to solely posts comments on here will be deleted if I find that their username doesn’t lead to any real profile. That means you Mark, I mean Tubby.

And for the rest of my critics. I could care less if no one reads this blog, let alone leaves comments. I could also care less for the people who I know that talk crap about me behind my back. If you don’t like what I’m doing, then either tell me and we can discontinue being friends, or just stop pretending to be my friend. I don’t need you as a friend if you hide behind anonymous comments to completely disrespect me.

I am shocked at the amount of (obvious) LDS commenters that are mean, vindictive, disrespectful, cynical, and rude. I know my blog isn’t the epidemy of nice, but I don't call myself a faithful mormon. In addition to that, I can't believe those who repremanded me for "belittling" my friends testimonies (their religous beliefs) and then went on to belittle MY beliefs in the SAME comment. What hypocracy.

I just want to add this because those of you who say you know the church is true, have a testimony of it, believe in God, Jesus Christ... the whole nine yards... aren't doing yourself or the Church any favors by the way your representing yourself on this blog. If I were you, I'd be feeling pretty embarrassed during sacrament meeting next Sunday. All I'm saying is that, If you have such a great testimony of Mormonism, don't sell youself so short by acting like a complete idiot by making these comments. Obviously, this blog isn't for you. Ideally, I'd like this blog to be for just those who agree with me. If there were a way, I'd filter it out so only those people could read it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

a story, By AMBERLY

i was making attempts at changing the URL of this blog to something else that doesn't have my name in it. while doing that, i was entering many different combinations of words. if the address i was attempting to use was taken, i would type that address into my web browser to see what that blog was about. all of them have one or two posts on them though, and it kinda ticked me off seeing that web address being wasted by someone who wasn't posting on it. but anway, while doing this i found a women who put her "de-conversion" story (as we like to call it) on there. i really liked it and thought i'd share.

"I joined the LDS church at 15. My mother was very upset about it and thought my fling with the church wouldn’t last long. I went to Ricks, then on a mission then to BYU and then married in the temple. It wasn’t until very recently at 31 that I have left the church. My husband who comes from a TBM family left the church a year and a half ago, which broke my heart. I was pregnant at the time with our 3rd son, our oldest was 3 and our second son 1. Being exhausted and very emotional I tried hard not to think about the church because the anxiety would keep me up all night. I also was too tired to lug my big self and my two toddlers to church. The couple of times I did make it to church I nearly broke down in tears in front of every one. I was slowly and painfully letting go of dreams that had 15 years in the making.

Not attending church turned out to be very good for me. My mind started letting go of fear and I began to think for myself. It was tough because I had had many “spiritual experiences” and didn’t know what to do with them. I also felt like I had sacrificed a lot for the church. After I had joined the church my family and I moved to England and I was the only member on the military base. From that moment on if a friend or family member wasn’t a Mormon there seemed to be a huge wedge in our relationship. My mom was upset every time I took a large step towards the church (church schools, mission). The worst for her was when I married in the temple. She tried her hardest to be supportive.

The turning point for me wasn’t any of the history or even the DNA discoveries but it was an article I read on depression and Mormon women. When I read the article my mind did a complete shift, I felt like a huge thick veil was lifting from my mind. I could have stared at the wall for days if my kids didn’t need me. I forgot to send my four-year-old to preschool that day. Two days later I took off my garments and felt like I had lost 20 pounds. I felt so light and free and very excited. I am enjoying my new life and looking forward to the adventure ahead. It is nice not to pretend like I have all of the answers."

i really like how she doesn't have to point out all the flaws of the church history (very unlike me, which sometimes i doubt even doing). but for her it's all about how the church makes her feel. she just doesn't like it. i don't know if i mentioned this before, but i have said many times that even if the church turns out to be true, i just can't accept it. and i will not accept it. despite all the history and what not, the church doesn't make me feel good. i know it makes others feel good, and that's great. but the church doesn't make me feel good. and ultimately, that's why i left. after that, was when i started reading about history. i hope this clarifies me a little more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

tithing, By AMBERLY

So, in my correspondence with my mother, I brought up issues I have with the history of the church as well as issues I have with modern day happenings. I mentioned the issue I have with the church spending over 1 billion dollars on the City Creek Center (a mall) renovation when they have only given an estimated 31 million per year on average to charity.

this is what my mother said:

"I don't believe for a New York minute that the church spends money on any mall [...] I don't know where you got your facts but they are just wrong."


"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is committed to the development of downtown Salt Lake City as the home of its international headquarters. The Church is in a unique position to act as a major contributor, along with many others, to a vibrant, high quality downtown that will continue to be a regional destination."

citation here

"The $1 to $1.5 billion price tag cited for the City Creek Center is on par the cost to build many of the upscale resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. As a comparison, the Bellagio was reported to have cost $1.6 billion. The church states that no tithing money is being used for construction of the complex. They say the entire project is being financed through the church's commercial real-estate arm, Property Reserve.[2][3] Critics point to the definition of a non-profit religious organization and note that regardless of whether the church claims the project is funded directly by member contributions or indirectly by the proceeds of investing these contributions into other businesses, that the ultimate source of the funding is still member contributions."

citation here

"Salt Lake City, UT 3 October 2006 A premier retail, office and residential development will rise on nearly 20 acres across three blocks in the heart of Salt Lake City over the next five years, making the city one of few in the nation with a vibrant, mixed development of this scale at its core.

A conceptual design plan for the project was presented to the Salt Lake City Council today by Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conceptual plan was presented earlier to Mayor Rocky Anderson who is out of town this week. The Church is developing the property through its commercial real estate arm, Property Reserve, Incorporated (PRI).

Demolition of part of the site will begin early next month, starting in the northwest portion of the redevelopment area. A progressive wave of demolition will move roughly west to east, followed by excavation and site preparation that will take about a year."

citation here: from the LDS website.

also check out the implossion of the key bank tower that John's aunt used to work at, here. this building was destroyed in the beginning processes of building the mall some time ago.

so in fact, you can see that the church is using tithing money (either actual tithing money or from tithing money interest- either way it still comes from the contributions of the LDS) to, in fact, build a mall.

i am not trying to be offensive or show hatred towards the church. i just personally disagree with this. i felt like when i was giving my money to the church that i knew where it was going. after learning about this, i felt that was not true. i don't feel that the church is stealing from the members at all. i know that the members pay tithing with full intent to let the church do with it what it wants. i am just glad i don't have to feel guilted to paying 10% of my income anymore. because honestly, my whole life, i never payed tithing happily. i wrote my checks with a smear on my face. but that's just me! i'm glad for those of you who faithfully pay a full tithe! i hope this clarifies things.

many clarifications, By AMBERLY

I feel like I need to clarify a few things. Well, many things. Many of you ask: Why did I create this blog? The first reason, to vent. You who are LDS are surrounded by people who believe the same as you and are free to openly discuss your beliefs whenever you’d like. Furthermore, you have one day a month where you can stand at a pulpit and declare what you believe with acceptance. I do not have that. I feel that this blog is my way of saying what I believe in an appropriate manner. Because I don't care if no one reads it. I am not making anyone read it. I am just putting it out there. I feel like if I have typed it out, my opinions would have been heard by at least someone.

The second reason is that for those who were interested in understanding what I believe and why I left the church, could anonymously find out without having to ask me. I know that it is an uncomfortable situation and I just thought this was an easy way to generally address the public about what I did and why I did it. I did not create this blog to try to entice my LDS friends to become non-members. In addition, I’m pretty sure that it is obvious to see what this blog is about. There is a disclaimer at the top for those of you who might get offended. Don’t read if you are not going to understand, get offended, or not like me. One last thing I’d like to say, is that people are getting good out of this blog. I didn’t make this blog for that reason, but it has turned out that way, which is another reason why I will continue to blog. I will just try to do it more respectfully.

I want to make a clarification about the testimonies my friends bore and the comment I made about it in a previous post. In my post I said:
“i was touched though to see all my friends go up and "bear a testimony" this sunday, which was probably the first time i have seen ANY of them do it. the sunday after i tell them i don't believe anymore. i am just touched to see them happy. hey- if going up and crying at the pulpit makes you happy, that's cool. i cry at peanut butter commericals. it makes me feel better inside. like i have "feelings". i can say i'm sensitive now because i cried at a peanut butter commercial.”

I was not belittling their testimonies. I think it’s great to feel so emotional about something it makes you cry. I think my statement is made clear by my last portion of the comment. I do get emotional at much, but just thought it was funny for me to get emotional at a peanut butter commercial. It was touching.

I need to update on some other things. I may not be as open minded as I originally thought. I still wanted to go to church to see my friends. And perhaps to learn things about the church I hadn’t known before- not to convert me back, but to further know what I don’t agree with. This is probably not the best reason to continue to go, so I’m not anymore. But we also went for times when we were going to speak with the bishop and to please our parents who begged us to keep trying.

A friend pointed out that I may have been more tolerant than open minded. As soon as that friend pointed that out, it made a lot of sense and I agree with that. I think the tolerance I had incorporates into my live and let live philosophy. I am going to live my life as a non-member, and that’s ok. You are going to live your live as a member and that’s ok too. So, I may not be as open minded as I thought.

I am not angry or resentful of the church. I feel that if I was resentful of the church, I would hate it and not go. Some of you may think I hate the church because of the posts I make. That is NOT the case. I post these to illustrate why I do not believe. Not because I hate the church.

Some may consider what I say to be “anti-Mormon”. I have an issue with the word “anti-Mormon”. I don’t think I really know what the definition of that word is. My definition is someone who hates the church and wants everyone to not be a part of it. I guess that because I don’t feel this way, I don’t consider myself anti-Mormon. Mormonism is just not for me, that’s not to mean that others can’t be happy in it.

If my literature and my thoughts make me sound anti-Mormon to you, that’s fine. I can understand why you might feel this way. I am going to try to be less vindictive against the church and simply express more stuff that is directly related to what I feel. But if you consider my blog to be anti-Mormon, that’s ok. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that.

My sister in law left the church about 4 years ago. Periodically she would post blogs on her myspace. I am her friend on myspace so I would obviously find them and read them. What she said upset me. I would get angry, type responses, and argue with her. I never understood why she posted those blogs. Now that I am in her position that she was in years ago, I completely understand. I also understand that as an LDS and a myspace user, it was I who made the choice to click on her blogs and read them. I had every opportunity to not read them. But I chose to read them anyway and ultimately I was the one who chose to get upset. It is my counsel that those of you who get offended by my posts to not read them. You are the one who letting yourself get upset. Like I said earlier, I post these blogs to vent. I have no one I can explain my feelings to who agrees and understands besides John and a few other people who I can occasionally talk to. I also post these blogs so for that those who wish to read and want to understand what I’m going through and believe in can do so. Either that or you can just ask me face to face.

I also want to clarify to some who may be thinking about the ramifications of my blog. I do understand that my actions here on this blog can get me excommunicated. I know that, and I don’t care if I get excommunicated. I am convinced that I do not believe in the Mormon Church. I go back and forth about whether or not to get my name removed, but if doing this blog gets me excommunicated, that’s fine too.

So I know that many of you have some frequently asked questions, as they say. A friend emailed us and openly asked us some questions. I admire that the friend did that. John typed up a response, which I still need to do as well for this friend, but I thought his answers are so accurate as to how I feel as well that I could post these questions and answers here.

Question 1: Do we deny the testimony we once had?
Answer: Yes we do. Why? Until recently we believed that because we had felt good on a few occasions at Church, we knew it was true. Nothing else mattered. Our spiritual experiences were proof. Now, however, we think what we were really experiencing were one of five things: (1) human love manifesting itself, (2) hard work paying off, (3) common sense, (4) psyching ourselves out because we want to believe, and (5) coincidence. We really think the first one – human love manifesting itself – is the ultimate spiritual experience. However, when you think about it, none of this proves anything. So, having decided that my “spiritual experiences” were no longer proof enough, everything else fell like a house of cards. We honestly believe that we were totally duped.

Question 2: Do we deny Jesus Christ is the son of God and my redeemer (or in other words, do we believe that Jesus Christ was just a man?).
Answer: Yes. At this time, we do not think Jesus Christ was anymore than a reformist. The 4 gospels were written several decades after his death. We think he was a reformist who was crucified. We think that his followers idolized him and made a religion out of him. We truly believe (as of right now) that Jesus Christ would also deny that he is the savior of the world if he was here right now. We think he is rolling over in his grave (tomb) thinking about what a nightmare Christianity is. He was a human rights advocate, a liberal. He was a hippie. My kind of guy.

Question 3: What will we say when my child points to a picture of Jesus and says “Jesus.” What will we do? Furthermore, will Daphne be free to choose her religious beliefs, even if it’s Mormonism?
Answer: We’ll probably have pictures of Jesus in our home. For the most part, what he taught is very valuable to man kind. His biggest teaching was love. We think a lot of his teachings were added by the 4 gospel authors, but his main teachings – love, patience, virtue, etc., are what we believe in. If Daphne wants to believe that Jesus was the son of God, by all means. We want her to have her own religious beliefs, not mine. Even if it’s Mormonism.

Question 4: What will I tell the converts from my mission? (A question for just John)
Answer: I haven’t decided yet. But look, those people joined the Church not because of me, but because they felt like they needed something more in their lives to make them happy. If they are still happy in the Church, why would I go and bother them? I don’t really see a need to. If they ask me, I’ll simply tell them that I have left the Church and if they aren’t happy with the Church, then I’d be more than happy to explain why.

Question 5:
Are we both truly completely united in this decision?
Answer: Absolutely yes. John said to Amberly a few months ago, “I don’t think the Church is true.” She said, “I think you know it deep down inside.” John stuck with that for a couple weeks. Than he said, “No, I really don’t believe the Church is true.” Amberly said, “me too.” It turns out we’ve both been dealing with this for a while and independently, yet somehow simultaneously, came to the same conclusion – that’s it’s just not true.

Question 6: Why have I still come to Church? Why did you make light of our testimonies?
Answer: We came to Church on fast Sunday because President Hinkle (Stake presidency) and Bishop Willie wanted to speak with us. John did not blog about your testimonies, Amberly did so refer to her answers in the blog. We did notice you all share your testimonies for the first time in a long time. If we (Amberly) did or said anything to belittle the sincerity of your testimony, we apologize. We believe that religious feelings are important and we don’t want you to feel like you can’t share them without being mocked. But regarding us going to Church, we have decided that we very much dislike going to Church. It is so boring and we disagree with everything they say.

Question 7: Do I believe in Satan? God?
Answer: John is sure that he doesn’t believe in Satan. Amberly is a little less sure. Of course we believe in God. How else are we here? So do we believe in that fact that he is a Heavenly Father? We are not sure. We just don’t know. John’s train of thought is: “Can I pray? No. The only answer I could get is “yes.” Think about it. If God isn’t there, he won’t answer, so I’ll never get a “no.” The only answer I can get is “yes.” I think that is a biased test. Therefore, I am just going to have to look for him.” Now that there is no middle man (The Church) telling us who God is and what he wants of us, we feel like we can really get to know him/her/it. The God we believe in doesn’t require anyone to die for the sins of mankind. The God we believe in would be proud of children no matter what. It doesn’t matter that their gay or whatever. He loves them.

Question 8: Why be good if there is no God?
Answer: One word – LOVE. We love life. We love my family. We love you. We love humanity. We love this planet. If we want to enjoy this life, we should be good people. When we say good people, we mean that we need to be good to one another so that we can all enjoy this experience, because who knows, it may just be the end. Let’s try to make it last as long as possible by being healthy and taking care of our environment. Let’s avoid war and murder because death may just be the end. Let’s avoid oppression, because who wants to live their life oppressed? Not me. Let’s be more like the real Jesus – feed the poor, help the sick, love, give, etc. Let’s be humanitarians. That’s who Jesus was. So, why be good? LOVE. Love is our religion. Here’s an interesting though: What’s more moral than a moral atheist? Who’s more selfless – the atheist who is good regardless of whether there is a God? OR the Christian or Mormon who is only good because he wants to go to heaven? In our opinion – the atheist. It’s called selflessness. Who taught selflessness? Jesus Christ taught selflessness. He taught us to be good for the sake of being good. Be good because you love, not because you want a reward. If you don’t understand that, then you should definitely stay religious. Because religion will help you enjoy your life and keep you from being bad. Anyone who thinks “why be good if there is no God” is a confirmation to our belief that religion is simply a means to control men into behaving civilly. And honestly, there’s no problem with that. We like it when people are civil.

But ultimately we do believe in God. We believe that we can be just as good, if not better, not being in the church than when we were in the church. People can be good if they are not Mormon.

Question 9: Why not give it more time and try to be obedient?
Answer: We have not only done it a majority of our lives, but have sincerely tried the last few months. We paid tithing, wore our garments, went to church, sustained our leaders, kept the word of wisdom, prayed, read the BOM, fasted, etc. And we are not going to keep on doing it. Why? We just can’t give 10% of my money to something we truly believe is a lie. We’d rather give it to the ACLU or to Idol Gives Back. We are not going to waste another Sunday going to Church and keeping the rest of the day Holy. What a waste of life. We are not going to withhold from certain drinks that Mormonism teaches is sin. We really enjoy drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea. We believe it should be done in moderation so that we can enjoy a full life. But we believe that life is to be experienced, and why would we avoid such an awesome experience. The taste and feeling of alcoholic beverages is so remarkable that if we were God, we would get really pissed off if what we created was refused to be enjoyed. We feel the same way about coffee and tea. Those things are absolutely wonderful; but like we said, in MODERATION. John is less addicted to caffeine now, than he was as an active member. We truly believe in self-control and moderation more than ever. We are not going to wear our garments. They are uncomfortable and they make you sweat. And they look ridiculous.

If there are any more questions, feel free to submit them if you want them answered. If you can and want to submit them anonymously feel free to do so. I know that a lot of people are curious and weirded out and have questions. And apparently we are the topic of conversation lately. We are flattered we are being talked about so much. We just want to put it out there that you can talk TO us as well. There isn’t anything you could ask that would be too offensive or weird.

In closing I want to add that there is much more that I have passionate feelings about that I am planning on posting; one having to do with tithing, so stay tuned. But please keep in mind this: We are not going to talk to you about our beliefs unless you ask. Just think of us as your Non-Member friends; because we are not trying to be anti-Mormons. We are just NON-MEMBERS. We promise you that if you remain our friends, we will respect you full heartedly even though we completely disagree with your religion. But you clicking on the link for my blog is like you asking.