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.

Monday, May 12, 2008

a sad day

This is probably going to be the loneliest time in my life. I have decided to not attend church anymore. I thought I could still do that despite my beliefs to still have contact with my friends. I don't think that can happen. I don't think anyone is going to invite me to any activities anymore, girls nights out, etc. It's a sad thought. I really want it to be made clear that I love my LDS friends and family and am glad that they are happy in the church. That is just something that I couldn't do. I don't judge or look down on those who believe in the church and feel that anyone who wants to believe in it is free to do so. Hence my phrase "live and let live". I don't put information on this blog to show everyone how stupid THEY are, but to lay out to myself why I don't/can't believe in it. Part of me wishes I hadn't made this announcement til after we left Lansing, but then there's integrity. I just couldn't do it. Everything will be ok though. Just keep pushing forward. I will continue to post on here when I feel inclined to do so.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Joseph Smith
Birth: 23 Dec 1805
Sharon, Windsor, Vermont
Death: 27 Jun 1844
Carthage Jail, Hancock, Illinois
Burial: 29 Jun 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Parents: Joseph Smith Senor and Lucy Mack
  • Married Emma in 1827.
  • Married Mary Elizabeth Rollins in 1842 when she was already married to Adam Lightner in 1835, who was still alive. Mary Elizabeth Rollins had 10 children. One was born March 23 1844 and is sealed to Joseph Smith. Others are sealed to Smith as well, but this is the only one born in the time she was married to Joseph Smith until his death.
  • Married Zina Diantha Huntington on October 27 1841 when she was already married to Henry Bailey Jacobs on March 7 1841. Henry died in 1886 in Utah.
  • Married Helen Mar Kimball in May 1843 at the age of 14 years old. Joseph Smith was 38. Ew.
  • Married Martha McBride in August of 1842 when her first husband to whom she had been married to for 16 years died on July 31 1842. Joseph Smith is quoted saying after being asked if Mormons believe in having more than one wife: “No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom, which has gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, in marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months, after the death of their companion. We believe that due respect ought to be had to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children.” Year 1838. Quote from a church publicized book called Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

All information was gathered off of which is a church ran website. Joseph Smith was married/sealed to 24 wives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

what don't i believe about the mormon church?

  • i don't believe joseph smith: regarding the first vision and the B.O.A. specifically.
  • i don't believe that polygamy should ever be practiced in any form.
  • i don't believe that you can "seal" people. while either alive or dead.
  • i don't believe that you can prove something by a feeling you get.
  • i don't believe the modern day "prophets" are "prophets".
  • i don't believe in the temple ceremony
  • i don't believe in wearing magic underwear
  • i don't believe in not looking at all things objectively
  • i don't believe that tea, coffee, or alcohol should be prohibited
  • i don't believe that we are judged on our works and that there's 3 degrees of heaven
  • i don't believe in faith

* i took down all the stuff i had written in hopes to "prove" to myself and everyone else that mormonism isn't true. the blog was originally titled "what I believe", but realized it wasn't even about what i believed. it was about how i didn't believe in the mormon church. so instead, i have made a list of why i don't believe in mormonism. I personally don't believe in this stuff. however, others are more than welcome to believe it, respectfully. if it makes you happy, then believe in it. it just didn't make me happy. i hope this is less offensive.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


i just need to clarify something. i was going to post this on the blog i posted last night but decided not to. after that i spent about 10 minutes in bed thinking about what i should have said.

in my first post on this blog i said this: "but sometimes ya just need to vent. some choose to vent about the effort it takes to exercise as they sit lazily on the computer, some choose to vent about their 4 kids. i- well i am choosing to finally vent about the secerets i have been going through for several months."

i want to clarify that i was not speaking of anyone in particular. a lot of times i say things that people read into way too much. first of all, i don't even know anyone who vents about trying to exercise while they sit lazily at the computer. a LOT of people blog about trying to loose weight, but that doesn't mean i was pointing out any particular person. it's just a common thing people blog about. second, i wasn't speaking of any particular person who vents about having 4 kids. a LOT of people blog about their kids. whether it's bragging about latest accomplishments or venting about the latest stressful occurrance. regardless, i didn't have any particular person in mind when i said that statment. i could have said any number of kids, but 4 was the number i chose to write. i know LOTS of people who have 4 kids. i came from a family of 4 kids. furthermore, i read LOTS of blogs of people who have 4 kids. and, the statement i made was more geared to those who blog about venting about kids, than those who don't blog who have 4 kids.

this day in age is wonderful. no longer are we forced to be humble and think we are nothing special. we all have blogs that highlight OUR lives. we can brag, we can vent, we can say anything we want. we are all special and we are all entitled to have a little corner in cyber space that we call our own. it is so perfectly alright to brag, as well as vent. and it's wonderful that when we do so that we know we are not alone. and i think that is the most important thing about blogs. that one person can say what is on their mind, and then other people can go read that and relate to it. i really don't think that many people are going to relate to me and my point of views i make on this particular blog though. anyway, even if you feel that i was talking about you, and you're venting that you think you did, it's alright. vent.

we can vent about our kids, vent about our weight, vent about our husband, vent about our acne, vent about our sex life, and vent about our finances. all those things that you think are too personal to talk about, it's alright. because at the end of the day you can talk all about it on your completely private yet horribly public blog.

so in conclusion: i was not talking about any particular person when i mentioned those who vent, i was more talking about those who vent on blogs, and even if i was talking about you, venting on blogs is a.o.k.

actually, it's quite trendy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

all these things that i've done

brandon flowers is the lead singer to the killers. he's also mormon. he calls himself mormon but doesn't/can't live up to the values and standards to mormonism- information i have gathered from various interviews about him. i think one of my all time favorite songs is all these things that i've done by the killers from their album hot fuss. track number 5. amazing.

for those of you who are not familiar with the song- here's the lyrics

When there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
One more son
If you can hold on
If you can hold on,
hold on

I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand
Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection, no no no no Help me out
Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out

And when there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
These changes ain't changing me
The cold-hearted boy I used to be
Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out
You're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down

I got soul, but I'm not a soldier
I got soul, but I'm not a soldier...
Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out
You're gonna bring yourself down
You're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down

Over and out, last call for sin
While everyone's lost, the battle is won
With all these things that I've done
All these things that I've doneIf you can hold on
If you can hold on

if you really didn't get the whole effect by just reading them, maybe you should listen to it

some people that i've told that i've left the church actually said to me that they weren't surprised. these are members of the church. they knew i was having doubts. and what did they do? they put me on the back burner.... not that trying to fellowship me while going through these doubts would have done anything anyway. but no one even tried! i may be wrong, but the information i gathered in the 21 years of membership was that mormons fellowship non-members, the less active, and those who may be struggling. hmmm....

honesty, truth, integrity and love

i would like to talk a little more about what i believe. since starting this new found realization of thoughts, feelings, and finding my own beliefs i have recognized that many things that i believe are similar to values that i have been raised with my whole life. many who leave the LDS church either (1) stray and believe completely the opposite of what that church teaches or (2) keep the core values personal and close to them and incorporate them into the continuation of their life. i'll let you decide which i am.

there are a few morals i hold near and dear. honesty, truth, integrity and love.

as mentioned in my previous post, i went several months with doubts in my heart and controversal thoughts in my mind. who knows how many months i knew for sure what i was doing wasn't what i believed. but there was at least two solid months where i knew i wouldn't have a testimony again and i knew that i didn't believe in this church. out of those two months i believe i attended church once or twice. i never said anything either way. i guarantee you, those who are reading, that the last time you may have seen me bear my testimony was at LEAST a year ago. so- out of these last two months, i guarantee i have not lied or mislead on my beliefs about the church. i simply refrained. i may have omited my feelings out of fear and respect to my dear friends who love the church. and although i have recently became passionate about honesty, i didn't explain my feelings for some time. i want it to be known that not being able to be honest with my feelings and beliefs was an extremely hard thing to do. i debated inside whether or not to even explain my feelings until after we moved away from lansing. i feared disappointment, rejection, loneliness, and judgement. but in the end i knew that being honest was the only thing to do. which is why i did tell my close friends my true feelings. honesty.

this is also connected with integrity. ironically the church teaches integrity very dilligentally. one of the young women values is integrity. every sunday for 4 years i stood up and said i believed in integrity. integrity basically means to base your actions on your beliefs. i continue to stand by my previous statement that the most i have ever shown integrity was when i choose to leave the church and tell my friends and family members. no matter how heart breaking that may have been. that, is integrity.

now going back to honesty. some may consider withholding truth, a form of lying. that depends. in some cases yes. in this case, the fact that i researched facts, feelings, and ideas for months on end on the most important issue in my life and then agonized about how i would tell my close friends, no. i wasn't lying. i do not consider myself a liar by any stretch of the imagination. the fact that i do tease and joke on a regular basis can be set aside. i have been told more lately than ever in my life that i am such an honest and truthful person that it's almost ridiculous. i am not obligated to tell everyone every thought that is on my mind. i have the right to retain information until i choose to announce major decisions in my life. it's your choice if you wish to consider me a liar. but let me tell you my friend- bad choice. i am not a liar. i cannot choose how people think of me, or make them believe me if they don't. usually when people decide to not believe me i just say fine. but ultimately, if you think of me as a liar than you just don't know me at all.

now- the concept of truth boils down to what i, along with everyone else in this world, know. it was when i realized that i could never say "i know the church is true" that i really began to embrace truth. no one can say the know the church is true. no one. and i can't say i know the church isn't true. but i choose to not believe it. and that's my choice. i believe that no one knows anything. it all boils down to what we choose to believe. i do believe in truth. there is truth. but we don't know what it is. and you can not say you do. i dare you to try. you will be wrong.

love. i told my family five days ago my feelings about the church. i haven't heard so much as a "how are you doing with all this?" from any of them. love is unconditional. and i don't think there is anyone who truely loves a human being who would argue against that statement. love is unconditional. if love is unconditional why do i feel like my parents are going to commit suicide because i chose to make my own decision regarding my religious beliefs? this is the second time i have chose to leave the church. the first time was out of laziness and i didn't know what i was doing, and even then- my dad ran away from home as a result of it (combined with some other family issues). i have a daughter who i LOVE. if she ended up choosing to have a sex change, be gay, move to afganistan, never marry, never have kids, or work at mcdonalds her whole life, i would still love her AND be proud of her. she is my daughter.

another concept about love. "as man is god once was, as god is man may become". this is a very well recited statement in the church. this is tied into the fact that god is our heavenly father. we are his children. many of us on this earth have been blessed with being able to bear and raise children. so i am logically assuming that the love we feel for our children is very similar in a minute way, to the way god feels about us- his children. if anything gods love for us should be 10 times the way we feel about our children. going back to when i explained the love for my daughter.... there isn't anything daphne could do that would make me not love her. if i am going to spend eternity with daphne, i want to be able to do that regardless of what she does or doesn't do. we are suppossed to be able to become gods. we are going to be gods, and populate earths. according to mormon doctorine. imagine the love we will feel for our children we will put on those earths. it will not be unlike the love we feel for our current earthly children. could you imagine telling your children that if they didn't do certain things, or if they did certain things, than they cannot and will not spend eternity with you. that is a horrible thought and a horrible belief. there is a lyric from a song john pointed out that fits well: "who'd wanna be such an asshole? who'd wanna be such a control freak?" if you'd like you should check out the rest of the lyrics here, it's pretty amazing. love is unconditional. overall, that statement is pretty much accepted by everyone.... almost.

these values i hold close to my heart. honesty, truth, integrity and love. this is how i have interpreted them and this is what i believe.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

coming out of the closet

i have recently left the LDS church. i already have a blog that i post on about my life, my daughter and my adventures. but i have so many LDS friends and family members that i cannot post my feelings on what i do or do not believe on that blog. instead i have made this seperate blog. the link is on the side bar to my original blog. so, for those of you who have found your way here- congratulations. you have looked at my blog in great detail and noticed a change. i feel so flattered that you are (1) that interested in my blog to have noticed the new link and (2) still reading this even after having read my warning sign at the top. this means that you are (everyone together now) open-minded. i love that word.

i first want to explain what i have been going through lately. since so many of my friends and relatives are LDS the only one i have been able to talk to this about it my husband. but sometimes ya just need to vent. some choose to vent about the effort it takes to exercise as they sit lazily on the computer, some choose to vent about their 4 kids. i- well i am choosing to finally vent about the secerets i have been going through for several months.

a couple months ago john finally told me that the LDS church just isn't true. it was like a ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders. i was finally understood. i could finally tell my husband my deepest darkest secerets. i finally had nothing to hide. it's all out in the open, except for the fact that i don't know how to break this to all my friends and my family. so for months we were in hiding. it was a little fun. kinda like when you're seeing someone your not suppossed to. like jim and pam from the office. i bet they had great sex for a while there. a couple days ago we dropped the bomb. all of our closest friends know. john had already told his family. everyone is being a lot more supportive than i thought. it's a little rough. i know some people are disappointed. i know some people are confussed, judgemental, weirded out, awkward... it will get better though.

but first it has to get worse. i hadn't told my family yet. to be honest, the feeling of living a life that was unknown to my parents and siblings made me feel icky. over the recent years i have been a great advocate of honesty, and integrity. so i just couldn't continue to live like this when i knew i believed differently.

i emailed my mom, dad, brother and sister in law. after i sent those painful words, everyone now knows. it's a liberating feeling. although, i can't help but compare it to what it might feel like for a gay person to come out of the closet. i can't help but say that i know what it feels like. my dad emailed me back saying that at first, he didn't know if i was joking or not, and then said he was too sad to say anything else. i responded saying that i was serious and to take his time with his feelings. my sister in law was supportive. my mom and brother said nothing. i haven't talked to any of them yet. no one has called, no one has emailed. i did though, ask them to not call me. i feel scared, ok! i KNOW they are disappointed in me. i just did the hardest most painful thing i could ever do to my family. time will tell what will come of this though. at least i can say i am honest now.

anyway- we did go to church today. i am not anti-mormon. i am not angry. i like going. my friends are there, i consider it more a social gathering than a religious experience. 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.

the bishop has met with us a couple times. we met with him today after church. you may think that's really cool that although we have totally denounced the church, we are still taking time to meet with the bishop. we're open minded, remember? it went ok. we talked back and forth about polygamy. just the tip of the ice burg though- or the caramel topping on my frappuccino as i like to say it. there are lots of issues we have been troubling over. i will get into those later. i want to feel like i have a voice- even if it is on a private blog- but i want my beliefs and opinions heard. so, after we talked for a while we handed over our temple recommends. yes... take a second to grab a tissue if you really do feel that sad. anyway- before i handed it over i took a second to explain that back in august of 2007 when i had my latest temple recommend interview i had doubts and felt uneasy during my interview. given that i never did have it signed by a member of the stake presidency- made it invalid anyways. i remember that interview. he kept asking me questions and to most of them i knew i was lying. i felt horrible. i never saw the stake presidency and i am glad. i think i can say that that action of mine is an example of the most integrity i have ever had in my entire life. i could have lied and went on to the next interview to please my husband . and he did bring it up. "amberly, you need to make an appointment with the stake presidency to get your recommend signed". i just couldn't do it.

anyhow... that brings us to my coming out of the closet. i am completly out. everyone knows. i do not believe in the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. i am not a temple recommend holder. i do not sustain the prophet. what do i believe you may be asking? well, that question will be answered in blogs to come. peace out.