Drama

People don’t just leave the Mormon Church. They have to stage a dramatic exit, then slam the door behind them. All for the affirmation, agreement, and amusement of those who have already done this. Otherwise known as preaching to the choir.

You brought up new evidence. You stated it more eloquently than most could, but the story is the same: somebody who made a man-made church their idol, but now has seen that idol has come crashing to the floor.

Have you ever considered what it might be like had you built your world around a real, personal relationship with God, and personal ethics in your life, rather than worshipping a legal entity and paying lip service to the fictional God they have created?

I built my entire life around following the Spirit of God. I learned about the Gospel as a youth, not from the church, but from reading the scriptures and the writings of the early leaders of the church. I basically converted myself to Mormonism because I wanted to know and live the truths experienced by the leaders in the scriptures, and early church leaders.

I made the mistake of thinking that all Mormons felt as I did. However, when I finally became directly acquainted with the Church, I found people who only saw the Church as a short-cut to doing their own thinking and blazing out their own personal search for truth.

I found myself in the same position as truth seekers in Joseph Smith’s day — there was no church teaching the truths of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and D&C. Claiming to have the same organization as the primitive church is not going to save anybody and hasn’t saved anybody. In the end, salvation is an individual affair. We need a Shepherd to guide us through life, and there is only one Shepherd, worthy of the name.

Then, I discovered the Church endorsing, if not master-minding, a plan, reminiscent of the people of Ammonihah to destroy the liberties of their fellow Americans, not through the force of arms, but through the force of law.

When I found all of this out, I could no longer reconcile the two.

Advice to a Mormon Thinking of Coming Out

If you tell them you are gay and if you are in some way “acting on it”, (Whatever that means. The church’s definition, not mine.) you stand in a position to be excommunicated.
If you just have an attraction, and never “acted on it”, you are probably safe in telling your bishop. But, IMO, it’s none of anybody’s business, if you’re not acting on it. If you can live that way, (I did for over 20 years.) more power to you. Living a lie for so long was tearing up my life, and I had to come clean with myself and the rest of the world.

At this point, the choice is up to you. But, it has to be your choice. Don’t let some “Gay community group” talk you into coming out if you are not ready. They already have enough martyrs. They don’t need you to be their next victim.

Some people are afraid of excommunication and try to stay in hiding for the rest of their lives, hoping the church will never find out. I told them and they excommunicated me. I don’t really mind, and I have no hard feelings. I may have lost the church, but I never lost God, and that is what’s really important to me.

 
One of the things that helped me reconcile all of this back in the 80’s was a pamphlet from Affirmation about excommunication. It basically explained that it was not the end of the world.

 
I have, over the years, seen the church lose some of its best, smartest, most capable, and most faithful members because they came out as gay. This, IMHO, is a terrible shame and a waste, but this is the game they want to play.

 
But, before you do anything, I would make sure you have a strong support system of friends, associates, and hopefully family to back you up, whatever your decision is. It going to be tough to make any decision, and it’s going to be tough living with any decision, but such is life. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and this is how we grow.

 
Sorry to have to say this because many church teachings actually clarify and elucidate some of the darker passages of the Bible, but, here, the LDS Church has fellen into the same trap of mis-interpretation, mis-translation, and mis-application of Biblical passages that the sectarians have fallen into.

Nowhere does the Bible provide a definitive definition of marriage, and nowhere does the Bible condemn a stable, faithful, committed relationship or marriage between two people of the same sex. The D&C tells us (29:30) that not all God’s judgments are given to man. So, until God sees fit to reveal them all, we must never presume that we know them all.

Some say: “Gods laws are eternal, and it is not our place to question them.”

Let’s dissect this statement.

(1) These are not “God’s laws” in the sense that God owns them, or they originated with God. These are laws that God has to follow, himself. As Joseph Smith taught, following these laws is how God became God. Or, as the Book of Mormon teaches, unless God follows these laws, “God would cease to be God”.

(2) Man becomes like God, or more correctly, develops those godlike attributes inherent within him, on the same principles.

(3) But, if any church, teacher, prophet, guru, etc. claims to speak for God and tells you what God’s laws are, our religion teaches us that we have not only the RIGHT, but the DUTY to question those pronouncements and find out whether the laws are true or fabrications. There are two ways we can do this: (A) By going directly to God, ourselves, or (B) Discovering these principles, for ourselves, by life experience.

(4) It IS your place to question what a church teaches and claims to be a “law of God”. In the end, it is you and you alone who is responsible for your own salvation. You stand or fall based on your freewill obedience to divine principles, not on your blind or forced obedience to what some church tells you are divine principles. You can either live the Gospel, or what you think it the Gospel. In this light, it is IMPERATIVE that each man learn the truth for himself.

(5) If a church comes to you claiming to teach the “law of God”, it is up to you to judge whether they are “(A) telling the truth, (B) the whole truth, and (C) nothing but the truth”.

  • (A) As I previously said, the principles the church cites in this article are not factually true, if their sole basis for their claim is the English translation of the King James Bible.
  • (B) The church is not telling the whole truth, because there has been no fresh revelation, (to them at least, though God will reveal His mind and will on this subject to any person who is humble enough to ask for it), and we are told that the judgments of God are not all given to man, neither are we told what qualifies a person for the lower two degrees of the Celestial Kingdom.
  • (C) Given their statement, it is impossible to separate out what are the laws of God and what is the cultural bias of the evangelical right-wing political rhetoric, so they are guilty of adding to the truth.

(6) But, if a person chooses not to follow those laws set up by some man-made church, either through ignorance of them, or through blind rebellion, or because he chooses to follow the laws of God, not the laws of man, what right does any church or religion have to step outside of its own ecclesiastical circle and trample, in the public area, on those individuals who choose not to these laws which they believe to be of God? I refer you to D&C 134, which clearly delineates the boundary between church and state.

Callings and Service

We all can serve God anywhere, anytime, in season, out of season, inside the walled garden of an institution, outside in the field of labor known as the world.

You say you don’t have any talents? We have all been given talents and gifts of the Spirit. Don’t hide them. Use them, and watch God multiply them.

You say you don’t have authority? As you serve and seek to understand your calling, the Holy Ghost will fill your mind and mouth with words, and you, too, will speak and teach as one having authority, and not as the scribes. You will teach out of a knowledge OF God, not just a knowledge ABOUT God.

You say you don’t have a calling, no mission? Pick the highest and most noble thing that you can do, then call yourself, and do it. The fields are whiter and more ready to harvest than they were 2,000 years ago. Don’t just pray that God will send more laborers. Send yourself. If you have desires to serve God, you are called to the work.

A New Spirituality

I would like to see something emerge that is beyond religion, beyond belief, beyond authority. Some people call this “spiritualism”, but from what I have experienced of what passes for New Age “thought”, they have simply substituted new beliefs, new guru’s, new god’s, new devil’s, new messiah’s, new apocalypses.

I want to see something emerge which marries thought, reason, and science, with intuition and spirituality. Something which brings the individual into direct contact with both the spiritual and the physical universe, and which reveals the oneness and unity of all things. I would like to see belief supplanted by knowledge.

I also want to see such knowledge permeate and affect human society, where we truly see God in each other, and that, not just through the eyes of belief, but the eyes of actuality. And, where we will strengthen our bonds with our families, with humanity, and with the Gods on high, through sacred covenants, which Joseph Smith hinted at, but never fully realized.

The Manipulator and the Manpulated — There is a Better Way

A commentator in an internet chatroom said: “I have a hard time believing that anyone would want to be manipulated, but you may be right.”

I have a hard time believing that as well, but I have come to accept it as a real fact that people are attracted to the religious world, either because they want to be manipulated and expect to be manipulated, or they want to be on the giving end of the manipulation.

Commentator: “*** is a wretched creature that wants nothing to do with his family or people who profess love for him if they don’t bow down to him, in fact he disowns them and reverts back to his own internal cravings to place himself above all others who have ever lived on this planet, and any other planet. His feigned piousness is as transparent as glass.”

Such manipulators, often disguising themselves as “divine messengers”, can only relate to other people in one way. They must see themselves as superior to every other person. They must never be the effect of anybody else, but everybody else must be the effect of them. In the long run, this situation is unsustainable, because in order to continue to exist, energy must transmit power, and in order to transmit power, energy must circulate freely, and must be renewed.

You can call it “religion”. You can call it “philosophy”. You can call it “metaphysics”. They are all the same. Just find a label to attract the most and offend the least. This works because few see past the labels to the reality under the label.

If a third party comes in from the outside and tries to change the equation to one of mutual respect and cooperation to further advance the “good cause” that the manipulator claims to support, he is looked upon with suspicion by both the manipulator and the flock. The manipulator sees him, first as a potential acolyte, but when the third party turns out not to be as pliable and submissive as one of the typical followers,the manipulator first ignores, and then marginalizes him. The manipulated flock see him only as a rebel or a supplanter. Why is this? Because in their state of non-thinking compliance, they see everybody as is either a master or a follower, and since the person is not a submissive follower, he must be one who seeks to replace their master.

The flock does not see that the one who comes in from the outside is forcing a new choice upon them — a choice which they do not see because, as the Oracle in “The Matrix” said, they cannot see past the choices which they do not understand.

But, that there is a counterfeit is also evidence that there is truth. There are “good causes”, which are true. There are those who bring a “true message”, and the truest message than could ever be given, is that each of us have the power and capacity to see and make our own choices, and we each have have the capacity to perceive truth and teach one another. If one person has a greater capacity to receive, perceive, and understand truth, it is because he has followed the principles that lead to such. But, together with that greater capacity for truth should come the understanding that every person has a soul which is capable of enlargement, and that true understanding is not a playground for the elite few, but a laboratory for everyone.

What we learn from Star Wars

Satan only has as much power over you as you give him. A lot of the theology in Star Wars is nothing more than feel-good pop psychology, but the part where Luke is battling his father and the emperor is spot-on.

A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate.

And if Luke was motivated by his hatred of the emperor, he would have gone over to the dark side. But his motivation was to help his father turn to the light side because he still sensed good in him.

Your average church spends all its time fighting evil rather than establishing good, and look where they are. Remember that Darth Vader also started out on a crusade to fight evil.