I think I need to figure out how to move on. I got to admit it is hard to do.
Maybe it’s because I hang out in forums with people that have felt the same spiritual deception from a church we once trusted. Maybe it’s because there is always this unspoken elephant in the room whenever I am with family that still believe. It seems really hard to avoid the things happening in the church I once loved. They are all around me, even when I don’t want them to be. Case in point; this new release from the church about the Book of Abraham. It gets posted on Deseret news, it gets blogged about, it gets talked about by members and ex-members alike. For me personally this is a significant topic, it was a major factor in my loss of belief and trust in the religion of my birth. Amongst some of the social media I frequent this topic will get dissected and analyzed bit by bit. This particular essay of all the difficult topics that have been released by the church has got to be the longest one yet. It hits all of the apologetic approaches that are discussed about the translation of the documents that were in the possession of one Joseph smith Jr. It runs around in so many circles of justification that it sets of the BS-ometer of any reasonable human being that has every tried to buy a used car from a guy with a name like Fast Eddie.
It pretty much says they got nothing on the reason why documents such as the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar aren’t even close to a legit translation and seems to hang most of the doubt your doubts on some missing long scrolls that for some reason are now conveniently gone for any kind of comparison. Brushing away things like the fact that the pictures in the book are right smack dab in the middle of stuff that they admit have nothing to do with a correct translation, all the while taking care to not mention the fact that the pictures themselves are not translated in anyway at all that is accurate.
In fact if you would rather watch a video of the approach the church has taken in explaining the book, Brother Jake released one a while back that pretty much nails it.
If you bother to check out the references for the long scroll theory you will soon find that it is Hugh Nibley (born in 1910) said he heard the story from his father, Alexander Nibley (born 1878), who heard it from 68 year old Joseph F Smith in 1906. Nibley telling a story he heard from his dad who heard it from JFS who was remembering an experience when he was 5 years old some 60 years after the fact.1 It is literally hearsay of hearsay of hearsay of 60 year old childhood memories. Something the FAIR apologetic group is sure to tell you can’t be trusted as shown here. Oh wait, looks like FAIR only counts that type of hearsay unreliable if it counters their point. If it is supportive such as is the case with the long scroll theory, well then it’s all good.
But dissecting this latest church release isn’t what my post is all about. This one is about me personally, I need to figure out a way to move beyond this belief system that keeps dragging me back in and riling me up with these intentionally deceptive explanations that take 5 pages to basically say we don’t know why it doesn’t make any sense but hey the writing is pretty, so trust us. Or seer means translate without really translating anything. Or stuff is missing that would explain it all. Or, or, or, or till you find some reason to still believe. Please don’t take your tithing money away, we will miss you!
All this marketing puffery to keep you from drawing the conclusion that it makes obviously simple sense if you consider just for a moment that it was made up philosophies of men mingled with scripture. All this repeated effort at a sham job, it bugs me and keeps me from moving on. And the fact is I want to move on.
I want to work on a mythology that doesn’t entrench itself in unchangeable doctrine and a need to lie and obfuscate to remain relevant. I want to move beyond the belief that was so entrenched in my psyche that things like this cause my ire to rise. I know some people seem to need the belief system, I realize that no matter what I say there will be millions that will go on happily willing to be bamboozled in exchange for a promise that can’t be tested till you die. When you have given decades to something you loved and were ultimately fooled by, it is hard to leave alone. When you started a blog about your stream of consciousness and how religion affected your life, it is hard to leave alone. When you watch time after time a trusted organization carefully deceives its very own members, well that is beyond belief.
Maybe it is a sign of the Fridge, a signal from the light within, when the religion you trusted does things that are beyond belief it is time for you to move beyond that belief.
I think I am going to go YAGE a couple of exmo groups and join some humanist ones, get a little more focused on making the world a better place and less so on trying to save the ones that just aren’t that interested. Time to focus more on the turtle lovers club than the negatives of turtle hating. What do you say?
Are you with me?