Mormon… And Gay?

I get a lot of people who just don’t understand how a gay person could be Mormon. When I talk about the discrimination that members of the LGBT community face within the church, many are simply baffled. Why stay in a church that so obviously hates you? Why put up with the crap? So, here’s how this works:

While there are plenty of people who convert to Mormonism and join the church in their adult years, the vast majority of the membership numbers are coming from those “born in the covenant”. That means your parents are Mormons and you get the wonderful blessing of being born into a family already sealed in the temple. It means you get to grow up with Primary. Yes, Primary. A lovely little class where you sing songs like “I Am a Child of God”, “Follow the Prophet”, and “I Hope They Call Me On a Mission”. You get to practice giving talks and prayers, memorize the Articles of Faith, and learn all about how lucky you are to get to grow up with “The Truth” that nobody else has.

As you grow up with this Primary, you’re given a CTR Ring to remind you to always “choose the right”. You’re taught about how the world is in a fallen state and how as a member of the “One True Church”, you’ll be expected to be “in the world, but not of the world” and be a “light” to everyone around you. A wall is put in place early, as you are taught to distrust everything that doesn’t come from church sources. Only the prophets have the truth. Only by following the prophets will you be able to be happy. Only by staying on the “straight and narrow path” will you get into heaven and be able to be with your family for all eternity.

See, family is a very central theme to the Mormon faith. To Mormons, God is quite literally their Father in Heaven. We were all there with Him, His children, before coming to this earth. We even chose our earthly families, as spirits, before we were born. We were sent to earth to get a body and to complete a special earthly mission designed just for us, and our family was designed “perfectly” with a father, a mother, brothers, and sisters to help us along the way. This family is joined together through a sealing ceremony performed in the temples and it is only by remaining worthy of a temple recommend that the family remains together after death.

According to the Mormon faith, we were created MALE and FEMALE as spirits before receiving our bodies, and our gender is divinely connected to our earthly mission. The roles we were meant to play were determined by our gender, and the sacred bond of marriage between a MAN and a WOMAN is the key to the highest degree of glory in God’s heavenly kingdom.

These concepts are taught very early. In Primary. Through songs, games, interactive roleplay activities, and through active participation in teaching peers these basic roles and concepts. At eight years old, children are “blessed” with the opportunity to “choose” baptism and commit themselves to the church. This is considered the “age of accountability”, where you are now entirely responsible for all your actions and all your “sins” starts counting against you.

Gender roles are further enforced once you turn twelve and separate into the Young Men and Young Women classes. The Young Men bear the Holy Priesthood, participate in the blessing and administering of the sacrament, get God’s power to bless and heal, attend Scout meetings, and are prepared for their roles as leaders and heads of households within the church. The Young Women are endowed with the blessing of… motherhood, and they are prepared to be housemakers, homemakers, and helpmeets to their future husbands.

And ALL the youth receive very explicit instructions concerning sexual activity. Chastity until marriage is the rule, and anything that causes even a hint of arousal is forbidden. Young men (AND women) who struggle with masturbation are counseled to meet with their bishops and discuss their sexual sins and seek help in bridling their passions and repenting of their sins. All youth activities in which young men and young women mingle are heavily supervised and regulated to prevent “temptations”. Despite the hard stamp of disapproval on tom-foolery, the youth are still known to transgress, as who can really expect perfection?

The young women bear the brunt of the responsibility for any youthful indiscretions. They are expected to maintain modesty so as to prevent their bodies from enticing the young men. They are taught that the loss of their virginity is comparable to becoming like a licked cupcake or a chewed piece of gum. Rape victims are expected to repent and forgive their rapists. And if a couple engages in sexual activity out of wedlock? The woman becomes pregnant? Abortion is off the table. Adoption? Maybe. But the standard advice is to hurry up and wed so that the baby can have a “healthy family” to grow up in and so that the couple can avoid continued sinful behavior.

And homosexuality? The Mormon church won’t even use the term. Instead, they prefer “same-sex attraction”.

They list it among the sexual temptations that “some” are challenged with, but God designed every individual’s temptations specifically for them. Such are hardships meant to aid in spiritual growth and learning, and the rejection of these temptations is what keeps an individual on course for eternal happiness. If you feel same-sex attraction, it is what God knew you needed for your own personal growth and He endowed you with the skills and attributes you would need to be able to overcome it.

A young child, growing up in this church, who finds themselves feeling attracted to members of the same sex will quickly bury and repress those feelings. Confessing it to peers would be a cultural death sentence. Confessing it to family often leads to getting disowned and tossed out onto the streets. Confessing it to a bishop leads to regular intrusive meetings where your sexual desires and preferences are discussed and attempted to be “cured”. Many will never tell anyone. They won’t even admit it to themselves. Instead they bury it. Deep, deep inside.

Now if you live outside Utah, you interact more with peers and individuals outside the church, maybe you have a more laid-back family and regular church attendance isn’t all that important, you likely aren’t getting the full blow of brainwashing and indoctrination. You aren’t feeling the brunt of the peer pressure and isolation. Maybe, rejecting the church teachings for personal happiness isn’t too difficult. Or perhaps you’re just naturally a rebellious sort. You’re somewhat immune to parental, peer, and community pressures to conform and fit in. You see through the bullshit easily and have little trouble letting it all go, leaving a ruckus in your wake.

For those who find themselves deeply entrenched, though, it’s a very different story. When you grow up in the Mormon church, being Mormon is a huge part of your personal identity. So when your personal identity also includes being gay… you are faced with a major internal conflict as these two pieces of your self war with one another. Many attempt to find consolidation, accepting that they are gay while still maintaining their faith in the Mormon church. These get hit the hardest, as they must constantly struggle with cognitive dissonance and their gay identity is attacked at every angle. If they opt to marry a member of the same sex, they get excommunicated and any children they have are barred from baptism. Other options are a heterosexual marriage, celibacy, or compartmentalization – having a secret gay life apart from their Mormon life.

So how can someone be Mormon AND gay? Because they were raised Mormon. Just picture, if you will, going through this Primary, going through this youth program, being surrounded by your Mormon peers who are competing amongst one another to be the most faithful, being surrounded by Mormon family. And if you live in Utah, add in Mormon controlled media outlets and businesses, Mormon newspapers, Mormon television channels… Church is your life – there are church activities every DAY. If you’re in Salt Lake, you have a massive temple in your backyard to remind you of the expectations. And in the layer of isolation and distrust for any information coming from non-Mormon sources… Now you have a cult. And that can be very… very hard to escape.

The Legacy of Laban

Thank you, Miryam. This looks delicious, but I cannot eat. My heart is broken for uncle Laban.

Remember last month, when old Lehi dreamed Jerusalem would be destroyed for the people’s wickedness … and then disappeared with his whole family. One day business as usual, and the next day, gone.

Lehi dreams of leaving Jerusalem
Lehi dreams of leaving Jerusalem

We feared the worst. Why would Lehi disappear without settling his affairs? He had to know what this would do to Laban. They weren’t just friends … Lehi was in charge of our Phoenician account and if we lose them, we lose everything. And now we find out he borrowed an enormous sum of shekels from the West Bank to pay for the frankincense shipment, right before he vanished.

So no one has seen Lehi for weeks. But a few days ago his son, Laman, walks in like he owns the place and says his father wants the brass plates … you know, the ones engraved with the Torah, that Laban commissioned for the Temple of Solomon.

The holy Torah on the brass plates of Laban
The holy Torah on the brass plates of Laban

Laban was stunned. Are you mad? he says. Your family leaves me high and dry, on the verge of bankruptcy, with the Phoenicians and West Bankers breathing down my neck … and now you want the brass plates, the only book of its kind, my gift to the Temple? What’s going on? Where’s Lehi?

Laman demands the brass plates
Laman demands the brass plates

Laman refused to answer so Laban showed him the door. But the next day … and you may find this hard to believe … Laman returned with his brothers and a cartload of ‘treasures’ to trade for the brass plates.

It was embarrassing. They thought a load of furniture, a few old lamps and some dusty goods from the back of the warehouse would buy a priceless Torah. Laban threw them out. And he put all their goods in the storeroom until we can find Lehi and tell him what his sons are up to.

Laban ejects Laman and his brothers from his home
Laban ejects Laman and his brothers from his home

But that isn’t the worst of it. Last night, after we left Laban and Rachel’s anniversary party, an assassin sneaked past the guards and jumped the wall to find Laban passed out in the courtyard. Taking Laban’s own sword, he cut off Laban’s head and stripped him naked.

The assassin murders Laban in the courtyard
The assassin murders Laban in the courtyard

Then, wearing Laban’s bloody clothes, the assassin bluffed his way into the treasury, stole the plates of brass and kidnapped Laban’s most trusted servant. And thus was our house brought down into the dust.

Wearing Laban's clothes, the assassin steals the brass plates
Wearing Laban’s clothes, the assassin steals the brass plates

Laban was like a father to me. He raised our family from poverty and named me his scribe. And now he is dead, his legacy in ruins, his beloved Rachel in mourning. Everything he built, destroyed by assassins with no regard for God, temple or the holy scriptures they stole.

Into the desert
Into the desert

So, tear your robe and sing the Kaddish, my lovely. I leave at once to join the search party and bring Laman and his brothers to justice. God help them if they’ve done anything to Lehi and Sariah.

Dear Mormon parents, tread lightly, your gay kids are listening.

Dear Mormon Friends,

I appreciate your loving, compassionate words and the way you have reached out to me. I love you and will always love you. I understand that for someone who loves the church and has a kind heart like you do that this is a hard thing. You have been posting responses to mine and sharing blog entries that emphasize a loving perspective while remaining true to your Mormon beliefs. You have to believe your leaders are right because they’re prophets. If they’re wrong, what does that mean? It’s scary and you trust them, so you try to find a way to bridge the gap. I get that.

Let me just say this: I have a gay child.

I left the church before I realized she was gay so that has nothing to do with why I left. But I was an active, believing Mormon raising a child that I didn’t know was gay. And I was living in California in 2008, so the Proposition 8 battle was raging. We sat in the pews every Sunday as our bishop read a letter from a prophet telling us to give everything we could to the cause of righteousness. Week after week testimonies were born of how hard everyone was working to stop the “gay agenda” and how they knew they were following the prophet and God. We heard talks on the sanctity of traditional families and why only male/female households fit into the plan of salvation. We heard how gender was an essential characteristic and each gender had a divine role that could not be changed by the whims of society.

Each ward member was assigned a list of people in the community to call. My list was several pages long. I was not asked if I would participate, I was simply given an assignment that I was expected to fulfill as I “heed[ed] the prophet’s voice”. I took that list home and stared at it for days.

I didn’t really know how I felt about same sex marriage. I’d never thought much about it before. I’d always heard it was wrong and that homosexuality was not part of God’s plan, but something in me didn’t feel quite right about what I’d been asked to do.

I pushed forward anyway.

I called several people on my list before I gave up. I hate making phone calls and I hated doing something that felt inexplicably wrong. It was if my heart was whispering to me, but the whisper was small and being drowned out by the voices I heard every Sunday at church.

I spent long hours after my Wednesday night Young Women’s activities with a fellow member of the Young Women’s presidency and talked about the issue. Neither one of us was comfortable. Neither one of us knew where we stood.

A few days before the ballot I agreed to participate in a demonstration outside my daughter’s elementary school. During morning school drop-off we would be highly visible. My daughter was in the first grade at the time and was excited to see what mom and the people she looked up to from church were doing, so she stood by me outside and helped by holding up a sign that said “Vote YES on Prop 8!” My green-eyed, freckle-nosed first grader. Of course she asked what we were doing and I explained it to her in the kindest terms possible.

Six years later I remember sitting in the living room of our new house in Texas as those same green eyes looked uncomfortably into mine before they quickly flitted to the side. In a quiet voice she said, “Mom, I think I might be gay.”

Now, we’d left the church at this point and I’d long since regretted participating in any way in Proposition 8. But over the next few weeks as I learned more about what she was feeling and how I could help her, the memory of that day outside the school returned to my mind. Over and over I pictured myself standing there, looking down on her as her brown hair reflected the golden light of the sun, mother and trusting daughter doing what our prophet asked of us, oblivious to what it really meant to both our futures. And I cried. Not just tears leaking from my eyes and gently rolling down my face, but big, ugly, heaving sobs that made me grateful all my kids were in school and my husband was at work. I could not believe that I had fought to banish equal rights for gay couples with my gay daughter standing beside me. Shame on me. Shame. Shame. Shame.

The LDS church’s approach to people who are gay, bisexual and transgender continues to hurt her. She’s tough on the outside and doesn’t show it to others much, but I know and love this beautiful girl and I see how it hurts her, even though none of our little family believes in the truth claims of the LDS church. It hurts because Mormons have always been our tribe and because we have so many family members and friends who still believe in the LDS teachings. It hurts because kids don’t understand nuance and so the message they turn back on her is that being openly gay is a sin. They tell her gay people shouldn’t get married. They tell her if she spends her life alone then god will reward her in the next life by fixing her so she’s not gay. Teenagers only hear the underlying messages and those are coming through loud and clear. She is wrong. She is other. She is broken.

I guess I just wish for believing Mormons to say, “You know what, I love my prophet and I love my church, but they’ve been wrong before and they’re wrong this time too.” Maybe that would soothe my heart a bit.

And remember, dear Mormon friends who are parents, and aunts, and uncles and grandparents, that child listening to you and learning from you might some day come to you and say the words that are terrifying them, “I think I might be gay.”

Or maybe they won’t. Maybe those words won’t be able to make it out of their mouths because they’ve heard you and everyone at church talk about the “gay agenda” and the “attack on the family” and “love the sinner but hate the sin” and they won’t be able to make those words come out. And then they might stew in shame and self-loathing, praying for god to fix them so they can be the way they’re “supposed” to be. And maybe it will be too much. Maybe they’ll seek some way out from the pain and shame they feel for being gay or transgender. Don’t make me say what can happen then because I worry about it. I know the statistics for LGBT kids. I know what can happen when teenagers feel shame and rejection and don’t see a way out. I worry about it all the time.

Please, dear Mormon friends, it’s easy to dismiss someone else’s pain, but it’s so hard when that someone is your child and you just never know. I never guessed I would have a gay child. Honestly. Never. Watch your words. Be careful what you justify. Take care with those little hearts.

Sincerely,

Your friend Cherry

Marriage = Apostasy


The newest LDS church handbook has an update that stood out to those in the know enough that it is making the rounds in Mormon and ExMormon circles.

Here is what it says: (screen shot procured from LDs.org by someone that has access to these books typically only given to church leaders.)

Note point 4. If you are married (same gender that is) you are now officially an apostate.

I get why they did this, they have to keep gay people from having a valid reason to be married in the temple. It is the homophobia of current leadership manifesting itself. Not unlike the same issue they had with interracial marriage did not that long ago.

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.
                        – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110


Posts on the Fridge door have mentioned this before. You see one thing that seems to commonly run through church history is initial rejection of an idea until popular support reaches a point that it endangers the lively hood of the church. In this case they can still afford kicking out a few apostates. Even the tithing dollar loss is covered with things like massive 30 billion dollar plus real estate developments that are in the works.

So this move to cast out anyone willing to marry someone of the same sex is of course not that big a surprise from the religion that brought you proposition 8. It is however really ironic. Because you see you can be plural married today, right now in an LDS temple. I have a good friend that became a plurally sealed wife to her divorced husband because he got sealed to a new wife in the temple before they were ever unsealed. Yep thats right a divorce doesn’t automatically breakup an eternal marriage, not in LDS theology that is. Man can’t destroy what God has bound together ‘n all that. So if you are a guy (sorry this doesn’t apply to you ladies) you can totally have a second eternal sealing without nary a blip about undoing the first one. (ladies are required to get their temple sealing removed via proper authority before they can marry in the temple again).

I find it really ironic that the church that today bends its own rule 3 feels the need to create rule 4. Just to make sure those darn gays can’t get into the temples! That is the problem with polygamy, it never has really gone away… So all this its about the family 1 man, 1 woman stuff is really just a smokescreen. An excuse to justify intolerance and misunderstanding. As of today in the LDS church the penalty for gay marriage is now worse than the penalty for infidelity. So have all the gay lovers you want, just don’t make a family commitment with any of them! Families are that important!! <sarcasm font>.

It is getting so ridiculous that it is kind of entertaining, like watching a train wreck because sooner or later the tides will shift, just like they did with interracial marriage. Mark my words as profet. There are those of the rising generation that will see gay marriage in LDS temples one day. (I’m sure that will be at least as accurate as similar predictions of the second coming :))

left-comic

On Worthiness and Respect

Often when I point out the problems with believing in religion, particularly in the more specific cases like killing because ‘God said so’ or coercing young teens into marriage under penalty of eternal damnation should they refuse. Without fail the believer starts demanding I respect their faith.

I want to examine this. First lets talk about what they really honestly believe. In the LDS faith from which I originally hail.1 They have a doctrine known as the plan of salvation. It pretty much lays out the fundamental beliefs of the Mormons in terms of how things are gonna go down.

Here is a picture:

Some of the cool ideas of this plan is that we are fundamentally immortal beings. Which is a comforting thought when faced with the reality of death and difficulties experienced in our lives. In general the Mormon’s don’t have the typical ‘Hell’ of other christian faiths. Let me explain. All those kingdoms on the right side of the pictures are called degrees of glory. The Hell of the bible, where weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth go on is actually that non-kingdom at the bottom of the diagram called outer darkness. Mormons are generally proud of this ‘inclusiveness’ in the after life for all God’s creations. You see pretty much everyone is guaranteed to make it at least to the Telestial Kingdom, immortality is a free gift to everyone thanks to Jesus.2 Eternal life (living with God in the CK) on the other hand requires you to specifically follow the Mormon teachings and be part of the Mormon church.

To end up in outer darkness, you have to know without a doubt that the LDS church is the one true one. You must have personal undeniable revelation to that fact and then become an apostate and fight against it. Being a person that had some pretty incredible spiritual experiences that I now think were cognitive faults of my own brain, I could possibly fall into that category. That is if I am wrong and the faith I have left is in fact God’s approved one. But if I am not like Satan and the 1/3 of souls sent there and this plan is legit. I am likely headed for the TK or the TrK (Telestial or Terrestrial Kingdom). You see the CK is the top tier. To get there, you have to accept a mortal baptism via correct authority which is only in the LDS church. To be in the top of the top, you need to also be temple married in the LDS faith sealing your family together for all eternity. It is a pretty grand vision of family being forever connected in this life and the next… You get it all, essentially you get to be a God and hang out with Gods. Just so long as you are worthy.

You see to be worthy of going to the temple, you have to believe in the church. You must pay tithing, you have to believe JS was really a prophet, (even when he told 14 year old girls they needed to marry him) You must assert a testimony of belief in the whole restoration story the church presents you to get this ultimate blessing. You must undergo a temple worthiness interview with your church leaders where you clearly assert these things to be even allowed in the the temple and thus the top of the CK. But if just don’t buy the LDS is the one true church story and you think Joseph Smith was a con man but you are still a good person you will get the TrK. If you basically sucked it up here on the earth, killing, committing adultery, drinking coffee and generally sinning without repentance, then the TK is where you go. It should be noted that the TK is generally believed to be like the earth is today minus all the bad stuff. So pretty nice place actually.

Now a really important thing to understand is that if you don’t make it to the CK. You don’t have any family in the next life. In fact if you are not sealed in the temple, then the family relationships you have here do not persist after death. This is the great incentive to be worthy of the best blessings God has to offer. All good Mormons strive for the CK. That is what they mean when they say families are forever. 3

I keep bringing up the word worthy in this post because that is very much the general fundamental belief of an LDS person. You need to be worthy to make it to the CK. This leads a person that embraces this belief system to look at non-mormons or non-believers as not worthy. Now if you might be thinking (as most non-mormons do) ‘that is pretty pretentious!’ Well it is, but it is so engrained in the faith that the believers don’t realize how pretentious it is at all. It’s just the way the world works to them. If fact, even once I could no longer believe it was the one-true-restored-plan-authorized-by-Heavenly-Father. For quite a while I didn’t realize how pretentious and judgmental that belief was.

Now a couple of years later one of my sons was judged not worthy by a bishop who was counseling his girlfriend to break up with him because he would never be worthy to take her to the temple (since he is no longer Mormon). Thinking about that I realized for the first time just how pretentious this belief is. It is so bad I have found that most Mormons themselves won’t admit they believe it when pressed. Thing is, in church, at home with family and people that believe the same this language of worthiness vs unworthiness is used all the time. But try this, ask an LDS person if they think a muslim or atheist is worthy of marrying their daughter and watch them dance around that word. You see they have been taught their whole lives what makes a person worthy. And it starts with being a believer in the LDS faith first and foremost. Instead of an honest answer based on the churches teachings you will get all sorts of talk about common goals and same desires stuff instead of a straight forward answer. As a friend of mine known as the Croc says. The doctrine they believe in is so bad they won’t even admit they believe in it.

So why all this discourse on worthiness? It’s simple, you see I have some family and friends that completely believe that I am not worthy of God’s highest gifts.4 They believe that my boys are not worthy of the love and affection of girlfriends that are LDS. They fundamentally are 100% sure the LDS church is true and that means by extension anyone not Mormon is not worthy in their eyes. So when I am told that I need to be more respectful of their religion and faith, I’m sorry but I just don’t see it that way. You see in their eyes, unless I am Mormon like them I am not worthy of being a member of their family in the eternities. That is what 100% belief in the LDS plan of salvation means wether you like it or not. To say otherwise is dishonest.

So If I am not worthy to be your family or your friend for all eternity, maybe you should think about how you would feel were I to believe the same thing about you… Would you be all fine and dandy with me thinking that? Would you still want to hang out with me with that understanding hanging forever in the background between us? Maybe if you my dear believing friend or family member think about what you really believe, you might begin to understand why getting asked to a baby blessing, or a family baptism or any other church related event that your life revolves around isn’t the spiritual wonderland to us that is to you. Because if you are honest with yourself you really believe we’re not worthy of your presence in the next life. Now tell me again why you think I need to respect that belief?

 

 

 

  1. Variations of this exclusivity demanded by religions are in all the abrahamic faiths, in some ways LDS is more inclusive, and since I know that one well it is my example. The examination if very applicable to most religions when you get down the doctrinal basics. The only religion I know of that is truly inclusive is that of the Fridge 🙂
  2. This is essentially equivalent to the doctrine of Grace in other Christian faiths. In Sunday School I often taught the TK would be exactly what the Christians expected, wonderful place to live with Jesus in charge. Only the LDS ended up in the CK where Elohim (Jesus’s dad) took charge personally.
  3. The fine print to this claim requires you be a temple going, temple wed Mormon, otherwise no soup for you!
  4. Some family and friends don’t believe it whole heartedly and have told me in private that they aren’t really 100% sure, they often go to church for other reasons that I did not. (I personally was deeply in the 100% sure category.) Is in any wonder that I feel closer to those individuals than the ones that make sure I am aware of how strongly the believe they are right about their faith?

Stealing Your Self Worth, The Psychology Of Obedience

So this morning I was talking to my wife about religious beliefs, the conversation started because I asked her if she felt persecuted because I make fun of religion and religious beliefs and even though she realized the Mormon church couldn’t possibly be the only true one, she still believes in God. And when it comes to a divine plan I do tend to make light of it. In case you hadn’t noticed this whole blog is kinda devoted to mocking the idea of a supreme leader.

You see I was debating the existence of God with a family member on FB and she asked me if I similarly mocked my wife’s beliefs in God. The fact is I often point out the illogical baloney that makes belief in an all powerful all loving deity so easy to make fun of.1  I do this in front of my wife, just as much as anyone. Actually I am more restrained with my family that still believes in the LDS faith than I am with her when I think about it. We never discuss the problems with the church in person. With my wife we discuss all this stuff, and much more.

So this morning I asked my wife how she felt when I would make fun of stuff like a father in heaven that prioritizes prayers to find lost keys over the desperate pleadings of starving kids in Africa. She said she really isn’t offended by what anyone else says at all, she realized everyone believes different things. I mentioned that the whole idea that you need to respect beliefs (which was the thrust of the comments my sis was making that instigated this conversation) just because people believe them seems ridiculous to me.

This is when my wife as she so often does, said something cogent and enlightening. She said, “She’s just super defensive. How can she not be. It’s one of the reasons she feels value.”  My wife’s statement was so true I realized, the social order of the LDS religion demands perfection, “be ye therefor perfect” is the end goal. Sure it pretends to cut you some slack with all the forgiveness talk, but in reality it hangs all your personal value on doing exactly what the religion says too.

In short, it steals your self confidence and ransoms it back to you for your obedience. Your worth to God depends primarily on how good you obey the leaders here and now. 2

No wonder people take so much offense when you view their beliefs as silly, especially when you layout the examples of how crazy it all sounds. “Stop saying that!” Is the cry, “you are being mean to me! I get to believe what I want and you shouldn’t ever make it look bad or silly or wrong if you are a nice person.” This leaves me personally flabbergasted because I swear these people don’t even read their own scriptures.

“…the Personage [God the father] who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” JSH 1:19

“Are you telling me that the guy you worship is not a nice person?” I have to ask myself. It just doesn’t make any sense at all. Not logically that is. Emotionally however it is another matter to the person that really believes it. You see a true believer is deeply invested. Just for a moment think about the investment a person that has been LDS for 40 years has made. We are talking about 6 figures in tithing or more. 2000+ days of church attendance, thousands of hours of home teaching, doing callings and all sorts of stuff. This is not a small effort on their part, not in the least. No wonder they want respect, they have put a lot into it. Doesn’t actually matter at all if it is true or not when it comes to this emotional connection.

They were obedient, they did everything they were told to do! They deserve to be happy now and if you point out the bamboozle you are raining on that parade.

 

 

 

The psychology at work here is known as the sunk cost fallacy. It basically states the more you put into something the harder it is to abandon it. Basically the same reason it is hard to stop playing clash of clans.

 

So next time you feel like a believer treated you like this:


Realize that they are not at all thinking logically or rationally. It is emotion that is driving them. And one thing the Fridge teaches us all is that emotion often overpowers reason. In this case the emotion is fear, the believer is afraid of losing that which they have worked so hard for. That doesn’t make emotion in and of itself bad though. Fear is a life saving mechanism that has done a good job of keeping us around for quite a while. Fear is only a problem when it keeps you from engaging in reason. But you can’t appeal to reason when it comes to such a deep emotion. You can however appeal to another emotion that believers are also familiar with. Make sure they know you honestly have their best interests in mind. Offer faith, ask them to have a little faith in you as a friend or a loved one.

You might just help another person open the door and see the light of the Fridge.

  1. Is this why God insists he must not be mocked? Because it is so easy to do?
  2. Don’t believe me? Go look at how many hits you get searching for it here. Obedience is even more important than truth. And they have a rule that is so important that you swear it as an oath in the temple. Never think your leaders are wrong, ok you can think they are wrong but never ever ever talk about it. To be totally open though you also promise to not laugh out loud so maybe that whole not speaking bad about the leaders should not be taken so seriously…