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Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
#26

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:08 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Believe in this god or you'll burn in hell forever.  Make them an offer they can't refuse.   Pay tribute to the Mafia boss or you'll end up in the East River swimming with the fishes.  It's all the same damned shit.

A.k.a. Lean on Jesus (Before He Leans On You) Whistling



To be fair I don't think I ever actually listened to this one. But. This gives me yet another opportunity to yet again post the greatest song ever writ (by the same guy).

I give you (again):

Dropkick Me, Jesus Girl_yes2



Show ContentSpoiler:

(If I wasn't so devastated about my kitty I'd be spending the next day singing it. I still might. Through the tears. Might cheer me up a bit)
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#27

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:08 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Teddy, if you get Netflix there's a series about leaving Scientology with Leah Remini.  It almost doesn't matter which religion you're talking about because it's all the same crap.   That families have to be torn apart over religions and instill mental and emotional suffering on those who reject it is unbelievable.  I grew up in a secular, very non religious home and didn't even know who Jesus was until I was about 10 or 11 (it's a long story) so this rejection of family members over religion just blows me away.  When I began learning about this problem I realized how much religion relies on extortion to keep people in it's fold.   I mean, really....it's downright extortion... on par with the Mafia.

Believe in this god or you'll burn in hell forever.  Make them an offer they can't refuse.   Pay tribute to the Mafia boss or you'll end up in the East River swimming with the fishes.  It's all the same damned shit.

I'll have to check it out, definitely. I watched her interview on the Joe Rogan podcast and it was pretty chilling stuff. I also watch a bit of Telltale and how he's talked about Jehovah's Witnesses, and a lot of that feels very similar to my experience growing up Mormon.

I would agree with the extortion aspect, and I don't know how strong a distinction people make between moderate Christians (what is that called? Where they believe but don't read the Bible often if at all, and only go to church on holidays and funerals), high demand religions, and cults. In Mormonism, from a very young age you are sold this idea, "Families can be together forever" in the next life. Only worthy families though. There are frequent worthiness interviews with the Bishop, not necessarily confessional but the same idea, that you need to tell your sins to an authority of God and go through a sorrowful repentance period.

Anyway, there is pressure upon parents to have a lot of kids and to be able to know they'll all be in the Celestial kingdom(the highest glory) with you in the next life. So, as traumatic as it is being a son or daughter in this type of family with different beliefs and different goals for life than your Mormon parents, it is traumatic for the parents who genuinely believe that if their son or daughter drinks coffee, sees an R-rated movie, or is gay, won't be with them in heaven when they go. Their kids'll go to one of the lower kingdoms and they'll be apart for eternity. So, the parents may be exerting this toxic pressure on their children to stay in the fold, they're dealing with those feelings of not being able to have their happy family all together for eternity. Which is the doctrine the church teaches, so, it's really the leadership's fault for making everyone feel constantly at threat of being disconnected from their families.

It is believed that there is some missionary work done in the next life, so, I think some parents hold onto that hope for their rebellious children. But this type of pressure is definitely felt by those who don't want to be separated from their loved ones in the hereafter. The best brainwashing is the kind you maintain on your own; so, each family member might reject the truth if they heard it or refuse to even look any material because the potential to be drawn away from the church and lose their "families forever" spot in the plan.

In that way, I think it is valuable to talk to missionaries and get them thinking skeptically. They're on their own away from the cocoon of family during a mission. Things might seem a little clearer to them at that point if you ask the right questions and help them see the cognitive dissonance.
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#28

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:15 PM)Vera Wrote:
Show ContentSpoiler:

(If I wasn't so devastated about my kitty I'd be spending the next day singing it. I still might. Through the tears. Might cheer me up a bit)

Somehow that song reminds me of the "Touchdown" Jesus statue (ugliest piece of shit ever)  in front of a church in Ohio that was struck by lightening.  


[Image: 9f9fe80a-321d-4730-900d-d624ed9d6ef0-tou...5431983504]


[Image: XJJO4ABCUL3O6LS5V3MYVSCPYM.jpg]


[Image: 636646497460553022-solid-rock03.jpg?width=640]

The best use of electricity in a long, long time.   Nod
                                                         T4618
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#29

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:35 PM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 05:08 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Teddy, if you get Netflix there's a series about leaving Scientology with Leah Remini.  It almost doesn't matter which religion you're talking about because it's all the same crap.   That families have to be torn apart over religions and instill mental and emotional suffering on those who reject it is unbelievable.  I grew up in a secular, very non religious home and didn't even know who Jesus was until I was about 10 or 11 (it's a long story) so this rejection of family members over religion just blows me away.  When I began learning about this problem I realized how much religion relies on extortion to keep people in it's fold.   I mean, really....it's downright extortion... on par with the Mafia.

Believe in this god or you'll burn in hell forever.  Make them an offer they can't refuse.   Pay tribute to the Mafia boss or you'll end up in the East River swimming with the fishes.  It's all the same damned shit.

I'll have to check it out, definitely. I watched her interview on the Joe Rogan podcast and it was pretty chilling stuff. I also watch a bit of Telltale and how he's talked about Jehovah's Witnesses, and a lot of that feels very similar to my experience growing up Mormon.

I would agree with the extortion aspect, and I don't know how strong a distinction people make between moderate Christians (what is that called? Where they believe but don't read the Bible often if at all, and only go to church on holidays and funerals), high demand religions, and cults. In Mormonism, from a very young age you are sold this idea, "Families can be together forever" in the next life. Only worthy families though. There are frequent worthiness interviews with the Bishop, not necessarily confessional but the same idea, that you need to tell your sins to an authority of God and go through a sorrowful repentance period.

Anyway, there is pressure upon parents to have a lot of kids and to be able to know they'll all be in the Celestial kingdom(the highest glory) with you in the next life. So, as traumatic as it is being a son or daughter in this type of family with different beliefs and different goals for life than your Mormon parents, it is traumatic for the parents who genuinely believe that if their son or daughter drinks coffee, sees an R-rated movie, or is gay, won't be with them in heaven when they go. Their kids'll go to one of the lower kingdoms and they'll be apart for eternity. So, the parents may be exerting this toxic pressure on their children to stay in the fold, they're dealing with those feelings of not being able to have their happy family all together for eternity. Which is the doctrine the church teaches, so, it's really the leadership's fault for making everyone feel constantly at threat of being disconnected from their families.

It is believed that there is some missionary work done in the next life, so, I think some parents hold onto that hope for their rebellious children. But this type of pressure is definitely felt by those who don't want to be separated from their loved ones in the hereafter. The best brainwashing is the kind you maintain on your own; so, each family member might reject the truth if they heard it or refuse to even look any material because the potential to be drawn away from the church and lose their "families forever" spot in the plan.

In that way, I think it is valuable to talk to missionaries and get them thinking skeptically. They're on their own away from the cocoon of family during a mission. Things might seem a little clearer to them at that point if you ask the right questions and help them see the cognitive dissonance.

Talking to the young is generally a good thing and may have an effect on them in the future. Planting that little seed of doubt is worthwhile IMO, it will sprout and try to grow big. 

Talking to elderly folks though is cruel in my book. Firstly, they won't do any harm anymore, so it is pointless. A young person may be kept from passing the shit on to their offspring. The elderly is done with most everything, they have a little bit of life left. Why make it hard for them? Pointless.

My aunt was catholic, went to mass twice a week, and tithed. She was in her eighties, lived alone. It made her feel good. And, if she didn't show in church as usual, the priest would come to her place and see if she needed anything and provide it. So, I guess her tithing paid for some personal care-taking - a good thing in her situation. She never pushed religion on me, she just followed it herself. 

Should I have destroyed her world in her last years? Definitely not!

I do talk to young people about it though. There is a point to that, it just may do some good.
[Image: color%5D%5Bcolor=#333333%5D%5Bsize=small%5D%5Bfont=T...ans-Serif%5D]
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#30

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Dom Wrote: Talking to the young is generally a good thing and may have an effect on them in the future. Planting that little seed of doubt is worthwhile IMO, it will sprout and try to grow big. 

Talking to elderly folks though is cruel in my book. Firstly, they won't do any harm anymore, so it is pointless. A young person may be kept from passing the shit on to their offspring. The elderly is done with most everything, they have a little bit of life left. Why make it hard for them? Pointless.

My aunt was catholic, went to mass twice a week, and tithed. She was in her eighties, lived alone. It made her feel good. And, if she didn't show in church as usual, the priest would come to her place and see if she needed anything and provide it. So, I guess her tithing paid for some personal care-taking - a good thing in her situation. She never pushed religion on me, she just followed it herself. 

Should I have destroyed her world in her last years? Definitely not!

I do talk to young people about it though. There is a point to that, it just may do some good.

I agree to a certain point. There are older people in my life whom I love who will never listen, no matter what I say. I won't let the church tear us apart the way it is designed to do for apostates like me and I can do my part proving their ideas about atheists wrong by being present and loving. It probably shows my bias that if it were an older person whom I didn't know or have that familiarity with, I might engage and challenge them on ideas they espoused first. But it's a "pick your battles" thing. I'm not going to go militant on someone in casual conversation just because they want to say a blessing on the food or they talk about how the Lord has touched their lives. I'd be more inclined to ask softly probing questions regarding Bible historicity, the abusive doctrines of sacrifice and obedience, the inconsistent messaging of a benevolent god who feeds on suffering and death, etc.

You're never too old to become a skeptic and I do find that older people with their influence, can still spread false ideas, poor reasoning skills, and delusions. I don't think it is helpful to them to allow them to remain deluded. But I'm not insensitive to how much a faith crisis can hurt, so, I'm not going to badger someone about their beliefs. We can have a conversation, though. If it's a high demand, repressive religion/cult, then allowing them to know in their final years that there's nothing to worry about after this and accountability ends here in this life, would be removing a weight from them where they are still clinging to an idea of perfection that doesn't exist.

If I were to ever meet any of the LDS First Presidency (the prophet and the apostles; all of them are older men) I'd mercilessly confront them about what they've taken from me. Probably some of that anger I've still got showing but they destroy lives with their oppressive doctrine. It wouldn't change anything but I don't think I could see any of them and be alright with just walking away.
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#31

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Here, Teddy.

Don't know if you ever saw this but it has been a while since it was posted.


Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#32

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 06:28 PM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Dom Wrote: Talking to the young is generally a good thing and may have an effect on them in the future. Planting that little seed of doubt is worthwhile IMO, it will sprout and try to grow big. 

Talking to elderly folks though is cruel in my book. Firstly, they won't do any harm anymore, so it is pointless. A young person may be kept from passing the shit on to their offspring. The elderly is done with most everything, they have a little bit of life left. Why make it hard for them? Pointless.

My aunt was catholic, went to mass twice a week, and tithed. She was in her eighties, lived alone. It made her feel good. And, if she didn't show in church as usual, the priest would come to her place and see if she needed anything and provide it. So, I guess her tithing paid for some personal care-taking - a good thing in her situation. She never pushed religion on me, she just followed it herself. 

Should I have destroyed her world in her last years? Definitely not!

I do talk to young people about it though. There is a point to that, it just may do some good.

I agree to a certain point. There are older people in my life whom I love who will never listen, no matter what I say. I won't let the church tear us apart the way it is designed to do for apostates like me and I can do my part proving their ideas about atheists wrong by being present and loving. It probably shows my bias that if it were an older person whom I didn't know or have that familiarity with, I might engage and challenge them on ideas they espoused first. But it's a "pick your battles" thing. I'm not going to go militant on someone in casual conversation just because they want to say a blessing on the food or they talk about how the Lord has touched their lives. I'd be more inclined to ask softly probing questions regarding Bible historicity, the abusive doctrines of sacrifice and obedience, the inconsistent messaging of a benevolent god who feeds on suffering and death, etc.

You're never too old to become a skeptic and I do find that older people with their influence, can still spread false ideas, poor reasoning skills, and delusions. I don't think it is helpful to them to allow them to remain deluded. But I'm not insensitive to how much a faith crisis can hurt, so, I'm not going to badger someone about their beliefs. We can have a conversation, though. If it's a high demand, repressive religion/cult, then allowing them to know in their final years that there's nothing to worry about after this and accountability ends here in this life, would be removing a weight from them where they are still clinging to an idea of perfection that doesn't exist.

If I were to ever meet any of the LDS First Presidency (the prophet and the apostles; all of them are older men) I'd mercilessly confront them about what they've taken from me. Probably some of that anger I've still got showing but they destroy lives with their oppressive doctrine. It wouldn't change anything but I don't think I could see any of them and be alright with just walking away.

Oh, sure, a bishop or pope or priest - those are harmful. My aunt in her 80s - she wasn't. There is quite a difference there.
[Image: color%5D%5Bcolor=#333333%5D%5Bsize=small%5D%5Bfont=T...ans-Serif%5D]
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#33

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:08 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Teddy, if you get Netflix there's a series about leaving Scientology with Leah Remini.  It almost doesn't matter which religion you're talking about because it's all the same crap.   That families have to be torn apart over religions and instill mental and emotional suffering on those who reject it is unbelievable.

Thumbs Up   That series had me shaking in anger and in tears of sympathy over the terrible things people endured at the hands of $cientologists, particularly when some of them were their own family members.  A must watch.
No gods necessary
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#34

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 05:35 PM)Teddy Wrote: In Mormonism, from a very young age you are sold this idea, "Families can be together forever" in the next life.

I've always wondered how they expect that will work.  The family consists of mother, father, kids and assorted other relatives, all with specific age differences.  Do they expect to be reconstituted in the afterlife in the same 'format'?  Wouldn't the parents and grandparents want to be their young selves again?  Would the kids never be grown up with their own families, but trapped as the adorable children of their parents?  Would the population in the afterlife consist of hordes of nothing but, say, 21 year olds?  I just don't get it.
No gods necessary
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#35

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 06:28 PM)Teddy Wrote: I'm not going to go militant on someone in casual conversation just because they want to say a blessing on the food or they talk about how the Lord has touched their lives.

You just triggered a fond memory of mine.  My elderly mother was in hospital recovering from a broken leg that she incurred while actually being in hospital for another reason.  My sister, a secretary in a catholic primary school, was visiting.  She was telling us how they had to gather around that morning and share how God had touched them in some way.  My mother instantly piped in with "He touched me alright.  He pushed me down and broke my leg". 
Chuckle
No gods necessary
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#36

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 02:12 AM)brunumb Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 05:35 PM)Teddy Wrote: In Mormonism, from a very young age you are sold this idea, "Families can be together forever" in the next life.

I've always wondered how they expect that will work.  The family consists of mother, father, kids and assorted other relatives, all with specific age differences.  Do they expect to be reconstituted in the afterlife in the same 'format'?  Wouldn't the parents and grandparents want to be their young selves again?  Would the kids never be grown up with their own families, but trapped as the adorable children of their parents?  Would the population in the afterlife consist of hordes of nothing but, say, 21 year olds?  I just don't get it.

To be honest, you don't think about it too much. Or anything for that matter. I don't mean to neg on Mormons but one of their apostles has literally told them to "doubt your doubts." Because upon examination, even the slightest bit, it falls apart. It's called a "shelf" among exmo nomenclature; that internal place where you set things that didn't quite add up, unanswered questions, or things that bothered you in the church, things that you have faith will be answered later or it feels like Satan is trying to tempt you and trick you with doubts so you just don't explore that line of questioning anymore. Reaching a place where you no longer believe the church is called a shelf break, when that load of stuff becomes too heavy and can't be ignored anymore.

For instance, I never questioned the happy family unit together forever image I had in my head. Of course I wanted to be with my parents and my siblings for eternity. But I also never thought it through with the "plan of happiness" either. Because Mormon men get to become gods in the next life, with their own harem of wives, and a planet, just like this one, where their spirit children(no, not you; your Mormon dad will go be ruler-God of his own planet and have other kids and if you were Mormon, you'd do the same of your own) get to live and sin and try to make right choices and on and on. I believe I've heard atheists say "it's turtles all the way down" and I think it applies.

Anyway, so, technically, in Mormon doctrine, not even good Mormon families get to be together forever...because they'll all be separated ruling their own planets and punishing disobedient human children that they never talk to. Forever.

By the by, it also never occurred to me until my shelf broke, the absolute nightmare of an afterlife that is, to just become a part of an endless god-making factory.
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#37

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-23-2021, 12:49 AM)Teddy Wrote: I am an ex-Mormon...

When did you first realize there was a problem with the Joseph Smith story?

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#38

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I love the thing with Joseph Smith who falsly interpreted an Egyptian papyrus to be from the Book of Abraham when it had zero, zip, zilch, to do with that story and everything to do with Egyptian embalming of the god Osiris.    The Rosetta Stone had just been discovered but the news never reached Joseph Smith here in America.  So Joseph jumps right into this papyrus thing he sees and claims it's the sacrifice of Abraham's son.   


[Image: BoA-1.jpg]


Here's a cleaned up version.

[Image: BoA-5.jpg]

When the Rosetta Stone was applied to the hierglyphics it makes Joseph Smith look like a gullible dolt and a conman.....which is what he was.  The embalming of Orisis was a common theme depicted in Egyptian hierglyphics so Egyptologists are very familiar with this scene. The writing is from the Egyptian "Book of Breathing" a sacred embalming book which inturn evolved from the well known Egyptian Book of the Dead.  But the Mormons double down on this stupid shit and pull stuff out of their ass to make the Joseph Smith's interpretation work.  It's unreal how the religious can be so blind to facts and reality.
                                                         T4618
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#39

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
18 ways to annoy the religious door knockers...

1.  Put on your Atheist hat (conveniently hung near the front door).
2.  Make sure nothing is cooking in the kitchen.
3.  Make sure you haver nothing to do for a half hour.
4.  Sit down on the front step with them.
5.  Smile, you want to be seen as approachable.
6.  If you smoke, light one up.
7.  Try to look stupid and gullible.
8.  When they say things, ask slightly unrelated questions.
9.  Make them shift subjects.
10. Ask questions about other religions.
11. Try to discuss politics.  
12. Mention that their religion doesn't have enough sports figures.
13. Ask if they know which direction "True North" is.  Just because that's where "the demons come from".
14. Ask if you can have their address and phone number "just some you can contact them after the restraining order is over".
15. Mention that Zeus talks to you.  Even when you are awake.  
16. Ask if they would like to see the altar in the room you dug off the basement.
17. Are all the clouds actually angels flying around, you might ask?
18. Ask the best prayer they asked for but didn't get.
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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#40

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 05:22 AM)Inkubus Wrote:
(08-23-2021, 12:49 AM)Teddy Wrote: I am an ex-Mormon...

When did you first realize there was a problem with the Joseph Smith story?

Don't laugh... A year ago. I'm 34.

Cults are not a joke. I was fully indoctrinated for years. In 2019, I went inactive over struggles I was having with my gender identity. I decided the church was still true but I desired to live, so, I couldn't attend anymore. It was a literal life or death choice, to be myself or keep going to church. I figured I'd be content with a lower kingdom if I got to be my true self while here.

Last summer, I was looking up Mormon stuff on YouTube and apparently the algorithm thinks "Mormon" and "ex-Mormon" are the same, because I stumbled upon a particularly spicy Jimmy Snow video. When he started showing on screen the official LDS website and these hidden essays the church put out admitting to all of this stuff that was contrary to what I had been taught my whole life, that was when my shelf broke. I tried my hardest to stick with church apologists sites and the church sources itself. But they either didn't answer my questions fully or they gaslighted the hell out of me.

For instance, the Book of Abraham crap above? Yeah, growing up, my triple combination scriptures BoM, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price(the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses) had the "priest sacrificing Abraham" fascimile printed in the pages right before the Book of Abraham. And in the title text, it talks about the book being translated by Joseph Smith from the papyrus he found. The first few versus refer to the pictures shown. Yet FAIRMormon(the apologetics website) want to go back and say, "We never said THIS was the papyrus that JS used." Okay but that's really disingenuous and misleading, isn't it? Is that behavior becoming of supposed men of God? That they have to manipulate people?

Everything I have uncovered was like that. I would learn things that didn't line up with what I was taught all my life and the church's sources would say, "What are you talking about? It's always been this way/this information was always available if you'd studied harder." While ignoring the fact that they discouraged doubting or asking deep questions. I read the CES letter, I watched other exmo video channels(Exmo Lex, Zelph on the Shelf, Mormon Stories, etc.), and I started hanging out on exmo forums. I realized I was fully atheist last October.

I had a shelf for years but the whole idea of it is the cognitive dissonance that you adapt to under brainwashing. Like:

Polygamy. I didn't know it happened to the extent that it did but I very much refrained from digging or looking into it at all simply for how uncomfortable the concept made me.

The lost pages of the book of Lehi. It struck me as odd that reasoning, "I can't retranslate the lost pages because the enemies of the church would have edited the words to make me look ingenuine." So...you just lose that work? It wasn't important, those months of work and the money spent to do it? We just have a spare chapter in the book that has the same info(the first book of Nephi)? That God sure is clever about wasting people's time.

There is a prophecy about Joseph Smith IN the book of Mormon(I forget where). It set off that brief doubting alarm every time I read it because that just seemed so convenient to write himself into his own book. I remember battling with the distinct impression that JS was an arrogant, vain man and it could be possible that he'd reference himself like that.

The temple. Everything the temple. I've gone probably 20-30 times total in my life. The first time, I had the sinking thought that I was in a cult and ignored it. Yet it was reinforced and ignored anew every time I went and "didn't learn anything new" like I was promised.

I said before the best brainwashing is the kind you get the subject to maintain and put upon themselves. So, I do shoulder a percentage of the blame for being manipulated for so long. Because there were red flags but I wanted to believe more.
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#41

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Welkommen!

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTEbzW_uQ1TKcbIxN9lKvO...w&usqp=CAU]
  [Image: attachment.php?aid=31] Dog  
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#42

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: The best use of electricity in a long, long time.   Nod

This is hilarious. And the lightning strike definitely improved the "statue" a hundredfold.

(08-25-2021, 02:12 AM)brunumb Wrote: I've always wondered how they expect that will work.  The family consists of mother, father, kids and assorted other relatives, all with specific age differences.  Do they expect to be reconstituted in the afterlife in the same 'format'?  Wouldn't the parents and grandparents want to be their young selves again?  Would the kids never be grown up with their own families, but trapped as the adorable children of their parents?  Would the population in the afterlife consist of hordes of nothing but, say, 21 year olds?  I just don't get it.

I never knew the afterlife of Mormons was quite this ludicrously dumb (as if eternity wasn't scary even if in a state of supernatural, blissed-out state) but the one I never could get over was the vile self-centeredness of Calvinism. Not only are you, specifically, saved - not through any good deeds or humility or anything, but simply because YOU have been chosen by God... but so is your entire family chosen, because you're super duper special. If really doesn't get any more egotistical than this. It really doesn't.

Though I guess there are those who wonder if their number has been drawn, in the great raffle in the sky that Calvinism basically is. And those who are convinced they're not.

When I was starting to deconvert, in uni, it coincided with a course where we studied about William Cowper (yeah, the same Cowper of "god moves in mysterious ways blah blah blah", not to mention "variety's the spice of life" and a whole bunch of other annoying ones) and apparently he got convinced that he was "unchosen" and was pretty much convinced god has rejected it.

Well, me, who was just beginning to "lose" her faith (and struggling with it) really could sympathise.

Now I feel such sympathy and sadness for him and those like him, spending their only life in such a hell of their own making. Poor people...
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#43

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 11:34 AM)Teddy Wrote: So, I do shoulder a percentage of the blame for being manipulated for so long. Because there were red flags but I wanted to believe more.

At least you were actually brainwashed. Some of us didn't even grow among the religious and still caught it Confused

I actually posted an essay by most loved author, Greg Egan, who, it turns out, used to be religious too as a kid (I was really surprised). He makes some really good points and he is a very very clever man.

"Given that I’d ended up with a faith that was perfectly compatible both with my own conscience, and with anything the natural sciences might reveal, it might easily have lasted my whole lifetime. Having access to a sense of great peace and contentment, and a conviction that in the end all wrongs will be made right, is not a burdensome state to be in."



"What I do suspect I once shared with a great many religious believers is not so much the core of mystical experience as the larger package that was wrapped around it: the belief that the universe has a purpose, and that despite the unspeakable horrors of our history and the smaller miseries of everyday life there is a promise that everything will be put right in the end. This is a powerful and appealing notion; once you have it in your grasp it’s hard to let go, and some of us will go to very great lengths to rationalise holding on to it."

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“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#44

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 01:40 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I always wonder if Mormans realize how ridiculous they look running around on their bicycles.



Depends on what part of town:

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#45

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 11:34 AM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-25-2021, 05:22 AM)Inkubus Wrote:
(08-23-2021, 12:49 AM)Teddy Wrote: I am an ex-Mormon...

When did you first realize there was a problem with the Joseph Smith story?

Don't laugh... A year ago. I'm 34.

Cults are not a joke. I was fully indoctrinated for years. In 2019, I went inactive over struggles I was having with my gender identity. I decided the church was still true but I desired to live, so, I couldn't attend anymore. It was a literal life or death choice, to be myself or keep going to church. I figured I'd be content with a lower kingdom if I got to be my true self while here.

Last summer, I was looking up Mormon stuff on YouTube and apparently the algorithm thinks "Mormon" and "ex-Mormon" are the same, because I stumbled upon a particularly spicy Jimmy Snow video. When he started showing on screen the official LDS website and these hidden essays the church put out admitting to all of this stuff that was contrary to what I had been taught my whole life, that was when my shelf broke. I tried my hardest to stick with church apologists sites and the church sources itself. But they either didn't answer my questions fully or they gaslighted the hell out of me.

For instance, the Book of Abraham crap above? Yeah, growing up, my triple combination scriptures BoM, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price(the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses) had the "priest sacrificing Abraham" fascimile printed in the pages right before the Book of Abraham. And in the title text, it talks about the book being translated by Joseph Smith from the papyrus he found. The first few versus refer to the pictures shown. Yet FAIRMormon(the apologetics website) want to go back and say, "We never said THIS was the papyrus that JS used." Okay but that's really disingenuous and misleading, isn't it? Is that behavior becoming of supposed men of God? That they have to manipulate people?

Everything I have uncovered was like that. I would learn things that didn't line up with what I was taught all my life and the church's sources would say, "What are you talking about? It's always been this way/this information was always available if you'd studied harder." While ignoring the fact that they discouraged doubting or asking deep questions. I read the CES letter, I watched other exmo video channels(Exmo Lex, Zelph on the Shelf, Mormon Stories, etc.), and I started hanging out on exmo forums. I realized I was fully atheist last October.

I had a shelf for years but the whole idea of it is the cognitive dissonance that you adapt to under brainwashing. Like:

Polygamy. I didn't know it happened to the extent that it did but I very much refrained from digging or looking into it at all simply for how uncomfortable the concept made me.

The lost pages of the book of Lehi. It struck me as odd that reasoning, "I can't retranslate the lost pages because the enemies of the church would have edited the words to make me look ingenuine." So...you just lose that work? It wasn't important, those months of work and the money spent to do it? We just have a spare chapter in the book that has the same info(the first book of Nephi)? That God sure is clever about wasting people's time.

There is a prophecy about Joseph Smith IN the book of Mormon(I forget where). It set off that brief doubting alarm every time I read it because that just seemed so convenient to write himself into his own book. I remember battling with the distinct impression that JS was an arrogant, vain man and it could be possible that he'd reference himself like that.

The temple. Everything the temple. I've gone probably 20-30 times total in my life. The first time, I had the sinking thought that I was in a cult and ignored it. Yet it was reinforced and ignored anew every time I went and "didn't learn anything new" like I was promised.

I said before the best brainwashing is the kind you get the subject to maintain and put upon themselves. So, I do shoulder a percentage of the blame for being manipulated for so long. Because there were red flags but I wanted to believe more.

That seems to be a theme among the people in the middle of deconversion - red flags make them try to cling desperately on to the whole shebang.

This is what I think - if you have been in the religion for many years, it has become a big part of your life, something that occupies your thoughts and actions often and persistently.

So, losing it is not much different from losing someone you love. They have occupied a large part of your life for a long time too, and when they are gone, there is a void.

When we find a void in our lives, we grieve, whether we like it or not. We go through denial, anger, blaming, depression in various sequences. It is the brain trying to sort why this void exists. The bigger the void, the more often we encounter it and get triggered. It's quite normal human behavior. And it can be a prolonged state.

This is why I don't like being hard on the religious who show up here - I want to ascertain first whether they belong in the group of proselytizers, or trolls, or someone who has shown up because they have doubts and need to sort through all this. If they are in denial, they will defend the faith. In that case, rational, friendly de-bunking can do a world of good. Once people get into blaming and anger, there is no way back. The brain has accepted that the void exists. From there on it's just healing.

That's how I see it, just from observation, I never had to go through it with religions since I deconverted so young (age 10). But I recognize grief when I see it - too much of that in my life.
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#46

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 11:34 AM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-25-2021, 05:22 AM)Inkubus Wrote:
(08-23-2021, 12:49 AM)Teddy Wrote: I am an ex-Mormon...

When did you first realize there was a problem with the Joseph Smith story?

Don't laugh... A year ago. I'm 34.

Cults are not a joke. I was fully indoctrinated for years. In 2019, I went inactive over struggles I was having with my gender identity. I decided the church was still true but I desired to live, so, I couldn't attend anymore. It was a literal life or death choice, to be myself or keep going to church. I figured I'd be content with a lower kingdom if I got to be my true self while here.

Last summer, I was looking up Mormon stuff on YouTube and apparently the algorithm thinks "Mormon" and "ex-Mormon" are the same, because I stumbled upon a particularly spicy Jimmy Snow video. When he started showing on screen the official LDS website and these hidden essays the church put out admitting to all of this stuff that was contrary to what I had been taught my whole life, that was when my shelf broke. I tried my hardest to stick with church apologists sites and the church sources itself. But they either didn't answer my questions fully or they gaslighted the hell out of me.

For instance, the Book of Abraham crap above? Yeah, growing up, my triple combination scriptures BoM, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price(the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses) had the "priest sacrificing Abraham" fascimile printed in the pages right before the Book of Abraham. And in the title text, it talks about the book being translated by Joseph Smith from the papyrus he found. The first few versus refer to the pictures shown. Yet FAIRMormon(the apologetics website) want to go back and say, "We never said THIS was the papyrus that JS used." Okay but that's really disingenuous and misleading, isn't it? Is that behavior becoming of supposed men of God? That they have to manipulate people?

Everything I have uncovered was like that. I would learn things that didn't line up with what I was taught all my life and the church's sources would say, "What are you talking about? It's always been this way/this information was always available if you'd studied harder." While ignoring the fact that they discouraged doubting or asking deep questions. I read the CES letter, I watched other exmo video channels(Exmo Lex, Zelph on the Shelf, Mormon Stories, etc.), and I started hanging out on exmo forums. I realized I was fully atheist last October.

I had a shelf for years but the whole idea of it is the cognitive dissonance that you adapt to under brainwashing. Like:

Polygamy. I didn't know it happened to the extent that it did but I very much refrained from digging or looking into it at all simply for how uncomfortable the concept made me.

The lost pages of the book of Lehi. It struck me as odd that reasoning, "I can't retranslate the lost pages because the enemies of the church would have edited the words to make me look ingenuine." So...you just lose that work? It wasn't important, those months of work and the money spent to do it? We just have a spare chapter in the book that has the same info(the first book of Nephi)? That God sure is clever about wasting people's time.

There is a prophecy about Joseph Smith IN the book of Mormon(I forget where). It set off that brief doubting alarm every time I read it because that just seemed so convenient to write himself into his own book. I remember battling with the distinct impression that JS was an arrogant, vain man and it could be possible that he'd reference himself like that.

The temple. Everything the temple. I've gone probably 20-30 times total in my life. The first time, I had the sinking thought that I was in a cult and ignored it. Yet it was reinforced and ignored anew every time I went and "didn't learn anything new" like I was promised.

I said before the best brainwashing is the kind you get the subject to maintain and put upon themselves. So, I do shoulder a percentage of the blame for being manipulated for so long. Because there were red flags but I wanted to believe more.

Have your struggles with your gender identity been resolved?   How are you dealing with your family....or should I ask, how are they dealing with your split from the Mormon Church?
                                                         T4618
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#47

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 02:41 PM)Dom Wrote: This is why I don't like being hard on the religious who show up here - I want to ascertain first whether they belong in the group of proselytizers, or trolls, or someone who has shown up because they have doubts and need to sort through all this. If they are in denial, they will defend the faith. In that case, rational, friendly de-bunking can do a world of good. Once people get into blaming and anger, there is no way back. The brain has accepted that the void exists. From there on it's just healing.

That's how I see it, just from observation, I never had to go through it with religions since I deconverted so young (age 10). But I recognize grief when I see it - too much of that in my life.

Thank you for the kind words, Dom. It really is just like grief because it was everything. It was what I truly believed about reality and the purpose of life. And I still can't shake the feeling that I was victimized by church leaders.

But I am less angry than I was before. I know it was not the local Bishop's fault or any of the Sunday school teachers I've had. I have no doubt, based on the language they use and how they lead the church, that the First Presidency of the Mormon church knows the truth of our history.

I also agree with the sentiment of engaging in conversation and discussing the topics. I have a low tolerance for repetitive obtuseness and deliberate ignorance though, because I interpret it as trolling after a point. I don't know how to kindly handle someone in denial.

(08-25-2021, 02:43 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Have your struggles with your gender identity been resolved?   How are you dealing with your family....or should I ask, how are they dealing with your split from the Mormon Church?

Yes. I am a man. I was AFAB. I'm in the middle of transition right now.

My immediate family and I have an agreement not to talk about it, to preserve our relationship. When I was younger, up until I graduated high school, my parents were very active with high religiosity. But ever since we moved to the country in the northeast, they've been more lax and chill. The same with my siblings. I don't think they attend church anymore but they were like me in 2019; they believe it, so, challenging them on doctrine would cause pushback. They accept me for who I am.

The rest of my family is like rolling the dice on both getting misgendered and passive aggressive digs about me being an apostate. The gender identity, I'll give them time to get accustomed to that. I get more angry over their confidence that "I know the truth" and how "I'll be back some day".
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#48

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
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#49

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
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#50

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-25-2021, 03:08 PM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-25-2021, 02:41 PM)Dom Wrote: This is why I don't like being hard on the religious who show up here - I want to ascertain first whether they belong in the group of proselytizers, or trolls, or someone who has shown up because they have doubts and need to sort through all this. If they are in denial, they will defend the faith. In that case, rational, friendly de-bunking can do a world of good. Once people get into blaming and anger, there is no way back. The brain has accepted that the void exists. From there on it's just healing.

That's how I see it, just from observation, I never had to go through it with religions since I deconverted so young (age 10). But I recognize grief when I see it - too much of that in my life.

Thank you for the kind words, Dom. It really is just like grief because it was everything. It was what I truly believed about reality and the purpose of life. And I still can't shake the feeling that I was victimized by church leaders.

But I am less angry than I was before. I know it was not the local Bishop's fault or any of the Sunday school teachers I've had. I have no doubt, based on the language they use and how they lead the church, that the First Presidency of the Mormon church knows the truth of our history.

I also agree with the sentiment of engaging in conversation and discussing the topics. I have a low tolerance for repetitive obtuseness and deliberate ignorance though, because I interpret it as trolling after a point. I don't know how to kindly handle someone in denial.

(08-25-2021, 02:43 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Have your struggles with your gender identity been resolved?   How are you dealing with your family....or should I ask, how are they dealing with your split from the Mormon Church?

Yes. I am a man. I was AFAB. I'm in the middle of transition right now.

My immediate family and I have an agreement not to talk about it, to preserve our relationship. When I was younger, up until I graduated high school, my parents were very active with high religiosity. But ever since we moved to the country in the northeast, they've been more lax and chill. The same with my siblings. I don't think they attend church anymore but they were like me in 2019; they believe it, so, challenging them on doctrine would cause pushback. They accept me for who I am.

The rest of my family is like rolling the dice on both getting misgendered and passive aggressive digs about me being an apostate. The gender identity, I'll give them time to get accustomed to that. I get more angry over their confidence that "I know the truth" and how "I'll be back some day".

My daughter is transgender - MTF.  She came out to me when she was 18.  I wish we had been aware of her gender identity much earlier but she hid it from us until she just couldn't anylonger.  And it's weird because my husband and I are pretty liberal minded people. I'm an atheist and he's an agnostic.  We're theatre people and around all types and sorts of creative folks but even so my daughter couldn't bring herself to tell us.   Some of that was just teenage angst and even in the best of teen-parent relationships there is a communication gap between generations. But it turned out great in the end.  She has a fantastic job in IT and married another transgender girl over a year ago.  I married them.  I'm an ordained Dudest Priest curtesy of this The Big Lebowski website....https://dudeism.com/ordination/    

Big Grin

Anyway, thank you for this thread and what must be a rather cathartic expression of your recent life.  It's very interesting to hear from someone who has gone through what you have experienced.  

A little side information on the Egyptian papyrus Joseph Smith "translated".  Twenty-some years before Joseph first laid eyes on that papyrus, Napoleon and his army invaded Egypt and pilfered several of the sites and brought back Egyptian iconography and other items which became all the rage in Europe.   Egyptian styles influenced a lot of the decorative arts, jewelry and other crafts throughout Europe and some of the papyrus scrolls floating around Europe eventually made it's way across the Atlantic to America as curiosity items and this is how Joseph Smith came in contact with the Embalming of Osiris from the Book of the Dead.  So we can thank Napoleon Bonaparte for all this.   Winking

ETA: The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 but it's translation capabilities were unknown by the general population and especially by someone the likes of Joseph Smith. Using the Rosetta stone would have clearly translated the subject depicted as Oisris being embalmed.
                                                         T4618
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