Thursday, June 11, 2009

The latest transaction of thoughts and feelings between Scott and I have resolved into, I hope, an understanding that you will say/write what you will and so will I. I'm not going to be guilt-tripped or pigeon holed into anything. And if you want to talk religion, than I'm going to talk religion too, it wasn't a fight, just a debate of sorts. There are three things people really shouldn't talk about and that's Politics, Religion and finances. I know I blog a lot about the first two subjects and I can, cause I can freely do so. This is a place where I can share, not meant to be a personal attack and if you take it that way, than you really aren't open to new ideas. I blog because I have the freedom to get out in the open with who I am! I share with what I am doing, learning, thinking or whatever here, and I'm not out to please or receive the acceptance of anyone. In fact, it could just be a self-serving thing. I am a woman, no longer "little Lee Lee" here, where I can think for myself and make conclusions, and decisions of what I've studied regardless of what I used to believe. Yes, a fact is the religion I was born into is part of my heritage, I cannot deny that, that is fact, they went to church, they walked with their convictions, but as it turns out, the Mormon religion is not MY beliefs, and most of my heritage is not Mormon based either.
I know everyone has doubts, I did, and I found, for me, the only best thing I could do was to change; to break out boldly into where I felt right. I don't have a problem with Mormons but what I have a problem with is the claim to have all the truth. I'd love to visit the BOM sites from ancient times, I'd love to see a museum of artifacts of say, the tools, the boats, the lost bodies that were seemed to have been killed in all the wars, the shields of the 2000 stripling warriors or the swords, the money that they exchanged, something.... But somehow nobody knows where or how, that's why I found, its just a story. Even the DNA tests are proving that there were no Lamanites or Nephites. However, I know the Egyptians existed with their pyramids, and all that is in the history books, cause they are found, its been left behind and not mysteriously vanished, including the cities and geography. That's part of what one of the videos below talks about. Did anyone wonder of that once before? I have. The truth, how I see it, cannot be left to "the burning feeling in my bosom" as I can feel that same feeling watching a feel-good fictional/non-fiction movie, or listening to some masterpiece of music. I can also feel "the spirit" while reading a Robert Frost poem, or watching a TV program, its a "feeling" not a confirmation based on truth, or facts. When I learned over time to differentiate the difference in my own conscious mind, taking away the "feel good" feeling and look at written facts from the hands of record keepers themselves, it was a moment of truth, an Eureka moment! Just like when I was a child, I believed there was a SANTA, and then looking at the facts that there was no way any human could possibly do what SANTA claims to do in one night, it was a fact I could not ignore that he was just another story, made up, to make us feel good! But, even Santa has an ugly side, all the parents that go into GREAT debt over the holiday or even the kids that receive nothing cause their parents cannot afford to buy even one gift. I have never fell into either category but it happens. And traditions will continue even when it wasn't intended to hurt anyone.
It hurt when I found what I thought to be true all my life was indeed false. It hurt when I thought Joseph Smith only had one wife, Emma, but he in fact had many wives, even as young as 14 and even ones that were already married to other men, he was making it in the bedroom, in "the name of God". He used Christ to get what he wanted and had these people swear that they would obey him as their PROPHET! It hurt when thinking God never changes, he is constant and never waivers, yet things in the Mormon church are always changing, for one example of many; take the priesthood and blacks, it took the church to accept all children to be children of god, no matter the skin color. It hurt when I prayed to find answers in the "words of God" and the more I studied the beginnings in church history (not told in Sunday school classes, mind you) the more I hated to read that I was lied to. It took me years to accept this very real experience even though I wanted the facts to match up in my hard core beliefs. I did what I had to do, what to me was right, even though I thought what I had been doing all along was right, pay tithing, go to church, attend the temple, obey commandments, give of my time..the list goes on and on. But the core facts ate away at me and once I stepped away I realized I was living in a bubble of sorts and I had been wearing the aforementioned, blinders, these were literally fast taking my life away from me. I was at times feeling to hurt myself physically and always beating myself up mentally when I didn't live up to everything, all part of the truth that I found eating away at me, being so called "righteous enough" or doing enough for the church, it was dangerous, I almost could have lost my family over my depression. Now you know why, if you don't ever have to go thru what I did and are still Mormon, God Bless! I had to leave for better or for worse, the experience was both freeing and devastating. I went for professional non-LDS help to sort out some of my problems and realized I am better than who I used to think of myself as. I can enjoy today for what it is and accept myself and love myself. My new self is determined to reach higher and to be at my full potential, always learning, always loving, and always experiencing new things. Life is meant to be lived, no matter the definition of living, mine can be different from yours and that's what make us different and who we are!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A copy of a letter I wrote to my brother, Scott that I really cannot duplicate any further.

I realize many, including you, must feel hurt that my family has left the Mormon religion. Believe me, I know, I've been there, saying much of what you have said in your email, I've been a believer, and I had thought the very same things you've stated and had the testimony of it ALL, at one time or another. So there really isn't anything you are going to tell me that I haven't already heard, that's just the facts. I have, without a doubt, considered all things, I've asked a lot of questions and questioned time and time again many doctorine that just didn't seem to add up in a rational way. And the answers to the questions I had were kept from me my entire 'mormonhood'. I don't feel I need to explain everything because its a personal decision that I can say was one I have no regrets in making. I know, to you, that seems wrong, and at first what I thought I was doing was wrong too. I didn't make such a decision in haste, though to many on the outside, it would seem that way, but it has been a blessed journey and one I can finally say I chose for myself. And I know that probably doesn't make sense to you either, but I only have to answer to God, and proudly, I will, as I am not afraid.
I'm glad you, and everyone feel content where you are I have to respect that and I would expect the same respect likewise. I have realized over time we all have to find what truly makes us happy, and I wasn't all that happy overall, sure there were good times, but often the more I studied the history of the Mormon faith,the more I was fearfully led to another path, but one that makes more sense to me. I tried to get along with myself but it was failing, pretending to believe what I was reading was true, it was difficult.
Logan and I have always overcome a lot of difficult decisions together and this was one of them, by far, the hardest but one we have grown even closer over. Our relationship has deepened and opened many new doors. I understand how much you want me to come back, and again I know that feeling (of wanting someone to come back to the LDS church), and the prayers you wish for me to come back again, but you MUST realize, I have such a freedom to worship how or what I may, so I hope in time you can come to terms with my decision, though shocking, I'm a better person for having left the Mormon faith therefore, knowing what I know, I am never returning! It is over, that's why I decided to denounce my membership so please don't pester me with the doctorine of which I already know about.
I love you, I love all of you, my siblings, my parents, we are family in blood and ancestry and I feel very strong about family and about my life and my life's decisions. I will still be your sister and still respect who you are though my religious views have changed.

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I don't believe that I will be thrown to outer darkness and I don't believe that I will be hanging out in a Celestial glory, Telestial or Terrestrial glory for time and all eternity praising HF or Jesus for eternity all based on 80 years of a short measly lifetime. I don't believe a loving HF would cast me "out" I don't agree that if He loved me he'd make such a hasty judgment over such a small lifetime, I believe that there is more. I believe that my spirit or consciousness has always existed and that I continue to grow in knowledge and that we experience more and more in multiple lifetimes taking on bigger responsibilites, etc. I believe that there is indeed a God and we are all a part of what God is. I don't exactly believe that God is a person, but rather a higher degree of consciousness that is indeed eternal. I also believe that heaven is what we create in our minds rather than what someone tells me it would be like. So if I believe I will see all my past relatives,or pets, than I will see them when I die, and I will exist there until I am content and move on again into another life with the same group of conciousnesses. I don't believe that there is a Satan who works with his angels, however I do believe in the law of opposites and people may choose to do what is unethical or have medical conditions that don't maintain what we consider to be 'good'. I don't think the elderly have Satan growing inside them, as they do come off acting 'evil' but its just a dementia brain problem, to me it's clearer now after studying psychology and being in the medical field. Mom, I don't think had 'satan' live within her, but a form of Bipolar/Post Partum Depression, they just didn't know it then at the time, medicine hadn't had a name for it, and its my personal belif that she was taken in to the institution to be studied on to further their knowledge of what she may of had. So there you have it some of MY convictions!
I didn't expect to write so much or whatever have you but I refuse to be 'felt bad for' I'm increasing my knowledge and doing it in the way it makes me happy and that is my gift and lifeline from God!

Here's a video that says ALOT about why I would never return or accept the Mormon belief system, it was an eye opener for even me who had questions! I was skeptical but my intelligence that God gave me knows that history cannot be so vastly skewed.

Another video that again has much facts that I cannot deny and like these folks, I had to accept that Joseph Smith was a huge con artist and run to a different path

Logan once wrote this to another family member that felt sad about our decision
Once we left we were blessed immensely. We have peace in our home , our jobs are going great , and even Mertz and Alina are so happy we left.
We are so grateful to have found the real Christ and have accepted his saving grace in our lives.
Having actually studied the Mormon history the real one not the Hollywood version that the church portrays you really see that Joseph Smith was a con artist, womanizer and megalomaniac. It's a shame people still consider him a man of God. When you look at all the inaccuracies of the BOM and the outright fallacy of the BOA how can one still "believe"?
Warm fuzzy feelings do not equate to truth. facts do and Mormons can provide no such facts. Paul when teaching the Romans did not tell them to pray about what he was saying for a warm burning in the bosom. He reasoned with them for hours in order to make them understand the truth of the Gospel. God gave us intellect which we are to use. Paul also taught to question everything so that we may find the truth. I guess it's okay to question everything but Mormonism.
I could go on and on point for point and dispute the whole of Mormon doctrine in how it does not match up to Biblical Christianity but what's the point?
I am glad that Mormons have their faith, and if that gives them strength then that is wonderful. Leah and I are very leery about any man who calls himself a prophet yet does nothing to warrant such a title.
We have found the real Jesus Christ and his plan is wonderful and we are so glad to have accepted it. That is our strength and if people feel they need to pray for us then so be it. But, please do not pray that we will come back to the Mormon church because that will never happen. I would never slap Christ in the face like that.

The family member replied: i am a christian and to deny that is showing great ignorance on the part of anyone who says otherwise. for all that you two say, i know the truth and so do you. I'll pray harder for you all. ignorance is bliss...isn't it?
Logan's Reply

No. to say that you are Christian is ignorance on your part. Mormons do not follow Biblical Christianity. And what the do follow out of the Bible has been taken out of context (such as baptism for the dead, which if you bother to actually research Renee it is a pagan practice not Christian). Mormons do not even give full credibility to the Bible saying that we take it to be true if it is translated correctly. Yet they give credence to the Book of Mormon which has been proven time and time again to be a hoax.
By telling me I know the truth you are right I do know the truth. That Jesus is my savior and that through his grace i am saved. Period end of story and that is the gospel he taught in the bible. We are even told that anyone who tries to add or change is a false prophet. I'm sorry Renee but you do not know the truth and I will pray for you and ma that one day you will realize that the Mormon church is wrong. I hope that you will embrace the real Jesus Christ. If you would only research the truth of Mormonism instead of allowing yourself toi be force fed the lies. So I guess you would know if ignorance is bliss because you're living it.
And please do not try with these lame attempts to put a guilt trip on me by saying that I know the truth and all that garbage because it isn't gonna work. I get the ... Read Morefeeling you're trying to convince yourself that it's true. It's too bad you live with such cognitive dissonance. It's true the one thing that pisses Mormons off most is seeing ex-mormons live happy productive lives.
Mormons teach in sunday school that Jesus died for our sins and that through him we are saved. But then you have to go through the temple and that is the last step in being saved. What!!?? where in the Bible does it say that. Plus the temple ceremony is nothing more than the Masonic temple ceremony rehashed. Again do your research and you would see that.
Wow so much to be said regarding the inaccuracies and contradictions. But if you want to believe go ahead but me and my family will be praying hard for you to come to the real Christ and not Joseph Smith fabricated Jesus.

Then I chimed in the conversation:
I didn't wake up one day and all of a sudden say "I quit!" The great lengths I took to stay and keep beliving in the Mormon church, what questions that went unanswered and frustations I had being in it started my personal and very private journey to where I stand today. Nobody knows better than me how many years I've spent working out the kinks and not feeling the kind of joy I have today.

I also have to add to all of this long post something else that has occurred to me. As a young 8 year old, how could I have truly understood the magnitude the agreement and promises that is taken in a Mormon baptism. I barely remember being 8 and if I truly felt inside that I didn't want to be baptized and I do vaguely remember being scared making a hard commitment and knew there was a parent outside the bishop's door who'd 'let me have it' if I chose against being baptized. Even after my son's own baptisim he stated very openly he wished he hadn't been, and was relieved when we got the papers declaring we were no longer Mormons. If one young kid decides that they don't want to be baptized, think of the ostracized reaction they'd get from the flock, can you imagine being in primary and not getting baptized right at that 8th birthday mark? Its just not okay the pressure that is put on such a young one to do something that they really don't have a real choice in doing. Emma & Reuben a.was.k.a. Leah and Logan I think not! I laughed my head off finding out what Logan's 'new name' was and finding out that everyone that same day was 'newly' named the same name...not so sacred after all. And I can say all of this because it's not sacred to me and there is nothing I will hold back. You'd understand if you watch these above videos with an open-mind and hard as the facts may be, I felt horribly scammed by Joseph and his leaders thereafter, its a feeling of 'how silly was I to believe this horseshit?" I was living in shock indeed and have had many intellectual chats with others and have really come out of it all quite elated and I'm not stupid, I'm very smart and I won't be controlled by a cult who makes us swear on our lives not to tell but I think that's a load of crap in hindsight. Other churches think that they are weird to us having been Mormon, but if they saw what the heck we did in temples, and the underwear, they sure would think we were the weirdest! I've told the pastor that I am at ease within their church and no mystery and no question goes unanswered, in fact they encourage deep questions and that they say is a good thing, as opposed to being condemned for questioning doctrine that doesn't seem to add up. My blinders that I wore for most of my life are buried, better yet they should be burned for all time and eternity, make a mental picture, it has been done. I'm fairing out well and am lovin' a new life and meeting up with some great people and old friends and making new ones!