Thursday, March 15, 2012

Psychological Effects of Mormonism

I don't recall exactly how I came across this list, but it truly struck home.  There's an Ex-Mormon meet-up group in the DFW area, and Saturday night I went for the second time. It's been fantastic to have people I can talk with who've "been there, done that" without judging  me.

Anyway, every now and again one of us will ask a question--did you feel this? And everyone who's a former Mormon chimes in with their feelings and experiences.

There are70 items on this list, and I highlighted 51 as being particularly pertinent to me.

  • Feeling depressed (and believing that you shouldn't be depressed because you're a member of the one 'true' church of Jesus Christ).
  • Having nagging doubts about Mormonism and the LDS Church, but feeling/believing that you cannot pay attention to or explore your doubts. Note: when I first started exploring the issues that ultimately led to my departure from the church, I felt almost handicapped because I knew I couldn't ask those questions.
  • Feeling like a stranger to yourself/wondering who the real you is. Note: When I stopped trying to fit into the Molly Mormon mold back in 2000, it was a bizarre experience to start learning who I was. It was also hurtful how many people I considered friends dumped me because they didn't know what to do with me.
  • Feeling that you're just not good enough, no matter how hard you try or how much you sacrifice.
  • Frequently comparing yourself with other Mormons who seem to be more 'blessed'.  And feeling judged by some of those people who were more blessed, more spiritual, more obedient, worthier, blah blah blah.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with the demands of family, work, church, etc.
  • Feeling/believing that you must 'endure to the end' no matter what in order to prove your 'worthiness' to 'God'.
  • Feeling/believing that 'God' is always watching and judging you, and feeling stressed as a result. 
  • Fluctuating between strict ('perfect') obedience and 'sinful' behaviour.
  • Being very critical of yourself/frequently mentally beating yourself up/self-loathing. I'm an expert at self-loathing. Trust me--that's something the Morg taught me very well. 
  • Feeling that 'God' has not forgiven you for all of your 'sins', despite having spent a lot of time praying, fasting, reading the scriptures, etc.
  • Feeling residual guilt for things you've done in the past.
  • Believing that 'Heavenly Father' gives you 'trials and tribulations' to 'test' your 'worthiness'.
  • Believing that you must always be busy/feeling guilty if you start to relax.
  • Feeling immature and naive.
  • Feeling confused when you encounter facts that conflict with teachings of the LDS Church and Mormon beliefs.
  • Living for appearances and to obtain and maintain the approval of other people at all costs.
  • Not communicating what you truly think or feel because you believe that people will disapprove of you and reject you if you did.
  • Fear of confrontation and conflict.
  • Believing that you cannot say "No" to church leaders and other members when they ask you to do something (e.g. 'offer' you a calling).  Like when I was always called to play piano because they always needed piano players, instead of calling me to things that I would have enjoyed and perhaps done better. And accepting callings that terrified me. Or that I was emotionally incapable of performing at the time.
  • Having poor personal boundaries.
  • Having an "I -am-nothing-without-God"/"I-am-a-wretched-sinner" mindset.
  • Having an "I-can-do-nothing-without-God mindset" (poor sense of personal power).
  • Feeling that you must obtain and maintain the approval of your Mormon parents, church leaders, God (as defined by Mormonism), and the LDS community.  And I still can't tell my mother my feelings about the church because her health is deteriorating at a rapid pace. I hate feeling like I have to hide myself from her, but I couldn't bear hurting her. 
  • Frequently being reminded that your obedience is imperfect/inadequate, and feeling badly as a result.
  • Frequently being reminded that you are not doing enough or sacrificing enough for the church, and feeling badly as a result.
  • Repressed unrighteous feelings (e.g. anger, frustration, resentment)
  • Chronic feelings of being sinful/unclean/unworthy
  • Suppressed intuition
  • Emotional volatility/exacerbated manic-depressive (bi-polar) behaviour..
  • Chronic pessimism/joylessness.
  • Feeling that you are missing out on life.
  • Always crying when you bear your testimony/feeling a chronic sadness.
  • Feeling powerless/perceiving yourself as a victim/not taking full responsibility for your life.
  • Looking to God to rescue you from the consequences of your decisions and behaviour.
  • 'Magical' thinking/believing that 'God' or Jesus will make everything better, save humanity and the Earth, etc.
  • Experiencing difficulty thinking critically and rationally.
  • Polarized/'black-and-white' thinking.
  • Experiencing a constant barrage of thoughts/restless mind.
  • Repressed intelligence/intellectual abilities.
  • Using religion as an escape from dealing with life's problems/challenges.
  • Using priesthood blessings as a quick spiritual fix, but avoiding addressing the root problem(s).
  • Feeling pressured to get married and have children.
  • Feeling that you are not fully accepted in the LDS Church because you are divorced, a single parent with children, older than your late 20's and still single, were previously disfellowshipped or excommunicated, etc. I got married a month before I turned 27; never did succeed at having children, which I desperately wanted not necessarily for the LDS purposes, but because I love kids and wanted to have a large family.
  • Believing in the superstitions of Mormonism (e.g. 'Satan' controls the waters).
  • Feeling possessed or tormented by 'demons'.
  • Distrust of your mind, mental processes, and judgments.
  • Feeling shameful about your sexuality, sexual urges and desires, and sexual thoughts.
  • Feeling shameful about sex (involving adults, not minors) and nudity.
  • Feeling/believing that you are 'spiritually impure' and 'morally unclean' because of your sexual behaviour (past or present)
  • Feeling that sensuality/sensuousness is carnal and 'evil'
My husband is disturbed that I describe myself as agnostic. But when you look at this list of what Mormonism did to me, can you really wonder that I'm not in any hurry to find religion? I believe that, if there is a god or divine entity watching over us, that he is bigger and better and more wonderful than anything we can possibly imagine. I haven't found that god anywhere just yet. 

I Moved!!!

I moved my blog over to wordpress, so if you're interested, you can find me at

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pandora's Box

And in other breaking news, Eve eats a pomegranate and Adam blames it on her, and all the sin that exists in the world since then is a woman's fault.

Over and out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cult? What Cult?

I'm sitting here watching an episode of Criminal Minds. The 3rd in season 4, it's about a fundy group in a Waco-type situation, with two BAU agents undercover when the raid takes place.

And it makes me think. How many TBM's would insist that the polygamy practicing offshoots of Mormonism are cults, without even recognising that they themselves are trapped in a cult? I can guarantee you that, previous to my departure, if you'd told me I was in a cult I would have thought you didn't know what you were talking about.

But of course, you'd have been right.

I found this at Rick Ross's website.

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

  1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
  2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
  3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
  4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
  5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
  6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
  7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
  8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
  9. The group/leader is always right.
  10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    I found an address given by Ezra Taft Benson in 1981 at (excerpted--if you want to read the entire address, please go to the LDS website):

  1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
  2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
  3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
  4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.
  5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
  6. The prophet does not have to say "Thus Saith the Lord" to give us scripture.
  7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
  8. The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.
  9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
  10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.
  11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
  12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
  13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency--the highest quorum in the Church.
  14. The prophet and the presidency--the living prophet and the First Presidency--follow them and be blessed--reject them and suffer.
"Follow them and be blessed--reject them and suffer."

That says it all, doesn't it? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Anger!

It still surprises me when I'm talking with someone, and the anger hits. Anger about the lies. Anger about the ways they try to control people. Anger that I bought into it for so long.

That happened just now. Talking with my husband. I don't want to be an angry person. My sister says it'll pass. I hope she's right.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What a Lovely Sunday!

Slept in a wee bit, played wii (bowling), watched a little tv with my husband, drank 3 cups of coffee and had baked beans for brunch. Now I'm watching documentaries on netflix.

Since I was glorying in the beautiful cosmos this past week, let's take a look at some of the beyond beautiful things in the depths of the ocean today.

I still say, what a wonderful world.

It's okay to say, "I don't know" when you're asked or are asking how the universe and this planet came about.  It's good to study and learn, but it's also okay to just observe and be awed by the grandeur and majesty and glory and beauty and mystery.