Friday, April 29, 2011

Walkin' on the Wild Side

Today I took the day off work and spent it with my sister.  First we stopped for coffee (brown sugar lattes at Market Street are seriously good). Then I got my ears pierced again. Woo! Two holes per ear!  Then I bought some cute boy shorts undies. And I got a couple of bottles of wine. And when I had dinner with my sisters, I had a drink (alcoholic) with dinner.  Oh--almost forgot--I wore a tank top today.  I think I just wanted to sow a whole bunch of wild oats in one day.  My adopted sister thinks it's hysterical, because my version of wild oats is beyond tame. 

And guess what? I feel fine.

You know, I've been thinking so much about all of this. My marriage is imploding, not because of the church stuff. The implosion has been long imminent.  And in the long run, I think it will be best for both me and for my husband. I'm terrified, of course.  My budget, once we split up, will be almost down to the penny, and not much room for things like clothes, movies, etc. I'll be going to work and going home. If I stay in our house, my housing expenses will be less than if I were to get an apartment by work, but the high cost of gasoline will make it even out there. If I get an apartment by my office, everything I need is right there; the apartment complex would have a fitness center and a pool; there's a fantastic grocery store, a mall, Barnes & Noble, and my main gas expenses would be for coming to Sunday lunch with my family once a week.

I don't know yet what will happen. My husband has been trying to save our marriage. But to do that he has to completely deny who and what he is. And it's not good for him. He left yesterday to visit his family in another state, and very unusually, hasn't called me once, hasn't answered my text message when I let him know our power was out today.  I don't know if he's been talking with his family about the things he and I have been talking about at home. I don't know if he's deciding that it is the right time to split up. Maybe we need to sell our crappy little house and just go our separate ways. The only thing that would make that difficult is that we have two dogs, he travels for work, and I don't think the dogs would adapt well to apartment life, if I could even take them both. One's a 60-pound border collie, and the other is an overweight 30 pound lab/dachshund mix. The border collie is getting on in age, and I don't know how much longer we're going to have her around.  I think what it would be like to just hang on in my marriage for another 6 months or so, and I suppose I could do it, but I don't know if that would be the best decision.

How do you do this? I love my husband, and he loves me, and I know that we'll always love each other. It's just not husband-and-wife love. It's agape, best friend love.

Sorry to go on and on about it.  It's about the only thing I think about right now, trying to figure out how to make things work for both of us.

But the power's back on (obviously), and I've got a book to finish reading and reviewing, as well as another book outline/draft that's due this weekend, so I need to get some sleep tonight. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Without going into too much detail, things are really strained between me and my husband. Well, I feel they're strained. He feels just fine about things. On Saturday we had a long talk, and I THOUGHT we were in agreement on our relationship, basically just being roommates for now.  We talked some more on Sunday.  In the meantime, I've been trying to persuade him to go visit his family in another state (there's a wedding this weekend and all the family will be together), and sooner rather than later. So last night he asked me why I'm so eager to get him out of the house, and I was honest. "I need some time to myself."

His reaction told me that we are so not in agreement on our relationship.  So what do I do now? I love the man, heaven help me, but I also can't stand him much of the time. I don't make enough money to get my own apartment until we get the credit cards paid down. He won't move out of our house, and even if he did, I still couldn't make it on my own. I'm old enough that I don't want roommates. I'm young enough that if the opportunity arose to date someone, I'd like to be free to take advantage of that opportunity.  I feel like I'm caught in a net without a knife or pair of scissors with which to cut myself free, and the net's voluminous enough that if I start shredding it with my fingernails or teeth, another fold will drop down and I'll still be trapped.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Yesterday, Sarah changed the Slurpee rules. I can now have 2 per week, no specific days, and if they're sugar-free I can have all I want.  So I had one yesterday. And it was delicious.

But oh, the guilt!!  Sarah said I didn't have to blog about it, because this is an anonymous blog.  But I believe in being honest, true, ---wait a minute. Do I?  Well, yeah. I never needed something formally written up to define what I believe. I do believe in being honest. Most of the time. Just don't ask me how many pairs of shoes I bought last month. Okay, it was probably 5 pairs, and they are all absolutely cute. So there.

Guilt. Guilt guilt guilt.  Did you ever see Brighton Beach Memoirs?  This exchange between Eugene and his mother, Kate, beautifully illustrates guilt and nagging and logic:

Kate: I need bread.
Eugene: What?
Kate: I don't have enough bread. Run over to Greenblatt's and get me a fresh rye bread.
Eugene: Again? I just came back from Grennblatt's.
Kate: So You'll go again.
Eugene: I'm always going to the store. When I grow up, that's all I'll be trained to do, go to the store.
Kate: You don't want to go?... Never mind, I'll go.
Eugene: Don't do that! Don't make me feel guilty. I'll go.
Kate: And get a quarter of a pound of butter.
Eugene: I bought a quarter pound of butter this morning. Why don't you buy a half pound at a time?
Kate: And suppose the house burned down this afternoon? Why do I need an extra quarter pound of butter?

Eugene: If my mom taught logic in high school, this would be some weird country."

Mormons, though, have a special monopoly on guilt. Remember, we're not saved by the grace of Christ giving up his life for us and atoning for our sins.  I guess that's not strictly accurate. We are saved by grace, after all we can do.  This means that you have to do your dead level best to be perfect, because if you fall short of all you can do, you won't be saved.

So if you're a Mormon, particularly if you're a Mormon woman (because who has more to do than a faithful Mormon woman), you probably know from guilt.  If you're an infertile Mormon woman, you know from guilt. If you're an infertile Mormon woman who can't adopt, you know from guilt. If you're an infertile Mormon woman who can't adopt and you're angry and hurt not only at the home teacher's family who betrayed you and adopted your nephew right out from under you without anyone telling you, but also at LDS Social Services for allowing this to happen in such an underhanded way, you know from guilt. If your husband has issues that make being married difficult, you know from guilt. If your husband travels a lot, and you're happy when he walks out the door for another trip, you know from guilt.  If he tells you he's coming home, and your first reaction is, "oh, shit!", you know from guilt.   If you decide to just live together and be roommates, instead of spouses, at least until the credit cards are paid off and the house is ready to sell, you know from guilt (and misery, but that's another blog post for another day).

If you start asking questions, and would like to talk things over with your bishop but you don't dare because you worry he'll hold a court of love, you know from guilt. If you study more, and find answers to your questions that help you decide the church is built on a stack of lies told by sexual predators, you know from guilt.  If you take off your garments and proudly wear tank tops and cute underwear, you know from guilt. If you take a big glass of sangria in the bathroom and savour it while you take a long hot tub, you know from guilt (and you might get a little, um, mellow, let's say).

But it's not normal to live with such guilt. If you do believe in Christ, and the infinite and eternal atonement the church leaders (aka old white men) are always talking about, why would there be a limit on it? Don't the words "infinite" and "eternal" mean anything?  I think they do. I think that I want to quit worrying about the mythical all I can do, and just be a decent person. I'd rather donate my time and limited funds to groups that actually help people instead of groups who, while professing to provide great humanitarian aid, actually build malls and condos, donating a pathetically small amount to humanitarian needs.

So at lunch I bought two cute pairs of panties, and a sleeveless blouse. I have a writing deadline to meet tomorrow night, so I'll hold off on the sangria until Thursday night, but I plan to enjoy a completely guilt-free thoroughly decadent tub. Heaven help me.

A Meme Because I'm Feeling Lazy Today

Simple meme of 50 questions and answers.

1. What do you add to your coffee? 3 packets of Splenda and tons of powdered creamer. Alternatively, a splash of Torani sugar-free syrup and tons of powdered creamer.  Yes, I'm a coffee wuss.

2. What are you reading now? A truly dreadful book recommended by Stephenie Meyer. Or is that an oxymoron?

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. Are you registered to vote? Yes.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Nah.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Hebrew National all the way.

7. Favorite Christmas Song? Good King Wenceslas

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. See question 1.

9. Can you do push ups? Nope, although I definitely need to start.

10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? I don't recall. Seriously. I don't.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery? The piece I happen to be wearing at the time. That means right now it's my huge fake diamond ring.

12. Favorite hobby? Reading.

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? Yep--I'm known as Wonder Woman.

14. Do you have ADD? Definitely.

15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Laziness (see the title of this post).

16. What’s your Middle name? Virginia.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I have to go pee. My wrist hurts. I haven't had a cup of coffee yet this morning.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.  Clarins moisturizer, facial sunscreen, and toner.

19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Slurpees (every chance I get), coffee, tea. Ha! Take that, Joseph!

20. Current worry right now? Carpal tunnel problems in my right hand.

21. What side do you dress to? I'm a woman, so it's kind of a moot point.

22. Favorite place to be? I don't really have a favourite place.

23. How did you bring in the New Year? I was asleep. Rock on.

24. Where would you like to go? Everywhere.

25. Name three people who will complete this. Good question.

26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? See above.

27. What color shirt are you wearing? Pink and brown.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I do, but I hate how they slide off the bed, so I stick with cotton.

29. Can you whistle? Every chance I get. I walk around the house whistling.

30. Favorite colors(s)? Purple.

31. Could you be a pirate? Not so much, but I'm perfectly willing to ogle Johnny Depp, aka Jack Sparrow.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I prefer baths, and I tend not to sing in the bathtub. I do play with the bubbles, though. Does that count?

33. Favorite girls name? Sylvia

34. Favorite boy’s name? Hayden

35. What’s in your pocket right now? Nine dollars and sixty cents.

36. Last thing that made you laugh? Myself. I crack me up all the time.

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Navy blue satin.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Falling down--hard--several times in a row a few weeks after having knee replacement surgery. It didn't cause permanent damage, but it hurt like hell and made me cry because I thought I'd already ruined my brand new knee.

39. Do you love where you live? No, not at all.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2.

41. Who is your loudest friend? I am. I'm very loud.

42. How many dogs do you have? Two.

43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Not that I know of.

44. What are the most fun things you ever did? Road tripping with my best friends.

45. What are your favorite books? Jane Eyre, The Canterbury Tales, Harry Potter

46. What is your favorite candy? Toffee

47. Favorite Team? Pre A-Rod Yankees.

48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? Get the party started (Pink)

49. What were you doing at 12 AM? Sleeping.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? It's only 6:15. I don't have to get up for 10 more minutes. But going back to sleep for 10 minutes is stupid. Screw it. I'll do this crossword puzzle.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Interesting Conversations

My husband and I had more than one conversation this weekend about the church and our faith.  Despite everything, he still insists he has to believe that the mormon church is true, and if he dies and finds out it's not, he'll be relieved. 

I'm not pushing him in any particular direction, and he knows that, but I'm also standing firm in my decision to stay away from the mormon church. I will not affiliate with it; I will no longer allow old white men to tell me what kind of underwear to wear, and what I can and cannot eat and drink.  I will no longer believe that people love me who send me photocopied messages with various highlights and underlinings once a month, and ask to come visit but don't bother responding if I tell them that the day they want to come is bad for me, and who never call me unless they're calling to fulfill the responsibilities given to them by old white men.

My husband yesterday asked me what religion I am--Catholic? Episcopalian? Anglican? Baptist? Presbyterian? Methodist?  I told him I don't know yet. It remains to be figured out. My own guess right now is that I'll end up either going to the Presbyterian church with my Dad & Monster, or else I'll go to a non-denominational Christian church.  But time will tell.

Friday, April 22, 2011


"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:32
"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."  Gloria Steinem

"Some things that are true are not very useful."  Boyd K. Packer (president of the quorum of the twelve apostles of the mormon church)
Sorry, Boyd, I'm going to go with the John & Gloria on this one.  I have never felt so free in my life!  (And trust me when I tell you that I'm very pissed off.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It Works! and Thoughts on Tithing, Offerings, Bankruptcy, and the Counsel to Get Out of Debt

Oh, man, I wanted a Slurpee this morning. Not so much because I crave the icy coolness, but because I can no longer drink carbonated beverages.  But the thought of having to pay $5 to the Morg--well, that's just not going to happen.

My mind is all over the place right now. I want to do multiple posts every day, but I'm going to try and spread it out a little bit more.  So now we're going to talk about debts & tithing.

The church has given talk after talk after talk in recent years about the necessity of getting out of debt, if you have it, and staying out of debt, if you don't. Yet they simultaneously require 10% of your income (I've never seen a church leader come out and state whether it should be on your gross or net income, but it's definitely implied it should be on your gross).  I know that personally when I actually managed to pay tithing (I always had a hard time with that one), I felt guilty if I paid on anything less than the gross amount.

I've been reading that Utah is top in the nation in bankruptcy filings. From 2000-2004, Utah is #4 on the list (  According to another site (, the four states with the highest bankruptcy filings are Tennessee, Utah, Georgia, and Alabama. disputes this, stating that the true reason Utah ranks so high in bankruptcy filings is because state law allows for garnishment of wages, not because of out-of-control spending.

Is the mormonlawyer website correct?  I haven't read anything indicating that the Utah bankruptcy rate is due to out-of-control spending.  I honestly think it has much more to do with the stringent tithing requirements. Okay, tithing isn't "required," per se, but to be in the inner circle and allowed to participate in the temple ceremonies, it definitely is required. Add to that fast offerings, ward missionary, general missionary, book of mormon, humanitarian aid, temple construction, and other (which permits the donor to specify where those funds are to go), a significant portion of the family's income is going out the door as soon as it has come in.

Add to that the incessant barrage about how couples are to marry young and start their families right away, without waiting to finish college or get established in their careers, and you have a recipe for financial disaster.  Furthermore, parents are discouraged from limiting the sizes of their families, and mothers are strongly discouraged from having careers outside of their parenting.  I'm not criticising that--if I'd been fortunate enough to have children, I would have been a stay-at-home parent and loved it--but I do say that it only contributes to the serious financial strain placed on the family.

Does the mormon church really need to be a multi-billion-dollar corporation?  If all of those billions of dollars were going toward real need, perhaps the answer might be different.  If they were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, instead of lining their pockets, buying malls and streets, building hundreds of temples that end up being empty most of the time, then that would be a worthy cause. But they take the food out of the mouths of their faithful members (if you only have enough money to either pay tithing or put food on your table, you are told to pay tithing). Instead of feeding the hungry, they're starving the faithful.  That I have a problem with.

I agree that it's important to make charitable donations, whether it be to one's faith or to other worthy causes.  But I would far rather make a donation to Medecins sans frontiers (, a local food bank, or other organisations that genuinely give everything to serve others.

Ironically, if you do a search for humanitarian aid, the lds church will be prominent on the very first page.  The funds they donate to humanitarian aid are very small in proportion to the funds they receive in the form of tithes and offerings.  There are plenty of members who are out there, serving in their communities, making donations, doing everything in their power to serve God according to the dictates of their consciences, and I respect and admire them.

I do say, however, that they would be better served in making smaller donations to the mormon church and serving their own families by putting food on the tables. Yes, the mormon church would have less money, but their members would be healthier, and the economy as a whole would be healthier as fewer people would be forced into bankruptcy and poverty by the faith they profess.  And following the counsel of church leaders to get out of debt and stay out of debt might actually become possible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aversion Therapy

I am addicted to Coke and/or Dr. Pepper Slurpees.

I had lap band surgery on December 29th, and have lost 49 pounds. I need to lose another 100 pounds.

Do you see where this is leading to?

I go out to lunch once a week, to my favourite TexMex place, and either split the weekly special with my friend Sarah or else I make two meals out of it. Then we go to 7-11 to get Slurpees.

Today I told her that I will not have another Slurpee until next Wednesday, and if I do, I have to give $5 to the Morg.  She (nevermo) was shocked, and said I most certainly would not! I'd give it to the SPCA.  But I think the SPCA is a worthy cause, so that might not make me worry too much about breaking my Slurpee rule.  I do NOT, on the other hand, want to give so much as a senine (heh-heh) to the Morg. So here it is, in black and white (or whatever colours I have set up):

If I have another Slurpee before next Wednesday (April 27th), I will donate $5 per Slurpee to the Morg.

I think this plateau may be about to break!

Panic Attack Narrowly Averted

I never in my life got a response back so quickly from a priesthood leader as I did yesterday when I sent the email asking to be placed onto a do not contact list. He wanted to meet with me right away, as in 6:00 last night or else 7:00 Thursday night. I caved.  Sure, 6:00 would be fine.

Then I posted on the women only board at Life After Mormonism, begging for help.  I started having a panic attack--fast breathing, getting clammy hands, it was absolutely awful.  And they were there for me. I got all kinds of wonderful advice, mostly along the lines of Nancy Reagan's famous injuncture against drugs: Just Say No. 

So I said no.  I emailed him back and said that I had changed my mind. I didn't want to meet, as there was really nothing to discuss. Nothing personal against him--I think he's a very nice person and I do respect him, but there's nothing that can be said to change my mind. I'm not offended by anyone in the ward (well, technically speaking that's not true, but the offense and hurt are not the reasons I left TSCC).   I also said that I was speaking for myself, not for my husband.

He responded. He was very disappointed. He'd had me and my husband on his mind for a couple of weeks. He guessed he'd waited too long.  Um, hello--he would still be waiting if I hadn't taken the initiative to say that I didn't want to be contacted. He told me that he thinks very highly of me, and if it's okay, would still like to be in touch occasionally.  I didn't answer his last email.  I think that if I did, things would still keep going in circles, and I am ready to leave this part of my life behind.

One of the awesome women on the Life After Mormonism board reminded me of a quotation from one of my favourite movies:

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me!

If you recognise that quote, just pretend that you're Sarah. Your bishop DOES NOT have power over YOU. Don't give him that power.
Thank you, Stormyfire, and thank you to everyone else. You got me through it. And that quotation from Labyrinth is getting printed up and will be hanging on my cube wall as soon as I finish this blog post.

I have to stress here, though, that my complete loathing of TSCC has nothing to do with most of the members I have known. Most of them are good, honest, hard-working people who genuinely believe what they're teaching.  My bishop, for example, is a very funny, hard-working, honest man, and I really do think highly of him.  I've liked him since I first met him. I hated having to send him the email requesting no contact. It would have been much easier had it been the previous bishop, who loathed me and my husband and never made any pretense otherwise. But things are as they are, and I needed to take that action for my sanity.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Feels Weird

After I posted earlier this morning, I kept thinking about things. I don't really want any visits from visiting teachers who don't really care about me.  I don't particularly want home teachers either, but I have to leave that to my husband to decide if/when he wants to kibosh that. It doesn't matter, of course, we haven't had home teachers in years. So I shot the bishop an e-mail asking to be placed on a do-not-contact list, stating that I don't want to receive phone calls, e-mails, or visits.

I feel a little weird right now. Tell me it gets better!!!

Visting Teachers

I used to think that my oh-so-faithful visiting teacher (who has been my visiting teacher for years, even though I've been inactive 90% of the time) really cared about me.  After all, she came 4 times a year, and sent me messages through the mail the other 8 months. And she called me once in a very long while, albeit only to set up an appointment for her to come visit teach. But now she has a companion, and since I'm available on email and, her companion is the one who contacts me.

So last week I get an email from the companion wanting to know if they can come visit. The day she asked about was just a really bad day for me.  And let me be honest here--I'm not sure that I really want them to come. But I'm not ready to come out of the mormon closet yet, so I just responded that it was a bad week, and could they perhaps come this week.  No response. I'm assuming they got together last week to do their other visiting teaching--perhaps they could have briefly discussed me? Nah, of course not. I feel quite sure that by the end of the month I'll have another envelope mailed to me containing the official relief society visiting teaching message, with various quotations highlighted and/or underlined, a brief testimony written, and an offer to please call if I need anything.

Let's see--my husband travels for work, so he will frequently be gone for weeks at a time. I haven't regularly attended church in years. Do I need anything? Possibly. But will I ever say so? No. Not because I'm proud and stiff-necked, but because I don't think they really care about me at all.

When I was a TBM, I took my visiting teaching very seriously. I went virtually every month, and if I had a do-not-contact person on my list, I wrote her letters every month. (I remember getting the counsel that unless they invited me, I could not visit, but letters were acceptable.  To you, my friends, I heartily apologize for not respecting your wishes.)  I didn't photocopy messages, I wrote letters. Now and again one of those women would call me and thank me for writing, and I'd get all excited and think here was my opportunity to bring these sisters back into the fold! It never happened, of course, and now I'm glad. But with the every member a missionary bit, and all the talks about how we're supposed to share the gospel with people, and how we'd be met in the future by all the people who joined the church because we shared it with them, and I never got to share it with anyone so I thought I was just worthless as a member.

I've been spending a fair bit of time at Mormon Curtain, and have read a couple of stories where there were activities designed to illustrate the three kingdoms.  And it brought to mind a most unpleasant memory. It belongs here because it was at a visiting teaching conference put on my the student ward I attended in Austin years ago.  The sisters who had not done our visiting teaching two month out of the previous three were escorted into a dark room, given bread and water and left alone.  The other sisters were escorted into the cultural hall (why is the gym referred to as the cultural hall? I've always wondered.), and those who had 100% visiting teaching out of the previous three months were seated at the head tables that were adorned with tablecloths, china, crystal, and had a lovely meal served to them. The remaining sisters (missed one month out of the previous three) were seated at the other tables, with paper tablecloths and paper plates, plastic utensils, and plastic cups, but they still got to eat a nice meal.

Now I can't remember just why I hadn't gotten my visiting teaching done, but I do remember there was a good reason for it. It wasn't because I was lazy.  The three or four other women in the room with me were really resentful, but we tried to put it into perspective and take it for the lesson it was.

Looking back, I think that was a crap thing to do. And I think of how we're told that the church leaders in our day will be the ones to judge us in the hereafter (at least I've been taught that since I joined when I was 17), and I wonder how they can possible judge people when they know nothing about us. That's not right.

I'm not letting the morg rule me anymore, but I think it may take a while to process all this anger I'm feeling. I'm not normally an angry person, and I don't like feeling this way.  But man--the crap they put people through is just wrong!!!

Okay. I think I'm finished with this rant. Stay tuned--there will probably be another one coming soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Since taking off my garments a few weeks ago, I've relished being able to wear whatever underwear I like. And then it strikes me as pathetic to be so happy to wear whatever underwear I like!  I was reading one of those "you may be a post mormon if...." things on a message board the other day, and someone talked about having an array of colours of underwear. I was about to chime in, because I bought 4 bras, but then I realized that nude, white, black, and grey hardly made for an array of colours.  So Friday night I went and bought a turquoise bra and a coral coloured bra.  Woot!

I haven't gotten to the point of getting matching panties yet, mostly because I forgot about it while I was at the store, but even so: I have purple, grey, tiger striped, polka dot, blue, yellow, orange panties, and it's so nice!

You know what else?  When I'm not wearing a complete layer of underclothes beneath my tops, I feel so much cooler. And if I'm wearing a light jacket or bolero over a tank top, and I get too hot, I can take my jacket or bolero off to get cooler!  Woohoo!  I remember days at the office where the A/C would go out, and I had foolishly worn a jacket over a tank top over my bra over my garments, and I would sit there and just swelter. My work bff would tell me to take my jacket off, and I couldn't tell her why I couldn't.

I didn't leave the church just so I could sin. But I have to say I'm enjoying my underwear freedom! (and the iced tea. Mmmmm.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not for Me, Thanks

One of the things I was frequently taught or that was discussed among my friends was having my own world someday (assuming I made it that far).

My friends would say that they would do this or that in their worlds, and I'd wonder about it. If God is all-knowing, all-seeing, etc., and this is the way he set things up, then this must be the way they should be done. So my saying that I would do something different, it seemed logical, would be going against God. Which meant that I'd never have my own world.

The thing is, I don't want my own world. I have enough trouble managing my life on a day-to-day basis. The thought of having my own world terrifies me. The thought of having to keep every commandment, every expectation, etc. makes me feel nothing but despair because there is no way I can. It's by grace we are saved, after all we can do.  But you know what? The impression that was given to me by my leaders focused far less on the grace aspect and far more on the all we can do aspect.

I can never do enough, never be enough. I will always fall short, always fail.

Thank God for grace! I can focus on being myself, and can worship God according to the dictates of my conscience, and can be the best person I can be. I feel so much freer now.  And now I can pray without the constant worries of whether God will want to hear from someone who is so pathetic a loser.

Just my two cents' worth.

Friday, April 15, 2011

No More

A couple of weeks ago someone close to me started talking about Joseph Smith's history not just with polygamy, but polyandry.  Normally when anyone started questioning anything about the mormon church I would figuratively stick my fingers in my ears and sing la-la-la-la.  So why did I listen this time? I think it was because the person was so upset about it, and wouldn't shut up.  So I hit the internet.

Google is my friend.

Yes, Joseph Smith had a lot of wives, some of whom were concurrently married to other men.  That I had never known, and it really bothered me. I kept looking and looking and looking, and the more I looked, the more bothered I got about it all.  A 38-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl? Not liking that.

As I continued searching for answers, I kept coming up with more questions, and then there was just this moment when I knew. It's not true. It's not real. It's falsehood erected on top of falsehood. And I don't believe it anymore.

The person who started this is now fretting over the state of my faith. Ironically, my faith in God and in Jesus are actually stronger than they have been since I was a kid, long before my 30 years of mormon indoctrination. I no longer spend my days worrying that no matter how hard I'll try, I'll never be worthy of the celestial kingdom. And I no longer worry about that niggling little voice that tells me I don't want the celestial kingdom anyway. I can sleep at night. I'm not sure how things are going to work out, but I don't ever want to go back.

On the subject of Smith marrying women who were already married to other men, claiming that it was all God's will, I found this in the book of Genesis (you know, the flawed Bible that's only the word of God if it's translated correctly):  Abram and Sarai were in Egypt. Sarai was a hot chick, and Abram didn't want to be killed so that some Egyptian dude could marry her, so he said she was his sister. The Pharaoh had the hots for her, and was planning to take her, but God smote his house with plagues because of Sarai. Why didn't you tell me she was your wife? he said. And Abram and Sarai left Egypt and went on their merry way.

See? God didn't want the Pharaoh to marry Sarai because, gee, she was already married. But wait--there's more:

They were traveling once again, and since saying Sarai (now Sarah) was his sister had worked before Abram (now Abraham), tried it again. And despite being up in years, Sarah was still gorgeous, so the king took her. And then God came to the king at night and said he was a dead man, because he took another man's wife. (Note that he took her, but he had not yet known her, if you know what I mean.)  So the king protested his innocence to God, who said he was letting him off the hook because he knew that the king didn't know, and then the king sent Abraham and Sarah on their way.

When I found that, it seemed to me very clear. God would not have protected Sarah two different times from being taken in marriage when she was already married, and then told Smith it was okay for him to marry anyone he wanted to, whether she was married or not. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, I don't somehow see him changing his mind on this issue.

That's just one of many questions I've had, but I figure that's enough to be getting on with.