Thursday, May 19, 2011


When I was a little kid, I lied incessantly, particularly when I was in trouble. My parents tried to beat into me that if I did something wrong and lied about it, the punishment would be worse than if I did something wrong but confessed to it.  Oh man, I tried, but I was always scared, so I lied anyway. 

For example, my dad had a huge jug full of old pennies, and I pilfered the pennies to go get chips and candy, and once I even pulled out enough to buy a bikini.  I still shudder to think of the poor sales clerk who had to count out $20 worth of pennies.  I'm sorry. Honestly.  Anyway, I was too dumb to realize that of course my parents would notice the diminishing supply of pennies, so I was genuinely surprised when I got called on the carpet about it. And yes, I lied and continued to lie despite the preponderance of evidence against me. Finally in disgust my mother said she hoped I'd get sick at my stomach.

Ever since, if I'm lying, I get sick at my stomach. Thanks, Mom.

That doesn't really stop me from lying, though. Some lies are completely instinctive, like when one bishop asked me if I masturbated, and my "No!" sprang from my lips before I knew what was happening. I didn't really think it was any of his business.  And I also will now shamefacedly admit what I never admitted to anyone before, until my sister E and I were talking about it the other night, but for a long time I honestly believed the reason I couldn't have kids was because I masturbated.  I mean, what else do you do in a sexless marriage?  Ironically, all of the medications I'm on now for a disorder that was diagnosed 4 years ago have taken away most of my sex drive.

Other lies are the ones where I'm trying to conceal something.  Shoes? What shoes? Oh, those shoes! But since I buy my shoes with my personal money, it's none of his damn business.  (Oh dear, when I'm living on my own I won't be able to buy shoes like I can now. A sad thought, that.)  And he no longer knows how many books I buy, since I buy most of them in nook format, so thank goodness for that. 

And I write stories about liars. Because, as I say, I'm fascinated with lying. What makes me lie just for the sheer pleasure of it? If I'm lying for fun, I can frequently get away with it. If I'm lying out of self defense, however, I'm a lousy liar, and it makes my stomach hurt.

The reason I'm thinking about lies is because I have been reading lately about the mormon phenomenon of "lying for the Lord." 

Funny. I thought Psalms condemned the liars. (Aintnomonomo goes and checks.)  Yep. Here it is. I'll even put it in the "correct as long as it is translated correctly" translation of the bible (emphasis my own):

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. (Psalm 101:7)

Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.  (Psalm 31:18)

So does Proverbs:

A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (Proverbs 6:17)

A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:19)

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. (Proverbs 14:5)

There are plenty more, but I think you've got the point.  But wait--the mormon church only believes the bible if it is translated correctly.  They do, however, believe the book of mormon without qualification. What does it say about lies?

The ancient, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. (2 Nephi: 19:15)

Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you? (Alma 5:17)

Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell. (Nephi 9:34)

And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be taht we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. (2 Nephi 28:8)

I could go on, but I won't. Suffice it to say that mormon scriptures make it pretty clear that lying is not a good thing.

Well, what do the mormon leaders have to say on the subject of truth and lies?

In 1981, Boyd K. Packer told an audience that writers and church history teachers that they don't need to tell everything, saying "[s]ome things that are true are not very useful." 

For whom are they not useful?  For the countless people who would otherwise read the whole truth, and decide for themselves whether TSCC is actually true or not? For TSCC who would lose out on all that lovely tithing money?  I'm just asking.

There are plenty more quotations from the morg leaders about lying for the Lord, and you can go check them out here.

I guess their mothers never wished they'd get stomach aches when they lied.

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