Friday, December 9, 2011


I had a horrible nightmare last night. I dreamed people kept coming to me with their idea of proofs that the mormon church is true. And I dreamed I was visiting my mother, and trying to still keep the fact that I've left the church from her. But my stepfather was just horrible, and I exploded. (Figuratively, not literally.) And my mother was just broken-hearted that I left the One True Church (tm) but I knew if I could just get her away from my horrid stepfather she would understand and, perhaps, come to a place of agreement. I know, because she's written many letters to my sister, that she would be able to take my leaving the church with a little more equanimity if I could honestly tell her I was attending another church. But I can't do that, not now. maybe not ever. The dream ended with my packing up my clothes and heading home.

My husband and I were having a rather heated discussion the other night as we came home from doing a little shopping, discussing the mormon leadership's proclivity to, as I put it, line their pockets with the widow's mite. (I was quite proud of myself for coming up with that phrase. Of course, now that I've put it out there, it will turn out to be something I read somewhere and kept in my subconscious.) I've read over and over and over again about people who were living in the depths of povery but faithfully paid their tithing, while the general authorities and higher-ups are living in housing that would seem like paradise to the very people who pay for that housing, their clothes, their healthful food, their travel expenses, the mall, the luxury condominiums.  It genuinely makes me sick.

I know I talk about this a lot, but it's important to me. Paying tithing was never easy for me, and as a result I seldom paid it. Every now and again I'd think about how important it was, so I would start, but then I ended up not having enough money and I'd stop again. I know that there are active members who would tell me that's the reason I lost my faith--I didn't have enough faith to even pay my tithing. Well, before I got married, I lived on my own. I didn't make much money. I always ran out of money before I ran out of month. Then you take the whole tithing thing on top of that--how was I supposed to live? I didn't have parents who would or who could give me money. Then after I got married, I had a whole new set of problems. We sporadically paid tithing, but never really saw the windows of heaven opening and pouring out blessings on our heads. If the church leaders had not emphasized the 10% thing, but rather said, "pay what you can," I think I'd have been able to make regular offerings every paycheck. I wouldn't have had to feel guilty about it. If the church leaders told a family who was all but starving to death to take care of their family, and pay what you can when you can, I think a whole lot of people would feel a whole lot better.

Then there's the mall. The great money pit. When I lived in Salt Lake City, I liked to go to Crossroads Mall and ZCMI Center. They were nice. I enjoyed shopping there.  Then I moved away 18 years ago. I've only been back a few times since then, and whenever I go I'm astounded by all the construction that's taken place or is underway. I didn't know the church was funding that mall. Even as a member I didn't understand why. And then when I found out how much money they were sinking into that mall, again, it made me sick. I used to think that the church donated significant amounts of money and service to those in need. But there are still people with no shelter, no food, no medical care, no clean, safe water. In my opinion, the church has no business building a gigantic mall complex as long as there are people in need. They have no business running those horribly misleading "I'm a Mormon" ads while there are people in need (Thanks, Ingrid Ricks; I'd not thought of that in connection with this, but you're totally right).

I've talked before about the laughing Buddha statuette I purchased a few weeks ago.  Well, I also purchased a stone meditating Buddha and put it on my coffee table.  My husband then asked me if I were now Buddhist. No, I'm not Buddhist. I'm not an -ist or an -ite or anything else. I like my meditating Buddha because he reminds me to slow down and take time to meditate. I like my laughing Buddha because he reminds me to find joy in life.

I know this is a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing--but it's what's been on my mind. If you made it through this post, you have my sincere thanks for letting me get my thoughts down.


  1. Actually, I kind of think that the Buddha would pleased with the way you're using his statues - not devotionals, just little reminders of principles.

  2. I agree with Michael. The Buddha would not have wanted to be worshiped.

    Organized religion seems to be racket, no?