Thursday, October 06, 2005

That's me in the corner, that's me in the spot light

...losing my religion.

I'd thought I'd address what caused me to leave the Mormon church. If you take the reasons the Mormons are likely to give its because of some invented sin, I was offended by some member, or I simply couldn't live up to the gospel. I'll put it this way – none of that is true. If it helps people still stuck in that frame of mind to believe it, I'm not going to stop them. Who am I to shatter their belief structure? (I will however still make fun of the whole Celestial Kingdom setup. Come on, people! Spirit babies?)

Religion is about belief. If I don't believe in the tenets of a religion, how can I follow it? It's not like I can go up to a Mormon bishop and say, “I believe the Book of Mormon is a badly written alternate history novel.” Admit to having feelings of being female and I'd get prayed on or worse, exorcised. (I even have a little booklet telling you how to perform this ritual.) As I'm not anxious to make any part of The Exorcist real in my life, I think I'll avoid this outcome. When I came to realize that I did not believe it started me on a quest for personal growth, whatever that might mean.

Like any good Mormon, I prayed to be shown the truth. I didn't pray to be told the church was true like I'd been told to every Sunday since birth practically. I wanted the answer to be that it was indeed true, but the Internet is a strange and wonderful thing and will be the first place a computer geek will be likely to go for information.
I did not like what I found. There is so much crap out there that you have to wade through it and determine what the legitimate sources are. Even from the sources I considered legitimate, I didn't like what I was seeing. The basics of the founding of the church were clearly exposed as a fraud. Had I gone a little bit further in my progression I might have realized there might be value in the myth of Joseph Smith as well. (I'll really have to read Joseph Campbell someday.) Trying to be intellectually honest, I could not remain a member. I can't quite take my sister's position of keeping her name on the rolls in case her house burns down or something.

I was devastated. I fought to get my name off the church rolls. I got calls from people who never even met me begging me not to leave. I even got a guilt-ridden letter with the smiling faces of the three top people in the Mormon church on it. On the bright side, it used to be a lot worse. It used to be that you needed to be excommunicated before you were off church roles. Not only that but when my mother passed away and I held a memorial for people who could not attend her funeral. (Also my way of saying good riddance to some of her friends I couldn't stand.) The person who took care of the local church's attendance rolls showed up and tried to get my sister-in-law's address. Too bad Hallmark doesn't make a “We sincerely wish you'd learn to mind your own business” card.

Sorry, I did not mean to go off on a rant there. Eventually I realized religion is about what I believe, not doing something on a checklist to make it into some Heaven that may or may not exist. It's also about becoming better than we are and learning to help our fellow man. May my readers and I find fulfillment in this area. I lost faith in the Mormon church, not faith in general.

4 Comments:

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At Thu Oct 06, 05:59:00 PM 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Sat Oct 08, 05:12:00 PM 2005 , Blogger Becca said...

Well, I think I'll take off. I'm one of them. And who wants comments from someone who's deluded and unintellectual. I probably wouldn't want someone who was a religious fanatic commenting on my blog, so I'll just let you go, then.

Just so you know, no hard feelings. I know a lot of people who stop liking me after they find out. It's cool.

 
At Sat Jan 14, 07:31:00 AM 2006 , Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.

Sincerely,

Joseph Smith Jr.
Mormon
http://www.whatismormonism.com

 

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